McKenna, 52, of Chicago, vowed to not support a tax hike to repair the state’s money mess. But he refused to say whether seniors should continue to get free bus and train rides — a move Blagojevich initiated but that might be scaled back because of budget constraints.
That issue is a whole lot more volatile than many are willing to admit.
“Illinoisans have a track record, fortunately, of not letting people buy any major office, whether it’s a U.S. Senate seat or governorship,” said Senator Kirk Dillard, (R) Candidate for Governor. […]
“There’s no question that Andy McKenna is a Chicago politician. There’s also no question that his father’s wealth is the only reason he can get into this race,” said Senator Bill Brady, (R) Candidate for Governor.
Nevertheless, some are upset that last spring, when McKenna was party chairman, he may have had access to information about the others’ campaigns.
“If he is sitting there talking to us as the party chairman and in the back of his mind he’s looking at us as competition, I think that’s wrong,” said DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom, , (R) Candidate for Governor.
Schillerstrom says McKenna has an “epic” conflict of interest because he laid the groundwork for running while he chaired the Illinois Republican Party. The DuPage County Board chairman also says McKenna’s desire to be governor is just “a millionaire’s whimsy.”
* In other news, Republican US Senate candidate Patrick Hughes is apparently still struggling to get his nominating petitions signed. From an e-mail solicitation that I’ve redacted…
My name is xxx xxxx and I work for a company called Proud to be Republicn (http://www.facebook.com/l/03bf7;www.proudtoberepublican.com). We are assisting Pat Hughes in finishing up with his campaign signatures and need some help.
We are located in Oak Brook and have been acquiring signatures locally but would like the assistance of a college organization to help us with the younger population. Your group has acquired a large number of followers and seems to understand the problems that Illinois is going through. If you or any other members of your organization would be interested in helping us support Pat Hughes please contact me.
Feel free to call me at (800)xxx-xxx or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will forward you all the information we have avaliable on Pat Hughes. He is also paying for signatures which is a nice incentive. Please remember the petitions are due on Monday so this is an urgent matter.
I called this person for comment, but haven’t heard back.
* The Alexi Giannoulias campaign blasted Democratic opponent David Hoffman for soliciting campaign contributions from current and former assistant US Attorneys…
“The last thing the Illinois culture of corruption needs is political candidates soliciting the lead agency responsible for investigating corruption,” Giannoulias campaign manager Tom Bowen said in a statement. “If we are going to be serious about reform, we have to act seriously. Hoffman should cancel the fundraiser, refuse money from current federal prosecutors and refuse to take contributions from employees of the U.S. Attorney’s office.”
“Alexi Giannoulias just retired the award for political hypocrisy,” spokesman Thom Karmik said. “For months, he’s been trumpeting the lie that he’s emulating Barack Obama’s ethical standards by not taking corporate PAC money. But Obama swore off all PAC money in his presidential campaign. By taking thousands of dollars in non-corporate PAC money, Alexi’s failed to meet Obama’s standard while trying to fool the voters.
“Among Alexi’s latest PAC contributions is one from the Community Bankers Association. That association is leading the fight in Washington against President Obama’s efforts to pass tougher financial regulations to protect consumers. Instead of throwing stones from his glass house, Alexi ought to return that contribution.
“And while he’s at it, he can reveal for the first time how many millions of dollars in dividends he took out of his family bank while its loans were failing and the FDIC put it on its “watch list.” Perhaps that’s why he’s refusing David’s challenge to release his tax returns for the past five years - another standard Barack Obama set that Alexi’s refused to honor.”
A growing concern among some Democrats is that this will turn into another 1992 US Senate primary. Back then, a wealthy attorney spent a fortune attacking the frontrunner (Democratic US Sen. Alan Dixon) and that helped a relatively unknown African-American female candidate (Carol Moseley-Braun) win. The difference now, of course is that the relatively unknown black Democratic female, Cheryle Jackson, carries a whole lot of baggage because she was Rod Blagojevich’s press secretary. And Jackson would be up against a very formidable Republican opponent in Mark Kirk, unlike CM-B’s opponent, the sorely lacking Rich Williamson. The national GOP bailed on that ‘92 race. Barring catastrophe, they won’t bail this time.
