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Rod and Rosti *** UPDATED x1 ***

Thursday, May 22, 2008

* I don’t know how we missed this story from Monday

llinois’ first lady wouldn’t rule out her husband as a candidate to replace U.S. Sen. Barack Obama in Congress if Obama wins the Oval Office in November.

Patti Blagojevich was answering questions during a mock press conference with a group of fourth-graders from Harristown Elementary School on Monday when she was asked: “If Senator Obama resigns his Senate seat, is Governor Blagojevich interested in his position?”

The first lady wouldn’t say no.

“That’s an interesting question. What happens is if Senator Obama becomes president of the United States, then he can no longer be a senator,” Mrs. Blagojevich told the class. “I think picking that person alone is going to be a tough job. It will only come after really careful thought over who will be the best person for the job and who will be the best person to serve Illinois.”.

Please, spare us this indignity.

* National Journal columnist John Mercurio had this take today…

With the Illinois governor about as popular as President Bush, it wouldn’t hurt McCain to publicize Mrs. Blago’s musings.

There are only so many messages a candidate can use at once, but tying Obama to his “political godfather,” who is pushing another legislative pay raise yet regularly borrows money interest free from his campaign fund, and to a horrifically unpopular and scandal-plagued governor who might wind up in the Senate might be a fun theme to develop.

* Meanwhile, speaking of corrupt Northwest Side politicians, the Illlinois GOP just sent out this press release…

Congressional candidate Dan Seals this week invited former congressman and convicted felon Dan Rostenkowski to lecture to night school students about federal policymaking and then took money from Rostenkowski in front of the class, according to student reports.

Seals, who was hired as an instructor to facilitate 10 night school classes this spring at Northwestern’s School of Continuing Studies, invited Rostenkowski to teach students Tuesday night. According to students in the class, after Rostenkowski’s presentation, the convicted felon handed Seals an envelope and said he hoped the contents would help Seals’ campaign. […]

“Dan Seals should be ashamed for taking dirty money from one of the most corrupt members of Congress in American history in front of innocent students,” said Lance Trover, spokesman for the Illinois Republican Party. “Dan Seals has a track record of unethical campaign practices and should go back to school for a class in personal ethics,”

Rosti was nowhere near “one of the most corrupt members of Congress in American history,” but whatever.

…Adding… Seals has a new campaign gimmick

With gas prices topping $4 per gallon, Democratic congressional candidate Dan Seals of Wilmette is offering motorists in Lincolnshire the opportunity to buy gasoline at $1.85 a gallon at a service station on Milwaukee Avenue from noon to 1 p.m. today.

Seals says he’ll use money from his campaign fund to reimburse motorists the difference between the current price of gas and $1.85 per gallon for purchases of up to 10 gallons—all in an effort to highlight the rising price of gas since Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk became the 10th District representative on the North Shore.

*** UPDATE *** Kirk claims Seals is violating the law

“The Dan Seals campaign may risk violating federal law by reimbursing voters’ gasoline expenses in an effort to influence their votes,” Kirk’s office said in a news release. “On its face, his action violates Title 18, Section 597 of U.S. Code.”

The law in question calls for a fine of $10,000 and/or a year in prison for offering to “make an expenditure to any person, either to vote or withhold his vote, or to vote for or against any candidate,” according to a Kirk campaign news release.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


72 Comments
  1. - 618er - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 12:45 pm:

    Hey Rich,
    I always thought this would be an interesting question of the day if Obama won the dem nomination… Who would the governor appoint to fill his seat?


  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 12:50 pm:

    Save with Seals (it’s yours, Dan — gratis).

    That’s old school — my elderly aunt in Cicero still gets a turkey every Thanksgiving and Christmas from the Township Republican Organization.

    Good to see Rosty out and about — he’s paid his dues, right? He’s at the top of my list of someone who should write a candid book. But handing over envelopes of money in front of people? He didn’t learn that at Oxford.

    And you better believe “Chicago-style politics” spots, prominently featuring scowling, black-and-white stills of Rezko, Jones and Blago, are going to be cut and run, especially in Dixie and in rural America.


  3. - RAI - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 12:52 pm:

    Will Seals call for us to go back to 3 blends of gas instead of 26? Will he buck his own party and vote for exploration of Alaska or the Dakotas or the gulf of Mexico? How about tell Obama he’s wrong when he said
    “‘We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times… and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK’… will seals stand up and say it is not up to other countries how much Americans eat or drive or at what temp their homes are kept at? NO he won’t so he just playing politics. This is the way Democrats want our lives they have been pushing for years for the price of gas to go up to stop Americans from driving so much. So why is it that they can’t stand up now and say they are happy? We have been told Americans are selfish and use to much energy then why pretend that they want prices to go back down? If the GOP ever gets smart enough to make Democrats answer these questions they might pick up some seats instead of losing more, but they won’t. Grab your ankles everyone they are nowhere near done.


  4. - jj - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 12:54 pm:

    “especially in Dixie and in rural America”

    You mean the Republicans would spots featuring two people with foreign names and a black guy to stir up votes?


  5. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:00 pm:

    Utopia: Senator Rod Blagojevich and Governor Pat Quinn.


  6. - Pat collins - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:16 pm:

    Lincolnshire gas

    There are several along 21 in that town. Still, wish I’d seen this earlier, I would have spent lunch hour trying to help deplete his campaign fund.


  7. - Belle - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:18 pm:

    Two things. ==Wordslinger==One, southerners aren’t that stupid. You are evidently thinking of swamp trash that IS that stupid. And mean. Two,about Rosti, has there been an innocent college student in the last 10 years? Maybe 1 or 2 15 yrs ago, a few more 20 yrs ago, but NOW? There’s the headline right there!


  8. - ahoy! - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:19 pm:

    You can buy voters gas? Why not just hand them money?


  9. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:20 pm:

    ===Why not just hand them money?===

    That tactic is usually reserved for election day.


  10. - Wumpus - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:21 pm:

    Is buying votes illegal?


  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:23 pm:

    To be clear, this gas schtick has been used by several candidates over the past couple of cycles. I doubt there are any legal issues as long as it’s not a direct trade for a vote. And I highly doubt he would do that.


  12. - suzanne - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:27 pm:

    There are not too many people in his district that need the hand-out.


  13. - Pat collins - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:37 pm:

    And I’m not in his district at all, he can give me all the campaign cash he wants :)


  14. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:37 pm:

    Always had to gauge the level of corruption in a convicted politician.

    I would tend to agree that there were/are many more corrupt politicians out there, but Rosty was of one of the few, the proud who were convicted.

    Hurray for the Chicago way moving on to the greener federal pastures.

    I had to smile at suzanne’s comment. Do we now have pandering envy?


  15. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:42 pm:

    Forgot to ask….

    If our highly esteemed Gov. appoints himself as US Senator to replace BO, who will foot the tab for the daily commuting flights to Washington. No one would expect him to move to the DC area would they?


  16. - Team America, World Police - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:42 pm:

    Rich- It’s my understanding that the FEC has been looking at this, since some Dems also tried this stunt the last cycle (as the Trib article indicated, this isn’t an original idea on the part of Seals), but the FEC has not yet spoken. Thus, the jury is still out on the legality, but it sure smacks of vote-buying to me (although I admittedly have my bias). Congressman Kirk’s camp has raised the question of its legality:
    http://cbs2chicago.com/politics/kirk.seals.gas.2.730392.

    Notwithstanding the silliness of singling out one member of Congress to blame for high gas prices, rather than comparing the increase in gas from 2000 to 2008, it might be more telling to compare from 2006 (when the Dems took over Congress) to 2008.


  17. - Team America, World Police - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:44 pm:

    That link seems to have not worked: try this.

    http://cbs2chicago.com/politics/kirk.seals.gas.2.730392.html


  18. - Wumpus - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:54 pm:

    Suzanne, you are correct, his district (has he actually moved into the 10th yet) is pretty well off overall. But who likes paying for stuff?


  19. - Team America, World Police - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 1:59 pm:

    Wumpus- Seals still lives in Schakowsky’s district. Why he didn’t just move last cycle and eliminate this as a campaign issue (no matter how petty Seals might think it is) is beyond me.


  20. - amy - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 2:08 pm:

    just what is legal nowadays for influencing
    votes? there have been numerous free rock
    concerts for Obama (one in NC was right next
    to a facilty where early voting took place)
    the busing of high school
    students to vote in Gary and dinner after
    for the hotly contested primary, and now the
    gas purchases by Dan.

    it all reeks of vote buying.


  21. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 2:10 pm:

    amy, Mrs. Clinton does pretty much the same thing. Take a breath, willya?


  22. - 10th Indy - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 2:11 pm:

    I’ll admit I’m a biased Kirk fan with little use for Seals - but what a dunder-headed move.


  23. - Anon - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 2:16 pm:

    Funny Rosti should pop up now. As I was reading the discussion of taxing pensions on yesterday’s blog, I was wondering what Rosti would say if he stumbled across it? Anyone remember that news clip of the old lady clinging to the hood of his limo because he proposed increasing taxes on seniors?


  24. - LakeCountyConservative - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 2:34 pm:

    Although some of the 10th Congressional District is well-off, the district includes North Chicago and Waukegan, which have high unemployment rates and high poverty rates.

    A new independent candidate is running in that district. He’s Allan Stevo, of Highwood. Unlike Kirk, Stevo is pro-life, pro-gun rights, anti-illegal alien, and anti-spending increases. Please read his site, www.stevoforcongress.com.


  25. - Wumpus - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 2:39 pm:

    Thanks Lake COunty Con..perhaps Lincolnshire is not the ideal place to have the Gas for Votes Scam…why not Waukegan?


  26. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 2:43 pm:

    Belle, I don’t presume anyone to be stupid and I sure don’t call anyone trash. But the practice of highlighting differences — regional, urban/rural, ethnic, religious, racial, financial — is a staple of hardball politics for both parties. If it didn’t move the needle, no one would do it.

    Regarding Rosty, I just thought it was amusing that a former Congressional powerhouse who did time for corruption would be passing an envelope purportedly with money in it to a candidate in front a group of people. Nothing wrong with it, just kind of funny.


  27. - 2for2 - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 2:48 pm:

    As gimmicky as Seal’s stunt is, Kirks response is equally predictable and lame. If this is the best these two can come up with lets just ignore the race. Yawn.


  28. - Team America, World Police - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 2:50 pm:

    Wordslinger- nothing wrong with it from Rosti’s point of view. From Seals’ point of view, however, you’d think after all the negative press he got for prematurely claiming he was a professor at NU, and then taking flak from NU students who were concerned his teaching gig amounted to university-sanctioned electioneering, he wouldn’t be so stupid as to take a campaign contribution in front of his class, in an NU classroom. Can’t wait to see what the Daily Northwestern says about this.


  29. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 2:52 pm:

    Did Patti B. accuse the media of planting questions to 4th graders? The Pantagraph article said she didn’t know if kids were smarter now or getting help with their questions. Surprised she didn’t say “my husband’s education policies have really increased your intelligence.”


  30. - Tony @ 30 - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 2:56 pm:

    A cheesy gimmick, indeed, but putting on my amateur lawyer hat, I don’t think it’s anything illegal. After all, no guarantees that the people are going to vote for him, and no guarantees that the people buying the cheap gas live in his district or are even registered to vote.

    On an unrelated note, I do find it funny when people use the phrases “pro-life” and “pro-gun” next to each other. That’s enough outta me.


  31. - JonShibleyFan - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 3:00 pm:

    “Can’t wait to see what the Daily Northwestern says about this.”
    Oh. Not the Daily Northwestern!


  32. - fed up - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 3:05 pm:

    What seals really should point out is the increase in gas prices since the dems took control of congress and the state of Ill. Oh wait nevermind.


  33. - fed up - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 3:07 pm:

    This is as close to a blago interview as the people of Ill. have gotten in a long time. Why wont blago face the press.


  34. - Wild Bill - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 3:09 pm:

    the Spinsisters sent their neices and nephews in as plants


  35. - paddyrollingstone - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 3:25 pm:

    Rich - I may have missed it but did you post Archundit’s recording of Kirk yesterday? I think that with the outlook as lousy as it is for GOP’rs that he may be in real trouble.


  36. - Team America, World Police - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 3:45 pm:

    PRS- don’t blame ya for trying to change the subject when Seals is having such a bad afternoon. B/T taking money in front of his students and the Tribune reporting that his gas stunt “backfired”, (see the story at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-tenth-gas-web-may23,0,5331563.story ) only GRod would call this a good day.


  37. - Bruno Behrend - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 3:48 pm:

    perhaps Lincolnshire is not the ideal place to have the Gas for Votes Scam…why not Waukegan?

    Wumpus,

    Liberals of Seals pedigree like talking about the poor. They don’t actually want to hang out with them. Besides, Linclnshire has MUCH more potential in terms of campaign cash.

    If Kirk was clever, he’d stop complaining to the FEC, and hand out $1.85 gas in N.Chicago and Waukegan, reminding the buyers of the downside of making refineries hard to build and Alaskan oil impossible to produce.

