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*** UPDATED x2 - Quinn calls for investigation by county, state, feds - Felonies? *** Playing hardball… with guns

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014

* Back in May, Julieus Hooks signed a nominating petition for the Libertarian Party. The Republican Party attempted to kick the Libertarians off the ballot and hired a lawyer who hired a private security firm to help with the challenge.

That “help” included sending visibly armed private investigators to the homes of petition signers

“On or about July 20, 2014, I was exiting my house when a tall Caucasian man and a woman approached and startled me. The man had a gun, which was visible. They told me that the woman who had circulated the petition sheet that I had signed had violated the law because she had obtained too many signatures and committed fraud. I was then given a piece of paper and told to sign.”

Sarah Dart, who was paid to circulate petitions for the Libertarians and obtained Hooks’ signature, told me a similar story. Dart says a private investigator named Carlos Rodriguez contacted her, asking about a missing girl who knew someone she supposedly knew.

She believes the story about the missing girl was a ruse. When she met with Rodriguez, Dart says he confronted her with a stack of petitions and asked her to admit that the signatures for the Libertarians were obtained fraudulently. She refused, and the state’s hearing officer later found that her signatures were legitimately gathered.

Dart says Rodriguez displayed a holstered gun when he met her. He gave her a business card showing he works for Morrison Security in Alsip. The company’s owner is the Palos Township Republican leader, Sean Morrison.

Morrison has been a Bruce Rauner ally since the beginning.

*** UPDATE *** As YDD notes in comments, these could be Class 4 felonies

(10 ILCS 5/29-4) (from Ch. 46, par. 29-4)

Sec. 29-4. Prevention of voting or candidate support. Any person who, by force, intimidation, threat, deception or forgery, knowingly prevents any other person from (a) registering to vote, or (b) lawfully voting, supporting or opposing the nomination or election of any person for public office or any public question voted upon at any election, shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.

…Adding… Those of you who are defending Rauner and the state GOP in comments should go read the whole Sun-Times story

A party spokesman confirmed that lawyer John Fogarty hired Morrison Security to help with the case against the Libertarians’ petitions.

“Their private investigators are licensed to carry firearms and often do so in areas they consider dangerous,” Republican spokesman Andrew Welhouse said.

The party clearly defended the practice of sending visibly armed private detectives to peoples’ homes.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Quinn campaign’s response calls for a federal investigation…

“We are deeply disturbed that the Rauner forces are intimidating people with weapons.

“Sending armed investigators to people’s homes in the name of politics is not OK in Illinois nor anywhere else.

“Voter intimidation has no place in our state, particularly with guns.

“This is a serious matter and it should be investigated by the State Board of Elections, Cook County State’s Attorney, and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.”

To be clear, I have heard of private eyes and off-duty cops doing petition work. it does happen. It’s absolutely wrong, however, to send armed people to intimidate voters. And hopefully this blatant example will help end it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


97 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    Disgusting, and likely a preview of the voter suppression effort they’ve talked about.


  2. - phocion - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    If true, a reprehensible tactic. Good for her that she stood her ground. Political bullies of any stripe deserve to make their paymasters look bad. Rauner’s campaign needs to drum these types out - pronto.


  3. - Rahm'sMiddleFinger - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    You can expect a lot more of this under Governor Rauner.


  4. - AlabamaShake - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    This has to be able to be turned into a good ad — Rauner’s allies are evening threatening voters with guns in an effort to restrict their ability to participate in democracy.


  5. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Just because they are allies doesn’t mean this was orchestrated by Rauner or his people. This could have been his own doing, people do have minds if their owns you know. Don’t infer, Rich. :(


  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Until there’s a horse head in the circulators’ beds…

    “I want to get to know every legislator on a first name basis. I want to get to know them, their families,… their fears, their weaknesses, their vulnerabilities. I want to get to know them well.” - Bruce Rauner.


  7. - Knome Sane - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Well, the Republicans are certainly taking “conceal & carry” to a new level.


