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Question of the day

Monday, Jul 31, 2006

My syndicated newspaper column this week is about a new poll in the race for state treasurer.

The poll had Giannoulias leading Radogno 46-35. The survey of 600 likely voters was taken July 10-16 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. It had a margin of error of 4 percent.

The result is very close to polls taken recently by SurveyUSA and Rasmussen. Both pollsters found that Governor Rod Blagojevich was leading Judy Baar Topinka 45-34.

The SurveyUSA poll’s details showed Illinois’ partisan breakdown to be 43 percent Democratic, 32 percent Republican and 23 percent independent. So, in other words, candidates in both the treasurer’s race and the governor’s race seem to be holding right about at their expected party support levels.

Those poll results also show just how difficult it is these days for an Illinois Republican to win statewide, particularly in down-ballot races where voters are far less focused and far more uninformed. Democrats who can hold onto their base don’t have very far to go to get to 50 percent plus one vote. In order for Republicans to win, they have to sway a whole lot of independent voters and also try to convince as many Democrats as possible to cross over. Since independents here tend to lean towards the Democrats, that job is even tougher.

The question may not be what you expect.

Do you think people are filtering out the corruption stories about poll leaders Giannoulias and Blagojevich, or are they not hearing them in the first place, or do you think they just don’t believe the stories, or is it just too early to expect them to focus even a little on these races?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


64 Comments
  1. - Tweed - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 4:17 am:

    In Giannoulias’ case, the people are probably either not hearing the corruption stories or filtering out the “corruption” and “stories”. It’s easy to do when you keep on hearing a months old story that doesn’t involve corruption. The press has had a half a year to pour over loans from Broadway Bank and all that keeps coming up time and time again is a series of loans to Michael Giorango. Every single time I see anything in the paper about this, there is no new information, no new loan problems, nothing.

    I think the press keeps carrying it though because the Treasurer’s race doesn’t have a lot going on. Both candidates have good professional backgrounds, civil personalities, and solid ideas for the state. That kind of race doesn’t make for good press, so we hear the one bit of spice (Jack Abramoff’s name sells) over and over again. Unless one of the candidates has a change in campaign planning, I don’t see the numbers changing. Giannoulias has Obama’s backing and a good amount of cash to spend. I don’t think Radogno will be able to raise enough cash to get her message out. I have no idea what it is and she’ll likely only have enough money to go negative. At that point, it’s her word against Obama’s.

    As for the governor’s race, all the Blago stuff seems to be blend together and I think voters are just filtering it out. Plus I don’t think the voters see Topinka as a political innocent herself having “polkaed” with George Ryan and being involved in Springfield politics for 20 plus years. Topinka didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, but for this race to change voters are going to have to start thinking that Topinka has done some right things in the past and will do some right things in the future. In terms of capitalizing on the charges against Blago, I’m not sure if voters will view a person who has 20 plus years of time in Springfield as being the one to end the cycle of corruption.


  2. - SouthernILRepub - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 4:38 am:

    Rich,

    You need an open thread for the election finance reports for today. It is the last day for filing!


  3. - Geno - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 5:23 am:

    Good idea SouthernILRepub.

    I just looked at Birkett’s D2 for the first half of the year. Birkett raised approx. $366,000 (a $100,000 of that amount was from Topinka).

    Compare that to the first half of 2002 when he was running for Attorney General - he raised over $1,000,000.

    Unless Topinka shows $3,000,000 plus - Team Topinka/Birkett is in trouble.


  4. - wndycty - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 6:32 am:

    Alexi screwed up the public handling of the loans from a PR perspective but he did nothing wrong. There was nothing illegal about these loans, I would love to take fine tooth comb and go over the loans of Chase, Citibank, LaSalle, et al. So there are basically 3 reasons why the loans have not hurt Alexi: 1) HE DID NOTHING WRONG; 2) its inside baseball; and 3) he is a much more attractive and charismatic candidate than Radogno.

    The Governor’s race is very similar in that while there are a ton of allegations against the Blago administration there has not been one indictment; there is no indication that Blago is anywhere near being indicted; the seriousness of the allegations have limited impact because most people don’t quite understand what is really being alleged; Judy is a very UNINSPIRING CANDIDATE who did not even want to run for the job (remember she really wanted Edgar to run); Judy has no ideas (while I will get attacked on this board, maybe even called a moron, it should be noted that many columnists/journalists are begining to get frustrated with this fact).

