The Libertarian candidate to represent Evanston in the state legislature continues to fight challenges from supporters of State Rep. Robyn Gabel to his petition signatures. There’s another hearing today at the County Clerk’s office in Steve Funk’s battle to get on the ballot.

The Libertarian candidate to represent Evanston in the state legislature continues to fight challenges from supporters of State Rep. Robyn Gabel to his petition signatures. There’s another hearing today at the County Clerk’s office in Steve Funk’s battle to get on the ballot.

If the Gabel backers succeed in kicking Funk off the ballot, she’ll have no opposition in the November election because no Republican candidate is seeking the job.

As of last week, after a four-day series of hearings, Funk had 2,214 signatures considered valid by the examiners, more than 300 short of the 2,561 required for independent candidates and smaller political parties.

By contract, candidates for the established parties need only 500 signatures to run for the same seat.

Gabel has previously said that she favors eliminating the disparity in signature requirements, but hasn’t stopped her supporters from pursuing the challenge to Funk.

Funk today is trying to get many of the disputed signatures reinstated, while Gabel’s backers are seeking to have additional ones that survived the original review tossed out.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Reform for all, but only if it’s NOT me…

    Much like others already in office (elected, appointed, or otherwise), "reform" is does not apply to them.

    Not that I’m a conspiracy theorist, but it would be interesting to trace back the political geneology and see who is backing Gabel and her supporters in this, and who is pulling Gabel’s strings.

  2. a “democrat” denying the people a choice?

    So this is a democracy? How easy for Gabel to say one thing while taking no action to practice it. Allow the people a say but, if possible, deny them to choose any voice but yours?

    I would be happy to sign Funk’s petition and just offered to do so at his <a href="">website</a&gt;, but it’s likely too late. We all can call Gabel and complain, however.

    Here is a perfect example, in my own case, of not paying enough attention to the news and finding out after the deck has been stacked.

    I just called the number below and voiced my outrage – please join me, it’s the least that can be done.

    Robyn Gabel – the "democrat"
    Phone: (847) 424-9898
    Fax: (847) 424-9828

  3. Listen to Gabel gabble tonight about the tax gap

    Hey Cliff and Charon,

    You have a chance to give Gabel a peace of your mind tonight at 6:30 at the Levy Center – 300 Dodge in Evanston.

    Gabel who is campaigning to raise income taxes, Larry Suffredin who voted for a 10.25 percent county sales tax hike, and Julie Hamos who declined to finish out her term in office will be on hand to talk about the pension mess and why Illinois taxpayers are undertaxed.

    No promises, but yours truly might be on hand to ask some tough questions.

    Perhaps Steve Funk could make a cameo appearance. That would be grand.

    I’ll supply the popcorn.

    1. the Gabel/Hamos/Suffredin meeting

      I went – Steve did present his case to Robyn Gabel and I gave him a some applause. After the formal meeting was over I told Gabel I thought the disqualification move was petty and she should call off her troops. I have no reason to doubt that she is a capable and competent person, but should the disqualification stand, I won’t vote for her – one less vote for the only candidate is pretty pathetic, I know, but it’s all I can do at this point. A candidate who has been hurt like Steve will likely have to take legal action for this lousy law to be changed.

      The presentations made by the four speakers said almost nothing about taxes but the implication that hung in the air was that all savings that could be had were now accomplished by a new law. There was no talk of bankrupcy. We were told that Illinois pays it’s employees poorly in relation to other states and that we need to retain the best people (I call this the CEO pay argument). Larry Suffredin said good people had been lost by the county hospital system. The charges against public employees (double-dipping etc.) were said to be overblown by a speaker who represents the interests of public employees in a long list of unions that we saw projected on a wall (AFSCME, fire, police and many more)

      Afterward, I asked Julie Hamos if Illinois public employees had ever gone on strike and she said she did not believe they had. I told her I asked because the unfunded liability problem is not only one for state government but also for Evanston and the federal government. The clear implication is that something is very wrong with government spending at all levels and always yielding to union demands is the common element.

      I explained that I am a union member (CWA) and have been in a strike (1977) and a lockout (1998). I’m no union buster but the collective bargaining system is unworkable if the company/government always yields. Companies don’t repeatedly yield because they know bankrupcy is the result. How well we union members in the private sector know the phrase "OUR LAST BEST AND FINAL OFFER" coming from the company. The problem is that government, rather than facing a strike that would enrage the citizenry always yields, figuring the costs are for the future and the taxpayer can always be tapped for more funds.

