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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Candidates For Potter County Judge Examined

Solomon's words has received permission to re-publish a look at the issues in the upcoming Potter County Court of Common Pleas election written by Potter Leader-Enterprise Managing Editor Donald Gilliland. We thank the Potter Leader-Enterprise for allowing us to to re-publish them.


Glassmire: ‘Drinks For Everyone’


By Donald Gilliland, Managing Editor
Potter Leader-Enterprise
Re-published here with permission

So this judicial candidate walks into a bar...

On Thursday evening, Oct. 8, Dan Glassmire, Democratic candidate for President Judge of Potter County, walked into Sweden Valley Inn during the dinner hour, and asked the staff to buy everyone in the house a drink on him.

The place was relatively full. He asked they simply be given another of whatever it was they were having – soda or alcohol. And he asked that each person be told specifically that it was being purchased for them by Dan Glassmire.

The staff complied, but it took awhile. The place was relatively full. While he waited, Glassmire had a glass of water for himself, and chatted with a couple of people.

As the drinks were being distributed, Glassmire asked the staff if they were making sure they told everyone the drinks were from him. They assured him they were.

The staff tallied the cost, gave Glassmire the bill, and he paid – about $100 including a tip for the staff having taken the trouble.

Then he left.

So this judicial candidate walks into a bar...

It sounds like the set-up line to a joke, and a generation or two ago, it may even have struck a familiar chord. But in this day and age, did the candidate do anything wrong?

Glassmire doesn’t think so.

He doesn’t dispute he did it. He told the Leader-Enterprise Monday he stopped because “I could tell it was a supper crowd.” When he walked in, he recognized “some friends and acquaintances” and “I thought it would be nice to buy a round of drinks.”

“It was really a spontaneous thing when I did it,” Glassmire said. It was an orderly group of people having dinner, and buying a round was a way to let them know he was there.

“As a private individual, I, out of my own pocket, did purchase a round of whatever anyone was drinking – including non-alcoholic drinks – during the dinner hour at Sweden Valley Inn.”

Frankly, he seemed unsure why it would be a story.

Why is it a story?

In part because Section 1839 of the Pennsylvania Election Code, 25 P.S. § 3539, prohibits anyone from giving or promising any gift, reward in money, goods or “other valuable thing” to a person to induce them to vote or refrain from voting for a candidate or ballot question.

Yet candidates hand out campaign gifts all the time: all manner of trinkets such as buttons, pencils, note pads... the most creative Potter County candidate once handed out cards that turned into sponges when placed in water.
That’s no violation.

What about a round of drinks?

Potter County Director of Elections Sandy Lewis didn’t know. She sent out a query to her colleagues around the state. None of those who responded had ever heard of such a thing. Several of them added that she’d just won the crazy question contest for this election season.

The Leader-Enterprise called the Pennsylvania Department of State, which oversees elections and election law.

After press secretary Leslie Amoros stopped laughing, she said, “Let me get this straight: a judicial candidate walks into a bar...”

She’d never heard of such a thing, but said she would consult with the staff attorneys and get back.

Meanwhile, the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania noted that judicial candidates must also comply with the Code of Judicial Conduct pertaining to elections.

Canon 7 of the Code of Judicial Conduct says “Judges should refrain from political activity inappropriate to their judicial office.”

It spells out a series of rules forbidding candidates from making speeches for or publicly endorsing any candidates for office, from making any promises of conduct other than the faithful and impartial performance of the duties of the office and from soliciting or accepting campaign money (campaign committees must do that for them).

The only section of Canon 7 that could possibly be construed to prohibit buying a round of drinks is the section that says a candidate “should maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office.”

That’s wide open to interpretation, and the official commentary on another section of the code dealing with the “avocational activities” of judges – the social and recreational activities they can engage in – says “Complete separation of judges from extra-judicial activities is neither possible nor wise; they should not become isolated from the society in which they live.”

Indeed, Glassmire said he didn’t think the judicial canons applied.
“I don’t think you’re forced to stop being a nice person... (and) I don’t see anything non-judicial about it.”

The official response from the Pennsylvania Department of State came in an email entitled “judicial election question of an unusual nature.”

They noted that the law prohibits anyone from giving or promising any gift, goods or “other valuable thing” to induce someone to vote for them, but said “It has long been the policy of many county boards of elections, however, that an item of de minimis value is acceptable. For example, some candidates distribute note pads, emory boards and other small items.

“While the Department has stated that deminimis items would not trigger the bribery prohibition at 25 P.S. 3539, each set of facts and circumstances would have to be evaluated on its own merits. That decision would be up to a county D.A. or the Attorney General.”

Before that email arrived, Glassmire had already said, “I think buying a round in some place that’s really a dinner setting falls into the campaign trinket type of thing.”

Although a judicial candidate walking into a bar and buying a round of drinks is apparently foreign to most election officials in Pennsylvania, there is a place where it is not, and where it is frowned upon: New York State.

New York is not Pennsylvania, and Dan Glassmire is not running for judge in New York, so the following should be no more than a possibly analogous cautionary tale:

Three years ago, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed Judge Thomas J. Spargo of Albany County, NY, from the bench because he had directly solicited contributions to his legal defense fund from lawyers appearing before him.

