Political 'dirty tricks' not a crime, Madigan's lawyers argue

  • A lawsuit alleges Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan planted fake candidates in his 2016 Democratic primary race.

    A lawsuit alleges Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan planted fake candidates in his 2016 Democratic primary race. Associated Press file photo

 
 

Political candidates have a constitutional right to run -- no matter the reason -- and "dirty tricks" are not a federal crime, lawyers for Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan declared in a court filing this week.

That assertion comes in a federal lawsuit that alleges the powerful Southwest Side Democrat planted two "sham" candidates on the ballot.

An unsuccessful 2016 primary challenger to Madigan, Jason Gonzales, contends the head of the Democratic Party of Illinois planted fake candidates in the race to split the Hispanic vote in his Southwest Side district.

• For the full report, visit chicago.suntimes.com.

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