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Illinois and stimulus politics *** UPDATED x1 ***

Tuesday, Feb 3, 2009

* If you clicked on this link in yesterday’s Morning Shorts, you saw that per capita “stimulus bill” spending in Illinois is in the top tier. Only a small handful of states fare better than us.

But even more money may be on its way

Top Democrats plan to add a big increase in highway and mass transit funding to President Barack Obama’s economic recovery program Tuesday, even as others in the president’s party hope to rein in the plan’s almost $1 trillion cost to taxpayers.

A move by Patty Murray, D-Wash., to add $25 billion in infrastructure projects is first in line as the Senate begins thrashing through dozens of proposed changes to the sprawling $885 billion measure.

Murray’s plan would increase the money in the bill for highway projects by almost 50 percent, to $40 billion, reflecting complaints from lawmakers in both parties that Obama’s plan doesn’t do enough to relieve a backlog of unfinished projects. Mass transit programs would get a $5 billion boost, while water projects would get $7 billion more.

The Illinois delegation ought to bump up the mass transit number even higher.

* Despite that above story, some Republican House members who voted against their chamber’s version are leaning in favor of the new Senate bill

[GOP Congressman Mark Kirk]: “I think a stimulus package is necessary. And the one that will emerge from the Senate will have more infrastructure spending, more tax relief for small businesses to hire and less social spending on accounts that have little to do with economic developments.”

A new poll by USA Today could explain why some GOPs are starting to rethink their position. The article itself is horribly written, but here’s the best money quotes I could find…

Americans overwhelmingly want Congress to pass an economic stimulus bill, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, but expectations are low that it will help their families or turn the economy around this year. […]

While 17% say Congress should reject a stimulus bill altogether, those who want a stimulus passed are evenly divided over whether Obama’s plan should undergo major changes.

They never tell you what percentage of the population wants the bill passed. Goofballs.

* Meanwhile
, Rep. Kirk had some kind words for state Rep. John Fritchey

A Republican congressman from Chicago’s north suburbs could be open to endorsing a Democratic candidate for Congress. Mark Kirk says he’s done a lot of work with State Representative John Fritchey of Chicago. Kirk laughed when asked if he’ll make an endorsement in the fifth district special election.

KIRK: I told him I would either condemn him or endorse him, which ever helps.

A spokesman for Fritchey says he’s glad the representative’s reputation as an effective legislator is widespread. He adds that Kirk and Fritchey would be on opposite sides of many issues if they serve together.

Fritchey, by the way, was endorsed by the Illinois Federation of Teachers yesterday. That comes on the heels of an AFSCME endorsement. The Illinois AFL-CIO nod may not be far away.

*** UPDATE *** Or not

The Service Employees International Union plans to endorse state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D) in her bid for former Rep. Rahm Emanuel’s (D) House seat, the Chicago Business Journal reports.

[ *** End of Update *** ]

* Related…

* Durbin looking for dollars in Washington: Durbin’s office estimates that the Senate version could save or create over 200,000 jobs across Illinois by the end of 2010 and could bring $25 billion in federal funding.

* Illinois health care and the economic stimulus package

* Highlights of Senate’s economic stimulus plan

* Competition High for Stimulus Funds

* Schock selected to serve on subcommittees

* Rep. Halvorson pledges to support veterans at stop in Normal

* Feigenholtz has the campaign cash lead, but wants more money for federal bid

- Posted by Rich Miller        

89 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 10:58 am:

    The House bill, obviously, needs a lot of work. Not enough bricks and mortar. I think they knew it when it was passed.

    This thing is so big — maybe the biggest Christmas tree ever — and on such a fast track, the real heavy-lifting is going to be done in conference. Mr. Durbin, have a seat at the table, please.


  2. - Fan of the Game - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 11:04 am:

    “Americans overwhelmingly want Congress to pass an economic stimulus bill, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, but expectations are low that it will help their families or turn the economy around this year.”

    Then what’s the point?


