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Monday, October 11, 2010

Judges, Central Arizona Water Conservation District, Propositions

Voting on all those nonpartisan items on the ballot can be difficult and time-consuming, so I figured I would post my work in case anyone wants to copy. I try to show my work, too, in case you want to use it to vote a little differently.


JPR - the nonpartisan AZ Commission on Judicial Performance Review
azvoterguide - relatively honest & transparent, seems conservative biased
azjudgesreview - right-wing review of judges based on primarily on partisan ideology

The general approach I used was to look at the right-wing site and apply a more or less critical eye to judges depending on how much they loved the person. The 4 people on my ballot with "top" reviews from the right wingers were looked at, and none of them were sparkling clean. In the second tier of the right-wing review, there were "lean conservative" judges. In these cases, I looked through them from other sources to decide. I decided Yes on two and No on three. For the other nine in this tier, I decide to leave them blank rather than vote Yes to avoid negating the votes of a more informed liberal.

Supreme Court:

Rebecca Berch - Despite being a relatively conservative Republican and Republican appointee, she is given weaker reviews from right-wing due to outcomes of some "values" cases [the far right wants more extreme right-wing judicial activists, not just judges who happen to be conservative Republicans]. Perfect integrity scores and nearly perfect on other measures in JPR.

Court of Appeals, Division I:

Strong No: Daniel Barker - Religious-right activist, lowest JPR Integrity scores in Court of Appeals.

Maybe [blank]:
John Gemmil - Support from right wing site, but high JPR integrity scores and wrote appropriately nuanced responses to azvoterguide.

Patrick Irvine Lawrence Winthrop

Maricopa Superior Court:

No: Peter Reinstein - Actively promoted by right wing group despite low JPR survey results, including low integrity scores and very low communication score.
Kenneth Mangum - Well rated by right wing group, low integrity rating on JRP survey responses.

Brian Ishikawa - Actively promoted by right wing group, but no other hints of impropriety.
Eileen Willett - Actively promoted by right wing group and likely religious conservative, but no other hints of impropriety.
Alfred Fenzel - Well rated by right wing group, and relatively low JRP integrity ratings.
Jean Hoag - Well rated by right wing group, and relatively low JRP integrity ratings.

Maybe [blank]:
Mark Aceto
Roger Brodman
Pendleton Gaines
Brian Hauser
Carey Hyatt
Michael Jones
Karen O'Connor
Maria Del Mar Verdin

Yes on all others. Mostly because of good JPR reviews and lack of strong enthusiasm from right wing review blog. In some cases, actively attacked in right wing review despite strong score in JPR. Some additional details described below:

Donahoe, Gary - Right-wing group marked him as "moderately liberal" based on rulings against partisans in specific cases that interested them -- in other words, for not being a right-wing judicial activist. Though he is a conservative, he apparently can rule fairly.
Granville, Warren J. - Though he is a Conservative Republican who supports the simplistic "judge-as-umpire" rhetoric, he is targeted as "very liberal in his decisions" by the right-wing source, indicating that he drew a case or cases where the "liberal" position happened to be on the winning side of the conservative interpretation of law.

Aimee Anderson
, Richard Gama, and Susanna Pineda - These three were among those targeted as "liberal" by the right wing site, but then the site specifically admits that these judges do not appear to have any "liberal bias" and yet the right wing is targeting them solely based on partisan affiliation and/or the source of appointment.

Bethany Hicks - Worst JPR score from commission members, but 56% of commission still voted that she "meets" the standards. Though scored worse by commission, received decent responses in surveys. Based on the number of surveys, she might have a higher caseload than her peers???

Central Arizona Water Conservation District

There's an AZ Republic article on teabaggers and another one with their endorsements.

I read through the Arizona Republic's Q & A questionnaires [the teabaggers mostly abstained, but read the two who submitted them if you need a good laugh]. These are the ratings I came up with. I basically imagined four sub-scores. One for "Adm/Polit" that would include communication ability, leadership, and the skills needed to build consensus between many different groups. One for "Insight" that represents their ability to reason about the problems we face and hopefully discover the creative solutions we need. A "Prudent" score indicates how they reacted to questions about cutting their source of tax revenue, how to address the conflict(s) with the EPA, and other tough issues that seem inviting to a certain brand of short-sited thinking. Finally, the "Environment" score is exactly what you think it is. So, I put them into a chart, and came up with this:

The next question is how to vote. We can vote for up to 5. The nonpartisan in me says to vote for the top 5 scores, but the partisan tells me to only vote for the top two or three and let the Republicans cannibalize each other. I went with my top 3: Holway, Kazmi, and Fairbanks. In case it gets close between one of my top picks and one of the conservatives, I don't want to push one of the conservatives over the threshold. The risk here is that it could allow teabaggers in, but my theory is that as long as there are enough qualified people on the board, the retards won't be able to fuck it up too much.


Like most Democrats,
No on all propositions except:
Yes on 110
Yes on 203


Allen said...

This is great, thanks! We've been looking for this kind of sane commentary on the judges and propositions.

Unknown said...

Thanks! I am going to vote the opposite of what you have.

RhymesWithOrange said...

You're welcome Tom. Hey, if you actually payed attention you might realize that I was doing
_mostly_ the opposite of what a right wing source was suggesting on the judges and you could have been more accurate in your stupidity if you had followed them instead of the opposite of me.... But that would be too much to expect, wouldn't it...

AND HOW! Some of the state-wide offices are primarily technical and not policy-oriented with Democrats who were slightly more qualified and Republicans who were slightly less qualified and also had a history of outright corruption!!! And the Arizona voters chose the corrupt Republicans over slightly more qualified democrats for TECHNICAL positions! I can understand a legislative seat, where ideology matters more than character and qualifications, but wow! WOW! Really?

Bend over Arizona tax payers -- you earned it!