  8. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Rich:

    That is not “hardball.”

    It is pretty clear basis for a criminal investigation.

    10 ILCS 5/29-5 makes voter intimidation a Class 4 felony, includes intimidation or deception during the nominating process. If they scared or deceived just one person into withdrawing their signature, they are toast.


  9. - Norseman - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    Disgusting.


  10. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    I smell a new political campaign, Rodriguez for state’s evidence.


  11. - Not Rich - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    amateur hour.. if Brucie wins I sure hope the amateurs don’t follow him to the 2nd floor of the Capitol..it will be Blago all over again..


  12. - Bill White - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    This paragraph annoys me:

    === This isn’t something out of a V.I. Warshawski novel. It’s part of the behind-the-scenes legal maneuvering that Democrats and Republicans alike are engaging in to help boost the chances for their candidates for governor in November. ===

    Did BOTH sides attempt to strong arm petition circulators into recanting their petition sheets?


  13. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    It is illegal and everyone knows this. It is too blatantly stupid to be some kind of plan by any candidate. This guy is an idiot and he doesn’t represent anyone.


  14. - Spliff - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    Where is Tom Dart and Anita Alvarez when we need them to do some real work?


  15. - js - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    The GOP does not want anti-Democrat votes going to the Libertarian Party. Fine. But this looks like a case of possible intimidation that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regs. should look at starting with an explanation from Sean Morrison.


  16. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Thanks Rich.

    Pretty disgusting tactics, and I am sure Brooke Anderson will be having something to say about Rauner’s involvement pretty quickly.

    Sending armed men to people’s homes is not gonna play well in Suburbia.


  17. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    JS: this is a potential criminal case, and the regulators should defer to the state’s attorney.


  18. - Knome Sane - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    =Where is Tom Dart…when we need them to do some real work?=

    Spliff, please explain how this falls under the auspices of the Cook County Sheriff?


  19. - Try-4Truth - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    Quick question; Do you think the Tribune will run this story? It is a story (whether you think Rauner was involved or not, it’s still a political story). I think the Tribs reaction to this will be the most interesting.


  20. - William j Kelly - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    Stankin it up rauner stankin it up!


  21. - Nonplussed - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    Where they wearing brown shirts? Jackboots?

    (I know I am following Godwin’s Law)


  22. - Nonplussed - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    Ugh. I meant “Were” not “Where”.


  23. - js - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    YDD I agree. Deferring is fine if Alvarez will do something. But IDFPR can also fine, suspend and revoke PR licenses which hits them in the wallet. It never hurts to go civil and criminal. Both agencies can work together.


  24. - train111 - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Perhaps Mr Atsaves who frequently comments on here would like to chime in. his take would certainly be interesting.

    Allegations like this–if true–should AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFY his or anybody elses ballot objections.

    train111


  25. - Manley - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    John Fogarty, the attorney representing the challenge and who hired Sean Morrison to ‘help’ on the challenge should both be ashamed of themselves.

    This is disgusting and has no place in a democracy. Stranger and scarier than fiction.


  26. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    “Did you zine zee papers? Ve have ways of making you talk.”

    Good Lord, who hires psychos like this? Where is the judgement?

    Did any of these brain surgeons consider that there might be a downside to this intimidation tactic? Or do they just get off on the boots on the steps in the night?


  27. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    IN RE: “Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:51 am: Just because they are allies doesn’t mean this was orchestrated by Rauner or his people. This could have been his own doing, people do have minds if their owns you know.”

    - It looks like Rauner’s campaign paid some of the people (notaries) that the Republicans used against the Libertarians. Still investigating a bit, but seems like Rauner’s camp is directly involved here.


