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Rauner files “emergency appeal”

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014

* From a press release

Today the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits, chaired by Bruce Rauner, filed an emergency petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. The Illinois Supreme Court will ultimately decide if the people have the right to vote on the Term Limits and Reform binding constitutional amendment on November 4th.

“I urge the Illinois Supreme Court to listen to the people of Illinois; the Court needs to take our appeal and rule on this case. We believe our Term Limits and Reform amendment is not only constitutional but is exactly what the framers of the 1970 Illinois Constitution intended when they provided for a direct initiative by the voters to make structural and procedural changes to the Legislature. The Legislature will never vote to term limit themselves because of their self-interest in maintaining the status quo in Springfield - it has to be the people,” Bruce Rauner said.

The Committee filed nearly 600,000 signatures with the State Board of Elections in April, almost double the number required by law, in order to place the amendment on the November ballot. The State Board of Elections has certified that enough valid signatures were submitted for the amendment to appear on the ballot.

“This amendment was crafted to follow the requirements as set forth by the Illinois Constitution and previous rulings of the Illinois Supreme Court that have addressed what is needed to have a valid initiative,” Rauner concluded.

Look, if you spend enough money and do it right, you can get 600,000 signatures on just about anything. 600,000 signatures has nothing to do with constitutionality.

…Adding… In my haste to post this development, I forgot I had something ready to go on this topic. Here’s our frequent commenter “walker” on Bruce Rauner’s attempt to amend the Constitution with term limits

It was doomed from the start, and should have been known to be so. It was obvious on first reading of the petition itself.

Quite an abusive and fraudulent campaign tactic. Cynically build up the hopes and dreams of well-meaning citizens, just to look good, only to have their efforts fail by design, and to then blame those “insiders” in Springfield.

Of all the things this Rauner team has done, this was the most cynical and destructive — regardless of where you are on term limits. And it will probably work well for Rauner at the polls, which is of course their only ethical standard.

* Also, Wordslinger

Now it’s just a Rauner-as-victim thing that he can use to burnish his outsider credentials and stoke up anger.

* Meanwhile, the Tribune rewrites history

a redistricting reform proposal that died after Mikva’s ruling because its supporters didn’t have the money to fight another round.

Yeah, that’s why they dropped it. Right. And if they really were facing financial ruin, it’s because donors finally figured out that they had screwed up their petitions and their amendment.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


*** 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   95 Comments      


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