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Attorney General Doug Gansler tried this year to get the General Assembly to pass a constitutional amendment that would finally take Circuit Court judges out of contested elections.
Yet again, the effort that began in the '70s with Gov. Marvin Mandel failed to make any headway. It was Mandel who got the legislature and voters to allow the appellate judges to run in so-called "retention" elections, in which citizens vote "yes" or "no" against the judges appointed by the governor.
But for the Circuit Court -- the trial courts for the most serious criminal and civil cases -- any judge appointed by the governor has to run in the next election, with the possibility that some other lawyer can file for the job.
That's what Alison Asti did in June. The Pasadena attorney is the former executive director of the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) who was forced out when O'Malley appointees gained the upper hand. She's a long-time veteran of the Baltimore legal scene, a former president of the state bar association and now specializes in conflict resolution, arbitration and negotiations.
"I believe I'm the best choice of the candidates," Asti said. "I have a very different background," with the widest range of experience.
She never applied to be a judge through the judicial nominating process because "I think the system has become corrupted" by O'Malley and has "become very political." To illustrate her point, she produced a list of 68 judges appointed by O'Malley; 58 were Democrats, four were Republicans and six had no party affiliation.
"[So] I didn't think it made any sense to apply," Asti said. "The public election process is the only remaining check and balance on the system." "
In an industry where few women dare to tread, Alison L. Asti has made a lasting footprint in professional sports in Maryland. As General Counsel and Executive Director of the Maryland Stadium Authority, Alison helped keep the Orioles in Baltimore with the beautiful Camden Yards and assisted in bringing the NFL back to Baltimore.
She spent 17 years at the Maryland Stadium Authority, first as General Counsel and then was appointed as Executive Director in 2004. During her service there, she participated in the lobbying, financing, design and construction of over $1 billion in projects throughout the state.
Her footprint can be seen in projects such as Comcast Center, Unitas Stadium, Ripken Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, M & T Bank Stadium, the Baltimore and Ocean City convention centers, and the Hippodrome Theatre.
"Nobody will benefit from dropping the public option except for health insurance companies," said Blumenthal. "The fact that the public option is now on the chopping block is not a reflection of public opinion -- it is a reflection of the power of health insurance lobbyists."
"I was about to follow up with other questions when Condi cut me off. "You can save your breath, Richard. The president has already made up his mind on Iraq." The way she said it made clear that he had decided to go to war. This was eight months before the March 2003 start of the conflict. I was taken aback by the blunt substance and tone of her answer. Policy had gone much further than I had realized--and feared. I did not argue at that moment, for several reasons. As in previous conversations when I had voiced my views on Iraq, Condi's response made it clear that any more conversation at that point would be a waste of time. It is always important to pick your moments to make an unwelcome case, and this did not appear to be a promising one. I figured as well that there would be additional opportunities to argue my stance, if not with Condi, then with others in a position to make a difference."
A critique on WAMC public radio by Samuel Clayborne said Mr. Haas should have resigned or leaked info to the papers instead of 'doing his job' once he knew there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the war had been pre-planned.
This article in Rolling Stone was written in 2006
America's top pork producer churns out a sea of waste that has
destroyed rivers, killed millions of fish and generated one of the
largest fines in EPA history. Welcome to the dark side of the other
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