Spargo is currently facing trial on federal charges of extortion for his attempts to get one of the lawyers to donate $10,000 to his defense fund.

Judge Spargo had created that defense fund to help him pay the expenses – over $140,000 – of defending himself against charges from the Commission that he had acted inappropriately while he was a town justice.

Those original charges (upheld in the final ruling) included the allegation that Spargo had “failed to abide by the high standards of conduct required of judicial candidates by giving away $5 coupons ‘good for all products including gas’ at a local convenience store to prospective voters and by buying drinks for patrons at a bar while identifying himself as a judicial candidate.”


Spargo spent slightly over $2,000 on the coupons and various rounds of drinks.
The majority opinion of the Commission on Judicial Conduct states, “We need not find that (Spargo’s) activities literally constituted ‘vote-buying’ in order to conclude that such campaign conduct was unseemly and should be avoided.”

Two members of the Commission issued a partial dissent in which they agreed with the removal for soliciting funds from attorneys, but skewered the New York judicial election process and what they called a “patchwork” of “ridiculous rules” that forbid “penny-ante” campaign activities but “fail to address the central causes of the unseemliness of judicial campaigns: party control and the candidate’s need to raise money.”

Nevertheless, the dissenting members called the $5 coupons and rounds of drinks “creative but blatantly unseemly tactics.”

Glassmire’s opponent Steve Minor was given the opportunity to comment on this story. He chose not to do so, indicating he would not involve himself with negative campaigning, including news articles that might be negative about his opponent.
****************************************************************

Minor: Limited Jury Trial Experience

By Donald Gilliland, Managing Editor
Potter Leader-Enterprise
Re-published here with permission

When most people think of a judge, they think him in black robes sitting behind a bench in a courtroom where there’s a prosecutor, a defendant with his attorney, a witness on the stand and a jury listening to the testimony.

It’s the image from countless movies, television shows and stage plays, not to mention real life.
So what then of a lawyer who has only limited experience trying cases in front of a jury campaigning to be judge?

That’s a question that has been raised by several members of the Potter County Bar, who can’t recall Steve Minor – the Republican candidate for President Judge of Potter County – trying any jury trials.

Calls to people in the court system in McKean County revealed that few of them could recall a jury trial in which Minor was the defense attorney there.

When asked directly, Minor said he has done “a handful, not a ton” of jury trials.

He said he has tried some personal injury cases, and he tried cases in Washington, PA when he was practicing there early in his career. In Potter County, he was co-counsel in a week-long civil jury trial several years ago that at least one local attorney and Prothonotary Amy Moshier remembered.

Minor said that while he has not tried a lot of jury trials, he has done “a great deal of bench hearings,” which is a trial before a judge without a jury.

Minor said, “I have shied away from criminal jury trials because of potential conflicts of interest” with his role as Juvenile Master in McKean County for the past 14 years. He said it’s common to find the same people who come before him in that capacity also involved in the criminal trial system – if not the juveniles themselves, then their parents or near relatives.

Minor stressed his role as Master as one of his major qualifications.

“I’m hearing cases,” he said. “I’m not a judge, but I have had criminal proceedings in front of me.
“I’ve had to determine credibility, I rule on evidence, I determine objections raised by legal counsel, I write findings and determinations” the equivalent of rulings within the juvenile system.

“I determine whether children ought to be placed or remain in the home.

“I have had many, many contested hearings,” said Minor, but he noted that the majority of them were on the civil side. Judges began hearing juvenile criminal hearings a couple of years ago. Before that, he said, he had heard “a number of criminal contested hearings - there aren’t a lot of them.”

He said he “still deals with probation issues after the criminal determination by the judge, when juvenile defendants violate terms of probation.”

“I don’t want to mislead anybody: I’ve had a handful of jury trials, but I have heard many, many juvenile cases,” said Minor.

“There have been many hearings in front of me where the lawyers are fighting back and forth across the room.”

Minor said he has been hearing cases – approximately 4,000 in the last 14 years – and writing determinations, and he said “I think that would be a better basis for deciding whether I can hear a jury trial.”

How important is jury trial experience?

American Bar Association has developed criteria for evaluating judicial candidates. These guidelines are intended for use by bar association committees and Judicial Nominating Commissions which evaluate candidates for state and local judicial office.

The Bar Association’s guidelines for Reviewing Qualifications of Candidates for State Judicial Office set forth criteria in eight categories: Integrity, Legal Knowledge and Ability, Professional Experience, Judicial Temperament, Diligence, Health, Financial Responsibility and Public Service.

The Professional Experience guidelines say “It is desirable for a candidate to have had substantial trial experience. This is particularly true for a candidate for the trial bench. Trial experience includes the preparation and presentation of matters of proof and legal argument in an adversary setting. The extent and variety of an candidate’s experience as a litigator should be considered in light of the nature of the judicial vacancy that is being filled.”

