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Question of the day

Thursday, Feb 4, 2010

* Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown points out today that he wrote all about lt. governor Democratic nominee Scott Lee Cohen’s troubles last March

So I duly reported the information, along with his explanation that the charges were dropped when the girlfriend failed to appear in court and with his denial that he’d done anything wrong in the first place. The whole business was tucked into a couple of paragraphs deep within the story, which I thought portrayed Cohen overall as a bit of a goof.

And that’s where it stopped, until a few weeks ago, when I started receiving calls from Democratic political types as his opponents came to realize Cohen might actually win, which I’d already figured out for myself just by hearing all his radio commercials and seeing his campaign mailings.

Some hoped I would remind voters about Cohen’s arrest, but I thought that if his opponents or the candidates for governor believed it was important, they should make it an issue themselves.

Instead, I wrote a column about the very real possibility Cohen could win and pointing out how he was going out of his way to hide his occupation in those campaign ads touting him generically as a successful small-business man.

I hoped that would be enough to bring voters to their senses, which was my second mistake.

Now that the Democrats are stuck with him, they might want to make the most of it.

I also knew about the allegations against Cohen because of Brown’s column. His consultant admitted it all last year when I asked. Like Brown, I didn’t think Cohen had much of a shot at winning. Also, like Brown, I thought that the candidates would use it since Brown had already written about it, and I just wasn’t comfortable writing more until then. I was wrong. Man, was I wrong. I’m sorry about that. I feel horrible.

* Cohen and his strategist talked to the Daily Herald

Cohen said he spent about $2 million, compared to the $300,000 Link spent.

“Some career politicians are bitter,” Cohen said. “What won the election was not the money. It was being with the people, listening to their needs, helping their communities.”

Cohen got into politics after starting Rod Must Resign, aimed at forcing former Gov. Blagojevich from office. In the closing days of the campaign, Cohen ran numerous radio and television commercials promoting his job fairs.

His campaign strategist, Phil Molfese, said surveys and focus groups showed Cohen’s main message of job creation and economic development resonated strongest with suburban residents. Support from Cook, DuPage and other collar counties ended up making the difference in his election.

* As we’ve already discussed, woman in question had been arrested for prostitution. She alleged that Cohen “put a knife to her throat and pushed her head against the wall.” Cohen denied that he ever touched her. This bit is new, though

A spokesman for Scott Lee Cohen says Cohen had the woman arrested for destruction of property.

Sounds like a happy couple, that.

* Chicago Public Radio Web Editor Justin Kaufmann wrote about the situation today and admits that he voted for Cohen

Let’s go with the Trib’s big story on the arrest record of Lt. Governor candidate Scott Lee Cohen. Something tells me Ray and Rick had this one sitting on the desk for a while and dusted it off when they saw the surprising results. He did have the best campaign commercial though, where, in a poorly filmed shot, he stares down someone off-screen and kind of yells at them about needing more jobs. It was effective. I was scared. I voted for him because his tie was loosened a bit and I didn’t want him to stare me down anymore. I’m like that.

Editors don’t usually like to break sensational stories right before an election, but I think that needs to be re-thought. Jack Ryan’s troubles were well-known - or at least heavily suspected - in reporter circles before he won the 2004 GOP primary. Blair Hull’s domestic violence history was dropped into the end of a Tribune profile story, and was then picked up and pushed into the bloodstream by Trib columnist Eric Zorn, among others.

* The SJ-R editorial page lays out some options and urges something be done

* As columnist Mike Lawrence recently wrote, the candidates for governor at least should choose their running mates, just as nominees for president do. As entertaining as it might be to watch, it makes no sense from a governing aspect to foist an undesirable running mate upon the gubernatorial nominee. The past two lieutenant governors (Quinn and Corinne Wood, who served under George Ryan) became estranged from their bosses because of corruption.

* The office simply could be abolished. The lieutenant governor has no constitutional duties other than to take the governor’s place if he or she can’t serve or is removed by the General Assembly. The attorney general would be next in the line of succession.

