Letters to the Editor


Gov. Bruce Rauner seeks the power to appoint high court justices. To prevent him from attaining that power, it is critical that we elect Democratic Appellate Court and Supreme Court Judges.

We are fortunate to have two Democratic candidates rated “highly qualified” by the nonpartisan Illinois State Bar Association evaluations committee. They are seeking two separate Appellate Court Judge seats in Illinois’ 5th district. Neither of their opponents were recommended by the bar poll conducted by lawyers of both parties.

Brad Beyer, of Williamson County, has 12 years of judicial experience and 21 years as a trial attorney. He has served as circuit judge for the First Judicial District in Southern Illinois since 2004. Bleyer is a former teacher, coach and factory worker. He has been an avid sportsman and hunter for more than 40 years.

His opponent is John Barberis, of Madison County. Barberis received a “not qualified” rating in 2014 for the Appellate Court position. Gov. Rauner has dove hunted with Barberis on his farm in St. Jacob, IL. This just doesn’t pass the smell test.

Jo Beth Weber, of Mt. Vernon, is seeking a separate Appellate Court Judge seat. She has 25 years of legal experience. She has 15 years experience as a legal adviser to Appellate Court Judges. She has been the Resident Circuit Judge in Mt. Vernon since 2012. Jo Beth has volunteered as a Sunday School teacher for children in Mt. Vernon for the past 17 years.

Gene Robke, Carlyle