Sunday, June 18, 2006

Argus mad at Jay Drick

No shock here. The Argus editorial attacks Jay Drick for politics. They don't like that Jay believes that Brennan does not share the values of Livingston County. I thought that Jay's comments in his literature and website are rather mild, but that's just my own view.

Here's the thing. Politics has been a part of the judiciary for years. It was kept hush-hush instead of out in the open, but it's there. Governors appoint judges when there is a vacancy. How did Brennan get the post? To put it bluntly, she bought it - with $3500 to Granholm's campaign ($100 of it is to a leadership PAC, $3400 to her gubenatorial campaign - so it IS legal and not over the $3400 limit) and over $5000 to extremist Debbie Stabenow. $1500 to MI List - Michigan's version of radical Emily's List, didn't hurt either. Neither did her party donations.

Now right or wrong, a lot of lawyers who have judicial asperations always give money to likely winners or incumbents in gubenatorial and presidential races. It's part of politics. Some republican lawyers donated for Granholm for that reason - consideration for a judgeship. "That's how the game is played." Many longtime members of one party will all of a sudden show up at opposite party fundraisers when it is an election year or close to one - in an attempt to show a "nonpartisan" card. Brennan did that. So did current Judge Dave Reader. It's no secret that Brennan is a democrat. It's no secret that Reader is a republican. I doubt that's changed. That's part of judicial politics, and it happens for district court all the way up to Supreme Court. I'm not saying that I agree with it. I don't. The point I'm making is that judiciary is already extremely political, even if the politics are not out in the open.

The good thing in Michigan as opposed to Federal Court, is that judges have to face the people in elections. If judges were not political, we wouldn't have elections for them in August and November. If legislating from the bench isn't an issue, then judicial confirmations would not be such a major issue in Congress. Back in 2000, we had the "Markman, Taylor, and Young. Oh My!" ads from the MDP (Michigan Democrat Party). The MDP injected partisan politics into a judicial race. The Republicans counters and supported Markman, Taylor, and Young. They also injected partisan politics into a judicial race - at the highest court in the state. I've seen it to a lesser degree in state appeals races. Today's appeals judges and Supreme Court Judges usually start at the district, circuit, or probate level. That's the top reason why judicial activist views are so important even at these "lower" levels.

I disagree with the Argus here on 1/2 of this statement - in bold.
Voters likely want District Court judges who make rulings based on evidence and the law. Those aren't partisan attributes.

I agree about voters supporting judges who make rulings based on law and evidence. That IS increasingly a partisan issue. It's certainly a political issue and conservative issue. Legislating from the bench is one of the biggest complaints by conservatives. I'm sure we all remember when SCOTUS Judges Ginsburg, Breyer, and O'Conner used European law as basis for a US Constitutional issues. Europe should have nothing to do with this. That's legislating from the bench, and it is wrong, and it needs to be eliminated - at all levels of government.

We all have a choice this year. That was Jay's point that started all this controversy. Livingston County did not vote for Granholm or Stabenow. Granholm picked our judge. Now we decide as voters who WE want as our judge. Whatever the case, at least the voters make the final decision this year, not Granholm.


Kevins said...

I know this is a waste of my time because dan refuses to engage me in a debate or address the facts, but I’m going to refute his misinformation anyway.

How do you get that the newspaper is “mad at Drick,” and why is it “no shock here” that the conservative editorial board and a fellow republican called you out on your misinformation campaign? It seems to me that its you that are “mad.”

Please, please explain to me how someone who was born here educated here and has worked here in Livingston Count her entire life “does not share the values of Livingston County.”

It’s so funny that you rail against personal attacks, and then you make the ridiculous charge that Judge Brennan “bought” her judgeship. You should be ashamed of yourself, but I know better. I don’t know how you expect people who are educated, active in their community not to have ever voted or supported a political party or candidates. Trying to paint Emily’s List as extremist is ridiculous. They are dedicated to “taking back our country from the radical right wing by electing pro-choice Democratic women to federal, state, and local office” I agree 110 percent. By your reasoning I can call the Livingston County republican woman’s club extremist because they support electing pro-life republican women and men. Give it a rest dan, we know you don’t agree with them. How about giving me a reason to vote for Jay Drick instead of a lame reason for voting against Judge Brennan.

Judge David Reader is a Circuit Court Judge, so that kills your argument right there. Yes, it’s no secret that Judge Reader was and is a republican because he was a County Commissioner. However, when he ran for the nonpartisan, independent judgeship, I saw him at the annual Livingston County Democratic Party’ fundraising Dinner. He was welcomed, and he and we realized he needs to reach out to all residents, not just the republican ones. What’s the point of even mentioning Judge Reader?

No dan, the judiciary is not all “extremely political” despite your best efforts. At the Supreme Court level – both at the state and national levels – and federal judges, yes, but here in Livingston County District or Circuit Court, no. You keep trying to use that lame excuse that Judge Brennan has aspirations for the next rung in the judiciary ladder. No one is buying it, because it’s stupid, and if anything it’s another reason to vote for her.

