Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » 5th CD roundup *** UPDATED x2 - Fritchey calls out Quigley *** Quigley fires back ***
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5th CD roundup *** UPDATED x2 - Fritchey calls out Quigley *** Quigley fires back ***

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009

*** UPDATE 2 *** Quigley claims he didn’t vote for the resolution calling on the General Assembly to pass the transit bailout. From a press release…

The Quigley for Congress campaign responded today to false statements made today by state Rep. John Fritchey.

“Just like when it came to vote on sales taxes, John Fritchey got it wrong again today,” said Tom Bowen, Quigley for Congress campaign manager.

Bowen added:

“Fritchey is doing what all politicians do when they are in trouble, they mislead the voters. Mike Quigley never voted for the resolution Fritchey cites, nor did he co-sponsor it. Quigley has said consistently that the reason the CTA was in such a dire condition was the direct result of John Fritchey and Sara Feigenholtz voting for budget after budget that shortchanged mass transit, while failing to hold the CTA accountable for the money it was wasting on mismanagement. When faced with a similar crisis in Cook County, Mike Quigley held his ground and voted against the Stroger sales tax hike while Fritchey and Feigenholtz voted for a sales tax hike, helping make Chicago’s sales tax the highest in the nation.”

“Mike didn’t vote for sales taxes on that day, any day before, or any day since. John Fritchey can’t say that. Sara Feigenholtz can’t say that.

“And that’s why the taxpayers of this district are saying they support Mike Quigley.”

Fritchey’s campaign claims that Quigley missed the committee vote, but was present for the floor vote, which was unanimous and a voice roll call. Quigley’s people deny it. Stay tuned.

*** UPDATE *** This is a very legit hit by Rep. Fritchey. Several legislators were talking about Mike Quigley’s attacks this week and weren’t happy about them. We’ll see if the media covers it. From a press release…

State Representative John Fritchey (D-Chicago), a candidate in next week’s Special Primary Election to fill the 5th Congressional District vacancy, today chided one of his opponents in the race as an opportunist and a hypocrite. Rep. Fritchey’s comments came in response to mailers and statements made by Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley regarding the state’s bailout of the CTA, Metra and Pace mass transit systems, and his supposed opposition to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

A recent Quigley campaign mail piece attacked Fritchey for supporting legislation that kept the buses and trains running in the Chicagoland area. But at the time the legislation was being considered in Springfield, Quigley actually voted for a Cook County resolution ‘urging the Illinois General Assembly to take such action as is necessary and appropriate to increase
operating funding.” (County Resolution 07-R-310)

“Mike Quigley has crossed the line from political spin and jumped right into the realm of deceiving the voters,” stated Rep. Fritchey. “When it was politically popular to keep the buses and trains running so people could get to and from work, Mike was fully on board. Now that he’s running for higher office, he’s criticizing the same bailout that he wanted passed at the

You can find the resolution on this page.

I wrote about Quigley’s attacks on Fritchey and Rep. Feigenholtz on this issue yesterday. You can click here to see one of the mailers in question.

* Also, Jesse Greenberg points to this whack of Quigley by Forrest Claypool after the 2007 budget vote….

On February 10, Commissioners Quigley, Gorman, Goslin and Silvestri switched sides and voted for President Stroger’s budget, which protected politically connected upper management personnel and sacrificed frontline personnel. These same commissioners then proceeded to vote against the very amendment they publicly supported a week prior, resulting in the defeat of our omnibus budget amendment 10 to 7.

[ *** End of Update *** ]

* While Rep. John Fritchey’s ketchup on a hot dog mailer will probably go down as the goofiest ad of the season (if not the decade), his TV closer is quite strong…

Fritchey doesn’t have nearly the money behind this ad that Rep. Sara Feigenholtz and SEIU have behind their TV buys. But this isn’t a normal campaign. Phil Crane won a 1969 special congressional election (after Donald Rumsfeld left for the Nixon White House) with something like 3,000 votes in an 18-candidate primary. Weird things can happen when the ballot is crowded and nobody votes.

* I really don’t get the Chicago media’s aversion to this race. For instance, today’s Tribune profile of Ald. Pat O’Connor (at least the online version) makes no mention of the paper’s weeklong series of articles about O’Connor’s zoning “issues.” The paper’s edit board also made no reference to the series when O’Connor was mentioned in its endorsement of Mike Quigley. Also, the Trib’s Quigley profile posted online is only a small portion of the print story.

