Friday, December 4, 2009

Q the Eye/12.04.09

Dear LakeCountyEye,

How does someone get on the ballot in the Eighth Congressional District, where we need a real Democrat? I personally went out and collected my minimum 890 petition signatures. Or was it 876? OK, let's say eight and change. But now a rubberstamp panel of election judges ruled I can't be on the ballot because of some legal technicality. Isn't that unconstitutional? Don't the voters deserve a choice?

Far-Flung Off the Ballot
Dear Fahrvergn├╝gen,

Your LakeCountyEye shares in your outrage towards that ruling. Everyone should be entitled to their 15 minutes of fame whether they deserve any or not.

About your lament that the Eighth District voters deserve a choice: the latest numbers indicate there are 7 or 8 or 9 -- let's say an even dozen -- Republicans hoping to challenge Melissa Bean from the right. (No mean feat.) Also Bill & Randi Scheurer have been running from the left as a tag-team against Bean. It's Bill's turn at the plate, who is running as a Green this time. Now, in a typical Congressional race expect to see (1) an incumbent running against (2) no one else. Your LakeCountyEye thinks the voters in the Eighth already have more choices than they can deal with.

Of course, petition challenges seem to be the norm for the Eighth District. In 2007 there were two Democrats running against Bean -- Randi Scheurer and some other forgotten chumbolone candidate. The chumbolone filed only about 95% of the minimum required petition signatures -- sort of like he was asking to be tossed off the ballot. Still, one didn't need to be a Karl Rove to have advised Scheurer to just ignore the petition shortfall. Scheurer had no reasonable chance of beating Bean. In fact, no one expected Bean to even campaign or show up at the sponsored debates. But with at least some breathing chumbolone to debate against, Scheurer would have gotten her opportunity to take the podium, air her issues, talk to the press, etc.

Long story short, however, Scheurer not only had the opponent thrown off the ballot, she filed the challenge personally.
Illinois State Board of Elections
(Ordinarily campaigns get some willing accomplice to do this sort of dirty work.)
Zion man files objection to Bean challenger
With no one to debate with, Scheurer predictably was not invited to be a debate participant. And on top of that she had a potential Democratic ally pee-ohed at her. Your LakeCountyEye is still scratching the LakeCountyEye noggin over that play.

Anyways, fast forward to 2009 and the chumbolone is back with 100% of the required signatures. (Give or take a handful.) Randi Scheurer is sitting this election out. And it's up to Bean this time to dispatch a willing accomplice to get her competitor thrown off the ballot.

And quicker than you can say deja vu, it's like he was asking to be tossed off the ballot all over again: "The only thing I can think of (is) I lost a sheet."
Bean challenger removed from ballot
Pioneer Press
... while playing to the press like he was sucker punched. All over again: "I always felt whoever wanted to run should be able to run."

So how does someone get on the ballot in the Eighth District? Just run as a Green next time, Grasshopper. As a Green, you'll only need to get five signatures to qualify, ten max. (Do fifteen to be safe.) And who knows, next time it may be you filing the papers in 2011 to get Randi Scheurer knocked off the ballot.

If you are an elected official, or a previously elected official, or just a private citizen under indictment, send your political questions to Q the Eye c/o ...

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