What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 7, 2011

Campaign Shenanigans

Something's happening in the race for Magisterial District Judge.

From his facebook page, candidate Hugh McGough posted this this evening:
Today, some voters received a sleazy mailing from Doug Shields, one of our opponents in the race for Magisterial District Judge in the East End. In the mailing, Shields asserts that “Hugh McGough . . . wants the full time $82,303 salary of a District Judge but only wants to work part time.” This is false.
I out out some feelers for a description of the mailing. And an astute reader sent this description in:
front side shows a guy laying on the beach and the text "Wouldn't it be nice to get paid full time, but only work part time"

2nd side left shows a black and white picture of Hugh with a red X over his picture and text "Hugh McGough agrees. He wants the full time $82,303 salary of a District Judge but only wants to work part time.

2nd side right shows a picture of Doug with a check mark on his picture "Doug Shields is the only District Judge candidate who has pledged to serve full time." Then it shows "The Shields Pledge - I pledge to the people of my district that I will serve as a full time District Judge."
McGough's comment:
I have no idea on what basis Shields makes this assertion, but he is wrong. I have never conceived nor wanted the District Judge position to be anything other than full time.
Via his contact page, I put a request for a comment from the Shields Campaign. I'll post whatever I get.


Pittsburgh Guy said...

There is no problem with a lawyer having a part time practice and serve as a DJ. Most do. The DJ duties take no where near full time hours for a lawyer and the compensation is on the low end for a 20 year lawyer. On the other hand it is great compensation for a paralegal with 8 years experience and no 4 year degree. So, although a slick mailing, it is meaningless. For as long as I can remember the DJ for that district has been an attorney: Firestone and Tucker before him. Although Sheilds can do the job, I don't see why voters would want to hire the least qualified applicant.

SquareChick said...

Nate Firestone has served admirably in the DJ's office and the whole time he has served, he has continued to teach evening classes at Point Park and Pitt. Doug because of his lack of degrees will never have those same extended opportunities to serve in other capacities . . . Perhaps Shields should have pointed out that he is the only one for whom this salary would be a significant raise. The real problem I see with the mailing is that it shows lack of judicial temperment on Shields part . . . something that McGough has in abundance. Shields is running scared and views McGough as a threat to his post city council plan.

rich10e said...

Pgh guy and Square Chick seem to have summed it up quite well....

cassandre said...

All of Doug's mailings have been deceptive and leave you feeling a little dirty. Have you seen the one where Doug Shields is shown explaining something to a small group fo women? The women in the ad are the mother and sister of Corey O'Connor' (the current candidate for City Council) and the wife and daughter of Shields.

As a candidate for DJ, Shields is not allowed to campaign or endorse a candidate, and this mailer is his sly way of getting around the code of judicial ethics. If he's willing to skirt the ethics rules now, I fear him as a Judge.

rking449 said...

If the description and content as described is true, it violates judicial campaign rules. This is not a “down and dirty” council race, it is a judicial race. If this is an indicator of Mr. Shields then you should view this link. Courtroom demeanor and Judicial temperament are very important!


Chris said...

Pittsburgh Guy is back! And speaking the truth. My man.

Shay said...

Has McGough pledged that he will retire from the practice of law? If not, than Shields is right. This would be a cozy, part-time job for McGough that would give him benefits and a guaranteed salary while he dabbles in the practice of law.

The only area of the law that is booming locally is in the Labor and Employment arena. Even the largest law firms in Pgh have to advertise to fill these positions. The fact that McGough with his labor & employment background coupled with his extensive family & other community connections hasn't landed himself a better paying gig sends up a pretty big red-flag for me.

It almost looks like a move of desperation on McGough's part to be running for this position.

Just because McGough has a law degree and Shields does not -- don't assume that McGough is better suited for the job. Much of a Magisterial District Justice's work borderlines on social work. Of the two candidates, Shields is probably much better equipped to handle this aspect of the job as Shields seems to be much more in touch with the "Common man."

I don't view Shield's lack of a degree as making him the least-qualified candidate. There is a reason why a law degree is not required for this position -- b/c it is NOT necessary in order to perform the job.

Just my take on this as a non-East-Ender, non-elitist.

Caesar said...

I must take great exception to Shay's comments:

Whether or not McGough or Butler choose to practice law while they serve as DJ is a complete non issue and is clearly a desperate attempt by Doug to distract voters from the fact that he is in fact the least qualified applicant for the job. The fact that Doug makes these allegations without any factual basis is deceitful.

Your inferences into McGough's lack of success as an attorney and his degree of familiarity with the "common man" are so bizarre that I will not dignify them with a more thorough refutation.

Perhaps McGough (and Butler) are running for DJ because they want to contribute to excellency in the administration of criminal justice. I can only speculate that Doug's motivation seems to be for a pay raise and to clear the path for Corey.