by Sharon Noonan Kramer, advocate for integrity in health marketing and U.S. courts.
Aren’t judges suppose to be people who are of high moral standard with an innate sense of right and wrong? Apparently, that does not apply in San Diego, California.
In the race for San Diego Superior Court Seat 20, federal prosecutor and candidate Carla Keehn has been sadly privy to view, first hand, what many people in the county have said for a long time: There are systemic ethics problems among the local jurists. Politics, not law, rules what occurs in their courts.
According to today’s KPBS broadcast, Keehn is quoted as saying,
“It appears that my ability to make political speeches is seriously being interfered with,” “I think it’s now apparent about what happens to people who try to stand up and hold judges accountable — that that’s not something that’s permitted in the San Diego community” “I received phone calls from individuals, from political leaders telling me that if I did not drop out of this race that there would be serious repercussions on my career and also possibly on my family,” The broadcast states that Keehn said she chose to challenge Schall to stand up for what’s right….“I’ve done that my whole life, and I think it’s really important that if one person doesn’t stand up and hold judges to the highest standards and hold judges accountable, that it sends a really sad message,” “I have three kids in school and the big message for 2014 is ‘no bullying.’ And you just have to say no to that.”
KPBS calls to Schall were not returned. Clear Channel hung up when KPBS called to inquire about the billboards. Not only were Keehn’s campaign billboards removed by pressure on the sign company coming from unknown powers that be; now Clear Channel is claiming that Keehn owes them for one week’s advertising and must pay for the ads’ removals. The billboards, edited for content by Clear Channel before they were erected, were only up two days. They were taken down by directive of someone(s) who apparently wants to see Judge Lisa Schall remain in office by hook or by crook.
See the latest from ABC Channel 10News, May 12th, HERE.
Could it be that Clear Channel is trying to help hamstring Ms. Keehn’s campaign by tying up her needed campaign funds so they cannot be put to good advertising use somewhere else? This is not the first time attempts have been made to collusively hamstring Ms. Keehn’s campaign. The local judges have been unethically tampering with this election since at least February of this year — with no repercussions.
Again, who would have enough clout to pressure the large corporation of Clear Channel to do this, and for what purpose do these powerful people wish to see Judge Lisa Schall remain in judicial office?
Clear Channel, who edited the ads prior to placement, provided this response to San Diego Free Press this morning as to why they removed the billboard ads that they had helped to design, including the text content:
“Unfortunately our protocol for political ads was not followed and we took the ad down. We have offered the client a variety of resolutions, including the fullest refund allowable under the laws governing political contributions.”
Their response does not ring as honest nor forthright. Prior to this statement, the Clear Channel rep informed Keehn that they were “pressured” to remove the billboards. As professional advertisers who accepted $14,000 from Keehn, seems Clear Channel would have thought about their protocols regarding content that they were assisting to write, before they cashed Ms. Keehn’s check. This would have been a good idea before reducing her campaign coffers to limit her ability to advertise; and while doing more harm than good to Keehn’s already relentlessly politically attacked campaign via the compromised local jurists — or as I sometimes refer to them “the Bench Bullies”.
Add to this, Judge Schall’s campaign website is down for the third day in a row. One could only hope that this is because her endorser page is once again in downward revision of the number of people who wish to no longer be associated with the embarrassing San Diego jurists, who clearly think they are above the law.
UPDATE: As of May 15th Schall’s website is back up. It still states she is endorsed by “all 125 San Diego judges” and the “Alliance for California Judges“, which is an organization that professes to be comprised of 500 judges, statewide. What it should say is that she is endorsed by judges who are advocating that their appointments to the bench be for life, no matter how bad of job they do.
The appointed judges are not happy that Keehn offers the public an opportunity to vote one of their appointed peers out of office. It would appear that they are attempting to make an example of Keehn so that no one thinks about challenging any of them when their terms come up for “voter re-election”. Oddly, the appointed judges picked a race to take their bullying stand which helps to illustrate exactly why the public needs to be protected from bad judges by the ability to vote them out of office.
Keehn is a cum laude graduate of Princeton University and of the University of California, Hastings College of Law. She is an adjunct law professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law with an impressive track record as her legal career. Conversely, according to the San Diego Union Tribune, Schall has one of the worst judicial track records in the entire State of California and its somewhat of a mystery as to why she is still on the bench; as the UT endorsed Schall over Keehn for Seat 20. (Huh?)