* Ted Slowik has a petition challenge story that shouldn’t be missed. It’s about Mat Tomkowiak, who filed to run against Speaker Madigan for 3rd State Central Democratic Committeeman.
Tomkowiak only needed 100 valid signatures, but the Madigan people had whittled his total down to just 107 before bringing in a handwriting expert, 80-year-old Diane Marsh of Westchester…
Tomkowiak, who represented himself, challenged Marsh’s credentials, saying some of the professional organizations that certified her skills ceased to exist years ago. Hearing officer Bernadette Matthews, the state board’s assistant executive director, dismissed Tomkowiak’s line of questioning as “speculative” or “lacking foundation.”
Matthews also ruled that Tomkowiak could not submit 38 affidavits he obtained from people who swore that they had, in fact, signed his petitions. The deadline was Friday to submit evidence to be considered at the hearing, Matthews said.
Tomkowiak pleaded that submitting the affidavits prior to the hearing would have allowed the handwriting expert to know which signatures had supporting evidence of authenticity.
“Can you see how that is unfair to me?” he asked.
Matthews deemed the affidavits inadmissible.
“My job as hearing officer is not to rule on the motives or intent of the objectors,” Matthews said.
Across the table from Tomkowiak sat Michael Kasper, general counsel for Madigan’s Illinois Democratic Party. Kasper, wearing a dark suit and bow tie, is a highly skilled attorney who successfully argued the Illinois Supreme Court should strike down the 2016 ballot initiative known as the Illinois Independent Redistricting Map Amendment.
Go read the rest, but (spoiler alert!) it ended as expected today…