Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Brian J. O'Hara: In his own words

Brian J. O'Hara is a candidate for the countywide Karnezis vacancy.


I am a lifelong resident of Cook County where I’ve been practicing law for over 35 years. In my practice, I’ve represented thousands of ordinary people and appeared before many judges. I am proud of my service to the public, especially when it comes to helping people rebuild their families. I am an advocate to get services needed by children involved in juvenile court cases and team building activities for at-risk youth in alternative schools. Regardless of a person’s status in life, I will always serve with fairness and justice. Please vote for me for Cook County judge in the March 15th Democratic primary elections. Punch 218!

Preparing for my Career. I grew up in west suburban Hillside and attended Proviso West High School where I was Vice-President (junior year) and President (senior) of the Student Council. I studied Political Science and Sociology with a minor in Urban Ethnic Studies at Loyola on a scholarship. During my second year at Northwestern Law School, I worked for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago as a Rule 711 student lawyer representing clients in court. A 1980 Northwestern Law School graduate, I’ve always been inspired by the law school’s talented faculty and student body.

Career Experience. After Northwestern, I worked at Arnold & Kadjan, focusing on Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fringe benefit cases. In 1987, I started my practice in River Forest representing people in the areas of real estate, estates, wills, small business counsel, misdemeanors, landlord/tenant, and civil trials. In 1989, I was accepted to the Chicago Bar Association Conflict Panel at the Cook County Juvenile Court. Since then, I’ve been appointed to represent indigent parents, children, guardians, and foster parents in Child Protection and Juvenile Justice cases addressing children’s placement and their best interests. I’ve advocated in hundreds of hearings involving child custody, adjudication of wardship, permanency planning, delinquency proceedings, and termination of parental rights.

Causes that Matter. I believe that all of us who can, have a responsibility to volunteer and share. For 20 years, I’ve worked with the Chicago Area Alternative Education League (CAAEL), a charity that provides intramural activities for at-risk youth in alternative schools. As a member of Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and Northwestern Feinberg School animal research, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), I’ve worked to assure that medical animal research is limited and humane. As my continuing support to Northwestern and the law profession, I help law students by judging at Northwestern’s Moot Court programs. I’ve supported charitable organizations including Misericordia, the Parkinson Foundation, the Ray Graham Foundation, and the Sheridan Carroll Food Pantry.

I’ve practiced law in Cook County for 35 years, advocated for people, especially children, who need the most services, and have compassion and respect for the public and the law. It would be an honor to serve as a judge in Cook County where I was born and raised. Punch 218 to vote for me in the upcoming March 15th Democratic primary elections so I can be of further service to you.

February 11 fundraiser for Ed Underhill

Supporters of Ed Underhill's campaign for the "A" vacancy in the 6th Subcircuit are planning a fundraiser for their candidate, on Thursday, February 11, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the Shamrock Club, 210 West Kinzie, in River North. Food and beverages will be provided.

Tickets are $100 each, but sponsorships are available (Friend - $250, Host - $500, and Sponsor - $1,000). There is also a $50 "Young Professional/Senior" ticket rate. For more information about the event, email brandon.henander@gmail.com (tickets are also available at this page of the candidate's website).

Louis G. Apostol fundraiser set for February 22

Supporters of Louis G. Apostol's 12th Subcircuit judicial bid (Kazmierski, Jr. vacancy) are planning a Monday, February 22 fundraiser for their candidate, starting at 6:30 p.m., at Mykonos Restaurant, 8660 West Golf Road in Niles, Illinois.

H’ors douvres will be served. The suggested minimum donation per person for the event is $195. For more information, or to reserve tickets, email lpalivos@att.net or cathy.hareas@gmail.com

Friday, February 05, 2016

February 26 fundraiser for Richard "Rick" Cenar

Supporters of 10th Subcircuit candidate Richard "Rick" Cenar are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Friday, February 26, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Nil Tap, 5734 N. Elston Ave., Chicago.

The suggested donation for the event is $50 per person. Food will be served and there will be an open bar. For more information, or to reserve tickets, email TERESA@electcenar.com.

Teresa Maganzini is the Chairperson of the Cenar campaign. Campaign committee members include Tom Arens, Alex Carson, Chris Carson, Kara Cenar, Sabra Ebersole, Chris Falcon, Cathy Gregorovic, Robert Heilingoetter, Michael Holzman, Melissa Howlett, Rina Infelise, Monica Johnson, Terrence Lefevour, Patrick Levar, Joseph Lyons, Susan Malisch, Edward McCarthy, Stephanie Miller, Beth Miner, Robert Motel, Randall Roberts, Barry Sheppard, and Barry Spector.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

February 18 fundraiser for Travis Richardson


Supporters of 2nd Subcircuit judicial candidate Travis Richardson have organized a fundraiser for their candidate on Thursday, February 18, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson.

Tickets for the event are priced at $100 apiece. Honorary Co-Chairs for the event are Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough, 34th Ward Ald. Carrie M. Austin, 21st Ward Ald. Howard B. Brookins, Jr., State Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch (D-7), State Rep. Marcus C. Evans, Jr. (D-33), State Rep. Al Riley (D-38), Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore (4th), and attorney Yao Dinizulu. For additional information about the event, or to order tickets, contact info@craticshaffer.com or visit the candidate's website.

