Letters

Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged
Who died and appointed George Cothran the final arbiter of what makes a good judge ("Judging Matthew Rothschild," Feb. 28)?

Witness his scurrilous attack on Matthew Rothschild. According to Cothran, Rothschild is underqualified for the bench because he worked hard to help San Francisco stay progressive, thereby earning the respect and endorsements of Mayor Brown, Carole Migden, Kevin Shelley, and other progressive standard-bearers. No, Rothschild hasn't spent the last 30 years tucked away in a law library somewhere studying torts. He has been working to make San Francisco a better place.

In the same way I have come to expect small, petty, and vindictive things from "I can't ever seem to find an on-the-record source" Cothran, I expect Rothschild will prove to be a hard-working, energetic, and compassionate judge.

Mike Rice
Berkeley

Jurist Prudence
Your in-depth piece on this important Municipal Court race ("Judging Matthew Rothschild") was great, but reporter George Cothran failed to state that the biggest danger of Rothschild's election is not his inexperience as a trial lawyer, but that his strong ties to the local Democratic powers would probably undermine his ability to render fair and impartial justice, without fear or favor.

Cases always come up, on both the civil and criminal side of the Municipal Courts, where someone is trying to pull some strings with the judge. It doesn't have to be a political-corruption case. The local politicians are often pressed to help out with such routine things as drunk-driving tickets or landlord/tenant problems.

With a powerful, activist mayor serving under a new charter that makes him the most powerful local political leader since the Italian Renaissance, the political independence of the judicial branch should be particularly guarded. A man like Rothschild, who brags about his political approach, is clearly the wrong man for the wrong job at the wrong time.

Jerome M. Garchik
Haight

Dusting Off Rothschild
I am a workers' compensation lawyer with some 20 years' experience in the field and a former University of San Francisco Law School instructor in workers' compensation disability law. I have worked with Matthew Rothschild ("Judging Matthew Rothschild") on a number of cases and have found him to be a well-prepared attorney with the ability to act quickly. He is an attorney who doesn't fight, argue, and measure his work by the degree of adversarial dust kicked up. I think he is reasonable and dependable.

What is needed on the Municipal Court are more judges who are friendly, listen a lot, and are cool. Rothschild would be one of these.

I know him also as a member of the Democratic County Central Committee. His failing here, I believe, is that he moves too fast.

John Riordan
Crocker-Amazon

Matthew, Chapter and Verse
Matthew Rothschild's ("Judging Matthew Rothschild") choice to seek this judicial position is neither "out of character" nor an unexpected "sharp turn" of his career path. I have known Rothschild for nearly 10 years. We are close friends, as well as political allies. I consider him one of the most compassionate and dedicated human beings I know. From the time I first met him, he has always talked of his desire to be a judge. It is to his credit that he was realistic enough to know that only a few can achieve this dream and made plans for an alternative scenario. It is also to his credit that he has always been able to take decisive action based on reviewing the facts of the situation at hand. These are qualities I would expect in a judge, wouldn't you?

Mauri Schwartz
Potrero Hill

Good Johns, Bad Johns
I'm one of those in the white headlights and red taillights who frequents Polk Street on the weekend ("City of Night," Feb. 21). I have either been with or talked to all of the individuals in your article. While 95 percent are on some type of drugs, most of the "johns" treat them with respect. Polk Street has its hustlers who will rip the "customer" off without hesitation, and it also has its hustlers who seem to want companionship and someone to talk to along with the money for drugs.

Is it so terribly wrong, if they are homeless, that we give them a place to stay for the night and provide dinner and breakfast so they don't have to sleep in the doorway and eat out of garbage cans? Granted, the money we give them probably goes for drugs, but this is out of our control. We cannot help them with their drug addiction, nor do they want our help in this regard.

We are not "slimeballs" and being old/gay does not mean we are lonely and desperate. In our way, we are trying to help. There are bad johns and there are bad hustlers, but the bad, in both instances, quickly get a reputation and don't stay around too long.

Mark Gouveia
Oakland

Retraction
The Feb. 28 cover story by George Cothran, "Judging Matthew Rothschild," incorrectly reported that Pamela Ayo Yetunde was fired from her position as executive director of the San Francisco Democratic Party Central Committee. Yetunde says that she resigned her position, consistent with having given 2 1/2 months' advance notice. SF Weekly also incorrectly reported that she threatened to pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit. In fact, Yetunde says that she considered filing a defamation suit after she heard that the Democratic Central Committee workers and other city workers were being told that she left her post without notice and without providing a reason for her departure. SF Weekly regrets the error.

 
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