Four Presidential Candidates Removed from Illinois Ballot

On July 23, Illinois election officials removed Virgil Goode (Constitution Party), Stewart Alexander (Socialist Party), Rocky Anderson (Justice Party), and Michael Hawkins (Together Enhancing America Party) from the November 2012 ballot.

The man who had challenged their petitions had decided to withdraw his challenges to their petitions. But the hearing officer refused to let him speak, so he wasn’t able to withdraw the challenges.

36 comments

  1. Curt Boyd · · Reply

    Why did they not allow him to speak? Could he not have withdrawn his complaints beforehand?

  2. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    Well, that really sticks!

  3. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    That is stinks!

  4. When I spoke to the objector two weeks ago, he was dead set against withdrawing. Perhaps the counter-arguments from around the GP had some effect, but too late. The challenges should never have been filed in the first place.

    When the bureaucratic wheels start turning, you can’t simply stop and reverse. State election commissions are not there to assist minor parties and are clearly not going to stop one local party leader from making a mistake and harming other minor parties. I am afraid for how this might effect ballot-access cooperation around the country.

    So it’s important to stress that this was a local party leader acting as an individual, without the support of even the ILGP state party chair, much less the national party.

  5. Justin Kahm · · Reply

    The Rocky Anderson campaign could have gotten more votes than the Jill Stein campaign. By removing the Justice Party and Socialist Party candidates from the Illinois ballot, the Green Party just successfully eliminated it’s greatest competition this year. So much for third party unity.

  6. Yes it stinks and shows what can happen when you try act like you’re one of the big two capitalist parties.

    It doesn’t excuse or let the Greens who filed and orchestrated these challenges in the first place off the hook for acting like assclowns toward other 3rd parties. This travesty only happened because of their actions.

  7. Scott – There were plenty of Illinois Green Party members who voiced support for the actions by the objector and the Illinois Green Party State Central Committee rejected a resolution to withdraw the challenges. It’s way more than just “one local leader”.

    Yes, you and the Green Party should be “afraid for how this might effect ballot-access cooperation around the country”.

  8. @5. This was the initiative of one man, Cook County Chair, Rob Sherman. The challenges were controversial within the ILGP itself and opposed by ILGP chair Phil Huckleberry, for all the reasons given by others. Jill Stein, Howie Hawkins and various party orgs asked Sherman to withdraw the objection. I myself spoke to the him on the phone weeks ago, asking him to withdraw, to no effect. I’m co-chair of the SC Green Party and spoke for the Steering Committee.
    I’m just saying to clarify that this isn’t the fault of “the Greens”. That said, the damage is done and perception will be the reality for most.

    I hope for successes in cooperation with other parties, particularly in North Carolina and Georgia this year.

  9. Demo Rep · · Reply

    ANY time for emergency appeals to the courts ???

    — along with demanding $$$ DAMAGES from the election law bureaucrats involved ???

  10. Phil Huckelberry, Chair of the ILGP and a few other ILGP members who spoke against the actions of Rob Sherman and Andy Finko have my undying admiration.

    I have nothing but contempt for Finko, the Green Party lawyer who got Sherman to do his dirty work and wanted to add a “treason” clause to the ILGP Constitution.

    I wish you and other Greens outside of Illinois great success, but you are probably correct when you said ” damage is done and perception will be the reality for most.”

  11. Citizen · · Reply

    I would think that, if the ILGP, the Stein Campaign, or the GPUS had any idea that this ILGP team who filed the objections were so incompetent, which it appears they may have, the request that the objection be withdrawn perhaps should have been more explicit and more timely. Of course, it was the prerogative of the ILGP, the Stein Campaign and the GPUS to have done so. I don’t know that I’ve seen to date a public statement from the Stein Campaign regarding the actions of the this group in the ILGP. This is a significant development in the fight for third party ballot access.

  12. G. Miller · · Reply

    But, they refuse to remove the biggest fraud in history, even with overwhelming evidence that he has NOT established his eligibility: Barack Hussein Obama.

  13. Austin Cassidy · · Reply

    It’s important to note that, as far as I am aware, none of these parties that were dropped off the ballot had done the work required to get on the ballot in the first place.

    The Greens and Libertarians did the work and collected enough petitions to qualify. The rest of these folks tried to skate by, handing in some fraction of the required total and crossing their fingers that no one would challenge their signatures.

    Hard to muster too much sympathy for their fate.

