For years (usually at election time) certain people around here express misgivings and anger about the highly successful Pay-Or-Appear Program in Judge Rick Porter’s District Court I.
Recently, the topic reared its ugly head yet again, when the judge’s opponent was quoted as saying Pay or Appear “ … preys on the poorest of the poor.”
Really? Why keep bashing a program that holds people liable for their actions (many of them repeat offenders), and that generates revenue for the county? Remember: Under Pay-Or-Appear, nobody goes to jail if they appear before Judge Porter to explain why they can’t pay a fine. The judge does a fine job of holding lawbreakers’ feet to the fire. Imagine: Lawbreakers actually having to answer to charges the police have filed. But if they’re unable to pay, they can work off the fines through community service.
Somebody explain to me why that’s a bad thing.
Judge Porter’s opponent is spouting the same tired rhetoric as opponents in previous campaigns have: turning over unpaid fines to collection agencies. Well, guess what? That doesn’t work! Need proof? Judge Porter’s predecessor did that, and the county commissioners had to subsidize his courtroom: District Court I was over $1 million in arrears in 2002 when Judge Porter initiated Pay-Or-Appear.
So why do his opponents keep whacking him and a program that’s so obviously effective? Simple. They have no real issues with which to attack him, so they’re manufacturing one.
Re-elect Judge Rick Porter.