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*** UPDATED x2 *** Alexi’s stopper? Barack’s Dillard joke

Friday, Jan 29, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Alexi Giannoulias’ campaign says it’s running a new TV ad whacking David Hoffman. I’m not sure how many points are behind this thing, but it’ll reportedly run over the weekend. Rate it

From his press release…

The ad features a Hoffman appearance in November on ABC-7’s News Views program where he voices support for taxing health plans of individuals making as little as $61,000. In responding to a question by ABC-7’s Alan Krashesky about health care, Hoffman said “It seems fair to be taxing plans that are very, very high-end lucrative plans that are being held by people with very high salaries.”

Krashesky correctly countered that many so-called Cadillac plans actually cover union workers who make modest incomes. Hoffman responded by only limiting taxing those plans of people making $60,000 or less, opening up many teachers, police officers, firefighters and other union workers to a tax on health care benefits.

“Someone who is making $50,000 or $60,000 a year that has a solid healthcare plan, that shouldn’t be taxed.” said Hoffman.

Giannoulias opposes taxing such employer-provided insurance plans because it would result in higher costs for moderate-income workers and encourage businesses to offer less comprehensive health care plans that would lead to higher deductibles and co-payments.

*** UPDATE 1 *** An impeccable source in a different statewide campaign says their Wednesday-Thursday tracker had Giannoulias ahead by 20. It was 37-17, with Jackson in third, I’m told. Take it for what it’s worth.

[ *** End of Update *** ]

* President Obama answered questions at a gathering of congressional Republicans today. Rep. Peter Roskam asked more than a two-minute question partly about Obama’s lack of bipartisanship. The full question and Obama’s complete answer are here. I’ve clipped the most relevant part for us.

Obama joked about how Sen. Kirk Dillard is being whacked in the GOP primary for “saying nice things about me… Poor guy.” Watch

Ironically enough, if the Illinois media picks up on this, Dillard is probably gonna be hurt badly right before the primary.

* In other developments, a group of black ministers endorsed Dan Hynes, Roger Ebert tweeted that he’s voting for Raja and Tony Peraica is tweeting about some weirdness that could - if anyone picks up on it - suck all the air out of the rest of the political world for the next few days. Oy.

*** UPDATE 2 *** One of my two interns, Barton Lorimor, asked US Sen. Dick Durbin today why he hadn’t endorsed Pat Quinn for governor. Here is Durbin’s response before he was hustled away by staff


  1. - Team Sleep - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:22 pm:

    I am sorry, but Alexi’s narrator has the most annoying voice I’ve ever heard in a campaign spot.

  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:24 pm:

    Agreed, TS. Sounds in-house to me.

  3. - shore - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:28 pm:

    Agreed, that’s an intern. You wonder what roskam and dillard feel like-this guy used to be our colleague-now he’s potus and I’m the 5th ranking member on ways and means and my pal who was top dog to the governor when obama was a law student, is struggling with his governors race.

    I’ve always felt like hoffman was running a campaign better suited to the folks who hang out at the kohl childrens museum and know squash isn’t just a vegetable. That ad should seal the deal on him.

    I would also suggest Rich have a conversation with politico. they copied one of your posts on alexi nearly verbatim this morning and didn’t give you credit.

  4. - E Pluribus - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:30 pm:

    It sounds like a 12-year-old doing the voice over on Alexi’s ad. How could he put that on the air? The hit isn’t that hard either, but he’s obviously hearing footsteps.

    Obama once again brazenly throws someone under the bus. He knew full well that his little quip would hurt Dillard. But he knows Dillard can also be a strong candidate, so bipartisanship be damned! It’s all about The One!

  5. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:33 pm:

    Just looked at Tony’s twitter feed… Wow.. If correct that is going to huge…

  6. - cassandra - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:36 pm:

    But consider the source.

  7. - Footsteps - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:36 pm:

    Alexi *is* hearing footsteps. Terrible commercial. This guy is toast.

  8. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:36 pm:

    I thought Obama’s points were excellent. Watch what you say, people might start to believe you.

  9. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:36 pm:

    Seriously, the nasally high school voice over distracts from the entire message of the ad. Unless the ad runs during a commercial break of Wayne’s World.

  10. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:38 pm:

    As I noted below, the item on Peraica’s Twitter feed is already being run by WLS Radio with audio.

  11. - to cassandra - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:38 pm:

    consider the source x2. tony periaca from tony cole.

  12. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:46 pm:

    Totally agree. Not saying it’s true.

