Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Richard C. Cooke, Carlos Claudio slated in 6th Subcircuit

The Democratic Committeemen of Cook County's 6th Judicial Subcircuit met yesterday and agreed to endorse Richard C. Cooke for the Gonzalez-Santiago vacancy and Carlos Claudio for the "A" vacancy, according to multiple FWIW sources.

Also appearing before the 6th Subcircuit Committeemen, according to an FWIW source, were, in addition to Cooke and Claudio, Judge Anna Loftus (who currently holds the "A" vacancy pursuant to Supreme Court appointment), Ed Underhill, Eulalia (Evie) De La Rosa (the immediate Past President of the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois) and Ricardo Lugo (who ran for a 6th Subcircuit vacancy in 2012).


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Richard and Carlos. LATINO JUDGES FOR A LATINO SUBCIRCUIT!!!

Anonymous said...

For the record: Richard Cooke is NOT Latino.

Anonymous said...

Who cares where Cooke or his parents were born but I also do not think he is Latino. Just checked the Illinois State Board of Elections website this morning. His election committee has total funds of $745,857.84. Case closed.

Anonymous said...

It is not Mr. Cooke's money that is the issue, but since it has been raised it is a valid point to discuss. I commend a candidate that self-funds their campaign, as Mr. Cooke is doing. I'd rather see a candidate self-fund than see someone fund their campaign through the contributions of one or more special interest group, and then later preside over cases where the lawyers from that group materially helped get him or her elected. Who do you think will be more impartial?

The greater issue, as it seems to me, is this open hostility to non-Latino candidates in the 6th subcircuit. Subcircuits were created, IN PART, to increase diversity on the bench. They were NOT created to exclusively elect certain races or ethnicities. You don't read sane people in the 8th subcircuit writing "WHITE JUDGES FOR A WHITE SUBCIRCUIT," because that would be clearly racist and offensive. It is similarly racist and offensive for someone to angrily label their subcircuit as "the Latino subcircuit" and demand that only Latino candidates be elected.

In the end, you want a judge who is fair, impartial, knowledgeable, prepared, organized and decisive. I would not exchange one of those characteristics for a judge simply because he or she was of a certain race or ethnicity.

There is a Muslim judge running in another subcircuit, and rightfully, thankfully, we have progressed to a point where no one is making an issue of it. It is unfortunate that that same maturity and acceptance cannot be embraced by the intelligent people who live in the 6th subcircuit about non-Latino candidates.

Anonymous said...

First in the 10th, and now in the 6th subcircuit, the ward committeemen have absolutely abandoned the sitting Judges appointed by the Supreme Court. Clearly it means nothing to these committeemen that the Appointed Judges are required to discontinue their employment to accept their Appointments with the expectation that they will be slated and their temporary status as Judges will extended into full six year terms. As it is virtually impossible to prevail against slated candidates in a subcircuit, these committeemen have all but guaranteed that the thanks these Judges will receive for accepting in good faith to perform public service is unemployment. This is most revolting in the 6th, as the Chairman of the Democratic Party, Joseph Berrios, actually serves as the committeeman of the 31st ward, which is located within this subcircit. There has been a lot of commentary on this blog about the "friends and family plan" in the appointment of politically connected individuals as Judges; however if these Judges were in fact so politically connected would they not have been slated?

Anonymous said...

Anon. 9:14

History shows that there should be no expectation of being slated if one is appointed.

With respect to the 10th subcircuit, however, those results are a complete anomaly. Committeeman John Arena does the opposite of what people want, and it was his turn to pick, so he picked someone to upset the apple cart. Sadly, a good sitting judge got shut out because of his antics.

With respect to the other subcircuits and countywide, you don't get appointed to fill a vacancy unless you have a lot of juice. And you don't get slated unless you have a lot of juice. Sometimes someone with more juice comes along who knocks an appointed judge out of the number one spot. Other times, hardworking lawyers who do what they are supposed to do sit out election after election after election because some appointee comes along with more clout. There have been a number of candidates who have been told cycle after cycle to sit out the next election, with promise of being top choice the next time around. Often times, those promises are "forgotten," or someone with more clout comes along and screws the person who has patiently been waiting their turn. In short, there is absolutely nothing fair, ethical or equitable about this process! If you want a happy ending, watch the Andy Griffith Show or Donna Reed, or visit a strip mall on Archer Avenue. There is a saying that "politics ain't beanbag," but in Chicago, the guy with the biggest beanbag usually wins.

The friends and family plan takes care of its own. Most appointees eventually land on their feet and win an election after reappointment or become associate judges. Look at Ahearn. He thought his beanbag was caught in the wringer, but he ended up just fine.

The fact that committeemen abandon people is nothing new. By and large, you are dealing with a group of people who will tell you whatever you want to hear.

