It’s not the first time that a Republican statewide candidate for governor in Illinois has resorted to the use of misleading newspaper attributions. In his failed 2006 race for the GOP nomination for governor, businessman James D. Oberweis used four fake headlines from real newspapers across the state in his TV advertising.
Underscoring that McKenna’s campaign didn’t need to misattribute the Tribune, it also released an accompanying radio ad using the same “hides the truth” accusation with no reference to the newspaper.
McKenna campaign spokesman Lance Trover responds…
“Last week Governor Quinn characterized his record as governor as “Missions Accomplished,” this at a time when the state is facing bankruptcy and near record unemployment while the governor is refusing to launch any effort to tackle — or even acknowledge — these issues until after his primary election.
“By any sane, rational definition, that is hiding the truth.
“His assertion was such a prominent point of his presentation, that the Tribune even used it in the headline and the lede. We understand the seriousness of making this accusation about Governor Quinn. Rather than facing the possibility of being charged with using political hearsay, we cited an article using the governor’s own words to demonstrate our point: he is hiding the truth.”
“You’ve got to have a governor who gets things done. That’s what I’ve done. I took over at the worst time Illinois could ever have in our history, a very dark, dark hour,” Quinn said. “And we’ve, day after day, got missions accomplished whether it’s in ethics or getting things done for ordinary people in the budget or getting jobs.”
I wrote at the time that the Tribune was mischaracterizing the “missions accomplished” quote, so I guess it’s garbage in, garbage out.
* Speaking of false claims, Democratic US Senate candidate David Hoffman sent out a fundraising e-mail today that points to poll numbers which don’t really exist…
In the last few days, much has been made of an internal poll we conducted. Geoff Garin, our pollster and long-time advisor to Senator Durbin, shows in a polling memo that in a general election Alexi Giannoulias loses to Mark Kirk by 17 points, and I beat Kirk by 5 points.
Bottom line: I am the strongest Democratic Senate candidate to take on Mark Kirk for the November election.
Actually, the memo shows Mark Kirk leading Hoffman 40-30, and leading Giannoulias 40-37. It’s only after the “push” questions, both positive and negative, that Hoffman edges out Kirk.
* It’s tough to discern whether David Axelrod actually told James Warren that he has concerns about Alexi Giannoulias or whether Warren just assumed it. Either way, it would be nice if the Chicago Media Cooperative story was more transparent…
Mr. Axelrod concedes that he and Mr. Obama failed to persuade Attorney General Lisa Madigan to run for the Senate seat vacated by Mr. Obama. “She would have walked into the seat,” Mr. Axelrod says. White House qualms about the Democratic frontrunner, Alexi Giannoulias, the Illinois treasurer, are self-evident, with worry that the Republican challenger, Representative Mark Kirk, will be needlessly formidable.
“The Blago saga will hang heavy over our politics, and that’s what Kirk’s banking on,” Mr. Axelrod says.
If you’re an underdog conservative running for Congress, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) should be on your speed dial these days.
A favorite of the tea party crowd and a longtime scourge for Democrats and some Republicans alike inside the Senate chamber, DeMint has emerged as the leading benefactor for any Republican who wants to challenge the establishment candidates backed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. […]
And DeMint is considering offering an endorsement to attorney Patrick Hughes, who is challenging Kirk in the Republican primary for Obama’s old Senate seat in Illinois. DeMint has met with Hughes twice in the past two months to discuss his campaign, and DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund website is polling respondents on whom they support in the Hughes-Kirk primary.
“This is a national race … so an endorsement from Sen. DeMint or any great conservative leader like him is welcomed and would be helpful,” Hughes said Thursday, after meeting with DeMint for a second time.
Fans of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) are also, apparently, fans of atty Patrick Hughes (R) — which could turn out to be a bad thing for the NRSC.