    But clever Republicans are hard to find these days.


  38. - Team America, World Police - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 3:48 pm:

    Whoops- THIS is the “backfired” link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-tenth-gas-web-may23,0,5331563.story


  39. - Ela Observer - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 4:01 pm:

    The fact that Kirk is even bothering to pay attention to Seals says a lot.

    The fact that Kirk believes he needs to accuse Seals of violating federal election law says even more.


  40. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 4:16 pm:

    kirk must have some numbers that makes the race this/close between him and seals otherwise he wouldn’t comment…let alone issue a release.


  41. - 10th Indy - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 4:25 pm:

    What it says is that, even with a 20+ point lead according to internal polls, Kirk is going to campaign hard. He took the media pick-up of a silly political stunt to slam his opponent a good one.


  42. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 4:30 pm:

    I would say that buying gas in the weeks before an election might be questionable.

    But this far out? I think Seals is trying to make an issue of the price of gasoline.

    But maybe Kirk can make a call to the Bush Justice Department and get his opponent prosecuted. Seems to have worked for the Alabama GOP.


  43. - Undercover - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 5:02 pm:

    I have to question the judgment of Seals’ campaign manager after these two mishaps.

    Whether buying gasoline for voters is illegal or not, it sends the absolute wrong message all around. “Vote for me and I’ll give you money. It will be like Christmas every day.” I wonder how Seals’ donor base felt about their money going for that.

    I don’t even know what to say about the Rostenkowski bit. I wonder if it didn’t really happen that way.


  44. - Rob_N - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 5:03 pm:

    Kirk legally uses his franking privileges to mail out pro-Kirk “Updates” all the time.

    And, as Rich mentioned earlier, several others running for office have used the same gas station promo in the past.

    It’s little different than McCain’s “Action Points” that earn supporters tchotchkes like hats or whatnot.

    Republican partisans, are those caps now considered “electioneering” also?

    Gimme a break.

    As for Team America’s strident loathing for Seals (and subsequent water carrying for Kirk)… he again spun Seals’ professorship at Northwestern, again ignoring the fact that common practice among professors with positions at a university is to call themselves … “professors”.

    Give it up, will ya? It’s little different than if someone came along and complained about TA calling himself an “attorney” because he’s a blogger too…

    And finally, one more bit of TA spin to debunk. He infopimps: “and then taking flak from NU students who were concerned his teaching gig amounted to university-sanctioned electioneering.”

    Seals was hardly taking flak from anybody. The hubbub was manufactured by less than a handful of staunchly conservative NU students who appear to have a tendency to complain about anything that has a hint of ‘liberal’ to it and then loudly pumped through the 10th district GOP echo chamber.

    That TA is still grasping onto that tattered straw speaks volumes to how poorly things are shaping up for his side of the aisle.


  45. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 5:11 pm:

    Undercover, is it a waste when candidates engage in media buys?


  46. - Team America, World Police - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 5:16 pm:

    Carl, that misses the point just a bit, don’t you think? Buying ads to influence voters seeks to do it by reason, or emotion, or both–but there’s no material benefit to the recipient of the message. It’s not a quid pro quo like giving them something of value (like discounted gas) in an attempt to curry favor with the voter.


  47. - 10th Indy - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 5:20 pm:

    A campaign media buy better have a message that helps the candidate. There does not seem to be much that helps Seals in this stunt - he is getting blasted in the Trib comments. It may get him some name ID but little of it will be positive.


  48. - Rob_N - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 5:20 pm:

    So TA…

    John McCain and Mark Kirk are buying influence by giving out clothing like shirts and jackets and hats?

    I should think you’d agree that’s a fairly obvious “quid pro quo like giving them something of value (like discounted gas [or a ballcap]) in an attempt to curry favor with the voter.”

    ;)


  49. - Rob_N - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 5:36 pm:

    Undercover,

    I wonder how Republican donor bases feel when Republican candidates engage in similar promotional tactics…

    Then again, they probably feel the same way that Democratic donors feel: okey-dokey.


  50. - Rob_N - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 6:08 pm:

    There are a few problems with the IRP press release…

    - “According to students in the class” — students in the class called up Andy McKenna right after the schoolbell rang? While clearly there is at least one student who took the class for the apparent purpose of monitoring Prof. Dan Seals (rather than actually learning), this “according to students” sounds implausible without any independent third party verification.

