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Weirdness

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

The weirdest part of this Coulson mailer is that a Republican House member from the North Shore and Gary Forby, a state Senator from deep southern Illinois, are the only two politicians with tough races who are using Rod Blagojevich in their campaigns.

What the heck does that say?

UPDATE: Here are some Governor Blagojevich quotes from today’s press conference (courtesy of the Carterville Courier staff):

“Gary Forby would be with me in Springfield in the governor’s office and we’d sit down and talk about the budget. I’d kind of tell him we’re turning the corner and getting more money for health care, more money for pre-schools. Gary would listen and he’d say, ‘Rob.’ Not Rod. ‘Rob.’ He mispronounces my last name and the first name. He says, ‘Rob, what are we doing about coal?’”

“It’s true that Gary Forby and I don’t agree on 100 percent of the things that we have to deal with in the legislature. But we do agree on our commitment to fight for working people and give working people a chance to get work. That’s why we’re here today to talk about providing opportunities for working people who work hard.”

“Today, we’re doing a couple of things about coal. An idea that began with Gary Forby. An idea that he worked on because he is so committed. We both share the same objective and the same goal, and that’s to get people working again.”

(Photo Credit: Devin Miller)

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      


What, no Keyes endorsement?

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

State Rep. Beth Coulson has an “R” behind her name, she sits on the Republican side of the House, votes with the GOP caucus for leadership.

The trouble is, her district leans heavily Democratic. The Democrats have been trying to inform voters all season that Coulson is really a Republican, but Coulson has complained that the Democrats are just being mean.

One of my subscribers received some Coulson lit in the mail today. I have some excerpts below. Sorry about the size, but I couldn’t make them any smaller.

The first has her with the ever-popular Barack Obama, who, in reality, has endorsed Coulson’s Democratic opponent.

This next mailer features Governor Rod Blagojevich, complete with a helpful quote from the Democratic leader.

She even features Attorney General Lisa Madigan in the Blagojevich piece.

As one Republican cracked today, “Coulson gives RINOs a bad name.” (A RINO, for those of you who don’t know, is a Republican In Name Only.)

More later this weekend.

- Posted by Rich Miller   3 Comments      


Hmmm

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

This is an interesting development….


Photo credit: Devin Miller

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


Cautionary tale

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

Archpundit has been on the story of the alleged “bomb scare” at Alan Keyes’ check-opening office. First check the background. Then, his follow-up, which he calls: “A story of caution, not bombs.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      


Money

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

From the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform’s The Race is On blog:

Gambling interests have given at least $387K since July 1. The biggest giver is Alton Gaming, operator of the Alton Belle Casino, at $140K. Richard Duchossois and his relatives and associated businesses, including Arlington Park, have given $77,615, while Harrah’s shows $62,700. The Racing Association of Illinois, operator of Balmoral Racing Club, shows $34K. Established casinos dominate the giving, but Rosemont Mayor Donald E Stephens’ committee has given $13,500 to Springfield-related committees (as opposed to the $10K he gave to Cook County committees).

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Operation Save Forby

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

Governor Rod Blagojevich was down in southern Illinois today to announce a multi-million-dollar clean coal initiative and help state Sen. Gary Forby’s campaign.

The governor heaped praise on the appointed incumbent, who is in a tough re-election race.

My brother was there (he owns a couple of papers in the region). “It was ‘Gary Forby Day,’” was how Devin described it.

UPDATE: From comments section comes this valuable insight:

As unpopular as Blagojevich is in Southern Illinois, this may blow up in Forby’s face, $15 million dollars or not.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      


Althoff goes up

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

Sen. Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) has bought Chicago broadcast TV time. No definite word yet on the buy’s size, but rumor has it at $200K.

Let’s see, Althoff and Patrick Ouimet are up. Sen. Pat Welch is on the air, as is his GOP opponent Gary Dahl. Morris Republican House candidate Doug Hayse has a tiny TV buy.

Can anyone remember a time when this many state legislative candidates have run Chicago television ads? Usually, it’s just one race a cycle, if that.

- Posted by Rich Miller   3 Comments      


Deluged

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

I wrote this morning about how voters in Phil Crane’s district are being bombarded with mail and phone calls. This story is from the NorthWest Herald:

“This is just ridiculous,” said Kathy Lawrence of McHenry.

Lawrence said she has received 10 to 12 phone calls a day from politicians for the past few weeks. Some calls were recorded messages, others were real people, Lawrence said. [Snip]

Herman said the Bean campaign has completed thousands of live calls and one round of recorded calls. The campaign office has received about a dozen complaints regarding repeated calls, likely from other agencies.

“We don’t like to do [automated calls] because we don’t like to harass people,” Herman said. “We would like these groups to stop bothering people. We’ve never gotten complaints over something we’ve done.” [Snip]

John McGovern, a spokesman for the Illinois Republican Party, said it has made about 15,000 live calls in the region in support of U.S. Rep. Phil Crane, R-Wauconda, and President George W. Bush.

