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Unclear on the concept

Monday, Jun 30, 2014

* From Kristen McQueary in the Tribune

On signature gathering alone, Madigan’s defenders say members of Independent Maps didn’t follow the law. They didn’t get enough registered voters to sign their [remap reform] petitions.

But proving someone who signed a petition is a registered voter is no cakewalk, especially when you’re against Madigan’s attorneys who have interceded and dominated elections proceedings.

“Is that a ‘T’ or a ‘J’ on this voter’s address? Can you be sure? Toss.”

“How do we know if this is John Anderson Jr. or Sr.? Toss.”

“Property records show the mortgage goes to this person. How can we be sure this other person lives there? Toss.”

Even if some circulators screwed up, you can’t convince me there weren’t enough legitimate signatures out of a half-million.

* I called State Board of Elections Executive Director Rupert Borgsmiller and asked about these examples. Let’s take them one at a time.

Borgsmiller opined, “It’s supposed to be Jones St. and they put Tones St.?” If so, he said, it’s likely “we would’ve counted that as a valid signature.”

“If it’s something that would be that minor, especially if the signature matches, I would have anticipated that would’ve been a valid signature,” Borgsmiller said.

Borgsmiller admitted, though, that if there is a Jr. and a Sr. living at the same residence and one is registered and the other is not, then that would be a definite problem, but it seems like it would be a pretty rare thing.

As far as the last point, “You’re not looking at a mortgage to see if that person owns the house,” Borgsmiller rightly said.

Also, keep in mind that the State Board has a much more lenient policy on these sorts of things than, say the Chicago Elections Commission, which is extremely picky (particularly for non-incumbents). So, this first-ever consolidation of a petition review at the state level probably benefited the remappers.

* This is the breakdown of the 25,000 sample of the remap reform petitions that the Board of Elections gave me earlier this month…

Not registered: 7,535
Not registered at address shown: 4,565
Signature doesn’t match 937
Can’t read signature/address 721
Blank line 38
Stricken line 11

The remap reformers followed up by saying they had incontrovertible proof that at least 4,130 of those stricken entries were valid. They needed, depending on duplicates, somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 of those to be ruled valid - a rate of between 60 and 77 percent.

By last Thursday, according to Borgsmiller, Board of Elections staff and the remappers had managed to get through 1,197 of those 4,130. Borgsmiller said 519 of those entries remained invalid - a whopping 43 percent of the entries that the reformers had insisted were carefully checked and believed to be valid.

Another 678 of the remappers’ own supposedly carefully vetted signatures were ruled valid.

But 11 of those were found to be duplicates. The more duplicates found, the more the final formula for success changes.

* Mike Kasper’s team found that 11,918 people out of 360,000 people who had no voter registration issues signed the remap petition a total of 31,590 times. From a Kasper team member on June 18th…

The most we have from one person is 35 times (so far).

9 have signed 20 or more times

90 have signed 10 or more times
(to clarify this number (90) includes the 9 who signed 20 or more times)

848 have signed 5 or more times
(to clarify this number (848) includes the 90 and 9 referenced above)

1,659 have signed 4 or more times
(same deal as above)

3,694 have signed 3 or more times
(ditto)

11,918 have signed 2 or more times
(ditto)

* And those weren’t the only problems. I posted this late Friday after comments were closed, so let’s post it again. From Tribune reporter Rick Pearson

Just a few days ago, attorneys for the opponents [of the remap reform effort] headed up by Michael Kasper, who has longtime ties to Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, laid out a series of claims that they found numerous examples of repeat signatures in violation of state law, incomplete information from petition circulators and even a few cases where nearly entire pages appeared to be duplicated, with identical names in the identical order. That is a telltale sign of “round-tabling,” a time-dishonored tradition in which people sit around a table and take turns signing petitions, choosing names out of a phone book or just making them up.

* McQueary’s main point is absolutely valid: MJM attorney Mike Kasper essentially writes the election laws that he then uses to kick people off the ballot or keep his own candidates on the ballot. He’s helped make the process a lot more difficult for outsiders to navigate. No argument there. At all. It’s what Madigan wants, so it’s what Kasper does.

But her specific objections fall way short of reality, as does her conclusion. These petitions were fatally flawed. Combine that with a serious constitutional issue and failure is the one and only option.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


52 Comments
  1. - Chi - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    Kasper may write them, but he doesn’t keep them locked in a closet until someone files petitions.

