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Oh, dear God, NOOOOO!!!

Thursday, Oct 28, 2004

I guess we should have seen this coming.

With doctors fleeing Illinois because of sky-rocketing insurance rates and out-of-control lawsuits, an ailing “Flippy” the Dolphin suffered alone in dry-dock today, unable to carry on his tireless crusade to understand why Melissa Bean opposes tax relief.

Sadly, the dolphin’s condition worsened when he learned that Bean has no interest in remedying the doctor shortage or brining an end to what amounts to a “Health Tax” on consumers, preferring instead to remain in the tank with legal barracudas eager to sponge off our health care system and plumb the depths of excessive jury awards. [Big Snip]

Given the downturn in his condition, it appears increasingly unlikely “Flippy” will be able to meet Bean and attempt to understand why she is against delivering tax relief. The Democrat has dodged the friendly ‘phin at every stop this week, doing everything she can to avoid the question of taxes altogether.

Maybe we can still save Flipper by all clapping our hands and saying together: “I believe in anthropomorphic Republican dolphins. I believe!”

I get the feeling this is not my finest moment.

- Posted by Rich Miller   3 Comments      


The carnage continues

Thursday, Oct 28, 2004

Rockford just can’t catch a break.

Workers at the Amerock Corporation in Rockford have been told they will be out of a job in 60 days.

The maker of hardware for cabinets and windows announced in February that it planned to close the factory and lay off all 450 of its factory workers, but did not give a time line for the cuts. [Snip]

Amerock’s parent company, Newell Rubbermaid, moved its headquarters from Freeport to Atlanta last year.

Outsourcing has been a main factor in the decline of industrial employment in the Rockford area. Between 1998 and 2003, the region lost 11,800 manufacturing jobs.

Amerock’s clerical services, including distribution, customer service and human resources, were expected to remain in Rockford, but the company did not say for how long.

When will it end?

- Posted by Rich Miller   4 Comments      


Interesting numbers

Thursday, Oct 28, 2004

Fabrizio-McLaughlin massaged some poll numbers in an interesting way this week.

The polling firm surveyed 800 likely voters in 12 battleground states earlier this week. The respondent selection, “was at random within predetermined geographic units to reflect actual electoral vote allotment to each state.”

The 12 states selected were: CO, FL, IA, ME, MI, MN, NH, NM, NV, OH, PA, WI.

When they totaled everything up, President Bush edged Sen. Kerry by two-tenths of a percentage point.

However, when the firm weighted the results to reflect 2000 presidential exit polls Kerry was ahead by 3.5 points. The firm also weighted to reflect Census results and Kerry was ahead by 5.2 percent. The turnout result is the more important set of numbers, I think, because it reflects past voting patterns and not just simple demographic makeup. To the charts…

First, the “raw” trend lines since the summer. (Also notice how Ralph Nader’s support is dropping):

Now, the latest battleground poll with the turnout and Census weighting:

And here’s the chart that shows the difference between the original, raw data and the exit poll and Census modified numbers.

I talked with Tony Fabrizio this afternoon. I wondered whether the exit poll and Census numbers were for those 12 states, and he said they were. Fabrizio also agrees that the exit poll numbers are the more valid guage of what may happen next week.

Does this mean that Bush is cooked? Not according to Fabrizio. What’s really needed is a state-by-state survey with the FabMac massage. Fabrizio thinks that Bush might pick up some of the states listed above that Al Gore won four years ago, specifically, those with low numbers of minorities.

- Posted by Rich Miller   6 Comments      


It’s on

Thursday, Oct 28, 2004

Links to things inside the State Board of Elections website don’t always work (the Board’s web guys aren’t people friendly), so just in case that one doesn’t function, this is what the link is to:

Patrick Ouimet for State Senate
A1 - $500+ 30 days prior to 2004 GE
Itemized Receipts

Illinois Senate Democratic Fund
P.O. Box 5537
Springfield,   IL  62705-5537

Transfer In
$295,000.00  on  10/28/2004

The A-1 was filed at 11:55:44 AM. As I told subscribers in this morning’s extra, the game is now totally on in the 32nd Senate District. Ouimet will be running Chicago broadcast TV this weekend. You have to subscribe for more details.