  13. - Is It Tuesday Yet? - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:48 pm:

    The Giannoulias ad is such thin gruel poorly served that it isn’t going to have traction. Contorted extrapolations like the one contributed by the (annoying-to-the-point-of-distraction) voiceover are almost never effective.

    As for the Obama clip, if Dillard loses it won’t be because of this particular clip. It’s because he never got his nose out of his three-ring binder “Official Things for Me to Say & Do As I Wait for My Ascension Into Office.”

  14. - not that theres anything wrong with that - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:50 pm:

    it’s only a little bit more credible than if tony danza was twittering something he heard from tony orlando.

  15. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:52 pm:

    Fast Tony P. probably nervous the Fast Eddie will be back before the microphones to grease up the next effort to slide out of the joint…..Does Tony bees being on the tapes too…..can you say dental?

  16. - JonShibleyFan - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 3:57 pm:

    “He knew full well that his little quip would hurt Dillard”

    Yeah. It was all a big setup. Roskam’s in on it, too.

  17. - Deep South - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 4:15 pm:

    If Obama’s throwing Dillard under the bus, who does he think will benefit? Just who IS Obama supporting in the GOP race for Illinois governor?

  18. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 4:19 pm:

    If Alexi thought he was up by 20, this ad wouldn’t even have been released to earned media.

  19. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 4:25 pm:

    ===Just who IS Obama supporting in the GOP race for Illinois governor?===

    Dan “Start the Revolution” Proft.

  20. - Amalia - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 4:34 pm:

    Breaking news on ABC 7, Hynes’ director of cemetery care wrote a letter re bodies out of graves 5 years before the recent revelations. Hynes asked in person by Chuck Goudie claims no power. they simply referred the problem to someone. emails from the time show bodies out of graves. Goudie I team on this.
    more at 6.

  21. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 4:34 pm:

    Dunno if this was covered elsewhere, but I got an email today from Julie Hamos attacking Dan Seals for dirty campaigning against her. No details, request for money, which makes me think it’s not that big a deal. I’m voting for her, but I often find myself wanting to like Hamos more than I actually do.

  22. - Scooby - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 4:36 pm:

    Oh good, Chuck Goudie’s on the case.

  23. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 4:38 pm:

    The voice is a bit annoying, but they’re probably targeting people with the same type of voice (i.e., those making

  24. - Big Policy Nerd - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 4:52 pm:

    Well, we know what we will be hearing about for the next three days….

  25. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 4:52 pm:

    The story seems more than a bit vague on some things. Checking.

  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 4:55 pm:

    What I mean is, “human remains” are all over cemeteries. Especially old cemeteries. It doesn’t say where the remains were found.

  27. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 5:04 pm:

    Looks like Durbin had a little something stuck in his throat at the end there. Choking on the idea of saying something nice about Quinn?

    Rich, did you tell Barton about the ‘96 Senate primary before or after he asked the question? I assume Barton would have been in grade school back then…

  28. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 5:10 pm:

    No, 47. I should’ve, though.

  29. - Quinn T. Sential - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 5:15 pm:

    How about Chairman “Ike” “copping” a plea. Another appointment for King Richie II

  30. - Rickie - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 5:24 pm:

    Just watched the Goudie story linked above.

    Here’s my question: If the Comptroller only regulates cemetery trust funds, why is his office (as Hynes claims,) meeting with the Burr Oak folks to discuss whether construction of a mausolium would disturb remains? That’s an operations question, not a financial one.

    What took Quinn’s people so long to get this out? And once and for all, can some reporter please look at the law and tell me exactly what the Comptroller’s perscribed duties are on cemeteries?

  31. - Silly Season - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 5:34 pm:

    The cemetery story sounds pretty vague. So Hynes’ office heard about the human remains, and referred the problem to the appropriate agency, sounds reasonable. And was the agency that apparently DID NOTHING part of the Blago/Quinn Administration??

  32. - Cindy Lou - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 5:35 pm:

    Before I get too alarmed over –”I am writing in response to our meeting with you in November regarding the discovery of human remains at Burr Oak Cemetery”– I would have to know much more detail. From what little has been presented to the reader, this could mean nothing more than human remains were dicovered while digging where no bodies are recorded as being. What agencies was a referral made and what results did referral bring if any ect.

  33. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 5:36 pm:

    ===would have to know much more detail===

    From what I gather so far, the cemetery asked in a meeting what would happen if they found bodies under or near a mausoleum they were taking down. The e-mails referenced at the bottom of the story is a different matter, however.

    I also gather that PQ’s campaign has been pushing this for a while. We’ll see.

