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Schock hit; Seals whacked

Thursday, Sep 25, 2008

* Bernie Schoenburg takes a look at 18th Congressional District Democratic underdog Colleen Callahan’s new TV ad. Callahan is up against Republican Aaron Schock. Here’s the text of the ad…

“I’m running for Congress after 30 years as a farm reporter, mom and a businesswoman. My opponent is 27, but that isn’t the problem. He wants to sell nuclear weapons to Taiwan. He’s taken thousands in contributions from Big Oil, voted against money for families of soldiers killed in Iraq, and then voted himself a pay raise. At 27, that’s a pretty bad record. I want to go to Congress to fight for you.”

* Bernie’s analysis

The “pay raise” vote, the Callahan campaign says, is a reference to House Bill 3866, which included money to fund a 3.5 percent increase in pay for constitutional officers and legislators in a near $60 billion state budget a year ago.

The Callahan campaign itself shows how its selective use of votes means the opponent can’t escape the venom of this ad. While it says he voted against “money for families of soldiers killed in Iraq,” the written explanation I received from Callahan campaign manager Terry Towery said the bill was Senate Bill 241, a supplemental budget bill with money for the military families. But that explanation also says Schock “voted against the bill because of the 9.6 percent salary increase for state lawmakers.”

So they slam him for approving billions for a state budget — which obviously included good things to help lots of people — because of some money for legislators. Then they slam him for a much smaller bill that rejected much more money for legislators. Quite questionable.

* Aaron Schock raised $700,000 during President Bush’s fundraising visit to Peoria. But he won’t reimburse local governments for their costs

Aaron Schock says demanding repayment of an estimated $38,000 in city costs for President George W. Bush’s visit is just politics.

“The stunt that’s being pulled right now could have been done weeks ago,” the Republican candidate for the 18th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives told the Journal Star editorial board Wednesday. “It’s obviously a political move.” […]

At a news conference at City Hall, Democratic challenger Colleen Callahan called on Schock to pay the entire amount back to taxpayers. She said since the event was “exclusive” and for the purposes of Schock’s campaign, it wasn’t fair for taxpayers to foot the bill.

“Do the right thing,” she said. “Be fair and pay back the money.”

* Schock was upset with this Peoria Journal Star editorial yesterday

Regardless of whether they support state Rep. Aaron Schock’s bid for Congress, Peoria taxpayers should not be required to donate to Schock’s campaign. […]

There was no public component to the president’s visit; the public should not have to pay, period. The city should bill the candidate for services rendered.

* Meanwhile, in another race

A Republican campaign group stormed into a hotly contested Northwest suburban congressional race today with a “substantial” ad buy to help U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk.

Freedom’s Watch, which has connections to former top advisers to President George Bush, launched a cable ad accusing challenger Dan Seals of wanting to raise taxes.

The ad urges viewers to call Seals and tell him, “High taxes cost us too much.” […]

Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer and other key Bush aides have had a controlling role in the organization, which does not have to report donors under federal campaign laws.

* Seals responds via an email to supporters

A right-wing, privately funded swift-boat style group called Freedom’s Watch made a $430,000+ cable advertising buy attacking Dan. You may have even seen their latest attack ad that was put on the air today throughout the 10th District of Illinois. Unlike 527 groups, Freedom’s Watch is a 501(c)(4) organization, allowing it to conceal financial contributors.

Freedom’s Watch is bankrolled by Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire Las Vegas Republican, and the group has been described as the successor of the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” group that attacked John Kerry’s military record in 2004.

* The GOP Team America blog has set up an anti Seals site which lays out the case that Seals favors higher taxes. Seals has his own anti Kirk site.

* Here’s the ad…

I don’t think it’s very good, but they sure are pushing a lot of ratings points.

* Related…

* Ozinga, Wallace back out of candidate forum: “We’re not sure exactly why he (Ozinga) decided to do this and make these accusations. It really was our intention and Governors State’s intention to provide an educational forum for the voters. People were looking forward to hearing what a fellow businessman (Ozinga) had in mind in serving in Congress.”

