Thursday, November 16, 2017

What do you call a shill who polls a little too well?

After the first Monday in December 2018, such a person might be addressed as "Your Honor."

It's a weak joke, perhaps.

But I get comments with distressing regularity about this candidate, or that one, being a "shill." Most of these get flushed.

But what is a shill, you ask?

A shill is a person who files for election to a particular office at the behest of another candidate, a pseudo-candidate with no serious intention of campaigning and with every intention of withdrawing if asked to by the person who put him or her up to it.

In judicial elections, females with Irish surnames are frequently accused of being shills, circulating and filing in a race with the goal of keeping 'serious' candidates -- many of whom also seem to be females with Irish surnames, by the way -- from choosing to run for that vacancy. (I'll leave it to you, dear reader, to decide if this seems just a teensy bit inconsistent.)

Is there anything illegal about being a shill?

I couldn't find anything that prohibits it in the course of my research. But I don't pretend to be an expert. So I reached out to a prominent election lawyer and asked him the question. The election lawyer, who asked not to be named, said that he also knows of no legal prohibition against recruiting a shill or filing as a shill.

So... are there really a lot of shill candidates in judicial elections?

My election lawyer contact said he doesn't think there are a lot of shill candidates in judicial races; there may not be any at all.

That was my perception, too.

Sure, some candidates work 24/7 at campaigning and fundraising and go everywhere and see everyone... and some candidates get their name on the ballot and hope for lightning to strike. In 1996 I was one of those looking-for-lighting candidates. I finished dead last in my race. On the other hand, in 1994, I campaigned as hard as I could and raised money and spent more and went everywhere that would let me in and stood outside a lot of other places besides... and I still finished dead last.

I wasn't a shill on either occasion. I was merely an inexperienced and ineffective candidate.

No one bothered trying to 'steer' me toward this race, or away from that one, either time I ran. I wasn't important enough to be of concern to anyone.

However, in the run-up to the opening filing date, on November 27, it is just possible that some current candidates have been contacted with offers of help with petitions... or campaign contributions... or endorsements... or some other good and valuable considerations... but only if the candidate chooses to run for the Smith vacancy... not the Jones vacancy. I don't say this has happened, only that it might have.

A novice candidate, or a naive one, might even be flattered by offers of help, even offers with strings a mile long. But beware. Candidates, if someone offers you free advice, and that someone is not your spouse or significant other, that someone might be working for someone else. My advice, candidates, is trust in the Lord alone -- and watch everyone else like a hawk. Candidates should be wary even of persons they hire. If the doctrine of caveat emptor has fallen into disrepute in other areas, it is alive and well in the non-beanbag world of Cook County politics. I don't suggest you reject all offers of help or refrain from hiring help where you can. Just don't place your future entirely in anyone else's hands. Stay vigilant.

Of course, the maxim be careful what you wish for can also come into play: Some political sharpies, working surreptitiously on behalf of judicial candidate Zyzwcyz, for example, might 'steer' first-time candidate Mary Margaret McGillicuddy and two other women with Irish surnames and limited political savvy into the race Zyzwcyz expects to make. The goal is to have the fair colleens split the votes that are traditionally cast for women with Irish surnames, creating a clearer path for a Zyzwycz victory. But what if Mary Margaret's campaign catches fire? What if the other women drop out? (And, for the record, the names Mary Margaret McGillicuddy and Zyzwycz were chosen because they do not appear on the Master Roll of Illinois attorneys. I checked.)

Trying to 'steer' or plant candidates can be fraught with peril in any race, for any office: I don't subscribe to conspiracy theories -- but if you had told me, two years ago, that some Democratic Party sharpies had, through however many intermediaries, flattered or otherwise 'steered' a certain megalomaniacal Manhattan multi-millionaire into making another run for the White House, with the aim of wreaking havoc in the national Republican party and making the eventual Republican nominee (who couldn't possibly be the aforementioned multi-millionaire) that much more vulnerable to the inevitable Democratic candidate, well, I'd have believed you. In fact, even after the various Russian revelations, sometimes I still think this is the only explanation that truly fits the facts. I can imagine these nameless, faceless persons (well, I can't put names to them), agonizing like Zero Mostel, as Max Bialystock, "Where did I go right?"

Anyway, candidates, even though you probably won't see it here in the comments, some of you are sure to be called shills in the days to come. Don't take it personally.

Lakeview Neighbors event for Jonathan Clark Green on Saturday, November 18

Supporters of Jonathan Clark Green's countywide judicial bid are planning a "Lakeview Neighbors Event" on Saturday, November 18, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., at 3150 N. Lake Shore Drive, in the Party Room, Lower Level. Refreshments will be served.

To reserve a place at, or for more information regarding, the event, call (773) 327-1037 or email mmd3150@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Caroline Golden fundraiser set for November 25

Supporters of Caroline Jamieson Golden's 4th Subcircuit have scheduled a fundraiser for their candidate on Saturday, November 25, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Brookfield Ale House, 8900 Fairview Drive, Brookfield.

Tickets for the event are $50 each, but sponsorships are available (Bronze - $100, Silver - $150, Gold - $250). Tickets will be available at the door. Complimentary appetizers and drinks will be provided. For more information about the fundraiser, or to reserve tickets, email goldenforjudge@gmail.com.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Fundraiser tomorrow night for Jeanne Wrenn at Seven Lions Chicago

Supporters of Jeanne Marie Wrenn's 8th Subcircuit bid are planning a fundraiser for their candidate tomorrow evening, Wednesday, November 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Seven Lions Chicago, 130 S. Michigan Avenue.

Tickets for the event, which Co-Chairs Anne Wrenn O'Leary, Sarah Burke, and Mary Pat McKenna are calling "An Evening of Wine, Women & Wrenn," are priced at $150 each, but sponsorships are available ($500 - Host, $1,000 - Co-Chair). Master Sommelier, restaurateur, and long-time television host Alpana Singh will be featured at the event. Other hosts for the gathering include Marcy O'Keefe Twardak, Meaghan Schneider, Kati Donnelly, Rebe Sckrabulis, Kim Halvorsen, Kate Goyert, Colleen Mueller, Katie Kelly, Kathy McCauley, Mari Craven, and Dolores Connolly.

For more information about the event, or to reserve tickets, email james@lasallestrategies.com or call (773) 307-9262.

Friday, November 10, 2017

A couple of Facebook-only judicial campaign sites

For now, anyway.

It's hard to beat the price for a Facebook campaign page (zilch) and many judicial campaigns start off with Facebook pages before obtaining their own (paid-for) websites.

At present, Patrick Dankwa John's only campaign website is this linked Facebook campaign page.

John had only a Facebook page in 2016 as well, when, as Patrick D. John, he sought a 7th Subcircuit vacancy. Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1998, John works for The Barclay Law Group, P.C., focusing on family law. He is a resident of Chicago's Austin neighborhood.

Joel Chupack is exploring a race for the 12th Subcircuit vacancy, according to his Facebook campaign page.

A partner in the Loop firm of Heinrich & Kramer, P.C., Chupack's focuses his practice in the area of real estate litigation. Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1982, Chupack is a former President of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. He has also served as Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Real Estate Law Section Council and as an ISBA Assembly member. Chupack was a finalist for associate judge in 2016.