Are you honestly going to tell me with a straight face that is was only the Democrats who interjected politics in the 2000 race for the state Supreme Court? Get real, dan. If you are sincere in that lie then you have no credibility. The republicans tried to paint one judge as a child molester. The state Supreme Court is political. It has been political and always will be because the nominations for the candidates come from the political parities. To suggest otherwise is dishonest. How are” rulings based on evidence and the law” partisan?

Why do you keep trying to push the myth that only liberals are so-called “activist judges?”

The bottom line is all this “controversy” you created is not about how Judge Brennan became a judge, but because you cannot beat her on her experience, ability and character. Clearly, Judge Brennan is the best candidate, or we would not be seeing these attacks. We saw this arrogance in the nonpartisan school board race, and as I predicated then here it is again. Give me a reason for voting for Jay Drick, dan, tell me how he has more experience than Judge Brennan and how any ruling she has made on the bench is partisan, reflects “judicial activistism” or is just wrong.

Anonymous said...

Dan, the Governor in Livingston County is Governor Granholm!

What a great Governor she is!

Great plan.. Great Governor!

BigShot said...


How can you support someone like Theresa Brennan? Is'nt she upset that she has to run for office because she has not served a full term? Also when you said that "the judiciary is not all “extremely political” despite your best efforts." How can you say that? Most judges, Republican and Democrat, are legislating from the bench!!!! You need to get your facts straight!!! :) Support Jay Drick!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You go Dan!

Kindergarten Kevin, once again you show the mentality by which you earned this nickname.

The simple fact of the matter is that everything else being equal and barring any scandals the incumbant will ALWAYS win because of the big "I" next to his/her name on the ballot. Most voters don't pay much attention to politics and automatically vote to re-elect the incumbant.

For a challanger to win he/she must mount a major effort. It does not take any special ability to be a judge (although a few manage to do a poor job nevertheless) Most lawyers can learn the job given a little bit of time. Politics plays a limited role because judge candidates can't talk about how they might rule in specific circumstances. So if there are no scandals (as is likely) and ability is not an issue (as is likely) the only real basis for a viable campaign is values.

Naturally, as a Democrat newspaper the Argus dislikes anything which might injure the Democrat candidates they support, so naturally they attack a candidate that runs on values and character - again, the only real angle that a challanger has, and the single biggest weakness of their preferred candidate. If the Argus were a Republican newspaper they would no doubt be praising Drick for his emphasis on values. So as always, the criticism is based on the politics of the newspaper rather than on any specific merits of the candidates.

P.S. Kevin, keep up the good work. You are doing more to get people voting Republican than any other person here on this blog.

Beth said...

Christina Heikkinen is the ONLY likely candidate for judge.
She would make this county proud!

Kevins said...

Why do I support Judge Theresa Brennan? That’s an easy one, bigshot. She’s the most qualified candidate with the most experience. She was born in this county, educated in this county and has practiced law in this county for more than 20 years, and she represents the values of Livingston County residents because she is one. She had been an attorney in private practice, an attorney for the City of Brighton and a district judge where she has shown her ability. Clearly, she is more qualified and has more experience than Jay Drick, that’s why no one has disputed that on this site.
Yes, the judiciary is not all “extremely political” despite dan and Jay Drick’s best efforts to make it so. I say that because politics certainly enters into the State and U.S. Supreme Courts and Federal Courts, but not at this level. Tell me how politics enters into a district and circuit court judge’s rulings if you really believe that nonsense. I do have my facts straight, and that’s why I’m not only supporting Judge Brennan, I’m voting for her. Who are you voting for?

Kevins said...

Hey, kindergarten asshole. I’m about sick of your names. If you think you’re such a great debater, use a screen name, so I know whom I’m talking to after I kick your ass in a debate. After, all dan says he deletes posts that have personal attacks in them, so why are you still here?

Yes, an incumbent has a leg up, and that’s why it was so amazing that Judge Brennan almost unseated an incumbent a few years ago. I disagree with your misinformed comment that it “does not take any special ability to be a judge.” You’ve said a lot of stupid things on this blog, but that’s a gem.

Where the hell do you get the idea that the Argus is a “Democrat paper?” It has a general manager that contributed to the mike rogers campaign, and the person who edits the editorial page was a candidate for the state House in the 47th District as a conservative republican, the worst kind. Despite that, it’s still relativity balanced newspaper, and it does a decent job. Show me some proof of your stupid claim that it’s a “Democrat paper.” What values is Drick displaying? That’s he’s a republican in a nonpartisan race, and he can’t run on his own qualifications? I agree, and the paper did a good job pointing that out. What are you disputing? That’s really what’s making you angry.

