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IL Green Party Candidates/Iraq War Veterans Removed from Ballot

This week, the State Officers Electoral Board decided to remove four anti-war Illinois Green Party congressional candidates from the November ballot, two of whom served during the Iraq War. The removed candidates are Iain Abernathy of Round Lake Beach (8th District), Dave Kalbfleisch of Arlington Heights (10th District), Rob Hill of DeKalb (14th district) and Troy Dennis of Mount Zion (17th district). This decision denies all voters in these districts a fair choice for the November election.

The Board’s decisions were based on unsubstantiated charges and creative interpretations of the election code put forth by the Democratic Party, with the goal of eliminating competition.

“Yesterday’s decision, unfortunately, demonstrates the abuse of the election code by a major party,” said attorney Andrew Finko who, along with attorney Scott Summers, represented the candidates in the hearings. “Instead of presenting evidence that Green Party committees did something wrong, the Democrats dragged into hearings the ordinary citizens who participate in our party and fished around for even the slightest memory lapses on highly technical procedures that took place several weeks ago. Using this approach, the Democrats turned the concept of burden of proof on its head.”

While the Board’s ruling is a disappointment, says Phil Huckelberry, chair of the Illinois Green Party’s Government and Elections Committee, the party expects continued retaliation from pro-war Democrats:

“It really shows what the Democratic Party is about that they would throw anti-war veterans off the ballot, and make up rules to do it,” said Huckelberry, noting that Kalbfliesch and Hill both served in the military during the Iraq War. “A vote for Democrats is a vote for the status quo.  A vote for Greens is a vote for real change. The last thing the Democratic Party wants is change.”

The four candidates do have the opportunity to appeal the rulings, although it is up to each candidate to decide whether or not to appeal.

Despite the best efforts of the Illinois Democratic Party, voters across Illinois will have the opportunity to vote for a record number of Green Party candidates, including a presidential candidate to be determined at the Green Party National Convention to be held in Chicago, July 10-13, 2008.

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