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No respect should be expected

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2006

Political scientists make the expected predictions.

A third-party candidate for Illinois governor will find out Thursday whether he’ll be on the ballot in November.

But even if the Illinois State Board of Elections rules in Rich Whitney’s favor, analysts say the Green Party candidate’s effect on the results of the election will be negligible.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of impact,” said Chris Mooney, a political scientist at the University of Illinois-Springfield. […]

“He may siphon off a couple of thousand votes, but it’s not going to mean anything,” said Roosevelt University political scientist Paul Green.

The most likely scenario is that Whitney will pull votes away from Blagojevich, said John Jackson, an analyst with the Paul Simon Public Policy Center at Southern Illinois University.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Radio Network has turned thumbs down on inviting Rich Whitney to participate in the governor’s debate.

Jim Anderson of the Illinois Radio Network has told candidate for Illinois governor Rich Whitney that he will not be allowed to join the Oct. 2 debate with Gov. Blagojevich and Treasurer Topinka.

That’s not unexpected. The IRN hired burly security guards for a debate a few years ago to prevent an uninvited third party candidate from crashing.

The state Green Party opened its southern Illinois office this week.

Music, food, speeches and a dancing chicken named “Gov. Cluck-o-vich,” are all needed for a successful Green Party headquarters opening. The Greens, lead by gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney, opened the doors to their Carbondale office Saturday afternoon.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Disgusted - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 6:42 am:

    Shame on you, Jim Anderson! The voters of this state have a right to hear from all candidates, not just the two major parties. We’ve been spoon-fed the same old pap from those two major parties for years and years and it’s the same thing all the time. They talk but they don’t say anything. Nor do they keep their campaign promises or work for the good of this state and its citizens. It’s time to hear something different and then we can judge for ourselves. Talk about a closed society - can Illinois get any worse?

  2. - wndycty - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 6:52 am:

    I think its pretty silly for Whitney to be entitled to participate in the debate just because he is on the ballot. He has yet to prove he is a viable candidate. He would only be there to be a foil since he has not chance to win. Obviously those who hate Rod and/or support Judy want him to participate because that would be one more person to take shots at Blago, 2 on 1. Why? Because the voters of Illinois are going to take Whitney seriously? No because it makes for good political theater and great headlines (”Candidates gang up on Gov. in debate!”). While Perot participated in the Bush/Clinton debates, Nader did not participate in the Bush/Gore debates. Popular opinion on this blog will be to include Whitney, but most of the voters of Illinois don’t even know who the heck he is. Its not the job of the debate organizers or other candidates to boost any candidate by including him or her in a debate, the candidate should do that on his or her own prior to the debate to prove he or she belongs.

    I will sit and watch the naming calling (moron, Blago staffer, etc.), I have gotten used to it.

  3. - RD - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 8:02 am:

    With an energy plan no better than Dem’s and the main theme being anti-gambling, the green guy can stay home. Let it be JBT v. Blago mano a mano. Green is a color better seen and not heard this year.

  4. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 9:08 am:

    If he is on the ballot, he got signatures, that makes him a viable candidate. Is there some kind of secret threshhold that a candidate has to go above and beyond? It is like Whack-a-mole! You go for one target, then the target changes. Judy should debate the Greenie on her own and say Rod was scrrrd to debate them.

    wndcty-The dems let Sharpton, Kucinich, Mosely Braun (and Lieberman) debate despite the fact that they were utterly useless as candidates. In IL, it is not easy to get on a statewide ballot, the fact that he is on, let him debate. This is not some lowly state rep race.

  5. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 10:39 am:

    I think the question is, what is the purpose of a debate? Is it to pick a winner, or is it to find winning ideas?

    I think the purpose of a debate is to allow candidates to air their ideas, and allow voters to decide which candidate has the best ideas, not decide which candidate has the best chance of winning so people can jump on the bandwagon.

    One idea of Whitney’s, raising income taxes to provide property tax relief and substantially raise the quality of our schools, already has the support of a majority of Illinois voters, according to this week’s poll.

