Friday, October 31, 2008

Associate Justice, Alabama Supreme Court

This race was pretty run-of-the-mill stuff until about a month ago when an infusion of national party money and strategy started driving the campaigns. Now it's an old fashioned mud-slinging contest with both sides accusing the other of being bought by oil interests. From the "evidence" presented I'd say Paseur is less tarred only because she received support from an individual oil lobbyist while Shaw is supported by an oil lobby in toto. Shaw also seems to have much more support from the RNC than Paseur has from the DNC. A lot of people outside Alabama seem to really want him to win. One has to wonder why.

Greg Shaw (R)

Shaw is a sitting criminal appeals court justice but - true to Alabama form - he was not a judge before being elected to the position. Before that he was a staff attorney for the Alabama Supreme Court. In his ads he often leaves the impression that he is an incumbent ON the Supreme Court but he actually serves on an internal affairs court as a presiding judge in ethics cases brought against other judges. Was that at all clear?

His biggest coup was having the RNC use former Senator Fred Thompson's voice in Shaw's television and radio spots. He has heavily courted the support of law enforcement and gun rights activists.

Deborah Bell Paseur (D)

Paseur is an ex-cop who has been a Lauderdale County judge for nearly 28 years. Her service was primarily in civil and family court but she has criminal experience as well. Her ads emphasize the criminal court experience because, well, it looks tougher to show a guy in an orange jumpsuit carted off to jail than to show an estate being split in a divorce. Shaw's ads gleefully highlight the fact that "she's never sentenced a rapist or murderer" but neglect to mention that the Supreme Court hears just as many civil cases as criminal. Or that he's never done it either.

Paseur is actually a proponent of a merit-based method of choosing judges rather than politicking. And I'm all for that, although it's a bit of a mixed message.

Recommendation for Associate Justice, Alabama Supreme Court:
Deborah Bell Paseur (D)


No comments: