Originally created 11/22/06

Ugly and sad



Bill Williams' attack ads in the local judge's race have been sad, surreal and disingenuous, if not dishonest.

It makes us doubly determined to see David Roper elected as the new Superior Court judge for the Augusta circuit in the Dec. 5 runoff election.

The ads would be sad and surreal if all they did was attack Mr. Roper for - of all things - being a humanitarian and working with youths. It makes you wonder what kind of attacks Mr. Williams might have mounted against Mother Teresa if she were running against him.

But the ads so exaggerate Mr. Roper's civic work as to be disingenuous if not dishonest. Listeners are left to conclude that Mr. Roper completely eschewed the practice of law in order to call balls and strikes at baseball games. How silly. How misleading. How sad.

The truth is, David Roper began umpiring high school games while in college, and continued the interesting, helpful and character-building hobby for some 20 years. Far from quitting law to do it, Roper was fortunate enough to attend a professional umpires school for a few weeks in the early 1980s, then umpired his last in 1988.

Williams also claims Roper has been AWOL from the courtroom for the past six years. That's demonstrably untrue.

Williams claims his experience trumps Roper's - but Williams lost seven of eight cases that went to the court of appeals.

He also attacks Roper for not having a Yellow Pages ad. As if that's the test of a good attorney. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Williams also has actually scoffed at Roper's humanitarian work; Roper was once a member of the prestigious Rotary International board of directors.

These scurrilous attacks put Williams' judgment in question. After seeing what he's attempted to do to a good man such as David Roper, is Bill Williams really the kind of man you want sitting in judgment of you?

Moreover, we question Mr. Williams' truthfulness. He told The Chronicle editorial department that no one asked him to run or conferred with him before he decided to. But we've talked to three separate reliable sources who say that's not true.

These attack ads say more about Bill Williams than anyone.