* Speaking of Quigley, David Ormsby claims the candidate is being hypocritical with his attacks on Feigenholtz and Fritchey over the mass transit bailout vote…

Fritchey and Feigenholtz had the courage to take a tough vote to keep the buses and trains running for thousands of their constituents and thousands of Quigley’s. Quigley had the cowardice to attack them for it.

* If you want to follow the campaign via Twitter, WindyCitizen has a handy new tool.

* I banned someone for life yesterday because of a very inappropriate comment about a candidate. That commenter will never be allowed back in, no matter what, for as long as this blog exists. I even deleted all of his/her previous comments for good measure. It was a very satisfying Orwellian erasure.

Besides that one idiot, the comments weren’t too horrible yesterday, but things have gotten out of hand in previous posts. I will ask one more time for a bit of civility and common sense. I’m in no mood and have no time to babysit overzealous campaign hacks today. Grow up or leave.

Also, please use only one screen name in comments. I can see your IP addresses, so I know when you’re attempting to post multiple “thoughts” under different names.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - The 'Broken Heart' of Rogers Park - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 10:01 am:

    Rich, you mentioned the lack of media attention, you only scratched the surface.

    The greens and the Republicans have candidates too.

    While it appears they don’t spend money on TV ads, shouldn’t some of their stories be told. Shouldn’t their issues be covered?

    Like this endorsement.

  2. - 200k - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 10:11 am:

    When a republican or green raises at least 200K then Rich would probably take a look, he is pretty much applying the same principal to the dems.

  3. - Lakefront Liberal - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 10:14 am:

    Thank you for all the effort you make to keep the comments reasonably respectful, factual and on topic. The ability to have a reasonable discourse while expressing divergent viewpoints is a something that desperately needs to make a comeback.

  4. - Downstate weed chewing hick - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 10:25 am:

    Im not in that district, but if I were, putting ketchup on a hot dog would be enough for me not to vote for him. There are just some things too important to look the other way.

  5. - Diamond Dog - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 10:29 am:

    What does Fritchey mean by “when you lose hope, you shouldn’t be here anymore?” Sounds like an underhanded endorsement for genocide for apathetic lawmakers. Seriously, how did that wording come from the minds of anyone who calls themselves a professional.

  6. - About that Tribune series . . . - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 10:30 am:


    Speaking of the Tribune’s “Neighborhoods for Sale” series on zoning, Dan Mihalopoulos, Robert Becker, Todd Lighty, Carnell Little, and Laurie Cohenthe, who wrote the series, were all recognized earlier this week by the American Society of Newspaper Editors as finalists for the ASNE’s Excellence in Local Accountability Reporting award.

    As readers will recall, the series linked specific addresses to specific zoning changes to specific campaign contributions to specific aldermen from specific donors.

    Kudos to them for a job well done.

  7. - About that Tribune series . . . - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 10:31 am:

    Typo correction: Laurie’s last name is “Cohen.”

  8. - EmptySuitParade - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 10:35 am:

    Yeah but the Trib lost to chicken news reporting…Distinguished Writing Award for Local Accountability Reporting — Ames Alexander, Kerry Hall, Franco Ordoñez, Ted Mellnik, Peter St. Onge, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer. For a series of stories revealing how officials in the poultry industry ignored and threatened injured workers.

  9. - Chicago Dem - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 10:36 am:

    I agree with your comments about the Tribune and O’Connor. Very strange that neither the paper nor the editorial board mentions their own scathing investigative stories about O’Connor’s zoning activities.

  10. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 11:07 am:

    Good for Fritchey.

    Also worth noting — as I mentioned yesterday — is that it was just two weeks ago that Quigley was complaining that the Obama stimulus plan didn’t invest enough in mass transit.

    Then he whacks two of his Democratic opponents for actually doing something to fund mass transit?

    That’s the kind of HYPOCRISY I usually only hear from Republicans.

    Quigley loves whacking Democrats so much, maybe its time for him to officially switch parties.

  11. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 11:19 am:

    Diamond Dog — turn it down a notch — the only time the word “genocide” should be used in connection to the Illinois state legislature is when they are voting on things like Sudan divestment laws.

