Republicans Form Circular Firing Squad in Presidential Beauty Contests, Delegate Challenges

The song, “Yes, We Have No Bananas,” runs through my mind as I write this story.

I guess the word “objections” has the same number of syllables.

If the objections are to be believed, Republicans handling Presidential campaigns in Illinois have done more than slip on a a few banana peels.

Dan Rutherford courting votes in Crystal Lake.

Republican Party participants, led by State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, the head of the Mitt Romney campaign, and Jon Zahm, State Coordinate for the Rick Santorum campaign, appear to be adopting the stance of a circular firing squad.

Or maybe a game of chicken would be a more apt analogy.

Regardless, it’s pretty typical behavior for Illinois Republicans.

Rutherford’s Romney allies challenged a majority of the Santorum Delegate slates in Illinois.

Apparently ready to counterattack, Zahm then filed objections to the beauty contest petitions for Romney, Gingrich, Paul and Perry.

The Presidential candidates who filed for the statewide race that produces no delegates.

Let’s put the objections in chronological order by time of filing.

At 4:35 on Friday, January 13th, 1st Congressional District Romney Alternate Delegate candidate Sherri Griffith filed an objection against Santorum candidates Eric Wallace, Jennifer Wallace and Gina Danahar, plus Alternate candidate Sandra K. Czyznikiewicz, Karen Hayes and Nicholas Tieman.

Also time stamped at 4:35, objections were filed by Romney Delegate candidate Marjorie Malone against 2nd District Delegate candidates David E. Smith, Caesar I. LeFlore and Jay Farquhar, not the mention Alternate candidates George Pearson and James Skutt.

One minute later, at 4:36, the Dan Rutherford-led Romney campaign filed objections to the 15th Congressional District Santorum slate. Romney Alternate Delegate candidate Ron Loudermilk signed the paperwork to remove Santorum Delegate candidates John Hagen, John Hurst and Loren Heal. Alternate delegate candidates whose candidacies were challenged are Corey Walters and Margaret Hagen.

Also at 4:36, James Broerman filed objections for Santorum’s slate in the 16th Congressional District. Delegate candidates targeted were Chris Arndt, Jan Peterson and Dennis S. Kosinski. Alternates candidates challenged were Bill Cross and Barbara Offill. (Broerman is not on Romney’s slate in the 16th, but Romney State Chairman Dan Rutherford is.  Considering when the objection was filed, circumstantial evidence strongly points to Broerman’s being a stalking horse for Rutherford.)

Romney Alternate Delegate candidate George Offord drew the short straw for the Romney campaign in the 3rd Congressional District. His petition objection was filed at 4:36 against Delegate candidates Richard Grabowski, Thomas M. Mann and Lynn Livesay. In addition, Alternate candidates Jaqueline Grabowski and Dean Mann petitions were challenged.

In the 10th District Romney Delegate candidate Steve Kim filed the objections at 4:36. They were against Delegate candidates Tony Raymond, Bonnie Quirke and Dan Surgue, plus Alternate Delegate candidates Michele Raymond, Jim Quirke and Rachael McCarthy.

Included in the 4:36 submission were also the 10th District objection was filed by Bollingbrook Mayor and Romney Delegate candidate Roger Claar to the Delegate petitions of John Gardner Huff, Cynthia Schneider and Ignacio G. “Jerry” Ramirez. I see no alternate candidates running.

Romney Delegate candidate Jeffrey M. Diederich filed against the Santorum slate in the 12th District at 4:36. Delegates whose candidacies are at stake are Dalton Gray, Michelle Sharp and Sharee Langenstein. Alternates on the slate are Michael Langenstein and Paul Wilcoxen.

Also at 4:36, an objection was filed to challenge the Santorum slate headed by Santorum State Coordinator Jon Zahm and Delegate running mates Rick Nordstrom and Kay Ferris, plus Alternate hopefuls Doug Crow and Vance DeBruine. The objection was filed by Galena Romney Delegate candidate Andy Blankenbaker.

