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Local bars keep an eye on judicial campaigns

first_imgIn Broward County, the Broward County Bar Association at (954) 764-8040. Local bars keep an eye on judicial campaigns In Dade County, the Dade County Bar Association at (305) 371-2220. In Orange County, Blackwell at (407) 422-2472 or his co-chair, Ava Doppelt at (407) 841-2330. In Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach County Bar Association at (561) 687-2800. September 1, 2000 Regular News Local bars keep an eye on judicial campaigns Patterned on a similar successful program in Dade County, the Orange County Bar Association has for the second time set up its Judicial Campaign Practices Commission to monitor six local judicial races. Two other local bars, in South Florida, also are running similar commissions to the Dade and Orange county efforts. Even before the filing period began, all 20 Orlando area circuit and county judges who faced reelection this year signed forms vowing to follow the edicts of Canon 7 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, according to Orlando attorney Bruce Blackwell, co-chair of the Orange County campaign commission. They also agreed to submit any complaint over campaign activites to the commission, which in turn promises to issue a ruling within 72 hours. After filing, which resulted in six contested races, all but two candidates signed the entire agreement. One challenger agreed to follow the canon, but refused to allow the commission to resolve any dispute. The other candidate, also a challenger to an incumbent judge, refused to sign the agreement. Ironically, in both cases the Orlando Sentinel has endorsed the incumbent judges, said Blackwell. “We formed this commission in 1998 to be patterned after the Dade County commission, which has been incredibly successful in upgrading the judicial races in Dade County,” Blackwell said. “When we did it in 1998, we didn’t even have a phone call. Everyone signed it, but we didn’t even receive a phone call. “This time I have received a number of phone calls from sitting judges and candidates, in effect saying `Is it all right to say this?’” he added. “The process is working, because people are wanting to make sure they are very careful not to violate Canon 7.” The commission, Blackwell said, is set up to do what the Bar or the Judicial Qualification Commission cannot do — give fast advice or review of a proposed or actual campaign action. He, as well as lawyers involved with similar programs in other counties, said the campaign monitoring program also works well with the Supreme Court and Florida Bar’s seminars held in July for judicial candidates. Those meetings, held in every circuit in the state with contested elections, went over Canon 7 and state laws as they pertain to judicial races. Dade County began its program in 1986, and Dade County Bar Association Executive Director Johnnie Ridgely said every candidate signed its form this year. Marcus D. Jimenez, chair of the Dade Judicial Campaign Practices Commission, said the Dade Bar changed its pledge form a couple years ago. “We required them all to sign a pledge to campaign with dignity and go beyond what the canons require,” he said. So far for this year “these complaints are kind of tame down here,” he added. Complaints have been filed about some candidates using the word “judge” as a verb instead of a noun in campaign literature and signs. Those will read something like “Judge [the candidate’s name]” in large type followed by small type saying “by his or her experience,” Jimenez said. Such things are covered by the canons as well as a state law, he said, and the commission encourages candidates to avoid anything that could be misleading. Jimenez, a member of The Florida Bar’s Judicial Administration, Selection and Tenure Committee, also said he’s glad to see other local bars pick up the program and noted JAST had promoted it. Ted Deckert, chair of the Palm Beach County Bar Association Commission, said that program began in 1996 and all candidates signed for the first two elections. The bar was still collecting the signatures for the current election as this News went to press. He said the program is a boon to candidates. “For those who want to do it right, this is what they need,” Deckert said. “They need a place to go ahead of time before they make a mistake.” The Palm Beach County Commission has had no inquiries this year, but has issued opinions in past years, although none on major issues, he said. He praised the Supreme Court and Florida Bar education sessions held in each circuit for judicial candidates. “They made it abundantly clear to the candidates they were not going to tolerate rules violations and they [the court] would consider any appropriate sanction, including removal from office,” Deckert said. “They made it very clear to the candidates that if you cheat to win, they may take away your victory.” That in turn, he said, heightens candidate interest in the campaign commissions as a way to avoid violations. Cynthia White, executive director of the Broward County Bar Association, said that organization was still collecting signatures this year, but had had 100 percent participation since beginning its campaign commission in 1996. “I think it has helped,” she said. “We got some good publicity in the newspaper the very first time we did it. “We actually had a hearing on a complaint the first time,” White added. “Both candidates denied they had done anything [wrong] and said it was their supporters and they would put a stop to it. There were no complaints in 1998.” For more information about the various programs contact: last_img
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Letters to the Editor for Tuesday, Nov. 26