    Anyone with an internet connection can look them up and follow them.

    McQueary lately is making her claim to be the successor to John Kass’ throne. All bluster and little reason.


  2. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    MJM attorney Mike Kasper essentially writes the election laws that he then uses to kick people off the ballot or keep his own candidates on the ballot. He’s helped make the process a lot more difficult for outsiders to navigate. No argument there. At all. It’s what Madigan wants, so it’s what Kasper does.

    So, the system has been corrupted for the political benefit of Mr. Madigan. That is the kind of stuff that used to be done throughout the pre-Civil Rights era South. Remember reading about how the guys in power would comb through the political opposition’s voter lists to keep in power? That is what is being done here in Illinois in 2014.

    Now, you can say it is perfectly legal. You can say that the only signatures booted out had merit. Yet you still have the powerful in power deciding who gets to stay in power. The powerful write the damn laws to satisfy their own damn political designs.

    That is corruption. That is Illinois today. When we enter the voting booth, we pass under Mr. Speaker’s gaze - as designed by Mr. Speaker.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    Kristen McQueary is a Dope.

    Look at this tweet about the two petitions;

    @StatehouseChick: @nickallen24 Not exactly. Term limits didn’t get signature scrutiny that remap did b/c term limits more likely to get tossed by courts.

    So… The scrutiny was decided by … Whom? lol

    Her tin foil hat had to be on Way Tight!

    How about this gem from McQueary and the column:

    “Even if some circulators screwed up, you can’t convince me there weren’t enough legitimate signatures out of a half-million.”

    They’re weren’t. She plays a victim well, learning from Kass, and using his whistle terms.

    I don’t expect much from McQueary, her simple-minded way things work is summed up well in her tweet about endorsing Rauner in March;

    “We endorse @BruceRauner for governor in tomorrow’s paper. Why? Simple. Change.”

    Yep. Simple. Not too simple to be a lemming at the Trib, but it speaks to her simple-minded and clouded thoughts, held in her head by tin foil.


  4. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    The Board of Elections, by and large, does a good job. They also deserve the benefit of the doubt here far more than if this issue were before the CEC.

    One portion, however, gives me pause == Not registered at address shown: 4,565 ==

    With the number of people who move, etc., it would not be shocking to discover that a significant portion of those 4,565 in fact provided their correct address but their voter registration had not yet been updated.


  5. - anon - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    Those of us who have gathered signatures and been challenged would agree the process is flawed. Most of us also have not had millions of dollars at our disposal to ensure they were great signatures. Guess what? Many of us have turned in great signatures anyway. The Independent Map leaders too the money and paid themselves - apparently not do to a good job. If another independent map petition is circulated in the future- I would get another group to lead on this one.


  6. - anon - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    It isn’t just democrats who challenge signatures. The Republican leadership challenges signatures too. Challenging signature petitions is used by both sides of the political establishment to keep candidates off the ballot.


  7. - Marty Funkhouser - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Have you met her? McQueary’s far from a dope. She just drank a little too much Tribune Tower water.


  8. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    === provided their correct address but their voter registration had not yet been updated.===

    Which means they’re not legally registered to vote.


  9. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    In the full column, she goes off track almost immediately when she lists the first thing stacked against the maps petitioners as “the case law.” I said it on an earlier thread, a better group would have better lawyers crafting their language. The mappers had what, $3 million? Certainly they could afford to have someone bill them to look through the case law and come up with a constitutional initiative.

    ==you can’t convince me there weren’t enough legitimate signatures out of a half-million.==

    Even outside of what I wrote above, that line is all you need to know. It doesn’t matter what reality is or what the facts are, all that matters is that the result supports McQueary and the Tribune’s editorial position. For a newspaper editorial board that so often historically has argued, often insanely, for the so-called “rule of law,” it’s amazingly hypocritical to toss all of that aside to support a pet cause. In actuality though, all the way back to the days of Colonel McCormick, the Tribune has not been a paper of principle, it has been a reactionary rag.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    === McQueary’s far from a dope. She just drank a little too much Tribune Tower water.===

    McQueary also whines about schools and funding, and even about Barak Obama High School and where it’s being suggested, and yet, Payton Prep Clouting, doesn’t bother her one bit that a Chicago kid got bumped.

