Monday, May 11, 2009

Crossing the Line

The latest mailer from Luzerne County judicial candidate Daniel Zola is anything but judicial.
The flyer, which touts his "unanimous" endorsement "by all of the Luzerne County Chief's of Police," plays to the fears of crime ridden streets.

It takes the 2009 murder statistic, which most believe is an aberration, to make people think that Luzerne County is one of the crime capitals of the state. (The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area ranks 56 out of 332 in the nation in crime. 1 being the safest, 332 being the most dangerous.)

We decided to learn more about Zola by checking out his website.

His website was easy to find ---

Zola is the son of Magisterial District Judge Joseph Zola of Hazleton, and we learned from his website that he is "more than a native of Luzerne County. Daniel Zola's family has lived in our county for four generations. Zola descends from coal miners, laborers and law enforcement officers that have built our community and defined our family values."

We also found out that he is an avid hunter.

"Hunting is his favorite pastime. Daniel is an N.R.A. member and avidly hunts during rifle and archery seasons. Archery is his true passion because it is more challenging. As most hunters can tell you, the true enjoyment of hunting comes from the excitement of sitting on stand and wondering what is going to come through the woods next...hearing the crunch of footsteps in the fall woods is enough to spike your blood pressure and get your heart racing."

Finally we found out that he likes putting "junkies" in state prison. He devotes two lengthy paragraphs in his bio section explaining how he convicted "junkies" during his tenure in the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office.

What we did not find out from his bio page was his age, 33; his educational background, Hazleton Area High School; Luzerne County Community College; King’s College, 1999; Widener University School of Law, 2002; and his admission to the Pennsylvania bar in 2003. We guess you go with you strengths.

Apparently Zola is running for Police Chief in Chief of Luzerne County. We do not see how his love for hunting has any bearing on making complex judicial decisions, nor do we see how his continual referral of persons with serious drug problems as "junkies" show the compassion necessary to pass judgment on others.

Zola is certainly not our choice for judge. We believe perhaps his young age and lack of legal experience has colored his views to believe that a judge is only someone who puts bad people behind bars. A judge is so much more.
The qualities of a good judge include patience, wisdom, courage, firmness, alertness, incorruptibility and the gifts of sympathy and insight. We see none of this in Zola.


Anonymous said...

Bet ya Griff's happy he moved onto Zola.

Anonymous said...

I just got another flyer from Zola with a 9mm pistol and a big red question mark on it. The thing is big enough that the pistol is almost real scale. it reads:

"Are Your Fundamental Rights In Jeopardy?"

(why you would capitalize that, I don't know)

and then it says,

"You Must Vote on May 19th" -

Must? Why, might I get shot with that gun if I don't?


Here's what I wrote to Zola's campaign website:

I was pleased to get your 12 by 8 inch picture of a 9 mm pistol - the gun most currently used in commission of crimes - to threaten me into thinking somehow one of my fundamental rights is in jeopardy unless you are elected to the bench.

I was pleased because it made me much more certain of who I would not be voting for.

How dare you try to scare people into thinking that somehow this country, or this county, or anyone in it is in jeopardy without a gun. Lets see...number of home invasions prevented with a licensed firearm? Can't find that stat. Number of people shot in Luzerne County in the last ten years? Well they weren't shot with rubber bands, and now we're the third most crime ridden county in the state next to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh? Those are places with ten to twenty times the population and you think the problem is that someone's gun might get taken away?

It chills my blood just to think of what you're suggesting. Absolutely unconscionable.

Keep it up - try to convince me that the United States of America is the greatest country in the world - but we're all in "jeopardy" if we don't have a gun. That one always got me. One might think that in the greatest country in the world you wouldn't need a gun to feel secure and to believe that your rights were not threatened. Maybe in a country that isn't as great as it could be, a politician might try to get elected because he could suggest his constituents can't feel secure in their homes, in their jobs, in their community unless they are armed.

This is the most sickeningly pathetic campaign flyer I have ever received in 23 years of voter eligibility.

And given the kinds of things that were said last November, that puts you in pretty extreme company.

How you sleep at night escapes me.

But I did want to give you credit for inspiring me to get involved in this election when I had previously not given it much thought. I will be taking extra time now to find out who you are running against, vote for them, and spend my energy at the poll before and after I cast my vote to see how many people I can dissuade from backing anyone who would use such shameless, baseless, absurdist fear mongering.

Trust you? Judges are indeed more important than ever, and it is bizarre to fathom how a man who hopes to sit in judgment of others would resort to such emotional and sensational tactics to get himself on the bench.

I wonder - have you grasped the possible reaction of seeing your campaign flyer by someone who's loved one or family member was shot with such a weapon? Obviously not. Obviously, tragically, not.
Thought you might appreciate it.

