Doubek: Here's How Political Powers Control Who Gets to Run for Office

Illinois' political powers have plenty of ways in which they control who gets to run or hold office in Illinois. Here are some and a few suggestions for ending the election games.

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If you care about democracy, don’t forget how it “works” closest to home. In Illinois, those in power use and abuse the electoral process to cling to that power.

Let’s count some of the ways power is manipulated in campaign seasons:

  1. House Speaker Michael Madigan is being accused in court by former challenger Jason Gonzalez of recruiting two candidates with Hispanic names to run and dilute the anti-incumbent vote in his district. To be clear, Gonzalez and the two others, combined, only got 34.9 percent of the vote, but the suggestion someone recruits sham candidates is one that surfaces fairly regularly.

  2. Many state lawmakers called it quits after the two-year state budget stalemate, with only a few finishing their terms. One election trick played on voters is the early resignation. If an officeholder resigns early enough, then party officials choose a replacement who runs for election with the benefits of incumbency. Party players get the power, not voters.

Read the rest of Doubek's column at the Chicago Sun-Times.