Judge Cowlin Hit with Campaign Literature Lack of ID Complaint

Steve Reick discovered two years ago that campaign pieces must tell who paid for it.

One of his opponent State Rep. Jack Franks’ supporters complained that Reick’s billboard did not give that information.

One of Steve Reick's billboard from 2014.

One of Steve Reick’s billboard from 2014.

In the next billboard, Rieck put what you see below in the bottom right hand corner:

Don't you love campaigns that have a sense of humor? This was on the Reick billboard near the identification you see below.

Don’t you love campaigns that have a sense of humor?  This appears to the far right under the “M” in web site you see below.

Now Judge James Cowlin has been hit with a similar complaint.

Cynthia Schenk, the woman who filed the complaint at the McHenry County Ethics Commission that was shunted aside before even reaching the Commission because its Chairman decided that since it was a complaint against a Judge that the Commission did not have jurisdiction, has filed this complaint with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

The bottom of the Steve Reick billboard.

The bottom of the Steve Reick billboard.

In her complaint, Schenk says the “mailer fails to disclose the identity or wo (SIC) it is that paid for the mailer in violation of state law.”

The process server swore the following:

“I served this Complaint on the person picture on the first page of the attached exhibit, James Cowlin. Judge Cowlin cam to the door opening the interior door and he asked me why I was there, I responded that I had something for him. He said let me see it. I showed him the complaint and he repsonded he already had it and closed the door. I left it between the doors.”

The attachments follow:

Cowlin Lit No ID 3

The mailing posted on McHenry County Blog was the one that came to my mailbox.

The mailing posted on McHenry County Blog was the one that came to my mailbox.


Judge Cowlin Hit with Campaign Literature Lack of ID Complaint — 30 Comments

  1. Cynthia Allen Schenk, making her debut into local politics by serving as a low-level henchman for a losing candidate who ran the dirtiest, most desperate campaign in recent memory.


  2. How is this guy even a judge?

    He can not even follow the law.

    Again even more reason to Vote Demetri for judge.

  3. Are the allegations untrue.

    Show me where does it say who paid for the ad. You can not.

    Your candidate can not follow the law.

  4. Is the typo material to any qualification for office?

    Was anyone deceived by who paid for the mailing?

    How do we even know that the blame for the typo lies with Cowlin?

    Considering that the paid-for disclosure appears on every other piece of campaign literature put out by him, isn’t it more plausible that the graphic designer made the typo?

    That’s right, it’s not material, there’s no deception, and it’s just the next salvo in the dirtiest campaign ever waged in this county.

    Considering how many scumbags have run for elected office here, it’s no small task to have run the dirtiest campaign.

  5. I’ll bet he drives over the speed limit and cuts the tags off mattresses, too. Bad, very bad.

  6. We seem to be nit picking, it’s a shame it has gotten to this point.

    Supposed Reformers want less gov involvement in our lives, but want more gov involvement in our lifes when it benefits them?

    Disingenuous perhaps?

  7. Your candidates campaign and his campaign workers has dirty politics all over it.

    Campaign workers begging Attorneys to endorse a sitting judge.

    Did you think it would not be disclosed.

    Lawyers talk a lot. Which attorney is going to say no? No one to a sitting judge.

    What a joke.

    Now lets look at the list of attorneys endorsing your candidate in Sunday’s paper, most are related to each other or work in the same law firms.

    Give me a break.

    His campaign has been playing dirty politics since Demetri had the guts to announce he was running for judge.

    Quit slandering people, if the complaint is not true prove it.

    The Problem is your candidate can not prove it.

    Furthermore, we all have eyes there is nothing on the mailer as to who paid for it.

    There is no excuse for not knowing the law; especially, when you are a sitting judge

  8. Oh please now you are going to blame other people for Cowlin not knowing the law.

    Pretty desperate

  9. Oh please now you are going to blame other people.

    Pretty desperate

  10. He’s a Judge, there is no excuse for not knowing such a simple rule.

    If someone is standing before a Judge, they couldn’t use the excuse, “well, I didn’t know it was against the law” to justify their behavior.

    Wearing a Judges robe on a political flyer or mailer, is also a violation.

    Vote Demetri!

  11. I think i am a patriot trying to improve upon the behavior of our elected officials.

    Who has a problem with that?

