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Sunday morning wrap-up

Sunday, Oct 31, 2004

My weekly newspaper column talks about the Beth Coulson and the Ricca Slone races and how women legislators from the two political parties have behaved quite differently in the contests.

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Yesterday, Bob Novak and Al Hunt both predicted on CNN’s Capital Gang that Congressman Phil Crane would lose.
NOVAK: One thing that saddens me, it looks like Phil Crane, the senior Republican in the House of Representatives probably going to lose in Illinois in the carnage of the Republican party in Illinois. Phil Crane was a presidential candidate. He was one of the leaders of the conservative movement, with his (INAUDIBLE) when he was a college professor, the Democrats (INAUDIBLE) I hope I’m wrong, but it looks like he’s going to go down.

HUNT: I think elsewhere, that there will be four or five GOP incumbents, including Phil Crane, who are going to lose.

The Waukegan News Sun has a homestretch article on the Crane race, as does the Chicago Tribune.

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Just in time for Halloween, the Daily Southtown’s Kristen McQueary has an excellent article today about ghost candidates.
In five races — most of them concentrated on the Southwest Side — Democratic incumbents along with newcomer Dan Lipinski face Republicans who don’t return phone calls, answer doors, raise money, seek publicity or campaign — yet all managed to collect hundreds of signatures to get on the ballot.

In some cases, they have not even voted in Republican primaries, instead pulling Democratic ballots.

A Daily Southtown review of the petitions they filed to get on the ballot shows connections between the Democrats and some of their GOP “challengers,” revealing a wink-nod campaign tactic both parties use to protect incumbents.

Read the whole story.

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The Decatur Herald & Review has a piece today on appointed Rep. Bob Flider’s massive outspending of Republican opponent Scot England. I plan to have the real story in the Capitol Fax tomorrow about why the Democrats have spent so much money on this race.
“The amount of money per vote that Bob is spending is obscene,” said England, a former WAND-TV news reporter. “Somebody has lost their mind.”

Flider said he has always felt confident about the race, but because it was his first election contest, he was making an extra effort that would not necessarily be needed if he had been in office for several years.

“My opponent has been a TV personality, and his name recognition is very high,” Flider said. “We’ve had to explain my record of helping schools and creating jobs and also my 12 years of public service” as a village trustee and mayor in Mount Zion.

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The Southern Illinoisan has two interesting stories today. The first is about record spending in state races:
The Illinois U.S. Senate race, the 5th District Supreme Court and State Senate 59th District campaigns have raked in more than a combined $24.5 million.

The second is about the role of religion in local races.

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No link to this, but the Champaign News Gazette has a story about some late dirty tricks in Rep. Naomi Jakobsson’s district. Jakobsson is a sure-fire winner in this district, but someone dredged up an old Human Rights Commission complaint against A Woman’s Fund, which Jakobsson ran.
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And, finally, here’s Doug Finke’s weekly Copley column. As always, he’s got a couple of funny bits.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

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