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All’s well that ends well

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012

* Yesterday, Treasurer Dan Rutherford attempted to explain why the Mitt Romney campaign was challenging Santorum delegate petitions signatures…

Several months ago the rules for placing Delegates/Alternates for Presidential nomination on the Illinois ballot were reaffirmed. No changes were made.

The law states that in order to be on the ballot the candidates for Delegate/Alternate need 600 valid, registered voters’ signatures from within that Congressional District.

Speaker Gingrich, Congressman Paul and Governor Romney’s campaigns filed slates of Delegates/Alternates in Illinois and all had over 600 signatures.

The Senator Santorum campaign in Illinois filed slates in 14 of the 18 Districts. Of the 14, only 4 had 600 signatures. No objection was filed for any District that had the required 600. One District had only 614 signatures and no attempt was made to vet signatures to bump them to be below the 600. There will be candidates for Delegate/Alternate for Senator Santorum on the ballot.

The 10 Districts that objections were filed had:

CD 1 356 Signatures
CD 2 179 Signatures
CD3 214 Signatures
CD10 422 Signatures
CD 11 378 Signatures
CD 12 261 Signatures
CD 15 250 Signatures
CD 16 222 Signatures
CD17 227 Signatures
CD 18 117 Signatures

As one can see, the minimum requirements are dramatically lacking.

The first day one could circulate a petition was October 8 and the rules were reaffirmed months before. All of the campaigns had the same amount of time.

No objections were filed for technical violations, strictly those that, on the face, did not have the minimum number of signatures.

As some commenters pointed out yesterday, the GOP nomination could very well be over by the time Illinoisans get to vote, and Romney would probably not want to needlessly make enemies here.

* And by the end of the day, everybody apparently agreed to drop their challenges and move on. From the Rick Santorum campaign

Leadership from the Romney campaign (Dan Rutherford), Gingrich campaign (Bruce Hansen and Nick Provenzano), Paul campaign (Chris Younce) and Santorum campaign (Al Salvi and Jon Zahm) have agreed today to withdraw all petition challenges in Illinois against one another’s statewide and delegate petitions.

* And speaking of updates to yesterday’s stories, Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. released his own poll yesterday after Debbie Halvorson’s poll showed him ahead 48-35

Halvorson said that with the incumbent polling so low, she sees a “path to victory” for herself, especially with so many voters in the district telling her they don’t like Jackson: “I don’t barely have time to get my name out and they say, ‘Oh, you’ve got my vote,’” Halvorson said.

But Jackson’s pollster says that after all the controversies he has been through in the last two years, to still have 61 percent of voters saying they hold a “favorable” opinion of Jackson, “I see a superhighway to victory.” […]

In her poll, Jackson won the initial ballot 44 percent to 30 percent.

Then they read the 496 voters positive messages about both candidates. Jackson still led Halvorson, Lake said.

Then they read negative statements about both candidates. They mentioned that the House Ethics committee opened an investigation of whether Jackson improperly used congressional staff to campaign for him to be appointed to the U.S. Senate.

After all that, Jackson still led Halvorson, Lake said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Single issue congressman - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 6:11 am:

    But is she for a third airport in Peotone?

  2. - Anon - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 8:07 am:

    Jesse needs to stop talking about that stupid airport and talk about something people care about. 8 terms and multiple governors and still no airport. Debbie needs to get on tv and scorched earth on radio and mail. He actually has enough dirt that she shouldn’t have to pay to get it out there. It’s her only shot.
    Dan Rutherford is just plain funny. Watching him on the state stage is funnier than watching him try to get to the state stage which is what he’s been trying to do for years. Now he’s there but he keeps tripping over all of his own press releases and then he sends out new press releases to explain what he meant in the previous press releases. People can smell when your only goal is press.

  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 8:20 am:

    Some typical insight from Dennis Byrne as to what Americans are looking for in a president, from yesterday’s Trib:

    –They’re looking for someone who has accomplished the important stuff, like controlling runaway budgets; not a naif who moved almost directly into the White House from the dark precincts of the Illinois Legislature.–

    The “dark precincts of the Illinois legislature.” That’s not a phrase you run across every day. Where are those “dark precincts of the Illinois Legislature,” anyway? Are they down by the Rathskeller? In the tunnels over to Stratton?

    I wonder what Byrne means by that? I wonder if anyone bothers to edit the Trib’s edit page anymore.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 8:26 am:

    Treasurer Dan Rutherford,

    It seems that you have come to your senses and decided to “honor” the Gentleman’s Agreeement.

    The long post, first on “the Facebook” and then re-posted here reminded me how out of touch your political “arm” is, and what bad advice you were getting, and further, the silly way you tried to “justify” alienating people you may need later, not just for Romney, but yourself, for the sake of nothing, when it is not going to come down to Illinois for anything.

    I have tried to tell you about the “governmental” issues you are having, making it more about “running for office” than actually, “running the office”.

    This “challenge” move showed your “political” operation has a tin ear and not serving you well when you need sound advice.

    Get your governmental house in order or you won’t need political people around you.

    Get your political operations in order, or you will not need to worry about ramping up for “bigger and better” instead you will worry about, “thank yous and concession speeches”.

    Stopping the challenges are a wise move, but LEARN from this. Stop Amateur Hour. If you are going to be a player, get those two houses in order, and …

    for Goodness Sake, do NOT post garbage explaining how being petty and alienating GOPers by breaking a Gentleman’s Agreement isn’t being petty and isn’t alienating GOPers.