* Muslim journalist on trial as Israeli spy to speak at Rutgers: In 2003, as he was about to board a plane to Tel-Aviv, he was arrested and accused by Bangladeshi authorities of being a spy for Israel. Choudhury says he was tortured. He is now on trial for espionage, sedition, treason and blasphemy. The penalty for a conviction is death. The campaign to get the government of Bangladesh to drop all charges against Choudhury is being led by Dr. Richard Benkin of Illinois, who got the U.S. Congress — led by Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) — involved in the case.
* Senate candidate Giannoulias begins to unveil economic plan
* A Time To Rally The Base: When not recanting their previous positions, Republican candidates are showing themselves willing to endanger their general election prospects later to appeal to the base now.
* Republican Candidate Forum in Rockford: The Concerned Citizens of America held a candidate forum Monday night at the Stockholm Inn. Residents were able to hear from the republican candidates for U.S Senate. The group says it’s important to hold these forum’s before the primary. “This is the most important time,” said Chris Johnson Board Member for Concerned citizens for America. “Yes in the general election people break off as Democrats, Republicans, Independents, but we want our constituents to know who are the conservatives who will stand up for the needs of the American family.”
- Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Oct 28, 09 @ 11:37 am:
I love the Hoffman counter-punches, but worry about the same thing Rich outlined.
- Will County Woman - Wednesday, Oct 28, 09 @ 11:39 am:
LoL. Jack Hughes made such a big stink about Mark Kirk and he (hughes) is such a serious contender. Maybe instead of worrying about Mike Ditka and Michael Steel endorsements, Hughes should have been trying to at least get himself on the ballot?
- Kane Conservative - Wednesday, Oct 28, 09 @ 11:39 am:
What is McKenna’s buy? And forgive me, but isn’t Dillard bought and paid for by Baise and Gidwitz?
- Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Oct 28, 09 @ 11:40 am:
The McKenna ad is far better than the piece yesterday which desperately needed an editor. But it really would have been more effective if Mckenna was bald or if they at least talked about a hair cut or had scissors or something that gave the payoff to the theme.
- Speaking at Will - Wednesday, Oct 28, 09 @ 11:41 am:
I could not agree more with Brady, Schillerstrom, and Kirk Dillard about Andy McKenna.
All this carping about McKenna’s kickoff and associated video (and ad) makes me think that the other Republican candidates are more than a bit worried about him. If they weren’t, the silence would be deafening.
mckenna is from kenilworth, I don’t know where chicago came from.
Hughes imploding and kirk not having to fight off his right flank is a major story. It was one of 2 key hurdles he had to overcome to get a senate seat-the other being the obama/bush thing in the fall.
Dillard’s campaign is a noun, a verb, and jim edgar, I don’t know if he can throw stones on this one.
A little late in the game for a health plan from Schock, isn’t it?
- Joe in the Know - Wednesday, Oct 28, 09 @ 12:30 pm:
The ad serves its purpose and I give it an 8. It will get people talking because it’s relatively funny and people like funny to a point. Will it get him votes? I doubt it. But it will raise his profile.
I don’t know. An observation Gregor made yesterday jumped out at me today, and even without that, I still don’t like the hair thing. The timing of “Gone Tomorrow” at the end just seems wrong, too. Quality of the film itself is excellent. 5
- steve schnorf - Wednesday, Oct 28, 09 @ 1:00 pm:
I think it is outrageous to call Kirk Dillard “bought and paid for” by anyone. All candidates accept contributions. They all have an ethical responsibility to separate their governing from its potential benefit or harm to donors. Dillard is no more bought and paid for by business than Dem candidates are by unions, or women candidates by Emily’s List.