    If the GOP wants to win either race they better figure out a way to make their candidates more inspiring and in the case of the Governor’s race they should have selected some one who actually wants the job. Judy does not really want the job, Rod does.


  5. - Disgusted - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 6:34 am:

    I think that people are lazy about politics and voting. As long as they get that old road newly paved this year or don’t get a raise in taxes, they’ll vote for the devil. They don’t try to find out the pros and cons about politicians, they just vote for what does them the most IMMEDIATE good and who cares if the politician is a lying crook. In other words, they are real-timers. Many Chicago voters are so used to corruption they vote for it without realizing it, I sometimes think. And crooks are fast-talking, slicky car salesmen. They talk a good game (or read a good game because most of them sound ridiculous if they are asked something off message) but have no follow-through. What else can explain the status of our state and federal government.


  6. - Disgusted - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 6:38 am:

    I have a flash report for you, Wyndycty. Rod doesn’t want the governor’s job. It’s just a stepping stone for him as he tries to move on the bigger and better things, or so he thinks. I don’t see Washington flocking to his door just yet, however.
    Maybe his lackluster performance there in his first involvement in the federal system left people under-impressed.


  7. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 6:38 am:

    Democrats don’t care about corruption when it is a Democrat involved. It’s their turn dammit!

    A Democrat can sign a bill that toughens penalties for impersonating a police office, but if it is the #2 guy at Tollway doing it one month later, no firing, no prosecution, no nothing. I mean, the guy gave $5,000 to Sheahan so he must be ok.

    The Chicago Democrat machine runs the entire state and Democrats never do anything illegal. Oops, sorry Sorich.


  8. - state worker A - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 6:46 am:

    I think for the most part, people are not looking at the issues. When I talk to family who live in Chicago, they are oblivious to all of the issues going on in the Governor’s race. Some people will continue to vote their party line and will care less about what their candidate has done (even if it is criminal). The issues at hand affect all of us, maybe not today, but tomorrow we will ALL have to pay. If the candidate that is elected does not provide the best service for the majority of the people (while obeying the law) than they should not be re-elected (of course this is just my opinion).


  9. - wndycty - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 6:55 am:

    Disgusted you tell me Rod does not want the job? HA! Well he sure is acting like it. Even Bernie in the SJR yesterday noted Judy is just letting Rod attack her without responding. A person who campaigns aggressively, runs ads, raises money, responds to attacks, introduces ideas, has a vision. . .WANTS THE JOB.

    A candidate who raises no money, runs no ads, does not respond to attacks, has no vision, is running because someone else (Edgar) did not enter the race. . .DOES NOT WANT THE JOB.

    Go ahead take shots at Rod. Let’s buy into your “bigger and better things” line of thought. Well he can’t move on to bigger and better things without getting re-elected, which means he wants the job. You know he can’t move on to bigger and better things without leaving the state better than he found it. I like ambition, he has it Judy has no ambition. We have around 100 days to election day, hopefully Judy will kick off her campaign soon.

    What does Judy want? She needs to act like she wants the job. Today we get to see how much money she raised, let’s see if she has raised funds like she wants the job and if her potential donors have been inspired to support her as a candidate. Should be fun.


  10. - Bill Baar - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 6:56 am:

    It’s two early.

    I want to see what happens with that 17% going to third parties right now instead of the Gov and JBT.

    As we get closer to the election, these folks have time to reconsider. I think they’ll value their votes more then.


  11. - Bill Baar - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 6:57 am:

    geez…too, not two… coffee please.


  12. - Disgusted - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 7:11 am:

    Wyndycty - He may use the job for further gains but he doesn’t want it unless it leads to bigger and better things. If you want a job leading the state and it’s government, you don’t bad mouth the people you depend on to make your programs work! And blind ambition is self-serving, and does nothing for the future of this already bankrupt state. We are at rock bottom in the nation. Do you feel good about this?? And while he may not have be the catalyst that started us on the way there (and no, I am NOT a Republican - I vote the person and the record, not the party), his actions are not improving the state’s future. We will have to raise taxes, not question about it and if your friend doesn’t do it, then future governors will, when Mr. Blagojevich is long gone and out of the line of fire.


  13. - Marta Elena - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 7:16 am:

    Blago raises campaign dough like no nobody’s business.

    Not that I’m proud of knowing that about our governor - but he has been across America raising dough - on both ends of the COAST!!!!!!!!!!

    Ooooohhh, He’s got a FUTURE. I just don’t know where.

    And yes, I’m one of those on the sides waiting for Judy to respond.


  14. - relax - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 7:16 am:

    This is Illinois, man. People here don’t worry about taking the politics out of politics.


  15. - Beowulf - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 7:24 am:

    I think that the Illinois voters(and especially Chicago and Cook County voters) have had a steady diet of news media stories of endemic and massive corruption for many years. George Ryan and the “Licences For Bribes” scandal simply made it loom larger and seem more prevalent than most of the media alerts that we had been receiving. After awhile, you learn to “tune it out” just like we don’t have to think about or try to remember to breathe each time.
    Much like the old plow horse that gets whipped by his master, the beatings soon become an accepted and expected action. The plow horse soon gets so he is more concerned with the severity of the beating than the fact that he is getting beat at all.

    The voters have Illinois (much like the old plow horse) have come to accept corruption with our politicians, we only hope that the degree or severity of the corruption is not too great. Pretty sad, isn’t it?


  16. - Snidely Whiplash - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 7:30 am:

    Much of this is due to Vladgo’s bombastic early campaigning. Who ever heard of a candidate running several negative commercials every day in the spring and summer preceding a general election? In contrast, JBT has been invisible. Vlad has temporarily brought up the whole slate, JBT has arguably “brought down” hers by not campaigning heavily prior to September.

    Let’s see what happens as of late September before jumping to conclusions. That said, Radogno never had much name recognition outside of the western burbs/DuPage County to begin with, and doesn’t seem to have much money. It’ll take more than campaigning by JBT to bring her up significantly. Criminal element, your access to the Illinois state budget is tantalizingly close …


  17. - the Other Anonymous - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 7:39 am:

    The first few commenters have latched on to the right idea: there’s a difference between the stories about Giannoulias and those about Blagojevich.

    It’s not just that the stories about Giannoulias are less innocuous. I’d say the difference is primarily about the higher profile of the Governor’s race, and the amount of money being spent on TV ads by Blagojevich.

    The right place to look to see if the constant drumbeat of corruption and bad government stories is having some effect is the Governor’s approval ratings. And, unless there is better information, I understand that they are still under 50% — horrible numbers for a Democratic incumbent in a blue state.

    The horse race numbers, I believe, tend to reflect the quality of the respective campaigns for Governor. The numbers could change if Topinka ever starts running a good campaign. Even so, as bad of a Governor as Blagojevich is, he is an outstanding campaigner. He may very well win the election while still retaining approval numbers lower than 50% by running an exteremely negative campaign against Topinka.

    As for Giannoulias — I must say that I’m surprised at his lead. But, the numbers probably have much more to do with the partisan breakdown of the state than the individual candidates. I’d say that the stories of his “corruption” won’t have an effect, absent a multi-million dollar television blitz or some truly damning information about his connections with crooked individuals.


  18. - ZC - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 7:50 am:

    Well just about Radogno, speaking as one of the Illinois Democrats in Chicago (where I suspect a lot of us are), I’ve heard NOTHING about or from her - not in the media, not in the paid media, zip, nada, zilch.

    Alexi is also probably blessed by the Chicago media market’s constant focus on City Hall and Blago. There’s only so many scandal stories the electorate can keep straight and recollect!

    Even for Democrats who have been following the Alexi woes with concern, you can’t beat something with nothing. In these polls people will say they support Alexi if he’s running against … who? Radogno severely needs to get some press coverage or buy some ads to make progress. I doubt she can win if she just hopes the bad Alexi press will lead enough Dems to skip over his name or to vote for someone they’ve never heard of.


  19. - Justice - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 7:51 am:

    With the exception of Springfield and some parts of Chicago, the voting public doesn’t much take time to get to know the real issues of accomplishment or wrongdoing by either candidate. Rod has the cash to swing opinion and Judy has….well, she is sorta running. Not very dynamic and certainly not very enthusiastic.

