Saturday, October 2, 2010

Buckwalter wins Endorsement!

This article appears on the Dayton Daily News website

Editorial: Buckwalter right for Greene County court

By the Dayton Daily News | Thursday, September 23, 2010, 04:40 PM
2010 Election

Click here to read a letter of support for each of the candidates.

Greene County is getting a new common pleas judge because Judge Timothy Campbell is retiring.

The fall contest isn’t as lively as the primary, when three lawyers sought the Republican nomination. Mike Buckwalter prevailed in that contest, and now he faces Democrat Joe Graf.

Greene County is overwhelmingly Republican, but, in judgeship races, the candidates’ political party doesn’t appear next to their name on the ballot.

Both candidates have good reputations; either would do well, but a slight nod goes to Mr. Buckwalter.

He’s an experienced lawyer who has handled a variety of cases, civil and criminal. He has been a magistrate, acting judge, arbitrator and law clerk. He clearly has been thinking about things he would like to do as a judge, things that would save time and money.

Mr. Buckwalter, 53, was in line to be a common pleas judge some years ago through appointment by the governor. But a political tussle at the time got in the way.

Now he’s going for the job the hard way: running in what is a low-profile, though still expensive, contest. He loaned his campaign $60,000 in the primary and says he may put still more into his race.

In the past, Mr. Buckwalter has been active in Republican Party politics. If he’s elected, he needs to stay out of the party’s work. As a judge in a small, tight-knit, Republican stronghold, he needs to be sensitive to being impartial and apolitical.

Mr. Graf, 63, was the Greene County public defender until he retired. He has his own law practice and has been an acting judge in Fairborn. He has been involved in a plethora of community activities. Some years ago he ran for juvenile court judge and lost in a primary by fewer than 100 votes, a hard way to lose.

Mr. Graf supports merit selection of judges. (Mr. Buckwalter does not.) He also would like the Greene County prosecutor to start a diversion program, which would divert some non-violent offenders from being charged (and getting a criminal record), provided they did certain things that showed remorse and a willingness to stay out of future trouble.

Both candidates are concerned about jail capacity in Greene County, what with one of the adult detention center’s four pods being mothballed and another being used for a drug and alcohol treatment program.

Mr. Buckwalter and Mr. Graf both could do a good job. This is no-lose election at least for voters. Mr. Buckwalter’s energy and passion give him the edge.

Anderson wins Endorsement!

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Editorial: Anderson is better for Greene County

By the Dayton Daily News | Saturday, October 2, 2010, 12:00 AM
2010 Election

Click here to read letters of endorsement for the candidates.

Greene County voters can either re-elect Republican Alan Anderson as one of their three county commissioners. Or they can take a chance on Democrat Steve Key.

They should re-elect Mr. Anderson.

An attorney who has represented local governments — including Beavercreek Twp., Jamestown, Yellow Springs, Clifton and Spring Valley — he was elected four years ago. Judging from his literature, he wants voters to know that he’s not raised taxes and that he opposes “Obamacare and Obama socialism or any form of socialism.”

Pressed about what he’s trying to reassure voters about, he concedes that concerns about socialism don’t often come up in his role as county commissioner.

Mr. Anderson says his interests as a commissioner have been bringing high-speed Internet service to rural areas of the county; improving the capacity of the county’s water department and getting Clark State University to have a physical presence in the county, which it does now have just off I-675.

Mr. Anderson can be overly parochial, witness his reluctance to vote to put up much money for the Dayton Development Coalition. Given just how hard that group advocates for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, that’s hardly an expenditure to be stingy about.

And there’s something unfair about Greene County kicking in a lot of money when the Base Realignment and Closure Commissions are in full swing, but then pulling back after any threats have been repelled.

Protecting Wright-Patterson, after all, lasts beyond the BRAC rounds.

Mr. Anderson has experience that’s relevant to the job, and he can dig into issues that he cares about.

Mr. Key says his employment is a contract to gather local statistical data for the U.S. Department of Commerce. He’s also worked as an organizer for the Kerry and Obama campaigns in rural counties in Ohio and formerly he was a bank trust officer.

His campaign literature quotes Gary Haines, the former Montgomery County sheriff who died in 2000 and has since been succeeded by two different sheriffs. Mr. Haines, Mr. Key says, called him “Mr. Fix It” with regard to a gun buy-back program.

Mr. Key believes county commission meetings should be televised, and he’s critical that the commission has all Republicans on it. Asked what he takes issue with that the county is doing, he had no major criticisms.

Mr. Anderson’s local government experience goes beyond the four years he’s been on the commission. That background counts for something. To move out an incumbent, Mr. Key has to make a stronger case than just that Greene County is too cozy.