April 6, 2006

Selection process boiled down a bit further, but committeemen vacancies still a wildcard

From the fine report by Joe Beach at "Beyond Print":
Don Johnston, co-chairman of the 17th District Central Committee, says state law requires that committeemen must have been elected in the primary to cast votes. He says as many as half the precinct committeemen posts in the district, and 41 in Rock Island County, are vacant. While other party bosses say committeemen could be appointed to those vacancies before a vote for the nomination is taken, Mr. Johnston says they aren't eligible for the election.

It's not clear how many votes the vacancies represent.

Rock Island County Democrats make up the largest block of party voters in the district and figured to have a big impact on the selection of a new nominee. How the loss of a third of potential electors will factor into the equation remains to be seen. Reducing the total number of electors from 721 to 360 or so changes the dynamics of the race districtwide.

A challenge to Mr. Johnston's interpretation of the law is sure to follow. That would first go to the state board of elections. The board's decision could be appealed to the courts.

Meanwhile, the board has a hard deadline of Aug. 31 for a nominee to be put on the ballot. Conventional wisdom holds that the only candidate who will benefit from a long, drawn-out battle for the Democratic nomination is GOP challenger Andrea Zinga.
Now we're getting somewhere. The answer to whether county chairs can step in and appoint nearly half the precinct committeemen which remain unfilled and then if those votes count toward the selection of the candidate will tell the story.
But when the final ruling on those questions will come is anyone's guess.

There's already a pretty ugly sour grapes type comment about Johnston on the post at "Beyond Print". This apparently isn't going to be pretty.

25 Comments:

At 4/06/2006 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnston is becomming the power of the district. This is good for Boland.

 
At 4/06/2006 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boland = opportunistic selfish man. Sick to death of him.

Johnston = should have stuck to his printing work and stayed out of the process. Appears to be in way over his head on this little foray into politics and has proven he is much less a leader than anyone could have ever thought.

Sad.

 
At 4/06/2006 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Section 7-9 of the Illinois Election Code provides as follows:

"(i) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, whenever a vacancy exists in the office of precinct committeeman because no one was elected to that office or because the precinct committeeman ceases to reside in the precinct or for any other reason, the chairman of the county central committee of the appropriate political party may fill the vacancy in such office by appointment of a qualified resident of the county and the appointed precinct committeeman shall serve as though elected; however, no such appointment may be made between the general primary election and the 30th day after the general primary election."

Is there more to the story?

 
At 4/06/2006 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need the Illinois Attorney General to outline a blueprint for action. There is no reason this should get negative at all -- let's get a legal process and move forward in a methodical way. We don't need a nominee until Labor Day when the traditional campaign season begins. People are sick and tired of long campaigns.

 
At 4/07/2006 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that it is time for Mr Johnson and Mr Ginulias to put aside their in fighting and come together for the good of the party. This constant in fighting is only going to hurt the party in the long run. The damage it can do at this time with the Evans situation can be devastating to the party. If we the Democratic party does not come together at this time it could take years for the party to rebound from the situation. The Republican party is looking for a oportunity like this to exploit. Lets not give it to them.

 
At 4/07/2006 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let the hiring of the lawyers begin!

Zinga wins! Zinga wins!

 
At 4/07/2006 11:56 AM, Anonymous paladin said...

OK, I'm not a Democrat (or a Republican), and I'm no Zinga fan either, but I'd like anon@7:51 (or anyone else) to explain to me what is the meaning of "good of the party"? Who decides? Does this mean to go back to politics as usual with the backroom deals? Are Democrats expected to march in lockstep with what Gianulis dictates? It seems to me that the "good of the party" was bypassed when Evans decided one week after the primary to announce retirement. I do not believe that he was feeling hunky-dory up until Feb. 15 when he was hospitalized. By all accounts he has been in steep decline since his last election. What made him change? The press leaking his lack of voting, and subsequent poor showing in the primary? Who knows? At least Johnston acknowledges that Evans' "timing destroyed the opportunity for all Democrats to have a hand in replacing him (Evans)". So anon@7:51, if "all Democrats" do not have a hand in replacing Evans, what does "the good of the party" mean? I think it was Harry Reid who said he could not get agreement among the House (or is it Senate?) Democrats as to what the time of day was. Do you think "good of the party" rests on the ability of Gianulis to hand pick committeemen who will vote his way? Is this "for the good of the party"? Please explain.

