Saturday, March 31, 2012

More fun with numbers, this time with percentages

Mr. Ormsby, who generated the 2010 turnout figures that I cited to in the post below, suggested in a comment that I look at percentage turnouts in 2012 if I wanted to really compare to the turnouts he reported -- and it was a good point. Apples should be compared to apples, etc.

I still suspect vote totals are the more important figure, since that determines the 'weighted vote' that committeemen use at slating time. Were primacy based on percentages of registered voters voting as opposed to total votes, back in the days when the first Mayor Daley used to quaintly refer to the suburbs as the 'county towns,' the Chairman of the Barrington Township Democratic Organization might have been the real primus inter pares: He might have turned out only a handful of voters, perhaps family members only, but if they all showed up on election day, he could boast 100% turnout.

It was never thus.

On the other hand, it is interesting to see who did the most they could with what they had -- and, on this basis, it may come as no surprise to see that House Speaker Madigan, facing his first primary challenge in many years, really did pull out all the stops, getting just over 40% of his registered voters out in an election where others where 15 wards got fewer than 15% of their voters to the polls. (Also, taking up Mr. Ormsby's challenge gave me a chance to practice my rudimentary HTML skills.)

Therefore, without further adieu, the top 10 performing wards on March 20, 2012, in terms the percentage of registered Democrats casting ballots (using figures available from the City of Chicago Board of Election Commissioners site) were:

WardVotes Cast# Reg. Dem. VotersPercentage voting

The bottom 10 performing wards, on the other hand, were:

WardVotes Cast# Reg. Dem. VotersPercentage voting

Friday, March 30, 2012

I don't know what these numbers mean, but I think they must mean something

In a post earlier today I cited to a post on the Illinois Observer. While browsing through that blog, another post also caught my eye. Published on March 14, 2012, the Observer reviewed the top and bottom 10 performing wards in the February 2010 primary. Expressed in terms of registered voters coming to the polls, according to the Observer, the top 10 performing wards in 2010 were:
  1. Matthew O’Shea (19th) – 49.8%
  2. Michael Madigan (13th) – 40.4%
  3. Michael Zalewski (23rd) – 37.8%
  4. Ed Burke (14th) – 35.4%
  5. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) – 34.5%
  6. Michelle Harris (8th) – 33.2%
  7. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) – 30.0%
  8. Derrick Curtis (18th) – 29.6%
  9. Leslie Hairston (5th) – 29.6%
  10. John Daley (11th) – 29.1%
Again, according to the linked Observer post, the bottom 10 vote producers were:
  1. Tony Munoz (12th) – 18.4%
  2. Ed Smith (28th) – 18.2%
  3. John Pope (10th) – 18.1%
  4. Rey Colon (35th) – 17.5%
  5. Roberto Maldonado (26th) – 17.5%
  6. Joann Thompson (16th) – 17.2%
  7. Toni Foulkes (15th) – 16.9%
  8. Jesse Juarez (1st) – 16.0%
  9. Joseph Berrios (31st) – 15.9%
  10. Ariel Reboyras (30th) – 15.2%
This got me wondering.

Were the numbers similar last week?

As it turns out... some were... and some were very different.

The top 10 performing wards on March 20, 2012, in terms of ballots cast, were:
WardVotes Cast

The bottom 10 vote producing wards were:
WardVotes Cast

Lessons learned from the March judicial primary? -- part 2

For Part 1, click here.

3. Palm cards still work. Apparently. How's that for a bold beginning?

Here, in this small turnout election, there seems to have been relatively little "dropoff" (compared to other years, with highly contested races at the top of the ballot); that is, most of the people who came out to vote in the Democratic Primary voted all the way down the ballot, including in all the many judicial races.

That observation supports an inference that the voters who came to the polls knew what they intended to do before they left their homes. Therefore, one might suppose, palm cards would have little or no influence on these 'purpose' voters.

But a look inside the numbers suggests that this may not be the case.

In a comment to my post earlier this week, attorney Michael A. Strom suggested that the Tribune endorsements may have been the single most influential factor for many voters in the 8th Subcircuit (all the Tribune-endorsed candidates won their races there). Strom pointed out that Judge James L. Kaplan, a candidate for the 8th Subcircuit Cole vacancy (a race in which the area Democratic committeemen made no collective endorsement) was endorsed by the 48th Ward Democratic Party, and named on palm cards passed out by members of that organization -- and still finished behind Deputy Corporation Counsel John H. Ehrlich.

But, while it is true that Ehrlich took 1,238 votes in the 48th Ward to Kaplan's 797, Kaplan's vote total in 48 was his second highest in any of the wards comprising the 8th Subcircuit -- supporting an inference, at least, that palm cards helped -- but didn't help enough.

And there's more evidence supporting the continuing power of palm cards. I saw a number of references to a March 22 post on the Illinois Observer blog (now added to the sidebar), claiming that 33rd Ward Ald. and Committeeman Richard Mell decided to endorse Gregory Emmett Ahern, Jr. over Beatriz Santiago, the candidate slated by the area committeemen (and the winner of the primary), immediately before the primary.

David Ormsby, the author of the Observer post, was perhaps a trifle sarcastic about the last-minute switch:
According to the 33rd ward source, Ahern put a precinct worker in every precinct, paying each $100 for the day and delivering each lunch. It worked.

The workers ate Ahern’s lunch.
But, as Ormsby's post correctly points out, Ahern narrowly defeated Santiago in the 33rd Ward, 660 to 645. Ahern carried only one other ward, the 32nd, by a margin of 670 to 374. (I'm discounting the 29th Ward, where the one and only vote recorded went Ahern's way.)

I don't know who was on the palm cards, or if there were palm cards, in 32.

But I know who was on the palm cards in my own 41st Ward. The card passed out on behalf of 41st Ward Democratic Committeeman Mary O'Connor and organization president (and State Sen.) John G. Mulroe, departed from the official party slate by encouraging votes for Judge James M. McGing for the Cahill vacancy on the Appellate Court and for Gerald V. Cleary for the Simmons, Jr. vacancy on the Circuit Court.

Neither McGing nor Cleary won their races -- but they did very well in 41. Judge McGing garnered 1,988 votes in 41, comfortably ahead of officially-endorsed candidate Mathias W. Delort's 774. McGing got more votes in the 19th Ward (2,123) -- but there were over twice as many votes in 19 as in 41 in this race (9,914 to 4,403). In terms of percentage, McGing's best showing came in the 41st Ward.

