Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Angela Munari Petrone withdraws from 7th Subcircuit race

Associate Judge Angela Munari Petrone withdrew yesterday morning from the race for the 7th Subcircuit Rivkin-Carothers vacancy, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.


Anonymous said...

This is just my opinion but I really do not think ANY Associate Judges should run for Circuit Court judgeships. Yes, I know they have the right to run. Yes, I know that when an Associate becomes a Circuit Judge it creates an opening for another Associate so technically a "spot" is not "lost". Even so, I think Associate Judges already have great jobs so running for a Circuit vacancy just seems greedy to me. Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. Why be a greedy hog when already a nice fat happy pig? Oink oink.

Jack Leyhane said...

Yes, I know that when an Associate becomes a Circuit Judge it creates an opening for another Associate so technically a "spot" is not "lost"

Isn't that really the end of the discussion?

There is admittedly not much difference between circuit judges and associate judges. But there are some differences.

Our anonymous friend here sees greed as a likely motivating factor in an associate judge's desire to move up. There is a small salary difference (full circuit judges make a little more). But the advantage of the little bump in salary (and, eventually, pension) could easily be wiped out by the expense of a contested campaign.

Pursuant to Article VI, Sec. 8 of the 1970 Illinois Constitution and Supreme Court Rule 295, an associate judge can hear any kind of case except felony cases where the defendant may be subject to imprisonment for more than one year -- but, even here, there is a loophole allowing the chief judge of a circuit to petition the Supreme Court to allow particular associate judges to hear felony cases. Early in my career, associate judges were pretty much barred from serving in the Law or Chancery Divisions. These were generally considered more 'prestigious' assignments and only popularly-elected judges were permitted to serve in Law or Chancery courtrooms -- but that distinction, too, has eroded, and many associate judges now have assignments in both divisions. But, just as this practice has changed in the course of my professional lifetime, it may change again.

Associate judges have to be reelected by the full circuit judges every four years, while full circuit judges only have to face a retention ballot every six years. Both processes have been fairly reliable vehicles for returning incumbents to office -- but past performance is no guarantee of future behavior here either.

I agree that being an associate judge would be a "great job," but I see nothing wrong with an associate judge seeking a full circuit judgeship.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the second comment. However, the Associate Judge's salary is $181,220.00 or $3,484.61 per week. While "greed" may not be a motivating factor in seeking a full circuit position; when is enough, enough? Associate Judges should be more than satisfied with what they have.

Anonymous said...

Jack, Anonymous is right. The opening of an associate spot is completely different than the opening of a circuit judge spot, particularly in a subcircuit where Jane Does actually have a chance of winning. Getting anointed AJ is far more political than getting slated. Run in the 7th and you have a 1 in 5 chance. AJ is 1 in 377. So yes, Jack, Anonymous is right. Oink, Oink.

Jack, you've been trying to become an associate judge since Harry Comerford was in the Cub Scouts and despite your legal brilliance and debonair looks, regular schmoes like us haven't a chance in Hell despite the ruse of the perfunctory application, bar association screening and interview process. All smoke and mirrors.

I have sat in that hot seat on the 26th floor several times now trying to woo the Presidings, and here is what I have concluded: a) the higher the floor in the Daley Center, the less oxygen there is. You've not heard snoring (or sleep apnea) until you've heard Moshe Jacobius at 3 p.m., in a hot conference room after eating the spanakopita at Maxim's; b) no Belltone hearing aide will make the Presidings hear your responses any better. Their hearing is fine, it is their attention that is lacking, especially when you are a nobody that nobody sent; c) If you want to know who is going to be on the short list, sit outside the 26th floor conference room for half the day. When the dolts with no chance go in, you could hear a pin drop, but when one of the pre-anointed goes in it sounds like nickel beer night during Fleet Week. When the guy before me went in, in sounded like I was sitting back stage at a Don Rickles show at the Sahara. I'm quite certain I heard Ponce yelling "hit the piƱata" right before a slew of pension checks fell to the floor. When I followed, the room sounded like Lisa Lampinelli at the Conference of Catholic Bishops. Silence. I got a warmer reception from Vito Marzullo when I joked that his 25th ward office had more listening devices than the Nixon White House.

So yes, Jack. Oink! A big Oink!

As I wrap up, I note that January 1 is right around the corner and that is the opening of shill hunting season, and this year there are so many shills you can hardly tell who is a real candidate and who isn't. Its bad enough that late vacancies are finagled for clouted candidates, but then the party hires shills to run, even shills with past records for highly questionable signatures. It makes no difference if the shill's signatures are good so long as votes are taken from the legitimate candidate opposing the party hack.

In fact I am thinking of starting my own blog to expose the shills, and was toying with the following names:

To Shill and Back
What the Shill
Come Shill or High Water
M. Yak and Shill Went Up the Hill to Throw a Judicial Election
Give 'em Shill, Toni
The Road to Shill is Paved with Fraudulent Signatures
Shill Be Coming Around the Mountain When She Comes

But I think the best one for this cycle is:

There Will be Shill to Pay.

... but the question is, from whose campaign fund?


Jack Leyhane said...

@Anon 3:54 -- DAP -- I almost flushed your comment because of the gratuitous slams at individuals... but I realize you were trying to be funny.

You also made what I think is a valid point: In many ways, the AJ process is more political than the electoral process, as counter-intuitive as that may seem to outsiders.

There's no question that politicians have input into the AJ process. Some may have as much influence, or more, than at slate-making time, but I'm not the one to know who has what pull. It's not as blatant as it was during the Richard J. Daley years when the list came over from the 5th Floor and that was it. But that's just one level of the political considerations involved in selecting associate judges. It is truly said that cattle are herd animals, bees are hive animals, chimpanzees are social animals, and people are political animals.

That said, however, as a veteran of several AJ selection rounds (as you pointed out), I have to say my experience with the judges' interview was completely different from what you report. I always found the selection committee to be polite and courteous; I'd go so far as to characterize them as nice. No one was kidding anyone, mind you; I never had as much chance of making the short list as an ice cube has of surviving an afternoon on the Mojave Desert sands and no one ever gave me false hope. But the nice interview was sort of a consolation prize.

Anonymous said...

I have known a few AJs who ran for circuit court. None were motivated by the difference in salary. Generally, it has been a desire to do more as a Circuit Court judge (e.g., involvement in court policy issues, assignments) than they could do as an AJ. Jack, you make a good point about how the current regime uses quality AJs for felony and Law Division calls, but it cannot be assumed that the next regime will do the same.