Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Parking Ticket Challenge

Blane Roberts effort to run for alderman is being challenged over parking tickets.  I have spoken with Blane and his dilemma points up the problem for the average citizen who wishes to run for office.  Having done due diligence on his part and coming up with nothing, it appears there may in fact be something still out there that he did not know about.  The hearing on Friday will tell that tale.

But let's consider who is doing this.  Recall Jason T. Olsen?  Well the firm that is representing Mr. Olsen,  Ancel Glink, also employed him as recently as March 2010.

Thursday, March 11th saw Associate Jason T. Olsen added to the team. He worked on creating the “Pleadings section of file regarding search,” plus reviewed the TRO filing.

Although referred to as an associate, Mr. Olsen does not appear in a search at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission. He is also absent at So I am wondering if he may be a paralegal. In any case, I am willing to bet that at this point that Ancel Glink and Mr. Olsen are proxies for Joe Moore, who would never personally stoop to such actions. What makes this even more intriguing is that Ancel Glink, according to the Illinois Board of Elections, spends money supporting largely Republican candidates and organizations out in the 'burbs. Nothing appears as a contribution to Joe Moore. I have to hand it to the alderman, this time he has really covered his tracks by getting this firm involved.

I simply cannot buy the notion that Mr. Olsen is doing this out of some altruistic notion that Blane is unqualified and needs to be stopped. Consider this; Blane searched all the data that he could legally access and came up empty handed. Yet Mr. Olsen is alleging that Blane is unqualified due to unpaid parking ticket(s). Where does Mr. Olsen get this information from? What databases does he have access to that the average citizen wouldn't?

It should be noted that Blane could not get the information on what the challenge was about until last Friday, and this was for a Monday hearing.  There is something wrong with a process that has that sort of delay built in that obstructs a candidate's efforts to defend against challenges.  Regardless, how many of us would start a run for office with the idea that we needed to have an election law attorney on call in case of a challenge like this?  How many of us have the money to do that?

I stand by my earlier comments, let's cut out the petition process and attach a dollar figure to filing.  And, in view of what is happening here, let's have the city/state run the due diligence checks for the candidates and tell them up front if they fail to qualify due to outstanding debts to the city/county/state/feds, whomever.  The average citizen simply does not have access to the detailed data that government employees do.  Set the filing fee high enough to cover the costs of such due diligence and either the candidate qualifies or they don't.  Enable a due process mechanism to allow the candidates to fight decisions disqualifying them, or whatever other challenges might be appropriate in this scenario, and then let's get on with the campaigning.  Lawyers will still make some money, but the process would be open to more people and hopefully curtail the circus that ensues in the current environment.


Thomas Westgard said...

I agree that the hide-and-seek game is dumb. There are two people who stand to benefit from Mr. Olsen's actions, namely Joe Moore and Brian White. You don't say why you think it's not Brian.

Kheris said...

I talked with Brian, and with others who talked with him as well. He is philosophically opposed to challenges. It seems unlikely he would set himself up to be gored if the truth is otherwise and were discovered. I also know it's not the first time Joe has used a 3rd party to do something on his behalf.

Someone with access to information Blane could not reach on his own, and a lot of time on their hands, did the research that led to this challenge. It seems unlikely White would have that kind of access because he isn't employed by the city (so far as I know). So who else is left that has the access and time, or the 3rd party support (Olsen and the law firm) to do the research and make the challenge?

Olsen is fronting this challenge for someone. If there is anyone out there who can confirm just who is playing the strings here, or confirm that Mr. Olsen (and the law firm) are just concerned citizens, I will be happy to stand corrected.

Thomas Westgard said...

That makes sense. I'm glad you added the explanation.

Kheris said...

A thought came to me later. What is the likelihood that the local Dem Party is behind this? Creating plausible deniability for Joe? Although you still need data access and time for research. I wonder how much access law firms might have to data not available (at least for free) to the general public?

Thomas Westgard said...

There are certainly benefits to knowing how to look for things. All of this assumes, of course, that the money is owed. I guess Olsen could be a bullshitter, too.

Kheris said...

The obvious question is that if the money is owed, how did Blane miss it? He has been working the issue very hard. Is this a case of garbled data (a definite possibility) or data not being available to a citizen doing their due diligence? How did a law firm employee find what Blane couldn't?

Thomas Westgard said...

To my mind, the consequences are hugely disproportionate to the bad deed. There should be a fine on top of the original obligation, but being booted off the ballot is too heavy a penalty for a single ditched ticket.

Kheris said...

We will know for sure later this week when they have the hearing. I think it is on Friday.