The numbers for Cleary were even better. While there were other wards in which he got more votes (19 again, for example), Cleary's best percentage showing came in 41, where he compiled 61.72% of the votes over officially endorsed candidate Cynthia Ramirez.

I don't have palm cards from any other wards -- but there were other races in which some local influence seems to have been at work.

In the race for the countywide Ward vacancy, for example, which featured three sitting judges among the six candidates, Judge Alfred M. Swanson, Jr. was the officially endorsed candidate of the county Democratic Party. Yet in the 19th Ward, Judge Peter J. Vilkelis, got 2,586 votes to Swanson's 1,188. (Elizabeth Mary Hayes, who won the primary, beat both Swanson and Vilkelis in 19 as well, gathering 2,939 votes there.) On the other hand, Vilkelis did have the Tribune endorsement.

But if people were asked were to pick one ward in the City of Chicago where the Tribune endorsement would be least influential, the 13th Ward would probably be on most lists. Yet, in House Speaker Michael Madigan's 13th Ward, Vilkelis trounced all competitors, winning 3,586 votes (just over 3,000 more than Swanson, who had 578 votes; Hayes had 1,499 there). In the 14th Ward, Swanson managed only 237 votes (and Hayes 675), but Vilkelis got 974.

Maybe the few voters who came out on March 20 weren't "controlled" by the Democratic Party or looking for food baskets or garbage cans, but they sure seem to have been "influenced" by the requests of their local political organizations. Once again, Tip O'Neill is proved right: All politics is local.

The influence of palm cards presumably decreases as turnout increases -- but palm cards aren't obsolete yet.

4. I can never hope to make a living as a racetrack tout. I tried my hand at prognosticating in this election -- no, don't bother scrolling down looking for my predictions. I didn't publish them. But, before heading home on the 20th, I took my best, educated guesses about who would win the 27 contested Democratic primary judicial races. I didn't make guesses based on who I knew or liked personally. I tried to take my best shot at objectively predicting the winners. I got 15 of 27 right.

Not only will I not be hanging around the track, I will not be going to Vegas anytime soon.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

18 Associate Judge finalists named

The Circuit Court of Cook County has released the names of the 18 finalists for the nine current Associate Judge vacancies.

Three current Circuit Court judges, serving pursuant to appointment by the Illinois Supreme Court, Mary S. Trew, Stanley L. Hill, and Nicholas Geanopolous, are among the 18 finalists. All three lost bids to win election to full circuit judgeships in the March 20 primary.

Also making the "short list," according to Pat Milhizer's story this evening in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (subscription required) are Assistant State's Attorneys Thomas F. Biesty, Joseph M. Cataldo and Catherine D. Sanders. Biesty ran for judge from the 10th Subcircuit in 2008.

Also on the list are Assistant Public Defenders Lester W. Finkle, Lana C. Johnson, Alfredo Maldonado and Vicki F. Rogers and Assistant Attorney General Richard D. Schwind.

Chicago Transit Authority general counsel Karen G. Seimetz is also a finalist, as are Allen P. Walker, a partner at Greene and Letts; Rossana P. Fernandez (left), a partner at Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman LLP; and solo practitioners Steven Mark Wagner, Denise Y. Staniec, Lori G. Levin, Michael J. Kane. Levin and Schwind were also finalists for Associate Judge in 2009.

Not everyone else in the 239-person applicant pool was sent away disappointed. By my count, at least nine others in the pool are presumptive winners in November as a result of winning their races in last week's primary. That does not count Judge Andrea M. Schleifer or attorney Edward M. Maloney, both of whom won their respective primary races but face Republican opponents in the fall. Maloney's opponent, Christine Cook, was also in the applicant pool. Two of these three will also be Circuit Court judges come December 3.

On the other hand, while three current judges did make the "short list," at least nine currently sitting judges in the applicant pool were passed over, as were at least three others who have previously served on the bench, but who are not working as judges presently.

One other aspirant who failed to make the "short list" is named at the bottom of this post.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lessons learned from the March judicial primary? -- Part 1

Here's two lessons I think we can draw from last week's primary; more to come later in the week.

1. Advertising works -- but only when there's enough of it. Conventional wisdom held that Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis's decades of judicial experience might not matter in light of Appellate Court Justice Aurelia Pucinski's name recognition.

So Justice Theis raised money, and lots of it, and bought time on every evening TV newscast. I usually watch the news at 9:00 and 10:00 -- so I, for one, was doubly grateful when Justice Theis premiered a new commercial in the waning days of the campaign.

Theis's margin of victory over Pucinski and Appellate Court Justice Joy V. Cunningham suggests that the ad buys were a vital component of her victory strategy.

The advertising employed by Judge Kevin W. Horan and Associate Judge Joan Marie Kubalanza, though noteworthy (and, in my opinion, pretty darn cool), was not nearly as successful.

Jane Lynch, star of the Fox-TV show Glee, made a commercial for Judge Horan; "Da Coach" himself, the Right Hon. Mike Ditka, made a commercial for Judge Kubalanza. These were not 'paid celebrity endorsements.' As the very nice write-up in the Sun-Times (now off-line) explained, there were personal or family connections in both cases.

But the airwaves were not saturated with either Ms. Lynch or "Da Coach." I can recall hearing Judge Horan's commercial only once. I heard Judge Kubalanza's only a couple of times, both times on a Sunday morning on WBBM-AM. The cost of weekend radio airtime is lower than TV airtime on the flagship newscasts of Channels 5 or 9 -- but the audience is smaller, too.

Without constant... constant... constant repetition, even clever commercials fail to penetrate the public consciousness.

2. Turnout is all important. A total of 311,002 voters came to the polls in the City of Chicago on March 20 (311,002 out of 1,288,293 registered voters). In the Cook County suburbs, 329,193 voters came out (of 1,394,649 registered voters). Thus, of 2,682,942 registered voters in Cook County as a whole, only 640,196 – 23.9% of us – participated in the primary election.

Most Cook County voters – 436,899 if you're counting – took Democratic primary ballots. Columnist Russ Stewart correctly predicted a Democratic primary turnout of "less than 500,000, with fewer than 150,000 blacks voting, fewer than 50,000 Hispanics, and about 300,000 whites. That means that a majority of the turnout will be 'controlled' voters." Stewart defined "controlled" voters as "quid pro quo voters who have a personal interest in the outcome. Either they or a family member have a government job, or they need to pay back a precinct captain or politician for some favor, or they're ambitious and want to curry favor. Reciprocity is the name of the game. Controlled voters number about 350,000 countywide."

