Sally Wiggins Offers Copy of Birth Certificate; Satisfied, Sharon Meroni Drops Election Challenge

“I don’t think I could have been more victorious,” Barrington Hills resident Sharon Meroni told me after the the conclusion of her challenge to Independent judicial candidate Sally Wiggin’s candidacy.

“I have respect for her for doing that (revealing a copy of her birth certificate),” Meroni added.

"No Politics in My Courtroom" reads the card of Independent candidate Sally Wiggins.

Wiggins reaction:

“I have no problem disclosing that I was actually born in Harvard.

“I’m proud to have been born in the USA.

“By doing that she no longer has a forum that should be decided in Springfield.”

Sharon Meroni

In her statements to the McHenry County Officials Officers Board, Meroni expressed her frustration on not being able to find a way to verify that those running for public office were actually citizens.

She related how McHenry County Clerk Kathie Schultz had told her how the voter registration process does not check to verify citizenship.

In a court suit trying to require candidates to reveal their birth certificates, Meroni learned that the place to make that objection was during the five-day petition challenge period after candidacy filing.

That’s was Meroni did this year.

Meeting with an Illinois State Board of Elections hearing officer, they both agreed that her challenge had nothing to do with whether the number of signatures filed were enough. It was strictly whether the candidates challenged were United States citizens.

Meroni thought that presentation of birth certificates would be the way to go.

When one applies for a passport, one has to provide an original birth certificate. (Someday, I’ll write the story of how my son and wife got a passport, but how I was initially rejected, even though I provided my birth certificate.)

Sharon Meroni holds up the page of the Sally Wiggins' motion to dismiss that contains a copy of Wiggins' McHerny County Birth Certificate.

So, to get back in the country one needs more evidence of citizenship than to run for office to govern other citizens.

Wiggins offered up a copy of her birth certificate, filed in the McHenry County Clerk’s Office, in a motion to dismiss Meroni’s objection. She also noted that she had signed a notarized Loyalty Oath, which states that she is “citizen of the United States.

When the hearing got to the point of Meroni’s being asked to offer evidence, she stated what anyone who had taken a logic course would offer:

“I’m asked to prove the negative…an impermissible barrier…”

Some elements of the media have treated Meroni, who admits to having been on the TEA Party Express, where “nobody knows” one does not have to prove citizenship to run for public office.

Her goal is to have all candidates have to provide they are citizens, either born here or naturalized. I imagine this was inspired by President Barack Obama’s unwillingness to let people view his paper birth certificate.

Before the hearing reached the evidentiary stage, Wiggins, Meroni and Wiggins’ attorney Margo Ely conferred behind closed doors.

But, Wiggins did not share the contents of the motion to dismiss behind closed doors.

“I didn’t know she had posted her birth certificate.

“Now that’s she’s done that, I say she really complied with my request.

“She has cooperated in such a wonderful way.”

Hearing Officer Don Leist then asked,

“Do you wish to withdraw your objection?”

From left to right are Hearing Officer Don Leist, McHenry County County Clerk Katherine Schultz, McHenry County Circuit Clerk Katherine Keefe and Chief Deputy State's Attorney Tom Carroll.

“Based on her having tendered her birth certificate, I withdraw my petition.” Meroni said.

Serving on the hearing board were County Clerk Schultz, Circuit Clerk Katherine Keefe and Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Carroll.

Other reporters in the room were the First Electric Newspaper’s Pete Gonigam, the Daily Herald’s Chuck Keeshan and Iris Bryan of the Town Crier.


Sally Wiggins Offers Copy of Birth Certificate; Satisfied, Sharon Meroni Drops Election Challenge — 26 Comments

  1. I think Wiggins did little to prove her worthiness to be a judge by giving in to the demands of this pathetic kook Meroni whose only job in life seems to be leading her little band of racist morons who hate Obama.

  2. Wiggins has lost legitimacy, IMO, in responding to the nut-job birfer, Meroni. Clearly the law can be bullied if Wiggins were elected.

  3. The IL electorate should look very closely at Ms. Wiggins as a judicial candidate. It is her job as a judge to uphold the law…as written…not as she wishes it to be.

    I no of no one who has a philosophical problem with candidates for any office providing “proof” of citizenship to run for office. The IL law is very clear, however, on what’s required to run for office, and what happened between Ms. Meroni and Ms. Wiggins subverts that law and the elections process in a way that is not the rule of law, which sends the IL election down a very slippery slope.

    The “process” should be challenged elsewhere, something Ms. Wiggins should have been willing to adhere to, wishing to be a potential judge. By the remarks of her attorney, it seems her attorney agrees as well.

  4. I think Ms. Wiggins handled this with grace and dignity. I think some of her opponents supporters are showing poor judgement in these comments.

  5. Someone has paid attention to Meroni, which is the whole point. She is desperate for attention. This is only the first step. She will be challenging every candidate in every election, up to POTUS. That’s her real goal. She hates the President and is doing this as a warm up.

