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jim miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 00:02:55
msg: Mr. Lutz (or the staffer reading this please give to Mr. Lutz), I am Jim Miller, the candidate for Superior Court Judge, seat 20. At the Valhalla Lacrosse banquet you were introduced to my daughter, Angel. At that time the mother of her boyfriend (David Bell) mentioned that I was running for Judge. You mistakenly made comments about me running against the sitting judges as a panel with others from the religious right. Your tone and manners were not well taken. First, you should be aware that although I am endorsed by the Republican Party, I am NOT running against a sitting judge. Next, I also am NOT a part of the Better Courts Now movement against said judges. In fact I have been endorsed by about a dozen current/retired judges for my race, many of them Democrats and one of them is being currently challenged. Not to mention the numerous attorneys and some of the largest law firms in San Diego. Please make yourself informed of the people and issues prior to making confrontational remarks to a teenager whom just became a registered voter and whose father you were making inaccurate statements about. I would appreciate an apology to emailed to my email and addressed to my daughter. She was rather upset after the encounter. Very Truly,
Jim Miller, Jr., Esq.
5/26/2010 12:30 AM Hello Mr. Miller: I am happy to hear that you are not a part of the "Better Courts Now" religious right group that is working to turn over the courts. In fact, I was careful to state in our conversation at the lacrosse dinner that I was uncertain if you were or were not one of the judges promoted by that group. I absolutely do not support the Republican agenda including this BCN initiative, and I have worked hard against the religious right extremists in this area, most of whom are represented by those individuals who endorse Better Courts Now. Since you have adopted a partisan endorsement in your campaign, you should expect that you will not be embraced by everyone, and that your daughter may encounter people who may question your impartiality and your underlying agenda. Indeed, I do question it. That is, unfortunately, a fact that you have brought on yourself by accepting a partisan endorsement. Certainly, Better Courts Now has an underlying agenda that is a concern to fair thinking people everywhere, a concern about how those judges intend to ultimately use their seat to perturb justice to meet their agenda, which is apparently the underlying goal of BCN. If I could peer into your mind to know your underlying agenda, I may be able to be assured that you are ultimately not a part of the Better Courts Now movement. Judges are supposed to be honorable people, but this movement is far from honorable, and it leads to the need to question the agenda of every judge being considered -- including you. Although the Republican Party acts as if it is something that they have nothing to do with, it is clearly an outgrowth of that party, and by accepting their endorsement, you have essentially aligned yourself with it. This is your decision, not mine, and trust me, even if you have nothing to do with BCN, voters will be including you in that group due to your partisan alignment. If you don't like that alignment, then don't accept the endorsement. It's that simple. I worked to take religious and partisan videos off the air of the Government Channel on Cox Channel 24 in El Cajon (supported by Bob Mc Clellan, one of the Better Courts Now organizers), videos that played every day for four years, at a taxpayer cost of over $20K. Those videos were ridiculous perversions of facts to promote church-state integration and the Republican Party, produced by David Barton of the Wall Builders, ex-vice chair of the Republican Party of Texas. I am no friend to these religious extremists and they know it. The Republican Party that endorses you and the religious right group you say you are not a part of are essentially one and the same. They are pushing for church-state integration, which I find highly objectionable and unconstitutional. By accepting their endorsement, you give tacit approval of the BCN takeover. I find their mission disgusting and will fight hard to stop it. In our conversation at the dinner, I am certain I did not state that you were absolutely part of BCN, nor did I say anything to malign you as a person or a judge. But I did say that if you are part of BCN, then I would be on opposite sides of this political battle. I do not have photographic memory. I cannot always recall every name in every race, names that are probably very familiar to you since you are in the profession. We did discuss the agenda of the BCN initiative, and I mentioned that it would be too bad if you were a part of it because I have already stated that it was an agenda that I will fight hard to stop. I invite you to join me in that battle instead of asserting that I am wrong by being concerned about it, and bringing it up for discussion among friends. I would strongly suggest to you that you renounce your endorsement by the Republican Party due to their underwriting of the BCN initiative and instead adopt a nonpartisan agenda. Until you do that, I will stand strong against the BCN takeover agenda, and stand strong against judges, like yourself, who have aligned yourself with the party that is behind the BCN agenda, i.e. the Republican Party. I am sorry that your daughter is caught near this situation brought on by the BCN movement, and if I did say something that was incorrect, then I stand corrected. However, it is your endorsement by the Republican Party that is a problem for you, and I advise you to quickly distance yourself from that endorsement or I believe your reputation may be tarnished by being in the same election as the BCN movement, endorsed by the same party. I have no axe to grind against you as a person nor am I bent on ruining your career or making your daughter upset. But I invite you to trust me on this. If you continue down the trail of partisanship on the same boat as BCN, it may be a disaster if you are lumped into the same category as BCN, even if you consider that to be an error on the part of the voter. I will continue to attempt to educate voters, like your (adult -- not "teenager") daughter on these issues. This is a matter of the freedom of speech, and I consider discussions about the elections that are underway highly relevant and appropriate, and there is no need to apologize for honest conversations on the matter, which mine was. Sincerely, --Ray Lutz
