* Jim Allen of the Chicago Board of Elections explains what’s going on behind the scenes in the case that’s attempting to force a special election for US Senate. As we’ve already discussed, the appellate bench has ruled that the trial judge can order a special election and that federal laws outweigh state concerns. From an Allen e-mail…
Technically, the new opinion is silent on the question of whether a special primary must be conducted, leaving the District Court to resolve the process of determining who the candidates would be for the Special Election for the last weeks of the current term. However, in District Court this week, the attorneys and Judge John Grady were contemplating an order that would have the parties select the nominees by Aug. 19. They also discussed how such an order might have any independent candidates who qualify for the general election ballot also appear on the special election contest just above it.
Under this scenario, the Nov. 2 ballot would have voters first make a selection for the unexpired portion of the current U.S. Senate term, and then, directly below that, make a selection for the full six-year term.
The trial judge has moved the next status hearing up to Monday.
* In other federal-level political news, our quote of the day goes to Republican congressional candidate Adam Kinzinger, whose claims about his military service record were recently slammed by his Democratic opponent’s campaign…
“You say you honor veterans — until a veteran gets in your way and threatens you politically,” Kinzinger says.
Kinzinger, 32, who jumped into politics at age 20 to win a McLean County board seat and is challenging Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.), answered the call of Sept. 11, 2001, and enlisted in the Air Force. When his campaign website went up last year, a staffer wrote that reserve officer Kinzinger “now serves as a pilot with the Air Force Special Operations Command.” Indeed, at the time Kinzinger was on Special Ops duty. It was a temporary assignment, but after he returned to civilian life, the wording was not changed. When a complaint surfaced that Kinzinger was trying to make Special Ops seem like a permanent posting, the wording on the website was changed to “has served” and added his work in other units.
Kinzinger says that produced online chatter and e-mails alleging he inflated his record. Kinzinger, with 140 combat missions over Afghanistan and Iraq and duty ferrying wounded warriors out of Afghanistan, understandably takes umbrage at attempts to disparage his service. This allegation is as flimsy a political charge as I’ve seen in five decades in journalism.
I’ve seen flimsier, but I get the point. Unlike the very serious and perplexing Kirk problem, this is a matter of semantics, and, unlike Kirk, there doesn’t seem to be a pattern of untruths here. Debbie Halvorson’s campaign deserves all the heat it gets for this one unless they can prove otherwise.
More from Kinzinger in a recent SouthtownStar editorial…
“Going from an honorable military servant to a fraud … they’re trying to place that seed in people’s minds, and there’s no reason to do it. It’s absolutely wrong,” Kinzinger said.
We agree. Kinzinger’s military record is impressive, it’s solid, and it deserves respect, not denigration.
Halvorson should battle for the issues she believes in, not drag a worthy opponent through the muck and mire.
* Republican Kirk says he would support Kagan: In his announcement in support of Kagan Friday morning, Kirk quoted Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist papers: “To what purpose then require the cooperation of the Senate? I answer that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though in general a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the president, would tend generally to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from family connection, from personal attachment, and from a view to popularity.”
* Kirk Joins Giannoulias in Support of Kagan: The nomination was too careful, though, for the Green Party’s U.S. Senate candidate, LeAlan Jones. In a statement, the Jones campaign criticized the administration for “playing it ’safe’” with the Kagan pick, and expressed concern the president has yet to nominate an African American to the Supreme Court.
* Dems hit GOP candidates for votes on unemployment extension
* Krugman Vs. Kirk On The Federal Debt
* How Controversy-Plagued Candidates Are Winning The Money Race
* ADDED: DCCC buys time in 40 districts : The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has invested approximately $28 million worth of television air time to defend vulnerable incumbents running for reelection this fall, a senior Democratic official confirmed to POLITICO… Illinois Reps. Debbie Halvorson and Bill Foster [are two recipients of the funds].