Monday, October 31, 2011

An updated prospectus: Reviewing the groundrules here

This is in the nature of an open post:
  1. This is a non-partisan blog. This blog will cover any Cook County Circuit Court candidate, county-wide or subcircuit. If a judicial candidate has a website, I will link it. Experience has shown that Democrats who win county-wide judicial primaries are almost certain to win election in November. No Republican filed county-wide for the 2008 primary; two Republican candidates filed for one countywide vacancy in 2010. Thus, as a practical matter, there will be a lot more Democratic candidates featured here than Republicans. However, whether Democrat, Republican, Green or Independent -- anyone who can run for judge can get into this blog.

  2. This blog does not make endorsements. Of course I know some candidates better than others: I've been in practice 31 years; I can't help but know a few people. When it comes to judicial candidates, however, this blog is about information, not my opinions. 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. My goal is to help voters to make informed choices based on the data provided here.

  3. I want to publicize candidate events. If a candidate has a cable TV appearance, if a candidate has been invited to address a Chamber of Commerce luncheon, or is planning to have volunteers work all morning at the 95th Street Station on the Red Line -- and if that candidate wants some publicity about it, he or she need only let me know. I'll run pictures if they're provided (but see point 5, post). Some candidates will seek more publicity than others, and so may appear here more frequently; this should not be interpreted as suggesting any preference on my part.

  4. This blog does not charge candidates for publicity. I provide judicial campaign information on this blog as a voluntary undertaking. There are Google Ads on this blog, but I do not book the ads and I'm not selling ad space or preferential coverage. If candidates get ads on this page, that's between them and Google; the ads do not come through me. I'm trying to cover judicial campaigns in a way 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 of my family may slow my response time in given instances. I'll do the best I can. I reserve the right to edit 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.

  6. I want 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 for a particular candidate. I will give sources; I will strive to be fair. If a candidate thinks I've been unfair in a given instance, or if I've omitted something material, he or she is encouraged to write me or leave a public comment. An email link is provided in the sidebar.

  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 assist or sway any voters -- but I'll leave those comments alone. I also reserve the right not to bother with negative comments. There is probably no persuasive value in anonymous comments of "I hate this person" or "this person is no good;" such comments often say more about the commenter than the candidate. I do, however, reserve the right to intervene if comments turn particularly nasty or personal. Anonymous comments are permitted, but commenters are strongly encouraged to leave a name.

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