George Smyrnos, a deputy DA in Sacramento who lives in Grass Valley, is running against incumbent Tom Anderson for county superior court judge. It could wind up being one of the most negative local campaigns of the season.
In his campaign website, George lists his own experience under “About me,” though I never saw there where he went to law school. One’s education is important in judging people I’m going to vote for, especially a professional position such as a judge.
When I first moved here, I found the same information lacking in the DA’s race. I finally had to call the candidates and ask them — an upside of living in a small town.
According to the state bar, Smyrnos went to San Francisco Law School, which has “offered evening law classes to adults for over 100 years,” according to its website. I’d also like to know more details about his experience in Nevada County’s prosecutors office (as well as apparent two-year stints in the Sutter and Yuba DA’s office).
All told, I’m sure George is another upstanding California lawyer (we have many of them). Anderson worked his way through night law school at Golden Gate University while working at various jobs during the day, according to his Facebook page (which lists where he graduated from law school).
I prefer total transparency when candidates run for these offices. (Did you work for Apple Computer, for example, or was it just a distributor? Big difference.) I’d also like to see who’s supporting George — and that will be a matter of public record too as more and more campaign finance reports are filed.
But aside from the typical research I have to do to learn about any candidate who decides to run around here (Barry Pruett for clerk-recorder or Dai Meagher for treasurer in previous races, for example), here’s what got my attention: George also has a tab on his website dedicated to “About my opponent.”
It specifically targets Anderson. When you click on it you find two articles written by The Union editor/publisher Jeff Ackerman — not exactly a legal scholor.
One titled “Child molestors catch a break” was excoriated by retired Court Judge Al Dover for ignoring the realities of sentencing, as mandated by statutes. It ran in The Union (before the “paywall”) and you ought to read it. It is here and was the “talk of the town” (AKA “Town Talk”).
“Judges take an oath to follow the law that requires case by case application of Rules of Court and guidelines. The law of sentencing is not simple.”
“Cheap shots, political bullying and lack of education about how judges make decisions in difficult cases does not help a community make wise choices about their judges or court system,” Dover wrote.
“Unfortunately, that seems to be what I see when I read the paper more often that not these days.”
I see no reference of this rebuttal on George’s website.
My two cents is that George would be well advised to run on his record, rather than attack his opponents with The Union’s editor/publisher columns.
Voters will have to dig deeper and analyze the facts in this race — not depend on emotion.
And by the way, George, I don’t think Tom Anderson’s campaign will take any of this lying down. Have you ever heard of the expression “Do not feed the bears”?
This race is shaping up to be a doozy — another reminder of how partisan politics is threatening every corner of our society nowadays.
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