Friday, January 17, 2014

Quinn gets a primary election opponent who’s left even weaker than before

The key to comprehending elections boards is not that they’re serious investigatory units that ponder the qualifications of those people who wish to appear on the ballots for various government posts.

HARDIMAN: He lost by winning?
They’re more the mechanism by which certain campaigns can be harassed into submission. Even if the candidates are able to survive the challenge, the fight to stay on the ballot can suck what little life they had right out of them!

THAT EVEN APPLIES to the Illinois State Board of Elections, which on Thursday wound up closing the case that was brought against Tio Hardiman. He’s the activist type from suburban Hillside who will now be on the March 18 Democratic primary ballot against Gov. Pat Quinn.

His campaign was being threatened because of the fact that his lieutenant governor running mate (Brunell Donald) was being challenged. It seems she moved to a new address in Chicago since the last election cycle and hasn’t bothered to re-register to vote.

Which means that technically, she can’t vote from her current home address – which is grounds for declaring someone ineligible to vote.

She could have been booted from the ballot – which would have left Hardiman without a running mate. Theoretically, that could have been grounds to make his campaign ineligible. It would have resulted in lengthy court fights to figure out if someone can run for governor without the said running mate.

BUT THAT’S NOT going to happen.

For on Thursday, the day that Donald likely was to be removed from the ballot, the attorneys representing Quinn’s interest in this matter said the objection was being withdrawn.

RADNER (as Litella): Violins on TV sensible as Donald
As the late actor Gilda Radner’s “Emily Litella” character from Saturday Night Live of old would have said, “Never mind!”

Nobody really cared if Donald lived at a legitimate address. It was just a technicality that could be used to smack her about. Now, she’s totally weakened by the matter. It doesn’t matter if she’s on the ballot, or not.

THE QUINN INTERESTS have prevailed, even if the Hardiman/Donald ticket is there to take a small percentage of votes from people who don’t want to vote for Quinn/Paul Vallas – and think the Republican candidates are a batch of dinks.

QUINN: The frontrunner, for a change
It gets worse when you get into the political world of municipal elections – because oftentimes the electoral boards consist of the political establishment that is being challenged.

Those people do each other the political favors of knocking off the would-be challengers to their allies.

At the state level, the board is a little more distant from those officials. But ultimately, they’re only able to rule on the arguments put forth by attorneys for the political interests.

THE WILLINGNESS OF Quinn allies to drop their “concerns” about Donald now that they’ve used them to beat up on her doesn’t mean the issue wasn’t legitimate.

Or that there isn’t a legitimate legal question about whether a gubernatorial candidate must have a running mate on the ballot with him/her – now that state law says candidates must name someone prior to the primary, rather than run with whoever happens to win a completely separate lieutenant governor primary.

Not that the Hardiman/Donald ticket was ever going to be competitive.

Take the latest reports about campaign finances into account. As of Dec. 31, the Hardiman campaign had only $550 in the bank, and had only raised $15,000 during the last three months of 2013. The Capitol Fax newsletter reports that only $2,000 of that was donated – the rest of it was Hardiman’s own money.

COMPARED TO THE $4.5 million campaign fund Quinn has accumulated, including sizable donations from organized labor interests.

Which means Quinn will have sufficient funds to take on whichever of the Republican challengers manages to prevail in that primary election.


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