D. J. Tegeler Would Make a Great Judge!

When you add up that I’m officially an unofficial columnist, there aren’t many GOP candidates who make me want to stand up and salute, and the effort generally cuts into my video game playin’ time, you’ll understand why I don’t do many endorsement pieces these days.

Not only that, but the last time your favorite columnist came out in journalistic support of Geneva attorney D. J. Tegeler, Judge David Akemann simply brushed it off. Ah! But the good news there is, the former Kane County State’s Attorney has done the black robe proud.

All that said, since I’m always willing to make an exception, most first-time candidates use that loss as a primer for their next run, and fools like me will always march forth when the angels are in full retreat, let’s give it another shot!

Because there’s also the unassailable fact that, when confronted with a judicial ballot, most of us scratch our heads, heave a heavy sigh, and start flippin’ coins which kinda subverts the process. The truth is, judges can often become the most powerful politicians you can possibly put in office.

So what I’m really saying is, when you find yourself at that March 18 primary polling place, you tegelercan’t go wrong by ticking off the box next to Sixteenth Circuit, Third Subcircuit Judge candidate D. J. Tegeler.

For the uninitiated, the Third Subcircuit basically consists of the western half of Kane County.

And I can unabashedly support D. J. because, as far as experience goes, he’s really hard to beat. In the last 24 years, he’s tried cases in every courtroom in the county including, felony trials, misdemeanor trials, civil cases, divorces, traffic violations, small claims, business and real estate actions, juvenile cases, and even appellate proceedings.

Though I can certainly understand why some lawyers choose to specialize, I think that makes them far less effective as judges.

In addition, D. J. has lived in the Third Subcircuit for that same 24 years and there’s something to be said for having an implicit understanding of the folks you hope to serve.

There’s also this! Given our limited county resources, it’s important for Circuit Court Judges to keep an eye on the bottom line. To that end, D. J. has been the President of the Mill Creek Water Reclamation District with their $6 million budget for the last four years. And I’m pleased to say, that board has consistently balanced their budget while cutting administrative costs by one-third.

But as good as all that is, here’s really what really matters to me.

You see, when one of our fellow citizens finds themselves in front of a judge, it may well be they’ve come to a critical juncture in their lives. And that man or woman in black sitting on that lofty courtroom perch may be well be their last hope.

In that brief silent moment before the gavel comes down, I want our Kane County judges to understand that, for all the defendant’s flaws, in the end, a human being stands before them. I want judges who can and will tread that fine line between keeping us safe and attempting to retrieve those lost souls who aren’t yet irretrievable.

Put more simply, I want to elect a judge who, though a variety of life experiences, always remembers his own humanity and never lets the job go to his head.

And that, my friends, is D. J. Tegeler.

I also want to mention that, though I absolutely refuse to hold it against him, D. J. is the only consistent Republican in that race.

One of the joys of living in Kane County is that we’re been blessed with some bleepin’ phenomenal judges including, but not limited to, the retiring Karen Simpson, Clint Hull, David Akemann, John Barsanti, and, of course, my personal favorite, Chief Judge Judy Brawka.

Electing D. J. Tegeler on March 18 would mean one more.

50 thoughts on “D. J. Tegeler Would Make a Great Judge!

  1. While I respect your opinion of attorney D.J. Tegeler, the only clear choice in the Republican primary to replace the retiring Judge Karen Simpson is Associate Judge Marmarie Kostelny. The first rule for electing a judge to a circuit judge vacancy is bench experience, and Judge Kostelny has been an appointed associate judge in the 16th circuit for over 7 years, after practicing law for over 20 years in Elgin. Put it simply, she’s already doing the job, and doing it well. She merits election. Mr. Tegeler has zero time on the bench, and appears to not even be a court arbitrator, at least that’s not mentioned in his bio on his campaign’s web site.

    While Tegeler has made much of his service with Mill Creek Water Reclamation District, only the chief judge would face the kind of administrative and budgetary leadership that experience brings. This experience does not make up for Tegeler’s lack of bench experience presiding over court in Kane County. The mentoring of judges Kostelny has done in recent years, along with her education background teaching classes in the Elgin Community College paralegal program is more immediately relevant to be a circuit judge.

    And finally, as Jeff you say “…I want our Kane County judges to understand that, for all the defendant’s flaws, in the end, a human being stands before them. I want judges who can and will tread that fine line between keeping us safe and attempting to retrieve those lost souls who aren’t yet irretrievable.” There is no finer example of this quality than Judge Kostelny, noting she is the presiding judge over the drug rehabilitation court, and there is no one more passionate for the many positives this vital program does to help those rehabilitate from the cruel damage drugs do. Each and every drug court graduation is putting into action the soul retrieval you speak, and Judge Kostelny is a part of this vital program.

    I’m looking forward to voting for Judge Marmarie Kostelny in the Republican primary on March 18th!

  2. Dear Oncoming,

    The general rule here is real names, but instead of simply removing the post, I’ll give you time to own what you wrote. After all, I’ve always been one for keeping the conversation going.

    The first problem with your argument is, if Mr. Tegeler prevails – as he should – Judge Kostelny doesn’t go away – she will still be a Kane County associate judge and she will continue her work in drug court! Given your glowing recommendation, perhaps Kane County voters could have the best of both worlds by electing D. J.

    I also have to disagree with your contention that bench experience is the critical factor here. I’d say it’s courtroom experience. You need look no further than two of the gentlemen I cited in the post – Clint Hull and John Barsanti! Neither one had any prior bench experience, but they’ve certainly become two top flight judges.

    I stand by my assertion that D. J. wide variety of courtroom experience makes him the better choice on March 18.

    Since I didn’t want to ramble on endlessly in the original post, I also think it’s important to have balance on the bench, and by that I mean it’s a good thing to have a few defense attorneys thrown in with all the former prosecutors. Ironically, Judge Hull has noted that some of those former defense attorneys are tough as nails because they’ve already heard every possible defendant excuse.