  14. Citizen · · Reply

    Austin, I believe it was likely a strategy of the other campaigns to submit the required paperwork and nothing more because it was inconceivable at that point to expect a challenge would come from the Green Party. The GOP or Dems? Perhaps.

  15. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #14, it is a long tradition in Illinois that some minor parties routinely don’t submit more than little petitions. The Prohibition Party did this in the 1930’s and 1940’s to be on for Cook County executive offices, and it always worked. The Libertarian Party in 1996 submitted such petitions in all 20 US House districts in 1996, and ten of them were not challenged. The Constitution Party got on this way for president and US Senate in Illinois in 2008 and had no reason to think the outcome would be different this time.

  16. #12 the objection was filed by the chair of the Cook County GP. There was no coordination or consultation with the national GP or anyone outside of IL. Even the chair of the ILGP was taken by surprise.
    Stein, Howie Hawkins, the GA Green Party, myself (SC Green Party co-chair) and others contacted the Cook County Chair and asked him to withdraw the objections. Given our conversation, I’m surprised that the objector appeared at the hearing. I’m glad that he did, but too little, too late.

    Round up of some Green Party requests to withdraw the objections:
    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2012/07/howie-hawkins-others-respond-to-rob-sherman-on-illinois-ballot-access-challenges/

  17. Citizen · · Reply

    Scott, I do understand that the objection was filed by Rob Sherman and the petitions were pulled by Andy Finko. Having said that, there is plenty of information available online about these fellas and some of the shenanigans they have engaged in over the past few years. I would imagine that anyone with some sort of established relationship with these guys has some sort of idea that these guys are capable of some pretty nutty behavior. Considering the implications and the characters involved, I stand behind my statement.

  18. Austin Cassidy · · Reply

    Richard,

    My point is only that the Greens and Libertarians collected close to 80,000 signatures between them. It seems understandable that they would resent sharing the ballot with a party that submitted a few hundred (or fewer) signatures.

  19. This action was preceeded by a similar action here in New Paltz five years ago when the “Green” Mayor Jason West was running for reelection and his campaign challenged the petition signatures of another minor party candidate for Mayor. I was not a Green Party member at that time but I argued with local Greens that this was a wrongheaded action. West lost.

  20. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #19, in 2008, neither the Greens nor the Libertarians challenged the Constitution Party, and I don’t think any Illinois Greens or Libertarians resented Chuck Baldwin being on the Illinois ballot. If minor parties don’t defend the freedom of voters to vote for whom they wish, who will defend the voters? Keeping a candidate or a party off the ballot injures the voters who want to vote for that candidate or party.

    And, chances are, the Greens in 2012 could not have withstood a challenge. 30,000 signatures is not enough to withstand a challenge. Ironically, in Pennsylvania, the Constitution Party now has 30,000 and the Greens only have about 15,000, and the deadline is just a week away. Pennsylvania requires 20,601.

  21. Demo Rep · · Reply

    The challenge stuff is more brain dead stuff in a MORON regime.

    AUTOMATIC challenges by election law bureaucrats if the number of apparent valid signatures is less than 200 percent of the minimum required.

    Major FELONY stuff for intentional fake signatures = attempting to subvert Democracy.

    Where is that Model Election Law ???

  22. Brandy Baker · · Reply

    Based on what I read about him, this Sherman guy is an attention whore and a pathological liar. I do not believe that he was going to withdraw the challenges. Yet another lie.

  23. Illvotes · · Reply

    In IL you can’t withdraw an objection verbally, it must be done in writing submitted before the hearings. Rob Sherman is an idiot, incompetent, or just making silly excuses for this, take your pick. He can’t blame the elections board for this, period. Also, Sherman steadfastly denies he did this alone and is adamant that this decision was done in concert with his IL Greens. The IL Greens WILL PAY for this. Perhaps even this year if they want to switch Howie Hawkins as VP with their real VP candidate. If the IL Greens don’t release a statement condemning this action and move to take away Rob Sherman’s leadership position immediately, they are asking for it. Sherman has money, so we’ll soon see what the IL Greens care more about, democracy or money. I’ll bet they choose Sherman’s money.

    The IL Greens got very lucky this year as they did NOT submit enough signatures to withstand a challenge. They won’t get lucky again now. This will set the Greens in IL back ten years, hope it was worth it for them.

  24. Austin Cassidy is right.

    “It’s important to note that, as far as I am aware, none of these parties that were dropped off the ballot had done the work required to get on the ballot in the first place.