Readers spot two more judicial campaign websites

The reader who alerted me to Erika Orr's campaign website idiot-proofed it for me; he or she gave me both the candidate's name and the web address for the site, which is linked in this sentence and also in the blog Sidebar.

Her campaign site states that Orr works as a solo practitioner, with an emphasis on domestic relations. Her site notes that she also handles "contracts related to surrogacy, real estate sales transactions, franchise agreements and entertainment agency agreements." Before setting up her own practice, according to her site, Orr "practiced international tax law where she specialized in international acquisitions and dispositions, accounting for income taxes of publicly-traded and private equity portfolio companies, including dealing with complex income tax matters such as undistributed earnings of subsidiaries."

Licensed as a lawyer in Illinois since 1998, according to ARDC, Orr is planning to run in the 1st Subcircuit.

This appears to be Orr's first attempt at seeking judicial office. She did appear before Democratic Party slatemakers this past August looking for a spot on the county ticket.

Another reader advised of the candidacy of Shay Tyrone Allen for a 5th Subcircuit vacancy. I have since found this campaign website. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Allen's campaign bio notes that he is a former "Cook County prosecutor who handled thousands of complex cases from drug charges to high-profile murder cases." Allen "later served as a litigation specialist at Lee & Fairman, one of the largest minority-owned law firms in the Midwest, where his primary practice areas included criminal defense and civil litigation." His current practice, according to his campaign bio, "focuses on civil rights, criminal defense and personal injury."

Allen has been licensed as an attorney since 2005, according to the ARDC website which does list a pending ARDC complaint against the candidate. Readers should note that ARDC complaints are merely requests, by the ARDC, for the imposition of discipline against an attorney on account of alleged misconduct. However, only the Illinois Supreme Court imposes penalties against a lawyer and, because his case is pending, no discipline has been imposed against this candidate.

This is Allen's first attempt at seeking election to the bench. He did apply for associate judge earlier this year.



Thursday, November 09, 2017

A couple more campaign websites found on the Internet

A campaign website has been established for Assistant Public Defender Ieshia Gray. That's a link to her site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Gray has been licensed in Illinois since 2002, according to ARDC. She has spent her legal career with the Public Defender's office. Her campaign bio says that Gray is the "product of a working-class family and the first in her family to attend a four-year college." She is an active member of the Park Manor Christian Church on the south-side of Chicago, where she has sung in the choir, served as chair of the Trustee Board, and taught as a part of the Sunday Teen Ministry. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Gray lives in Homewood with her husband, a Cook County Sheriff, and their children.

A campaign website has also been launched on behalf of a judicial bid by Marcellus H. Moore, Jr. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Moore has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 2007, according to ARDC. He practices with The Alliance Law Group, P.C. in Chicago's Loop.

Moore's campaign bio states that he obtained his MBA and JD degrees from Northwestern in 1998. Before setting up his own practice, Moore worked "with international & global companies including Booz Allen & Hamilton (management consulting), Jones Lang LaSalle[,] and Grubb & Ellis (commercial real estate)." Moore's campaign bio describes his current practice as "largely composed of real estate, business litigation, and family law." In his family practice, Moore serves as a Guardian ad Litem/Child Representative. Moore applied for associate judge in 2015.

Rosa Silva campaign website found on the Internet

Assistant Public Defender Rosa Silva's campaign website is up and running. (That's a link to the website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar.) Silva, you may recall, is the first of the three former alternates to be slated by the Cook County Democratic Party as new countywide judicial seats have opened up. As near as I can tell, she is so far the only one of the three to have a campaign website up and running. This will change soon enough.

According to ARDC, Silva has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 2001. Her campaign bio notes that she is currently assigned to the Homicide Task Force, having tried "over 100 bench trials and over 60 felony jury trials." Silva is a member of the Cook County Public Defenders Association, AFSCME Local 3315, currently serving as a steward, according to her campaign bio.

Sliva has served as president of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (2010-2011), according to her campaign bio, and is currently the Recording Secretary of the Women's Bar Foundation. In addition to her undergraduate and law degress, Silva holds a Master's Degree in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has served as a volunteer through Lawyers in the Classroom, teaching elementary school students about constitutional law, and also volunteered with the 26th Street Readers, tutoring elementary school students at Kannon Elementary in the Lawndale neighborhood.

Silva was a candidate for a 7th Subcircuit vacancy in the 2016 election cycle.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Mary Alice Melchor to make 5th Subcircuit run

Per email received, Mary Alice Melchor has launched a bid for a 5th Subcircuit vacancy. Her supporters recently launched a campaign website in support of this effort. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

According to her campaign bio, Melchor currently serves as Inspector General for the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Previously, according to the campaign bio, Melchor was the Associate Clerk of the County Bureau (2003-2005) and as the Chief Deputy Clerk in Maywood (2002-2003). Melchor has also worked as an "insurance defense attorney with the Chicago Housing Authority and an in-house attorney for Liberty Mutual Insurance," according to her campaign bio, and as a private attorney "specializing in real estate, family and probate law." She has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1992, according to ARDC.

A former President of the Black Women Lawyers' Association (2008-09), Melchor has also served as the treasurer and legal consultant of the Cosmopolitan Community Church, where she has been a member for 41 years. Melchor was one of 50 women honored by the Chicago Defender in 2016 as a Woman of Excellence.

Melchor previously filed for a 5th Subcircuit vacancy in the 2016 election cycle, but withdrew before the primary. She was a countywide judicial candidate in the 2014 primary.

Michael I. O'Malley campaign website found

Found on the Internet: A campaign website for Assistant State's Attorney Michael I. O'Malley. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar as well.

According to his campaign biography, O'Malley began his professional life as a CPA following his graduation from Northern Illinois University with an accounting degree. During this phase of his life, O'Malley worked for "several large corporations including AON, the Northern Trust Company, and JP Morgan Chase." He attended law school at night at John Marshall while still working for Chase. He has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 2005.

As an Assistant State's Attorney, O'Malley has worked in the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau and the the Public Corruption and Financial Crimes Units. In this latter role, according to his campaign bio, O'Malley "led several investigations and prosecutions of individuals who embezzled funds from the taxpayers of Cook County." Among these, according to the campaign bio, were the "investigation and prosecution of 7 individuals who stole nearly $1,000,000 from the Chicago Public Schools" and the "prosecution of two public officials who stole $350,000 from a southwest suburban fire department."

A native of Elmwood Park, O'Malley attended Fenwick High School. According to his campaign bio, O'Malley has also "volunteered for several community organizations throughout Cook County, including Immaculate Conception grade school on Chicago’s northwest side, St. Agatha’s Catholic Church in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood, and St. Pius V Catholic Church in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood." O'Malley has coached law school trial teams and "in judge trial advocacy competitions."

O'Malley was a countywide judicial candidate in 2016. FWIW has been unable to independently confirm this, but Russ Stewart reported, in this October 11 column, that O'Malley is targeting the countywide Clay vacancy as part of a slate "consisting of current or former courtroom prosecutors or public defenders."

