This Is Simple: VOTE!

There’s nothing you are going to do today that is more important.



We’ll get back full blog posts tomorrow. Right now, exercise your franchise. Not because some political group told you to; not even because WC told you to. Do it because it is the right thing to do and costs you nothing but a few minutes of your time. Do it now.

And be sure to Finish the Ballot. Because Judges matter.



PS. Afterwards, you can go read this cartoon to feel better about the experience. (The link was broken earlier; it’s fixed now. WC apologizes for the error.)


5 thoughts on “This Is Simple: VOTE!

  1. WC – Thanks for the reminder! I’m one of the ones who all too often has passed on voting for judges, since I don’t usually know anything about them. Ironically, though, this time I had looked into them, determined to vote the full ballot. I’m in the Fourth Judicial District, so only had two to vote for.

    But in my reading, it appears that the Alaska Judicial Council is heavily skewed to conservatives and is politicized, and both judges I voted on are Parnell appointees, to boot. So should I really give the Council’s evaluation very much weight?

    This is moot at this point for this election, since I’ve already voted No on both judges. But for next time?


    • Don Kiely –

      The Judicial Council is reasonably objective. Sarah Palin appointed Kathleen Tompkins-Miller to the Council – a post for which she was completely unqualified – but generally the Council does its job pretty well. There’s proof of a sort: Judge Bill Estelle, a pretty conservative guy, was recommended for non-retention for giving false affidavits.

      The judicial selection process, while imperfect, helps guard against blatantly political appointments. There’s a screening process that really does present mostly qualified candidates, allowing who ever is current governor to only select from the names he is given.

      Stowers is a decent state supreme court justice nd an easy yes vote for WC. Seekins is a little tougher, but he’s less conservative than his dad (it would be hard to be more conservative than Ralph) and much less arrogant. It was a close call, but WC gave him the benefit of the doubt.

      Thanks for voting.


  2. Wick:
    I like your posts, but you are wrong about Judge Estelle. And, you are wrong about the Alaska Judicial Council. The AJC is supposed to take politics out of judicial selection and retention, but instead the politics are worse. Judges who commit crimes (like Judge McKay) are recommended for retention if they go along with the AJC’s herd mentality, but judges like Estelle are recommended for non-retention for going agaisnt the system. If you know anything about the situation with Judge Estelle, then you know that the pay affidavit issue was about 5% of the AJC’s problem with him, and that 95% of the reason for recommending his non-retention has never been publicly reported (political in-fighting among the judges in Palmer). The AJC has been putting out mis-information about judges for a long time, and the AJC has been hijacked by some within the court system to “settle personal scores” with other judges. I’m glad to see the AJC was not able to deceive and mislead the voters about Judge Estelle. However, I also realize that Judge Estelle is not out of the woods, the AJC will gun for him again.

  3. And, Wick, you are forgetting (or are not aware about the political in-fighting within the Palmer courthouse that prompted Estelle to take a leave of absence for “health reasons,” a leave of absence during which one of the judges said he would monitor Judge Estelle’s cases and tell him if anything was over six months, and then didn’t but then told Estelle that no decisions were overdue. That is the negligence that the Commission on Judicial Conduct found, Estelle not double checking his colleague’s assurances to him that no decisions were overdue while he was on leave. Of course, the negligence of the judge who was monitoring Estelle’s cases has not been reported. Nor has the subject of the political in-fighting within the Palmer courthouse that prompted Estelle to take extended leave for health reasons.

    The problem with the AJC is that they treat the public like mushrooms, i.e., they keep them in the dark and feed them … garbage (incomplete information), in the hope that the voters will use a garbage-in garbage-out approach when voting on judicial retention and vote not-to-retain base on incomplete or misleading information. I’m glad the voters saw through the AJC’s garbage-in garbage-out process for Judge Estelle. But, unless the AJC is fixed this sort of problem will continue, and the only people who are interest in changing the AJC want to do it for all the wrong reasons.

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