  28. - OldSmoky2 - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    ==It is too blatantly stupid to be some kind of plan by any candidate. This guy is an idiot and he doesn’t represent anyone.==

    According to the story, he was representing the Illinois Republican Party when he did this and they are defending him. From the story:
    “A party spokesman confirmed that lawyer John Fogarty hired Morrison Security to help with the case against the Libertarians’ petitions.
    ‘Their private investigators are licensed to carry firearms and often do so in areas they consider dangerous,’ Republican spokesman Andrew Welhouse said.”


  29. - Siriusly - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    YDD is right. This is clearly a potential criminal case. The state agencies, election board and both campaigns should back off and let Anita Alvarez step in. Last time I checked, Worth Township was still part of Cook County.


  30. - dupage dan - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    Can anyone seriously think Rauner would hire this guy and give him such instructions? Uh, no. Does this jamoke have a history of behaving in this manner in other situations he has been hired to do? Easy to find out, no? Was Rauner specifically aware THIS guy was to be hired?

    It really looks bad for Rauner. He better be able to prove the PI is rogue and there was no clear way to know he would/could do this. And he better do this….TODAY.


  31. - MrJM - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    “It is too blatantly stupid to be some kind of plan by any candidate. This guy is an idiot and he doesn’t represent anyone.”

    True for everything — from crooked nursing homes, to Cayman Island tax havens, to outsourcing, to armed intimidation — that reflects poorly on Bruce Rauner.

    – MrJM


  32. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    –This guy is an idiot and he doesn’t represent anyone.–

    He represents the people who hired him.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    ===Can anyone seriously think Rauner would hire this guy and give him such instructions? Uh, no. Does this jamoke have a history of behaving in this manner in other situations he has been hired to do? Easy to find out, no? Was Rauner specifically aware THIS guy was to be hired?===

    “Yeah, there were alotta buffers…”


  34. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    - Can anyone seriously think Rauner would hire this guy and give him such instructions? -

    Did he give the instruction? Who knows?

    Did he know it was going on? Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

    He’s comfortable putting seniors at risk while busting out nursing homes, in my opinion that makes you comfortable with just about anything.


  35. - Dee Lay - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    “Was Rauner specifically aware THIS guy was to be hired?”

    You mean the same way every misstep by somebody related indirectly to the Governor’s office is tied to Quinn by the Team Rauner and the GOP?

    Pot, meet kettle.


  36. - Anon - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    The Cook County SAO doesn’t exactly have a tradition of aggressively prosecuting voter fraud. On the contrary, the kind of petition fraud that has led to prosecution and convictions in DuPage can’t get a second look from the SAO in Cook.


  37. - train111 - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    Quinn’s campaign should be on top of this, cutting adds at this hour and getting the message into every perspective Democratic constituents house about how the GOP will go as far as hiring armed men to keep you from expressing your opinion. Not saying it’s true, but the Dems can get some pretty darned good miles out of that.

    train111


  38. - John Thompson - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    This isn’t the first time Morrison has attempted to intimidate people for his benefit! http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/03/morrison-threatens-patlak-campaign-workers-with-lawsuit.html


  39. - LincolnLounger - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    Anyone who follows regularly will know I am among the last to defend Rauner & Co., but this is unfair.

    Sean Morrison is and always has been a Democrat and ran for office as a Dem. He may now be a GOP Committeeman, but he is Team Vrdolyak along with his sponsor, Liz Doody Gorman. Liz may be a GOP County Commissioner, but she is as committed to the Republican ticket in the vein of all those George Ryan pals who were looking for the spoils.

    Liz and her pals are licking their chops, and, to their credit (I guess), jumped on board the Rauner team early. They have no real operation and collude with Democrats while pretending to be Republicans. If you’re not paying attention, there’s a lot of that going on in the SW suburbs.

    Blame this on Morrison and Gorman, not Rauner. Ask Dan Patlak about Sean Morrison’s “Republican” credentials.


  40. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    DD, Rauner is very good at ducking responsibility on his own. He doesn’t need your help.

    He’s built a campaign theme around not knowing what the people who work for him are doing. Just what you want in a governor.

    Sgt. Schultz is especially applicable in this case.


