Quick Hits – September 13, 2017

Another story about nothing

And this one surprises me because I worked with Dan Campana during my tenure at the Beacon-News and he’s one of the last truly talented reporters still in the suburban field. Dan currently freelances for the Beacon- and Courier-News.

So, when he wrote a piece about a recent motion for a new trial in the Daniel Rak case, I was more than confused. Every defense attorney on the planet automatically files that kind of motion in response to a client conviction of any kind. The failure to do so would amount to legal misrepresentation.


With as many trials as Dan’s covered, he’s got to know this.

Since Rak was acquitted of the murder charges, but convicted of the lesser aggravated domestic abuse charge, all Kane County Public Defender Kelli Childress did when filing that motion was to preserve any perceived pre-trial and trial error for a potential appeal. The failure to file it within 30 days after the verdict would automatically waive Rak’s right to any appeal.

What makes this story even worse is, Campana made it sound like Childress is hell bent on a new trial and determined to go after everyone involved for the slightest malfeasance, which clearly isn’t the case. Campana also failed to mention that, while Rak could be sentenced to the two to seven years he cited, he could also get probation.

And that’s what I’ve been saying all along. Given the amount of time he spent in jail and the egregious KCSAO first degree murder charge, Rak will get probation.

Since every defense attorney files these kinds of motions, it’s not news. When you consider how little news the Courier currently carries, I’m surprised it made it into the paper.

But I gotta tell ya, when someone of Campana’s caliber either means to do this or starts blowing it, the end of local journalism truly is at hand.


But we still have a post-Rak trial problem.

And this one is particularly perplexing because I consider Childress to be a very capable and astute attorney.

So, it surprised me when a number of local lawyers informed me that Daniel Rak is living on Childress’ boyfriend’s estate in Wayne. It’s in the court paperwork so she’s not trying to hide anything, but I thought she was smart enough to understand and avoid this kind of semi-serious ethical quandary.

Childress 3

Think about it! Will Childress and the Kane County PD’s office provide room and board for all indigent Kane County murder defendants going forward? It also calls into question whether Childress’ capacity to get this close to a client means losing sight of his best interest, something that’s already occurred on more than one occasion.

Hopefully, in the best interest of all parties involved, this problem will be corrected ASAP.


You mean Scott Drury is running for governor?

Who knew? And he just picked a running mate, too, whom I won’t bother to mention because it really doesn’t matter.

Oh! And by the way, who the hell is Scott Drury?


You mean Suzyn Price isn’t running for Roskam’s seat?

I didn’t even know she was running. Actually, with the number of Democratic candidates involved in that race, it might be easier to list the folks who aren’t running.

Oh! And by the way, who the hell is Suzyn Price? Though I’m guessing her parents were drunk when they spelled her first name.


If you insist on insulting me, please make an effort to be original!

I’m still getting negative comments on the Daily Herald’s Harry Hitzeman being a complete and unprofessional dick column, but what our epithet hurler doesn’t seem to understand is, as blog moderator, I get to see the IP address of any commenter.

So, even though our unhappy reader rotates through a series of email addresses, all the insults are coming from the same computer. Another dead giveaway is these love notes essentially say the same thing, “You suck. You can’t write. You started it.”


Given the quality of the writing and the lack of brain power involved in this sixth-grade effort, my best guess is our commenter is none other than Mr. Hitzeman himself. I suppose I could track the IP address down to a general location, but I have much better things to do, like floss.

The other possibility is the crackpot former columnist who single-handedly sent the Chronicle into the abyss, but I care even less about him – if that’s possible. Again, the sixth-grade writing style fits his profile, too.

The only reason I’m deleting those comments is they’re so bleepin’ boring. So, if you want me to keep an insult up, let’s go over what it’s going to take:

1. “You suck!” ain’t gonna cut it. I hear that one on a daily basis and it’s sorely lacking in style and substance

2. Unless you can come up with an interesting combination of cussing, that’s gotten kind of old, too. “Fuck you” or the mildly better “Fuck you asshole?” It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that zing.

3. Telling me I’m a terrible writer won’t do the trick. I may not be the bearer of many skills or talents, but writing and aggravating the shit out of people happen to be two of them. And no one can convince me otherwise.

4.  Cursing my lineage? I’ll probably join you, especially if I’ve had a couple shots of tequila first, so that’s not going to do it, either.

5. Longwinded treatises that go into great detail about what a scurrilous cad I am? Unless the first paragraph is really funny, I don’t bother reading them.

Even if you manage to fire off a good one, doing it the chickenshit anonymous way kind takes the wind out of the insult’s sails – especially if you’re the one calling me a coward. If you don’t use your real name the insult gets deleted.

When State Rep Anna Moeller recently referred to me as “rude and obnoxious,” I was impressed. Both are, indeed, part of my vast charm, the sentiment was short and sweet and I don’t hear that combination very often. Had it been in the form of a blog comment, it would’ve stayed up.

To be fair, I may have prefaced my attempt to collect on a dinner bet Ms. Moeller has owed me for the better part of a year by inquiring as to whether she’d finally grown up. Who could possibly take offense at that? I admit to a middle school mentality all the time, so it was clearly meant as a compliment.

What I’m saying is, if you’re going to insist on insulting me, and I do understand, make it something pithy. Give it some flair. Let me know you put some real thought and effort into it. Have the cohones to use your real name.

Who knows? If you make me laugh, the comment might stay up.


On Friday…

  • Joe McMahon’s letting former Dundee Township Highway Commissioner Larry Braasch off the hook may well be official misconduct.
  • Judge John Dalton suddenly starts being judicial?
  • What makes a good candidate?

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