Why I’m voting for Victoria Kolakowski for Superior Court Judge

Victoria Kolakowski, who is running for Superior Court Judge, has been endorsed by a slew of elected officials, democratic clubs, local organizations, and newspapers. I actually can’t even think of anyone I’ve talked to about this race who has not said that they are voting for her.

Victoria Kolakowski

Still, I often get the sense that many of the people I talk to are voting for her because they feel like they should, but don’t really care that much about the race or have a particularly strong sense of why this election matters so much. But you should care. Because it is important.

Diversity on the bench

When you read newspaper articles about this race, it’s easy to get the sense (although she is always quoted in them saying otherwise), that the main thing Kolakowski has to offer is that she is transgendered. In their endorsement of her opponent John Creighton, and in a very frustrating article they ran about the race, the Oakland Tribune seemed to imply that her main qualification for office was that there are currently no LGBT judges in Alameda County. Stories tend to emphasize Creighton’s work prosecuting gang, domestic violence, sexual assault, and murder cases, while glossing over Kolakowski’s legal background and focusing on the fact that she would be the first transgendered judge.

And while she does talk about that on her website and at fundraisers, I have never gotten the sense that she believes it is her primary qualification for the job, nor is it what drives her to want to position.

And I can’t hold it against her for bringing it up when asking for money. I mean, obviously she has to address it, because other people certainly will, and also, the fact is that it does help with fundraising, and you need money to win elections, and it is hard to raise money for low profile races. So you use whatever you’ve got.

Mostly as a favor to a friend who was hosting it, I attended a fundraiser for Victoria Kolakowski last May. I was planning on making a very modest donation. And she got up and made her pitch, and she talked about how less than 30% of Alameda County Judges are women, and how there are no transgendered judges in the entire country, and she read out loud from this awful editorial, which had been recently published in the Washington Times all about employers should be allowed to discriminate against “she-male[s]” and “psychologically troubled persons.”

And yeah, I was moved. Call me a bleeding heart or whatever. Identity politics is not how I make decisions about which candidates I am going to support, but I totally get why some people do.

For a long time, I didn’t understand that. I would listen to women my mother’s age get all worked up about supporting female candidates, or talk about how important it is to get more women in public office, and I would just think “This does not matter to me at all.” I hated the idea that anyone could think my breasts were more of a qualification for anything than my mind. Growing up, it never occurred to me that there was a job I wouldn’t be able to have because I was female. As an adult, the only things I ever encountered sentiments like that about were professional cooking and pinball, where I was never locked out, but compliments always came with irritating disclaimers. You know, like “Wow, V. You’re really good at this, for a girl.” And while that is irritating, if it’s the worst thing you have to deal with — well, things aren’t really that bad.

But now, when I look at the passion gay rights advocates put into electing LGBT candidates, I finally understand. I think the reason I never did before was because the women of my parents’ generation did such a good job that I always had role models I could look at who made me think I could do anything I wanted. They were so successful about their own identity politics that I couldn’t even see why it was necessary. (Nice work, ladies!)

And while there has been much progress on that front in recent years, it is still not the case today for gay people, and it is certainly not the case for transgendered people. And although I am not gay, I remember growing up, having close friends who were, and (especially in Texas) that is a very hard thing for a kid to have to deal with. The immense pain of being an outsider, of just wanting to be normal and thinking they never would be, of having to hear all the time that it is okay for people to hate you for who you are — I wanted so badly to be able to say something that would take their pain away, even just a little bit. And I couldn’t.

And it’s great to have public figures people can point to — celebrities or whatever, but I think that only goes so far. Celebrities, are, almost by definition, not normal. And when the world makes you feel like there must be something wrong with you at your very core, all you want is to be normal.

There’s something very different about being elected. I mean, if you are elected to public office, it means that the most people had to actually vote for you. They had to actively make a decision affirming that they are not bothered by your identity, and they don’t think it makes you less qualified to be represent them, and that they are okay with who you are. In that sense, it’s the most normal possible thing. I think that means a great deal for kids, or adults even, struggling with coming to grips with who they are.

And being a judge is very much the same, as Kolakowski explains in this Bay Area Reporter article from when she was sworn into her current job as an Administrative Law Judge:

As transgender people, often we are perceived by people as being…well, honestly, crazy or delusional. So to be the first transgender person in this position is significant…In a society where people question our judgment, to be affirmed as someone capable of making good decisions based upon sound reasoning and application of the law — that’s a big deal.