Whether one accepts this definition or not, the conventional wisdom is that low turnout elections are best for slated candidates.

That principle certainly held up in this election: There were 27 contested judicial elections on the March 20 Democratic primary ballot. I was able to verify slating in 24 of them. (There was no slated candidate for the Cole vacancy in the 8th Subcircuit; although I could make an educated guess, I don’t know for certain who the slated candidates were in contested 7th Subcircuit races.) There were three countywide Circuit Court elections in which the party-slated candidates did not prevail.

Of those three countywide races where the party-slated candidate did not prevail, two were won by women with Irish surnames (one of them a Filipino-American); the other was won by a woman with an English surname. In that last race, the second most crowded field among the countywide races, there were three sitting judges to divide up the vote (Judge Kubalanza was one of these). While Elizabeth Mary Hayes, the victor in that race, was rated "Qualified" by only the Asian American Bar Association, the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, and the Puerto Rican Bar Association, the other two non-slated winners, Karen Lynn O'Malley and Jessica A. O'Brien, were rated Qualified or Recommended by the Chicago Bar Association and every one of the 11 Alliance bar associations.

But those are details. The big picture is that, despite these three losses in countywide Circuit Court races, candidates slated by the Cook County Democratic Party won 20 of the 24 elections in which I could determine slating. (The other race in which the slated candidate failed to prevail was in the 9th Subcircuit - Epstein vacancy.) In this year's small-turnout race, slated candidates won 83% of the time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cook County judicial election results - updated

Following is a list of the winners in yesterday's Cook County judicial primaries. This list is based on figures published overnight by the City of Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and Cook County Clerk David Orr's office.

Democratic Primary Results

Supreme Court - Fitzgerald vacancy - Mary Jane Theis

Appellate Court - Cahill vacancy -
Mathias William Delort
Appellate Court - Coleman vacancy (uncontested) -
Nathaniel Roosevelt Howse, Jr.
Appellate Court - Gallagher vacancy -
P. Scott Neville, Jr.
Appellate Court - O'Brien vacancy -
Jesse G. Reyes
Appellate Court - Theis vacancy (uncontested) -
Maureen Elizabeth Connors
Appellate Court - Tully vacancy (uncontested) -
Terrence J. Lavin

Countywide - Conlon vacancy -
Karen Lynn O'Malley
Countywide - Jordan vacancy (uncontested) -
Jean Prendergast Rooney
Countywide - Kinnaird vacancy -
Erica L. Reddick
Countywide - Moran vacancy (uncontested) -
Russell W. Hartigan
Countywide - O'Brien, Jr. vacancy -
Cynthia Ramirez
Countywide - O'Mara Frossard vacancy -
Diann Karen Marsalek
Countywide - Pucinski vacancy -
Lorna Ellen Propes
Countywide - Simmons, Jr. vacancy -
Jessica A. O'Brien
Countywide - Stewart vacancy -
Pamela M. Leeming
Countywide - Stralka vacancy (uncontested) -
Michael Tully Mullen
Countywide - Ward vacancy -
Elizabeth Mary Hayes

2nd Subcircuit - Stuttley vacancy -
Carl B. Boyd

3rd Subcircuit - McGann vacancy -
Maureen Leahy Delehanty
3rd Subcircuit - Moore vacancy (uncontested) -
Daniel R. Degnan

4th Subcircuit - Riley vacancy -
Terry Gallagher
4th Subcircuit - "A" vacancy -
Edward M. Maloney

6th Subcircuit - Delgado vacancy -
Beatriz Santiago

7th Subcircuit - Jones vacancy (uncontested) -
Aicha Marie MacCarthy
7th Subcircuit - Starks vacancy -
Tommy Brewer
7th Subcircuit - Terrell vacany (uncontested) -
William G. Gamboney
7th Subcircuit - Toney vacancy -
Kimberly D. Lewis
Lewis leads Judge Arthur P. Wheatley, according to the combined unofficial figures published overnight by the City of Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and the Cook County Clerk's Office, by a total of 331 votes.
8th Subcircuit - Chiola vacancy - Celia Louise Gamrath
8th Subcircuit - Cole vacancy -
John H. Ehrlich
8th Subcircuit - Durkin Roy vacany -
Deborah Jean Gubin
8th Subcircuit - "A" vacancy (uncontested) -
Laura Liu

9th Subcircuit - Bender vacancy -
Lionel Jean-Baptiste
9th Subcircuit - Epstein vacancy -
Larry G. Axelrood
Judge Axelrood's margin, as of the unofficial figures published overnight, is 657 votes over Abbey Fishman Romanek

10th Subcircuit - Locallo vacancy (uncontested) -
Thomas R. Allen

11th Subcircuit - O'Brien vacancy -
Michael R. Clancy
11th Subcircuit - Urso vacancy -
Lisa Ann Marino

12th Subcircuit - Rochford vacancy -
Andrea M. Schleifer

13th Subcircuit - Pietrucha vacancy -
No candidate
13th Subcircuit - "A" vacancy (uncontested) -
No candidate

14th Subcircuit - O'Gara vacancy (uncontested) -
Regina Ann Scannicchio

Republican Primary Results
No candidates except --

Supreme Court - Fitzgerald vacancy (uncontested) - James Gerard Riley

4th Subcircuit - Riley vacancy (uncontested) -
Harry J. Fournier
4th Subcircuit - "A" vacancy (uncontested) -
Christine Cook

12th Subcircuit - Rochford vacancy (uncontested) -
James Paul Pieczonka

13th Subcircuit - Pietrucha vacancy -
Paul S. Pavlus
13th Subcircuit - "A" vacancy (uncontested) -
Martin C. Kelley

Delort apparent victor in race for Cahill vacancy

This race was awfully close when I last looked at it yesterday evening.

In the morning light, however, Associate Judge Mathias William Delort appears to have bested Circuit Court Judge Pamela E. Hill-Veal, 89,553 votes to 81,777. (These are the combined totals from the County Clerk website, showing all votes counted, and the City's unofficial summary, with only 22 precincts -- out of 2,369 -- still open.)

Judge Laura Marie Sullivan appears to have finished third with 64,111 votes; Mary Brigid Hayes appears to have finished fourth with 56,852 votes. Also in the race were Judges James Michael McGing and Kay Marie Hanlon.

Delort's margin of victory came in the suburbs, where he out-polled Judge Hill-Veal by 16,000 votes.