  41. - walker - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    DD: Good comments, as always.

    You might have missed the fact that this is a security firm owned by a Palos Township Republican official. So your “rogue PI” becomes “rogue Republican Party official.”

    I do think the problem is local, and probably of long standing, just like many of the Dem problems are.


  42. - Gator - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    So Rauner gets mad and wants to start punching people because some guy at the Greek Parade allegedly tells him to leave. But then he sends armed bandits to threaten voters. Crazy!


  43. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    John Fogarty, the attorney representing the challenge and who hired Sean Morrison to ‘help’ on the challenge should both be ashamed of themselves.

    I see a bad moon rising.


  44. - phocion - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    “Their private investigators are licensed to carry firearms and often do so in areas they consider dangerous,” Republican spokesman Andrew Welhouse said.

    She was leaving her home in Oak Park. Who in the world reasonably considers Oak Park to be “dangerous?” Toss this oaf overboard, don’t double down and defend the dufus. Jeez!


  45. - The Captain - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Right now the DGA is creating a macro for “armed Republican thugs”.


  46. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    Morrison’s history of shameful and shady behavior apparently continues.

    From prior reports about Morrison exploiting female cagefighters and running what the Tribune calls “sleazy” political ads, to this new report of dispatching goons with guns, this sort of behavior is disgraceful.

    This is who Bruce Rauner and the Republican Party choose to associate themselves with? This is who they make an executive “leader” of their party and campaign? They should be ashamed of themselves.


  47. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    == owned by a Palos Township Republican official ==

    I think you meant “Senior Illinois Republican Party Official” - http://www.weareillinois.org/officials/


  48. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    “The party clearly defended the practice of sending visibly armed private detectives to peoples’ homes.”
    The article says nothing about these Private “Dicks” wearing anything to ID themselves as such. Just gun flashing. Just what law enforcement needs.
    Officer: Put your hands up!
    PI: Officer, my card.


  49. - Amalia - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    now this is the kind of thing that makes me wish we still had a group of activists devoted solely to elections operations issues. those were the days.


  50. - Norseman - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    Quinn response = They read Capitol Fax and started typing.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    - Norseman -, you owe me a new shirt!

    To the updates,

    So, is it that Rauner blames his wife for donating to Dems and calling Arne Duncan, and his Daughter for her perfect score and now the ILGOP is going to take the hit for armed thugs?

    What is happening to My Party?

    Are we so completely co-oped that honesty and integrity, ethics and morals are now dictated by a nominee bereft of these qualities, and so much so, My Party becomes the “muscle” and the “guy holding the bag”…

    … so we…win?


  52. - Bill White - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Is the Sean Morrison on the GOP state central committee the same guy being talked about in this thread?


  53. - Snucka - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    =You mean the same way every misstep by somebody related indirectly to the Governor’s office is tied to Quinn by the Team Rauner and the GOP?=

    Bingo!

    Is this indicative of the way Rauner would run state government? Private citizens are being visited by armed investigators for the offense of signing the petition of an unknown third party candidate. What should legislators, government officials and other politically active citizens expect if they cross a Governor Rauner?


  54. - Cassandra - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Um, off topic, but I live in Oak Park too. If a man with a gun showed up on my front walk and told me to sign something, I’d call the police. And they’d be there in 3 minutes, because, well, it’s Oak Park. Long story. And I definitely wouldn’t sign it. Let’s all repeat: you don’t have to sign anything. You don’t have to talk to anybody.


  55. - Snucka - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Ms. Alvarez: impanel a grand jury TODAY!


  56. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    Well, well, well, Pat Quinn just earned a bit of respect from me, even if he’s only doing this for his own benefit. This absolutely should be investigated to the fullest extent possible. One of the Libertarian candidates on that petition is running for US Senate, which does make this a federal case.

