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Judicial candidates lose elections

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

Two judicial candidates who’d faced Indiana Election Commission challenges earlier this year about their names even appearing on the ballot made it to the general election, but ended up losing the races and not getting to the bench in Lake and Allen counties.

In Allen County, incumbent Superior Judge Kenneth Scheibenberger lost the election for the seat he’s held for 19 years. He was defeated by attorney Wendy Davis. Opponents had tried to get the judge removed from the ballot in September on the grounds that he’d previously been disciplined by the Indiana Supreme Court, but the Indiana Election Commission refused to remove him based on language of state statute – finding that it only applied to attorney judicial prospects, not incumbent judges.

Meanwhile in Lake County, Highland attorney William I. Fine lost his bid for the Circuit bench to succeed retiring Judge Lorenzo Arredondo. The Republican candidate lost to Democratic challenger George C. Paras, who had been the only person on the ballot following the primary election in May. No Republicans ran in the primary and Paras was the sole name on the ballot until the county’s Republican Party chair appointed Fine as the candidate. But a Lake County town official challenged that appointment, saying the chair should have held a caucus and chosen someone that way party rules dictate.

The state election commission split on whether that was permissible, and as a result Fine was removed from the ballot. But Marion Superior Judge Michael Keele overturned that commission decision and put him back on the ballot in September. The Indiana Supreme Court refused to take the case before the Court of Appeals had a chance to rule on it, and the lower appellate court declined to speed up its review of the case before the election.

Though the election is now over and Fine’s candidacy is effectively moot, Crown Point attorney Michael Back who represents the challenger Michael Lambert said it may continue because the issue is broader than Fine’s election loss and goes to whether the party chair is allowed to appoint a judicial candidate rather than holding a caucus.

Rehearing "Candidacy issues in Allen, Lake counties" IL Sept. 15-28, 2010

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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