Late Wednesday morning, an e-mail blast went out from the Chicago Republican party stating that Chicago Democrats were planning some desperate dirty tricks to steal the November 2 state election. The e-mail claims that Cook County Democrats are going to infiltrate polling places disguised as Republican election judges in an effort to rig the outcome.
The splashy e-mail features two photos of Republican candidate for governor, State Senator Bill Brady, and the cutline "Don't let Chicago Democrats steal the election."
At a campaign event late Wednesday afternoon in Berwyn, Senator Brady at first said he knew nothing about the e-mail and Chicago Republican website with his photo.
Then, after remembering something about it, he commented on it.
"I think we all know there have been gimmicks when it comes to Election Day in the City of Chicago that need to be corrected," said Brady.
Although Brady was unwilling to discuss details in person, the Republican e-mail describes how "Democrat hacks" will fill Republican election judge slots and urges what are called "real Republicans" to go to the Chicago Board of Elections to sign up.
"It's kind of an unfortunate swipe at a lot of civic minded, duty-oriented, conscientious judges of elections. We have thousands that serve every election and look forward to doing a fair and good job at it," said Jim Allen, Chicago Election Board spokesman.
Allen says they currently have 2,200 Democratic judge vacancies and 4,600 Republican vacancies.
But, Allen says, by the deadline next week they will be in good shape to fill them all.
"So this is kind of a swipe at judges in general; it's kind of unfortunate," said Allen. "We cherish the work that 15,000 judges come out and perform this civic-minded duty, and they're really the backbone of the election process when it comes down to it."
The I-Team left numerous phone messages Wednesday afternoon for Chicago Republican party officials -- and sent e-mails -- but so far has not received any responses.
This is the second time this year that the Chicago Republican party has been in a controversy. In April, visitors to the Chicago GOP website were treated to a photo of a bare-chested woman. That they blamed on an independent blogger.