  3. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 11:05 am:

    If the heavy-lifting is to be done in conference, and there are no project earmarks attached to the bill, it should be a simple matter involving a lot less horse-trading than, say, the next federal transportation bill.


  4. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 11:06 am:

    ===Then what’s the point?===

    Trickle-down economics? A rising tide lifts all boats?


  5. - Fan of the Game - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 11:09 am:

    Six degrees,

    I have a feeling the trickling will be slow and painful.


  6. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 11:14 am:

    One thing that doesn’t get mentioned a lot here is what I call the Triple Whammy of Infrastructure. Within this year, three things are likely to happen:

    1. A federal stimulus bill is passed
    2. The state enacts a capital improvement plan
    3. The federal transportation authorization expires at the end of September, and a new six-year plan will be negotiated and possibly passed.

    The combined effects, and costs, of these 3 will be much larger than the stimulus package alone.


  7. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 11:39 am:

    The economic stimulus package should be about 800 billion less than the one being presented, and should be spent in 2009. So, I favor a stimulus, but not this Frankenstein.

    I’m pleasantly surprised that Kirk’s kind words on Fritchey went public. It will help both of them.


  8. - ConservativeVeteran - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 11:42 am:

    Rich said that a spokesman for St. Rep. Fritchey said that Kirk and Fritchey would be on opposite sides of many issues if they serve together. The spokesman is incorrect. Kirk is pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-gay marriage, pro-spending increases, pro-illegal alien, and anti-Iraq surge. His latest rating from Planned Parenthood is 100%, and his latest rating from Gun Owners of America is 0%. In May 2007, 11 republican congressmen went to the White House and told then-President Bush that they opposed the Iraq surge, and Kirk was the group’s leader. Kirk should run as a Democrat.


  9. - Stayathomemom - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 11:46 am:

    Everyone needs to open a coke and relax. Stimulus packages don’t need to happen. This economy will work itself out. I agree that may companies are struggling but how many homeowners are struggling? Illinois is one of the most corrupt states and they are going to give us money. Its like giving Blago an OK to sell a senate seat. God only knows what will happen.


  10. - In the 5th - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 11:54 am:

    A supporter of Fritchey knocked on my door on Saturday to pass on his campaign flyer and ask if I was going to support him. When I asked about Claypool’s endorsement of Quigley, the supporter confessed that she works at the county but wants Quigley to stay at the county to help fight Stroger. Interesting.


  11. - ThreeSheets - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:08 pm:

    Given the alleged involvement of the SEIU with Blago, I’m not sure that’ll help if Quigley, O’Connor or Fritchey can play it up on literature.


  12. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:12 pm:

    The Service Employees International Union plans to endorse state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D) in her bid for former Rep. Rahm Emanuel’s (D) House seat,

    Yeah, that’s the same group that work so closely with Blagojevich. SEIU even moved next door to the Mansion while Blagojevich served them. And wouldn’t you know it - they are next to the Mansion’s back door! Appropriate!

    - so they like Sara too?

    Uh-Oh!


  13. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:16 pm:

    Connecting Feigenholtz to Blagojevich thru SEIU sounds like something her campaign would do to one of her opponents on this blog. So, perhaps it’s not such a good thing to do. Keep that in mind, please.


  14. - Gregor - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:19 pm:

    SEIU was in the tank for Blago and is generally against anything AFSME likes, so not surprised there.


  15. - Gregor - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:20 pm:

    I wrote that before you posted, Rich, but I’m not a campaigner for either side here, just my own opinion.


  16. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:24 pm:

    This Federal Stimulus thing is factual proof that the states’ taxpayers are sending way too much money to the IRS. If the money had stayed in the states perhaps there would be no need for the stimulus. Plus we would have the huge savings from cutting out the middle man.


  17. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:24 pm:

    Right - sorry!
    Please edit out my earlier post, sir.
    __________________________________________

    Good news regarding the stimulus package, BTW - The Office of the Budget said that the debt from spending the 800 billion stimulus package would be balanced if the IRS could collect back taxes owed by Obama cabinet officials!


