Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chicago Tribune Gets Lake County Judge Endorsement Right, Second Time Around

The Chicago Tribune is generally pretty accurate and reliable, at least in my experience, but in yesterday's endorsements for collar county judges, they messed up big time and transposed the names of the candidates for the "A" vacancy in the 3rd judicial subcircuit in Lake County, thereby making it appear on the surface that Buffalo Grove Mayor Jeffrey Brainman, an attorney with no judicial experience, was endorsed over incumbent Judge Daniel B. Shanes.  Oops.

The Tribune quickly corrected the online version and I believe a correction ran on the editorial page this morning, as well as the usual errors and omissions section, so not much harm done.  However, it probably embarrassed Mr. Braiman a bit, considering that it simply highlighted the fact that he failed to earn the Trib's endorsement.  The corrected endorsement now reads:

3rd Subcircuit A vacancy: Daniel Shanes, who has been a judge for five years and is highly recommended by the Lake County Bar Association, is the choice over attorney Jeffrey Braiman, the village president of Buffalo Grove.

Since the Daily Herald apparently has no plans to endorse in the judicial races (why, I don't know), the Trib endorsement is the only game in town.  Look for a mailing from Judge Shanes touting the endorsement coming soon, no doubt.

The Trib also endorsed the two other Republican incumbent judges for the remaining seats:

2nd Subcircuit A vacancy: Judge Luis Berrones, of Gurnee, who was appointed to the bench in 2007 and gets very high marks for integrity, impartiality and legal ability, is endorsed over attorney Patricia Fix, also of Gurnee. Fix has an excellent record of advocacy for victims, but she did not score well enough on a poll of attorneys to be recommended by the Illinois State Bar Association.

3rd Subcircuit B vacancy: Voters have two very strong choices here: Judge Nancy Waites and Judge Thomas Schippers, both of Mundelein. Both have experience as prosecutors and on the bench. We give the edge to Schippers, who gets higher marks from attorneys for legal ability and temperament.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Julie Morrison - Another High-Spending Democrat We Don't Need in Springfield

Dr. Arie Friedman is locked in a tough race against Deerfield Township Supervisor Julie Morrison, to succeed retiring State Senator Susan Garrett.  But, wouldn't you like to know something about Morrison's fiscal track record at Deerfield Township before you might consider sending her to Springfield?  Dr. Friedman thinks you should:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lake County Republican Candidates Win Tribune Endorsements

In a stunning repeat of last week's Lake County election endorsements by the Daily Herald, the Chicago Tribune has matched the DH endorsement-for-endorsement, giving the nod to Republicans Mike Nerheim for State's Attorney, Keith Brin for Circuit Court Clerk, and Steve Newton for Coroner.

The Tribune also went with Democrat Mary Ellen Vanderventer for Recorder of Deeds, as had the DH, but the Trib gives a thumbs-up to Republican Bob Bednar's idea to merge the office with that of County Clerk.

Early voting has already started, so put down that sub sandwich and go vote!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lake County Republican Federation Rolls Out New Website

The Lake County Republican Federation is rolling out its new website, featuring great links, a more modern interface, news updates and much more!  Check it out...

Also, we have Romney signs at the office, 320 Peterson Rd. in Libertyville, but they are going fast, so get your today.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

County-Wide Republican Candidates Snag 3 of 4 Endorsements from the Daily Herald

Waking up to the Daily Herald endorsements this morning for the county-wide races, the re-energized Lake County Republicans did pretty well.  We got three out of four, as follows:

Mike Nerheim over Chris Kennedy for State's Attorney

Keith Brin over Rupam Dave for Lake County Circuit Court Clerk

Steve Newton over Tom Rudd for Coroner

The only Republican not to receive the DH endorsement was Bob Bednar, who is up against long-time Record of Deeds Mary Ellen Vanderventer.

A few observations.  First, I will admit that I am quite relieved about Nerheim's endorsement over Kennedy.  There's certainly no doubt in my mind that Nerheim is the better man for the job, but I was quite concerned that given the criticism of retiring State's Attorney Michael Waller on handling DNA evidence and the like, the press was going to tar Republicans in general, and Nerheim in particular, with what the press saw as the failings of the Waller administration, even though both Nerheim and Kennedy are former prosecutors who worked for Waller, and both candidates have been gone from Waller's office for some time.

I had little doubt about the Brin endorsement; I'm still scratching my head that the unimpressive Rupam Dave was the best candidate Terry Link could scrape up.

Steve Newton's earning the endorsement over Dr. Tom Rudd is a bit of a coup; I think the DH looked at Newton's prior experience in the office and they also mentioned 'temperment': which you can basically read to mean that they thought Rudd was a jerk.

