Dan Hynes should get credit for showing up. The moderator, Cliff Kelly, is an unabashed supporter of Pat Quinn.
Hynes absolutely had to go to that debate. If he skipped out, he would’ve been universally bashed for not showing up. Hynes lost that round, but he didn’t make any big mistakes which could hurt him in the closing days, so it wasn’t disastrous. Quinn did a great job. If he governed and campaigned the last year as well as he performed today, he’d be 30 points ahead right now. I’m not saying it was too little, too late, but the the ticking by the countdown clock is deafening.
* I don’t know if Mayor Daley was thinking about Dan Hynes’ income tax proposal or not when he spoke to the press today, and I’m not gonna try to guess, but the mayor’s statement was quite interesting…
Chicago has been playing defense lately because of the exodus of trade shows at McCormick Place. But it looks like Mayor Daley is preparing to make the switch to offense.
Daley said Thursday he’s coming after businesses in the Pacific Northwest, emboldened by what he considers Oregon’s head-scratching decision to approve higher taxes on big corporations and big wage-earners.
“What happened in Oregon is not good news for Oregon. They believe that anybody who makes $125,000 or more [annually] or businesses or anyone who makes $250,000 — they’re gonna start taxing them. They call them ‘rich people,’ ” the mayor said.
“I’ve always thought America stands for [rewarding success]. You finish high school. You work hard, go to college and you hope to succeed in life. I never knew it’s a class war—that those who succeed in life are the ones that have to bear all the burden. I never realized that. It will be a whole change in America that those who succeed and work hard [that] we’re gonna tax ‘em more than anyone else.”
Daley’s words will come back to haunt the Statehouse if - if - Hynes wins the primary and tries to push through his constitutional amendment for a graduated income tax. The idea polled well here a couple of years ago (well over 70 percent support), but the political watchword for this year is: Terrified. Daley opposition would be disastrous. More on that another time.
Cook County Board hopeful Dorothy Brown is fighting mad about a statement made in an opponent’s campaign ad – and she’s taking the matter to court.
Brown, who is running for board president, announced she’s pressing a lawsuit that accuses Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Terrence O’Brien of slanderering her in a campaign ad earlier this week.
The suit, filed today in Cook County circuit court, targets O’Brien, his campaign committee, and the committee’s chairman Tom Caplice. It seeks $250,000 in actual damages and $1 million in punitive damages, says attorney Adam Lasker, who represents Brown.
The O’Brien campaign sought to center attention on reports of funny business at the clerk’s office, saying in a statement, “Stories about Clerk Brown pocketing cash from her employees have been in the headlines for years now. Frankly voters are fed up with political corruption and they need to know that Clerk Brown cannot be trusted to clean up Todd Stroger’s mess.”
* As with Rasmussen’s gubernatorial poll, I don’t put a whole lot of stock in any survey with just 300 respondents, and you shouldn’t either. It’s OK for a tracking poll, but not a stand-alone. Anyway, here are Rasmussen’s latest results, with PPP’s results followed by the Tribune’s results in parentheses…
Giannoulias 31 (32, 34)
Hoffman 23 (20, 16)
Jackson 23 (18, 19)
Some other candidate 9 (N/A)
Not sure 24 (27, 13)
Besides the low respondent numbers, it’s the height of absurdity to ask about “some other candidate” at this point in the campaign. Just give respondents the names, for crying out loud. The “other” candidates were polling at one and two percent in the PPP and Trib polls. That questioning screws up the results. This poll is just not reliable.
* Media coverage of the Giannoulias bank troubles is starting to heat up a bit. AP…
Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias (jeh-NOO’-lee-us) won’t provide details about whether his decisions contributed to his family bank’s financial problems.
The Chicago Democrat says there will be plenty of time for that conversation later, although the primary election is just five days away.
After today’s news conference, a spokeswoman said that Giannoulias doesn’t know which loans may have contributed to the bank’s problems because he hasn’t been involved in the bank’s day-to-day operations since he left.