  18. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:31 pm:

    A Citizen, the money in the stimulus bill isn’t being sent to Washington from taxpayers in the states.

    The hope is that it will be sent by China and oil sheiks in the form of T-Bond purchases. If they’re not up for it (and it’s questionable as to whether China is), it will be sent directly from the Bureau of Printing and Engraving.

    So, technically, nobody’s paying for it yet. But you know how that old free lunch saying goes….


  19. - Reality Check - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:31 pm:

    Credit for the initial report should go to Greg Hinz at Crain’s: http://tinyurl.com/bdckpj


  20. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:35 pm:

    - wordslinger -
    You’re probably more right than I am, but I like my “Spin” on it better - might get those IRS tax levels cut way down and keep the money in the state. Now, about my free lunch . . . .


  21. - GOP'er - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:39 pm:

    Mark Kirk should just finally end the phony charade and start putting a “D” by his name.

    No one will notice the difference. The goof left the GOP long ago. Just be honest about it.


  22. - Bill - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:43 pm:

    I have a lot more respect for Mark Kirk than I had before. Maybe he really does care about Illinois.


  23. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:45 pm:

    ==…but how many homeowners are struggling? ==

    Stayathomemom, you ought to get out more. Hit google news for “foreclosure,” “unemployment,” and “layoffs.”


  24. - Abe Froman - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:46 pm:

    Kirk seems to be taking astute positions while he looks at the senate race. Votes against the spending orgy stimulus bill, but urges a better final bill that will actually help and decrease the liberal program spending. He takes a lead actually introducing anti-pay to play bills and amendments (unlike anything the dems have done so far) and shows his bipartisanship by praising a dem candidate he can work with.


  25. - cortez - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:50 pm:

    Good on Mark Kirk to recognize the difference between ’stimulus’ and ‘gosh darnit here’s my chance to get that thing funded that I never could under regular order or scrutiny’. And for those who disagree with his social policies, it should be comfort that he is arguing against funding social issues in this bill.


  26. - Windy City Crier - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:52 pm:

    If i was forced to chose between an endorsement from SEIU or AFSCME and IFT, I’d take SEIU.

    Simply put, SEIU has a better track record of electing endorsed candidates. Yes Blago, but let’s also recall all of the freshman aldermen in Chicago.

    However Rich, I don’t think this is NECESSARILY an indication that Fritchey won’t get the AFL-CIO endorsement. Remember, SEIU is no longer a member of the AFL-CIO.

    But the AFL-CIO would be smart to hold off a few weeks before making a decision. While its still early, I don’t think we’ve seen a poll yet that has Fritchey above single digits. Yes, he’ll have many of the ward organizations with him on election day, although not alderman o’connor in 48 or the 46th Ward, which is backing Feigenholtz. But the machine will only AT BEST add 5% to Fritchey’s numbers, and that doesn’t appear to be enough to close the gap.

    If the AFL-CIO looks at polling on Feb. 16th that shows this as a two-way race between Quigley & Feigenholtz, with Fritchey a more distant third, they’ll have a strategic decision to make: endorse Fritchey, their preferred candidate, and risk a victory for Quigley, whom they love to hate. Or throw their support behind Feigenholtz, who has a 98% labor voting record, and put her over the top.


  27. - Stayathomemom - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:54 pm:

    Wordslinger,

    Maybe you should get out more. With foreclosures on the rise and unemployment on the rise and layoffs out of control, and that just tells me that homeowners are struggling. Maybe you are one of the legislators that makes thousand of dollars that we the homeowners are paying you salary..


  28. - Barely the 8th - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:55 pm:

    Kirk keeps fighting. His position on the absolutley awful “stimulus” bill is a testament to his stewardship of the dollars earned by taxpayers. His fiscal discipline is admirable and welcome under the Republican tent.