The guidelines do not specify jury trials, but trial experience in general. They also say, “Although substantial trial experience is desirable, other types of legal experience should also be carefully considered. An analysis of the work performed by the modern trial bench indicates that, in addition to adjudication, many judges perform substantial duties involving administration, discovery, mediation and public relations.

“A private practitioner who has developed a large clientele, a successful law teacher and writer or a successful corporate, government or public interest attorney all may have experience which will contribute to successful judicial performance. Outstanding persons with such experience should not be deemed unqualified solely because of lack of trial experience. The important consideration is the depth and breadth of the professional experience and the competence with which it has been performed, rather than the candidate’s particular type of professional experience.”

However, such professional experience is not considered the most important in the Bar Association’s guidelines.

The most important is integrity.

The guidelines say, “The integrity of the judge is, in the final analysis, the keystone of the judicial system; for it is integrity which enables a judge to disregard personalities and partisan political influences and enables him or her to base decisions solely on the facts, and the law applicable to those facts. It is, therefore, imperative that a judicial candidate's integrity and character with regard to honesty and truthfulness be above reproach. An individual with the integrity necessary to quality must be one who is able, among other things, to speak the truth without exaggeration, admit responsibility for mistakes and put aside self-aggrandizement. Other elements demonstrating integrity are intellectual honesty, fairness, impartiality, ability to disregard prejudices, obedience to the law and moral courage.”

People’s image of a judge – though pervasive – may also be somewhat misleading.

According to records in the Potter County Prothonotary’s office, only a small percentage of cases before Judge Leete end in jury trials: 1.2 percent in 2007 and 1.3 percent in 2008. Those percentages might actually be high, as they do not include the miscellaneous dockets and no-fault divorces which do not go to jury trial and because the percentages were calculated using jury payment records which do not account for the rare occasions when the jurors arrive for a trial and are paid for doing so, but no trial occurs because of a last-minute change such as a plea.
One of the members of the local bar who said he couldn’t recall Minor trying a jury trial, told the Leader-Enterprise the fact did not make him question Minor’s qualifications to be judge.
“I don’t think it matters all that much,” he said. “The rules of evidence are the same whether it’s a judge or jury trial.”

Minor’s opponent Dan Glassmire was given the opportunity to comment on this story. He submitted the following statement:

“I think that broad and extensive experience is very important. My 30+ years of courtroom experience is a proven track record.

“It is my understanding that Mr. Minor has extremely little, if any, experience in felony jury trials which are a significant part of the docket at the Potter County Court. His trail experience, in general, is limited and narrow.

“The role of a Master is very limited and mostly consists of simply processing cases and conducting informal reviews. We do not even have Masters in Potter County. A Master, at most, merely makes a recommendation which, if challenged, then goes to a judge.

“Mr. Minor fails to explain that in the vast majority of his cases, the Master simply passes on to the Judge the agreement which has been previously worked out by the parties.”

91 comments :

Anonymous said...

Get your popcorn ready for this one!

Anonymous said...

At least the 2nd article about Minor addresses a serious issue in the election. I'm glad I'm possibly the first to comment so I don't have to read what the typical Solomon's lynch mob will have to say about these candidates.

If you care about this county vote based on the candidates' respective experience, independence, and integrity, not on the gossip and hearsay you read in the comment section here.

Roger S.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of the Leader Enterprise trying to turn elections one way or the other. I hope voters think for themselves this time around.

Anonymous said...

Keep smokin and talking Dan! It will be over soon! Vote for "class"- not "ass". Steve Minor will make an excellent judge for Potter County!

Anonymous said...

I thought news "reporters" were supposed to "report" news, not create news, interpret news, analyze news and write editorials that look like news.
I do not support or oppose either of these candidate but this is one really bizarre way of "reporting" news.
What about issues that these candidates should addressing?
Where I used to live, the newspaper would label this kind of stuff as "analysis" or "opinion" so that anyone who read it would not confuse it with "news" or "reporting."
This is not "news" and it is not "reporting." This is one writer's opinion of what's important.

Anonymous said...

Steve has my vote :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know Mr. Glassmire but anyone that is will to buy his fellow man a drink in these financially challenging times is okay in my book.

Anonymous said...

Only in Potter County would someone think that this is behavior befitting a judicial candidate.
Glad to see Steve Minor is taking the higher ground and not running a negative campaign. Dan has given him so much material he could use!

Anonymous said...

About buying friends a drink:

Guess not many of you knew Russell P. Letterman, Democrat 1971 – 1990 District 76 Rep. PA wildlife area in Clinton and Camping Area in Bald Eagle State Park Centre county named in his honor.
Russy bought many a drink in Bellefonte,Lock Haven and surrounding area in his day that caused a lot of comments but let folks know that he was representing them. He got my Republican vote.

Anonymous said...

What if someone was at their limit when he bought the round? What if they were under aged and there with false ID? IT SEEMS LIKE AN IRRESPONSIBLE THING FOR A CANDIDATE FOR JUDGE...poor judgment, bad move.

Anonymous said...

Since when does arguing in front of a jury qualify you to be a Judge, able to HEAR argument, TO LISTEN and not so much SPEAK to be heard? Give me someone with a command of the law, interested in a fair and lawful outcome...I am disappointed in the lack of integrity displayed by Mr.Glassmire..sorry Ole boy, not judge material

Anonymous said...

