Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Endorsement season opens: Blogger asks for help

Regular visitors will have noted that I've put up two sets of judicial endorsements so far. Many groups that traditionally make endorsements in these kinds of races have only just begun their endorsement process. However, I also realize that many candidates are claiming endorsements that I've not yet publicized.

I would like to publicize every Cook County judicial candidate's endorsements, but I need help and cooperation from candidates, readers and organizations making endorsements.

If the Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick-makers Union makes endorsements in all of the judicial races, and Candidate Smith tells me that s/he has secured this coveted endorsement, I have made it my policy not share Candidate Smith's happy news until I can get the entire list.

This has not always been possible. I'm not exactly sure why, but some groups seem reluctant to publicize their endorsements.

Case in point: Last week I heard from a person who is supporting a Cook County judicial candidate. This person wrote me to advise that a well-known union had endorsed the candidate supported by this person. I wrote back and asked for a list.

Over the weekend, having not heard from the candidate's supporter, I wrote the candidate directly, repeating my request for a complete list of candidates endorsed by the union. I also spent some time searching online and, eventually, found a press/PR contact for the union. I emailed this person also, advising that I'd learned that the union had made endorsements and requesting a list so that I could publicize it here.

The response I received may be accurately paraphrased thusly: "Who wants to know?" (A lot of folks instinctively don't want nobody that nobody sent; at this point, it's probably part of the native Chicagoan's DNA.) But, additionally, the response also asked, "Who told you?"

You will note that I have not identified either the candidate or the union in this post and I will not. Nor did I identify the candidate in question to the union representative. I have no desire to embarrass either the candidate or union.

It may well be the case that the union leadership needs to advise its rank and file before revealing the endorsements to the public generally -- and I certainly understand that. I can wait.

But... judicial candidates seek endorsements because they want to use these in their campaigns. Voters may find endorsements relevant as they try and discern which judicial candidates are worthy of their support. Presumably organizations make judicial endorsements because they want to influence voters, or at least their voting members. So why not share the information?

Thanks for sharing.

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