Sean Morrison, owner of gun-toting firm that threatened Libertarians, up for Cook County Seat

From The Illinois Insider…

Remember Sean Morrison of Morrison Security, the owner of the firm hired by the Illinois GOP to threaten Libertarian Party petition circulators with gun-toting “thugs?” Now GOP leaders say they expect Morrison to be appointed to succeed Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman Wednesday night. Morrison says he is “cautiously optimistic” about the appointment.

But insiders say the news could re-open some angry political wounds.

Illinois' Libertarian Party Logo

“It’s outrageous for this man who was directly involved in voter suppression efforts against the Libertarian Party may be appointed to the Cook County Board,” said William J. Kelly, an Emmy award-winning TV producer and former statewide GOP candidate for Illinois comptroller, who will be speaking at the Illinois Libertarian Convention in July.

Morrison and his firm made headlines last August after the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Illinois GOP hired armed private investigators from Morrison’s firm to intimidate the Libertarian Party’s signature petition circulators.

At the time then candidate Bruce Rauner denied any knowledge of the armed intimidation threats despite his deep ties to the bad actors.

Read the rest via Sean Morrison, owner of gun-toting firm that threatened Libertarians, up for Cook County Seat | theillinoisinsider.com.

Rauner firing blanks in flap over hired gun in ballot challenge? – Dan Mihalopoulos

letchaddebate

Bruce Rauner’s spokesman says the Republican nominee for governor knew nothing about the unusual strong-arm tactics used by his allies in their failed effort to keep the Libertarian Party candidates from appearing on the November ballot.

The statement from Rauner’s campaign followed my column last week on the Republican deployment of armed private investigators to challenge the Libertarian slate’s nominating signature petitions.

“Bruce wants as many people engaged in the political process as possible,” Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf said in an e-mail. “Bruce has no knowledge of these alleged activities, and if they are true, he strongly denounces them. Bruce doesn’t agree with any form of voter intimidation.”

It’s easy to say you oppose voter intimidation and greater engagement in politics.

But did Rauner do all he could to deter those who were acting to further his interests from engaging in the sort of behavior he now repudiates?

Public records show there are strong ties between Rauner and those involved in the effort to knock the Libertarians off the ballot.

Read more via Rauner firing blanks in flap over hired gun in ballot challenge? | Early & Often.

Illinois Libertarians Make November Ballot

Chicago IL, August 22, 2014 – Libertarians across Illinois are celebrating victory today as the State Board of Elections ruled to keep their candidates Chad Grimm for Governor, Alexander Cummings for Lieutenant Governor, Ben Koyl for Attorney General, Julie Fox for Comptroller, Christopher Michel for Secretary of State, Matthew Skopek for Treasurer, and Sharon Hansen for U.S. Senate on the ballot for the 2014 General Election.

Illinois' Libertarian Party Logo

The opposition, represented by the Republican Party of Illinois General Counsel John Fogarty, failed to nullify enough of the 42,986 petition signatures filed by the Libertarians to disqualify them, but it’s not because they didn’t try.

Party operatives combed through thousands of petition pages to identify 23,667 individual signature objections, which the Libertarians defended throughout a grueling 7–day, line–by–line review process in Springfield. While Libertarian volunteers were taking vacation days from work and carpooling to the State Board of Elections, the opposition bused in fresh loads of paid staffers each day.

The opposition resorted to hiring private investigators and trumped up accusations against 38 Libertarian circulators, forcing the Libertarians to launch a legal defense, provide evidence to support their circulators, and have circulators and an Illinois notary testify at State Board of Election hearings.

Opposition staffers were paid to interrogate petition signers, fishing for inconsistencies and asking voters to sign affidavits renouncing their signatures. There’s no need to imagine the chilling effect this will have on future ballot access drives, as Julieus Hooks, a petition signer who was accosted by an armed private investigator told the Chicago Sun-Times, “Next time somebody asks me, I’m not signing nothing. I don’t care what the petitions are for.”

So, while victory is sweet, it comes at a high price for future elections in Illinois and also for the current one, as Libertarian volunteers and funds were diverted to the petition defense and Libertarian candidates were sidelined from the campaign trail for two full months. But in spite of all the obstacles, the candidates are eager to resume campaigning for liberty and integrity in an Illinois that has been left bankrupt by the bipartisan status quo.

The celebration will continue at this year’s Libertarian Party of Illinois convention, September 12 – 14 in Bolingbrook. Bolstered by this win, a battle-scarred, but stronger Libertarian Party of Illinois looks forward to the challenge of Election 2014 and beyond.

For more information, contact Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair, Matthew Skopek, at 630-220-7390 or Chair@LPIllinois.org.