Thursday, February 22, 2018

Birther controversy in 2nd Subcircuit?

OK, that's probably clickbait, but I'm not sure what else to call this:

Multiple sources (none of them connected with the candidate) contacted FWIW after last Friday's judicial candidate forum at Logos Baptist Assembly to advise that 2nd Subcircuit candidate Tiana Ellis-Blakely (Lampkin vacancy) had been served with papers at the event. A February 16 post on the candidate's Facebook page described the incident in her own words: "I attended a judicial forum in the 34th Ward! I spoke right after my opponent and as I walked out of the door...I was served."

FWIW has since obtained the document with which Ellis-Blakely was served, a Complaint for Violation of Campaign Disclosure Act, dated February 16 and apparently filed on or about that date with the Illinois State Board of Elections. The Complaint charges that Ellis-Blakely received "a loan of $50,000 from its Chairperson and Treasurer, Tuesday Randle, who is not 'immediate family' of the candidate. The contribution, therefore, is in excess of campaign contribution limits."

In Illinois, individuals can ordinarily contribute no more than $5,600 to any one candidate. So, at first blush, a $50,000 donation from any one individual might seem to be a violation.

However, as with most rules, there are exceptions. A candidate, or a member of the candidate's "immediate family," can give (or loan) a total of $100,000 to the candidate's campaign (that's $100,000 in the aggregate, not per family member) without consequence (except, perhaps, eventual bankruptcy). If a candidate and members of the candidate's immediate family contribute more than $100,000, the campaign must file a Notice of Self-Funding with the ISBE and the contribution limits are waived for all candidates in that race. Section 9-8.5(h) of the Election Code (10 ILCS 5/9-8.5(h)) defines member of the immediate family to mean "the spouse, parent, or child of a public official or candidate."

And Ellis-Blakely says Tuesday Randle is her mother. This February 2 Facebook post (two weeks before the ISBE Complaint was filed), though not a birth certificate, would certainly seem to corroborate that assertion:

If Ms. Randle is in fact the candidate's mother, the ISBE Complaint against Ellis-Blakely should fail.

Still, there is a process that must be followed in order to formally resolve the complaint. The process is specified by §§9-20 et seq. of the Election Code. According to ISBE General Counsel Ken Menzel, the Board of Elections will not have the opportunity to address the Complaint against Ellis-Blakely until March 19. The preliminary, or 'closed,' stage of the proceedings specified in §9-21 will involve a staff member conducting a hearing and making a recommendation to the Board.

According to Menzel, if the Complaint is determined not to be filed on justifiable grounds, it would be dismissed and that is all the information that would be available from the SBE about it. If it is found to be filed upon justifiable grounds, it could potentially go on to a public hearing (if there remain factual issues to resolve) and the information from that hearing would be available to the public.


Anonymous said...

This is just a blatant attempt to try and bully her out of that race!

Anonymous said...

Sianis Countywide Race heats up

Anonymous said...

What is going on in the 2nd?

Jack Leyhane said...

@Anon 2/23 9:35 a.m. -- Retweeted (is that the right verb?) yesterday evening.

Anonymous said...