  29. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 12:57 pm:

    ===Remember, SEIU is no longer a member of the AFL-CIO.===

    Nationally, yes. Illinois and Chicago, they are still members.


  30. - Abe Lincoln - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:05 pm:

    Sure Kirk isn’t a social conservative but he is demonstrating fiscal responsibility right now. I’d rather support someone that can build relationships with Democrats and do what is right when it comes to the economy. Republicans are lucky to have him. If he wasn’t a Republican who would the GOP have?


  31. - Schaumburg - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:09 pm:

    Wordslinger,
    Do you happen to live in Schaumburg? We have a rally (great) guy there!?


  32. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:16 pm:

    “But the machine will only AT BEST add 5% to Fritchey’s numbers, and that doesn’t appear to be enough to close the gap.”

    Sorry dude, the machine will add 4 x your best number. If you don’t believe it-drive around the Northwestside in the next few days and count the thousands of Fritchey signs that are going up on peoples lawns.


  33. - grant39 - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:17 pm:

    Kirk is once again showing himself to be a leader among Illinois Republicans in the midst of Obama and Pelosi’s proposed spending orgy. His take is smart, savvy and principled. The GOP needs him now more than ever. It is no accident he outperformed the ticket to such a degree this past November.


  34. - Droppin Knowledge - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:25 pm:

    Some perspective on labor endorsements in the 5th CD race:

    First, for Windy City Crier who wrote, “If i was forced to chose between an endorsement from SEIU or AFSCME and IFT, I’d take SEIU…a better track record of electing endorsed candidates…recall all of the freshman aldermen in Chicago.”

    The Chicago Federation of Labor including AFSCME endorsed almost all of those candidates, so you definitely cannot split SEIU out from them and call it their success. In fact there were only 2 cases where SEIU split from the CFL, and they won one (Waguespack) and lost one (Dolar). SEIU gave a ton of cash to big losers like Leroy Jones (their own staffer) and Michael Chandler. Also SEIU sat out the 25th ward race where Cuahutemoc Morfin wound up less than 100 votes short of getting Danny Solis into a runoff, which Morfin very well may have won. In all the labor record was extremely good in the 2007 Chicago aldermanic races but in cases where SEIU did not follow the herd its results were mixed.

    The other important factor is that unlike in city and state races, in the Congressional race there are strict contribution limits. So union money will have negligible impact - it will matter more to Fritchey, who has more than a dozen union endorsements, but not at all to Feigenholtz who has only SEIU.

    Other union resources including volunteers cannot be coordinated with federal campaigns, and can only be used to contact the members of unions that have endorsed that particular candidate. So to whatever extent SEIU can put volunteers or send mail in the 5th district their impact is limited by the number of members the union actually has there. They can only call, mail, doorknock their own members, which is likely a small number in this district.

    The Fritchey unions on the other hand have much more density in the district and may be able to pool resources to call, mail and knock their combined membership there.


  35. - Ditto - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:39 pm:

    SEIU has like 10,000 members in the district, many of whome are women and many of whom vote. Also, SEIU - unlike most of the other unions - have $ to put behind their endorsement for ies and donations to candidates they endorse. As an organization, they’re coming off a great 08 cycle where they put big bucks and resources into Obama’s operation and it paid off for them.


  36. - Ditto - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:41 pm:

    rich, I thought PC was banned!


  37. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:43 pm:

    I gave him one last chance. He ignored it. Say goodbye.


  38. - Ditto - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:46 pm:

    Bye-Bye PC!


  39. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:46 pm:

    SEIU is too far left for this district, better to have the Plumbers, Teachers and AFSCME.


  40. - Ditto - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:46 pm:

    Bye-Bye Phil!


  41. - Bill - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:50 pm:

    The leadership of SEIU are the only members of that “union” that afford to live in the 5th CD. They are about as good at politics as they are at negotiating good salaries and benefits for their members.
    They big guys who all became rich at the rank and file’s expense are all talk and no walk.


  42. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:51 pm:

    Bill, c’mon man.


