* From last September…
A lawsuit brought by a former primary challenger to Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan can continue after [federal Judge Matthew F. Kennelly] ruled Wednesday he’d previously overlooked allegations that Madigan used his authority and influence to damage and discredit his opponent.
Jason Gonzales alleges that the veteran South Side lawmaker put up “two sham candidates with Hispanic last names to split up the Hispanic vote” in order to defeat him in the March 2016 primary, according to the ruling. […]
The decision also indicates an interest in digging into the time-honored tradition of placing sham candidates on a ballot. […]
Citing precedent set in a 1973 case involving a Democratic primary for a state Senate seat, Kennelly notes that, “Gonzales alleges that defendants registered these sham candidates to split up the Hispanic vote and prevent the election of a Hispanic representative. This is sufficient to allege purposeful discrimination.”
Because of that ruling, I don’t know of any other alleged Chicago-area put-up candidates this year, except in Rep. Rita’s race.
* Last night…
A Democratic challenger in the race for the 28th House District — one of the most expensive in Illinois this primary season — is accusing incumbent state Rep. Robert “Bob” Rita of benefiting from election shenanigans straight out of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s playbook.
Mary Carvlin, a Spanish teacher from Blue Island, Illinois, says the race’s third contestant Kimberly Koschnitzky is a “ghost candidate” put on the ballot by Speaker Madigan’s political organization solely to draw votes away from her campaign. Having a second challenger could split the vote between the two women and help Rita by default. […]
After Carvlin accused the Speaker of supporting the race’s third candidate earlier this year, NBC 5 Investigates has confirmed several volunteers and donors from the 13th Ward Democratic Organization — Madigan’s political operation — helped Koschnitzky gather petition signatures to get her onto the ballot.
The Illinois State Board of Elections documents reveal at least six of Koschnitzky’s petition circulators — William Nambo, Ronald Crane, Steven Hensley, Frank Varnagis, Steven Szalko Jr. and John Grzymski — have been affiliated with Madigan’s political operation. In addition, State Board of Elections campaign contribution reports show each of them has donated to the 13th Ward Democratic Organization between $200 and $2,900.
Nambo and Crane were confirmed by multiple sources in and outside of Madigan’s political organization as having been precinct captains for the 13th Ward in the past.
Mary Carvlin reported having just $550 in the bank at the end of December and has reported nothing since then. The alleged ghost Koschnitzky has not filed any paperwork with the Board of Elections as of this writing.