5/26/2010 9:44 AM Mr. Lutz, Your automatic link between the Republican Party and BCN and then somehow to me is misplaced. I was the first judicial candidate endorsed by the party. I welcome that endoresement just as I welcome the numerous endorsements from Judges and leaders in the legal field who are democrats (i.e. Mike Marinan, multiple trial attorney of the year awards, professor of the Spence Trial College and former president of the local ACLU chapter. A man with whom I have partnered on two cases to bring rogue law enforcement officers to the courts to be judged themselves. Former Presiding Judge Bill Howatt, Jr. who has publicly spoken out against BCN and debated one of their candidates on KPBS). To be a civil trial attorney and a Republican is something of a unique situation anyway, but it has provided me a wealth of experience. To say that the judicial races are not partisan is somewhat naive. All you need to do is look at the contributions and you can see who is running a broad non partisan campaign compared to those that are relying on only one side of the isle. I am very proud to include in my endorsements union support from firefighter locals on the perceived "left" and contributions from many local contractors here in the East County who would be seen to be on the "right" of the political spectrum. None of the sitting judges, the BCN gentlemen nor my primary opponent from the DA's office have this broad base of support across the political landscape. A judge should run on their legal experience and life experience. In these two areas I far outstrip those I am up against. Criminal, Civil and Family law trial experience. Federal and State trial experience. Current Judge Pro Tem, 9 years certified as an arbitrator for the BBB and 4 years with the county Bar Association. I run my own firm and a separate business in the world of professional sports. These are what my qualifications are for the job of Superior Court Judge. I will follow the law, not make it up as I go which has happened in both trial and appellate courts of this state. Ultimately, your uninformed "discussion" was not welcomed by my daughter. The fact that you are unable to view the exchange from her perspective and offer a simple apology to her is more disturbing than anything you have said or written. This was not an open discourse with an adult educated on the singular topic but a leveled statement of your opinion/position to a child. She holds a level of respect for adults to not simply tell you that you had me mistaken for the candidates from BCN (who by the way have every right to run for office under any agenda they wish, just as you are doing. I have seen too many judges, regardless of party affiliation, that don't understand or follow the law). You and I can debate all we like and in some areas agreement will probably be found, but in this case all that was requested was an apology to her for the manner and tone taken. I would have expected a more gracious position from an adult who is also a parent and a candidate. May your son not encounter what my daughter did the other night. Respectfully,
Jim Miller, Jr. Esq.
5/26/2010 12:28 PM Mr Miller: Given that you were not there, I suppose you can try to blow this up as much as you can, why I'm not sure. My wife was there as well, and she found nothing unusual in our conversation. It is you who must manage your ethics in this situation with BCN. If I were you, I would brief your daughter about your race, and the fact that there are groups in it that are exceptionally unethical. The fact that she did not know about Better Courts Now was a relief in a way, and why, as I said, I did not say that I knew you were in the group. But I am still surprised that you are keeping her in the dark about the composition of the political battlefield you now find yourself. To do so only sets her up for confusion and perhaps dismay if something is brought up. Had you briefed her, she could have said that you were not part of BCN and she certainly would not need to come to you later and ask you if you are, and get you inflamed about "my behavior" which was perfectly sound. Your endorsement by the Republican Party is a public position. Have you made any public statements condemning the ethics of the BCN agenda? I am willing to take a strong position against these actions, which I and many others view as unethical. My statements and conversation with your adult, registered-to-vote daughter, were similar to any conversation I may have with a voter. Your accusations that I was somehow discourteous or rude to your daughter is based on a fantasy world that has no basis in reality, but perhaps one that you must construct to belittle my position against BCN and your partisan endorsement by the Republican Party. Instead, as I mentioned, you should view me as a potential ally and join with me to fight this. I encourage you to abandon your partisanship and strike down the BCN agenda. I was born and grew up in East San Diego County, and I know the power structure in this area. The main funding for these groups comes from companies like Hamann Company, the construction company that remodeled the building where Don Hamer (BCN founder) had his congregation. (What they do is find a distressed property, have it appraised at say $4 million, put maybe $2 million into it to remodel it, then get it appraised for $8 million and sell it to the church for $6 million, getting their investment back but taking a $2 million tax write-off and looking to the congregation like an angel.) Hamann is a heavy supporter of the Republican Party, and candidates like Joel Anderson, who was caught "laundering" money from Hamann recently (and fined $20K for the violation). The vast majority of the public figures on the BCN website were heavily funded by this group. It is also the group that took over the Grossmont High School District Board and turned it into a national laughingstock. That is a nonpartisan board too, but it was taken over and misused by the same group, and now they have their sights on the courts through BCN. By the way, all these players are Republicans. Again, did you make a public statement against the actions of BCN, or are you conveniently silent on the issue? --Ray Lutz