    If everyone did this we would not have issues now would we?

    We are obligated to look, find and notify authorities.

    That’s why we have laws and regulations in the first place.

    If you have a problem following the law could it be because your hand is dirty or is it that you really just don’t know anything about any regulations what-so-ever.

    No one is above the law…

    No one.

  12. Re: “No one is above the law…No one.”

    Then why is the guy in the White House using a Social Security number that belonged to a citizen who used to live in Connecticut?

    The truth is we have WAAAAAYYY too many laws!

    So many, only selective enforcement is practiced.

    Just look at immigration.

    Immigration enforcement is practically non-existent!

    Our society is becoming one of “narc on your neighbors” but only if they are doing something YOU don’t like.

    If you see someone breaking a law or ordinance, but it does not bother you, just ignore it.

    AND if your neighbor is doing something you do not like, lobby like hell to have another law passed!!

  13. Cowlin, is a Judge, and therefore he is held to a higher standard.

    He is suppose to follow the law and enforce it.

    Don’t make excuses for him, he has already made enough excuses for himself.

    Cowlin, demonstrated that he can do as he wants, when he wore a Judge’s robe in a campaign photo and when he didn’t follow the rules and procedures for the campaign mailer.

  14. Yet another reason I support Demetri!

    He’s far more experienced and qualified.

    Not to mention, Demetri knows the rules and wouldn’t make an error like this.

    I am sure we will see all the Cowlin supporters trying to downplay this.

    But hey, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

    Demetri has earned my respect and my vote!!

    Keep up the great work, Demetri!!

  15. Can’t follow the law, makes you a pretty sad excuse as a lawyer, let alone a judge.

    no wearing the robe on campaign material, no campaigning on courthouse property.

    C’mon Judge, you know better, but feel you don’t have to follow the laws.


  16. I’m offended by Boethius’ comments.

    In his commentary he has stated that Demetri has run a dirty campaign.

    How so Boethius?

    I’m amused by you taking that position.

    A typo is not the same as an admission.

    You claim it’s obvious who paid for the mailer.

    I fail to see it.

    How do we know it wasn’t paid for by the Miller family?

    How do we know it wasn’t an excess donation by Rebecca Lee.

    You claim Demetri ran a Dirty campaign.

    Who supplied the dirt?

    Certainly Demetri wasn’t mailing Cowlin’s material.

    Can four lawyers and a judge figure out how to put “paid for” on a mailer?

    Clearly the lot of them could not figure it out.

    Let’s count some of Cowlin’s mistakes. (Get your fingers and toes out!).

    First, Cowlin starts hearing cases involving his Committee;

    second Cowlin doesn’t recuse himself;

    third, Cowlin fails to disclose to the opposing counsel that Lee is working on his campaign,

    fourth Cowlin hears cases where his other committee member and does the same thing;

    fifth Cowlin suppresses evidence in a DUI where Lee is the Attorney; (ok switch feet and go to your other toes)

    Sixth, Cowlin comes to the courthouse with Cowlin for judge sign on his car and leaves it out there;

    seventh Cowlin uses his position as a judge to pressure attorneys to be in his ad;

    eighth, Cowlin doesn’t man up over his mailer (that’s good for five toes);

    ninth he has Boethius as his champion here;

    tenth he fails to recuse himself in a series of cases involving his campaign committee including his donors! (Move to hands now).

    Eleventh, he starts making disclosure of Lee in court after he knows there is a complaint against him (Hello!)

    12 -he tries to dodge service of the election complaint,

    13 he didn’t learn anything from Zinke election, when your opponent files a complaint you greet the process server and ask for his vote!

    You don’t try to hide from the server!

  17. This post is directed at Boethius. I am the campaign manager for Demetri’s campaign. Your cowardly anonymous attack is an attack on me. As such, this communication serves address your specious position. Since Demetri started this Campaign he has taken the high road.

    I challenge you to point to anything we have circulated be it his mailers, signs, or radio ads that is an attack on judge Cowlin.

    You Can’t because we have not.

    During this campaign I called Mr Wright to alert him to a conflict where Judge Cowlin was speaking at a location where Demetri was also addressing his supporters.

    I agreed to have the restaurant take down our signs and had no signs there so judge Cowlin could make his address without problems and and did so to ensure that he would be comfortable addressing his audience.