    If Whitney was touting whack-job ideas that had zero public support, I’d be inclined to agree he should be excluded, but his ideas are pretty populist even if they are left-popular. If we’re going to allow Alan Keyes in debates, there’s no reason to exclude Whitney.

  6. - NW burbs - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 10:43 am:

    I forget who and where (probably here, probably a liberal poster) but someone posed the question: If Alan Keyes, whose ceiling was in the 30th percentile, didn’t have a shot at winning the Illinois’ 2004 Senate race … why was he invited to debates but Rich Whitney is not?

    He’s the only other candidate to qualify for the ballot statewide. I can see excluding write-in candidate Stuflebeme (who is reduced to campaigning at 9-year-olds’ birthday parties) because his petitions fell well short of requirements. But Whitney is on the ballot fair and square — the press ought to grow a pair and invite him.

  7. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 10:46 am:

    wndycity - 17% of Illinois voters already say their planning on voting for a third-party candidate, and they haven’t even heard of Rich Whitney.

    I agree that Whitney may be a foil, but he’s the voters’ foil, not a partisan one. Blagojevich is so mired in corruption and Topinka is so uninspiring, voters are looking to send a message to both major parties that they can’t be taken for granted.

    And after 8 years of public corruption stories in the governor’s office under both majority parties, I think voters want to send a message too that the choice to lead our state shouldn’t be between dumb and dumber, or crook and crookeder.

    That, essentially, is how Jesse Ventura was elected, and nobody thought he had a chance 70 days out.

  8. - Frank - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 11:45 am:

    Chicken Suit… hasn’t that been used before, maybe a few years ago in a Senate Race?

  9. - It is easy being Green - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 2:42 pm:

    Top 10 Reasons Blagojevich Refuses to Debate

    As you may know, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, has backed down from an offer by opponent Rich Whitney to a debate in the governor’s race.

    Here are the top 10 reasons why Gov. Rod Blagojevich refuses to debate Rich Whitney. Can you come up with any others?

    10. Can’t tell if debate is supposed to be serious or a Comedy Central bit.

    9. Debate really a ruse by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to get all the state’s top criminals in the same place, at the same time.

    8. Blagojevich’s self-described “testicular veracity” means he’s not allowed in the same
    room with other males.

    7. Whitney proposed debate be held in either Paris, Lebanon or Cairo; Blagojevich responds that he’s not interested in foreign travel.

    6. Until he pays off his $687,000 in mysterious legal bills, Blagojevich working late shift
    Dunkin Donuts drive-thru.

    5. Claims he’s taking father-in-law to White Sox game.

    4. Can’t decide if he should show up dressed as younger Jailhouse Rock Elvis or older rhinestone-jumpsuit-and-cape Elvis.

    3. Has trouble with Whitney’s Southern Illinois accent.

    2. Couldn’t find footage of Whitney dancing with George Ryan.

    1.Blagojevich will debate anyone, so long as they’re not better than him.

    Humor aside, The first debate was a bickering blame game between two candidates who should be forced to campaign on the issues. Getting Whitney in the debates changes (dare I say elevates) the discussion to one that will inform voters and help draw distinctions between all of the candidates. And if you don’t already know, Whitney is the most articulate and best researched of the three. See to find out for yourself.

    Let the ridicule begin…it beats being ignored.

    Green & Growing!

  10. - Juice - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 3:06 pm:

    you greens are such a bunch of blowhard ego maniacs. you actually think that you will make an impact on this election? I predict your impact on this election will be as noticeable as your visibility at the DuQuoin parade. Your own home base, and you had 3 people marching? Funny and Pathetic.

  11. - Juice - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 3:08 pm:

    Oh, by the way, it was Edwin Eisendrath who tried the chicken suit stunt. Way to pick successful role models.

