Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Judge Cox Won't Accept Debate Challenge!

I have sent, by post and by e-mail, the following debate challenge to Judge James A. Cox, and he has not accepted, nor even responded.  And for good reason - there is nothing he can make palatable about his conduct, and there is nothing that he can make acceptable about what his chums on the bench are trying to do for him by squelching debate, and he could never voice a, explanatory position that voters should tolerate. So, it seems as though he should retire now, because if he loses at the polls [as he should by refusing to debate me on fundamental points], he cannot sit as a retired/assigned judge; if he retires now, he can cash in on that cushy double-dipping that most judges eagerly seek. The real question is what kind of people, especially attorneys and judges, still support Judge Cox? And why? What is their quid pro quo?
The unanswered [and unanswerable] debate challenge:

April 27, 2012
Honorable James A. Cox
Superior Court
3255 East Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, California 92262

RE: Debate

Dear Judge Cox:

As you know, I am running against you for Seat 2 of the Superior Court for Riverside County.  There are things regarding the reason I am running, and now things surrounding communications being made to the public about people running for judicial offices, that deserve a full and complete airing in the public.  Because of that, I am challenging you to a public debate, to be hosted by some organization agreed to by our respective campaigns.

What pressed me to run against you surrounds an incident I observed, and which almost victimized me, when you were presiding over traffic court cases in the Banning court years ago.  I’ll present here an excerpt of what I have broadcast to the public about that event:

Years ago, when I was still working in the Victorville Public Defender’s office, I drove through Beaumont, and I had an eye-opener.  I saw a bevy of young local policemen all over the place, and they were stopping people right and left, for the most minor of offenses.  One even harassed a young kid gently wheeling his bike down the sidewalk.  They were out and out picking on people.  So I stopped to watch.  It became clear they were running some sort of traffic enforcement harassment scam.

I sat and watched for a half hour or so, and one of the youngsters with a badge came up to me and asked what I was doing.  I told him I was sitting there watching their little traffic scam and their harassment of citizens of the Republic.

He stutteringly said he was going to give me a ticket, and he had to reflect for a moment on what he could ticket me for, and he then came up with driving without a seatbelt.  I politely informed him I wasn’t driving and reminded him that he had seen me there watching their little gambit for over half an hour.  He said he was going to give me one anyway.  I said if he was, I wanted to be cited to the county seat.  He said he didn’t know what I meant.  I said I have a right to be cited to the county seat [given that my place of employment was closer to Riverside than to the Banning courthouse].  He again said he didn’t know what I meant, and I allowed how it didn’t surprise me – they probably did not want the downtown court to see what goes on out there.

He then called for backup, since people standing on their rights are obviously troublemakers.  The backup asked if I know what was involved in that request, and I told him I did but doubted that he did.  He said he would have to arrest me, take me into custody, tow my car, and drive me in handcuffs down to Riverside.  I smilingly told him that was incorrect – they just put the downtown courthouse address on the ticket.  He said he would do it the other way. [That is illegal, by the way!]

I said fine, cite me to the local court, since it is obvious no one wants the central court to see what goes on out in that area, so I would be interested in seeing what goes on there.

I showed up on my arraignment day, and I was appalled.  The judge told everyone if they pled not guilty on their ticket, they would have to post “bail” before they would get a trial!  Remember we fought a Revolution for the right to trial before liberties and property could be taken from us.  And “bail” can only be imposed under the federal Constitution if one is a flight risk.  But everyone who wanted to plead not guilty were told they had to post bail to get a trial, and they could not make payments.  But when they caved in and pled guilty to avoid having to pay that coerced bail, the fine was often less than the “bail” amount, and it could be made in payments.  Guess which direction virtually everyone went!/?  That is extortion!

When my case was called [I was in fatigue clothes, looking most unlawyerly!], I approached and announced that I was pleading “not guilty” and wanted a trial and I instructed the judge to not “play that Bail game with me.”  The judge was taken aback and asked what I meant.  I said “you know what I mean.”  I sternly pointed out that bail can only constitutionally be imposed on one who is a proven flight risk, I was there in court and hence not a flight risk, and I said that it was “clear to me what is going on here.”  The judge told me to sit down until the end of the calendar, because, I guess he thought,  I obviously was poisoning his trial court scam well.

I cooled my heels while “bails” were demanded and guilty pleas were thus coerced for another hour or so, until I was called up again for an explanation.

I said that I had come there to complain of the local police not knowing anything about citing one into the county seat, and then it became clear to me whey no one wanted anything from that area to go to the county seat!  The judge said “Well, you’re here now, why don’t we just take care of the matter now.”  I said I had a statutory right to go to the county seat in the first instance, but now that I see what is going on with these “bails,” I want a dismissal!  The judge looked me in the eyes, and then blinked, and then growled that my case was…. Dismissed.

People were ripped off right and left by that court, in service to that traffic infraction scam on the small town street.  That judge was James Cox, my opponent in this election.

I will never forget that horrid incident and the wholesale violations of citizens’ rights represented by it.  I hereby challenge you to a debate to discuss what you think is meant by reasonable bail under the 8th Amendment, and whether you think local standards and practices in such matters trump the United States Constitution.  In that debate, I want to discuss whether you are authorizing certain judges [plus a local attorney] to run around the county trying to convince people that the state Constitution’s decree that trial court judges “shall” run for election every 6 years really means that judges should only be voted against if they have committed misconduct, and otherwise the electorate should re-install them, as if the standard were a retention election instead of a contested one.  I want to discuss whether you authorized those judges to put pressure on a local group of citizens and voters that had specifically invited me to speak about the election to uninvited me just before my presentation, a patent invasion of my First Amendment rights.  I want to discuss whether you have put those judges up to presenting the notion, or whether you agree with the notion, that the canons of judicial ethics prevent judges from speaking out on issues of law in general terms so voters know how the judges/judicial candidates think about their service to the Republic; the canons, of course, only prevent one from making commitments, not from making informative, educational statements.  I want to discuss what your understanding is of popular sovereignty and whether you think judges in this Republic are public servants or public masters.  [And we can discuss any other topic pertaining to the Republic, the Constitution, and the duties of judges in this Republic that you desire.]

I do not make big deals out of people’s small, personal peccadilloes, nor would I even mention them, but I am utterly intolerant of people in government abusing people whom they are supposed to be serving.

Please feel free to have your people contact my campaign manager Bob Richmond at the number above.



cc:     Bob Richmond

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