    Drink the Kool-Aid, hypocrisy for your bosses leads to the road of being a Dope.


  11. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    –So, the system has been corrupted for the political benefit of Mr. Madigan. That is the kind of stuff that used to be done throughout the pre-Civil Rights era South.–

    Good Lord, do you ever read what you write before you hit the send button? You’re a victim of Jim Crow now?

    The “Yes” effort was a complete embarrassment, as is the KM column.

    The “Yes” folks made a very sweet payday on some very shoddy work. I assume KM is in the same ballpark.


  12. - x ace - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    As -anon- says @2:32 “Many of us have turned in great signatures anyway.”
    Ind. Map appears to have had petitions circulated by inexperienced and unprepared persons.
    Likewise , McQueary sounds like an “expert” who has no hands on experience. Thus, clueless commentary results.


  13. - Jolly1 - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    If you can register to vote the same day as the election then my signature should be counted, No matter when I signed the petition.


  14. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    ===If you can register to vote the same day as the election then my signature should be counted, No matter when I signed the petition.===

    Well there’s some well-considered logic.


  15. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    == Which means they’re not legally registered to vote ==

    Definitely. Chuck those signatures since they aren’t valid.

    Guess I am sort of thinking out loud, curious as to how many of those individuals will now cast a ballot at their old polling place while no one is the wiser; how many have updated their info but not had it processed yet; and how many will file provisional ballots or use our new same-day registration. Basically “what more can we do to help improve our process”?


  16. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    Not that my initial comment was clear on any of that lol


  17. - MAK - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    Kasper is an experienced and smart election lawyer. But so is Dorf. This isn’t a case about sneaky tactics but about not having an adequate “cushion” of signatures in a society where people move residences very often, but don’t update registration as often. Any and likely EVERY election lawyer would advise a client to bring in, at minimum, double the signature requirement, if not more. This was a garden-variety failure resulting from not meeting the 2X rule.


  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    Jolly1, you work at a university? Hope you’re not a political science prof.


  19. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    === Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    Kristen McQueary is a Dope.===

    And with that wise proclamation the argument ends. Clearly you’ve never met her or you wouldn’t write such a thing. You can’t argue with a dishonest premise. So many of yours are, one needs to consider this. For anyone who’s not a jaded kook, Kristen McQueary is on the absolute opposite spectrum of being a “dope”.


  20. - Bunson8r - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:15 pm:

    Just another of the many examples where the tribune editorial board is more concerned with blustery rhetoric over facts.


  21. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    === Clearly you’ve never met her or you wouldn’t write such a thing===

    I’ve known her for a very long time. I don’t believe she’s a dope. But that was a dopey column.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===You can’t argue with a dishonest premise.===

    You are right about that.

    McQueary;

    “Even if some circulators screwed up, you can’t convince me there weren’t enough legitimate signatures out of a half-million.”

    Pretty dishonest. Simple-minded too.

    ===For anyone who’s not a jaded kook, Kristen McQueary is on the absolute opposite spectrum of being a “dope”.===

    Welp, her railing on schools and school funding and then thinking nothing of Rauner Clouting his Denied Daughter, speaks to how much of a Trib lemming she is for a paycheck, and the Kass buzz words are priceless.

    Let’s not forget the simple-minded tweet, “simple. change”

    Being a schill against your own colums, that’s pretty dopey, and her premise here reinforces that.


  23. - CirularFiringSquad - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    We know a lot of Dopes
    StateHouseChick does not qualify. Poorly informed whiner sounds better


  24. - lake county democrat - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    Lots of discussion about the signatures. But not much on the most important point the Tribune made in its editorial:

    – In the meantime, we’ll point out yet again that there’s an easier way to get an amendment on the ballot. It doesn’t require citizens to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures or spend millions of dollars promoting and defending a proposal. All it takes is a three-fifths vote of the General Assembly. –

    Amen. The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute did a poll this spring showing a 60-17% ratio of voters in favor of term limits. That would be even mnore slanted if the question was “should the people of Illinois get to vote on the question of term limits, whether you favor them or not?” If we’re going to cast this much venom at the folks trying to put a question to the voters but fail for procedural reasons, how about a little to the people who have the power and choose not to for substantive reasons?