Clancy, Marino win in 11th Subcircuit races

Judge Michael R. Clancy, appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the O'Brien vacancy in the 11th Subcircuit, will keep his seat. He fended off a strong challenge from Maureen A. Murphy, Senior Counsel for the Archdiocese of Chicago, garnering 9,193 votes to Murphy's 8,244. These are not official figures, but the City is reporting only one of 146 precincts still uncounted and the County Clerk advises that all 123 suburban precincts of the 11th Subcircuit have been counted.

Maritza Martinez and Roger Zamparo were also in this race.

Lisa Ann Marino got strong numbers in the City of Chicago, giving her an insurmountable lead over nearest challenger Pamela McLean Meyerson, 12,879 votes to 6,845 in the unofficial combined totals.

Deborah J. Fortier and Jennifer A. Blanc were also in this race.

Clancy and Marino were the candidates slated by local Democratic Party officials.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Schleifer wins Democratic nomination in 12th Subcircuit

Judge Andrea M. Schleifer was the decisive winner in the race for the Democratic nomination in the 12th Subcircuit's Rochford vacancy. This is the seat to which Schleifer was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court.

Schleifer had 8,308 votes at last count (with 249 of 252 precincts reporting), safely ahead of her nearest challenger, Michael John Halloran.

Schleifer will face Republican James Paul Pieczonka in November.

Gallagher, Maloney win in 4th Subcircuit races

Terry Gallagher beat two judges to win the Democratic nomination for the Riley vacancy in the 4th Subcircuit. With all but one (248 of 249) precinct counted, Gallagher has 5,635 votes, ahead of Judge Daniel Lawrence Peters (3,719 votes) and Associate Judge William "Gomo" Gomolinski (3,827 votes). Joanne Marie Rogers appears to have finished second in this race with 4,257 votes.

Judge Peters was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the 'A' vacancy in the 4th Subcircuit but filed for this vacancy instead.

In the race for the 'A' vacancy, Edward M. Maloney won the Democratic nomination with 6,761 votes. Karin Elizabeth Swanson finished second with 5,304 votes.

Gallagher will face Republican Harry J. Fournier in November; Maloney will face Republican Christine Cook.

Delehanty bests Lipinski in 3rd Subcircuit

Judge Maureen Leahy Delehanty, who was most recently appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the McGann vacancy in the 3rd Subcircuit, defeated Scott Edward Lipinski this evening. With 75 of 76 suburban precincts reporting, and every City precinct accounted for, Delehanty leads Lipinski, 23,924 to 10,946.

Race for the Toney vacancy very, very close

The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Arthur P. Wheatley to this vacancy, but Judge Wheatley is in an extremely tight race at this hour in his bid to hold onto this seat.

There are now only three City precincts outstanding, and only two suburban ones uncounted and Judge Wheatley is down 311 votes to challenger Kimberly D. Lewis. Judge Wheatley was rated Qualified or Recommended by every bar association. Wheatley had the endorsements of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Federation of Labor, the IVI-IPO, the Illinois Committee for Honest Government, and the Chicago Defender. Lewis has been an Illinois attorney since 2001 and has served as a hearing officer for the City of Chicago. She refused to participate in the screening process. Lewis leads, at this hour, 7,699 to 7,388.

Mable Taylor is in third place in this race, with 5,884 votes to this point.

Results in 7th Subcricut races

Judge Tommy Brewer appears to have held on to the seat to which he was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court. In the race for the Starks vacancy in the 7th Subcircuit, with only two suburban precincts unaccounted for (55 of 57) and only four City precincts still outstanding (230 out of 234), Brewer is ahead of challenger Roxanne L. Rochester, 13,323 to 9,470.

The Toney vacancy, though, is shaping up as a real cliffhanger. More momentarily.

Continuing... more countywide Circuit Court results

About 98% of the vote has been counted in both the City and suburbs to this point.

In the race for the countywide O'Mara Frossard vacancy, two judges were again pitted head to head.

Judge Kevin W. Horan had been appointed to the 4th Subcircuit Riley vacancy, but he filed for the O'Mara Frossard vacancy, setting up a contest with Judge Diann Karen Marsalek. Marsalek was appointed to, and slated for, this vacancy.

And it appears that Marsalek has succeeded in holding this seat. She has a nearly 20,000 vote cushion over her nearest challenger, Nichole C. Patton (115,549 to 95,838). Judge Horan has 82,589 votes at last count.

Cynthia Ramirez has bested Gerald V. Cleary in the race for the countywide O'Brien, Jr., 204,983 votes to 124,000. Ramirez was the party-slated candidate here.

In the race for the Kinnaird vacancy, Judge Erica L. Reddick has apparently defeated Kevin Cunningham, garnering 183,748 votes (at this count) to Cunningham's 149,697. Judge Reddick was appointed to this vacancy by the Illinois Supreme Court and slated by the Cook County Democratic Party.

Another appointed judge is not faring as well in the race for the countywide Conlon vacancy. Judge Stanley L. Hill, Sr. was appointed to this vacancy by the Illinois Supreme Court and slated by the Cook County Democratic Party, but, at this point, he trails Karen Lynn O'Malley by just under 5,000 votes, 149,570 to 144,717. Judge Hill had a roughly 7,300 lead coming out of the City, but O'Malley is leading in the latest suburban totals 65,022 to 52,873.

More countywide judicial races

Judge Pamela M. Leeming was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court in late 2009. She ran in a very crowded 11th Subcircuit field in the 2010 primary but was unsuccessful. She was subsequently recalled to judicial service by the Illinois Supreme Court and slated by the Cook County Democratic Party for the countywide Stewart vacancy.

Judge Leeming will hold this seat. With nearly 98% of the City vote and 97% of the suburban vote, Judge Leeming has 118,165 votes. Her nearest challenger in this seven person field is Mary Margaret Burke, with 73,671 votes.

There was no sitting judge in the race for the countywide Simmons, Jr. vacancy. The slated candidate was Michael A. Forti, but he appears to have fallen tonight to Jessica A. O'Brien. O'Brien has polled 147,697 votes to Forti's 100,358 votes.

A third candidate in this race, James A. Wright, has 84,977 votes.

Judge Lorna Ellen Propes, who was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to a 7th Subcircuit vacancy but was slated by the Cook County Democratic Party for the countywide Pucinski vacancy, is the apparent winner of Edward J. Maloney, leading at this point with 172,767 votes to Maloney's 154,245.

