Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bonnie McGrath fundraiser announced

A fundraiser is being planned for Bonnie Carol McGrath, a candidate for the countywide Hayes vacancy, on January 4, 2010, from 5:00 to 7:00pm at Petterino's, 150 N. Dearborn Street, just across from the Daley Center.

Individual tickets are available for $100. "Friend" tickets are $500 while "Sponsor" tickets are available for $1,000.

Ticket requests may be sent to The Friends of Bonnie Carol McGrath, 47 W. Polk Street, Suite 100-138, Chicago, Illinois 60605.


Anonymous said...

Undoubtedly Ms. McGrath will need funding to fend-off impending investigations in the wake of the Cook County Electoral Board’s finding that she engaged in “intolerable duplicity” that is “particularly shocking” from a judicial candidate. The findings relate to a challenge to her nominating petitions that is now being litigated in the circuit court.

Do you hear the ARDC knocking? Or is it a grand jury?

Jack Leyhane said...

Anon -- I've read enough movie reviews and ads quoting from those reviews over the years to be wary of one or two word quotes. I'd like to see the quotes in context.

I've looked online this morning but have been unable to find the Electoral Board's opinion. I'd be obliged if someone would send it to me. Use the email link on this page.

Bonnie McGrath said...

anonymous certainly seems to have an inordinate interest in this case and he should identify himself and say exactly who he is and why he is commenting in this mean-spirited way.

jack, it's true that some of the petition sheets that i submitted were notarized incorrectly. it was an honest mistake on my part and on the part of the notary. the objection was overruled. i am committed to a having a campaign that is civil, sportsmanlike and decent. i hope my opponents feel the same way.

Guy said...

Your point is well-stated Jack, but in what context would those comments NOT be negative? Still, I too would like a source ...

Jack Leyhane said...

I found this decision posted today by the County Officers Electoral Board. If you look at the linked decision, you will find none of the 'findings' referred to by Anonymous in the initial comment to this post.

Anonymous said...

Jack, unless I missed something, the "findings" are pretty apparent and damning....you may want to take a second look at that linked decision.

Jack Leyhane said...

Let's put this to rest. I'll have to break this comment into parts to do so.

All I can say is that I did not see anything beyond the first paragraph in the Findings section of the Decision when I initially linked to the document and posted the above comment. Whether I missed the rest or whether an amended/corrected Decision has been linked since is irrelevant. In any event, the complete text of Par. 8 of the Decision (the findings paragraph) as of this evening follows below:

Jack Leyhane said...

"This matter was referred out for a Registration Record Check, the results of which were reported back to the Board. The report showed that the Petition herein – it was circulated for three candidates, not just the one involved herein – had 7,048 signatures, to which 3,857 objections were made, of these 1,824 were sustained, leaving 5,224 presumably valid signatures at this point, which is 1,956 above the minimum of 3,268 required
for this office.

"After the return of the Registration Record Check results, there remained the allegation that certain circulators had not appeared before a Notary Public to execute the affidavits at the bottom of the petition sheets. Subpoenas were issued and a hearing set for December 18, 2009. At the hearing, the Board heard the testimony of three witnesses: the Candidate, Christine Athanasoulis, a circulator, and Kari Ann Browning, a Notary Public whose seal is on 226 petition sheets. The testimony, which is uncontested and undisputed, can be summarized as follows: The Candidate had 11 other persons circulate petitions; when those circulators had finished with their
sheets, they turned them into the Candidate, already signed by them; the Candidate transmitted them to Ms. Browning who notarized them without any of the circulators being present. This happened at times when the Candidate went to Ms. Browning to notarize her own sheets. Ms. Athanasoulis individually testified that she
never appeared before the Notary in respect to the sheets she circulated, sheets 583 and 584.
In response to this testimony, the Board regards it as proper and well within its power to strike all of the sheets circulated by the Candidate and/or notarized by Ms. Browning. The behavior testified to is in direct
contradiction of the requirements of the Election Code and the Notary Act, and it amounts to an intolerable duplicity on the part of the perpetrators. For this to be done by a candidate for judicial office is particularly
shocking. We asked for filings on this matter and regard the authorities cited by Objector as proving a legal basis for these actions, especially the cases of Fortas v. Dixon, 122 Ill.App.3d 697 (1st Dist. 1984), Huskey v.
Municipal Officers Electoral Board for Village of Oak Lawn, 156 Ill.App.3d 201 (1st Dist. 1987) and Canter v. Cook County Officers Electoral Board, 170 Ill.App.3d 364 (1st Dist. 1988). Objector also silently cites one scholarly source, ELECTION LAW (IICLE, 2007, Supp. 2009), in chapter 1 of which, by Thomas A. Jaconetty,
he cites Heneghan v. Barry, 06-COEL-07 (Cook Cty.Cir. 2006) for the proposition of striking all of the sheets of an untrustworthy notary.

