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*** UPDATED x3 Cohen staffer calls minister “extortionist” *** Poll has Brady up by 4 - Newt rallies for Brady - Cohen’s money

Saturday, Oct 23, 2010

* The Post-Dispatch had Mason-Dixon do a statewide poll Oct. 18 through Oct. 20 of 625 likely voters. An earlier version of this post had these as “registered” voters, but M-D used self-identified likelies in its sample. That’s not the greatest screen, but some campaigns are using it as well, so it’ll do. Anyway, Bill Brady is leading Pat Quinn by 4 points in this poll

Bill Brady, Republican 44%
Pat Quinn, Democrat 40%
Scott Lee Cohen, Independent 4%
Rich Whitney, Green Party 3%
Lex Green, Libertarian 1%
Undecided 8%

* Crosstabs

* Women don’t like Brady’s 10 percent budget cut idea at all, while men are divided. The question: “Illinois currently faces a state budget shortfall that some have estimated could be as high as $13 billion. Would you support or oppose addressing the state’s budget shortfall by cutting state spending by 10% across the board, including spending for public education?” The answer

* And voters are split on the Quinn one-point income tax hike issue. The question: “Do you support or oppose raising the state’s current income tax rate from 3% to 4% in order to provide additional funding for public schools?” The answer

* Other questions

Those are higher Obama approval numbers than other polls we’ve seen. Also, right track numbers seem to be a bit higher as well.

The poll did not appear to ask about all four candidates for US Senate, so I’m not going to post the numbers.

* Meanwhile, here’s an interesting tidbit from Carol Marin’s column

there are 40,000 fewer registered black voters now than in the 2006 midterm.

* Newt Gingrich rallied with Bill Brady in Collinsville yesterday, and the Chicago newspapers were there to cover it. Tribune

While Bill Brady has minimized his conservative social positions as he talks to Chicago-area voters, 300 miles away in southwestern Illinois the Republican candidate for governor campaigned Friday with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to fire up the downstate base.

In a red-meat rally emceed by Fox News personality Mike Gallagher, who whipped the crowd into cheers by bashing National Public Radio, Brady and his running mate, Jason Plummer, shared the stage with the architect of the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress. […]

Gingrich scoffed at the notion that the campaigns picked southwestern Illinois because Chicago and suburban voters are less receptive to his brand of cultural conservatism. “We’ve been together all over Illinois,” Gingrich said of himself and Brady.

Gingrich held a private fundraiser Sept. 23 in Chicago and appeared with Brady at a Will County GOP dinner on Sept. 29, the Brady campaign said.

The Sun-Times has react

Brady’s decision to share the stage with Gingrich raised questions privately among some key Brady supporters who recognize the conservative icon as popular with Brady’s base but a potential wedge among independent voters who are crucial to Brady’s campaign hopes.

Quinn’s campaign wasted little time muddying up his opponent and Gingrich by distributing newspaper excerpts that quoted the former House speaker saying that bilingual education emphasizes “the language of the ghetto” and that women should not get top military jobs because they “get infections.”

The Quinn campaign also circulated an excerpt from a Washington Post report in which Gingrich was quoted as saying that “low-income African-Americans fail to acquire wealth because of their habits.”

“Newt Gingrich is a divider, a name caller,” the governor said after meeting with a group of Metro East mayors in southwestern Illinois.

Jason Plummer was almost indecipherable at the rally

“What we are going to talk about is what you are going to do about it,” he said. “Senator Brady is working hard, I’m working hard, and the entire Republican ticket is working hard. But for the final two weeks here, folks, I know you’re working hard, but I need you to work hard. I’ve got a big goal for November 2nd. I want Madison County and St. Clair County to be red for the governor’s race.”

* Meanwhile, Levois over at Gapers Block uploaded an image of Scott Lee Cohen’s most recent mailer

Huh. That looks like $500 cash. I wonder where I’ve seen that before. Oh, the irony.

*** UPDATE 1 *** In reply to Tom Bowen’s Tweet about the Gapers Block piece, Scott Lee Cohen’s finance director Kelly Tarrant called Rev. Gregory Lee an “extortionist”

Rev. Lee, you will recall, said he saw Cohen’s people offering ministers $500 in exchange for their support.

*** UPDATE 2 *** From NBC5

Rev. Gregory Lee said he will file a formal complaint next week with the State’s Attorney’s Office requesting a formal investigation of Scott Lee Cohen and his campaign staff.

*** UPDATE 3 *** From IRN

Speaking at his campaign head quarters in Chicago, Scott Lee Cohen says he never asked an emissary to offer the Rev. Gregory Lee or the Rev. James Jones money for their endorsement. […]

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Cohen.

Cohen then showed a video to the assembled media that he said would refute any suggestions that his campaign made any type of financial offer. However the video, made by campaign staff, failed to prove anything other then the presence of a TV camera from a Chicago TV station. Cohen’s campaign manager John Davis says the cameraman being present is evidence that no such thing happened. “Never would I have invited an outside camera if I knew or this campaign knew that this sort of thing was happening,” Davis said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

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