Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Judge for Yourself on Retention Questions

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

There are a lot of reasons to like the Democratic Party.

But the ad below isn't one of them.

The ad, placed by Democratic political operatives, has appeared in a number of neighborhood and ethnic newspapers in the city and suburbs. Some of those newspapers in our area are the Southwest News-Herald, the Brighton Park and McKinley Park LIFE, Bridgeport News, Beverly Review, Mount Greenwood Express, Worth-Palos Reporter, Evergreen Park Courier, Chicago Ridge Citizen, and probably several dozen others.

As you will notice, the ad does not disclose what individual or organization paid for it---unlike most political ads. Does that raise a red flag for you? It does for me.

Sadly, the newspapers that accepted these ads (and the $$$ that came with them) chose not to require disclosure. Worse, they chose not to comment about the ad in their newspapers. At least not yet.

So I will.

The list of 50-plus judges in the ad is the same as the one touted by the Cook County Democratic Party: 


But what the ad does not say is that seven of the judges have been rated "Not Recommended" by the Chicago Bar Association:


The ad does not say anything about why we should vote "yes" to retain any of the judges. No background information---not even a website where we can go to learn why we should vote "yes" on these judges. To me, the ad has an implied "shut up and vote" tone---a throwback to the bad old days of ward politics.

Further, the ad says nothing about Judge Cynthia Brim, beyond her name.

It does not mention that no fewer than 12 local bar associations---lawyers themselves---have urged voters to cast a "No" vote on Judge Brim's retention.

The Chicago Tribune had a few words to say about Judge Brim and a few other judges seeking retention:


...as did the Chicago Sun-Times:


So the obvious question is, why are Democrats---from County Chairman Joseph Berrios all the way to local ward committeemen---urging us to vote to keep poorly performing judges on the bench?

Perhaps they ought to answer that.

Like I said, there are a lot of reasons to like the Democratic Party.

But this ad isn't one of them.

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