* The governor could give the lieutenant governor something to do. In Ohio, lieutenant governors often are appointed to agency directorships.

* Some states, such as West Virginia, do not have a lieutenant governor, and the Senate president is next in the line of succession.

* The lieutenant governor could be given the duties of presiding over the state Senate, as was the case before the 1970 constitution. The vice president’s power to do so mostly is a formality. Lyndon Johnson wanted to continue being leader of the U.S. Senate when he went from majority leader to vice president in 1961, but Democratic senators promptly rebuffed that idea. The same thing probably would happen here.

I’m not sure how any of this can be done without amending the state’s Constitution. And that would take a vote in the General Assembly and then another vote by the public in November. I also think that Cohen believes he’s mentally prepared for this hurricane. It’s going to take a lot to get him off the ticket. And in the meantime, the Democrats have a horrendous problem on their hands.

* The Question: What do you think Gov. Quinn should do now?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:14 am:

    Quinn pressures Cohen to drop out.

    Hey - it worked for Quinn regarding Burris, right?

    Quinn has to publically call out Cohen and tell us that he will be asking Cohen to step down. Pressure him hard. Pay him off.

    Have Madigan handle it.

    Norb Andy’s is open again. Reserve that old coal room in the back. Show the pawn broker who the real criminals are. Have MJM bring a something scarier than a knife - his daughter.

  2. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:19 am:

    Rich, I don’t think you should beat yourself up over this (well, maybe about the bad prediction that Cohen didn’t have a chance given all the ads he was running and the heavily split field :-)

    The main fault is the organized Democratic Party — after Fairchild/Stevenson and the Solidarity Party fiasco, if they can’t put out the alarm to the media and voters, they have to take responsibility. The media could have done a better job to be sure, but between the tight governors races, the Broadway Bank scandal and the Hoffman surge, it’s at least understandable.

  3. - OneMan - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:19 am:

    == A spokesman for Scott Lee Cohen says Cohen had the woman arrested for destruction of property.==

    FYI, the answer to this problem for you guys is not to try and make the woman look bad. You do not want to flush her out. You need to be contrite to the N degree (and also have your head examined for running in the first place with this in your past, ‘defensive wounds’ and you think you can spin that?)

  4. - wndycty - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:20 am:

    Encourage Cohen to step down and have the committeemen appoint Hynes. . .Team of Rivals, Illinois style.

  5. - Secret Square - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:22 am:

    So, anyone out there wish they had a time machine and (knowing what we know now) could go back to the ‘08 election and vote FOR the con-con?

  6. - Inish - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:23 am:

    I like wndycty’s idea- what a great way to unite the party

  7. - A Naughty Moose - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:24 am:

    Not to take this off topic, but I am glad Justin Kaufman admits he is a vapid idiot. (Is there any other kind?) Question is, why does he bother to vote?

    Bigger point, relevant also to Chicago Public Radio: Anyone else notice WBEZ switched to BBC content at 11 pm on Tuesday - with all the races still up in the air? Meanwhile they could have simply simulcast the Illinois Public Radio coverage/analysis from Springfield with the terrific Sean Crawford, Kent Redfield et al? What is wrong with WBEZ? (It may be shorter to answer what is RIGHT with BEZ actually.)

    Long as I’m ranting, the WGN radio coverage was also awful. Don’t know the know-nothing hosts were but they were talking about how close all the races were and so we’d be seeing “runoffs” now.

    Kudos to WBBM radio for the only decent coverage I heard, from Bob Crawford, Craig Dellimore and co.

    Bottom line it’s no wonder Chicago area residents are so comparatively uneducated about state govt, when they get WGN/WBEZ garbage at the same time Springfield residents have WUIS and Jim Leach/Adriana Colindres on WMAY.

  8. - Skeptical Cynic - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:26 am:

    You Democrats are a hoot. Cohen just spent $2 mil of his own money to get nominated and you expect him to withdraw?

