In 2018, Arthur Jones ran as a Republican for Congress from the 3rd Congressional District in Illinois.
According to The Atlantic, Jones was a member of the National Socialist White People’s Party for eight years, is a Holocaust denier, proudly calls himself a white nationalist, and is a former leader of the American Nazi Party. An actual Nazi was on the ballot in Illinois running for Congress just two years ago. Interviews with him are available online, if you can stomach watching them.
Republicans in Illinois didn’t challenge his petitions or call out his legitimacy. They didn’t bother to run someone against him in the primary. They did issue statements denouncing him AFTER he was certified for the general election. Prior to that, they sat on their hands and allowed a Nazi to run under their party name.
Ballot access laws are designed by Democrats and Republicans to keep independents and third parties out of Illinois elections and make it appallingly difficult for challengers to get on the ballot. In the 3rd Congressional District, for example, a Republican like Arthur Jones needed only 603 signatures to be on your ballot, while a Libertarian challenger would need 14,559.
And even when the number of signatures are painstakingly collected, Democrats and Republicans attempt to throw Libertarians and other challengers off the ballot across the state. Their claim? The candidates are not qualified or legitimate.
Since 1971, Libertarians have supported gay marriage and overall equality laws. They work to end the drug war that turns our communities into war zones. They are leaders in the effort to put education in the hands of parents and teachers, not bureaucrats. They fight for health care to be between doctors and patients, not politicians. They’ve long called for an end to no-knock raids and qualified immunity – which are now being recognized as needed changes across the country.
Yet Republicans don’t believe you should have another choice on your ballot this year in Illinois.
Sean Casten and Jeanne Ives should be debating a third opponent in their race for the 6th Congressional District, Libertarian Bill Redpath, who turned in over 3,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot. Yet Republicans want to remove Redpath, a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst from West Dundee, from the ballot.
How can Republican lawyers in 2020 work to remove a highly qualified business appraiser and supporter of individual rights from the ballot, yet in 2018 sat quietly while a Nazi party member joined their ranks to run alongside their candidates? How would Jeanne Ives feel if she were running alongside Arthur Jones in the same year for Congress?
Republicans in Illinois don’t deserve your support until they clean their own backyard. They certainly shouldn’t be targeting qualified candidates while they allow Nazis to wear their own banner.
Tell Republicans to allow legitimate and qualified candidates like Bill Redpath on the ballot.