Chicago Chapter of NOW announces 2016 Cook County judicial endorsements


The Chicago Chapter of the National Organization of Women has announced endorsements in several races for the upcoming primary. The link in the preceding sentence will take you to the complete list.

In Cook County judicial races, Chicago NOW has made these endorsements:

Countywide races
Elrod Vacancy: Rossana Patricia Fernandez
Hogan Vacancy: Alison C. Conlon
Howlett, Jr. Vacancy: Aleksandra “Alex” Gillespie
Johnson Vacancy: Carolyn Gallagher
Karnezis Vacancy: Devlin Schoop
Palmer Vacancy: Pat Heneghan
Walsh Vacancy: Fred Bates

Subcircuit races
1st Subcircuit – Brim Vacancy: Maryam Ahmad
6th Subcircuit - "A" Vacancy: Anna Loftus
7th Subcircuit – Rivkin-Carothers Vacancy: Patricia Spratt
10th Subcircuit – Howard Vacancy: Colleen Daly
12th Subcircuit - "A" Vacancy: James Hanlon

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lugo withdraws; De La Rosa now unopposed for 6th Subcircuit Ponce de Leon vacancy

Eulalia "Evie" De La Rosa
Ricardo Lugo withdrew from the race for the Ponce de Leon vacancy in the 6th Judicial Subcircuit on Friday, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. Lugo's withdrawal from the race leaves Assistant Public Defender Eulalia "Evie" De La Rosa, the Immediate Past President of the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois, as the sole remaining candidate for this vacancy. (And, yes, that's a link to De La Rosa's new campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar.)

My thanks to the several readers who emailed or left comments advising of this development.

Janet Mahoney campaign website launched

A campaign website has been launched for Assistant State's Attorney Janet Mahoney, candidate for the Mathein vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit. That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Mahoney's campaign website notes that she is the Democratic Party's slated candidate in this race. Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1987, Mahoney has spent her entire career in the State's Attorney's Office. After an early assignment in the Narcotics Division, Mahoney returned to the Appellate Division in 1990, staying there since, becoming "a recognized expert in criminal law and procedure" and "mentoring new attorneys beginning their careers" in the office, according to her campaign bio. Mahoney's website also notes that she is a founding member of the Advisory Committee of Catholic Charities Legal Assistance (CCLA).


Frank J. Andreou campaign website goes live

A campaign website been established for Frank J. Andreou, Democratic candidate for Kazmierski, Jr. vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit. That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar as well.

Andreou has been licensed in Illinois since 1995, according to the ARDC. He is a founding member of Andreou & Casson, Ltd. According to his campaign bio, Andreou began his legal career with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. His firm biography notes Andreou's experience in product liability and personal injury matters for a number of Fortune 500 companies; his firm bio also notes that he has had experience defending hospitals, medical groups and physicians in medical malpractice matters. The campaign bio notes he currently represents both plaintiffs and defendants; he also serves on the Northbrook District 27 School Board.

An (almost certain) endorsement -- and a cautionary tale about endorsements generally

It was supposed to be a simple story -- and illustrated, too: Judge Anna Loftus, candidate for the "A" vacancy in the 6th Subcircuit, had announced the endorsement of Congressman Luis Gutierrez:


Before running the story, though, I just wanted to close the loop -- to confirm that Cong. Gutierrez had indeed endorsed Judge Loftus. That's what journalists are supposed to do -- and, while I'm a blogger, not a real journalist, not according to those who occasionally propose licensing journalists in order to 'protect' the press, I do my best to try and uphold standards.

Sometimes, with endorsements, this is easy: When the Chicago Federation of Labor announced its judicial endorsements, it posted a list on line. When I did my post about the CFL endorsements, I could link to the page of the CFL website from which the entire endorsement list could be accessed.

But in this case, verification was not quite so easy: Congressman Gutierrez understandably has many other concerns besides endorsements in local judicial races; it was entirely unsurprising that the Congressman's website did not have a corresponding press release touting the endorsement.

I called the Congressman's local office to seek confirmation. I was directed to call the Washington office instead. I called. I spoke with two gentlemen there, explaining what I was after. I was given an email address and instructed to make my query in that way. I did.

This is the response I received:
Congressman Gutierrez has not yet made an endorsement in this race, but expects to by the end of February. Thanks.
I went back to Judge Loftus's campaign manager with this news. He assured me, in an email, that this must be a "miscommunication." He and the candidate and the Congressman "all had dinner and a photoshoot yesterday." The Congressman's "political director is Roberto Caldero," he added, "I'll have him contact you."

That was Wednesday evening; it's Sunday evening now and I never did hear from Mr. Caldero.

Still, I'm pretty certain that Cong. Gutierrez endorsed Judge Loftus. But my difficulties in seeking confirmation in this case provide a specific illustration of a larger problem I've had with candidate endorsements: Some people or organizations seem to like making endorsements -- but don't really want anyone to find out about them, or how many there are.

