By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Spitzer is defensive about the questions about Adams' autobiography. "If there are issues with John's résumé, then he'll have to be judged at the ballot box," Spitzer said. "I can't be expected to hire private investigators before I give an endorsement."
Besides, Spitzer says, while he may not know everything about Adams, what he knows of Sandoval he doesn't like.
"She just doesn't seem to understand the law," said Spitzer.
His evidence? On Feb. 5, exactly a month before the March election, Sandoval asked the Board of Supervisors to intervene—to direct the county's attorneys to challenge Kline's candidacy. Spitzer blew up.
"Spitzer gave a 10-minute diatribe about how he had personally taken the time to review all the court documents against Kline, how bad Kline was, how he would do anything to get Kline off the ballot, but didn't have the power to do it," Sandoval recalls.
Spitzer followed with decisive action. On Feb. 12, he formally endorsed Adams. The next day, Spitzer e-mailed Sandoval. "I was planning on sitting this race out," he wrote, "but based on your actions, I do not feel you have the judgment to sit on the bench."
It didn't end there. When Kline and Adams finished first and second on March 5, Sandoval says, Spitzer and the board suddenly found the authority they needed to monkey with the ballot—power they had previously asserted they simply didn't have, and it just happened to assist Adams' campaign. At a post-election meeting, the board voted to direct county attorneys to work to keep Kline on the ballot.
Spitzer acknowledges that his man Adams is an increasingly controversial candidate. But he spins the controversy this way: "This may be a situation where we have two problematic candidates."
His problem with Sandoval, he says, is her legal mind—he dismissed her arguments in the Kline case as "suggestions based in myth."
Ironically, it was Sandoval's legal argument and privately funded court battle that removed Kline from the ballot. Sandoval went on to persuade the court to add her name to the ballot, opposite Adams'.
"If my legal reasoning is so bad," Sandoval asks, "how come I keep winning in court? I guess all of the judges I have appeared before in these related cases must have judgment problems, too."