  9. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:26 am:

    Because a guy who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to win an election often feel like stepping down voluntarily after winning.

  10. - George - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:26 am:

    “if his opponents or the candidates for governor believed it was important, they should make it an issue themselves.”

    And that right there is the death “sentence” for our local media’s reputation/role as watchdog over politics.

    One column, read by maybe 2,000 people, written a year out from the election, does not make good journalism.

  11. - AlphaBettor - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:26 am:


    I DID for the Con-Con.

    I also voted for Rickey Hendon.

    So don’t blame me.

  12. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:26 am:

    Constitutional amendment abolishing the office, succession to AG, then SOS. Also merge the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer, with that office next in line for succession.

    Were stuck with Cohen, but let’s use this opportunity to make a meaningless gesture aimed at reform and cost-cutting. Four years from now, when it takes effect (unless Madigan kills it), we’ll have two fewer races to clutter up the ballot and tee-vee.

  13. - Captain Flume - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    Governor Quinn should applaud the astuteness of Democratic voters in selecting Mr. Cohen. He should embrace the message that brought Mr. Cohen the nomination. Being a pwan broker is not a dishonorable profession (especially not if you watch the History Channel’s Pawn Stars), so keep selling him as a small businessman with an awareness of what people need, jobs.

    If Mr. Cohen actually wants to be elected to the office of Lt. Governor, he and the Governor will have to work together on this campaign. And maybe the Governor’s campaign could learn a few things about winning, as well.

  14. - So IL Student - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    I agree with VanillaMan, if Quinn is going to do anything about it. He is going to have to reach out to MJM and start to pressure Cohen publicly. The Dems are definitely looking at a serious problem. The Dems do not even have any hope that the public realize the Lt. Gov does nothing, with Gov Quinn’s situation. The reality that Cohen would be next in line would be all to real.

    Not to mention, with such a competitive Republican Gov race. The Republicans are going to have a hard time trying to bring the party back together. Attacking Cohen and the Dem ticket, could be the means to coherence.

  15. - Niles Township - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:28 am:

    Were stuck with Cohen, but let’s use this opportunity to make a meaningless gesture aimed at reform and cost-cutting. Four years from now, when it takes effect (unless Madigan kills it), we’ll have two fewer races to clutter up the ballot and tee-vee.

    Agree with that. While we are at it, let’s merge the Comptroller and Treasurer offices too. Minimal money saved, but man, look what we can avoid.

  16. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:29 am:

    There were some hot races going on. It’s not unreasonable that Cohen slipped under the radar. His opponents should have squawked — loudly — once they saw the money he was spending.

    I doubt if Cohen got many votes among Cap. Fax readers.

    Quinn’s in a pickel. He might want to hold his fire for a couple of days to see how this shakes out.

    One thing he should not do — overpromise or lay down ultimatums that he can’t make stick. Don’t bet on it.

  17. - Anon - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:30 am:

    Are we really to believe this guy didn’t know his girlfriend was a hooker? That he didn’t know “message therapist” is often code for “giving happy endings”? I agree with OneMan, methinks the last thing he wants is for her to start talking.

  18. - Amalia - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:30 am:

    Quinn should consult with lots of legal experts, do more digging into Cohen, and see if there is more to pressure him out.

    rich, you have not one thing about which to feel horrible. this is not on the media. it is on Terry Link and Art Turner and any Lt.Gov. candidate who thought they could win. when you are a candidate you have to scrutinize the opposition. it is not up to the media to do your job for you. it’s a job application which includes the possibility that you can knock down others applying for the job. there is no filter to who gets to apply for the job, other than residency and signature requirements.

    but, I call again for the Democratic Party of Illinois to actually act like a party that cares about results. and that’s on Mike Madigan.

  19. - The Doc - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:31 am:

    Can Quinn really ask Cohen to step down? He’s the nominee, not the officeholder. Quinn’s already thrown down the gauntlet with populist rhetoric about mandates and landslides and such. I don’t see how demanding his resignation fits into his “will of the people” narrative at all. We’re talking about the lite gov for almost two full terms of Blago.

