1. Opinion

Frankly, this is despicable politics

Published Oct. 26, 2012

Republican state House candidate Frank Farkas of St. Petersburg needs to brush up on the oath of office he took when he last served in the state Legislature: Elected officials promise to defend the Constitutions of both the United States and Florida.

But these days, Farkas is trying to smear his Democratic opponent, attorney Dwight Dudley, for playing a valid role in America's lauded system of jurisprudence, contending that Dudley's representation of criminal defendants makes him unqualified to hold elected office. Farkas has been flooding the mailboxes of House District 68 residents with fliers displaying the names and mug shots of some of Dudley's former clients charged with murder, armed robbery, drug possession and sexual battery. The fliers raise the specious suggestion that Dudley puts the interests of criminal defendants ahead of the public's general welfare.

Farkas' shameless mudslinging is nothing more than fearmongering and should have no place in a campaign of a former state legislator. Farkas should stop and focus on the pressing issues facing Florida. Having a better grasp of the criminal justice system, where defendants have a right to counsel, is a good place to start.