So, yeah. I totally get it. And so I do think that it matters. And the second I got home, I went to her website, and I donated five times the amount of money I had been planning to.

Diversity of legal experience and interest

But I wouldn’t have given her any money at all if I didn’t already think that it is important we elect Victoria Kolakowski for Superior Court Judge for other reasons.

John Creighton seems like a very good person. And I have no reason to believe that he is not a very good prosecutor. But another judge whose interest lies solely in criminal law is simply not what the Alameda County Superior Court needs.

Most judges are former prosecutors. Part of the reason is that this is a very appealing title on the ballot, and a lot of people make decisions on low profile races based on the job description next to the candidate’s name. Another part of the reason is that usually when there is an open judge seat, it gets appointed by the Governor. And Governors tend to appoint prosecutors.

This creates an imbalance in the courts, where most judges do not have a background in civil law. Many judges also are not particularly interested in civil cases, and end up getting just assigned to them because they lack the seniority to score the types of cases they request. But these types of cases are precisely the reason Victoria Kolakowski wants to be a judge.

A few months ago, I attended another fundraiser for Victoria Kolakowski. This time, it was Oakland City Attorney John Russo who made the pitch. I wish I had written down what he said, or thought to record him with my phone or something, because he put it so much better than I can. But his speech was just as powerful as the one Kolakowski herself had made a few months ago, although focused on a completely different topic.

He talked about the complexity of the civil cases he works on, and how much more difficult the process can be due to the lack of judges with expertise in these areas of law, and how desperately judges with this type of experience are needed on the bench. Kolakowski has worked in many of these more obscure areas, including patents and intellectual property, bankruptcy and divorce, corporate and contract law, land use and zoning, and environmental law. As an Administrative Law Judge, she has to deal with complicated cases involving utility regulation and CEQA. We need judges who are properly equipped to handle these matters.

Access to the courts

Aside from her extensive legal background in areas that differ from that of most judges, the other reason I feel so strongly that it is important to elect Victoria Kolakowski is her passion for increasing access to the courts.

In criminal cases, you are guaranteed a lawyer. But in civil cases, you are not. And anyone who has had to go through that knows firsthand just how unbelievably and prohibitively expensive that can be. The legal system is often, to say the least, obtuse, and without representation, it can prove nearly impossible to navigate.

In the video below, Kolakowski speaks movingly about her ideas for making the process more understandable, and how taking time at the beginning to explain it to people can save immense amounts of time and money, on both sides, in the long run. It’s not a long video. If you are at all undecided in this race, please watch it.

To have someone who wants to make that a priority, who cares specifically about doing this, about making the legal system work for everyone — that’s huge. That will make a tangible difference in people’s lives.

In her endorsement of Kolakowski, Becks wrote about her temperament and compassion, and while I have not worked closely with Vicky like she has, I do think that her even-tempered mindset and commitment to fairness and the law comes through very clearly in the few conversations I have had with her, as well as in this interview for change.org

And that’s why I am voting for Victoria Kolakowski for Superior Court Judge. And why I hope you will too.

You can help elect Victoria Kolakowski for Judge

While Victoria Kolakowski enjoys broad support here in Oakland, and so it might seem like this is a lock, it’s important to remember that we live in a very large County, and John Creighton’s endorsements of police organizations, prosecutors, and local newspapers carry a lot of weight in other parts of it, particularly in a race that gets as little attention as this. So if you believe, as I do, that Kolakowski is the right candidate, and that her experience and priorities are important to the bench, please, call your friends who live in Hayward of Livermore or Fremont or Pleasanton or wherever, and ask them to cast their vote for Victoria Kolakowski for Superior Court Judge on Tuesday. You can make a difference in this race.

30 thoughts on “Why I’m voting for Victoria Kolakowski for Superior Court Judge

  1. Dan Wood

    Unfortunately, it appears that Kolakowski’s campaign has sort of fallen by the wayside, at least from here in Alameda. I haven’t seen a *single* Kolakowski yard sign in Alameda where I am, and lots of Creighton ones. (I don’t think it’s due to any real bias in Alameda.) I invited her to a political fundraiser party where 3 or 4 other local candidates came back, and no reply. I’m glad that the Alameda Democratic Club endorsed her back for the June race, and that endorsement still stands … but beyond that, I don’t see her doing very well in Alameda. (Bummer!)

