WBEZ | Illinois politics http://www.wbez.org/tags/illinois-politics Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Topinka remembered as honest, tough at memorial http://www.wbez.org/news/topinka-remembered-honest-tough-memorial-111250 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/topinka_0.png" alt="" /><p><p>COUNTRYSIDE, Ill. &mdash; Late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has been remembered as a tough, honest leader with a signature sense of humor.</p><p>Crowds filled a union hall in suburban Chicago on Wednesday to pay respects. Individuals included the state&#39;s top leaders, lawmakers, local leaders and Illinoisans who knew her for more than 70 years.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-comptroller-judy-baar-topinka-dies-111213">Judy Baar Topinka in her own words</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Gov. Pat Quinn says Topinka took on tough challenges in life. She was also a former state treasurer, GOP head and lawmaker.</p><p>Portraits of Topinka lined an entrance, along with photos of past campaigns, her family and dogs.</p><p>Former Gov. Jim Thompson says Topinka would have appreciated the bipartisan crowd gathered at the memorial.</p><p>Topinka died last week after suffering complications from a stroke. She had won a second full term in November. A replacement hasn&#39;t yet been named.</p></p> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/topinka-remembered-honest-tough-memorial-111250 Unions sue to stop Chicago pension overhaul http://www.wbez.org/news/unions-sue-stop-chicago-pension-overhaul-111239 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/city hall chicago flickr daniel x o nell.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Current and retired city workers and their labor unions have filed a lawsuit arguing a law overhauling Chicago&#39;s pension systems is unconstitutional.</p><p>The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court also asks a judge to stop the law from taking effect Jan. 1.</p><p>Chicago has the worst-funded pension system of any major U.S. city.</p><p>Legislation approved last year seeks to eliminate a $9.4 billion unfunded liability in two pension systems by increasing contributions and cutting benefits. It would affect about 57,000 laborers and municipal employees.</p><p>The plaintiffs are 12 current and former workers and four unions, including AFSCME Council 31 and the Illinois Nurses Association.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the law is constitutional. He says the changes are needed to ensure pension funds remain solvent and retirees receive benefits.</p></p> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/unions-sue-stop-chicago-pension-overhaul-111239 Same-day registration means long lines for some Illinois voters http://www.wbez.org/news/same-day-registration-means-long-lines-some-illinois-voters-111063 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Voting banner AP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Polls have closed across Illinois after voters cast their ballots in the state&#39;s 2014 midterm election.</p><p>The exception includes a handful of polling places in Chicago that were allowed to stay open later on Tuesday evening. That&#39;s because election judges arrived late and polls didn&#39;t open on time.</p><p>Some Illinoisans taking advantage of a policy adopted this year allowing Election Day voter registration have ended up in long lines.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/calls-aimed-election-judges-dissuade-attendance-111061">Dirty trick&#39; robocalls dissuaded Chicago election judges from polls</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen spoke to reporters about the issue during a Tuesday afternoon conference call.</p><p>Allen says it&#39;s the first time the city has dealt with Election Day voter registration.</p><p>Allen says the process is necessarily time consuming. He cited the need to cross-check data to ensure someone isn&#39;t registered elsewhere.</p><p>A judge also extended voting for same-day registrants in Lake County until 9 p.m.</p><p>That happened after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan argued that the Lake County clerk opened sites offering a new same-day signup option at 10 a.m. instead of 6 a.m.</p><p>The clerk says the sites opened late because of a shortage of poll workers.</p></p> Tue, 04 Nov 2014 19:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/same-day-registration-means-long-lines-some-illinois-voters-111063 Calls aimed at election judges dissuade attendance http://www.wbez.org/news/calls-aimed-election-judges-dissuade-attendance-111061 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/vote_4.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>A Chicago election official says bogus automated telephone calls made over the weekend may have dissuaded hundreds of city election judges from turning up at the polls on Election Day.</p><p>Election board spokesman Jim Allen told reporters Tuesday that at least 2,000 judges out of more than 10,000 scheduled to work were no-shows.</p><p>Officials say the calls falsely told the judges they needed to attend additional training sessions.</p><p>Allen described the calls as a &quot;dirty trick&quot; and &quot;malicious.&quot; Allen didn&#39;t say if Democrat or Republican-affiliated judges were more impacted.</p><p>Allen says election officials are asking a court to extend voting at six Chicago polling stations. He says that at least in some cases a shortage of judges contributed to the delays.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 04 Nov 2014 16:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/calls-aimed-election-judges-dissuade-attendance-111061 Midterm 2014 Illinois election results http://www.wbez.org/news/midterm-2014-illinois-election-results-111012 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/vote_0.PNG" alt="" /><p><p><a href="#governor">Governor</a> | <a href="#senate">Senate</a> | <a href="#house">House</a> | <a href="#statewide">Statewide</a> | <a href="#general-assembly">General Assembly</a> | <a href="#local">Local</a></p><div id="gov"><a name="governor"></a><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Governor</span></p></div><div id="senate"><a name="senate"></a><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Senate</span></p></div><br /><div id="house"><a name="house"></a><p><span style="font-size:22px;">House</span></p></div><br /><div id="statewide"><a name="statewide"></a><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Statewide elections</span></p></div><br /><div id="stateleg"><a name="general-assembly"></a><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Illinois General Assembly</span></p></div><br /><div id="local"><a name="local"></a><p><span id="cke_bm_239S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size:22px;">Illinois local elections</span><span id="cke_bm_239E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></p></div><script type="text/javascript" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/scripts/pym.js"></script><script> var pymGov = new pym.Parent('gov', 'http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/general/by_state/gov/IL.html?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS', {}); var pymSenate = new pym.Parent('senate', 'http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/general/by_state/us_senate/IL.html?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS', {}); var pymHouse = new pym.Parent('house', 'http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/general/by_state/us_house/IL.html?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS', {}); var pymStatewide = new pym.Parent('statewide', 'http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/general/by_state/statewide/IL.html?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS', {}); var pymStateleg = new pym.Parent('stateleg', 'http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/general/by_state/state_sen_house/IL.html?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS', {}); var pymLocal = new pym.Parent('local', 'http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/general/by_state/local/IL.html?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS', {}); </script></p> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/midterm-2014-illinois-election-results-111012 2014 Election Coverage: Citizens, here's your homework! http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973 <p><p>We&rsquo;re trying to make it a little easier for you to stay up-to-speed this election season. This is a hub for Illinois voters to study up on the issues and candidates before voting on (<a href="http://www.elections.state.il.us/votinginformation/earlyvotinglocations.aspx" target="_blank">or before</a>) Nov. 4.</p><p>On election night, we&#39;re hosting a live watch party in Chicago with hosts Niala Boodhoo and Melba Lara. If you can&#39;t make it to the party, join us that night <a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZPolitics">@WBEZPolitics</a>&nbsp;to get the latest updates.</p><p>Here&#39;s who we&#39;ll have covering races on election night:</p><ul><li><a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">Tony Arnold</a> will cover Democratic incumbent <a href="https://www.quinnforillinois.com/00/" target="_blank">Illinois Governor Pat Quinn</a>.</li><li><a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian" target="_blank">Lauren Chooljian</a> will cover Republican gubernatorial challenger <a href="http://brucerauner.com/" target="_blank">Bruce Rauner</a>.</li><li><a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews" target="_blank">Michael Puente</a> will cover Democratic incumbent <a href="http://www.dickdurbin.com/home" target="_blank">Illinois Senator Dick Durbin</a>.