    Again, the SBOE and FEC will be asked to follow the money and maybe they actually will care enough to do so this time. The Republicans have now publicly admitted they are paying for the petition challenge. The Republican Party didn’t, and legally can’t, challenge the petitions so every penny they spend is on behalf of the two individual petition challengers, neither of which has formed a state or federal campaign committee to legally account for the expenditures on the petition challenge. And it should be coming out of federal campaign funds because of the US Senate candidate.

    Go Quinn go. Its about time that a few petition challengers spend time behind bars to discourage this behavior from happening every election cycle.


  57. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    @Bill White - yes.


  58. - too obvious - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    The DuPage Libertarians posted a good first hand story on this same matter on Aug. 16:

    http://dupagelibertarians.org/


  59. - too obvious - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    Bill White, good catch. Yes this is the same Sean Morrison, IL GOP State Central Committeeman for the 3rd Congressional District.

    http://www.weareillinois.org/officials/


  60. - Bill White - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    Don’t credit me. See this:

    - Formerly Known As… - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:05 pm:


  61. - Bill White - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    Hopefully, Chad Grimm will become a little more famous. And angry.

    http://www.grimmforliberty.com/


  62. - Conservative Republican - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    Regarding Sec 29-4, note that the only person in the cross-hairs is the individual investigator who confronted the circulator and the signer. There is no basis to charge Morrison, Fogarty, Rauner, etc with anything. An organized effort to contact petition circulators and signers is fair game and done all the time. Rauner, Morrison, and Fogarty can all sleep easy.

    Knome Sane clearly does not understand the concept of “concealed carry”, ergo his lame attempt at a joke falls way flat.


  63. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    “Their private investigators are licensed to carry firearms and often do so in areas they consider dangerous,” Republican spokesman Andrew Welhouse said.

    Yes, those Libertarian petition signers are a dangerous lot. This is the best response from the ILGOP? Pat Quinn jumped on this quickly and thanks you.
    Your response Mr. Rauner?


  64. - Macbeth - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:28 pm:

    This stuff is weird — really weird. But it does represent a particularly repugnant kind of thug mentality that seems to be one of the many foundations of the increasingly desperate Illinois GOP.

    The other thuggy thing is the dude wanting to “show up” at CMS and demand all the NRI documents. Desperation — and ignorance, in the case of Rauner — breeds thug stuff. Throw a bunch of money in there, and it gives the thugs a sense that the rules don’t apply.

    It’s dangerous — and I’m stunned to see this kind of stuff recently. Rauner wanting to punch someone. What the heck?


  65. - Pete - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    I’m assuming this was part of what Rauner described as a “massive voter fraud, voter integrity issue in Illinois,” and he’ll be addressing it. http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140806/Opinion/140809646


  66. - Anon - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    == the only person in the crosshairs is the individual investigator ==

    Is his name William Calley? Or was that another scapegoat who took the blame for doing what his superiors ordered him to do? Reminds me of the privates at Abu Ghraib who got prosecuted, but not a single officer.


  67. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    @Pete

    Great article. Feels like “Reform and Renewal” all over again.


  68. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    “Bill White, good catch. Yes this is the same Sean Morrison, IL GOP State Central Committeeman for the 3rd Congressional District.”

    Which is why Morrison needs to get out in front of this by denouncing this type tactic. At the moment he is being covered by the ILGOP as in Republican spokesman Andrew Welhouse’s statement, which is weak. His employees put his party in jeopardy on this issue if what happened is true. Don’t expect it to just go away. Pat Quinn won’t let it. On the good ship GOP who gets tossed overboard Mr. Morrision?


  69. - dupage dan - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    It appears folks didn’t read the end of my piece. However, I have to admit I didn’t read the entire article. I am not a supporter or apologist for Rauner.

    As I said at the end of my piece: “It really looks bad for Rauner. He better be able to prove the PI is rogue and there was no clear way to know he would/could do this. And he better do this….TODAY”.

    They hired a firm that wears firearms. Not a big deal except they didn’t prohibit the wearing of the weapons in plain view of folks they were interviewing. Could these people be that dumb? Apparently, they are that dumb. Wow.


