* Congressman Mark Kirk says he will make a decision about running for statewide office “by the end of next month.” He told NBC5 that he wants to read the Blagojevich indictment before making a final decision.
Asked if he’d made any downstate trips to learn more about the state, Kirk said he’s so far been to McHenry, DuPage and Champaign counties. [Hat tip: Team America]
* I asked a source close to Sheriff Tom Dart yesterday about whether Dart might be interested in running for statewide office. I’ll save the response for subscribers, but CBS2 talked to Dart himself…
Sheriff Tom Dart seems to be everywhere these days. He’s arresting sex offenders, tackling the dark side of the Internet and rescuing puppies. He’s gone after cemetery vandals, helped to run a sting aimed at burglars, and Monday, in another moment made for TV, specifically Dr. Phil, Dart took on prostitutes using the Craigslist Web site. He’s a media regular.
So, is he running or what?
“People have talked to me about other opportunities out there,” Dart told CBS 2.
If Lisa Madigan runs for governor, as expected, some Democrats want Dart to run to replace her as state attorney general. If that doesn’t happen, Dart may against Todd Stroger for Cook County Board president. […]
“I can’t think of a scenario where I would not be running for re-election,” Dart said earlier this month. “I couldn’t be more honest with you, if I wanted to.”
CBS2 asked Republican strategist and Cicero town/township/park district/TIF district spokesperson Dan Proft his opinion about Dart. Maybe they should’ve also asked Proft about the quite weird but oddly persistent and credible reports that Proft wants to run for governor. I just tried calling him, but there was no answer, so I left a message.
* The Illinois Republican Party responds to yesterday’s announcement by Alexi Giannoulias that he won’t take corporate PAC money or federal lobbyist cash in his US Senate bid…
In an attempt to hide his record of questionable loans to crime figures and willingness to look the other way on Rod Blagojevich’s flagrant corruption, Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias announced today that his Senate campaign will refuse donations from corporate PACs and federal lobbyists.
“No amount of phony reform and renewal pledges from Alexi Giannoulias can hide his shameful history of bankrolling mobsters and convicted felons like Tony Rezko,” said ILGOP Spokesman Lance Trover.
The Giannoulias family bank, Broadway bank, made millions of dollars in loans to Tony Rezko as well as Michael Giorango and Boris Stratievsky, convicted felons and reputed mob figures. These loans were made while Alexi Giannoulias was the chief loan officer.
“If Mr. Giannoulias wants to kick off his campaign by talking about reform then he should begin by fully explaining why, throughout the last six years, he loaned millions of dollars to mob figures and endorsed Rod Blagojevich for re-election in 2006,” added Trover.
In addition, Mr. Giannoulias apparently has no problem with unions attempting to “buy a seat at the table”, as he neglected to ban the labor contributions that bankrolled his Illinois Treasurer campaign to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.
* Sen. Rutherford is gearing up for treasurer…
Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is headlining a fundraiser for state Sen. Dan Rutherford, who’s interested in running for Illinois treasurer.
A downstate Republican, Rutherford says he plans to announce when the General Assembly is on Easter break that he will form an exploratory committee.
* Chicago Public Radio talks to state Rep. Julie Hamos about her future…
An Illinois state representative says she’s interested in running for two high-profile offices in next year’s election. But Evanston Democrat Julie Hamos says everything is in a “holding pattern” for now.
As we’ve discussed before, Hamos is thinking about running for attorney general or Congress, if Jan Schakowsky defies expectations and runs for US Senate.
HAMOS: Some musical chairs have to take place. People are judging where the state’s going, how well we can solve the problems facing us, and nobody’s quite jumping in to anything quite yet.
With a primary election in Illinois just ten months away, Hamos needs to organize and start lining up contributors - efforts, she says, that are already underway.
Petitions go out just over four months from now. Time’s a-wastin’.
Hamos is avoiding any firm position on possibly the most politically explosive issue right now in Illinois: Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed income tax hike. She says she wants more answers about the state’s finances.
That does put her in a bind.
…Adding… Ald. Preckwinkle appears to be using her vote against the Chicago parking meter contract to her advantage in the county board presidency bid.
* Giannoulias to decline special interest cash
* Treasurer says he won’t accept lobbyist cash
* Editorial: Quigley for 5th District seat : A brief word about Pulido. She is the founder of the Illinois Minuteman Project, a far right group that battles illegal immigration. The national Republican Party is offering Pulido no help, which speaks volumes about her candidacy. She is well outside the mainstream.