</li><li><a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews" target="_blank">Yolanda Perdomo</a> will cover Republican Senate challenger <a href="http://www.jimoberweis.com/" target="_blank">Jim Oberweis</a>.</li><li><a href="https://twitter.com/katieobez" target="_blank">Katie O&#39;Brien</a> will cover the 10th congressional district race between Democratic incumbent <a href="http://schneiderforcongress.com/" target="_blank">Brad Schneider</a> and Republican challenger <a href="http://doldforcongress.com/" target="_blank">Bob Dold</a>.</li></ul><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Election Coverage<a name="elections"></a></strong> | <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973#heygov" target="_self">Hey Gov</a> | <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973#debates" target="_self">Full Debate Audio</a> | <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973#links" target="_self">Links You Need</a></span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="350" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/55986159&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:18px;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973#elections" target="_self">Election Coverage</a> |<strong> </strong><strong>Hey Gov<a name="heygov"></a> </strong>|<strong> </strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973#debates" target="_self">Full Debate Audio</a> | <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973#links" target="_self">Links You Need</a></span></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/hey%20gov%20crop.PNG" style="height: 272px; width: 620px;" title="(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)" /></div><p>WBEZ reporters Al Keefe, Tony Arnold and Patrick Smith traveled <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/hey-gov-illinois-politics-road-trip-110657">around the state of Illinois</a> to understand <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/hey-gov">what&#39;s on the minds of voters</a> this November for the <strong>Hey Gov </strong>series.&nbsp;</p><ul><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/health-problems-facing-rural-and-urban-poor-illinois-110959">The health problems facing Illinois&#39; urban and rural poor</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/state-government-could-take-over-school-district-near-you-110943">How state government could take over your school</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/battle-over-state-facility-personal-political-110925">Picking up the pieces after budget cuts shut down a center for people with disabilities</a></li></ul><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:18px;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973#elections" target="_self">Election Coverage</a> |<strong> </strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973#heygov" target="_self">Hey Gov</a><strong> </strong>|<strong> Full Debate Audio<a name="debates"></a></strong> | <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973#links" target="_self">Links You Need</a></span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="250" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/55878303&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:18px;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973#elections" target="_self">Election Coverage</a> | <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973#heygov" target="_self">Hey Gov</a> | <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973#debates" target="_self">Full Debate Audio</a> | <strong>Links You Need<a name="links"></a></strong></span></p><ul><li><a href="http://www.elections.il.gov/votinginformation/RegistrationLookup.aspx" target="_blank">How to vote</a></li><li><a href="http://www.elections.state.il.us/votinginformation/earlyvotinglocations.aspx" target="_blank">Early Voting Locations </a></li><li><a href="http://www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections/2014elections/Pages/110414Candidates.aspx" target="_blank">Nov 4, 2014 Candidates (Suburban Cook County)</a></li><li><a href="http://www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections/2014elections/Pages/AllReferenda.aspx" target="_blank">Nov 4, 2014 Ballot referenda </a></li><li><a href="http://www.elections.il.gov/infoforvoters.aspx" target="_blank">Other voter information</a><br />&nbsp;</li></ul></p> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/2014-election-coverage-citizens-heres-your-homework-110973 Hey Gov: An Illinois politics road trip http://www.wbez.org/news/hey-gov-illinois-politics-road-trip-110657 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Bu1yd1ZCcAEYqlk.