Hayes ahead in race for the countywide Ward vacancy

There were three sitting judges competing for votes in the race for the countywide Ward vacancy, Judge Alfred W. Swanson, Jr., who was appointed to this vacancy by the Illinois Supreme Court and slated by the Cook County Democratic Party; Judge Peter J. Vilkelis, who was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the countywide O'Brien, Jr. vacancy but was passed over at slating time; and Associate Judge Joan Marie Kubalanza.

All three jurists will apparently finish behind Assistant Public Defender Elizabeth Mary Hayes.

With 95.61% of the City vote counted and 97% of the suburban vote in, Hayes leads the crowded field with 96,186 votes.

With these numbers, she seems to be the apparent winner over Swanson, with 79,964 votes. Vilkelis has 44,728 votes and Kubalanza 30,906.

Epstein vacancy cliffhanger shaping up

With 89.5% of the City precincts reporting and 97% of the suburban vote counted, Associate Judge Larry G. Axelrood has a narrow lead, with 8,841 votes, just about 700 votes ahead of Abbey Fishman Romanek (with 8,118 votes).

Judge Mary S. Trew, who was appointed to this seat by the Illinois Supreme Court, has 5,756 votes to this point.

Lionel Jean-Baptiste to keep his seat in 9th Subcircuit

Two sitting judges were pitted against one another for the Bender vacancy in the north side/north suburban 9th Subcircuit, Lionel Jean-Baptiste and Michael Ian Bender.

With 89.5% of the City precincts reporting and 97% of the suburban vote counted, Judge Jean-Baptiste leads Judge Bender, 14,795 to 9,735.

Santiago ahead in 6th Subcircuit race

About 88% of the votes have been tallied in the 6th Subcircuit race (235 out of 268 precincts) and here is where the numbers stand:

Beatriz Santiago5,03339.70 %
Mark V. Ferrante1,46211.53 %
Gregory Emmett Ahern, Jr.3,04324.01 %
Carlos Claudio1,75313.83 %
Ricardo Lugo1,38510.93 %

Eighth Subcircuit results

With 88.72% of the votes counted, here is where the three contested races in this lakefront subcircuit stand:

Chiola vacancy:

Rodney W. Stewart2,91813.92 %
Celia Louise Gamrath10,44049.80 %
James A. Shapiro7,00733.42 %
Thomas N. Osran5992.86 %

Cole vacancy:

Brad Trowbridge2,13710.39 %
John H. Ehrlich7,30035.50 %
Gideon Abraham Baum9674.70 %
Helaine ''Lainie'' Berger3,93719.14 %
James L. Kaplan4,02119.55 %
Ellis B. Levin2,20410.72 %

Durkin Roy vacancy:

Deborah Jean Gubin10,89654.40 %
Sharon Finegan Patterson5,86929.30 %
Nicholas Geanopoulos3,26616.30 %

Boyd apparent winner in 2nd Subcircuit

With 127 of 152 City precincts counted, and 113 of 136 county precincts counted, Carl B. Boyd has 15,875 votes, comfortably ahead of his nearest challenger, Arthur Wesley "Wes" Willis (5,934 votes).

Neville apparent winner in race for Gallagher vacancy on the Appellate Court

Appellate Court Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr. holds a substantial lead at this point, with 82% of the suburban vote and 84.42% of the City vote counted, with 132,546 votes, a 30,000 vote cushion over his nearest competitor, Associate Judge Marguerite Anne Quinn (100,075 votes).

Reyes well ahead in race for O'Brien vacancy

With 82% of suburban precincts and 84.42% of City precincts reporting, Circuit Court Judge Jesse G. Reyes has 100,134 votes, over 22,000 votes ahead of his nearest competitor, Associate Judge William Stewart Boyd (77,688 votes). Judge Ellen L. Flannigan has 67,524 votes. Appellate Court Justice Rodolfo (Rudy) Garcia, who was fighting to hold this seat after being passed over for party slating, has 38,179 to this point.

Suburban numbers put Delort ahead in race for Cahill vacancy

With 82% of suburban precincts reporting and 80.46% of City precincts counted, Associate Judge Mathias William Delort has a slim lead over Circuit Court Judge Pamela E. Hill-Veal, 74,111 to 66,432. Votes are widely distributed in this race. Judge Laura Marie Sullivan has pulled 52,845 votes; Judge James M. McGing has 46,437

Theis will hold onto Supreme Court seat

Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis has 155,331 in the latest numbers from both the City and the County, well ahead of Appellate Court Justices Joy Virginia Cunningham (71,791 votes) and Aurelia Pucinski (68,283 votes).

These combined numbers are with 82% of suburban precincts counted and 80.46% of the City precincts included.

Instant analysis? Commercials work.

Pavlus beats Steffen in 13th Subcircuit

The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Ketki "Kay" Steffen to the 'A' vacancy in the far northwest suburban 13th Subcircuit in early 2010. Judge Steffen subsequently filed for the Pietrucha vacancy in that subcircuit.

Tonight, with 181 of 231 precincts reporting, it appears that Paul S. Pavlus is going to defeat Judge Steffen in the race for the Pietrucha vacancy. He leads Steffen 8,478 votes to 4,670.

Martin C. Kelley was unopposed in his bid for the 13th Subcircuit 'A' vacancy.

Theis continues to poll well in City

With 76% of Chicago precincts reporting, here are the numbers in the Supreme Court race:

Mary Jane Theis82,51845.49 %
Aurelia Marie Pucinski40,00122.05 %
Joy Virginia Cunningham45,68425.18 %
Thomas W. Flannigan13,2087.28 %

The County Clerk's office is not yet posting numbers in this race.

Continuing... more countywide Circuit Court results

Pucinski vacancy:

Edward J. Maloney68,40947.09 %
Lorna Ellen Propes76,86852.91 %

Simmons, Jr. vacancy:

Michael A. Forti44,59529.99 %
Jessica A. O'Brien62,62742.12 %
James A. Wright41,48027.89 %

Stewart vacancy:

Pamela M. Leeming50,73333.98 %
Terrence M Jordan25,22216.89 %
Deidre Baumann11,9357.99 %
Mary Margaret Burke31,46721.07 %
Sammy W. Lacey Jr.12,4028.31 %
Rhonda Salleé7,6805.14 %
Steve Demitro9,8736.61 %

Ward vacancy:

Alfred M. Swanson, Jr.36,29024.76 %
Denise Marie Nalley19,03112.99 %
Elizabeth Mary Hayes44,26230.20 %
Joan Marie Kubalanza12,7878.72 %
Peter J. Vilkelis21,07214.38 %
Brian J. Stephenson13,1158.95 %

Seventy-three percent of the City precincts have been counted so far.

