CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT ANNOUNCED ON BEHALF OF IL GOP VOTERS

If you are a Republican voter in Illinois, read on to join the lawsuit. 

IL ELECTION CODE VIOLATES EQUAL PROTECTION SAYS GOP ACTIVIST

Chicago, IL – GOP activists say they will file a legal challenge to the Illinois Election Code, contending it violates the equal protection of Republican voters and denies them the right to vote for their party leadership.

“Illinois election law treats Republican and Democrat voters differently,” says longtime GOP activist William J. Kelly. “Why is that Democrat primary voters directly elect their party leadership, but Republican voters do not? With this lawsuit, we are going to challenge the constitutionality of that law.”

Under 10 ILCS 5/7-8, the Illinois Republican Party is currently run by a 19-member State Central Committee, one member from each ofIllinois’ congressional districts – none of whom are directly elected.

But Kelly says that, in the late 1980s, two party bosses, Republican Gov. James Thompson and party chair Al Jourdan engineered a sudden change to the Illinois election code to consolidate their power, stripping GOP voters of the right to vote for their party leadership.  Illinois Republicans had that right for more than a century.

Conservatives argue that this has resulted in a lack of any accountability to GOP primary voters and party corruption.

To date, state GOP bosses have successfully thwarted any attempt to return to direct elections both legislatively with the passage of SB600 and SB35 and, most recently, at the Illinois Republican Convention.

At the Illinois Republican convention last week, state GOP leaders in an unelected 11-7 committee decision determined that delegates would not be permitted a floor vote on “direct elections” – a move that would have restored voting rights to the Republican electorate.

Kelly points out that convention rules are determined by unelected party representatives and committee members are also appointed by unelected party officials – which bolsters the legal argument to restore equal treatment of Republican voters in the political process.

Republican voters have also complained that they were denied delegate credentials and conservatives are now questioning the validity of the convention proceedings in general.

“In 1724, Catholics inIrelandwere denied the right to vote. Prior to 1870, Black Americans were denied the right to vote. American women marched in the streets for decades for the right to vote,” says Kelly. “But in 2012, Illinois Republicans do not have the right to vote for their party leadership.

Kelly was involved with another federal legal challenge to voting rights. In 1995, his political action committee filed a lawsuit against the First and Fourth Congressional Districts, charging that they were gerrymandered and unconstitutional and reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We lost 6-3 in that decision,” said Kelly of that suit. “But we fought.  Hopefully, we will have better luck this time around. The law is definitely on our side.”

If you are a Republican voter and would like to join the class action lawsuit, email williamjpkelly@gmail.com.

NEWS UPDATE: KELLY FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST IL CAPITOL ATHEIST DISPLAY

KELLY FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST IL CAPITOL’S ATHEIST DISPLAY

(CHICAGO) - William J. Kelly, Republican candidate for comptroller turned around the Freedom from Religion’s “Winter Solstice” sign in December due to its hostile and hateful language towards religion and was detained and ejected from the State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.  Kelly’s attorney, Mark Roth is filing a lawsuit in federal court this morning, which states that the Freedom from Religion’s sign violates the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause.

The Freedom from Religion’s Winter Solstice sign says, “There is no god, no angels, no devils, no heaven, no hell. Religion is just a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.” “We need to stop the hate speech against Christians and all religious people,” says Kelly. “It is this attitude of hate that has enabled the stripping of religion, tradition, and history from our holidays, our history books, and our culture in general. Perhaps the atheists need some sensitivity training.” 

The United States Supreme Court has specifically held, that the Constitution “affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any…” Kelly’s legal case could offer precedent-setting law and impact all atheist displays with similar language. The lawsuit is for declaratory relief and permanent injunction.

 ORIGINAL STATEMENT FROM DECEMBER 2009: WHY ANTI-RELIGIOUS HATE SPEECH HAS NO PLACE IN ILLINOIS’ CAPITOL

  WILLIAM J. KELLY, GOP CANDIDATE FOR COMPTROLLER

I went to Illinois’ Capitol on Wednesday, December 23, 2009 – a beautiful, ornate building steeped in history and tradition – to have an 11:00 AM press conference. I recapped where we are in the race for Comptroller and reaffirmed my contention that I am the only candidate in the race – Republican or Democrat – that is a true reformer, a true activist that would open the books to expose the insider deals once and for all. I quickly shifted to the real purpose of the press conference: to remove the atheist sign in the Capitol’s rotunda – to remove a sign that constituted hate speech against Christians and Christmas and against anyone who believes in God. The sign reads: There are no gods, no heaven, no hell. Religion is myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds. Clearly, this sign is not intended to promote good will towards anyone. It fully constitutes hate speech. America’s Founding Fathers wanted to guarantee our freedom of religion, not denigrate and mock religion.

Even just as a private citizen, raised Catholic, I believe it is necessary to stand up for what is right and call things out when they are wrong. After I left the press room, I went to the rotunda where about more than a dozen police officers were guarding the sign, waiting for me. I picked up the atheists’ sign, turned it around, and I was immediately asked by the Illinois state capitol police to follow them. Because I respect the wishes of law enforcement, I immediately complied. The officer took me to a detention room and a report was filed. After that, I was escorted out of the Capitol building and the police are further conducting an investigation. As a candidate for comptroller, I believe it is absolutely wrong for Illinois’ officials to be spending tax dollars to denigrate and mock good people of faith. It is faith that gets us through all of our great tragedies of life and brings us together. That is not something that should be disparaged. No good that comes from that. And how is that freedom of religion? Clearly, Governor Quinn and the atheists need some sensitivity training.

We need to stop the hate speech against Christians and the stripping of religion, tradition, and history for our holidays, our history books, and our culture in general. I want to reaffirm that – not only should this sign be removed by Governor Pat Quinn – but as comptroller I will guarantee that we will never have hate speech in Illinois’ state Capitol in Springfield – especially at Christmas time.

Sincerely,

William J. Kelly

William J. Kelly is running on a platform to be Illinois’ first activist comptroller. For more information, visit www.friendsofwilliamjkelly.com.