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Wilson upset over subpoenaing of his circulators by the mayor

Says mayor harassing his campaign

Aide says Wilson is on the ballot, board says not so fast

By Chinta Strausberg

It takes only 12,500 signatures to run for mayor but while mayoral hopeful Dr. Willie Wilson turned in 47,000 and so far the Chicago Board of Election has verified 12,603 more than enough to keep Wilson on the ballot, he is upset that the mayor has now subpoenaed his circulators.
“It is wrong,” said Wilson referring to the subpoenaing of his circulators. “We did what we were supposed to do. This is harassment.” “I question why the mayor wants to subpoenaed my circulators. It’s another tactic they are trying to use to disenfranchise the citizens of Chicago,” Wilson told this reporter.

“We still have 20,000 signatures to go,” Wilson said referring to the ballot challenges he is undergoing at the Chicago Board of Elections. “We are following procedure and will go all the way to court, if necessary. I am going to win,“ he said confidently.

Late Tuesday night, Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston, who is working with Wilson’s campaign, said, “I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Willie Wilson currently has 13,011 verified signatures and growing. We needed 12,500 to make the ballot. We still have over1000 pages to count. We are looking at least 15,500 to 17,000 when the records exam is over next week,” he said in a statement. However, while Livingston says Wilson is on the ballot, James P. Allen, communications director for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, said, “The number is not yet known, and the hearings are still going on.

“There are questions about hundreds of signatures where the voter wrote an address and then that address has a line drawn through it and another address was written in. The next hearing will beat noon on Friday,” Allen told this reporter. He added, “There also are a variety of petition circulators where the objectors are alleging that the circulators donot reside at the addresses given on the petition sheets.”

Yesterday led by Pastor Ira Acree, head of the Greater St. John Bible Church, a group of black ministers held a press conference at 69 West Washington where they voiced concern over the possibility of African American voters being disenfranchised if Wilson is knocked off the ballot for the February 24,2015 ballot.

“When we look at the conditions of south side and west side neighborhoods, it is important that we have an advocate, and that there is some genuine dialogue about there being one Chicago,” Acree said. He urged the board to be fair in its procedures.

“We expect the Board of Elections to do the right thing,” Acree said. Referring to Mayor Emanuel’s first run for mayor, Acree said, “Many people questioned whether he lived in Chicago.  We expect him to be empathetic but that’s not the case, obviously.

“It would be a tragedy for a viable like Dr. Wilson be barred from the ballot and an entire community and voice disenfranchised,” Acree said.

“Dr. Wilson has stellar credentials, impeccable character, a successful businessman, caring philanthropist, and he is a model citizen. He also has the personal testament as to what hard work, optimism, enduring faith in God and the promise of this nation.”

Referring to Wilson’s 47,000signatures, Pastor Acree said for anyone to claim that 80 percent of the signatures are bad is unbelievable. “I would bet my house against that,” he told reporters.

“This is much bigger than Dr. Wilson. “To bar him from the ballot would disenfranchise an entire community,” Acree said.

A businessman, Scott Winslow, has known Wilson for a long time. He reflected on the time Wilson walked to Tiananmen Square. “On one of his hundred business trips, as he walked through Tiananmen Square…people were calling his name” wanting to shake his hand.

“Willie Wilson has a great following. He has a machine on the community, a machine on his gifts and his good heart and his steely-like business” abilities. “He could have 470,000 signatures in Chicago in just a few days…in probably hours. This man has the support” in all communities. “This is a solid citizen of Chicago and he has to be on the ballot.”

Pastor T.L. Barrett, from Life Center Church, Rev. Marshall Hatch from New Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, Rev. Douglas Moye, Sr. from Holy Cathedral Church of God in Christ, Rev. Joseph Henry, Omega Baptist Church who is dean of the CBI also spoke glowingly of Wilson.

Earlier, Allen, communications director for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, gave reporters the following update on the upcoming mayoral election and the ballot challenge status:

2015 Chicago Candidate Tracking Report- Dec. 23, 2014

– 7th Ward – Sidney H. Brooks III -Withdrew – OFF the ballot

– 7th Ward – L Elizabeth”Jacquie” Lewis – OFF the ballot

– 9th Ward – Marcia Brown – OFF theballot

– 24th Ward – Vernell L. Hollis Swanigan – Withdrew – OFF the ballot

– 29th Ward – Maurice J. Robinson -Withdrew – OFF the ballot

– 29th Ward – Brenda Smith – Withdrew -OFF the ballot

– 31st Ward – Renne “Tex”Chavez – OFF the ballot

– 36th Ward – Joaquin Vazquez – OFF the ballot

– 39th Ward – Mary K. Hunter – OFF the ballot

– 43rd Ward – Andrew Challenger -Withdrew – OFF the ballot

– 49th Ward – Connie Gates-Brown – OFF the ballot

– 50th Ward – Hilaire Fuji Shioura -OFF the ballot

2015 Chicago Candidate Tracking Report- Dec. 19, 2014

– Mayor – Gerald Sconyers – Withdrew -OFF the ballot

– 1st Ward – Mia Lena Lopez – OFF the ballot

– 3rd Ward – Clarence D. Clemons – OFF the ballot

– 6th Ward – Dumars Ervin Franklin -OFF the ballot

– 7th Ward – Stephanie Roddy – OFF the ballot

– 7th Ward – Frances Pratt – OFF the ballot

– 9th Ward – Marcia Brown – OFF the ballot

– 28th Ward – Elliot Thomas – OFF theballot

– 28th Ward – Willie McGill – OFF theballot

– 44th Ward – Robin Cook – Withdrew -OFF the ballot

– 49th Ward – Grady A. Humphrey – OFF the ballot

2015 Chicago Candidate Tracking Report- Dec. 10, 2014

– Mayor – Amara Enyia – Withdrew – OFF the ballot

– Dumars Ervin Franklin – Withdrew -OFF the ballot

2015 Chicago Candidate Tracking Report- Dec. 8, 2014

– 24th Ward – Thorne – Withdrew – OFF the ballot (corrects earlier errant reference to ward number)

– 29th Ward – Williams – Withdrew – OFF the ballot

– 30th Ward – Zarnecki – Withdrew – OFF the ballot

- 35th Ward – Zarnecki – Petition failed to meet apparent conformity – OFF the ballot

– 38th Ward – Elected School Board referendum – Petition failed to meet apparent conformity – OFF the ballot*

* The other 37 petitions for referenda on the Elected School Board were in apparent conformity and do not have any pending objections. Those questions will be on the ballots in those 37 wards:

Wards where Elected School Board referenda will be on ballots:

1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15,16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37,40, 45, 46, 47, 49, and 50.

Wards where Elected School Board referenda will not be on ballots:

2, 9, 11, 13, 18, 23, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, and 48.

2015 Chicago Candidate Tracking Report- Dec. 2, 2014

– 24th Ward – Michael Chandler


Led by Pastor Ira Acree, head of the Greater St. John Bible Church, they voiced concern over the possibility of black voters being disenfranchised if Wilson is knocked off the ballot for the February 24, 2015 ballot. (All photos by Chinta Strausberg)Photo Caption: Led by Pastor Ira Acree, head of the Greater St. John Bible Church, they voiced concern over the possibility of black voters being disenfranchised if Wilson is knocked off the ballot for the February 24, 2015 ballot. (Photo by Chinta Strausberg)

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

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