Monday, November 27, 2017

It’s about time – ’18 election cycle’s “put up-or-shut up” moment arrives

Friday was the day retail fanatics felt compelled to queue up outside of their favorite stores in search of particularly-good sales for holiday shopping.
Never-was gubernatorial candidate Ameya Pawar will have counterparts following this week's nominating petition filing period.
Monday will see similar lines of political geeks – candidates in some cases, their operatives in others. Although those lines will be at Illinois State Board of Elections offices, as it’s finally time for people wanting to run for political office to file the nominating petitions to gain themselves spots on the March 20 primary ballots.

FOR ALL THOSE people who have been going about throwing out hints that they want to be candidates for electoral office, they’re going to have to show the required support levels indicating they’re deserving of a ballot slot.

Between 8 a.m. Monday and 5 p.m. Dec. 4 (a.k.a., next Monday), the candidates will file their petitions showing signatures of support from people indicating they’d actually vote for this person.

Now I know some people think this is unfair – they think it ought to be easier to actually get on the ballot. Let everybody on the ballot (they’d say); let the voters decide on Election Day.

Yet I think there is too much clutter in these early stages, and candidates for office ought to be capable of defending their ballot existence by showing some support.

JUST THINK THAT there are about eight people saying they want to be the Democrat running next year for Illinois governor and for state attorney general.
DAIBER: Will he continue to exist?

Most of us can’t even come close to naming all of them, and the only people who truly want all of them hanging around are the ones interested in causing political confusion.

As in the only way they can win is if enough people cast votes for them without knowing who they’re supporting. Which may sound ludicrous, but does anyone seriously think Mark Fairchild or Janice Hart would have won Democratic primaries back in 1986 based on their merits?

Yes, those are the two followers of Lyndon LaRouche who managed to win that year’s gubernatorial and Illinois secretary of state primaries, with voters not realizing their tie to the would-be presidential hopeful that some consider more fascist than Democrat.

MY POINT IS that there have been people trying to talk themselves up as candidates even though there’s really no evidence anybody wants them or would support them.
RAOUL: How many opponents will remain?

As for one-time gubernatorial hopeful Ameya Pawar who came to the realization a few weeks ago he couldn’t win the Democratic primary, he’s alone. Although it’s quite possible that many of the other seven people who think they’re going to be running for the office will fail to meet the standard to get on the ballot.

Their campaigns will end before they even began. Will Bob Daiber (the regional schools superintendent from the part of Illinois down near St. Louis) still be around?

Or will this officially become a less-cluttered J.B. Pritzker/Chris Kennedy political brawl? We’ll see come next week.

JUST AS MOST of us likely can’t even come close to naming all of the Illinois attorney general dreamers on the Democratic side. If a few of them disappear before ever becoming official, it will be more comprehensible to the electorate.
STROGER: Will he have valid signatures?

It will be the same for many other political offices. Personally, I’m curious to see the Democratic primary for Cook County Board president, where Toni Preckwinkle has two challengers talking up long-shot campaigns against her.

But Todd Stroger has only declared himself a candidate as of last week. Can he truly produce nominating petitions with enough valid signatures of support by this week?

Anything’s possible, but I’m sure that Preckwinkle operatives are counting on Stroger doing a sloppy-enough job that they can challenge his petitions and keep him off the ballot that way. Which means the serious politicking can get underway following this coming week, rather than the stupid speculation we've been engaging in up to this point.


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