Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Monday, May 05, 2008

A rare moment of judicial candor

Hollie Pihl, a Washington County judge for more than four decades, offered a bit of surprising candor as he discussed the judicial race between four-month incumbent Keith Rogers and challenger Andrew Erwin.

Pihl said he is supporting Rogers in the race because, as paraphrased by Tigard Times Forest Grove News-Times reporter Christian Gaston, "the very prospect of a deputy district attorney challenging a sitting judge raises eyebrows among those on the bench." The surprise comes in the 26th of 29 paragraphs, quoting Pihl:

All the other judges are saying, ‘Oh my God, if this kid, with 9 to 10 years on the bar, came out of the blue and defeated an incumbent judge, where am I in the next election?’

In other words, Rogers has garnered support for his newly-minted judicial position because the other Washington County judges are afraid for their jobs. If Rogers, a sitting judge (albeit for just 16 weeks) can be supplanted by a "kid" with just a decade of prosecutorial experience, any of them might be similarly vulnerable. And we can't have that, can we?

So to rephrase: Rogers has the support of many colleagues not because they think Rogers is the best choice, but because he's now part of the Good Ol' Boys' Club of Washington County Judges, and they don't want some punk messing with that.

If that's not a good reason to vote for Andy Erwin, I'm not sure what is.

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