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‘Background, experience’ are key

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

I, Henry S. Dixon, have been an active attorney for 47 years. I am 78 years old and in excellent health. I have tried some 267 jury trials and have appeared before the State Appellate and Supreme Courts in more than 75 cases.

My opponent has never handled an appeal and has tried, at best, 25 jury trials, many as “second chair.” When you compare our respective experience, consider that while Anna Sacco-Miller has tried approximately 25 jury trials, Henry S. Dixon has tried 17 homicide trials as part of his 267 total jury trials. 

My background and experience are important and relevant to this state’s attorney’s campaign. In private practice, my extensive civil practice included civil lawsuits, criminal and traffic defense, business and corporate law. I handled contracts, trusts and other matters, collectively called transactional law.

As the state’s attorney, I handle many diverse matters for the county that requires a background in the above areas. I have that background; my opponent does not. 

The first thing that people say about Anna is that she is so nice and friendly. That is, no doubt, true. The question is whether those are the qualities that make for an effective state’s attorney.

I submit that being nice, friendly and engaging are not the qualities needed for this position. Being intelligent, tough but enlightened, energetic, experienced, and keenly alert are the qualities needed. Of the two candidates in this race, I am the only one with all of those qualities. When Anna and I debate later this month, I think you will understand what I mean. 

Anna has an area of law in which she excels, juvenile court and divorce, generally described as “family law.” I readily acknowledge that she does a good job in family law. 

When Anna was asked to comment on the fact that I have an “A” rating in the only recognized rating system for attorneys in the U.S., while to date she has been unable to get rated at even the lowest level, she stated, “So what, this is Dixon, Illinois.”

Likewise, she has the same attitude about the fact that I have been elected by the state’s attorneys to the board of directors of both the State’s Attorneys Association and the Appellate Prosecutor’s Office. It is obvious that those honors reflect my recognized capabilities of legal ability and leadership among my fellow state’s attorneys. Since my opponent has no such capacity, her response is, “So what.”

Well, I submit that these accomplishments reflect a significant difference between the candidates, a difference that voters should consider. No trial or appellate court has ever criticized me for ineffective representation of a client. Anna Sacco-Miller cannot say the same. 

Here’s the bottom line. Far more than political affiliation, the quality and qualifications for the office of state’s attorney are paramount. Of the two candidates, one, Henry S. Dixon, has all of those qualities. The other does not. 

Thank you for your consideration and, hopefully, for your vote.

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