  70. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    Sure DD, they just forgot to take them off while they were making up elaborate stories to scare people.


  71. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    “Multiple” armed visits that “frightened” her? They did not realize after the first “confrontation” that she was not a threat?

    Surely this was not meant as intimidation in any way.

    From the story @too obvious 12:46 links to == Our lawyers, however, still brought one of them up – a girl who claimed that over the last several weeks, she had been confronted by an armed private investigator multiple times, who had made her “frightened” each time. This girl, who was our second biggest signature collector in the state, was scared – but not scared enough. She knew the work she did was honest and legal and she refused to give in, so she testified on our behalf about the confrontations with the private investigator. That testimony helped our case. ==


  72. - js - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    DD:
    Pat Quinn beat him to the punch.
    He linked Rauner’s name with “This is a serious matter and it should be investigated by the State Board of Elections, Cook County State’s Attorney, and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.”
    It appears at the moment all he has in the Rogue PI defense. Can’t see the GOP throwing Morrison under the bus. And yes, Raunner needs to respond now before the Dems/news media demand a response from him.


  73. - dupage dan - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    Compare this ominous development with the well conducted campaign (for a novice, right) up to now. Did Rauner specifically ask that the interviewers wear firearms while confronting the canvassers? I ask again, is he, and his campaign staff, that stupid? Rauner’s got some big splainin to do.


  74. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    If somebody comes to your door with a firearm, do you get to shoot them if you feel threatened?


  75. - Walker - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    Morrison investigations are bad folks
    Take a look at this… Bad boys and girls.

    Www.1800utellus.com


  76. - walker - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    Walker at 2:31 above isn’t me.

    Can you please pick another moniker? This one’s my real name, and I don’t want to confuse myself.

    mark walker


  77. - Truth seeker - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    Morrisons firm is highly regarded,
    I can attest for their professional standards and practices, I can also attest to the person.

    A little about what most people do not know about them:

    http://www.operationrestoringinnocence.org/index/Home.html


  78. - DuPage Bard - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    Bad move overall. Questioning is acceptable and expected, intimidation is not.
    Who takes the hit for the team?
    Nothing like making sure the Libertarians are riled up and going to push even harder against Bruce. He needs the GOP to stay in camp not jump to the L’s


  79. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    == It appears at the moment all he has in the Rogue PI defense. ==

    If anything, it seems more likely Mr. Rodriguez was hand-picked for this task.

    According to an October 2013 story from the Christian Broadcasting Network, Mr. Rodriguez is a former police officer with a “street perspective” who is one of Mr. Morrison’s “heroes”.


  80. - Under Further Review - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    BTW, it is no longer a violation of the election code to collect too many signatures. The remedy is that the extra lines are ignored.


  81. - olddog - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    === Disgusting, and likely a preview of the voter suppression effort they’ve talked about. ===

    Probably true. I clicked on the link and read Morrison’s rant about “the fragging of Bruce Rauner” in the GOP primary — gave me a new perspective on why they keep talking about “class warfare.”


  82. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    On voting rights issues, the GOP has picked up the 1950s South playbook in more ways than one apparently.


  83. - js - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    “FKA: Then Mr. Morrison, Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Raunner and parties involved need to get together on this and get their stories straight ASAP before this issue gets legs and if and before the investigators come a knockin. ”

    Of course Raunner always has the Sgt. Schultz defense which is old. But, ignorance is bliss and can sometimes get you elected.


  84. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    Intimidating those whose sign a petition to withdraw their signatures and refrain from future circulating is really commonplace, especially in suburban cook county.

    A while ago I was one of the leaders to stop a “backdoor” $21 million tax increase from a local school district. You needed at least 10% of the registered voters (at least 1500 GOOD signatures in this case, so we needed well over 2000)to sign to force them to put their tax increase on the ballot for approval, and you needed to mobilize and circulate to get the signatures within 30 days of the notice to sell the bonds.

