BY LINDA SUTTER
The Tea Party Patriots hosted the District Attorney and Judge Forum. Today’s story will reflect the questions and answers of the two candidates and one appointed Judge. Judge Doehle, who was appointed and not elected. Her opening statement, “My name is Chris Doehle, I AM THE JUDGE. I am the only candidate that is running that has experience in the position. I was appointed by the governor based upon background information and based upon the Jenni investigation and evaluation”. Ms, Doehle stated that out of four people who submitted their application she was the “chosen one.” She stated that, “I’m in the position so there is no question I can do the job”.
Later in the forum Dohn Henion revealed that he did not submit his application for appointment because after thorough research he discovered he was the wrong party. Which raises the question. Do we want to elect a Judge based upon their Party affiliation or based upon their experience in the Court Room. Honorable Judge Doehle was endorsed by Honorable Judge Follett, and other Judges in this County and Humboldt. Ms. Doehle had intricate knowledge on how a judge is selected for appointment. (Wink, wink, aka working the system.)
Darren McElfresh stood up before the packed crowd for his presentation and opening statement on why he should be elected as Judge which was passionate, moving, and direct. ” I have lived here for 20 years and I believe Del Norte County deserves the best. We deserve real representation we deserve someone who has practced trial law and we deserve someone who has had this experience prior to taking the bench. Anyone who takes the bench who does not have this type of experience essentially does the community a disservice. Our children and families lives are at stake and their livelihoods. I have that experience. literally I have practiced thousands of cases, I have prosecuted as well as defended wrongfully accused from murder, to family law cases, to complicated civil action cases involving 75 witnesses involved and a thousand documents, to juvenile, to custody cases and family law cases, to conservatorship. What that trial experience means is that it will no longer be a candy store for criminals, it means there will be no more sweet heart deals for repeat offenders, it means there will be no more unnecessary delays in trial courts where victims have to return to court again and again and again, costing tax payers thousands of dollars. In my experience I have handled 10,000 hearings throughout my career. I am the only candidate for Judge endorsed by the Police Department Employee associations, The Sheriffs department employee associatiions, and the only candidate that has Death Penalty certifications, and the only candidate that has served as deputy district attorney. That is what you call real experience and real representation”.
Don Henion opening statement, ” For the last 30 years I have served as the City attorney, The county attorney, the Harbor Attorney, and the Solid waste authority attorney. I have been the legal adviser to the city police department, the sheriff’s department, the probation department and have been involved in several high profile cases that you may have read about in the local newspaper. Representing local government has put me in touch with what you want, because you are in touch with the local government. But more than that I am the one you came to when your neighbor sued you over a particular matter or your husband has died and you needed help in getting the details taken care of. I have been there prosecuting in Federal Courts, I was a prosecutor for the department of interior for six years and I have been a city prosecutor for ten years. I have done in excess of 80 jury trials and thousands of court room hearings. I have dealt with law enforcement enough that I have taken their training to subdue the nuts in our school yard and observed the stress the officer’s experience when doing their job. 33 years is too much to explain to you in three minutes but the important thing is that I am the only candidate with a vast amount of experience and the best person to serve you”.
A series of five questions were asked and answered by each candidate, along with questions submitted by the crowd. The narrator then told each candidate to ask one of their opponents a question to be answered by that opponent, however all three candidates declined to follow through.
After hearing the opening statements from each candidate, it was clear to me who the best candidate was because his statement, and answers to the questions were to the heart and point of every matter at hand. Darren McElfresh knows the law, has current and ongoing trial experience and is the best of all candidates, he is not polished or generic, but authentic.
I appreciate Dohn Henion and Ms. Doehle, however, neither one could hold a candle to Darren McElfresh who has more experience in the court room setting then the two years Ms. Doehle had as a working judge and Mr. Henion had with his public law experience.
4 thoughts on “ELECT A JUDGE BASED UPON MERIT NOT PARTY AFFILIATION”
I’m not so sure that I totally agree with this article and here’s why… Although, here it is qualifications and experience that we are discussing, it is VITALLY important that we do NOT allow corruption! I OFTEN see authority figures who are SUPPOSED to uphold the laws and our civil rights, have blatant disregard for the law and little if any respect for the common citizen. Just remember… “THEY” are supposed to work for US! OUR tax money pays their salary!!! Yet I see officers of the law setting poor examples by doing things like parking illegally with out reasonable justification, driving recklessly and even speeding with out lights and sirens with my children in the car for NO GOOD REASON!!! I’ve seen judges who have little or no regard for the people’s rights and little if any respect for the California law of prop. 215, the medical marijuana laws! Do your research and find out the REAL facts before you try to enforce your own personal opinion into laws, rules and/or regulations! The unjustified laws and scare tactics used against this healing, GOD given herb is just absolutely ridiculous! Cannabis relieves hundreds of ailments, plus has neuro-protective, anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties! In fact U.S. PATENT# 20130059018 is a patent for the cancer cures using phyto-cannabinoids! It is safe and all natural! Safe and affordable access should not be denied!
Thanks for your analysis. I do want to point out that there was another question where we were each candidate was asked to comment on our experience in criminal, civil and. Family law. In that section I illustrated that I have more experience in criminal law than Mr. McElfresh. Although he claims the contrary, we each have the same amount of time as Public Defenders. I have been appointed to capital murder cases, murder by torture cases, juvenile court murder cases, etc. Plus I have all of the prosecution experience that McElfresh lacks. He has nine years PD experience and “about” 1 year as a deputy DA while winding up his.civil practice. He then switched to defense. I switched from defense to prosecution and have 10 years as City Prosecutor plus 6 years as prosecutor for the Dept of the Interior.
But more than that, I have the civil law experience that a judge needs but is lacking in my opponents. When you have a suit involving elections do you want someone with no experience or someone who advised the elections officials for 18 years? If you seek a Writ of Mandate to overturn a governmental action, do you want someone who says “huh” or someone who spent 18 years (like me) handling those suits?
An opening statement that is calculated for emotional appeal is meant to be impressive, but it’s important to look for substance behind the arguments. McElfresh has only been an attorney for 16 years. I have practiced the complicated actions for 33 years. McElfresh claims to have been an attorney for 20 years. Check out the CA state bar site and see that He has only been admitted for 16 years. If you are willing to inflate your qualifications on something that is easily verifiable, can you really trust his other assertions!
Thanks for not deleting this from your sponsored ad. Elect Dohn Henion judge!
Dear Honorable Henion
I understand that I left all the questions out of the article because unfortunately I am not a transcriptionist. I apologize if you did not like the article. I was able to write what was stated in the opening statements which nearly drove me to the nut house because the volume was down on my phone when I recorded you all, and, it took me approximately 5 hours to get as much as I did. I don’t profess to be this great writer, and I know there was much more to add, but, there was not enough time for me to write it.
I am sure in the near future your voice will get out to the public everything you need to, to win over the confidence of the public.
Thank you for sharing this page with us. I really want to know who and what to vote for and with this page I can read about all of you.