Giannoulias quickly organized the news conference to answer criticisms raised by U.S. Senate rival David Hoffman, who earlier highlighted the consent order Broadway reached with Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Hoffman said the consent order raises questions about Giannoulias’ experience and what he described as Giannoulias’ inability to accept responsibility for his actions.
“(Broadway Bank’s) decisions, including the decisions at the time he was there as the chief loan officer, are the reason that the bank is in such trouble,” Hoffman said.
Cheryle Jackson has spent months trying to appeal to women as the lone female candidate in the Democratic U.S. Senate race, and today she picked up a major endorsement that could help her along those lines if she can get the word out.
Jackson’s campaign sent out a fundraising email to supporters authored by Lilly Ledbetter, the now-retired supervisor of a Georgia tire manufacturing plant who sued because her pay was not the same as male supervisors. Almost a year ago, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
No offense meant, but who? Yes, I know who Ms. Ledbetter is, but how many others do?
Even though several members of the Illinois GOP delegation are backing state Rep. Beth Coulson in the 10th district GOP primary, businessman and first-time candidate Bob Dold appears to have the momentum heading into Tuesday’s balloting.
“I think it’s between Bob Dold and Beth Coulson,” said one well-placed Republican in Washington.
Coulson was the early favorite of national Republicans, who viewed her moderate-to-liberal political profile in the state Legislature as in the mold of Rep. Mark Steven Kirk. But poor fundraising has hampered expectations for Coulson, as she has been outraised and outshined by two businessmen in the race — Dold and Dick Green — who have amassed copious amounts of money.
* As I told you earlier, Gov. Quinn and Comptroller Hynes will be on Cliff Kelley’s always entertaining WVON talk show today at 4 o’clock. Topics will surely include Hynes’ Harold Washington TV ad and his Barack Obama mailer. Listen live on your computer by clicking here.
WVON’s Webcasts have had overload problems in the past, so if you’re in Chicago, tune your radio to 1690 AM. We’ll need your help live-blogging in comments if the station’s Intertubes overload. And even if they don’t.
Commenter live-blogging has been some of the best stuff we’ve done here in a while. So, have some fun.
…And here we go. The ads and news appear to be over. Have at it, folks.
…We’re done. Consensus in comments and by me is that Hynes got his clock cleaned. A really poor job. Yes, it was an unfair debate situation, but he surely knew that going in. I did. We’ll see what sort of coverage this gets.
Hynes didn’t just do badly, Quinn did very, very well. Where has that Pat Quinn been for the last six months?
* I’ve been thinking about and quietly discussing this scenario for at least a week, pondering what might happen during the upcoming session and after. It’s still too early to go too far into it, but “disaster” is a word that has crossed my mind…
If Gov. Pat Quinn winds up losing the Democratic primary on Tuesday, it will be more than just a stinging political defeat for him. It means Illinois would be stuck with a lame duck governor for the next year.
Losing the election would significantly weaken Quinn’s leverage over lawmakers and make it harder for him to get things done.
Democratic state Rep. Lou Lang says that could be dangerous given the state’s financial problem. The budget deficit could reach $13 billion, requiring a tax increase, painful budget cuts or both.
To take a page from Gov. Quinn and quote Abe Lincoln…
“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”
The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club announced that it is buying ads in major publications (including Crain’s), setting up a Web site — IllinoisIsBroke.com — and taking other steps to build pressure for big state pension changes.
Ads to appear on Friday and over the weekend in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Daily Herald and other publications urge voters “to keep in mind” that the state budget, by its estimate, currently is at least $14 billion in the hole. […]
“The state is headed for a huge financial disaster, which will affect everyone in the state,” said Jim Farrell, the retired chairman and CEO of Illinois Tool Works Inc., who is helping coordinate the campaign. “We’re trying to get the politicians to focus on this issue.”