    Please also note that, other than some fun with party affiliation, I’ve cast no aspersions on Mr. Tegeler’s opponent. But let me also say this! I don’t often give my stamp of approval because it means putting my own reputation on the line and I really don’t like being disappointed. So when I say that D. J. Tegeler is the right candidate, that’s something you can take to the bank!

    I look forward to seeing D. J. Tegeler on the bench.

  3. Respectfully, I’ve been posting on your site off-and-on for the past 18 months (give or take), and you know my identity, so I already “own” my comments. I thank you for allowing me to continue the conversation.

    As to Judge Clint Hull, I do not know much about him, but I do know he is an appointed associate judge, not an elected circuit judge (according to the court’s web site). Should Judge Hull choose to run for an elected Circuit Judge position when one becomes available in his subcircuit, he’ll have the bench experience entering that primary race.

    Yes, it is not unprecedented for a candidate to win a circuit judge election without bench experience (Judges John Noverini, John Dalton and Joe Grady quickly come to mind). In the cases of Judges Noverini and Dalton, all had held elective public office prior to becoming a circuit judge (Noverini Kane County Board member and Dalton ECC Trustee). Among that group, Noverini had the toughest path to become an elected circuit judge, followed by Grady (and please recall, Judge Barsanti was an appointed circuit judge for a brief period prior to his election, when he won unopposed).

    Getting back to Judge Marmarie Kostelny vs. D.J. Tegeler, we’re going to have to agree to disagree concerning “bench experience” vs. “courtroom experience”. I stand by “bench experience” is the critical path. This is why I searched for arbitrator experience for Tegeler, since this gives an attorney the opportunity to do similar work to a judge, but I found none of this kind of experience.

    I’m sorry you feel I cast aspersions on your preferred candidate in this race, but I’m only doing what the discerning voter will need to do to choose between 2 candidates for the same office in this election. This is what I like about Judge Kostelny’s campaign, as she is running an assertive “dare to compare” campaign to distinguish her clear overwhelming qualifications and comparing them to her opponent, whom she names instead of the obscure “opponent” label political consultants would prefer. It is a clear choice for Judge Kostelny.

    As to Mr. Tegeler, as you’ve pointed out, this is his 2nd time running for circuit judge, and should he be unsuccessful because primary voters in the subcircuit clearly see Judge Kostelny as the superior choice, I hope he truly seeks one of the appointed associate judge positions when its available later this year by Judge Kostelny’s election to circuit judge. Then, as you say, both will be on the bench. To date, Tegeler has run a gentlemanly campaign, and if he stays along this path, there should be little to no ill will to appoint him to an associate judgeship.

    • Dear Oncoming,

      You are correct that I have not previously enforced the name with a comment rule, but that’s because your previous comments didn’t stake a claim – they were general and jovial. But once you endorse someone, it really does require ownership. So while I’ll have to think about the current thread, any future claim staking conversation will bear that requirement.

      I would also warn you that, when it comes to the merit of our arguments, folks would likely lean towards the 8-year columnist who uses his name more so than an anonymous reader.

      Please let me also clarify that I was not even implying that you were disparaging D. J. (that would mean the delete button), I was simply pointing out that I was in no way maligning your candidate.

      And it’s important to note, once again, that the inevitable D. J. Tegeler victory will not deprive the Kane County courts of the services of his opponent. You seem to have ignored that.

      I would also agree (though you didn’t quite state it this way) that many associate judges feel, by the mere fact of their tenure, they’re entitled to these elected Circuit Court positions. And my readers know exactly how I feel about any kind of entitlement mentality. So without pointing a finger at any particular Kane County judge, that’s another good reason to mix it up a bit.

      Along the same lines, though I love all my Kane County judges, they do have long memories. I would argue that D. J.’s “breaking” the unwritten running against an associate judge rule would make the likelihood of a future appointment unlikely. In general, that club can get a little too exclusive.

      So I want to remind my readers that I have covered Kane County inside and out for 8 years in print and another year on the radio. As a part of that endeavor, I’ve spoken at length with county chairmen, county board members, mayors, aldermen, state party chairmen, law enforcement officers, gubernatorial candidates and quite a few judges. Leveraging that experience I remain steadfast in my belief that D. J. Tegeler is the best choice and I ask that you vote for him on March 18!

      Jeff

    • Let me succinctly state why Marmarie Kostelny would be a TERRIBLE choice for Judge-because she was a TERRIBLE selection as Associate Judge. It’s interesting that all the Kostelny supporters want to emphasize her “success” in drug court, while completely ignoring her 4 prior years in Family Court.

      Perhaps “Oncoming Storm” can explain how an unwed, adoptive mother, who doesn’t think a father is necessary in her own children’s lives, could not see the conflict between her personal choices and presiding in Family Court. That shows a complete lack of integrity, perhaps even dishonesty. Kostelny had family court decisions appealed and reversed, something that rarely, if ever happens. Were the reversals due to her bias? How much did the appeals process cost taxpayers? Does Kostelny even live in the district she would serve, or is this just another case of an opportunist looking to prolong the gravy train?

      From what I can ascertain, her experience in Drug Court is acting as a babysitter for delinquents, but she certainly seems eager to take advantage of every photo opportunity, another sure sign of an egotist. Perhaps Oncoming Storm can point to ANY improvements she initiated in Family Court or Drug Court, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  4. I was wondering when Jon Azevedo was going to show up here, given I’ve read his one-man-band campaign against Judge Kostelny in every comments section in Kane County. I’ve been reading his same old hateful arguments against Judge Kostelny, and the biggest consistency I’ve seen is he makes all of these outrageous claims about Judge Kostelny’s time in Family Court, yet he provides no proof to convince us what he says is true. Not once has he posted a single case that was overturned, let alone the plural fantasy of “…family court decisions appealed and reversed…”. And then you look down on Judge Kostelny’s life choices with such condescending epithets that even true supporters of D.J. Tegeler must cringe, noting you do him no favors by such hateful, vindictive and jealous aspersions.