PS if I’m doing such a great job getting people to vote republican, then why can’t you and the other people on this blog dispute my arguments and debate me with facts instead of name calling? I’m sure a lot of undecided voters read a blog called the Michigan republicander anyway.

Republican Michigander said...

I don't know why the paper is considered a "democrat paper" anyway - outside of the fact that it endorsed John Kerry, Granholm, Carl Levin, Gary Peters, Butch Hollowell, and Joe Hune's opponent in 02. Phil Power was an elected democrat official when he owned the paper as well.

patrick flynn said...

Be careful, Kevin. Your use of body cavity terms to describe other people makes you look hateful, and that's the description you've reserved for conservatives.

Kevins said...

I agree with you dan, I don’t know why the Press & Argus has been called a Democratic newspaper. However, I do know why they endorsed John Kerry, Gov. Granholm, Sen. Carl Levin, Sen. Gary Peters, Butch Hollowell and Joe Hune's opponent in 02, they were the best candidates. Time has certainly proven that. Are you denying the political makeup of their editorial board?
Phil Power is not part of the newspaper’s editorial board nor has he ever been, and it’s been more than a year since he sold the paper anyway.

You must have missed all the names I have been called and the anonymous threats I have endured, Mr. Flynn, all because I dare to disagree with you and the tolerant members of your party.

Page Field said...

All I know is Judge Brennen is getting a reputation as being very tough but fair judge. If you know of a case where she had a questionable ruling please post it. If she looses the election it won't because of her abilities as a judge but rather sleezy politics.

(slightly off topic)

Unlike some rulings from Judge Reader - inmate work release ruling - manufactured home developement on Swarthout Road. Both of these rulings from Judge Reader have raised eyebrows. Maybe Bob Parker's horrible campaign literature in 03(?) accusing Reader of sleeping on the job was actually correct.

Intially I thought all the candidates for the District Court were excellant considering it would be tough to unseat Brennen. Mr. Drick has perhaps pulled a Bob Parker and shot himself in foot.

This is the opine of a voter who is sitting in the center of County who is neither Rep. or Dem.

Count Me Red said...

Kevins - why must all you democrats swear? Are you related to Joe Marcinkowski, the other guy that I've heard swear? Jeeze, get out a dictionary and actually look up some new words, would ya? I thought you said you wanted people to debate you not just call names, well, I suggest you show us how. I think swearing is calling names, do you??
Now for the debate part-I think the only Judge in this race for 53rd District Court that can honestly be called an activist is Theresa Brennan. Neither of the other two candidates has ever participated in a protest on the courthouse lawn. Hang on, I have some proof for you. I would say that pulling a permit, communicating on behalf of an activist group, and actually attending and participating in an anti-war protest can be called an activist activity, or activism, if you used the Websters like I told you. We didn't choose Theresa Brennan by election, she was appointed by Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm. All we are asking for is a chance to tell you that we don't want her. Bring on the election.

Page Field said...

Count me Red

There is nothing wrong pulling a permit to use the courthouse lawn. I've done it before. Is there something wrong with public debate?

Regardless . You are confused. To be a activist judge is not the same as John Q. public having a opinion. They are two different things. Ok I give up. This point will be completely over your head. Notice I don't swear

A judge has to follow the law, if not - shame on them. Do you understand? Especially at District Court level. Let me repeat, a judge has to follow the law. Brennen has done her job well. Your disqualifying a good judge because she has democratic leanings in her personal life? Tell me one ruling in her court that you felt was wrong? ???

It's all about politics. How boring.

Well ok, I'm the idiot here to be pleading in front of far right Livingston Cty Republicans. Lets not forget your most famous member was Robert Miles (fact). And you know what, I think Robert Miles pulled a few permits too for the courthouse lawn. Hey its a free country.

What makes Jay Drick more qualified????? Oh I forgot he's a Republican.. ... again I'm the idiot here.

The sad statement to this entire argument is your discrediting a judge who has served the public well and doing her job. If you think different, let me and the rest of Livingston County know why Teresa Brennen has been a BAD District Judge??? Why should we change? What makes Jay Drick more qualified ???? Educate me................ Just because Jeni Granholm appointed her? BORING. Give me more. Give me substance????? Is that possible????

Republican Michigander said...

Why even bring up Robert Miles? (And I can counter with Robert Byrd with the democrats - who is still alive) Miles has been DEAD for 15 years. I never met the guy, and being a Catholic, wouldn't get along with him very well anyway. The whole county would be better off if you guilty white people let his ghost rest so we can all move on.

Page Field said...


I only brought up Miles because it was a connection (my own weak link) to pulling permits for public demonstrations on the Courthouse lawn. He was a major Livingston Cty.Rep. Party activist. I agree the ghost of Cohoctah needs to vanish.

Another note:

I'm curioius did anyone go to the Livingston 2001 Diversity workshops sponsored by the Howell Chamber?

Can the Michigander print Tom Kizer Jr. letter to the editor on Judge Brennen - PLEASE