    Looks like the year of The Green Party. What the hell, we’re at the bottom nationally anyway. Can’t do any worse. As far as Blogo’s aspirations for a national position, that’s not likely. After the next four years he’ll fade away with his millions. Oh, wait…he’ll be behind bars!!


  20. - The Conservative - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 8:03 am:

    I think you are missing one fact. The conservative Republicans are sitting this one out. Maybe that will change by September? That is up to Judy.


  21. - Check the numbers - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 8:07 am:

    Illinois won’t elect anyone other than a Democrat despite ethical and competency shortcomings. It would have taken a strong moderate Republican to even make it close, and JBT doesn’t inspire.

    I watch what gets reported in Cook and Chicago and there’s no voter outrage - just mild consternation and then back to voting for whoever has a D behing their name. That’s a downstater’s reality, so we deal with it.


  22. - Truthful James - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 8:35 am:

    1. All politics are local. Other things being equal the local organizations bringing out the vote will decide the races.

    2. People are willing to “pay extra” for services. That is, money squandered at the State level flies over the heads of most voters. If it affects them locally, if they have been shorted, they care more.

    3. Incumbents can win if the level of voter inertia is high (Bodies at rest tend to remain at rest.)

    4. A Blago indictment weould make a difference if it were played up and voters felt it disagraced them to have such a leader. Otherwise, a tree trimming takes precedence. It would be foolish to rely on an indictment.

    5. In spite of her having won state wide, people do not know Judy B. The Treasurer incumbent is a fortunate person. In taking the propaganda offensive, the Blago team was able to put a character on the face. By so doing they force her managers to redefine her. A smarter campaign would have been to use the media a year ago to show her interests and job performance. Unfortunately, either she did not know she would be running for governor or the party had no interest in promoting her or both. Most likely the State GOP has lost its touch.

    6. A turn around is possible, but it will take better definition for electoral purposes of who this woman is. The Republicans will also have to take chances on issues. These would be — fiscal integrity, the state of the roads and highways, and the education flim flam. The last is the most risky, but if Judy B can make the parents see that they are being hornswoggled by the Education Establishment and if she can empower the parents and vest their chikdren, she would be able to bust the PTA alliance open and bring in parental support. That is a local issue on which she can have traction.

    7. The Conservatives of the Republican Party of Illinois may be a good part of the Undeciodeds

    6.


  23. - relax - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 8:44 am:

    The Illinois GOP got us into an economic mess and the people are willing to put up with a Democratic political mess to get out of it. Food over philosophy. Isn’t that Political Science 101?


  24. - McDem - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 8:47 am:

    As for Alexi Giannoulias, I don’t believe the public holds a banker responsible for the ethics of his customers. Most people find the connection somewhat contrived or outright ridicules. A reporter may have felt that he had a story but the public has dismissed it. Giannoulias was caught off guard by the whole issue and initially answered reporters questions poorly. The poor response was half the story.

    Alexi Giannoulias was making a downstate tour recently. I had a chance to talk with him in a small group setting. I was well impressed. He is smart and sincere.


  25. - Niles Township - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 8:47 am:

    Way too early for the average voter. Until September, this is all just inside politics.


  26. - Cassandra - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 8:48 am:

    Most people probably wouldn’t hold decisions made by his late father’s bank against Alexi, and he has done pretty well at distancing himself from them. From a casual reading of the papers, one would get the impression that he is the forward-looking, if inexperienced young scion of a family that has made its money in a squiffy way. That’s not a new story. Remember JFK? And Obama is unlikely to un-support him, even if he doesn’t make any more commercials for him.

    Radogno is the better candidate, but her campaign has been less than energetic, similar to JBT’s. People are desperate for new, energetic political faces, but Radogno comes across as somewhat retro, where she comes across at all.


  27. - relax - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 8:52 am:

    The average voter knows that the GOP sunk the ship.


  28. - sporty41 - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 9:10 am:

    Eric Zorn has simply not started to write about them yet.


  29. - (618) Democrat - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 9:17 am:

    Alexi is ahead in the polls because the people of Illinois believe that his private sector business experience, where the bottom line makes a difference, makes him better qualified to be State Treasurer.

