Friday, August 29, 2014

Ballot Access Petition Signers were intimidated by gun-wielding private investigator Hired by GOP

By: Joshua Cook 

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Over at the Chicago Sun-Times, there is a story about election challenges that is particularly disturbing.
Apparently people who sign third-party candidates including Libertarian and Green Party, are having their signatures questioned and are being visited by a gun-wielding private investigator who tells them the previous document they signed was fraudulent and gives them a new paper to sign.
One signer said the experience was downright frightening:
“I did not have time to fully review this document because the man with the gun instructed me to sign it, and I was afraid of him and what he may do to me if I refused,” said Julieus Hooks of Oak Park, Ill.
Supporters of Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner are reportedly quietly working to ensure that no third-party candidate has the chance to tilt the outcome in a tight election.
Both candidates are fearing that third-parties may siphon off needed votes.  The Republicans have their sights on Libertarian voters like Hooks.
Here is more about what happened to Hooks: Hooks said, “On or about July 20, 2014, I was exiting my house when a tall Caucasian man and a woman approached and startled me. The man had a gun, which was visible. They told me that the woman who had circulated the petition sheet that I had signed had violated the law because she had obtained too many signatures and committed fraud. I was then given a piece of paper and told to sign.”
The signature gatherer had a similar run-in with the private investigator, who wanted to force the woman to recant the signatures she gathered as fraudulent, which she refused.
A Republican party spokesperson said that they did hire a private investigator to handle the case against the Libertarian petition.
Hooks said that after this experience, no other petitions will be signed.