Judicial Races: It’s Still A Name Game


Voters who show up for Early Voting this week should be prepared.  Maybe carry a garbage bag.

Then you’ll have a place to put the campaign literature, competing endorsement palm cards and flyers that will be shoved in your hand as you enter the polling places.

This is especially true in the candidate-filled judicial races. Voters will be bombarded with judicial endorsement lists.   

No wonder voters are confused.  There are more than 40 judicial candidates. They have produced enough campaign material to clog a landfill.

Its mind-numbing.  No one can keep all the candidates straight.

What’s a voter to do? 

I’ll tell you what most will do.  They’ll ignore all the competing literature and palm cards.  They will ignore all the high-minded exhortations to study the positions and resumes of the various candidates.

What voter has time to study more than 40 candidates?  What voter cares enough? 

So voters will vote for the candidates with the names that sound best to them.

What names sound best?

People who appear to be from their ethnic group. 

Female names. 

And they won’t vote for names that sound like ethnic groups they don’t like.

In the primary, that could favor Jewish-sounding names and hurt those with Hispanic names.   

So despite all the money spent on campaigns for the incumbents, some of them will be defeated.  The incumbents just don’t have the right names.

There are just too many candidates.  It is just too confusing for the average voter. 

Which is why Miami-Dade attorney Frieda Goldstein, who largely keep hidden in the campaign, has a good chance of beating Circuit Judge Carlos Rodriguez.

Which is why a buffoon like Jordan Breslaw/Jordan might beat overwhelmingly more qualified County Judge Mary Rudd Robinson.  

Which is why lawyer Laura Seidman might beat her opponent, Circuit Judge Lisa Porter.  Even though Porter is Jewish, her name is not.

Political consultants will take credit for their masterful campaigns which toppled incumbents.  Don’t believe it.

Some candidates could have hidden in a closet for the past four months and  still win….because they have the right name.  

Voters take very little interest in judicial races.  So when picking a judge– despite all the money spent on palm cards and buying condo leaders and mailing literature — it remains the name that counts.

9 Responses to “Judicial Races: It’s Still A Name Game”

  1. Citizens for a Strong Judiciary? says:

    So Buddy below is an email that a lot of people received last night from citizensforastrongjudiciary@yahoo.com

    Voter Alert? I used to get a bunch of mail pieces from Scott Israel using the term Voter Alert.

    Reminds me of the Black Voters Guide…


    TheFilthyJewcardhasbeenplayed wrote:
    As you are aware 2010 is an unprecedented year in Broward Judicial Politics. Currently there are more incumbent Judges be challenged in Broward than anywhere else in the State. This development has been well documented in the media. It has become obvious that our good, strong, Judges are being challenged not because of their qualifications, but because of racial or religious reasons. In an attempt to protect Browards’ good and strong Judges, our group, Citizens for a Strong Judiciary was formed. Our goal is to educate the Broward County voters of the attack on our Judiciary. We are hoping you will respond to this email with a pledge of financial support to our effort. Because of how Citizens for a Strong Judiciary is structured, donors can donate as much as they see like. No donation is too small, nor too large. Besides financial contributions, we will be continuously collecting email addresses to get the word out about our good Judges between now and Election Day, August 24. If you have any email lists for others that would be interested in our efforts, especially those from Calvary Chapel, Church by the Glades, and our local Presbyterian, Catholic, and Baptist churches, please forward us those emails ASAP. Please Cut and Paste the Following to bring to the Polls and to forward to your friends. Citizens for a Strong Judiciary Endorses:


    Judge Susan Lebow Opponent: Jill RAFILOVICH
    Group06: Judge Carlos Rodriguez
    Opponent: Frieda GOLDSTEIN
    Group09: Judge Elijah Williams
    Opponent: Alan SCHNEIDER
    Group23: Judge Barbara McCarthy Opponent Alan BERNSTEIN

    Group04: Judge Edward Merrigan Opponent: Lloyd GOLBURGH
    Group12: Judge John Jay Hurley
    Opponent: Melissa BETH MINSK Donaho
    Group13: Judge Mary Robinson
    Opponent: Jordan BRESLAW

    Group14: Judge Linda Pratt
    Opponent: Heidi BERKOWITZ

  2. Name withheld says:

    Laura Seidman has been a no show candidate since the beginning. Her only reason for running is because her husband wanted all the incumbants to have challengers because he did before he jumped to an open bench race. Either Seidmans on the ballot is a bad vote.

  3. Same goes for other races says:

    We have heard this same old song for months. Candidates with Jewish sounding names taking on candidates with other minority sounding names, hoping to get the largely Jewish condo vote based on their name alone. Some of the sitting judges may get the last laugh after all, as they are heavily campaigning in the voter rich mostly Jewish condos in the county.

