Obama’s Strategy to Win at All Costs Violated His Challengers’ Civil Rights

The Chicago Board of Elections’ Biased Decisions Eliminated Barack Obama’s Four Opponents for State Senate

Political pundits often joke about Chicago corruption: “Vote early, vote often.” “Chicago is where the dead resurface to vote.” The Chicago machine has controlled the Chicago Board of Elections (CBOE) since the early 1990s. To insure that Cook County Circuit Court judges would receive favorable treatment from the CBOE when they ran for office, local judges appointed a corruptible, third generation Chicago machine politician named Langdon Neal to head the CBOE. Neal is infamous because his law firm received $101 million in no-bid government contracts from the same politicians whose elections he conducted and certified.

With influential members such as Langdon Neal in charge of the CBOE, the machine no longer needs the dead to vote or voters to stuff the ballot boxes. The Chicago political mafia found a much easier way to win their elections. The political hacks in charge of the CBOE use their election authority to stop candidates who are unaffiliated with the machine from appearing on the ballot. Machine candidates have an unimpeded path to public offices because they often run unopposed–like Barack Obama did when he won his first election in 1996.

The machine’s henchmen working at the CBOE showed Barack Obama’s four 1996 state senate opponents no mercy. The CBOE ruled that 62% of the signatures that these opponents submitted with their nominating petitions were invalid. Two of Obama’s state senate challengers were so outraged, they filed federal court lawsuits. However, the two Obama opponents who sued could not present the evidence nor make the arguments below because in 1996 ballot access information wasn’t readily available on the Internet. Whether it is a future U.S. presidential candidate or candidates for other offices, unjustly denying anyone their inalienable right to run for office is unconstitutional and no laughing matter.

Obama Chose a Surrogate to Do His Dirty Work

According to Chicago election laws, a challenger must come forward to object to signatures on nominating petitions. Because candidates want to make it appear that they respect their opponents’ and constituents’ civil rights, they appoint a trustworthy surrogate to challenge their opponents’ nominating signatures. During Obama’s 1996 state senate primary race, it was Obama campaign worker Ron Davis who acted as Obama’s surrogate. The fact that Harvard law school graduate Barack Obama chose Ron Davis instead of himself to knock his four opponents off the ballot shows that Barack Obama was steeped in dirty Chicago politics from the inception of his political career.

Ron Davis’ name appeared as the objector to the nominating petitions of Obama’s four opponents, but there is little doubt it was Barack Obama who provided Davis with a lawyer. According to CBOE records, a lawyer  represented Davis through the entire objection process that eliminated Obama’s four challengers. Attorney Thomas Edward Jones represented both Barack Obama and Ron Davis in one of Obama’s challenger’s federal court lawsuits.

Altogether, Obama’s four opponents submitted 5,865 signatures. Obama and Davis’s lawyer had to carefully scrutinize all 5,865 signatures before the attorney for the Davis-Obama state senate campaign filed formal objections with the CBOE. Because the Davis-Obama lawyer challenged more than 4,000 of Obama’s opponents’ 5,865 signatures, the attorney needed to attend a minimum of two or three full days of hearings while the CBOE compared the signatures from Obama’s opponents with the signatures that the CBOE had on file.

The CBOE was Prejudiced in Favor of Obama

The names of Barack Obama’s four 1996 state senate primary opponents are as follows: Gha-is F. Askia, Marc Ewell, Ulmer D. Lynch Jr., and Alice J. Palmer (See Table 1 below). The four candidates who wanted to run against Obama turned in 529 to 1,142 signatures more than the legal requirement of 757. Yet an insufficient number of valid signatures was the reason all four of Barack Obama’s opponents were denied the opportunity to run against the future president. Obama’s four opponents were not frivolous candidates seeking publicity. Who knew in 1996 that first-time state senate candidate Barack Obama would be elected president of the United States in 2008?

Obama’s 1996 State Senate Primary Opponents1

Candidate’s Name

Signatures Submitted

Invalid Signatures

Percent of Invalid Signatures

Gha-is F. Askia

1,899

1,211

64%

Marc Ewell

1,286

615

48%

Ulmer D. Lynch Jr.

