A writer must “know and have an ever-present consciousness that this world is a world of fools and rogues… tormented with envy, consumed with vanity; selfish, false, cruel, cursed with illusions… He should free himself of all doctrines, theories, etiquettes, politics…” –Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)
Senate Candidate John Bambenek Files Suit to Invalidate Constitutional Amendment [HJRCA 49] Question on Ballot
CHAMPAIGN, IL (October
18, 2012) – Yesterday, Senate Candidate John Bambenek joined a dozen other
citizens in filing a lawsuit challenging the validity of the state
constitutional amendment on the ballot commonly known as Amendment 49
(HJRCA49). The Amendment purports to require a 3/5ths vote for any pension
benefit increase. The grounds for the suit are that the form of the question on
the ballot and the amendment itself is deceptive, inaccurate and
constitution is a crucial document protecting citizens from the government. It
should not be amendment lightly and certainly not using deceptive and false
means by politicians. The ‘notice’ language on the top of the question is
simply factually wrong, misleading to the voters and with the amendment text
itself not on the ballot, voters will have no idea what they are actually
voting for,” said Bambenek.
The notice language,
codified in statute reads as follows:
Failure To Vote This Ballot May Be The Equivalent Of A Negative Vote, Because A
Convention Shall Be Called Or The Amendment Shall Become Effective If Approved
By Either Three-Fifths Of Those Voting On The Question Or A Majority Of Those
Voting In The Election.
“Why is there a
mention of a constitutional convention for this amendment? It’s factually wrong
and misleading to use scary language to manipulate voters,” said Bambenek.
There are also
differing interpretations of what the amendment will actually legally do.
According to Professor John Kindt’s op-ed in the Champaign News-Gazette, this
amendment would override the pension guarantee clause in the state
constitution. Others disagree but there is no real consensus on what the actual
amendment does. The amendment is poorly written and incomprehensible to even
the experts, much less everyday voters.
“This amendment was
written by the Dark Sith Lord Michael Madigan himself with some of the smartest
people in the state and they couldn’t write something people could understand?
I get that Madigan and his Chicago friends want to stick it to us, but could
they do us the courtesy of doing it in a way we can understand? This ballot
question and the amendment itself are incomprehensible gibberish,” explained
The suit is Bambenek
et al v Illinois State Board of Election filed in the Champaign County Circuit
Court. A hearing date is pending. The Plaintiffs are represented by area
attorney Mark Hewitt with the help of the American Transparency Institute.