Monday, October 03, 2016

October 27 fundraiser set for Judge Robin D. Shoffner

I know, I know: The 2016 elections aren't over yet. But that doesn't mean that the 2018 primary season isn't already underway....

Supporters of Judge Robin D. Shoffner are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Thursday, October 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Bureau Bar, 75 E. 16th Street.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and 3rd Ward Ald. and Committeeman Pat Dowell are listed as the hosts for the event. Tickets are $150 each, but sponsorships are available ($250 - $500 - $1,000). For more information about the event, or to reserve tickets, email

Judge Shoffner currently serves pursuant to Supreme Court appointment in an 8th Subcircuit vacancy. She was initially appointed to fill a 5th Subcircuit vacancy but was unable to hold that seat in the March Primary.


Anonymous said...

Jack, Is this a BOE violation? Is not declaring candidacy and fund raising two years before the General prohibited?

Jack Leyhane said...

I don't see why it would be... as long as there is an active political committee duly registered. But I'll ask an expert -- and, meanwhile, some of my expert readers can answer the question.

Anonymous said...

a. Support candidate to be elected at a general primary election or general election
i. Beginning January 1 following general election for office to which candidate seeks
nomination or election and ending on day of general primary election for that office, or
ii. Beginning day after a general primary election for the office to which the candidate seeks
nomination or election and through December 31 following the general election.

Anonymous said...

Jack, this is clearly a violation of Supreme Court Rule 67 (B)(2). In pertinent, it states,

A candidate's committees may solicit contributions and public support for the candidate's campaign no earlier than one year before an election and no later than 90 days after the last election in which the candidate participates during the election year.

The last election Judge Shoffner participated in was the primary on March 15, 2016, in which she lost. Her next election is not for 2 years. So, her committee was prohibited from fundraising after approximately June 15th of this year. Someone should definitely informer her committee of this violation.

Anonymous said...

Forrest Gump: Stupid is as stupid does.

Anonymous said...

A candidate is responsible and accountable for the actions of their committee. I guess it is too much to hope that a judge twice appointed by the Supreme Court would know the law.

Anonymous said...

Sloppy - sloppy - sloppy. Take a look at Judge Shoffner's D-1 Statement of Organization. It reflects the purpose of her committee is to support her for election to the 5th subcircuit. Her committee is actively fundraising for the 8th subcircuit. Furthermore it reflects a home address for Judge Shoffner outside of the subcircuit she is soliciting campaign donations for. Somebody really does not know the law or completely disregards it.

Jack Leyhane said...

OK, time out, people. I'm still waiting for an authoritative answer on this, but, as Anon 10/3 6:18 p.m. suggested, I've read Rule 67(B)(2) and, I admit, I'm surprised to see that the Supremes have imposed time limits on when a candidate for a particular judicial position may solicit funds. Any other species of political candidate can, and (where possible) does, raise funds on a virtually continuous basis.

But who says Judge Shoffner is a candidate for any particular position at this point? The invitation refers to a celebration of Judge Shoffner's appointment to an 8th Subcircuit vacancy -- not to her intent to keep that seat. I know that at least one current justice of our Supreme Court does not believe that a person should be appointed to a subcircuit vacancy unless that person meets the residency requirements for election to that vacancy -- but I also understand that the Court, as a whole, has so far not adopted that view.

It was my assumption, therefore, that Judge Shoffner's current appointment was not conditioned on her establishing residency in the 8th Subcircuit.

If we assume that Judge Shoffner is not necessarily intent on becoming a candidate for the 8th Subcircuit vacancy in which she now serves, but is, rather, intent on being as viable a candidate as she can be for some vacancy in the next election, does that make a difference in terms of what she can do in terms of becoming more viable (i.e., raising funds)?

I hope Judge Shoffner's committee is acting in accord with advice of a lawyer who specializes in election law (and, if it isn't---yet---I hope it 'lawyers up' right quick) and I apologize to the extent that any imprecision on my part in describing Judge Shoffner's upcoming event has created any unnecessary confusion.

Anonymous said...

I do not require a time out and you, Jack, have no reason to apologize.

You can call this fundraiser a "celebration" or a "bat mitzvah" if you like, but it is still a fundraiser and it is in violation of the law.

The invitation list donation amounts of $150, $250, $500, and $1,000, reflects the event is held by "Citizens to Elect Robin D. Shoffner", and has the required campaign donation disclosure fine print at the bottom of the invitation. With all respect to the Judge, this really does call into question her knowledge of the law and that of those she has enlisted to help her with her second bite of the apple.