By: Nakita Nicci
Statement from the office of Committeeman Kevin M Bailey
I would like to start by apologizing to my family and to the constituents of the 20th Ward for the groundless attacks that are being publicly thrust upon me. Campaigns can be civil with each candidate standing on their own credentials and merits, but, they can also become very volatile and nasty and void of community issues and resolutions, based solely on a personal vendetta.
I promise you that I personally will not make it a habit of addressing frivolous allegations. While others choose to go the route of defamation, slander, and libel, as they have been known to do during our last debate, strategically placing their guard dogs in the room to try and publicly attack me and now the current ad, short of filing a lawsuit, I will make it a point to always remain professional, stay focused, identify the issues that this community face, and my solutions to addressing those issues. In short, I will respond to this type of nonsense in the same way that I plan to help build the 20th Ward when I am elected Alderman on Tuesday, February 26, 2019.
I ran for Alderman of the 20th Ward in the City of Chicago four years to “Challenge the Status Quo”. “Challenge the status quo” means to increase the overall quality of political and governmental representation. The type of elected representation that enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of local government, empowers community members and aid in organizing around issues targeted to increasing the quality of life through economic development, public safety, education and health and human services.
I challenged the sufficiency of the candidates’ petitions to ensure they meet the minimum legal requirements. Circumventing the law and taking shortcuts have compromised a number of elected officials and we have to stop this trend. Accountability for all who seek to represent us must start from the very beginning.
Nicole J Johnson mentions my accusations of candidates obtaining signatures from people who are not registered voters. In response to the numbers that actually exists, there were only 322 signatures that were reviewed. Out of that number, a third of them were found to be no good. Ninety-nine of those signatures were sustained in my favor. The board failed to rule on 47 additional signatures. They also failed to challenge 16 pages of signatures and stated that this issue will be dealt with in an evidentiary hearing which is a formal examination of the charges.
The board put their thumb on the scale, to help her, and changed the level playing field. The board stated in its review that although Nicole’s petitions and legal defense VIOLATED THE ELECTION LAWS, they felt that dismissing her motions would be “harsh”. The power that wants to control and maintain the status quo simply worked to avoid a full, impartial and honest review. The election board “EXCUSED” three mandatory rule violations, rules that were not excused for any regular resident. We’re speaking of rules that emphasize “MUST” were conveniently excused in favor of Nicole Johnson which was lenient and in favor of Nicole Johnson, but, completely against the boards own.
“RULES OF PROCEDURE”
The Board stated that to hold Nicole Johnson firmly to the rules LIKE EVERYONE ELSE would be “harsh”. Nicole is the dishonest party in this action. She failed to disclose in her attack ad against me that the reason why she “MAY” end up on the ballot is due solely to the leniency of the board choosing to not hold her accountable for BREAKING THE RULES because to hold her firmly to the rules would have been “harsh”. That ruling released her from accountability. The board ruled that she would not be required to go through the RECORD EXAMINATION which would have either proved that her petitions are legitimate or that I was right in objecting to her petitions. If there was nothing wrong with her signatures, then what harm would it have caused her to let us sit down with a hearing officer and go line-by-line through her petitions to prove that there was nothing wrong with her signatures. Nicole Johnson DID NOT win this part of the objection process on her own merits and the process is far from being over.
These are the facts and were STATED BY THE BOARD FOR THE RECORD and can be ascertained publicly. Nicole conveniently forgot to include these details in her attack ad.
After purchasing a copy of her petitions and having gone through them line-by-line, my objections to Nicole’s petitions were and continue to be as follows:
• She did not number her sheets consecutively AS REQUIRED. The rule state that all sheets following the missed numbering do NOT COUNT. That alone was 50 sheets that could have and potentially disqualified 500 signatures. I didn’t write the rules, but, I have the right to object to a candidate who is not following the rules and why would or should I let that go? If you cannot follow simple rules during the campaign process how then can the residents of the 20th Ward count on you to be able to follow the rules necessary for maintaining and building an entire Ward? Meanwhile, Bailey challenges the genuineness of the circulator’s signatures on 132 pages. That alone would have disqualified 1,100 signatures.
• Bailey challenged 387 signatures on the basis of first in time (first-time voters).
• Bailey challenged 288 signatures on the basis of being duplicated signatures that is the same person signed several sheets several times.
• Bailey challenged 550 signatures on the basis the people who signed didn’t live in the 20th Ward.
This is a process that is afforded ALL CANDIDATES! Each one of them could have objected to my petitions. None of them chose to do so. I, on the other hand, chose to utilize the process that was available to me. The due diligence that I am exerting in this process is the same due diligence that I will exert on behalf of the constituents of the 20th Ward. I promise to use every tool available to me under the law to fight for the 20th Ward community.
Everyone is free to follow the status of the OBJECTIONS PROCESS via the following links:
Updated: Objection & Hearing Schedule
Updated: Record Examination Notice/Schedule