 
At 4/07/2006 12:51 PM, Anonymous DUKE said...

The good of the Party is ensuring that no registered voter who actually voted is disnafranchised. Why should I as a voter who has done my civic duty not be allowed to cast a vote for whoever I want to see in Congress. Not allowing my precienct to be filled would disanfranchise my vote. Let the wise Chairman do what he feels is bets for our party. We don't need blog owners and Republicans telling us in the Democrat Party how to pick our candidates for office.

 
At 4/07/2006 1:14 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

I can easily explain that if you don't know Anon- 11:56. Then you are no Democrat and you are probably a Republican perhaps a closet Republican - the worst type!!

 
At 4/07/2006 5:25 PM, Anonymous Parks said...

Don't let people take away your vote for Lane Evans. Demand that your voice is heard. Every precinct must be weighted, filled and voted, or else my vote will not count.

Don't disanfranchise my vote.

Has anyone noticed that many of the district unfilled are in minority areas! That alone is enough reason to fill every possible voting seat every county has! Period!

 
At 4/07/2006 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is John G's way of getting Hare elected. not filling the position helps Boland and Schwiebert.

 
At 4/07/2006 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paladin,

You ask me a number of questions that I can not answer. I will attempt to answer the ones I can. No I do not think that we should get into lockstep with Mr Ginulias. I also feel the same way about Mr Johnston( which I note you do not mention). What I meant by Good of the party was that all democrats must get together and make the proper decision over the next few months. To have nothing but infighting will be bad for the party. I quote here the Great American A Lincoln, " A house devided can not stand." To devide the party will weaken the party. To weaken the party at this time I feel is a grave error. As we all know the National Republican party is going to pour money into this area in large amounts. They feel that this a district that they can gain, when that is not the trend across the nation. Any sign of weakness could mean that this area would be represented by a Republican congressperson for the first time in over twenty years. That is a thought that I do not care to imagine.

anon 07:51

 
At 4/07/2006 10:57 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon above... thanks for trying to answer Paladin's question as to what exactly "party unity" means.

But I can't help but note that though you address WHY you think no one should say anything bad about other Dems and why you think unity is important, you utterly ignored the actual question, which is something I'm curious about as well.

Namely, what is it you expect Dems to do? Who are you saying they should support? Are you saying they should all shut up and sit down and leave everything to Gianulis, Evans, the Jacobs, and Johnston?

What exactly is it you are saying all good Dems should do?

What exactly do you expect from them in the name of "unity"??

 
At 4/08/2006 2:06 AM, Anonymous Partyman said...

Yes, Gianulis, Evans and Jacobs are more than capable of picking a winning candidate for Congress.

You act like Gianulis, Evans and the Jacobs do not know what they are doing. These men have built a strong Democrat Party in Rock Island County that has become the eveny of the Dope, Bydler, the D/A and other Democrat parties around the state of Illinois. Not bad! Really!

 
At 4/08/2006 2:27 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You can have your opinion, and some may choose to abdicate their right to make their own decisions and give it over to these guys, but the fact remains that when power is concentrated in fewer hands democracy is limited. It's expanded when the number of people with a voice is increased.

If you happen to be a committeeman and believe these guys are better qualified than you (that's IF you're not one of them to begin with) to make an elemental choice such as this, and you think you shouldn't have any say in the matter and want to hand over your right to have a say in the matter, then you're free to feel that way.

I think these guy's opinions should carry some weight, and obviously, it will. But people are certainly entitled to their own judgement and don't need to give their rights away to anyone, even those three, in my opinion.

