Two sides of a candidate

One of the election mailers we got yesterday was from Adrian Brown, candidate for Multnomah County Circuit Court judge. On one side of the mailer is an impressive collection of endorsements:

I wish she had left it there. But when you flip the flyer over, there's a comparison piece with her opponent that comes awfully close to being (a) partisan, and (b) negative. What do you think?

Wait, the "Obama Justice Department"? As opposed to the "Trump Justice Department," where she currently works? Right now, I have some major, major problems with the U.S. attorney for Oregon, Billy Bob Williams. If you work for him, you should take the heat for what he's doing. Don't go throwing "Obama" around.

The other thing that caught my attention yesterday was this unflattering story in Willamette Weed about Brown's objectionable use of Judge Ann Aiken's image in campaign communications. I didn't like the candidate's response when called out on it, either.

These issues sadden me. I don't like that we elect state and local judges here in Oregon. It's really unseemly that they have to win a popularity contest. The federal system gets it right. Judicial campaigns are a real tightrope walk for the candidates. But I'm seeing some stumbling by Brown here, and I'm switching back to undecided on this race.


  1. I support Rima in this race, but I agree that I would find the tone of this to be disappointing even if I were not. When I filed my candidacy for this same position I immediately reached out to the other candidates. I spoke with them about the importance of maintaining judicial integrity in the course of an unusual contested judicial election. I suggested we use the phrase "fellow candidate" instead of "opponent" and say we were "running alongside of " one another, instead of "against". Everyone agreed and I think we all ran positive, above-board campaigns we can be proud of. Things are taking a different direction with this flyer, including because it is not accurate. Rima has done a lot of work to ensure that marginalized groups have better access to justice. She just did it on top of her full time job as a lawyer. I hope that the campaign gets back on track, because I can't take any more negativity!

  2. I think that there's nothing unfair in pointing out that Ms. Ghandour is an insurance defense lawyer with zero criminal law experience as an attorney, who cannot point to any solid accomplishments in any of the area's Adrian specified.
    The truth is that Adrian created the civil rights coordinator gig and has spent her career in the public service. She made it her day job, while Rima chose to represent insurers and the US government for a career, and then pivoted to doing some public interest work within a couple of years of announcing her run for the bench.

    I'd rather have "negative" truth, than a Northwest Nice pile of bullshit.

    1. I agree that criminal law experience is fair game. However. I disagree with a number of the other statements because they are misleading. Rima has had her own firm for a number of years, and has represented both plaintiffs and defendants. One of her biggest cases was when she won an appeal on behalf of an insured individual who sued their insurance company for refusing to pay. The flyer picks one aspect of her career and uses a loaded term to describe her entire legal career. It smacks of the courtroom tactic "If you don't have the facts on your side, argue emotion," For judicial races I would prefer that candidates focus on their own qualifications rather than engage in the type of maneuvers used by those who regularly run for political office.

    2. "Unknown," thank you for now ensuring that I will not vote for Brown. I was undecided, but you've convinced me to vote for Ghandour. With friends like you, Brown does not need enemies.


Post a Comment

The platform used for this blog is awfully wonky when it comes to comments. It may work for you, it may not. It's a Google thing, and beyond my control. Apologies if you can't get through. You can email me a comment at, and if it's appropriate, I can post it here for you.