Personally I see nothing wrong with the Potter Leader publishing this article.

Once again someone does not like what they see/hear, and so they criticize the person bringing the information to light.

Thanks Jim for re-posting this article.

With corruption running rampant in our government and voter fraud on the rise because of the likes of Acorn and the sorts, it's good to see someone bringing forth information such as this.

Dan thinks he can buy votes....with a round of drinks or whatever, that shows me what type of Judge he would make.

Lets be clear about something, Dan buying those drinks was exactly that; trying to buy votes.

He made it clear to the staff that he wanted them to be sure everyone knew HE bought the drinks.

If he were just trying to be friendly and wanted nothing in return for the drinks he would not have been so adamant about the staff informing the patrons that it was HE who bought the drinks.

I am voting for a candidate I feel has integrity, morals, and will be fair and free from persuasion from his drinking cronies.

Steve has my vote, and I expect he will uphold the highest standard of ethics while sitting as our Judge.

Anonymous said...

How exactly does buying a round of drinks let someone know you support them 2:46?

Sounds to me like he was buying votes...nothing more.

Well, if Dan gets elected maybe you could just buy him a few rounds for a lighter sentence or ruling in your favor heh?

I'm guessing an 8-ball would getcha further though!

Anonymous said...

What if the guy reporting and complaining about refused the drink ?????

Anonymous said...

As long as Dan Glasspipe comes down here and buys me a few rounds he's got my vote!

Anonymous said...

I think if Mr. Glassmire was in the habit of buying people rounds of drinks as a norm nothing would have been said but i`ve known him for yrs and have never known him to be that lose with his pocketbook unless there was something in it for him...rock on Steve!!!

Anonymous said...

There is a big difference between advertising on a pencil or a business card that turns into a sponge and a judicial candidate buying a round of drinks two weeks prior to the election. This behavior, while not criminal, shows poor judgment.
How many jury trials has Mr. Glassmire had over the past five years, zero, one, two?

Anonymous said...

Neither one will get my vote. I wish we could keep Leete!

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that a judicial candidate feels the need to "buy" votes by ordering alcohol for others. This is bad judgement and I worry that someone there may have already had a "few too many" or was on the borderline- and could have gone out the door and hit someone with his/her car. Thank God Steve Minor is running or I wouldn't have anyone to vote for. If Dan says he was just being a nice guy- then why did he ask twice whether the waitresses were letting everyone know that he was buying the drinks? Good old Potter County politics is dead and gone- thank goodness. Steve has our votes.

Anonymous said...

You people are idiots.. People buy drinks for others every single day of the year, grow up with the dumbazz conjecture and what if scenarios. A person has a choice to drink or not to drink. And the bar has the responsibility to not serve a visibly intoxicated individual..

I'm not enthused by either of these candidates, but folks bitching about a candidate buying drinks is reaching..

why don't some of ya go sit at a bar and berate anybody with the gall to buy you a drink..

Anonymous said...

Bring down the dildine.
This is getting tediouos.

Chelle Bell said...

I don't see how buying a bar full of people is attempting to bribe their votes. Sucking up, yes. But I can tell you this: here in Centre County candidates throw candy, hand out cards, or just ride in every parade there is. Are they bribing votes by giving candy to your kids. Sucking up, yes, bribing, NO! For crying out loud, way too many people in this world make a big deal of nothing! If he had gone to a restaurant and kissed all the babies he would have been accused of molestation, I'm sure, yet that is exactly what presidential candidates have done in our history! This is a NORMAL campaign tactic, at least in Potter County, let it go people! He didn't just give booze, or just buy for those who agree to vote for him (THAT WOULD BE WHERE THE LAW APPLIES), he bought for everyone in the place, which, incidentally, is ALSO a restaurant. This should NOT affect your choices in voting! Your decision should be based upon 3 things: each person's history in COURT; each person's opinions on ISSUES related to Potter County and each person's opinions on cases that would be tried in Potter County including civil, criminal and family. That is what your vote should go to - the person who most closely has the same opinions as you do! I don't see where Glassmire did anything wrong, he was just out there reminding people that he is there and letting them get to know him. I'm sure he would have answered any questions any of those people had to ask on the topics at hand. I'm sure he still would, I don't know, call and ask.
I do; however, see bias on the part of the Potter Leader Enterprise. They had a huge write up on one incident involving Glassmire, yet facts and statistics on Minor. Guess we know where their vote is going! It is a journalists job to print the truth, facts, not opinions. Opinions have another area in the paper, it is called "Letter From the Editor"!
Me, I don't live there, so I can't vote. But if I did, I would want to know where the candidates stand on issues close to my heart!

Anonymous said...

its ashame that we only have these two guys to pick from,Dan is more qualified,steve isnt anything but a family lawyer. glad Leete is going.

Chelle Bell said...

Just one more thing....I see that most ppl who have left opinions are "anonymous"....where is your testicular fortitude?

Anonymous said...

its ashame that we only have these two guys to pick from,Dan is more qualified,steve isnt anything but a family lawyer. glad Leete is going.