One time -- and I won't mention which union was involved, but if you're thinking hooks and ladders you won't be far wrong -- I was bombarded with requests from increasingly put-out candidates who wanted me to announce their endorsements. I refused until I was able to get a list of all the endorsements made by this particular union.

When I finally got hold of the complete list, it turned out that the union had 'recommended' multiple candidates in many of the races -- in one race 'recommending' three of the six candidates. I'm not at all certain how that kind of hedging would be helpful to either the candidates or the voters.

Sometimes it seems that persons or organizations make endorsements as quietly as possible, as if they didn't want anyone to know they'd taken sides. I'm not entirely certain why the concept of plausible deniability should have any application in political endorsements... but it sure seems like some endorsers think so.

So I am, and will continue to remain, wary about publishing endorsements. To candidates, I can only say get it in writing. If the organization or person endorses multiple candidates, get a list, and get it to me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Electoral Board concludes work, March ballot taking shape

At its meeting yesterday afternoon, the Cook County Electoral Board resolved the last four pending challenges to judicial candidates.

The Board turned aside challenges to the nominating petitions of Scott Edward Lipinski (countywide Elrod vacancy), Bonnie Carol McGrath (countywide Johnson vacancy), Carolyn J. Gallagher (countywide Johnson vacancy), and Jennifer Balard (7th Subcircuit, Rivkin-Carothers vacancy). All four candidates have now been cleared to appear on the March primary ballot.

In the course of resolving 68 challenges to judicial candidates (some candidates were faced with more than one challenge), the Cook County Electoral Board sustained five challenges, removing Nathan Benjamin Myers (9th Subcircuit, Berman vacancy), Richard Montgomery Craig (Republican) (12th Subcircuit, "A" vacancy), Cassandra Goodrum-Burton (countywide Johnson vacancy), John P. Carol (countywide Johnson vacancy), and Jo Anne Guillemette (5th Subcircuit, Eadie-Daniels vacancy).

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Daryl Jones: In his own words

Daryl Jones is a candidate for the Williams vacancy in the 5th Judicial Subcircuit.


My life changed when I became an Assistant State’s Attorney at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. I always knew I was interested in criminal law, which was why, at the time, that Office was the only place I wanted to work and the only place I applied. However, I didn’t know that I would develop a passion for shaping the lives of our youth until I was assigned to the Juvenile Justice Division. From that point forward, I knew my highest calling would be to serve as a Juvenile Court Judge.

Since I was a teenager, I have witnessed large numbers of young people enter the criminal justice system. I witnessed myself, how many of my friends and family members were incarcerated as teens and how entering the system impacted the rest of their lives and those of their families. I believe as Judge, I could do more than just be fair and impartial during the trial process, but I could serve as a source of inspiration and guidance and try my best to shape our youth and point them in the right direction.

I have had some of the same experiences as many of our youth that are in the system. Like so many of them, I grew up in a single parent home, I attended Chicago Public Schools, and I was surrounded with gangs and other negative factors in my environment. However, despite all of those factors, I went on to graduate from high school, join the U.S. Marines, and attended college and law school. I was able to overcome my environment because I made the decision to be a leader instead of a follower, I set goals for myself, and I worked hard to pursue those goals. I understand many of our juveniles’ experiences, what leads to the crime and violence in our communities, and I know my life lessons will allow me to relate to their situations.

Our youth can grow to be more than what is in their environment. However, we have to provide supports for them to grow and their court cases have to be handled appropriately, particularly sentencing. The ramifications of judges’ decision on juvenile cases could cause more harm than good, if judges are not particularly knowledgeable and able to relate to juveniles. I have that knowledge and ability.

I understand that there is no guarantee that I will be assigned to the Juvenile Court and I need to be knowledgeable in other areas of the law to serve as a judge. As such, I will be honored to serve in whatever capacity I am needed. Although my passion and ultimate goal is to serve in the Juvenile Court, I am knowledgeable about other areas of law, including adult criminal cases.

Additionally, I have a lot to offer the judiciary. I have experiences that few, if any, sitting judges have. I have served as an Assistant State’s Attorney at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, I have been Senior Legal Advisor and Chief of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Illinois Department of Corrections, where I handled a wide array of legal issues for our state prison system, and I currently serve as a member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, where I have made decisions regarding some the state’s most serious cases and offenders.

I would like to thank Jack Leyhane for providing this forum, and I would be honored to serve our county as Judge.

Daryl Jones
Candidate for Judge
5th Judicial Subcircuit (Williams vacancy), Cook County

January 28 fundraiser for Ed Underhill

Supporters of Ed Underhill's campaign for the "A" vacancy in the 6th Judicial Subcircuit are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Thursday, January 28, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Woodfield Corporate Center, 150 N. Martingale Rd., Suite 820, in Schaumburg.

Tickets for the event are $100 per person, but sponsorships are available ($250 - Friend, $500 - Host, and $1000 - Sponsor). For more information, or to reserve tickets, visit this page of the candidate's website, email Mia Phifer at Mia@miaphifer.com or call (773) 398-6896.