    You make the best out of a sticky situation. Task him with focusing on job creation, all day and twice on Sunday. That’s it. Call him a jobs czar or whatever.

  20. - So IL Student - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:33 am:

    I doubt if Cohen got many votes among Cap. Fax readers

    Not mine. Thank you, Rich!

  21. - Bill - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:34 am:

    ==I doubt if Cohen got many votes among Cap. Fax readers.==

    That’s right. We all voted for Ricky Hendon after Rich posted his birthday party commercial. Ive been craving a twinkie ever since.

  22. - OdysseusVL - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:34 am:

    Not to digress, but am I the only one who thinks that if the story had been splashed on the front page of the ST it might have sold some papers? This sure explains the current condition of print media.
    With regard to Quinn: Time to put on the big-boy pants. He needs to strong and forceful and make it clear right now that Cohen cannot be on ballot. None of this waiting, or relying on the Speaker. Quinn needs to do it himself, or he’s got no chance in November. Lack of leadership is an issue for them. He needs to start playing the role of the leader.

  23. - Agreed - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:35 am:

    Secret Square: my thoughts exactly.

  24. - OdysseusVL - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:36 am:

    One last note — I did not see or hear any of Cohen’s TV or radio pieces, but I thought his mailers were horrible. When I first looked, it took me a minute to figure out that part he was with and what he was running for. Too much text and the overall layout was a mess.

  25. - Prognosis Negative - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:36 am:

    Cohen spent a ton of dough in a compressed time and got in (Karmic Justice?). The media can’t take too much blame on this one.

    Quinn can’t put the screws to him publicly. The problem with that is if Cohen decides to stay in, you have the Gov beating up his own running mate.

  26. - cassandra - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:36 am:

    I think it was the jobs commercials. People are so desperate these days that they are putting way too much faith in government’s and politicians’ ability to create and sustai high-paying, stable jobs. I don’t believe they can…govt can contribute to a recovery but there are many other factors. Unfortunately, this leads to demagoguery on the part of politicians, who falsely make job-creation claims they can’t possibly meet. It’s false hope. Expect a lot more of the demagoguery.

  27. - I wonder... - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:38 am:

    why I never heard of this guy. I try to be an informed voter and to be honest, I have never heard of Mr. Cohen. The issue becomes, do you spend money (and how much) on attacking a Lt. Gov. candidate and then have the other side open up the conservative politics of Mr. Plummer which may not play well in the suburbs. I am not sure that the way to the Governor’s mansion is through the Lt. Gov. candidate.

  28. - 2010 - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:39 am:

    I find it ironic that no one had expected Quinn to win Lt. Gov way back when…and Blago moved forward with him on the ticket. Karma anyone?

  29. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:40 am:

    People—remember 1986? Anyone? Fairchild and Hart. Democrats are stuck with the clown unless he wants to step down after plunking down $2 million bucks.

    What’s that quote about those who don’t learn from history having to repeat it?

  30. - TitforTat - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:41 am:

    Cohen should resign. You can’t beat up a women and threaten her with a knife and still think voters will support you in a generall election. I don’t care how much money they guy has taken from poor people — he is a disgrace!

  31. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:41 am:

    Who is the chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, who should have been attending to this? Um, Mike Madigan! (Though Quinn and Hynes should have renounced him during the campaign too)

  32. - Chicago Guy - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:41 am:

    I think they should eliminate the office of lt. gov and make the Attorney General (or someone comparable) as the successor. I don’t know what the budget for the office is, but with staff, office space etc., it must be at least $500k a year.

    With the exception of Paul Simon, the job has always been viewed as a do-nothing position.

    The problem with getting rid of the position is I believe it may require a constitutional amendment.

  33. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:42 am:

    What should quinn do? Nothing. He needs to accept the fact that Cohen won fair and square. The process in Illinois is what it is. Cohen followed the rules and the law with respect to his campaign. Quinn should keep in mind that Blago didn’t want him, but got him. So while Quinn, and others, may not want Cohen, he and they will just have to put up with him and make the best of things.


