Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brookins’ petition battle shows ward politics aren’t what they used to be - Chicago Sun-Times

Ald. Brookins (21st) has a hearing today regarding the objections to his petitions. He could be in danger of getting kicked off the March 2012 ballot:
At 8:30 Wednesday morning, Brookins will go before the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners at 69 W. Washington to do some serious battle.

If he wins, he’s on the ballot. But right now? He’s kicked off.


Brookins, a nine-year veteran — seasoned as he is — couldn’t come up with enough signatures of registered voters in this city’s second-most-populous ward to qualify to run.

“Nobody has an organization anymore,” observed one City Hall election veteran in modest disbelief on Tuesday.

In Brookins’ case, all he needed were 939 bulletproof signatures. Though he submitted 1,300 names — more than the minimum — by the time his political nemesis, Bruce Crosby, was done challenging those petitions, Brookins was 103 signatures short. Some who signed, it turned out, weren’t really registered voters. And some printed their names rather than wrote them longhand — a potential disqualifier.

Even Brookins’ attorney, Burt Odelson, seems surprised.

If Odelson’s name is familiar, it should be. He’s the veteran election lawyer who challenged Rahm Emanuel’s residency and right to run for Chicago mayor a year ago. Emanuel, it should be noted, filed 90,000 petition signatures when only 12,500 were required.

“The rule of thumb,” said Odelson by phone Monday, “is that you have at least twice or three times the minimum.”
This Carol Marin piece starts off with the idea that the internet and electronic devices have replaced the time honored practices of going door-to-door and pounding the pavement for votes are about "as exotic as a typewriter". No doubt that being able to communicate on the web is important for candidates on any level but they still have to be out there with the people on the streets or their front door. It was also noted that Brookins was busy on the ward remap which is nearing it's conclusion.

All the same this piece notes the importance of having an organization of some sort. Does this mean Brookins simply didn't have the ability to have an army of workers in his ward not only getting all the signatures he can, but also to vette the signatures he does have?

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