Charlie Crist had a great chance to bring some diversity to the Broward County bench when he replaced County Court Judge Jay Spechler, but instead went with one of his old fraternity brothers at Florida State.
Instead of going with one of three black applicants in a county where there are only three black judges among 90, Crist went with fellow Pike and political crony John "Jay" Hurley. Not saying Hurley isn't qualified, just saying Crist once again showed what a very very small man he really is.
Here's the take from JAABlog:
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According to the 2006 Census, African-Americans make up 25.3% of the population of Broward County. Hispanics make up 22.8% of the population, and Asians 3%. Whites make up 48.7% of the population.
We are a minority-majority.
We have 90 judges in Broward County. Roughly 10 claim some Hispanic origin, and few, if any, claim any Asian background. There are only 3 African-American judges, less than 3% of the total.
Minorities are grossly over-represented in the criminal and dependency courts. Minorities are often judged by individuals who do not share or understand their cultural or socio-economic backgrounds. People are often needlessly caught up in the system. We all pay the tremendous social and economic costs driven by the lack of diversity.
The Governor had 6 names to choose from to fill the county seat that went to Jay Hurley. Three of the highly qualified applicants were African-American. A highly qualified white male won the appointment, despite the lack of African-American judges currently serving in our judiciary. This sends a strong message to our minority community members, and to the people who work within the justice system.
The Governor has yet to appoint a single African-American in Broward. He has seemingly failed to make an effort to correct a glaring inequity in our community. It is beginning to appear that he is ignorant of the problems here, or he simply does not care.
How about both.
Also today I need to refer you to Miami Herald sports columnist Greg Cote's blog, where he links his debut single, "Letting Go." If the song sounds familiar, it's because you heard it here two Fridays ago. Cote covered his old friend Alan Cherry's song, which was first recorded at Cherry's Sun-Sentinel going-away party.
Cote does a yeoman's job and his version is more polished, but there's nothing like the original.