    I suppose the Quinn camp could do to cohen what it did to hynes in the final four days leading up to the primary: plant and shop stories to the media and push it so that it catches fire.

    *Editors don’t usually like to break sensational stories right before an election, but I think that needs to be re-thought. Jack Ryan’s troubles were well-known - or at least heavily suspected - in reporter circles before he won the 2004 GOP primary. Blair Hull’s domestic violence history was dropped into the end of a Tribune profile story, and was then picked up and pushed into the bloodstream by Trib columnist Eric Zorn, among others.*

    ah yes, but the Hull and Ryan issues were first pushed by the Obama ‘04 camp, specifically David Axelrod, and then targeted to select media (e.g., columinsts and investigative reporters) to blow the issues up and see them takeoff. Truthfully Ryan’s divorce records should have remained sealed.

    I have a problem with the media being used to do the bidding of a political campaign. The potential for abuse and manipulation by political campaigns is just way too high. An unsuspecting media or newbie journalist may be fed lies, half truths and gross exaggerations about candidates, and run without those stories. as a result a perfectly good candidate may get destroyed over lies. So, I think the policy of waiting and (hopefully) checking facts so as not to influence election results is a wise and totally reasonable one.

  34. - titan - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:43 am:

    With what the people of Illinois have knowlingly voted into office in the past, is this guy really significantly worse?

  35. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:45 am:

    I don’t care that he’s a pawnbroker and formerly dated a prostitute. It’s just Lt Governor. It’s not an important enough job for me to not for D in November (for governor anyway).

  36. - Agreed - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:46 am:

    I can’t help but think back a week or two to the Chicago Tonight debate, when Hynes said the Lt. Gov office should be abolished, and Pat Quinn defended the office. Wonder if Quinn’s having a change of heart now?

  37. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:47 am:

    ===and Ryan issues were first pushed by the Obama ‘04 camp, specifically David Axelrod, and then targeted to select media===

    Wrong. Rod McCullough, GOP operative and Borling staffer, peddled the Ryan divorce file. Get your facts straight WCW.

  38. - Pat collins - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    I heard his commerical on 780 AM the day of the election. A very nice one, with several people talking about being laid off. Then they got a job at the job fair this guy was running.

    Very very positive and up beat.

    Nothing about slamming a womans head against a wall and putting a knife to her throat so hard it left abrasions, of course.

    If Turner and Link really knew about this a week or two before the election, they DESERVE what they got for not making a huge stink of it.

    Would have gotten them free media also….

  39. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:52 am:

    Can they bring back the Illinois Solidarity Party?

    Just kidding. What now? Either play it safe with “we’re a democracy” muble jumble or go on the attack with “how many jobs has Brady created?” I’d go with the FORMER, but it’s a thought.

  40. - Kenny - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    I think Quinn should

    (1) dodge questions for now
    (2) have his campaign consultants research the heck out of SLC including grilling him privately for hours about everything in his personal and business past
    (3) show the results to SLC and explain that this is a big stage, this stuff will come out, does he really want to go through with it?
    (4) hope SLC decides to remove himself from ticket
    (5) work with Mike Madigan to pick someone that will help the ticket.

  41. - Anon - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 10:56 am:

    Quinn will have no choice but to, in some way, get this guy off the ballot. Far too many domestic abuse charges get dismissed because the spouse or significant other doesn’t testify…but that doesn’t mean the abuse didn’t occur. In this case, there is physical evidence out there backing up the charges. Women’s groups should be up in arms (they would be if Cohen were a Republican), and Quinn needs all the base support he can get.

  42. - Downstate - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:05 am:

    While the other candidates should have been yelling out this, I do blame the media. Rich, if you knew about this you should have been reporting it, same with the Sun-Times, but at least you cover politics and state government, most newspapers don’t.

