We have a plan!

by The Madison County Record |
Oct. 31, 2004, 12:48am



Truth or Dare?

Asbestos Judge Daniel J. Stack raised major eyebrows last month-- with actions and words--when he tossed three out-of-state cases out of Madison County Court, noting that his was a courtroom, "not a business."

We praised his efforts as a hopeful sign that Edwardsville might be losing some of its asbestos magnetism.

Not so fast, says one of our legal eagle sources inside East Alton-based SimmonsCooper, the River Bend's biggest and baddest asbestos plaintiff's firm.

Our source tells The Record that SimmonsCooper is shrugging off Stack's dramatic move as judicial window dressing.

"He only did that because (the plaintiffs) were represented by smaller firms," our source said, suggesting that Stack would never throw out an asbestos case brought by SimmonsCooper.

We'll only note that Stack has plenty SimmonsCooper cases from which to choose. Stay tuned.

Speaking of…

According to Opensecrets.org, which tracks federal campaign contributions, SimmonsCooper currently ranks as the second largest contributor in Illinois during the 2003-04 election cycle, giving $720,700.

Tops is the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors, which gave $2,994,133. The American Society of Anesthesiologists came in third ($636,350) and power giant Exelon Corp. in fourth ($633,276).

Collectively, Illinois lawyers have anted up $10,247,115 in contributions this election cycle, more than any other “industry.” Real Estate came in second with $6,031,510 in contributions.

Other law firms ranking among Illinois’ top 15 givers include Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis ($386,373) and plaintiffs firms Power, Roger & Smith ($359,200), Cooney & Conway ($304,962), and the Clifford Law Offices ($289,700).

Machine muscle

Last week, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan urged Illinois families to "know their neighborhoods" as they plan safe trick-or-treat routes for their children this Halloween.

It’s an important cause, indeed.

But consider us spooked for real when we read that the Chicago Democrat Machine's girl wonder may be soon switch her focus from costumed kids to marauding terrorists.

A leading national magazine has named Madigan as the favorite would-be successor to Attorney General John Ashcroft under a John Kerry administration.

"We give an edge to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who has more political experience than other candidates and who is the daughter of Mike Madigan, Democratic party boss in that pro-Kerry state," wrote Jim McTague in the October 25th edition of Barron's.

We’ll admit that she’s smart and engaging. But if Lisa—who graduated from law school in 1994 and has never handled a case on her own-- were not the daughter of powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, her courtroom experience would have her handling real estate closings for $100 a pop.

Apparently political nepotism knows no bounds.

No word whether Kerry is also considering current State of Illinois accounts payable manager Dan Hynes for Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

No plan, no love

Barack Obama is for the right things-- like gun control-- but he doesn’t have a plan.

So says our hometown Edwardsville Intelligencer, which became the only Illinois newspaper making endorsements to not to back Obama (D-Chicago) over his opponent, Republican wildman Alan Keyes.

The Intelligencer didn’t back either candidate, making a dramatic “no endorse” in Illinois’ U.S. Senate race. Point, Keyes!

The paper did endorse change-promising Sen. John Kerry for President, though it lamented that “he hasn’t really presented any concrete plans on how to go about bringing it.”

“(Kerry’s) become Mr. Rhetoric. Still we are giving him our endorsement for the highest office in the land,” the Intelligencer wrote.


For Humanity

The Hon. George J. Moran Sr. has received the first annual Judge George J. Moran Sr. Humanitarian Award for a lifetime of achievement and leadership.

The Madison County Bar Association presented the award on Friday October 22 in Judge Nicholas Byron’s courtroom. It will be presented annually.

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