  34. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 6:20 pm:

    Sorry. Just noticed that my previous comment got cut off. Should have read: “The voice is a bit annoying, but they’re probably targeting people with the same type of voice (i.e., those making less than $60K).

  35. - Amalia - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 6:24 pm:

    the 6 p.m. story from Goudie says there were body parts other than the proposed dig, as Rich stated, described in emails. it was the first story, for what that’s worth cause who watches the local news.

  36. - Lakefront Liberal - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 6:41 pm:

    Squash is something besides a vebtable?


  37. - anon - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 7:00 pm:

    Rich speaking of revelations, maybe someone should check into the Thomas Vicari murder in Springfield. Terrance Reese was in IDOC custody for robbery on a 5 year sentence and a custody date of 10/09/08. He was released less than a year later on 9/16/09, then killed Vicari in Nov. 2009. Very interesting.

  38. - SALly Mae - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 7:03 pm:

    The civility both Kirk Dillard and Peter Roskam show is what makes them excellent public servants.

  39. - Zeus - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 7:25 pm:

    Hey Lake County Democrat, why are you going to vote for Hamos if you have such doubts about actually liking her? I’m not a voter in the 10th so maybe I’m missing some mailers that she is putting out there, but the reports of her debate performances, her interviews, her general campaign/demeanor, and her commercials are incredibly underwhelming. I think that she will lose to Coulsen because she will be tied to Blago, Madigan, and Springfield, and she will lose to Dold because he has no Springfield connections. I’m not challenging you, but just asking because maybe I’m missing something.

  40. - DM - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 8:00 pm:

    The ad perfectly exposes Hoffman’s let them eat approach to life. Among the Brie-cheese and wine set, who cares if a slob making $60K has to pay taxes on health insurance ? Did’nt Leona Hemsley have the same approach saying only the little people pay taxes ?

    Hoffman is insulated by his granddad’s Geico Insurance trust fund so the condition of the economy is not a factor in his day to day life.

    Look at the hiring when he was inspector general, very, very few minorities - mostly rejects that could not make it at big law firms and other reject Asst. US Attorneys fromt he prosecutors office.

    Hoffman is from the land of the LLBean sweaters, Lands End jackets, Range Rover country club set, - never had to work an honest day or make a payroll in his life.

    Hopefully after Tuesday he will go sit on his silver spoon.

  41. - just sayin' - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 8:17 pm:

    It’s definitely true that a lot of Republicans are souring on Dillard. It’s not just the fact he did the ad for Obama, it’s the lame way he tries to spin it. Same deal on his tax hike votes.

    The state and township employees are the only ones I see still excited about Dillard. A lot of the Republicans I talk to don’t want to be seen with “the Obama guy’s” stuff.

  42. - Responsa - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 8:19 pm:

    Wow. Thin gruel indeed. The Alexi “healthcare” scare ad is ridiculous. Everybody with a pulse will know Alexi’s blowing smoke because there IS no healthcare bill. And whatever happens with healthcare reform we will all be looking at it through the rear window by November. For him to imply that a freshman senator who would not even be seated prior to Jan. 2011 might have a serious impact on the final bill minutae just shows that Alexi was not paying attention in 6th grade civics class–and he must hope his voters did not either.

    Since national polling on the current congresses’ efforts are not all that favorable why he even brought up this divisive issue is puzzling. Is he trying to score points with the White House?

  43. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 8:24 pm:

    ===but just asking because maybe I’m missing something.===

    You might be missing the fact that Hamos and Coulson aren’t running against each other next week. And I’m not a 10th District voter either Zeus.

    “I often find myself wanting to like Hamos more than I actually do.”

    LCD, that was a great line. It’s funny because it’s true for so many of us.

  44. - A matter of trust - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 8:33 pm:

    Even the President was telling himself through that smile and laughter…”I can’t believe that Dillard did that ad for me”…”Poor guy”.

  45. - Zeus - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 8:34 pm:

    47Th — I was clearly referring to her potential in the general election, not the primary. Do you think I would be posting on this website if I didn’t have at least a functional knowledge of Illinois politics?

  46. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 8:51 pm:

    No offense Zeus, but you weren’t clear about anything, except that it was in reference to a previous comment.

    You misspelled Couslon’s name, your handle is new, and your argument was weak. LCD doesn’t need to like Hamos in order to vote for her, and neither does anyone else.

    And LCD’s line was one of the funniest things I’ve ever read on this blog, from anyone.

    A functional knowledge of Illinois politics is one of the minimum requirements here. And, as far as I’m concerned, it ain’t the only one.

