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Does Sandy the Blogger have the Attention Span of a Gnat?

I can’t seem to win for losing in this election.  I write one article trying to help Ed Gillespie a bit but has a lot of info on Libertarian Cliff Hyra (who I admire very much) and I get attacked by Hyra supporters!  And my post yesterday on Senator Jill Vogel gets these two comments – one from Gene Lefty (a regular commentor) and Burke Tea Party.

Lefty is first up:

I think it’s hilarious that everything you spoke about requires increased spending. Spending that will ultimately originate from increased Federal spending. We are now spending very close to $1 BILLION dollars everyday in interest alone on our $20 TRILLION debt. When do you stop crying about programs that will ultimately suck more money out of Washington and run up a higher interest payment Sandy? Did you ask any of those politicians to do away with anything that would lower spending?

You are a lawyer, if you are so concerned about criminals breaking the law, and then getting a taxpayer funded public defender, why not go and volunteer your time as a public defender instead of trying to reach your hand into my pocket for money to throw at criminals and lawyers?

If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. Personally, I doubt there is any such thing as a conservative lawyer.

Then Burke Tea Party – a person not an organization as far as I know – decided to chime in!

In reply to Gene Lefty.

Agreed Mr. Lefty:

Virginia is mired in serious debt. The Commonwealth can’t afford this criminal justice reform agenda of the GOP.

Sandy has the attention span of a gnat.

He has forgotten that Tom White and VA Right Blog exposed the mudslinging by the Vogel camp in 2011 against her opponent Mark Tate for the state senate seat she currently holds. No one from Middleburg has forgotten it. She will lose in a landslide.

So what is it?  Attention span of a gnat?  (If I had to have the attention span of a bug I’d rather be a tarantula!  Great magnificent creature – watch one walk with the eight legs – how did evolution do that (?)(Hint:  it didn’t!) although I prefer to watch one at a safe distance.)

First let’s talk indigent defense:

The money is already there.  The judicial system of Virginia in 2012 earned, if you would, about $280 MILLION more than it needs for its expenses.  Now a true libertarian like Cliff Hyra would say that shows that court costs are too high and he might be right.  But it is what it is so let’s use it for good – so to speak:  Let’s use for a judicial purpose:  To ensure that all poor defendants, innocent or guilty, get the right to counsel that the Sixth Amendment entitles them to.  And the Sixth Amendment is just as important as say the Second Amendment or the so-called right to an abortion (which is not found in the Constitution anyway at least not explicitly) or the obscure clauses the liberals want to convict President Trump of.

I am not unaware that the money is not sitting in a lock box somewhere – the pols spent it!  On non-judicial things.  But the money is there to start and maintain a statewide public defender system.

Second, I should ignore the ad hominem but Gene Lefty does not know me very well when he says I should go out there and do the public defender thing if I feel that strongly about it.  Sorry, Gene, I have done it already.

First, for nearly four years, I was Virginia’s first Appellate Defender (1996-2000); before that, I had a solo practice in Woodbridge (1986-1996) and a fair amount of the work I did was court-appointed criminal cases.  For the pay I received from the local or state government for theses cases, I might as well done the cases pro bono (lawyer-speak for free work for the good of the community).  I was asked by judges to take cases on appeal during those years – capital appeals for example.  So I know both sides of the indigent defense delivery issue.

And not all criminal suspects are guilty of what they are charged of.  Some are guilty of what I call a “Sunday School” crime (they were in a situation if they had faithfully followed what they would or should have learned in Sunday School they would or should not be there) but not a crime the law recognizes.  Or they were charged with first degree murder but it was really manslaughter.

But a very few are actually innocent.

And even those patently guilty have a right to have the system work for them too.  Prosecutors do not get to break the rules because the defendant is guilty.  Or poor.  Or both.

I call myself a conservative/libertarian but maybe I am more of a libertarian than a conservative.  But what would you call Justice Antonin Scalia?  Or Justice Clarence Thomas?  Liberals?  Hardly.  And I have spoken out against needless government spending.  How about my support for Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012?

All right, the gnat tarantula is trying keep focus on this post long enough to turn to the Burke Tea Party.  Yes, you are right about the former post Tom White put up in re Vogel in I thought it was 2007 – her first race for state senate.

I read this report.  Yes it is disturbing.  No one should use the power of the criminal law to silence an opponent.  And if there was any proof Senator Vogel did this or procured this thing it would affect my support of her.

But it is smoke and not fire.  No proof of the smoking gun tying Vogel to this matter.

I would recommend if I saw the senator again (or spoke with her) she answer it and put it to bed before November.

I am not sure Senator Vogel will lose in a landslide.  John Fredericks suggested about a week ago she was most likely of the three GOP hopefuls to win the general election.  Now even my tarantula attention span knows that Fredericks basically has supported Vogel all along.

But Senator Vogel gets it on indigent defense.  I had not endorsed her in my post.  I wanted to state – hey – there is a tiny victory on this issue very important to me.   Finally a statewide hopeful has stated the issue as Sandy states it – and believes in it and invited me to reach out to her after the election – win or lose.



About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

6 Responses to “Does Sandy the Blogger have the Attention Span of a Gnat?”

  1. Gene Lefty says:

    Well, first off, the money is not already “there”. It’s somewhere else and as with any lawyer you can smell it like a blood hound. You want to move it to “there” where it can be used for purposes other than intended. In other words, any money sitting anywhere should automatically be stuffed into lawyers pockets. Oh, and all poor defendants are already assured of having legal defense. Let’s stick a state tax lien on defendants tax returns to pay back the money to the state used for their defense.

    On 60 Minutes, did Bob McDonnell say his legal fee’s are $27 million and his wife’s another $4 million. And you want us to shed tears for you guys? Please Sandy, is it my fault that apparently by your own admission you’re no Perry Mason? And, on numerous episodes Mr. Perry Mason did work for pro-bono and always with a smile!

  2. Burke Tea Party says:

    Mr. Sanders

    John Fredericks is a mouthpiece for the Republican Party of Virginia and makes his living taking their money in advertising dollars for his radio show so please don’t quote him and insult us with his political ouija board. And if you or John thinks the Bryce Reeves supporters are voting for Jill Vogel in November I have ocean front property in Phoenix AZ to sell you.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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