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About those endorsements

Monday, Mar 3, 2014

* The Tribune endorsed Erika Harold over freshman GOP Congressman Rodney Davis

Davis, of Taylorville, is running a cautious race. It’s not an inspiring act. Harold is more passionate and forthright — unafraid, for example, to argue for specific (and unpopular) changes to Medicare and Social Security benefits. Yes, it’s liberating to be the underdog. But Harold is saying things that need to be said, and Davis — the incumbent — isn’t. Harold is endorsed.

Whatevs. The Trib’s gonna do what the Trib’s gonna do.

* But check out Mother Tribune’s endorsement on the Democratic side

Our pick is George Gollin, a physics professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He’s a good fit for a district that is home to nine colleges and universities, including U. of I., Illinois State University and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He has experience writing and advocating for federal legislation on higher education and made headlines in 2008 for helping to expose and shut down diploma mills across the country. We disagree with many of his positions, but at least we know where he stands.

Gollin did, indeed, help shut down diploma mills.

* But he’s endorsed Carol Ammons to replace retiring Democratic state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson. Ammons got a degree from a sketchy online university that even she now admits could’ve been a diploma mill

A candidate for Illinois’ 103rd House District seat says she’s now questioning the degree she received from an online university based in the United Kingdom.

Democrat and Urbana Alderwoman Carol Ammons issued a statement Wednesday on her campaign website, saying she’s contacted Walsingham University asking them to explain what she called their ‘misrepresentation.’

Questions about the school were raised by fellow alderman Eric Jakobsson, husband of retiring 103rd District representative Naomi Jakobsson. He called the school a diploma mill.

Ammons said she completed online and correspondence coursework in business administration and earned a degree in 18 months. She says representatives from Walsingham told her it was fully accredited.

She got a degree in 18 months and didn’t think something was up?

* Also, the Trib endorsed Aaron Schock’s potential Democratic opponent

Miller won us over with his selfless assessment of the recently passed farm bill, which protects needless subsidies to growers while cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — barely addressing eligibility requirements. “We get more crop insurance while people on food stamps get less,” he says. “That makes me as a farmer kind of red-faced.” Miller is endorsed.

[Oops. Miller is Schock’s potential Dem opponent. My bad. I just haven’t bothered to keep up with his district. Oops.]

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    –Miller won us over with his selfless assessment of the recently passed farm bill, which protects needless subsidies to growers while cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — barely addressing eligibility requirements.

    “We get more crop insurance while people on food stamps get less,” he says. “That makes me as a farmer kind of red-faced.” Miller is endorsed.–

    Don’t know anything about the guy, but a common-sense, decent comment like that makes me want to learn more.

  2. - Lucky - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    Schock doesn’t have a primary opponent. Trib endorsed Miller over Mellon in the Dem primary.

  3. - Johnny Justice - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    What is wrong with the Tribune endorsing candidates the newspaper thinks will actually do the best job? One of the reasons the federal & state governments are in such dire straits is our private campaign $$ electoral system tends to elect bland white bread candidates who have little vision or passion for anything but staying in office.

  4. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    I’m embarrassed for the Tribune. There was a time when its endorsement was coveted. Now it’s as if they know how little readers care who they endorse so now their endorsements are tinged with petty spite.

  5. - Liandro - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    Should the Tribune care about winning? I’ve said it before: the intense focus on taking care of partisan interests and focusing on who is most capable of the “win” is part of what got us into this mess.

    I wouldn’t vote for George Ryan because I thought he was a…., but he could “win” so the party was fine with him. Blago first term was bad enough, but second term everyone in power knew him for what he was. Heck, he can “win”, so it was good enough. I can go all the way down the line to local races. Lot of short-term wins causing long-term problems for IL (and often for their party, too).

    Each race is a judgement call, sure. I just wildly disagree with some past judgement calls made by party bosses. Not a commentary on these particular races–just on the idea that incumbents always deserve support and that electability trumps all.

  6. - Big Debbie - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    Also, here is a recent unsurprising dodge by George Gollin’s campaign about Ammons’ degree issue:

    ===Gollin’s campaign manager Monica Biddix responds: “George isn’t going to comment on that. It’s an unfortunate situation.”===

    It is widely suspected in C-U that Gollin is not just endorsing Ammons, but that they are coordinating campaigns together.

    For example, Callis recently went on a radio show hosted by Carol Ammons’ husband where he grilled her about the drug war - since she is a former judge - and took a series of not very friendly telephone calls.

    Gollin has money, Ammons doesn’t - and Ammons has an organization and Gollin at least didn’t at the beginning. So the coordination was a smart move, at least at first.

    But now with the “diploma mill” allegations, it has put Gollin in a really weird position. Basically he has to ignore that he devoted a decade of his life fighting against diploma mills through his endorsement of Ammons.

    Personally, I don’t really care too much about the issue. Most likely, Carol was a victim of some sophisticated fraud, and I won’t fault her for that. But this is a real problem for Gollin now.

  7. - Wensicia - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    I’ve long since ceased taking anything the Tribune editorial board says seriously.

  8. - circularfiringsquad - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Have the Tribbies started endorsements? This was once the talk of the state. Now unnoticed

  9. - jake - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    Walsingham is a bit hard to contact these days, because some time in the last few weeks the web site vanished. One can still find it in the Wayback Machine of archived web sites however.

  10. - Champaign Gollin guy - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    The idea that Gollin is “selling himself out” because he supports Carol Ammons is completely false. George went after diploma mills, not diploma mill victims, which is what category Carol Ammons was in. By the way Rich, Carol did not complete college in 18 months. She transferred credits from Joliet Junior College, then finished her 4 year degree in 18 months. Here’s a link where she explains it all:!truth-behind-the-news/c9ux

  11. - LincolnLounger - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    It’s delightful to see the good folks in the People’s Republic of Urbana going after each other.

  12. - Keeping it Real... - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    We keep it real in the PRU (People’s Republic of Urbana)….

    Real stupid that is.

    Urbana needs to be annexed and given to Kentucky.

  13. - jake - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    At this writing, the Carol Ammons page on both Project Vote Smart and Ballotpedia say that Carol has a Bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois. No mention of either Walsingham or Joliet Junior College. Both of those web sites rely on biographical material supplied by the candidate. It must be tough to keep your autobiography straight when you have written so many different versions of it.

  14. - wayward - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    In a 2008 WaPo article, a co-director of an association for registrars and admissions officers says, “People who buy diplomas from diploma mills are not victims; they are co-conspirators.”

    The article and quote were included in Gollin’s anti-diploma mill website:

  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    The Tribune Editorial board are less like a real newspaper people and more like fraternity members voting on who they are going to take on as Pledges for the semester;

    I “state your name”, pledge allegiance to the Frat, with liberty and Fraternity for all. Amen

    Only these Pledges represent the hypocrisy of being an unbiased arbiter, in a very biased way to themselves and who they are beholden to.

    You Pledge-Name is …”Sellout”

  16. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    So the Trib is pro-diploma mills?

  17. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    ===So the Trib is pro-diploma mills?===

    Of course! It’s pro-capitalism and free market! Degrees to the highest bidder!

  18. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:37 pm:

    As to the Gollin pick, I wonder if one of the things the Tribune takes issue with are how and where he places his Campaign Signs(!!)–when as photos on CAP FAX recently highlighted, SOME of ‘em apparently end-up right in the middle of Bushes where no one else can POSSibly retrieve them??!! As a Professor in the field, I wonder, is that some sort of LAW of Physics which George is applying?!If so, he might work WONDERS in
    CONgress some day, too?!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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