The Mike and Lisa show: How judges are picked in Cook County

Mike Madigan made a little list of lawyers he considered “excellent” candidates for associate judges’ jobs and passed it on to the 275 Cook County judges, who decide.

About half of those on Madigan’s list made political donations to his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the state’s highest law enforcement official.

Campaign contributions are common among lawyers vying for judgeships and are typically not large — but enough to indicate the donor recognizes the value of political participation.

It was this way in 2011. Did Lisa M. investigate this process? Can we imagine her doing so, state’s highest law enforcement official or not? Short answer is no. So is the long answer.

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