Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hey! Running for office was my idea

If you were seeking professionals to run your campaign only to see these professionals turn around and run against you, wouldn't this be considered cheating in some way?

Amy Sue Mertens wanted to run against state Sen. Rickey "Hollywood" Hendon, so she went in to see the campaign consultants at Grainger Terry last summer to determine whether she'd like to hire them to help run her campaign.

She sat down with Jonathan Bedi and Phil Molfese and answered their questions about how she would conduct her campaign, raise funds, etc.

They parted without any deal to represent her.

Ten days later, she was surprised to find that Bedi had filed signatures to run for that state Senate seat against Hendon with Molfese as his campaign manager.

"He at no point ever mentioned he had political aspirations -- it was all business," Mertens said.

She called their actions "an outrageous violation of professional ethics" and filed a complaint against Bedi with the state agency that disciplines lawyers. Bedi holds a law license, though he works at Grainger Terry, a consulting firm. He previously was a corporate counsel for Navistar.

He and Molfese said after meeting Mertens they decided she did not have what it takes to beat Hendon -- so they decided to try it themselves.

"I was excited about the possibility of having someone run against Sen. Hendon," Bedi said. "After meeting with her, I realized she was no different than Sen. Hendon."

Asked how they could start a campaign, collect the necessary signatures and file them within the 10 days between their meeting with Mertens and their announcing Bedi's candidacy, Molfese said, "I do this for a living. It's not hard."
Article from the Sun-Times today.


ill_atty,  1:21 PM  

I don't get it. How is it "cheating"? I mean I thought we lived in a democracy where anyone can run. Besides, as a lawyer I have a really hard time seeing how it was an ARDC violation in any way shape or form. I mean, she wasn't even consulting with him for legal advice. It just looks like Martens is engaging in dirty rotten politics to me. That's my thought anyway.

Anonymous,  1:25 PM  

Anybody should be able to run. This is America! I think the best candidate should be voted into office.

Stephanie 1:31 PM  

As far as I can tell, no contract/agreement was signed or even talked about. Besides, nothing is keeping her from having a viable campaign except for her focusing on Mr. Bedi and blaming him for her shortcomings. The voters are looking for the best possible candidate; just because she was interested in running doesn't mean that others can't do the same. We deserve to see and hear all candidates so that we may get the best person in office.

Geetanjali 1:51 PM  

Is Merten's grabbing on to anything she can get her hands on? It was her choice to share her thoughts with Bedi. It is obvious she is now very nervous and definately under-estimated J.Bedi's drive and strong commitment towards the job. Let's talk about the people and how a candidate can better serve his/her community!!!

Rich Collins 1:54 PM  

Do you have any evidence whatsoever that Bedi started his campaign prior to the meeting? If not then you should really retract your statements as hearsay.

Otherwise this would appear to be an emotional response and an attempt at character assassination.

Lee,  9:21 PM  

If Bedi knew he was running before he met with Mertens, then he misrepresented himself and that's extremely unethical, regardless of whether there's anything technically illegal or wrong about it. Even if he really didn't decide until after meeting with her, that's still really questionable. And if he decided that quickly -- would you want someone that rash to represent you in Springfield? There's an unspoken contract of confidentiality in that kind of meeting -- you don't then go use that trust against someone publicly. We have a enough of this kind of trash in Springfield already.

And how exactly is Mertens anything like Hendon? That's really cheap.

Bedi's website doesn't even mention transportation as an issue in the district. What does he know?

Anonymous,  9:34 PM  

AngrySue is that you?

WCCA,  12:01 AM  

Senator Ricky Hendon is a buffoon, a sexist and sexual harasser.
Just ask the former Republican Senator about his comments about her pubic hair and underage sex.
Just ask his colleagues about his rough housing and knocking women over. In most circles this would be assault, battery, sexual harrasment, maybe even sexual battery.

He plays hard and fast with ethics and with the grants he gets from the State.

Anonymous,  9:05 AM  

Since when do you have to disclose any or all of your personal aspirations to a client??

hank1980,  10:38 AM  

We often hear people say, "If you think you can do better, do it yourself" personally I applaud Bedi for deciding to get involved and try to do it better. If he felt that AmySue did not have a good strategy, and she did not want to take his advice, well then it is not only his prerogative but his duty to run against Hendon, to get him out of office. In order to run, you have to live in the district, so it is not as though he has no interest in how the district is run.I say congratulations on having the guts to run, and open up yourself, and your family to the kind of dross that campaigning involves.

Felicia,  3:01 PM  

I agree with Hank1980. This is a great opportunity for decent representation from Bedi. He sounds earnest and able against Hendon.

I honestly don't understnad what Mertens is upset about. Its not like she had an idea for an amazing patent and Bedi stole it from her. He is simpling doing his civic duty and trying to serve his country. We should applaud the efforts of these individuals who enter the field of politics.

Good Luck Mr. Bedi and should Ms. Mertens choose to run, may she find a better platform than name-calling.

Snidely Whiplash,  6:38 PM  

Sounds like they looked into it and found it extremely winnable. Maybe a bit opportunistic, but running for office is hardly some kind of trade secret that no consultant can do if mentioned to him by a potential client.

I think maybe next time she should plan ahead, learn more about the process herself, and if she decides to hire consultants, get them on board early.

Still, in her defense, I don't think I've ever heard of anything like this happening before. Pretty slick.

Anonymous,  10:07 PM  

Jonathan Bedi is the biggest cheater out there. Not only does he have the doorman at his residency building ask every person to "okease sign this sheet" ( the sheet to get him on the ballot), he disrespects every resident. He has multiple parking violations, and allows his little minions to park in the resident loading zones. He is disrespectful of the neighborhood and I urge everyone NOT to vote for him.

Rich Collins 1:41 AM  

Care to back that with up with any facts whatsoever, "Anonymous"?

Anonymous,  10:26 AM  

Mertens is a pathological liar. Trust me. I live in her building.

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