    The banking business is the most regulated business in the United States. It has to undergo state and federal audits on a regular basis. Alexi or his bank have violated no laws, there is no coruption.

    Radogno has made her living feeding at the public trough where if you need more money just go to the hard working men and women of Illinois and raise their taxes.

    In the Blagojevich Topinka race I think it comes down to Blagojevich says he will not raise our income taxes and Topinka says she will. Topinka is pandering to the 50,000 state workers at the expense of the 6,500,000 private sector workers.
    We who work in the private sector don’t want any more tax increases. Topinka doesn’t seem to get it.


  30. - SilverBackDemocrat - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 9:41 am:

    I think people have filtered out all of the smear tactics and rumor-mongering from the Republicans and the media that has been flooding the newspapers, internet, and news for some time now. A better word would be “tuned-out.” I do not think Democrats and open minded people have gotten over the Republican smear machine that attempted to impeach Bill Clinton, so whenever they hear the Republicans complain, they take it with a tablespoon of salt. Remember, it was Rutan vs. the Illinois Republican party. Most Democrats in this state have or had a family member who could not get a state job for almost 30 years because they were not a Republican (kinda leaves a bad taste in your mouth). The system is fairer now, and Democrats actually get the opportunity to serve at the state level. The sour milk coming from the GOP in this state is beginning to smell pretty spoiled.


  31. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 9:45 am:

    Watergate, Monica Lewinsky, Licenses-for-Bribes, Katrina, Hired Trucks. Major scandals need a singular concept under which they can be organized. A catch phrase, a trigger that you can use to spark the public and ignite their emotions. Blagojevich’s problems are so widespread and varied, you can’t organize them under a single concept and into your gestalt. Some think he’s a crook, some think he’s a prig, some think he’s a boob, but until voters can find a single banner under which to organize themselves, there will be no movement.

    For Giannoulias, the attack is even tougher. Is the Tribune trying to say he’s crooked, or not competent? Or is this just an attempt to spread guilt by association? Because given the low opinion that the public generally has about Illinois politicians these days, if the Tribune wants to argue that there are ties between politics and organized crime, they just might give The Mob a bad name.

    So, this is Strike One.

    Let’s also not forget that the GOP hasn’t exactly set the bar high, and their scandals are far from over. George Ryan is on appeal. Lee Daniels is on the ropes. Denny Hastert is under intense scrutiny and his numbers are in the toilet.

    These issues have not only damaged the GOP, but they have left it comletely rudderless and unable to capitalize on the Democrats’ problems. For example, Radogno and Daniels were once tied at the hip — how is she going to go after Giannoulias?

    Strike Two.

    And, as I’ve pointed out numerous times on this Blog, never underestimate the influence that partisanship has on elections. 44% of Illinoisians call themselves Democrats. George Bush is despised in Illinois (28% job approval rating) and even independents are appalled b his job performance (25% job approval rating), and he’s even dragging Mark Kirk to the bottom of the ocean with him. It will take a pretty strong swimmer to break free.

    Strike Three.


  32. - Boone Logan Square - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 9:51 am:

    Is it corruption if the pol isn’t arrested? That seems to be the standard Illinois voters use for officeholders of both parties. Walker, Ryan — *those* guys are corrupt, sure, but Daley or Hastert? Just doing their job for their constituents. Same with Rod.


  33. - Lee - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 10:04 am:

    I find it interesting Giannoulias is not listed on the official Illinois Democratic campaign web site. Seems odd and strange. Maybe they know something the rest of us don’t know.


  34. - Cassandra - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 10:28 am:

    It is certainly correct that JBT’s campaign has mishandled the income tax issue, allowing her to hint that yes, she wouldn’t rule out trying to raise state income taxes. Maybe the campaign thinks that this makes her look more honest and aboveboard but I’ll bet a lot of voters are more likely to wonder, especially given her Ryan pal past, what she is going to do with the extra money. Blago claims he can run the state without an income tax increase (and has done so successfully so far).

    And I agree with Democrat 618 that throwing you lot with state employees vs private sector employees, especially given the numbers involved, is another example of JBT’s clueless
    campaign strategy….or maybe the staff can’t control her?


  35. - So-Called "Austin Mayor" - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 10:31 am:

    It’s waaaay too early in for anyone but the freaks on this site to be paying attention to the election.

