More letters demand ballot status for Illinois SEP candidate

12 September 2006

The WSWS continues to print letters sent to the Illinois State Board of Elections protesting Democratic Party efforts to bar Joe Parnarauskis, the SEP candidate for state Senate in the 52nd District, from the November ballot. See “Election board refuses to certify Illinois SEP candidate for November ballot”

The Socialist Equality Party calls on all its supporters and all those who defend democratic rights to continue to flood the offices of the Illinois State Board of Elections with letters demanding that it immediately certify Joe Parnarauskis’s right to appear on the ballot. Emails can be sent to the Illinois State Board of Elections at webmaster@elections.state.il.us. Please send copies of all messages to the WSWS.

The SEP and the World Socialist Web Site also call on all supporters and readers to donate to the SEP election fund to defray the costs of the fight against this antidemocratic process Make a donation today!

To: Illinois State Board of Elections

I have learned that the Illinois State Board of Elections on Friday, September 9, refused to certify Socialist Equality Party state Senate candidate Joe Parnarauskis for the ballot in the 52nd Legislative District in the upcoming November election.

Is it surprising for me to learn this news? Certainly not, after the experience with the same Board’s failed attempt to keep Tom Mackaman off the ballot in the year 2004.

Is this democracy, is your action legal?

According to the American constitution: not legal.

According to the report of the Election Board’s hearing examiner, David Herman, the ballot status should have been granted to Mr. Parnarauskis.

The American election law expert, Richard Winger, has opposed your efforts to block the ballot access to Mr. Parnarauskis.

SEP attorney Andrew Spiegel made perfectly clear in his presentations that it was your duty to put Mr. Parnarauskis’s name on the ballot. The details are well known to you and do not need to be repeated.

As I am not an American citizen, you might consider this mail negligible if you read it at all.

However, you may want to notice that your despicable action is not going unnoticed worldwide.

In the time of Internet and fast improvement of worldwide communication, it is openly visible for everyone who wants to learn with an open mind: America’s democracy is the democracy of the rich, the corporate elite and financial oligarchy. It is denying the rights of thousands of people to vote for a party that defends the interests of the working population. Your action is just another proof of this truth.

Would you care? Perhaps not. You might get away with another shabby trick. The election results will thus be biased and incorrect as they don’t reflect the will of thousands of people.

As a German citizen, I had to ask my parents what they did when Hitler gained support from the industry barons and finance oligarchs and was ultimately heaved to power through undemocratic means.

Luckily, my parents had good answers. What about you? Are you prepared to answer questions about your “democratic” actions to your own children?

However, this is certainly not the Weimar Republic and not the year 1932 and 1933. Please rest assured that with increased understanding of the nature of your “democracy,” the determination of working people worldwide to build a party that can defend our basic rights will grow.

As a young teenager, I was impressed by J.F. Kennedy’s appeal to civil courage. Now, please, show this civil courage and grant Mr. Parnarauskis the ballot status immediately.

Peter Hartmann,

Singapore

9 September 2006

* * *

As a Champaign County resident and a signer of the petition to put Mr. Parnarauskis on the ballot, I am very upset that my democratic rights are being denied me by this election board.

Please immediately allow Mr. Parnarauskis’s name to be placed on the ballot.

Don Pitts

Fisher, Illinois

9 September 2006

* * *

To the Members of the Illinois State Board of Elections,

I am writing you to denounce your profoundly cynical, undemocratic and—as seems totally clear to me—illegal decision to refuse to grant Joe Parnarauskis the place on the November ballot which he so obviously earned. From an attempted coup d’état based on a private sexual affair to a successful coup d’état using the theft of a presidential election; from illegal, unprovoked lie-based wars and destabilization campaigns against various weak countries (Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Lebanon, etc.) to the official approval by Washington of torture as an acceptable tool of state policy; from the blatantly unconstitutional warrantless tapping of phone calls and reading of emails to the threats to charge with treason the journalists associated with the newspaper that (after more than a year) finally reported on this, the United States—the country of my birth—can no longer be said to have much in common with a nation possessing a democratic or representative political system.

Your refusal to certify Joe Parnarauskis of the Socialist Equality Party for ballot status in Illinois’ 52nd Legislative District is of a piece with the above-outlined steps towards despotism. Simply put, there was absolutely no legal justification whatsoever for your decision to refuse to allow Joe Parnarauskis’s name to appear on the November ballot; even the hearing examiner that you yourself appointed concluded that Mr. Parnarauskis had received far more legitimate signatures than he needed in order to attain ballot status!

Your decision reeks of the most cynical sort of political calculations, though it is, in any case, evident that in so transparently denying not only Mr. Parnarauskis of his democratic rights, but also the citizens of the district who signed his petition and the others who might have decided to vote for him of theirs, that you are just increasing people’s hatred of the thoroughly undemocratic, reactionary and corrupt two-party system that you are so committed to defending.

In short, any claim that you might make to being committed to upholding whatever remains of the United States’ democratic political traditions obligates you to reverse course and to order that Mr. Parnarauskis’s name be printed on the ballot in all the different subsections of Illinois’ 52nd Legislative District. Barring such a change of course on your part, you will have earned yourself the ignominious distinction of having pushed the American political system even farther away from the democratic principles on which it is supposedly still based. History, I suggest, will not look too kindly upon those whose actions contributed—however modestly—to the transformation of the United States into a country ruled by a neo-fascist police-state regime.

Sincerely,

Ari Weinstein

10 September 2006

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