  12. - Alicia Snyder - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 3:42 pm:

    Wow Juice - you sound angry!
    Okay - reality check…..
    1.The purpose of the debates are to expose voters to candidates positions on issues.
    2.If Rich Whitney is on the ballot he is a candidate
    It is becoming very clear to Illinois voters WHY
    Rich Whitney isn’t being allowed in the debates.
    Think about it people… If he were a crazy, fringe candidate, the other 2 would want him there to make a fool of himself.
    Illinois voters are hungry for true political change. Illinois voters are tired of criminals and idiots in the statehouse. Real change has arrived in the candidacy of Rich Whitney & the Illinois Green party!! Grass roots democracy & people powered politics are spreading across this state like a prairie fire. Sounds like some 2 party thinkers need to jump on board (or out of the way)
    GO GREEN!!!

  13. - Lee - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 4:41 pm:

    Whitney should be in the debate. Recent polling in Kurt Granberg’s Rep District shows Blagojevich with an approval rating of less than 30%. In that District, Whitney is probably polling close to Blagojevich. Let him in the debates. Wndcty-The reason for debates is to let voters find out more about the candidates and what the want to do.

  14. - state worker - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 5:10 pm:

    He should be allowed to be on the ballot and in the debate. Why not, I would like to hear what he has to say. It couldn’t be any different than the lies that were told to me 4 years ago.

  15. - Minion - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 5:22 pm:

    big deal. The greens won’t make any difference.

    Apart from Campaign Finance, what distinguishes them from Blagojevich? The All Kids didn’t cover enough kids? This admininstration has been extremely progressive.

  16. - Larry the Cable Guy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 5:57 pm:

    I don’t care where you’re from, that top 10 list is funny right there, Juice.

  17. - It is Easy Being Green - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 8:40 pm:

    Didn’t Eisendrath just get 30% of the vote in the March Democratic primary? In a close 3 way race, you can win with 34%. I think the chicken suit works. I like Blago-O-Chicken better for the name though.

  18. - Disgusted - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 9:07 pm:

    Minion - this administration is progressive? As compared to what other crook and liar? Don’t make me laugh. I’m in the front lines and the lying, stealing, covering up, under-handed and flat out wrong things going on with the current administration’s funding and promoting of its initiatives would make Jimmy Hoffa blush. Here’s one “for instance.” Millions of postage dollars spent on flyers, letters, brochures, postcards, etc. for Allkids and they very conveniently leave out the major fact that a child must be without insurance for a year before they can qualify. Oops, just an oversight I guess or that’s how they’ll spin it. And isn’t it funny that these promotional items have the governor’s name in larger type than the name of the program and is placed more than once on each item. Extremely progressive? - yes, in boosting the governor’s campaign on taxpayer dollars.

  19. - Toxman - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 9:08 pm:

    To: It is Easy Being Green,
    Thanks for the laugh - I loved your top ten, way too funny. It doesn’t look good when the B-team refuses to debate. If he has done so many good things, what’s the harm? When Blago can’t stage a commercial or a prepared press release, he gets in trouble fast. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why he doesn’t have press conferences….

  20. - Dorian Breuer - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 10:15 pm:

    Who but the *informed* voters should decide who can or cannot win. But in this case two of the three candidates for Governor as well as a small group of others are going to make the decision as to what access to information the voters of Illinois will have. Those who think this is okay, do you call this a healthy, deliberative democracy? I hope not. This democracy is close to dead.

  21. - M.V. - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 10:42 pm:

    Since you mentioned All Kids and how progressive Blagojevich is, I though it was interesting that the venue Blagojevich rented (A Finkl & Sons) with state money to launch his All Kids health campaign was recently dealt a hefty fine by the US EPA for INCREASING the output of pollutants that are especially harmful to children. Incidentally, A Finkl has been one of Blagojevich’s biggest contributors. Note that it was the US EPA, not the state EPA, that investigated. This is not what I would call a progressive administration.

    Whitney would never put a corporate donor ahead of the health of children because Whitney does not accept corporate donations.