    Republican primary voters in the 3rd subcircuit are going to side with the ISBA “recommended” raiting Judge Kostelny received over her opponent who was not recommended, along with the Kane County Bar Associations “highly recommended” rating for Judge Kostelny. The stirring endorsements that have been posted on-line by truly credible and respected retired judges (not to mention the stirring endorsement letter received by voters from retired Judge Pam Jensen) over a baseless allegation like Azevedo’s devoid of proof.

    Now it’s my turn to not hold my breath to see if Azevedo can offer up the proof to back up his claims.

  5. Here’s your chance, Oncoming Storm. Fact-Selected, not elected, Judge Kostelny is an unwed, adoptive mother. She was presiding Judge in Family Court. Her personal life choice presented a conflict of interest, period. Perception only? How did she control this bias? Would she like to share information with VOTERS as to why she made this decision? As a VOTER, I’m interested. It’s not condescending, it’s a question. I demand TRANSPARENCY as a voter. Trying to spin an honest question that is not hateful or vindictive is why voters demand an answer-or has selected, not elected Judge Kostelny suddenly clammed up? She was always vociferous and arrogant when speaking from the bench.

    Does Kostelny live in the district she would serve?

    Has Kostelny ever voted as a democrat in a primary or general election?

    Why should I even consider so-called endorsements from attorneys, the same group of sycophants who stand to benefit if Kostelny is elected? The entire legal profession is based on misdirection and innuendo, which is why attorneys are among the least respected professions.

    As far as the appealed court case? You have Google, Oncoming Storm, utilize your brain instead of hyping someone who won’t share ANY background, won’t address voters personally and who exhibits bias, arrogance and a weak legal mind from behind her big desk. The question is not reversals (which I find in my search), the question is, what prompted the appeals?. Do you have any idea how unusual it is the have a Family Court decision even considered for appeal? Were the appeals based on her bias? That courtroom is like the Wild West, very little law practiced, everything based on private discussions in chambers. And guess what? One of Kostelny’s most vociferous supporters told me personally how she was not familiar with the law and was always grandstanding in chambers. So much for honesty and integrity.

    Answer the questions Oncoming, no more innuendo, no more blind cheerleading.

  6. Here you go Oncoming, this appeal has all the Kostelny earmarks-failure to grasp even the simplest of findings. The Appellee might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, and may not be an outstanding citizen, which makes Kostelny’s poor decision even more ludicrous. Was it bias against the big bad man? C’mon, she couldn’t even get the sentencing correct!

    Appellate decision-The trial court erred. FACT. Now, as a voter and taxpayer, how much did the Judge’s bias cost me in court resources? Is Judge Kostelny using her court time, and my money, as a pre-school for Judges? Do a Google-you’ll find more…….

    BTW, your use of the term “aspersion” is hilarious. That assumes that da Judge enjoys a reputation of integrity. Bad assumption.

    http://www.state.il.us/court/R23_Orders/AppellateCourt/2013/2ndDistrict/2120696_R23.pdf

  7. Jeff Ward, if I could make a suggestion. While I notice that Oncoming posts at very odd hours, I don’t expect a cogent response. As a matter of fact, what I expect is more of the same cheerleading and name calling.

    So, here is my suggestion. Would you offer Candidate Kostelny an opportunity to answer my questions, questions which are of great interest to voters and taxpayers? For the Patch, for your blog, perhaps for Trib Local.

    For example, what led to her decision to raise children w/o benefit of a father? How was she able to keep that personal bias in check while in Family Court? Does she live in the district she will serve? Has she voted for or as a democrat in the last 15 years? Her personal life reflects more liberal leanings than conservative values, why did she decide to run as a repub and not Dem? I’m sure each answer will lead to another question, and trust your fairness and directness.

    Thank you.

  8. Wrong again, Jon Azevedo, on all counts. You know, with your fear-mongering and utter dislike for Judge Kostelny, I expected you to provide real proof about cases that have been overturned when Judge Kostelny presided over Family Court, and honestly expected you to hit us with your best shot. And what do you throw at us? An appeal that affirmed the circuit court conviction, and only modified 2 very minor points, including the “harmless” exclusion of 911 recording at trial. Personal bias for excluding the 911 recording? You have no proof, just your own, transparent disgust for a successful professional woman trying to advance her proven career as a jurist to the position of an elected circuit judge. Your appeal you posted wasn’t even a ‘nice try’. You utterly failed to prove your point. If that is the best you’ve got, it is little wonder why your preferred candidate will not win on the 18th.

    Then, you go and insult the integrity of the blog host, Jeff Ward, with your suggestion to invite Judge Kostelny the opportunity to answer questions. First, your suggestion is a day late and a dollar short, within 2 weeks of the election. Next, Jeff Ward’s public endorsements for Judge Kostelny’s opponent has removed him from any degree of impartiality. And last, most of your questions are not germaine to the elected circuit judge election.

    As to the germaine ones, I can answer the truly fact-based ones: Does Judge Kostelny live in the district/subcircuit she is running? Yes, she does, and a simple check of the Kane County clerk’s voter registration records would answer that, along with the fact her nominating petitions were not challenged due to residency. Judge Kostelny’s voting record? I’ll let you go and find that from the clerk’s office, and since I found information there, maybe you can too. Your other questions are naked sophistry of utter dislike for a successful professional Republican woman whom I truly respect, and are not worth the time of day, nor Jeff Ward’s reputation to try to ask.

    And only 1 voter really wants to know the answers, not the voters in the subcircuit. And yes, as I’ve just proven again, I can post cogent responses, even at this hour.

  9. Dear Oncoming and Jon,

    First, I appreciate that this conversation has been reasonably relevant with only Jon’s unwed mother claim coming awfully close to requiring censorship. I will state that single mothers adopting children certainly doesn’t turn any heads these days.

    Second, If it is his real name, I have to give Mr. Azevedo credit for using it. And now we all know the rules for staking a claim beyond this thread.

