[gpga-news] JournalOnline: Sherman Challenges Third Party Candidates; Draws Divide Amongst Fellow Green Party Members

Hugh Esco hesco at greens.org
Thu Jul 12 09:31:37 PDT 2012

Sherman Challenges Third Party Candidates
Draws Divide Amongst Fellow Green Party Members

Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2012 6:00 am | Updated: 4:25 pm, Wed Jul 11, 2012. 
By SEAN STILLMAKER Journal & Topics 

Rob Sherman was feeling patriotic the afternoon of July 9. He just came back 
from a successful first hearing with the Illinois State Board of Elections 
regarding his objections of third party presidential candidates. 

While the Republican and Democratic parties fiddle away at campaign rhetoric, 
another political storm has been transpiring amongst the smaller third parties.
Buffalo Grove resident and Cook County Green Party Chairman Rob Sherman has been 
leading the charge; the front of this pivotal political battle is a candidate?s 
ballot access.
It?s almost customary in each election cycle that the Republicans, Democrats or 
both challenge the petitions of third party candidates. However, it?s never 
occurred where a third party challenges the petition of another third party 
candidate, according to sources interviewed for this story.

Sherman and his attorney, Andrew Finko, recently filed objections against four 
presidential candidate petitions on the Illinois ballot in November?s general 
election on the basis of insufficient petition signature collection.
His objections are against Stewart Alexander of the Socialist Party USA, Virgil 
Goode of the Constitution Party, Michael Hawkins of Together Enhancing America, 
Ross ?Rocky? Anderson an Independent and the candidates? respective vice 
presidential candidates.
Sherman is acting as an individual in these objections rather than a 
representative of the Green Party, but he nonetheless has struck a sharp divide 
among U.S. Green Party members, producing mixed feelings.
?I filed my objections because I won?t condone any candidate for public office 
perpetrating this kind of electorate fraud,? Sherman said. ?My job as Cook 
County chairman is to generate new members and money from which we gather 
candidates that will develop a successful strategy to win elections?I?m not in 
favor of having a situation where the Green Party is going to tow along the 
other parties.?
Before Sherman filed his challenges, he sought input from both the Illinois 
Green Party chairman and the campaign office of Green Party Presidential 
Candidate Jill Stein.
The position of the Green Party remains that it?s neither in favor nor 
denouncing Sherman?s actions, officials said.
?There?s a lot of anger and frustration amongst the Illinois Green Party members 
because of all the obstacles we?ve had of just trying to exist,? said ILGP 
Chairman Phil Huckelberry. ?I think that anger clouds their judgment on what the 
right course of action is.?
Huckelberry has remained on the fence about Sherman?s actions, but others remain 
adamantly opposed of the ?dangerous precedent? set, decried Georgia Green Party 
Chairman Bruce Dixon.
"Our position in support of open ballot access is grounded not in any parochial 
self-interest we as Greens have in seeing our own candidates on the ballot, but 
in the democratic principle that a voter ought to have the opportunity to cast a 
ballot for their candidates of choice," Dixon said in a written statement.

Sherman, who has only been Cook County Green Party Chairman since June 2, has 
challenged the third party candidates on the grounds they have not gathered the 
Illinois-required 25,000 voter signatures.
Some of those objections are ?facially sufficient,? said Illinois State Board of 
Elections Hearing Officer Jim Tenuto.
For example, Socialist Party USA gathered exactly one signature, Tenuto said.

However, if no one filed an objection, the third party candidates very well 
could have ended up on the ballot, Sherman said.
The Green Party gathered approximately 31,000 petition signatures for Illinois, 
which is slightly behind the approximate 47,000 signatures for Libertarian 
candidate Gary Johnson.
?[Sherman] says he?s doing it out of the goodness of his heart, but he doesn?t 
mention he?s the Cook County Green Party Chairman,? Hawkins said.
Hawkins was the only one present Monday, July 9 for the petition hearings at the 
board of elections. Hawkins said he plans on filing a motion against Sherman?s 
Another oral hearing may be conducted if Tenuto sees fit. He?ll then make his 
recommendation and pass it to the state board of elections, which will decide 
whether to sustain or overrule Sherman?s objections expected in late July or 
The Green Party will be hosting its presidential nominating convention this 
weekend in Baltimore. Stein is the clear frontrunner with 205 delegates; 
Roseanne Barr is second with 84.
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