Friday, March 13, 2020

Wait... I thought shills weren't supposed to have lawn signs...

It's just one lawn sign, one lawn sign on the east side of a corner lot. But it had a twin on the north side of that lot, where it could be spotted, as I spotted it, driving down Devon Avenue a few days back.

It's not in front of Maureen Patricia O'Leary's home. That's significant, given Abdon Pallasch's summary of the duties of a shill, or 'ringer,' the term he used in a 2009 Sun-Times article referred to in John Seasly's February 14 article on Injustice Watch, "Sham candidates for judge: an election secret you're not supposed to know about," (an article also published in the Sun-Times). In the 2009 article, Pallasch wrote:
The rules are clear for ringers, if unwritten: Don’t campaign, not even a sign in your front lawn. Your job is to siphon votes from Irish women candidates really running for judge — not to win, though sometimes that happens, and then you get to be judge.
So I've been planning to run a picture of this sign anyway, as a follow up to my February 26 post, "About that shill story on Injustice Watch....," the thought being that the existence of even one sign, posted along any public way, refuted the shill allegation, by definition.

Then I received a comment contending that O'Leary has a "huge billboard on the Dan Ryan and over-sized yard signs along Roosevelt Road and the south side." I haven't seen these; if these exist, please send pictures.

But the commenter's point was that Judge Gallagher should apologize to O'Leary for calling her a shill.

I don't know why Gallagher would owe anyone an apology. Whatever her private musings may have been about O'Leary's bona fides, it was Injustice Watch that published them. It was Injustice Watch that made the accusation (though Gallagher is reported as agreeing with Injustice Watch's contention). If anyone owes O'Leary an apology, I'd say it was Injustice Watch.

Inasmuch as I am a confirmed coward, I won't wade further into any crossfire between Gallagher and O'Leary -- or, worse, between Judge Gallagher and Mary Kay Dawson.

But the point here is that O'Leary is acting more and more like a real candidate. Not a shill.

Both Gallagher and O'Leary are largely self-funding. Gallagher just reported a $1,000 contribution from a prominent plaintiff's attorney, but almost every other dollar in her campaign fund has come from her own pocket. She's put a little more into her campaign than O'Leary has, and so far she's reported spending a lot more -- but, then, O'Leary's committee was just set up this year and she's not yet filed a D-2. Neither has raised even a quarter of what Daniel Epstein initially tossed into his quixotic Supreme Court campaign. To this extent, their campaigns are comparable.

The accompanying photograph here is terrible. But, even making allowances for the awful photography (mine), O'Leary's lawn sign isn't particularly good. You can barely see what she's running for. There's no punch number.

Of course, when I first ran for judge, my lawn signs had no punch number either. I didn't really understand how punch numbers worked. I probably found out what mine was before I voted -- but probably not much before. So I understand that a first-time candidate may make rookie mistakes. I made all of them.

Buying less than effective lawn signs may not be the best expenditure of O'Leary's funds. I expect that Gallagher, as a more-seasoned candidate, will spend her money more effectively than O'Leary.

But O'Leary has a good ballot name, and the top ballot line, and even though the parades have been cancelled, the primary is still set for the Feast of St. Patrick. Any other candidate in the race for the Neville, Jr. vacancy on the Appellate Court that dismisses O'Leary out of hand would be making a grave mistake.


Anonymous said...


I can't take a picture while driving. And I am not going to make a special tripe. But I did see a LARGE yard sign on Roosevelt Road, near the intersection of of Blue Island across the street from that catholic high school where all the judges brag about attending. Sorry, I'm not a catholic and I don't care. So if you want a picture, help yourself. But act fast because Injustice Watch (or other interested parties) might take it down so that their narrative doesn't lose steam.

Anonymous said...

She has a billboard Jack, so she is is legitimate. It's on the southbound Dan Ryan, just south of UIC after you begin to merge into the express lane (between UIC and Chinatown). Anybody can make a yard sign, but billboards are no joke. That's real money and real commitment. Judge Gallagher should know, she used one in 2016. This time she was too slow on the uptake and Beth Ryan, McBride, Glennon and McEneely crowded her out. But there is a spot on the liquor store at 103rd and Cottage. Be sure to use your photo and shamrocks at that location, Judge Gallagher.

Anonymous said...

It would appear that Ms. O'Leary is playing the same game that so many other candidates have played in the past. In other words, she knows that you clowns don't spend time engaging voters or getting your own petitions. Instead, you read this blog and perhaps, occasionally, the Board of Elections website. But if you time things just right, you don't have to report a damn thing until AFTER the election. So you can sit there and wonder what your opponent is up to and never know until you are driving down the Dan Ryan and "surprise." Those April 15 D-2's tell the real story. Better yet, the AMENDED D-2's that always come out a month later when nobody is paying attention can be even more revealing. Several sitting judges elected in the last 3 cycles are guilty of playing this game. Only this time, karma is having fun with one in particular. Time will tell. But in this particular fight, I suspect that neither side is a "victim."

