This past weekend was one of the busiest and most productive ones for the Libertarian Party of Illinois – and the DuPage Libertarians were involved throughout the process.
Monday, June 23rd was the deadline to turn in petitions to the State Board of Elections for ballot access for our seven statewide candidates in the Illinois November election for 2014. Political Division Director Lex Green and his wife, Membership Director Karen Green, hosted a weekend of petition gathering that involved everything from signature verification to punching holes and stamping numbers.
Collecting petitions from petitioners all across the state is laborious and tedious work. It cannot be overstated how much the Libertarian Party of Illinois owes to Lex and Karen for taking charge in the organization and implementation of this task.
Public Relations Director Steve Bosak wrote and published three press releases over the past few weeks to entice journalists in Springfield to attend a press conference that we had scheduled for 1pm in the media room inside the capitol building. Part of the offer promised a free Jimmy John’s lunch to those who attended, partially as a representation of our “freaky fast” press conference and also as an omen to large businesses who are leaving the state. Steve worked with our Communications Division Director Crystal Jurczynski to help put together all our information and talking points, with copies available to the attending journalists.
The second press release included this photo of our promised visual aid – our large petition stack along with representations of the petty requirements from the other two main parties in the state. It gained some traction and created quite a buzz, eliciting many comments of curiosity as well as the nickname “shroud of turn-in.” We would unveil our surprise at the conference.
On the morning of the deadline, the giant stack of petitions that we turned in to the State Board of Elections contained 43,921 signatures, gathered from all across the state of Illinois. It was large, it was heavy, and it was a lot of work! Everything went smoothly – there was no one else in the lobby, so we spent some time taking pictures while state officials worked through our paperwork. Candidate for Governor Chad Grimm, Lt. Governor AJ Cummings, Comptroller Julie Fox and US Senate Sharon Hansen were on site for the turn-in.
Afterwards, we headed toward the capitol for our 1pm Press Conference. After meeting up with candidates for Attorney General Ben Koyl and Treasurer Matt Skopek, we were then greeted by nine journalists in the media room. All photos were taken by DuPage Libertarians Chair Brian Lambrecht and Secretary Jennifer Floyd.
Our “freaky fast” press conference was planned to be brief and to the point, but journalists wanted to ask questions about ballot access and our lawsuit with the state on election fairness, and then proceeded to question our governor candidate about his vision for Illinois. At one point, our Attorney General candidate Ben Koyl was asked about his qualifications and what he thought about Lisa Madigan.
As you can see in the above photo, our visual aid was a representation of the signatures we are required to collect in comparison with those of the two major parties in Illinois. The striking contrast helps us illustrate how the rules are unfairly written to keep third parties out of the political arena in Illinois, and shows a perspective many people may have never realized about the political process in our state.
Almost 45 minutes later the press conference came to an end. Candidates were asked a few questions individually, business cards were traded and networking took place. Within hours half a dozen articles on our press conference were online.
Thanks to everyone who came out and helped make this happen. None of this could have been possible without the help from volunteer petitioners, members of our chapters, donors, those who helped assemble the petitions and paperwork, those who reached out to the media, our candidates for tirelessly working to get themselves out there, and everyone who was with us in Springfield. Thanks again.
Now, on to the campaigns!!
Photos taken by Jeni Floyd and Brian Lambrecht