Deidre Baumann campaign website goes live; two fundraisers set this week

A campaign website has been established for Deidre Baumann, candidate for the countywide Palmer vacancy. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Baumann's supporters are throwing two fundraisers for their candidate this week, the first of these a Mardi Gras celebration tomorrow, January 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., in the 3rd floor lounge at 200 N. LaSalle Street. Tickets are $125 each and there will be a silent auction. Questions about the event should be emailed to wkendwarrior@sbcglobal.net.

A second Baumann fundraiser is set for Sunday, January 31, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., at the Hofbrauhaus Chicago-Rosemont, 5500 Park Place in Rosemont. Michele Jochner is your host for this event and tickets are priced at $100 apiece.

Reservations for both events are being accepted at this page of the candidate's campaign web site.

Baumann has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1992. She practices with the firm of Baumann & Shuldiner. A Rogers Park native, Baumann is a Lane Tech graduate. She holds her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Illinois. Among other accomplishments, Baumann currently as President of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. She has also served as President of the Suburban Bar Coalition and as a board member of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois, according to her campaign website.

Mary Kathleen McHugh launches Facebook campaign page

An email to FWIW advises of the launching of a Facebook campaign page for Mary Kathleen McHugh, candidate for the countywide Karnezis vacancy. That's a link to the Facebook page in the preceding sentence.

McHugh has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1993. She practices with the firm of Parrillo Weiss LLC, where she has been a partner since 2000. She recently received the endorsement of the Chicago Federation of Labor for the upcoming primary election.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Carlos Claudio campaign website goes live

A campaign website has established for 6th Subcircuit candidate Carlos Claudio ("A" vacancy). That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed in Illinois since 2002, according to ARDC, and currently the Chief Operations Officer of Aspira, Inc. of Illinois, Claudio's campaign website stresses his endorsements, both from the Cook County Democratic Party and numerous individual elected officials, including Cong. Luis Gutierrez. Claudio began his legal career in the State's Attorney's Office, according to his campaign biography, initially prosecuting traffic and DUI cases and eventually moving into the Juvenile Abuse and Neglect section. From there, after realizing "that the judicial system was failing his and other communities throughout Cook County," Claudio started his own private practice "where he consistently took on pro bono work focused on both civil and criminal matters." In 2009, Claudio became an Administrative Law Judge with the Illinois Department of Employment Security, according to the campaign website, which also notes that he received Carlos received Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Hispanic Leadership Award in that same year "for his role as an active leader in his community."

Jim Hanlon launches new campaign website

Supporters of 12th Subcircut candidate James Edward Hanlon, Jr. ("A" vacancy) have launched a new campaign website for their candidate. That's a link to the new site in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar.


The new site replaces a site which had been linked here for some time.

January 27 fundraiser for Celeste K. Jones

Supporters of Celeste K. Jones' 2nd Subcircuit candidacy have planned a fundraiser for their candidate on Wednesday, January 27, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Maple Tree Inn, 13301 S. Old Western Avenue, Blue Island.

Tickets for the event are $100 each (the Supporter level) but sponsorships are available ($150 - Friend, $250 - Host). The Lawyers' Committee to Elect Celeste K. Jones is hosting the fundraiser, the committee including Benjamin L. Crump, Robert F. Harris, Charles Nesbit, A. Leo Wiggins, Gerald Scott McCarthy, Kelly White Gibson, Ellen E. Douglas, Theodore London, Brandon Spurlock, Robert Willis, and Carolyn Thomas.

For more information about the event, or to reserve tickets, call (773) 609-0037 or email theresa@celestejonesforjudge.com.

Marc Martin: In his own words

Judge Marc Martin is a candidate for the Kelly vacancy in the 11th Subcircuit.


The Cook County criminal justice system is in crisis. With recent cutbacks, the Cook County Jail has become a leading service provider for the mentally ill, the poor and those with substance abuse issues. My background and experience make me uniquely positioned to find fair and just solutions to these problems.

I have been around courtrooms all of my life. As a child, I sometimes accompanied my father, then a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney, to court. As a teenager, I worked in his Chicago law office. The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County employed me as Deputy Clerk at Traffic Court and the Criminal Division, while I attended college. I had the honor of working as a courtroom clerk for the Honorable Roger J. Kiley, Jr., and learned as much about the law in that courtroom as I did in law school.

I graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University School of Law, where I was on the National Trial Team, and an Executive Editor of the Law Review.

I spent over 27 years practicing law in Chicago, defending individuals from all walks of life in all types of criminal cases. I had the privilege of working with some of the greatest trial lawyers in Chicago. I also handled civil forfeiture cases and appeals. I was named in Best Lawyers in America for 14 years, and in the Top 10 Criminal Defense Lawyers in Illinois by Leading Lawyers.

Despite being involved in many high profile cases, I never participated in grandstanding. While I tried dozens of jury trials, I am proudest of my appellate work. I handled over 100 appeals, and personally argued in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals over 50 times. I once obtained three reversals in the span of one week.

The Illinois Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Executive Committee both appointed me to serve on their jury instruction committees.