  2. Cynthia Laird

    Vicky’s campaign is going strong. The Alameda Dem Club is distributing her literature and we have signs up around the county.

  3. Becks

    Dan – I’m working on Vicky’s campaign.

    Countywide races are expensive affairs, and in a low budget campaign, we had to make difficult decisions. We opted not to print lawn signs. (We didn’t print any for June either and Vicky came in first with 46% of the vote.)

    We have distributed thousands of Vicky’s flyers in Alameda and have called thousands of voters there. We also have some posted signs up. Vicky is on multiple organizational slate mailings that have gone to Alameda including Sierra Club, National Women’s Politicial Caucus, and Equality California.

    For some perspective on the effectiveness of lawn signs, I urge you to read this Onion article: http://www.theonion.com/articles/yard-sign-with-candidates-name-on-it-electrifies-c,18321/

  4. ralph

    Not that I am expecting you to have huge insights on all of these judges, but do you? Or should I just vote yes and pray.

    PS: You have a very valid point about the way MM endorse Victoria. Heck, even the alternatives are guilty of leading with transgender and diversity. No discussion of her actual body of work. I hope they are reading this and take note.

  5. Paul

    I cannot and will not support. I expect a judge to follow California laws and not inundate me with robo-dialing (4 calls!).

    At least Jean Quan has the sense to use actual volunteers to make the phone calls and not some shady outfit in colorado in the 720 area code.

  6. V Smoothe Post author

    Just to clarify — it is against California law to send robocalls from within California. There is nothing illegal about making robocalls to California voters.

  7. ralph

    Paul,
    I am not sure if the “720″ call is some shady outfit. I have not placed any calls on behalf of Victoria, but I am familiar with phonebanking 2010. The law prohibits robocalls “to disseminate a prerecorded message to the telephone
    number called.”

    In phonebanking 2010, someone is on the other end but if the resident is not home it is possible that a pre-recorded message can be left. Alternatively, the caller could leave a msg. It just depends on how the system is set-up.

    Because you have not received a 720 call from JQ does not mean that they were not made. I for one did. Or at least I think it was from Camp Quan. Sandre left a msg for me a week ago.

    Not saying it wasn’t a robocall but it possible that there is another explanation. Also, I though the law also specified certain hours that these calls could not be placed.

    $0.11

  8. Karen Bishop

    I decided to watch the youtube video as I had not heard from Vicky directly and only read articles about her and her opponent.

    I will not be voting for Vicky. She is hoodwinking everyone. I have a feeling she has never even gone to the Superior Court’s website to understand the information it already provides to the community.

    She states she will give people greater access to the civil courts. Vicky also states she wants to make it cheaper to get to court by providing information and explaining things to ordinary citizens. She doesn’t have to. You know why? Because the California Superior Court, Alameda County has already done that for us. Yippe! Isn’t that great. If you go to the website you can file a claim, all by yourself, with no lawyer necessary. You can file for guardianships, restraining orders, small claims cases, and more.

    Also on the website there is a section that provides you with all the information about what forms you will need, a section about representing yourself, a section explaining all of the costs. It is a real treasure trove of goodies waiting for you.

    California Superior Court, Alameda County has innovative programs that help certain groups. First instance every Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 p.m. there is senior court. Many of our seniors are abused by their families and are swindled out of their money. The District Attorney has a senior unit that does nothing but prosecute cases every Friday. It is efficient and guess what, it increases access to the Courts.

    And guess what, the Court already has volunteers and staff that sit down with you and explain to you step, by step, on how to file. So please Vicki don’t waste precious resources by producing cheesy videos on how to access the Court.

    Vicky is quoted in the Oakland Tribune saying “What I have is a broad range of different types of perspectives, different experiences than what we see on the bench,” Kolakowski said. “I agree that the race is about experience but it is different types of experiences that are important.” What types of experiences are you bringing to the table? She never gives us specifics.

    Vicky is also quoted in the same article as saying “A lot of people in our county realize there is more to our courts than just criminal cases, we need to have a different mix of people on our bench with different experiences,” Kolakowski said.

    We do, we have African American Judges, women judges, Asian Judges. No we don’t have LGBT Judges but Vicky makes it sound like its white guy central.

