Monday, October 29, 2007

You Gotta Like Mike

There is a word that comes to mind when sitting and listening to Common Pleas court candidate Mike Farrell. The word is avuncular.

No candidate for local office this election cycle is easier going, articulate, smarter or seemingly better suited for the position for which they are running.

In the past Farrell, a Democrat and a fairly new comer to Delco politics. Last year he ran for state senate against the well-known and well-liked and well-respected Ted Erickson.

Back then Farrell made a point about having nothing bad to say about Erickson. And he didn't. But there was no reason for voters to toss Erickson out. And Farrell didn't give them one.

He might have made a decent state senator but it's much easier imagining him as a judge. His demeanor, his knowledge of the law, his resume (Penn, Cornell) and his attitude toward judging and the law, suggest a person perfect for the bench.

In our interview with him he mentioned a case that he was involved with as a young lawyer, a brief he filed working with the ACLU.

A mother, a Muslim, was denied seeing her son at Graterford because she refused to remove her headress and veil in front of male guards. Every weekend for months she was turned away.

After listening to some arguments on both sides, the judge involved in the case called the lawyers up and looked for a way to resolve matter, pointing out that while both sides had decent legal arguments what this all really came down to was a mother who was being denied the right to visit her son.

Why not find a way to work it out?

Good question and good judging. Judges have the power to bring some common sense into their courtrooms. And most do. But I hadn't heard such a folksy appeal to the spirit of the law," presented as nicely as Mike Farrell put it the other day.

He talked about judges who "get it." Knowing and learning the law helps. But "getting it," being fair and wise comes from someplace more important.

Don't mistake this for an endorsement. Farrell just struck me as someone I wouldn't mind facing if I or one of my kids ever got in trouble with the law.

He's a good guy and you don't have to know him well or long to get that.

43 Comments:

Anonymous randal said...

You going Donkey on us, Gil?

Well, at least this guy sounds a great deal better than that far Liberal partisan Frank Daly.
Daly's just the kind of judge we don't want.

October 29, 2007 at 3:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is he? Less then 10% of the attorneys in this county could pick him out of a line-up.

October 29, 2007 at 4:03 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

It's the attorneys that can be picked out of a line up that worry me.

October 29, 2007 at 4:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What worrys me is that if he gets elected, he is a complete unknown to the attorneys of this county, who are the ones that actually need to appear before him going forward. Maybe he's a nice guy, Gil, but he's very much an unknown quantity.

October 29, 2007 at 4:23 PM 
Blogger Michael said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 29, 2007 at 4:39 PM 
Blogger Michael said...

Having worked for Mike Farrell during his State Senate campaign, I can only echo Gil's sentiments that you don't have to know Mike well or long to like him. I happen to know him well and time has done nothing to lessen the admiration and respect I have for him. He would've made a terrific Senator and would make an equally impressive Judge.

Mike is a remarkably intelligent and fair-minded person. Whether attorneys in this county know him or not makes no difference from my vantage point. What matters is how he would approach a position on the bench and that, I can assure you, would be with objectivity, fairness and decency.

October 29, 2007 at 4:40 PM 
Anonymous The war board said...

Gil,

"GIL SPENCER ENDORSES FARRELL FOR JUDGE"

Brilliant. We love it.

Wow, what a kiss of death!

With our deepest appreciation,
The War Board

October 29, 2007 at 5:15 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SAD to say:

I know Mike Farrell and he is everything that Gil said he is. (I am also republican). He is certainly "way more" qualified than the candidates that the republicans endorsed. In addition to knowing the law, Mike knows where the courtrooms are in the courthouse. Neither Brennan or Mallon have any idea where the courtrooms are in the courthouse. In fact, the only qualification in DELCO to become a republican endorsed judge candidate is to know John McNichol.

October 29, 2007 at 5:30 PM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 29, 2007 at 7:06 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary Alice Brennan was a public defender, a legal aide lawyer and a school solicitor in addition to Magesterial District Judge. Greg Mallon has been on the bench for decades and has a private practice of his own. They know where the Courthouse is, who the lawyers are and, above all, how to be even-handed and fair. I know and like Frank Daly and have respect for his legal ability. He's generally highly regarded by everyone who has had a case with him. But Mike Farrell is an unknown who got close to beating Erikson just because he was a "D" in a mid-term election year with an unpopular president. No one knows the guy.

October 29, 2007 at 7:34 PM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 29, 2007 at 11:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Farrell finished second to last in the plebescite conducted by the lawyers in this county. He was found to be rather UNqualified, actually. But don't let the facts stand in your way.

October 29, 2007 at 11:46 PM 
Anonymous randal said...

when a place gets a dysfunctional as Delco has under the GOP

No matter how many times you say it, it won’t magically become true.
Witness the dishonesty of the Dems.

