I am the organizer for a Meetup.com group of readers of Townhall.com, a website that reprints conservative commentary online. We had our meetup for the month of May last evening, and had a guest speaker, Kevin Starrett, the director of Oregon Firearms Federation, a political action committee that lobies for gun owner's rights. Tom Cox, Libertarian cadidate for the Oregon Legislature last election also attended. Both Kevin and Tom spoke to us about political activist techniques, the workings of the legislature, and certain realities of state and national politics. They gave us some invaluable information, for which I am very grateful.
One item that Kevin spoke about I found particularly enlightening. Ever wonder why you never see two lawyers running against each other for a judge's position; why every time you vote for a judge it's just a rubber stamp for an incumbent's re-election? Kevin explained it. First, judges almost always retire 6 months from the end of their term. This requires the state governor to appoint his replacement. When that replacement runs at the end of the former judge's term, it's as an incumbent. No lawyer will run against that incumbent for fear that if he were to lose, he would some day have to face that judge in court. Get the picture? We never really get to vote for a judge. We're only endorsing one someone else has chosen; and we're almost always making that endorsement without the slightest knowledge of the kind of legal or political philosophy or temperment that judge brings to his or her court.