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Spanky needs a new photographer

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

1st Congressional District Republican candidate Ray Wardingley deserves some sort of award for the awful photography on his web page.

Formerly known as “Spanky the Clown,” Wardingly can still make us laugh, but I don’t think these pics are intentionally funny.

There’s plenty more at his website.

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      


Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

Just in case you follow this stuff (and who doesn’t these days), here’s a link to some state-level presidential poll results.

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      

Mo’ Money

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

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

What really floored me, though was the $3.5 million the Democratic Party of Illinois brought in. Even accounting for Speaker Madigan’s $500K transfer to DPI, those two PACs have over $6 million to play with this year. And Senate President Emil Jones has another $5 million. That’s $11m between the two Democratic caucuses, compared with $8.3 for the Republicans (the two chambers plus the party). No wonder so many Dem candidates seem so well fed this year. (I’m not counting the Governor’s $10m in that total because he never gives from his PAC to candidates, but there’s also $105K in Move Illinois Forward; no telling where that’s going).

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Poetic License

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

From today’s Alan Keyes fundraising appeal:

The mainstream media and the political “experts” said it
couldn’t be done…

But Alan Keyes is actually CLOSING IN on Barack Obama, and
the Illinois media is in an uproar! YOU can help “Close
The Gap” today:

As the press is reporting, in less than two months, the
Keyes campaign raised over 1.3 MILLION dollars… and the
Obama campaign “burned through” over 8 MILLION, with very
little to show for it.

That leaves the two campaigns NEARLY EVEN in cash-on-hand
for this “final stretch” to election day! The GAME is ON
like never before — and we can WIN this race, just by

- Posted by Rich Miller   3 Comments      

Obama up on Chicago TV

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

From a press release:

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Barack Obama’s campaign today
announced that it will air its first television ad in the Chicago media
market on October 19, 2004beginning today.

The campaign’s new ad, entitled “United,” features audio and video footage
from Obama’s widely praised keynote address at the Democratic National
Convention, as well as video footage from campaign stops across the state.

“There are those who are preparing to divide us,” Obama says in the ad. “I
say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America, and a conservative
America, there is the United States of America.”

The campaign has already pre purchased $2 million worth of television
advertisements to air between now and Election Day.

You can see the new ad

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

A story about record fundraising in the supreme court race is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

More bad news for Bob.

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

By the way, the “Rapist Protection Act” mentioned in the endorsement is the subject of either a current or upcoming mailer in the district.

62nd: We endorse neophyte politician and broadcast journalist Sharyn Elman over GOP incumbent Robert Churchill. He represented the district from 1983 to 1999 and made an unsuccessful bid for Illinois secretary of state, but his stance on women’s health issues is very disturbing — Churchill voted to allow any man, including a rapist, to go to court to stop a woman from having an abortion if he suspects he is the father. He also opposes mandatory insurance coverage for mammograms.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Rep. Dugan meets Gramma

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

I was talking to a House Dem guy last week when he told me that Rep. Lisa Dugan had met my grandmother.


Dugan, he said, was walking precincts in my grandmother’s adopted hometown in Iroquois County (she lived in Kankakee almost all of her adult life) and happened to knock on her door.

Last weekend, when I was pulling up to my gramma’s house, I noticed a Lisa Dugan yard sign out front.

“She was very nice. She stayed for half an hour,” Gramma reported.

Half an hour? Apparently, after Gramma let it slip that I was her grandson, the two had a long chat about politics, and Gramma gave her lots of names of people to talk to in town.

“She said nice things about you.”

I’m sure she did. It’s not like she was going to tell my grandmother bad things about me.

Although, come to think of it, a certain state Representative is still on my black list for whining to my MOTHER about his treatment in Capitol Fax.

So, I guess I should thank Rep. Dugan for being nice to my gramma and not talking out of school. It won’t change her coverage, of course, but at least it won’t get any worse.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Weller and Renner

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

Congressman Jerry Weller’s Democratic opponent, Tari Renner, is pushing a poll that indicates Weller could be in big trouble.

According to Renner’s poll, Weller is way under 50 percent in the head-to-head matchup, leading Renner 42-33.

But the Republicans have a poll that’s about ten days old which shows Weller leading Renner 57-24.

