Getch-yer Judicial Pix here…

My previous post on the upcoming June primary, “Vern’s West County Picks(short version NO 98 YES 99, congress Cook if you’re a Dem, St John if you’re a Republican; Dem Central Committee 67th AD SHAW, STEWARDSON and FREEMAN, and any 3 others you want EXCEPT Alves) skipped the judicial races altogether, as I often did back when I was a civilian. But I realized yesterday that this is completely irresponsible given my awesome power as an Orange Juice blogger. So now I have put several hours of research into the judicial races, and offer my “Judicial Pix!” I’ve relied on sources I trust a little farther than I can throw them – the OC Dem party, the OC Bar Association (hat tip Gila), and some other bloggers – and tried to discover the worst things that have been said about my recommended judges. All with a view toward fairness and professionalism – on the one hand Orange County doesn’t need Hanging Judge Roy Moore presiding over your marijuana possession hearing; neither do we want an incompetent Judge Ito presiding over the trial of the guy who slaughtered your family. So here, for what they’re worth, are Vern’s Judicial Pix!

Superior Court Office #4: NICK THOMPSON rated “highly qualified” by the OC Bar Association (OCBA), while his opponent didn’t bother to respond to them. A bronze star recipient for his service in Bosnia and Iraq, former gang task force prosecutor (Thomas? Art?) and currently Deputy DA, his statement on his website is actually pretty inspiring. Here is his interview with Red County’s Tomahawk. He accuses his opponent Bartlett, who didn’t bother to respond to OCBA, of several misrepresentations in the campaign.

Superior Court Office #8: BARRY COLLINS! Though he has few endorsements (some labor unions) and didn’t respond to the OCBA, I’d support any challenger to Deputy DA Jon Fish! Mr. Fish, though given a half-hearted “qualified” by OCBA, is a highly partisan Republican who has a hard time deciding if his favorite Supreme Court Justice is Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia. Ugh. Collins has a lot more to say about why you shouldn’t support Fish in his Tomahawk interview.

Superior Court Office #12: DEBRA CARRILLO. The only candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party, also endorsed by the OCBA as “highly qualified.” Her website here, her interview with Tomahawk of Red County here. My Juice-brother Art’s criticisms of her sound like Six Degrees of Guilt By Association with Kevin Bacon – something about an endorsement from Rackaukas and a donation from the dirty Wares. Her slogan “Fairness – Compassion – Tough on Crime” sounds about right. (Her opponent Flory got a “not recommended” from the OCBA, and Kermit Marsh didn’t bother responding to them.)

Superior Court Office #25: JOHN NHO TRONG NGUYEN. A sitting judge already, a notoriously happy guy, and rated “highly qualified” by OCBA. “Judge John Nguyen” has been endorsed by Dem muckety-mucks Frank Barbaro, Loretta Sanchez, Lou Correa and Joe Dunn, as well as prominent Republicans. His challenger, Timothy “There are some who call me Tim” Nguyen, didn’t participate in the OCBA survey, or much of anything else; the trial lawyer seems to just want to be an irritation to the popular judge, and Jubal observes “his campaign gives new meaning to the word ‘invisible.'” So the happy-go-lucky Judge John it is!

Readers and Juice-Bloggers who may have followed these candidates and races closer than I, please chime in in the comments and help us all decide which Judges will be best for our County!

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.