Friday, September 15, 2006

Name the true democrat

Kathy CummingsKathy Cummings is a retired schoolteacher who has struck up pleasant conversations with me on my dog-walking trips to Humboldt Park. This summer she was circulating petitions to run against Cindy Soto as Green Party candidate for state rep.

I didn't sign -- Chicago's political insurgents, even the ineffectual Soto, seem more effective working within the party. And the Greens' spoilsport role in the 2000 presidential election still marks it as unsafe at any speed. But the political hardball playing out now in gubernatorial and Cook County races make the dreamy Greens look more appealing.

So I was glad to hear that Cummings had gathered more than twice the necessary petitions to get on the ballot, and disheartened by Ben Joravsky's report that Chicago Dems have successfully challenged those ballots.

Cummings went so far as to repeat her canvass with a notary in tow, so far to no avail. My signature squiggle most certainly would have faced challenge. So now it's personal: As a resident of Cook County, I have lost my right to petition.

Update: A federal appeals court has challenged the state's requirements for independent candidates.

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