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      

Worse than it appears

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

There’s a crucial missing point in this article:

SPRINGFIELD — A state probe was launched Monday into how the campaign phone number of a veteran Northwest Side legislator facing a tough election battle wound up in a taxpayer-funded mailing promoting driving seminars for senior citizens.

Secretary of State Jesse White’s office sent the fliers to about 6,000 seniors in and around the 20th House district and included the name and campaign phone number of Rep. Ralph Capparelli (D-Chicago), who is facing Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) in one of the state’s fiercest legislative campaigns.

Ralph Capparelli represents the 15th House District. He’s running next door in the 20th House District against Rep. Michael McAuliffe, who currently represents the 20th.

Those fliers were sent at taxpayer expense into the 20th, a district that Capparelli doesn’t legally represent, making it an almost crystal clear political use of state funds.

As my subscribers learned today, that campaign phone number is the least of Capparelli’s worries.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

I don’t think they like him

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

The Illinois Hospital Association let loose on Democratic supreme court candidate Gordon Maag yesterday.

…In a recent television ad, Maag said that he has helped doctors fight “frivolous lawsuits that drive up the cost of health care and put our families at risk.” And one of Maag’s campaign press releases says Maag “strongly supports medical malpractice reform to prevent doctors from leaving Illinois.”

…While sitting on the state Appellate Court, Maag participated in 12 published medical malpractice decisions.  In 10 of those cases, Maag voted against physicians and hospitals.  And in 6 of those cases, the trial court had already found in favor of the hospital or physician, but Maag voted to reverse that finding.

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      

Welch stuff

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

Follow this link for a good background story on Sen. Pat Welch, who, as I told you today, has a newly energized foe.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Over the line

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004

The Tribune crossed the line yesterday in explaining why it wouldn’t endorse state Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton).

Forby hasn’t done a thing to distinguish himself in this district or in the legislature and is painfully inarticulate–to the point that other legislators have a difficult time understanding what he’s trying to say.

I take a good-natured poke at Forby every now and then, but that’s just wrong.

If failing to enunciate clearly was a valid reason to exclude people from the General Assembly, then both Mayor Daleys and Senate President Emil Jones would have been automatically disqualified, and they seem to have done OK by most standards. (And, I don’t know why this is, but I rarely have trouble understanding either Forby or Jones. Daley is another story. I can’t handle that high-pitched squeal.)

Fortunately for Forby, getting whacked by a Chicago newspaper isn’t necessarily a bad thing down ‘yonder.

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      

Down ‘yonder

Monday, Oct 18, 2004

Here’s a very basic, quick rundown of several races in southern Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

More mail opportunities

Monday, Oct 18, 2004

The Sun-Times endorsement editorials (fixed link) weighed in on the Rep. Beth Coulson race today:

This is one of the dirtiest and toughest races — with Democrats slinging a lot of mud at incumbent Beth Coulson… The Democrats have tried to tie Coulson to GOP Senate candidate Alan Keyes. They have hinted she is very close to some of the right-wing positions embraced by President Bush, and they have questioned her pro-choice stance, wrongly suggesting she is really pro-life. Opponent Michele Bromberg, a trustee for the Village of Skokie, is a talented candidate, but we are disturbed by her campaign’s efforts to taint the moderate and very conscientious Coulson. We endorse Coulson.

Coulson can add that to her Tribune endorsement for a very powerful mailer.

Meanwhile, the CS-T goes with Ralph Capparelli against Mike McAuliffe:

…It is only through redistricting that these two terrific candidates ended up running against one another. We have decided to endorse Capparelli, dean of the Illinois House, who has lived in the largely Democratic district for 50 years and remains an exemplary legislator.

Cap should be able to use that to help blunt McAuliffe’s recent negative assault that I wrote about in today’s Capitol Fax (subscribers only).

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Supreme Court campaign documentary

Monday, Oct 18, 2004

The producer of this documentary about the Supreme Court race in southern Illinois sent me an e-mail today to say that some “rough cuts” from the movie would be posted at his site soon.

The filmmakers are causing a bit of a stir in the race. According to the Post-Dispatch, Judge Lloyd Karmeier has refused to be interviewed and Justice Maag only grudgingly allowed them a brief interview.

