We've supported efforts by business groups to issue judicial ratings for judges on the retention ballot, believing a well-designed informational campaign would serve voters well. So far, that's proving true. The existence of the business-backed Oklahoma Civil Justice Council's judicial ratings has led the Oklahoma Bar Association to launch a similar informational campaign. Because the bar makes clear its system is designed to counter the business-backed ratings, it may have a very different take on judicial effectiveness. That's fine. The existence of competing rating systems increases the amount of information available to voters. Rather than confuse citizens, we think a surplus of information is far preferable to the vacuum that existed in past elections. Voters are used to dealing with claims and counterclaims from candidates for other offices; they won't be intimidated by competing information regarding judicial effectiveness.
Belly flop of a rule
This year the federal Justice Department declared the Americans With Disabilities Act applied to pools used by the public. This led to an outcry from many hotel operators who faced the sudden cost of installing elevators, lifts or ramps to accommodate the disabled and the threat of associated lawsuits. It turns out that rule's impact wasn't limited to the hotel industry. Tulsa Public Schools may close many of its pools due in part to the new regulations. The district could have to install lifts at 23 pools at a cost of $7,500 apiece. That $172,500 total cost is equivalent to several teachers' annual salaries and effectively cuts school funds. As with many federal regulations, this proposal will do little to increase access for the disabled, and much to reduce access for countless other Americans.
Sandusky, ever delusional
Before being sentenced this week to 30 to 60 years in prison for molesting boys, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had his say. What a pathetic waste of time it was. Sandusky rambled for about 15 minutes, telling the judge that, “I've forgiven, I've been forgiven. I've comforted others, I've been comforted. I've been kissed by dogs, I've been bit by dogs.” He added that, “I've conformed. I've also been different. I've been me.” At another point he said, “In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts.” Whatever. A jury in June had no trouble finding Sandusky guilty of 45 counts of abusing 10 boys over a period of years. He used his position in the community as an entree to have his way with them, and has been delusional since the scandal unfolded last year. Clearly nothing has changed. Even if he winds up with just 30 years in prison, it's essentially a life sentence for the 68-year-old Sandusky. He certainly earned it.