Politics as entertainment

Primary season is coming up, so the pile of postal mail is getting a bit thicker. In between an ad from a fly-by-night mortgage broker and a student loan bill was a card from the Municipal League of King County, giving their “ballot recommendations.”

(Aside for the fly-by-night mortgage broker crowd: Guys, the sub-prime and exotic loan market is gone. Go make an honest living. I saw a help wanted ad at Taco Time last week.)

Back to the ballot recommendations. Admit it, that list of judges looks like one long set of unfamiliar names. Actually, the Municipal League agrees, but there were two candidates that got the dreaded NOT QUALIFIED stamp.

Well, that looks entertaining. Let’s see why:

There’s C.F. (Frank) Vulliet, the “not qualified” candidate for state supreme court. He’s running against “outstanding” incumbent Charles Johnson. Vulliet’s story is straightforward: he’s a “self-employed, semiretired” attorney who isn’t allowed to practice law. He’s retired enough that he’s not bothering to keep up the continuing education all practicing lawyers are required to take.

A state Supreme Court judge who isn’t allowed to practice law? Sure, why not.

Then there’s Matthew Hale. He was described by the P-I as “ambitious.” Well, yeah, if I had the chutzpah to run for a place on the superior court after a mere three years in practice, they’d probably call me ambitious too.

Hale’s chief claim to fame is that he’s widely supported by off-road motorcycle and ATV enthusiasts. Why? Well, that’s going to take a little explaining, but Goldy at horsesass.org already did the hard work:

Hale’s opponent is an experienced judge by the name of Laura Middaugh. Middaugh is married to a state senator, Adam Kline. Adam Kline once wrote a hilarious e-mail telling off-road enthusiasts how little he thought of them. Therefore, several off-roaders are voting against Kline’s wife.

“I don’t care what anyone says,” wrote one dirtbike enthusiast. “She [Middaugh] is a lawyer who’s [sic] hubby is a lawyer who has a personal agenda. No way possible [sic] she is not going to support his agenda.”

Democracy in action.

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