Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Yeah, they're related

no link for the old T/P article

Money sets judicial rivals apart - Former prosecutors vie for vacated seat
Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) - Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Author: Gwen Filosa Staff writer

The race to replace ousted Orleans Parish Criminal District Judge Sharon Hunter comes down to two candidates with vastly different campaign styles, starting with the disparity in their money-raising abilities.

In the Nov. 5 runoff, Sandra Cabrina Jenkins, a private attorney who started her career as a prosecutor, faces Ben Willard , another former prosecutor with a politically connected family and a talent for campaign finance.

Willard , the brother of City Councilwoman Cynthia Willard -Lewis, has outspent Jenkins by a ratio of at least 8-to-1. In the primary alone, he raised more than $46,000 and spent $31,000, while Jenkins collected about $5,200 in roughly the same time period.

On Oct. 21, she borrowed $5,000 each from her bosses, Lawrence Blake Jones and Arthel Scheuermann, along with accepting an additional $1,000 donation. In the Oct. 5 primary, Willard swept into first place with 46 percent of the vote. Jenkins was second with 25 percent, separated from the front-runner by more than 14,000 votes. Voter turnout was about 23 percent.

The Section C judgeship burst open this summer when Sharon Hunter* lost her office because of judicial misconduct stemming from sloppy record-keeping. Hunter, first elected in 1996, was removed Aug. 19 in a unanimous ruling by the state Supreme Court for mismanaging her staff and failing to preserve at least a dozen trial transcripts.

The specter of a disheveled courtroom has popped up during the campaign, with Jenkins insisting that her track record in criminal law exceeds that of Willard .

Originally from Baton Rouge, Jenkins moved to New Orleans 13 years ago to begin her law career as a prosecutor in District Attorney Harry Connick’s office. In 1992, she left for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, where she worked as a staff attorney reviewing criminal appeals.

"We have to make decisions quickly," Jenkins has said of a judge ’s role. "Without experience, you’re going to make errors. You don’t have to worry about that with me."

For the past two years, Jenkins has been an associate at the Scheuermann and Jones firm, which has been a key donor to her campaign, kicking in $2,800 during the primary.

Willard campaigns as a military man turned tough prosecutor. He is an alumnus of Southern University Law Center as well as an honor graduate of the Army’s Signal Corps training. He clerked for state Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson for four years before joining Connick’s office in 1999. Willard left in 2001 for a job in Juvenile Court, handling traffic court cases. He also works in his brother Walter’s law firm.

"What sets me apart is I’ve got military experience," said Willard , who recommends boot-camp-style programs and military careers for troubled teens.

His billboards, sea of yard signs and stack of endorsements -- SOUL, LIFE, the Progressive Democrats and the Alliance for Good Government, to name a few -- helped catapult him to a primary win.

Willard , 38, likes to point out that this is his first bid for public office while Jenkins, 41, ran unsuccessfully for judge in 1996 and 1998. She is endorsed by BOLD and Women in Politics.

In public appearances, Willard is a booming presence quick to veer into a tangent, such as comments about his son’s birthday being on Nov. 5. He often refers to himself in the third person when stumping for judge , and has a penchant for turning phrases.

When asked about domestic violence at a debate, he said his father raised him to respect women.

"If you put your hands on a woman, you get what you deserve," Willard said. "When you come before Judge Benedict Willard , we won’t put you in the jails, we’ll put you under the jails."

To the same question, Jenkins offered a more measured response. As judge , she would ensure that all paperwork is properly handled when it comes to defendants living under restraining orders, she said.

I keep telling you all to get library cards and use Newsbank at the Louisiana Library Connection. You can easily find Times Picayune articles going back twenty years and Baton Rouge Advocate articles going back to 1986. On Google, all I found was a couple of commenters alleging (correctly, as it turns out) that Ben Willard and Cynthia Willard-Lewis are brother and sister.

Anyway, in case you missed it, Ben Willard was in the news today. There was a similar report last year.

I really don't have as negative a view of CWL as some local bloggers, but I do wonder about her brothers.

Thanks for giveng us usefull information about Cabrina pumps

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