A little background from the film’s website:

The “Madison County Documentary” (working title) is a work-in-progress by filmmaker Wayne Ewing about the 2004 race for the Supreme Court in Madison County, Illinois. Democrat Fifth District Appellate Justice Gordon Maag is running against Republican Circuit Judge Lloyd Karmeier in a race that is attracting national attention. The US Chamber of Commerce has pledged to spend $50 million dollars defeating selected judges around America in 2004 (”The Secret War On Judges” - Forbes Magazine.

The correspondent is Paul Johnson, a television reporter with KUSA (NBC affiliate) of Denver. Producer is Wayne Ewing, who has “produced and directed over fifty documentaries for American television networks.”

Here’s a snippet from the Post-Dispatch article:

“I’m a serious filmmaker trying to do objective filmmaking about this race,” Ewing said.

But the Karmeier camp is convinced that Ewing has brought a liberal agenda to the project. They have refused to cooperate on the film.

“The Karmeier people turn away and duck every time a camera gets near,” Ewing said.

Steve Tomaszewski, a spokesman for the Karmeier campaign, said he suspects Ewing plans a “Michael Moore kind of film,” referring to the director of the anti-George W. Bush film “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

“I believe they are going after situations that are designed not to put our side in the best light,” he said.

Maag, on the other hand, reluctantly granted the crew about 20 minutes of taping time, said Brendan Hostetler, spokesman for Maag.

“Justice Maag’s feeling is they (the Ewing crew) are there, he wishes they weren’t, and we’ll agree to move on,” he said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Kids, don’t try this at home

Monday, Oct 18, 2004

I drove to Iroquois County yesterday to take my grandma out to dinner. On our way to the restaurant I saw something that cracked me up.

Ahead on the left, I could see a row of Democratic yard signs along the road in front of a house. A car was parked nearby, and a little old lady was uprooting the signs and stashing them in her car, one by one.

There she was, a thick-legged old woman furiously waddling back and forth as she dashed to and fro between her car and the row of signs.

This was in broad daylight, mind you.

I slowed down to get a better look. As I drove by, I could see she had a big smile on her face and that her husband, sitting behind the wheel, was clearly frightened and yelling at her - most likely telling her to hurry the heck up before somebody called the cops. I couldn’t help but laugh.

No moral here. Just a story.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      

Brick Wall

Monday, Oct 18, 2004

The Rockford Register-Star’s Aaron Chambers has another fine column on the continuing saga of Alan Keyes, state Sen. Dave Syverson (who brought Keyes to the dance) and the future of the Illinois Republican Party. In this segment, state party chair Judy Baar Topinka argues for moderation and Syverson doesn’t listen.

Topinka, a social moderate, argued that the party should stay clear of such [social] issues altogether.

“We are good managers. We deal very well with fiscal issues. We work very well with solving problems,” she said. “When we start getting into people’s bedrooms and when we start getting into some of these divisive, social, splintering, factionalized issues, we don’t do the party any good and ultimately wind up disassembled and unable to elect candidates.”

Syverson, a social conservative, says party leaders are focused on reinforcing the notion that conservative candidates can’t get elected. Yet, on one point, he agrees with Topinka.

“What Keyes is doing is wrong and what Topinka is doing is wrong,” Syverson said. “Both are alienating the other side of the Republican Party by continuing to raise the social issues instead of raising the issues that ought to be the focal point of the discussion.”

Um, Dave, try paying attention the next time you talk to Chambers.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Couldn’t ask for anything more

Monday, Oct 18, 2004

Follow this link to the Southern Illinoisan’s endorsement of GOP Supreme Court candidate Lloyd Karmeier. They’re pretty blunt at that paper, and they obviously don’t like Democrat Gordon Maag.

Maag and Karmeier are as different as night and day.

Maag has worked as a trial attorney in Madison County, notorious for outlandish jury verdicts, which have enriched many, many lawyers. Maag also served as an associate judge in Madison County.

But ask Maag about his Madison County ties and he grows visibly angry and tries to disassociate himself from Madison County.

In Illinois State Bar Association polls, fellow lawyers have given Maag a big thumbs down.

That editorial is so good for Karmeier that his campaign probably couldn’t have written it better themselves (especially considering Friday’s campaign press release referring to a “tidle wave”).

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      

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