Shopper stopper?

The Madison County Record Apr. 2, 2006, 4:17am

Ed Feulner

Madison County's new chief judge may have a plaintiff's pedigree. But she's talking like a tort reformer.

Judge Ann Callis, daughter of Metro-East trial lawyer legend Lance Callis, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that in her tenure as chief, she plans to address forum and judge shopping in class action cases.

"I think there's a problem," she told the newspaper.

She might want to elaborate on that for outgoing Chief Edward Ferguson.

Who do we think we are?

Imagine the possibilities if the people, eyes closed, could completely trust the agents of government and courts to always do the right thing.

We'd have no doubt that the attorney who's potentially made millions of dollars suing corporations has a legitimate right to seek protection under bankruptcy.

We wouldn't question plaintiff's attorneys' motives for avoiding one particular judge.

We might agree that leaving "ab initio" off a judge's order is a minute point of law.

And we could take at face value the word of the PR flack for Madison County who would have us believe that the seizing of former county administrator Jim Monday's computer and the sealing off of windows to his office are much ado about nothing.

Monday resigned for personal reasons, plain-and-simple, says the flack.

Playing like a private CEO, Board Chairman Alan Dunstan says it's a "personnel issue" he won't discuss. He's "moving on."

Too bad he cannot. Call it a hunch, but we doubt the cops took that taxpayer-owned computer from a "Madison County administrative office" to scan it for viruses.

A dab'o'red

One of southern Illinois' most prolific businessmen hosted one of America's most brilliant conservative thinkers smack dab in the middle of Madison County last week.

In town to promote his new book, Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner trumpeted familiar themes of "Getting America Right" to guests at Robert Plummer's comfy Edwardsville home.

"The era of liberal dominance is finally over, but sometimes you wouldn't know it. Government spending is out of control," played well to the crowd of more than 50 feted with the best of Bella Milano fare.

Except for a few stand outs like Democrats Tad Armstrong, a Madison County plaintiff's attorney and Constitutional whiz, and Alan Dunstan, the chief of county government, the group looked like the who's who among downstate Illinois conservatives. Among the headliners, Congressman John Shimkus, State Sens. Bill Brady and Dave Luechtefeld, Judge Steve McGlynn and a large cast of go-to politicos.

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