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Houston, we have a round-tabling problem

Thursday, Dec 5, 2013

* Remember that story yesterday about the Chicago Republican Party preparing to challenge the petitions of the planted Republican candidate who is “opposing” Speaker Michael Madigan?

Well, the Chicago GOP may indeed have a valid point. From Illinois Review

It’s Mr. Goggin’s petitions and signatures that the Chicago GOP started scouring this week, hoping to find enough duplications and errors to oust Goggin from the 22nd House District 2014 GOP primary ballot slot.

The Chicago GOP isn’t just blowin’ smoke, either. They’ve found signatures that are already raising questions - just as they are getting started. And, Chicago GOP’s spokesman Chris Cleveland says, they’re really in need of help to go over each signature before next Monday.

Here’s what they’ve found thus far - an uncanny amount of signatures that appear to be the same handwriting, most often from the same reported address:

A representative sample of scans of what are alleged to be from the Madigan opponent’s petitions…


Click here for more of the same.

If the Republicans can kick this guy off the ballot, or use evidence of fraud to force him to resign, the GOP can then appoint a “real” candidate to the race.

…Adding… As someone pointed out in comments, this could be a case of household members signing for everybody. If that’s true, then it’s doubtful there would be any huge legal problems, but those sigs would be discarded.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - anon - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    the printed name and the address can be filled in by the circulator–the signature line is the only requirement for the registered voter.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:33 pm:

    If they can do it, go for it! Again, if you are going for it, don’t fail.

    Another point, if they are going to appoint in that race, then you better make it “count” and have more than a “we won, yea us!” and have a GOP appointee who might as well BE Terrence Goggin.

    Take your shot, but don’t miss.

    I stand by my post(s) yesterday, and again make the point, not running someone against MJM, and then making a point about “someone” running still is very lame.

  3. - Mighty M. Mouse - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    ===the printed name and the address can be filled in by the circulator–the signature line is the only requirement for the registered voter. ===

    Those first five signatures all look like they were written by the same person to me.

  4. - Mighty M. Mouse - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:41 pm:

    ===the printed name and the address can be filled in by the circulator–the signature line is the only requirement for the registered voter. ===

    The last two signatures look very similar also.

  5. - Nosmo King - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:41 pm:

    HFS, Batman. Is the ward organization slipping? Or, maybe, just maybe, this is proof the speaker didn’t put him up.

  6. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:41 pm:

    Maybe they’ve been doing this for so long, they figured nobody would bother checking. Hard to believe 13th Warders would stoop to round-tabling, but those petitions sure look hinky to my untrained eye.

    Madigan and his team better get used to a heightened level of scrutiny from now on. Everybody is watching every move and there is no margin for error anymore.

  7. - Just Me - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:41 pm:

    “…do they really think that MJM’s organization is careless enough to muck up Groggins’ petitions?”

    - R. Miller, December 4, 2013

    Maybe they’re all too busy with their new government jobs to do a good job at collecting signatures!

    (Sorry, couldn’t help it.)

  8. - where's the credibility? - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:42 pm:

    You think Anita Alvarez might actually open up a perjury investigation there? :)

    One can hope.

  9. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:44 pm:

    Pretty sloppy on the 13th wards part. The examples look like someone in the same household signing for everyone which is pretty common. It is pretty stupid to do it, though, if you are already trying to pull a fast one on the electorate.

    Even if there are enough valid signatures, the GOP could use this evidence to threaten the volunteers with serious charges which would then force the 13th ward to fold Goggins tent.

    Somebody high up in the 13th is going to be in big trouble with the boss.

    BTW, I’ll bet spokesman Brown will stop making comments about the Repubs having bad days

  10. - Are Ya Kiddin Me? - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:44 pm:

    Real candidate, smeal candidate, the GOP just wasting valuable time and resources. It’s the 13th Ward….the reason the Chicago GOP didn’t file a candidate, is that there are not enough registered Repubs in the 13th Ward to sign petitions (and the Speaker knows who they are, where they live and most importantly where they work).