The next move belongs to the Senate Republicans.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


The further adventures of Flippy the Dolphin

Thursday, Oct 28, 2004

Here’s a pretty good article about the Phil Crane vs. Melissa Bean race, but it tells us nothing about Flippy the Dolphin.

The Palatine Countryside fills the void:

Crane supporters have called Bean’s position on taxes “inconsistent.” Saturday a person dressed as “Flippy” the dolphin stood in Lake Zurich’s Paulus Park parking lot with other protesting Republicans calling Bean a “flip-flopper” as she, Durbin and Obama rallied her troops.

The Bean campaign called the accusations “desperate attacks.”

More on Flippy’s adventures from a Wednesday GOP press release:


A sorrowful “Flippy” the Dolphin attempted to deliver flowers to Democrat Melissa Bean today and learn more about why she opposes the permanent repeal of the Death Tax, which punishes hard working farmers, ranchers, and small business owners. Sadly for the dolphin, Bean had no interest in discussing the issue, and skated out a back door at an afternoon campaign event – leaving 8th District voters high and dry. [Snip]

Forced to wait outside as Bean plotted her escape, an exhausted and dejected Flippy began to notice he was coming down with a cold, brought on by a week’s worth of attempts to meet the person who wants to be his Congresswoman.

Undeterred by Bean’s slights, Flippy vowed to see a Doctor on Thursday and continue his quest to understand just who is Melissa Bean.

How’d you like to have, “2004: Played the part of ‘Flippy the Dolphin,’” on your resumé? I bet that shows up as “Political Operative” instead.

I wonder what they ended up doing with the flowers?

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      


Thursday morning wrap-up, Part 2

Thursday, Oct 28, 2004

Alan Keyes’ denial, or dishonesty, about his upcoming thumping borders on the pathological:

Media polls like the one showing him significantly trailing Democratic opponent Barack Obama are rarely accurate, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes said Wednesday.

Keyes, who spoke with reporters and a small group of supporters at the Peoria County Republican Party headquarters, said he’s finding people across the state are energized by his candidacy. His visit to the city came the same day his first campaign commercial hit televisions across the state.

“As I put it to my staff people, it’s like leaves on a tree in autumn. You get to a certain point where the leaves are ready to fall. Our commercials are the breeze,” Keyes said. “And the leaves will fall.”

Yeah, about 20 to 30 percent of them.

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

Keyes also had a few not-so-nice words about Illinois reporters:

“I have not been impressed with the standard of journalism in the state of Illinois,” he said. “I think it’s a disgrace to the people of this state that you all don’t do your jobs very well. You’ve got work to do because you’re not up to snuff.”

Any major party candidate who is trailing his opponent by 40 to 50 points less than a week before election day has no standing to tell anyone else that they suck at their jobs.

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

Here’s another media mention of the governor’s recent appearance in Elgin that barely drew a crowd:

Last week, the state’s most powerful Democrat, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, visited a county Democratic fund-raiser in Elgin, the first visit of his administration.

It was a powerful symbolic move to show county Democratic strength but at the same time exposed weaknesses in terms of political machines.

Only 70 people came to see the governor, far fewer than expected.

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

File this one under Oops:

Some state workers at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation are not only losing their jobs - they’re also in danger of becoming victims of identity theft.

Included with some of the job-elimination notices distributed Monday to the 97 affected workers was a list containing more than 500 employees’ Social Security numbers.

“It was an error in compiling the list,” said Susan Hofer, a DFPR spokeswoman. “Only a small fraction of the packets went out with the Social Security numbers. We stopped distribution immediately and redacted the Social Security numbers. We are in the process of retrieving the erroneous list, and the employees are being cooperative.”

