* Congressman Adam Kinzinger just crossed a line and Rockford Register Star columnist Chuck Sweeny is having none of it. This is a quote from a Kinzinger mailer…
“A Rockford Register Star columnist recently said Congressman Manzullo’s voting record bears resemblance to ‘that of Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank.’ No, it wasn’t Barney Frank’s record but it was actually the voting history of my opponent, Congressman Don Manzullo.”
* But this is what Sweeny actually wrote…
“Kinzinger and Manzullo are engaged in a fight-to-the-finish duel about who is more conservative. And Kinzinger is characterizing Manzullo’s record as something resembling that of Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank.”
And there’s more…
In a newspaper-type mailer Kinzinger’s campaign sent to my house, Kinzinger charges that Manzullo “joined liberal Democrats in (a) movement to impeach President Bush.” Kinzinger claims that in 2008, Manzullo “shockingly voted for left-wing Dennis Kucinich’s legislation to order the House Judiciary Committee to consider impeaching President Bush over ludicrous reasons.”
Well, well, well. Let me quote from a piece I wrote July 16, 2008, about Manzullo’s vote for Kucinich’s wacky impeachment bill:
“I did the constitutional thing, which was to send it to committee, where it will be killed. If it did not go to committee, it would stay on the floor and then we would have started impeaching the president,” Manzullo told me at the time.
This goes beyond the usual political crud, which the media tends to basically ignore. Twist a columnist’s words into absurdity, though, and you’ll find yourself on the receiving end of serious negativity. Sweeny’s column by itself won’t have a gigantic impact, but if Manzullo uses the column in his paid media blitz to accuse Kinzinger of being a liar, it could very well move some numbers.
Both of these guys have been attempting to make the other guy look like he’s not conservative enough. It’s been a bogus argument from Jump Street. There are things about both men that aren’t 100 percent pure conservative, but, really, c’mon here, we’re talking infinitesimal degrees of separation. This latest Kinzinger attack is through the looking glass bizarre and a total amateur mistake. He’ll deserve any backfire he gets.
* We didn’t do much politics here last week because it was budget address week and it sucked up all my attention. So, I neglected to point out this weird Tribune endorsement in the 2nd Congressional District. The paper whacked Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. in four, long paragraphs and concluded that Jackson’s explanations for all his troubles are “unsatisfying.” But then the editorial board proceeded to ridicule Jackson’s primary opponent Debbie Halvorson…
Halvorson is alarmingly unqualified to represent the district.
Seated beside her “distracted” opponent at our head-to-head candidate interview, it was Halvorson who fudged, stumbled and stammered. Asked to explain her one-and-done tenure as representative of the 11th District, she blurted out that voters can be “fickle.” She later said that was a bad choice of words. Asked to name federal programs she would target for spending cuts, she couldn’t think of one. Over and over she offered, lamely, that voters should send her back to Washington so she could help “innovate” the country out of its current mess. We don’t think so.
Jackson ran circles around Halvorson in our interview, showing a 16-year incumbent’s command of the issues. When Halvorson said he had failed to advance his plan to build a third regional airport near Peotone, Jackson’s response assured us yet again that he’s relentlessly focused on making it happen. (Her comments, meanwhile, convinced us she is not.) Jackson is endorsed.
* This story also “broke” last week while I was so distracted…
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel waded into a contested suburban Democratic primary for Congress, backing former U.S. Veterans Affairs official Tammy Duckworth. […]
Duckworth is in a primary battle with former deputy state treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi for the right to take on freshman Republican Joe Walsh in the 8th District. The district includes parts of northwest Cook and northeast DuPage counties, but does not include any homes in Chicago.
It’s been known for a while that Emanuel is with Duckworth, so the only newsworthy item is that he chose to formally announce his support.
* And a roundup…
* ADDED: Press release: Today, Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, endorsed Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) for the newly drawn 16th Congressional District. Schock is the youngest Member of Congress and has served as a leading advocate for the conservative principles that reflect the values of the people throughout Illinois.
* Supreme Court race hits TV, as funding picks up: Going on TV was incumbent Justice Mary Jane Theis, who hit Chicago stations Monday morning with a buy of 600 ratings points, costing a few hundred thousand dollars.
* Early voting in Illinois begins
* How Duckworth, Krishnamoorthi differ on deficit: Duckworth also says Congress should consider eliminating the $385-billion dollar fleet of F-35 fighter jets, currently being developed.
* Key Ill. primaries: 8th Congressional District
* Democrats spar over donations, support at congressional forum: Sheyman attacked Schneider for campaign contributions he made to Republicans including Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk. Schneider responded by criticizing the policies of some of the groups that have endorsed Sheyman and by extolling the campaign work he’s done for Democrats including former Rep. Melissa Bean of Barrington.
* Illinois House races heating up: “I don’t see any of those four candidates giving Dold any heat,” said Green.
* Brad Schneider Extended Interview
* IL a battleground for U.S. Congress races:
But Republicans are ceding nothing. They believe they still have momentum from the 2010 victories that put five GOP freshmen in office and gave them their first state congressional majority in in seven years. And they believe another factor will help them when voters go to the polls: Anger over Illinois’ state fiscal crisis.
* VIDEO: Joe Walsh: Fighting For Millionaires
* Tribune: For the Republicans: Kinzinger
* Tribune: Theis for the Supreme Court
* Tribune: For the Democrats: Duckworth
* Tribune: For the U.S. House