When sneaky political stunts take place, the last thing sneaks want is publicity over their actions. And the enactment of HB2418 which creates an unwanted Lake County Board of Elections, may be a lesson learned for political sneaks in Springfield and in Lake County.
Reboot Illinois has an editorial on the subject, which can be accessed and read here. They correctly note that with a few strokes of his amendatory veto pen, Governor Quinn could have removed some ugly aspects of that bill, including those provisions which protect incumbents by making it more difficult for challengers to get on the ballot by increasing signature requirements on petitions, and by the creation of what they deem to be a very expensive The Lake County Board of Elections.
The Daily Herald editorialized that the creation of The Lake County Board of Elections has given Lake County voters and taxpayers a steaming plate of odious material that couldn't be sent back to the kitchen (Springfield) that served it up to them. Yes, they came that close to using that word. The editorial can be accessed and read here.
Finally, Rich Miller posted on his Capitol Fax blog an article under the headline "Reform stuff" where he admitted that he couldn't find a reason for the enactment of The Lake County Board of Elections, ridiculed one of the sponsors who claimed he had no idea how the language creating it came to be inserted into his bill, and finally concluded that maybe the legislature should repeal that provision during its fall veto session. His comments can be read here.
So the one person who ran smooth, professional elections in Lake County for 19 years under the new law can no longer run them. Adding insult to injury, Lake County voters were not asked if they wanted this new expensive layer of government, and the one person who knows more about election law in law than anyone else in Lake County, is prohibited from being a Commissioner of the new Lake County Board of Commissioners, unlike her fellow clerks in other counties who voted to have such a board. That one person is named Willard Helander, who like our county, was also singled out.
The Lake County Board through newly elected State's Attorney Mike Nerheim, filed suit against this politicized sneak move, calling it unconstitutional and demanding a temporary injunction, followed by a permanent one. My summary of this suit can be read here.
The matter has been assigned to a Kane County judge, the Honorable David Akemann, who will conduct a preliminary hearing in Lake County over this case this morning.
I can't wait for Democratic Representatives Sente, Yingling and Mayfield to defend politicizing elections in Lake County during this upcoming election cycle. The one lone Lake County County Senator, Terry Link, who also voted for politicizing elections, will be of no assistance to them. He still claims to know absolutely nothing about it. A man who holds a leadership position in the Illinois Senate, no less! No Republicans representing us in Springfield voted for this bill, and the remaining Lake County Democrats voted against it, with the exception of Senator Morrison, who voted "present." A number of Democratic members of the Lake County Board have expressed support of the lawsuit on Facebook.
Those voting for this "steaming" and "odious" smelling bill concerning Lake County have yet to explain themselves. They also have failed to explain how Willard Helander failed at her job in administering and conducting elections in Lake County. They also failed to explain where the estimated $500,000 to $700,000 to set up this new, unwanted layer of government will come from.
Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky.