Dear Austin Chronicle Editor, Regarding your endorsement of Margaret Cooper for the 353rd District Court ["Endorsements," Oct. 15],"the lesser of two evils" theory seems inherently evil in and of itself. I realize the competition is not preferable to the incumbent Cooper – but why, as with other races, did the Chronicle choose not to endorse anyone here? If the values this paper's readership supposedly holds dear are peace, liberty, and democracy, then the Cooper nod should have warranted some pause based on at least one high-profile case. As reported in your own paper (austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/2004-02-06/pols_naked7.html) the question should have been pondered as to whether this is an unbiased judge or a protectorate of the police state and a violator of the First Amendment. It's your vote – you don't have to cast one for those who perpetuate "the evil" which you claim to fight. Heck, why not write in whom you'd prefer!
Sincerely, Debbie Russell Austin Democracy Coalition and, incidentally, Texans for Nader!
[Editor Louis Black responds: Speaking for the Austin Chronicle Editorial Board: We stand by our endorsement of Margaret Cooper for the 353rd District Court Judgeship.
Speaking for myself: This has nothing to do with the lesser of two evils but instead is our reasoned endorsement of a good judge. The suggestion that disagreeing with one judicial decision is grounds to turn a judge from office goes beyond unacceptable litmus test meddling with an independent judiciary into new areas of vanity-modeled partisanship. I'd be much more nervous about endorsing a judge who's never made a controversial ruling or at least one with which I've disagreed.]