SCHAUMBURG – The battle in the 8th CD over who will face Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth in November is reaching fevered pitch as GOP candidate Larry Kaifesh accuses supporters of his opponent - Manju Goel - of buying votes. The Kaifesh campaign says they filed complaints with the Cook and DuPage County State's Attorneys this week.
Members of the National Indian American Public Policy Institute (NIAPPI), a 501c3 charity organization, has taken out full page advertisements in various Indian-American publications, promising “Free Gift, Food, Music & Ride to Polling Booth.” Interested parties are told to go to one of four locations in Cook and DuPage County, including 343 St. Paul Blvd, Carol Stream – the headquarters for Manju for Congress.
Kaifesh's campaign alleges that last Sunday, March 9, NIAPPI representatives were observed at the Clay Oven restaurant in Schaumburg, providing a choice of Target or Home Depot gift cards, in return for casting an early vote for Goel.
Kaifesh argues such activities are violations of federal and state law.
“I realize that my opponent’s campaign is desperate for support. However, to use a charitable organization to allegedly buy votes goes well beyond decency and the law,” said Larry Kaifesh. “It is despicable and Manju Goel should be ashamed.”
Under Illinois law, Section 29-1 of the Election Code (10 ILCS 5/29-1) provides, “Any person who knowingly gives, lends or promises to give or lend any money or other valuable consideration to any other person to influence such other person to vote or to influence such other person to vote for or against any candidate or public question to be voted upon at any election shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.”
Vote buying is illegal under Illinois law and any person giving or promising to give money to Illinois residents to influence them to vote or to vote for or against any candidate to be voted upon at the Election is guilty of a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by imprisonment for 1 to 3 years.
The full ad is below, but does not specify for whom the voters should vote - a technicality that may be raised if the accusations continue through the legal system.