Gary Windom's critics complain that his campaign literature does not tell voters about his employment in the public defender's office. However, the literature I received in the mail prior to the June election stated that Windom has "23 years experience in civil and criminal law."
So what point are his critics trying to make? Is there a stigma attached to criminal attorneys who work for the county in the public defender's office and whose clients are assigned to them by judges? Would these critics be happier about Gary Windom's judicial candidacy if he were in private practice representing criminal defendants for a fee? Those seem to be the two ways an attorney could accumulate "years of experience in criminal law."
What I conclude from his campaign literature is that Gary Windom is running for judge because of who he is and what he has accomplished, not because of where he hangs his shingle or who happens to be his boss.
Rather than criticism, Windom deserves praise for this effort to separate his judicial campaign from his official duties as assistant public defender. If his critics were not so busy dressing up their own campaign pronouncements with their titles, letterheads, badges and court robes--all unofficial of course, wink! wink!--they would appreciate this point.
In this matter as in others, Gary Windom demonstrates leadership. If the district attorney and Superior Court judges had followed his lead and separated their political campaigning from their official posts and titles, they would not now find themselves subject to public criticism and legal challenge. Both the judicial election and the county courts would have been better served by such a separation.
RICK SCOTT, Ventura
The Ventura County Superior Court judges who endorsed Kevin McGee and are now being charged with bias do not comprehend the essence of the situation.
The endorsement letter published in The Times had every signing name preceded by "Hon." That was no error or transgression by The Times but it was an overreach by the judges.
"The honorable" is an honorific that no person is entitled to presume unto himself or herself. It was employed, obviously, in the subject instance to identify the signers as judges.
This wasn't a case of simple free speech by members of the citizenry. This was attempted persuasion as judges, in essence a policy statement in favor of a candidate who is a prosecutor. To me, that indeed demonstrated a bias of outlook.
GILBERT S. BAHN, Moorpark