Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Arresting Developments

The Daily Herald in a questionnaire has been asking candidates for office if they have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.  Is this a fair question to ask of any candidate?  Is the question relevant to the office that candidate seeks election?

The paper justified asking this question citing the Scott Lee Cohen episode of two years earlier, where Mr. Cohen won the Democratic primary for Lt. Governor. Following that victory his history of violence and police records towards his ex-wife emerged. Mr. Cohen was eventually forced off the ticket, to be replaced by Lt. Governor Sheila Simon.

Arresting Development: Clerk of the Lake County Circuit Court Candidate

Over the weekend the Daily Herald published an article revealing a candidate's arrest and conviction record. The candidate, Rupam Dave´, a Democrat running for Clerk of the Circuit Court of Lake County, voluntarily disclosed three DUI arrests and a driving on a suspended license on the third and last DUI charge on a questionnaire the paper sent to all candidates. She received supervision following her first arrest in 1993, the second DUI charge was eventually dismissed and the third she plead guilty. Her opponent, Keith Brin, answered "no" to this question.

She claimed these were the only three times she drank alcohol, which is a stretch. She claims to be sober for the last seven years, or since her last arrest and conviction. I commend her for that.

Read the article and the blog articles on this subject from Illinois Review, Round Lake Area News, Team America 10th, and Illinois DUI Lawyer. A roundup is posted below.
Some serious legal questions are being raised by one blogger. In particular, Illinois DUI Lawyer asks whether or not mandatory treatment for substance abuse including counseling was received as required by law. Illinois DUI Lawyer notes that the candidate indicated that she never received such treatment. In addition, Illinois DUI Lawyer asks if the first DUI arrest and court ordered supervision was ever reported to the Illinois Supreme Court at the time she was admitted as a lawyer.

In terms of any professionalism she would bring to the office, her campaign website is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, including multiple misspellings of her last name. For someone who wants to modernize the office and the computer systems it currently uses, perhaps she should start by using a spellchecking program on her website.

Was she fairly treated by the Daily Herald?

Arrested Development: State Representative 60th District

Rep. Rita Mayfield, who is running for reelection, flatly refused to answer the question. The Daily Herald published an article on this subject today. Ms. Mayfield's opponent is Jackie Burleson. Mr. Burleson answered "no" to this question. They both are running in a district that is primarily located in Waukegan and North Chicago.

Ms. Mayfield backed legislation in Springfield that would make it illegal for employers and landlords to ask applicants about arrest records. She didn't object to employers asking about drug or domestic violence arrests. She claimed that she didn't answer the question so that she could stand in solidarity with her constituents, and felt the question was unfair to her constituents.

The Daily Herald article today appears at: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120911/news/709119951/.

Was she fairly treated by the Daily Herald?

Was it fair of the Daily Herald to ask whether candidates were convicted of a crime or arrested?

Read the articles posted above and decide for yourselves.

1 comment:

  1. As a former candidate myself, I think it's a completely fair question to ask, and I think that the DH is justified in verifying the answer.

    As a voter, it would be a good piece of information to have.