The Third District Court of Appeal has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the county for violating public notice rights on the District 7 race that one would-be candidate said makes it almost impossible for outsiders to enter the political arena.
The three-judge panel does not say why in it's two page ruling. But, from the questions they posed to the attorneys, it seems they thought the action by attorney Ricardo Corona, who says the county's decision not to qualify him violated his rights. It's a moot point now. But what's important to learn from this is that the county was able to strong arm its way to get its way. By delaying and taking it out of the lower circuit court that seemed more predisposed toward the plaintiff, they got what they wanted. They are gooooood. They likely knew that once the election had taken place, the courts would be very hesitant to interfere with how people voted -- as they should be. But what's important to remember here is that Corona's attorney's were ready on Monday to argue the merits of the case. Assistant County Attorney Eron Rosenthal said he was not. He wanted to depose Corona, he said. In court. I wonder if it was under oath. Because I am quite sure he never had the intention of deposing Corona. It was a stall tactic (just like trying to move it to federal court, which was immediately denied) so that he could come back to the appeal court after the election and in time for the canvassing certification and swearing in. Nice. I would expect that kind of strategy from a corporate attorney or someone representing Ladra's ex husband. The problem is that Rosenthal works for us. For Corona, too.
"What this shows is that the political process is corrupt," Corona said. "I still have faith in the legal process. Judge Thomas did the right thing. The judges at the Third DCA, I understand that they don't want to interfere with an election that has already taken place.
"This shows that we have a corrupt political system that perpetuates people who are professionally in office," Corona continued. "The people distrust that. The people had the recall because they don't like the system. They distrust the people running the system... who set the rules up so that the only ones that could qualify were the two insiders.
"They limited the choice of the people and I think that that's corrupt."
It's also short sighted, heavy-handed and murky, instead of transparent. Ladra is happy that we have the results, though admittedly less than happy with the results (why deny now?). But I'm concerned with how this happened and hope someone will make some clear delineations about the time stamps and the forms and investigate whether or not Corona's rights were violated.
Maybe this is a task for incoming Commissioner Xavier Suarez to take on.