  22. - anon - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 1:29 am:

    I say let him in. I’m a die-hard democrat who will be working my ass off on election day and the weeks working up to it. I’m a mercenary (sp?) who works for a few different politicians wherever they want us to go. I am sure I will be knocking on doors with literature touting Blago and the rest of the ticket but probably only asking the voter about a state rep or senate race (whatever they want us to ask). But when it comes time to vote I am not sure I will be taking my own advice. The only problem is; can I suck it up to vote for a Republican? The last time I did that, Bill Scott got elected and he ended up in jail. So I don’t have much luck in picking from the other side of the aisle. I might just end up voting for the third party guy whoever he is. But it would be nice to hear his view points. Even if most of the people think he has no chance of winning, I may end up casting my protest vote for him. But that would only be if I knew he wasn’t a full blown nutcase. The only way I might know is if he is included in the debates.

  23. - Bill - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 6:42 am:

    When disgusted claims to be on the “front lines” I think that that means that he is a disgruntled Republican holdover patronage employee, one of many who take every opportunity to sabotage the governor’s agenda.That is why rutan and shakman are the worst things to happen to gov’t in Illinois. It saddles newly elected officials with disloyal employees whose main agenda is to make the official in power look bad.
    Out with the old,in with the new.

  24. - Judy, Judy, Judy - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 12:53 pm:

    A debate among candidates should be exactly that - a debate among all the candidates on the ballot seeking the elected office.

    As an independent voter in the state of Illinois allowing all candidates to be involved will cause all the candidates to talk about the issues - not just throw punches at each other. Allowing Rich Whitney in the debates changes it to one of discussion of the issues to inform voters and help draw distinctions between all of the candidates.

    I’ve met Rich Whitney and was very impressed by his answers to the questions he received.

    I agree with a previous writer who said - “I think the purpose of a debate is to allow candidates to air their ideas, and allow voters to decide which candidate has the best ideas, not decide which candidate has the best chance of winning.”

  25. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 3:34 pm:

    I respectfully suggest that it may be Blagojevich that pulls votes away from Rich Whitney. In the interest of fairness, Blagojevich does not own and is not automatically entitled to these votes. Candidates must earn the votes that they receive, otherwise the electorate is taken for granted.

    The Whitney campaign has already submitted a nominating petition with more than 39,000 signatures, which were collected in a mere matter of 90 days, even though only 25,000 were required in order to get onto the ballot and despite the fact that Blagojevich and Topinka needed only 5,000 signatures. The State of Illinois has already, by statute, defined political viability.

    FCC licensed television and radio stations that exclude Rich Whitney from a debate may be jeopardizing their license and/or tax-exempt status. Please see the following FCC guidance:

    It should also be noted that Rich Whitney is breaking with tradition and running a different kind of campaign–a grassroots, people-powered, volunteer campaign. Conventional wisdom dictates that a candidate needs lots of money and mass media in order to win an election; but the Green Party has already disproved that, winning more than a quarter of all its candidate’s elections in 2005.

  26. - James Anderson - Wednesday, Sep 13, 06 @ 8:23 am:

    I just noticed this:
    >>That’s not unexpected. The IRN hired burly security guards for a debate a few years ago to prevent an uninvited third party candidate from crashing.

  27. - James Anderson - Wednesday, Sep 13, 06 @ 8:31 am:

    OK, here’s the rest of that post:
    That is not exactly true. We weren’t worried about Jerry Kohn or Cal Skinner “crashing” a debate. We hired off-duty Springfield cops for every debate we have done at the Old State Capitol, just so there would be a security presence there. There never has been any particular threat.
    Also, I have nothing against Rich Whitney or third-party candidates, but if including a third-party candidate causes a major-party candidate to withdraw, then I’m sunk from a radio programming standpoint — and that’s the business I’m in. I do not have the power to compel candidates to appear in a debate. All I can do is invite them. If they don’t like the format, they won’t accept. They get plenty of invitations. I cannot change the terms of the invitation unilaterally.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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