Readers Write: Michael Weinstock endorses Jon Kaiman for Congress

Readers Write: Michael Weinstock endorses Jon Kaiman for Congress

I look forward to voting for Jon Kaiman, on Aug. 23. He is, by far, the most experienced candidate on the ballot. Jon is a brilliant man, with a passion for public service. He also has a great big heart.

When I was a young lawyer, I found myself representing a difficult client. I was representing a college professor who had been arrested and charged with sending death threats to university officials. He claimed to be innocent and he demanded a jury trial in federal court.

There was only one problem… the man was absolutely crazy. He was certain that he could dazzle the jury with his brilliance. He was entirely disinterested with the mountain of evidence that proved his guilt. He was also in a perpetual state of anger towards everyone and he spoke with a strong Chinese accent.

Whenever I went to the jail to speak with my client, he would raise his voice and berate me. The guards would politely look away and pretend that they couldn’t hear the man shouting at me. Usually, he would scream at me about the poor state of public education in the United States.

I was in a real pickle and I was scared. What did I do? I called Jon Kaiman.

Jon was a criminal court judge for many years. He served in a tough community and he had a reputation for treating everyone in his courtroom with respect. Before becoming a judge, Jon was a criminal defense lawyer. He had experience representing people who were crazy, but not “crazy enough” to plead insanity.

Jon returned my call immediately and he helped me through the crisis.

“I know it’s exhausting representing troubled people” Jon told me. “I know it’s tough to go to the jail and have enraged men shout at you through the bars.” Jon encouraged me to step outside my crises for a moment. He encouraged me to think about the constitution. “You are representing a deeply troubled man in federal court, and he still enjoys all of the rights and protections of the US Constitution. That’s a very special thing.”

Jon spoke to me like an old pro that day.

“The constitution wasn’t drafted to protect millionaires. It was drafted to protect everyone. It was drafted to protect poor people; as well as troubled people who weren’t born here. You aren’t representing a difficult man with fits of rage” Jon explained. “You are representing the Constitution. That’s a big honor and you should embrace it.”

At the end of the trial, my client received a far better outcome than he deserved. My client was blessed — because Jon Kaiman gave me valuable advice and guidance when I really needed it. I quoted Jon’s words when speaking to the jury.

Jon Kaiman was a “true believer” when he was a lawyer in private practice. He represented middle-class people, who were facing terrible injustice. He put his heart and soul into representing his clients and he frequently looked the other way, if they had difficulty paying the bill.

Some of the other candidates call themselves “activists.” They engage in stunts to generate media attention.  They carry around megaphones. Jon Kaiman doesn’t do “stunts.” Jon Kaiman helps people.

Jon Kaiman has dedicated his career to helping people. He helps people stay out jail and he helps people who are struggling to stay in the middle-class.  He accomplishes big things because he works hard and he is unfailing optimistic.

Jon’s commitment to public service is almost as admirable as his commitment to his family. When I was a law student, Jon came to my apartment for dinner.  He came with his wife and their first child, who was a toddler at the time. 

About halfway through dinner, I noticed Jon walking around my apartment and poking around a bit.  When I asked what he was looking for, he told me that it was almost “bath time” and he forgot to bring toys. 

Thankfully, we were able to find a few plastic toys that floated. Jon excused himself from dinner, and for the next half hour, we heard nothing but laughter coming from the bathroom.  

Jon is the type of person we want representing us in Congress.  Jon Kaiman is the real deal. I look forward to voting for Jon Kaiman on Aug. 23.

Michael Weinstock

Great Neck

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