    And third, Oncoming is right! I’ve stated the case for my candidate both here and on the radio and that’s the end of it. It’s up to the voters now.

    Jeff

    • Hello again, Jeff. Thank you for the props concerning this thread. I’ve just realized my screen name itself may be causing some confusion concerning Judge Kostelny’s campaign, namely, the last word in my screen name happens to be the last name of the chairman of the Citizens to Elect Judge Marmarie Kostelny campaign committee. And though you know my true identity, for the readers and commenters here, let me state very clearly that I am not the chairman of Judge Kostelny’s campaign committee, and my true last name is not “Storm”. I regret if that’s caused any minor confusion (one of the commenters claimed I mobilized Judge Kostelny’s campaign committee).

  10. Oncoming, I give you credit for mobilizing the campaign committee to compose a response which is nothing but misdirection and name-calling, typical lib tactics. Reference the “us” in your completely misguided response.

    You think only one voter is asking for more transparency from selected, not elected, Judge Kostelny?
    You underestimate the intelligence of the electorate, another lib failing. As far as my case reference? Here, let me put it in CAPS_THE TRIAL COURT ERRED. That error cost taxpayers the expense of an appeal, and wasted court resources. Search Google-you’ll find more.

    Does selected, not elected Judge Kostelny live in the subcircuit? Nice try presenting a response that she lives in the district. Not the question. Does she live in the 3rd sub-circuit? I think not.
    Her voting record? Present your evidence, post in on the campaign website. You should, because of the questions voters are raising.

    And the most important question that you have never addressed-How does selected, not elected Judge Kostelny manage her personal bias against fathers when in court? Does that bias extend to all men? Simple question. While Jeff Ward is correct, single mothers hardly turn heads these days. A single mother with complete disdain for a father in her children’s lives, who then presides in Family Court and can’t respond when asked how she manages her personal bias? There is plenty of time before the election to clear the air-saying it is too late leads one to question what the campaign committee is hiding.

    • @Jon, I cannot allow you to credit me for “mobilizing” Judge Kostelny’s committee. No, my response was all from me, as Judge Kostelny and her committee have more important things to be doing than responding to questions from a blog comment. Clearly, you cannot admit when your silly allegation Judge Kostelny does not live in the subcircuit has been proven wrong. Please reread my response. Online, I checked and confirmed Judge Kostelny lives in the subcircuit. I’ll obliged *you* to do the same concerning her voting record. Go and chase the red herring of residency or her voting record.

      And, Judge Kostelny has a proven record of integrity that she has no bias against men, or anyone else. The appeal link you shared proved nothing of your nonsense that Judge Kostelny’s a man-hater. Neither Judge Kostelny, nor her campaign committee, is hiding anything about bias against anyone. Wouldn’t this topic have been thoroughly vetted at any of Judge Kostelny’s public appearances, going back to last fall, when she presented herself as a candidate before the Kane County Republican Central Committee’s Executive Committee, or at the plethora of candidate events since? How about when she was vetted by the Kane County Bar Association’s evaluation committee? The result of the KCBA evaluation was a “highly recommended” endorsement, clearly above her opponent.

      If you have the time to pursue this on your own, go for it. There are 10 days until the polls close. Go for it. This campaign is over, except the voting.

  11. In Candidate Kostelny’s own words:

    “I also learned how other judges allowed personal bias…..to affect their decisions.”

    I think the question about managing an inherent personal bias is fair. Candidate Kostelny should address this issue. She seems to think the question is also fair game, as she claims to have learned from other’s failings. How did she do it?

    Oh, I also see that the Oncoming Storm claimed to have found Ms. Kostelny’s voting records, but didn’t answer the question. That’s very deceptive and does not reflect kindly on your candidate. What did you find?

    https://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140210/submitted/302109798/print/

    • @Mike, no, I did not claim to have found Judge Kostelny’s voting record. I confirmed on-line through the Kane County Clerk’s website Judge Kostelny lives within the boundaries of the 3rd subcircuit of the 16th Judicial Circuit. The Kane County Clerk’s office does not place individual voting records on-line.

      Since you posted the link to Judge Kostelny’s responses to the Daily Herald, you can answer the question you raise of her inherent bias, and that of her opponent’s, yourself. If not, please reach out to the respective campaigns directly. I’m thoroughly convinced Judge Kostelny is the superior candidate in this election, given her Bench experience compared to her opponent, who has none (not even as an arbitrator), and I look forward to casting my ballot for Judge Kostelny.

  12. This is very troubling to me. Bias cannot be proven, unless you are a mind-reader. However, an intelligent voter can see a pattern develop, and make their own decisions. I was unfortunately a litigant in front of Associate Judge Kostelny during my divorce. I witnessed numerous examples of her bias toward men in the courtroom. My ex-wife even told me she thought the Judge’s actions were biased. My attorney told me the Judge was biased-in an e-mail!! Family court is an odd duck, everything is cloaked in secrecy. I can only relay, and form my opinion, based on what I was told occurred in chambers. On more than one occassion, I was told that Judge Kostelny had “hissy fits”
    and blurted out what she wanted to happen, only to be told that what she wanted was not allowed by law.

    I will grant you this is my personal experience, but I don’t think it is unusual. Now, add what Jon has stated, that she has built in bias based on her life choices. I am a voter, and I am not stupid. I am insulted by your comment that somehow a board or committee could actually vet that she is a man-hater. How do you ask that question without being told it is politically incorrect?

    You are completely wrong that this election is over, and I must tell you that your smugness is also very troubling to me. Where she lives doesn’t matter to me personally, but I can tell you that I have heard this from other people. Finally, my biggest concern is that no one will fully address how Ms. Kostelny avoided bias in her decisions, a bias she freely admitted existed. And because of your response, I am convinced that she is not a Republican, but declared herself as one to gain votes.

  13. Mike,

    Though this will certainly disappoint Oncoming – and I would not have broached the topic had you not brought it up – I do think it is important to note that, not only have I been made aware of the anti-male bias to which you refer, but I personally witnessed it while working on a potential column some years ago.