    - Also, while “according to students in the class” an envelope was handed over, nobody saw what the contents were and all they claim is that this this happened after Rosti was done — which for all we know may have been after the class was also done.

    Is Dan Seals not supposed to raise money after class now too?

    …Given the history of (ahem) exaggerative spin from Kirk supporters like Team America and others such info from partisan press releases has to be taken with not just a grain but a whole shaker of salt.


  51. - Wild Bill - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 6:24 pm:

    Looks like Capt Kirk is getting a little jumpy. Guess he has a new poll that shows him toasted.
    Yet another statewide GOP hopeful gooooone


  52. - Esteban - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 7:00 pm:

    I’ve been following politics since the ’60s and
    I don’t remember any governor being appointed
    to a vacant Senate seat who was successful in
    tne next election.


  53. Pingback Team Am goes batty while going to bat in the 10th « Illinois Reason - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 7:05 pm:

    […] May 22, 2008 in Congressional Campaigns, Democrats, Republicans by robnesvacil Tags: Dan Seals, gas prices, IL-10, Mark Kirk, Team America Check out Team America and friends carrying water (or should I say “carrying gas”) over at Rich’s place while trying to spin his best baloney about Dan Seals gas price promo at a Lincolnshire station the 10th district. […]


  54. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 7:46 pm:

    people, the line for gas was 1.5 mlles long. This was a success no matter what kirk does.


  55. - ArchPundit - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 7:48 pm:

    ===Carl, that misses the point just a bit, don’t you think? Buying ads to influence voters seeks to do it by reason, or emotion, or both–but there’s no material benefit to the recipient of the message. It’s not a quid pro quo like giving them something of value (like discounted gas) in an attempt to curry favor with the voter.

    This is about the densest discussion I’ve ever seen on campaigns. I’m going to start refusing free beer from candidates from now on. Or pizza….or buttons or bumper stickers or yard signs or just so many other things.

    There is no quid pro quo so there is no violation. The money wasn’t an attempt to buy votes of individuals, but to get attention. It’s not about currying favor, read the cited law–it’s about buying a vote.

    For someone who claims to be a lawyer, you might learn something about the law. Even more amusing, complaints concerning this wouldn’t be going to the FEC, they’d be going to the US Attorney.

    I remember when Jim Talent taught at Washington University between his loss in 2000 and then running in 2002. Strangely enough, everyone acted like adults and didn’t try to turn the classroom into a circus. Too bad some cannot follow that example.


  56. Pingback ArchPundit » Blog Archive » Frank Burns of the Illinois Blogosphere has Vapors Again - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 8:00 pm:

    […] He always has vapors, but for a clown who claims to be a lawyer, he’s really quite funny in how clueless he is about the law. Carl, that misses the point just a bit, don’t you think? Buying ads to influence voters seeks to do it by reason, or emotion, or both-but there’s no material benefit to the recipient of the message. It’s not a quid pro quo like giving them something of value (like discounted gas) in an attempt to curry favor with the voter. […]


  57. - anon - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 8:51 pm:

    Why doesn’t Kirk just remind voters just how much gas prices have gone up since the Dem’s took over Congress two years ago. The Dem’s “NO” Energy Policy has done just as much harm. NO coal. NO drilling. NO Nuc’s. No, NO, NO plan at all.


  58. - To Vote Quimby - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 9:05 pm:

    Patti B. was the one that planted that question with the 4th grader, that way she could put it out there for her hubby to make him feel better. She is as delusional as he is.


  59. - Team America, World Police - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 9:09 pm:

    Wow, I really seem to have struck a chord with some folks, notably Larry H. and Rob N., today. Guess what, guys– buying your volunteers pizza and beer after a day of knocking on doors, or handing out free T-shirts and hats with “Kirk for Congress” or whatever you like, is a lot different than calling the media and announcing to all comers that you’re running for Congress and hosting a give-away, so c’mon over.

    How is that any different from standing on the street corner and saying, I’m Dan Seals, here’s $50, and by the way, I’d appreciate your vote.

    Wonder if he’s going to get a bill from the Lincolnshire police, who I heard were not apprised well in advance of the stunt, and had to call in extra help from Buffalo Grove.


  60. - Team America, World Police - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 9:10 pm:

    Oh, and Rich, you tell the people who were turned away when they stopped handing out the discounted gas at 12:20, after the word went out that it was an hour-long give-away, that it was a “success”. I bet Seals lost a lot more votes than he gained today.