    So, I guess :::deep breath::: I agree with Bill.


  36. - St. Louis Metro-East - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 10:52 am:

    I think demographics matter. In the Metro-East, we get no political info. I have to read the Chicago Tribune and your blog to keep in the loop. Just check out Sunday’s St. Louis Post — what a waste of ink when it comes to politics. There was NOTHING in there this weekend.

    Radogno had a successful fundraiser hosted by Frank Watson a couple of weeks ago. Big turnout down here.

    I think people are desensitized to scandals right now. And part of the problem is a lack of interest in politics — and a lack of reporting about the scandals in certain regions of the state.


  37. - Bubs - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 11:06 am:

    1. The voters of Illinois are like long-abused children. They are trained to look the other way when the topic of corruption comes up, and act like it never happened, it’s not their problem, etc. Because of this, Democracy in Illinois is warped and seriously ill.

    2. The voters of Illinois think the Republican crooks are just as bad as the Democratic crooks, so “what’s the difference?” Since they are going to get screwed either way, they don’t pay much attention.

    3. The Illinois Republican Party has done a magnificent job of self-destruction. Let’s see, the crminal regime of George Ryan, followed by a “conservative revolt” that is such a mindless, self-defeating piece of nonsense that would have made Yasser Arafat proud. After Alan Keyes, I suspect many voters are so frightened by the manical, take no prisoners “Conservatives Without Conscience” of the Republican Right that they won’t vote for any Republican, anytime, no matter how good the candidate might be. While the Conservatives chirp that the Moderates are holding back the GOP, since the Moderates won’t convert to the new “co-religions” of Reaganism and Christian fundementalism, but the OPPOSITE is actually true, at least here in Illinois.


  38. - Garp - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 11:08 am:

    There are two competing forces at play. The National Republican policies have disgusted voters. Our troops dying, oil sky rocketing and the housing market plummeting makes it hard for any corruption scandal to gain a foothold with the electorate.

    The voters are between a rock and a hard place. They would rather have a guy who steals a bit compared to a party that puts the country in a tailspin to benefit big oil. It is going to take concrete evidence of wrong doing to overcome the negative attitudes the voters have with the GOP.


  39. - zinged again - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 11:20 am:

    It is so embarassing to live in Illinois when one looks at the politics.


  40. - just watching - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 11:28 am:

    Yellow Dog,

    I generally find your posting to be well thought out and not usually just partisan crap. However, your assertion that Daniels and Radogno were “once tied at the hip” is completely baseless.

    Radogno began her political career as a LaGrange Village trustee and then ran against Bobby Raica in a State Senate Primary and unseated good ole’ Bobby. Since then she has been a great member of the Senate Republican Caucus with out any need to associate with Daniels.

    I am curious as to where you got your allegation? It seems that people may be looking for things to deflect that fact that Alexi is woefully unqualified and inexperienced to hold the job of treasurer. (which from what I understand was on clear display in the debate this weekend) and are now trying to find something to throw at Radogno.

    If you have some information I am not privy to about these supposed “ties” please inform us otherwise it looks like a deflection of Alexi’s inabilities.


  41. - zatoichi - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 11:32 am:

    This stuff is way too early for most people. Under the all politics is local concept, how this effects me and my town will drive my vote. Alexi who? Means nothing to most people. Rod and JBT stick out because of the governor office. How many people know who those judges are and local minor politicans when they are in the vote booth? People will go by party line because of basic philosophy. It’s gotta be a huge scandal or extremely strong personality to get someone to change.


  42. - John Stevens - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 11:46 am:

    wndycty-
    Rod wants to be re-elected just long enough so he can run against Hillary in 2008.

    As for him needing to leave the state in good shape to get elected president, I believe if you look at Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, you will find two perfect examples of governors that left their respective states in horrible shape and still managed to get elected president. It’s all in how you spin it. A good politician can make the most dismal hurriedness record look GREAT if he or she knows how to put the right spin on it.


  43. - (618) Democrat - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 11:57 am:

    Yellow Dog: Looks like you struck a nerve with the Radogno campaign. I heard that Alexi did very well in the debate. His superior qualifications shone through.