5/26/2010 4:42 PM Mr. Lutz, Unless you are going to tell me that you have heard the BCN judicial candidates speak and have vetted their entire legal careers I am going to have to disagree with your position that they are unethical. I have faced Larry Kincaid in court and found him to be an up front attorney who lost his case to me and was very polite about it. If BCN is an unethical organization I don't know it well enough to make such a statement, but the men who are running for office I have no issues with. It would be wrong and unconstitutional for anyone, including yourself, to say they can't run for office regardless of open or private agendas (all I have to do is look at our sitting President to see the formerly private agenda now coming to light). If they have a private agenda and win office it will come to light and they will be challenged. That's our system as a person who is running for Congress should know. You still refuse to understand the perception of my daughter in light of your comments. David Bell, whom as you know is a boy scout (as was I at his age), also said your comments were out of line. The fact is you spoke on a topic that you did not understand and thought I was part of a group which I am not. Your ignorance of the topic caused this issue. How hard is to say you apologize for the perception that was given to my daughter? If you really cannot do this how can you possibly expect to effectively legislate? I look forward to our eventual meeting. It should be interesting. Until then,
5/26/2010 5:56 PM Mr. Miller... I was David Bell's Cubmaster when he was a cubscout, and I used to be in the bicycle industry and so I know Joe pretty well as well as some of his workers. I doubt that if you talk to Joe about this he will mention that I said or did anything to your daughter that was out of line. We in fact left our other table to join them at their table because they had no one else sitting there. But in terms of questioning your credibility with regard to BCN, it is still an open question because you apparently have made no public statements about it that you are willing to share with me, and you tend to argue that everything is fine. No one is saying they can't run for office. Just like the take-over of the Grossmont High School District, these are elected officials who can, indeed, be booted out of office. The reason this is unethical is because this is clearly a group with a ideological agenda. They want to put in judges with their same points of view so that, apparently, those judges can move up the ladder, and then "legislate from the bench" if you will, and move the courts to come into harmony with their religious and partisan agenda. This is NOT what the courts are designed for, and if they are perturbed to this end, that is what is unethical. These attorneys, such as Kincaid, may be unwitting pawns in the game being played by the religious right in this area, but if they are unaware of what is being done, they are probably so unaware that perhaps they are unsuitable for judgeship anyway. The fact that you can't see the ethical dilemma here makes me worried about your ability to think problems through sufficiently as well. These judges are not being challenged because they are unsuitable for office. They are being challenged because they do not have the same religious beliefs as the Don Hamer group. If you find that a satisfying thought, then perhaps you should get onboard the BCN bandwagon. This is not the first time I've witnessed this sort of thing. It happens over and over, and we have to nip it in the bud when it does happen or we will be haunted by these extreme agendas for years to come. According to Joel Anderson on the BCN website, he says they are picking judges "who are taking strong stances for our traditional values." They want these judges to "rise up to the highest courts in the nation". Don Hamer says he wants judges to be strict constructionists, etc. This is similar to what happened at Grossmont High School District, when they took over the district to install their ideological agenda into the school curriculum. It was REALLY BAD for the district, and it continues to be a problem. Right now, they are trying to name Alpine High School as "Ronald Reagan High". It looks like the Native American tribes will put a stop to that. Reagan was no friend to Native Americans. As I said earlier, I have no intention to make anyone uncomfortable, not even your daughter. I did not discuss this with her to somehow get back at you or something like that. I am honestly concerned about these developments, and since you are running for one of the seats (and have not spoken against the BCN group -- right?) then it is a legitimate subject of conversation. And that is all it was, a conversation about a person running for office, who in this case, happens to be her father. I don't believe I made any personal remarks said anything rude or discourteous. You're going to have to expect some very frank conversations and questions if you run for office, that's just a fact. You want me to apologize for thinking that perhaps you are acting in concert with the BCN group, but so far, you have given me nothing of a public nature where you say anything against that initiative. You say you are not part of that movement, but will not speak against it (although one of your associates has spoken against it, you said.) That is very important. Do you agree with this movement, or not? It's a simple question and can be answered without talking about vetting entire legal careers or anything like that. This is not about the attorney pawns in the game. It is about the larger agenda of the BCN Movement. --Ray Lutz