Saturday, October 17, 2009

For those who came in late: Getting information about Cook County judicial candidates on this blog

With less than 10 days before candidate filing opens up, this may be a good time to review what I'm trying to accomplish here. This post is particularly addressed, therefore, to candidates and their supporters:
  1. This is a non-partisan blog. If you're running, under whatever banner, I want to cover your candidacy. If you have a website, I will link it. I want to cover all judicial candidates in Cook County. Experience has shown that Democrats who win county-wide judicial primaries are almost certain to win election in November; no Republican even filed county-wide for the 2008 primary. Thus, there will be a lot more Democratic candidates featured here than Republicans; however, this does not mean that this blog will not cover candidates filing as Republicans or Greens.

  2. I'm not making endorsements. When they become available, I will post ratings from the bar associations, newspaper endorsements, and any community group or union endorsements that I can verify. If I know a candidate personally I will disclose it -- but I'm not going to endorse your opponent because I know him or her.

  3. I want to publicize your events. If you have a cable TV appearance, if you've been invited to address a Chamber of Commerce luncheon, if you're planning to have volunteers work all morning at the 95th Street Station on the Red Line -- and you want some publicity about it, let me know. If you have a picture and I can work it in (subject to my technical limitations) I'll try to run that too.

  4. It costs nothing to get your information here. This is a hobby for me. I have no PayPal button. I do have Google Ads on this blog, but I do not book the ads and I'm not selling ad space or preferential coverage. If your opponent gets an ad on this page, that's between him or her and Google; it doesn't come through me. I'm trying to cover your judicial campaign the way I wish the newspapers would. Which reminds me....

  5. I am not a professional journalist. I am a practicing attorney. Having run for judge twice myself (in 1994 and 1996) I appreciate just how little time candidates have to get their campaigns in front of as many people as possible -- but the needs of my practice or my family may slow my response time in given instances. I'll do the best I can. I reserve the right to edit your information, to add information I've discovered on my own, to combine or even ignore duplicative releases. In short, I reserve the right to edit, with one exception that I will explain at the end of this post. But first....

  6. I want this these judicial posts to be a resource for voters. That means I want to provide accurate information. Accurate information may not always be the most flattering information. I will give sources; I will strive to be fair. If you think I've been unfair in a given instance, or if I've omitted something material, you are encouraged to write me or leave a public comment.

  7. I reserve the right to delete comments. I don't know that comments from friends and family like "he's the best" or "she's the most qualified" are going to really sway any voters -- but I'll leave those comments alone. What I'm worried about are "attack" comments. I understand that this is a blog and open to the entire world and that a certain amount of freewheeling commentary is to be expected, but my experience from two years ago has suggested a need to intervene quickly if comments turn nasty and personal. On the other hand, a lot of positive and helpful information can come from intelligent and perceptive commenters and I'm looking forward to these.
One final note: Around the end of November or beginning of December, I will ask any interested candidate to provide a statement in your own words -- your own essay, addressed directly to the voters. When I did this in 2007-2008, I got statements from roughly 25 candidates. I'm hoping to have many more personal statements this time around. I ran these as they came in. I also linked to them when I did 'round up' posts -- on a race by race basis -- so voters could comparison shop in the days immediately before the primary. You can find the 2008 round-up posts and the personal essays in the Archives. To browse the Archives click on the year in the Sidebar; this will open up a month by month menu and you can search from there.

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