    She seems like a nice person and it sounds like she has lots of experience but she comes to the race seemingly unprepared and unrealistic about what she thinks she can bring to the bench. I think she should run on the fact that she wants a more diverse court and we should have a LGBT judge. That is honest. The rest is just hooey.

  9. mfraser

    Jon I think you will find that on this board, and I guess in Oakland, principals of good government and government ethics are pretty much a nonfactor, no matter how severe the violations are, no matter how deeply contradictory to the necessary ethics to fairly execute the office being sought. If governmental ethics are your concern I suggest Common Cause as a source, or using the recommendations on this board as a reverse barameter for how to vote.

    Take the Mayor’s race – this board’s blogger suggests Perata, then Kaplan, then Quan, and no Tuman.

    Based on any consideration of ethics you’d put Tuman and Kaplan first, in that order for my money but I could see that as debateable, then probably Quan, and Perata a very distant last place.

  10. mfraser

    CA Common Cause, is largely non-operational, though I have an appeal in to the National Exec Director to review the situation. Ethics in government as an issue in CA is on life support at best.

    If you are interested in that issue in a real way please contact me at ethicsforoakland@gmail.com

    We are collecting a small group of likeminded folks who would like to see ethics in government become a front-burner issue in Oakland.

  11. Jon

    V Smoothe, you make a good point. It seems that everyone is doing it now. During the last election in June, the only political robocalls I got were for Victoria Kolakowski. During this election, I’ve gotten dozens of them for various candidates and every time I get one I am reminded that she opened the floodgates. But it’s not the fact that she started it that bothers me so much as the way she did it. If she had pointed out the loophole in a ruling, then I would say she was doing her job. If she had pointed it out in a letter to the legislature, then I would say she was trying to uphold the integrity of the law. Did she do anything like that, that I am unaware of? Right now it appears to me that she just exploited the loophole for personal gain. That strikes me as shady and disrespectful of the law. And I think that, above all else, a judge should have integrity and respect for the law.

  12. RdwithCypress

    I am glad the Doug Boxer thing came up. I have one question? Why are there so many people living in San Francisco, and other cities outside of Oakland on the Oakland Planning Commission? What the hell is that about? Shouldn’t the planning commission be made up of people living in our city? I would think this would be the very minimum requirement for planning commission? What is wrong with this picture?!? I am outraged by this fact…..

  13. Karen Bishop

    I hate robocalls. To me, it is lazy, using technology to get the word out when using volunteers to make a personal plea is more effective.

    I love technology don’t get me wrong. I can’t wait to get my new i-Pad, i-phone and to hook up all my home electronics so it’s on remote control. But as a society we think technology should take over every function. We are human beings and relate to other humans. And when it comes to politics I think using human volunteers to reach out to others is the most effective.

  14. len raphael

    All i know about the candidate is that she served on the Budget Advisory Commitee, Oakland, CA as a Member (2009-Present) and like every other member of that committee until Kilian got on a few months, failed to warn us and the council of the budget problems.

    Now you might tell me that she warned the council members in private, but that would have been difficult because the Committee often didn’t have a quorum.

    I don’t see any minutes or reports on their site. http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CityAdministration/d/BudgetOffice/o/BudgetAdvisoryCommittee/index.htm

    Most likely the committee members didn’t even know until recently that the city staff was required to produce a 5 year projection, so we shouldn’t blame that on a single committee member.

    I have no data about her opponent, but if her resume is padded on this, why shouldn’t I be skeptical of her other claims.

    -len raphael, temescal

  15. V Smoothe Post author

    Jon -

    Perhaps you just moved to California, or perhaps you only recently registered to vote, I don’t know. But robocalls from political campaigns are not a new thing, they did not begin with Vicky, and they have been virtually omnipresent Statewide in every election since I moved here. All serious candidates who are running to represent large districts use them, including Vicky’s opponent John Creighton. Just because Thomas Hawk misread the law and posted a bunch of angry blogs claiming robocalls are illegal doesn’t mean that they actually are. He is simply wrong.

    Oh! And speaking of robocalls, here’s a great one Leonardo DiCaprio just did for No on 26!

  16. V Smoothe Post author

    Len –

    I can’t even make heads or tails of what you are trying to get at. It does not appear that you understand the purpose or function of the Budget Advisory Committee.