Over the weekend, Hughes won an online straw poll of visitors to DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund website, which gauged which candidate DeMint backers wanted to support in the race for Pres. Obama’s old SEN seat in IL. Hughes took 74%, while Rep. Mark Kirk, the favorite candidate of DC GOPers, garnered just 8%, barely over half the number of people who voted for “other.”
“Other” came in second. No surprise, but not good for Kirk. Still, DeMint has made it clear that he only intends to involve himself with winning candidacies and Hughes has shown us nothing to indicate he can beat Kirk.
Illinois’ top Republican says he’s received a “commitment” from the national party to invest big bucks here in hopes of a GOP breakthrough in the 2010 elections.
State GOP Chairman Pat Brady said no one mentioned any specific numbers at a meeting he held Friday afternoon with Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. But “significant help” was promised, he said.
“Mr. Steele says he’s very committed to Illinois,” Mr Brady said in a brief phone chat. “Illinois is a top tier state for them.”
* Lyons Township GOP backs Hughes, Topinka, Plummer: Saturday morning’s Republicans of Lyons Township candidate forum ended with endorsements for Patrick Hughes for U.S. Senate, and fell one vote short of backing Dan Proft for governor. Andy McKenna was the next highest vote gubernatorial vote getter — at 14. 29 votes were needed for endorsement.
* Dems claim Rauschenberger not a Republican: Well, the Senate Democrats are trying to expand a DuPage County court ruling used last cycle to bump an opponent off the ballot against Sen. Carol Pankau. In the case of Rauschenberger, they claim that because he pulled a Democrat township election ballot last cycle in order to vote for his sister for Elgin Township Trustee (there was no Republican primary), that he is now ineligible to run for office as a Republican.
* Press Release: U. S. Senate candidate Cheryle Jackson today announced the launch of an online petition against sending more troops to Afghanistan and the withdrawal of American military forces still in Iraq. The petition can be found at BRING OUR TROOPS HOME. “It is time to take care of America again and time to bring our troops home. And it’s time for people at the grassroots to make their opinions known about a war with no end in sight that claims precious lives and resources that we so desperately need at home,” said Jackson.
* Edgar cuts ad for 41st House race: Former Gov. Jim Edgar was spotted at the Capitol on Friday filming an ad that’ll back Elmhurst Republican Brien Sheahan for the 41st Illinois House district. That’s the seat currently held by Bob Biggins, who’s not seeking re-election. Sheahan, a DuPage County Board member, once worked for Edgar. He’d be the second former Edgar staffer to get the former governor’s nod. He already endorsed former aide Kirk Dillard for governor.
* Gingrich to raise cash for Ethan Hastert: Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich is set to host a Dec. 11 congressional fundraiser for the son of former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert… Ethan Hastert, an Elburn attorney, is running against state Sen. Randy Hultgren of Winfield Township, Mark Vargas of Elgin, Jeff Danklefsen of Geneva and Jim Purcell of Batavia.
* Low Tea Party moment symbolic of muddy week: Catherina Wojtowicz, of Chicago’s Mount Greenwood community, an organizer for a Tea Party splinter group, Chicago Tea Party Patriots, falsely claimed that the Houghs fabricated their story. In an e-mail, she called them operatives of President Barack Obama who “go from event to event and (cry) the same story.” When the Houghs spoke at the Lipinski event, some Tea Partiers ridiculed them. They moaned and rolled their eyes and interrupted. Midge Hough began to cry.
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* Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has said he wants to stem the flow of out-of-county patients to Stroger Hospital. As of last year, they were still streaming in…
In 2008, 26,000 patients came from the Collar Counties; 25,000 were from downstate counties; 1,800 came from Indiana; and 5,200 were from other areas.
The cost to the county is about $50 million a year. One story…
Aurora housewife Bushra Ayaz has colon cancer. She’s now being treated at Stroger Hospital, because, when she sought treatment at hospitals in DuPage and Kane counties, they declined because she has no health insurance.
“The doctors over there, they were saying, ‘Oh, you cannot afford the chemo. … It’s very expensive, and we will not give you here,’ Ayaz said.