    I have never seen an article in my local papers about what bills local lawmakers have introduced, even though it’s now available online.

    In this last election cycle, I’ve seen stories in the Southern Illinoisan forget to note which party a candidate claimed.

    One story about Cheryl Jackson talked about her plan for improving the economy, except that it never described what was in the plan, just that she allegedly had one.

    Too many reporters think details don’t matter. Oh, Cohen’s a small businessman, rather than what he actually does - pawn broker. It’s like the weather guy giving a forecast without the temperatures, or the sports announcer giving the play by play without ever telling the score.

    Mainstream media is in trouble, but it’s a trouble of their own making.

  43. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:05 am:

    Stick to the question, please. I’ve deleted a few comments so far and I’m gonna delete more.

    Again, stick to the question.

  44. - Pat collins - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:08 am:

    What Quinn should do?

    Well, not what Adlai S did. Noble, but wrong.

    Run, and ask the Legislature to impeach him if he wins.

    Run, and tell people to vote for Plummer.

  45. - True Observer - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:08 am:

    “2) have his campaign consultants research the heck out of SLC including grilling him privately for hours about everything in his personal and business past”

    He is a duly nominated candidate for office. In that respect he is an equal to Quinn, Madigan and everyone else on the ballot.

    He doesn’t answer to anyone.

  46. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:08 am:

    Sorry - I forgot to answer the question. PQ has little he can do to remove Cohen. He has got to make the best of it. Show his support, minimize the damage the arrest will have. Can’t do much.

  47. - Fed up - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:09 am:

    Quinn should tell him to resign and the back down like a coward just like the Burris, U of I scandals. No matter what Quinn does today he will be doing a 180 in 2weeks.

  48. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:11 am:

    Downstate, I accept full responsibility for my inaction. Now, answer the question, please.

  49. - Oneman - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:14 am:

    But what Quinn should be doing for now is keeping his mouth shut.

  50. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:16 am:

    ===Run, and tell people to vote for Plummer.===

    Doesn’t work that way Pat. In November, Gov and Lt. Gov are a team. Can’t vote for them separately. See “Paul Simon as LG” for more background.

  51. - George - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:18 am:

    Quinn would do best to say:

    “I have not actually met the guy yet. I think it is time we had a talk.”

  52. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:18 am:

    Quinn should lay low, and see who is opponent is and what and what the Lt. Gov GOP are stirring up, and see if it will be a big issue.

    Maybe this will die down (on Cohen, and turn out to be a non-issue)

  53. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:20 am:

    I posted this yesterday, and I still think this IS going to happen …

    You know, a guy is going to meet SLC for coffee or pie and he will have a briefcase … in that briefcase will be enough stuff on this guy to choke a horse.

    They sit across each other…

    “Your battery thing and such, the press knows all that, and you can ride it, do whatever. But what you don’t know, and what they don’t have is what I am about to tell you. This briefcase has a ‘twin’, actually about 6 ‘twins’… and these twins are going to be delivered to every media outlet in 48 hours. We are not going to have a ‘Jack!’ situation. We know this about you, we WILL pass it on, and we will bury you with embarrassment. I am going to leave you this briefcase. You look at, don’t look at, I don’t care. This time MON, I am going to pass on the twins unless I hear from you. You are NOT going to be our ‘Jack!’

    Have the pie here, it’s good.”

  54. - Dirt Digger - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:20 am:


    “I was no fan of my previous running mate, and I’m no fan now.”

  55. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:20 am:

    Governor Quinn needs to immediately call for SLC to drop out of the race and not seek the nomination to any office in November. If SLC does not drop out today, Governor Quinn needs to say by the time the 5 o ‘clock news hits, that he will not be supporting SLC for Lt. Governor and encourages an Independent candidate to seek the office. If Quinn does not say this, there are plenty of players warmed up in the bullpen that will come into the game and say this for him.

  56. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:25 am:

    I also stand by this playing out …

    I see MJM working a deal … hear this out;

    Turner is the Speaker’s guy, and Quinn and the Speaker need something to bring them together and SLC on this ballot with MJM house races will drive Madigan batty.

