I hypothesized that un-slated Democrat Kimberly Brown would become a Marion County Superior Court judge because of top ballot position and "name combat," which favors women and candidates with "likeable" names.
Here are the results. The top 8 are your new judges:
Tanya Walton Pratt - 93,155
Kimberly Brown - 80,003
Annie Christ-Garcia - 76,001
David Dreyer - 70,537
Patrick McCarty - 68,083
David Shaheed - 66,190
Jim Osborn - 65,514
Gerald Zore - 63,371
Garland Graves - 62,124
Anybody notice the gender of the top three vote getters? Also, even WITH the slate endorsing her, Annie "C"hrist-Garcia came in behind "B"rown. Name combat also likely explains why the longest serving Judge, Gerald Zore, nearly got bumped due to being out-performed by a higher-placed newbie, Jim Osborn.
If you want to be a judge, you need to put a meeting with Tanya Walton Pratt on your agenda. One would like to think that just being highly esteemed by her colleagues would turn into electoral success, but it can't be just that. TWP has political magic, folks. Outperforming the next best vote getter in a judicial race by 13,000 votes (a number that was eerily significant on election night) is the equivalent of a landslide. TWP was just as impressive as it gets.
I've always liked Garland Graves, but if anybody deserved to get bounced, it was him. While Brown was ranked in the bottom by Indianapolis Bar Association attorneys, Graves was ranked even worse. Accordingly, this result was no where near as catastrophic as it could have been.
Aside from feeling Kim Brown is not ready, I have to say I grow weary of the astonishing number of family dynasties my Marion County Democratic Party creates. Carson to Carson, Linda Brown and now Kim Brown, Billie Breaux and Jean Breaux, Ed Treacy to his wife Rebecca Pierson-Treacy, and Louie Mahern and Ed Mahern to Brian Mahern, Dane Mahern, and Jim Mahern. Holy crap, man! Even if you are a HUGE fan of the family, how many Maherns can you put on a city-county council before it starts to look bad?
I don't want this to turn into an indictment of anybody's service or qualifications because Senator Breaux has served with distinction, and I haven't followed the others' careers well enough to indict or praise, though it's well-known among Indianapolis lawyers that Ms. Treacy was one of the most poorly ranked lawyers to win a judgeship. But that was before she took the bench. We won't know until she's reviewed again whether her critics were wrong or right about her potential.
Some might say, "Chris, how is family favoritism different from all your candidates coming from the same political network. For example, some Clinton folks, like Rahm Emanuel, are in Congress or in Governorships (Bill Richardson). Evan Bayh's executive assistants, like Bart Peterson, have huge clout now. Or what about being from the same school, like the Kennedy-Harvard connection? That is its own sort of cronyism."
That's true, but family is more potent. When family is involved, it's FULL blinders. Sorry, but pushing family is like representing them in a lawsuit. You're just too close to make an objective assessment of whether they're best for the party, rather than best for your family.
But more critically, because of the sensitivity of "family issues," you get people who know better who are afraid to speak up. I'm a huge fan of Judge Linda Brown, but I'm a bit terrified I might get the evil eye the next time I see her at the National Institute for Fitness and Sport because I dissed her sister. I have the same fear because I was not always sycophantically falling over Congressman Carson's performance at various points during his campaign, and I hope speaking what I believe to be true won't damage my relationship with his father-in-law, Judge David Shaheed, who I admire greatly.
If you think I'm wrong that family ties squelch dissent, raise your hand if you thought Hugh Rodham's run for U.S. Senate in Florida was a good idea. (Crickets chirp. Tumbleweeds blow through the dusty fields). And now tell me everybody you've read about or even heard about from a fourth-hand source who played campaign buzz-kill with Hillary and told her it was an idiot idea. Exactly. Who would want to be on the outs with a current (insert office here) or potential future (insert higher office here).