Gariepy: Protect Taxpayers from Frivolous Petition Challenges

Gariepy: Protect Taxpayers from Frivolous Petition Challenges
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Gariepy: Protect Taxpayers from Frivolous Petition Challenges

This week, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners dismissed a challenge filed against the nominating petitions of Peter Gariepy’s campaign for Chicago City Treasurer. The Gariepy campaign filed with more than 30,000 signatures and despite the time and resources expended, easily survived the challenge.

“To call the challenge frivolous would be an understatement,” said Gariepy. “Let’s call this challenge exactly what it was, a waste of taxpayer dollars that was ironically initiated by a candidate for an office that is charged with protecting tax dollars.”

“This lack of respect for taxpayers, given the precarious state of Chicago’s financial situation is further proof that the Chicago City Treasurer’s office should be led by a licensed financial professional, rather than a career politician who does not hesitate to waste taxpayer funds for the prospect of political gain,” said Gariepy.

Gariepy is proposing reform to the current system that would require the challenging party to post a bond which would be used to reimburse the taxpayers and the targeted campaign if a challenge, such as the one against his campaign, was undertaken in bad faith.

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Peter Gariepy

Peter Gariepy

“We must have for a process for removing candidates who are unable to meet the requirements,” said Gariepy. “But if a challenger cries wolf, forcing taxpayers to foot the bill, there must be financial consequences to ensure that the public and the defending candidate are made whole—just as we protect targets of frivolous lawsuits—in the event of an unsuccessful challenge. Only by moving toward a more just system will we encourage greater participation in our civic process.”

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Click Here to LISTEN to Hanania's live radio show on 2nd Friday every month 7 AM CST. Click here to listen to Ray's Podcasts. 

His columns are archived here. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at rghanania@gmail.com.

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