State Rep. Robyn Gabel of Evanston, who said she favored equal ballot petition requirements for all candidates before she was appointed to office, offered a different view at a public forum Thursday night.

State Rep. Robyn Gabel of Evanston, who said she favored equal ballot petition requirements for all candidates before she was appointed to office, offered a different view at a public forum Thursday night.

Before the February primary, Gabel filled out a position survey from the Independent Voters of Illinois and the Independent Precinct Organization in which she said she supported “establishing a signature requirement for independent candidates and new parties equal to the requirement for the major party candidates for the same office.”

The key section of Gabel’s IVI-IPO survey form.

But now that her supporters are working ensure that she sails through the November election with no opposition, she’s changed her tune.

Asked about her views by her would-be Libertarian Party challenger, Steve Funk, Gabel told the audience at the Levy Center, “the courts have looked at the question and have said that if people don’t run in the primary, asking for 2,500 valid signatures to be in the general election is not unreasonable.”

But under state law the filing deadline for minor party candidates occurs after the major parties have held their primary election.

Gabel noted that in the five-way Democratic primary race, she had won with more than 4,000 votes, which, she suggested, made the fact that she qualified for the ballot with just 500 petition signatures not an issue.

Funk filed about 3,300 petition signatures, but after challenges by Gabel supporters was left with about 2,200 considered valid and won’t appear on the ballot unless he successfully challenges the result of administrative hearings on the issue in court.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Wrong again Bill

    When Mr. Funk asked her if she would support a bill in the next session that would change the signature requirements, she said that she was open to it and would explore such a bill if introduced.

    this is NOT a flip flop Bill. I think you had your mind made up before you entered the room and did not listen to her answer

    I think most people in the room you were there to listen heard her answer correctly

    1. Wax in your ears?

       Hi DM71,

      I heard her say she would "look at" the current law — but she added that she believed that petition requirements "were different when you look at it from a primary perspective."

      Sure sounded like a flip-flop to me — from support for change to defense of current disparities.

      — Bill


  2. Gabel hasn’t even been elected

    And to think, Gabel is doing all of this as our UN-elected state rep.

    Gabel along with her Democrat brethren even want to raise our taxes.

    Now who else has legislated as unelected politicians? Roland Burris and Todd Stroger.

    Gabel is in good company.

    Tea Party anyone?

  3. Robyn clearly lost credibility when she backtracked

    Very unfortunate to see Robyn’s performance last night when asked the question from Steve Funk. Given her support from the Democratic Party, Robyn is a well positioned candidate to earn her position this November at the fall election. To quell any competition reveals her true character and it looks like more of the same from the Democratic Party. Instead of welcoming debate and allowing issues of importance to be discussed by, with, and amongst her constituents, she has decided to exercise her power to eliminate this opportunity. This position is a loss for democracy and all the people she will represent in Springfield. What a shame, but not a surprise.

  4. Liar + cheat = Democrat?

    Backtracking, lying sack of fecal waste matter.  Typical of the Shakowsky – Hamos – Democraptic party’s ilk, supports reform until and unless if affects them and their power. Gabel gets appointed into an office (that’s she’s running for) when Hamos gets a plum 100K a year job. Coincidence or planned?  Typical from corrupt and unqualified former Gov Blago all down the line- They get theirs and voters get screwed.  You’d think they’d at least have the decency to buy you dinner first.

    Yet another reason to get rid of ALL of them. Every single current office holder- toss them out Change the election laws to prevent them from running for any future office EVER.


  5. Steve Funk’s hypocrisy

    Bill, you’ve entirely misread the situation.  It is Steve Funk who is the hypocrite here.  He claims to believe in the rule of law but when he fails to convince the voters of the 18th District to sign his petition, all of a sudden he wants the law jettisoned and the verdict of 18th District voters overturned. The right to sign a petition is meaningless without the right to NOT sign a petition, a right exercised by the local voters.  Steve ought to respect their judgement.

    Steve Funk made the choice to avoid facing primary opponents, the way Robyn had to. Unlike Robyn, he made the choice to avoid voter scrutiny for a full year.  Funk also chose not to fill the vacant Republican nomination. That’s fine, it’s his right.  

    But the price for these choices is that he had to collect some additional signatures.  He was either unwilling or unable to do that.  If he wants to blame someone for the lack of a contested election, he should blame the Republicans for not fielding a candidate and he should blame himself.

    What a hypocrite!

  6. Gabel on IDFPR records

    Never mind ballot access…Gabel would win in a landslide anyway.

    Here is an important issue for Gabel, and Schoenberg ( source: Chicago Tribune 8/22/10):

    Doctor records taken offline
    Profiles once listed physicians’ criminal convictions, malpractice payments

    Illinois once provided the public with detailed histories of the state’s doctors — including whether the physician was convicted of a crime, fired by a hospital or forced to make a medical malpractice payment within the previous five years.

    But access to the profiles came to a screeching halt in February, when the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation removed them from its Web site and placed them under lock and key — the latest chapter in a long political battle that has pitted patients’ advocates against the state’s medical lobby.


    This is important!  Why do physicians have any right to keep this information secret?

    Enquring minds want to know if their doctor is a quack or a crook.  Enquiring minds have a right to know!

    Where go Gabel and Schoenberg stand on this issue?  With the corrupt medical lobby, or with Enquiring Minds?

    Call Gabel and Schoenberg and enquire.



    1. Check your timeline, doc

      Gabel was not even in office in February. I recognize that you are urging readers to take action and find out for themselves, but upon first glance it appears as though you are insinuating Representative Gabel is entrenched with the medical lobby.

      1. no insinuation

        you are insinuating Representative Gabel is entrenched with the medical lobby. 

        No, I said that enquiring minds want to know her position on the issue.

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