Have you ever considered the possible opposite side of the coin; groups contribute to candidates who’s views they agree with?
Hoffman’s pockets are not as deep as Hofeld’s nor are his supporters trial lawyers while Alexi’s baggage is different than Dixon’s. However the fear is apt. Hoffman could be a much better candidate v. Kirk than the other two.
Can someone tell me why Alexi G. is taken so seriously? What does he bring to the table besides questionable family funding? The free pass approach the media takes with guys like him puzzles me. He seems like a lightweight who knows how to wear well cut suits and recite platitudes [haven’t we had enough of Blago types]. I don’t know alot about Hoffman, but he seems to have drive, integrity and substance. I know he was a thorn in Daley’s side which is good. What am I missing?
I’m all tough, hard fought campaigns, but what does Dillard, Schillerstrom, and Brady’s attacks on McKenna this early say about their campaigns? This is pretty nasty vitriol this early, and this soon after McKenna’s official kick-off…
jeez, what happened to Reagan’s 11th Amendment??
jon, I was referring to a general election in which kirk is tied to bush and his opponent calls himself the obama senate candidate. In short getting saddled with the baggage of the bush administration.
The argument that McKenna is being jumped on by the others because ‘they are worried’ about him, is correct, to a point. They are all certainly worried about McKenna’s personal money. He threw $4 or $5M at the race the last time he was in. That is something to worry about. However, the others are also jumping on McKenna because he just announced and they are attempting to diminish his ‘bounce’ in ID. That has nothing to do with McKenna. Watch. When JRyan announces, they’ll all jump on him.
Totally disappointing. After releasing the long, six-minute version of the ad yesterday, I thought maybe McKenna would come out with a really slick, effective regular-length spot for TV. Instead, he just cut down the six minutes without really making it any more focused. Bad. If the idea is to get his name out, it might work for that if it’s run long enough. As far as driving a message home? Nothing.
Agree with ShilbleyFan that the “gone tomorrow” thing at the end is rather funny - albeit unintentionally by the McKenna team. He also undercuts his credibility instantly by calling himself an “outsider.” Former State Party Chairman and son of McDonald’s Chairman and part-owner of the Bears an outsider? Really?
Wordslinger, I find your accusation of Brady being “anti-Chicago” cheap, small and unworthy of any intelligent debate. His criticism is of the political leadership coming exclusively from Chicago politics which has been a complete failure for quite some time now. But never fear. As wrong as it is, I know it’s just one so-called fault in your long list of regular anti-Brady comments.
- Dan S, a voter and Cubs Fan - Wednesday, Oct 28, 09 @ 2:25 pm:
Why do all of these adds put down and blast “Springfield” when all of the decisions and power brokers come from Chicago??? Why are we not trying to clean up Government?
My interpretation of the news coverage, polls, etc.
I mean I haven’t heard anything from the Dillard camp bragging about how well they are doing other than a poll that came out right after the endorsement.
You know that one can glean a lot about how the race is going for different candidates from these sorts of things, and what I see is that there are 3-4 candidates who have about an equal shot right now.
===A growing concern among some Democrats is that this will turn into another 1992 US Senate primary.===
I don’t think history will repeat. There are several key differences between Giannoulias/Hoffman/Jackson and Dixon/Hofeld/Braun.
First and most obvious, this is an open seat. Second, unlike 92, there is no presidential primary driving higher turnout. Third, there is no dominant issue driving any major voting bloc this year (to compare to the Clarence Thomas issue among women).
I don’t see Hoffman as Hofeld in this. If a Hofeld emerges, I think Alexi might be more willing to air strong attack ads than Hoffman. And Carol Moseley-Braun’s credentials were vastly superior to Cheryle Jackson’s (U of C Law School, fmr. St. Rep., Countywide office holder). Braun was a solid candidate (then) who put herself in position to capitalize on the fight between the other too. I don’t see that happening with Jackson’s fundraising so anemic.