1,100

770

70%

Alice J. Palmer

1,580

1,023

65%

5,865

is the total number of signatures of the four Obama challengers

3,619

 is the total number of invalid signatures for the four Obama challengers

62%

is the percentage of invalid signatures for the four Obama challengers

 

Table 1

 

The CBOE’s rejection of 62% of Obama’s state senate opponents’ signatures is quite a revealing and shocking statistic. It wasn’t just one of Obama’s opponents who allegedly turned in a majority of bogus signatures. Remember the 62% invalid signature rate is for all four Obama opponents. There is not an election board in the U.S. that invalidates candidates’ signatures anywhere close to the 62% that Obama’s opponents endured.

More Proof the CBOE was Biased in Favor of Obama

No objector came forward to challenge Obama’s state senate signatures; hence, no one knows the number or percentage of invalid signatures Obama might have submitted to the CBOE when he filed for state senator in 1996. The invalidation of Obama’s opponents’ signatures at a rate of 62% certainly suggests the CBOE was biased in his favor. However, there is more compelling proof that the CBOE gave Obama special treatment. The percentage of invalid signatures was significantly lower for candidates who ran in other state senate and state representative districts at the same time as Obama (Table 2).

Richard D. Taylor was the only other state senate candidate who was denied ballot access by the CBOE for invalid signatures at the same time CBOE election commissioners were denying Obama’s four challengers ballot access. CBOE election commissioners determined that 43% of Taylor’s signatures were invalid. However, Taylor’s invalid signatures were 19% fewer than the 62% average for Obama’s four opponents.

The election laws that determined the validity of the candidates’ signatures in Table 2 and of Obama’s four opponents in Table 1 are one and the same. Richard Cowen, Michael Hamblet, and Annette Hubbard were the same election commissioners who ruled on all four Obama cases and the 10 election cases listed in Table 2. Cowen, Hamblet, and Hubbard decided the challenges to 9 of the 10 candidates in Table 2 within 14 days of deciding the election cases against Obama’s four opponents.

1996 State Legislature Candidates2

Candidate

 Total Signatures

Invalid Signatures

Invalid Percent

Sabrina Barker

497

200

40%

Ronald Gaines

996

237

24%

James Haring

1,518

661

44%

Audrey Kenner

822

251

31%

Larry McKeon

924

309

33%

Mable McMiller

600

171

29%

John Pollack

385

111

29%

Derome Stovall

421

149

35%

Richard Taylor

725

314

43%

David Zalewski

539

281

52%

7,427

is the total number of signatures from candidates

2684

is the total number of candidates’ invalid signatures

36%

is the percentage of candidates’ invalid signatures

 

Table 2

The CBOE’s Questionable Decisions Made Barack Obama the Chosen One

The CBOE declared 62% of Obama’s four opponents’ signatures invalid, yet the CBOE deemed that only 36% of 10 other Illinois legislative candidates’ signatures were invalid. The figures of 62% and 36% were the result of the same CBOE officials using the same Illinois elections laws to evaluate candidates’ signatures during the same period of time. Barack Obama’s candidacy in one legislative race is the key variable that is different.

The invalid signature difference of 26% between Obama’s opponents and the 10 other Illinois state legislative candidates clearly shows the CBOE was biased in favor of state senate candidate Barack Obama or prejudiced against Obama’s four opponents. There is no other way to explain why the CBOE deemed so many more of Obama’s four opponents’ signatures were invalid other than the fact that Barack Obama was the CBOE’s chosen one.

Obama opponent Alice Palmer was highly educated and politically experienced. In fact, Palmer was the incumbent state senator when the CBOE denied her a chance to run for reelection. Palmer graduated with a master’s degree in urban studies from Roosevelt University and a PH.D. in education administration from Northwestern University. Given Palmer’s political experience and education, other than the CBOE commissioners and employees’ favoritism of Obama, it’s hard to comprehend why Palmer failed to reach the 757 valid signatures that were necessary for her name to appear on the ballot. Palmer never forgot Obama’s mistreatment of her; Palmer was a Hillary Clinton delegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Indeed, the CBOE and the machine honchos wanted Barack Obama in the state senate and they were ready to violate his opponents’ civil rights if necessary. Table 1 shows that candidates Askia, Ewell, Lynch Jr., and Palmer combined to turn in two and half times the amount of legally required signatures; thus, the CBOE needed to invalidate a high percentage of them in order to stop the four from appearing on the ballot with Obama. State senate candidate Obama needed the CBOE to invalidate his opponents’ signatures at a rate of 62% and that was what Obama got. Had Obama needed his opponents’ signatures invalidated at 70% or 75%, he would have gotten that from the CBOE.

