The Rock Island Argus/Dispatch prints one of the craziest, most rambling, incredulous editorials I've read in a long while, and that's saying something. Their jihad against pending legislation that would prevent the insurance industry from opening a loophole in Illinois' civil laws reads like a verbatim press release from the Illinois Civil Justice League from start to finish, and they probably should have charged them their standard advertising rates for it.
The most embarrassing passage from the entire piece is this:
Consider this scenario offered by the Illinois Justice League, which has launched a campaign, DeepPocketsIllinois.com, to oppose the measure:
"Imagine that while traveling home from Springfield you get hit by a drunk driver. Neither you nor the other driver is injured, but a passenger riding with the drunk driver is thrown from the vehicle and severely injured. To add insult to injury, the drunken driver has no insurance.
"Although you were minimally at fault, the lawyers for the injured passenger settle out of court with the drunk driver. Now they are suing you for the full amount of damage. It doesn't seem fair that you and your insurance company should be on the hook for the full amount of damages, when you were only minimally at fault. Unfortunately, if the trial lawyers successfully pass 1296, situations like these could become typical civil procedure in Illinois courts."
Hold it right there, guys.
First, when was the last time you saw an editorial board advertise the website address of an interest group in its editorial? Never, maybe?
When was the last time you saw an editorial board provide a 127 word verbatim quote (six direct quotes in all) of a registered special interest group in an editorial? Never, maybe?
Finally, the bogus hypothetic question. When in Illinois do they think that a jury of 12 people is going to award a penny to someone dumb enough to get into a car with a drunk, unlicensed driver, then ram another car, and blame the driver whose car they hit? How about a lawyer dumb enough to take that case, knowing they'll never get paid? Never, maybe?
The Illinois Civil Justice League's hypothetical question might as well have started out "Imagine while traveling home from Mars...."
I've got a better hypothetical question:
Imagine the Illinois Civil Justice League -- backed by the Insurance Industry -- has given $2 million to Republican candidates over the last decade.
Imagine that the biggest business in Rock Island, John Deere, has given $200,000 to Republican candidates over the last decade.
Imagine that one of the biggest purchasers of advertising in the Rock Island Argus/Dispatch is that region's largest employer, John Deere.
Finally, imagine that both John Deere and the Illinois Civil Justice League wanted to prevent Democrats from closing a legal loophole (being created by activist judges) that would benefit insurance companies and big businesses -- at the expense of injured every day citizens -- and maybe even help elect a few Republicans in the process.
Hmmm....I wonder who John Deere and the ICJL could call on?
Sadly, that's not to hard to imagine at all.
The phone numbers for the Rock Island Argus/Dispatch can be found here.
[Hat Tip, CapitolFax]