Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

# 27 at our polling place this morning at about 8:30. There are only three contested elections this go-round: Supreme Court Justice, Sheriff and Comptroller, and the choices are rather stark for the latter two. The current Sheriff runs a holding center that has got the county sued by the federal government, and which has a suicide rate that ranks with the worst in the country. You see his signs when you cross the city line, which is pretty awful. The Comptroller race pits the incumbent-- a former television reporter-- against Kevin Gaughan. On is hard-pressed to think of an office that Kevin hasn't run for, but that's besides the point: he will do a respectable job I think. He was at our polling place to vote this morning-- he may be the least natural politician I've ever seen, but he really puts his heart into it. The turnout will be key. Supreme Court Justice amounts to a choice of cats whose respective political parties reckoned they'd put in their time (and, I assume, their money). I hate judicial elections. Party affiliation is no sort of indicator. Both candidates have a background as local prosecutors; in my view that amounts to the same as saying that they've been the beneficiaries of an unfortunate local tendency to appoint ADAs on a patronage basis. It also means that they haven't done much time in private practice.

I like voting on Propositions, and the new fill in the dots ballot may mean that these get a little more attention that the old system, which involved looking up past the candidate lines and reading the Prop, probably for the first time, standing in the machine. A big No on the Adirondack propositions: Sorry, but "Forever Wild" means that. Yes on letting judges serve till they are 80. I suppose there is something to be said for giving someone else a turn, but since it isn't going to be me, I figure age is a pretty arbitrary reason to tell someone that they can't do something any more. Being a judge is a skill that it takes time to acquire. Once someone is good at it-- a skill that is attained at public expense-- they should be allowed to do it as long as they can. No to more casinos-- you'd think that by now people would have figured out that casino gambling is no sort of economic tonic at all, just based on experience, but apparently not. Here's the deal: Native American casinos are terrible. State run casinos are even worse.

Allowing municipalities to exclude debt incurred in constructing water treatment and sewage facilities to be excluded from their constitutional debt limits is a Yes. I understand why it is on the ballot, but seriously, how is that the sort of question lay people should be asked?

| Comments:
I don't see where Mark Montour has ever been a prosecutor....
My mistake. It appears that Judge Montour (who was a year behind me at UB) has indeed been in private practice. Outside Counsel regrets the error.(It also looks like his was the only line on the ballot that I filled out together with a majority of other voters.)

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