  61. - Chicago Dem - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 9:53 pm:

    Why the ‘hand-wringing’? Take the gas or take the money, or the turkeys etc. during or before election day and vote your conscience.


  62. - Wumpus - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 10:14 pm:

    Perhaps there shoul dbe another inquiry of gas execs and let seals testify


  63. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 10:19 pm:

    ===I bet Seals lost a lot more votes than he gained today.===

    LOL. I seriously doubt that, dude. But go ahead and think what you want. This is America.


  64. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 10:38 pm:

    This gas thing is so “meh.” All I know is after that last press conference he held, Kirk’s definitely not getting the Second Life/Myspace perv vote this time …


  65. - Team America, World Police - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 10:43 pm:

    Right back atcha, Rich. Even the Trib said this stunt “backfired.”


  66. - Rob_N - Thursday, May 22, 08 @ 11:58 pm:

    Anon 8:51 suggests that Kirk note the difference in gas prices between the Republican majority and the Democratic majority….

    First, the Kirk campaign apparently reads this blog closely because earlier news reports (take that Trib story that TA can’t stop referencing) only noted the “concern” that this legal PR move may somehow be “illegal”… The Ch. 7 10pm newscast didn’t even mention the law but did mention that very dollar or so difference.

    Second, the Republican majority had more than a decade (with a Republican president for the last 6 years) to deal with a problem everyone in their right mind predicted. The Dems have had a year and a few months and an opposition president to untangle that mess.

    TA, that Trib story quotes two “average joes” — one Rick Hirschhaut and Jennifer Perelgut.

    Ms. Perelgut offered a favorable quote to the reporter.

    Mr. Hirschhaut apparently sent an email (to the reporter? or to the Kirk campaign who forwarded it to the reporter?) and was negative on the whole thing.

    Turns out Mr. Hirschaut knows Mark Kirk and has worked with him on Capitol Hill.

    Either that Trib reporter just got played by Team Kirk or she’s sympathetic to them, and thus the negative tone of her article.


  67. - ArchPundit - Friday, May 23, 08 @ 12:26 am:

    ===Wow, I really seem to have struck a chord with some folks, notably Larry H. and Rob N., today

    Not the one you think. People went to prison for gifts of around $5 to $10 in East Saint Louis for a scam of bribing people to vote for a particular candidate. It’s not the value conveyed, it’s the quid pro quo. This isn’t rocket science, it’s well settled law. In fact, the overall spent by the Seals campaign is less than the total value given away in street money by many campaigns so the shock exhibited is a bit hard to take seriously.


  68. - Team America, World Police - Friday, May 23, 08 @ 7:08 am:

    Glad to hear that the vote police are effective in East St. Louis. Maybe we can get them to come up to Waukegan and North Chicago for some voter integrity work to bust the street money pushers who work the precincts on election day.


  69. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, May 23, 08 @ 7:18 am:

    Channel 2 Chicago reported the Seals Campaign spent over $1,000 on 50 cars, or an average of $20.00 a car. You would think a station that large would be able to pump gas to more cars in an hour but some news reports claim the stunt was shut down after a half hour when traffic was snarled.

    Seals is also denying that he was trying to buy votes but funny, newspaper photos show people pumping gas holding Seals bumper stickers and TV showed someone behind the wheel waiting in line reading Seals literature.

    If he was giving away gasoline just to be a nice guy, then why the campaign materials? And why the nervous denials on camera?

    Nice publicity stunt. The U.S. Attorney should look into this one. Add Rostenkowski handing Seals a campaign contribution in the classroom Seals was teaching at Northwestern and Seals comes across as a fellow with some serious judgment problems.

    Last time Kirk allowed Seals free reign until the end of the campaign when it was getting apparent that Seals was gaining on him. This time, Kirk clearly isn’t let Seals play fast and loose with the law or the facts.


  70. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, May 23, 08 @ 7:21 am:

    I should have added that Northwestern University should be concerned over campaigning and fund raising on their campus. Aren’t they a tax exempt organization? With the IRS investigating Church campaign activity doesn’t this fall into the same category?


  71. - VanillaMan - Friday, May 23, 08 @ 8:40 am:

    If Obama is elected this November, Blagojevich will appoint himself senator.

    He is through with his current job. He is ready to move onto bigger things. He still has Oval Office aspirations, just as Obama had when he was running in 2004 for his first senate term.


  72. - Ahem - Friday, May 23, 08 @ 9:00 am:

    Too funny — all of it.


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