More City results in Circuit Court races

Kinnaird vacancy:

Kevin Cunningham66,77545.22 %
Erica L. Reddick80,90454.78 %

O'Brien, Jr. vacancy:

Cynthia Ramirez92,49263.83 %
Gerald V. Cleary52,42236.17 %

O'Mara Frossard vacancy:

Nichole C. Patton43,15829.40 %
Kevin W. Horan32,95122.44 %
Diann Karen Marsalek51,91535.36 %
Rodrick F. Wimberly18,79012.80 %

Hill ahead of O'Malley in race for Conlon vacancy

Judge Stanley L. Hill, Sr. is ahead in the City of Chicago in his race to hold the Conlon vacancy, narrowly leading Karen Lynn O'Malley, but these totals are City only (just over two-thirds of precincts now reporting). No suburban votes yet included in these numbers:

Karen Lynn O'Malley58,53041.98 %
Jo Anne Hopson Guillemette18,44613.23 %
Stanley L. Hill, Sr.62,43444.78 %

Half the City votes show patterns in Appellate Court races

The Cahill race is very close, but there is considerable separation in the other two contested races for the Appellate Court:

Cahill vacancy:

Pamela E. Hill-Veal27,07524.55 %
Mathias William Delort25,46323.09 %
Kay Marie Hanlon9,2188.36 %
Mary Brigid Hayes17,37715.76 %
James Michael McGing11,56710.49 %
Laura Marie Sullivan19,58517.76 %

Gallagher vacancy:

Patrick J. Sherlock24,23022.41 %
P. Scott Neville, Jr.49,14845.46 %
Marguerite Anne Quinn34,74232.13 %

O'Brien vacancy:

Jesse G. Reyes38,97235.45 %
Rodolfo (Rudy) Garcia13,87612.62 %
William Stewart Boyd29,10526.47 %
Ellen L. Flannigan21,88719.91 %
Don R. Sampen6,1015.55 %

Half the City votes already in, Theis well ahead

No county votes are posted yet, but just over half the City votes have already been counted, and Justice Theis has a commanding lead:

Mary Jane Theis54,67945.37 %
Aurelia Marie Pucinski27,37622.72 %
Joy Virginia Cunningham29,55624.53 %
Thomas W. Flannigan8,8957.38 %

Suburban votes being posted first in subcircuit races

Less than 10% of suburban precincts reporting so far....

Some early results in higher-profile suburban subcircuit races:

2nd Subcircuit (Stuttley vacancy):

Carl B. Boyd

Arthur Wesley ''Wes'' Willis

Alma Learetta Tyson

Chester Slaughter


3rd Subcircuit (McGann vacancy):

Maureen Leahy Delehanty
Scott Edward Lipinski

4th Subcircuit (Riley vacancy):

Daniel Lawrence Peters
William ''Gomo'' Gomolinski
Michael J. ''Mike'' Dickman
Terry Gallagher
Joanne Marie Rogers

4th Subcircuit ('A' vacancy):

Julie Line Bailey
Karin Elizabeth Swanson
Linda A. Walls
Edward M. Maloney

12th Subcircuit (Rochford vacancy):

Andrea M. Schleifer
Michael John Halloran
Robert P. Babbitt
Daniel P. Scott

13th Subcircuit (Pietrucha vacancy):

90 of 231 precincts already reporting in this one Republican judicial race:

Ketki ''Kay'' Steffen
Paul S. Pavlus
Nicholas G. Grapsas
Peter A. Pacione

Early, early election results

Just over a quarter of the City vote is in on the Supreme Court race, and Justice Theis is running very strong in her bid to hold onto her seat on the Illinois Supreme Court:

Mary Jane Theis26,44645.39 %
Aurelia Marie Pucinski13,92623.90 %
Joy Virginia Cunningham13,32322.87 %
Thomas W. Flannigan4,5707.84 %

In the race for the Cahill vacancy on the Illinois Appellate Court:

Pamela E. Hill-Veal12,39423.32 %
Mathias William Delort11,68521.99 %
Kay Marie Hanlon4,4418.36 %
Mary Brigid Hayes8,41115.83 %
James Michael McGing6,11011.50 %
Laura Marie Sullivan10,09819.00 %

In the Appellate Court Gallagher race:

Patrick J. Sherlock12,13023.33 %
P. Scott Neville, Jr.22,86343.97 %
Marguerite Anne Quinn17,00932.71 %

And in the race for the O'Brien vacancy, Judge Jesse G. Reyes is off to an early lead:

Jesse G. Reyes18,32234.68 %
Rodolfo (Rudy) Garcia6,76512.81 %
William Stewart Boyd13,44625.45 %
Ellen L. Flannigan11,37921.54 %
Don R. Sampen2,9155.52 %

More as the evening develops.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

ICJL joins call for judicial election reform

On Tuesday, voters requesting a Republican primary ballot in Cook County will discover that they have largely forfeited their right to vote for judges. (Republicans are certain to be elected only from the far northwest suburban 13th Subcircuit, and only one of the two subcircuit races on the ballot there are contested.) No Republican bothered to even file for any of the 11 countywide vacancies on the Circuit Court or the six vacancies on the Appellate Court; in all but three subcircuit races (two in the 4th and one in the 12th) and in the race for the Supreme Court, the winners of Tuesday's Democratic Primary elections are virtually assured of taking office in December.

In Friday's ICJL Newsletter, Illinois Civil Justice League President Ed Murnane acknowledged, "As a Cook County resident voting in a Republican Primary, I must say it's startling to look at the Cook County ballot and see all these 'No Candidate' listings next to all the judicial contests." On the other hand, Murnane wrote, "it's no better to see blanks on the Democrat primary ballot in other jurisdictions. It's just more impressive -- and depressing -- in Cook County where we elect half the judges in Illinois."

Murnane and the ICJL want reform of the election process.

In Cook County, most discussions of "reform" of the judicial election process involve elimination of elections altogether. The untrustworthy decisions of an ignorant electorate should be replaced by a system of "merit selection." The Sun-Times editorialized in favor of merit selection just this week (my response, and a link to the newspaper's editorial, may be found here).

