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ABC7 catches up to YouTube story *** Updated x2 ***

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2006

Last week’s YouTube posting of the complete version of the disastrous Rod Blagojevich press conference was covered this week by ABC7 reporter Andy Shaw.

…But, now a site called YouTube.com, which was set up last year as a way for friends to share digital videos, is rapidly becoming a powerful tool in political campaigns.

The governor’s shaky performance last week in defending a $1,500 birthday gift to his daughter Amy from a friend whose wife got a state job was summarized on ABC7 by Paul Meincke and posted on the ABC7 website.

But now you can see the entire news conference, as recorded by the rival Topinka campaign, on the internet site called YouTube.

“You are seeing him stumbling around, not quite seeming to grasp the import of it and why it might resonate with voters,” said Steve Johnson, Tribune internet critic.

You are also seeing what the TV news failed to show you - the unpretty pictures.

After watching the full press conference, most would concur that other than his flip-flopping on what the $1500 check was really for, the way he answered the questions, or avoided answering them, or couldn’t answer them, was a major part of the story. But nobody showed that on TV.

Just as blogs are forcing newspapers to change, YouTube may one day force TV news to give us better stories. Good for Andy Shaw for covering this story and also for including some of the more uncomfortable moments of that press conference. Make sure to watch the video version of his story.

[Hat tip: Dan Curry]

*** UPDATE *** Speaking of YouTube, I’ve uploaded Tammy Duckworth’s new TV ad and posted it here.

*** UPDATE 2 *** In case you’re coming late to the game or just want to see the vids again, I’ve posted the full press conference and a couple of noteworthy outtakes below.

Video 1 from Governor Blagojevich’s Thursday press availability:


Video 2 from the governor’s Thursday press availability:


Brief excerpt: Gov. Blagojevich has serious difficulty answering questions on “the check” …


Another brief excerpt: Gov. Blagojevich spars with the Chicago Tribune reporter who broke the “check” story in the first place …


- Posted by Rich Miller   54 Comments      


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Wednesday, Sep 27, 2006

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Enter your password to view comments      


Question of the day

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2006

Let’s use Kass’ latest column as a jumping-off point.

So there is a chance (however small) that in an ever-tightening race, Whitney could pull enough Democratic votes from Blagojevich to elect Topinka.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the governor’s race ends up as a close one.

Does Green Party candidate Rich Whitney hurt Gov. Blagojevich by taking away Democratic votes, or Treasurer Topinka by siphoning off votes that would have gone to her in a two-way race? Will it be a wash, or does his candidacy matter at all to the outcome of the race?

[I updated this with the bolded part because I inadvertently gave the Greens an opportunity to pontificate. Answer the question, please.]

- Posted by Rich Miller   47 Comments      


Cut and run? *** Updated x3 ***

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2006

Roskam backs away from the notion that Duckworth wants to “cut and run” from Iraq.

Calling it “crude” and “offensive,” Democrat Tammy Duckworth’s campaign team is accusing Republican congressional rival Peter Roskam of tarring the war veteran who lost her legs in combat with advocating a “cut-and-run” strategy in Iraq.

But Roskam’s camp fired back that the GOP state senator was being “misquoted” and “misrepresented” and Duckworth’s campaign was lying.

Here’s the context:

According to audio excerpts on WBBM’s Web site, Duckworth said a pullout of U.S. troops should be linked to ensuring that Iraqi police and national guard forces can defend the country. And she criticized Roskam for advocating the need to “finish well” in Iraq, suggesting it was meaningless.

“I do think finishing well is a notion that resonates well within the 6th Congressional District,” Roskam responded. “I’ve knocked on over 5,300 doors in this campaign and have heard a wide range of opinions about whether we should have gone, whether we shouldn’t have gone, and so forth. I’ll tell you what. The 6th Congressional District is not a cut-and-run district. It is not a timetable district.”

Those excerpts in the Sun-Times aren’t complete. The full exchange is here, so you can listen for yourself.

As usual, I’m more interested in the political angle, and the war of words will most likely be the subject of my Sun-Times column this Friday.

Also, Duckworth has a new TV ad airing.

For nearly a year, 6th Congressional District hopeful Tammy Duckworth has been the antiwar candidate who didn’t much talk about Iraq.

That all changes today as Duckworth begins airing a broadcast TV ad that introduces her to voters and makes clear her opposition to the war. The Iraq war veteran from Hoffman Estates blasts Congress, which she says “rubber-stamped the failed policies in Iraq.”

“We did our duty, but when I came home I wondered, is Congress doing theirs?” says Duckworth, who looks into the camera for much of the 30-second commercial.

I’ll see if it’s available and post it later.

