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 Lawyers.com. 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.