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Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Vote in the 3rd

By Kevin Robinson in News on Nov 8, 2007 6:35PM

Tuesday we gave you the rundown of who is running for a Green Party nomination in Illinois, but among the candidates, one in particular stands out. Richard B. Mayers, a white supremacist connected with Matt Hale's Creativity Movement is running against Jerome "Jerry" Pohlen in the 3rd Congressional District.

This isn't the first time Mayers has run for office. In 2002 he was removed from the ballot in the 9th Congressional District, leaving Jan Schakowsky to run unopposed in the Democratic primary. Before that, he lost the 2000 Democratic Primary against BIll Lipinski in the 3rd, and a write-in campaign in the general election. In both of those races he promised to run on increasing education spending, banning the abortion of white fetuses, authorizing the deportation of African American convicts to Africa, and changing the US policy toward Israel. In 1998 he ran and lost the race for the 43rd state House district as well as Berwyn Township Democratic committeeman, and in 1993 he lost the race for a seat on Berwyn's City Council. In July of 2005 he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property for destroying five videos about the Holocaust in the Riverside Public Library, and was charged with contempt of court for allegedly making a Nazi salute inside a Lake County courtroom later that month he. When library personnel failed to appear in court both charges were dropped.

Running on the Green ticket gives Mayers a forum for his ideas, however divorced they are from Green values, and he doesn't have to contend with the hassle of a sophisticated major-party structure that would easily shut him down. (Remember Pat Buchanan's candidacy on the Reform Party ticket in 2000?) Since Illinois state law requires a primary, it's unlikely that Mayers will win the nomination given the organizing the Greens have done since Rich Whitney's gubernatorial campaign. Regardless, Greens will have to work extra hard to get the message out in the 3rd that Jerry Pohlen has the official endorsement of the Green Party, which means diverting already scarce resources from more important races.