There is a victory party for soon-to-be Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Alison Asti. But don’t just drop by expecting to crash it. The party is also a fundraiser, according to the Maryland Daily Record. Tickets are $150 per person. You can get a VIP sponsorship for $1,000.
Why the post-election fundraiser? The fundraiser proceeds will go to the election fund to pay back the money it borrowed during the campaign from… Judge Asti herself. Incredibly, Asti lent her campaign $151,000. So every dollar raised tonight goes to Judge Asti herself. My thoughts:
- I hate judicial elections. But hate the game, not the players. I don’t like the system and think it should be changed. But I have no problem with lawyers who want to run for judge. They are playing within the system that we have.
- If we will have a dumb system that turns judges into candidates, we have to let them behave like candidates. Which is why I have no problem with the Asti fundraiser. She has the right to raise money to recover the personal funds she loaned to her campaign. Asti is not making a profit here, she is just trying to get back her out-of-pocket expenses.
- Arthur M. Frank told the Maryland Daily Record that, “Every lawyer will tell you that they don’t get treated any differently whether they give the judge any money or not.” Every lawyer will tell you that? Am I to believe that every lawyer who contributes to a campaign does so only because the lawyer believes in the judge? Really? Look, we contributed money to Jarashow after it became clear he was going down in flames (as a pro-good sitting judge statement, not an anti-Asti statement which I said from the beginning). So I know people can contribute money for reasons other than to influence a judge. But to pretend that most people at this fundraiser are not trying to do exactly that is incredibly naïve.