Her sister, Nuzhat Fahim, explains the runaround they received at other hospitals.
“I just felt like a rolling stone,” she said. “When we were in a hospital, they sent (us) to another one. And they sent (us) to another one. They said, ‘No, you go to Cook County Hospital.’”
* The Sun-Times takes a look at Gov. Pat Quinn’s pledge to “fumigate” Illinois government of top Blagojevich hires. The paper’s first problem was getting Quinn’s office to comment…
[Quinn’s] spokesman would not directly answer questions about how many Blagojevich administration workers have been let go as a result of Quinn’s fumigation pledge.
And the numbers appear disheartening…
Today, despite a failed effort by House Speaker Michael Madigan to force Quinn “to accelerate the pace” of the housecleaning, dozens of high-ranking, top-paid hires from the Blagojevich era are managing to hold onto their state jobs.
At least 70 have done so despite coming under scrutiny in a federal investigation of what U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald termed in 2006 were “very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud” under Blagojevich, who is awaiting trial on federal charges that he used his job as governor to improperly benefit himself and those close to him.
A dozen paratransit protesters pressured Gov. Quinn Friday to give them the same fare freeze he gave other CTA riders this month.
“Since Gov. Quinn was able to freeze fares for people who ride fixed routes, that same courtesy should have been afforded to the riders for paratransit,” said Debbie Pittman of Chicago, spokeswoman for the Concerned Citizens of Paratransit. “We understand there might be a budget that needs to be met,” she added, “but it shouldn’t be on the backs of the riders.” […]
[Pittman] said they got “a big runaround” with the governor’s representatives when they finally met with them at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago Friday in a meeting barred to the media. “So, we are going to keep fighting,”
Attorney General, 326
Senate Operations, 257
House Operations, 251
Public aid, 188
Public health, 177
Secretary of State, 147
Human services, 122
* And in other budget news, the Pantagraph once again publishes an editorial demanding that the Legislature “do something” about the budget without ever saying what it would like to see done…
We asked state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, and state Sens. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, and Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa, what they personally are doing to resolve the state’s budget problems.
Rep. Brady, who is running for re-election, said he has been meeting with various groups and individuals, such as current and retired ISU employees, and conveying information to the governor’s staff.
Sen. Brady, who is among seven Republican candidates for governor, said there needs to be a 10 percent cut in spending. He said one of the problems in formulating a solution is the difficulty getting information from state agencies.
Sen. Rutherford, who is running unopposed for the Republican nomination for treasurer, said he is repeating his call for reforming the state’s pension system and Medicaid system before considering an income tax hike. He also said he speaks about state issues every other day with Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno.
It’s good to hear our lawmakers are “involved,” but the General Assembly never should have gone home in September (not to mention July) without directly addressing the state’s budget problems.
This time, McKenna goes after the man who replaced Blagojevich, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. The ad says the state budget deficit is growing quickly while Quinn “hides the truth.”
The ad cites the Chicago Tribune to support the allegation, even though the newspaper never said that.
McKenna spokesman Lance Trover defends the wording as a fair summary of facts reported by the newspaper and not an attempt to mislead people into thinking the Tribune accused Quinn of hiding something. He maintains it’s not misleading because the ad doesn’t use quotation marks around the phrase.
For our money, the best ads we’ve seen so far in the 2010 midterms are in Illinois for Republican gubernatorial candidate Andy McKenna. McKenna, a former state party chair, has featured the famous hair of disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) in each of his early ads — a symbol of the corruption and business as usual that has dominated politics in the state. McKenna’s new ad starts with an image of Blago’s hair atop the state capitol dome while a narrator details what Blagojevich — and, by extension, his successor Pat Quinn — have done to the state. McKenna faces a serious primary challenge from, among others, former state attorney general Jim Ryan but win or lose he has provided a potent blueprint for the GOP nominee to ensure voters don’t forget about Blagojevich next year.
