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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Arguably Endorsements, Part 4
The County Races

Knox Co. Democrats:
Knox Co. Republicans: apparently, not quite web-ready.

District Attorney
District 6

(Knox, Waldo, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc Counties)

Incumbent: D.A. Geoffrey Rushlau, of Dresden
Joe Baiungo, Attorney at Law, Belfast
(note – the Rushlau page isn't an official campaign site or anything like it. The only thing on the web I found that wasn't a case-specific article or a letter to the editors was
this light piece from a 2004 Wiscasset Newspaper article in which the DA waxes about the office and the strange system that yields a Bath-to-beyond-Belfast district and requires one administrator to oversee four courthouses and four distinct communities.

My likely vote: For print: Undecided … as far as you know.

Viewpoints and newsy views:

Even the Statewide papers are checking in on this one, including
The Press Herald.

Brunswick Times-Record offers this profile piece.

Lincoln County News, per usual, provides no patent endorsement or reflective coverage in the race beyond its traditional offering of candidate profiles for the
two candidates, which latently seem to favor the local boy, DA Rushlau.

The Belfast Waldo Independent announces,
There's a hotly contested race for DA. This story provides a quote from Baiungo that sums up his raison d'trunning:
"I will hold the office to a higher level of performance than they are demanding of themselves… I recognize improvements need to be made within the office. They refuse to be accountable for the way prosecutions are being handled right now. It’s never their fault… It’s always the police officer’s fault, the judge or the jury… Juries are never wrong. You have to find a way to give them what they need to satisfy themselves… I’m willing to make some hard changes that Geoff is not willing to make. I’m willing to make personnel changes. Some of the assistant DAs are doing a great job but some need to be replaced.”
The Independent is one of two paper within the four counties choosing to provide an endorsementin the race, interestingly going against the local candidate in favor of the incumbent. The Camden Herald, on the other hand, buried its conditional nod toward Baiungo at the tail-end of its list of endorsements, which range from TABOR Yes! to Al Ockenfels for Sheriff. In case you don't make it that far, here is the language:
In the matter of the district attorney, the operations of his office are a locked box as far as the press and public are concerned, and we never hear a single helpful or explanatory word from that quarter until election time. If Joe Baiungo will open that locked box to public scrutiny, then we would prefer him over the silent incumbent.
Village Soup provides a similar sounding board for each in Rushlau Baiungo in spirited race for Four County DA. This one includes a pretty odd quote from DA Rushlau, which I suspect he'd try to reword if given another shot:
Rushlau said he has different attitudes to cases depending on the stage they are at. When he is deciding whether to prosecute, he is measured, judicious. He must decide, first, "whether I believe personally what the police say happened, and second, whether a jury will believe it," he said.

"If I know I won't be successful [in prosecuting a case where he believes the defendant is guilty], I'd be using public resources for nothing," he said. "And then, people won't trust the judicial system."
The Courier Gazette provides this recap of a debate it sponsored between the two candidates last week, but provides no endorsement. Unless, that is, its report that Rockland HS students prefer Baiungo constitutes an endorsement of sorts. It also reports that Baiungo is outspending Rushlau, listing all of the major contributors to each candidate's campaign.

DA Rushlau offers
this mea culpa of sorts against criticism of his child abuse prosecution record and his opposition to "Jessica's Law" and mandatory sentencing for child abusers. His theme is summed up by this quote: "However attractive the idea of long mandatory sentences, the result, we all believe[], would be fewer convictions and more children at risk."

State Senate, most of Knox County

Incumbent Republican
Christine Savage, of Appleton.
Scott Barrows, of Warren.

I will vote for Scott Barrows for State Senate because he is a sharp guy with has good ideas, who impresses you as one who will work hard to make argue for their passage at the Legislature. Moreover, he isn't Christine Savage, who seems like a nice enough lady, but whose voting record represents just about the polar opposite of what I support. Finally, he will help the Democrats retain majority both the Senate and the Legislature as a whole.

The last point is important to me for a very pragmatic reason -- the party who holds a majority of the Legislature as a whole gets to select the Attorney General. Steve Rowe is, without question, the finest public official in the State of Maine and he is a Democrat. So, if the Republicans win, he's guaranteed to be replaced by a Republican lawyer. This would be a tragic side effect, and one that is potentially grave enough for me that it would be enough for me to vote for Scott even if I didn't find him the outstanding candidate he is in his own right.

Oh yeah …

County Commissioner

There is a two way race for Knox County Commissioner between
Anne Beebe-Center and Brad Carter. I have nothing to add.


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