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Tim Myers: ‘Yes, even Republicans probably do a good job’

Myers' Musings

Posted: August 22, 2009 7:34 p.m.
Updated: August 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Assemblyman Cameron Smyth does an incredibly good job of speaking in front of small groups, particularly young people.

I vividly recall a Career Day presentation at Placerita Junior High School when the then-city councilman expostulated on politics and received a very trenchant question from one of the middle-schoolers.

“What is out of bounds, in your opinion, in a political campaign when it comes to attacking an opponent?”

The then-councilman thought a moment and stated a good example.

To paraphrase: “Say someone was running for the Legislature and they began to attack him because one of his children did not do well in school.

“Some kids struggle in school no matter what their parents do, and it seems grossly unfair to hold this up for their qualifications for elected office.”

So this leads naturally to the schadenfreude associated with Sarah Palin’s family.

Now I cannot, right now, see a scenario in which I would vote for Sarah Palin, primarily because I question her educational qualifications and fear she might apply a doctrinal approach to thorny problems.

But this constant fascination and parsing of her and her family’s personal lives needs to stop.

Not to endear myself to members of Sarah Palin Nation, but I can state if I sat on the jury judging Sarah Palin for the murder of the now-ubiquitous “baby daddy” of her grandchild, Levi Johnston, I would heartily vote to acquit and carry her out of the courtroom on my shoulders with the other jurors.

Now, I am obviously not condoning murder, but anyone who delights in this circus should really contemplate that if they have daughters, there but for the grace of God, a bottle of Captain Morgan and a handsome hometown loser all combining at 3 in the morning, go they.

The right enjoys its insanity in large doses.

My nerdy public radio podcasts indicate that a good share of Sarah Palin slander comes from factotums and operatives of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney who seek to sideline her ambitions so they can both put us to sleep during the 2012 presidential campaign, but for now let us examine the strange case of Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean of the new law school at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

In September 2007, seemingly within moments of signing a contract with Professor Chemerinksy, the renowned legal scholar to found the first new public law school in California in 40 years, Chancellor Michael Drake rescinded the offer, putatively on his own volition, due to Professor Chemerinsky’s “polarizing” views on the death penalty and civil liberties.

Later stories revealed that Chancellor Drake initially succumbed to pressure from local Republicans, including our own Supervisor Mike Antonovich.

How did this play out? I met Dean Chemerinsky recently and asked him personally about this incident.

On the day of the rescission, he informed his family they would not return to Southern California (he instructed for many years at the University of Southern California) and then left for Friday religious services without his cell phone or Blackberry.

When they returned home he found his personal voice mail filled to capacity and his e-mail overwhelmed with outrage from legal scholars from across the political spectrum vowing that this action would not stand, and in fact two weeks later, the Board of Regents confirmed his appointment.

The UCI law school will open with its first freshmen class this fall, and, believe it or not, Dean Chemerinsky sought to achieve the stated goal to make the school a top 20 institution rather than a hotbed of liberal thought.

According to third-party sources, the founding faculty recruited by the dean stands in the top 10 of law schools in the U.S., and the first entering class, enticed by full three-year scholarships raised by Dean Chemerinksy from outside sources, ranks easily in the top-20 based on average LSAT and GPAs.

Now I spar and disagree with local politicos frequently, but the fact remains that if I wanted to buy or sell a house I would hope that Councilman Bob Kellar would consider my listing.

If given the opportunity to get my child into a classroom taught by Lynn Vakay, I would do so because anyone with the energy she devotes to political causes, she would host quite a lively and interesting pedagogy.

And yes, I would even like to sit down to dinner with Sarah Palin and find out what she is all about.

Tim Myers is a Valencia resident and CPA who thinks numbers hold the key to everything. His column represents his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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