In April 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed me to a judicial vacancy. I have come to love the job, and public service. I am seeking to retain my position in 2016 Democratic primary.

As a judge, I have excelled. I have developed model guidelines to ensure fair and efficient resolution of criminal cases. I have presided over the felony call in the Third Municipal District – an accomplishment for a relatively young judge. I also have presided over jury trials, am trained in the new IOS system for felony cases, and have issued over a dozen written opinions – a rarity for a Circuit Court Judge presiding over high volume calls.

Everyone in my courtroom is treated with dignity. I am respected by both prosecuting and defense attorneys for my fair handling of cases, low-key temperament, efficiency, knowledge of the law and integrity.

The Chicago Bar Association has found me “Highly Qualified.” Each Bar Association in the Alliance of Bar Associations has found me “Highly Recommended,” “Qualified,” or “Recommended.” I have no negative bar ratings.

The Cook County Democratic Party’s 11th Subcircuit Judicial Endorsement Committee, the Chicago Federation of Labor, an affiliation of over 300 labor unions, and others have endorsed my candidacy.

My track record as a Judge, legal background and experience make me very well qualified to continue serving as a Cook County Circuit Court Judge. Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself on an important judicial race. Full information about my candidacy can be found at www.judgemartin.com.

Mary Alice Melchor withdraws from 5th Subcircuit race

According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, Mary Alice Melchor has withdrawn from the race for the Eadie-Daniels vacancy in the 5th Subcircuit.

What once appeared destined to be one of the most-crowded fields on the ballot is now down to a one-on-one contest between criminal defense practitioner Jameika Mangum and Associate Judge Leonard Murray.

Ed Underhiill interviewed on NTNM



Edward J. Underhill, a candidate for the "A" vacancy in the 6th Subcircuit, was a recent guest on Avy Meyers' North Town News Magazine program and his interview has been posted online.

NTNM airs Thursdays on CAN-TV at 7:30 p.m., and again on Fridays at 2:30 p.m. It airs in Evanston on Cable Channel 6 on Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 p.m. NTNM also airs on a number of cable systems in the suburbs Thursdays and Monday. Check your local listings for air times. Meanwhile, with the permission of NTNM host and moderator Avy Meyers and his entire technical crew Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Carroll, Guilemette removed from ballot and other Electoral Board developments

The Cook County Electoral Board has sustained challenges to the countywide nominating petitions of John P. Carroll (Johnson vacancy) and 5th Subcircuit candidate Jo Anne Guillemette (Eadie-Daniels vacancy). In both cases, the candidates were defaulted, according to Cook County Clerk David Orr's website.

With Carroll out of the race for the Johnson vacancy, the field is reduced to six candidates, at least for the time being, namely, Gregory Raymond LaPapa, Sean S. Chaudhuri, Mark A. Lyon, Carolyn J. Gallagher, Cassandra Goodrum-Burton, and Bonnie Carol McGrath. Challenges to the nominating petitions of LaPapa and Lyon have been withdrawn, according to the Clerk's website. Challenges were filed against every candidate in this race except for the Democratic Party's pre-slated candidate, Sean S. Chaudhuri.

With Guillemette's departure, more than half of the candidates who filed for the Eadie-Daniels vacancy are gone. Remaining are Jameika Mangum, Associate Judge Leonard Murray and Mary Alice Melchor. Candidates who have withdrawn from this race are Daryl Jones, Celestia L. Mays, and H. Yvonne Coleman.

I don't believe I've noted Jones' withdrawal from this race previously. More recently, the challenge to Jones' candidacy for the 5th Subcircuit Williams vacancy was withdrawn.

According to the Clerk's website challenges against both candidates for the 6th Subcircuit Ponce De Leon vacancy, Eulalia "Evie" De La Rosa and Ricardo Lugo, have been overruled. Links to the the Board's dispositions in these cases are not available at the moment.

Camela A. Gardner withdraws bid for Palmer vacancy

Camela A. Gardner, an Administrative Law Judge with the Illinois Department of Public Health, has withdrawn her candidacy for the countywide Palmer vacancy, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

Gardner's withdrawal leaves three candidates in the race, Pat Henegan, Susana L. Ortiz, and Deidre Baumann.

Thomas Peter Kougias interviewed on NTNM



Thomas Peter Kougias, a candidate for the 9th Subcircuit Berman vacancy, was a recent guest on Avy Meyers' North Town News Magazine program and his interview has been posted online. (In the interview, the candidate offers a campaign website address, but I was unable to access the site when I tried this morning; I'll update this post if and when I get a working link.)

NTNM airs Thursdays on CAN-TV at 7:30 p.m., and again on Fridays at 2:30 p.m. It airs in Evanston on Cable Channel 6 on Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 p.m. NTNM also airs on a number of cable systems in the suburbs Thursdays and Monday. Check your local listings for air times. Meanwhile, with the permission of NTNM host and moderator Avy Meyers and his entire technical crew Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

February 4 fundraiser for Scott Lipinski

Supporters of Scott Edward Lipinski's countywide judicial bid (Elrod vacancy) are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Thursday, February 4, from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m., at Durbin's, 10154 Roberts Road in Palos Hills.