Bobby said...

4000 court hearings both civil and criminal. This is exactly what Minor has been doing for 13 years.
Isnt that what a judge does except they are adult cases? I dont see how that makes him less qualified.
Dan has done a few trials, not all that many, by the way. Who is more qualified?

Anonymous said...

Steve Minor has my vote. He's a gentleman. In my business with Glassmire - he was not a gentleman at all. He seems full of himself way too much. Steve will be the next Judge.

Boss Tweed said...

Dan has spent his career being an advocate for whoever, good or bad he chooses to represents.

Steve has spent his career as a juvenile master taking evidence from both sides and rendering an opinion that deals with the lives of many people.

Which one sounds more like a judge to you?

Where your office is, what bar association you belong to matters little in their ability and experience. Bringing these up is just trying to paint Steve as an outsider, even though Steve lives in Coudersport.

As for buying the drinks & making sure it was publicized who bought them, while likely not crossing the legal line, just strikes me as a bad choice and old style politicing.

"felony jury trials which are a significant part of the docket at the Potter County Court"
This is news to me.

I'd be interested to know who the other lawyers in town are supporting?


just my 2c

Anonymous said...

IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE WHO WOULD LIKE TO RUN A "WRITE-IN" CANDIDACY??
At this point, I feel there is no clear choice for this position. I want a man of the people who will follow the law TO THE 'T' and, yet, dole out justice in a proper manner, unheard of in this county for quite a long time.

Vee said...

Good to read the paper and see Mr. Minor tells us about himself and has not lowered himself to Mr. Glassmires level...Minor will make a good judge!

novotefordan@gominor.com said...

I will buy you a drink now and judge you in court later when you have been picked up for a DUI...such a good example set by Dan, you are not the man Glassmire!

Go Steve, you have my vote for sure. You are just what we in Potter County need.

Anonymous said...

Chelle Bell

I just wanted to say I think you are wonderful. I don't feel like giving any specific reasons, but maybe there is hope for the world after all.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think Dawn Fink would have made a nuch better candidate for Judge and she would make a better Judge.

Anonymous said...

INTEGRITY, INTEGRITY, INTEGRITY....IF THIS ELECTION IS ABOUT INTEGRITY IT WILL BE A SLAM DUNK FOR CANDIDATE MINOR....END OF STORY

Anonymous said...

Really?
Integrity for Minor?
Does Integrity mean you go to the Gospel Tabby?

If integrity is taking kids away from their parents or leaving them with their parents then Minor has it.

If integrity is knowing the law and being the best lawyer in potter county for over 20 years..... then Glassmire has it...

Then you be the Judge!!!!

Anonymous said...

write in Kuhl!!!

Anonymous said...

Well said 11:30...Let's hope that's what we vote on..

Anonymous said...

Personally I would want a Judge sitting behind the bench that isn't in bed with all the other lawyers. And what kind of example would it set if one of the recipents of that free drink got picked up for DUI later that night? Or worse yet injured someone. Slam Dunk, Case Closed!!

Anonymous said...

two all the ass clones leet is good classass no steve all the way

Anonymous said...

There we go, let's run a write-in for Dawn Fink. Yea, wish I had thought of her before this.
When you say integrity, she is your person.

Anonymous said...

Dan quit running ads slamming Minor, He doesn't waste his time on such crap. He's running his campaign clean without any negativity. Try it, it really says something of the man. Buying a round of drinks wasn't smart considering all the DUI'S the court handles.

Anonymous said...

Dan ,where do you get this experience crap , you've never sat on the bench and laid down the punishment as judge either. The job will be done when you do the job through practice and learning, it's hands on like any other job. Anyway the jury does the judging on whether the convict is guilty or not. The judge just decides what degree of punishment fights the crime.

Anonymous said...

I think the best bet would be to write in a voter for Jackson Howell as lay judge for the county.

Anonymous said...

1:13 am dealing with juvenile court cases is a far larger part of a judges caseload then jury trials, and yes INTEGRITY speaks louder than words.

Anonymous said...

If Dan doesn't become the judge, he will absolutely eat Minor alive in the courtroom. It would be fun to watch....Minor would probably quit after the first case with him...

Anonymous said...

Why do I not see any endorsements for the candidates from any other politicians, business men or attorneys, Borough council, the mayor etc?

Anonymous said...

10:29
Thinking Dan has the characteristic to, as you say "eat Minor alive in the courtroom" when he is the Judge and not an opposing attorney is part of the problem of personal politics.

You make it sound as if a vendetta will be carried around.

Anonymous said...

This long line of comments speaks very loudly for merit selection of judges rather than popular election. Do we really want these people deciding who occupies that powerful seat for the next ten years?
I would bet that less than 30 percent of the people writing on here are even registered to vote.
Whoever wrote above about bringing this discussion to an end with the dildine, whatever that means, made the best point of the 44 things I have read here.
Oh, the comment above about Jerry Eckert trying to manipulate this thing with that knee to the groin of one candidate -- Jerry knows a thing or two about deriving personal financial gain at the expense of others and yes he has won more of these bullying sessions than he has lost so when he gets smacked down like he did in this case because the law and the facts were not on his side, he gets a little feisty.
He is not used to not getting his own way. Jerry, do you want some cheese with that whine?