This late in the election process, the ad won’t have much of an impact — particularly since it doesn’t urge a vote for or against any single candidate. But it is an indication that, as soon as the General Assembly resumes session, the group will step up lobbying and other activities in a campaign that committee President R. Eden Martin said could exceed $1 million.
* Anyway, on to something else. Simon Edelman, that young, underpaid, overworked Quinn campaign staffer, has produced yet another marvelous Internet video for his boss that, unfortunately, only a few of us will see. Watch it…
* According to a press release I just received, US Sen. Dick Durbin will do a fly-around with Gov. Quinn tomorrow to tout the new federal cash for high speed rail. Durbin and Quinn will appear together in Chicago, Alton and Bloomington. Mayor Daley will be at the Chicago event. Nice press pops before the election, for sure.
* These two gentlemen have been going at each other for years. I don’t think there’s a bigger in-district war between legislators of the same party than the 5th Senate, except for maybe the age-old Jacobs-Boland war in the Quad Cities. When Rep. Turner decided to run for lt. governor, so did Sen. Hendon. And, therefore, it’s no surprise that they’re bickering today…
State Sen. Rickey Hendon once rented an apartment from state Rep. Art Turner, and neither lieutenant governor candidate disputes that. But the two West Side Democrats don’t agree on why Hendon left.
“He has the unique distinction of being the second person I’ve ever evicted,” Turner said.
“It’s just simply not true,” Hendon said. “I lived in one of Art’s buildings [in North Lawndale]. I moved from there to an apartment on Lake Shore Drive. Clearly, I can afford rent.
“I didn’t even stay there two months — rats and roaches, that kind of thing.”
Fliers comparing Ald. Toni Preckwinkle to Aunt Jemima are being distributed in the South Side.
The fliers, designed to resemble parking tickets and placed beneath windshield wipers, are addressed to “Registered Voters and Concerned Citizens of Chicago” and include a photo of the 4th Ward alderwoman captioned by the phrase “Aunt Jemima On the Meter Box.”
* Rep. Suzie Bassi is under fire for her “Present” votes, and rightly so…
The flyer states Bassi, 64, voted “present” 1,198 times between 2000 and 2004, more than any other legislator in Illinois history to Morrison’s knowledge. Bassi vehemently denies the claim, saying her official voting record shows she cast 161 “present” votes.
The discrepancy stems from the number of votes the House may cast as a single bill progresses. Bassi’s count reflects her official record, which tallies only final votes. The 34-year-old Morrison’s figures - released by Bassi opponent Pat Sutarik in 2004 - include votes on early versions of a law.
My goodness that’s a lot. And it seems fair to me that her opponent is counting all the votes, not just final passage.
* You can’t just rip off somebody’s song and not expect problems…
The campaign manager for 8th Congressional District candidate Joe Walsh said the campaign will not stop using a music video that rock star Joe Walsh’s lawyers have said is a flagrant copyright violation.
“We’re not taking it down,” Walsh campaign manager Jim Thacker said Wednesday.
Thacker said that attorney Peter Paterno, who wrote the letter concerning the music video, talked to candidate Walsh and indicated the letter was “tongue in cheek” and that he would ask Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh “if he really cared” about the music video.
But Howard King, of the Los Angeles law firm of King, Holmes, Paterno & Berliner LLP, said Wednesday the letter demanding that the Republican candidate stop using the song and video was anything but a joke.
* Sun-Times political reporter Abdon Pallasch has a funny story on his Facebook page…
I’m saving this message from my editor Scott Fornek. Set-up: I’m sitting on the operating table waiting for the happy juice to kick in so they can straighten the clavicle the fencepost smashed while I was sledding and I confirm Bob Schillerstrom is dropping out of the governor’s race to endorse Jim Ryan. Despite computer problems, we post the story before the Trib, prompting my editor’s message: “Are you planning on filing any stories during surgery?”