      Well, the future is here and this taxpayer says it is time for an absolute refusal by the citizenry to pay more taxes. We must accept public employee strikes from now on from time to time, disruptive as they are. We are in this jam because government has rolled over repeatedly and all those promises by politicians to public employees are coming due. It is irrelevent how Illinois rates with respect to other states, or how Evanston rates with respect to Skokie or Wilmette. The only thing that matters is our own monstrous unfunded liabilities at all levels of government. We have been living at a level we could not afford.

      Could governments at all levels simply refuse to increase benefits or pay for the next several contracts for all public employees in order to make up for the largess of the past? Clearly that would result in strikes at all levels, with all the saved up labor unrest we’ve avoided, now collected and dumped in our laps today. That would be chaotic. So there is only one answer – layoffs, buy-outs and freezes on employment for quite some time to come and the accompanying loss of services. It’s pain, folks, but it has to come.

      Anyone still reading? Check this out to see just how bad things can get (Newark NJ mayor speaking)


  4. rules are rules…

    it sounds like the electoral rules are being enforced to me. Campaigns should always challenge signatures – always. And if that results in someone being kicked off the ballot, good. Next year hopefully the law changes making the signature requirement equal for all, but until then rules are rules….

    1. rules are rules?

      "DM71" and everyone – please, please use your real name when you post. If you think your opinion is worth something then don’t hide behind anonymity – have the courage of your convictions and be openly known and responsible for what you say. To do otherwise is a disservice to all those in our history who have so boldly fought for freedom of speech (or been denied it) – only to see those who now unquestionably have that freedom hesitate at the thought that they will be identified.

      As for rules being rules, it is a wonderful phrase for those who have the power to make the rules. How long were women, blacks and even non-property owners denied the vote by those who had the vote? How easy was it to change those laws?

      How free is freedom of speech when a potential candidate must run a party gauntlet before being allowed to present his/her ideas to the voter?

      The rule that makes it easier for a Republican or a Democrat to get on the ballot – who do you suppose passed that law originally if not R’s and D’s? This higher hurdle for third parties rule is by no means only found only in this case or only in Illinois.

      Don’t we rightly condemn those who, once in office, arrange things to suit themselves beyond the reach of voters?

      To complacently say that someone who could not come up with 6 times the number of signatures required for others is quite rightly to be thrown off the ballot because of an absurd law is using a convenient place to hide. Every citizen should be on Gabel’s case to drop her disqualification attempt – which is particularly unflattering to her since she is a shoo-in and has absolutely nothing to fear from someone else on the ballot, to her benefit and our loss. To say that her supporters are doing it on their own is to play us all for fools.

      1. All those in our history who have so boldly fought for freedom

        Clif,  I suggest that you read Glenn Greenwald’s  article  ‘CNN anchors attack the scourge of anonymity’  .  Here is an excerpt:

         CNN’s Kyra Phillips and John Roberts spent a good five minutes yesterday expressing serious concern over what they called "the dark side" of the Internet: the plague of "anonymous bloggers" who are "a bunch of cowards" for not putting their names on what they say, and who use this anonymity to spread "conspiracy," "lunacy," "extremism" and false accusations (video below). The segment included excerpts from an interview with Andrew Keene, author of Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing our Culture, who explained that the Real Media must serve as "gatekeepers" to safeguard the public against the dangers of anonymity on the Internet. Roberts demanded that bloggers should "have the courage at the very least to put your name on it," while Phillips announced: "something is going to have to be done legally. . . . these people have to be held accountable, they’re a bunch of cowards." 

        The corporate media has traditionally served as ‘gatekeepers’ to prevent enquiring minds from exposing lies and  injustice, but your suggestion that anonymous posting is ‘disservice to all those in our history who have so boldly fought for freedom of speech ‘ is just not historically accurate.   

        Who wrote the ‘Federalist Papers’?   An anonymous person(s) named ‘Publius’:

        At the time of publication, the authorship of the articles was a closely-guarded secret, though astute observers guessed that Hamilton, Madison, and Jay were the likely authors.   (I tried to link to Wikipedia, but Evanston Now’s SPAM filter won’t allow it)


        Or perhaps you are familiar with the unknown  English author Junius :

        The Letters of Junius had a definite objective:
        to inform the public of their historical and constitutional rights and liberties as Englishmen;
        to highlight where and how the government had infringed upon these rights.