    That was dopey!

    A good start, but get those houses in order, and if you need a “Winter Cleaning”, do it quickly, and do it swiftly.

    Your Pal,

    Oswego Willy

  5. - MrJM - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 8:47 am:

    I wonder if anyone bothers to edit the Trib’s edit page anymore.

    Maybe they did. Perhaps they removed “-ie” from the adjective that Byrne used to describe those precincts.

    – MrJM

  6. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 9:01 am:

    - Maybe they did. Perhaps they removed “-ie” from the adjective that Byrne used to describe those precincts. -

    I can’t stop laughing at this.

  7. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 9:34 am:

    ==As some commenters pointed out yesterday, the GOP nomination could very well be over by the time Illinoisans get to vote, and Romney would probably not want to needlessly make enemies here.==

    But, if it keeps going, and if Santorum emerges as the top rival… It is, of course, all speculation, but letting those folks on the ballot with so few signatures, sheesh. The rules should require the Board of Elections to only accept the submissions that have the minimum number of signatures. Then, this would not be an issue.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 9:43 am:

    PCK -

    It ain’t going to come down to IL.

    By the time we vote in March, there will be one nominee. Further, a Gentleman’s Agreement is just that, not a “I am going to hedge my bets and knock ya off if its close” agreement.

    Is Rutherford’s word worth anything if he knocks ‘em off, and aren’t the most politically active operative the ones most likey to be “delegates”? Why alienate those guys?

    Gentleman’s Agreement. Illinois not in play.

    It NEVER should have gotten, even remotely, this far.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 10:00 am:

    ===The rules should require the Board of Elections to only accept the submissions that have the minimum number of signatures. Then, this would not be an issue.===

    The rules require you file petitons.

    The rules also allow others to question your petitions to knock you off.

    The Board of Elections gives relief to those facing another who does not meeting the requirements, its up to the “voters” to SEEK that relief.

  10. - RMWStanford - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 10:01 am:

    I can understand not file objection to the other Presidential candidates delegates petitions, as Rich said no need to make enemies. That being said 600 signature for CD does not seem like all that high of bar to pass and it makes you wonder why more them could not pass it.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 10:32 am:

    RMW -

    I agree with you 100%. You should be able to get the 600 signatures. How embarrassing is that, if you are part of the Santorum Crew (*cough* Zahm) that your “guys” failed that test.


    You can’t post something, justifying a breaking of a Gentleman’s Agreement, stating you are not being “petty”, when in fact, everything in that LONG explaination points to being … Petty!

    The Rutherford Post/Explaination is embarrassing because it is trying to justify an action that everyone agrees to NOT do, against Delegates that might not even matter in the big picture anyway … AND … alienate more people than you are trying to “protect” by following the rules.

    The qualifications are crystal clear - 600 signatures. The Agreement is straight-forward, “no challenges”. The result? An image of pettiness, and backing off your pettiness, and a weak looking organization afraid that their “guy” could get knocked off because of a bad format too.

    Fiasco. Never should have even gotten out of a discussion session.

  12. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 12:21 pm:

    Hilarious watching Jon Zahm whine about objections and then praising the unity when objections dropped, when he filed more objections than anyone. What a sleaze. No wonder Romney is winning.

  13. - mark walker - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 12:48 pm:

    I agree with Pot. If the law requires submission of a minimum of 600 names by a certain date, and you file a petition with less than that number on the face of it, before any other technical requirements are met, there should be an automatic rejection without the need for any further qualification or a third-party challenge. Just as there is a rejection of any petition submitted late on the face of it.

    Do we have a “gentlemen’s agreement” to jointly ignore the election law prior to submission?

  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    ===there should be an automatic rejection without the need for any further qualification or a third-party challenge. Just as there is a rejection of any petition submitted late on the face of it.

    Do we have a “gentlemen’s agreement” to jointly ignore the election law prior to submission?===

    That is why you have to “object”, and that “objection” of not making the minimum IS a slam dunk. Participatory democracy requires ALL to be involved in the process, not a “board” automatically rejecting.

    If you feel so strongly, then you personally object and be done with it.

    On the “Agreement” - Why have an agreement if no one is going to abide by it. Your word is all you have most of the time in politics, the other thing you have are your actions. If you can’t be trusted on either, than don’t expect much respect or courtesy.

    The more the Rutherford actions are defended, the more Rutherford’s word looks less and less trustworthy.

    See how opening this can of worms affects you, Treasurer Rutherford?

    These challenges are the dopiest thing the ILGOP has done, or in this case, let happen, in … days.

  15. - Anon III - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 2:19 pm:

    What does this say about Illinois election law requirements for hundreds and thousands of signatures on petitions, and for the whole challenge process?

  16. - Anon 4 - Wednesday, Jan 18, 12 @ 6:25 pm:

    George W. Bush picked George Ryan to be his Illinois Chairman and Mitt Romney picked Dan Rutherford. Santorum hires Jon Zahm. Gingrich hires Nick Provenzano. I guess good help is hard to find in Illinois.

  17. - Jon Zahm - Thursday, Jan 19, 12 @ 12:17 am:

    OW and Just Sayin’- We got well over 5000 signatures on the statewide petition and recruited 75 Delegates and Alternates in a 13 day campaign over Christmas in the cold raising between 200 and 1000 signatures for each of 14 teams. That is good hard work and I think you should praise the leadership and volunteers of that effort. I filed my objections as a defensive response to attacks on our petitions.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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