The original hope by Dan Hynes’ Democratic gubernatorial campaign was that they could outspend and beat up Gov. Pat Quinn on TV by Thanksgiving to the point where the governor was vulnerable in the Feb. 2 primary.
Early benchmark polling for . Quinn had him leading Hynes 54-to-26, with other polls showing similar results. Hynes’ name ID was a relatively low 67 percent, compared with Quinn’s 88 percent.
Since then, Hynes has spent close to $2 million on TV ads, but Quinn has matched him pretty much dollar for dollar. And while Hynes stopped running network TV ads on Nov. 11 and went dark on cable last week, Quinn was up with a positive bio ad last week on both network and cable.
The governor has raised more money much faster than many people expected, given his historical aversion to the activity. Quinn has also run a much better, tighter and more visible campaign than many had expected. The governor is getting “earned” media coverage on the all-important Chicago TV almost every day, and the state’s multibillion dollar capital construction bill has allowed him to cut ribbons all over the state, which is something Hynes simply can’t match.
Recent polling conducted by other statewide Democratic candidates show Quinn ahead of Hynes 50-to-38 and 50-to-35, sources say.
While clearly demonstrating that the race is significantly tightening, the polling shows Quinn has not yet been brought below 50 percent - a crucial benchmark for all incumbents, even though there are more than two candidates in the race at this point (both of the second tier candidates face petition challenges, however, and could be booted from the contest). At least one of those polls has Quinn with about a two-to-one favorable rating, which shows that Hynes’ ads haven’t yet succeeded in roughing up the governor.
The Hynes people believe they have significantly closed the gap and are now in a position to make the final four-week run beginning in January. But big questions remain about what the “dark,” period - when nobody is running ads - between now and January will do to the polling numbers. Will Hynes fade back to the status quo ante? Or, will his numbers roughly hold steady while voters’ attentions turn to decidedly unpolitical things? There are reports from inside that Hynes plans to run a Christmas ad in December, but that will be a purely positive message and won’t do much of anything to bring Quinn down.
Since Hynes hasn’t yet fully put the governor on his back, there are those who believe that the comptroller’s campaign message won’t really work in the final four weeks, either. I have said publicly that I believe this race could be over by Thanksgiving if Hynes didn’t have Quinn bleeding from every political orifice by the traditional holiday season kickoff date - after which negative ads would likely be a huge liability. He doesn’t appear to have done that to Quinn, but I’m not quite ready to pronounce Hynes’ campaign officially dead, although everybody would have to admit that he does face some very, very difficult odds.
Both campaigns have indicated privately that polling and focus grouping shows that Governor Quinn’s proposed income tax hike “works” much better against him than attempting to tie Quinn to his ousted predecessor and two-time running mate Rod Blagojevich. Hynes has focused his advertising on the tax issue, but the ads clearly haven’t put Quinn down as of yet.
It’s not known whether Hynes will attempt to somehow use the Blagojevich issue in his January ad campaign. Quinn has a pretty solid reputation for honesty among voters, and he is probably seen as a “safe” choice, considering the last two governors. They also clearly want to see him succeed and have so far given him something of a pass on his many stumbles in office.
That hopeful voter attitude could all fade by next fall, after Quinn has another legislative session under his belt, but Feb. 2 is just around the corner. After this week, there are really only about four campaign weeks left, and every candidate who can afford it will be up on TV come January. There will be a lot of cash flowing, and messages will easily be buried under all the clutter.
* Forecast for Dem primaries: Ugly: The Democratic Senate primary in Illinois — largely quiet until recently — might be the next flash point, another example of Democrats field-testing attacks on each other that will most likely prove useful for the GOP. There, the campaign of former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman charges that state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias’s baggage from his career as a banker makes him unelectable, an argument that is likely to be revisited in some form by the GOP if Giannoulias, currently the front-runner in the polls, ends up as the nominee.