  11. - 100 Miles West - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    They look hinky to my trained eye.

  12. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    What ever happened to Michelle For Illinois?
    Who said Pat Brady had all the dopey ideas?
    Big ovation for Jack Doorigun

  13. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    BTW, this is not round tabling. The whole point of round tabling is so petitions don’t look like this…which is so obviously bad.

  14. - Nosmo King - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:49 pm:

    =BTW, I’ll bet spokesman Brown will stop making comments about the Repubs having bad days=

    Why would he do that, exactly?

  15. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:51 pm:

    So who are they going to run?

  16. - just asking - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:56 pm:

    Is this a swing district?

  17. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:59 pm:

    Keep in mind they were not limited to just attaining signatures in the 13th Ward. Some of Madigan’s legislative district goes west into the 23rd. If all of Goggin’s signatures are from only the 13th Ward, that is a big red flag.

  18. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:01 pm:

    Oh cmon. Yes, these sigs are pretty clearly phony. And yes, they may even be able to knock the plant off the ballot. And then what? Anyone seriously doubt the Speaker will win re-election in his own district?

  19. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:05 pm:

    –Real candidate, smeal candidate, the GOP just wasting valuable time and resources–

    Time they have plenty of. Resources, not so much. But it they can sting MJM, they should go for it. Why wouldn’t they?

    What PJW said. The whole point of roundtabling is to mix it up. At first blush, this just looks lazy, sloppy and stupid.

  20. - OneMan - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:06 pm:

    If the authorities decide to look closer into it (they did out by me once) it could get awkward for some folks.

    Not holding my breath however…

  21. - reformer - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:13 pm:

    If this were DuPage County, forged petition signatures lead to prosecution for fraud. (Ask Rod McCullough.) But this is the county of Cook. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for anyone to be held accountable for forgery there.

  22. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    I understood “round-tabling” to be a catch-all phrase to describe petition fraud in general. But yes, if you want to be precise, this isn’t round-tabling. It’s plain old forgery.

    I’d hate to be the circulator on this sheet. There will be some awkward questions coming your way soon. Hope you’re ready with answers.

  23. - chad - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:16 pm:

    In the cases where one person in the household signs for everyone in that household, which might be the case here, the result in court is that only the name signed by the actual person counts, and the names he “signed for” are eliminated. If this happens a few time in the petition, there is really no problem. In order to throw the candidate’s name off the ballot for this problem, it has to be repeated so often in the document that it becomes a “pattern of fraud”. The Chicago and Cook County electoral boards almost never throws candidates off for this.

  24. - chad - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:18 pm:

    The State Board has jurisdiction in this case, and they rarely find a “pattern of fraud” when there are a few instances of this particular problem. There has to be much more.

  25. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:20 pm:

    –I’d hate to be the circulator on this sheet. There will be some awkward questions coming your way soon.–

    Back in the day, there was a state rep. candidate out in the Quads (can’t remember the name) who had a circulator who had obviously spent most of his time watching daytime reruns.

    Entire pages were filled with old sitcom character names. Jed Clampettt. Ellie Mae Clampett. Jethro Bodine. Oliver Douglas. Lisa Douglas. Arnold Ziffle (who was a pig, by the way).

  26. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:24 pm:

    If only there was a ballot access system that didn’t encourage chicanery like this, treated all candidates equally instead of favoring two parties while discriminating against everyone else, didn’t require the clogging of courts while handwriting experts weigh in on signatures like this, would let candidates focus on campaigning instead of paying costly election lawyers, actually brought in extra much needed revenue to the election boards instead of wasting their time and resources every election cycle comparing silly signatures, obeyed Article III. Section 3 of the state constitution and the 1st and 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, and encouraged more political participation to help reduce the massive number of unopposed elections where typically 60% of the General Assembly have run without opposition for the past 30 years.

