Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Deja vu all over again - borrowing a phrase

Chicago is not the only place where candidate shenanigans are happening. April 2011 sees the latest election for the College of DuPage Board of Trustees, which means for the second time in recent years, candidates’ petitions were subject to challenges from their opponents. Last Wednesday, retired professor Gino Impellizzeri, whose name originally occupied the favorable top billing on the ballot, was toppled for the apparent want of a paper clip. Objecting attorney Kory Atkinson, himself a former trustee and familiar to many from the 2009 election’s numerous contentious challenges, successfully argued to the Board Election Committee that Impellizzeri’s packet did not conform to election law because it was not “bound” upon delivery.

Whatever the precise legal meaning of bound, and one notes that the instructions to candidates do not actually give directions as to the manner of the binding, this case gives one to question the point of having laws in the first place. It would be nice to think that they existed to establish a safe, just and orderly functioning of society. However, when it is seen, instead, that laws can be manipulated to ensnare and entrap, and in so doing divert the just operation of society, then it may reasonably be said that the law is an ass.

It would have been nice to think that a majority of the trustees comprising the Board Election Committee could have seen beyond the legalistic gamesmanship at work here, and taken a bold stand for reason and common sense, and, by so doing, would ensure that honest citizens were not deprived from offering their services and residents of District 502 were not denied a reasonable choice of candidates. Regrettably, much like the rich young ruler in Matthew’s parable, they turned away sad.