        Your comments remind me of the charges that Penguin leveled against Batman:

             "Why else does he wear a mask?  Why else does he conceal his past?"

        It is here on Evanston Now where anonymous Batmans can expose the criminal activities of the various Penguins,  Catwomen, and Jokers who show up at Council meetings and ‘Neighborhood’ organizations.

        The struggle  against injustice and tyranny  has always been carried out by anonymous people,  whether they were disguising themselves as Indians at the Boston Tea Party,  hiding in the maquis and carrying out clandestine warfare against the Vichy government,  or anonymous Chinese or Iranian students who try to subvert their governments’ censorship.

        1. the courageous anonymous poster?

          Anonymous – The comparison doesn’t hold up because the nature of anonymity then and now cannot be compared.

          Where were The Federalist Papers published? In newspapers. What was the cost of publishing one’s comments to the public at that time? Considerable. (typesetting was time consuming and a skill that required training)

          What did people think of what they read in a particular paper? They judged by their longstanding knowledge of the content they would find in that paper and often their personal knowledge of the publisher. The reputation of a newpaper publisher was at stake in everything he printed.

          What kind of time was needed to be taken to compose one section of the Federalist Papers using pen and ink on paper? Quite a bit.

          If one wanted to launch a personal attack, one had to find those who would support the attack by printing it in their papers, that were willing to put themselves on the line for it. Newspaper offices were torched and printing presses destroyed for things that were published that aroused the public. Publishing an anonymous piece could be more dangerous that one with attribution.

          So there had to be merit and an investment (the cost to print it) in the subject before it could reach the public.

          What does all of the foregoing add up to? More than one person had to take a real risk and make an investment to get something out to the public. Anonymity simply shifted the resposibility and risk, but the one to whom it was shifted had to pause to consider what he was doing. The point of all this is – the thing had to have VALUE.

          Now consider an anonymous posting today. It costs nothing to publish, it takes no time to type, it can attack easily with no responsibility for anyone. Certainly nobody would hold Bill Smith responsible for what is said here, nor should they as he is not in a position analogous to the printer of old.

          Anonymous publishing once required responsibility. Anonymous commenting invites irresponsibility and a quick survey of comments on line shows it.

          "Anonymous", you defend comment anonymity as analogous to the publication of The Federalist Papers and would have us believe that the considered good of the public is the issue, even though you anonymously something that has absolutely nothing in it that would put your real name at risk if you had used it.

          I present to you the fact that all but a very tiny fraction of online comments are anonymous and,  being so, are frequently purile, pointless, often obscene, if not vicious and indicate ignorance and anger far, far more than considered thought.

          I leave the reader to decide what he or she believes is the foundation for anonymity in the online community, while John Jay and Alexander Hamilton roll over in their graves.

          1. There is a publisher

            But there is a publisher here.  You name him: Bill Smith.  I’m sure if I made some sort of personal attack against you he would not publish it.  People exchange sharp words over causes all the time.  Maybe the tenor would be different if it weren’t anonymous but nobody is being personally attacked.  Get off your soapbox.

          2. Pollak and Biko….seriously..

            Joel Pollak has attracted national attention ( here )  by his  invocation of the name of Stephen Biko in defense of his association with  Andrew Breitbart’s website:


             My family immigrated to America in the same year that South African police murdered Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko. The racist regime that destroyed him viewed him as a threat because of his simple credo: "I write what I like." Biko understood that freedom of thought and expression were the greatest weapons against tyranny.

            Last week, my opponent, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), called on me to denounce Andrew Breitbart and to end any further association with his website,

            Her attack was typical of a corrupt Washington elite that believes it is entitled to tell people what to say and where to say it.


            Let’s see:  

            a.  Biko campaigned against the racist apartheid government, he was taken to prison and murdered, and the apartheid government covered up the circumstances of his death.

            b.  Breitbart released a misleading video clip of an innocent employee of the Dept. of Agriculture, which gave the impression that this women was racist and unwilling to help white farmers.  Innocent women is forced to resign.  Schakowsky criticizes  Pollak  – who contributes to Breitbart site and apparently is unwilling to dissociate himself from Breitbart.    

            I just don’t see the similarity here.  Am I missing something?   Help me out, Republicans.

  5. bogus pension reform

    The latest pension reform law was touted. New state employees cannot retire until age 67 with a max pension calculation on $107,000 salary.  Key is "new" employees.  Gee, that will actually make the budget more manageable in 25 years.  

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