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Friday political updates

Friday, Oct 30, 2009

* Democratic US Senate underdog Jacob Meister begins running his first radio ads next Tuesday. Click here to listen. The Spanish language ad is here. From the campaign…

Person-on-the-street interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. English-speaking constituents can be heard in ads on Illinois Radio Network, WBBM, WXRT, WCPT, WMBD and WSMT. Spanish-speaking constituents can be heard on an ad, which is airing exclusively on WLEY.

Meister has put a million bucks of his own cash into the race.

* Democratic state treasurer candidate Robin Kelly finally filed her nominating petitions yesterday. The Green Party slate filed its petitions today.

* I told subscribers about this yesterday…

Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a former independent alderman and state senator, is attempting a political comeback, gathering signatures to run for Cook County Board against Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno.

Garcia was a leader of the independent bloc early in Mayor Daley’s administration, fighting for affordable housing programs, then he was elected to the state senate.

Moreno is in real trouble. He’s proudly voted with Todd Stroger so often that his more conservative Democratic base will despise him, and he’s a “regular” so the independents won’t love him, either. If Garcia can raise the cash, he has an excellent shot.

This is part of a broader Latino battle, by the way. The Sun-Times touches on that today

Garcia is part of a slate Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) is running to oust Regular Democrats on the Southwest Side. Another is Rudy Lozano, Jr., son of the slain community activist, who is running for state representative. Garcia is godfather to Lozano’s brother.

* Republican gubernatorial candidate Andy McKenna is getting a lot of press for his online “Hair” video and TV ad. From the Pantagraph

If McKenna’s goal was to stand out from the crowd and attract more attention to his campaign, he at least partially succeeded: He got us to write an editorial about it.

MSNBC’s Countdown featured the video last night

The vid was also spotlighted on MSNBC’s Morning Joe

But rival Dan Proft is not impressed

This may be unorthodox for a rival candidate to say, but I urge you to watch [the McKenna video]. In doing so, after the entertaining intro, you will discover that not one policy position is offered, not one specific solution is advanced or even alluded to by McKenna. Lots of gauzy images of him in imaginary board rooms, strolling down Chicago streets, and winding down the day at his deluxe apartment in the sky in front of a crackling fire.

McKenna offers only poll-tested buzzwords.

In 2006, Rod Blagojevich’s re-election theme was, “Getting Things Done for People”. The details of what things and for which people were purposely absent. It was all about Rod.

Andy McKenna has borrowed that template. He touts himself as “the quiet cure”. What specifically is the cure and who gets it? Why, of course, Andy is the cure. It is all about Andy. Don’t fret about the details.

* We already talked about Republican US Senate candidate Mark Kirk’s new radio ad. But if you want to listen to it, just hit the play button

The Plum Line comments

But it seems striking that Kirk is denouncing the public option in such harsh terms in one of the bluest states in the country, and Dems are likely to jump on this as another sign of just how far to the right the GOP base has drifted.

* The staff of Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski didn’t see my e-mail the other day, so they didn’t respond to our questions. Here is the campaign’s response…

Q: If national health care includes an opt-out option for states, and the decision came down to you, would you opt-out Illinois?

A: While it’s hard to say exactly what we would do until we see what “option” we are deciding upon, our administration would probably lean in favor of “opting out” of a national system. Of course, as one of the comments alluded to, if an “opt-out” is gamed so that no state would do so, this becomes a moot question. That said, an opt-out would be more likely if the Federal Government gave the states a set of guidelines, provided states with a per capita block grant, and left it to the states to decide upon the best way to meet the guidelines.

Under this scenario, it would not be difficult to determine which deal was better for Illinois Citizens. If we thought we could do better, we would opt-out. If the Federal Deal was better for Illinois citizens, we wouldn’t.

Specifically, an Andrzejewski Administration would lean in favor providing citizens with as much flexibility as possible in choosing their health insurance and giving them control of as much of the allocation of their health care dollar as possible. We would also make sure that for any hospital ,health insurance company, or health firm doing business with the “state sytem,” it would have to open up its entire cost structure. For more details on the direction we would like to take, go to

In a specific answer to Palos Park Bob, that fits inside this answer, Yes, we would strongly consider “requiring Illinois Health Insurance companies doing business in Illinois to create an unsubsidized catastrophic care pool for small companies and uninsured indivivuals.”

Our state (and nation) is rich enough to provide access to health care for its citizens with out moving toward the failed policies of “single payer.” Single payer nations are moving away from that model (out of economic necessity), and there is no reason for America, or Illinois, to move toward it.

Q: What are you willing to do to modify current public pension policy to bring public pensions and pension benefits into line with what the legislature is willing contribute?

A: The main problem with pensions is that the state’s contribution is done through the appropriations process in the General Assembly. While the state constitution requires that pensions be paid, it does not require that pensions be funded.

