STUMP » Articles » Illinois Election Roundup, 24 Oct 2014 » 24 October 2014, 17:05

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Illinois Election Roundup, 24 Oct 2014  


24 October 2014, 17:05

First, let’s check out how the polling is going in Illinois:

Interesting surge from Quinn, though I think it’s a little odd Rauner ever had a lead above the margin of error. I am not going to go for the skewed polls explanation (I learned my lesson in 2012), but it does make me wonder.

Guy Benson has some thoughts on the matter:

Stunning, costly incompetence and dishonesty don’t appear to be fazing voters in these deep blue states, who are essentially saying ‘yes, more of that, please.’ Which brings us to Obama’s home state of Illinois, where failed Democratic Governor Pat Quinn’s approval ratings have languished in the 20’s and 30’s for much of his term. He’s overseen multiple downgrades to Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation credit rating, he’s hiked taxes significantly (promising more to come), and he’s presided over an exodus of jobs from the state, whose catastrophic public pension obligations continue to spiral. In spite of all of that, Quinn — the one-time running mate of disgraced felon Gov. Rod Blagojevich — has stormed back in the polls against Republican Bruce Rauner. Democratic attack ads have portrayed Rauner as a mean multimillionaire (the Romney script), setting the state for Quinn’s comeback. Though both the centrist Chicago Tribune and liberal Chicago Sun Times have each endorsed Rauner, the incumbent has seized a very small lead in the race, having trailed by double digits for most of the year. The race now is a pure toss up, which is an extraordinary commentary on Illinois politics. Obama’s now in town to try to help Quinn seal the deal with Chicago voters. We’ll see in a few weeks if empirically failed Democrats are effectively bulletproof in all three of these liberal states.

We’ll see if Obama helps any. It didn’t sound like he did much good for his party in Maryland.

There were some oddities with the touchscreen voting in early voting:

CHICAGO — Early voting in Illinois got off to a rocky start Monday, as votes being cast for Republican candidates were transformed into votes for Democrats.

Republican state representative candidate Jim Moynihan went to vote Monday at the Schaumburg Public Library.

“I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent,” Moynihan said. “You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”

The conservative website Illinois Review reported that “While using a touch screen voting machine in Schaumburg, Moynihan voted for several races on the ballot, only to find that whenever he voted for a Republican candidate, the machine registered the vote for a Democrat in the same race. He notified the election judge at his polling place and demonstrated that it continued to cast a vote for the opposing candidate’s party. Moynihan was eventually allowed to vote for Republican candidates, including his own race.
“This was a calibration error of the touch-screen on the machine,” Scalzitti said. “When Mr. Moynihan used the touch-screen, it improperly assigned his votes due to improper calibration.”

Thing is, having dealt with touchscreen issues, what they mean by calibration problems is that when you set up the screen, you are asked to calibrate the machine by touching certain points. You would think that a point on the screen is where it’s supposed to be, but you would be wrong.

I assume (I don’t know this for a fact) that the machines need to be not-all-that-precise due to fat finger issues (and other problems for people with pointing). I don’t know what the screens look like, but if the buttons are not well-separated geometrically, you’re going to have a lot of incorrect votes.

Which I know would break the hearts of the Democrats in Illinois. (Not that the Dems in Illinois much like Quinn, either.)

Other issues:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — With just 12 days left before Election Day in one of the nation’s most closely watched races for governor, Illinois officials are beginning to deal with complications from balloting procedures to how soon they can count votes.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an opinion that no votes should be counted before the 7 p.m. close of polls on Nov. 4. Elections authorities in Chicago and suburban Cook County say if they can’t even prepare votes for counting before then, vote-total reporting will be seriously delayed.

In Rock Island County, Republicans filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Democratic county clerk. It alleges mail-in votes are being opened early and poll-watchers are prohibited from observing the process.

Eh, it’s not important that the vote-counting ends quickly, but that it’s done correctly and ethically.

Speaking of — Join the Ace of Spades Decision Desk to help update vote counts on key races! That’s what I’ll be doing the evening of Nov 4.

Here’s a fun one – a lawyer is in court to talk about the evils of corporations providing political funds, when his own firm is providing political funds. On the same day.

On the day Chicago lawyer Robert Clifford’s firm spent $150,000 opposing the retention of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier, Clifford appeared in federal court on behalf of clients who claim campaign money corrupted the Supreme Court.

The Illinois election board posted Clifford’s contribution to “Campaign for 2016” on Oct. 21, during a hearing in an $8 billion suit he leads against State Farm.

Clifford and others allege that in 2004, State Farm secretly provided $4 million to Karmeier through third parties in order to overturn a $1 billion judgment against the insurer.

It seems to me that he is more against Karmeier than he’s against company money in politics.

Anyway, what was the nefarious money trail that Clifford claims?

Safer said plaintiffs count $1 million in dues that State Farm paid to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a contribution to Karmeier.

“There are a number of different things that this money was going to be used for.”

So wait. A big part of the complaint is that the company gave money to a lobbying organization?

Even before the Citizens United ruling, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had been involved in all sorts of political stuff. If they try to make this look nefarious – that a company paid dues to an organization that tries to politically improve business climate – then this calls into question all lobbying.

A Democratic lawyer might want to think about that one for a minute.

If he thinks it will be applied only to those he doesn’t like, he’d better think again.

Separately, to followup on the Sun-Times thing, the reporter McKinney resigned and a bunch of Sun-Times reporters have some sort of petition. As mentioned before, I don’t think anybody but the reporters are caring about this story as people may be thinking of something much bigger.

Compilation of Illinois posts

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