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Giannoulias wins big endorsement, but almost nobody notices

Thursday, Aug 20, 2009 - Posted by Rich Miller

* There was some actual news yesterday during the annual State Fair festivities, but it was mostly ignored…

The [Democratic] party’s county chairmen’s association voted to endorse Alexi Giannoulias in next February’s primary for U.S. Senate. […]

Some downstate county chairmen wondered why the other Senate candidate, Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson, did not politic at this year’s state fair.

“She hasn’t called, hasn’t said nothing, hasn’t been around, hasn’t introduced herself,” said Rocky Raikes, Lasalle County chairman.

* Another piece of actual news was also ignored, except by Mark Brown

Just months after insisting that a new state ethics law prohibits the Illinois Democratic Party from endorsing or giving financial support to candidates in a primary, Gov. Quinn plans to attend a closed-door meeting of Cook County Democratic officials today to seek their support in next year’s election. […]

Asked about the Cook County slatemaking Wednesday at the Illinois State Fair, Quinn told reporters: “I’m going to go up there to talk to them. I believe in talking to everybody. What they do is up to them.”

Seeking clarification, I called Quinn’s campaign finance chairman, Don McNeil, who said the governor plans to ask for the Democratic committeemen’s support “as individuals,” not a party endorsement.

McNeil said Quinn continues to favor an open primary and to oppose spending party resources on any candidate in a primary contest.

But he specifically won’t join Dan Hynes in asking that the county party avoid slating statewide candidates.

And what’s his campaign finance chairman doing answering reporters’ questions?

* The news that Speaker Madigan won’t convene the state party until after the February election was picked up by Bernie Schoenberg

Madigan also chairs the state Democratic Party, but said Wednesday that the central committee plans no endorsements and doesn’t plan to meet before the Feb. 2 primary.

* Instead, the media coverage was mostly about slight digs thrown at each other by Pat Quinn and Dan Hynes and the “spectre” of Rod Blagojevich…

Though he’s been gone almost seven months, the shadow of disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich hovered over the Democrats’ annual rally at the State Fair on Wednesday as early tensions surfaced in the primary race for governor.


As the memory of Blagojevich forced party leaders to walk on political eggshells, Gov. Quinn and his top primary rival for governor — Comptroller Dan Hynes — traded barbs.

“I respect Pat Quinn, and I find him to be a decent man. But this nomination must be earned, not bequeathed or signed or transferred. It must be earned,” Hynes said.

Quinn paid tribute to the legislative handiwork of three of the four Democratic statewide officeholders — Secretary of State Jesse White, Lisa Madigan and Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias — but snubbed Hynes. […]

“Those are people who want to work together. If you don’t want to work with our office, go your own way,” Quinn said, when asked if his snub of Hynes was deliberate.

* Quote of the day goes to potential gubernatorial candidate Rep. Jack Franks…

“I’m not a Chicago politician. I’m a farm boy from Marengo and I rely on common sense. And I think we need a change,” said Franks.

Farm boy? Really? Actually, he’s the son of and partner with a very successful trial lawyer. Here’s his official General Assembly bio

Attorney; law firm of Franks, Gerkin & McKenna; Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin/Madison; law degree from the American University Washington College of Law; a member of several Chambers of Commerce in McHenry County

Nothing about being a “farm boy.” And he doesn’t sit on the Ag Committee, either.

* Runner-up quote of the day is from Senate President John Cullerton

“First of all, I would like to announce I am not running for lieutenant governor,” [Cullerton] said.

As we discussed yesterday, there’s already about a billion of those candidates.

* Related…

* Democrats try to unify headed into 2010 campaigns

* Potential cracks evident on Democrats’ day at fair

* Quinn wraps up Governor’s Day at state fair

* Governor’s Day highlights 2010 primary

* Democrats campaign at Illinois State Fair

* Democrat Day at the Fair

* Quinn says he’ll take four trustees’ resignations

* Bloomington lawyer criticizes Quinn after resignation as U of I trustee


  1. - The Doc - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 10:02 am:

    Re: Pat Quinn - what’s your deal? Genuflecting to the Machine taints a lifetime of populist activism. Incredible.