Friday, November 03, 2017

Cunningham fundraiser set for November 8

Supporters of Kevin Cunningham's 3rd Subcircuit bid are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Wednesday, November 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Krapil's Steakhouse, 6600 W. 111th Street, in Worth.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $100 each, but sponsorships are available (Level I - $125, Level II - $250, Level III - $500). The Host Committee for this event includes The Honorable Frank Castiglione (Ret.), The Honorable Colleen McSweeney Moore (Ret.), The Honorable David Sterba (Ret.), Mike Chomiak, John Fairman, Dan Farrell, David Fewkes, Kelly Moore, Bob Olson, Rick Ryan, and Matthew Walsh. Listed as "Honorable Chairpersons" for this event are Michael Madigan, Edward M. Burke, Vincent Cainkar, Derrick G. Curtis, Matt O'Shea, John O'Sullivan, and Michael R. Zalewski. Cocktails and appetizers will be served.

For more information about the fundraiser, email james@lasallestrategies.com.

Rhonda Sallee announces 5th Subcircuit bid, November 17 fundraiser

Rhonda Sallee has announced her intention to seek a 5th Subcircuit vacancy in the March 2018 primary.

She has no campaign website at this time, but does have a Facebook page. Her campaign also has a dedicated Paypal page (that's my formulation; forgive me if I have the terminology wrong) through which campaign donations can be made.

Sallee's campaign has also announced a Friday, November 17 fundraiser, to be held in the Penthouse of the Quadrangle House, 6700 S. South Shore Drive, Chicago. The event begins at 5:30 p.m., and tickets are $50 each. Tickets must be purchased through the Paypal page.

Sallee was a countywide judicial candidate in 2012; she also filed as an independent candidate for a 5th Subcircuit vacancy in 2016, although she withdrew from that race.

According to ARDC, Sallee has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1999. She maintains an office in the Temple Building in Chicago's Loop (77 W. Washington). According to her LinkedIn page, Sallee is affiliated with Illinois Real Estate Partners, an organization which (according to its LinkedIn page) partners "with mortgage companies, attorneys, home inspectors, title companies, accountants and certified financial planners to offer our clients the best service possible."

Sallee's LinkedIn page also notes that she has served as a hearing officer for the ARDC, as an arbitrator in the Cook County Mandatory Court-Annexed Arbitration System, and as administrative law judge (though the LinkedIn page does not specify the agency for which she works, or has worked).

Who Sits Where -- long weekend edition

Now with additions and corrections posted.

A new countywide vacancy (the vacancy of Judge Laurence J. Dunford) has popped up on the official list of vacancies published by the Illinois State Board of Elections, just in time for my favorite two day weekend of the year, the one where we turn the clocks back and thereby gain an extra hour.

Many people forward to the additional hour of sleep. Judicial candidates look forward to the extra hour to gather petition signatures. Anyway, without further preface, herewith the current vacancy list (as usual, all errors of omission or commission in this list are mine alone and I am grateful for additions and corrections provided).

Countywide Vacancies

Vacancy of the Hon. Eileen Mary Brewer -- Oran F. Whiting
Vacancy of the Hon. Evelyn B. Clay -- John S. Fotopoulos
Vacancy of the Hon. Deborah M. Dooling -- vacant
Vacancy of the Hon. Laurence J. Dunford -- vacant
Vacancy of the Hon. Lynn M. Egan -- vacant
Vacancy of the Hon. Thomas E. Flanagan -- Preston Jones, Jr.
Vacancy of the Hon. Russell W. Hartigan -- Cecilia A. Horan
Vacancy of the Hon. Michelle D. Jordan -- Clare J. Quish
Vacancy of the Hon. Sheila McGinnis -- Marina E. Ammendola
Vacancy of the Hon. Jean Prendergast Rooney -- Elizabeth A. Karkula

Subcircuit Vacancies

1st Subcircuit

Vacancy of the Hon. Orville E. Hambright, Jr. -- Litricia P. Payne

2nd Subcircuit

Vacancy of the Hon. Bertina E. Lampkin -- Fredrick H. Bates
Vacancy of the Hon. Marjorie C. Laws -- Adrienne E. Davis
Vacancy of the Hon. James L. Rhodes -- Toya T. Harvey
Vacancy of the Hon. John D. Turner, Jr. -- Travis Richardson
Vacancy of the Hon. Camille E. Willis -- Debra Ann Seaton

3rd Subcircuit

Vacancy of the Hon. Maureen Leahy Delehanty -- Patrick T. Stanton

4th Subcircuit

Vacancy of the Hon. Thomas Davy -- David R. Navarro
Vacancy of the Hon. James Riley -- John A. O'Meara

5th Subcircuit

Vacancy of the Hon. Patricia Banks -- H. Yvonne Coleman
Vacancy of the Hon. Rickey Jones -- Marian E. Perkins
Vacancy of the Hon. Edward Washington II -- Robert F. Harris

6th Subcircuit

Vacancy of the Hon. Gloria Chevere -- Kent A. Delgado
Vacancy of the Hon. Richard C. Cooke -- Charle Beach
Vacancy of the Hon. Robert Lopez Cepero -- Stephanie K. Miller

8th Subcircuit

Vacancy of the Hon. Candace J. Fabri -- Robin D. Shoffner
Vacancy of the Hon. Laura Cha-yu Liu -- Michael A. Forti
Vacancy of the Hon. Sheryl A. Pethers -- Myron F. Mackoff

10th Subcircuit

Vacancy of the Hon. Eileen O'Neill Burke -- Stephanie Saltouros
Vacancy of the Hon. Donald J. Suriano -- Gerald V. Cleary

11th Subcircuit

Vacancy of the Hon. Kathleen Kennedy -- Joanne F. Rosado

12th Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. William O. Maki -- vacant

13th Subcircuit

Vacancy of the Hon. Clayton J. Crane -- Unfilled
Vacancy of the Hon. Jeffrey Lawrence -- Michael Perry Gerber
Vacancy of Hon. Ann O'Donnell -- Samuel J. Betar, III

14th Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. Rodolfo Garcia -- vacant

15th Subcircuit

Vacancy of the Hon. George F. Scully, Jr. -- Diana L. Embil
Vacancy of the Hon. Frank G. Zelezinski -- Anthony C. Swanagan

If you're keeping score at home, you'll notice that there have been three countywide vacancies posted since the Cook County Democratic Party's August slating meeting. The list of eight alternates that emerged from that meeting, which seemed rather... improbable (I'm looking for as neutral a word here as I can) at the time, doesn't seem quite so far-fetched any longer -- at least not for Rosa Maria Silva, Tom S. Sianis, and Thomas F. McGuire. These individuals are now, according to the Democratic Party's August announcement, duly endorsed countywide judicial candidates.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

November 14 neighborhood fundraiser for Judge Cecilia Horan

Supporters of Judge Cecilia Anne Horan's bid to maintain her countywide seat are planning a "neighborhood fundraiser" for their candidate on Tuesday, November 14, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., at the Dovetail Brewery, 1800 W. Belle Plaine, Chicago.

The "suggested contribution" for this event is $25, but sponsorships are available ($125 - Friend, $250 - Supporter, $500 - Patron, $1,000 - Chair). The event promoters advise that Dovetail is "kid- and dog-friendly," and that there will be free pizza and a cash bar. Hon. Patrick O’Connor, Hon. Lucy Moog, Hon. Mike Volini, Hon. Mary Ann Smith, Hon. James Cappleman, Hon. Carol Ronen, Hon. Marion Volini, Hon. Raymond Lopez, Hon. Paul Rosenfeld, and Hon. Brendan Reilly are the listed hosts for this fundraiser.

