News

Voice rescinds judgeship endorsement

Candidate supported Prop. 8, banning gay marriage in California

After learning that San Jose attorney Steven Pogue contributed $500 to the 2008 Proposition 8 campaign to ban gay marriage, the Voice has rescinded its endorsement of his election to the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

The paper recommends Pogue's opponent, Cynthia Sevely, a deputy district attorney, in the June 5 election.

The Voice learned of Pogue's active support of Prop. 8 from several readers, and Pogue has confirmed he was a donor to the campaign.

"The Voice is a strong supporter of gay rights and of gay marriage, and we cannot lend our endorsement to a candidate for judge who has actively attempted to deny this right," Voice publisher Tom Gibboney said.

None of the judicial candidates, including Pogue, was asked to state a position on Prop. 8 during endorsement interviews with the Voice.

Pogue said in a statement released Friday that he believes the state should simply register domestic partners and leave marriage up to an individual's "...religion, philosophy or vows on a starry night."

Doing so would force the federal government to recognize civil unions, he said, and it would ease feelings among gay people that they were being denied something and those who believe only in marriage between a man and a woman would not feel they were being forced by the state to accept the state's definition.

Gibboney said candidates' views on gay marriage may or may not be important to individual voters, but by providing active financial and public support of a highly divisive and emotional ballot measure, Pogue showed a passion on the issue that is inconsistent with the qualities the Voice is looking for in a judge.

In the race for second judgeship, the Voice continues to support Paul Colin, a deputy District Attorney.

— Mountain View Voice staff

Comments

Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm

So the Voice endorsed this guy and then decided he supported a cause they don't support. Hard to believe this is the only area of disagreement. To make matters worse, they now endorse the opponent, a candidate they didn't think initially worthy of endorsement. Apparently the areas of disagreement with Ms. Sevely now don't matter.

This says more about the silliness of the Voice, their sloppiness/lack of due diligence in endorsing candidates, and their inflated sense of self-importance that anyone really cares who the Voice endorses. Stay tuned for the council endorsements this Fall.


Posted by Jim, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm

So one's position against gay marriage is enough to condemn a candidate? We don't have larger issues to worry about?

The Voice just showed it's true colors. Hardly a big deal considering how ridiculous a publication this is.


Posted by bkengland, a resident of Whisman Station
on May 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm

The Voice has stated its reason for modifying the endorsement here. If it's not a deal-breaker issue for you, just go with the original endorsement. Glad I could help you work through this difficulty...


Posted by @ Jim, a resident of Shoreline West
on May 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I don't think that we do have any larger issue than discrimination.

I think the VOICE is absolutely correct. If you discriminate against any group, then being a Judge is not the right career path for you.


Posted by Karl, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Guess the View does not think judicial candidates should have moral values.


Posted by castromom, a resident of Castro City
on May 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I support gay marriage, but am very disappointed in the Voice. The person in question, Steven Pogue, was endorsed, and because he has a personal opinion, you are taking back your endorsement? Whether he is for or against, to be a judge, means to put away your opinion, and uphold the law. So, if he became judge, and upholds the law, he is still entitled to his personal opinion, although he must remain impartial when dealing with anything that comes before him, in a court of law. And if he can't carry out the law, can he not be removed? You all are getting to be a bit mean spirited here. I may be missing something, and if I am, I apologize, but you all turned right around to endorse Cynthia Sevely, soley on the gay rights issue, even though you didn't really want to endorse her to begin with. Yet, you had no clue about Steven Pogue's donation until after the fact. Really? Pathetic!!!


Posted by wake up, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Wish you'd done the research ahead of time...But better late than never.

Thank you for taking a position on bigotry and clearly stating the Vices position supporting gay marriage and equal rights for all.

Pogue's bias disqualifies him as a judge in my book. Judges mold and shape the law in their courtrooms and I'm glad not to have him in mine.

Maybe a little more depth in candidate interviews next time.


Posted by Martin Omander, a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm

If I have to choose between two candidates who are both pretty good, and one of them is against gay marriage, I would pick the other. I see nothing wrong with either a private citizen or a newspaper making this choice.

Now if the anti-gay candidate were *significantly* more experienced or skilled than the other one it would be trickier, as you'd have to weigh their political stance against their experience and skill. But that does not appear to be the case with these particular candidates.


Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 28, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Great comments. Of course the silliness of the Voice approach is that we really dont know if Ms Sevely also holds some opinions that some might find offensive. Its not just sloppiness and ignorance but pure intolerance by the Voice. Does the Voice know if she supports racial quotas from AA, Title IX quotas, all of which support discrimination.


Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 28, 2012 at 9:22 pm

"I support gay marriage, but am very disappointed in the Voice. The person in question, Steven Pogue, was endorsed, and because he has a personal opinion, you are taking back your endorsement? Whether he is for or against, to be a judge, means to put away your opinion, and uphold the law. So, if he became judge, and upholds the law, he is still entitled to his personal opinion, although he must remain impartial when dealing with anything that comes before him, in a court of law. And if he can't carry out the law, can he not be removed? You all are getting to be a bit mean spirited here. I may be missing something, and if I am, I apologize, but you all turned right around to endorse Cynthia Sevely, soley on the gay rights issue, even though you didn't really want to endorse her to begin with. Yet, you had no clue about Steven Pogue's donation until after the fact. Really? Pathetic!!!"

-----------------

+1. I don't pay any attention to endorsements, regardless of their source. This particular example highlights for me the reason why letting someone else dictate who you should vote for, is a treacherous road to take.

If I don't know enough about an issue/candidate to be able to make an informed vote on the matter, then I have 2 choices:

1. Get informed.

2. Don't hold a position until #1 is done.

Anything else is the roll of the dice, or worse, you render yourself as a pawn for others.


Posted by Nikonbob, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Talk about your Tempest in a Teapot... The Voice discovers new information that changed their view on who they wanted to endorse. Why is that SUCH A BIG DEAL? Sloppiness, intolerance, ignorance, pathetic...really? I'm glad all those that are so incensed by this have never overlooked anything in your work. And I guess if you did, you'd just keep it to yourself, instead of using the information you found to make what you feel was the right move.

And if you find the Voice to be so reprehensible, why are you wasting your time reading it? I'd suggest something more appropriate to your sensibilities.


Posted by Dominick, a resident of Waverly Park
on May 28, 2012 at 10:14 pm

If I am right the Judge who found that proposition 8 was ilegal was cleared even though he was in a same sex marriage. reason? Because you can be a judge and still rule correctly.
I guess the Voice thinks that he was wrong finding proposition 8 was illegal because he was in a same sex marriage.


Posted by W-Park Dude, a resident of Waverly Park
on May 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm

All you had to go was Google this guy a bit to find out some of the bizarre comments he's made in the past and show he's not fit for the bench. To say it is sloppy reporting is an understatement.


Posted by Otto Maddox, a resident of Monta Loma
on May 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Way to go Mountain View Voice.

Was Prop 8 the only difference between these two candidates? Really?

Finding out this guy did something you missed when you endorsed him was fine. That happens.. although if the gay marriage issue was so important you'd think you might have asked up front..

Anyhow.. just throwing your support at the other candidate is silly. You should have just said you endorse no one and leave at that.

The idea that you can change endorsements with such ease gives them little creedence. Are you all just flipping coins there in the office?


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