They've called the shots and had their way many, many times. This is a rare opportunity when an important choice of candidate is put before many people instead of the elite few.

I'm sure people are doing their best to control other people's votes. The few people at the top will try to game the system like mad to gather control back into their own hands, whether by getting people to vote as they're told or through appointing their people to currently vacant committeeman clots.

I just hope that committeepeople don't hastily give away their right to have a say in this important matter.

And you can certainly take my name off of your list of those you think envy this crew. I can't think of any reason to envy anything about them. Admire maybe, and respect in at least one case. But envy? Not quite.

I can certainly say I wouldn't want to be any of them right now. (Or anytime, for that matter.)

And I can't imagine that Beydler or the D/A is too awfully envious either. But if your little egotistical fantasy pleases you, so be it.

 
At 4/08/2006 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope,

I will also attempt to answer your questions.

I expect the Demo party to set down and have informed discussion about all of the candidates.

I do not expect I would know now who I support for the position. I have not had the oportunity to know or learn about some of the candidates from the lower end of the district.

No I am not saying that all should sit back and not voice their opinions. As well they should not be led by a few.That would not be the democratic way. I am saying that all should make every attempt to become informed about all candidates and then make up their mind on who they felt was the best for the job.

And finally, In the name of unity, stop all of the " infighting" in the press. If there are disagreements they do not have to be played out in the press for all to judge. As I stated before any sign of weakness will certainly be exploited by the other party. I for one do not wish to have Ms Zinga for a congressperson.

Anon 07:51

 
At 4/08/2006 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The law on filling Precinct Committeeman vacancies is simple and not open to interpretation. After April 20 (30 days after the primary) the county chairman can fill vacancies. We will not even have an official vacancy on the ballot for Congress until after that date. So you are telling me that a county chairman cannot follow the law and fill his committee and have his county's weighted vote participate in the process?

Please read the law:
(10 ILCS 5/7‑9)
Sec. 7‑9. County central committee; county and State conventions.
(i) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, whenever a vacancy exists in the office of precinct committeeman because no one was elected to that office or because the precinct committeeman ceases to reside in the precinct or for any other reason, the chairman of the county central committee of the appropriate political party may fill the vacancy in such office by appointment of a qualified resident of the county and the appointed precinct committeeman shall serve as though elected; however, no such appointment may be made between the general primary election and the 30th day after the general primary election.

 
At 4/08/2006 10:23 AM, Anonymous REALDEMO said...

It seems like the elites have done pretty well picking winning Democrat candidates (Verschoore, Jacobs, Hare). The last thing the Democratic Party in Rock Island County needs is neophytes like the DOPE and John Bydler picking our candidates.

Lane Evans is more than capable of appointing Phil Hare to his job. That's what Lane set out to do and that is what Lane is going to do.

You can disagree with Lane's choice, but I think he is better suited to pick his successor than carping want-a-bees like the Dope and John "I am all washed up" Bydler.

Thanks, but no thanks!

 
At 4/08/2006 1:09 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

realdemo,

You should consider changing your handle to realdumbo.

That's really stupid to invent in your own mind, and nowhere else, that idea that myself or Beydler or any other member of the press wants to "pick" Lane's successor.
You just pull it out of your ass.

But as always, you can be easily spotted by your habitual use of the straw man argument.

This is because the only way you can appear to win an argument is if you INVENT something to argue against (the straw man) and then knock it down.

In this case you invent in your head the idea that myself or others are trying to pick Lane's successor. There's absolutely no evidence that that is the case, and I can assure you it's not. It's stupid and has zero basis in reality.

You then argue that you'd rather have the handful of party elites pick the candidate than myself and Beydler. Fine, if that were the choice, but it's not.

Myself and Beydler don't want to, need to, and couldn't pick the candidate, so your argument is utterly worthless.

Nice try, but you are argueing against something you've made up and no one should fall for it.

I've pointed out your straw man tactic several times now, yet you just evidently can't resist.

I know it must be tempting when you can't win arguments based on things that are real and not imagined, but try harder in the future.