  25. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:24 pm:

    In terms of generalities, McQueary is correct, but in terms of the specifics of the Independent Maps petition, it is hard to dispute the fact that the petitions were flawed and the petition gathering process was poorly supervised.

    Ballot access is much more difficult in Illinois thanks to Madigan and Kasper. Gone are the days when a candidate for Representative in the General Assembly needed to collect a minimum of 300 valid signatures and a candidate for State Senate needed a minimum of 600 good signatures.
    Judicial candidates once needed only 500 signatures across the state, but Madigan and Kasper upped the number to require Cook County Judicial aspirants to collect thousands of signatures. By requiring more and more signatures, the likelihood of errors occurring increases.

    Rich is correct that the Chicago Board of Elections is incredibly strict about validating signatures, but the Cook County Clerk’s Election Department is not much better.

    The worse element is that the electoral board proceedings can be utilized to harass and bankrupt challengers. Defending a petition challenge is expensive and time consuming and it will paralyze fundraising activities. There is not much recourse for a candidate who has been subjected to a frivolous objection. There was a rare instance where one or two candidates recovered damages in lawsuits, but their elections were over and done with by then.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    ===I don’t believe she’s a dope. But that was a dopey column.===

    I can live with that, considering my premise was this column.


  27. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:29 pm:

    It is somewhat astonishing that in order to be safe a Cook County Judicial candidate ought to file as many signatures as the minimum needed for an established party candidate requires to seek statewide office.


  28. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    I’ll actually go further and say I have found her to be a very smart, focused, pleasant person. I’ve always liked her, back to the days when we both had columns at the old Daily Southtown.

    She brought a reporter’s perspective to the Tribune’s editorial board, which has been a good thing (and occasionally enraged some Trib reporters when she scooped them). But on this issue, she’s just off. Way off. Nothing personal.


  29. - louisGAtsaves - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    The lively and intelligent political discussions around here sure take a beating when someone calls someone else a “Dope.”

    But how can anyone defend a reinstatement rate of 57% of those signatures initially tossed as proof that somehow the system works? Considering the affidavits, notarized signatures and running around getting verification at considerable manpower and cost, how does one justify a 57% error rate on tossed petition signatures?


  30. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:33 pm:

    ===how does one justify a 57% error rate on tossed petition signatures? ===

    When you put it into the context of their overall problems, it’s not difficult to believe at all.

    Why else would they pull the plug without even a single murmur about the Board of Elections?


  31. - Willie Stark - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    A couple of things at play with Ms. McQueary. She works for an employer where epistemic closure has set in on many topics, especially Speaker Madigan. He is bad, evil and all that is wrong in the state. He is the paper’s white whale. Once this viewpoint is adopted, it relieves its possessors of needing to do any thinking. They can reflexively view every action of the man through those lenses, anything good he does, like helping to get marriage equality over the finish line, merits little acknowledgement as it interferes with their confirmation bias.

    Second, like the rest of us, she needs a paycheck. How long would she last if she told Bruce Dold she wanted to work on a reconsideration of the Speaker’s career and place it in the broader context of modern Illinois political history? That, in fact, it’s more complicated and interesting than the black/white terms the paper prefers. How long would certain Trib reporters last if they said they weren’t going to sign off on the publication of weak “investigative” pieces with no findings?


  32. - walker - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    McQueary’s simply and completely wrong about what happened here. She wrote it down, and I’m with OW, that makes her a “dope” — because she could have known better with a little unbiased research.

    We all occasionally do “dopey” things, but she’s being paid for this.

    The examples she called “toss” would actually have been accepted. Problems which had nothing to do with any supposedly slanted law or enforcement, were massive. This was a shoddy job when reviewed by a panel equally formed from both sides. To find thousands of duplicates did not require some fancy lawyer “interceding.” The obvious problems could have been cured upon review prior to submission, if the schedule and staff were managed properly.

    And did she explain how Rauner’s Term Limits petitions passed thru this same supposedly “biased” Election Board review process smoothly?


  33. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    To the Post,

    Failing to understand why this failed, versus this idea that under every bed is Kasper or Madigan, when in reality, it was the circulators that failed. A lapse in writing something like this is either someone uninformed, or someone looking to make excuses other than what actually happened.


