Laesch, himself, refers to Stupec as a "firm supporter."
But try to connect Mr. Stupec to the Laesch campaign, and you get flat denials. And some confusing information.
Clint Raulsten, who posted (in peace) a number of outrageous comments at SoapBlox/Chicago, had plenty of details for a guy who wants to claim he's not in on the objection. In fact, Raulsten stated a number of times that his candidate had actually wanted a Primary race, and thought it would be good for the party.
That, however, would seem to be counter to information that's since been shared with me. The following is Laesch's response to a representative of Progressive Democrats of Illinois, who sent the campaign an email asking why he was challenging Zamora's signatures.
It's important to note that I did not receive any information from any of the recipients of this email. No one from either campaign has supplied me with information. All of the recipients I queried did authenticate it, however.
- From: "John Laesch"
Subject: RE: Signatures challenge
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2006 23:55:53 -0600
Thank you as always for your support of Progressive causes and candidates. Perhaps PDI members are working for the wrong candidate.
I have not challenged Ruben's signatures. Joe Stupec, a firm supporter, has issued a challenge. After the challenge was filed, I took the Christmas holiday to review Zamora's signatures personally and compare them to a voter file (this consumed a week of my valuable time). Zamora does not have enough signatures to get on the ballot and there are clear signs of unethical signature gathering procedures. There are near-full pages all written in the same handwritting. This is illegal, unethical and not representative of our party. I will furnish copies of these petitions to you if you wish.
With all due respect to Mr. Zamora, we need to do better.
I am supporting Stupec's challenge based on ethics. I don't understand how someone who has been running for Congres for the past two years can fail to get on the ballot and a guy who has been campaigning for 4 months can:
- Collect 1925 signatures
- Raise more money
- Earn more endorsements
- Earn national media (and we'll do it again here shortly)
I don't care if the challenge goes forward or there is a primary - I plan on going to Washington in Jan 2007. I have a brother stationed in Iraq and betting on a Zamora for Congress effort is not good enough. If your brother was in harms way, I promise that you would not bet on a guy who gathered a mere 87,000 votes and 600-some signatures in front of grocery stores.
Zamora is diverting my time and resources away from a real race against DH. If you want to see a liberal Democrat defeat the Speaker of the house, then I would like to welcome you aboard.
Second is the outright claim of support for the objector's challenge, which would mean Mr. Raulsten was lying on behalf of his candidate (not a good idea). Make what you will of the rest.
Now, what about timing? Laesch claims he "took the Christmas holiday" to review the petitions himself, which should raise eyebrows. What Laesch (a son of missionaries) defines as "the Christmas holiday" is open to speculation. It would appear to be, perhaps, weekend-to-weekend since he says it consumed "an entire week of (his) valuable time."
When you consider the fact that the petition challenge was filed on the Tuesday after Christmas, that would not be a good thing for Mr. Laesch, as his campaign manager also said Mr. Stupec came to them after filing the objection.
It would appear that the claims distancing the campaign from Mr. Stupec's objection don't add up.