    Re: Cheryl Jackson - There’s no excuse for being MIA as a relatively unknown statewide candidate, especially south of the 708 area code.

  2. - fedup dem - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 10:12 am:

    No statewide slatemaking? What is this, California?

    That rumbling I heard yesterday wasn’t the thunderstorm after all… it was Richard J. Daley turning over in his grave!

  3. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 10:24 am:

    Jacks “**** the first amendment, don’t let Blago get any money from his book” Franks needs to return to law school.

  4. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 10:25 am:

    after watching the clip of him of posted yesterday, I stated after his equivocation on the matter (and his noticeable failure to make eye contact) that he did want to be slated. His campign can spin it anyway it likes, the bottom line though is that he wanted to be slated.

    I agree with Mark Brown that it is “a tad bit hypocritical.”

    It reminds me of how hillary clinton didn’t want to seat florida and michigan delegates originally, but flipped and decided later that she did. we all know why she flipped.

    But, really after what we have seen from governor pat quinn this year is anybody truly surprised by his flipping and hypocrisy any more? If so, why?
    I mean, what more does one need to see?

  5. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 10:29 am:

    No slatemaking is clearly a wack at Quinn. No matter how he got there, he’s the incumbent.

    He’s had his ups and downs in his short time in office with establishment types, but it’s not like a Dan Walker situation where the party barons couldn’t wait to deny him in his run for re-election.

    Quinn and Hynes is going to be a brawl worthy of climactic scene in The Quiet Man.

  6. - Responsa - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 10:31 am:

    Endorsements are one thing—but in a state where money talks and big dollars are needed to buys ads and get campaign messages out, it sure is starting to feel like the 2010 elections are going to look different than usual. With the deep recession and still tight pocketbooks, raising campaign cash is tough. Expect over all private and corporate contributions to candidates to be way down. It’ll be in both party’s interests to try to limit the number of primary contenders. Don’t want to bleed those contributors too much too early. Better to save (or better utilize) contributors’ funds for the general.

  7. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 10:35 am:


    But wasn’t it quinn earlier this year who lobbied for and got Mike Madigan to agree that the party would not fund/support anyone? so, just like with the cutback amendment Quinn did himself yet another disservice? No, I guess that was back when he still consider himself a democratic party outsider and didn’t want all of the money and support to go to lisa madigan. But, since she’s not running for governor…

  8. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 10:41 am:

    Cheryle jackson probably would have been at the fair had it not been for Monday’s Sun-Times report about her and the $1m church/school fiasco while she was still part of the Blagojevich administration, and her alleged role in the matter.

    She would have been dogged by questions on that, and she probably isn’t ready to answer.

    Also she may be getting a glimpse of just how hard it is to run for a major political office logistically speaking,especially since she is getting off to a bit of a late and slow start.

  9. - the Patriot - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 10:54 am:

    This is the perfect storm for Republicans. The democrats will split the governors race and the biggest name of Lisa Madigan is off the table. Alexi is the dream for republicans. He resume includes endorsements from those who gave us Rod Blago and Rolland Burris. He made bad loans to the mob, and had nothing to say on the state’s fiscal nightmare over the last year.

    If the republicans can find one strong personality to pull it all together they can flip this state.

  10. - Ghost - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 12:00 pm:

    === This is the perfect storm for Republicans.===

    If only they had not set sail in a leaky dinghy, just had the captain bail the ship, and are fighting over who gets to man the rutter. The GOP is setting itself up to be sunk by that storm.

  11. - Anon - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 12:10 pm:

    Cheryle is a weak candidate who entered the race solely in hopes of benefitting from high African American turnout in Cook County. She has no record to run on, while Alexi has done an outstanding job as our state treasurer.

    Alexi will be our next U.S. Senator from Illinois.

  12. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 12:35 pm:

    As an observing outsider, I don’t think the IL Dem County Chairmen had much of a “choice”. Alexi is a statewide elected official who won easily in both of his 2006 races, has immense personal wealth and is pals with the current U.S. President. Would they really back someone like Ms. Jackson, who is a nice person with a good resume but happened to work for The Titanic of Illinois Governors?! I doubt it.