For more information about this event, or to reserve tickets, email Eric Nelson at eric@blueprintcampaignconsulting.com or call him at (773) 562-9559.

Jonathan Clark Green campaign announces two weekend events

The Jonathan Clark Green campaign has announced two upcoming weekend events.

Green's supporters have arranged for their candidate on Sunday, November 12, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at Westwood Tavern, 1385 N. Meachum Road, in Schaumburg. Tickets for this event are $50 each, but sponsorships are available (Supporter - $250, Sponsor - $500, Chair - $1,000). The listed hosts for the Westwood Tavern fundraiser are Mike Cudzik, Schaumburg Township Committeeman; Steve Caramelli, Hanover Township Committeeman; and Ted Mason, Elk Grove Township Committeeman.

For more information about this event, or to reserve tickets, email Terri Bernstein at terri@jonathanclarkgreen.com or call her at (773) 868-4175.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, November 5, the Park Ridge Women's Committee will host a "Meet & Greet" with the candidate from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in Room B of the O'Connor Building at Prospect Park, 733 N. Prospect Ave. in Park Ridge. To reserve a place at this event, please email amybreaux5@yahoo.com or call her at (224) 622-8222. Joanne Barbaria Johnson is the Event Chair, Amy Breaux is the Vice Chair. Monica DeBartolo, Nancy DeBiasi, and Eva Sheehan are also on the host committee for this event.

Monday, October 30, 2017

November 1 fundraiser for Peter Michael Gonzalez

Supporters of Peter Michael Gonzalez's countywide judicial bid have planned a fundraiser for their candidate this coming Wednesday, November 1, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC, 333 West Wacker Drive, Suite 450.

The host committee for this event includes Aurora Austriaco, Hon. Helaine Berger (Ret.), Deanna Blair, Deane Brown, Alia Caravelli, Judy Dever, Corinne Heggie, Jennifer Irmen, Kristen Kozlowski Lyons, Anna Krolikowska, Lori Levin, Kristin Barnette McCarthy, Gail Morse, Adria Mossing, Dina Ninfo, Ngozi Okorafor, Gena Whitson-Owen, Jennifer Sender, and Karie Valentino.

Tickets for the event are $100 each, but sponsorships are available ($250 - Host, $500 - Promoter, $1,000 Campaign Leader). For more information about the event, or to reserve tickets, email gonzalez4judge@gmail.com.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Michael Hayes to make 3rd Subcircuit run

An observant reader tipped me to the candidacy of Michael Hayes in the 3rd Subcircuit. Hayes' supporters have launched a campaign website on his behalf. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar. There is also a campaign Facebook page.

Hayes has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 2002. He practices from an address in Chicago's Garfield Ridge neighborhood.

According to his campaign bio, Hayes joined the Chicago Police Department after graduating from DePaul. While still serving as a police officer, Hayes enrolled at John Marshall Law School and earned his law degree. He has since worked for the Cook County State's Attorney's office and as an attorney for the Chicago Police Department.

Hayes is an Army veteran, according to his campaign bio, serving as a sergeant leading an "elite platoon charged with combating nuclear, biological and chemical threats against U.S. troops" during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 24 fundraiser for Christine Svenson

Supporters of Christine Svenson's bid for the Republican nomination for the O'Donnell vacancy in the 13th Subcircuit are planning a fundraiser for their candidate this coming Tuesday, October 24, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Saper Law Officers, 505 N. LaSalle Street. Appetizers and drinks will be provided.

Tickets for the event are $100 each, but sponsorships are available (White - $500, Gray - $1,000, and Purple - $2,500). For more information about the fundraiser, or to reserve tickets, email Info@SvensonForJudge.com or call (847) 436-3689.

Campaign website launched, November 2 fundraiser set, for Judge Toya T. Harvey

Supporters of Judge Toya T. Harvey's campaign to hold the 2nd Subcircuit seat to which she was appointed this past March have launched a campaign website for their candidate. That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1995, according to ARDC, Harvey was a career Assistant Public Defender before her appointment to the bench. A life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., according to her campaign bio, Harvey "currently serves on various boards including serving as the Board Chairman for Family Christian Healthcare Center, FQHC and Executive Board member for the juvenile diversion organization, Life Choices We Make." She is also a longtime Girl Scout Troop Leader.

Harvey's supporters have scheduled a fundraiser for their candidate on Thursday, November 2, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at Intimo Martini Lounge, 7068 183rd Street, Tinley Park. Dawn the Dancin Deeva will provide a line dancing demonstration at 7:00 p.m. The minimum donation for this event is $20. Tickets may be purchased at the door or via this page of the candidate's website.

Jack Hagerty campaign website launched

Supporters of Jack Hagerty's countywide judicial bid have launched a campaign website on his behalf. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed in Illinois since 1990, according to ARDC, Hagerty received the endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Party this past August.

Hagerty is currently a partner in the firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP (formerly Shefsky & Froelich, Ltd.). He joined that firm in 1994, after serving as an associate with Phelan, Pope & John, Ltd. According to his campaign bio, Hagerty "has represented public and privately held corporations and various units of local government in a wide variety of complex litigation in state and federal courts," including the successful representation of "the City of Chicago in an action brought seeking to have the City’s Minority Women Business Owners ordinance declared unconstitutional." Hagerty has served as outside counsel for Streetwise, according to his campaign bio, and is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Hagerty is one of the co-hosts of the long-running Hagerty Family Irish Hour, heard Saturday mornings on WPNA, 1490 AM. He also serves, according to his campaign bio, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Fellowship Club, a member of the Board of Directors of the Evans Scholars, a member of the Board of Directors of Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, and as an Associate Member of the Chicago Blackhawks Alumni Association.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fundraiser for relief efforts in Mexico and Puerto Rico set for October 23


The Diversity Scholarship Foundation is leading the charge on this one, but a host of individuals and organizations have pitched in to sponsor this fundraiser for earthquake and hurricane relief efforts in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Tickets for the event, to be held Monday, October 23, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Latinicity, 108 N. State Street are $100 each, but the Diversity Scholarship Foundation website tickets page offers giving options of up to $1,000, including (of course) sponsorships (Azul sponsor - $500, Oro sponsor - $500, and Diamente sponsor - $1,000).

The Diversity Scholarship Foundation website states, "All profit generated from this event will be split equally between the Mexican Consul and The Puerto Rican Agenda."

Honored guests at the event will include include U.S. Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, Alternate Consul General of Mexico Miguel Antonio Cuesta Zarco, and Pedro Soler of The Law Offices of Pedro F. Soler.

Co-sponsors for this event include Clifford Law Offices, Floyd D. Perkins of Nixon Peabody LLP, the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, Hon. Jesse G. Reyes, the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois, and the Lesbian & Gay Bar Association of Chicago.