October 30, 2007 at 12:07 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous:

The plebiscite (or whtever it is called) was a load of crap, except that the only real conservative, Shields, did the worst of any candidate, and not because he isn't qualified, but because he doesn't buy the homosexual agenda.

October 30, 2007 at 5:59 AM 
Anonymous randal said...

Refusing to be sold on the Gay Agenda is now considered some sort of character flaw?? Maybe in Whacky Liberal Land…

October 30, 2007 at 9:46 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm...a plebescite conducted by the lawyers in this county. I'd bet a pretty fair sum that the majority of lawyers who were involved in the plebescite are registered Republicans - as I'm sure the majority of lawyers registered in this county are - not that a lawyer would ever allow his/her political affiliation to effect who they find qualified for the bench.

PERISH THE THOUGHT!

Farrell's education - BA from Penn, JD from Cornell, US Army Reserve experience, experience with both big firms and as a solo practicioner - yep, he sounds unqualified to me.

The most qualified Republican didn't even make it through the primary and Farrell easily outclasses the current crop of cronies.

October 30, 2007 at 11:21 AM 
Anonymous randal said...

See, you LibDems’ endorsements fall flat once you add your petty and baseless cheap shots at any and all Repubs, thereby revealing your blind partisanship. You’re just another partisan, not really objectively assessing a candidate’s credentials. So you can spare us the shallow charade.

October 30, 2007 at 11:54 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the plebiscite was so unbalanced and political then why did Rich Cappelli, who was not endorsed by the Republican party, finish first? Why did Frank Daly, a Democrat candidate, finish third, ahead of Mary Alice Brenan, an endorsed republican candidate? Get your facts straight.

October 30, 2007 at 12:02 PM 
Anonymous randal said...

Dishonest LibDems hate facts.
And they'll lie right to your face. It's all part of their "By any means necessary" mantra.

October 30, 2007 at 12:09 PM 
Blogger whynotus said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 30, 2007 at 12:36 PM 
Blogger whynotus said...

The plebiscite is a popularity contest and not being "well known among the bar in DELCO" is not such a bad thing...means he is not beholden to a certain lawfirm or group of lawyers (or non lawyer former data processing "experts" for that matter) who have financed his campign or thrown their votes to him in the plebiscite. Mike seems to have good credentials, and, to be honest, neither Greg Mallon, Mary Alice Brennan or Frank Daly has distinguished themselves as better choices than Mike. it si unfortunate that it seems Mike was unable to raise large quantities of cash to get his message out, but the voters remember who he is and he'll do fine and may be the dark horse in this election.

October 30, 2007 at 12:39 PM 
Blogger patbiswanger said...

Farrell's got TWO Ivy League degrees and I think one of them is involves Constitutional Law. So, if you're looking for a Judge that actually understands your rights, Farrell would be a good choice.

David, I had no idea that you were such an elitist. First you tell us to vote for John Innelli for County Council because he has two finance degrees. Now you are swooning over Mike Farrell's two Ivy degrees.

I am really glad to hear this though, for selfish reasons. I have two Ivy League degrees too, and one of them has "involves Constitutional Law." (It's called a "law degree." It's usually considered helpful for lawyers to know something about Constitutional law.) So I am counting on your vote, David, if I ever decide to run for anything because, clearly, I've met your requirements!

October 30, 2007 at 4:02 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Farrell is a solid candidate, who I admire and respect. Thing I am worried about is Gil writing positively about him. I think it could cause more harm than good as Gil is widely viewed as a complete tool.

October 30, 2007 at 4:23 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Whynotus" if the plebiscite is so political and partial, then why did an endorsed Republican candidate, Brennan, from John McNichol's home turf, finish fourth behind an unendorsed Republican (Cappelli) and a Democrat (Daly)? Again, you should know your facts before you write something that makes you sound foolish. In the same plebiscite, Mike Farrell finished second to last. Obviously, qualified Democrats can be highly rated (I know Frank Daly has been touting his rating in the plebiscite as well he should).

October 30, 2007 at 4:36 PM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 30, 2007 at 4:58 PM 
Blogger whynotus said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 30, 2007 at 6:16 PM 
Blogger whynotus said...

I think I said the plebiscite is a "popularity" contest; the blessing by John McNichol is the political part. If the plebiscite was sooo important, then why aren't rich Cappellia nd Frank Daly running on both D and R ballots? Obviously, primary politics is important, and Brennan, Mallon, Daly and Farrell were the party endorsed candidiates and won. Now it is the general election, with eack of the party's members having given us what they think to be their best. Choose two out of four, choose the two that you would rather be sitting in judgment over you, not the two of fourt that the former data processing expert and his buddies want to be sitting in judgment over you.
Look, everyone seems to agree that Mike Farrell is qualified, and is a nice genuine guy--he is not John McNichol's guy--that should be the extra point that makes people want to vote for him. It works for me. Vote Mike Farrell!!!!

