Patterico's Pontifications

3/4/2024

Patterico’s Los Angeles County Superior Court Election Recommendations

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:51 pm



Many of you have asked for my input on L.A. County judge races. It’s been a while since I did these, but I’ll say what I said the last time I made such recommendations. First, no disrespect is intended to anyone I am not recommending. I know some people better than others. Even with people I know, there can be reasons I am reluctant to make a public statement. Maybe I know both candidates in race, for example, and do not want to choose between them. Also, I have based my opinions not just on my own personal knowledge, but on candidates’ reputations among people I trust, including but not limited to the good or bad opinion of Mrs. P. As before, this is not a “vote for any Deputy D.A.” set of recommendations, but rather a recommendation for (or in some cases against) specific people.

I am a big fan of the Met News, by the way. I think all of my recommendations line up with theirs. Where I don’t make one, feel free to check them out. They’re certainly more reliable than the L.A. Times.

I’ll make the recommendations in order of how much I care about how you vote, with the more significant ones earlier.

Office No. 93: Victor Avila

Vic is running unopposed, but give him your vote anyway. He’s the candidate I know best. I used to work with him in Central Trials. He’s a great lawyer: honest, and not full of himself. Just a wonderful guy.

Office No. 48: Renee Rose

Mrs. P knows Rose and thinks very highly of her. Ericka Wiley has had a lot of TV ads, but here’s what the Met News has to say about her:

The candidacy of the third aspirant, Deputy Public Defender Ericka J. Wiley, is worthy of note, and prompt rejection. She’s a member of a triad known as the “Defenders of Justice,” financed by monied interests with radical leanings.

Independence of the judiciary is a cause that is sullied and frustrated where there are judges who lack independence from advocacy groups that seek to veer the focus of the judiciary from what the Legislature has ordained to be policy to what those groups want to establish, instead.

Wiley and her two teammates in the “Defenders of Justice” — Deputy Public Defender George A. Turner, a candidate for Office No. 37, and private practitioner La Shae Henderson, running for Office No. 97 — are pawns in a movement that seeks to place them on the bench to carry on its mission. They should be blocked by voters from gaining judgeships.

Convincing.

Office No. 12: Lynn Olsen

This recommendation is not because I think Olsen qualified, but because her opponent Haymon has an absolutely horrific reputation. This opinion is based on things I have heard from people I know, and more. The Met News quotes numerous judges saying she is rude, not smart, routinely late, and has an offensive personality. The article says:

In any event, it is readily apparent that Haymon is unfit to be a judge. She is running because Olson found her in contempt for prattling on after she had been told to be quiet, continuing to allude without warrant to unrelated and irrelevant proceedings, uttering insulting allegations, and, in general, acting like an undisciplined brat.

In the course of a diatribe at a preliminary hearing, she told Olson:

“You want to hold me in contempt because you don’t like me.”

We don’t know if she stamped her foot in uttering that line. The challenger evidently lacks maturity.

I could go on, but enough said.

Office No. 97: Sharon Ransom

Ransom has a good reputation, and seems more experienced than the other Deputy District Attorney in the race. Her other opponent, La Shae Henderson, is one of the triumvirate of defense activists mentioned above in the discussion of Office No. 48.

Office No. 130: Leslie Gutierrez

I mean, one of her opponents is Chris Darden. From the O.J. case. The guy who decided out of nowhere to ask O.J. to put on the glove. Nope. I have appeared in court with him. He did not strike me as impressive, which did not surprise me. The other guy is some random unimpressive defense lawyer.

Office No. 135: Steven Mac

Of the two Deputy District Attorneys running, my assessment is that Mac has a stronger reputation. The Met News concurs. The other guy is a nobody.

Office No. 137: Tracey Blount

The Met News says: “In this field of four candidates, Tracey M. Blount stands out as the only one fit for judicial office; we endorse her.” That analysis seems right to me.

Office No. 39: Jacob Lee

He is (rather tepidly) endorsed by the Met News. I’m not wild about the recommendation and I don’t know Lee, but the endorsement is good enough for me. One of his opponents, George A. Turner Jr., is the third member of the triumvirate of defense activists mentioned earlier.

Office No. 115: no recommendation.

I know both candidates too well. The Met News endorses Keith Koyano but says both deserve to be judges. I can’t choose between them on this blog.

As for any remaining offices, it’s complicated. That’s all I will say. Again, the Met News has endorsements. You can’t go wrong following their advice.

Just a reminder to vote for John McKinney for District Attorney.

Good luck in your choices on other races.

9 Responses to “Patterico’s Los Angeles County Superior Court Election Recommendations”

  1. Go John!

    Patterico (ce9eb5)

  2. I see that Mike Bonin has his own list. For those that don’t know Mike, until he realized he could not get re-elected, he was rather a step to the Left from the rest of the LA City Council, a difficult accomplishment. He was my councilman when I lived in LA.

    Mike supports the troika of bad judge candidates noted above (and Gascon), but he also supports two on Patterico’s list: Ms Gutierrez and Ms Blount.

    I find Mike Bonin to be an almost pure guide to “who to vote against.”

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  3. Thanks, Patterico. Your endorsements and Kevin M’s “anti” list made filling out the ballot seem less blind for once.

    RL formerly in Glendale (7a2d64)

  4. Chris Darden was also the guy who said “Don’t put that racist detective on the stand.”

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  5. Thanks, P. Since your recommendation of Jacob Lee for Office No. 39 was, as you put it, tepid, I voted for Steve Napolitano who served some terms in the Manhattan Beach City Council and as mayor. I don’t know him personally, but I’ve heard he’s a pretty good guy through friends.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  6. I see the ballot issue to convert traffic lanes to bicycle paths and wide sidewalks is passing. I had no idea that so many Angelinos hated cars and wanted more sclerotic commutes.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  7. Proposition 1 in California is passing so far by a 53%-47% margin. We’re about to throw away another $6.4 billion on the Homeless Industrial Complex. Best of all, the bond money will be paid back from the general funds of the California budget, so the state now has to dedicate another $310 million per year for the next 30 years to this initiative. (I think that if they had tried to do this as a bond with a separate funding mechanism, it would have had a higher voter threshhold of passage.)

    Just wait until the nice progressive soccer mom and dance team dad figures out that this means $310 million diverted away from schools, parks, highway repair, and all of the other little government programs that they so love. The published text to the full Prop 1 bill ran a breezy 67 pages in the state’s voter guide sent out to all registered voters. Imagine all of the little hidden gems that the politicians and their friends buried in there.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  8. It seems that Patterico has influence. Of his recommendations, only Steven Mac appears to be failing. Jacob Lee and Steve Napolitano are neck and neck. The office he declined to discuss seems to be retaining Judge Spear, which was not the Met’s preference. Office 115, where Patterico could not choose, is tied.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  9. Imagine all of the little hidden gems that the politicians and their friends buried in there.

    Indeed. Probably shrimp subsidies, bison ranching tax credits, and “by right” approvals for 8-story apartment buildings that don’t have parking.

    Kevin M (8676e4)


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