Federal Judge Says Sham Candidates OK

When one of House Speaker Mike Madigan’s Democratic Parfty Primary Election opponents sued in Federal Court, it led to evidence that Madigan’s organization did indeed put two candidates on the ballot with Latino names.

Sued by real opponent, Jason Gonzales, Madigan’s attorney argued since his client won almost two-thirds of the vote that he would have won whether or not the fake candidates were on the ballot.

However, Judge Matthew F. Kennelly did note,

“The court does not hold that there is no constitutional limit on election-related misconduct whenever that misconduct is publicly known before the votes are cast.” 

In 2016 McHenry County saw a fake candidate in Jeff Lichte.

Jack Franks talks to his supporter Jeff Lichte at the 2019 McHenry Parade.

He was put up by Democrats to run against Steve Reick in the 2016 GOP Primary Election.

Lichte had:

Jeffrey Licthe remained appropriately faceless.
  • No campaign website.
  • No campaign literature.
  • No campaign phone number.
  • No campaign email.
  • No campaign social media.
  • All references to Mr. Lichte point to the OPPOSITE political party.
  • Google Maps contained a JACK FRANKS campaign sign in Mr. Lichte’s lawn.
  • Did not show up at the League of Women’s Voter forum debate.
  • Does not have a single Republican supporter anyone knows about.
  • No one in the Republican Party seems to know Mr. Lichte.
  • No photo on the internet.

The Chicago Tribune story on Madigan’s sham candidate is here.


Federal Judge Says Sham Candidates OK — 9 Comments

  1. March 15, 2016 Illinois primary election results for State Representative 63rd District (central and western McHenry County).


    Democrat Primary

    Jack Franks – 10,052 votes (unopposed)


    Republican Primary

    Steve Reick – 8,829 votes (59.31%)

    Jeffery Lichte – 6,057 votes (40.69%)


    Jeffery Lichte was a Democrat who ran as a Republican.

    Mr. Lichte has on numerous occasions been linked to Jack Franks political campaigns and the Democrat party.

  2. Mark’s post tells you everything you need to know about “Republicans” in this County!

    Of course watching the actions of Reick, what difference did it make?

  3. How would recruiting people to run be against the law?

    This was a dumb case.

    Of course it was filed on behalf of Republicans…

  4. Illinois Policy Institute

    Judge Rules in Madigan’s Favor on ‘Sham Candidate’ Lawsuit

    August 26, 2019

    by Austin Berg

    Plaintiff Jason Gonzales was Madigan’s 2016 Democratic primary opponent in the 22nd Illinois House District.

    In his lawsuit, Gonzales alleged the speaker abused his political power by planting two candidates, Grasiela Rodriguez and Joe Barbosa, to dilute support among Hispanic voters.

    U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly granted Madigan lawyers’ motion to dismiss the case.”



    Not that it is related to the decision, but Michael Madigan and Matthew F Kennelly are white male Democrat University of Notre Dame graduates.

    Kennelly to the extent he was nominated by Illinois Democrat US Senator Dick Durbin and approved by then Democrat US President Bill Clinton.

  5. The scamming of the voters like this is new?

    this is what they do… to get votes… despicable but who is to stop them not the law.

    Karma is a real b*&#$ when it comes around.

    Just ask Blago…

  6. Chicago Sun Times

    Madigan Rival Vows to Fight Judge’s Ruling to Dismiss ‘Sham’ Candidate Suit, Inserting ‘Voters Were Defrauded’

    “Jason Gonzales’ attorney Tony Peraica on Monday said he plans to file a motion to reconsider the dismissal – while also vowing to appeal, should that move fail.”

    by Tina Sfondeles

    August 26, 2019


  7. Here is the entire paragraph from the Memorandum Opinion and Order by US District Court Judge Kennelly.


    “In reaching this conclusion, the court does not hold that there is no constitutional limit on election-related misconduct whenever that misconduct is publicly known before the votes are cast.

    In particular, the Court is cognizant that there is evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that the defendants engaged in a deliberate effort to interfere with voters’ decision making.

    Such fraudulent interference in the form of sham candidates might, in an appropriate case, undermine the ability of the electorate to hold the offending candidate to account.

    But Gonzales has not pointed to evidence—or even alleged—that the defendants’ fraud prevented the voters from punishing Madigan at the ballot box.

    Because Gonzales bears the burden of pointing to specific facts establishing a material issue for trial, Giles, 914 F.3d at 1048, summary judgment is appropriate under Jones.”


    United States District Court

    Norther District of Illinois, Eastern Division

    Jason Gonzales v Michael J Madigan, et al

    Case: 1:16-cv-07915 (Case No. 16 C 7915)

    Document # 299

    Filed August 23, 2019

    19 pages


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