* DuPage candidate kicked off ballot: Meanwhile, the five other objections the electoral board heard Friday were unanimously overruled, and those candidates will remain on the ballot. Dan Cronin and Debra Olson, two of the four Republican county board chairman candidates, successfully defended the challenges. Both GOP sheriff candidates, incumbent John Zaruba and challenger Mike Quiroz, will stay on the Feb. 2 ballot. And Democratic District 2 forest preserve commission candidate Hilary Denk also survived the petition objection.
McCormick Place has seen nearly a third of its business vanish this decade, a period that saw two recessions. Attendance at major events in Chicago’s main convention center declined from 3 million in 2001 to 2.3 million last year. Las Vegas and Orlando held up somewhat better but likewise have seen attendance fall off since the middle of the decade.
More recently, Tradeshow Week, an influential publication in the industry, reported quarterly figures showing that since last year, convention attendance and space usage are down by 8 percent to 17 percent. An analysis it published last spring carried the hopeful headline, “Better days ahead.”
The chief executive officer won his post after raising campaign cash for disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The just-departed human resources director owed her job to a powerful state senator. Other top executives have long ties to Mayor Richard M. Daley’s political machine.
That’s what clout looks like at the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, known as McPier, a little-understood government entity that operates the city’s primary convention venue, the vast McCormick Place complex; the adjacent McCormick Hyatt Regency Hotel, and the lakefront tourist center Navy Pier.
Some words just don’t seem to go together. Aon Centerand blight, for example.
That’s why Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, didn’t bite on a proposal to create a tax increment financing district in the East Loop. Owners of the Aon and four other downtown stalwarts — One and Two Illinois Center and One and Two Prudential Plaza — would like the city to set up a TIF district to generate property-tax dollars to pay for improvements to their buildings.
But Reilly says the properties in question “don’t even come close” to meeting the legal threshold for such assistance.
Joe Ferguson is the eldest son of a working-class single mom and a father he never knew who survived that rejection — and the mean streets of Boston — to become a dogged federal prosecutor in Chicago.[…]
Last week, the City Council handed Ferguson a four-year term as Chicago’s corruption-fighting inspector general, replacing David Hoffman, a thorn in Mayor Daley’s side who resigned to run for the U.S. Senate.
The quote of the week comes from Ald. Isaac Carothers, 29th, who shrugged off a report about the City Council’s incestuous hiring practices just as Mayor Richard Daley announced that illegal patronage in Chicago is dead.
“All of us have family members on the payroll,” Carothers said. “That’s nothing new.”
Carothers, who is facing federal bribery charges, won’t even say whether the William Carothers on his payroll is his father or his brother. It’s none of your business who he hires with your tax dollars.
A statewide police association will check its financial books after learning one of its board members — a Chicago Police sergeant — was charged with skimming $600,000 from the Chicago Police Sergeants’ Association.
Sgt. John Pallohusky, a detective and president of the Chicago sergeants’ association, also serves as financial secretary for the Springfield-based Police Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois.
On Friday, Cook County prosecutors charged Pallohusky, 53, with stealing from the Chicago Police Sergeants’ Association and spending the money on a home, an online stock brokerage, gambling trips, hotels and steak dinners.
Nearly 400 of Rich Township’s current seniors never took the exam, the spokeswoman said. The district has failed for several years to make adequate test score progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law, and is currently under “corrective action.'’ Rich Township District 227 Supt. Howard Hunigan could not be reached for comment Friday.[…]
Statewide, current seniors who skipped the exam in what would normally be their junior year were disproportionately poor, black, and students with special needs, a new analysis by the Illinois State Board of Education indicates. Such kids traditionally are among the lowest-scoring in the state and nation.
Economists expect the joblessness that has weighed down the nation’s economic recovery will start to slowly abate in 2010, but they predict consumers will continue to keep a tight rein on spending, according to a new survey.
While signs have pointed to the end of the recession, joblessness remains rampant. The national unemployment rate jumped to 10.2 percent in October, the highest in 26 years. About 9 million people currently receive unemployment benefits.