"Only lawyers think that way," remarked the downstate handler for dairyman GOP candidate for Governor Jim Oberweis, when Madison County attorney Thomas Maag demanded $250 per day rent for a misplaced campaign sign.

Call it an "allegedly" misplaced sign.

Oberweis Metro-East coordinator Jim Patrick insisted that the sign-- stationed at Route 157 and Main Street in Collinsville-- was on state right-of-way property.

"At first I thought it was a joke," said Patrick, a seasoned politico who's seen his share of campaign shenanigans. Maag sent an email to the Oberweis campaign objecting to the placement.

"We didn't do anything wrong," Patrick told Maag. "I told him to feel free to take it down, but I didn't have time to go over there."

It's no longer there.

Mr. Maag, you may recall, has a thing with signs.

After the 2004 Illinois Supreme Court race in which Lloyd Karmeier defeated his father, Maag sued a Karmeier aide for putting campaign signs in the exact location.

There was no lawsuit threat this time-- but an adjustable rate sheet, based on the sign's size. Who says lawyers cannot be businessmen?

Public nuisance

Class action princess Ashley Peach finds herself the plaintiff in yet another case in the Madison County Courthouse.

Unlike her others-- claims filed against Wal-Mart, K-mart, and Fashion Bug after not receiving actual change for the left-over balances on spent gift cards, this time Peach didn't receive cash from her son's father for child support.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, through Madison County State's Attorney Bill Mudge, filed suit against Michael Malzynski Feb. 23 seeking child support payments.

Peach is on public assistance and the state wants Malzynski's help. The hearing is March 28.

In case you missed it

Crain's Chicago Business has released its annual list of Illinois' biggest verdicts and settlements of 2005.

Second-ranked was the Lakin Law Firm's $43.2 million dollar verdict against Ford last April for plaintiff Dora Jablonski.

Jablonski's husband was killed when his Lincoln Town Car, on the side of I-270, was rear-ended by another car traveling 65 miles-per-hour. Ford was held liable for where it put the gas tank.

The case is on appeal.

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