Is it just me, or is this one of the most mild mannered elections we have ever had? I think the reason is obvious. The Republican Party of Arkansas has acknowledged that they have no credible candidates, no issues, and little support, so they have given up even trying for the most part. The Green Party is running more candidates than the Republican Party. Instead putting forward decent candidates, the Republicans have decided to stick to what they are best at - suggesting constitutional amendments to pick on minority groups such as homosexuals and immigrants.
So we are back to essentially a one party state - not that this is a good thing necessarily. At least we have the judicial candidates right?
For what it's worth - here are my picks for each race:
9th Division Circuit Judge
For: Cecily Skarda
Have any of you ever been in Judge McGowan's Court? If so - you probably saw her attempt to humliate at least one person in the room. When I am there, that person is usually me. Fortunately, I know the law better than her and I'm smart enough to know that I don't always need to tell her that. She is the worst judge I have ever practiced before, without a doubt. If she wins, it is only because not enough people have been in her courtroom to see how awful she treats lawyers and witnesses.
Pulaski County Circuit Court 11th Division
For: Cathi Compton
Although I used to be a prosecutor, in general I trust former defense attorneys more as judges. As a believer in due process instead of "the ends justify the means," I think a long-time criminal defense attorney like Compton will make sure everyone gets their fair day in court.
North Little Rock District Court
For: Heather Callaway
I think 13 years is enough for someone to be judge. It's not that Judge Jim Hamilton is unfair, it's just that he has been there long enough that it's time for someone new. Heather Callaway is a fine attorney. I think she would look at each case with a fresh approach instead of setting across the board bonds and punishments as is the practice now.
State Court of Appeals District 6
For: Rita Gruber
Straight out of law school, the first court I worked in was Judge Gruber's. She was strict but fair and certainly didn't play favorites. I have no idea how she leans on a variety of political issues because she knows - we want our judges to not only be neutral but also have the appearance of neutrality. To my knowledge, the Court of Appeals is lacking any former juvenile judges and I think her years of experience would balance out the court in a manner currently lacking.
Constitutional Amendment 1
Have you read this. This is literally to take out the requirement that "no idiot or insane person shall be entittled to the privileges of an elector." So I guess I'm pro-idiot, since this would allow idiots to vote. This must have been sponsored by Jim Holt or Gunner Delay on behalf of their constituents.
Constitutional Amendment 2
From what I can tell - this makes all budgets on an annual instead of bi-annual basis. Therefore, the legislature would have to meet every year at least on budget issues. I'm against this - although there are some good reasons to meet annually - the less often the legislators get together -- the better. This will just mean more time to dream up ways to spend our money and collect per diem checks.
District 38 Republican Primary
I am actually supporting a Republican this election - but this might be a one time exception. My good friend Ed Linck is taking his years of experience of civic leadership and trying to bring some youthful energy back to the legislature. He is the most positive candidate I have met in a long time and is receptive to anything that will bring jobs and opportunity to central Arkansas. Why can't more Republicans be like Ed?