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.
“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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