    In the future every candidate will have to prove to Sharon Meroni that he or she is eligible. And only if Sharon Meroni approves can that candidate get on the ballot.

    Who elected Sharon Meroni to anything? And why did Ms. Wiggins cave in?

  6. Greetings All

    Indeed, the objector’s “cause” is perhaps better served somewhere else.

    If you believe the obection was meritless, then maybe you have a complaint elsewhere – but not with me. If there is a gripe maybe it is that this objection was even served on me and set for a hearing to begin with? That again isn’t my fault.

    Once formally served however by the Sheriff, I was compelled to formally respond. I am not a judge in this type of process my friends I am a litigant – Very very different dynamic. It is the Board who serves as the judge of what the law is – not me. They did not dismiss the objection out right forcing me to respond.

    As for the objection. I embrace the fact that I was born in the USA right here in McHenry County. It is a requirement to be an Illinois Resident Circuit Court Judge to be a US Citizen, practicing attorney in IL, resident of McHenry Co. and 21 years of age. I welcomed the opportunity to show a photocopy of my birth certificate to the Board. There is nothing in my birth certificate that isn’t already publicly available and the birth certificate showed that I am a US Citizen as well as over the age of 21. All within the law.

    Finally, it appeared today that the Objector wanted to use the McHenry Co. forum as a microphone for her cause – she admitted never pulling my petition papers to see the 5100+ signatures or importantly that I filed an optional Loyalty Oath on June 21, 2010 voluntarily stating under oath that “I am a United States Citizen.” I believe she wanted this forum to continue and thereby continue the debate on her cause. I on the otherhand want to focus on the election and avoid unnecessary use of resources.

    So, a bonus, my public act of showing my birth certificate (which I was proud to do) pulled the plug on that microphone. We can now focus on the election.

    Best Regards,
    Sally Oeffling Wiggins
    Independent Candidate

  7. But Ms. Wiggins, by giving in to this Objector’s demand, you have shown yourself willing to give into anybody who makes demands. What would happen in your courtroom when a difficult litigant or criminal comes before your bench? How could you be expected to show leadership where you gave in without a fight to somebody trying to fight their own racist birther crusade?

  8. Ms Wiggins

    I am glad that you were not telling a falsehood on your application. What a relief for all of us! However, you didn’t “pull the plug on that microphone” as you thought. She is already Tweeting her great “victory” over you. Giving into to kooks like Meroni only encourages them. Hopefully, the other candidates will show better judgment and tell Meroni thanks but no thanks.

  9. When will courts start charging birther morons to clog the courts, wasting valuable court time and taxpayer dollars? Many, if not most counties are experiencing difficulties paying to keep courtrooms running. Jail beds are closing. But nutters Like Meroni can keep clogging the system because they believe conspiracy theories..

    I sure hope she was at least required to pay the filing fee this time. She claimed poverty the first few times she filed, even though she lives in a very expensive home and request donations to her birther “organizations”.

  10. Ed

    She can “tweet” all she wants to whomever wants to listen – but importantly its not in our McHenry Co. system expending our resources nor our residents money or time.

    I was the only McHenry Co. candidate for whom she timely filed an objection. She did not object to my opponent? Perhaps your real complaint is that the objection was given attention at all – as previously stated however that is not my fault. Once served I became a litigant.

    Enough of this, your giving her to much press here, gotta run, with no other objections I am focusing on November 2.

  11. There is a set time frame and process that state law permits a challenge to candidates by the citizens, other politicians and lawyers. All of my challenges were made during that time. I challenged all candidates I was eligible to challenge based on timeliness and position on my ballot.

    At no point during the process – before during or after the election – does anyone verify the constitutional veracity of a candidate’s application.

    Imagine that – unless someone challenges a candidate during this 5 day period – there is no standing to the question “Is this candidate eligible as called for in the Constitution and according to ‘Must and Shall’ terminology?” I simply ask for proof to the requirement of age and citizenship.

    If our election boards are going to verify a ballot as legal, then I would like to know that the candidates on that ballot are constitutionally eligible. I think it is a small issue with huge implications for a Constitutional Republic.

    While some may state I should be the one to take this to the Legislature, I am prepared to show Illinois Code that specifies where this responsibility lies – with the State Board of Election.

    I was very impressed with the professionalism of the McHenry County Election Board, the Hearing Officer and Ms. Wiggin’s team. This was never meant to be an event laced with delays and grandstanding. My commitment to all candidates is I will remove my objection once proof of age and citizenship is presented. I would much prefer I did not have to ask….. But for now, apparently – if I don’t ask, no one else will.

    I applaud Ms. Wiggins for her professionalism in handing this situation. Really, the criticism of her is completely unwarranted. Of course she would want to proudly display that she is an American! Who wouldn’t? People race over here daily to get a taste of that right.