I'm sickened by this man, whoever he is. I never heard of him before, but I have nothing but disgust and animus for him now.

Norton The Blogger said...

Anonymous 8:02pm

Thanx for sharing that with us.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree. He's 33 and absolutely does not have the temperment or experience to be a judge. I know him. No way!

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the negativity of this flyer. Crime is a huge deal in Luzerne County and I give this candidate credit for breaking the mold of all the other candidates who only talk about the corruption in our county and nothing else. Yes, that is a problem that has unfortunately plagued our society as of late, but crime is just as important.

Also, to Anonymous, I think it was a great move for this candidate to show the other side of him, what he likes to do in his spare an outdoorsman. Is there anything wrong with other candidates exploiting their children and family constantly on TV and in ads? It is the same message, this is who I am without a suit and tie, outside the courtroom.

I give props to this candidate and now I definately know who I am voting for...Zola!!!

Unafraid Seasoned Citizen said...

I am sick and tired of politicians praying on the elderly. There are enough problems in the county without these politicians trying to scare the bejesus out of us. I am insulted.

Parrot in the Window said...

We have nothing to fear but fear itself ... and of course explotive politicians and candidates.

Anonymous said...

I do not see this flyer as a scare tactic. I see this as someone finally showing us that crime is a real issue. When we are associated with Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (and not for the restaurants or tourism), it is a sad day...

I give Zola credit for standing up for an issue he seems to really believe in. I googled him and every article I found on him, he talks about his feelings on being tough on crime, this flyer should not be a surprise.

We as voters this time really need to look at each candidate...what they stand for, and who supports them. I checked other candidates out and they don't have nearly the amount of respected endorsements as him...and he also has refused to take money from lawyers and political parties, which for me means a lot.

I know I am voting for this guy...

Terry from W. Pittston said...

I am not offended by Zola's mailer. I won't vote for him because of his inexperience.

Anonymous said...

As a citizen and voter of Luzerne County, Mr. Zola's flyer was right on point!

We have a major problem in LUZERNE County(not just Hazleton)with serious crime.

I am very pleased with a candidate who is willing to address the issues rather than pretend they don't exist. A candidate that if elected Judge would not let the hard work of all our Police Agencies and District Attorney's Office be in vein.

I did not feel threatened to vote by this flyer, I felt relief that there is a candidate who is trying to protect us, the citizens.

I feel threatened to vote because of candidates who claim their honest and have integrity, yet failed to tell me what they do for a living and their stance if they were elected to be a Judge.

I've seen advertisements for other candidates with their wives and children saying how they have served our Community for years as Trial Lawyers, however, left out the fact that they are CRIMINAL DEFENSE Attorneys working to get their clients the best deal they can. That is was really scares me, a Criminal Defense Attorney as a Judge thinking like a Criminal Defense Attoney at sentencing.

Give me a Prosecuter as a Judge any day and I'll sleep better at night.

My vote is for DANIEL ZOLA!

Anonymous said...

Hooray for you Mr. Zola!

I like a man who tells it like it is.

Good luck in the election. My family and I are behind you 100%.

Anonymous said...

I think Zola's thoughts on our rights to own a firearm is wonderful.

I have a 9mm handgun in my nightstand for my familys protection at all times. I am with you Dan Zola.

Anonymous said...

"A prosecutor as a judge?" Wow! What a deep misunderstanding of our legal system Judges are supposed to be fair and impartial. DAs are the prosecutors.

Zola doesn't have a clue what it takes to be a good judge. I agree with Norton. Zola is running for Police Chief in Chief.

Spend some time on the defense side of the table. Believe it our not, not everyone who is prosecuted is "guilty."

Anonymous said...

Everyone is focusing on the front of the mailer...has anyone even considered the content of the back. Finally, some substance to a candidate. After seeing the mailer, I checked out his website and you can look at the actual letters each department that endorsed Mr. Zola. They speak very highly of his hard work, his character and integrity. These departments have put their reputation and name on the line to endorse this candidate. They work with him on a routine basis and see his work ethic, so an endorsement from these departments weighs heavily on my decision on May 19th....

If there is another candidate out there with these endorsements, I would of course consider that candidate as well, but I haven't seen it yet.....

Law Abiding Citizen said...

While I respect my local police and police in general, I really don't place much weight on who they want for judge. We're electing a judge, not a Chief Prosecutor.

Judges have to make tough decisions and many of them are unpopular with the police. A judge must be fair and protect the rights of the accused. Zola doesn't seem to understand this concept.

If he's such a good prosecutor, it would be a shame to elevate him to the bench when he could do his best work putting "junkies" and the like behind bars.

Walt said...

she has a nice rack. wonder if she asked him to park around the rear too?