Foundation for Litigant Parity
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Candidate for Governor Lee Whitnum responded to Joette Katz' editorial and is demanding the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families resign. Whitnum accuses Katz of racism and "pulling a Netanyahu" in her choice to enter the six-week tug-of-war over the reconfirmation of Judge Jane Emons. "Katz' words are a thinly veiled ploy to influence the Legislature in favor of Judge Jane Emons reconfirmation vote this week," said Lee Whitnum.
"We are used to Mr. Netanyahu talking about 'Jewish Children' with complete apparent disregard to his responsibility to all the millions of other children in Israel: Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, Buddhist and others. Preferential treatment based on race is accepted in Israel but preferential treatment is still racism and Ms. Katz displayed it with her editorial," said Lee Whitnum. "Joette Katz chose to support Emons over the documented plights of parents and children in the State of Connecticut. She must be made to step down."
Whitnum has accused Katz, 65, of employing the anti-Semitic, race card in the same way Emons did at her February 16, 2018 reconfirmation hearing. Judge Jane Emons, 72, played the race card implying that the parents there to testify against her were anti-Semitic, crazy or disgruntled. She made herself appear as the victim of racism pointing to a single anti-Semitic anonymous internet blog posting as her proof. But now Katz had taken it one step further, using the posts of the same sole blogger as the excuse to brow-beat legislators, implying that they too are anti-Semitic.
The link to the Emons' testimony:
"Katz has ignored the complaints of parents who have been kept from their children. She has chosen a side and it is based on race. She needs to step down for pulling a Netanyahu," said Whitnum. "Preferential treatment based on race is as racist as calling someone the N word," said Whitnum.
The Katz editorial is viewable: https://www.law.com/ctlawtribu...
Joette Katz is also the editorial editor for the Connecticut Law Review. Her letter: Letter to the Editor entitled, Judicial Nominations Are Being Thrown Off-Balance, on April 09, 2018 Katz states in her editorial: "but now some legislators have given voice to anti-Semitic propaganda by litigants who blog obsessively…."
Whitnum disagrees. "It seems there is one blogger and there is no evidence that he is a litigant, maybe he is a judge, or a state employee. He is none of the parents and people I've met whose lives have been shattered by Emons," said Whitnum who says Katz' actions are more of the same argument posed by Emons during the February 16, 2018 reconfirmation with Katz taking it a step further by now accusing the legislators of anti-Semitism.
"Never has one angry blogger received so much attention. Emons, and now Katz are really milking it for all it is worth making Emons' reconfirmation about anit-Semitism and not about Emons behavior as a judge. And they are using the blogger's posts to do it." said Whitnum. "There is nothing anti-Semitic about a legislator deciding to NOT vote in favor of a controversial judge. End of Story. How dare Katz abuse her power to pull the race card."
For six weeks the legislature has refused to vote on the controversial reconfirmation of Judge Jane Emons, apparently locked in a silent gridlock between two groups: Parents and those aggrieved by Emons and members of the Jewish Community, like Katz, who have made Emons reconfirmation a referendum on anti-Semitism.
Katz attacks legislators in her editorial:
"some legislators have given voice to anti-Semitic propaganda by litigants who blog obsessively……. these blogs are now the Bible of some legislators who engage in public lynchings of fine individuals for hours while other legislators sit on the sidelines, seemingly afraid to interrupt lest they be the next target."
Whitnum disagrees, "Oh please, I have seen no evidence of this. It seems that the only people who are taking an angry blogger's post seriously are Katz and Emons. It seems they are using the blogger to label others as "anti-Semitic" when really they are using the race card ploy to keep Emons in power."
Whitnum points out the vote is not about race but is instead about Emons' behavior as a judge siting the onslaught of complaints by the People to legislators about Emons.
"I was told by a legislator that he received more than 150 letters from aggrieved people. I believe Emons is a bad judge who has destroyed the lives of many. Imagine being kept from your loved one for even one day, let alone years on end. Why is Joette Katz taking sides in light of her leadership role supposedly to defend the rights of children?" Whitnum states, "Katz should be advocating for the children and families not the opposite. I truly believe if the Emons last name were Jackson or Rodriquez, Katz would never have involved herself in this very contentious six-week battle. And resorting to implying our legislators are anti-Semitic is playing this race card. Katz must be made to step down."
