* I told subscribers recently that the Cook County Democratic Party Chairman had informed ward and township committeemen that “all access to the Votebuilder voter file for committeemen has been suspended.”
Chairman Joe Berrios explained the access had been cut “due to the terms of the new contract between the Democratic Party of Illinois and the national provider for the file.”
The Sun-Times takes a longer look…
John Arena, the alderman and Democratic committeeman for the 45th Ward, says Berrios recently told him he could not get the voter file because his ward organization is “not endorsing the full slate.”
It’s a slate that includes state Rep. Maria Antonia “Toni” Berrios. She’s one of Joe Berrios’ three offspring (the other two being aides in the county assessor’s office that their dad leads).
Arena’s 45th Ward Democrats and some other ward organizations have strayed from the rest of the party flock to support challenger Will Guzzardi, who nearly unseated Toni Berrios in the last election and now is getting help from the Chicago Teachers Union.
Some committeemen who asked for and were denied the voter file also broke ranks with the bosses to support Nancy Schiavone against newly appointed state Rep. Jaime Andrade. He’s a longtime loyalist in Dick Mell’s 33rd Ward Democratic organization who replaced Mell’s daughter Deb in the General Assembly when she left Springfield to take dad’s longtime seat at the City Council. […]
Jay Travis, who’s challenging Democratic state Rep. Christian Mitchell of Chicago, says getting enough signatures to appear on the primary ballot should have qualified her to get a copy of the voter file.
She ran into reality when her campaign asked the state Democratic Party for help.
In an e-mail that Travis shared with the Chicago Sun-Times, a state party official told her campaign manager, “Please be advised that your request for access to VoteBuilder for Jhatoyn ‘Jay’ Travis during the 2014 primary cycle has been denied due to: Challenging an incumbent.”
Essentially, the party pays for the VoteBuilder file, and the party makes endorsements. And if those endorsements are defied, then the party feels it has the right to deny access to the file.
This unruliness has irked Speaker Madigan for years. He was behind a county party rule change some time ago that threatened committeemen with losing their party posts if they backed a challenger to a slated candidate. That didn’t work. So, since so many committeemen were defying the slating process, access to the voter file was completely cut off.