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Illinois Govt

Libertarians visit Jacksonville, plan for the debate circuit

Thomas Clatterbuck



Last weekend most of the Libertarian statewide candidates came to Jacksonville for a meet and greet. Hosted by the Morgan County Libertarians, the event was a chance to meet with voters, as well as discuss their recent ballot access victory and the challenges of getting into the debate circuit.

As we reported last week, the main slate of Libertarian candidates did not face a ballot petition challenge. Comptroller candidate Claire Ball credited the behind the scenes workers who helped ensure that the approximately 48,000 signatures they submitted were valid. Not being challenged ensures that the full slate will show up on the November ballot.

The lack of a challenge also helps save resources for campaigning. Ball explained that in addition to the monetary fees, the largest cost of contesting a challenge is time. Getting volunteers to sit with the Board of Elections judges to sift through the signatures takes a huge number of man hours. For a smaller party like the Libertarians, sending volunteers to Springfield is a real burden. Additionally, fundraising during a challenge is more difficult. People are far more reluctant to donate when a candidate may not appear on the ballot.

Preparing for the debates

But the institutional struggles for the third parties are still not over. The next challenge is getting into the major debates. Traditionally, third parties get stuck in a coverage loop. Because they have less initial name recognition, they poll lower than candidates for the two major parties. Low poll numbers are used to justify keeping them out of the early debates. Without the exposure and credibility that those debates bring, their poll numbers remain low. This, in turn, is used to keep them out of later debates.

This year there are two third parties fielding candidates for governor. In addition to Kash Jackson from the Libertarians, State Senator Sam McCann is running with the Conservative Party. With two candidates having passed the initial hurdle to get on the ballot, it may be easier for both of them to get into the debate circuit. Democratic candidate JB Pritzker has already signaled his willingness to have McCann at the debates. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has not yet commented on if the third parties should be included.

Gubernatorial candidates aren’t the only ones trying to get into a debate. Comptroller candidate Claire Ball, Secretary of State candidate Steve Dutner, and Attorney General candidate Bubba Harsy also expressed interest in a formal debate with their established party counterparts. It isn’t clear if they will be invited to the debates, or if there will be debates for these offices.

You can learn more about all of the statewide candidates on our Campaign Headquarters page.

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Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.

2018 Election

Bourne, Manar, Murphy, and Scherer are going to the statehouse

Thomas Clatterbuck



With the final votes being tallied, we can announce the state representatives and senators for the Springfield area. State Senator Andy Manar (D-48) will hold onto his seat. Manar will be joined by Steve McClure (R-50) who will be taking over Sam McCann’s old district. Republican Bill Brady (44) ran unopposed.

In the House, Representatives Avery Bourne (R-95) and Sue Scherer (D-96) were both reelected. Mike Murphy (R) was elected in the 99th to replace outgoing Republican Sara Wojcicki Jimenez. Tim Butler (R-87) and C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-100) ran unopposed in the general election.

Many precincts still need to report, but it appears the Democrats have pulled off a clean sweep of the executive offices. But it remains to be seen if any of the third party candidates will break the five-percent threshold.

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2018 Election

Illinois House candidate Herman Senor w/ Thomas Clatterbuck

Thomas Clatterbuck



In this episode of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show, we had Illinois House candidate Herman Senor. Senor is the Republican candidate in the 96th House district.

Senor currently serves as the Ward 2 Alderman in Springfield. He explained some of the state issues he has encountered on the city council. Regulations and new taxes from the state often make things difficult for municipalities. Over regulation also poses a problem for schools. Senor proposed making it easier for substitute teachers to gain teaching credentials or allowing retired teachers to come back could help alleviate the teacher shortage.

When it came to guns, Senor said that punishing law-abiding citizens was not the right way to curb gun violence. While bad actors should be punished, innocent people should not have their rights infringed. Similarly, he expressed an openness to both medical and recreational marijuana, but wanted strong oversight to ensure bad actors were not taking advantage of the system.

We touched on a number of other issues as well, including new taxes, shell bills, and fighting sexual harassment in the statehouse. You can watch our full interview in the player.

To learn more about Herman Senor, and the other candidates in the 96th, check out our Campaign Headquarters page.

You can see all the past episodes of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show on the Springfield Daily Shows page.

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Illinois Govt

Anti-abortion group rescinds endorsement in Illinois governor race




A state senator is defending using money from pro-union groups to go after House Republicans, a move that cost him an endorsement from an anti-abortion group.

Just last week, Conservative Party gubernatorial candidate Sam McCann, who is a Republican state senator from Plainview, picked up the endorsement of Illinois Family Action for his anti-abortion position.

“With early voting for the November general election underway, we want to remind you how important it is to exercise your civic duty to vote and be good stewards of God’s amazing gift of self-government,” IFA Executive Director David Smith said in a video posted online Oct. 12. “McCann … share[s] our conservative Christian values and we urge you to support [him] when you cast your ballot.”

Then this week, McCann sent out mailers against an anti-abortion Republican calling him a “Rauner RINO,” or Republican in name only.

Smith said that triggered his board to decide to take back its endorsement, a first for the group.

“What Sam McCann is doing with this mailer is actually enabling a pro-abortion Democrat to get an upper hand on a pro-life incumbent state lawmaker,” Smith said.

With McCann getting big dollars from union interests, Smith said it’s clear to him McCann is more interested in fighting “right to work” candidates than supporting anti-abortion candidates.

“That’s what it really is about,” Smith said. “So we were misled. We were lied to. We were deceived.”

McCann dismissed Smith’s criticism, saying he’s 110 percent anti-abortion. He said it’s the House Republicans that are falling in line with incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who McCann has called the state’s most liberal Democratic governor in history.

“Is it really about being conservative and leading or is it about being sheep and getting re-elected,” McCann said.

McCann this month alone has gotten $1.2 million from a group called Fight Back Fund that supports union politics. He said that’s money from a mix of people in unions who support his campaign.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said what McCann is doing with that union support is effectively working to give more power to Democrats, and, by extension, House Speaker Michael Madigan.

McCann said that’s not true.

“To use the governor’s term, that’s baloney,” McCann said. “What we’re doing is we’re calling people out.”

One of McCann’s targets, Palatine state Rep. Tom Morrison, said it’s imperative Republicans maintain and gain seats in the House to stop Madigan’s use of a supermajority. He said a supermajority would allow Democrats to push an agenda that’s wrong for Illinois.

McCann said Republicans and Smith are doing Rauner’s bidding.

Smith said IFA is now telling voters to support none of the above in the gubernatorial race.

Article by Greg Bishop, Illinois News Network. For more INN News visit 

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