Still another Romney petition objection was stamped in at 4:36. Bloomington Romney Alternte Delegate Eugene Lorch signed the paperwork. It was for the 18th District where Elizabeth Eilers, Charles Trovillion, David Hulliger and Richard Keller are running for Delegate in support of Santorum. Michael H. Baker and Frank W. (Bill) Dragoo are the Alternate aspirants.

Rick Santorum’s Illinois coordinator Jon Zahm filed objections against Mitt Romney’s and Ron Paul’s petitions at 4:47 in the afternoon on Friday. That’s just 13 minutes before the statutory deadline at the Illinois State Board of Elections and, obviously, after the Romney objections were filed against the Santorum petitions the collection of which he coodinated.

Zahm has maintained that tradition in Illinois does not have Republican Presidential candidates challenging other candidates’ petitions.

Not this year, it seems.

At 4:48, a minute later, Zahm filed an objection to Newt Gingrich’s and Rick Perry’s petitions.

At 4:49 James A. Runyon added a second objection to the slate of Santorum delegates in the 15th Congressional District.

And, at 4:50 the same Runyon challenged Santorum’s beauty contest petitions.

Only Buddy Roemer’s petitions escaped an objection.

Santorum’s Delegate and Alternate petitions were not challenged in 6th, 8th, 9th and 14th Congressional Districts.

The the 6th and 14th Districts cover McHenry County after the 2012 election.

Looking at what is on the web site of the State Board, I see that Ron Paul’s petitions use a Virginia address, obviously not his Texas residence, while Texas Governor Rick Perry claims to live in a post office box.

The statements of candidacy are not on the web site, so only those who make a trip to the Election Board’s Springfield offices know the details.

Given the late start of the Santorum campaign to gather petition signatures, it seems likes that some or maybe all of the ones challenged don’t have the number of good signatures required by law.

But could there be other aspects to the challenges that remain unknown to all but those closest to the action?

Assuming that lots of Santorum candidates have fallen short of the legal requirement, if Romney folks withdraw their objections, won’t the reason for such action be delicious?


Republicans Form Circular Firing Squad in Presidential Beauty Contests, Delegate Challenges — 9 Comments

  1. Cal, I would not characterize my actions as part of a “circular firing squad” but rather defensive fire after coming under attack by the lawyers and insiders under Romney’s direction.

  2. The only reason why Newt’s petition signatures for Delegates and Alternate Delegates were not challenged was because they were properly filed with double the required signatures.

    In almost every district we filed with 1,200 signatures only needing 600.

    The Newt petition challenge that Jon Zahm filed against us can’t be for lack of signatures.

    For Newt’s petition we collected 6,200 signatures, the minimum was 3,000 but the state would only let us file 5,000.

    So we picked the best of the best 5,000 signatures.

    We also used Newt’s home address on his statement of Candidacy which might be the basis of contention against the other Candidates.

    Nick Provenzano, State Political Director,

  3. Just back Mitt, he’s the eventual nominee.

    If you want to whine and take your marbles and go home instead, fine.

    Remember that any of YOUR causes will not get support because you guys are sore losers. T

    hat said, it’s a good thing Illinois isn’t in play this cycle for President, as Rutherford is a boob as treasurer and politician and there are no real sharp knives in the Republican drawer on a statewide basis.

  4. Illinois may be THE most corrupt state as far as voting.

    I see nothing wrong with the people vetting the petitions of candidates.

    Someone has to start somewhere to FIX this illegal crooked system.

  5. Once the Romney campaign broke with tradition by challenging Santorum, all bets were off.

    I don’t blame Zahm for fighting back.

    I wonder why Romney didn’t challenge the other candidates (especially Perry and Paul, who have the wrong residences listed– a fatal error).

  6. The Race will be over before the IL primary. Why all the infighting?

  7. I don’t think IL will be in play by 3/20, but I would prefer all campaigns drop their challenges. The last thing IL Republicans need is another reason not to vote in the primary. There’s nothing wrong with vetting candidates and vigorously supporting your chosen horse.

    The Presidential race is the top of the ticket and we will need to work together to minimize Obama’s home state advantage. If we continue work against each other now, it will hurt all the down ticket races in the fall.

    I want more Republicans on March 20th, not less.

    To the supporters and coordinators of Romney, Santorum, Perry, Paul, and Gingrich; are you listening?

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