Anonymous said...

Minor usually doesn't make any decisions about the kids, their lawyers do. I he does is fill out the paperwork. What a great clerk Minor is!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Minor does not deserve to be judge. He has not proved anything throughout his career. His tactics are that like Glassmires they want what they want. They will do anything to get what they want. My concern is really neither of these 2 are qualified for judge. With both these candidates you will see a rise in inmates filling jails for stupid offenses and tax dollars being raised to support their cause.

Bobby Sonnera said...

To 11:24 am..Steve Minor does make the decisions. The lawyers are resource people. Why dont you check into these things before you speak. Minor is in place of the judge and answers only to him. Ask the Mckean judge if he changes any of Minors decisions. As to Minors ability as a Lawyer against Glassmire...why is it that everybody speaks so highly of Steve as a lawyer...it isnt his shiny shoes.
Dans people would take any port in this storm.

Anonymous said...

October 25, 2009 11:06:00 AM
Do you own land you have paid property taxes on for years?

Did you pay for and receive a certified survey with that land?

If you answered yes to either of these questions then you will have Dan Glassmire to thank when and if you are ever put in the position Mr. Eckert and Mr. Dean were put in. Jerry was not the only person involved in this mess. Sounds to me like you do not like Jerry so you do not like hearing the truth!

Go Minor you have my vote and yes I am a registered voter!

Anonymous said...

I'm voting for Dan because of his vast experience and he really knows the law. All of these comments and what I read in the Leader are not influencing my vote at all. I hope folks make an informed choice and not base their vote on hearsay and nasty comments.

Anonymous said...

Minor is by far the best candiate for the job. If you guys pay attention in the paper you will find that he does not BASH or say anything NEGITIVE about the other candiate. Dan you are so wrong being to cruel and playing so unfair as you have been this whole election. This is one of many things that has cost you the elections. ONE of MANY DAN!

GO Steve! Thank you for being the better person and being so fair during you run for Judge.

Anonymous said...

"vast experience and he really knows the law"

Vast experience in Potter County?

One would think that there is a sweeping diversity of cases coming through the system.

The majority of dockets are divorce cases from around the state, due to our pitiful low fees. We are honored as the divorce capital of the entire state.

Hundreds of cases are posted to the docket each month.

The ability to hang in business for 30 years has never impressed me, maybe it does you though.

Anonymous said...

It seems like anytime someone gives Dan a chance to speak he uses it to criticize Steve's "lack of experience" instead of highlighting his own qualities.

So Dan is older, and?

Dan, when 2 people walk into your courtroom with a conflict, is the older of the 2 individuals automatically right?

No, and you have failed to make a case for how Steve having less experience would lead him to render unfair verdicts.

If anything your negative tone against Steve makes me think you would be unable to render fair and impartial decisions if elected.

Who ever gets elected is going to end up with plenty of experience. If this is the biggest complaint you have against Steve then I guess good luck on election day.

Anonymous said...

The type of Judge we need for the next ten years is one who is compassionate, yet firm when necessary. A judge who refuses to lower his standards to the level that his opponent has, and a Judge who doesn't need to brag about the supposedly wonderful things he's done. Steve Minor has been clear about his reputation, his professionalism and he's been a gentleman throughout this campaign. Proud of you Steve. You have my vote.

Anonymous said...

Chelle Belle, you go girl! Yours is one of the few posts to actually say something intelligent! And I love it that I'm not the only one who sees the bias pushed as news by the Leader Enterprise. I am a registered voter AND a bartender at a dinner house/tavern. I don't care WHO buys a drink, it's first of all the patron's option to deny or accept that drink, and then it's MY responsibility to see that anyone "over the limit" doesn't get one! You people are funny, making such a big deal of such a gesture. Shows there isn't much in the way of ACTUAL criticism that you have to grasp at this thin straw! We're supposed to be wise enough to vote for a judicial candidate, but we're not smart enough to turn down a drink if we've had enough? Dang! Personally, I'm voting for Dan because of one "plank" in his platform - freedom from government intrusion. Separation of church and state doesn't sound bad, either.

Anonymous said...

Barmaid,
"I'm voting for Dan because of one "plank" in his platform - freedom from government intrusion."

Just a titbit, judges don't make
laws that intrude on your freedom.

Anonymous said...

I was undecided until now. I think that buying a round of drinks to people eating dinner is a nice gesture, but what would he have done if one of them was picked up for dui or dwi? Would Dan have defened them? For this reason Steve will geet my vote in November.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Leader Enterprise goes belly up from lack of sales. The only newspaper in the county has a duty NOT to be so obviously one sided on important issues. Just look at their past record. Just the fact that the Glassmire's drink/vote buying deal even raised to the level of a newsworthy article is a joke.
I enjoy checking this blog daily, but I'm routinely disappointed to see it start to follow in the footsteps of the leader enterprise.
I don't know Minor very well, but there is NO chance that I will vote Glassmire into such a highly important position of authority.
And even if I was currently undecided, it is the media's DUTY to provide me with an impartial report on the canidates!