    The truth is, all judges have biases, but when you hear about them from other judges, it is a very troubling thing.

    That said, I firmly believe D. J. Tegeler’s pluses are more than enough to support him on March 18.

    Jeff

  14. Thank you Jeff, especially about hearing it from other judges. I have to believe that some of her contributors are simply riding the fence and will vote for Mr. Tegeler if it appears that her candidacy is tenuous. This is not just troubling to me, I am infuriated. My attorney was actually fearful of representing me because he knew it would not go well, and actually did not file for a hearing because he said the action would put me in a worst position and I did not want to make the judge mad. This same attorney told me how Judge Kostelny sentenced some young kid who missed one child support payment to 3 days in jail. Why did he miss it? He made minimum wage and had to make a car payment in order to get to work. I’m sure that she will say she is a child advocate. No problem with that. But, how does sentencing some kid to 3 days in jail help the situation?

    BTW, my nightmare ended when Ms. Kostelny was removed from Family Court, when that happened the new Judge quickly brought everything to a conclusion-fairly, and in one court date. The wasted resources because of her bias should concern everyone as should her ego..

  15. Mike,

    While, we’re talking, another thing that bothers me is the judge’s sudden Republican swing.

    Though this may eventually kill my l running for office chances, I will proudly state that I’m a moderate Republican who has refused to reward national Republicans for acting like a bunch of fiscally bereft, women hating, obstructionist bullies.

    As I always have, I will continue to vote for fiscally sound local and state GOP candidates.

    If Judge Kostelny was a person of sound character, she would come as clean as I have.

  16. Jeff, thank you for stepping up. It is very odd that judge Kostelny is silent. You know, and I know, she is aware of this conversation, as well as voter concerns. I am also a moderate Republican, and, like you, am frustrated with the antics on a national stage. But one thing I am not is a sucker. You can’t just declare yourself a moderate republican if you are indeed a liberal. Her whole candidacy seems to be contrived. And this person claims to have the character and honesty to be a judge?

    I get the fact that you have come out in favor of Mr. Tegeler, and cannot get an interview with Ms. Kostelny. How about other reporters? Maybe one of the local tv or radio shows? What is the big deal? These are honest and important questions, I am taking you at your word. If other judges have made mention of her bias, I am truly afraid of having her in any position of authority, even dog catcher. Can’t judges call into question the concerns they have? Can you publish our concerns in the Patch?

  17. One other thing. As a Republican, and as someone disgusted with the antics of both Dems and Repubs on the national stage. basing one’s vote on the fact that Ms. Kostelny was APPOINTED to the bench and has “experience” is ridiculous. That smells of the one-issue voters who vote simply on who will give them the most entitlements. Look at the big picture. Perhaps her temperament and ego have not been reeled in during her tenure. I don’t want to elect a judge whose experience is really how she can get away with bullying a litigant with no repercussions. Not one of her supporters can point to any innovations she has introduced during her time on the bench. None can point to case management skills, as cases drag on and on.

    New blood, without all of judge Kostelny’s baggage, is what is needed. I’ll take my chances on an honest, open, unbiased newcomer every day of the week.

  18. Oncoming, just a heads up-I have requested copies of selected, not elected, Judge Kostelny’s adoption papers. Not about the kids, but as to her reason why she, a single woman, wanted to adopt. It may not be head-turning today, but in the 1980s it was. And probably took some clout to get it done. If she doesn’t want to share the intel, I will. It is germane. (That is the correctly spelling).

    This race isn’t over. far from it. This race isn’t over until the fat lady, or in this case selected, not elected Judge Kostelny, is crying.

  19. Jon,

    Would you please clarify that you are not referring to the judge as a “fat lady” or I will have to edit your post.

    Jeff

  20. Jeff, just paraphrasing a well-known saying. Hardly non-PC. But, since you even questioned it, think of the chorus of boo’s if someone would question the judge’s bias.

  21. Mike, I do not know if you are aware that this is an election between Judge Kostelny and her opponent to elect a circuit judge to replace a retiring circuit judge. This, in other words, is “politics” and timing is everything in politics. Now, I am sorry you had a tough time during a difficult divorce (and what divorce is not difficult?), but on March 9th, you bring something like this up looks like nothing more than, as one candidate’s recent mailing (in a different race) put it, “Beware of False Campaign Attacks! Negative campaigning with false attacks is often the last minute desperation of a losing campaign. Don’t be fooled.”

    It is not just the fact Judge Kostelny has been an appointed associate judge for the past 7 years as reason to vote for her. Like it or not, Judge Kostelny has been doing the job for 7 years and doing it well, and her opponent has no bench experience. Her credibility in the court room has been backed up by her highly recommended endorsement by the Kane County Bar Association evaluation committee, the Illinois State Bar Association’s recommended rating, not to mention the 95% rating she received by ISBA respondants, compared to the less than 50% rating of her opponent.

    Your 2nd-hand and 3rd-hand accounts are not provable, and from the character of Judge Kostelny’s opponent, I do not think he would try to use such flimsy, trumped-up hearsay in his campaign either, if not for the fact it would fall into the last minute tactics already mentioned.

    And speaking of donors, there is another measure of which candidate is winning this election. Judge Kostelny had received nearly $8,000 in campaign contributions, according to the 4th quarter disclosure reports, with a significant amount coming from small-dollar donors. Her opponent had $0 in contributions. While neither candidate has filed an A-1 report of a contribution over $1,000, it was more imperative for Judge Kostelny’s opponent to have those filings than Judge Kostelny. I see signs of real grassroots efforts from Judge Kostelny’s supporters, and very little out of her opponent. Between Judge Kostelny’s ground game, her message, and knowing she will not let-up until the polls close on Election day, I firmly believe she will emerge victorious on Election Day.

    I am just stating facts. We’ll find out together how this race will end.

