Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mother Tribune weighs in on Chief Judge election... sort of

The Tribune story, by Steve Mills and Todd Lighty, can be found here.

Mills and Lighty quote UIC Professor (and former Alderman) Dick Simpson as saying that "[t]here's obviously a rebellion going on. * * * There's no doubt there's some pushback against Tim Evans."

On the other hand, the authors acknowledge that letters from challengers Tom Allen and Sandra Ramos asking their colleagues for support "are so buttoned-up it is hard to know that a race is even on." The authors quote Simpson, "It's a little like the old days of the machine. It's a pretty closed world."

Simpson ventures no prediction on the outcome of tomorrow's election in the article; he does say that Chief Judge Evans has the "upper hand."

That's called the advantage of incumbency. It's a little like making the home team a 3-point favorite in an NFL game. The person setting the line is not marking anyone a clear favorite.

Here's the way I read the Tribune's article: There's an election for Chief Judge tomorrow. There are three candidates. One of these has been Chief Judge for quite some time. All else is speculation... if not outright horseradish. The biggest dose of horseradish is in the lede:
Before a law clerk in Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans' office last month allegedly donned a robe and impersonated a judge, the race to unseat Evans was relatively restrained, with two judges waging a quiet challenge to Evans' 15-year rule.
The implication, of course, is that now---only now, after this business in Markham---Cook County judges are reassessing their personal satisfaction with their chief. And, sure enough, in the next paragraph, the authors claim that the Turner-Crawford case "has given the race to become the county's top judge new urgency."

Let me suggest a different reading, namely, it was only after the unfortunate business in Markham that Mother Tribune took notice that Chief Judge Evans was up for reelection. My assumption is that the judges voting tomorrow will not be forming their opinions about who should lead them on the basis of that one incident.

Granted, I'm speculating here.

But at least I admit it.

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