Several other organizations have also pledged support for this event, according to the Diversity Scholarship Foundation website. On this lengthy list are
  • the Advocates Society - The Association of Polish-American Attorneys;
  • the Appellate Lawyers Association;
  • the Arab-American Bar Association of Illinois;
  • the Asian American Bar Association;
  • the Asian American Bar Foundation;
  • the Black Women Lawyers Association;
  • the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago;
  • the Chicago Bar Association;
  • the Chinese American Bar Association;
  • the Decalogue Society of Lawyers;
  • the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago;
  • the Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois;
  • the Illinois State Bar Association;
  • the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association;
  • the International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation - Chicago Network;
  • the Jewish Judges Association of Illinois;
  • the Justinian Society of Lawyers;
  • the North Suburban Bar Association; and
  • the Women's Bar Association of Illinois.

Friday, October 13, 2017

October 30 fundraiser set for Judge Quish

Supporters of Judge Clare Joyce Quish's bid to retain her countywide seat are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Monday, October 30, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., at The Marq, 60 W. Adams St. in the Loop. Stacy Bardo, Margaret Fitzsimmons, Patrick Dwyer III, and Catherine Basque Weiler are the listed hosts for the event.

Tickets are priced at $50 each, but sponsorships are available ($150 - Supporter, $250 - Sponsor, $500 - Patron, $1,000 Chair). For more information about the event, or to reserve tickets, call Eric Nelson at (773) 562-9559 or email eric@blueprintcampaignconsulting.

Thomas J. Gabryszewski circulating petitions for Suriano vacancy in the 10th Subcircuit

Yesterday morning, at the Harlem Blue Line station, if I'd been more awake, or if I'd been carrying less stuff, I would have snapped a picture of attorney Thomas J. Gabryszewski soliciting signatures for his nominating petition for the 10th Subcircuit Suriano vacancy.

But I did not take a picture.

Still, Gabryszewski, a first-time judicial candidate, is circulating petitions and plans to make a run. There's no campaign website yet, he told me, though one is planned. When I get it, I'll add it to the collection in the blog Sidebar.

Gabryszewski has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1990, according to ARDC. He practices from his own law office on North Michigan Avenue.

Fundraiser set for Monday for Judge Adrienne Davis

Supporters of Judge Adrienne Elaine Davis's bid to hold the 2nd Subcircuit seat to which she was appointed this past March are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Monday, October 16, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Licorice Lounge, 607 E. 87th Street, Chicago. Donna Grant, Andrea Bonds, Maggie Muhammad, and Melvin Worley are the listed hosts for this event.

Food will be provided; there will be a cash bar. No specific ticket price is posted; rather, contributions are "appreciated." For more information about the event, or to reserve a place, email Citizens4judgeadriennedavis@gmail.com.

October 24 fundraiser for Caroline Golden

Supporters of Caroline Jamieson Golden's 4th Subcircuit bid are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Tuesday, October 24, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Swift & Sons, 1000 W. Fulton Street, Chicago. Rob and Kathleen Katz are the listed hosts for this event.

Tickets are priced at $150 each, but sponsorships are available ($250 - Silver, $500 - Gold, $1,000 Platinum, $2,500 - Chairman). Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, or to reserve tickets, email goldenforjudge@gmail.com.

Monday, October 09, 2017

October 19 fundraiser set for Colleen Daly

Supporters of 10th Subcircuit candidate Colleen Daly are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Thursday, October 19, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Nil Tap, 5734 N. Elston Ave., Chicago.

Tickets for the event are $50 each, but sponsorships are available (Bronze Host - $150, Silver Host - $250, Gold Host - $500, Platinum Host - $1,000, Chair - $2,500). For more information about the event, or to reserve tickets, email renee@dalyforjudge.com.

Date announced, sponsors sought for 2017 Unity Award Dinner



The 2017 Diversity Scholarship Foundation Unity Dinner and 15th Swearing-In of Bar Presidents Ceremony is set for Wednesday, November 29 in the Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Hilton, 720 South Michigan Avenue. The Reception begins at 5:00 p.m.; the dinner and program follows at 6:00 p.m.

The Diversity Scholarship Foundation, NFP and the John Marshall Law School are presenting this event, and the organizers are looking for individuals or firms to purchase ads for the event program ad book or to assist in sponsoring the event. More information about either option is available by clicking on the links in the preceding sentence or by emailing the Foundation's Director of Communications, Abigail Sue, at dsfchicago@gmail.com.

Individual tickets for the event are $150 each and may be obtained at this site.

October 23 fundraiser for Judge Kent Delgado

Supporters of Judge Kent Delgado's 6th Subcircuit election bid are planning a Monday, October 23 reception for their candidate, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Billy Goat Tavern, 1535 W. Madison St.

Tickets for the event are $100 each (government employees may obtain discounted $50 tickets), but sponsorships are available (Neighbor - $250, Friend - $500, Patron - $1,000, Benefactor - $2,500). Tickets will be available at the door. To reserve advance tickets, or for more information, email neighborsforjudgedelgado@gmail.com or click on this link (also accessible through the candidate's campaign website).

Christine Svenson to seek 13th Subcircuit vacancy

Attorney Christine Svenson has announced her intention to seek the Republican nomination for the O'Donnell vacancy in the 13th Subcircuit in the March 2018 primary. Her supporters recently launched a campaign website on her behalf. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Svenson has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1995, according to ARDC. Her campaign bio notes that she has headed her own law firm since 2008. Before that, according to her LinkedIn page, Svenson was a partner in the firm of Stone and Moore, Chtd.

Svenson's campaign bio notes that she "served as General Counsel and Parliamentarian for the Cook County Republican Party, Committeewoman for the Palatine Township Republican Organization, and an officer for the Republican National Lawyers Association." A lifelong resident of the far northwestern suburbs, Svenson is a graduate of Barrington High School. Her bio also notes that Svenson is fluent in French and "proficient" in both Spanish and Italian.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

October 24 fundraiser for Judge Myron "Mike" Mackoff

Supporters of Judge Myron "Mike" Mackoff's bid to hold his 8th Subcircuit seat are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Tuesday, October 24, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., at the law offices of Schiller, DuCanto & Fleck, 200 N. LaSalle St., 3rd floor.

Tickets for the event are priced at $125 each, but sponsorships are available ($250 - Silver, $500 - Gold, $1,000 - Platinum, $1,000+ - Platinum Plus). Tickets will be available at the door. For more information about the event, or to reserve tickets, click on this page of the candidate's website, or email judgemackoffevents@gmail.com.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Jonathan Clark Green campaign website launched, October 11 fundraiser set

Supporters of Jonathan Clark Green's countywide judicial candidacy have launched a campaign website for their candidate. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

In addition, Green's supporters have announced a fundraiser for their candidate, to be held next Wednesday, October 11, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Petterino's, 150 N. Dearborn Street. Tickets are $75 each, but sponsorships are available (Supporter - $250, Sponsor - $500, Chair - $1,000). The Event Chairs for this gathering are 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney, Water Reclamation District Commissioner Debra Shore, Daniel Fusco, Todd Smith, and Melvin L. Brooks. For more information about the event, or to order tickets, call (773) 868-4175 or email terri@jonathanclarkgreen.com.