    I even wished him well this last Saturday when both candidates were at a church fundraiser.

    Our radio ads do not attack judge Cowlin.

    Our written material represents Demetri’s rationale for asking the voters to vote for Demetri.

    That sir, is a clean campaign. Demetri has followed the law.

    No complaint was made against Demetri for this issue.

    I’m sure if roles were reversed I’m Confident Mrs Schenk would filed a complaint against us.

    I have seen the articles published in this Blog about what is alleged to go on in the courthouse and what is not on campaign material.

    None of those allegations originate from Demetri.

    They appear to originate in the courthouse itself or from the campaign material itself.

    Similarly, I would expect judge Cowlin’s campaign to rebut the allegations if they are false.

    I am not aware of any official position by judge Cowlin or his campaign on these points.

    So Boethius, when you are man enough to identify yourself and then toss about falsities like calling this the dirtiest campaign ever, I hope you can point to a single thing Demetri has done that is dirty.

    Until then, I will give your comments the same respect as any lying coward.

  18. I have to agree with Boethius.

    Demetri’s campaign is dirty for pointing out this business with Mrs Lee.

    The Ethics complaint was booted and frankly it was stupid to file it to begin with.

    It perfectly legal for a judge to have his campaign workers appear before them.

    Boethius published all the law on that.

    Boethius was also right that it’s ok to ask lawyers to promote a judge.

    It’s been done in every election.

    So it’s dirty to bring this up.

    The Demetri campaign is as dirty as mud.

  19. Robert Hanlon, thank you for expressing the thoughts of all the many Demetri supporters.

    You have run his candidacy in an exemplary manner and he will make an exemplary judge to be proud of for McHenry County.

  20. The red sign brigade has a problem understanding “dirt” as opposed to “truth”.

    And they can’t handle the truth!!!

  21. I agree with the Marine.

    Truth is not dirt.

    Boethius is a little sad man.

    No wonder he is a Cowlin supporter.

  22. Rob, when you say,

    “I’m sure if roles were reversed I’m Confident Mrs Schenk would filed a complaint against us,”

    I’m not entirely convinced.

    Be honest with us: what role did you have in preparing these ethics complaints?

  23. Thank you Cynthia Schenk for having the guts to stand up to the establishment

  24. How many Cowlin lawyers does it take to send out a correct mailer?

    Four plus a non lawyer, one lawyer to run for judge, three to proof it, and Cynthia to point out how the law wasn’t followed.

  25. freaky or not!

    Zinke couldn’t help himself with the Bird

    Cowlin could not put “Paid for” on his mailer

    Zinke couldn’t man up over it

    Cowlin didn’t man up on this

    Zinke didn’t want service on the complaint

    Cowlin tried to dodge service

    Zinke expected election

    Cowlin expects election

    Zinke was his own worst enemy

    Cowlin supplies the ammo for this election

    Does anyone know if these two are related?

  26. Boethius: there is not one person including yourself that doubts that Mr. Schenk and the rest of the Cowlin camp would not hesitate to file a complaint against Demetri if he had violated election code / laws like Cowlin has.

    Furthermore it is not Demetri’s problem that Cowlin’s campaign team consists of lawyers and no one knows the codes/laws?

    Stop attacking

    Mr. Hanlon because you are mad that he spoke the truth.

  27. Kudos to Erika! Observer, Your spot on!

    Interesting point that Cowlin has not denied any of Cynthia’s allegations.

    That speaks volumes about Cowlin’s integrity.

    We know she was right on the mailer and its clear from the court files that Cowlin pretended to be an impartial judge while hearing cases involving his campaign workers.

    Why hasnt cowlin denied he did what Cynthia put in her complaint?

  28. Boethius said:

    “Rob, when you say, “I’m sure if roles were reversed I’m Confident Mrs Schenk would filed a complaint against us,” I’m not entirely convinced. Be honest with us: what role did you have in preparing these ethics complaints?”

    Wow Boethius, talk about paranoia, making a statement with such an allegation that when you consider it came from you, it has no credibility.

    Gosh, have you seen any of those black helicopters lately? AZsupporter, claims to have seen them and even said they’re pretty

    As far as Rebecca Lee, the people have many valid complaints about her role as it relates the Courthouse, McHenry County Politics and Judge Cowlin.

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