October 30, 2007 at 6:23 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trying to appear to distance yourself from the DelCo GOP machine all of a sudden, Gil?

Afraid that too many people have concluded that you are doing their dirty work for them?

We're not fooled.

October 30, 2007 at 9:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Farrell was looking pretty good until I read his comment that Gil's praise meant a lot to him.

I would never vote for any judicial candidate who exercised judgment as poor as that.

October 30, 2007 at 9:35 PM 
Anonymous randal said...

Oh, grow up, you petty little nothings.

October 30, 2007 at 11:08 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious that "randal" is gil. Nobody else would be stupid enough to try to defend Gil.

Let alone the stupid things he says!

October 31, 2007 at 2:23 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if Gil and randal are the same person but I have to admit to getting some satisfaction in reading Gil get slaughtered every day on his own blog.

Gil Spencer is a sophomoric, petty, arrogant, bitchy, ignorant, envious ne'er do well and he always has been. Meaner than a junkyard dog and with about as much class.

It's fun watching him get ripped apart, because he really deserves it. What comes around always goes around.

October 31, 2007 at 2:31 PM 
Anonymous Steve McDonald said...

Delco Machine, give me a break. Come to Media and hang out with the pediophiles, rapists and conservative democrats who are bringing the borough a notch down. See the assets the borough is quickly dumping in a firesale that will screw them in the long-term when they'll need it! See a few leased buildings where the borough's allual statements are in the red. Then come to me and tell me it "the machine's" fault.

Not Gil.

October 31, 2007 at 3:46 PM 
Anonymous randal said...

It never gets old watching a bunch of whiney cowards post cheap shots anonymously.

My name is Randal Davis and I approve this message.

October 31, 2007 at 5:44 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is anonymous and I think Randal Davis is a girl.

October 31, 2007 at 9:47 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is anonymous too and I think Randal Davis looks like a monkey and smells like one too.

October 31, 2007 at 9:56 PM 
Anonymous Steve McDonald said...

I appreciate variety and I believe it's necessary in all government. We can't have democrats in office without republicans and vice versa.


However, you have to give credit where it's due. Campaign-wise, the Delco GOP has it's head on straight in marketing to the public for their vote. They've combined their candidates together in advertisements, signs, appearances, everything. Their message works in smaller elections like these, the groupings are more recognizable than the individual democratic candidates with their individual campaigns.

We can argue on this one, but I think the election is going to prove their strategy to be a winner. Gil, after the election, I think you may want to write a piece on the strategy.

November 1, 2007 at 9:37 AM 
Anonymous randal said...

What we have witnessed in this county election season is the classic battle between Repubs and Dems that we see on the national level anymore. While the filthy LibDems rely on deceit, slander, smear and Marxism, etc, the Repubs for the most part stick to the high road and push their message, refusing to sink to the LibDem level. Unfortunately, the Dems’ dirty politics seem to resonate with a segment of the sheeple similar to the way the Jerry Springer Show does.
Anyone who complains about the level of ugly political discord in our country needs to blame the guilty party: the divisive Dems.

November 1, 2007 at 10:41 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the idea of people saying they are tired of the machine and how neither Mallon nor Brennan could find the Media Courtroom and that their only qualification is knowing GOP heads....
The reason they will prevail is that they do have the experience nad have out campaigned in the primary and now the general simple as that.And any case that goes to Media, went through them first! Spending his entire life in Delco, with a wife who is a family attorney and two college aged kids...there is no doubt in my mind that at least Greg Mallon is most certainly qualified to move up, over 20 years of experience on the DJ bench is plenty a reason to get a promotion(and P.S. if any of you take the SEPTA train in the morning you would have seen him at your stop at least once...cannot say that for the Dems)

November 2, 2007 at 1:48 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just take a look at the primary result and the amount of people who voted for Mallon/Brennan. Their numbers dwarfed everyone else's(with two fine competitors) not because of a machine but because of aggressively campaigning 24/7

November 2, 2007 at 1:52 PM 
Blogger whynotus said...

Oh please...whether they campaigned hard or not, they would not have made it out of the primary if they weren't blessed by john Mcnichol...do you all think we are that naive. If Mcnichol told you all to vote for Daly and Farrell you would do that too.

November 2, 2007 at 7:58 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha he is just one man... it is the fact that he puts the right people on the bench it is a sufficient condition that he blesses them not a necessary for my vote...the best candidate will win Frank Daly is not anything close to a Delco lawman Mallon and Brennan are and the people will see that because of their omnipresent campaigning...also the last primary was the GOPs most expensive in Delco so that goes to show nothing is automatic

November 2, 2007 at 11:00 PM 
Anonymous randal said...

No one should celebrate Daly becoming a judge.
Well, other than blindly partisan Lefties...

November 3, 2007 at 1:42 AM 

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