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Lt. Gov. Applicants: These guys are serious. But is the Democratic Party?

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The applications went live Tuesday. And I mean the complete applications. If you applied through the Democratic Party of Illinois’ website to fill the vacancy left by Scott Lee Cohen on the party’s ticket, your internet presence just grew. We’re talking resumes, phone numbers (cell, home and work) and email addresses -- along with, in a few cases, the phone numbers and email addresses of your professional references.


And who are the 46 brave souls (the number as of Tuesday night) who put this information out there? Forty-one appear to be men, five women. Occupations vary, including retired, unemployed, teacher, engineer and police officer. Home towns range from Plainfield to Chicago, Springfield to Hillside, Lake Forest to Lisle. None of the applications were submitted by politicians mentioned recently as potential picks. Absent at this point are the five candidates who lost to Scott Lee Cohen. There was no Raja Krishnamoorthi, no Julie Hamos. The hopefuls But there was Patrick Arbor, former chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade. And (although I have been unable to confirm he submitted the application) Robert Arya, a former TV reporter and disgruntled alumni of Rod Blagojevich’s administration. And there was David Vognar, a pre-school teacher in Chicago who -- at 24 years of age -- was the youngest to apply (of those who listed their age on the application). Vognar talks here about why he’s ready to be governor, and about a personal connection he hopes will help his cause. vognar excerpt While Vognar is holding out hope, James Griffin of East Peoria is not. He says his chances of getting the nomination are “somewhere between slim to none," but he has a statement to make nonetheless. griffin excerpt Like many in the Peoria area, Griffin was laid off last year from his contract job at Caterpillar. His annoyance with how things are being done in Illinois comes through clearly in the text of his application. He wrote that the “greatest challenge [facing the state] is to change the atmosphere of entitlement and self interest that permeate most levels of state government." Where the application asked which elected officials or organizations have endorsed his candidacy, Griffin wrote, “No one, I’m just an every day regular guy. No wealth to speak of, no network of business connections, and most importantly, NO one I owe any favors to. ["¦] I’m my OWN man. I think for myself, with an eye to see things as they are, not how some media pundit would have me see them." Too much info? It’s worth noting here that several of the applicants I talked to were surprised all their information went on the website, phone numbers and all. Chicago police officer John (“Jack") Flisk didn’t think that was a good idea given his profession. He assumed some information he submitted to the party would go on the internet during the initial application process, but not his address and home phone number. Flisk says he’s “not really that upset, but a little shocked." He’s arrested a lot of people, and is concerned for his family’s safety. Of course, he notes, people looking for that information would likely have other ways of getting it. And he acknowledges he may have missed a disclaimer from party officials. He’s thinking of asking them to take down the contact information. The Democratic Party website containing the application form did state that information about the candidates would be posted there. But all the information? A spokesman for the Dems, Steve Brown, insists all the applicants were informed in advance that all the information provided would be posted. He says the party is trying to make this process transparent.

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