Il-14: The Recount Dilemma

richard k. means, the best progressive election lawyer in the state of illinois, explains that the procedure for obtaining a recount is quite clear:

A discovery recount is only available in Illinois to a candidate who is within 95% of the winner.  Even then you get to recount only 25% of the precincts in every election jusridiction in the district for a pidling $10 per precinct.  In order to change the result, you have to go to court and prove that, had certain very specificly described errors not been made, that your candidate would have won.

means is one of the authors of the 2002 handbook on illinois election law published by the illinois institute for continuing legal education and wrote the chapter on recounts in the state.

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IL-14: Laesch Press Conference

As many of you may know, John Laesch held a press conference this morning to discuss the unresolved election in IL-14.  At this point Laesch still trails his primary opponent by 355 votes in the general primary, although all the absentee ballots are not counted (in fact, County Clerks must wait until February 19th for their return) and there is still an outstanding question as to whether all the provisional ballots have been counted in all nine counties.

John Laesch has conceded the special primary to his opponent, who will run against Republican nominee Jim Oberweis on March 8 to decide who will fill the remaining ten months of Hastert's term, but he has not conceded the general primary, which is still undecided until all votes are counted.  This morning Laesch held a press conference to answer the many questions the campaign has been bombarded with regarding his intentions.  I attended it.  And since the campaign has made it clear they will make no further statements, I will share my observations and the text of his remarks below.

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IL-14: The Losing Strategy

What happens in Podunk shouldn't stay there.  Or at least if it does, the Democratic Party Establishment, the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, the Blue Dogs among us, will have won one more unrecorded battle against those of us who want real change.

What's happening most immediately in the IL-14 corner of Podunk (a term I use here to describe anything not directly inside the DC Beltway) is a primary and a special primary on Tuesday, between the DC insider "pick" for our district, an attorney who is a relative newcomer to both politics and our area, and John Laesch, the nominee against Denny Hastert last time out, and the only progressive in the race.

At this point, I'd call it a significant bellwether for the upcoming Congressional elections that virtually no one outside of IL-14 is paying much attention to in the glare of the presidential race, as well as a bellwether event in the battle for control of the party.  So while I don't expect this diary to get much attention, I want to leave a record of what has happened in this primary.  Bellwethers, however unobserved at the time, sometimes have a way of becoming useful history for those who follow.  

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IL-14 Roundup #5

in a race like this one, after the financial disclosure reports are put up, there's still things to watch for.  first, there's the personal funds contributions reports like this one (PDF), this one (PDF), this one (PDF), this one (PDF) and this one (PDF) from bill foster. these are paired with reports of opposition to personal funds like this one and this one from john laesch along with this one, this one and this one from jotham stein. these are great fun for people running against a self-funder -- well, when the fec has a working majority.  right now, there's not a thing that the fec can do.  you can blame bush, if you want, for that, too.

then there's the 48 hour notice for contributions in excess of $1,000 or more for the 20 days before an election.  these tell us who's still aggressively raising money -- which is more important, since the millionaire's amendment has been tripped in this election (allowing laesch and stein to raise considerably more than $2300 from each contributor).  foster has raised at least $18,900 in new monies that required 48 hour notices.  laesch has raised at least $5,500 in new monies that required 48 hour notices.  and stein has raised at least $4,100 in new monies that required 48 hour notices.

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IL-14: NOW & GCC Endorse Laesch

Just found this late-breaking set of endorsements on the Laesch for Congress website.  I say late-breaking, not just because of the time of day, but because we are a mere four days out from the both the primary and the special primary to replace the retired (i.e. completely gone and no longer my congresscritter - Yay!) Hastert.

I just learned today that the primaries in Illinois this year are special for this reason: unlike other super Tuesday states, Illinois is also conducting our Congressional primaries on this date, making them not just the earliest in the nation, but the earliest Congressional primaries in national history, per Congressional Quarterly.

I bring this up because events are happening at a wicked pace here: on March 8, this district will send a new Congressperson to the House, and we need to make sure it is the only real Progressive in this race.

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