El Paso voters are road kill on the straight ticket/race highway
by Lisa Degliantoni
Posted on April 2, 2009
Today, the news cycle is busy with the headlines that Criminal District Judge Manny Barraza has been arrested on charges that he traded judicial decisions for sexual favors with several women, including an undercover FBI agent. (Read NPT’s story here.)
Back in October, when I invited candidates into the radio studios for live debates, incumbent Judge Don Minton and then-opponent Barraza answered questions presented to them by the editors of Newspaper Tree for the Voter Guide. My role was to facilitate a Q&A session for the listeners to make a decision on Election Day. But as soon as the interview started, I was dealing with a pit in my stomach that had me wanting to scream to the listeners, “pick Minton, don’t vote straight ticket on this one!” But’s that not my role as a radio host; voters make up their own minds.
As I sat watching the less-qualified candidate answer the questions, I felt pain for Minton as he recounted all the changes brought to the new court under him and the thousands of cases tried under his watch. It was like a watching a car crash in slow motion, I knew Minton would lose as he had two massive things going against him; race and Democrat backlash.
Here we are six months later with Barraza only being in office for three months and we’re confronted with the sad reality of corruption charges in the headlines yet again. I blame the voters of El Paso for letting race and party loyalty fill the seats the lead us. And I also blame myself for not doing a better job of warning voters about the dangers of straight ticket voting.
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More on this story
Open Letter to Judge Manny Barraza
by David Karlsruher
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