Green was slated for the countywide Clay vacancy by the Cook County Democratic Party this past August. Green is currently a Senior Counsel in the City of Chicago Department of Law, according to his campaign biography. The campaign bio notes that Green was formerly in private practice with Green & Green, P.C. and of counsel to Rock, Fusco & Garvey, Ltd. Green has also worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and on the legal staff of the Illinois House of Representatives. Green has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1986.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Alliance of Illinois Judges Second Annual Cocktail Reception is tonight

Per email received, the Alliance of Illinois Judges still has a few tickets left for its Second Annual Cocktail Reception tonight, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Plymouth Rooftop, 327 S. Plymouth Ct. Admission is $50, which includes drinks and appetizers. To obtain one of these few remaining tickets, click on this link of the AIJ website.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Illinois Judges Foundation Annual Reception set for October 11

The Illinois Judges Foundation will host its annual reception on Wednesday, October 11, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the Old Crow Smokehouse, 149 W. Kinzie St., in River North.

The Illinois Judges Foundation is the charitable arm of the Illinois Judges Association. Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and retired 4th District Appellate Court Justice Carol Pope (who was president of the Illinois Judges Association in 2011-12) will be honored as "judicial icons" at the event. Also, the winners of the 2017 Harold Sullivan Scholarship Recipients will be announced. Proceeds from the reception support the charitable and educational programs of the Illinois Judges Association, including in particular the annual Harold Sullivan Scholarships.

Tickets for the event are $100 each. A buffet and refreshments will be provided. For more information, or to order tickets, call IJF Executive Director Kevin Fagan at (312) 554-2008 or click on this page of the IJF website.

Victory Research offers help for judicial candidates

Running for Judge is never easy under any circumstances. If you aren’t slated by the party, you know how difficult it can be to even get on the ballot. Now, even if you’re slated the party wants you to get some of your own signatures.That’s where Victory Research comes in. Since 2012 we have successfully put more than two dozen judicial candidates on the ballot. Including our work for Independent Maps, we collected more than 100,000 valid signatures during the 2016 election cycle. This year, it is your turn. If you hire us you WILL be on the ballot. Then, with the other services we offer, we will help you win your campaign. Please visit our website at www.illinoispolitics.webs.com, then call us at 312-388-1782, and ask for Mr. Murphy to find out how we can help you get on the ballot and win your campaign for Judge this year.

November 14 fundraiser for Judge Travis Richardson

Supporters of Judge Travis Richardson's bid to hold his 2nd Subcircuit seat are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Tuesday, November 14, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at Leona's on Stony, 9156 S. Stony Island.

Tickets for the event are $100 each, but sponsorships are available ($250 - Friend, $500 - Host, $1,000 - Co-Chair). The host committee for the event (listed as "in formation") consists of 8th Ward Ald. and Committeeman Michelle Harris, 21st Ward Ald. and Committeeman Howard B. Brookins, Jr., Sen. Donne E. Trotter (17th), and Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore (4th). For more information about the event, or to procure tickets, email info@Richardson4Judge.com.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Two October fundraisers set for Judge Oran F. Whiting

Two October fundraisers have been announced for Judge Oran F. Whiting.

The first of these is set for this Wednesday, October 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Dr. Yates LifeStyle Med, 213 North Stetson Avenue. Individual tickets are $75 each, but sponsorships are available (Friend - $150, Supporter - $250, Host - $750). Dr. William D. Yates, M.D., and Jeff Katz, Esq. are the hosts for the event. The honorary hosts are Cong. Danny Davis and former State Rep. Lauren Beth Gash. To reserve tickets for the event, click here.

The second fundraiser for Judge Whiting will be held on Tuesday, October 24, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the law offices of John L. Elias & Associates, on the 28th floor of the Willoughby Tower, 8 S. Michigan Ave. The Elias firm; Arden Baranowski, of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group; and Marion Penn, of the Advisor’s Title Network, are the hosts of this event. Cong. Davis and former State Rep. Gash are again serving as honorary hosts. Tickets for this event are also priced at $75 apiece, with the same sponsorship opportunities available (Friend - $150, Supporter - $250, Host - $750). To reserve tickets for this event, click here.

Updated 10/3 to correct blogger's spelling errors

Sunday, October 01, 2017

October 5 fundraiser for Martin D. Reggi

Supporters of Martin D. Reggi's 4th Subcircuit candidacy are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Thursday, October 5, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at FitzGerald's Side Bar, 6615 West Roosevelt Road, Berwyn.

The event will be catered by Freddy's Italian; wine and beer will be served. Jazz will be served up by Interplay Duo. Marco Raimondi is the listed host for the event.

Tickets are $75 apiece, but sponsorships are available (VIP/Friends - $100, Silver - $250, Gold - $500, Platinum - $1,000). For more information, or to reserve tickets, email reggiforjudge@gmail.com.

Sharp-eyed readers spot two more judicial campaigns

A reader called last week to advise that Lisa A. Copeland will be a candidate in the March 2018 Democratic primary. That's a link to her campaign site in the preceding sentence. A link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Copland fell short in a bid for a 1st Subcircuit vacancy in 2016. Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1997, Copland is the proprietor of Lisa A. Copland, P.C., with an office on East Wacker Drive.

Copland's campaign is holding a fundraiser tomorrow, Monday, October 2, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at The Bar 10 Doors, 1251 (or 1259) W. Taylor (depending on which website one consults). Tickets are $150 each, and sponsorships are presumably still available (Supporter - $250, Sponsor - $500, or Host - $1,000). For more information, email lisacopland@gmail.com.

An anonymous reader left a comment mentioning that Assistant State's Attorney Kathaleen Lanahan is circulating petitions for a countywide vacancy. I haven't seen the petitions, so I won't mention the targeted vacancy, but I have found a campaign website; it is linked in the preceding sentence, and a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Lanahan has been licensed as an attorney since 1993, according to ARDC. She began her legal career with the Board of Tax Appeals, but soon moved to the State's Attorney's Office where she is now, according to her campaign bio, the lead attorney in a felony courtroom.

Lanahan's campaign website touts two upcoming fundraisers, the first of these being set for Thursday, October 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Reilly's Daughter, 4010 W. 111th St., Oak Lawn. Tickets are $100 each, but sponsorships are available (Friend - $250, Supporter - $500, Sponsor - $1,000). For more information, email jack@lanahanforjudge.com.

Caroline Golden to seek 4th Subcircuit vacancy

Caroline Jamieson Golden has announced plans to seek a 4th Subcircuit vacancy in the 2018 Democratic Primary. Her supporters recently launched a campaign website in support of her candidacy. That's a link to the website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1992, Golden is currently an attorney with the Sotos Law Firm, P.C., handling civil rights defense and appellate work. Before that, Golden was a litigation partner with Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg. According to an email announcement sent to FWIW, Golden's practice there "included prosecuting and defending high-stakes commercial litigation claims [and]... coordinating the national defense of medical device products liability claims in mass tort multi-district litigation." Golden began her legal career at Querrey & Harrow.

Corrected typo, 10/2/17.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Jerry Barrido campaign announces that it is targeting the countywide Jordan vacancy

Assistant Public Defender Jerry Barrido is circulating petitions for the countywide Jordan vacancy, according to an email received by FWIW.

Judge Clare J. Quish currently holds the Jordan vacancy pursuant to Supreme Court appointment. She was recently slated for this vacancy by the Cook County Democratic Party.

To my knowledge (always shaky, unfortunately), Barrido is the first non-slated candidate to announce the specific vacancy he is seeking.

