When news broke this week that Arthur Jones, a 70-year-old self-avowed Nazi and Holocaust denier, would be the unopposed Republican candidate in Illinois' 3rd Congressional district, the reaction in most quarters was to blame the Republican Party—either for allowing an environment in which Nazis can flourish, or just for being asleep at the wheel on the 3rd Congressional primary, depending on the editorial slant.
What's missing from most coverage is the thoroughly rigged ballot access system that allowed Jones to sneak onto the ballot.
Jones, pictured above, is unopposed in the Republican Primary for Illinois' 3rd Congressional District.
Out-of-state commentators (and even some from in-state) may not realize it, but Illinois election law is designed to encourage and enforce a two-party system. Candidates in Illinois must submit petitions signed by residents of their district to be listed on the ballot, gathered within a 90-day window, and the number of signatures required is based on partisan affiliation.
In simple terms: getting your name on the ballot as a candidate in Illinois gets easier or harder depending on your political party.
In Congressional races, like Jones's, candidates of "established parties"—Democrats and Republicans, with a few hard-won exceptions—only need to submit signatures equal to one-half of one percent of their party's total votes from that district in the previous election.
Independent candidates or candidates of "new parties"—which means any party that did not earn at least 5% of the vote in that district in the previous election, regardless of how long it's been around or how many candidates it has in office statewide—must submit signatures equal to five percent of the total vote from the previous election.
The discrepancies border on the absurd. In the case of the 3rd Congressional race, Arthur Jones needed 603 signatures to become a ballot-listed Republican candidate. Despite his odious politics, he was clearly able to do so (demonstrating along the way either that there are over 600 Nazis in the 3rd Congressional, or that petition signatures are a largely meaningless demonstration of "support" within the district). A member in good standing of the Green Party, Libertarian Party, or any other non-Democrat/Republican party, on the other hand, would need to gather 14,559 signatures to represent their party on the ballot in that same race.Read more
The Illinois Green Party is proud to support its candidates for local office -- and right now, the Cook County Green Party is running a hard-hitting, issues-focused campaign against Chicago's famously corrupt sanitary district Board of Commissioners.
Chicago is famous for its "machine" system: elected or appointed officials control massive, taxpayer-funded administrations full of jobs and contracts, which are handed out to keep supporters loyal come election time. Whether those jobs and contracts actually benefit the taxpayers, or address critical civic issues...that's not really the machine's concern.
Strong, activist, community-centered candidates like ours are a genuine threat to "business as usual" in Chicago. We know the political machine is going to throw everything it's got at our Greens for MWRD campaign.
That's why, from now through November 27th, the Illinois Green Party has pledged any new donations to the MWRD campaign. Can you help out with a $10, $25, $50, or $100 donation to support the campaign?
Funds will pay for the critical ballot access process, which is a set of strict legal and petitioning requirements that establishment parties use to keep independents and outsider challengers off the ballot.
It's a lot of work on a tight deadline -- and your support will help ensure that voters in Cook County have an option on their ballot that isn't the long-standing Democratic Party establishment.
Illinois Green Party
P.S. Want to help out, but can't make a donation? Volunteer with the MWRD campaign instead!
"Tunnels cannot fully cope" -- Green Party candidates call for rain-absorbing organic infrastructure.
CHICAGO -- In a statement released Monday morning, Green Party candidates for the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District blasted the current administration for its release of raw sewage and wastewater into Lake Michigan during the weekend's heavy rains.
The release of sewage, the candidates claimed, demonstrates that "Cook County desperately needs to develop its water-absorbing green infrastructure, on a scale that the current all-Democrat board is unwilling to pursue. No amount of drilling, tunneling, or laying concrete can fully cope with the billions of gallons of water that arrive in a severe rainstorm."
Candidates Chris Anthony, Karen Roothaan, and Tammie Vinson are all running as Green Party candidates for the MWRD Board of Commissioners on a unified platform that includes climate change readiness, green/organic infrastructure, and an end to the Board's culture of nepotism and cronyism. All three candidates for the MWRD are currently involved in the ballot access petition drive, which will run through late November.
More information on the candidates and their platform is available at mwrd-ilgp.org. For questions or to get involved with the MWRD campaign, contact Illinois Green Party Secretary Geoffrey Cubbage at email@example.com, 224-999-2423.
Green Party slate challenges lack of climate change readiness; points finger at "culture of cronyism and nepotism."
CHICAGO -- Candidates for the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago came out swinging at a meeting in Pilsen this Saturday. Chris Anthony, Karen Roothaan, and Tammie Vinson, announcing their candidacies for the Green Party ticket, blasted the current Board of Commissioners for its political climate and lack of vision.
"The nominally-partisan Board of Commissioners has been an all-Democrat body for decades," said Ms. Roothaan. "You don't get good governance with one-party rule. Putting Greens on the Board will open the MWRD up to true citizen oversight."