    Quinn will not need SLC dragging him down and Quinn needs MJM’s marker so he can call it in on for some of his ideas and programs, along with votes on a budget.

    “Amazingly!” pressure mounts on SLC, and with 9 months till NOV, it is going to be like a pressure cooker quick. Why? MJM and Quinn will agree to try to 86 this guy … and the “deal” will start to evolve … a “drop” here, a compliment of Turner there…If Turner would have won, Quinn would have zero leverage, not he gets to work on MJM for something that would make Madigan happy.

    I am starting to smell Quinn/Turner with a snoozy session between Quinn and MJM … and Lisa … don’t forget Lisa … she gets to do her own thing, let MJM clean up this mess … and she gets herself ready for 4 years ….

    or ….

    maybe not!

    OR … really … MAYBE NOT!?!

  57. - OneMan - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:28 am:

    I would advise Quinn to keep his mouth shut for now. Don’t need another ultimatum he will not follow through on…

  58. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:31 am:

    Quinn needs to buy some time to get the facts and come to a decision as to whether to seek to remove the guy or not. Actually meeting the man would be a start as well.

    In the meantime, his people and the party need to dig up every shred of everything on this guy, get the full extent of what they are dealing with, and based on that decide if they can move on with him or not. If the decision is to dump him, they need to bring out the surrogates to support calling for him to withdraw. The big dilemma becomes what to do if he calls their bluff and says he’s not leaving. Right now, if he makes a knee-jerk reaction either way he’s got major problems — keep him, and have this albatross around his neck for 9 months and take major damage, or dump him and there’s no turning back — it’s third party or lose if he says no.

  59. - OneMan - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:32 am:

    ==If SLC does not drop out today, Governor Quinn needs to say by the time the 5 o ‘clock news hits, that he will not be supporting SLC for Lt. Governor and encourages an Independent candidate to seek the office.==

    They run as a team, you don’t vote for Lt. Governor separately in the general election

  60. - Pelon - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:33 am:

    Quinn’s best approach is to pray very hard that there isn’t more dirt on Cohen and that the girlfriend doesn’t start talking. This charge would probably be enough to keep Cohen from being elected, but it may not be enough to keep him from being elected in conjunction with Quinn. If a bunch of other negative information surfaces, though, it will make a Quinn victory almost impossible.

    Quinn can’t say much publicly because he has no real power over the guy. He is a political outsider who doesn’t need help from the Democrats in getting a future job. Short of paying him off (which is likely illegal), Quinn is stuck with him.

  61. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:36 am:

    Quinn should do just what he has been doing.

    From Chicago Tonight: ==Quinn replied, “I think he should come forward and tell us everything about his background. But anything dealing with that has to go through the [Democratic] state central committee. I want to see what Mr. Cohen has to say. I don’t give opinions until I hear all the facts from the person involved.”==

    Quinn should stick to that until there is more information and Cohen has a chance to defend himself. A police report is not a conviction; the two are very different.

  62. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:39 am:

    Rich, can the Dem party offer to reimburse Cohen for his primary election expenditures if he’ll drop out now? What if they did that plus offered to sponsor a dozen of “job fairs” like he did as a fig leave to bow out gracefully in the public interest.

  63. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:42 am:

    I’m not going to warn people again. Stick to the question or you’re going to be put in automatic moderation.

  64. - Marcus Agrippa - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:55 am:

    Let me try again as my first post didn’t answer the question directly. The Quinn campaign and DPI should hire a top notch opposition research firm and check everything about Mr. Cohen. Business, personal, legal. If it comes up clean then they can deal with it. My guess is that there is
    more stuff out there based on the nature of his business and the allegations. He did go through a divorce. You tell him he had it easy. Does he want himself and his family being brutally attacked all over the state for two or three months. If he doesn’t care then his ego is so big you are stuck with him.

