State Representative Calvin Giles’ only declared opponent for the 8th District seat has said he will formally file an objection to the four-term representative’s candidacy for the March 2006 Democratic Primary.
La Shawn K. Ford, owner of Ford Desired Real Estate and announced candidate for the state representative seat in the 8th District, announced last week that he would challenge the paperwork filed by Giles last month.
Giles still owes more than $140,000 in unpaid campaign fines that may keep him off the ballot in March.
Giles and other candidates filed their paperwork starting the week of Dec. 18, in order to qualify for the March 21 primary. The West Side incumbent filed for re-election Monday, Dec. 18, along with other statewide candidates and incumbents. Ford announced last week that he filed his objection with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
“This man has run afoul of the laws that govern all elected officials and organizations that are required to file timely campaign disclosure reports,” said Ford in a statement released by his campaign.
Giles, according to Ford’s statement, “pursuant under Illinois law, nomination papers must truthfully allege that the candidate is qualified for the office he seeks. Although Giles’ nomination papers claim that he is qualified for the office he seeks, Giles is not qualified because he is a person ‘who has not paid a civil penalty imposed against him’ under (Article 9 of the Election Code) and therefore has forfeited his right for his name to appear ‘upon any ballot for any office in any election while the penalty is unpaid.’ 10 ILCS 5/9-30.”
Ford charges that Giles lied in his candidate filing, which contains a ‘Statement of Candidacy’ form in which an announced candidate states, “I am legally qualified” to hold office.
Giles has a total of $144,000 in unpaid fines stemming from filing late campaign finance disclosure reports, including more than $63,000 unpaid fines prior to the November 2003 election. The State Board of Elections tried to keep Giles off the ballot that year, but was blocked by the courts who allowed Giles’ name to stay on the ballot.
“If the law is to be followed, Giles’ nomination papers are invalid in their entirety, and as a result, his name should not be permitted to be on the ballot,” said Ford.
Giles and other late-filing candidates listed by the state have until Jan. 31, to pay outstanding fines or have their names removed from the March 21 ballot. Giles has not returned calls to the media.
Giles was quoted Dec. 18, in the Chicago Sun Times while filing for re-election last month saying, “God makes a way for everything. I will do what it takes to resolve this.”
State election officials have said Giles and others who do not pay their fines by Jan. 31 will be in violation of state election laws. The board of elections would then move forward in removing their names from the ballot, officials have said.
“We must remember that one of the reasons why these laws exist is so that citizens can see where a candidate or organization is receiving campaign contributions and how they are spending campaign contributions,” said Ford, who announced his candidacy on Dec. 4. He also criticized Giles for neglecting his constituency and the 8th District, which covers Austin, parts of Chicago, the western suburbs, and a large section of Oak Park and Riverside.
“He has a lot of name recognition. We don’t know if it’s good name recognition or bad name recognition. We just know people know him,” said Ford at the time of his announced candidacy. “As the saying goes, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. I will be a true representative of the people?”visible, accessible, and one who builds bridges.”