  43. - Droppin Knowledge - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:51 pm:

    Ditto, before blindly touting SEIU money for your boss, re-read my post - in the Congressional race there are strict contribution limits. So union money will have negligible impact.

    No PAC can give more than $2,400 for the primary.


  44. - Bill - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:54 pm:

    ==SEIU has like 10,000 members in the district==
    Just another out and out lie from the Sara camp. They would be lucky if they had 1000 and I’d guess most of them are not registered.


  45. - Ditto - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:55 pm:

    PJW - SEIU is too far “left”? That means absolutely nothing. Their members care about promoting health care for all, child care, equal pay, and worker rights. Feigenholtz has been a leader on all those issues and has a compelling story to tell. So that’s not left - that’s fair and it’s a good message for both their members and the entire district.

    Also, most of afscme’s members don’t even live in chicago.


  46. - Bill - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    Ok, Rich, sorry.


  47. - Ditto - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:04 pm:

    DP, let me be more clear: yes, you are correct that a group like SEIU can only donate $2400 to an individual candidate. However, their PAC and other union PACS have far more flexibility on the IE side. A lot more. Money may not go into a campaign’s own coffers, but those IE dollars are still part of the package with any endorsement - whether it’s SEIU, AFSCME, AFL, etc.


  48. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:07 pm:

    Ditto, I appreciate your point, however, this district has been represented for a long time by many unions that have those same views, have thousands of members living in the district and don’t need SEIU telling them how to vote. I’m talking about plumbers, electricians, painters, teachers, police, fire and tons more.

    Your 10,000 SEIU stats are questionable to say the least and, as Bill says, many don’t vote, however, I’m sure they will be beneficial for her a foot soldiers.


  49. - Windy City Crier - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:09 pm:

    Rich ~~ I stand corrected!! You’re right, both an AFL-CIO endorsement and a CFL endorsement seem unlikely with SEIU backing Feigenholtz, as reported.

    Which is smart of SEIU, given the third possibility that i didn’t mention: the AFL-CIO and all the other unions except SEIU endorse Fritchey, and Feigenholtz wins anyway.

    I’d hate to be the union president who has to call Feigenholtz on election night and congratulate her under those circumstances.

    On the other hand, it’ll give Jerry Morrison one more thing to crow about.


  50. - FlackerBacker - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:15 pm:

    Fritchey’s IFT endorsement is certainly surprising, especially given his votes in favor of school voucher’s and outright support for defined contribution retirement plans. State and national teacher’s unions ardently oppose both these efforts.

    His support for defined contribution was posted on his blog not long ago: http://johnfritchey.blogspot.com/2008/07/deja-vu-all-over-again_03.html


  51. - Gob Bluth - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:19 pm:

    Something needs to be done about the stimulus package and I’m glad that Kirk has got some ideas on how to fix it. I hope more in Congress follow and challenge the Pelosi/Obey spending spree.

    Kirk has been a breath of fresh air for the IL GOP. The IL GOP needs more policymakers, such as Rep. Kirk, with actual accomplishments to win statewide.


  52. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:22 pm:

    All these pro-Kirk posts look oddly similar, no?


  53. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:24 pm:

    === Just another out and out lie from the Sara camp. They would be lucky if they [SEIU] had 1000 and I’d guess most of them are not registered. ===

    Bill -

    According to SEIU, they have 165,000 members in Illinois. That’s an average of 8700 members per congressional district. Granted, those numbers tilt a little up or down depending on the congressional district. But I’m willing to bet its far more than 1,000, and 10,000 is probably in the ballpark.

    To put that in perspective, that’s nearly twice as many members as AFSCME, which has much of its membership concentrated in Sangamon County and in downstate communities with prisons.

    Also, SEIU has a reputation for one of the highest voter registration rates of any labor union in the state. Not quite as good as the firefighters, police or transit workers, but certainly on par with teachers.

    Moreover, SEIU has without a doubt the best internal GOTV operation of any union, which even extends to early voting.