 
At 4/08/2006 1:12 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

realdemo,

You should consider changing your handle to realdumbo.

That's really stupid to invent in your own mind, and nowhere else, that idea that myself or Beydler or any other member of the press wants to "pick" Lane's successor.
You just pull it out of your ass.

But as always, you can be easily spotted by your habitual use of the straw man argument.

This is because the only way you can appear to win an argument is if you INVENT something to argue against (the straw man) and then knock it down.

In this case you invent in your head the idea that myself or others are trying to pick Lane's successor. There's absolutely no evidence that that is the case, and I can assure you it's not. It's stupid and has zero basis in reality.

You then argue that you'd rather have the handful of party elites pick the candidate than myself and Beydler. Fine, if that were the choice, but it's not.

Myself and Beydler don't want to, need to, and couldn't pick the candidate, so your argument is utterly worthless.

Nice try, but you are argueing against something you've made up and no one should fall for it.

I've pointed out your straw man tactic several times now, yet you just evidently can't resist.

I know it must be tempting when you can't win arguments based on things that are real and not imagined, but try harder in the future.

For reference, please see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man"
and
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/straw-man.html

 
At 4/08/2006 1:14 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 8:41 writes...
"The law on filling Precinct Committeeman vacancies is simple and not open to interpretation."

If you're a lawyer yourself or know any, you'd never say that. If a dozen lawyers read the statute, no matter how clear it may appear to you or I, they'll come up with a dozen different interpretations.

In the world of law, everything's subject to interpretation.

Unfortunately, if someone decides to go down that route, there will be no difficulty finding a lawyer who will read the statute as meaning something different.

 
At 4/08/2006 8:19 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Anon 0751

In addition to your acute spelling deficit, you also have a history gap. It goes "A house divided AGAINST ITSELF shall not stand". It describes the danger of the radical secessionist movement (No, that's not part of Al Quaeda).

It fifth grade it words it means when part of an organism wants to leave the organism the whole organism will perish. This is a process of democrats carrying out a statutory mandate and having a healthy discussion. Nobody who I know is threatening to take their baskeball and go home.

I can't imagine what your interpretation of the Second Inaugural would be and don't think I wanna know.

Upper Mississippi River Basin Blog
(UMRBlog)

 
At 4/09/2006 11:28 AM, Anonymous insider said...

Gianulis, Evans and Jacobs have built a very strong Democrat Party in Rock Island COunty. I think they are best suited to determine who should follow Lane to DC. Barack and Durbib will also play a role when the "word" comes down, but in the end this decision was made by Congressman Lane Evans, as it should be. What kind of person thinks it would be best to let the press determine who our candidiates should be? If it was up to the press they would have elected Ross Perot and Admiral Stcokdale.

Bydler, the Dope and the D/A are bit players in this race. The real "player" is the only man in the 17th Congressional able to lay down the law -CONGRESSMAN LANE EVANS WILL APPOINT CONGRESSMAN PHIL HARE.

Get over it. It is done!

 
At 4/09/2006 2:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Amazing. You just can't stop yourself from making straw man arguments, can you?

You ask, "What kind of person thinks it would be best to let the press determine who our candidiates should be?"

What the hell does that have to do with it? No one has EVER suggested that the press should determine the candidates, including the press!

This is apparently your huge fear however, as you constantly try to suggest it.

But your fear isn't the press picking the candidate, it's YOU losing your ability to dictate everything that happens in the party.

In that case, feel free to freak out.

And stop insulting the hard working party faithful, the precinct committeepeople, by in essense telling them to sit down and shut up and leave the choice up to you.

 
At 4/09/2006 6:56 PM, Blogger Huntooner said...

It's very sad that our Democratic candidate couldn't have been picked in a fair and open primary. But I'd personally rather see the rank and file precinct committee-persons choosing our candidate than a single (or even a small handful of) Chairman.

I have faith that the Precinct Committeemen and Committeewomen of our district have the independence to choose the best candidate.

 

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