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items tagged with Elections

Ted Rall: If Movies Were Marketed Like Politicians
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2010-10-20 11:44:39

Riley Supports De-Criminalizing Marijuana
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Letters to the Editor

2010-10-13 13:37:17

The focus of my campaign remains getting Iowans back to work and balancing the state budget by reducing government spending. In the spirit of reducing government spending and protecting our liberties, I have decided to pursue my inclination to de-criminalize marijuana use and distribution in the state of Iowa if elected to the Senate. Let me be clear that changing Iowa’s law will not change the federal classification of marijuana. Further let me also state that I will not pursue a policy of “medical marijuana” that will pit the state law against the federal law and contribute to a California-like problem that comes with taxation and commercialization.

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Board Candidate Questions County Energy Audit
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Letters to the Editor

2010-10-13 13:34:04

What do Scott County, Iowa, and Chicago have in common?

Not much, except that a company from Chicago is about to get a $160,000 contract paid for by Iowa taxpayer dollars.

For what, you ask? An energy audit on the county’s eight facilities – including the brand new, state-of-the-art Scott County courthouse and jail.

Why does a two-year-old multi-million-dollar facility need an energy audit?

I doubt it does. However, the county had secured some grant money (a.k.a. Iowa taxpayer dollars), and when they found out the audit was going to cost less than expected on the two buildings that were originally slated for, they decided to spend the rest because they thought it was better to find a place to “spend, spend, spend” instead of patting themselves on the back for what could have been tens of thousands of dollars of savings to the state.

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Guardians of the Castle: How the Political Establishment Restricts Voter Choice
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2010-09-29 13:53:30

On the general-election ballot in Illinois, voters will be able to choose from four candidates for U.S. Senate: a Republican, a Democrat, a Green, and a Libertarian.

That might seem like sufficient choice – and it certainly covers a wide political spectrum – but consider that seven candidates were removed by the Illinois State Board of Elections.

That’s because Illinois has put so many barriers between people who want to run for office and the ballot. Established parties – Republicans, Democrats, and Greens presently – need to collect 5,000 valid signatures for their statewide slates. Independent statewide candidates and other parties need to collect five times as many valid signatures: 25,000.

Beyond that, the petitions of third parties and independent candidates are often challenged by people working on behalf of Democratic or Republican organizations. This year, Republicans have been most active in the ballot-access wars, perceiving a threat from several limited-government parties.

These challenges have several effects. First, they make the effective signature threshold much higher. “The challenge process effectively turns the 25,000 requirement into a 50,000 requirement to account for potential[ly] invalid signatures,” wrote Steve Hellin, the communications director for Illinois’ Libertarian Party, in an e-mail.

Second, the financial, human, and time resources required to fight a challenge are significant and come at the expense of traditional campaign activities such as fundraising, advertising, and connecting with voters one-on-one. “Attention is put to the mechanics of existence, which may or may not be especially relevant in actually getting someone elected,” wrote Phil Huckelberry, chair of the Illinois Green Party. “It’s an absurd approach to democracy.”

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Brady Keeps Blundering
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2010-02-28 12:21:30

Jerry Clarke is not easily ruffled. Not only has he seen it all in his years running campaigns in Illinois, but he's served several tours of duty in Iraq as a combat helicopter pilot.

But I thought Jerry might actually faint last week when I called him with an update on his candidate's latest piece of legislation. Clarke is running state Senator Bill Brady's gubernatorial campaign.

Brady's bill would undo a compromise worked out over two years to stop the practice of mass euthanasia of dogs and cats. The animals were often put into auto-exhaust gas chambers and killed en masse, sometimes allegedly by so-called "puppy mills" when the animals weren't sold. The gas chambers were deemed cruel because it could take as long as 30 minutes for the animals to die, and some even survived the ordeal.

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