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Is $10,000 really the price of a judge?

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Maybe state Rep. Mary Squires (D-78th) should think about expanding her recently introduced bill that, if adopted, would bar people seeking election for judicial office from accepting contributions from members of the state bar association or law firms.

How about adding a line about barring governors from accepting campaign contributions from nominees for judgeships?

Because if newly appointed Fulton Superior Court Judge Marvin Arrington hadn't donated $10,000 to Gov. Roy Barnes just before the state's judicial nominating commission began interviewing prospective judges, there wouldn't be so many ethical questions about what is already a head-scratchingly strange choice.

Of course, asserting that a $10,000 contribution to a $10 million campaign is enough to buy a judicial position doesn't add up either. As Atlanta politico David Franklin notes: "The idea that Marvin bought [the position] is laughable."

Clearly, though, the $10,000 creates the appearance of wrongdoing while obscuring the real question, which is what did Arrington promise to convince Barnes to appoint him -- a man with so much ethical baggage and waning political strength?

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