Michael said...

I think it is important to remember in sites like these that the candadite is not represented. tactics taken that are spiteful or ignorant are not directly from Steve or dan. I have known Steve Minor for serveral years, he gave me my first job mowing lawns, and any time i have ever needed something he would go out of his way to help me with it. He is a good man, and his knowledge of the law is beyond reproach. I don't know Mr. Glassmire, but i am sure i would not have to launch a smear campaign against him. Elections don't have to be ugly and personal people. Just make a choice based on the facts and hope that it is the right one. My choice is Steve Minor in November.

Anonymous said...

According to the PA Bar Association a Judicial candidate is rated as Highly Recommended if: "The candidate possesses the highest combination of legal ability, experience, integrity and temperament and would be capable of outstanding performance as a judge" In all of these categories Steve Minor far exceeds Dan's qualities.

I have never heard of a Judicial candidate running a smear campaign. Where is the integrity and temperament there? Sorry, I want someone above any behavior like that and I don't want a Judge that would buy votes in a bar.

I hope everyone realizes how important this decision is. Steve is so much more qualified in every way.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I like the barmaid's comment a lot.

Where is the "smear campaign" stuff coming from, if not from the Leader-Enterprise or Eckert?

What I've read so far and maybe I have not read all of the ads, how is Glassmire running a negative campaign?

It looks like Glassmire is saying he has a lot more experience. #1 if he believes it, what's wrong with him saying it? What else are we supposed to vote on? #2 with the little I've learned about what a "court master" does, it looks like Glassmire has much more experience.

If there is something not factual about what Glassmire is campaigning on, I would like to know it, because I voted for Minor in the Primary, but now I'm heavily leaning toward Glassmire now.

Ricky

Anonymous said...

Chelle Belle & Barmaid,

I'm with you 100%! Don't let the Potter Leader Enterprise decide this election.

I want a judge who knows the law and will enforce it. A judge who really has the most experience with the law. Experience is the most important thing in this election. County judges don't make law, they enforce it.

That's why I'm voting for Dan. Steve and Dan are probably both good people, but Dan is getting my vote based on his experience.

Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Ricky,

So far what I've read in Glassmire's ads all seem factual.

I can't say Minor hasn't campaigned on anything false, but in the Primary campaign he made it sound like he was already a judge (somebody very active in his campaign told me to my face he was). he parlayed his experience as a juvenile court master as to being someone who was already had a lot of experience as a judge.

Potter County voters took this line of campaigning bait, hook, and sinker.

This time I hope people vote based on the candidate's real experience, service to Potter County, and independence.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of the positives for Minor's opponent were indeed written by Minor's opponent.?? Just a thought to ponder when you decide which candidate is credible. Steve is my choice.

Anonymous said...

I want a judge thats NOT a good ol boy.Potter needs change in the court system and not someone who twists the laws!Thats been going far to long !

Michael said...

It's not the people running that are doing the smearing, it's threads like this one. As well as articles like this one. Very biased.

Anonymous said...

And the barTENDER says - judges indeed to not MAKE laws, they make DECISIONS. K?

Chelle Bell said...

Michael...you are biased. In a court of law, you would not be allowed to testify in regards to this, you also could not sit on a jury with Mr. Minor as counsel for either side. BUT, you are right on one thing, there is a lot of smearing in this thread, just as there was in the Leader-Enterprise. I stand behind my original statements - vote for the person who's beliefs most closely resemble yours, not the crap that fills the newspaper or threads like this...and BE REALISTIC! Don't condemn a man for doing something that has been going on for years and ESPECIALLY find out all of the facts prior to judging a person. Damn, I see very few people in this thread who would make a good judge, because so few are fair enough to do just that! Bartender, you are NOT one of them! Open your eyes people and open your minds - you might just find out that by not doing so you are TOTALLY WRONG!

Michael said...

Chelle as much as i appreciate the definition of conflict of interest this is not a trial, this is a campaign which is actually a very good opportunity to be bias? Also, how can you said "you were right on one thing" when i was only making one point? I appreciate and welcome your point of view, but your word choice came off demeaning......which made no sense because we agree.

Anonymous said...

Ms Bartender, Lets be clear Judges do noy make laws.

Government 101 from the Library of Congress

http://thomas.loc.gov/home/lawsmade.toc.html

If you have source for belief, please site it.

From the ABA

The Role of Judges

What does a judge do? Maybe it's best to start with what he or she doesn't do. Even though he or she works for the state, a judge is not a law enforcement officer. A judge is not a prosecutor. Judges don't arrest people or try to prove them guilty.

Judges are like umpires in baseball or referees in football or basketball. Their role is to see that the rules of court procedures are followed by both sides. Like the ump, they call 'em as they see 'em, according to the facts and law—without regard to which side is popular (no home field advantage), without regard to who is "favored," without regard for what the spectators want, and without regard to whether the judge agrees with the law.

Anonymous said...