The General Assembly has underfunded the pensions for decades and has thus shown that it isn’t up to the task of paying the pensions, though it sure has enjoyed expanding benefits. Unfortunately, there is no legal recourse to cut existing vested payouts. The only solution is to restructure the pension system.

This is the direction an Andrzejewski Administration would take.

Pension payments should be the obligation of the employing agency directly out of their own budgets. Saddling future taxpayers with unknown liabilities is immoral.

The employing agency’s contribution to worker pensions shall be paid at the same time employee contribution is taken out of the checks.

All pension benefits will be negotiated directly with the employing agency with no ability of the state to “add” benefits across the board.

A legal “cause of action” will be created so any employee, union, or pension system could sue the employing agency for non-payment of pension contributions and compel payment.

Pension benefits and calculations can be modified for future employees as economic circumstances dictate.
Of course, those rules should apply to every other governmental body in Illinois, to the extent that they don’t already.

Lastly, our transparency policy, which puts every dime of taxpayer spending online, ensures that every obligation is calculable, and is met. This augments the necessary reforms above because it opens up access for press and public scrutiny.

Rate it, please.

* Related…

* Senate candidate Hoffman meets with Axelrod

* Democratic primary shaping up in Quad-Cities House district:

* Southland no Bore for 2010 election

* Karl Rove to appear at fundraiser for Rutherford

* Suburban reaction divides along party lines

* Illinois Senate Unanimously Overrides Gubernatorial Veto of HB 723

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oakparker - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 1:24 pm:

    Re Garcia. I recall that HDO put loads of workers out on the streets on the election day when Garcia lost his seat. Is there any reason not to expect the same scenario to play out in the upcoming primary? (Even if HDO isn’t around, there are other Daley affiliated groups).

  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 1:26 pm:

    A campaign’s first ad is usually intended to get the candidate’s name out their and boost name recognition. Seems like the McKenna campaign hit a home run in that area.

  3. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 1:28 pm:

    But it seems striking that Kirk is denouncing the public option in such harsh terms in one of the bluest states in the country, and Dems are likely to jump on this as another sign of just how far to the right the GOP base has drifted.


    Rich, didn’t you even state earlier–or yesterday–on another thread that even the Indies are more Conservative today?

    Hmmm…wonder why.

    Balance needed MUCH, maybe? That’s my take.

  4. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 1:29 pm:

    Anon 1:26, that handle’s taken already. Please post under another. Thank you!!!

  5. - shore - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 1:29 pm:

    I think Mark’s worried about a tea party challenge. Otherwise it makes no sense to waste money on this ad. This isn’t florida where the moderate embraced obama and you had a viable conservative option or even upstate new york where it’s small enough that you can come from nowhere.

    It’s not signed sealed delivered yet.

    If McKenna had all this money and brilliance to waste where was it the last 4 years?

  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 1:33 pm:

    ===even the Indies are more Conservative today? ===

    They’re more conservative as a total group because hordes of people have recently stopped self-identifying as Republicans.

  7. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 1:35 pm:

    Yeah, but correct if I’m wrong: You think all those new Indies are only disillusioned Rs?

  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 1:35 pm:

    Yes, the vast majority of the new ones are.

  9. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 1:38 pm:

    OK. Granted. VAST majority, but what about next year, when the climate changes even more or GOTV on the D side isn’t perhaps as successful as it was during the Prez election (e.g., the “Hangover”)?

  10. - Abe Froman - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 1:43 pm:

    Nearly all the polling data (no Rich, I’m not going to track it down for you, you’ve seen it) has shown the drop in support for Obamacare among independents in recent months. That is where Kirk wins or loses this race. They are concerned, they are anxious about the Dems’ bills and they are receptive to alternative ideas that are less overwhelming.

    Kirk is also touting the fact that he’s not just against Obamacare, he has put forth proposals (months ago, just not covered extensively) of his own. That’s important to independents also.

    It is a good ad. Public option supporters, by and large, are not going to get him elected. It is those who are leery of or undecided about it that he needs.

  11. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 1:55 pm:

    The governor’s race will not turn on national events (health care reform, or whatever). It will turn on how poorly the state is doing economically and whether Candidate A is thought to have a better chance than Candidate B in making it better.

    Illinois is a solid Dem state and Kirk or any other GOPer will have a hard time convincing voters that the “cut taxes” mantra is the answer to what ails Illinois. Opposition to health care reform, opposition to everything Obama proposes, is the only national GOP policy. It does not translate well to state-level politics.

    Quinn is not seen (as of yet) as being tied closely to Blago, and it’s probably a waste of time for the Rep candidate to try to do so. He will most likely win the Dem primary and be a semi-incumbent, i.e., with the advantages thereof but not nailed for Blago’s misdeeds. That could turn, especially as the Blago trial refreshes memories next summer. Fortunately for Quinn, Blago the game show contestant is seen more as a joke than a crook lately.

