UPDATE: Tainted by his family's corruption scandals, Charles Calderon got the political thumping of his life last night, losing big to Los Angeles County prosecutor Carol Rose for this judgeship. See below
The most unintentionally amusing judicial race in SoCal is the June 3 election for Superior Court Office No. 48 featuring Charles Calderon and Carol Rose. The Los Angeles County Bar Association's Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee of 31 lawyers found both of them "Not Qualified."
Calderon, with his savvy political machine in tow, responded to that slam quickly, putting pressure on LACBA to rescind its Not Qualified ranking, which the committee does if flattering new information emerges. It proved a hopeless quest by the once-powerful Calderon. The reasons both judicial candidates got rejected are cringe-worthy, since one of them will win the judgeship June 3. We're happy to share:
Rose is widely viewed by colleagues as "scatter-brained" and gave a damning interview to the legal newspaper Metropolitan News-Enterprise. Trust us, the Carol Rose profile
is good reading.
Then there's former legislator Calderon, who spent years in the statehouse helping special-interest groups ghostwrite every word of state laws written to benefit themselves. As the Weekly
and San Jose Mercury-News
have both reported, Calderon took campaign money from the very groups he let write the laws.
The vast majority of Californians don't know it's legal to custom-write your own law, then reward the legislator who made it happen for you.
Some legislators realize that it's akin to selling laws and avoid it. But Calderon turned "sponsored laws" into an art form.
See Also: Worst Legislator in California Part II: Charles Calderon lets special interest groups ghostwrite his laws
Calderon's bid to be judged worthy to be a judge was further stained by findings in the Whittier Daily News, which reported last year that Charles in 2010 paid $40,000 in campaign funds to his son, Ian Calderon, to do nothing
Or, as the newspaper put it: "for Web-consulting services, but an investigation by this newspaper turned up no evidence of a campaign website or social media presence." Because there wasn't one.
Apparently in a group coma, the Los Angeles Times
editorial board actually gave a thumb's up to Calderon in its judicial endorsements list, which is an unfortunate mess. More intelligent judge ratings for the June 3 election can be found here, at the L.A. County Bar Association
Charles' brother, Ron, is now under indictment for selling a law for cash, according to the FBI. Charles has not been implicated in that scandal, which has also ensnared their other brother, Tom.
But the scandal has hurt Charles, as have his years of poor judgement on the ethics front.
So the question in the Superior Court Office No. 48 race is: Would you rather be standing before a judge who is scatter-brained and forgetful and clearly weird? Or one who milks the system for his pals and family? Pick your poison.
Updated at 12:33 p.m.:
In a landslide vote, Los Angeles-area residents went with forgetful and disorganized over Sacramento fat-cat. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Carole Rose hammered the once-powerful Calderon, earning 321,400 votes or 65.98 percent to his 165,751 votes or 34.02 percent. Watch for Calderon to make some other attempt at public office.