    Oh wait, more than 30 states already have ballot access filing fee systems that work just fine and would get rid of all this useless nonsense? If only our legislators had some intelligence and ethics when it comes to the principles of democracy.

  27. - Falstaff - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    that looks pretty bad. Hard to believe the Madigan crew was this careless…

  28. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:44 pm:

    Just the fact that these were submitted shows massive incompetence even if they aren’t illegal. Very well could be a few isolated cases of someone signing for the whole house, but still, you don’t turn those signatures in.

    I had signatures turned into me much like this, probably by “plants” trying to sabotage the petition drive or people trying to make a dishonest buck. Those signatures were found and didn’t go anywhere near the election board. A competent campaign would remove these pages and go out and get more.

    In any event, its beyond silly that an election board or the courts are going to have to deal with this stupidity when all they really need to do is deposit filing fee checks into their accounts.

  29. - Snucka - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:48 pm:

    Why would the 13th Ward Dems waste their time on this? The district is overwhelmingly Democratic and any GOP opponent would get crushed. As Rich pointed out, the Chicago GOP couldn’t even get it together to slate a real candidate.

    I guess maybe they’re bored with no big primary challenges to work, but it just seems silly.

  30. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:50 pm:

    It has been a trial for the Speaker this year, hasn’t it ? I can’t believe that his organization would be so careless in petition matters.

    My Mom lives in assisted living in the west suburbs with a former resident of the 13th. This lady said that the ward is primarily populated by a public employees. When someone moves out of the ward, the house never makes it to the MLS, because another public employee is moved in almost to the day the former owner moves out. This is how Madigan never loses according to her. Sounds plausible and well thought out to me…vintage Madigan strategy.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:53 pm:

    If … a “circulator” was brought in by the Board of Elections …


    “Circulator”, Alleged, 13th Ward minion takes a
    drink of water.

    Hearing Officer - Mr. Smith. From the year 1990 to the present time, you were a volunteer to some… poitical candidates, and to put them on the ballot?

    Mr. Smith - That’s right.

    H. O. - But in actuality, you were a member
    of the 13th Ward organization.

    Smith - The Family, Sir. We called it, “The Family”.

    H. O. - What position did you occupy?

    Smith - At first, like everybody, I was a “helper”.

    View of Board Member #1

    A thin, angular Professional with a Mid-Western accent.

    Board Member - What is that exactly?

    Smith - A button. You know.

    B. M. #1 - No, I don’t know, explain that exactly.

    Smith - When the Precinct Captain says push the button on a family to vote, sign a petiton, whatever, I push the button, see?

    The Board Member treats Smith with a surface courtesy, as if he were a curious.

    Smith reacts to this by being even more brutally forthright than he has to be, to show his contempt for what he considers a hypocrisy.

    Mr. Jones, the Attorney for the Board begins to ask questions.

    Jones - You mean you got people to vote, sign pettitons, put up yard signs at the behest of your superiors?

    Smith - That’s right, counsellor.

    Jones - And the head of your family is Michael J. Madigan.

    Smith - Yeah, counsellor, Michael Madigan.

    B. M. - Did you ever get such an order directly from Michael J. Madigan?

    Smith - No, Sir, I never talked to him.

    Board Member #2 (very autocratic, deep Southside, gentlemanly man) - There was always a buffer, someone in between you who gave you orders?

    Smith - Yeah, a buffer, the Family has alot of buffers.

    And …. Scene.

  32. - Boone's is Back - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:22 pm:

    ===If the Republicans can kick this guy off the ballot, or use evidence of fraud to force him to resign, the GOP can then appoint a “real” candidate to the race.===

    And what “real” candidate would step in front of that bullet? I agree with Snucka’s comment above. Maybe the campaign would be good to generate press, but that is about all.

