Commentary: Deceptive campaigning - "Good Judges" flyer and the real judges

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Shoreline District Court
By Diane Hettrick

You know how when the phone rings and the caller ID says that it's a call from Topeka KS or some other city where you know no one?

And you pick up the line and it's "Ashley on a recorded line..." who really wants to transfer you to a call center where they can get your credit card information?

That's the feeling I got when I opened one of the flyers from "GoodJudges". Photos of three judicial candidates. Two photos were in color and one was in black and white. It's an old political trick designed to make one candidate look bad in relation to the others. Usually it's an unflattering photo with the candidate scowling or looking old and tired but apparently they had trouble finding shots like that of Joe Campagna, the candidate in black and white.

Not surprisingly, Campagna is not endorsed by this group, but his competition Les Ponomarchuk is, as is incumbent district court judge Marcine Anderson (see below).

Who paid for the ad?

I checked out the people who paid for the ad. "GoodJudges" is a name being used by the Citizens for Judicial Excellence, made up of five business contributors:
  1. 2 Watch Monitoring sells Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) and Transdermal equipment, GPS ankle bracelets, and Electronic Home Monitoring (EHM) devices.
  2. LifeSafer, With 25 years’ experience getting people back on the road quickly, LifeSafer products are among the most widely used Ignition Interlock Devices (IID) in the USA.
  3. Lacey O’Malley Agency, Bail Bond Agency
  4. Be Prepared Investigative Services - Investigative Services and Survival Supplies
  5. Vern Fonk Insurance. High risk auto insurance agency

Then I started hearing from judges.

Judge Donna Tucker, King County District Court, sent in a letter (Deceptive Campaign Advertising by GoodJudges) and referenced a statement signed by other King County judges (see below).

Shoreline District Court Judge Marcine Anderson sent in a letter disavowing the CJE and the endorsement she didn't ask for or want. (See the letter here)

Here is the statement from the King County District Court Judges

We are judges of the King County District Court. We are elected from five different districts in the county every four years. One of the open seats on our bench this year - where there is no incumbent - is in the Shoreline Electoral District. Most of us have endorsed Joe Campagna, who is a candidate for the seat, while none of us have endorsed his opponent, Leonid "Les" Pomonarchuk. (Read more...)

And the statement from the Seattle Municipal Court Judges

Further, any campaign advertising by this organization which uses any of our names or photos in conjunction with promotion of their chosen candidate, Les Pomonarchuk, or in any purported "voter guide" should be considered deceptive campaign advertising, and we disavow it. (Read more...)

I'm not altogether sure why the judges are not endorsing Pomonarchuk, but it may have to do with the reasons cited by The Stranger editorial board when they endorsed Campagna (Linked in


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