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How the Dems and GOP keep their stranglehold...

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  • How the Dems and GOP keep their stranglehold...

    Illinois LP demands that Republicans abide by election law

    Illinois election officials should follow state law and prevent President Bush from appearing on the November ballot as the Republican presidential candidate, says Jeff Trigg, executive director of the Illinois Libertarian Party. Trigg is trying to convince officials either to uphold the law by keeping Bush off the ballot, or to eliminate the obstacles for all candidates.

    "Republicans wrote these rules and they should live by them," Trigg said. "They made their bed and now they must lie in it by petitioning to get on the ballot, just like they require of us."

    Current law requires the Illinois Board of Elections to certify the names that will appear on the general election ballot 67 days before the election. This year that deadline is Aug. 27.

    But Bush will not be nominated until Sept. 1, when the GOP holds its national convention in New York City. Therefore, his name cannot legally appear on the ballot as a Republican unless the law is changed, Trigg points out.

    The proper solution, he says, is for the board to insist that Bush's name appear as an independent -- as the law allows -- or to ease ballot access for all political parties, not just the Republicans.

    Instead Republicans and Democrats are collaborating to enact a new law that would carve out an exception only for Bush, which is "nothing les than favoritism and a mockery of the principles of democracy," Trigg said. On March 25, the state Senate unanimously approved SB 2123, which would allow only Republicans and Democrats to be nominated after the deadline, while leaving the requirements the same for all other candidates.

    The Illinois LP responded by holding a press conference on March 30 at which they demanded that the Illinois House refuse to pass the bill and called on Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, to veto the measure if it was approved by the legislators.

    "The Senate bill doesn't change the deadline; it just lets them ignore it for 2004," Trigg said.

    Since Republicans knew about the deadline in Illinois before they set their convention date, they could have simply held their convention before the August 27 deadline, Trigg pointed out.

    But instead they "deliberately ignored the rule of law and arrogantly expected the law to be changed just for them," he said.

    The current effort to sidestep the law isn't the first time Republicans have engaged in such election-year shenanigans, he pointed out.

    In 1998, then-Secretary of State George Ryan, who was running for governor, put his state employees to work challenging petitions collected by Libertarians, and succeeded in knocking seven Libertarians -- including LP gubernatorial candidate Jim Tobin -- off the ballot. Ryan won the election by only a 4 percent margin.

    In the ensuing scandal, Ryan was indicted for improper use of state resources.

    At the March 30 press conference, the Illinois LP also called on the legislature to eliminate other disparities in election laws.

    For example, in the race for U.S. House District 1, the Republicans need 196 signatures to get on the ballot, while "new parties" and independents need 9,793 signatures.

    State law will also force the Libertarian Party to collect about 50,000 petition signatures in 90 days just to run its presidential and U.S. Senate candidates, making Illinois's restrictive ballot access one of the most arduous in the nation, Trigg said.

    In neighboring states such as Missouri and Wisconsin, gathering just 10,000 signatures would allow a political party to run for every partisan office in the state -- so the LP's request is more than reasonable, Trigg said.

    "In fact, with two-thirds of all General Assembly races unopposed in 2004, Illinois should be copying those states' election laws so more voters in Illinois will actually have a choice on the ballot," he added.

    "This whole episode shows that Republicans will even break the law in order to remove us from the ballot. Now it's time to insist that they live by the laws they create -- without giving themselves special rights."
    Make America Great For Once.

  • #2
    The reasons that hte two-party system continues to perpetuate itself are too numerous to mention.

    I think you know them already. =]
    When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."


    • #3
      Bush doesn't have a chance to win Illinois.

      Jessie Jackson and Mayor Daley-whose moral scruples are as pure as the white driven snow-will see to it.
      Jimmy Buffett quote of the week:

      "Open season on the open seas and Captain says no prisoners please. Skull and crossbones on a background of black. We ain't stealin' we're just takin' back ."

      - Jimmy Buffett, Take it Back, Boats, Beaches, Bars and Ballads Box Set

      "Now, she should be good-looking, but we're willing to trade looks for a certain... morally casual attitude."



      • #4
        Scott, I agree. It wouldn't be the end of the world if he didn't even have his name on the ballot.
        When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."


        • #5
          The Ghosts of the Daley's...cast a long shadow over Chicago politics...