Judge Robert Downer has been endorsed for Circuit Court Paul Peatross’ seat by the Madison-Greene Bar Association, The Hook reports. Downer was endorsed by the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association earlier this month. There is widespread speculation that Reps. Rob Bell and Bill Janis intend to nominate Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Camblos for partisan reasons, despite that four municipalities’ bar associations have now given him a vote of no confidence.
7 thoughts on “Madison-Greene Bar Gives Nod to Downer”
Does no one find it slightly suspect that a bar association outside the area has endorsed a candidate without any public forum? How were candidates reviewed? The CABA solicited applications (using the ABA standard application). How did the Madison-Greene BA get information about the candidates? Who was invited to apply? Given what I saw regarding the support for Downer at Bell’s public forum (lawyers from one law firm, including the past president of CABA were his only supporters) I frankly find this stealth endorsement of Downer somewhat lacking in transparency. (And I was confused for a moment when you referred to the “bar associations of 4 municipalities.” I assume you mean Charlottesville/Albemarle and Madison/Greene, and thus 2 organizations, not 4 separate endorsements.)
Honestly, I don’t care. Just like most people, all I want is Not Jim Camblos ™. Republican, Democrat, Bull Moose. Whatever. Downer excels at not being Jim Camblos so he’s ok in my book.
That’s basically my philosophy.
I completely understand the ‘not Camblos’ philosophy, but I’m a bit frustrated by the ‘any process that doesn’t result in Camblos’ approach to this. Circuit court judges have a lot of power and sit for at least 8, usually 16 or even 24 years. Five years from now, will we say “at least it’s not Camblos?” Why is everyone willing to endorse a bar process that has consistently resulted in mediocre candidates, as long as they don’t endorse one particular candidate? It just seems awfully short sighted to me.
And while I’m on this rant, I’m a bit disgusted by our local press who hasn’t bothered to obtain the smallest bit of information about the candidates so that the public could at least follow the process in an informed manner.
I am afraid that the Madison-Greene Bar’s endorsement will carry about as much weight as, oh say, the endorsement of cvillenews.com. Make no mistake, this will be decided by Janis and Bell and no one else. I do not know about anyone else but that scares the hell out of me.
“Why is everyone willing to endorse a bar process that has consistently resulted in mediocre candidates”
I think there are many who would disagree and say the process has resulted in the endorsement of two excellent candidates. And since Downer sits in Green /Madison also, (same district) they are well acquainted with his abilities.
Years ago, I once heard a high-ranking fellow from the Church of England tell the story of the priest who was asked, “why are the clergy so mediocre?” And the young priest considered the question then replied, “because they’ve only the laity to pick from.”
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