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/hey-gov-an-illinois-politics-road-trip/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/hey-gov-an-illinois-politics-road-trip.js?header=none&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/hey-gov-an-illinois-politics-road-trip" target="_blank">View the story "Hey Gov: An Illinois politics road trip " on Storify</a>]<h1>Hey Gov: An Illinois politics road trip </h1><h2>WBEZ political reporters Alex Keefe and Tony Arnold took off from Chicago and drove along the Illinois River until the hit the State Fair. All along the way, they stopped to ask people what they want from the next governor. </h2><p>Storified by <a href="https://storify.com/WBEZ">WBEZ</a>&middot; Thu, Aug 14 2014 16:56:40 </p><div>WBEZ&apos;s @akeefe &amp; @tonyjarnold are following the Illinois River to the State Fair, asking citizens what they want from a governor. #HeyGovWBEZ</div><div>Best Game in Town: Governor's Day at the Illinois State Fair by WBEZ's Afternoon ShiftThe Illinois State Fair hosts &quot;Governor's Day&quot; today at the fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. Governor's Day is the traditional rally and picnic for the Illinois democratic party. Tomorrow is Republican Day. The big story is how Governor Quinn has changed the format of today's festivities.</div><div>Gov. Quinn heads to Illinois State Fair to rally his base by WBEZ's Morning ShiftThe Illinois State Fair brings out politicians, special interest groups and voters looking to get some answers from candidates. Incumbent Governor Quinn is following the same pattern as last year and making Wednesday's Governor's Day at the Fair a family event rather than an opportunity to hash out political agendas.</div><div>What Walt Willey, Ottawa #il native and longtime &quot;All My Children&quot; soap star, wants from the next gov http://t.co/IFmdwcg9u9 #heygov @WBEZAlex Keefe</div><div>A brief history of Ottawa, #IL, in mural form. #heygov @ Illinois River, Ottawa IL http://t.co/LpoCI5xsA8Alex Keefe</div><div>.@akeefe is driving me to Springfield. At least if we take a wrong turn I know we have a map. http://t.co/0ZBKrpc8E7Tony Arnold</div></noscript></div></p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/hey-gov-illinois-politics-road-trip-110657 Cook County judge considers term limits http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-judge-considers-term-limits-110374 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/votingline_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A Cook County judge heard oral arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit challenging two efforts seeking to change how the Illinois political system operates. The two separate ballot initiatives would ask voters to weigh in on everything from adding term limits for state legislators to how legislative districts are drawn.</p><p>Challenging the two petition drives are the Little Village Chamber of Commerce, the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and the Business Leadership Council, as well as a number of individuals. They include former ComEd CEO Frank Clark and housing developer Elzie Higginbottom.</p><p>The challengers&nbsp; are represented by Richard Prendergast and Mike Kasper, an attorney who has also represented the Democratic Party of Illinois and Rahm Emanuel, although Emanuel and Michael Madigan, the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and chairman of the state Democratic Party, are not parties on the lawsuit.</p><p>Prendergast told Cook County Judge Mary Mikva in a hearing Wednesday that the state Supreme Court rejected a previous attempt to add term limits. He argued the effort goes against the Illinois constitution, which states that &ldquo;amendments shall be limited to structural and procedural subjects.&rdquo;</p><p>To help it stand on firm legal footing, the term limit initiative also includes other components besides limiting a lawmaker from holding office more than eight years. It also reduces the number of Illinois state senators while slightly increasing the number of state representatives and increases the number of votes needed to override a governor&rsquo;s veto.</p><p>Prendergast equated those other provisions to &ldquo;ornaments&rdquo; on a Christmas tree to please the judge. He said voters may struggle with the ballot question, since a voter could support term limits but oppose a reduction in state senators, and that those topics should be separate questions.</p><p>But Mark Campbell, a spokesman for the committee trying to get term limits on the ballot, said it&rsquo;s within the limits the Illinois Supreme Court set when they ruled against a term limit initiative 20 years ago.</p><p>&ldquo;What we did was specifically outlined by the Supreme Court as to what the requirements are to get on the ballot and we are very confident that our initiative, as written, does pass muster.&rdquo;</p><p>Bruce Rauner, the Republican nominee for Illinois governor, backs the term limits initiative.&nbsp; But the elections board is continuing to review the effort to create a bipartisan panel to draw legislative district boundaries, rather than having the boundaries drawn by political parties. Legislative boundaries are redrawn after each census.