  44. - ChicagoCynic - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 12:17 pm:

    I wouldn’t exactly be getting very comfortable if I was in Alexi’s campaign. At this point, it’s merely a partisan label people are responding to. Illinois is as blue as ever and you’re seeing that in the poll. It’s the middle of summer and normal people are focused on vacations, baseball and the Bears returning to training camp. They don’t care about the treasurers race.

    We’ll know whether the loan stories will have traction only in the last month and particularly the last couple weeks of the campaign. Until then, don’t count your chickens.


  45. - ol' blue - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 12:49 pm:

    This is humourous…

    Radogno suggested her opponent’s tenure in the banking business has been brief, but Giannoulias said he spent many of his formative years at the family business and was a teller “probably before it was legal.”


  46. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 12:57 pm:

    (618) Democrat - Radogno’s camp is wincing because they know I’ve struck a nerve. The only way they can credential themselves among moderates is to point out that Radogno wasn’t Pate Philip’s first choice for State Senator. What they fail to mention is that Radogno was a solid supporter of the GOP leadership team of Philip/Daniels after she won her contested primary.

    In fact, this so-called “moderate” has continued to carry the socially-conservative Philip-Daniels mantle even know that they are gone.

    For example, you can read about Radogno’s opposition to scientifically-supported stem cell research here.

    Radogno also opposes gun safety measures, a woman’s right to choose, expanded health insurance coverage for kids, and other issues supported by mainstream Americans.

    I agree that Radogno has shown she’s moved out of the 19th century on some social issues, and she is mainstream when compared to Alan Keyes, but she’s far to the right of most Illinoisians.


  47. - Ashur Odishoo - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 1:02 pm:

    Illinois voters, especially Cook County, have an overwhelming ability to accept corruption. The question “where is the outrage”? is very appropriate.

    I think the fear in Cook County of political retribution is very real, whether or not it has merit, the perception is very real.

    With the Chicago City Council finding its voice, maybe the voters will be next.

    If Todd Stroger gets more than 10% of the vote, we still have a long way to go.

    Ashur Odishoo
    Candidate
    State Representative 11th District


  48. - Truthful James - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 1:06 pm:

    Re the banker who would be Treasurer, I apply the phrase I use about myself.

    “Everything I know I learned at mother’s knee and other low joints.”


  49. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 1:09 pm:

    From what I saw about the poll, they didn’t even tell the 600 people anything about the candidates, other than being Democrat or Republican. How would Alexi’s or Radogno’s credentials mean anything in a poll like that? The poll didn’t tell the 600 people about being a “hard” or “soft” partisan either. To me, this poll doesn’t really show much of anything. Right now, both candidates are under too many people’s radar to have an effective poll on their favorability. I, personally, am going to wait another month or two before I’ll let any poll, from Radogno, Alexi or anyone else, tell me who is the favored candidate.


  50. - jeff - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 1:27 pm:

    It is a little hard to believe those pol numbers, they have come from the Giannoulias camp. I could scew numbers also to make myself look better. Also I have seen Radogno at 3 different events this summer, Giannoulias has yet to show his face around.


  51. - Deep throat - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 2:03 pm:

    Alexi will win, because the Hispanic voters, and the Cubans in particular will support him, financially,spiritualy, and with votes and good hard work!!


  52. - Truthful James - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 2:29 pm:

    YDD —

    “scientifically supported stem cell research” — if by that you mean, wish list with the hope but not the guarantee of results, you are right.

    We are already seeing results in umbilical cord stem cells. There is no restriction on private sector funding.


  53. - Buck Rogers - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 2:52 pm:

    Deep Throat-
    Can you honestly name any policy or statement that Giannoulias has come out with that would help the Hispanic community (or any other minority)? So far, I’ve only heard a rather weak statement about ethanol (considered by his campaign to be an “agriculture policy”) and a veterans plan found to be equally vague. At this point in the campaign, does Giannoulias deserve the unconditional support of the Hispanic community? Shouldn’t both sides be heard before any sort of decision is made?


  54. - ChicagoCynic - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 3:03 pm:

    YDD, none of those things you’ve identified have anything to do with being a good treasurer, so why should voters care?


  55. - Daniel - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 4:06 pm:

    Moses would part Lake Michigan Before Blagoevich ever was put on a National Ticket. The DNC would not touch corrupt Rod and his Goons with a ten foot pole.