  65. - vole - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 11:57 am:

    Run with him. Put him in charge of ridding the Illinois River of asian carp and serving up fillets with his knife to the poor. Save Lake Michigan too. It’d be a threefer twofer.

    Sorry, but the ridiculousness of the situation needs more ridiculous ridicule.

  66. - Angry Chicagoan - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 12:27 pm:

    Editors need to be less squeamish about running stories like this. By sitting on the story until after the primary, the press has simply politicized it even more by allowing an unacceptable candidate onto a general election ticket.

  67. - Angry Chicagoan - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 12:30 pm:

    Sorry, missed out what Quinn should be doing. I think today’s comments struck the right tone. He can’t unilaterally force Cohen off the ticket so he’s in a very awkward spot.

  68. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 12:39 pm:

    What is scary about Cohen is that he is saying he was going through a rough time and hanging out with the wrong crowd. One hooker does not a crowd make which means there is more to come.

    If the guy has to go from the ticket I like the idea of putting Hynes on. I think that would work out well for everybody.

  69. - Justin - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 12:41 pm:

    Come on Rich, you know I love getting props in your blog, but I hope you recognize my sarcasm. I was just doing a bit. I guess it just didn’t translate (although I’m not sure that anyone would take me seriously if I said I voted for someone because they intimidated me in their ad). And Moose, I’m a vapid idiot - no doubt - but for other reasons.

    I didn’t vote for Cohen. I wrote in Bob Kustra.

  70. - Bubs - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 12:44 pm:

    Cohen spent $2 million? That means Quinn will have to start his offer at $3 million, and go up from there.

  71. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 1:00 pm:

    Quinn should leave this alone because now Alexi G.’s past mob-connected business dealings is now even more fair game, which is probably why the white house didn’t want alexi to run. Quinn and the il dems are setting off a powder keg here by messing with cohen.

  72. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 1:21 pm:

    based on something I just read on the dillard thread, apparently the precedent in a situation like this has been established.

    Quinn should leave the democratic party, seeing as to how he is so principled and can’t bear(?) to run with Cohen. Quinn should form another party the “populist party” or something like that and then pick his own running mate.

    then 25 years later one of SLC’s kids, if he has any, can argue with one of Quinn’s sons about Quinn leaving the democratic party to run against the democrat. :)

  73. - dupage progressive - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 1:51 pm:

    Answer to the question - keep pressuring Cohen to step down.

    I agree that most folks on this blog knew better than to vote for Cohen. I do take issue with comments about throwing away votes because of the entertaining ads. Isn’t that the problem to begin with — not doing due diligence on who you are voting for? The fact that Cohen was elected is a sad reflection on the electorate not doing homework & not paying attention. There is plenty of blame to go around. But please, you bloggers are better than throwing away votes on someone because you think they created a “funny” ad. Not happy about that… If those votes went to Turner or Link, we might have a different story today.

  74. - Fed-Up - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 2:27 pm:

    Is it too late for him to concede the election now that Hynes has beat him to the punch? Quinn can’t catch a break!

  75. - Avy - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 2:43 pm:

    Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty. He released the information to the press, they could have done their due diligence and ran these stories last March. Who is to say that Scott guilty of any of this. I think a lot of people are upset about having a true outsider win an election. All this indignation about an alleged domestic squabble that so many people here think is a capital crime when there are so many morally bankrupt public officials infesting our state government.

  76. - Wumpus - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 3:07 pm:

    Hull/Cohen 2014!

  77. - Loyal Illini '65 - Friday, Feb 5, 10 @ 12:22 am:

    The scenarios being written on this page are unbelievable.Who would want to vote for or be identified with a political party that embraces a “police state mentality” wherein an individual disappears for not thinking or acting accordingly.
    Sometimes we have to give an individual some kudos for being successful without official support.Many of Chicago’s legendary and long-serving Dem pols had unsavory pasts; maintained mistresses and frequented prostitutes, drank to excess, stole money,participated in baroom brawls and were elected on a Democratic party ticket time after time!!!!!!!!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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