    The greedy SOBs and soccermoms never thought we could do it, but we did, and survived the challenge.

    After some board member tears, the board just cancelled THAT bond sale, then announced another sale of the same amount, forcing us to go through it all over again.

    This time they were prepared. They harrassed everyone who circulated before to the point where they were afraid to answer their phones or answer their doors. There were threats of firing anyone who had relatives who worked in the district, and threats of the staff retaliating against the kids of anyone who supported giving the community a chance to vote on the $21 million boondoggle.

    After all this intimidation, and expensive “push poll” calls to previous signators (for which relatives were rewarded with jobs and sweet early retirement packages) we came up 40 signatures short after the challenge.

    One former board member terrorized my family by threatening me, through my wife by phone, to come to my home and “punch me in the mouth” if I kept challenging them. The guy was a lawyer.

    The folks doing this (from my and Morrison’s neighborhood)were both Dem and Republicans, and one from that crowd is now running as the GOP congressional candidate.

    Wherever there’s a lot of political money involved, this kind of intimidation happens. Is it right? No. But if you figure out how to stop it, let me know….


  85. - William j Kelly - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 5:00 pm:

    Oberwaste should show real leadership and denounce these rauner creeps!


  86. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 5:09 pm:

    Game Changer!


  87. - Downstate Libertarian - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 5:18 pm:

    It is sad to see such tactics being undertaken in the effort to restrict voter choices. The worst part of this is that actions like this will make people think twice in signing petitions in the future.


  88. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 5:38 pm:

    Arizona Bob - “But if you figure out how to stop it, let me know….”

    Easy, be a decent human being and stop supporting the political parties and their politicians that engage in that type of behavior and/or stay silent every time it happens. You are part of the problem if you keep voting Republican or Democrat in Illinois.

    And for any Democrats reveling in this situation, where were you when Michael Madigan and his goons were doing the exact same thing, with uniformed police officers, to Ralph Nader in 2004? Precinct Captain, the GOP only had to go back ten years to pick up the Chicago Democrats playbook for squashing voter participation and voter rights.

    Somewhat related, a federal judge today denied the Greens attempt to sue their way on the ballot, but in doing so stated that some more of Illinois’ election laws are probably unconstitutional.

    http://www.nwherald.com/2014/08/21/judge-rejects-green-party-lawsuit-over-ballot-access/a7g553n/?page=2

    Tharp stated in his opinion that several of the Greens’ complaints had legitimacy. He called the state’s support for the full-slate requirement “flimsy and bereft of logic,” especially given the ongoing debate over whether offices such as lieutenant governor and comptroller should be eliminated. Tharp also questioned the “baffling requirement” that each sheet of signatures be notarized separately, even if they were collected by the same person.

    “The plaintiffs have made a strong case at least one of the restrictions they target is a ’severe’ burden on their constitutional rights,” Tharp wrote.

    “Flimsy and bereft of logic”, Madigan and Kasper must be proud. Even more of their anti-democratic election laws violate the US Constitution and diminish voter participation.


  89. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 5:46 pm:

    The last paragraph is me, the previous two are from the NWHerald article.


  90. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 7:37 pm:

    Trigg -

    I thought Democrats dropped their challenge of Nader? Do I have my years confused?

    To be clear, I am not “reveling.” I think the Libertarian Party platform is a little whacked, but I think they would have more success if they were actively engaged in the political process outside of Election time.

    I also think the complaints about the petition process being cumbersome are a bit whiny. Junebug Hendricks, a homeless man, was able to get on the ballot. How hard can it be? Election law is technical because it is law.

    But, when the Libertarian Party or the Green Party or Kelly Burke goes through all the hoops, that should be it, end of story.

    What the GOP did in this case is beyond the pale.

    To Bob’s question, what do we do to stop it? How about prosecuting it for a change? How about an editorial from my good friends at the Chicago Tribune chastising Republicans for these tactics. It is wrong for Democrats to block ballot access — I have lost count of the number of editorials aimed at Mike Kasper — but when Bruce Rauner and the Republicans do it, the Tribune unplugs their keyboard?