Other than two white men and an African-American woman running, the similarities really end. I think some of the “concern” is silly.
Shillerstrom is correct that McKenna’s tactics as former GOP leader/gubernatorial candidate is unethical. Those who claim that McKenna is not an outsider, regardless of his claims, is also correct. Those who see McKenna as the spoiled bored brat of a multi-millionaire only interested in buying his way into office, is also correct. Coupled with his obvious failure as a GOP leader over the past years, and what do we have? A threat? How? Exactly who could support this guy? There isn’t enough of Daddy’s money to paper over Andy McKenna’s glaring flaws, unethical behavior, selfish actions and poor performance to sell him, hair and all, to Illinoisans. The reason others are attacking him is because he does not belong in this race, and having him in this race is an embarrassment to a party most of us have thought he was finished embarrassing.
Speaking of spoiled bored brats, I come to Giannoulais. He has been a fine Treasurer. And that means he can get 10% off at Arby’s with a coupon, right? Unlike McKenna, Giannoulais has at least done a capable job in a statewide office. What Giannoulais is lacking however, is a real reason to represent Illinois in the US Senate, when we have Dick Durbin already charging at windmills in his mind. We just don’t need another guy holding the same political views as Durbin in Washington. If you want government taking over our lives, you already got your guy as the Majority Whip. It is time for a moderate to represent normal people who believe in bipartisanship. It is time for a normal Republican like Kirk.
Jackson does have a chance to repeat Carol Mosely-Braun’s success in 1992. Thanks to Giannoulais and Hoffman splitting similar political bases, Jackson can win with a plurality. Democrats should be concerned because Kirk will make easy work of Jackson if she wins the Primary.
Listen folks - the Primary is closer than ever. We have only a few months left. This is Illinois. We normally have these things worked out by now. We normally see the Democrats lining up behind their candidates by now. This isn’t happening like in the old days. Why?
It is because the winds of change are no longer at the Democrat’s back. Our unemployment will get worse. Our financial situation will also worsen. Democrats better hope that Christmas, (if they still call it that), sales are strong for a little economic boost. If this season pans out as poorly as last year’s, Democrats need to clean house and sweep out their incumbants. Illinoisans want change. 2010 isn’t 2008. They will be hunting for bear, and the targets all have little (D)s on their backs. If the Democrats get rid of their incumbants, they have a chance. If they don’t do it - voters will do it for them a year from now.
And anyone running against Chicago is a moron. Yeah - it might win you votes in some wonderful Downstate counties, but you don’t dis the Big Dog then expect it to fetch for you later.
A lot of GOP polling has shown Dillard in the lead, and when it is mentioned that he received Edgar’s endorsement, it signicantly raised those poll numbers. Dillard is without doubt the GOP frontrunner.
If Dillard was truly ahead in several GOP polls, his campaign would be crowing about it from the rooftops. That isn’t happening, which means any lead he has is marginal at best.
Plus, with McKenna and Ryan getting into the race, it will only get worse for Dillard on the money front.
I think the “Hair” ad is good since it’s an attention-grabber. Especially the first shot of the capitol building w/ the Blago hairdo. I wouldn’t consider it a classic “biographical/intro ad” for the McKenna/Murphy ticket though. If they’re smart they’ll do this hair ad for the attention-grabber, then move to a more traditional biographical ads for McKenna/Murphy, and then in January crank it up with specifically targeted issue ads or (if need be) specific criticisms against some of their primary opponents.
The production value of this ad was excellent, especially the slick digital newspaper clippings portion.
I think it’s largely manufactured criticism that McKenna included his name in an poll commissioned by the ILGOP. In order to have an accurate picture of the political environment, any good poll that’s commissioned will include not only the current race participants, but also any major names that may enter the race as well.
It’s non-issue that’s being used to go after McKenna.