  13. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 12:36 pm:

    David Dorris and the other u of i trustees who this week have signaled that they will resign are really foolish for doing so.

    i applaud the courage and convictions of trustees montgomery and carroll who intend to fight quinn, and rightfully so. i saw and heard them on chicago tonight the other day, and i was glad to have heard their side. i agreed with rich samuels’ take on the matter too, in which he took a subtle jab at the governor whose been running around talking about how he is fair, this is a democracy, and how he likes to negotiate with people.

    the mikva commission goofed on its recommendation that all trustees resign, especially given the fact that not all trustees did anything improper, questionable or wrong.

    the four who have suggested that they will resign, should not have—the should have stuck to their guns the way montgomery and carroll are poiosed to do.

    really, why can’t governor pat quinn ever seem to make good decsions? his my way or the high way non-gray area and no room for compromise stance on everything is really sad and inexplicable.
    just more proof as to why he is not good for the governor’s office.

  14. - RJW - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 1:45 pm:

    Will County Woman:

    I could not agree more. And, I believe that if the two trustees remaining are as determined as they seem to be that there will be a lawsuit about what exactly the state Constitution means when it gives him power to terminate these trustees for malfeasance and/or incompetence. I’ve seen no proof of either, except for possibly the first two trustees that resigned - Mr. Eppley and the Chairman. And, it is ultimately Mr. White who is responsible for running the U of I. I believe he and the Chancellor at the U of I Urbana-Champaign campus should probably resign. The Governor once again proves he moves only as the press/public opinion moves and that he is clearly incompetent to be Governor or to make decisions.

  15. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 2:59 pm:

    hmmm…now why is Glasburg radio on a negative hynes slant?

    yesterday and today I have read several independent news accounts of Hynes’ act of deference to Quinn, and I found nothing wrong in what Hynes did. In fact I thought it was great that he took the high road, and decided not to play into the media fodder which focused on the digs politicans got in at one another’s expense, as rich miller pointed out.

    Besides I love the poetic justice of how it stormed on Pat Quinn’s Governor’s Day bringing it to an aburpt halt. Yesterday’s stormy weather is a foreshadowing of how his short-lived governorship will play out. his governship has been quite stormy.

  16. - Bill - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 3:29 pm:

    Rod Blagojevich knows more about farming than Jack Franks.

  17. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 4:04 pm:


    as I see it Quinn doesn’t have much going for himself in terms of bold decisive leadership, through his commissions. His reform commission was largely a bust, and it remains to be seen how his Burr Oak commission pans out.

    So, the U of I commission is hisonly chance at present to build some much needed political capital in advance of the primary. he needs to be able to say that I cleaned up clout at the U of I—I got rid of all trustees who served while clout admissions occured. Of course we all know that without going after legislators involved in the clout admissions there really was no clean up of anything. Furthermore, the U of I really cleaned itself up on the matter, and has institued safeguards and polices to prohibit clout admissions in future.

    The two or so trustees who resigned weeks ago did so because their actions when bought to light were inappropriate and questionable.

    I strongly urge the remaining trustees, especially Montgomery and Carroll, not to resign just become a notch on pat quinn’s (gubernatorial race) political belt. They should not let him use them in that wat. If they have never engaged in any clout admissions then they have no reason to resign because resigning only makes them look like they are guilty of something.

    And, the notion that one of the trustees put out earlier this week that by staying they’re making the gov’s job hard made no sense and sounded weak. being governor is a hard job. quinn lobbied for it, ultimately got it and now has to deal with being governor and all that it entails (the good, the bad and the ugly). either he is up to the hard job or he is not, but it is not the job of trustees to make his job easy for him.

  18. - L.S. - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 4:21 pm:

    Bill - the only way Rod will know anything about farming is if they send him to Vandalia.

  19. - this old hack - Thursday, Aug 20, 09 @ 7:04 pm:

    ! Love it, Rich about Franks! You could have also added: “pretty good friend of Chicago Alderman Dick Mell and Democratic uber insider Mike Noonan”! Hahahaha! Nice try, Jack.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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