  47. - curious - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 8:54 pm:

    The Obama reference to Dillard is not negative for his campaign. It show he is the only Republican with any chance of helping the State. Even conservative republicans recognize it will take a bi-partison effort to fix the Illinois diaster created by Blaogo’s corruption and Quinn’s inept approach. Dillard is the only candidate with credentials to do so.

  48. - Zeus - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 9:17 pm:

    47th, the handle is indeed new and thank you for the welcome, but maybe you should be wary of criticizing someone for mis-spelling a candidate’s name (which I admittedly just did) when you do the exact same thing (which you just did). I referred to the two most likely candidates to emerge from the GOP primary in the 10th and commented on Hamos’ chances against each of them.

  49. - 4 percent - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 9:18 pm:

    The Obama thing is not a big deal. Most people want government to work and get things done. The ones who oppose him because of BO are already opposed

    Dillard has tons of endorsements, a great field operation and the best qualifications. On Tuesday, Illinoisans will once again let McRich know that the Governor’s office cannot be bought.

  50. - Levois - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 9:25 pm:

    Looks like Durbin coughed right in the nick of time!

  51. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 9:37 pm:

    Off topic, but this is a nice story that no one’s picked up on related to Haiti:,glenview-union-012810-s1.article

  52. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 9:50 pm:

    Is there a way to bring back the old mobile site or did you decide to end it when the change over didn’t happen?

  53. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 10:02 pm:

    I’d never make a stink about just a typo, Zeus. But thanks for clarifying.

  54. - OldSmokey2 - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 10:14 pm:

    Regarding the TP twitter, anyone know if there was any talk at the press conference about filing a complaint or lawsuit? That’s kind of the rule of thumb, to my mind, about whether or not there’s a story worth following up on when someone makes these kind of charges.

  55. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 10:21 pm:

    Glad to see you’re working late protecting your typos. Now get back to feeding.

  56. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 10:25 pm:

    Sorry, that 9:37pm was from me. Don’t know who posted the 9:50.

  57. - Its Just Me - Friday, Jan 29, 10 @ 11:46 pm:

    “We have to be careful what we say…our constituents might start beliving us.” I dunno, but it seems to be that is a dangerous quote that can be used in dangerous ways. (ie: “The President told Members of Congress to be careful what they say, they might accidently say the truth.”)

  58. - Prove Up - Saturday, Jan 30, 10 @ 5:13 am:

    4 percent -

    If Dillard wins, it will show that the Governor’s office can indeed be bought…

    by the teachers’ union.

  59. - Angry Chicagoan - Saturday, Jan 30, 10 @ 10:04 am:

    Why should it matter whether or not we like a candidate, Hamos or anyone else? Ask one question, and one question only — would they be good at handling the office they seek?

  60. - Dillard Kool-Aid - Saturday, Jan 30, 10 @ 11:28 am:

    To all the Dillard supporters touting his “bi-partisan” ability to work with others, get things done: Isn’t that the problem in Springfield right now? All the go-along, get-along types like Dillard who refuse to make tough decisions, cut spending, etc. but want to be friends with Democrats and enable their irresponsible ways?

  61. - Illinois Republican - Saturday, Jan 30, 10 @ 12:17 pm:

    Dillard never met a tax hike he didn’t like.

    In 2008 he voted for the big regional sales tax increase. That was for the public transportation bailout.

    And just last year he voted for HB255. That’s the one that raised sales taxes on many items, plus liquor, statewide. It also raised many fees, including a tripling of the driver’s license fee. Also legalized video gambling statewide.

    Dillard’s response is to say he’s never voted for a “general” tax increase, whatever that is.

    I just can’t get past Dillard’s forked tongue. He can’t give a straight answer on anything and always has to go running to his puppetmaster Jim Edgar. Something is wrong with the guy. He has no spine.

    Sure, he’s a nice guy. All successful con men are.

  62. Pingback The American Spectator : AmSpecBlog : Grassroots vs. Establishment Battles Shape GOP Primaries - Saturday, Jan 30, 10 @ 1:25 pm:

    […] The embattled front-runner in the primary, state Sen. Kirk Dillard, has lost conservative support because of his association with Barack Obama, for whom he appeared in a 2008 presidential campaign ad. As Illinois political blogger Rich Miller notes, Obama probably didn’t help Dillard at Friday’s House GOP retreat when the president remarked that the moderate Republican legislator is taking heat for “saying nice things about me . . . Poor guy.” StumbleUpon| Digg| Reddit| Twitter| Facebook […]

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