Every unfortunate event does not give rise to lawsuit. – Judge Mills Lane
It took me far too long to figure this out, but giving up on saying “nothing can possibly top this” has been my best post-COVID era decision because something always does.
Take the current “hold my beer” battle between Republicans and Democrats raging all across this great nation. Just when you think one party is about to be relegated to an afterthought, the other does something so profoundly stupid that the race to the bottom moves right back into a dead heat.
And now we have another perfect example of why the Illinois Collar Counties are so rapidly turning all shades of blue.
In a move straight out of Ripley’s Believe it or not, failed Republican Will County Clerk candidate Gretchen Fritz filed a December 28 lawsuit claiming that “mistakes and fraud have been committed in the casting and counting of ballots” in the 2022 clerk’s race. Why? Because her Democratic opponent, incumbent Lauren Staley Ferry, got more votes than gubernatorial candidate J. B. Pritzker.
Oh, my freakin’ lord! Really? I’d be willing to bet that Ms. Fritz believes in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Great Pumpkin, too.
In what can only be described as a magnificent effort to prove that truth is far stranger than fiction, Fritz insists that Pritzker receiving 4,358 fewer votes that Staley Ferry is a clear indication that fraudulent “algorithms” were applied to the final vote count. According to her lawsuit:
It appeared quite unusual that a candidate for Will County Clerk, listed at least eight offices below the office with the most media coverage and largest political spending in the state, would receive more votes than the gubernatorial candidate of her party.
Yes! And I firmly believe that, since I’ve slapped one less comedian than Will Smith, but haven’t won an Oscar, the Academy has it in for me. Maybe I should look into hiring Ms. Fritz’ attorney, who clearly doesn’t take cases based on their merit.
Rational people will tell you those totals are the result of voters “splitting the ticket,” a practice which is becoming increasingly common with every even year election.
Take me! I refused to vote for Pritzker or Raoul, but I did vote for Democrats Giannoulias, Mendoza, and Frerichs. I voted for Democratic Kane County sheriff Ron Hain, but I also voted for Republican county clerk Jack Cunningham. I checked the box for Dem treasurer candidate Jeff Pripusich, but I also cast a ballot for Republican county board candidate Brian Jones. So, does the lack of straight party voting add up to fraud, or is it simply a shift in the political landscape?
Then there’s this. If the Will County clerk was the kind of tricksy hobbit who could assure her own reelection, then how did any Republican win in Will County? But they did in droves:
- Eric Carlson destroyed John Jackson in the 1st Congressional
- Patrick Sheehan similarly beat Michael Hastings in the 1st State Senate
- Phil Nagel beat Patrick Joyce in the 40th State Senate
- Beth Caparelli-Ruff bested veteran Dem incumbent Shaw Walsh for Regional School Superintendent
- 5 of the 8 Republican county board races saw the GOP candidate top the vote count
That’s just a small sample of those Republican victories, too.
And how exactly did the WC clerks’ office pull off these algorithm shenanigans? Ms. Fritz conveniently left that possibility out of her complaint.
Remember, I worked for the Kane County clerk for two years where I was tasked with learning all about voting machines. And whether it’s the KC e-slates or the Cook and Will County optical variety, they’re only capable of is creating a ballot and counting votes. They’re far more limited than your average cellphone – there’s no capacity to input an “algorithm” – and they’re never connected to the Net.
Worse yet, as you can see in the complaint (part 1 and part 2), it’s replete with meaningless mathematical hieroglyphics that prove absolutely NOTHING.
In my sometimes career as a campaign manager, I’ve applied more than basic math at every electoral level, and despite Fritz’ “experts’” claims, unless it’s blatantly obvious, no one can mathematically prove a vote distribution was manipulated any more than they could prove the traffic patterns on I-88 are similarly contrived.
Not to mention that one of Fritz’ loony MAGA mathematicians is the subject of defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems against One America Networks, and the other has a sordid history of supporting MAGA candidates’ rigged election claims at every turn.
I suppose one of ‘em could’ve solved “the matrix,” but that’s another column entirely.
And just when you thought this bizarre lawsuit couldn’t get any more fascinating, it does! Because instead of asking for the typically post-election relief – a full recount – Fritz wants the judge to throw out the 2022 result, declare the clerk’s office vacant, and order a new election to the tune of another 500 grand at the taxpayer’s expense.
All I can say is I want to try whatever drug Ms. Fritz must be taking, and if she’s not taking one, perhaps she oughtta start.
The real irony here is that Fritz got 47.4 percent of the vote which ain’t bad against an incumbent on a night Democrats did far better than expected. And she managed to come that close despite an absurd campaign insistence on Will County going back to paper ballots. That means she might’ve had a real shot in 2026, but that possibility went right out the second-floor window with this frivolous lawsuit.
But the real problem with this lawsuit lunacy is this. At a time when the Springfield general assembly can’t wait to spend our money, this stupidity goes far beyond Will County. It will provide Collar County Democrats everywhere with all the ammunition they need to proclaim that the local Republican Party has lost touch with reality.
Put more simply, the GOP’s insistence on heading down this rigged election primrose path, burning all manner of tax dollars along the way, won’t win them any friends, much less voters.
So, unless the Collar County Republicans drop the MAGA BS and make a point of shooting this lawsuit down, their already tenuous grip on those formerly deep red bastions will proceed to slip away until they’re every bit the superminority they are in Springfield. And if that turnaround doesn’t come soon, there will be no coming back.
Meanwhile, I briefly spoke with WC clerk chief of staff Charles Pelkie who told me, “This lawsuit is baseless and bizarre and our attorneys are preparing a vigorous response.”
Though I only play an attorney on TV, may I humbly suggest a simple three-word reply – “motion to dismiss” – because that’s all it will to take to put the stake in this stupidity. Then, just for good measure, I’d add one more word – “sanctions” – on both Fritz and her worthless attorney.
If only that would stop the next Republican from doing the same stupid thing.
One thought on “The unbearable lightness of stupid people”
It seems that this year, every losing candidate wants a do-over.
Worse yet, the losing “Trump” candidates are the worst example of cry babies….
Run, present your plans and if you lose try again, but don’t try to win though ill-advised lawsuits.
The Blue steak in the collar counties is unfortunate but it is real.