The ad is a good one. There are different kinds of ads for different purposes. Before people consider your policies and whether to vote for you, they have to know who you are. For them to know who you are, you have to get their attention. It seems obvious this ad aims to begin that process, and I think will accomplish that fairly well. Most voters don’t know who mckenna is. They don’t pay close attention to everyday politics, and have forgotten about everyone who ran in 2004 except Obama and maybe ryan and keyes. Mckenna needs to basically start over with voters, and that’s what this ad seems to begin to do.
Let’s not forget Big Bob Kjellander from the RNC…friend of Rove, gave a “loan” to Rezko who was partners with Cellini, Kelly, Blago ect….and McKenna and Kjellander ran Illinois Republicans…why didn’t McKenna force dirty Bob out? INSIDER
Can someone tell me why Alexi G. is taken so seriously?
Good question! The only thing I can imagine is that people describe him as “likeable” and he’s young. Without bringing all the “controversial” stuff to the surface, he’s probably considered a D “rising star”, so the tendency is to protect and cajole him. Plus, I think that Ds are fascinated by wealthy Candidates–unless, of course, they’re Republicans.
There are also rumors that Andy McKenna, as Chairman of the ILGOP, stopped fundraising for he ILGOP on June 1, 2009 because he figured he was running for Senate or Governor.
That, combined with the poll, which was paid for by the ILGOP at McKenna’s direction with its last remaining cash at the time; the confidential sessions with the other candidates about their strategy without disclosing his intentions; and the presentations he heard at the ILGOP Finance Committee meetings without disclosing his intentions, has left a bad impression in a lot of party leaders.
To win Andy will need very good advertising indeed, and a lot of it, I’m afraid.
Non. He’s on the right track right now, and the climate will be different during the General election.
- Quinn T. Sential - Wednesday, Oct 28, 09 @ 4:41 pm:
[unlike CM-B’s opponent, the sorely lacking Rich Williamson.]
Rich; I am curious to know if you have ever met, or had any kind of extended discussion with Rich Williamson. What aspect about him is it that you believe was “sorely lacking”.
I have my own perspective, but I am curious to know yours.
The reality is that Rich is and was probably one of the most qualified candidates to ever run for the U.S. Senate from any state in the country; not just Illinois. Like many other well qualified prospective elected officials however, Rich is simply not a very good politician.
In today’s world, that is an attribute rather than a handicap; except when you want to get elected to office. This challenge simply results in the most able politician being elected, rather than the most qualified candidate to hold the office.
!. With all the cartoonish Blagojevich hair references to corrupt former governors it neglects to mention Blagojevich himself, hoping each and every voter has a 40-year grasp of IL political history and gets the gag. Mistake.
2. With the exception of a brief, one-second sub-title “McKenna for Governor” flash, the ad fails to effectively inform voters which office McKenna is actually seeking. Mistake.
3. With a $1 million buy, McKenna will purchase some name recognition–which will be confused name recognition, but little else.
- Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Oct 28, 09 @ 6:22 pm:
It’s not manufactured criticism. If I was a Republican candidate for governor and I found out that my party chair failed to disclose that he was thinking about running for governor as he was talking to each of the candidates about our plans and our strategies and commissioning a poll on the party’s dime to test the waters for himself, I would be upset! It’s deceptive pure and simple.
And Quinn, Williamson was sorely lacking AS A CANDIDATE. That was kind of the point of Rich’s post. These aren’t value judgments. It’s not personal. They are political judgments. Many of us said that about Williamson at the time and we were right.
===A lot of GOP polling has shown Dillard in the lead===
What GOP polling besides Dillard’s own rigged polls that put him at the same 27%, so what bump?
Dillard had to play his big card; Edgar, months before the primary election because he was going to go down the tubes even before the petitions were turned in, not much of a campaign. Now that he has played the “Big Card” what does he do the few weeks before the election when the voters are really starting to decide who their voting for?