  34. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    ==- VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:16 pm:==

    Um, many of the strikes are of people who aren’t registered voters. This isn’t like the Old South at all because no one is being intimidated or coerced or racially discriminated against in order to not register. This is one of the more ahistorical connections you could make.


  35. - sal-says - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    Kristen McQuery :

    … tribune Editorial Board member

    … twitter = @StatehouseChick


  36. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    ===how does one justify a 57% error rate on tossed petition signatures? ===

    Checks cleared?

    Check out the “Yes” folks filings at ISBE.

    Some people made some real good money in this “effort.”

    I can’t believe anyone will ever give anyone in that crew money again.


  37. - k3 - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    McQueary showed so much potential. Then she joined the editorial board. What an incredible disappointment.


  38. - not Bruce - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:15 pm:

    Why does anyone think this was anything but an intentional failure, it gave him his issue for the primary? At least the people who took the dough for the work should be pushing that angle.


  39. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    Um, “not Bruce,” this was not Bruce’s amendment. He did the term limits. This is remap.


  40. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:47 pm:

    ====Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    === Clearly you’ve never met her or you wouldn’t write such a thing===

    I’ve known her for a very long time. I don’t believe she’s a dope. But that was a dopey column.===

    Ah, then the same could be said about you if one disagreed with a particular column i.e. “He’s not a dope, but a particular column was dopey in my opinion”.
    Perhaps you could explain this to your adoring pupil who’s hand is always up whether he knows the answer or not. lol.


  41. - JS Mill - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:47 pm:

    Not sure about term limited but remap was doomed to fail even if it passed the bird of elections. Remap was unlikely to pass the very narrow language that permits these types of referenda. Term limits, because of the way it was written, had a slim chance..but only slim. Getting the signatures was only a part of the process.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:52 pm:

    - A Guy… -,

    I stand by my comments.

    Always have.

    You should remember your comments so you don’t kept refuting yourself when I have to remind you of your Dopiness.

    Trying to drag Rich in your alleged slam, yikes.

    With kindest personal regards, I remain.


  43. - Jake From Elwood - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:55 pm:

    Willy, Don’t tread on my K-McQ!
    I have always found her to be extremely knowledgeable about state and local government issues. Just because she wrote a column or two you don’t agree with doesn’t turn her into the Dan Quayle of journalism. Read some of her archives, she is beyond talented. And I have never met her so there is no personal tie here.
    To the post, her main post is correct, MJM gerrymanders the law and changes the law to assist incumbents and to eliminate assaults to his leadership. Hard to argue that point.


  44. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 5:01 pm:

    I write crisp enough for you to know you were the adoring pupil. lol. I was answering him, hardly dragging him in. Jeesh dude, if there was ever a guy on the planet who didn’t need a verbal Body Guard, it’s Mr. Miller. I didn’t put together that he would have known her from the Southtown days. That makes sense. She’s extremely bright and a no-nonsense kind of reporter; a huge asset to an editorial board. Beat reporters have special skill that editorialists don’t often pay enough attentions to. She’s no dancing bear for anyone. Only a dope would call her a dope. Own that.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 5:07 pm:

    That she wrote a shill article here? Yep, I own it.

    That she rails on school choice and funding and the Barak Obama school location, while thinking the Clouting of Rauner of his denied daughter doesn’t bother her, and calling her out on the hypocrisy, I own that.

    The Dopey tweet of “Simple. Change.” for endorsing Rauner in the Primary? I own that.

    Gave examples, laid out my case, and while her past seems to contradict these “lapses”, you write a column like this one, and have examples as I laid out, she can be pleasant as all get out, but Dopiness and being a shill is possibly the only reason to ignore facts in an article that Rich posted.


  46. - Mighty M. Mouse - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 5:10 pm:

    ===I’ve known her for a very long time. I don’t believe she’s a dope. But that was a dopey column.===

    Rich is right. Most often, as here, it’s not the person, it’s the person’s behavior. It’s a common mistake to mischaracterize the person in that way. Sometimes I find myself making that mistake too.

    ===But her specific objections fall way short of reality, as does her conclusion.===

    Rich is right about that, too. And as Willie noted, it happens a lot with her on a variety of subjects. I think the reason is because her first priority is to make her points, not to tell the truth. If she allowed herself to be distracted by always trying to adhere to the truth it would frequently become almost impossible for her to make her illogical ideological points.