* Congressional candidates drop forum

* Canadian National Rail Purchase May Face U.S. Hurdle (Update3)

* Bill would give communities more say in rail purchases

* House panel approves stricter rules on railroad mergers

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - anon - Thursday, Sep 25, 08 @ 1:25 pm:

    At this point, the only question worth pondering is… who will the dems appoint to fill (a) Obama’s US Senate seat and Halvorson’s Ill. Senate seat?

  2. - grand old partisan - Thursday, Sep 25, 08 @ 1:37 pm:

    If you want to make an issue out of Schock’s age, then just go ahead and do it. Bringing it up only to dismiss it as superficial just insults everyone’s intelligence. Hey, that give me a great idea for a response ad:

    “Colleen Callahan is an idiot, but that isn’t the problem. It’s that she thinks you are.”

  3. - anon - Thursday, Sep 25, 08 @ 1:40 pm:

    Nice try by Callahan - but probably too little, way too late.

    the negative adds in the Presidential race dont even twist things up this much.

  4. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Sep 25, 08 @ 1:49 pm:

    ==(Schock) said Sept. 30 campaign disclosure forms will show the event garnered about $700,000, with expenses of $150,000.==

    Even adding the $32K Peoria wants, he still nets out over half a million dollars. I think disagreeing with this bill is a mistake. How much of a bump would he get if he rounded up to $35K and presented the check publicly? It’s going to cost more to repair his image…
    His statement about concerts may also be wrong–I’m not familiar with this exact venue but most halls get billed for traffic duty.

  5. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Sep 25, 08 @ 2:44 pm:

    ==A right-wing, privately funded swift-boat style group…==

    “swift-boat style”


  6. - Not Jason Bere - Thursday, Sep 25, 08 @ 3:02 pm:

    -Dan’s press release was flagrantly inaccurate. They are not Kirk’s hit men, that would be illegal for him to work with them.

    -This will obviously help Kirk, but they did run ads in two races deep in GOP territory in the South, both of which the GOP surprisingly lost earlier this year.

  7. - adam smith - Thursday, Sep 25, 08 @ 3:09 pm:

    Poor Dan is being polluted by the Dem flacks who have descended from DC to play in the mud. The national Dem campaign committee can come out and throw tons of money at attacking Kirk, but no one is allowed to do it to poor little Dan. I guess he really is “Obama-lite.” Seals knows he can’t possibly match up with Kirk on issues so it’s all about vague promises of “change” and fiece personal attacks on his opponent. It’s clear Dan is still not close to being ready for prime time!

  8. - Leroy - Thursday, Sep 25, 08 @ 4:43 pm:

    What is the precedent for paying local governments when a big shot campaigner comes to town?

    Surely President Clinton came to Illinois while president to stump for candidates…probably even after he was president. Did those candidates reimburse local governments?

    This shouldn’t be anything new. What is the precedent?

  9. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Sep 25, 08 @ 5:20 pm:

    The “President Precedent” is unclear and inconsistent. Were AA Schock, I would write the check and move on, but I don’t necessarily agree that he’s required to do so.

  10. - dan l - Thursday, Sep 25, 08 @ 6:31 pm:

    Clubbed. Seals was clubbed.

  11. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 25, 08 @ 7:14 pm:

    Schock seems to be in the home stretch — he should write the check and figure out what to do the next time? Why give an opening?

    And if I recall, Bush didn’t come to campaign for Schock, making public appearances. It was just a private fundraiser.

  12. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 8:29 am:

    ==Bush didn’t come to campaign for Schock==

    I think adding a half-million to his checkbook counts as campainging. Cheez….

  13. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 8:59 am:

    The distinction I’m making is that the president wasn’t out in public campaigning. He was strictly at a private fundraiser. So there was no ancillary benefit in which the good folks of Peoria got to see and hear their president. Therefore, the sole beneficiary was Schock and he should pay.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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