Anonymous said...

This comment is in response to Anonymous 9:14 - I hate to find myself agreeing with "E.P." but I do believe that ALL Appointed Judges are beneficiaries of the "friends and family plan"; as are ALL slated candidates; and ALL Associate Judges. By believing otherwise simply overlooks that reality that becoming a judge is a very political process. Unfortunately for the Appointed Judge, sometimes the political connections that may have helped land an appointment do not extend to the committeemen of a particular subcircuit.

I agree that independent candidates and even sitting Judges have little or no chance of beating slated candidates in subcircuit contests. Subcircuits are too well controlled by the Democratic committeemen and lack the variables that sometimes are present in countywide races. But, it is hard to shed a tear for Appointed Judges who lose their jobs. Why should they be immune to an occurrence that has happened to just about every working woman or man in the legal profession at one time or another?

Anonymous said...

I know. I know. You haven’t heard from me in a while. That’s because I’ve been a busy little bee and because it seems my satirical, comical and witty writing style have been copied by so many on this blog that I thought maybe I wouldn’t be needed anymore. It’s nice to know I was wrong and that my comments are very much welcomed. So away we go.

I can’t believe some people are so naive as to believe that The Supremes are above politics. They get upset when those appointments aren’t “ratified” by the committeemen come slating time.
Look, those 3 Cook County judges on the Supreme Court (Burke, Freeman and Theis) forgot how they got there in the first place. For the neophytes out there, they got to the Supreme Court by begging, groveling and kissing the pinky rings of all 80 Democratic County Committeemen in Cook County. And those guys/gals asked for just one thing in return. And that was to, at the very least, pay them a little respect when filling vacancies in their back yards.

Forget about the countywide vacancies. Those go to the super well connected. For the most part The Supremes run those names by the party bosses in advance to make sure that they are not wasted appointments. They want to make sure those countywide judges have a shot a slating by the party so they can keep being judges. But at the sub-circuit level, the committeemen are treated like red-headed step-children. The Supremes make appointment consistent with their well-documented “family and friends” plan and those poor schmucks that get appointed are usually just left with their robes flapping in the wind.

And so what? The Supremes didn’t run the names of those appointees by any of the sub-circuit committeemen so why should those committeemen feel any obligation to those appointees. Those committeemen where not at the table when those decisions were being made so they don’t owe anybody anything. But those committeemen sure were very, very important when those Supreme Court Justices were just candidates for the job and kissing those committeemen’s rings. But like I said, once they got up there, they forgot who “made” them.

And those Supremes can’t plead ignorance. Every one of those sub-circuits has a Chairmen and Vice-Chairman of a judicial slating committee. And those committeemen know of lawyers in their communities deserving of a shot at being a judge. Lawyers who are state’s attorneys, public defenders, government interest lawyers, public servants, litigators in well-known and lesser known law firms or solo practitioners well versed in civil or criminal matters, etc. Lawyers who provide countless hours of pro bono work for their constituents, the poor, the overwhelmed and the just plain lost.

So for those who want to be considered for Supreme Court appointments in sub-circuits vacancies, you should adhere to the old “buyer beware” adage. If you don’t come from the established leadership in those communities, or they know nothing of you, then don’t get suckered into those appointments.

And for those of you out there about to start screaming and writing about “merit selection”, don’t bother. That term is just code-talk for the silk stocking, ivy league, gleaming tower, elitist, conservative, status quo, downtown power broker, seriously out-of-touch bunch that can only make matters worse. They will inject the “family and friends” plan with steroids. No thanks. I’ll take my chances with the neighborhood guys. As always, E.P.

Anonymous said...

E.P., I agree, we must avoid elitist, ivy league judges whenever possible. Here are 10 ways I can spot an elitist judge:

10. Tells people traffic court is in the Daley Center wine cellar.

9. Refers to court clerk as “Madam au pair.”

8. Thinks Stoney Island is near Ibiza.

7. Requires minimum of three fittings for ankle bracelets for persons sentenced to home confinement.

6. Calls Section 8 housing “Maison du Huit.”

5. Asks Ruben Castillo if he can do better job vacuuming chambers at night.

4. Thinks “Mass Incarceration” is “catholic thing.”

3. Thwarts Mark Suppelsa visit by buying home in every subcircuit.

2. Refers to judicial robe as a “caftan.”

1. Asks defendants in prostitution court if “around the world” is a Cunard Cruise Line.

Jack Leyhane said...

@Anon 4:45 -- Don't try so hard. I know you were trying to be funny, and that's why I didn't flush the comment, and I really believe humor is one way to help people read, and at least consider, ideas with which they do not already agree. But I'll bet I'm not the only one who thinks you got way over the line here.

Anonymous said...

I think the writer was poking more fun at the absurdity of EP's comment.