  47. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 5:20 pm:

    –She’s extremely bright and a no-nonsense kind of reporter; a huge asset to an editorial board.–

    No, in this case, she’s just peddling ignorant nonsense for Big Brain Bruce. the king of ignorant nonsense.

    Seriously, Dold and Kass, the big hitters on a major American newspaper, a newspaper that has obvious stars on the roster?

    You have to laugh to keep from crying. They’re stupid.

    Dold is the the guy who got the gig after the previous boss wouldn’t play ball with Blago/Zell/Big Jim to lay off the Wrigley Field liability on the taxpayers.

    You remember that? There were federales tapes and stuff with the Blagos on the phone, watching cartoons in the middle of the workday, and cussing and swearing about it.

    Big Brain Bruce is so smart he said on “Chicago Tonight” a few months ago that Chicago is the only city in the country where there are multiple victims to mass shooters.

    This is after Newtown. After Ft. Hood. After Columbine. After NIU. After hundreds of other incidents.

    Run that through your thougtsicles for a little while and see what you come up with.


  48. - titan - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 5:39 pm:

    Like so much of the Trib’s reporting on this item, it is simply factually wrong.

    “Is that a ‘T’ or a ‘J’ on this voter’s address? Can you be sure? Toss.”

    “How do we know if this is John Anderson Jr. or Sr.? Toss.”

    “Property records show the mortgage goes to this person. How can we be sure this other person lives there? Toss.”

    If the J or T problem kept the examiner from finding the voter, then maybe…but poor penmanship isn’t punished in record exams at the state. If a Jr and Sr are both registered at an address, then the petitioner got the signature if it matches either record. Property tax records aren’t consulted, only the statewide voter database.

    And one of the reasons for the rehab process is that the statewide voter database doesn’t track past addresses, so the petitioners could regain a signature if they could show that the signer was registered at the address at any time during the circulation period.

    These are the way candidate petition record exams have worked for a long time, and these petitioners should have been ready for it. They weren’t (and proved it by rehabbing duplicates so as to hurt their numbers).


  49. - Wensicia - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 5:56 pm:

    ===I don’t believe she’s a dope. But that was a dopey column.===

    She’s been infected by the Tribune editorial board extreme bias regarding Illinois politics. Though, I suspect her boss is pleased with her column.


  50. - F.B. - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 7:54 pm:

    I’ve always been a fan of McQueary’s and was pleased when she went to the Tower because, as Rich said, she “brought a reporter’s perspective to the Tribune’s editorial board.” Unfortunately, that kind of unbiased, let’s-review-the-facts perspective is missing from this column and the editorials she has written on the topic. Anyone who has ever worked on a petition drive — or challenged one — could see the Fair Maps folks did a real half-***ed job here. If she bothered to have an off-the-record talk with a few election lawyers or political pros not connected to the case to get their opinion (like a good reporter,) they would have told her that. Any election lawyer in the state would have won this case, not just Kasper.


  51. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jul 1, 14 @ 7:55 am:

    This isn’t like the Old South at all because no one is being intimidated or coerced

    I believe if you ask the thousands of citizens who put their names and addresses on this initiative, they would disagree with you.


  52. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 1, 14 @ 9:11 am:

    –I believe if you ask the thousands of citizens who put their names and addresses on this initiative, they would disagree with you.–

    So you’re going to stick with that? The failure of this referendum due to poorly drafted language and shoddy work is the same as institutional racism?

    VMan, you’re pretty goofy most of the time, but that’s really disgusting.


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* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Fracking rules finally unveiled
* Question of the day
* A big IDOT roundup
* Even Steven, for now
* *** UPDATED x1 - Confirmed *** Report: Libertarians file charges
* Big guys dinged a bit, but little guys helped a lot
* Today's photo
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        * Newborn Found Alive In Jacksonville Trash Bin
        * DNR Releases Fracking Rules
        * Listen to State Week - August 29, 2014
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        * Journalist and doctor encourage honest conversations about death
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        * Angie Muhs: A debate in Springfield would send the right message from candidates
        * Charles Krauthammer: Lower corporate tax rates. Now.
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        * Statehouse Insider: Hands off investments
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        * State of unions: Domination of Illinois' workforce becomes campaign issue
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        * 09-01-04 Monday Morning Quarterbacks


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