Additionally, in her editorial Katz tries to paint Emons, as a martyr, claiming, "Those brave souls who stood up when called for duty have gotten nothing but grief when their time for reappointment came."
To which Whitnum states, "this is beyond hilarious, Jane Emons is not a 'brave soul,' being a judge is not military service, Emons loves her job as a judge, she stated so during testimony – with such relish. View it yourself. Emons has enjoyed herself immensely. She's had the time of her life."
Emons is the only controversial family court judge up for reconfirmation, out of the 20 this year on February 16, 2018. Although Katz' never names Emons, those watching this battle know she is advocating for Emons as there is no other judge whose reappointment is controversial. Whitnum said Katz taking the next step to browbeating the legislators and using the blog post as an excuse is further proof of this.
"Katz is sending them a message on behalf of Emons' reconfirmation vote. In her editorial, Katz beats up the legislators claiming, 'abusively disparaged'.
"Laughable," said Whitnum. "Emons is not the victim of abuse. That is ludicrous. Not at all."
Katz goes on to state in her editorial about the legislators, "I recognize the equally well-established tenet that the legislature must enjoy its oversight function through the confirmation and reappointment process, but that oversight must be exercised with caution and discretion."
To which Whitnum replies, "Caution and discretion?! Oh my God lady shut up, for the first time in hundreds of years, the legislature is actually deliberating over a reconfirmation instead of rubber-stamping in every judge, every eight years," said Whitnum who points out that for 250 years the Connecticut Legislature has ignored the testimony of the People actually aggrieved, and rubber-stamped in every incapable, sadistic, corrupt, dishonest judge before them for centuries. Katz has no idea what she is talking about," said Whitnum.
Next Katz' editorial complains of too much, 'oversight and discretion.' to which Whitnum says, "That is insane, there has been no oversight and discretion for more than 250 years! Listen lady we are trying for a much needed evolution in the State of Connecticut. There is a much larger issue here. How dare you put pressure on the legislature – let them do their job – we may actually have a break through – for the first time in 250 years a bad judge may fired. The voices of the People aggrieved heard, for the first time, in this miserable, stuck-in-the-past, State's history."
The six week deliberation has taken many forms, requests for transcripts, request of audio of Emons courtroom antics. The quiet request that Emons step down was floated and Emons has obviously refused instead pulling out the big guns in the form of Katz, and Katz accusation, the newest leg of the battle, that legislators are also 'anti-Semitic".
The battle has all but been ignored by the media. The more public battle of the confirmation of a new Supreme Court judge – the McDonald vote - was covered extensively says Whitnum because it is a safe partisan, Republican and Democratic, issue.
"This is more controversial because Emons pulled out the anti-Semitic race card on day one. Emons made it about 'anti-Semitism' and so no member of the press seemingly wants to touch it," said Whitnum. "Fear of the dreaded 'anti-Semitic' label cuts across all socioeconomic, political and racial boundaries. Everyone is afraid of the dreaded label. Emons and Katz are abusing the power of it, to get their way. It is an unacceptable ploy – use it when it is really necessary and accurate."
In direct contrast to both Emons and Katz accusation of anti-Semitism, during the testimony, Rep. Minnie Gonzales pointed out that despite more than 20 judges present for their re-nomination hearing on February 16, 2018, the mountains of complaints were about Emons. Gonzales, refuted Emons' allegation stating that in all the complaints she received, "I never heard anything against you for your religion or your culture," said Minnie Gonzales.
"I received email after email and all were complaining about you," said Rep. Minnie Gonzales to Judge Jane Emons. Gonzales also question if Emons had the necessary compassion for the job and she stated she did not believe so.
Gonzales has worked for eleven years to improve the Connecticut Judiciary; she is apparently the only legislator willing to fight to eliminate bad judges. "Poor Minnie is up against 250 years of status quo," said Whitnum who blames what she calls "the status quo trio" Kissel, Tong and Doyle, all co-chairs of the Judiciary Committee for falling for Emons' 'anti-Semitic' victim ploy.
"Sen Kissel should have reeled Emons in and said, "ma'am do not pull the race card, unless you can prove that one of the parent is the anonymous blogger, it shouldn't be an issue, this is about your behavior as a judge,'" said Whitnum who added. "He is either not too bright or he was pandering."