If a judge is like an umpire then maybe we should write in "BB" for judge.
After studying what these candidates have said, what people have said about them, and what their careers have spanned I have decided that my vote will go to Dan Glassmire. He has paid his dues by serving in such a variety of capacities over more than 30 years. He is old enough that he would serve one term and then have to retire because the state says you cannot be a judge after age 70.
The single term of Judge Glassmire would allow Steve Minor to continue gaining the experience that would enable him to serve competently and honorably as Glassmire's successor.
I really think that plan would be in the best interests of Potter County and believe me, I have given the matter a lot of research and a lot of thought.
Perhaps a few of you readers will see this the same way.
I admire both of these gentlemen.

Anonymous said...

Steve Minor gets my vote!

Anonymous said...

What is the big deal about a round of drinks in a bar? It's friendly. Maybe not the smartest thing to do during a campaign, but minor considering what other politicians do and regularly get away with. Sounds to me like another campaign tactic pushed by the Potter Leader and the managing editor Mr Gilliland. Who did the Leader want on the ballot? Stick to real news. no wonder that "rag" is not selling.

Anonymous said...

If it was a typical public race then I say no big deal, this is a judicial race that comes up once every ten years....and often then on retention. Buying drinks for everyone when you sit and judge people for DUI and related issues is appalling. Dan is a like-able guy, but this act was flat out stupid...dress it up any way you want it smacks of stupidity and politics that have no place in a judicial race...James B.

Anonymous said...

Minor’s opponent Dan Glassmire was given the opportunity to comment on this story. He submitted the following statement:

“I think that broad and extensive experience is very important. My 30+ years of courtroom experience is a proven track record.

Glassmire said he has courtroom not trial experience. So does that mean he was in the court for a trial or in the court for a sentencing decision after a plea bargain?

“It is my understanding that Mr. Minor has extremely little, if any, experience in felony jury trials which are a significant part of the docket at the Potter County Court. His trail experience, in general, is limited and narrow.

What is Glassmire's FELONY jury experience? He never commented on that detail he only mentions his COURTROOM experience. There is a huge difference.

“The role of a Master is very limited and mostly consists of simply processing cases and conducting informal reviews. We do not even have Masters in Potter County. A Master, at most, merely makes a recommendation which, if challenged, then goes to a judge.

Does Glassmire have any Master experience? I doubt it since he hasnt made it a point to say as much.

Anonymous said...

I asked 4 local attorneys, and a judge if the experience of a juv. court master is reasonable training for someone aspiring to be judge... ALL responded with a RESOUNDING ABSOLUTELY...I will take that into consideration in making my decision.I chose to ignore the mudslinging and do my own homework. I will continue to do so up until election day...C.R.

Anonymous said...

What about electing someone who has strong christian beliefs? Do you think that could cause someone to rule in favor of their religious views and not the law?

Thats by far my biggest worry....

Michael said...

If you knew Steve at all that would not be a concern. Steve's morals come from his religious background, his legal inturpretations come from his experience, his education, and his firm belief in the rule of law. I feel very very confident that he is the type of person to stick to the law, as he always has.

Anonymous said...

I thought his answer in the paper was excellent, I have always known him to be compassionate and understanding, and a very good lawyer

Anonymous said...

I am not voting for someone that attends the Gospel Tab.

So Glassmire you have my vote!

Anonymous said...

To: C.R.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 11:03:00 AM EDT

You may be the wisest man in Potter County. I vote for you for High Muckety-Muck.

Kudos for going above and beyond the fray and seeking for yourself.

As for pay your dues, get your gold watch, that can't your standard of measure, can it?

As for the religious views, I would be concerened about the candidate who does campaigning by church hopping

Anonymous said...

Dan buys people a drink in a Potter County business. Steve buys himself lunch in a McKean County business. If you want to be elected to a County position, I believe you should spend your money in THAT County. My hat is off to Daqn.

Anonymous said...

I'm voting for Dan simply because I think he knows and understands the law better. We'll see how it shakes out on Nov. 6.

Anonymous said...

steve all the way we dont need dan

Anonymous said...

cant wait till the election is over, this is getting old

Anonymous said...

Dan all the way; we don't need Steve.

I'm sorry I didn't have time to make a more substantive statement. I like 10:12 AM's style. Following his or her example I will strive to keep my comments more brief in the future.

Anonymous said...

I WAS HOPING THAT dAWN FINK WOULD RUN FOR JUDGE, BUT IT DIDN'T TURN OUT THAT WAY. i CAN TELL YOU THIS--I AM DEFINITELY WRITING HER IN TP BE OUR DA AGAIN. SHE HAS GUTS AND GOOD SENSE! I STILL BELIEVE THAT ANDY DECEIVED ALL OF US WITH HIS PROMISE TO SAVE THE COUNTY $100,000 A YEAR!

Anonymous said...

How awesome was Dawn Fink standing up tp the Corporal who likes to violate people's rights? Sounds like she got a raw deal from the PSP higher-ups when she was just doing her job. Anyway, GOOD FOR YOU, DAWN! You have COURAGE and BRAINS AND A HEART! I so hope you stay as DA. I'm writing (typing) you in on Tuesday!