Tickets for the event are $40 each and admission includes pizza, pop and domestic beer. The organizers of the event also note that overflow parking will be available at Holiday Banquets. For additional information, or to reserve tickets, contact Kim Wilson at (708) 334-3454.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Judicial candidates invited to submit statements for publication on FWIW

This post is specifically directed at the current crop of Cook County judicial candidates and their campaign advisers.

Now that the primary is less than 60 days' away, each of you has begun thinking about broadening your base – getting support from voters who don’t know you yet.

Getting one’s message out to voters in a county as large as this one is a herculean challenge. Subcircuits may look a lot smaller on the map, but each covers a lot of ground, as those of you who’ve been walking door-to-door (weather permitting) will attest. The enormity of the task before you has become clear, whatever support you are already privileged to have. Each of you has a day job to keep up with – and, in your spare time, you’re still seeking endorsements, filling out questionnaires, and showing up at any event that will have you. You’ve undoubtedly noticed, at these events, that judicial candidates spend a lot of time seeing... each other. You may be getting around, but you’re not always around likely potential voters, at least you're not always around likely voters you haven’t already met.

I’d like to give you an opportunity to get your message directly to potential voters.

I will print any statement that any Cook County judicial candidate cares to make right here on For What It’s Worth. This is the fifth election cycle in which I’ve extended this invitation. In 2008, more than two dozen candidates took me up on this. In 2010 and 2012, only a few candidates did. In 2014 I had statements from eight candidates. I hope many of you will take advantage of this opportunity, but (subject to a few provisos, stipulations and rules that I will presently address) I will print what I get, whether I get five statements or 55. When I put up the Organizing the Data posts shortly before the primary, I will link back to any statements I’ve received, providing voters an additional chance to receive your message directly.

I make this offer because, when I ran for judge in 1994 and 1996, I would have given my right arm to have had such a forum.

Things were different, of course, back then: The Internet was still a largely undiscovered country. I think I was just learning how to use email in those days. But, today, you have the opportunity to reach nearly every single voter in Cook County without leaving your den. You can of course speak to voters directly on your own sites as well, but I am offering you an additional platform, an additional opportunity for voters to find out about you when they start searching the Internet for information about our upcoming judicial elections.

Candidates need only send me an email (that's a link to my email address; there's also a link you can find in the sidebar of this blog) with their essay.

You may be wondering what you should say. I don’t know that there is any “right” answer. You can send me a statement of personal philosophy, the stump speech you’ve always wanted to make, the pitch you’d like to make at every voter’s front door, your ‘closing argument’ to the electorate, or whatever else you think appropriate.

I’m not going to tell anyone what to say or how to say it. Looking back, I’m not sure what I would have said if I’d had a chance like this 20 years ago.

However, I would suggest, as my mother used to say, that you don’t make your own candle shine brighter by trying to blow out someone else’s. Tell voters why you should be elected, not why your opponent should not be.

I strongly suggest that it makes sense for you to put your statement in the first person (be personal, use “I” and “me”) because I will run your statement as your statement, under your byline, by Sally Smith, by John Jones. I know some of you are paying consultants to help you craft your message and there may be a temptation to simply delegate this task. Resist that temptation: Get feedback from your advisers before you send me anything (especially if you're paying for it anyway), but let your voice come through in your essay. I know writing such an essay won’t be an easy task: As lawyers, we’re used to advocating for a client -- for someone else. It’s not as easy to talk about ourselves. But this is an opportunity for you to define yourself, rather than be defined by questionnaire responses.

If I don’t already have your picture, send me a head shot. I’ll run your picture with the post. I will not edit candidate statements. I’ll print what you send. (That’s why I need an email, to verify what was sent, and by whom.) To see what other candidate statements have looked like, click on the “In Their Own Words” tag at the bottom of this post and start scrolling down. I will only put up one statement per candidate.

I realize some of you already have personal statements posted on your own campaign websites. If you ask me to run a substantially similar statement here, or even the same statement, I will do so. I will not pull statements from your site on my own, however. If you want me to put your statement here, you have to send me the statement.

I will begin accepting, and posting, candidate essays immediately. Because I will link to them from the Organizing the Data posts, there’s no advantage to delay. And if you do try and wait until the last minute, when I am working on those roundup posts, I may be unable to get your essay posted. I have a practice to attend to as well. To be on the safe side, if you’re interested, please get me your statement within the next 30 days.

I do not intend to impose any limit on the statement’s length; presumably you won’t want to compose anything overwhelmingly long. For illustration purposes, my word processor advises me that this post is about 1,000 words long.

Carolyn Gallagher interview posted on NTNM



Carolyn J. Gallagher, a candidate for the countywide Johnson vacancy, was a recent guest on Avy Meyers' North Town News Magazine program and her interview has been posted online.