Kissel, who presided, apologized to Emons for the anonymous blogger; he talked atwill length about the horrors of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, "6 million Jews" killed. "With the help of Kissel, the aggrieved litigants were all painted as little Nazis," said Whitnum. "Boy did Emons play Kissel like a marionette."
Emons accusation at the hearing forced the parents who had only been given 3 minutes to tell their heart-breaking stories of abuse by Emons, suddenly many felt the need to address Emons' accusation. Taking time from their testimony with "I didn't even know Emons was Jewish."
Judge Jane Emons has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of complaints, from the People, of any judge in the history of Connecticut. Despite heartbreaking testimony describing Emons' inappropriate behavior, separating children form a parent or parent unnecessarily, and inexplicable rulings without fact to back them. Despite, the Status-Quo-Trio, the co-chairs of the JUD committee, Rep. William Tong, Sen. John A. Kissel and Sen Paul Doyle pushed the rubber-stamping of Judge Jane Emons on February 16, 2018. The vote will now be voted on by legislators this week.
"Emons should not have been reconfirmed by the JUD Committee," said Whitnum. "I actually asked Doyle at the Orange Town meeting, why he voted for Emons with so much testimony against her. He said "Well Senator Looney told me to." Said Whitnum. "Well gee if Looney told him to jump off a bridge would do it?"
Among Emons detractors, were Peter Syzmonik founder of the "Coalition of Connecticut Family Court Reform" and two other watchdog organizations, also there were more than 25 parents who testified about Emons rulings without evidence, abuse of GAL system, behavior – screaming at people, issuing Orders when no motion had been presented, and overall cruelty aimed at keeping loved-ones apart and keeping them in the court system, punishing a parent by making them pay huge GAL fees, keeping a father from his own kid's year-after-year, Making sure a woman is granted not even a dime in settlement, and more. "The People know when they are being treated cruelly and unfairly," said Whitnum.
At the hearing a young man testified that he has been before Judge Jane Emons for 3 years fighting for custody of his 4-year-old son. In an inexplicable ruling 3 years ago, on the first day in court, Emons granted custody of his child to a distant relative! This father and the baby's mother have fought hard for every visitation. Since then this dad has been granted 2 supervised visits a year. There was never any allegation or abuse or neglect against this man.
Some parents, in frustration put up a billboard to this legislative body on Route 91 in their frustration. Stated "Vote NO on Judge Jane Emons." At the hearing, Rep. Minnie Gonzales questioned Emons about the billboard posted on Route 91 in Hartford. "…the parents they are struggling …. they came up with the money ….do you think they are crazy or disgruntled?" To which Emons replied "I have no response."
Senator Scott Franz on the way into the Capitol on Wednesday, March 1, 2018 addresses the demonstrators stating, "I've never received so much opposition to a judge in my life." Implying that he has been bombarded with emails. Whether that translates into the Legislators voting Emons in remains to be seen.
Rep. Minnie Gonzales talked about Emons' victims being driven into poverty as the result of year-after-year of court appearances. The couples start off on amiable terms, but with Emons at the helm it turns contentious.
Sen. Gomes stated, "Parental alienation is a form of child abuse." Rep. Gonzales pointed out that one parent's complaint stated, "'I've been in court fighting a custody case for 15 years…. I never did have a chance to spend time with my kids.' I don't understand that," said Gonzales, "even when there is no allegation of abuse or neglect." Emons had no comment.
"Ignoring the complaints of the parents Katz is standing up for this controversial judge and using a sole blogger as her reason. The blog post is an excuse to pull a Netanyahu. Joette Katz has shown preferential treatment and that is racism. She needs to step down." said Whitnum. "And the legislators must vote "no" on Emons, not because of her race, but because of her actions."
"Eight years is way too long to wait to get rid of a bad judge. Plenty of lives can be destroyed in that time," said Whitnum who as Governor advocates changing the Judicial Review Council from a useless rubber-stamping organization with no power to an enforcement agency with teeth to initiate impeachment hearing on judges and state employees on a rolling basis, "Please see Lee Bill #1 on my website. Three strikes and a judge faces impeachment. I'm trying to evolve the State of Connecticut," said Whitnum.
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