  22. @Jon, you do what you think is necessary. Anything you do to try to influence this race by attacking Judge Kostelny’s motives for adoption falls into the desperate last minute negative attacks, as if the voters will ever see any of the information you say you have requested. You have proven your character by using vulgar aspersions to attack Judge Kostelny multiple times, and anyone reading it will see who the credible supporter of Judge Kostelny, opposed to someone with an ax to grind.

  23. Jeff, your posts from Sunday has betrayed a shift to how you approach this race, but I relish the chance to discuss the dialog with you, and the points you have brought up especially the Republican side of Judge Kostelny.

    As you are aware, the election of circuit judges was altered in Kane County with the 2008 election of then County Board Member and transaction attorney John Noverini when he defeated an appointed circuit judge with 12 years of bench experience in the 2nd subcircuit in the General Election in his first and only election for circuit judge. Now, how did Noverini win that election? Noverini obliterated the conventional wisdom the election of circuit judges is tied to political parties. Just for reference, Noverini’s political convictions at the time made Chris Lauzen look like a liberal, he’s that conservative. But beyond political party labels, Noverini was a champion of winning the hearts and minds of the people who interacted with him, and he built a solid, bipartisan grassroots campaign (had to be to switch political parties and win the Democrat nomination without opposition) that is now the benchmark for running a successful judicial campaign. It would be unfair to leave out the fact Noverini contributed $140,000 of his own money to win that seat.

    While neither Judge Kostelny nor her opponent have exhibited the propensity to be another Judge Noverini the campaigner, it was more imperative for her opponent to do so than Judge Kostelny. And thus far, from what I’ve seen, Judge Kostelny is running a campaign closer to the Noverini standard than her opponent. Maybe you see things differently, but from the grassroots, I see Judge Kostelny winning this race. But now, to your points.

    While I have not seen Judge Kostelny’s voting record, she has not suddenly switched political parties. And frankly, so what? It is not unprecedented for former Democrats to become Republicans. Think President Reagan, and for an example of a current rising star nationally, think New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (she switched parties in 1996 to run for the NM equivalent of a state’s attorney, and defeated the multi-term incumbent who had fired her for reporting corruption in a Democratic county, and held that office until her 2010 election as governor). But to my knowledge, Kostelny has not switched parties.

    As for Judge Kostelny and as the committed Republican that I am, I welcome Judge Kostelny as a judicial candidate and a successful professional woman to run as a Republican in the Republican Party. Many believe the Republican Party is anti-woman, and to me locally, I place Judge Kostelny with the many truly successful women whom the Republicans have recruited nationwide, and have been successful when seeking higher office, in the company of NM’s Martinez, South Carolina’s Governor Nikki Haley, and Oklahoma’s Governor Mary Fallon. This is crucial for the Kane County judiciary, since currently, there are only 3 women who are elected circuit judges, and one of them is retiring. Call it an intangible, but even if Judge Kostelny and her opponent had EQUAL experience, the edge would go to Judge Kostelny simply due to the near dearth of women elected to the judiciary here locally.

    But as has already been proven, Judge Kostelny’s bench experience, her message and her ground game put her head-and-shoulders above her opponent and when the votes are counted, a majority of the Republican primary electorate in the 3rd subcircuit will agree with me.

  24. I have e-mails from my attorney that she dislikes men. Provable. I saw firsthand how she would mock and finger-point at litigants for absolutely no reason. First-hand. One of Ms. Kostelny’s most ardent supporters, an attorney, told me personally that she would rant and rave in chambers, frequently making “decisions” that were not only impractical, they were not possible under the law.

    Perhaps dems do become repubs. That’s not the issue. Candidate Kostelny declared herself a republican, which many voters think is a false claim. False. Dishonest. As far as my raising issues at a late date, it is never too late to rally support against someone I would term a prima donna, an egotist,. I’ve seen her in action. She is a phony.

    However, I compliment the Oncoming Storm for honesty. Vote for Kostelny because she is a woman. What a sickening idea. It has the same vacuous ring that weak-minded individuals use when complaining about supposed unequal pay, completely ignoring the real factors-union membership, education, years of experience, personality, etc. I vote for the best candidate, period, black, white, male, female. I’m not driven by bias, as are you and your candidate.

    I would encourage Jon, if in fact he has requested records, to post those records online regardless of the outcome of the primary. Perhaps an undeclared write-in candidate, unaffiliated w/ repubs or dems, will step up in the general election. Maybe candidate Kostelny will still have to come clean and address these issues that she is simply avoiding now.

  25. Your emails from your attorney are NOT provable until you make them public, and for now it’s hearsay, along with your supposed Judge Kostelny attorney supporter 2nd-hand hearsay.

    Yesterday, I voted early and proudly cast my vote for Judge Kostelny. And this morning, the Chicago Tribune endorse Judge Kostelny, too. I know, newspaper editorial endorsements do not carry the weight they once did, especially when being published a few days before Election Day, but at least the Tribune’s editorial board offered its recommendation, opposed to the Kane County Chronicle and the Daily Herald.

    It’s now 5 days until victory for Judge Kostelny.

  26. Yea, the Tribune endorsed Oberweis too, didn’t they? It’s funny, you attribute all of these subjective qualities to Kostelny as if they are proven facts, but refuse to recognize a character fault that has been observed by court staff and litigants. I wouldn’t be so confident, Oncoming Storm. Worst case, if your candidate should be elected, she will be held accountable by the public, a public now aware of her antics on the bench, a public now aware that she may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, a public aware that she will do anything to avoid transparency. And, who knows? Maybe a write-in candidate suddenly amkes an appearance, spurred on by the accuracy of my comments.

    BTW, the Trib has gone from a conservative stalwart to a liberal rag, so perhaps the daily herald and Chronicle had reservations about her claiming to be a conservative.