Arab-American Bar Association to host judicial reception on November 2

The Arab American Bar Association of Illinois will hold its inaugural Judicial Reception on Thursday, November 2, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., at the Alhambra Palace Restaurant, 1240 W. Randolph St.

Tickets for the reception are priced at $75 apiece, but students will be admitted for a discount price of $25. Sponsorships are also available (Silver - $500, Gold - $1,000, Platinum - $1,500).

Cook County Chief Circuit Judge Timothy C. Evans and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke are the distinguished honorees for the event. For additional information about this event, or to reserve tickets, email arabbarrsvp@live.com or visit this page of the association's website.

Newly-appointed judge already has campaign website up and running

Judge Robert Harris was just appointed to the Washington vacancy in the 5th Subcircuit earlier this month; he was sworn in on September 21. His campaign website is already up and running. Yes, that is a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar.

Harris's campaign bio leads, naturally enough, with his 13-year tenure as Cook County’s Public Guardian, the first African-American to hold the position (he was appointed by Cook County Chief Circuit Judge Judge Timothy C. Evans).

Harris began his legal career began with the Public Guardian's office in 1991 as an entry-level attorney, rising through the ranks to become the Chief Deputy Public Guardian before his 2004 appointment as Public Guardian. According to the campaign bio, the Public Guardian's office is charged with "the legal representation of abused and neglected children, children in divorce and custody cases, and adults (mostly elderly) with cognitive disabilities." As the appointed Public Guardian Harris had supervisory responsibility for "over 100 lawyers who primarily litigate cases in the Juvenile, Probate, and Domestic Relations Divisions of the Circuit Court of Cook County."

The law was a second career for Harris. Before returning to DePaul University for law school, Harris "as a manufacturing, quality control, and sales engineer." His bachelor's degree is from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign College of Engineering.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Campaign website, October 3 fundraiser set for William H. Laws

Criminal defense attorney William H. Laws, the husband of recently retired Judge Marjorie C. Laws, has announced plans to seek a 2nd Subcircuit vacancy.

The campaign recently launched a campaign website, and his supporters have scheduled a kick-off campaign event for their candidate on Tuesday, October 3, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the offices of James D. Montgomery & Associates, 1 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2450. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Tickets are $100 each, and sponsorships are available (Associate - $250, Friend - $500, Partner - $1,000+). For more information about the event, or to order tickets, email contactus@laws4judge.com.

Laws has been licensed in Illinois since 1980, according to ARDC. His campaign biography notes that Laws graduated from Howard University (where he played football and graduated Phi Beta Kappa) and Northwestern University Law School, where he was active in the Northwestern Legal Assistance Clinic, assisting in the representation of underprivileged youth and adults who could not afford a private attorney.

For the past three decades, according to his campaign bio, Laws has "managed his own law practice representing clients from all major felony offenses including first degree murder." He has served as Chairman of the Local School Council for Edgar Allen Poe Classical School for six consecutive years, following. He also previously served as the President for the Parent Teacher Association at Poe. Laws has also been the Commencement Day Speaker and Career Day Speaker for Henderson Elementary School located in Englewood.

Advocates Society hosts Annual Judges' Night October 26

The Advocates Society, the local association of Polish-American attorneys, is holding its annual Judges' Night on Thursday, October 26, from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Polish Museum of America, 984 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.

Billed as an event with no speeches and no assigned seating, organizers stress that one need not be Polish to attend. All current Cook County judges are invited as well as all presiding judges from the surrounding counties.

Tickets for non-members are $60, if purchased in advance, or $75 at the door. Sponsorship opportunities are available (see the Advocates website for more information).

For more information about the event, or to order tickets, email Kristen Kozlowski Lyons at attorneykristen@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Barrido fundraiser set for Wednesday, October 4 in Forest Park

Supporters of Jerry Barrido's countywide judicial bid are throwing a reception for their candidate on Wednesday, October 4, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Caffe De Luca, 7427 W. Madison Street, Forest Park.

Beer, wine, and appetizers will be served. Fred Acosta, of the Acosta Law Group, is hosting the event.

Tickets are available for $50 each, but sponsorships are available (Friend - $100, Supporter - $250, Sponsor - $500). For more information, or to reserve tickets, email info@barridoforjudge.com.

Jeanne Wrenn fundraiser set for September 28

Supporters of 8th Subcircuit candidate Jeanne Wrenn are planning a "neighborhood reception" for their candidate on Thursday, September 28, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Burke's Public House, 5401 N. Broadway.

Tickets for the event are $50 each, but sponsorships are available ($100 - Supporter, $250 - Bronze Sponsor, $500 - Silver Sponsor, $1,000 - Gold Sponsor). To reserve tickets, or for more information, email james@lasallestrategies.com.

September 27 fundraiser for Judge Patrick Thomas Stanton


Supporters of Judge Patrick Thomas Stanton's bid to hold onto his 3rd Subcircuit seat have scheduled a fundraiser for their candidate on Wednesday, September 27, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at City Social, 120 North LaSalle Street.

The Host Committee for the fundraiser includes Jim Kopecky,John Duffy, Jim Lydon, Susie Graham, James Fieweger, Chris Kentra, Frank Morrissey, John Nisivaco, Ted McNabola, Patty Ryan, Marty Ryan, Rosa Tumialan, Tom Smith, Jeff Wagner, and Ed Weil.

Tickets for the event are $100 each, but sponsorships are available (Supporter - $250, Host - $500). For more information about the fundraiser, or to reserve tickets, email ElectJudgeStanton@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Several subcircuits have yet to hold slating sessions

As of this past weekend, Democratic slating committees in Subcircuits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 13, 14 and 15 have either not met or have not reported any endorsements, according to Jacob Kaplan, Executive Director of the Cook County Democratic Party.

FWIW had learned, and Kaplan has since confirmed, that all Cook County Democratic subcircuit slating committees were encouraged to meet during the week of August 13-19. Some did. But many did not. The suggested meeting dates were a recommendation, not a requirement, Kaplan said in response to an email request from FWIW, adding, "the subcircuits you mention have not yet held their slating, and I am not sure they will. They have not notified me of their plans as of yet."

And, of course, in two of these cases, in 12 and 14, the vacancies only recently opened.

Slating sessions did take place in the 8th, 10th and 11th Subcircuits (all after August 19). FWIW had posts up about the endorsements in 8 and 10. Judge Joanne Rosado was endorsed for the 11th Subcircuit seat she presently holds pursuant to Supreme Court appointment. (I only retweeted that last result, on September 5.)

And then there was the 6th Subcircuit meeting. Endorsements were made in that meeting, too. But there was a problem. More on this, immediately below.

Cook County Democratic Party declares 6th Subcircuit slating "void"

Multiple sources have confirmed that the Cook County Democratic Party has declared the "actions taken and endorsements made" by the 6th Subcircuit slating committee on August 19 to be "void."

The party has asked 6th Subcircuit committeemen to set a new endorsement session, but none has yet been set. Thirty-third Ward Committeeman Aaron Goldstein, who wrote one of the letters obtained by FWIW complaining about irregularities in the procedure used by the slating committee, told FWIW in an email, "I would certainly like to have another vote as I think this is an important part of our function.... I think we should continue with the process."