</p><p>The redistricting process was also before Judge Mikva Wednesday in the same lawsuit, with similar legal arguments from both sides. Kasper argued that ballot initiative would take away power from the governor, the attorney general and lawmakers, in addition to altering the eligibility of judges.</p><p>&ldquo;Anything that&rsquo;s directly related to the purpose of the amendment, which is to alter the redistricting and to make it non-partisan, which these conflict of interest rules are, is fair game,&rdquo; said Michelle Odorizzi, an attorney for the redistricting ballot initiative.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">@tonyjarnold.</a></em></p></p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 17:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-judge-considers-term-limits-110374 Illinois Rep. Derrick Smith convicted of bribery http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-rep-derrick-smith-convicted-bribery-110313 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP362609502394.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A federal jury in Chicago on Tuesday convicted Illinois state Rep. Derrick Smith of bribery for taking $7,000 from a purported day care operator seeking a state grant.</p><p>In a weeklong trial, prosecutors played secret recordings of the 50-year-old Chicago Democrat accepting 70 $100 bills in exchange for a letter supporting the $50,000 state grant &mdash; though it was all part of an FBI sting.</p><p>Jurors returned their verdict after deliberating about four hours over two days. Smith showed no emotion as he learned his fate, sitting with his hands folded. A family member patted him on the shoulder minutes later.</p><p>Outside court, a subdued Smith told reporters: &quot;We gave it a good fight. God knows the truth. Jurors didn&#39;t see what God saw.&quot;</p><p>No sentencing date was set, but a status hearing was set for Sept. 23. Smith was released pending a sentencing date.</p><p>The recordings of Smith by a campaign worker-turned-informant included one where Smith uses slang talking about the handover of the bribe, asking, &quot;How she going to get the cheddar to us?&quot; In another he says, &quot;I don&#39;t want no trace of it.&quot;</p><p>Prosecutors also described how a distraught Smith admitted after his March 13, 2012, arrest he took the bribe. He even brought agents to his bedroom, retrieved $2,500 in leftover bribe cash from the foot of his bed and handed it over.</p><p>Shortly after Smith&#39;s arrest, his House colleagues voted 100-6 to expel him. But he was reinstated after winning his late-2012 election. He lost his 2014 primary and was supposed to finish out his current term. However, a felony conviction means he will lose his seat.</p><p>Jurors found Smith guilty on all charges &mdash; one count of bribery and one of attempted extortion. Combined, the convictions carry a maximum 30-year prison sentence.</p><p>At trial, the defense attacked the credibility of the informant, who was only referred to by his first name, Pete, in court. They described him as a deadbeat and convicted felon who &quot;set up&quot; Smith for $1,000-a-week payments from the FBI.</p><p>&quot;He&#39;s a hustler,&quot; defense attorney Victor Henderson told jurors during closing arguments Monday. &quot;He hustled the representative and he hustled the FBI.&quot;</p><p>The attorney argued that Pete hoodwinked a devoted public servant together with an overzealous FBI.</p><p>&quot;He wasn&#39;t going to commit a crime,&quot; Henderson said, pointing to Smith. &quot;That was something they fabricated.&quot;</p><p>But prosecutor Marsha McClellan said in her closing that the recordings and other evidence demonstrated that no one led Smith astray against his will.</p><p>&quot;There sits a defendant whose public face is one of service, but who privately wanted to use that office ... to get cash into his pockets,&quot; she said.</p><p>In a recording from early March 2012, Pete counts aloud as he hands the cash to Smith in seven $1,000 stacks. As the informant counts the fifth stack, he curses as the money sticks together. He pauses, then counts the rest.</p><p>Pete then jokingly chides Smith for not expressing gratitude, saying, &quot;(You) didn&#39;t even say thank you.&quot;</p><p>The prosecutor said that Smith&#39;s easy, confident tone on the recordings illustrated he didn&#39;t think he&#39;d ever get caught.</p><p>&quot;Never in a million years did he expect us to listen to him now,&quot; McClellan told jurors. &quot;He never thought this day would come.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 11:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-rep-derrick-smith-convicted-bribery-110313 Tio Hardiman considers write-in campaign for Illinois governor http://www.wbez.org/news/tio-hardiman-considers-write-campaign-illinois-governor-109891 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Tio H from campaign.