North Riverside made the Chicago Tribune over the weekend as part of the paper’s “Democracy Denied” investigation into how local electoral boards, almost always walking conflicts of interest, get rid of competition by removing challengers from the ballot over technicalities.
On Thursday, the Trib made North Riverside the star of its editorial “When ‘&’ decides an election.” The editorial lumps the village’s VIP Party in with machines around the state that exhibit “a Stalin-esque concentration of power.”
The editorial’s main point is to call for local electoral matters to be decided by independent panels instead of politically compromised local officials. That’s something we called for, by the way, back on Jan. 9, so welcome to the club, Trib.
Of course, as local observers know, it’s not quite as simple as the ampersand issue and the local electoral board’s ruling. A circuit court judge also ruled that the ampersand was a word. That’s the decision the appellate court will consider today.
Also, a simple ruling on the ampersand issue doesn’t clear up the ballot challenge. There’s a also a challenge to DeSantis’ standing as an eligible candidate and a residency challenge against a trustee candidate.
But it was nice for the Trib to visit. Hope they follow up to see how everything turned out.