Thursday, February 7, 2013

Zero Sum Justice

judge, jury, executionerNot since the US Government dispatched last night's predator drone to terminate with extreme prejudice some hapless schmoe over in the Middle East, has institutional summary justice this callous been observed. Your LakeCountyEye refers, of course, to Willard Helander's successful effort at removing James Creighton Mitchell Jr. from the ballot.

Perennial candidate The hardest working candidate in Lake County, Mitchell had submitted signatures and paperwork to qualify him for four slots on the April election ballot:
  • Lake Villa Elementary District 41
  • Antioch-Lake Villa Area High School District 117
  • College of Lake County
  • Lake Villa Library District
Mitchell was on track to score some sort of Lake County ballot hat-trick, that is until Lake County Clerk Willard Helander stopped him with a full-court power play. According to the Daily Herald ...
Knowing Mitchell was pursuing four seats in the April 9 election, Helander sought advice from the Lake County state's attorney's office, which represents her staff. Attorneys advised Helander that simultaneously serving on multiple school boards is a conflict, she said. Helander then reported the potential conflict to the three school agencies, which removed Mitchell from their candidate lists because he hadn't withdrawn from contention by a Jan. 3 deadline.
Lake County candidate knocked off three ballots
Who decides whether or not elected offices are in conflict? Apparently not Mitchell, who did not have an opportunity to contest Helander's ruling. Rough justice? Operatives are asked to decide for themselves.

According to the Illinois Candidate's Guide ...
Nomination papers shall be deemed to be valid unless objections are filed in writing (an original and one copy) within five business days after the last day for filing nomination papers. The objector's petitions are filed with the same office in which the nominating petitions are filed. [10 ILCS 5/7-13, 10-8]

State of Illinois CANDIDATE'S GUIDE 2013
Your LakeCountyEye observes that Mitchell was removed from the ballot without a written objection from anyone.

Also, according to the same guide ...
May a candidate file for more than one office?
Yes, however, he must withdraw from all but one office within five business days following the last day of petition filing, if the offices are incompatible. If he does not withdraw from all but one incompatible office, his name will not be certified for any office.[10 ILCS 5/7-12]

State of Illinois CANDIDATE'S GUIDE 2013
Mitchell was unable to withdraw from any office because he learned the offices were incompatible long after the withdrawal deadline had passed -- and at the time he was removed from all of them.

Note to operatives: serving on these school and library boards is a thankless task. Zero pay gets you an incommensurate amount of responsibility plus facetime with whackadoo single-issue constituents. Does anyone wonder why these positions go unfilled? Your LakeCountyEye thinks Mitchell should have been lauded for taking four one for the team. And not unceremoniously dispatched to the scrapheap of history.

Your LakeCountyEye is not eligible to vote in Lake Villa. But if your LakeCountyEye was -- or if your LakeCountyEye was a wholesale perpetrator of voter fraud -- there would be at least one ballot where every office would have a write-in for James Creighton Mitchell Jr. -- a Lake County hero.

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