    It is an odd twist when anyone has to defend that they asked for proof of a politicians credentials or that such a simple request was efficiently processed by that public servant.

    I encourage Americans across the country to contact their politicians and ask them to post their birth certificates – preferably under a banner of ‘Proud to Be an American.” The lack of verification of constitutional requirements before ballot placement is a nationwide problem and one we can easily fix!

    May God Bless our Republic,
    Sharon Meroni

  12. Oh – One last point –

    I do have a letter that will go out to all the ‘other’ candidates on my ballot – which essentially includes those I was unable to challenge because of “timeliness” (I was not aware that no one verified candidates for constitutional eligibility when the 5 day objection period for the Feb. Primary passed) – This letter requests that all candidates post proof of Constitutional eligibility on their campaign website.

    Surely, anyone wishing to work for the American people is advantaged when then proudly display their citizenship.

  13. This all smells like a political stunt from a candidate who claims there will be no politics in her courtroom.

  14. allan- you are always defending the “good ole boys” and now there is a choice.

  15. Ms. Wiggins,

    Are you a birther? At

    “Next, remember, long before the Objector, I put into play in this election that I was a “local” born in McHenry Co. And I INTENDED TO USE MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE IN A CAMPAIGN PIECE DOWN THE ROAD.” (emphasis mine)

    Think about it, if I didn’t provide the Board a copy today – the debate would a conspiracy theory that I wasn’t born in McHenry Co. I have nothing to hide in my birth certificate.”

    Why were you going to spend money advertising you birth certificate? Guess you are pandering to birthers.

    You are worried about a “conspiracy” against you? Please.

  16. “Once served I became a litigant.”

    Sure, and you could have responded by demonstrating that she failed to met her initial burden of proof regarding your alleged ineligibility.

    Instead, you let her shift the burden of proof on to you, and make you prove something that you weren’t required to prove.

    Heaven forbid a judge allowed that to happen in a criminal case, and a defendant was forced to prove innocence.

  17. I think Ms. Wiggins is making it worse for herself the more she talks.

    If she thinks that placating Ms. Meroni was the appropriate response to the position she found herself in, she hardly shows the good sense and understanding of the law required to be a judge. And her after-the-fact rationalizations are hardly reassuring.

  18. Sharon Meroni says: “This was never meant to be an event laced with delays and grandstanding.”


    Filing 32 objections against people without any evidence of wrongdoing is nothing but grandstanding.

  19. Its not that Meroni didn’t provide any evidence, she never even looked or had reasonable suspicion about any of the people she filed against.

    It was/is all a stunt designed to draw attention to Meroni and her fund raising/ efforts at her website.

    Wiggins should have told Meroni to pound sand, she had a sworn statement and that should have ended that.

    In any case, it’s a FAIL for Meroni, she didn’t displace any candidates, which is the whole point of filing objections in the first place.

  20. This was extortion, pure and simple. A candidate for judgeship gave in to it. If a prospective member of the bench won’t stand up for her own rights, why should the voters of McHenry County expect her to stand up for theirs?

  21. Ms. Wiggins may have gotten Sharon Moron out of her hair but instead of doing as Bob said and nipping this nonsense in the bud, she has prolonged Sharon’s shenanigans and that poor Sheriff and others are going to be wasting their time running around serving more of her drivel.

    Heaven help us if more birthers jump on the nutbagwagon and start challenging all kinds of other officials.

    Sharon: It is extremely rare for someone to run for an office they are not eligible for and when they do, it is known as in Eldrige Cleaver and Róger Calero.

    Unlike you, most people aren’t liars.

  22. @Cal Skinner —

    Would you care to document your statement about “President Barack Obama’s unwillingness to let people view his paper birth certificate”?

    It is my understanding that, during the campaign, members of the press were invited to view his paper Certification of Live Birth, which is an official Hawaiian birth certificate, at his campaign headquarters in Chicago. Only FactCheck took him up on it, and published several photographs of it.

    If you’ve got evidence to the contrary, please let us know. Otherwise, I believe you have bought into one of the big birther lies, and you owe it to your readership to provide accurate reporting.

  23. What’s the fuss? I can’t understand why any American would be afraid to prove that they are a citizen. What’s the big deal..ever try getting a passport?? Quess what you need… a BIRTH CERTIFICATE.
    Why would anyone not be willing to produce such a document?


  24. It’s not about that at all, Sandra…it’s about caving to someone who’s not got the rules behind her, who’s using Wiggins and 29 other candidates as part of a greater political strategy because she don’t like the black guy who got elected POTUS just like 43 POTUS’s before him did… If she wants to change how elections are run, she should go to the Legislature. This is abuse of the system and Ms. Wiggins helped her along.

  25. There are no offices that Meroni protested that require being a Natural Born Citizen of the USA. Only two offices require that, the prez, and the vice prez, so Meroni’s recent requests of birth certificates for some Illinois candidates have no points of merit.

    Why do people feed her?

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