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Updated 2:02 PM 3/20/2014</strong></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-fce19a07-dc93-a968-c822-beb681c1e481">Anti-violence activist <a href="http://www.hardimanforillinois.com/">Tio Hardiman</a> says he actually feels pretty good about his loss to incumbent Pat Quinn in Hardiman&rsquo;s first try to become the governor of Illinois.</p><p dir="ltr">Quinn was the expected winner in the primary race Tuesday, but Hardiman says he&rsquo;s proud that he was able to pull in more than 28 percent of the vote.</p><p dir="ltr">But that doesn&rsquo;t mean he was comfortable with the results.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Bottom line - the Democratic machine once again has failed the state,&rdquo; Hardiman said, moments after the results rolled in Tuesday night. &ldquo;And the machine continues to go with failed policies under Governor Quinn.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">And that&rsquo;s why Hardiman is going after a write-in campaign.</p><p dir="ltr">Hardiman says venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, the GOP nominee for governor, is not a good choice for the people of Illinois, and Governor Quinn &ldquo;has too many issues.&rdquo;</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-rauner-set-clash-illinois-governor-race-109885" target="_blank">Quinn, Rauner set to clash in Illinois governor race</a></strong></p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">So that lead me to ask - how does one become a write-in candidate in Illinois?</p><p dir="ltr">According to Jim Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, the laws have evolved to make sure people don&rsquo;t waste their votes on silly candidates.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have to count ballots cast for screwball names or made up candidate names,&rdquo; Allen said. &ldquo;And there has to be a declaration of intent by the write-in candidate filed with each jurisdiction where they want their ballots counted.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">So that means Daffy Duck or Derrick Rose wouldn&rsquo;t be counted, unless of course they filed ahead of time. But for those who really want to be a write-in, say, for the governor&rsquo;s race in Illinois, Allen says potential candidates would have to notify 109 election authorities - or however many that the candidate expects to get write-in votes for.</p><p dir="ltr">Turns out, people are willing to put in the time for the big national or statewide races.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;They never want to start at alderman, or ward committeeman, or school board member in the suburbs,&rdquo; Allen said. &ldquo;They seem to like to file for the higher profile offices.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Election lawyer Richard K. Means says the election laws are also meant to keep the ballot a reasonable length. But he says in a case like Tio Hardiman&rsquo;s, there&rsquo;s another regulation to be wary of: the &ldquo;Sore Loser&rdquo; law.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Means, <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=001000050K7-43">Section 7-43</a> of the Illinois Election Code basically says you only get one chance to present yourself to the electorate.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You can&rsquo;t do what people used to do in Illinois before this law was passed, and that&rsquo;s take a second bite of the apple and run as a member of a third party,&rdquo; Means said.</p><p dir="ltr">Means says that section also means you can&rsquo;t run again as a write-in in the general election after you lost in the primary.</p><p dir="ltr">And turns out, there&#39;s an even more specific <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=001000050K17-16.1">statute</a> that explicitly states write-in candidacy is a no-go for anyone who already ran and lost in a primary. The law states: &quot;A candidate for whom a nomination paper has been filed as a partisan candidate at a primary election, and who is defeated for his or her nomination at the primary election is ineligible to file a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for election in that general or consolidated election.&quot;</p><p>When I took this information to Hardiman, he says his people will continue digging into the details. And if a write-in run doesn&rsquo;t work, he says he&rsquo;s got other plans to stay in the game and represent his supporters: Plans like requesting meetings with Rauner and Quinn to talk state policy, and running someone against Rahm Emanuel in the Chicago mayoral election in 2015.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda"> </a><a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p></p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 17:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/tio-hardiman-considers-write-campaign-illinois-governor-109891