Obama was the machine’s choice for state senator, and the CBOE made sure Obama assumed office without facing any Democratic primary opposition. Obama’s state senate district voted 80% Democratic in the general election. When the CBOE handed Obama an uncontested primary victory, the CBOE guaranteed Obama an Illinois state senate seat.

Indeed the lessons Obama learned from his first state senate election remain with him. Obama extended the CBOE’s unchecked power and corruption while in the White House. President Obama suspiciously invited CBOE Chairman Langdon Neal to the White House nine days before Neal decided an election case in favor of Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Barack Obama has a reputation as a civil rights icon, but there is no record of Barack Obama making any effort to change the onerous signature requirements needed to run for political office or the ballot access process that allowed him to run unopposed in his very first election. As a state senator, Obama was in a position to write a senate bill to make it easier for candidates to reach the ballot. Moreover, the CBOE would have been obligated to follow any Illinois election law that Obama championed through the Illinois legislature. Barack Obama neither wrote such a bill nor championed such a cause.

Related Article

The Chicago Board of Elections Refuses to Let Nine Republican Candidates on the Ballot

Notes

1. To view the CBOE records on Barack Obama’s four state senate primary opponents, click here and scroll down to 1996. You’ll see Obama’s objector Ron Davis’ last name listed three times in column 2 and three Obama opponents’ last names listed in column 3 on the bottom of page 49. Obama opponent Askia’s name is listed in column 3 at the top of page 50. To read the CBOE’s decisions concerning the four Obama challengers, click the word “Decision” that is highlighted in blue on the right-hand side of the page.

The number of signatures filed and the number of signatures the CBOE invalidated are clearly stated in Gha-is F. Askia and Marc Ewell CBOE decisions.

The CBOE did not include the total number of signatures that Ulmer D. Lynch Jr. filed nor the total number of signatures the CBOE invalidated. Therefore, these numbers were deduced from the CBOE’s decision. According to the CBOE decision, Lynch Jr. had 350 signatures on the 14 sheets that the CBOE did not review. This means Lynch Jr.’s petition sheets had 25 signatures on each sheet (350 signatures ÷ 14 sheets = 25 signatures per sheet). Lynch Jr. filed 44 sheets with 25 signatures. The total number of signatures on Lynch Jr.’s 44 petition sheets was 1,100 signatures (44 petition sheets x 25 signatures per page =1,100 signatures).

During the CBOE’s examination of Lynch Jr.’s first 750 signatures, the CBOE accepted 222 signatures and rejected 528 signatures (30 sheets x 25 signatures per sheet = 750 signatures and 750 total signatures – 222 valid signatures = 528 invalid signatures). The CBOE deemed 70% of Lynch Jr.’s signatures invalid (528 invalid signatures ÷ 750 total examined signatures = 70% invalid signatures).

At this point the CBOE stopped Lynch Jr.’s hearing because it was mathematically impossible for him to reach the legal requirement of 757 signatures. Because Lynch Jr. could not reach the legal minimum with his remaining signatures, the CBOE did not review Lynch Jr.’s last 14 petition sheets. CBOE’s 70% rejection rate of Lynch Jr.’s signatures was extrapolated to include all of Lynch Jr.’s 1,100 signatures, including the Lynch Jr. signatures on the 14 petition sheets that the CBOE did not examine.

The CBOE’s Alice Palmer decision did not state the number of Palmer’s invalid signatures because Palmer withdrew from the race against Barack Obama after the CBOE invalidated nearly two-thirds of the signatures she filed. There are numerous stories circulating the Web about the Obama-Palmer feud, and her dropping out of the 1996 state senate race. For starters, click here or here.

The Obama camp made unfounded claims that Palmer circulators sat around a table and fraudulently signed voters’ names to her petitions. Obama supporters have offered no evidence or proof to support their “round tabling” accusations against Palmer. Obama’s supporters’ unproven vote fraud accusation against Palmer is an attempt to justify denying her ballot access. Obama backers need to recant their vote fraud claims and apologize to Palmer unless they can provide solid proof of Palmer’s vote fraud.

2. To view the information on the 10 legislative candidates who filed their petitions at the same time as Barack Obama, click here. The files I reviewed start with state senatorial candidate Schreiner, 4th name from the bottom listed on page 48, and end with state senatorial candidate Anderson III, 4th from the top on page 50. Several names listed were frivolous candidates who only submitted 1, 7, 16, etc., signatures when several hundred signatures were required. Frivolous candidates were not included in Table 2 because the CBOE did not need to examine the signatures to know that frivolous candidates did not meet the minimum signature requirements to appear on the ballot.