Things were already getting a bit testy at the Aurora Election Commission portion of the recount, but I chalked it up to proximity. In my mind, Attorney John Countryman’s brief assessment of D. J. Tegeler’s legal skills was the result of too many people and voting machines in that tiny room.
Not only that, but I can personally attest that sitting through a recount is an experience much like, how did Mick Jagger put it? “A certain dismal dull affair.” By its very watching paint dry nature, it provides plenty of opportunity to let hard feelings simmer.
Thus, the occasional terse comment is nothing out of the ordinary.
For background purposes, a discovery recount is currently being conducted in the D. J. Tegeler – Judge Marmarie Kostelny Third Subcircuit judicial race. Down by a mere seven votes, Kostelny availed herself of this eminently legal option and Countryman is representing her interests.
But with the ball now in the hands of the Kane County Clerk’s office, despite that wide open recount room, things actually got physical yesterday (5/5).
Apparently coveting the spot Tegeler was standing, just like Sheldon Cooper, Countryman insisted Tegeler move and emphasized his point with a hip-check. We’re not talking about anything that’d make Brent Seabrook jealous, but it was enough for Tegeler to explain, “I know we’re in litigation, but you don’t need to shove me and you don’t need to yell at me anymore.”
With the cache of a DC superhero, capable and always amiable KC SAO civil division head Joe Lulves leapt into the “fray” and, taking a cue from Rodney King, said something along the lines of “why can’t we all just get along.”
And that was the end of it.
In the end, Kostelny picked up one vote in the hand counted absentee ballots, but that still puts her six behind with only the E-Slates left to go. And as I’ve previously stated, those machines either work, or they don’t.
This altercation was somewhat surprising for a normally sedate proceeding, but in the grand scheme of political things, it really ain’t nuthin’. To wit, though they covered it, this kerfuffle wasn’t anywhere near the lead in the DH’s story.
But here’s the thing. As I’ve been trying to warn the Kostelny camp about all along, the manner in which you and your representatives comport themselves during this endeavor will have a huge bearing on your future. The voters may have short attention spans, but,ala Donald Sterling, if those other 16th Circuit judges determine a compatriot has diminished the black robe, they can send an associate judge packing.
Another insider told me Countryman’s nerves may be more frayed because he’s approaching the recount as if we’re still using paper ballots. If that is the case, then the process is bound to be frustrating.
Yet another said that, when the original result inevitably stands, Kostelny’s people plan on taking it all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court even if it means setting a new precedent. Perhaps that’s just more frustration borne of a six vote loss, but even though I firmly believe many of Judge Kostelny’s detractors are way over the top, it would tend to prove their point.
I get it! I’ve worked in the take-no-prisoners electoral realm for so long that even a friend’s loss can far too personal. But the question all of the folks that find themselves on the wrong side of the vote count eventually have to answer is, is it worth sacrificing your political future for the temporary relief that extracting that pound of flesh provides?