Saturday, January 20, 2007

6 weeks out, and already democracy is the loser.

I've been working on a campaign for alderman here in Chicago, for a great progressive candidate with loads of leadership and community experience.

we were kicked off the ballot by the alderman because i misfiled an economic statement--something that would have taken me 5 minutes to fix with a simple bit of lacking advice by the elections clerks (like "sorry honey, go up to the 5th floor, you file it there and bring the receipt for filing it to me"). or, if someone had checked the "no" box on the receipt I was given when handing in the improper document, instead of the "yes" box, which led me to believe I filed properly. apparently "yes" and "no" have a different definition to elections clerks than perhaps what reasonable people would assume they mean.

we didn't commit any fraud.

we didn't lie on any documents like alderman solis in the 25th ward who apparently had someone else sign his name for him.

we didn't submit wrong information on our D2s (campaign committee income and spending disclosure filed with the state) like the 48th ward alderman the first time she ran for re-election [she was appointed by mayor daley 17 years ago], and was fined for it.

had we submitted a fraudulent claim on our economic statement, the worst penalty is a $1000 fine. and you get to remain on the ballot.

had we submitted a fraudlent signature on my candidate's statement of candidacy, would our hearing officer at the elections board also have looked the other way as Solis's has?

big mistakes, little mistakes. two sets of rules.

The Sun-Times editorial yesterday says its time for a reality check in city elections : Felon candidates give logic a run for its money (Jan 19)

The Sun-Times's Mark Brown last week: Just getting on the ballot is more than half the battle

check out a place trying to work for change: IL Campaign for Political Reform

and a brand new site: democracy denied (i'll have a link as soon as it is live.)

7 years later, democracy gets another look in Seattle:

The class action civil suit against the city of Seattle for wrongful arrest of protestors during the WTO ministerial conference in 1999--
from the seattle pi: Speaking out is no crime, WTO protesters' lawyer argues


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