The controversy arises from a dispute about the weighted vote used by the committeemen at the August 19 slating session.

Documents obtained by FWIW, as well as records of the Chicago Board of Elections, confirm that the slating committee used weighted votes apportioned according to those cast in the November 2016 general election for the de Leon vacancy (which was won by Eulalia "Evie" De La Rosa---who had no opponent---with 85,600 votes).

However, §7-8(g-1) of the Illinois Election Code, 10 ILCS 5/7-8(g-1), provides, in pertinent part:
[E]ach ward committeeman shall have one vote for each ballot voted in his ward or part of a ward, as the case may be, in the judicial subcircuit by the primary electors of his party at the primary election immediately preceding the meeting of the judicial subcircuit committee.
Note that the statute specifies the preceeding primary election, not the preceding general election.

What difference does it make?

Well, when the weighted votes were tallied using the November De La Rosa numbers, Judge Kent Delgado, Judge Stephanie Miller and Ed Underhill were declared endorsed.

However, if the votes were weighted according to the figures provided by the Cook County Democratic Party, using the overall primary turnout, Delgado, Miller, and newly-appointed Judge Charlie Beach would have been endorsed.

The 6th Subcircuit slating committee was chaired by 1st Ward Ald. and Committeeman Proco Joe Moreno III. FWIW has obtained a copy of Chairman Moreno's September 8 letter to Thomas A. Jaconetty, an election lawyer representing Judge Beach, in which Moreno mistakenly relies on §7-10(f) of the Illinois Election Code, 10 ILCS 5/7-10(f), for support (I'm no election lawyer, but I would guess Chairman Moreno was probably thinking of §7-10(h) of the Illinois Election Code). FWIW did reach out to attorney Pericles Abbasi, who served as counsel for Moreno at the August 19 meeting, for his explanation as to why the De La Rosa figures were used instead of those supplied by the Cook County Democratic Party, but no response has yet been received.

The Cook County Democratic Party appointed Norwood Park Township Committeeman Robert F. Martwick and Oak Park Township Committeeman Don Harmon to review the outcome of 6th Subcircuit meeting. FWIW has obtained a copy of the September 13 email sent to Moreno, the other 6th Subcircuit Committeemen, and the affected candidates and their attorneys. This is the document that declares the results of the slating to be "void." "However," Harmon wrote, "we do not believe it would be appropriate for the Party or its executive committee to substitute its judgment for that of the Committee's judgment, beyond legal questions such as the use of the correct weighted vote distribution or legal sufficiency of notice, for example. Accordingly, we do not advise the Party to simply reverse the incorrect endorsements and declare other candidates to be endorsed. Instead, we recommend that the Party direct the Committee to reconvene for further action using the correct weighted vote distribution."

The bottom line---for now---is that the Democratic Party has not endorsed anyone for any 6th Subcircuit vacancy. Individual ward organizations have made endorsements. The 33rd Ward, for example, has endorsed Delgado, Miller, and Beach; 32nd Ward Ald. and Committeeman Alderman Scott Waguespack has endorsed Delgado. Other endorsements will be forthcoming.

Now before someone reminds me that, in my August 24 post about the meeting, I reported that the committee's decision was "unanimous" -- which I did -- this was essentially a parliamentary maneuver to paper over differences after a contentious discussion among strong-willed committeemen (or their proxies) before any public announcement was made. And the formal unanimity was not seen as a barrier to overturning the meeting results. FWIW has been cited to Rule 47 of Robert's Rules of Order which states, in pertinent part, "No motion is in order that conflicts with the laws of the nation, or state, or with the assembly's constitution or by-laws, and if such a motion is adopted, even by a unanimous vote, it is null and void."

Moreover, in my defense, I would point out that, despite the declaration of unanimity, it was my impression at the time that a "rival slate" was likely to emerge and likely to draw significant support from many of those who were allegedly "unanimous" in support of the meeting outcome.

At this juncture, I would amend my prediction just a bit: The eventual winners in each of these three races will probably have some overlapping support -- but the coalition supporting the winner in each race will likely differ in material respects from the coalitions supporting the winners in the other races. Which is a fancy way of saying it's going to get mighty interesting, and potentially quite crowded, in the 6th Subcircuit in 2018.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Fundraiser tomorrow for Judge Adrienne E. Davis -- featuring Judge Mathis

From time to time a judicial candidate will find a celebrity endorser.

Looking through the archives, I note that Jane Lynch did a commercial for one candidate in the 2012 primary; Da Coach, Mike Ditka, cut a commercial for a different candidate that year. During the 2008 primary season, several of the 1985 Super Bowl Bears headlined a fundraiser for still another judicial candidate.

But the upcoming fundraiser for Judge Adrienne E. Davis, who is campaigning to keep the Second Subcircuit seat to which the Supreme Court appointed her earlier this year, is unique in my experience: The event, which will take place tomorrow night from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Virgin Hotel, 203 N. Wabash, will be hosted by TV's own, Judge Greg Mathis.

Tickets for the event are $100 each, but sponsorships are available ($150 - Sponsor, $250 - Host, $500 - Platinum). For more information about the event, or to order tickets, click on the candidate's campaign website. Yes, that is a link to the candidate's campaign website in the preceding sentence and, yes, I've reversed the usual order of things. Usually, I plug the website first, and then the fundraiser. However, with the fundraiser coming up so soon, it's probably best to do things this way. In any event, a solicitation for tomorrow's extravaganza comes in as a pop-up, just as soon as you open the page. And I have added the candidate's website to the blog Sidebar.

(And as far as this blogger has been able to establish, Judge Judy has not yet taken a stance in this race.)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

There is a new vacancy in the 14th Judicial Subcircuit

The latest posting from the Illinois State Board of Elections confirms that Judge Rodolfo Garcia has put in his papers; his 14th Subcircuit vacancy has now been certified.

From time to time you may see comments to posts here on FWIW that suggest that this judge, or that one, is stepping down.

Sometimes the comments are entirely accurate... and sometimes the comments appear to represent wishful thinking only. An outsider like me can't always tell which is which.

I think I've been contacted twice by judges planning to step down. Although that would make my blogging life easier (hint, hint), it just so happens that there is no obligation to tell me beans. So I'll keep checking the ISBE website. And, today, Judge Garcia's vacancy is the only new one I can confirm.

David Studenroth to seek Republican nomination for Maki vacancy in 12th Subcircuit

David Studenroth has announced plans to seek the Maki vacancy in the north suburban 12th Subcircuit. His supporters have now launched a campaign wesbiste boosting his candidacy. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Studenroth has been licensed in Illinois since 1987, according to ARDC. A Glenview resident, Studenroth maintains a law office in Park Ridge, handling criminal defense and civil matters.

According to his campaign biography, Studenroth entered private practice in 1998, after extensive service with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office prosecuting gang crimes. This past June, Studenroth received the Illinois State Crime Commission's 2017 Jim Ryan Award for Public Integrity.

In addition to practicing law, Studenroth has coached football for the Glenview Jr. Titans and both boys and girls basketball for the Glenview Park District. Married, with three children, Studenroth and his wife just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this week. FWIW readers will recall that Studenroth lost a close race in the 12th Subcircuit in the 2016 general election.