  17. DontBotherDelores

    As a long time reader and some time commenter, who are mfraser and Karen Bishop and why is everything they write so awful?

    Maybe I am moved by yesterday’s Sanity Rally but we don’t need tea party anger on this blog. We need debate but this personalizing everything is too much.

  18. Oaklandlifer

    I must disagree! I have found the posts from what I believe is the pro-Tuman crowd interesting and well documented. I particularly like the focus on ethics in government and don’t see why you would find that offensive. I don’t believe that sort of theme is a part of the Tea Party crowds program, is it? In any case I find that theme refreshing and important.

    I do agree some postings on the Tuman posting were strongly worded but it seemed to me since I also founding the spirit of the exchange
    since I agree with those who said the original
    post seemed excessive and angry too. I also agree with you that I could have done without the tension but I reread the Tuman post twice and found it’s tone too strong for me and not completely fair.

    I have found the wealth of information here to be very helpful from many posters and appreciate the exchanges even when vigorous!

  19. Oaklandlifer

    Oh my that was poorly phrased! What I was trying to express is that the harsh tone on the Tuman piece seemed mutual and in the spirit of the original post, so I think that made some conflict fairly well assured. All unnecessary though, I would concur on that.

  20. Karen Bishop

    Dear Don’t Bother,

    While I am not a long time reader of this blog, I would hope that it is open to all people who want to engage with others and learn more about the issues.

    I find it interesting that because I have disagreed with V. Smoothe or expressed myself multiple times, that I am considered a teapartier. That is so far from the truth. I am a liberal democrat. But I believe there is room for disagreement even within that label.

    I think because I am new to posting some people don’t like what I have to say because they have some feelings of loyalty with V. Smoothe.

    I would like to take a moment and ask that you review all of the opinions V. Smoothe has offered her readers from Kaplan, Quan, Perata, etc. and find a level of rationality and civility even though she does not agree with them.

    When it came to Joe Tuman V. Smoothe began her opinion with talking about her mother wanting her to get another job, live up in the hills one day. She began a personal attack on Joe right after her open commentary. She began the personal attack.

    Then another blogger “Living In The O” picked up on V. Smoothe’s arguments about Joe and was alerting people to what V. Smoothe said as though that was the truth.

    I have met Joe Tuman, he is not a charlatan nor hoodwinking anyone. He is a dedicated, smart, and committed professional who wants to become Mayor. In my opinion he will do a great job.

    In the interest of free speech, I wanted to share another opinion and I invited debate. I even asked V. Smoothe to provide more specific examples and she didn’t. In another blog she asked me to “read it” as though what she said in her opening commentary should be enough for me to get her position. I feel her position is based on some buttons that are getting pushed and she is reacting out of an irrational perspective. She even said after 10 minutes she didn’t like Joe.

    Regarding the Superior Court Judge that V. is supporting. I’m not saying anything awful. I happen to know quite a bit about how the court system works in Alameda County and I feel Vicky cannot contribute to the Court system in a way John can. I’m not attacking Vicky personally and I am sympathetic with her position of wanting LGBT diversity on the Court. I was suggesting she use that as one of her main reasons for running. That would be more honest. But personally, and professionally, I don’t believe her professional credentials are strong enough to be a good, effective superior court judge. Also, she made claims of things she wants to accomplish. I don’t believe she is prepared enough to make those claims. The very things she wants to accomplish have already been done by the hard working people in the court system. I’m sure she can make improvements but she makes it sound like the Court is inaccessible and that is not the case.

    I hope Don’t Bother that you will engage with me and others to explore the issues and learn from one another.

  21. Jon

    V Smoothe -

    I have lived in California for my entire life and have been registered to vote for much longer than I care to admit. I had received far fewer robocalls since they were banned. As I said, the only ones I got last June were supporting Victoria Kolakowski. I remember thinking that it was odd that the call was coming from out of state. I didn’t realize why it was coming from out of state until I read Thomas Hawk’s article.

    As you said, “it is against California law to send robocalls from within California.” I think it was unnecessary to specify “from within California”. Of course it only violates California law if the calls originate from within California. Callers elsewhere would be beyond the jurisdiction of California law. The calls came from out of state in order to evade a state law prohibiting them. That’s like a large company that operates almost entirely in California incorporating in Delaware in order to avoid California regulations. It is that kind of finagling that gives the legal profession a bad name.