I attended (and wrote about) a joint seminar put on by the CBA, ISBA, WBAI and CCBA in October 2010 concerning reform of the judicial election process. I went in fearing that it might degenerate into a pep rally for merit selection, and there were some ardent proponents of merit selection among the speakers, but there was also some thoughtful discussion of other possible reforms, including the possibility of public financing for judicial campaigns or requirements that an attorney be licensed for a period of years before becoming eligible to run for judge. (While most judges have had considerable experience before donning a robe, there have been a few who became judges only two or three years after graduating from law school.)

Indeed, at the 2010 seminar, retired Appellate Court Justice Gino DiVito (himself a vocal proponent of merit selection) revealed that he'd prepared an article for a forthcoming issue of the Illinois Bar Journal making a proposal for a nonpartisan judicial primary. That article appeared the December 2010 issue (Judicial Selection in Illinois: A Third Way, 98 Ill. Bar J. 624, membership required). (I wrote about Justice DiVito's article in January 2011.)

The ICJL's reform proposal this week also envisions a nonpartisan primary and several restrictions on which lawyers may qualify for the new ballot. From the ICJL Newsletter (numbering eliminated):
  • A mandatory standard for service as an attorney must be a qualification. Five years? Ten years? That can be decided.

  • Candidates for the judiciary should be screened by a bi-partisan review commission before they have their names included on the ballot.

  • The bi-partisan commission should include eight members in each of the legal jurisdictions in Illinois. That would include five Supreme/Appellate Court districts and the 22 Circuit Court districts. Cook County, because of its size, could be treated in a similar fashion but perhaps with multiple commissions.

  • The eight members would include two each appointed by the four legislative leaders (Senate President, House Speaker, Senate Minority Leader, House Minority Leader). One of the two members appointed to the commission by each legislative leader must be an attorney, the other would not. That would assure an eight-member commission with four attorneys and four non attorneys; and four Republicans and four Democrats.

  • In order to be recommended by the commission, a prospective candidate must win approval of six of the eight members. That means Republicans and Democrats, lawyers and non-lawyers, would approve the candidate. Candidates for commission support would be interviewed by the commission, in addition to meeting other requirements to be determined by the commission.

  • As many as four candidates for each position could be approved by the commission. Those four would run in a non-partisan primary election and the two highest vote getters would run in the general election.

  • Candidates who were selected by the commission would be designated as such on a non-partisan judicial ballot, in much the same way as local referenda appear on primary and general election ballots. Candidates not selected by the commission could run but without the designation of "commission backed."
Murnane told FWIW in an email that he saw the commission as a way of making the proposal more politically viable. "Hopefully," Murnane wrote, "it will make it balanced too. If they were to cut deals, it destroys the balance."

But there are a number of questions that arise from empowering legislative leaders, or their designates, to decide who is -- or who is not -- "backed" for the judicial ballot.

Would these positions be paid? If paid, might they then be pension eligible?

And paid or not, how does one avoid the appearance of unfairness when Commission Member Smith subsequently appears in front of a judge that he or she has stamped with his or her seal of approval? Should we expect -- or require -- a judge to recuse him- or herself from any case brought by a commission member for a period of time -- 3 years perhaps? (I'm wondering if Supreme Court Rule 63C could or would have to be modified to address these commissions, Rules 63C(1)(a) or (c) in particular.) Murnane acknowledged that recusal rules would have to be adopted, although he sees the particulars of this as a matter for the General Assembly to address. The ICJL proposal suggests that the General Assembly should determine how long any commission member might serve.

The ICJL proposal also includes a significant public financing component:
  • Limits would be placed on expenditures by candidates in judicial elections. Public funding would be provided to candidates approved by the commissions and they could spend no more. Candidates who were not approved by the commission, but chose to run, would be limited to receive and spend no more than commission-backed candidates.
In his email to FWIW, Murnane suggested that, ideally, no candidate who chose not to appear before the commission would be allowed on the ballot. In a way, this position does not different fundamentally from that taken by the Chicago Council of Lawyers regarding bar association screening ("Because we believe a willingness to participate in bar association and other public evaluations is a key indicator of fitness for public office, no candidate who refuses to be screened can be found 'qualified.'")

Under the ICJL proposal, judges elected pursuant to this new system would face retention elections, just as judges do now.

Perhaps the real significance of the ICJL's proposal is that it is further evidence of a growing consensus, along the entire political spectrum, that significant reform of the judicial election process is necessary.

What do you think of the ICJL proposal? What reforms would you propose?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

CBA condemns PAC money in judicial races

"Personal and political PACs (Political Action Committees) have no place in judicial elections and their recent entry in the Illinois Supreme Court election further erodes public confidence in the independence of our judiciary," according to Chicago Bar Association President Robert A. Clifford.

In a statement released by the CBA yesterday, Clifford stated, "There is good reason why the Constitution separates the Judicial from the Executive and Legislative Branches of our government. Public confidence in the independence of our court system is paramount and PACs by their very nature are politically motivated and agenda-specific which tend to undermine that confidence."

Mr. Clifford's comments were general, of course, but there seems to have been a couple of specific triggers for his statement. Both involve Personal PAC, which bills itself as "a bi-partisan political action committee dedicated to preserving abortion rights in Illinois by electing pro-choice candidates to state and local office." On Tuesday, Personal PAC won an order from U.S. Senior District Judge Marvin Aspen setting aside provisions of the new Illinois campaign finance law which would have imposed limits on its "independent expenditures" on behalf a candidate, that is, expenditures that 'are not coordinated with' that candidate. (You can read the complete order here.)

Almost simultaneously, as Capitol Fax reported Wednesday, one of Personal PAC's "independent expenditures" began hitting mailboxes.

Here are the front and back of the piece:

Here's the inside:

The right-hand page of the mailer folds open to reveal this:

Clifford said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Caperton v. Massey and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission have "opened a 'dark door' for the 39 states that elect judges." Clifford likened the developing case law to "Lewis Carroll’s proverbial never ending spiraling rabbit hole the consequences of which will inevitably make our judicial elections more negative and further blur the lines of judicial independence."

In the wake of these Supreme Court decisions, Clifford said, the American Bar Association is urging states to enact more stringent rules for judicial recusal and disclosure requirements for spending on judicial races both for direct campaign contributions and indirect support.

In his statement, Clifford specifically called on judicial candidates to reject the use of personal and political agenda-specific PACs in their campaigns.

Contacted for a reaction, Brendan O'Sullivan, speaking for the Theis campaign, told FWIW in an email, "Since Personal PAC is running an Independent Expenditure, we have had no coordination with them, and first saw the mailers on the Capitol Fax blog." The campaign had no comment on Clifford's call to reject PAC money in judicial campaigns.