  54. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:26 pm:

    RICH –

    LOL!!!

    This:

    === Something needs to be done about the stimulus package and I’m glad that Kirk has got some ideas on how to fix it. I hope more in Congress follow and challenge the Pelosi/Obey spending spree.

    Kirk has been a breath of fresh air for the IL GOP. The IL GOP needs more policymakers, such as Rep. Kirk, with actual accomplishments to win statewide. ===

    …looks like it could have been generated by a Spambot.


  55. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:31 pm:

    Flackbacker -

    Thanks for the link!

    Bill -

    Are you the same ‘Bill’ in the Fritchey link who criticized Fritchey for backing a reduction in teacher/public employee benefits? Small World!!!


  56. - Amy - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:34 pm:

    any word from the O’Connor camp? anyone following the petition challenges? would be interesting to see the next Wheelan commercial if he stays on. for outsiders, the 5th CD is providing great political theater.


  57. - Ditto - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:34 pm:

    DK, so they don’t need seiu telling them how to vote, but they should take their cue from all the other unions? What you said is true - they all generally share the same views and SEIU will likely have the resources to get that message out to all the voters in addition to their own members.

    As for the 10k, I might be off by 1k or 2k, but I specifically recall that in 02 that they had close to 10k in that district.

    flackerbacker - nice link to the defined contribution letter (on fritchey’s own blog of all places???). Wow. What was the IFT and AFSCME thinking???


  58. - Ditto - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:36 pm:

    yes, rich. those kirk posts all look a wee bit too alike.


  59. - Adam Smith - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 2:58 pm:

    Maybe Kirk just has some support out there. I know he’s just a “congresscritter” but he makes the Springfield crowd look like a bunch of second-graders.


  60. - Brian Frederick - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 3:41 pm:

    I wonder how the Hispanic vote will break in the 5th District? The Hispanic community is increasing at a rapid rate. Do any of the candidates have ties to this voting demographic?


  61. - Fan of the Game - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 3:43 pm:

    [snark]

    With all the corruption Illinois politics, I’m glad Mark Kirk is there to right wrongs and mete justice. Without his tireless efforts, Illinois would have been swamped by greed and the Mississippi River. We’re sure fortunate he hasn’t moved to Wisconsin.

    [/snark]


  62. - Looking Back - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 4:18 pm:

    If I am right the AFL and CFL endorsed Hynes of Obama. While SEIU endorsed Obama. We have seen time and again one union endorse a candidate while the AFL and CFL as a group have endorsed another. Happens even more often when AFSCME breaks with AFL and CFL in an endorsement.

    Going into I would say SEIU has the best Field operation anywhere in the state. SEIU and IFT would tie for the best phone operation and in my opinion AFSCME’s endorsement is always the kiss of death to a candidate. They base too much of their endorsements on grudges and not on records.

    That being said I live nowhere near the 5th so I really don’t care who wins. Just my 2 cents on the labor movement in IL.


  63. - Bill - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 4:58 pm:

    YDD,
    Dividing SEIU total membership by the number of congressional districts and adding 1300 to get your ridiculous 10,000 total is typical of the disinfo spewed forth by the entire Sara operation. If you don’t know or you do know and don’t like it, just lie. As far as SEIU’s political operation is concerned, if they spent as much money negotiating and enforcing contracts as they do on their poliitcal operation, which is hardly first rate, at least in Illinois, their rank and file would be much better off. We’ll see who has the better GOTV operation on election day. My money is on the regular democrats.
    As far as the Fritchey letter, yep that was me. I disagree with Fritchey on a lot of things. I disagree with Quigley a lot as well.
    I really don’t disagree with Sara on anything because I don’t think that she really stands for anything. It is pretty difficult to discern her positions when she is content to languish quietly on the back bench. It is much safer to avoid any controversial issues, like public pensions or school vouchers or any of the other important issues of the day just in case you want to run for Congress some day. At which time you can just spout Emily’s list talking points and hope for the best.
    Do you know where Western Ave. is? Try going west of it some day with your roving band of brie eaters and see how well the Evanston talking points play with the real people who live there.
    Chicagoans don’t like candidates who, fueled by out of state money, try to mingle with the real people and sell them a phony bill of goods.
    Sure, she’s got a real good chance, but it is because of the money not because of her.


