WASHINGTON — Here’s an analysis of how Illinois Republicans let their guard down, and as a result, Arthur Jones, a Holocaust denier, anti-Semite and white supremacist, running unopposed, is poised to clinch the GOP nomination for a Chicago area congressional seat.
Let’s start at the beginning:
Q. Why did Jones run as a Republican?
A. The same reason Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sander ran for president as a Democrat.
The political establishment has rigged the system against outsiders.
Let’s use Jones’ 3rd Congressional District race as an example:
According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, it took 786 valid signatures to get on the March 20 Democratic primary ballot; 603 signatures for a Republican; and between 14,559 to 23,293 signatures to be on the ballot as an Independent, and 14,559 signatures to run from a new party.
Q. The Illinois Republican Party, well aware of his racist views, got Jones thrown off the 2016 ballot. How?
A. In 2016, Illinois Republicans scrubbed his petitions and found enough faulty signatures to get him disqualified. Jones admitted under oath that he had cut some signatures on petitions he was circulating for a Senate bid and pasted them on his House petitions.
Q. So Jones knew the Illinois Republicans were on to him?
A. Yes. According to a transcript, Jones told a hearing officer in January 2016, how he has run for the third C.D. nomination “numerous times” and “each time I have run for this office, the Republican Party has always seen to it that I would have at least one primary opponent to eliminate me in the primary.”
Q. What happened in 2018?
Jones was more careful, going to voter’s homes for signatures to be certain they lived in the district.
Jones’ decision to file his petitions on the last possible day turned out to be very important.
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Establishment Republicans did not line up a primary opponent, to be ready just in case the 70-year-old perennial candidate with noxious views ran again in the 3rd Congressional District.
As Jones told Sun-Times reporter Frank Main, “So I waited on the last day, December fourth to file my signatures. Turned them in fully expecting there’d be an objection, or there would be a candidate that they’d putting up against me.”
“Every time I’d run, they either, you know, object to me or they would have one or two candidates to run against me to drain votes from me.”
Q. On Tuesday, GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner appeared before the Sun-Times editorial board. Sun-Times political writer Tina Sfondeles asked Rauner what he planned to do about Jones.
A. Rauner said, “Our team immediately went to work to try to get those signatures questioned and get him thrown off. He collected good signatures, unfortunately, this time. He didn’t before.”
“. . . He snuck in and put in signatures on the last day at the last minute. He wasn’t even on the radar this time,” Rauner said.
Which was the big mistake of the Illinois Republican Party.
Q. What about some Republican running a write-in primary campaign?
A. Too late. According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, the deadline for a write-in contender to register was Jan. 18.