Friday, March 11, 2011

The Finagle System

Operatives familiar with this blog ...
Newton's Law of Promotion
know that Jim Newton will likely be Lake County's newest Board Commissioner. Ops, though, may not know that Newton is likely to be Lake County's latest illegally appointed Board Commissioner. Newton, hand-picked by Board Chair David Stolman, will replace Board Commissioner Suzi Schmidt, who resigned. According to the Daily Herald, however ...
By law, her replacement had to be a Republican living in her district. Newton voted in eight GOP primaries between 1992 and 2006, according to the Lake County clerk’s office. In 2008, however, he voted in the Democratic primary, and that was the last time he voted in a primary election, Clerk Willard Helander said. Stolman was aware of Newton's voting record and doesn't think it disqualifies Newton from the post. Newton has professed to being a Republican, Stolman said, and his record shows a predilection for the GOP.
Reporter tapped to join Lake Co. board
Absolutely. But we are a nation, if not a County, of laws. Is Newton, in the eyes of the law, a registered Republican or Democrat? Your LakeCountyEye is but a simple county blogger, and will defer a legal question of that nature to the experts with the Lake County State's Attorney.

Operatives may recall that the County Board tackled a strikingly similar case back in 2009, when Collin O'Rourke was appointed to replace Bob Sabonjian. The issue then was whether O'Rourke was a member of the Democratic or the Green Parties. In 2008 O'Rourke voted with the Greens but in 2009 he took a Democratic ballot.

Then County Chair Suzi Schmidt solicited the opinion of the county State's Attorney. Michael Waller's office obliged with an unambiguous opinion that since O'Rourke last voted in a Democratic Primary, O'Rourke was a Democrat. No ifs ands or buts about it. Move along please.

The unambiguous details were reported on this blog ...
A Blink of the Eye: 07.14.09
Operatives demanding video proof can tune in to about 09:45 for the State's Attorney's unambiguous opinion:

Lake County Board 07-14-2009
Now fastforward to 2011. Jim Newton, by the State's Attorney and the County Board's own criteria, is a Democrat. Full stop. And appointing Newton to replace Schmidt would be a violation of Illinois State Statutes. Operatives are urged to call Michael Waller's office and demand that he arrest the County Board before they embarrass everyone again and vote to illegally appoint Newton to their Board. Send Waller the video!

Ha ha.

Your LakeCountyEye said it before and will say it again: The Lake County Board makes up its own rules as it goes along. Because Michael Waller can be counted on to carry water for the elephant. If Jim Newton says he's a Republican that's good enough for Chairman Stolman: Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!


LC Truth said...

Come on know in Lake County Government the mantra of "The Rules Don'T Apply To Us" is the way of life....and what party controls every aspect of Lake County?

Anonymous said...

One needs to read the law to see how it determines who is a Republican and Democrat-for example in Township government, The appointee shall establish his or her political party affiliation by his or her record of voting in party primary elections or by holding or having held an office in a political party organization before appointment. So here, he would be a Republican, as he voted as such many more times than as a Democrat.

Barney Baxter said...

hi Anon,

Thanks for the update.

The County State's Attorney Office read the exact same Statute -- and on 07/14/09 unambiguously stated before the County Board that a person's Party affiliation is solely determined by their MOST RECENT primary vote.

So if you are right, does that mean Michael Waller's Office is not competent to interpret Illinois election law?


Anonymous said...

Yes, as the law clearly uses the word "elections" plural-meaning you must look at more than one primary. IMHO

Anonymous said...

Well, IMHO, Waller has been brain dead for about 6 years.

Barney Baxter said...

hi Anon 6:58,

I've never personally met him. But I can take that on your authority.


Anonymous said...

Since Waller's opinion, which followed the prevailing opinions of the courts, it would appear that the Illinois Supreme Court stepped in and clarified matters on this issue and similar other issues:

I note with interest that the same position by the Democratic Party of Illinois in that case, seems to be the same with the Newton appointment.

The Supreme Court later followed up with the Rahm Emmanuel "residency" issue by ruling in favor of Emmanuel, or by looking at all the facts and not the very most recent act performed.


Looks like the self-proclaimed "non-partisan" blogger again is misguided on a legal issue. :-)

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Louis- I disagree with you on the import of the case cited. That case stands for the proposition that one can vote for any party and the run as a candidate for the opposing party in the ext election cycle. If does nothing to determine if an appointee is a "member" of a certain political party. There can really be no argument that if one votes Republican 8 times and as a Democrat one time-he is not a Republican. In fact, the case you cite seems to support that proposition-the candidate "always" voted Republican, but voted Democrat only once to vote for a relative-but maintained he was a Republican. Seems, this applies to the County Board situation.

Barney Baxter said...

hi Louis,

Apparently you are saying that Waller's opinion, pace Anon 8:58, is the correct opinion?

In that case, in the eyes of the law, both O'Rourke and Newton are Democrats.

Then does that mean the Lake County Board illegally seated Newton, last week, to replace Suzi Schmidt?


Anonymous said...

Clearly Barney you didn't read what the Illinois Supreme Court stated on this issue. That decision came out AFTER Waller's interpretation, which was the interpretation followed by everyone until the Illinois Supreme Court stated otherwise.

As a result, Newton is not "illegally" seated as you claim. His Republican credentials remain, just like Senator Raschenberger's Republican credentials were in order, and just like Rahm Emmanuel's "residency" was.

But to "non-partisan" Democratic partisan bloggers, when truth and the law interferes with a good argument, then ignore the truth and the law.

Louis G. Atsaves