LaRouche Supporters Thrown Off Ill. Primary Ballot
CHICAGO (AP) _ The Illinois Electoral Board today struck five supporters of imprisoned political extremist Lyndon LaRouche from the Democratic primary ballot.
The board, in a 7-1 vote, agreed with a finding by its hearing officer that the slate of five pro-LaRouche candidates had only 3,865 valid signatures of the required 5,000 to get on the ballot for the election in March.
The panel also agreed that LaRouche candidate Patricia Nobel-Schenk has not lived in Illinois the required three years to run for comptroller.
The board disagreed with the hearing officer’s finding that the petitions had been fraudulently represented to voters as supporting certain political causes instead of certain political candidates when they were circulated.
Two of the candidates present for the vote - Sheila Jones for lieutenant governor and Janice Hart for secretary of state - stood afterward and said, ″We shall overcome.″ They unfurled a banner and likened the board action to ″Nazi justice.″
″If the LaRouche candidates can be thrown off the ballot this way, then what’s any citizen’s protection against being thrown in the streets because their government thinks their life is useless?″ Hart asked.
Jones said an appeal is planned.
Also thrown off the ballot were Ronnie Fredman, running for treasurer, and gubernatorial candidate Mark Fairchild, who threw the state Democratic Party into turmoil by scoring an upset in the 1986 primary for lieutenant governor.
The same year Hart upset the mainstream Democratic candidate for secretary of state. Hart and Fairchild lost in the general election, but their victories crippled Democrat Adlai Stevenson’s effort to unseat Republican Gov. James R. Thompson.
Fredman and Ms. Noble-Schenk are under indictment on charges of defrauding an elderly woman of $80,000 in cash and securities.
The LaRouche followers’ petitions were challenged by supporters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Hartigan, currently attorney general.
John Kennedy, an attorney for the state Democratic Party, charged that the petitions were ″heavily tainted with fraud.″
Hartigan has called the LaRouche organization an ″anti-Semitic, racist hate group″ that ″does not belong on the ballot.″
LaRouche, a conspiracy theorist and frequent presidential candidate, is serving a 15-year federal prison term for fraud and conspiracy.