Hell and ice water

February 20, 1992

Crazy Lou.

Del. Louis L. DePazzo doesn't mind when you call him that, he says.

Racist Lou? That he minds.

Yet Mr. DePazzo, a Dundalk attorney running for Circuit Court judge in Baltimore County, finds himself dodging that characterization following comments he made on Cable News Network.

In a CNN feature about politics that aired earlier this month, Mr. DePazzo said on the broadcast, referring to blacks: "Their needs are different than ours. . . They have been denied . . . historically and society's addressed that, and some of us feel that maybe they're pushing a little too hard now . . . How much are we gonna have to pay for what happened 150 years ago?"

To groups who he feels get more in services than they pay in taxes, he said, "Of course they want [services]. People in hell want ice water!"

Mr. DePazzo's racial divisiveness is wrong-headed and particularly unwelcome in a judicial election. Because of his remarks, the Baltimore County chapter of the NAACP wants to help defeat Mr. DePazzo in his run for a circuit court judgeship this year. Unfortunately, in a recession that provides fertile soil for scapegoats, the candidate's remarks will probably only endear him to those drawn to him in the first place.

Mr. DePazzo likes to think of himself as an unorthodox "people's champion." His comments and bigoted view of the world, though, prove he doesn't belong on the bench. He is the best illustration we have encountered this year of why politics should be removed from judicial elections -- and why the sitting judges in Baltimore County, who have proven their competence and judicial fairness, merit voter support. We reiterate our endorsement of sitting Judges Thomas J. Bollinger Sr., J. Norris Byrnes, Robert E. Cahill Sr., Edward A. DeWaters Jr. and Christian Kahl.

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