BY BUDDY NEVINS
Partisan politics is prohibited in campaigns for judge.
At least two Broward candidates for judge are posting highly partisan comments on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
A fan of Chris Brown, who is running for Broward Circuit Court, posted on June 30 the candidate’s endorsement by the Broward GOP Executive Committee. It remains on the Facebook site, which is presumably under Brown’s control.
Brown’s Facebook account also has a partisan attack on the Democratic administration. The comment was made before Brown was officially running for judge and never removed.
The Twitter account for Gary Farmer, a state senator running for the Broward Circuit Court, is filled with partisan comments. Just two are at the end of this post.
Brown and Farmer are longtime attorneys who know that comments on “any political issue” is forbidden in a judicial campaign by the Florida Supreme Court.
Breaking that taboo can result in an investigation by the Judicial Qualifications Committee. The JQC can recommend to Supreme Court a punishment, which range from a reprimand to removal from office.
The law is treated seriously by most judicial candidates. That’s why when appearing at a political club they leave the room before partisan issues are discussed. That’s why candidates for judge refuse to discuss their views on gun control or abortion or any other political hot button issue.
So why do these two candidates allow partisan comments on their social media sites?
I don’t know if allowing partisan comments on your social media platform violates the ethics rules. But surely these comments are not in the spirit of the rules.
This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.
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