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionRegulate location of stores selling CBDThe Nov. 20 Gazette article on the proposed CBD oil store in Niskayuna should raise some real concerns. The article pointed out that the difference between hemp and marijuana is the percentage of THC.Ms. Sosnow articulated all the concerns every parent should have regarding this shop being so close to the high school. You can be sure that when the governor gets recreational marijuana legalized in New York state that these CBD distributors will be selling it.Unfortunately most of the towns in Schenectady County do not have regulations where these CBD or marijuana shops can be located. The only town in the Capital District that does is Clifton Park.I brought this issue to the Rotterdam Town Board earlier this year, but they have taken no action to control these shops. These shops have no place near schools, parks or any place young children are. CBD by any other name, is still marijuana.Robert J. GodlewskiSchenectadySupport moratorium on D’burg solar sitesAt the Nov. 14 Duanesburg Town Board meeting, Supervisor Rodger Tidball provided residents with an opportunity to protect their property values when he announced the possibility of a six-month moratorium on utility-scale solar power plants.I have been requesting this assistance since July, when inadequacies in the town of Duanesburg solar law became apparent during the planning review of two 5 MW solar plants to be sited at 13590 Duanesburg Road.This site is less than one mile from a third approved solar facility. If all three power plants are built, my home will be adjacent to 75 acres of solar panels for the next 30 years.Other residents need to be aware that our solar laws do not prohibit this density of solar development.The best way to protect your investment in Duanesburg is to attend the Town Board meeting on Dec. 12. We must demand that the town enact the moratorium so that stronger solar laws can be written that will protect our property values. Join the Facebook group Duanesburg Neighbors to keep informed.Lynne BruningDuanesburgFind better ways to help cities in needGloversville residents should be indignant again for being ignored by the governor’s $10 million downtown revitalization award, this time to Utica.Gloversville is still trying to dig out of the depression left by the glove industry departure. While its charming old-time downtown architecture survives, roofless buildings remain to be removed, while sewage infrastructure is in need of replacement.Rather than one large, grandiose award, struggling upstate cities would be better served by handing out million-dollar awards to 10 cities, even if annually.It seems the governor is using this pot of gold for political purposes rather than to help the needy.David ChildsJohnstownMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

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Firecrackers expected this evening in Limacol semis

first_imgTHE best four teams in the Petra-organised Limacol/GT Beer Round-Robin/Knockout football tournament will be on show this evening at the GFC ground. In the first affair, an all-Georgetown battle, Western Tigers will have their hands full when they take on the unpredictable Santos FC.Following their run in this year’s tournament, the Tigers have shown time and time again that they are not just talking the talk, they are walking the walk.They boast a record-winning streak so far of four, and their ability to get in even behind the sturdiest of defences will be put to the test this evening. Their hopes of moving on hinge primarily on players like Andrew Murray Jr. Devon Millington, Randolph Wagner, Jamal Pedro and Linden Picketts.Conversely, there is the obvious under-dog feeling that must be on Santos FC mind, considering the fact that they have been steadily improving throughout. Their star men include O’Kenie Fraser, Keith Caines, Job Caesar and Orin Yarde and their fans are hoping that they can overturn what many feel may be an easy game.Meanwhile, the two early games are no bench-warmers either with Police having to play Linden’s Winners Connection (WC).The leadership of Dwain Jacobs has proved to be sound so far for the boys in blue and while the unit may take a while to get into their groove most teams would like to avoid them due to their ability to take it to another level.Persons cannot count out Quincy Holder as well, one of the better players in the side to secure game-changing results whenever the conditions are right.WC, on the other hand, are a known physical team who will no doubt let Police know early that they are in for a tough 90 minutes and after Sunday night’s performance, Rene Gibbons has shown that all he needs is half a chance to make that difference.Kick-off time is 18:30hrs.last_img read more

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