  33. - Willie Stark - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:26 pm:

    500 valid signatures required; disqualifying those in which a family member signed for others in the household, the most likely explanation for what happened here, that would knock off 32 signatures based on what’s been posted. But, hey, enjoy the false hopes (based on two of the most credible sources in the state, Illinois Review and the Chicago Republican Party) and get your press releases ready to blame the board of elections for being in on the conspiracy when Goggin stays on the ballot. Then, on to the next windmill, Sancho Panzas!

  34. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:30 pm:

    Do not “go for it” unless you know you got it.

    It’s bad enough no GOP candidate was recruited when Goggin filed, but to swing and miss, that would be Keystone Kops, tragically funny and pathetic. Make absolutely sure you have it.

  35. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:38 pm:

    “And what “real” candidate would step in front of that bullet?”

    I believe the GOP representative in the Dane Placo piece said that they have been saving all year for this campaign, so it might be easier than you think to get someone to run. (this is snark)

    (This is not) If they really were saving for a run, why didn’t they field a candidate? Are their not enough Repub signatures to gwt a candidate on the ballot?

    I think if no one files the comitteeman can appoint a candidate-which I guess was the plan.

  36. - Snucka - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:54 pm:

    “Then the Board of Elections commissioners told me: Michael Madigan did this, Michael Madigan did that… and I said, ‘Yea, sure!’. But it was all lies. All of it”

  37. - Lil Squeezy - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 3:11 pm:

    This is present in many candidates petitions. I have found signatures like these in most petition checks I have been apart of, and in nearly every case there is enough valid to remain on the ballot.

  38. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 8:19 pm:

    Whether they kick him off the ballot or end-up appointing some other “real” Republican candidate, won’t either fellow or Ms. end-up with a “real” big defeat in the Speaker’s District in the end, ANYhow…?!

  39. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:07 pm:

    Trying to toss off signatures is a huge task. It’s much faster if you can toss out whole sheets.

    It’s late, but if there are any capfax folks out there, I have two questions:

    1) Can a circulator’s sheets be thrown out if it can be shown that at least some of the sheets they circulated had one person signing multiple lines? On the affidavit at the bottom, the circulator swears to have witnessed all of the signatures.

    2) The odd thing I noticed in yesterday’s news video was that the date on affidavit shown for Angela Reyes sheet had only the month, not the day (2:35 on the Fox 32 news video). I don’t know if that is considered significant.

    My goal would be to disqualify circulators and their sheets.

  40. - BoBo - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:41 pm:

    I believe you can throw out whole sheets the person circulated if you can identify a pattern of fraud. That is subject to the election board. A person signing for his whole household hasn’t usually been interpreted as fraud.

    If a sheet is not properly dated and signed it could be tossed as well but it still is subjective.

    What can also happen is if you can identify a pattern of fraud you can get the circulator in big trouble. Usually with these small campaigns the circulators are close to the candidate and they bow out to keep their peeps out of the court system.

  41. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:47 pm:

    - BoBo -,

    I don’t know if that is wishful thinking, or a scare, but the board will look at this based on ballot access versus criminal intent, because that is what a challenge is for - ballot access.

    The rest if hyperbole usually by those who think they may be close to knocking someone off, but need then to withdraw because there are enough valid signatures to stay on the ballot.

  42. - BoBo - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:42 pm:


    It’s neither wishful thinking or a scare… just what I’ve seen happen. But your right, it’s usually just a ploy. An effective one at times though.

  43. - ash - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 10:27 am:

    If the Republicans do get a “real” candidate on the ballot, I hope every teacher in the state makes the drive to the district to help knock on doors and drum up support. Madigan hurt a lot of people!

  44. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 10:41 am:

    The Republicans will not put a “real” candidate on the ballot. They would be foolish to spend their limited campaign funds to try to defeat Madigan in a district he drew for himself.

    Now, if they were willing to work with the unions to find a moderate Republican and put union feet on the ground game and union money into ads…they would still fail. All that time and money would be much better spent in swing districts.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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