Finally, it's probably no surprise about Bednar losing the endorsement to Mary Ellen Vanderventer.   Of all the Dems in office, she's probably the most competent, and Bednar's signature issue of consolidating the office of Recorder of Deeds with the County Clerk's office did not appear to resonate with the DH editors; at least, not as a campaign issue that should be decided by choosing between elected officials.  But, given the strength of the GOP ticket overall, I would not say that a surprise victory is out of the question for Bednar.

Let's see what our friends at the Chicago Tribune now have to say....

Monday, October 15, 2012

Economics v. Social Issues: Chicago Tribune and Daily Herald Split Endorsements in Three Key Lake County Races

While we can debate the importance and relevance of newspaper endorsements in an age when anyone with a computer has the ability to make their voice heard across the Internet (often in a manner as effective or more than traditional print media, a la Matt Drudge), we still pay some measure of attention to the print media endorsements, at least on a local level.  That's why we were interested to see that in three key races for Lake County, the Tribune and the Daily Herald wound up on the exact opposite sides of their endorsements for State Senate.

In the 29th District (an open seat to replace retiring State Senator Susan Garrett), the Tribune picked Dr. Arie Friedman over Julie Morrison, who was endorsed by the Herald.  The Herald noted Friedman's "effort this year to move himself more toward the center" --  read:  Friedman is too conservative for us, even though he's pro-choice, a doctor and a veteran).  In the 30th, the Tribune smacked down incumbent Democrat Terry Link in favor of Republican Don Castella.  The Herald had little good to say about Link, but felt Castella was too scary on social issues (read: Castella is opposed to gay marriage) to win their endorsement, and so went with Link anyway.  And in the 31st Senate race, another open seat, the Tribune picked Republican Joe Neal over Melinda Bush, who was endorsed by the Herald.

So, what can we read into all of this?  Perhaps nothing more than the Herald is trying for a political balance in its endorsements... after all, it did endorse Sid Mathias over Carol Sente.  But I think on the whole, the Herald is weighting candidates who tend to have more liberal views on 'social issues' more favorably than the Tribune, which is concentrating on economics.  Given the state of the State of Illinois, we might suggest that issues like pension reform ought to be taking a higher priority.

The DH also has a reputation for wanting to be on the winning side of the elections whenever it makes its endorsements... witness how it came out on the Link-Castella race, which notably did not deter the Trib from going with Castella.  That probably bodes well for Mathias, who is in the race of his life against another incumbent, but who I think is going to win out in the end.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

ABC 7 Hosts 10th Congressional District Sparring Session Between Congressman Bob Dold and Challenger Brad Schneider

ABC 7 hosted Congressman Bob Dold and his challenger, Democrat Brad Schneider, for a half-hour sit-down discussion this past Saturday, which aired Sunday morning.  ABC 7 has the video available, and the Daily Herald covers it here; the Tribune story is here.

Here are the video clips courtesy of Channel 7 (in two parts):

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Two for Two: Congressman Bob Dold Earns Endorsement of the Daily Herald

Given Democrat Brad Schneider's lackluster (to put it charitably) performance before the Daily Herald editorial board a few weeks ago, I had little doubt that Bob Dold would win over the editors at the Daily Herald (much as he did the Chicago Tribune editors), but the DH really goes off on the Schneider campaign's misrepresentations of the Dold record, and team Schneider's sad attempt to pejoratively paint Dold with the 'tea party' brush:

"While Schneider seems personable and, on the surface, well intended, his campaign’s willingness to blatantly misrepresent Dold’s positions and candidacy is troubling to say the least. It suggests that if elected, he would fall into the same reflexive partisanship that stops Washington from addressing real problems. Schneider should demand better of his campaign. And certainly, the voters should in the 10th District, which takes in much of eastern Lake County and the top tier of townships in eastern Cook County."

Wow.  As the DH concludes, "Dold is the clear choice."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Congressman Bob Dold Nabs Chicago Tribune Endorsement

In a big boost for the campaign of incumbent Congressman Bob Dold in the newly-redrawn 10th Congressional District, the Chicago Tribune has come out with a strong endorsement of Bob Dold's independence -- a key issue, it seems, for proud ticket-splitters and independent voters in the 10th.

The Tribune stated, "Dold's record shows that he can think for himself and bridge political divides, two qualities that are in short supply in Congress. He has earned a second term, and he is endorsed." 

Conversely, the Trib laughed off suggestions from Dold's opponent, Brad Schneider, that Dold was a tea party advocate and too extreme for the 10th District.

Schneider has also been reeling under jabs from the Dold campaign that he has exaggerated his 'business experience,' and in fact, has derived little or no income from it, which has been picked up by the Daily Herald and the Tribune.

The Dems may have been ready to measure the curtains for Schneider's DC office, but it would appear that such a move might be premature.

I'm waiting eagerly for the Daily Herald endorsements to come out, but based on Schneider's performance in the DH interview session, I would not hold my breath if I were Schneider.