The group likely will begin making automated, or “robo,” calls this weekend, McGovern said.

“We even intend to be calling on election day to remind people to go vote,” said Mike Fourcher, spokesman for Democratic state senate candidate Pat Ouimet.

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      


Voter Leave Law

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

Maybe because I work for myself, and I always voted after work at my previous jobs, I didn’t know this.

Employees in Illinois are entitled to two hours of leave to vote, but they must apply for leave before Election Day and employers may specify the time during the day that leave can be taken.

(10 ILCS 5/17‑15) (from Ch. 46, par. 17‑15)
    Sec. 17‑15. Any person entitled to vote at a general or special election or at any election at which propositions are submitted to a popular vote in this State, shall, on the day of such election, be entitled to absent himself from any services or employment in which he is then engaged or employed, for a period of 2 hours between the time of opening and closing the polls; and such voter shall not because of so absenting himself be liable to any penalty; Provided, however, that application for such leave of absence shall be made prior to the day of election. The employer may specify the hours during which said employee may absent himself as aforesaid. No person or corporation shall refuse to an employee the privilege hereby conferred, nor shall subject an employee to a penalty because of the exercise of such privilege, nor shall directly or indirectly violate the provisions of this section. (Source: Laws 1963, p. 2532.)

More state election leave laws at TimeToVote.net

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      


Oh, yeah, I want one

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

This yard sign was spotted near Sullivan. If someone could get me one of these, I’d be very appreciative.


- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      


Crane Money

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

The NRCC just dumped $250,000 worth of TV ads into Congressman Phil Crane’s campaign today.

The latest estimate I’ve heard about the total spent by all interests in that campaign between the middle of this week and this coming Monday will be something like $3 million.

Wow.

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      


QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

OneMan completely sums up the Keyes campaign while making fun of one of its testimonials from Rush Limbaugh.

Rush is quoted in Keyes’ new TV ad as saying, “In your heart you know he’s right.”

The Republican OneMan’s take on Keyes: “In your guts you know he’s nuts.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      


Friday Morning Wrap-up

Friday, Oct 29, 2004

We lead today with a State Journal-Register story written by Doug Finke about how the state may have to give the federal government a whole bunch of money. Oops.

Federal auditors contend Illinois was overpaid $140 million in Medicaid reimbursements, and they want the money back.

However, state officials plan to challenge the findings of auditors for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [Snip]

The impact of the audit on the cash-strapped state is unclear. Dan White, spokesman for HHS’ Office of Inspector General, said that with Illinois challenging the findings, a resolution could take “six months, at least.” In many cases, states and the federal government negotiate a settlement that can be for a smaller reimbursement than is initially demanded.

Read the whole thing.

=====================================

A story you might want to avoid is the Tribune’s south suburban legislative race article, which is just unbelievably weak.

Whatever. It’s reporting like that which has given me a such a good living, so I won’t complain too much.

A better Trib story is the profile of House Speaker Denny Hastert’s race against a fiesty challenger.

You’d have to be living under a rock the last year to miss the presidential and vice presidential races. But the campaign of the man two heartbeats from the presidency has hardly registered–particularly outside his staunchly Republican district, which starts in Chicago’s outer suburbs on the western edge of DuPage County and stretches through farmland almost to the Mississippi River.

=====================================

Moving along, Illinois Leader co-founder Brian Timpone (an old buddy of mine from when he was the House GOP spokesman) has a new online newsletter in the Metro East that rips the trial lawyers a new one on a daily basis. A recent story lays out which individuals and firms have been contributing to, and on behalf of, Democratic Supreme Court candidate Gordon Maag.
Randall Bono, a powerful asbestos lawyer and former Madison County Judge, has dug into his pockets again donating another $200,000 to the newly formed Justice for All political action committee aimed at helping Illinois Supreme Court candidate Gordon E. Maag.

Bono had previously given $195,000 to help jump start the organization which launched an ad campaign promoting the positive qualities of trial lawyers.

In total, Justice for All has raised $850,000 with help from the East Alton firm of SimmonsCooper, Alton asbestos lawyer John Barry Julian and Bono.

It’s worth a look, especially these days.

=====================================

The Daily Southtown has a piece today on Barack Obama stumping in GOP territory.
Obama, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, dropped behind enemy lines for a Democratic rally in Frankfort, a staunchly Republican suburb where Democrats often feel outnumbered.

“I think this is all of us,” joked one Frankfort resident, gesturing to the crowd of about 150 who gathered in a Halloween-decorated garden center to hear Obama, along with other Democrats running on Tuesday’s ballot.

The Southtown also has an AP story about the Statehouse shooter being indicted.

Chief Circuit Judge Robert Eggers announced at an afternoon court hearing that Derek W. Potts faces nine counts, including charges of first-degree murder, burglary and several gun violations.

Public Defender Brian Otwell said a report by psychiatrist Dr. Philip Pan of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine found Potts, who has a history of mental illness, unfit to stand trial but capable of becoming so within a year under state mental health supervision.

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      


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