The candidates' presentation highlighted the absence of any reference to climate change in the MWRD's five-year Strategic Business Plan or mission and value statements, as well as leveling harsh criticism at a political culture where "everyone's here on a phone call," as a former MWRD police officer described the District in leaked audio from 2014. All three candidates called for an independent Inspector General for the MWRD.
Presenting their own vision for a MWRD with Green Party representatives on the board, the candidates emphasized a need for green infrastructure to help with flood abatement. "Deep Tunnel was an amazing piece of forward thinking for its time," said Mr. Anthony, referring to the Tunnel And Reservoir Plan begun in the 1970s to combat combined sewer outflows. "But we now know that 'grey infrastructure' of tunnels and canals alone can't prevent catastrophic flooding. The MWRD needs to get serious about land use and permitting that will put an end to serious flooding in Cook County."
The candidates called for an immediate shift towards using MWRD-owned land for green infrastructure projects, rather than the District's current practice of leasing land to private industry. "Some of the tenants on MWRD land are waterway polluters," said Ms. Vinson. "This is the agency that's supposed to be keeping our water clean, so why are they renting their land -- taxpayer land -- to industrial polluters?"
Mr. Anthony, Ms. Roothaan, and Ms. Vinson will be running together on a unified platform. All three candidates for the MWRD are currently involved in the ballot access petition drive, which will run through late November. To learn more about the Green Party's candidates for the MWRD, or to volunteer for the ballot access drive, visit mwrd-ilgp.org. For questions or media requests, contact Illinois Green Party Secretary Geoffrey Cubbage at firstname.lastname@example.org, 224-999-2423.
We are saddened by the violence in Las Vegas, and our thoughts are with the victims and their families, as well as the first responders and emergency services staff who are still working to save as many lives as possible.
It is intolerable that daily shootings, both mass and individual, have become part of the fabric of American life. The Illinois Green Party condemns the two-party political inaction that has prevented common-sense gun reforms from being passed into law, and that continues to underfund the counseling, mental health, and social services that could prevent so many of these tragedies from happening.
This fall, the Illinois Green Party will gather in Springfield, IL for their biannual Membership Meeting.
The main program of the meeting, including guest speakers and panels, training workshops, and Green Party info and merchandise tables, will be held in the Lincoln Library on October 28th, followed by a group dinner at Maldaner's Restaurant.
Party business, including proposed amendments to the Bylaws and Platform, will be held on October 29th in the Mansion View Inn meeting room.
Labor Day 2017
Labor Day was established in the late 1800s as a celebration of the social and economic achievements of the American worker, a day to recognize the people who actually drive our economy. But when we look at the state of the American worker today, it is hard to ignore the glaring inequalities in our society. The workers have not seen the fruits of their labor, and our political and economic systems serve the few, at the expense of the worker. Unfortunately, the American Dream has not been equally realized and is more a mirage than a dream for most. As workers, we live a varied spectrum of lives but are united by common conditions and experiences. From the service industry to the classroom, workers keep the world fed and functioning for a wage. On days such as today, we must look to our commonalities for solidarity. Only through solidarity can we breach that which divides us and together forge a better future for the workers of the world.
The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) platform proclaims that “production is best for people and planet when democratically owned and operated by those who do the work and those most affected by production decisions. This model of worker and community empowerment will ensure that decisions that greatly affect our lives are made in the interests of our communities. Democratic, diverse ownership of production would decentralize power in the workplace, which would in turn decentralize economic power more broadly.” Only through a democratic workplace can the worker achieve justice. Only once human society is oriented towards people, not capitalist profit, can we hope to realize democracy and a sustainable future.
It is towards this future that we aspire today. From the first slave revolts in colonial America to the early days of fighting for the right to a union, workers in America have surged towards justice. From the martyrs in Haymarket Square to Cesar Chavez, those who came before us inspire us today. Unions like the Industrial Workers of the World have provided a collective voice for America’s workers from the days of Joe Hill to the present GPUS staff. This lineage of comrades is who we celebrate today and who inspires us tomorrow. Movements like the labor movement are not finite things with a definite beginning and end. The echos of past victories and defeats are with us now. They inspire and educate, warn us and guide us. We are not alone in this struggle. We have the ghosts of those who came before us. And we have the promise of those who come after us. We have each other and the common goal of building something better than we have today.
Green Party of the United States, 9/3/2017
Rally with the Illinois Greens and Fight for $15
Illinois Greens and supporters will be gathering Monday, Sept. 4th at 9:00am at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago to support the Fight for $15 Labor Day rally.
Join us near the large black and white sculpture at the intersection of Clark and Randolph to help support the Green Party's labor activism!
Wear green if you can, and if you need an ILGP T-shirt, please contact email@example.com. We'll see you there!
The Illinois Green Party's internal process for candidate nomination in the 2018 election cycle is open!
Individuals interested in running as a Green Party candidate in 2018 can find the process and supporting documentation at our Resources - For Candidates webpage.
