The Madison County Record Dec. 15, 2015, 3:09pm


You've got to wonder about people who cheat.

Not about their motivation. That's plain enough. Clearly, they cheat to increase their chances of winning. Whether it's school or sports or cards or life, they resort to shady practices to better their odds. No mystery there.

But why? Why do they feel they have to cheat, that they can't win honestly?

The answer would be obvious if cheaters weren't so often arrogant, displaying that characteristic air of superiority, as though they're above the rest of us and the rules don't apply to them.

Whether or not a conscious ploy to discourage scrutiny of their practices, that arrogance disguises the true reason for their misbehavior. They feel they have to cheat because they do have to cheat. They can't win honestly, because they're not as good as they pretend.

They cheat because they're fakes, phonies, frauds.

Speaking of which, why would a judge who wants to keep his judgeship announce his forthcoming resignation – just prior to announcing his decision to run again for the same position, as though for the first time?

The Illinois state constitution requires anyone running for a judgeship to win a simple majority of the vote. A judge once elected must stand for retention every six years and amass at least 60 percent of the vote.

It can be much harder for a judge to be retained than to be elected the first time. After six years, voters know a lot about the judge’s performance.

And what should we think of a judge who tries to game the system by quitting and running again as if it was the first time?

We might think what Belleville City Clerk Dallas Cook may have thought when he challenged the election paperwork filed by Circuit Judges John Baricevic, Robert Haida, and Robert LeChien, all three are seeking to avoid the higher standard of retention by resigning and running for election to their same seats.

If judges like this trio don't like the odds of winning a retention election, it's almost surely because they know a loser when they see one.

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