NTNM airs Thursdays on CAN-TV at 7:30 p.m., and again on Fridays at 2:30 p.m. It airs in Evanston on Cable Channel 6 on Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 p.m. NTNM also airs on a number of cable systems in the suburbs Thursdays and Monday. Check your local listings for air times. Meanwhile, with the permission of NTNM host and moderator Avy Meyers and his entire technical crew Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

Jameika Mangum campaign website found

A campaign website has been established for 5th Judicial Subcircuit candidate Jameika Mangum (Eadie-Daniels vacancy). That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 2007, Mangum's campaign website notes that she previously practiced as an Assistant District Attorney in the State of New Mexico. According to her campaign website, Mangum also "is a former Law Clerk of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office," assisting attorneys in the Felony High-Tech Crimes Unit. When she came to Illinois, Mangum first worked in the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office. According to ARDC, Mangum now maintains an office in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.
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HT: Aldertrack.com

Judge Alison Conlon interviewed on NTNM



Judge Alsion Conlon, a candidate for the countywide Hogan vacancy, was a recent guest on Avy Meyers' North Town News Magazine program and her interview has been posted online.

NTNM airs Thursdays on CAN-TV at 7:30 p.m., and again on Fridays at 2:30 p.m. It airs in Evanston on Cable Channel 6 on Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 p.m. NTNM also airs on a number of cable systems in the suburbs Thursdays and Monday. Check your local listings for air times. Meanwhile, with the permission of NTNM host and moderator Avy Meyers and his entire technical crew Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

Richard "Rick" Cenar campaign website launched

Supporters of Richard "Rick" Cenar's 10th Judicial Subcircuit candidacy have launched a campaign website for their candidate. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar.

Cenar has been licensed in Illinois since 1986. His campaign website notes that he has been practicing with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office for the last 27 years in a variety of assignments, currently serving as a First Chair in a felony courtroom and as a Deputy Supervisor of other ASA's in the Second Municipal District. In addition to practicing law, Cenar has found time to coach boys and girls basketball teams at St. Mary of the Woods Parish and basketball and baseball teams for the Edgebrook Sauganash Athletic Association. His campaign bio also notes that he is active in the Holy Name Society at St. Mary of the Woods Parish.

A Loyola Academy graduate, according to his campaign bio, as well as a graduate of John Carroll University and Loyola School of Law, Cenar and his wife Kara have raised three children, all of whom attended or graduated from St. Mary of the Woods Grade School, Loyola Academy, and Boston College.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cook County Electoral Board posts decisions on several judicial candidate challenges

The Cook County Electoral Board has begun posting decisions in cases involving challenges to judicial candidates' nominating petitions.

To check on the current status of any judicial candidate challenge, start at this page of Cook County Clerk David Orr's website. Scroll down the "Hearing Date/ Status" column on that page. If a disposition has been reached (e.g., candidate withdrawn, objection withdrawn, objection overruled, or objection sustained) and a the disposition is hyperlinked, clicking on that link will take you to a .pdf copy of the Board's disposition and any attached recommendation from the hearing officer.

To date, objections to the judicial candidates of countywide candidates Maureen O'Donoghue Hannon and William S. Wojcik have been overruled, meaning these candidates will be permitted to stay on the ballot. Challenges against Mable Taylor (7th Subcircuit -- Rivkin-Carothers vacancy), James DiChristofano (11th Subcircuit -- Kelly vacancy) and Kevin Michael O'Donnell (Republican, 13th Subcircuit -- Fecarotta, Jr.) have likewise been overruled. (These links will take you to the decisions themselves.)

The Electoral Board's website indicates that challenges have been sustained as to challenges to the candidacies of 9th Subcircuit candidate Nathan Benjamin Myers and 5th Subcircuit candidate Gwendolyn Dale Anderson (Williams vacancy), but no links to these decisions are yet posted.

Thomas Maloney Cushing website launched

Found on the Internet, a campaign website for countywide judicial candidate Thomas Maloney Cushing (Howlett, Jr. vacancy). That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

(OK, not exactly "found." More like led to, pointed at, or essentially handed the link by Jimm Dispensa of Aldertrack.com, for which I am grateful.)

Cushing's campaign website blends his volunteer credentials with his professional accomplishments: "Over the years Tom has volunteered in numerous settings, including serving 21 years on the Board of Regents at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, coaching girls/boys basketball, softball and baseball, and presiding as School Board Chairman at St. Athanasius. Much like his volunteer life, Tom has excelled professionally. A lawyer for 25 years, Tom has had an extraordinarily successful and varied legal career. He has secured multiple verdicts and settlements for injury victims and small businesses in excess of $1M. He has represented companies in commercial disputes, as well as organizations advocating for a cleaner, more sustainable society. In addition, Tom has taken all of his practical experience to the classroom as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola Law School."

Cushing's sole opponent in the March primary is Judge Aleksandra "Alex" Gillespie.

Cunningham withdraws from the race for the Walsh vacancy

According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, Kevin Patrick Cunningham withdrew his candidacy for the countywide Walsh vacancy Friday afternoon.

Two candidates remain in that race, Patrick Joseph Powers and Judge Fredrick H. Bates.

Scott Edward Lipinski campaign website launched

The Scott Edward Lipinski campaign has unveiled a campaign website. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar as well.

