Friday, June 23, 2006

Dirty tricks against Bill Scheurer's campaign in 8th CD?

On Wednesday night, while not being specific on the numbers, Bill Scheurer was singing a tune of much more confidence than Thursday night, implying to me he would have the requisite 14,000 signatures to get on the ballot as an independent party candidate in the 8th CD. [See here] Thursday night? A very different tune. Scheurer now told me he realized early this week that he had been a victim of a scam, sting or dirty tricks. He just was not ready to go public with that statement on Wednesday night, as he was still fact gathering.

Scheurer said someone came to him, about a month ago, offering to help with the petition signature process. The person said his name was Anthony R. Constantine and he claimed to head A R Consulting, giving Bill a business card with that information on it. For a certain sum of money, he said he would obtain 8,000 to 10, 000 signatures to help get Scheurer on the ballot.

Scheurer was counting on the signatures from AR, but learned earlier this week he would get none, with vague, peculiar stories about health problems, etc. He also learned that one Anthony Constantine works in the legislative office of Cong. Dan Lipinski, and Constantine has a company named A R Consulting, but Constantine told Scheurer earlier this week that he did not meet with Scheurer previously and he is not the person who Scheurer met with and spoke with over the last month, and who committed to the 8,000 to 10,000 signatures to support placing Scheurer on the ballot in the 8th CD race.

Scheurer estimated he has about 9,000 signatures now and he would like to get 6,000 more in the next three days to get some buffer over and above the requisite 13, 950. He said he will be soliciting unions and progressive activist groups throughout the country to check his website for contact information [See here]—and then to travel to the 8th CD to help him collect the signatures this weekend. 2000 signatures per day, that’s a demanding workload.

Scam, Sting, Sabotage or identity theft. Scheurer is not sure what is happening here. But he wants an investigation and he will start, tomorrow, with the IG in the Secretary of State’s office. As to Cong. Bill and Cong. Dan Lipinski, they sure do seem to have a lot of coincidences: Cong. Bill happens to decide not to run in 2004 after the primary. Cong. Dan was ready, willing and able to take his father’s place on the ballot. And, there happened to be a plant as a Republican placeholder, so no true Republican candidate could be appointed to run against Cong. Dan Lipinski in November, 2004. Imagine that.

And, in March, 2006 Democratic Primary, in comes a plant during the primary election to drain votes from the opponent of Cong. Dan Lipinski. Now, somehow, someone in Cong. Lipinski’s office is alleged to be tied into this mess. Chicago political techniques exported to the 8th CD? Who says Democrats don’t like free trade?

Does Bill Scheurer think Cong. Bean [D-Barrington, 8th CD] is connected to any of this? Bill Scheurer says that he hears from the media that Bean’s staff have been frantically trying to kill stories about his third party campaign and asserting that there would be no third party candidate. Scheurer asks how would they know where his petition drive stood. He said his campaign does not even tell his staff where it stands. Scheurer says that his Republican opponent to be, David McSweeney [Barrington Hills] has said he would not support a challenge to Scheurer's signature petitions and he has said he would urge his supporters and others to do likewise. Scheurer thinks Cong. Bean should make a similar statement to that of McSweeney's. Stay tuned. This story may have legs.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at