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Libertarian Party explains Jesse White surrender

Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From the Libertarian Party of Illinois…

The Libertarian Party of Illinois completed its 2022 statewide petition drive on July 11, 2022. We handed in about 36,600 signatures to meet the 25,000 minimum required for our statewide slate to make the ballot. Although there is a presumption that a party has enough valid signatures to make the ballot, Illinois allows opponents to enlist voters to file objections to remove candidates for various reasons. The Democratic Party enlisted a voter to file an objection to our candidate for Secretary of State, Jesse White. Our other six statewide candidates did not draw an objection and will be on the November ballot.

The objection was filed by an individual affiliated with the Democratic Party of Illinois, and advanced by the Democratic Party of Illinois’ attorney. The objection sought to disqualify thousands of petition signatures based upon methods used to gather the signatures, and other grounds, such as one of our notaries was not eligible to notarize our petitions.

It became clear from the first electoral board meeting that the Democratic Party of Illinois was very serious in its goal to knock Jesse White off the ballot. No doubt the Democrats feared that Democratic voters would confuse the LP’s Jesse White (who would be shown on the ballot as “Libertarian Party”) with the retiring Secretary of State, and Jesse White would receive enough votes to cause the Democrat’s candidate to lose the November election.
The objection from the Democrats was largely based on two allegations:

“Pattern of Fraud #1” Two petitioners from a petitioning firm the LPIL hired produced over 5,000 signatures. The objection asserted one of the petitioners who signed the circulator affidavit (bottom of each petition) did not personally circulate those sheets (whether this was true could not be confirmed), and the other petitioner wrote three different residence addresses on his petition sheets, and he apparently lived in different places during the petition drive.

“Pattern of Fraud #2” Some sheets had additional info written at the address lines where petition signers had printed abbreviations (e.g., “Lake in the Hills” written in where the signer had written “LITH,” or “Arlington Heights” where there was “AH,”or “Lake Zurich” for “LZ”, etc.). No changes were made to voter names, signatures, or addresses. While these and other corrections may have constituted technical errors on the petition sheet, no signatures and no substantive information on the petition sheets were altered in any way, and it has been our policy to only add this information before the sheets were signed by a circulator and notarized.

We deny there was any “fraud” by our members. However, it was clear the Democrats intended to do everything possible to kick Jesse White off the ballot, with no budget restrictions. The Democrats hired six experienced election attorneys and a handwriting expert to advance their objection. A handwriting expert of our own would have potentially cost $15,000 or more. First thing, the Democrats requested subpoenas for many party members, the two petitioners above, and to several petitioners hired directly by LPIL (one of whom was in New Hampshire and the other in Las Vegas). Subpoenas would have required everyone to testify under oath at an evidentiary hearing that could have lasted many days, with cross-examination.

Then-LPIL Chair Steve Suess, then-Vice Chair Donny Henry, Treasurer Russ Clark, and Ballot Access Director Bill Redpath held discussions with our attorney, Andrew Finko, and evaluated where we stood from a legal perspective, the likelihood of having over 25,000 valid signatures after a long and costly objection process, and the anticipated negative publicity. What we faced was a huge financial setback if we spent every last dollar fighting this objection, with a significant risk of an adverse decision despite spending every dollar we have. We also realized the political establishment had a much bigger concern with our Jesse White for Secretary of State than any of us previously realized. This was a difficult decision for us to make.

We apologize to Jesse White, who was an excellent Secretary of State candidate and gathered about 1,400 signatures on the petition drive. Unfortunately, hindsight has again proven itself to be 20/20. Even though it had its issues, no other party in Illinois did a petition drive like the LPIL did this year, and we need to go forth and make this a great year for the LPIL by earning over 5% of the vote at the November 2022 election to achieve established party status.

Thank you,

Chase Renwick
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Illinois

       

34 Comments
  1. - SKI - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 12:50 pm:

    Yes it was shenanigans on both sides. It still doesn’t change the fact that Illinois should make ballot access equal. Every candidate should have the same requirements for being on the ballot regardless of party.


  2. - Sox Fan - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 12:56 pm:

    It really is funny to hear the Libertarian Party label the Democrats as the dirty one in this situation. They should explain how a wedding DJ with no government experience makes for a solid SOS candidate


  3. - DHS Drone - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 12:56 pm:

    Of all the people in Illinois, you just happen to find the one candidate who just happens to share the name of an extremely popular holder of the same office. As we say, that is quite the coinky-dink.

    I get it, its the way the game is played. But I don’t know if I would be shocked that others noticed it and fought against it.


  4. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 12:57 pm:

    Talk about brimming with confidence. /s


  5. - The Captain - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 1:00 pm:

    Their whole slate was on the same set of petitions. They couldn’t risk having the petitions of the whole slate ruled insufficient. Even though no one else on the slate was facing a petition challenge that wasn’t worth the risk so he dropped out.


  6. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 1:02 pm:

    Boo hoo, ya had me then ya lost me. Good.


  7. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 1:05 pm:

    They should have run Jessie White for governor he would probably be a front runner


  8. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    - What we faced was a huge financial setback if we spent every last dollar fighting this objection -

    Lol, this was the best chance you ever had at winning anything, it would have been money well spent.


  9. - Southside Markie - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    == They should have run Jessie White for governor he would probably be a front runner ==

    They couldn’t have done worse with that than their last candidate for Governor.

    https://apps03.lakecountyil.gov/inmatesearchmobile/InmateDetail.aspx?BookingNumber=l161637


  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 1:21 pm:

    Welp, it was worth the try I suppose, I mean… what exactly do they have cookin’?