  64. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 4:59 pm:

    ===roving band of brie eaters ===

    Your best line ever.

    ===try to mingle with the real people===

    You’re becoming Sarah Palin? What the heck?


  65. - Bill - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 5:03 pm:

    you betcha!


  66. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 5:04 pm:

    You Betcha Rich, Bill is becoming a real lyracist.


  67. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 5:05 pm:

    Seriously, did you make up that “roving band of brie eaters” line or is that something you guys say over by there?


  68. - OOC - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 5:06 pm:

    Oh, Bill. And here I was afraid you would fade away with Rod. So good to see you can still ZING with the best of ‘em:

    =I disagree with Fritchey on a lot of things. I disagree with Quigley a lot as well. I really don’t disagree with Sara on anything because I don’t think that she really stands for anything=

    Snap.


  69. - Bill - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 5:21 pm:

    Naw, that line is mine, but I might have heard it somewhere. I don’t want to pull a Glenn Poshard. I can’t blog what we really say about them.


  70. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 5:26 pm:

    Sounds like a Cub fan gang or something.


  71. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 5:41 pm:

    Rich the “Cub fan gang” carries Nerf Bats. Can Bill be rehabilitated?


  72. - Ditto - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 7:05 pm:

    Geez bill. Isn’t your venom a little overkill?

    I guess sara wasn’t “standing” for anything when she worked (more like fought tooth and nail) to expand funding for in home care so seniors wouldn’t be forced into nursing homes? Or maybe she wasn’t standing for anything when she pushed to get more AIDS funding or passed health care coverage for uninsured working parents and their children? I guess she was sitting down when she got money in the budget to open up more than 20 school based health centers and worked to require insurance companies to pay for mammograms.

    Your attacks are not just pathetic, but patently false. Fortunately, those kinds of hits are too little, too late. She’s already got an army of grassroots volunteers who are REAL supporters and aren’t getting their arms twisted by the regular ward orgs to help Fritchey.

    Speaking of fritchey…is it true that he voted for school vouchers? Who was he standing up for then?

    And, you’re wrong. SEIU has close to 10,000 members in the district. Get over it.


  73. - Rosty the Snowman - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 7:28 pm:

    The problem with the vaunted SEIUer’s is there one shade lighter than red and the 5th district ain’t quite ready for revolution.

    Sara’s really, really not gonna like the machine after this little blow out.


  74. - Bill - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 7:36 pm:

    I’ll get over it on March 3…at the victory party…and it won’t be on the lakefront.


  75. - Ditto - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 7:48 pm:

    Bill, sounds great. The party will be at sara’s west side office on Irving Park. Hope to see you there along with us supporters.


  76. - Rosty the Snowman - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 7:50 pm:

    By the way Ditto, school vouchers ain’t quite the four letter word you make it out to be in the 5th district which you would know if you knew anything about the district.


  77. - Ditto - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 8:24 pm:

    Actually rosty, since I do know the district I was born and raised in very well, I can tell you that vouchers don’t register much one way or the other with voters there. However, they do register with teachers, educators, administrators, LSC members, and union members (generally), all of whom who are steadfastly against them. And, fritchey won’t be able to hide that fact, IFT endorsement or not.


  78. - Bill - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 8:43 pm:

    Hey Ditto,
    This is really fun. Ive missed you.
    Rosty, can you work on a blizzard for election day. You know how those lefties feel about cold weather. I bet those 10k SEIU workers will really flock to the polls.


  79. - David Ormsby - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 9:15 pm:

    I sure hope “Bill” or “Ditto” are not paid Fritchey or Feigenholtz campaign staff burning precious campaign time on this hoo-haa.


