Illinois Democrats To Challenge Primary Wins By LaRouche Backers
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ The Illinois Democratic Party is asking the state elections board to remove two ″disruptive and counterproductive″ supporters of extremist Lyndon LaRouche from its ticket even though they won the primary election.
The party’s state central committee unanimously approved a resolution Thursday declaring that the nominations for lieutenant governor and secretary of state, won by Mark Fairchild and Janice Hart in last month’s primary, were vacant.
The elections board will be asked to place the LaRouche backers on the November ballot as something other than Democrats, on the grounds that they are hostile to the Democratic Party’s principles, party officials said.
″They are not Democrats,″ said Bruce Cook, a central committeeman who made the motion. ″They are repulsive, and they should be repulsed.″
A memorandum supporting the resolution cited a series of precedents for the action. But A.L. Zimmer, the elections board’s general counsel, said he knew of no precedent for the central committee’s action.
The board certified Fairchild and Mrs. Hart as victors earlier this week.
Susan Johnson of the LaRouche organization in Chicago declined to comment on the central committee’s action. ″We’re not totally apprised of what the wonderful committee did,″ she said.
A spokesman for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Adlai E. Stevenson, who has vowed not to run on the same ticket with LaRouche backers, said Stevenson was aware of the resolution but didn’t suggest or formally endorse it.
″We support the spirit of it,″ said Bob Benjamin. ″However, we have to live by the rule of the Board of Elections.″
Stevenson has said he will run as an independent if he can overturn a state law barring such a bid. Otherwise, he has said, he will form a third party.
The central committee’s motion declared that ″the followers of Lyndon LaRouche are hostile to the interests of the Democratic Party and detrimental to the election of candidates who support its general principles.″
″Democratic candidates from every county in Illinois have indicated that the presence of the followers of LaRouche on the Democratic ticket will have a disruptive and counterproductive effect on the election of Democrats,″ it said.
Among other things, LaRouche believes that the Queen of England is involved in the drug trade and that the Holocaust is fictional.
Aurelia Pucinski, who lost to Mrs. Hart, and state Sen. George Sangmeister, who lost to Fairchild, were involved in drawing up the motion.
″It is high time we do something about what happened,″ said Sangmeister. ″Let Democrats run with Democrats.″