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Spin that doesn’t quite satisfy

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* The key to political spin is that it has to either be believable enough for most normal people to buy into, or have enough red meat that the base can use it at the water cooler. Pat Brady’s react to yesterday’s unanimous judicial decision to approve the Democrats’ congressional map does neither

Reacting to the decision of the court last night, State GOP Chairman Pat Brady told reporters that “the serious issues in the case regarding Latino disenfranchisement were thrown by the wayside.”

Sorry, but I don’t see this resonating with either the public at large or the base. It’s no secret that preventing “Latino disenfranchisement” has not exactly been all that high on the GOP’s priority list over the past few years. And I highly doubt you’ll see too many hardcore Republicans arguing that their party wants to enfranchise as many Latinos as possible.

Just sayin…

* Senate President John Cullerton might also want to rethink his words a bit. Asked by a reporter after the Senate passed the corporate tax cut bill “Who’s the next in line, and how do you answer this idea that everybody is going to want to get in line…” Cullerton interrupted and responded thusly…

“They can get in line and I guess they need to pass a bill in Springfield,” is probably not the way to go. This is precisely the argument against doing these sorts of tax breaks. The connected get the breaks, the non-connected pay the full rate.

* Talk about an understatement. The Pew Center on the States released its ratings on state election board websites this week. From the summary for Illinois

(U)sers could have a challenging time finding the content they seek, accounting for a lower overall score.

More precisely, the Board’s front page is a massive jumble of scattered information which is so disorganized that it almost seems designed to confuse. It brings to mind this brief exchange between Capt. Willard and Col. Kurtz

I don’t see any method, either. Two of the Pew Center’s recommendations

Use informational labels to guide users to content from the home page, rather than vague filters such as “Top Documents” and “Top Pages.” […]

Organize information logically, so that users do not have to jump around the website or visit multiple pages to find related content.

Yes, do that, please. And soon. The Board of Elections’ site has always been a bizarre mess. It’s time they got a real developer over there.

* And, finally

Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd was locked up in federal custody Thursday as his stunned teammates learned he had been charged with trying to set up a drug-dealing network following his arrest with more than a pound of cocaine.

U.S. Magistrate Young Kim ordered Hurd held until at least Friday while prosecutors and defense attorneys work out bond details before he is sent to Texas to face charges.

The handcuffed Hurd declined to comment on the charges. Asked before the hearing if he was still a member of the Bears, he said: “As far as I know.” He shook his head when asked if he had talked to anyone on the team.

“Sam intends to fight these charges, and we intend to defend him fully,” said high-profile defense attorney David Kenner, one of Hurd’s lawyers. “We have complete confidence in him.”

Words won’t save Hurd now.

posted by Rich Miller
Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 10:02 am


  1. In defense of the Board of Elections website, once you take the time to figure out how to use it, it is incredibly useful - at least for looking up political contributions.

    Comment by so... Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 10:06 am

  2. The Feds arrested Hurd with a pound of cocaine?
    Not withstanding a plea bargain, he’s toast.

    Comment by Springfield Skeptic Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 10:13 am

  3. If I’m reading the Pew report correctly,Illinois
    gets a C-,Indiana and Wisconsin a B and Michigan
    a D. Sounds about right. But Illinois surely must improve in order to compete with other Mid West States.

    Comment by mokenavince Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 10:16 am

  4. Here’s to Pat Brady, leading the fight against those bad ol’ GOP federal judges to empower “Latinos” (who are they, anyway, those who speak Latin? Romans?).

    He represents all that the Illinois GOP is about — empowering “Latinos.” Perhaps he can lead us all in a chorus of “We Shall Overcome” — in Latin.

    Comment by wordslinger Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 10:18 am

  5. You know has some interesting data there, why can’t they just put the entire donor database on line there to download.

    It was at one time just a Microsoft access file.

    Comment by OneMan Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 10:27 am

  6. Given the Pennsylvania remap released this week drawn by the GOP state government trifecta over there, the GOP has hardly any right to whine. Some of those districts put the Illinois Dem map square into ameteurland.
    The real losers in all this are the voting public who have their government representatives chosen for them by party operatives in a backroom somewhere.


    Comment by train111 Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 10:29 am

  7. It will be interesting to see the names of Hurd’s “clients”. I’m hoping there are no Bears on that list.

    Comment by Stones Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 10:32 am

  8. Sam Hurd is demanding that the Feds play “all the tapes” they are charging him based only on the ones where he talks about buying and distributing drugs.

    Comment by siriusly Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 10:51 am

  9. Has the elections website actually gotten worse? I used to have a relatively easy time looking things up, and now (the past year or so) it seems extremely difficult.

    Comment by Skeeter Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 10:53 am

  10. Hurd wanted to be big time. But it’s not fair of the Feds to offer pounds of marijuana for $450, that should have tipped Hurd off. that kind of profit margin just tricks, or entraps, people into trying to buy more. I hope that was a typo.