*** UPDATE *** Here is the new Duckworth ad:


*** UPDATE 2 *** I just noticed that the NRCC ad slamming Duckworth on immigration has been posted to YouTube.


*** UPDATE 3 *** Emily’s List just did a poll in the 6th. The MOE is very high because only 400 likely voters were polled, so take it for what it’s worth, which is not a huge amount. Consider it a fuzzy snapshot.

The poll was conducted September 18-20. This is from the polling memo distributed by Emily’s List.

The initial trial heat is tied: 41% for Duckworth, 41% for Roskam, and 18% Undecided. […]

Duckworth is overwhelmingly preferred by voters as the candidate better qualified to “take the best course to get our troops home from Iraq,” 43% to 30% over Roskam. Even more interesting, in a series of ten issues, there is not a single one in which Republican Roskam is judged better qualified than Tammy Duckworth, including “representing your values.” […]

When voters are asked a generic “Democrat versus Republican” trial heat without names attached, the race is a dead heat at 41%, just like the initial trial heat. Later when voters are asked whether they would prefer a Democrat who is Pro Choice and supports embryonic stem cell research or a Republican who is Pro Life and opposes such research, the Pro Choice Democrat dominates, 51% to 35%.

President Bush’s positive job approval is 47% in this district, significantly higher than his national average. This does not, however, seem to be lifting the prospects of candidates like Roskam, as voters are highly dissatisfied with the job performance of the Republican-led Congress.

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


Madigan wants answers about “mob ties”

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2006

Speaker Madigan defined his main objection to Alexi Giannoulias’ candidacy yesterday to Carol Marin.

Lobbing another political hand grenade, the state Democratic Party chairman and Illinois House speaker said Tuesday he is withholding his support for Democratic treasurer nominee Alexi Giannoulias until he answers “those allegations of connections to the mob.”

“I want some answers,” Madigan said. “The allegations are there.” […]

“I mean my history in politics, if you were alleged to be connected to the mob, you were done, but life seems to go on,” he said.

Giannoulias said he hoped to sit down and explain the situation to MJM, but he can’t get an appointment. What a mess.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


Morning shorts

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2006

* Marin: ‘Man behind curtain’ faces lots of questions (but he hasn’t answered any yet)

* “Former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Seymour Simon, who held positions at multiple levels of government during a varied career in public service, died Tuesday at the age of 91.”

* Blagojevich, Topinka set date for first debate

* Gov. Rod Blagojevich made if official Monday - the new state-supported Amtrak service, including a route to Galesburg, will begin Oct. 30.

* Attorney General’s probe targets hospital executives

* Schmich: `Obamania’ isn’t everyone’s cup of cappuccino

* Demand forces Obama town hall meeting move to Rock Valley College gym

* Steinberg: Gov ready to hang up on sneaky cell charges

* Brown: Fired TV anchorman now on other side of political game

* “Taking care to alert but not alarm, Cook County officials cautioned their suburban counterparts Tuesday about a potential health crisis that threatens every town, every school and every business”

* “The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and an Aurora outlet mall settled a lawsuit over who pays for $4.7 million in road improvements to access the mall.”

* “Some Carpentersville officials are tired of waiting for the federal government to take action on illegal immigran”

* Mayor’s aide quits to run for city clerk - Hispanic aldermen angry Daley didn’t pick one of them

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


New Topinka ad

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2006

While I’m working on finishing today’s Capitol Fax, take a gander at Topinka’s latest TV ad. It’s a 15 second bookend spot and replaces the “budget” ad.


Expect negativity from now until Doom’s Day.

The governor’s campaign hasn’t updated its Topinka Watch site in a while (and they don’t put negative ads on the main campaign site), so I don’t have its latest ad to share with you, but you can discuss it anyway.

A story about the guv’s new ad was in the Daily Herald recently.

After running upward of $10 million in TV ads blasting his opponent, Gov. Rod Blagojevich is now looking into the camera and complaining that Republican Judy Baar Topinka is firing back.

In his unorthodox new TV ad, the Democratic governor says Topinka “likes to attack and criticize my record,” then tries to tie her to former Republican Gov. George Ryan and his handling of fiscal matters.

“As state treasurer, she didn’t do her job. We can’t go back to that,” Blagojevich says in closing the 30-second ad.

The governor’s commercial is unusual because campaigns typically use grave-sounding voiceover specialists to attack an opponent instead of putting the candidate on screen to do the criticizing. Negative ads tend to drive up voters’ negative perceptions of the candidate responsible for the ad, so Blagojevich runs that risk.

After you’re done with the political ads, check out the scaaarry Halloween video at the Rockford Register Star site. Apparently, they’ve found proof that the paper’s building is haunted.

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


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