  80. - Ditto - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 9:18 pm:

    Actually, Sara had a packed house of grassroots volunteers at her first campaign office kickoff in the middle of a snowstorm - you can check out the videos on her website - who went out and collected 4,000 signatures over a day (and without any ward orgs to boot). So, bring on the snow!


  81. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 9:59 pm:

    As a side note of clarification: The SEIU endorsement won’t effect the AFL/CIO much if at all, since SEIU left the AFL/CIO in 2005 and helped form Change to Win. Since AFSCME and IFT are still in the AFL/CIO, their picks will likely be the AFL/CIO’s.


  82. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 10:06 pm:

    My bad, I missed Rich’s comment farther above. (And I checked the Illinois AFL-CIO web site just to be sure.)


  83. - ZC - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 10:15 pm:

    Bill, if anything it’s my limited experience that bad weather can just as easily drive away the ward activists, any people who are just going through the motions to preserve wherever they are in the job structure. Ideological passion for ideas is a powerful mobilizing force, maybe not always for good. I respect your opinions on this blog (well, maybe not *all* of them), but the notion that leftist activists shy away from the cold strikes me as far-fetched. Other thoughts on this?

    This makes me think of the primary day in 98 where it was basically Jan Schakowsky vs. Howie Carroll, who had a fair share of the ward orgzs behind him. The weather was godawful that day - cold and nonstop rain, the worst primary day I’ve ever personally seen. The Schakowsky voters turned out in heavier numbers, and her leftie activists were out in force for the whole day. They’re not fainting violets, that’s for sure.


  84. - ZC - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 10:18 pm:

    And incidentally, I’m supporting Fritchey. But I don’t underestimate the support of Sara’s supporters one iota.


  85. - ZC - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 10:28 pm:

    Also Flackerbacker, thanks for the letter link to Fritchey’s website. Read through it. I’m more convinced than ever that Fritchey is the right person for this job.

    Anyone courageous enough to partially diss Rahm Emanuel and Mayor Daley in the same debate, and also to say that we need to talk honestly about how to deal with the state’s (and soon the nation’s) unfunded entitlement and pension crisis, wins my vote.


  86. - Not so fast - Tuesday, Feb 3, 09 @ 11:16 pm:

    I don’t remember the House ever voting on a school voucher bill? Can anybody link to it and the vote?

    If not, I’m calling B.S. (again) on the Feigenholtz camp.


  87. Pingback Can the Illinois Federation of Teachers Vouch for Fritchey on Vouchers? « Your Two Cents Less - Wednesday, Feb 4, 09 @ 6:50 am:

    […] The IFT endorsement of Fritchey ignited a firestorm–ok, not a firestorm, more like a dull-match spark–on the Illinois political Web site of Rich Miller’s The Capitol Fax Blog. […]


  88. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 4, 09 @ 8:12 am:

    Stayathomemom, here’s your original post that I was responding to:

    ==Everyone needs to open a coke and relax. Stimulus packages don’t need to happen. This economy will work itself out. I agree that may companies are struggling but how many homeowners are struggling? Illinois is one of the most corrupt states and they are going to give us money. Its like giving Blago an OK to sell a senate seat. God only knows what will happen.==

    I don’t know if a stimulus package will work, whatever that means, but I hope so. I know the bankers, who we are already into $700 billion, are pretty scared.

    You suggested homeowners are not struggling. I pointed out many are. And no, I’m not a legislator, but if you think the condition of the global economy is somehow the fault of salaries paid to legislators, I’ve got some carbon credits I want to sell you.


  89. Pingback Local Chicago political news. « Fred Klonsky’s blog - Wednesday, Feb 4, 09 @ 9:30 am:

    […] Here’s the ultimate irony. Mark Kirk, the Republican endorsed by the IEA, is supporting Fritchey, the anti-teacher Democrat endorsed by the IFT. Tags: IEA. TRS, IFT, John Fritcey, Mark Kirk, Vouchers […]


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