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Foes try to knock Green Party off ballot in 14th Congressional District
By James Fuller | Daily Herald Staff

Dan Kairis


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Published: 11/20/2009 5:07 PM | Updated: 11/20/2009 6:51 PM

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If the challenges to Dan Kairis' nominating petitions prove true, then the Green Party candidate in the 14th Congressional District doesn't know his family and friends very well.

Kairis is facing the possibility of getting booted off the ballot, at least temporarily, in what seems to be an attempt by Democrats to cut down the field of challengers early on.

Jean Cattron, of Elgin, filed the petition challenge. She said she has nothing against Kairis as a candidate or a person necessarily.

"He's just one of those perennial candidates," Cattron said. "I just feel like everybody should play by the same rules."

Those rules require Kairis to have only 38 signatures from registered voters in the district to appear on the ballot. Kairis, of South Elgin, filed 62 signatures. Cattron's challenge is based on the validity of the bulk of those signatures. Namely, her challenge argues the signatures are forgeries.

Christina Tobin and the Free & Equal, Inc. are representing Kairis in the challenge. Free & Equal specializes in ballot access and petition challenges. Tobin said the lawyers for Cattron's challenge are well-connected to the Illinois Democratic Party and represent "frivolous objections."

"This is literally an objection in bad faith," Tobin said. "The voters deserve voices and choices. There's no limit to how far these (party) leaders will go to ensure voice and choice stays off the ballot."

Kairis said every signature on his petitions is either a friend, neighbor or direct relative. Cattron's challenge questions the validity of signatures belonging to both his son and his mother.

"My mother has the neatest handwriting you've ever seen," Kairis said. "There's no way anybody could say that's not their signature unless they didn't bother checking. It's a petty political process for incumbents to keep challengers from challenging them. Maybe the Democrats should spend a little more time rectifying the problems they've caused over the last few generations and not waste taxpayer money on this."

Kairis is awaiting the result of a direct comparison of the signatures on his petitions to signatures on voter registration cards. He said the whole process is moot regardless of the outcome because the Green Party could still simply slate him as a candidate and still get Kairis' name on the November 2010 ballot.