  12. - About that Tribune series . . . - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 11:19 am:


    Yes, but probably well-deserved by the NC folks. After all, they were reporting on a multi-billion industry that feeds the entire nation as it abuses immigrant workers. It’s probably only fair that it trumps a (well-researched and well-written) series about corrupt politicians and their donors.

    By the way, the following is from an item on the Charlotte Observer’s website about the award:

    “The Cruelest Cuts” – which also was produced by more than a dozen editors, photographers, designers and others – told readers how N.C.-based House of Raeford Farms illustrated problems rampant in the poultry industry. The investigation showed how the company blocked some injured workers from seeing doctors and hauled others back to work hours after surgery for broken bones and severed fingers.

    Most of those workers were immigrants who were reluctant to complain for fear of being deported or fired. Observer reporters interviewed more than 200 current and former workers for the investigation.

    “The Observer’s project revealed the difficult world of the poultry plant through excellent writing and determined reporting,” said judge Peter Bhatia, executive editor of The Oregonian in Portland and a former president of ASNE.

    “It is a superb example of the revelatory reporting that is unique to newspapers and vital to our society.”

    Less than a week after “The Cruelest Cuts” was published, federal lawmakers called for hearings to address issues the series raised. The federal Government Accountability Office is now studying whether regulators are doing enough to crack down on companies that try to hide workplace injuries, and lawmakers have added staffing at the N.C. Labor Department.

  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 11:24 am:

    Hooray for the Tribune. Now if they’d only get to work and cover this race instead of backstabbing and whining behind the scenes…

  14. - Bakersfield - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 11:26 am:

    If ignoring the Republicans means not giving any attention to Paulido, then I am all for ignoring the Republicans

  15. - About that Tribune series . . . - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 11:39 am:


    My point isn’t to sound rah-rah for the Tribune, which is already a shadow of its former self, but for the writers who know how to provide the in-depth reporting and analysis you’re asking for regarding this race. If only the paper would give them the space and backing to do it.

  16. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 11:44 am:

    ===If only the paper would give them the space and backing to do it. ===

    I’d rather not go into this further, but I’d beg to differ. I’m just really tired of some of the childish behavior in the tower.

  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 12:37 pm:

    It is weird that you would do a profile on a candidate and not reference a recent series you had done on them.

  18. - Outsider - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 12:59 pm:

    As someone who doesn’t know all the players, I’d like to suggest that while the ‘big three’ keep fighting it out maybe it’s time to look at the others in the race. Donatelli seems bright, capable and always prepared. Can she win? Who knows…stranger things have happened.

  19. - Jerry Morrison - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 1:02 pm:

    Love ya Pete!

  20. - JLP - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 1:24 pm:

    I applaud you for enforcing the standards here. Politics can be a dirty business, especially in Chicago, but that does not mean we cannot be civil toward one another. Thanks for your efforts!

  21. - Jerry Morrison - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 1:32 pm:

    Rich, i can’t even make a harmless joke at my friend Pete’expense? This ain’t no fun anymore.

  22. - Captain America - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 1:38 pm:

    Quigley’s attacks on Fritchey and Feigenholtz for supporting the mass transit sales tax increase is hypocritical. It effectively reinforces an impression that he is a renegade who would say and do anything to get elected - hence not very trustworthy.

    I am not anti-Quigley, but it is disingenuous at best to suggest that he would not have supported the sales tax increase to support mass transit if he had had a meaningful vote on the issue. Quigley’s constituency supported the bill overwhelmingly. If Quigley was really against the mass transit reform/funding bill let him
    produce one shred of evidence that he opposed it or spoke out against it. He can’t because there is none.

    I think the 5th District will be well-served by any of the parties likely to emerge with a small plurality. My personal regard for Mike Quigley has diminished substantially because of his fictitious retroactive posturing aganst the mass transit funding/reform bill. Quigley’s always been somewhat unlikeable, but now seems to have morphed into a dishonest opportunist.

  23. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 2:11 pm:

    Broken Heart,

    The media is barely covering the GOP (and Greens) in the 5th race for the same reason they essentially ignored the Dems after State Rep. Carolyn Krause announced her retirement a year and a half ago.

    I don’t think voters in the 5th CD will produce the same result (flipping the open seat from one party to the other), but the basic history and demographics of the district explain the media’s … laziness … in covering this special election.

