It’s Voting Time . . . Again!

Georgia’s runoff election is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 30. Your regular polling location will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The small handful of races appearing on tomorrow’s runoff ballot are those in which the top two vote-getters failed to receive more than 50% of the vote in the November 2nd General Election.

Your vote will make a big difference in these races. Voter turnout is typically very low in runoff elections.

Click here to go to the Georgia Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page” website where you can find your exact polling location and a sample ballot that is specific to your polling place. You can also see the countywide sample ballot by clicking here.

Please remember to bring photo identification with you when you vote.

Here are my recommendations (and one non-recommendation) for tomorrow’s races, for what they’re worth:

Georgia Supreme Court and Georgia Court of Appeals

David Nahmias and Chris McFadden, respectively.

David Nahmias is the incumbent Justice who, after being appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor Perdue, has quickly become an intellectual force on the Court. Nahmias is a graduate of Harvard Law School (magna cum laude at that!), a former law clerk to a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and the former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, which is the top federal prosecutor in Atlanta and North Georgia. He grew up in and lives in DeKalb County.

Chris McFadden literally wrote the book – Georgia Appellate Practice – on handling appellate cases in the Georgia court system. He is as knowledgeable as it gets for the job he is seeking. McFadden is a product of our community, having received his undergraduate degree from Oglethorpe University. He practices law in DeKalb County.

I am “supremely” confident in Nahmias and McFadden for these appellate judgeships.

DeKalb County Superior Court

No endorsement.

I previously had made an endorsement in this race between Dunwoody lawyer Michael Rothenberg and Courtney Johnson, a Senior Assistant District Attorney in the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office. That endorsement went to Rothenberg, with whom I became acquainted at many events during the run-up to the November 2nd election.

I withdrew that endorsement after this civil complaint (click to read) currently pending against Rothenberg in federal District Court was brought to my attention.

Rothenberg has responded that the complaint is “false and slanderous.” His public responses to the complaint have been largely along the lines of what is quoted in this AJC article (click to read).

You should read the complaint and decide for yourself. Please bear in mind that portions of the complaint have been filed “under seal” as the result of a confidentiality agreement between Rothenberg and the plaintiff. That is why there are blank spaces in the complaint.

Having been filed within three weeks of an election, this complaint possesses some of the hallmarks of a political smear. After all, it does identify Rothenberg as “a judicial candidate for a seat on the DeKalb County Superior Court.” However, the complaint has been prepared and filed by reputable lawyers from one of the largest law firms in Atlanta, Kilpatrick Stockton, and cannot be completely discounted as political gamesmanship.

I am also concerned that Rothenberg’s company mentioned in the complaint, Four Five LLC, was not disclosed anywhere on his Personal Financial Disclosure Statement covering the calendar year 2009 (click this link and then select “View Report” next to “2009 Original”) that he was required to file with the State Ethics Commission. It should be on that form, but it’s not. This appears to be a violation of the Ethics in Government Act, O.C.G.A. § 21-5-50.

Rothenberg’s opponent, Courtney Johnson, has shown up to precious few events in North DeKalb, and really only began to campaign in our community after the November 2nd General Election.

Rather than reversing my endorsement and recommending someone whose campaign strategy has made her an unknown quantity in our neck-of-the-woods, I will instead provide you with the AJC Voter Guide’s side-by-side comparison of the two candidates for DeKalb Superior Court. Click here to read it.

My advice in this race is caveat emptor (buyer beware). Arm yourself with the facts and vote accordingly. Once elected, judges have a lot of impact and tend to have some staying power.

DeKalb County Board of Education, District 1

I am supporting Nancy Jester.

Jim Redovian, the incumbent school board member for District 1, is a very nice person. He also has some accomplishments to show for his work on the Board of Education. Most recently, he played a key role in the BOE’s vote to use an allocation of federal stimulus bonds to tear down and completely rebuild Chamblee High School.

But our school system is in dire straits. Self-dealing, nepotism, and outright corruption (click for AJC articles) have dominated this year’s headlines about the DeKalb County School System. Now, the system’s accreditation is in jeopardy (click for AJC article).

Redovian has been a part of the go-along-to-get-along crowd on the school board, having voted to give former Superintendent Crawford Lewis a pay raise less than five months before Lewis was indicted. He has been campaigning on his ability to work with other school board members. Under present circumstances, that is not a badge of honor.

Now more than ever, we need someone representing our community on the Board of Education who will be an aggressive fiscal watchdog. Nancy Jester, an actuarial consultant by profession, has both the moxie and the analytical skills necessary to push our school system in the right direction. She is my choice for District 1 on the DeKalb County Board of Education.

Please note that the Board of Education District 1 race is only on the ballot in neighborhoods north of Windsor Parkway (Murphey Candler, Silver Lake, Chamblee, and Dunwoody, to name a few).

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