  27. I’m going to have to take back something I said a couple of weeks ago. “To date, Tegeler has run a gentlemanly campaign…” That is, until the last day, when Tegeler’s campaign sent out a last minute desperate hit piece telling lies with innuendo about Judge Kostelny’s political party affiliation, when a simple check of the voting records would reveal Judge Kostelny is currently a “hard R”. Even though the hit piece was signed by Tegeler’s campaign committee chairperson, it was paid for by Tegeler’s campaign committee. In less than 24 hours, I will be celebrating Judge Kostelny’s win and it will be that much sweeter knowing that voters in the 3rd subcircuit are too smart to be fooled by an 11th hour hit piece without a shred of evidence.

    Through D.J. Tegeler’s approval to unleash lies about Judge Kostelny, he has just betrayed his true colors for all to see, and has shown his campaign is desperate. Republican primary voters in the 3rd subcircuit are not fooled.

  28. Jeff, any idea if the Oncoming Storm will comment on his candidate’s loss, or does his misplaced smugness prevent him from being a good loser?

    Just in case you missed the above:
    “It’s now 5 days until victory for Judge Kostelny.”

  29. Mike,

    Now, now! Let’s be nice. This was a reasonable discussion so let’s not sully it now. In fact, Mr. Azevedo’s response was so over the top, that I removed it. It was a hard fought battle and D. J. came out ahead. That’s all it is.

    Tomorrow the sun will rise, folks will go to work, and husbands and wives will hug each other at the door in the evening. Life goes on.

    While I certainly believe the right candidate won, let’s all take the high road and congratulate both of them for a strong effort.

  30. Point taken. But a suggested revision:

    Tomorrow the sun will rise, folks will go to work, and husbands and wives will hug each other at the door in the evening. Associate judge Kostelny will take the high road and resign her appointment. Life goes on for all, especially those who have to survive in the private sector.

    OK?.

  31. Yes, the sun has risen and as of Tuesday night’s initial vote count, D.J. Tegeler has a 26-vote lead over Marmarie Kostelny, and if that lead does hold (Kane County Clerk and the Aurora Election Commission have 2 weeks to count provisional ballots and late-returning mailed-in absentee ballots), Tegeler and his supporters will have my full congratulations. I do now congratulate D.J. and his supporters on his apparent win over Marmarie. I did not support the wrong candidate in casting my vote for Kostelny, my choice came 26 votes short.

    And, given the close margin in this race, I do not know if a discovery recount will be pursued. That’s up to Kostelny and her committee, and is well-within her right to pursue such action. I’m sure they will wait to see the official canvass’ final vote count, and do the right thing at the proper time. We’re not talking Florida recount here, but Kostelny does owe it to her supporters and volunteers to wait until all of the votes are counted before formally congratulating D.J., even if it’s 2-3 weeks after Election Day.

  32. Jeff, thank you for exercising the appropriate action on the one over-the-top post. And as for the other suggested actions by “Jon” and Mike, there is no way Marmarie Kostelny will resign her associate judge position and no reason she shouldn’t be reappointed because of this apparent circuit judge election loss.

    The election is over, and Mike Williamson and anyone else who backed Tegeler and feels ill-will towards Kostelny, be content that your preferred candidate has apparently won, and wish him well as he and Kostelny will be working together at the courthouse come October (when Judge Simpson’s retirement takes affect, and Tegeler is appointed to replace her prior to his official election in November).

  33. Oncoming,

    And remember, she’s still a judge! The one thing I would add is, though a discovery recount is within every 5 percent or less losing candidate’s right, given today’s electronic voting machines (no matter what kind they are) I can’t see any election result changing.

  34. Thank you, Oncoming Storm for pointing out EXACTLY why Kostelny lost and should now resign. The final tally I saw was about 150 vote difference. A recount? Are you kidding me? Just another waste of taxpayer resources by someone whose supporters admitted doesn’t have business management experience or skills.

    Why should she resign? SHE LOST. Just as term limits for elected officials is a good idea, why should an appointment go on indefinitely? 7 years of failure, and she tried to reinvent herself for an election. The voters wisely didn’t buy it. Now, she wants to be “reappointed ad infinitum? That is beyond insulting to taxpayers and the voters. Your losing candidate should finally show some class and integrity and allow for the appointment of new blood, a fresh face with real ideas, not some trumped up resume created by her supporters.

  35. PS-Another classless act. Kostelny has not offered congrats to JUDGE TEGELER. Unbelievable.

  36. Mike,

    Down boy! Mr. Oncoming is right because you have to add in the Aurora Election Commission results before you get the grand total. And when you do that, you’ll see that D. J. is a scant 23 votes ahead because Judge Kostelny did better in aurora.

    Also, the reason Judge Kostelny has not conceded is there are still approximately 100 applicable absentee ballots out there that can still potentially still come in. I believe every County Clerk’s office has to wait two weeks from the date of the election to finally certify the results.

    All that said, and as close as this one is, I cannot remember a single example of late arring absentee ballots changing the course of an election. We are, after all, herd animals in which past behavior is a clear indicator of what the future will bring.

    • Wow. The lead for Mr. Tegeler over Judge Kostelny is down to 10 votes, according to unofficial returns revised at midday on Friday, the 21st, at the Kane County Clerk’s office. Mr. Tegeler leads with 6,213 votes to 6,203. Since Election night counts, 56 additional votes in this race have been recorded, with Judge Kostelny receiving 36 more votes, and Mr. Tegeler receiving 20.

      A reminder, once again, to the community that every vote counts.

  37. Dear Oncoming,

    You are correct! But from a purely technical point of view, here’s the problem.

    1. Of the 90 absentee ballots originally out in non-Aurora Election Commission 3rd subcircuit, 80 percent of those have come and the remaining 18 have to be postmarked on or before election day. The odds of those 18 ballots coming in at this point dwindle every day.

    2. Aurora probably has some out as well, but it’s gonna be a far smaller number. I meant to call Linda Fechner yesterday, but got too busy.

    3. If those outstanding ballots do come in, the folks who sent them (on time) have to have voted in the judicial races. I will say, the undervote in the Tegeler/Kostelny race is a surprisingly low 13 percent, but what that means is, out of the remaining 18 ballots, two or three of them didn’t vote for judges. For our purposes we’ll say it’s two, which means we need to consider 16 of the so for unreturned absentee ballots.