Nomination in "new party" districts (all districts in 2018 excepting the 12th Congressional and Chicago's Metropolitan Water Reclamation District) follow a three-step process:
- Notification of Interest - submitted as a Candidate Questionnaire to the state party
- Recognition as a Nomination Process Candidate - by local chapter(s), by caucus of electoral district membership, or by the Executive Committee
- Online Ballot - held from January 19-26, 2018
The details of each step are contained in this year's Candidate Nomination Process document, hosted on the Resources - For Candidates webpage.Read more
2017-07-16: The Illinois Green Party Coordinating Committee endorses the Illinois General Assembly Minimum Wage Increase Bill (SB81). This bill calls for raising the Illinois minimum wage to $9 per hour in 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2018, $10 in 2019, $11.25 in 2020, $13 in 2021, and $15 in 2022.
The bill has passed the Illinois House and Senate and is on the Governor's desk. The Illinois Green Party urges Governor Rauner to sign this bill because it's about time Illinois workers started earning a more livable wage and it will be a tremendous boost to the state's economy as we are already seeing in Seattle and other communities that have joined the fight for $15.
It’s Cause to Get Motivated for 2018!
The Illinois General Assembly has just adopted a budget that cuts funding for most public services by 5 percent below 2015 levels, cuts funding for higher education by 10 percent, shifts some pension costs to local governments, increases our state’s flat income tax from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent – and yet will still leave Illinois with about a $2 billion deficit, $15 billion in accumulated unpaid bills, higher interest to pay on money borrowed during two years without a budget, and a pension system underfunded by about $130 billion.
Only in Illinois could such a development be considered an “improvement.”
In one sense it is an improvement, but only compared to the complete human disaster of the last two years, in which our state government has operated with no budget at all. The bi-partisan failure to adopt a budget in the last two years resulted in our schools, universities, human service and health-care providers, public transit, local governments, and the people most in need of assistance being kicked to the curb -- with little, no, or very delayed support from state government.
In every other sense, this budget is no cause for celebration. It continues a trend that has been in place since the turn of this century: of state government repeatedly cutting education and social services, cutting public employment and the jobs indirectly created by it, attacking public pensions and retiree benefits rightfully earned by the workers who paid into the system, imposing ever higher costs and worse conditions on students, parents and people unable to care for themselves, and leaving our environment and public health inadequately protected.
The near-bankruptcy of our state government is exceeded only by the political, intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the two corporate-sponsored parties jointly responsible for it. They would like the people of our state to believe that there were no other options, because “Illinois is broke,” so “painful choices had to be made.” They would like Illinoisans to believe that the Republican leadership just wants government to “live within its means,” while the Democratic leadership wants to “hold the line” against the more extreme proposals and anti-worker attacks of the Republicans. But these differences, and the gridlock they created, were all based on an out-and-out lie: Illinois is not “broke,” and none of this has been necessary.
Our state treasury may be “broke,” but Illinois is not. We live in a wealthy state in the wealthiest nation in the world. Our state treasury is broke because Illinois has one of the most backward tax systems in the United States. Our flat income tax, over-reliance on sales taxes, and reliance on property taxes to fund our schools, have together given us a regressive system that taxes the poorest 20 percent of our people at almost triple the rate of the top 1 percent! It has also given us about the worst funded, and most unequally funded, public schools in the nation.
This is not only unfair; it is economically stupid and ruinous. It has resulted in a “structural deficit” – meaning that tax revenues are simply not enough to support the most basic functions of government. This has been known for decades, but neither the Democratic nor the Republican leadership, during either Democratic or Republican administrations, has ever done a damn thing about it. Instead, beginning in the 1990s, the leadership of both parties tried to cover up the problem by short-changing the pension system, not making the payments needed to keep it solvent. That made it seem like things were okay. That’s why many Illinoisans look back to the days when Jim Edgar was governor and think that he did a good job. But that was an illusion. We are paying for the Edgar administration now!
There are real solutions – and these, too, have been known for decades. But among political parties it is only the Green Party that has actually been advocating them and demanding their enactment. These solutions include:
- A progressive income tax in Illinois.
- Enacting the LaSalle Street Tax – a small tax on speculative trading on derivatives, which would raise billions of dollars for our state.
- Closing corporate tax loopholes.
- Using the billions in new revenues to fully fund grade-school education from the state, not local property taxes, make college education tuition free, provide high quality health care to all Illinoisans, meet our pension obligations, and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs improving our infrastructure, insulating homes and building renewable energy.
We have been promoting these ideas for years, which is why we support the People and Planet First Budget Proposal adopted by Fair Economy Illinois.
The track record of the other two parties is clear. The solutions are known. What is needed, quite simply, is to elect people to office who will enact them. The Green Party is looking to 2018 to get a foothold in state government and start providing the real leadership that the people need and deserve. We are starting to recruit good candidates now but we will need more people coming together around a real peoples’ agenda and platform to get them elected. Now is the time to get behind your party, and help us turn this state around by donating to the Illinois Green Party! Together, we can make great things happen in 2018.