TWO TAMPA JUDGE CANDIDATES HAVING A FIGHT THAT BRINGS ON A 911 CALL?
PERHAPS BOTH OF THEM SHOULD BE DISQUALIFIED IMMEDIATELY!
ARE THESE THE TYPES OF PEOPLE WE WANT SITTING ON THE BENCH IN FAMILY COURT?
On a pretty fall afternoon last Sunday, the good citizens of Hillsborough County stopped by the Jan Platt Library in South Tampa to cast their early votes.
Outside, campaign supporters waved signs. Birds sang and children played. The scene was practically Rockwellian.
Until things got “loud,” “out of hand” and “ugly” — in the words of the poll worker who called 911.
And all of this was related to a race between two people running not in that bloodbath of a campaign for president, but to be a local judge.
Tampa lawyers Gary Dolgin and Melissa “Missy” Polo are vying for a circuit court seat — a prestigious post that pays $146,000 a year. Because judges are supposed to be impartial and dignified, the rules for running are different. Candidates do not generally talk issues, tout political parties or bad-mouth each other. They pretty much recite their respective resumes. I know — yawn.
So yes, a 911 call gets your attention. Things got ugly over at the library.
Facebook shared a post of mine about Opt IN USA from exactly one year ago today. In realizing that the campaign has been consistently described since then, I thought about complaints I’ve received that not everyone understands and can relate to Opt IN USA. Of course I cannot imagine being unsure of whether I’ve been persecuted or psychologically tortured through misuse of administrative (as in quasi-judicial) or court (as in judicial) proceedings in America. It seems those of us unfortunate enough to have had such an experience would realize it happened or is happening. And Opt IN USA would speak to our embattled souls, even if aspects of the campaign left some of us confused. While anything can be simplified, not everything is simple. To thoroughly understand the problem of persistent U.S. legal system abuse is to perceive all of its complexities, which is helpful in devising solutions through which Opt IN USA constituents can be made whole. Opt IN USA is about much more than being on the losing end of legal proceedings. Instead, the campaign identifies and addresses distinct patterns of judicial (including quasi-judicial) conduct and case outcomes that evidence deliberate violations of rights. Moreover, Opt IN USA links the failure of America’s current legal and political processes to redress this ominous problem to certain of their structural/logistical deficiencies. These deficiencies manifest as inadequate judicial oversight. In other words, Opt IN USA goes beyond scandal advocacy, i.e., the process of “exposing” specific U.S. legal system bad guys in hopes of evoking enough outrage to get them ousted and reparations extended for their misdeeds. Instead, the campaign focuses on exposing how U.S. government unduly insulates this class of culprits from accountability and the devastation heaped on countless Americans, including children, as a result. The goal of Opt IN USA and its sister organizations is to trigger genuine reform . . . not when the targeted bad guys are adequately proven to be bad or society is adequately protective of their victims, but when it is clear that everyone CONSCIOUSLY acquiescing to inadequate judicial oversight in America is complicit in the resulting harm. True, Opt IN USA gets a bit “high brow” at times. But that is to reach Ivory Towers in which our complaints are dismissed as mere rantings of the confused, uninformed, misguided, and disgruntled. Our message must resonate there, arguably more than anywhere. As direct action is undertaken on Main Street, Opt IN USA and its sister organizations help ensure such efforts are not undermined by credible propaganda flowing from any Ivory Tower. Surely not everyone discontent with America’s legal system has a well-founded complaint. But it is only through a fair and impartial administration of justice that our legitimate grievances can be properly sorted from those that are unfounded. America owes all of its citizens a fair and impartial administration of justice. Learn more, join our efforts, and otherwise support Opt IN USA by visiting https://m.facebook.com/Opt.IN.USA/
06/18/15- Miami- Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Valerie R. Manno Schurr, 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida.