Saturday, January 19, 2008

Set my primaries free!

John Bambenek is at it again. He's "filed a complaint with" (i.e. written a letter to) the Michigan Attorney General complaining about the suggestion made by kos of Daily Kos that Michigan Democratic voters vote for Romney in Michigan's open primary. TheSquire pretty much eviscerated his complaint by looking at what Michigan law actually says, as does lawyer Adam B.

I'm not posting about the silliness that is Mr. Bambenek's latest attempt at notability, but rather about some things he's said elsewhere. He is also a "freelance columnist" at a Kankakee paper, where he wrote this about a possible Illinois Constitutional Convention:

Open ballot access should be implemented. Every person should have equal ballot access regardless of political affiliation or nonaffiliation and a true democracy requires nothing less. The freedom to vote does not mean much if there is no real choice.

So I find that difficult to reconcile with what Mr. Bambenek says here:

FYI, open primaries are unconstitutional, see:
NAACP v. Alabama
Gitlow v. New York
Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut
Miller v. Brown

So he's arguing that open primaries are unconstitutional based on federal cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and therefore based on the U.S. Constitution.

But then there's this:

In theory, parties could open up of their own accord, but forcing by law is unconstitutional... so fine, to be strictly technical, a legally-imposed open primary is unconstitutional which is exactly what you came up with. Thanks for doing the footwork.

On one hand, he's arguing that we need an Illinois state constitutional convention to require open primaries, but on the other hand, he's arguing that the U.S. Constitution prohibits making open primaries mandatory.

Inconsistency, thy name is Bambenek.

UPDATE I: I see he has published the same column in the Daily Illini.

UPDATE II: Moon_grrl tells us how she really feels.


john bambenek said...

You'll have to buy my book to see how I get around the free association problem. There is a solution, I just didn't see the need to spell out all dozen or so reforms in a 650 word piece. Patience, grasshopper. Or even better, ask me instead of making stupid assumptions,

prairie biker said...

Why don't you give us your brilliant answer then, John?

Is it because you really don't have one and don't even have the remotest grasp of what you're talking about?

hmmmm, could be.

For the record, I'm asking.

prairie biker said...


Please accept my apologies for commenting and running off Mr. Bambenek. It would seem that every time I remark on his glaring errors he loses the will to respond logically and coherently.

He blusters with his "I have an answer that I don't deem to tell the little people" response that he used last fall as well, but we all remember how that played out. He hid again until it was time to hatch his next malformed legal theory.

At least this time he had help and was able to plagiarize a cogent theory from Wikipedia. It's just too bad that theory and his didn't coincide on any level.


For someone who has yet to prove himself with anything resembling a correct notion of how the applicable laws all function together to form a cohesive legal position, you have a lot of gall calling others' assumptions "stupid".

john bambenek said...

Matthew Peek-

Unlike yourself apparently, I have what we like to call a life... I don't sit around and hit refresh on every damn local blog in town to see if the local troll has something to say.

You could have come to any talk I've given, heard any radio interview on the subject I've given, and hell you can buy the book when it comes out.

You could also contact the Illinois Citizens Coalition, make a few phone calls, or do some "research". I've already spelled it out, I don't need to prove to you that I have.

So, while you're sitting there all smug and self-righteous (and completely wrong) why don't you tell us what YOU are doing to help fix the state?

Narc said...

Now, now, boys. Let's not let this comment thread decent into calling each other poopieheads. I didn't even know Mr. Bambenek was writing a book. I'm sure it will be just as well reasoned and cogent as Ann Coulter's latest.

prairie biker said...

Gee John, thanks for ad homs. How did I know that's what you'd come back with? I'm glad you never disappoint.

What I'm trying to get at, is first you said to ask for your defense, and now you say you don't need to give it. Which is it? Is is based on your plagiarized garbage that I (and many others) already shot down? Do you have something new for us?

Is it as tangible as your appeal to the FEC?

For what it's worth, I'll never come and hear you speak or listen to your radio podcasts or whatever. Those are minutes of my life I'd never get back.

john bambenek said...

Well, there you go then, Matthew, you don't really care to know, so I'm not going to waste your time. Continue with your trolling and libel (I've never plagairized a thing and you know it).

prairie biker said...

Well John, it has to be plagiarism done in the heat of the moment to get me off your back, that or you really don't have any clue what you're reading.

You lifted a list of case citations straight from Wikipedia without citing where you got them. That is plagiarism. As evidence, I'll give the site -

Just scroll down to the section on "Constitutional Issues".

Now John, is that your own work? It's not, is it? That would be plagiarism. It's even more glaring because it doesn't even support your ridiculous proposition that open primaries are unconstitutional. It supports an issue you obviously hadn't considered. This also means you didn't even bother to read the cases in question, or you completely failed to understand them.

Now, reading doesn't waste my time. I can do it pretty quickly. I would love to know how you support your argument.

moon_grrl said...

Bananas is freelancing at the Spankakee Urinal?That's not exactly the biggest pool to piss in, but it's close to home for me.

It's not too surprising, actually, as his particular brand of BS will be lapped up by the Nazaraptist/Bastarene population around there.

Of course, this is the paper which regularly has huge, glaring spelling and grammar errors on the headlines and had a Sunday guest columnist whom they ended up dropping when she wrote a condemnation of the Harry Potter books based on the information she found in an article from . . . The Onion.

Yes, seriously.

David said...

I, too, have a life. And I'll certainly not waste a minute of it reading (and certainly not paying money for) any such book.

When I read for humor, I like for it to be intentionally humorous.

Narc said...

I'd just like to point out that Mr. Bambenek's comment cites not only the exact same cases as the Wikipedia entry for Open Primaries, but in the exact same order. That's pretty funny.

The Squire said...

Please note that Open Ballot access is not an Open Primary - one deals with putting people on ballots, the other with voting on them. The open ballot thing may make sense. Open Primaries are stupid, but legal in the states that have them.

prairie biker said...

I always know when John has been beat because he runs off with his tail between his legs and hides. He also accuses me of trolling for showing him wrong, but I'd like you all to notice that whenever there is a post about him, he usually one of the very first commentors.

Just once I'd like him to stick around, admit that he was wrong and apologize for being such a jerk. That would be the decent thing to do, so I doubt it will happen.

john bambenek said...

That's what you call winning an argument? Slander, demanding proof than failing to take an effort to look at the proof?

Because you don't want to read what I have to say, listen to a talk, or do any research doesn't mean I have no answers, it means you are too lazy, and you said yourself, you don't really care.

You obviously don't know the definition of plagiarism.

And you want me to apologize for being a jerk because you make it personal first?


I really shouldn't be wasting my time surfing all the local blogs to see the latest insult you have for me. It's not like you are contributing anything.

prairie biker said...


No, the fact that you have offered nothing past your original blather "Open Primaries are Unconstitutional" is what I call winning an argument. Yet again, you fail to counter. Have you provided some new evidence and I missed it? Yeah, didn't think so.

And didn't you learn anything from JX3 in "Spiderman"? Slander is verbal, libel is print.

And since I sustained the accusation (ergo, it's true) it's not libel. Webster's (Merriam Websters Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition) defines plagiarize as "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own: use (another's production) without crediting the source."

That is exactly what you did.

I'll offer another contribution as soon as you give me something new to shoot down. In the meantime, I'll just sit here and enjoy watching your credibility continue to go down the toilet.

John Bambenek said...

Then file a complaint with the office of the provost... we'll see who wins.

By the way, usually citations aren't "ideas" or "content"... I simply referred to the same things they did. But do keep trying.

In fact, no, don't keep trying. File a complaint with the provost. Put up or shut up.

And as far as open primaries... even Kos' lawyer agrees with me. Open primaries (mandated by law) are unconstitutional.

prairie biker said...

ooooh, backpedaling now.

You started with all open primaries being unconstitutional. Now you don't know what to do with the issue of free association. It's not even an issue of "mandated by law". Go back and read the cases. It's an issue of when the law doesn't agree with what the parties want for their primaries. It doesn't matter how you try to color it now. You shanked it right off the tee box.

Face it, John. Your viewpoint here is just a non-starter and has been all along. You didn't read the USSC cases properly, nor did you read the Michigan statutes properly.

If I believed that bogarting material from Wikipedia was serious enough to take to the Provost, believe me, I would. Nothing would make me happier than seeing your bombastic ignorance censured. We both know the result of such a complaint would be mountain - molehill, which in the grand scheme of things, it is. But face it, deep down, you know you did wrong.

john bambenek said...

1) You don't know what plagiarism is then. You have to copy ideas and pass them off as your own. It takes a little more than using the same citations and it certainly needs to be more than a blog comment. But go ahead, backpedal, cupcake.

2) Parties can do what they want and accept what they want. They cannot be made to accept open primaries, that is unconstitutional and no different than what I have been saying all along. Free association means they can do what they want and the state can't tell them otherwise.

I'm done here, you lose.

File that complaint. Do it, put your name on the line. Aren't you man enough to stand behind your words, or gotta hide behind the pseudonym of yours?

That's right... coward. Yeah, I'm calling you out. You can whine and cry on the blogs, but all jabber no action and I'm done with you.

prairie biker said...

Thank you for your point two. You have now come full circle backpedaling to what I told you in the first place.

Your initial position, since you obviously don't remember it, is that all open primaries were unconstitutional.

Your ad homs make me sad. What kind of nerd calls someone out on a blog? Have you been drinking tonight?

I'm not hiding behind any pseudonym. My name is right on my blog.

And my name at least is good for something. I'm amazed at how conveniently you forget where you grabbed that case list from. I might have been willing to credit you with using Wikipedia for "research" had you mentioned where you got it from or if it came anywhere close to supporting your argument. But it doesn't, so since you didn't cite it and we know it's not your own work, it's plagiarism, no matter how slight.

And you should be done, because you have nothing left. Of course, you didn't have anything when you started either.

prairie biker said...

And not that I wasn't doing well enough on my own, but posted a link to an automatic online complaint generator.

What fun!

See for yourself:

*my apologies to Narc. I'm done, unless of course Mr. Bambenek actually makes a cogent point, which he hasn't yet, but hey, a boy can hope.

prairie biker said...


The Squire said...


I got you on not having read what actually qualifies an elector in Michigan, and Prairie Biker outlined how none of the court cases you cited whilst proclaiming that all open primaries are unconstitutional did not actually support your position at all. You've tried to move the goalposts a number of times, now, but the fact still remains that your original complaint to the Michigan AG is a stinking turd that you have been unable to defend.

Currently, in order to defend your arguments, you must demonstrate that the legal definition of what qualifies a person to register to vote in Michigan is something other than what is written in that state's statutes, AND you have to show that the Michigan GOP was forced to have an open primary against its will. I'd honestly like to see you try, mostly because I can always use a good laugh.

interloper said...

Rational argument from Bambenek, surely you jest, The Squire.

The guy is a first class idiot.

The Squire said...

I asked him to present his new argument. I had no expectation that it would be rational.