  24. - CC - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 2:12 pm:

    Why did you take that Broken Heart comment? It’s news on the Sun-Times

  25. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 2:18 pm:

    Because I don’t care about candidates’ personal lives and it’s a dumb story and after what happened here yesterday all i will say further is go over there to comment if you want.

  26. - Suzanne - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 4:02 pm:

    The transit funding issue is a little tough to untangle. Last year’s fix provided revenue, yes, but it did almost nothing to tidy up the underlying forecasting assumptions used by the transit agencies and the performance measures that flow from them, which is why declining sales tax revenue has them in such a pickle now. All to say, the claims of all three candidates embroiled in this debate may have some merit.

  27. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 4:50 pm:

    Suzanne -

    Aside from the transit hypocrisy, what really grinds me wrong about Quigley are his attempts to link Feigenholtz and Fritchey to Stroger and the fact that Chicago has the highest sales taxes in the nation.

    Fritchey and Feigenholtz voted to raise sales taxes .25%

    Stroger’s increase was FOUR TIMES that.

    And who got Todd Stroger elected? MIKE QUIGLEY.

  28. - "low level paper pusher" - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 5:07 pm:

    Yeah, I hate to say it because I like Mike Quigley a lot, but he is way off base with this one. He is trying to score points saying Fritchey and Feigenholtz voted to raise taxes.

    Well, Mike, they also voted to save the CTA, something your constituents depend on. And is he now going to rewrite history and say that he did not want to save the CTA and voted against the resolution or was not in the room or some such nonsense?

    I hate to bring these things up, but Mike opened the door himself with his ad. He went with Stroger, worked for Stroger. He didn’t have to do that. He could have just stayed neutral. Instead, he worked openly for Todd with staff and everything. Not good.

  29. - WindyCityGardener - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 7:59 pm:

    With all the candidates running we are uncertain who we are voting for.
    Fritchey was a complete jerk in the impeachment hearing running defense for Burris.
    Quigley did endorse Stroger when he should have kept quiet.
    Sarah is getting backing from (only my opinion)one of the most corrupt unions in the country. SEIU officials were connected at the hip with Blagojevich.
    O’Connor is a Chicago Alderman. Enough said.
    I’ve checked out the websites of all the other candidates and it’s mostly Bush bashing and no original ideas.
    With all these people running I’m sickened by our choices.

  30. - Dig Deeper - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 8:22 pm:

    Check out ANOTHER resolution that Quigley COSPONSORED May 3, 2005 which calls on the GA to do what it needs to do to fund public transit.

    Go to page 4 of the PDF:

    Sounds like the other resolution he supported.
    Funny how the more things stay the same, the more Quigley changes.

  31. - Bill - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 8:30 pm:

    Nice ad, John. We’re almost there!

  32. - WindyCityGardener - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 8:34 pm:

    Does anyone know any of the other candidates running ?
    I’m interested in Tom Hanson. On his site he calls himself a Liberal Republican. My question is: most Republicans in Cook County turn out to be a little on the crazy side. Is he sane ?
    I’ve never voted a straight ticket in my life. So I have no problem voting for the right Democrat or Republican.
    All the other Republicans seem to be one trick ponies. Immigration. Most don’t have websites.
    This guy Hanson seems to not focus on only one issue. Any information would help.

  33. - Jerry Morrison - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 8:36 pm:

    Hey “WindyCityGardner” what is your issue with SEIU?

  34. - WindyCityGardener - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 8:44 pm:

    I think I explained it. They were big Blagojevich supporters. One of their officals are on the FBI recordings talking about Obama’s senate seat. I’m sure we’ll hear more when the indictments come down.
    In fact didn’t Fritchey make the connection with
    SEIU and Blagojevich ?

  35. - Jerry Morrison - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 8:52 pm:

    Like almost every other union and Democratic Party entity, SEIU supported Rod Blagojevich for Governor. I believe even the esteemed John Fritchey endorsed Rod Blagojevich in more than one race over the years. How corrupt is John Fritchey in your eyes?

  36. - WindyCityGardener - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 8:57 pm:

    Like I said, we’ll learn more when the indictments are issued. Sarah should run from that union.
    Also I’m not voting for Fritchey.

  37. - ElectMike - Wednesday, Feb 25, 09 @ 9:20 pm:

    Capparelli picked up a big endorsement today. Rich, where is it?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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