Anonymous said...

I am not voting for O'Leary or Gallagher for the same reason that I am not voting for any of the Irish who use such obnoxious pleas to their ancestry as a play for votes. Fly a shamrock and you're qualified to be a judge? Not in my experience. I know plenty of Irish people (judges and lawyers included) who AGREE with my sentiment. Which is where I take a special moment to pause and thank judges like Margaret Brennan, Colleen Daly and Maureen Ward Kirby who didn't play that game, actually show up to work, and do the job right.

Jack Leyhane said...

Billboards are expensive, sure.

But they are not decisive.

If billboards were all that mattered, I'd have a fully vested pension today.... I had billboards in 1994 -- quite a few, actually (no punch numbers on them either).

Billboards only mean that you're trying to succeed, not that you will succeed.

Anonymous said...

Who said billboards are decisive? The point is shills don't spend money on billboards.

Anonymous said...

(Jack, I'm sure you are going to be posting about Evans General Order 2020-01 soon dealing with the corona virus -- can you add the following as a comment to that post)

According to Evans’ plan, all in-custody defendant’s still have to be transported to court since the jail doesn’t know which defendants are scheduled for arraignment, may want to plea, or have a bond hearing. The sheriffs have to be fully staffed for the 30 days to deal with the in-custody defendants coming to court. Since the same amount of cases will be on the call every day, court clerks have to be in court updating every case as well as the court reporter. Maybe some defense attorneys will call the State to get dates but there still has to be an ASA and defense attorneys in court.

Not only that, the new order does not limit in anyway family members or the general public from coming to court. Yes, a defendant has a constitutional right to an “open trial” but like most constitutional rights, it is not absolute. Under certain limited circumstances, courts may restrict or altogether close judicial processes to the public. Want an example, on March 12th, 2020, the United States Supreme Court announced that it would close its doors to the public “until further notice” out of concern for the health and safety of the public and Supreme Court employees.

Unfortunately, this order does little to decrease the number of people coming to court on the criminal side other than eliminating jurors.

Anonymous said...

A letter Ms O'Leary wanted to send in response to that article but was advised to wait... seems now is a good time.

Mr. Seasly,

Contrary to the assertions set forth within your (2/14/2020) article titled “Running for Cook County judge (but not so anyone would know it)”, I am running for Judge not so that I confuse voters but rather to become a Judge.

Since my campaign commenced, I have endured an incredulous amount of personal attacks that have been both derogatory and threatening in nature—these attacks have forced me to change my campaign phone number, take down my Facebook page, and promise to check-in with family whenever I needed to leave my home alone. My family and friends have urged me to respond to the accusations, and at one point became so concerned that they insisted I report these threats to the authorities.

I did not get to this point in my career having spent more than a decade as a nurse, seventeen years as an attorney, and have risen to my current position as a female Vice President overseeing the litigation for more than fifty-five healthcare facilities, in four different states, to now engage in these self-serving behaviors, I was choosing to take the high road.
However, now that my integrity, honesty and reputation have been attacked I have decided if I do not speak up, I would be doing a discredit to any woman seeking any rightful opportunity, regardless of what that may be.

Now Mr. Seasly, in response to your recent article:
- Do voters know that I am running-Yes
- Have I reported my finances--Yes
- Have I been at campaign events--Yes
- Am I a newcomer--Yes
- Am I running against Gallagher--Yes
- “O’Leary did not respond to requests for comment.” True. Her campaign manager responded.
- Have I paid circulators--No.
- “ … judicial experience, … O’Leary has none.” True. To run or be appointed as an appellate judge the requirement is to have ten years practicing as an attorney, or lower court judge.
- “…forum in January, O’Leary wasn’t there.” True. As you know this was not a required event.
- Has not sought endorsements, reported printing mailers or run advertisements.-Categorically false.
- Did not have a committee or website until late January-Categorically false.

Finally, I want to express that I think this type of negative campaigning is a sad state of affairs. For me, I will continue to campaign my way. I have never given into “the way it has always been done” and have no intention of doing so now.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am highly intelligent, possess the depth and breadth of practice in multiple fields, hold myself and those I surround myself with to the highest of standards in integrity and morality, promote for inclusion, diversity, and have made strenuous efforts at fighting against biased and corrupt systems.

Now, I would like to get back to focusing on the election.

Thank you

Unknown said...

A letter Ms OLeary wanted to send in response to that article but was advised to wait... seems now is a good time

I wanted to attach pictures as well but unable to attach pictures to this blog.

Regards, Karen Bach