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Biggert claims huge lead

Thursday, Jul 31, 2008

* Two events have helped create a minor buzz about Republican Congresscritter Judy Biggert’s reelection chances. First, Biggert’s Democratic opponent Scott Harper raised almost as much as she did in the recent reporting quarter. Then, CQ Politics made a minor adjustment to her ranking

• Illinois’ 13th (New Rating: Republican Favored. Previous Rating: Safe Republican). Republican Rep. Judy Biggert , who has centrist GOP leanings, has been very politically secure in a mostly Republican-leaning district that includes Naperville, Bolingbrook and other suburbs southwest of Chicago.

But she may need to keep an eye on Democratic businessman Scott Harper, who already has raised more money than 2006 Democratic nominee Joseph Shannon, who won 42 percent of the vote in what was the best showing by a Democrat against Biggert in her five terms. Harper’s campaign is serious enough that he’s attracted contributions from Illinois Sen. Richard J. Durbin and Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the political arm of House Democrats, hasn’t included Illinois’ 13th on its lists of highly competitive Republican-held districts, and Biggert still is strongly favored. But this a race to keep an eye on for signs of increased competitiveness.

That last graf is the most important. CQ is just saying that the race might be tighter than first thought.

* And now, Biggert has released a poll to try to tamp down the buzz

Republicans are seeking to downplay any talk that Rep. Judy Biggert (R) could be in a competitive race after her opponent outraised her in the second quarter, and they passed around an internal poll Wednesday that showed Biggert way ahead.

The Biggert poll, conducted by American Viewpoint Inc., was done in mid-June and showed the incumbent holding a 55-30 lead, with a job approval rating of 67 percent.

Democrat Scott Harper’s campaign disputed those numbers, citing its own polling data, which it says shows the incumbent’s job approval below 50 percent.

Three things: That Biggert survey is a pretty old poll. However, note that Harper’s campaign didn’t relase the head-to-heads or even “deserves to be reelected” numbers. And, Rod Blagojevich’s job approval was way below 50 in 2006, meaning that this number, in and of itself, is not a great guage.

* LCV has the Biggert poll

An American Viewpoint (R) poll; conducted 6/16-17 for Rep. Judy Biggert (R); surveyed 400 LVs; margin of error +/- 4.9% (release, 7/30). Tested: Biggert and businessman Scott Harper (D).

General Election Matchup

J. Biggert 55%

S. Harper 30

Undec 13

Re-Elect Biggert

Re-elect 55%

Someone else 28

Fav/Unfav

J. Biggert 67%/18%

Biggert As Rep.

Approve 67%

Disapprove 19

* Meanwhile, the Sun-Times is playing catch-up to a story that’s been bubbling around the blogs for a while now…

Concrete mogul Marty Ozinga’s companies racked up $59,000 in unpaid taxes over the last 20 years, according to documents provided to the Sun-Times by political operatives.

The tax liens have been filed against the Republican congressional candidate’s companies in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. Some are fines on his trucks that pour concrete in Chicago.

The response is a bit weak…

Ozinga’s campaign notes his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Debbie Halvorson was fined $44 after being late on a $910 real estate tax payment for her Springfield condominium. She also was fined $25 for letting a corporation she founded lapse after not using it.

* Related…

* Ozinga backs return of renewable energy credit

* Candidate touts benefits of wind energy

* ELECTION ‘08: Halvorson brings campaign to Washington

* Roskam slams illegal immigration practices

* Roskam Fighting Local Hero

* Hastert now ‘senior adviser‘ to DC lobbying firm

* Candidate dumped from ballot

* Durbin on the Leading Edge

- Posted by Rich Miller        


13 Comments
  1. - stones902 - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 10:05 am:

    Ozinga has no traction. Not paying your fair share of taxes is the death penalty when you are running for political office. I am afraid Marty is finding out that you had better be 100% clean when you put yourself under the microscope.


  2. - John Bambenek - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 10:18 am:

    Not that I’m a big fan, but candidates don’t win or lose in a vacuum… and since you brought up the death penalty analogy, Halvorson has been executioner for every piece of good legislation (or bad) that isn’t favored by Jones.

    She isn’t exactly sainted herself. It’ll be an A or B race and it’s a question of which candidate can make the other appear worse, I’m afraid.


  3. - Ghost - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 10:32 am:

    Biggert I think is starting to see some backlash for being a bit too close to Bush. It was not a good press move for her to indicate she opposed impeaching Bush. She would have been better off to deflect and say she would wait and see if charges were brought, and if so she would give them do consideration and vote based upon whether she beleived they were supported.


  4. - stones902 - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 10:38 am:

    John - I agree that Halvorson has been a little too cozy with Jones for my taste as well. That being said, having run for office several times over has put her under scrutiny several times. This is Ozinga’s first crack at politics and he is finding out the hard way that you better not have any skeletons in your closet.

    BTW, when you are running for office how can your website be www.iamnotapolitician.com? Pretty ironic don’t you think?


  5. - Slightly Right - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 10:40 am:

    If Harper was gaining any traction on Biggert, he would have released his polling. The fact that he chose not to release the polling is very telling.


  6. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 11:06 am:

    I knew this article about Ozinga was negative the moment the reporter introduced Ozinga as a “mogul”.

    When reporters wants to smear Ozinga, they introduce him as either a “mogul” or as a “magnate”. That is the first clue to a biased article. There are plenty of articles that do not use these negative descriptors, but many of the the Chicago Sun-Times or the Chicago Tribune reporters are biased against Ozinga. They prefer the ugly anti-Ozinga labels being pushed by the DCCC.

    By labeling Ozinga as a “mogul” or as a “magnate”, Democrats are twisting him into a disconnected rich businessman. When reporters parrot the DCCC’s labels, they reinforce their own bias against him.


  7. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 11:10 am:

    Halvorson’s races for State Senate has been easy and ever since she beat Aldo DeAngelis she hasn’t had a political opponent effectively challenging her. Just because she has been elected four times doesn’t mean she has been under scrutiny.


  8. - Hanging Chad - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 12:42 pm:

    If you look at Harper’s FEC report, his polling data appears older than Biggerts by several months. If Harper’s poll is that good, why didn’t they share more?


  9. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 12:58 pm:

    I dunno, VM, a guy who supposedly has secret passageways in his nifty mansion is probably a “mogul.” Just sayin. lol


  10. - Ghost - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 1:59 pm:

    Now Rich, “Devil in the White City” showed us other reasons for some Chicagoans to have secret passages in their mansions.


  11. - 11th dist dem - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 2:52 pm:

    This stuff and the fact Ozinga is trying to grab land from an 83 year old farmer and then changed his story in court is going to pile up eventually. Not a politician? Yeah right. He’s running for political office and has spent years angling for government contracts.


  12. - JonShibleyFan - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 6:57 pm:

    According to Miriam Webster:

    Main Entry:
    mag·nate
    Pronunciation:
    \ˈmag-ˌnāt, -nət\
    Function:
    noun
    Etymology:
    Middle English magnates, plural, from Late Latin, from Latin magnus
    Date:
    15th century
    : a person of rank, power, influence, or distinction often in a specified area

    Is Mr. Ozinga not “a person of rank, power, influence or distinction” in the field of concrete?

    A simple “yes” or “no” will suffice.


  13. - PFK - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 9:32 pm:

    Seeing as Biggert left out 1/3 of the candidates from her poll, I don’t see how this can be considered accurate.


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