Spear is most qualified

Being a circuit court judge requires an advanced understanding of the law combined with a deep compassion for people in difficult situations. Thomas “T.J.” Spear has those qualities and has demonstrated his long-standing commitment to ensuring justice in our community. My personal experience with Spear demonstrates what kind of judge he will be. As a pro tem judge he tried one of my landlord-tenant cases. From the bench he was compassionate and sensitive to the needs of both sides, and he crafted a solution that both parties were happy with. He was respectful, efficient and well-versed on the issues.

Spear also goes out of his way to help less experienced attorneys and students learn the law and judicial system. This past year, despite having a full caseload, he served as a mentor to a new attorney and coached the Summit High School mock trial team and took it to the state finals in Portland. I can honestly say that Spear is one of the most ethical, committed and compassionate people I know. Those qualities, combined with his 20 years of experience conducting over 200 trials, make Spear the best candidate for judge in Deschutes County.

Meriel Darzen


Support Spera for Congress

I am writing with concern that District 2 votes for the most qualified democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in the May 20 primary election.

It needs to be a leader who has a record of previous public election success and government service. It needs to be a leader who has concerns for Deschutes County citizens and how to improve their low living wages based mostly on tourism’s minimum-wage, entry-level jobs.

This person is Barney Spera for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Congress. He has led and represented workers at every level during his lifetime career in the airline industry. He is concerned for better health care for Oregonians. Most importantly, Spera does not have the political liability that his Democratic opponent, Aelea Christofferson, has. She was for a long period of time, until her March 2014 resignation, a very involved member of the board of directors for Cover Oregon.

Please join my friends for a better economy — better jobs and political integrity. And vote for Spera for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Congress.

Malcolm K. Lewis


Spear is right choice

Here are two more reasons why Thomas “T.J.” Spear is the right choice for circuit court judge. First, he won the Oregon State Bar judicial preference poll by a wide margin. As a civil trial attorney in Oregon for over 40 years, I learned that the attorneys in our state usually do a good job of identifying the best judicial candidates. Second, in the 2012 primary election The Bulletin endorsed Spear for circuit court judge over three other candidates who were better qualified than Spear’s current opponent. In that endorsement, The Bulletin said that Spear’s knowledge and experience were just what the court needed. Our circuit court still needs those qualities, and Spear still has them. He is the right choice, and he will get my vote.

William Flinn


Approve fire levy

It’s been over 100 years since the Bend Fire Department has asked for a tax increase. Bend is growing in population, and response times for fire, medical and rescue emergencies are also growing. Property owners are being asked to approve a measure that will charge 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value over five years. Since Sheriff’s Office and Deschutes Public Library bonds are expiring this year, the new levy is basically revenue neutral. A property assessed at $250,000 would cost $50 a year or $4 a month.

Bend’s fire department staffing levels are significantly below that of other Oregon cities and districts of comparable size. Local physicians support this levy to shorten response times, e.g., a house fire will double in size every minute, and if you suffer a cardiac arrest event your chances of survival decrease 10 percent every minute without immediate treatment. Every minute counts!

One dollar a week is little to ask to save a life or property. Please give this careful thought and approve the levy on May 20. The next emergency could be yours.

Dick McKeown


Vote for Miller for judge

I met Randy Miller when I hired him to resolve a business matter for my company several years ago. To the satisfaction of all parties, Miller demonstrated, in my opinion, all the qualities a thoughtful decision maker should have.

In getting to know Miller, he is obviously determined to help find solutions that will improve our court system, committed to honoring the position’s trust, sensitive to the implications public decisions have on various parties, and he’s reliable, thoughtful and honest. Just look at Miller’s background. His combat military experience, law enforcement experience, community involvement, commitment to family and his work as a high-stakes individual rights attorney protecting civil rights demonstrates a well-traveled path of experience and character, centered around service to an ideal greater than himself: his country, his community, his family and excellence. Miller has literally undertaken roles and performed jobs that only a select few can hope to do, and he’s performed them with success.

For these reasons, I can’t think of a more qualified person to serve Deschutes County as circuit court judge than Miller. I trust Miller; he’s smart, uses good judgment and is incredibly reliable. Vote for Miller.

Mike Arnett


Elect Spear for circuit court

Circuit court judge is a position to be filled with great care, for judges typically serve for many years and are rarely ousted by a challenger. Their influence on the community is huge over time. And it is up to the community to do its due diligence prior to voting.

So what is it that you want in a judge who may be deciding matters important to you as a citizen or even individually?

A good judge has broad experience in life as well as in the law, has integrity, has the ability to withhold judgment until all the facts are in, and has consistency, a steady hand and a strong sense of humanity. Thomas “T.J.” Spear is just such a candidate for Deschutes County Circuit Court judge. It’s his experience which makes him the better choice in the coming election. He also has the support of 69 percent of the attorneys voting in the Oregon State Bar Preference Poll recently.

I have worked with Spear on both sides of the courtroom as a litigator and as a negotiator. I find him to be fair, honest, tough minded and extremely knowledgeable of the law and of courtroom procedure. Too, the U.S. Navy trusted him to take the helm as an officer aboard a fast-attack nuclear submarine during the Cold War.

We would be well served again to have Spear as our next Deschutes County Circuit Court judge. Please vote!

James Littlejohn