    I have defended the Tribune editorial board’s editorials as ideological and therefore sometimes impractical when applied to the legislative process.

    They are entitled to be idealists defending a principle as sure as the ACLU.

    But those principles shouldn’t only apply to Mike Kasper and Mike Madigan.


  91. - LCP45 - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 8:01 pm:

    oops, bad timing for the Rauner team with the polls saying the race is even…I don’t doubt that this could have happened, and the Quinn crew could make hay from this if they don’t overplay their hand…


  92. - too obvious - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 8:24 pm:

    So this is what Rauner’s huge contribution to the Illinois Republican Party is buying. A bush league operation intended to suppress ballot access.

    Consider this. In the same week, Rauner loses in court on plan to get his referendum on the ballot. And also loses at Board of Elections on plan to keep competing candidates off the ballot.

    At least he’s consistent on the incompetency.


  93. - Percival - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:37 pm:

    Rauner has no one but himself and his staff to blame. They have embraced the Liz Gorman gang like long lost relatives, seemingly oblivious to the darker realities behind the cheerful façades of these people. So as ye sow . . .


  94. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 10:45 pm:

    Trigg, you left this out from the ruling…

    Tharp called the Green Party’s predicament “a situation of the plaintiffs’ own making,” concluding that it had plenty of time before the election process started challenging the requirements, rather than filing a July lawsuit after the filing period ended. Candidates for the Nov. 4 ballot mush be certified by Friday.

    “What the plaintiffs have effectively created is a situation in which the only preliminary remedy that can be fashioned is to strike the ballot access provision that has been held to be constitutionally valid while allowing the allegedly unconstitutional provisions to remain. A cure that removes healthy tissue rather than the cancer has little to recommend it, and the plaintiffs’ reliance on that backward logic falls well short of meeting their burden …” Tharp wrote.


  95. - Whispers - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    My husband is the Political Director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois. Everything that was reported by the Sun Times is true. Not only did the GOP try to intimidate folks that signed our petitions, they also had their PI intimidate several of our circulators with the intent to have all of their signatures thrown out. The PI (with his gun) approached one lady (Sarah) who collected 4,000 signatures. He got his foot in the door by telling Sarah he was investigating a missing child. After he lured her in, he contacted Sarah again, and she agreed to meet him again, but not at her home. She met him at a nearby White Castle. When they met, the PI quickly changed the subject and did his best to scare her into signing an affidavit stating that she did not collect her signatures, and that they were fraudulent. He told her that “they” had been watching her and taking photos of her, and demanded that she “admit” she did not collect the signatures. Although Sarah felt intimidated and violated, she stood her ground and refused to sign the affidavit. Sarah had to appear at the SBOE hearings to defend her signatures.
    A lot of time and money went into this petition drive. My husband and I knew the Republicans would challenge us, but never dreamed they would stoop to so low and engage in such malicious tactics. From what I understand, this battle has been one of the most intense in recent history. Although the Republicans managed to get two of our highest circulators and all of their signatures thrown out (one lied and said she hadn’t circulated in this election cycle, but actually collected for a Democrat in the primaries) we still have 989 valid signatures above the required 25,000.
    Today the SBOE Hearing Officer will recommend to the “Board” that the Libertarians be on the ballot for the November 2014 elections. Let’s see what happens.


  96. - Jim Goebel - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Never mind, found it.

    https://www.quinnforillinois.com/quinn-illinois-statement-regarding-rauner-voter-intimidation-guns

    And while you’re at it, my podcast will be doing a show, interviewing Scott Summers on the Green Party race for the ballot. I think we’ll have a lot to say about how quinn’s camp is engaged in ballot suppression.

    9 AM Central, http://radiofubar.com


  97. - Whispers - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    I just found out that (we) the Libertarians will be on the ballot!


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