Scott Lipinski has served as an Assistant Public Defender, based in Bridgeview, since 2003. Lipinski's website touts his lifelong union membership, specifying memberships in the United Food and Commercial Workers Union from 1985-2000, the National Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen from 2000-2002, and AFSCME since 2003. While Lipinski's mother did retire as a judge, Lipinski's campaign bio emphasizes his parents' working class roots, noting that his mother "went to school late and graduated from law school and became a lawyer, after my father became disabled."

Lipinski is a candidate for the countywide Elrod vacancy. His sole opponent in the race is Judge Rossana Patricia Fernandez.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Illinois Supreme Court appoints Elizabeth A. Karkula to the Circuit Court

In an order entered yesterday, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Elizabeth A. Karkula to the countywide vacancy created by the recent passing of Judge Jean Prendergast Rooney.

The appointment is effective January 19 and will terminate on December 3, 2018.

Karkula did apply for Associate Judge in the current (still pending) class. At the time of her appointment, according to her LinkedIn profile, Karkula has provided "representation in complex and delicate anti-trust and securities cases, bolstered professional confidence for the firms and organizations I have represented, and provided integral process improvement increasing accuracy and efficiency across the board."

Kevin O'Donnell fundraiser set for January 21

Supporters of Kevin O'Donnell's bid for the Republican nomination for the Fecarotta, Jr. vacancy in the 13th Subcircuit are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Thursday, January 21, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Jimmy D's District, 1718 W. Northwest Highway, Arlington Heights.

Tickets for the event are $50 apiece, $80 per couple. There are also sponsorships available (Persuasive - $250, Convincing - $500, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt - $1,000). Food and drinks will be provided and there will be live music, provided by North of Center.

For more information, or to reserve tickets, email Ryan@Corstrategies.com or visit this page of the candidate's website.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Tom Courtney withdraws from countywide Johnson race

According to the Illinois State Board of Elections website, Tom Courtney withdrew his candidacy yesterday from the race for the countywide Johnson vacancy.

FWIW readers will recall that Peter Martin Kramer withdrew from this race earlier this week.

But there still remain a considerable number of candidates for this vacancy, including Gregory Raymond LaPapa, Sean S. Chaudhuri, Mark Lyon, Carolyn J. Gallagher, Cassandra Goodrum-Burton, Bonnie Carol McGrath, and John P. Carroll still in the race. All of these remaining candidates, however, with the exception of Chaudhuri, the Democratic Party's 'pre-slated' candidate for this late-opening vacancy, face one or more challenges to their nominating petitions.

Campaign website launched for Louis George Apostol

A campaign website has been launched for 12th Subcircuit candidate Louis George Apostol (Kazmierski, Jr. vacancy). That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Apostol is running for the Kazmierski, Jr. vacancy with the endorsement of the Democratic Party, according to his campaign website, which also notes that he currently serves as "Executive Director/General Counsel and Legislative Liaison to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board with offices," an agency responsible "for the management and adjudication of over 100,000 residential, commercial, industrial and farm property tax appeals in all 102 Illinois counties" including administrative review actions in Circuit and Appellate Courts across the State. Previously, according to the campaign website, Apostol served as a Commissioner of the Illinois Court of Claims, functioning essentially as a trial judge in actions filed against the State of Illinois. He served 12 years as the Public Administrator of Cook County, "managing the administration and litigation of over 2,500 cases in the Probate Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County" and in any subsequent appeals, according to the campaign website.

Apostol is a graduate of the Northern Illinois University Law School and was elected to the NIU Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2015. He has served, since 2014, as Chair of the NIU College of Law Board of Visitors. Among the several other honors and awards listed on his campaign website are Apostol's selection by the Hellenic Bar Association as "Hellene of the Year" for 1997 and a 1992 Government Service Award from La Raza Publications.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cub Chairman Tom Ricketts headlines list of sponsors for January 25 Carolyn Gallagher fundraiser

Supporters of Carolyn J. Gallagher's countywide judicial bid (Johnson vacancy) have announced a January 25 cocktail reception for their candidate, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the home of former Metra Board Chairman Larry Huggins.

Announced hosts for the event include Chicago Cubs Executive Chairman Tom Ricketts, Joseph Williams of Target Group, Stanley C. Rakestraw of SCR Transportation, and Everett Rand of Midway Wholesalers.

Tickets for the fundraiser are priced from $250 each (Rookie level) and sponsorships are available (All-Star - $500, MVP - $1,000, Hall of Famer - $2,000, Grand Slam - $5,400). For more information, or to order tickets, contact campaign manager Marne Veldsman at (312) 576-5746 or email info@electgallagher.com.

February 3 fundraiser set for Judge Jerry Esrig

Supporters of Judge Jerry Esrig's bid to hold his 9th Subcircuit seat have arranged a fundraiser for their candidate on Wednesday, February 3, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Tradition Gastro Pub and Kitchen, 160 N. Franklin.

Tickets for the event are priced at $100 each (the "Friend" level), but additional sponsorships are available as well ($250 — Supporter, $500 — Sponsor, $1,000 — Host, $2,500 — Chair). For additional information, or to reserve tickets, email rsvp@jerryesrigforjudge.org or call Thom Mannard at (847) 997-3020.