  56. - Lena - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 4:10 pm:

    Once the Illinois voters realize Alexi is a Mafia banker he will be finished. Do you really think Speaker Madigan wants Alexi on the ticket with his Daughter Lisa? It would hurt her chances in 2010 for Governor. Does BARAK OBAMA want to jeopardize his career for Alexi? Can you imagine the GOP attack hounds tying Barak to Alexi?


  57. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 4:48 pm:

    Everyone sees Topinka as just as corrupt, but a lot less polished and not nearly as likeable. Voting for Topinka is like choosing to go back in time. Doesn’t fly.


  58. - Prairie Farmer - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 4:57 pm:

    To the original question, the public is not yet paying attention to the legal problems. Yeah, its in the background. Average Joe at the coffee shop can’t recite the details but he knows something is up with the governor. The treasurer race has not received downstate play - yet. As far as treasurer’s candidates, most voters should recognize Radogno as the better qualified. Good government background and experience. Alexi’s still a kid making car loans.


  59. - B Hicks - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 5:08 pm:

    The articles and accusations just aren’t hitting home. The Illinois Republicans are having a hard time playing the corruption card.

    I visit the Tribune’s web site each day. Not once can I recall a corruption or hiring issue being one of the top 10 e-mailed about stories. The people don’t care.

    Illinois Republicans squawking about political hires and corruption.

    WOW!


  60. - Truthful James - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 5:43 pm:

    If not a Nine Foot Pole, how about a 5.6 Foot Serbian.


  61. - Disgusted - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 6:03 pm:

    Commentors are citing “Republican this” and “Democrat that”. What about us independents out here who don’t have a fondness for either one of these candidates and with good reason. I don’t understand how people can support unscrupulous candidates and not be even a little embarassed about it. Surely the voters of this state are not that superficial, all of them? To Silverback Democrat - the “system seems fairer now”!!!!! Fairer for whom? The Democrats finally got their chance and we are at the bottom of the list in financial health amongst all the states. We have been lied to about a balanced budget (which we all knew anyway)and the governor is supporting his re-election campaign with state funds by using our tax dollars to have his campaign-promoting initiatives media materials printed inhouse at various state agencies. The Democrats lost a golden opportunity to NOT be like Republicans and to do some good for this state and they blew it.


  62. - just watching - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 6:48 pm:

    Yellow dog and (618) First, This is the most ridiculous statment i’ve ever heard

    “(618) Democrat - Radogno’s camp is wincing because they know I’ve struck a nerve. The only way they can credential themselves among moderates is to point out that Radogno wasn’t Pate Philip’s first choice for State Senator. What they fail to mention is that Radogno was a solid supporter of the GOP leadership team of Philip/Daniels after she won her contested primary.”

    Exactly how does a Senator “Support” the leader of the other chamber in which she has never cast a vote???? By this logic (Which is incredibly flawed) Every single person that has ever voted for Emil Jones or Phil Rock “was once tied at the hip” to Michael Madigan. Even you can see that is a ridiculous statement.

    Your concern that Alexi the mob banker is not qualified for anything other than a teller position at daddy’s bank is a just concern.

    Your attempt to tie Radogno to Daniels says it all. Not ONE SINGLE person that knows anything about the GA would agree that voting for Pate equates to being “tied at the hip to Daniels”
    You tell me at what point ever did Pate and daniels run as a leadership team?

    I hope that Granburg Knows he was tied to the Hip of Emil Jones because he voted for Madigan. hey 618 Democrat maybe you could call Him and let him know that Emil and he are tied at the hip. actually I wonder if Caveletto Knows that hmmmm.


  63. - NoGiftsPlease - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 7:06 pm:

    1) Why did Barack edorse Alexi?
    2) Everyone would learn a lot about JBT if they picked up the back issues of the “Landmark” (western suburbs rag) where she writes a column…last week it was all about how not to lose your dog. If someone pulled all those columns together it would make for some very interesting reading.


  64. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Jul 31, 06 @ 10:41 pm:

    I’m not buying that Giannoulias is corrupt. It seems like an innuendo campaign by insiders.

    Why aren’t people looking at Radogno’s connections to unsavory characters like Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico and the cast characters surrounding him?


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