    My prediction is a close race but with Quinn coming out on top. He’s not my candidate, but I think events are turning in his favor.

  12. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 2:01 pm:

    Good point, Abe.

    In the last MONTH or so alone-in addition to Healthcare–Kirk’ been working on helping:

    - Our Vets and their families,

    - Communities affected by gang violence,

    - Families with children who would like to one day go to college, and

    - Those who are being persecuted for their faith.

    Supporting links:,CST-NWS-lovell25.article

    Renegade, maybe, but a bad one? Seems to have his heart in the right place.

  13. - been there - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 2:10 pm:

    i’m nearly positive that i heard a jacob meister ad on wbbm radio early this week. it was just, “My name is Jacob Meister and you’ve never heard of me…”

  14. - John Bambenek - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 2:47 pm:

    It’s really hard to say that Illinois is such an epic hard left state when the GOP has been in such disarray for a decade. Elections turn on many factors, ideology being one but not the only one.

    Did the GOP lose the 14th because of ideological shift or because of GOP dysfunction?

    Stop reading the polls… they lie to you.

  15. - The Doc - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 2:52 pm:


    You’re not exactly a beacon of objective reasoning on this issue, or any pertaining to Kirk. Just sayin’.

    Kirk’s mind-numbing flip-flop on cap and trade, trite GOP talking points on health care, and general rush to mollify the hard right at the expense of more centrists and independents has destroyed his credibility, in my opinion.

    I say that as a former resident of the 10th who didn’t always agree with him, but respected his rationale, which usually was supported by thorough research and careful deliberation.

    He’s apparently ditched that modus operandi, and I think it likely to bite him in the general.

  16. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 3:20 pm:

    Kirk’s mind-numbing flip-flop on cap and trade, trite GOP talking points on health care, and general rush to mollify the hard right at the expense of more centrists and independents has destroyed his credibility, in my opinion.

    Doc, while some consider those who switch their position on an issue when running for a different office (generally, higher) as “flip-flopping” on the issue, there are those who appreciate the fact that the Candidate is actually taking his “new” Constituency into consideration–as he’s campaigning–to ensure that he communicates how he plans to represent them, if elected.

    Two completely different groups of Constituents–and “scopes” if you will, Doc.

    With regard to healthcare, details pertaining to the Reform Act that Kirk has been pushing were published on the 10th’s website right around the time he began hosting his Town Halls. And–I believe–that earlier today, an email went out with some details pertaining to HR 3962 (Pelosi’s healthcare bill) and 3970, which Kirk introduced.

    Just sayin, Doc. Give some of us a bit more credit–we’re exercising “due diligence” in making sure we’re analyzing the data.

  17. - The Doc - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 3:26 pm:

    Point noted, Anon. It doesn’t change my view that Kirk has gravitated towards positions that are inconsistent with his prior stances, and for reasons that are intellectually dishonest based on his rationale for supporting previous said positions.

    Perhaps I’m “tougher” on him because my expectations were higher, or my experience more personal than with most other statewide candidates.

  18. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 3:43 pm:

    John Bambenek - Are you including Rasmussen polls in with that statement?

  19. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 3:48 pm:

    More than conservative voters, Kirk is keeping right-wing activists and money people off his back with his health care stances.

    Voters are a lot smarter and aren’t really into litmus tests.

    The health-care reform debate is one of the biggest paper tigers ever, to this point. Only the moon-howlers are into it, mostly for reasons that have nothing to do with health care. Is it a big point of discussion in your every day life?

    Generally, here’s how it goes: if you have a decent job, you pay through the nose for insurance so you don’t run the risk of losing your house to medical bills.

    If you don’t have a decent job or insurance, you put off care and then get charged through the nose when you need it. If you don’t have a house that you could possibly lose, you blow off the bills, the medical people eat them and pass on the loss to those who do pay — the insured.

    That’s the de facto public option in effect today. We’re not even close to wrapping our minds around the costs of our ever-older population and ever-more-expensive health care options.

  20. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 3:53 pm:

    I understand perfectly, Doc. But on a separate note re: expectations: Everything I’ve seen for quite some time now indicates that he’s pushed himself harder than most. Don’t let up on him, but give at least some credit where it’s due.

  21. - winco - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 4:07 pm:

    Meister’s ads have been on WCPT all week

  22. - Levois - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 4:53 pm:

    The Morning Joe clip was goofy. He talks like Ousted governor was doing all these things and that people were out to GET him.

  23. - Okay Then... - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 5:03 pm:

    I was downtown yesterday and was stopped by a Hughes volunteer collecting petition signatures. Poor thing looked like she had been out there for a while. She had a page and a half full, though.
    I didn’t sign because I do not support him for the senate, and I politely told the volunteer that. She was polite about it too.

  24. - True Conservative - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 10:58 pm:

    As usual, Proft is the only Republican Gubernatorial candidate making sense.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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