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

Meanwhile, the State Journal-Register didn’t post Bernie Schoenburg’s column on its website this morning.

- Posted by Rich Miller   3 Comments      


Thursday Morning Wrap-up

Thursday, Oct 28, 2004

Here are the results of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch poll for the US Senate race that I wrote about today. You’ll have to go to the Centre for Public Opinion & Democracy for more info on the SLPD’s presidential results.

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

Here’s that goofy Daily Herald story I wrote about today.

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

The Daily Southtown has a piece today about Congressman Jerry Weller being booed at last night’s debate with Democrat Tari Renner.

Renner drew applause from the hometown crowd while Weller, at one point, got booed. Tensions grew after the debate when Renner supporters tried to block a Weller aide and Weller’s fiancee from leaving through a side door.

The aide shoved a 75-year-old man wearing a Renner sticker who said everyone was supposed to leave through the front.

Weller’s staff called the scuffle a case of miscommunication. They got permission from police to leave through the side door, his staff said.

Tensions are always high at these events, but there’s no excuse for shoving an old lady. “Miscommunication.” Right. I’d make a wisecrack like, “Just because he married the daughter of a Latin American dictator doesn’t mean Weller should start strongarming Illinoisans,” but I think I’ll just let it pass.

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

They missed some late entries yesterday, but here’s part of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform’s latest report:
With a week to go, three races in each chamber have crossed the million-dollar mark, and one race is knocking on $2 million. The 59th Senate District has drawn the most money, with the two candidates combining to show $1.9 million available for the general election. Following behind them are Sullivan/Ernst (47th) at $1.4 million and Welch/Dahl (38th) at $1.1 million.

In the House, the most expensive race is Slone/Schock, (92nd ) showing $1.1 million, while Grunloh/Reis (108th) and Gordon/Hayse (75th) both show $1.0 million. We’re not counting Capparelli/McAuliffe (20th) because, while they show $1.5 million available, we don’t expect even half of that to be spent by the end of the year.

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

The Tribune has a decent feature on the Capparelli-McAuliffe House race, and a story about DuPage Republicans fending off the Democrats.

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

If you just didn’t get enough of Tuesday’s Senate debate, here’s the video and the transcript.

The very best thing about Alan Keyes’ candidacy is his desire to share every word he says with the world. Because of that egotism, we have complete historical records of events like this week’s debate. Unfortunately for Keyes, those transcripts hurt him more than they helped.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Cosgrove Interviewed

Thursday, Oct 28, 2004

Personal PAC’s Terry Cosgrove was interviewed this week by the Windy City Times. Read it if you want his take on some legislative races, but I thought the end was the most interesting part:

We do four significant things for candidates. The first involves calling every female in a district and asking if they’re in favor of keeping the law on abortion the way it is or if they’re in favor of changing it. That way, we identify who’s pro-choice and who isn’t. If they want to keep it the way it is, then the person is pro-choice and we tell them [how the candidates stand on abortion.] We amass thousands of pro-choice voters in each district this way.

The second thing we then do is directly mail these voters. There are different pieces depending on the candidate and the district.

We also help candidates in other ways. For example, we also urge people to register to vote, which usually involves hiring a consultant. In Naomi [Jakobsson’s] case, we hired a coordinator who ran a program to register over 10,000 voters. We also provide campaign advice for candidates, which can involve providing campaign documentation or help with public speaking.

The last thing we do is make “Get out the vote” phone calls the last few days before the election. We remind them of the election date. That involves hundreds of callers in different precincts.

We don’t do a scatter-shot approach. One of the reasons I believe we have been successful is because we strategically choose our battles.

They call every female in the districts. That’s a big reason why Personal PAC has been so effective over the years. They really work it and they are super-organized.

And, yes, that’s “Hanoi Jane” in the photo.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


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