    4. D. J. is ahead by 10 votes. If everything comes in and the minimal Aurora ballots break the same way, Judge Kostelny will have to take 14 or 88.5 percent of that vote to eek it out by a scant 2 votes.

    As far as any recount goes – and there likely will be one here – with today’s electronic voting machines it will be pointless. Either they work or they don’t. If Aurora’s optical reader machines aren’t calibrated correctly, at lease one voter would’ve noticed they voted for all the wrong candidates.

    Ah, but what this clearly does mean is your theory that every vote counts is bleeping dead on.

  38. Here’s my take. DJ was virtually invisible during the campaign. You had one butt-kissing attorney after another spinning the Kostelny qualifications. The selected, not elected, judge herself went into hiding when questions were raised about her voting record and the issue of bias, which she herself brought up during an interview in the Daily Herald, allowing her supporters to flood the local web sites and opinion pages with duplicitous pablum. She had signs plastered everywhere. Most of her supporters, if their facebook profiles are to be believed, live in Cook County and are dems, and are no strangers to negative spin and machine politics..

    In spite of her supporter’s efforts, she lost. (I’m jumping the gun here, but, face it Stormy, she has no chance unless mail is stell delivered by the pony express). That, to me, is absolutely AWESOME! The voters saw thru this whole charade, and saw thru a revisionist account of her 7 years on the bench. And, if she has a SHRED of integrity, she will resign her position when the election results are certified.

  39. Mike,

    Though I wholeheartedly agree that the generally incestuous relationships in any courthouse can often get the way of justice, there is a real value to being gracious in (apparent) victory. Because, in the end, D. J. will have to work with every single one of the current Kane County Judges.

    In fact D. J. has already reached out to Oncoming and, once the results are certified, the two of them will get together for a beer.

    And that’s one of the reasons I supported D. J. I’d much rather consider his merit than whatever flaws his opponent may or may not have. So let’s toast D. J., thank his opponent for running a great race and move forward.

    Jeff

  40. Jeff, just shows what a class act DJ is, and highlights the differences between himself an Kostelny. But, if the slim lead holds up, make your case why she should not resign, or at least take herself out the running for a reappointment.

    An appointment should not be a way to avoid the public’s opinion that you are not worthy to be elected. Continuing the appointment would be a slap in the face to every voter who took the time to see through her campaign spin. And to taxpayers? I can’t verbalize what an insult this would be. Why should we pay, and pad the pension, of someone who isn’t held in esteem by Joe Taxpayer? Give the court the freedom the appoint fresh blood, someone who is truly knowledgeable and diligent, someone with a background in budgets and management. Because, unlike the Kostelny spin meisters, that background will help a judge, let’s say one assigned to family court, who understands the cost to produce a product or service, the difficulty of balancing receivables and payables, making payroll to help others support their families, and understands cash flow and it’s fluctuations. Not a supposed “child advocate” who relished every opportunity to spew her venom at litigants who were just trying to survive an economic disaster, not understanding that putting them out of business would affect dozens of families, not just one.

  41. Mike,

    We’ll have to agree to disagree here because I don’t think judges should be subjected to the electoral process. Given the general apathy and stupidity of the average voter, they don’t pay nearly enough attention to make an informed decision.

    And while I certainly would not want to see her darken that family court door again, perhaps drug court is the perfect place for Judge Kostelny to serve. Remember, one of my original points in this thread was that voting for D. J. did not mean his opponent’s exit. Perhaps that’s the way it should be.

    Some candidates never recover from losses and some learn from them and become better candidates. Sheriff Pat Perez is a perfect example of this dynamic. Perhaps Judge Kostelny will take note that she will likely be the only sitting judge in Illinois to lose an election and make the kind of adjustments that kind of loss would suggest.

    Jeff

  42. Revised returns released by the Kane County Clerk’s office around 8PM on Monday from 14 processed ballots has Mr. Tegeler with a 6 vote lead over Judge Kostelny, which is down from 10 on Friday. D.J. has 6,216 compared to 6,210 for Marmarie. Based from a Daily Herald article, and with these 14 ballots processed by the county clekr, there are just over 31 possible ballots to be processed in this race.

    The Aurora Election Commission will not count ballots since election night until next Tuesday afternoon on April 1st, that last day to count ballots. According to the Herald article, of the 31 remaining ballots, between 10-11 will be counted in the Circuit Judge election.

  43. Let me do some extrapolatin’. Kostelny captured 3% of the 14 processed. 11 more are outstanding.
    That gives her 4 votes, and DJ takes a 2 vote win. An even sweeter victory because of the misery it will create for judge Marmarie “I didn’t need all this exposure of my bias” Kostelny..

  44. Correction-My math ain’t good, so I rely on this published last evening:

    Linda Fechner, executive director of the Aurora Election Commission, said there are up to 10 ballots concerning this race that could change the results. Three are mail-in Republican ballots – with one still not received. Two are grace-period votes, and four are provisional votes, Fechner said.

    Grace-period voters were those who registered to vote between Feb. 19 and March 15. Fechner said with the new voting laws allowing registration and voting up to three days before an election, they mail out voter ID cards to those grace-period voters to make sure they live at the address they provided.

    As to provisional ballots, those belonged to people who went to vote on the day of the primary, and their name was not in the book.

    “They have until seven days after the election to come in with supporting documentation,” Fechner said. “Two have come in, and one of the two will not be counted because they were not registered in our jurisdiction after all.”

    The other two have until 5 p.m. today to bring in supporting materials, she said, or their votes will not be counted. These ballots will not be cast until April 1, both Cunningham and Fechner said.

    So, one mail-in not yet received, and it won’t be. Looks like da selected judge needs about 100% of the votes outstanding.

    Jeff, are the names of the provisional voters known by the Kostelny campaign? If yes, sure be interested to know if they are working the phones…..

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