Tommy Hanson is lonely. There just aren't many guys like him in Chicago. He's a Republican. There's nobody like him in Chicago's race for mayor. In fact, he's not on the ballot even as he waves around a receipt from the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners saying he filed all of his nomination papers correctly.
"I got all the signatures. I filed all the documents on November 22," says Hanson. "About a week or so later, I got a letter in the mail from the Chicago Board of Commissioners. Although, they did receive the documents and gave me a receipt, they lost my statement of economic interest."
The letter, signed by chairman Neal Langdon, says, "Although the receipt prepared by the board staff for the filing of your nomination papers did seem to indicate that such a receipt (of economic interest) was filed with your nomination papers...a close examination of your nomination papers reveals no such receipt is contained therein. Therefore, your name will not be certified as a candidate..."
I need to be fair on a few points here. First of all, the mayoral race in Chicago is non-partisan, but only so with a wink and a nod. This town is the big Democratic machine polished and driven by Mayor Daley and the Daley before him. The free-for-all in the mayor's race shapes up a lot like a Democratic primary. Furthermore, Hanson is not a well-known conservative. Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady told me he has minimal knowledge of Tommy Hanson. Finally, lots of mayoral candidates get knocked off the ballot for technicalities.
However, former Clinton insider turned conservative commentator, Dick Morris smells a rat: "I think it's a new precedent that when a person filed enough signatures and filed the form that the [the election board employee] loses the paperwork and they punish Hanson by throwing him off the ballot."
Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections says the error was not losing Hanson's paperwork, it was checking the box that said he filed his economic interest papers.
"The receipt is a clerical error," says Allen. "He can't prove that he filed it. There is absolutely no merit to his claim." That, Allen says, is why Hanson has lost two appeals in Circuit Court.
But Hanson is not backing down. "I am going to file in the Supreme Court an injunction to stop the printing of the ballot and have the Supreme Court listen to my case that I should be on the ballot," he said.
What the heck, it worked for Rahm.