By Mark Wachtler
October 27, 2014. Niles, IL. (ONN) With the race for Illinois Governor a dead heat and only a week until Election day, the Illinois Constitution Party and its 30,000 statewide voters could be in the position to decide the outcome. After being thrown off the General Election ballot by Republicans to eliminate competition for conservative voters, the Constitution Party finds itself in a powerful position. Will they vote Republican, giving the edge to the GOP? Or will they support their fellow opposition candidates in the Libertarian Party, giving the edge to Democrats?
The Constitution Party of Illinois’ 30k voters could sway the General Election. Image courtesy of the Constitution Party of Illinois.
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For the record, the Illinois Herald is an independent news outlet for independent thinkers and independent voters. We consider ourselves a counter-weight to the Wall Street owned corporate media. If we were forced to choose between Republicans and Libertarians, with all things being equal, we’d choose the Libertarians every time, and the Greens, Constitution, PSL, Veterans, Peace & Freedom, American Freedom, etc. As far as we’re concerned, voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.
Three-way race in Illinois
For readers that aren’t aware, the Illinois Herald is a sister publication of Opposition News - Voice of America’s political opposition. As such, we have an insight and line of communication with the country’s various opposition political parties that no other news outlet in American can match. When the Constitution Party of Illinois and its slate of candidates were kicked off the ballot a couple months ago along with the Green Party, Illinois Herald Editor Mark Wachtler reached out to the State Chairman of the Constitution Party of Illinois, Randy Stufflebeam, to see if the Party and its 30,000-plus statewide voters were going to back the Libertarians or the Republicans on November 4th.
In true diplomatic fashion, the Constitution Party state Chair replied sincerely when he said he didn’t know yet. At the time, it had only been a couple days since the Party submitted more than the required 25,000 ballot access petition signatures to be included on the November ballot. But the Constitution Party, along with the Green Party of Illinois who also turned in more than enough signatures, were both kicked off the ballot anyway.
The only opposition party to survive and make it onto the November ballot was the Libertarian Party of Illinois. And to their credit, they had to rush volunteers to the state capitol, spend a fortune on fighting off legal challenges, and even stand strong in the face of armed GOP thugs showing up at their homes demanding they recant their original signatures. Read the Illinois Herald article, ‘Illinois GOP sends Armed Thugs to Libertarians Homes’ for more information.
Constitution Party of Illinois
According to Randy Stufflebeam, the Constitution Party of Illinois has attempted to run a slate of election candidates five times in the last eight years. Only twice were the Party’s candidates allowed to participate in the election. 2014 is not one of those years, even though they submitted more than the astronomical number of required signatures, a hurdle put in place by the two establishment Parties for just this purpose - to eliminate the competition.
The CP State Chair proudly points out that the Party’s first large-scale attempt to run candidates in Illinois was in 2006 when he himself was the Constitution Party candidate for Illinois Governor. Even after being thrown off the ballot, Randy Stufflebeam ran as a write-in candidate and received 19,020 official votes - a number he says is still a record in the state of Illinois.
Constitution Party could sway the Election
With the race for Illinois Governor being decided by 32,000 votes four years ago, the Constitution Party of Illinois and its estimated 30,000 statewide voters could very well determine the election this time around. With only a week before Election day, polls show it’s a dead heat in the race for Governor between incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner, with Libertarian Chad Grimm bringing up the rear but gaining ground.
When pressed by Illinois Herald Editor Mark Wachtler for some indication of which way the Constitution Party was leaning - Republican or Libertarian - State Chair Randy Stufflebeam was non-committal. “In terms of supporting and endorsing candidates is concerned, currently we have not made a decision as to which direction we will take,” he told us, “Having said that though, Timothy Goodcase has decided to continue his race for Comptroller as a write-in candidate and has filed his ‘Intent to run as a write-in candidate’ with all 210 election jurisdictions.”
The Comptroller candidate isn’t the only one who’s chosen to continue their campaign even though they were removed from the Illinois ballot. For more information on the Constitution Party’s Timothy Goodcase, visit his campaign website. Also, the Illinois Green Party candidate for Governor, Scott Summers, is waging an official write-in campaign, as well as the Greens’ candidate for Illinois Secretary of State Sheldon Schafer.
The Constitution Party State Chair went on to describe the Party’s local goals and plans for after the 2014 Election, “As for our plans now that our candidates aren’t on the ballot, it’s to focus on 2016 and build the party to such a point as when it's time to collect signatures, no one will be able to kick us off the ballot.”
Republican or Libertarian
Absent any instructions or suggestions from the State Chairman, Constitution Party voters in Illinois will do what most voters try to do - take each race individually and vote for the candidate of their choice. But if the Governor’s race is any barometer, it’s going to be a good day for Democrats running for statewide office. Consider the following issues.
The Constitution Party’s most prominent platform position is being pro-Constitution. The Democrats, in the form or President Obama, have shown a distain for the US Constitution and the civil rights it once protected. Even worse, the Republicans actually dissolved most of the US Constitution in 2001 after the attacks on 9/11 during the Bush administration. The Libertarians however, are as pro-Constitution as the Constitution Party.
The issue of abortion is rarely a vote-changing topic. But this year it will be. While the Libertarian Party usually takes the position that Constitutional rights begin at the time of birth not conception, its Gubernatorial candidate Chad Grimm is staunchly pro-Life, just like the Constitution Party. Both of Grimm’s opponents, Democrat Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner, are pro-Choice.
Believe it or not, if the election were solely about abortion, Quinn and Rauner would split the pro-Choice vote and Libertarian Chad Grimm would be the next Illinois Governor. While that is an unlikely outcome, the number of typically Republican and Democrat voters who are pro-Life and will vote for Chad Grimm due to that fact will probably be more than most experts are currently forecasting. Watch for the Libertarian Grimm to surprise the pundits when votes are counted on Election night, and he’ll have 30,000 Constitution Party of Illinois voters, plus their pro-Life friends and family, to partially thank for it.
For more information on the Constitution Party of Illinois, visit ConstitutionPartyIL.com.
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