That line, Ladies and Gentlemen, was from the opening remarks of candidate Amy Dawson at a judicial candidate forum last Friday (October 24th) in south Minneapolis. And it was followed up with, as best I can recollect, “…and I’ll probably have to recuse myself from some cases if I’m elected.”

Now, I’m not an attorney, but even the ol’ TwoPutter knows a no-no when he hears one. The election of judges, and Amy Dawson is a candidate for the Hennepin County Bench Seat 61, is supposed to be about judicial philosophy, NOT political ideology. That comment, “I love to sue insurance companies” goes straight to judicial philosophy: it’s ok to have blatant biases and sit on a seat where citizens should be able to expect judgess with open minds and impartial attitudes.

After the forum was over, I went to the nearest attorney I could find and said: “I cannot believe I just heard a candidate just say she loved to sue insurance companies and would probably have to recuse cases if elected.” “Yeah, it’s like 70 percent of the civil cases filed that involve insurance companies.” I asked Ms. Dawson’s staffer/volunteer about the comment; the reply was “So? She’s said it before.”

Apparently, Ms. Dawson doesn’t see a problem with being blatant about a bias towards an industry that makes up a big percentage of cases she’s likely to hear, should she be elected. I wondered if others did.

First call? My insurance agent. “Say, what would you think about a new judge being elected that says she loves to sue you?” After relaying the particulars, it’s pretty safe that conversation was passed up and on.

I made many calls to mostly attorneys; attorneys on both sides of the political aisle. Only one explained that he wished candidates for the bench were more forthcoming on what their biases are. The rest? Responses ran from “problematic” “unfortunate” “troublesome” to “You’ve got to be (bad word, deleted)in’ (bad word, deleted)in’ me!!!”

No, gentle readers, I am not. One follow up email read: “No credible judicial candidate would ever boast about loving to sue insurance companies and that they would need to recuse themselves from cases. Any candidate making such a statement would face serious questions about whether they had the judicial temperament to serve on the bench.” Another sent this: “Look at Rule 4.1 (11). Her comments may not have been “pledges, promises, or commitments” but they’re close. Admitting she would have to recuse herself over them is an admission of that. Her website is a wink and a nod about judicial independence.”

Almost universal was agreement that if elected, Ms. Dawson would indeed be recusing herself from cases involving insurance companies; one speculated that were Ms. Dawson not to, any insurance company would surely file a motion to recuse immediately upon finding their case had been assigned to Ms. Dawson.

I can assure you, Ladies and Gents, that if I were to find myself in Hennepin County Court, should she win her election Ms Dawson would not be hearing my case – a motion to recuse would be filed. You see, I prefer my judges fair and impartial. Hennepin County deserves a judge ready and able to sit on 100% of the civil cases brought before the bench. Ms. Dawson cannot be that judge with her “I love to sue insurance companies” comment.

Photo, above, by TPT at Turtle Bread in south Minneapolis, 24 October 2014

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Some Thoughts On GOPer Voting Fraud

On March 21, 2012, in Dirty Politics, Videos, by tommy

Jodi Boyne is the Public Affairs Director for the Minnesota House GOP, and she sent that tweet out just a few hours ago. On a straight party-line vote, Republicans voted to place a State Constitutional Amendment to enshrine Voter Suppression on the ballot this November.

I, of course, retweeted it – with #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement” preceding the “RT”!

Why? Because, Gentle Readers, the Republicans are hoping to disenfranchise as many people – students, elderly, the poor, etc etc etc – as they can. They want to put into the Great State of Minnesota’s Constitution a way to prohibit participation; something a little more subtle than the disenfranchisement they’ve been sticking to Ron Paul supporters already. And if they’ll do it to Ron Paul – ostensibly, a fellow Republican – you know dam sure they’ll do it to you.

So, what have they been doing to Ron Paul supporters? From Georgia, let’s look!

(Direct Link To YouTube)

OK, that one is a little long, but: if the GOP is doing everything they can to suppress the votes of people ostensibly within their own Party; why wouldn’t they suppress votes from people outside of their party?

And it’s not just Georgia. Just last month, in February 2012, there was a vote counting scandal in the Main Republican Straw Poll. Just the other day, Republicans actually had Ron Paul supporters arrested in Missouri for trying to follow the rules and get their people elected. And let’s not forget about the GOP’s vote counting scandal in Nevada; check out the links at the end of that story!

This kind of internal party suppression stuff isn’t new; I wrote about the 2008 Republican State Convention: “Fear And Loathing In Rochester”.

So when you have a PR Flack like Boyne pushing a Republican talking point – “Minnesotans deserve to know their votes count” – you can be dam sure that that’s NOT what it’s about.

And the scandals involving the Ron Paul 2012 Suppression are just another example of what I always say” “The Republican Party is morally bankrupt, intellectually dishonest, and institutionally corrupt.”

But hey – don’t just take it from me; remember what former RNC Chair Michael Steele said?

“You have absolutely no reason – none – to trust our words or our actions at this point.”

True then, true today, and you can bet it’ll be true tomorrow too.

This Republican Voter Surpression Amendment MUST be stopped.

(cross posted at; comments welcome there)