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The Illinois Republican party, and their billionaire gubernatorial candidate, have declared war on Libertarian candidates.
The Libertarian Party of Illinois has recruited a fantastic and highly active slate of candidates for statewide office and they worked tirelessly to get them well over the 25,000 petition signatures needed to appear on the November ballot. In fact, they gathered over 43,000 signatures in just 90 days!
But the victory was short lived. The IL GOP challenged those signatures and sent a team of staffers and interns to the Illinois State Board of Elections to ensure that the voices of those 43,000 people were silenced.
The process for defending those signatures is long and unnerving. The Libertarian Party of Illinois needed to answer the GOP’s attack by gathering volunteers at the state election board’s office in Springfield for several days. From 9am to 7pm you sit in a chair, petitions and GOP objections in hand, working with the election board staffer to locate the petitioner in voter rolls. Arguing with the GOP interns over matching signatures, legal name changes, and whether LSD in Chicago actually means Lake Shore Drive.
Knowing they would not be able to match the GOP’s presence, they called on us for help. And we had to act on short notice. We committed ourselves to the state party’s efforts, and we brought out the big guns. We sent in LNCC Executive Director Evan McMahon last week for a few days.
Evan returned home this past Friday, just in time to celebrate his nephew’s first birthday, and is already back on the road heading to Springfield. Evan will stay in the area for the rest of the week. Including a couple of days to assist Lex Green, LP Illinois Political Director, with paper work and preparing documentation for any additional legal challenges.
The Libertarian Party of Indiana, being a good neighbor, not only sent their State Chair Dan Drexler for a day of assistance, but they also helped pay part of the expenses for Evan’s first week in Springfield.
Of course, placing Evan in the field for this task comes at a price. There are additional costs we bear to cover his transportation, room and board. Then there is the opportunity cost. While Evan is in Illinois, he has limited time to address the day-to-day tasks of the LNCC.
We are here to turn the tide and change the course of America. And our ability to accomplish this depends on you. With your help we can make a dramatic impact on the liberty movement.
If you believe as I do that providing practical support for Libertarian candidates and local parties is need for our success, I ask you to stand with me and our mission by underwriting our efforts.
Very Truly Yours,
Mark W. Rutherford, Chairman
Libertarian National Campaign Committee
Note from Paulie: I worked on defending LP signatures in Illinois from a challenge in 1998, and worked there as a petitioner in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.