    If they find a Willy from Oswego, I’ll have to convene with - Norseman - and weigh *our* options for upcoming races.

    Yep. It’s that silly.


  11. - Just Sayin - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 1:32 pm:

    ==We handed in about 36,600 signatures to meet the 25,000 minimum required for our statewide slate to make the ballot.==

    By any chance, was one of the signatures that of Candace Wanzo?


  12. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 1:34 pm:

    To sum up, we tried to get cute with a stunt. That stunt backfired as it drew attention from opposing parties we would not otherwise get. We are incredibly lucky that the rest of our ticket wasn’t challenged also, or we’d be toast because we’re broke.


  13. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 1:36 pm:

    ==We apologize to Jesse White, who was an excellent Secretary of State candidate==

    Is having the same name as the current SOS the “excellent” qualification or is there more than his work as a DJ, tattoo artist, musician, and coach that was never shared?


  14. - Benjamin - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 1:36 pm:

    This all boils down to “The Democratic Party doesn’t like us, so they did something in response the rules clearly allow them to do.” No illegal dealings, no fraud alleged, just following the rules.

    You don’t like the ballot access rules? Fair enough, but complain about that, not that your opponents didn’t want to give you a free pass for your own dirty tricks.


  15. - The Captain - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 1:41 pm:

    Also, the Republicans would have gladly funded any legal needs here, this was never about money.


  16. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 2:05 pm:

    “Boo hoo‼ The Dems used the well-established rules to undermine our charade‼”

    – MrJM


  17. - Vote Quimby - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 2:16 pm:

    LP: next time, shop local.


  18. - Techie - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 2:16 pm:

    Illinois’ ballot access rules are atrocious and fuel the dysfunctional two-party system. That said, the obvious ploy to confuse voters by the Libertarian Party isn’t exactly the most ethical play, either.


  19. - Leap Day William - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 2:22 pm:

    == Is having the same name as the current SOS the “excellent” qualification or is there more than his work as a DJ, tattoo artist, musician, and coach that was never shared? ==

    Sounds like he’s the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne of Illinois.


  20. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 2:29 pm:

    -Also, the Republicans would have gladly funded any legal needs here-

    I’m not sure what the Libertarians are for or against most of the time, especially in Illinois, but I am pretty sure two of the things they are against are the major parties.


  21. - Correcting - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 2:47 pm:

    It’s not like the Libertarians sought out a guy named Jesse White. It’s his name. There is also a man in the party named Andrew Jackson. Why is nobody on this blog explaining why third parties need five times the amount of signatures as the two major parties and what is fair about that? You love democracy as long as it’s your approved of choices, and if you had it your way you would abolish the Republican Party too.


  22. - Lurker - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 2:48 pm:

    I thought this whole Jesse White identity theft was as serious as Huh? stealing huh? from these blog comments. I hope huh? can mount a successful battle too.


  23. - Moved East - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 3:04 pm:

    I don’t know what is more sad, the Democratic party believing that voters are too stupid to notice that this is a different Jesse White, or the fact that the Dems are probably right in that belief.


  24. - Bigtwich - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 3:12 pm:

    Well, they took a tumble on that.


  25. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 3:21 pm:

    -It’s not like the Libertarians sought out a guy named Jesse White. It’s his name.-

    You forgot the snark symbol. Wow.


  26. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 3:41 pm:

    Something tells me if Griffin’s man had won the primary, they would have found the money to defend those petitions


  27. - DTAG - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 3:43 pm:

    I saw the petitions for the libertarian party and it certainly looked like addresses were changed.


  28. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 4:04 pm:

    ==It’s not like the Libertarians sought out a guy named Jesse White.==

    So, why did they recruit someone whose experience is this: https://www.electjessewhite.org/about.html


  29. - Correcting - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 5:31 pm:

    You are delusional if you think the Libertarians recruit anybody to run for an office who is not already affiliated with the party, first of all. They do not have an outreach strategy. Second, Libertarians ALWAYS run people who are not qualified for the job they are running for. Go look at Preston Nelson’s resume and tell me he is qualified to be treasurer (he is not). It’s a small club. Please knock it off with your wacky conspiracy theories. I know Libertarians personally. Show some respect and stop assuming the worst in people. Libertarians aren’t the ones who want to keep people off the ballot because they think they have a monopoly on a first and last name.


  30. - JoanP - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 5:51 pm:

    @ Pot calling kettle -

    That’s some website. Touting things that the OTHER Jesse White did without any acknowledgement that they are two different people.


  31. - Bruce( no not him) - Wednesday, Aug 10, 22 @ 10:57 pm:

    They couldn’t get another JB Pritzker to run for SOS?


  32. - Fred Spinker - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 7:11 am:

    ==Touting things that the OTHER Jesse White did without any acknowledgement that they are two different people.==

    Came here to say the same thing. Totally disingenuous and dishonest.


  33. - DHS Drone - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 8:19 am:

    From Libertarian candidate Jesse White campaign website:

    “Jesse White will to continue the work put forth by the Secretary of State’s office to improve Illinois DMV offices.

    Jesse White enacted an electronic verification service to verify a driver’s auto insurance coverage. He also increased the number of services available online and dropped automated fees for online payments. This reduced costs for the DMV and Driver Services while keeping our roadways safe. ”

    Stop pawning him off as some innocent victim. The party knew what it was doing and got caught.


  34. - Jeff Johnson - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 1:56 pm:

    It was a nice try tho .. If I was a lolibertarian I would have just gone to court with whatever I had , even if it meant being represented pro se .. the burden of proof will fall on the challenger -and there is always the ability to appeal - and with only 60ish days until the General election - good chance he could have withstood the challenge. Too quick on the surrender IMO.


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