    The Greens and Libertarians did the work and collected enough petitions to qualify. The rest of these folks tried to skate by, handing in some fraction of the required total and crossing their fingers that no one would challenge their signatures.

    Hard to muster too much sympathy for their fate.”

    Amen, Austin.

  25. Illvotes · · Reply

    The Greens DID NOT collect enough signatures to qualify this year. 29,000 raw signatures is not enough to meet the 25,000 valid signatures requirement. No one who’s turned in less than 35,000 has withstood a challenge in Illinois. The Greens got lucky and they won’t get lucky again in Illinois. I will have no sympathy for the IL Greens when they get kicked off the future.

  26. give-me-liberty · · Reply

    The standards are supposed to be higher next election, and there is no way in hell the Greens will meet the threshold. Expect the Greens to be taken off the ballot in Illinois because of one moron.

  27. Austin Cassidy · · Reply

    So a party that turns in 1 or 2 signatures should be placed on the ballot next to a party that turns in 29,000?

  28. Illvotes · · Reply

    So a party that doesn’t meet the legal requirements to be on the ballot should kick other parties off the ballot that also didn’t meet the legal requirement based on some arbitrary number? Why should any party be kicked off the ballot? What is the justification for kicking anyone off the ballot? Elitism? Control freaks who don’t believe in democracy for everyone, only for a few? One signature and a filing fee would be fine with me, and is fine for numerous states already.

    Nobody should have to get 25,000 sigs, and kicking someone off the ballot because they didn’t get 25,000 is simply evil. In Illinois, if you can’t get 35,000, more times than not you are wasting your money. In ’98 the LP had more than 65,000 and still got thrown off by a Governor who is in jail right now. There is no difference between 1 and 29,000 if someone is going to challenge you as both numbers will get you thrown off under Illinois law. Sherman and the Greens are doing the same thing and using the same sick laws to kick people off that George Ryan used.

  29. […] who had challenged their petitions had decided to withdraw his challenges to their petitions. But the hearing officer refused to let him speak, so he wasn’t able to withdraw the […]

  30. #25 and #28, ill will and hard feelings are long term results of the actions of Mr. Sherman and should be factored into whatever considerations go into these decisions. And please don’t forget that these rules aren’t fair for any of us so you shouldn’t act out of resentment or envy about other peoples’ attitudes toward unfair rules.

  31. Curt Boyd · · Reply

    Libertarians and Greens should be working with the Constitution, Justice and Socialist parties to get a lesser requirement for ballot access everywhere! The Libertarians and Greens are to be commended for their hard work at getting over the requirement, but the other parties found a loophole, and were using that loophole to get on the ballot. Either way, there should be more voter choice, not less.

  32. Michael · · Reply

    It happened before with the CP (then the US Taxpayers Party) when one person objected. I’m not surprised it is still happening today.

  33. #14 and #19, the whole arguement that the Green Party put in more of an effort is a smoke screen if not an outright lie. We don’t really know how many valid signatures the GP submitted because their petitions weren’t challenged. The Libertarian Party claims to have 10,000 more signatures than the Green Party so they must havee done even more hard work, but they filed no challenges.

    Also, the IlGP State Central Committee voted not to withdraw the challenges to the Justice and Socialist parties, but did vote to withdraw the challenge to the Constitution Party even though they only submitted 200-300 signatures, over 24,000 less than they needed, over 29,000 less than the GP claims it submitted and over 39,000 less than the LP. So much for the hard work arguement.

  34. #24 The Greens want you to believe that Andrew Finko, the Green Party lawyer who is the main person behind these challenges, much more than Rob Sherman, did not know that you can’t withdraw an objection verbally, that it must be submitted in writing before the hearing. Finko has represented the ILGP before the ILBOE for years, yet now has a sudden legal memory lapse? Right after the ILGP SCC voted not to withdraw most of the objections?? This is just a crap arguement to get the ILGP off the hook so they can claim “we tried to drop the objections but the mean old election officials wouldn’t let us”. Bunk!

  35. The Libertarians have few but well-heeled members.
    They pay people to collect their signatures and a
    high percentage are fake because they’re paid based
    on the number of signatures they collect. Even though
    they collected more signatures I suspect that many
    are not valid… at least they weren’t back in 1998
    when I was helping to collect 40,000 VALID signatures
    for the US Taxpayer Party (now Constitution Party).
    I’d run myself as a write-in again but you can’t run
    as a candidate and be an election judge for obvious
    reasons.

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