However, according to a March 16 article by Jeff Coen, Justice Theis told the Chicago Tribune that "she did seek the endorsement of the group, but was careful to tell the organization she would not comment on any issue that could wind up before the court, such as parental notification of abortion."

At this point, Personal PAC may be the only political action committee actively participating in the primary process. In an email interview with FWIW, Ed Murnane, President of the Illinois Civil Justice League, expressed general agreement with Mr. Clifford's position. "I'm not sure I agree on [Clifford's] 'dark door' theory but we definitely need to make some changes" in the judicial election process. Murnane confirmed that JUSTPAC, the ICJL's political action committee "has not put any money into any judicial campaigns this year." He added, however, that ICJL and JUSTPAC "have not ruled out supporting candidates in the General Election."

More about ICJL's suggestions for the reform of Illinois judicial elections tomorrow.

Chicago Defender announces judicial endorsements

The Chicago Defender has announced its endorsements for the March 20 primary. That link will take you to a digital copy of the Defender's March 14-20 edition. In contested judicial races, the Defender endorses:

Illinois Supreme Court
Joy Virginia Cunningham

Illinois Appellate Court
Cahill Vacancy - Pamela E. Hill-Veal
Gallagher Vacancy - P. Scott Neville, Jr.
O'Brien Vacancy - Jesse G. Reyes

Cook County Circuit Court (Countywide)
Conlon Vacancy - Stanley L. Hill, Sr.
Kinnaird Vacancy - Erica L. Reddick
O'Brien Vacancy - Cynthia Ramirez
O'Mara Frossard Vacancy - Roderick F. Wimberly
Pucinski Vacancy - Lorna Ellen Propes
Simmons, Jr. Vacancy - Michael A. Forti
Stewart Vacancy - Deidre Baumann
Ward Vacancy - Alfred M. Swanson, Jr.

Cook County Circuit Court (Subcircuit)
2nd Subcircuit (Stuttley Vacancy) - Arthur Wesley "Wes" Willis

7th Subcircuit (Starks Vacancy) - Tommy Brewer
7th Subcircuit (Toney Vacancy) - Arthur P. Wheatley

The Organizing the Data posts have been updated accordingly.

Murray, Delgado withdraw from subcircuit races

A comment received overnight advised that James C. Murray had withdrawn from the race for the Rochford vacancy. A check of the Illinois State Board of Elections website this morning confirms that Murray withdrew his candidacy on March 2.

The Illinois State Board of Elections website also confirms that Kent A. Delgado has withdrawn his bid for the Delgado vacancy in the 6th Subcircuit. According to the ISBE, Delgado withdrew his candidacy on March 14.

The corresponding Organizing the Data posts have been updated accordingly.

Start here for the most complete information about every Cook County judicial contest

Bumped up for greater visibility 3/17/12.

Here is where FWIW organizes all the data -- links to the websites, the video appearances, all the evaluations, all the endorsements -- so you, the voter, can make the most informed choices possible when you vote.

What Cook County judicial race are you interested in?
Supreme Court vacancy;

Appellate Court - Cahill vacancy;
Appellate Court - Coleman vacancy (uncontested);
Appellate Court - Gallagher vacancy;
Appellate Court - O'Brien vacancy;
Appellate Court - Theis vacancy (uncontested);
Appellate Court - Tully vacancy (uncontested);

Countywide - Conlon vacancy;
Countywide - Jordan vacancy (uncontested);
Countywide - Kinnaird vacancy;
Countywide - Moran vacancy (uncontested);
Countywide - O'Brien, Jr. vacancy;
Countywide - O'Mara Frossard vacancy;
Countywide - Pucinski vacancy;
Countywide - Simmons, Jr. vacancy;
Countywide - Stewart vacancy;
Countywide - Stralka vacancy (uncontested);
Countywide - Ward vacancy;

2nd Subcircuit -- Stuttley vacancy;
3rd Subcircuit -- McGann vacancy;
3rd Subcircuit -- Moore vacancy (uncontested);
4th Subcircuit -- Riley vacancy;
4th Subcircuit -- "A" vacancy;
6th Subcircuit -- Delgado vacancy;
7th Subcircuit -- Jones vacancy (uncontested);
7th Subcircuit -- Starks vacancy;
7th Subcircuit -- Terrell vacany (uncontested);
7th Subcircuit -- Toney vacancy;
8th Subcircuit -- Chiola vacancy;
8th Subcircuit -- Cole vacancy;
8th Subcircuit -- Durkin Roy vacany;
8th Subcircuit -- "A" vacancy (uncontested);
9th Subcircuit -- Bender vacancy;
9th Subcircuit -- Epstein vacancy;
10th Subcircuit -- Locallo vacancy (uncontested);
11th Subcircuit -- O'Brien vacancy;
11th Subcircuit -- Urso vacancy;
12th Subcircuit -- Rochford vacancy;
13th Subcircuit -- Pietrucha vacancy;
13th Subcircuit - "A" vacancy (uncontested);
14th Subcircuit - O'Gara vacancy (uncontested).
Notes: Some of these links will take you to page two, so you will not see all of the linked posts if you merely scroll down this page. Individual "Organizing the Data" posts will be updated as necessary right up until the March 20 primary. They will bear the date on which they were first posted, but I will add the latest update date at the top of each post so you will know when it was last changed.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Illinois Civil Justice League completes Cook County judicial endorsements

The Illinois Civil Justice League announced its Cook County Circuit Court endorsements in its newsletter this morning.

In the race for the Kinnaird vacancy, the ICJL endorses Kevin Cunningham, calling his "thoughts on shrinking frivolous lawsuit filings... insightful and specific."

The ICJL endorsed Gerald V. Cleary for the O'Brien vacancy, citing, in part, Cleary's views "on necessary reforms for judicial selection, including greater transparency in the selection of associate judges."

For the Pucinski vacancy, the ICJL picks Edward J. Maloney, saying has an "impressive resume, is involved in his community, and is immensely qualified to be a judge."

The ICJL took a pass on the race for the O'Mara Frossard vacancy, choosing not to decide between Kevin W. Horan and Diann Karen Marsalek. "Both are worthy candidates," the ICJL stated, "seem to be good judges, and would otherwise have received our support individually," adding that "voters have good choices in this race."

The ICJL's endorsements have been added to the appropriate Organizing the Data posts.

For a post regarding ICJL's comments on the Supreme and Appellate Court races, click here.