Findings continue in next comment

Jack Leyhane said...

"We have calculated the effect of striking the McGrath and Browning pages on the number of valid signatures in the petition. The Candidate herself circulated 174 sheets [247 – 314, 450, 485 - 577, 697 – 699, and 702 – 710], with 1,728 signatures. Of those 589 already had objections sustained to them before the hearing, leaving 1,139 signatures lost when the McGrath sheets are struck. The other large circulator of Browning notarized sheets is Carl Brown. He circulated 38 sheets [451 – 484, 693 – 696] with 380 signatures. Of his signatures, 223 already had objections sustained to them before the hearing, leaving 157 signatures lost when the Brown/Browning sheets are struck. The remaining 10 Browning notarized circulators circulated a total of 14 sheets [221 – 222,
578 – 584, 688 – 692], with 140 signatures. Of those 30 had objections sustained to them previously, leaving 110 signatures lost when those Browning notarized sheets are struck. This adds up to a total of 1,406 additional
signatures lost when all of the signatures circulated by the Candidate or notarized by Ms. Browning are struck.

"As noted above, the Petition had 5,224 good signatures before the hearing. Deducting the 1,406 additional signatures leave a new total of 3,818 valid signatures, which is still 550 in excess of the minimum 3,268 required for the office.

"This brings us to the theory of the Objector, advanced at the hearing before the Board, that - irrespective of the number of valid signatures that may remain - Candidate’s candidacy should be terminated because of her behavior in bringing 52 pre-signed sheets from 11 circulators to the Notary to be notarized without those
circulators being present. But this case has an unusual fact not present in most judicial-candidate cases: Candidate was running as part of a ticket and the petition has thousands of valid signatures collected by the other candidates on the ticket and their supporters, who are accused of no wrong-doing. Each of these
signatures supports the McGrath candidacy, independent of and separate from any act on her part. A candidacy is not the exclusive property of a candidate, even if he or she stands to gain the most from it. A candidacy is an
expression of the popular will, of the signers of the petition, as well as of the candidate. These signers may well be disheartened should they learn of what this Candidate has done, but they will be able to express themselves as to that at the polls.

"Moreover, a review of the facts and holdings of Fortas, Huskey and Cantor shows that the curative in all of those cases was the striking of the tainted sheets. The candidacies in those cases went down because of a lack of
valid signatures; none of them was directly terminated. Even in Harmon v. Town of Cicero Municipal Officers Electoral Board, 371 Ill.App.3d 1111 (1st Dist. 2007), the focus is on striking sheets, not candidacies.

"Not terminating the candidacy should not be seen as, nor be taken as, excusing or minimizing the misconduct revealed in this case. We have done everything that we believe we are empowered by the law to do. Those organs of government with farther-reaching power than ours may choose to terminate the candidacy, or to
instruct us that we have the power to do so. Indeed, we fully expect that this matter will be pursued by those permanent agencies empowered to do so. That is for the future; for the moment, we will issue this Decision overruling the objection herein."

I have been informed that an appeal was made to the Circuit Court in connection with this Decision and that the Circuit Court affirmed the Electoral Board's Decision. I have not been provided with any Order entered in this regard by the Circuit Court.