    Comment by Anonymous Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 10:55 am

  11. Hurd got set up. What a dummy! Can’t the feds ever concentrate on people who have already committed crimes rather than enticing and entrapping dimwits? Oh well.Hurd joins the ever increasing list of morons that make it just too easy for them.

    Comment by Bill Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 11:08 am

  12. in my opinion, you dont go from little or no illicit drug sales activity, to wanting to move 4-5 kilos of coke and a half ton of marijuana per week. you have to have the distribution channels to think you can handle that much. the authorities focused on him when his buddy was stopped in his car in texas last summer with $88k in cash. he was stupid to plow ahead after that contact. kinda similar to blago–intent and planning and conspiracy.

    Comment by langhorne Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 11:18 am

  13. Re: ISBE website. Once I FINALLY find what section I’m looking for, I bookmark it in a folder on my browser bar. Don’t you? Saves a lot of time clicking around that disastrous website.

    Re: Remap. I am one of the few Republicans that I know that voted for the Constitutional Convention where some sort of fair map proposal could have been hashed out. Hubris among my fellow Republicans for not voting for a ConCon?

    Comment by Cincinnatus Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 11:20 am

  14. Hurd is guilty of the same greed that Wall Street is guilty of. Differences being that his product was actually going to make money, and he is at risk of going to prison. Feeding someone’s coke addiction is not as bad as losing someone’s retirement through shady investment schemes in my eyes.

    Comment by Anonymous Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 11:35 am

  15. ^^ Obviously the violence associated with cocaine dealing makes it worse, but I think there is still a point there.

    Comment by Anonymous Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 11:38 am

  16. The Latino business is a mere canard, of course. But it’s a terrible thing that you have to cite some protected minority to have standing in claiming the wrongness of the map. The appeals court said the map is blatantly political - a Gerrymander. That should be enough to throw it out. Representation should be as fair as possible, period. The parties should not be allowed to engage in this nonsense.

    Comment by Excessively Rabid Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 11:39 am

  17. This remap lawsuit was a huge waste of money by the GOP, and many lawyers said so going in. Who were the lawyers who took money to file and work this case? And the last thing the national GOP wanted was a ruling that political gerrymandering is unlawful! GOP gained far more seats in Texas, Alabama, Penna, etc. than it will surely lose in Illinois. And their Hispanic-dilution argument bordered on the frivolous. Blame the Illinois 2010 GOP Primary voters for nominating Philistines like Brady (Dillard would have won in the fall), Walsh, Kinzinger, Dold, etc., who cannot hold these new Districts. Their more moderate primary opponents could have held them.

    Comment by Ace Matson Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 11:50 am

  18. Amazing the board’s website scored as well as it does. That thing is a nightmare.

    As for Sam Hurd, really Bill? I mean I know you love to defend the indefensible (aka Rod), but claiming he was set up? The man was already moving piles and piles of coke and pot. His complaint with his previous supplier was he couldn’t move enough! That kind of conduct ranks him up there with the scum of the earth. He should be sent away for a LONG LONG time.

    Comment by Chicago Cynic Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 1:09 pm

  19. The ISBE website has more useful information of all kinds, than I expected from a gov’t site. You’re right that getting to it is a miserable trek.

    Comment by walkinfool Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 1:44 pm

  20. Most State of Illinois web sites suffer from very poor design. The state library site suffers also. There seems to be a group of IT folks in charge of web pages that have no idea of usability or responsiveness.

    Comment by frayedcat Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 1:49 pm

  21. Bill,

    Read the complaint Hurd states to the undercover agent that he is already distributing 4 kilos a week in Chicago but needs more because his current supplier can’t get anymore for him. So Hurd himself states that he is committing some pretty major drug offenses every week. I’m sure he is reporting this income too. Hurd is a criminal who was a good football player.

    Comment by Fed up Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 2:04 pm

  22. The way I read the story is that they gave him the blow and then arrested him when he put it in his car. To me that’s being set up. I bet his lawyer thinks so too.

    Comment by Bill Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 3:26 pm

  23. I’ve reached the conclusion that Bill is not for real. A staunch defender of Blagojevich all those years, even when everybody had abandoned him. Now defending Hurd’s cocaine dealing.

    Bill is either a creation of Rich Miller to create interesting and adversarial discussion, or he’s somebody just messing with everybody on this site.

    It cannot be true that he is a real person espousing his true beliefs. Nobody is that stupid.

    I, for one, am not falling for it anymore.

    Comment by Old Milwaukee Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 3:49 pm

  24. ==Bill is either a creation of Rich Miller to create interesting and adversarial discussion,==
    Finally. The truth comes out! Buy that dude a Cozy Dog!

    Comment by Bill Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 4:07 pm

  25. Nobody could possibly create a character like Bill, except maybe Andy Kaufman. And I’m no Andy Kaufman.

    Comment by Rich Miller Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 4:24 pm

  26. ==A staunch defender of Blagojevich all those years, even when everybody had abandoned him. Now defending Hurd’s cocaine dealing.==

    What if Hurd was Rod’s connection?

    Comment by Boone Logan Square Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 4:30 pm

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