    I am not accusing Victoria Kolakowski of violating the letter of the law. As a judge, I’m sure that her knowledge of the law far exceeds mine. I do think she violated the spirit of the law. That she was able to use her legal expertise to stay within the letter of the law may make her actions legal, but it does not make them ethical.

    I have not received any robocalls supporting John Creighton. But you are absolutely right when you point out that many campaigns are using them in this election. (Just today, I got a call waiting beep while trying to delete a robocall’s voicemail message. The waiting call was another robocall.) In light of this, perhaps it seems unfair to single out Victoria Kolakowski. If she was running only in this election, then I’m sure that her robocalls would be lost in the crowd. Although the fact that everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right, it does, as a practical matter, cease to be a differentiator. The reason that I do single her out is that during the last election, she seemed to be the only one using robocalls. But the thing that really bothers me is the legal finagling.

  22. mfraser

    Hey Don’t Bother -

    Why is it people on this board love to call others ‘awful’ and then proceed into personal attacks? Don’t you see the painful, on face contradiction in that, or the absurdity? Since so little is done to call people out on such antics on this board I would guess not, but please try to consider what I suggesting. I try to post in good faith, and if in any case I haven’t done that, I apologize. Please tell me some specifics so I can ponder my ill behavior, and I ask you to look at your post and consider you own.

    I think that all I’ve done on this board it try to argue against an unfair and factually wrong hit piece on Joe Tuman (with the factual errors specifically documented), and to emphasize the need for ethics in our government. If that is extremism, then I’m extremist, and I think we need a lot more of it.

    If you think that ethics are being given careful consideration by voters in this election I’d love to hear some specifics, because I don’t see it. For Mayor, if we elect Perata, we will be electing what one very respected civil rights litigator of nearly 40 years experience tells me will be electing “the single most corrupt politician in California.” Illegal activity – maybe not, as I think he’s generally too smart for that and all the quid pro quo that goes on is ‘understood,’ rather than explicit. In my view the unethical part is undeniable, and the scope, billions of dollars of taxpayer money sold out for at most a penny or two on the dollar in campaign contributions (really a tiny fraction of a cent in most cases), is unparalleled.

    What is awful, Don’t Bother, is people who try to smack down debate and argument which is based on facts and reason just because they have little or nothing to say which refutes the central point being made or the facts being raised. In my view of the world THAT is ‘awful.’

  23. len raphael

    Jon, business’s that are formed in other states but operate from within California are subject to much the same rules faced by businesses organized and operating in CA. So all those Delaware entities are subject to CA law for most purposes. A big exception being corporate governance type issues.

    Sounds like the robocall companies operate completely outside CA other than to use CA phone lines.

  24. DontBotherDelores

    Karen, luv, you’ve made my own case. If I went to someone’s house and carried on against the host and was rude to the other guests who didn’t see my way, I wouldn’t be surprised that I’d never be invited back again. You would apparently stalk the house, look for any other parties, plant yourself on the front porch and when the next party took place walk in and try to claim that it was you who the guests were really coming to see.

    MFraser, you are an extremist. Of course you wrap your self in it because you can only seen your own wisdom and mistake obstinacy for wisdom. That is actually call pride and it goeth before the fall. Your invective is unappreciated. In fact, no i havent read most of your longwinded comments because I try to scroll past them.

    People with good points usually make them succinctly.

  25. mfraser

    Only succinct points are good – ok, I gather you liked Bush as President then, and Mr no-show Perata will be a good fit for you as well. Lord knows we wouldn’t want to discuss things in detail.

    Ok, your lack of willingness to engage in meaningful comment or discuss facts or reasons just makes me say you’ve convinced me to not bother Don’t Bother.

    You again deride insults while mainly hurling them. That really helps people learn and reflect.

  26. Jon

    Thanks, len.

    It seems to me that the intent of the law was to help people avoid unwanted robocalls. Unfortunately, it was circumvented by simply moving the machines out of state. I don’t know if there is any way the law can be fixed. Even if it can, I’m afraid that people will just find new ways to evade it. Recently, an attempt was made to introduce a similar law at the Federal level. It didn’t get very far, but even if it did, I wonder if the machines would just be moved out of the country. I find it depressing that so much of both business and politics revolves around answering the question, “What can we get away with?”