    But voters will usually vote for people whose last name sounds like their own ethnicity, regardless of whether the person is actually of that persuasion. I have to laugh when I read comments on some of the blogs that assume certain politicians are Jewish because of their names, obviously forgetting that many non-Jewish women marry Jewish men, but don’t change their religion, and certainly some men have Jewish sounding names but are not Jewish, either. I look at the names of the children being baptized or confirmed in my church and have to laugh, because there have been quite a few Goldsteins and Greenbergs whose Catholic mothers married Jewish men, but the children are being raised Catholic. I guess the voters don’t really care if the people they are voting for are really Jewish or not, as long as they have the right sounding last name.

    In the school board races, I don’t for a minute believe that candidates with Jewish sounding last names jumped in because of their last names, but I have to wonder if the same result may be seen in certain areas. For example, Laurie Rich Levinson vs. Phyllis Hope. Will Levinson get more votes in Sunrise Lakes than Hope because of her name? Will Jaemi Levine get more votes in Kings Point for the same reason, even though other candidates have been spending more time there? (I have ignored the other races because there does not seem to be such an obvious discrepency).

    No matter how much the incumbent judges protest, or candidates with non-Jewish, or “not Jewish enough) sounding last names complain, you are right, voters will usually vote for people who they perceive are most like them. Wonder what the world would be like if people actually voted for those who were the most qualified, regardless of their name, religion, ethnicity, etc.? Guess we’ll never find out. Sigh.

    FROM BUDDY: Voters pay more attention to the School Board races than judicial races.

  4. Great Jurists? Are youkKidding me? says:

    Citizens for a strong Judiciary supports our judiciary for its record of accomplishment. Here is a sampling of it’s fine work: Here’s a brief recent history of our judiciary that “The Citizens for a Strong Judiciary” calls great Judges: The “crying on tv” anna nicole smith judge who was investigated for manipulating an old lady out of her life savings; one judge calling immigration on suspected illegals and another judge sending him threatening emails; one judge smoking marijuana in a park surrounded by children; one judge alluding to the courthouse cleaning staff as ‘living in hovels”; one judge (investigated by the JQC and the Florida Bar) having dinner (or more) with her prosecutor (and discussing the crime scene photos) during a murder trial in which both were involved, not to mention the thousands of text messages shared between the two during the trial; one judge incarcerating a young black potential juror for 4 months for lying during jury selection process and running her courtroom like a bully; one judge reprimanded for being arrogant and disrespectful, not to mention allowing her religious beliefs to influence her rulings; one judge publicly referring to another judge as lesbian; one judge referring to litigants in a criminal trial as “NHI,” (No Humans Involved); one judge referring to a gay criminal defendant (a football player) as a ‘wide receiver”; one judge reprimanded for accepting gifts (baseball tickets) from the lawyers who appear before him and not disclosing it; one judge (pressured to retire early) for accepting loans from a lawyer who appeared before him and not disclosing it; one judge who gives everyone the maximum sentence because ‘he can.’ Shall I continue?

  5. Broward Attorney says:


    Are you saying Judge Carlos Rodriguez should just concede today, the day before early voting begins.

    Didn’t you write that the condos are losing their influnce? Changed your mind?

    FROM BUDDY: Condos are losing their influence, but they are still a large bloc of voters.

    I said Goldstein has a good chance of beating Rodriguez. I didn’t say he was positively going to lose.

  6. The irony of Judge Rodriquez says:

    One of Carlos’ first donors and a good friend of the Judge was Kevin Kulik. Kevin Kulik puts up good Jews like Bernstein and Berkowitz against no jewish Judges.

    Carlos long time friend and campaign consultant is Judy Stern. Judy Stern pushed the condo Jews to ignore qualification in the 08 Primary and Vote for Israel because he was a fellow Jew. Heck she handed out the flag of Israel at the polls.

    Carlos is friends with Bill Gelin who has spent the last few years encouraging people to run against and beat Judges by any means necessary.

    Carlos, when Frieda beats you don’t blame Frieda blame your friends for creating the world where Goldstein and other like her are encouraged to run.
    When you lose Carlos be sure to give Kevina

  7. Broward lawyer says:

    I have been a lawyer in Broward for 20 years. Please vote for PETER SKOLNIK. He is very smart and a good judge.

  8. Broward Attorney says:

    Buddy –

    So you think Carlos Rodriguez, Mary Rudd Robinson and Lisa Porter are going to lose. What other incumbents do you see getting knocked out?

  9. Longtime Broward Lawyer says:

    To Name Withheld: You are either blind or just a hater. Laura Seidman has been everywhere. Now her picture is even on buses.