Steve Pappas, loser by a mere 800 votes to Doreen Farr in last fall's race for Third District County Supervisor, won't go away. His challenge to the outcome of the election failed to invalidate so much as a single vote. The Superior Court Judge who heard the case ruled that his allegations of massive voter fraud were "frivolous."
While it would appear that a lot of people think that Pappas ought to accept the defeat and move on, he has chosen to appeal the judge's ruling and has picked up a new cheerleader for his litigious ways; Wendy McCaw's News-Press.
An editorial in Wednesday's edition of the paper asserted that Judge J. William McLafferty "didn't seem to give Mr. Pappas a fair hearing." It also argued that, "the best option would be to hold another election in the 3rd District."
Of course, this isn't the first election McCaw has wanted to contest. She filed an appeal of her own when her newsroom employees voted 33 to 6 to affiliate with a union.
We should hardly be surprised that McCaw is encouraging Pappas. Wendy has never been presented with an adverse ruling that she didn't appeal. She's never met a lawyer who, at the end of the day, she didn't end up writing a big fat check to. Wendy has put more lawyers behind the wheels of fancy cars than any automobile dealer this side of the Hudson River. When it comes to giving money to lawyers, McCaw gives at the platinum level.
In other words, if you're an attorney, she's a one woman economic stimulus package.
For someone who has as much business before the courts as McCaw does, she sure isn't shy about taking a swipe at the men and women in black robes. The editorial opened with this sentence; "The judicial system in Santa Barbara County at times leaves a lot to be desired."
Some would say, kind of like our city's oldest daily newspaper.
McCaw and the Honorable Judge McLafferty are starting to compile a bit of a history. When she recently attempted to escape from her arbitration with former editor Jerry Roberts she disqualified McLafferty when the matter was assigned to him.
And several years back she got McLafferty's ruling that her own case against former lover Greg Parker could be heard by a single arbitrator, overturned.
So perhaps that accounts for why McCaw feels emboldened enough to have her paper go on the record as saying, "too often the judges and prosecutors seem to be fumbling."
In any event, McCaw and Pappas figure to keep a lot of lawyers around here busy for a very long time.
And the next time one of them makes a trip to the courthouse, we'll see who fumbles.
© 2009 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com