Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Who is Sara Smolenski?

Yard signs are an interesting barometer of local campaigns. A non-scientific perusal can reveal a lot about of what type of campaign someone is running and where their support is coming from.

The garden variety sign in a font yard is a pretty clear indication that an individual backs a candidate and the candidate has made the effort to get signs produced and distributed. This costs money and requires an organization beyond the candidate’s immediate friends and family. No signs indicate a symbolic campaign with no serious effort.

“Orphan” signs planted in vacant lots and highway right-of-ways indicate a campaign that bought signs but didn’t know how to distribute them. These are sort of sad, especially when they are still there in December. A flurry in the last week of the campaign can also indicate that they just bought too damn many.

Most interesting are the big signs that crop up in the front yards of businesses and commercial establishments. These indicate that the fix is in, and the Real Estate Board or Chamber of Commerce have put the move on, which brings me to the recent blast of signs for 63rd District Court Judge Sara Smolenski.

Overnight, a ton of really annoying signs have popped up, almost exclusively on commercial sites. These are big two-part jobs with her name on top and bullshit statements like “a History of Integrity” or “Common Sense on the Bench”.

Judge Smolenski, you may remember, is the one who put the political hit out on Rockford Judge Steven Servaas for opposing the move to consolidate the District Court in a fancy new $9 million building on the East Beltline. Servaas wants to stay in Rockford and Smolenski tried to railroad him out of office on trumped up charges, displaying neither integrity nor common sense.

She has filed no campaign finance disclosure statements and these signs look like a big investment, so who is paying for them? The Press likes to call her a Democrat but she has had nothing to do with the party for many years and seems to have gone over hard to the Dark Side.

So who’s behind her, and why?

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