Saturday, March 15, 2014

Explaining the endorsement lists

I've received a number of inquiries (and a couple of complaints) about the way I've set up the Endorsement lists in my Organizing the Data posts.

First, I don't have every endorsement obtained by every candidate.

The only endorsements I put up are those where I can verify all of the Cook County judicial endorsements given by that organization for next week's primary.

That means -- for example -- that the endorsements received by candidates from the Chicago Firefighters Union, Local 2 and the Fraternal Order of Police, Cook County Lodge No. 4, are not included. I have attempted to get the lists issued by these groups and (presumably) sent to their members, but to date I have had no success.

Candidates want the world to know about every endorsement they've received. Some groups want to share their opinions with the world; some apparently don't. It's not that I don't believe the individual candidates -- I do -- but I've made the decision not to publish one candidate's endorsement by the Butchers, Bakers, and Candlestick Makers unless I can publish all of them. (Sometimes it is very interesting when we can see the entire endorsement list -- all candidates are 'endorsed' in a given race, for example, or only two or three candidates are endorsed at all.)

I link to all the candidate websites. You may well see more endorsements on a candidate's website than you'll find here. It doesn't mean that the candidate has made something up.

Second, when it comes to candidates slated by the Cook County Democratic Party, I'm not including every ward or township that has separately announced its support for a given slated candidate.

As I've mentioned here in other contexts, when the county party endorses Candidate Smith for the countywide Jones vacancy, each and every ward from 1 to 50, and each of the 30 townships from Barrington to Worth, is supposed to also back candidate Smith. The endorsement of each individual organization is supposed to be included within, or as part of, the county endorsement.

Now, of course, reality and theory often travel along different roads. Some organizations will depart from the county party's endorsement of Candidate X in favor of Candidate Y. So when I put down that Candidate X is endorsed by the Cook County Democratic party for a countywide vacancy, that represents all 80 local groups -- and it's a lot easier to read than the long laundry list. If two wards and a township opt for Candidate Y instead of Candidate X, the county party endorsement notwithstanding and, if I can verify this, I've listed these among Candidate Y's endorsements.

Candidate X and his or her supporters have expressed concern, when this happens, that X's list may look shorter than it should when compared with Candidate Y's -- or, perhaps, that Candidate Y's list looks longer than it should. But FWIW readers should not be confused and, now, I hope, you won't be.

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