Abdon is a real trooper, man. He also has a story today about a judicial race…
Judge Jim Epstein takes an unusual step in his race for Illinois Appellate Court Tuesday. He runs a television ad with a photo of one of his opponents. That photo of Judge Jim Ryan fades away as Epstein clarifies that he’s “a little different” from the other candidates in his race.
Epstein is highly rated by the bar groups and is a former president of the Illinois Judges Association. Judge Kathleen Kennedy, another candidate in the race, also got high ratings. Their three opponents did not.
Epstein said he doesn’t want voters to confuse his opponent Ryan, 43, former general counsel to Sheriff Michael Sheahan, with Jim Ryan, 63, the former attorney general running for governor in the Republican primary.
“In judicial races, people go in without a clear idea of who’s running, and they see a familiar name — that name may get a vote whether it’s attached to the person they think it is or not,” Epstein said.
* Speaking of reporters, the Cook County Board passed a resolution this week praising the late, great CLTV political reporter Carlos Hernandez Gomez. Typically, though, the goofs at the county board screwed something up. Emphasis added for obvious reasons…
…in this position, he displayed his trademark energetic and irrelevant style
Idiots. I’m sure Carlos would’ve gotten a chuckle out of it, though. See the whole thing for yourself by clicking here.
* More controversy and a roundup…
* Monique Davis: I’ll give back university’s missing statue - Chicago rep says she’ll return $25,000 bronze of African slave to Chicago State
* GOP tries to keep Hebda campaign official: Republican Cynthia Hebda will stay off the primary ballot for the suburban 59th District legislative seat despite a late-campaign attempt to keep the Vernon Hills trustee in the race.
* Sente says robocalls about her stance on guns are lies
* Jim Ryan and Joe Birkett are holding a presser about Andy McKenna. Watch it live and, if you’d like, live-blog in comments…
* Birkett claims that Andy McKenna “refused” to ask questions posed to him by the state GOP during the party’s internal investigation of McKenna’s ordering a statewide poll that included his name. Birkett also wants the party to release the transcript of the interview and accuses McKenna of trying to “buy” the election and ducking questions, which he says means that the Democratic Party will “eat him alive” in the fall.
* “Who actually is Andy McKenna?” Jim Ryan asks rhetorically. “Why shouldn’t Andy McKenna not be held accountable?… It’s not fair to Illinois voters… It’s not something that should be brushed over lightly… I want to know what there is about Andy McKenna other than his money… He doesn’t show up, he doesn’t answer questions… He doesn’t even answer questions from (the state GOP’s) ethics committee…. Voters have been fooled before and we’ve got to move on… If Andy McKenna won’t answer any questions, if he won’t answer your questions, then he should step aside…. We’ve had enough of this in our state.”
* Ryan was asked whether this controversy makes it impossible for him to endorse McKenna if he wins the primary. “Well, it’s problematic,” he said. That really undercuts his demand that McKenna fess up or withdraw.
* The feed has conked out. But, what was available is saved, so you can replay the whole thing if you like.
* And here’s your roundup…
* Dillard has crucial edge — best field operation — Edgar says
* Grasping for a lead, Republicans in governor’s race debate their records
Gov. Pat Quinn and his Democratic primary opponent Dan Hynes are taking their contentious campaign to the radio.
Quinn and Hynes are scheduled to debate Thursday on Chicago’s WVON-AM. The two will square off on the Cliff Kelley show.
Kelley talked about Hynes’ Harold Washington ad to Crain’s last week…
“It’s sort of ironic for Hynes to bring it up,” WVON-AM talk-show host Cliff Kelley told me in a phone chat. “If it were up to Hynes and his father” (Tom Hynes, who left the Democratic Party to run as an independent against Mr. Washington in 1987) “Harold never would have been mayor.”
U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, the first black man ever elected statewide, on Wednesday called a recent campaign ad invoking deceased Chicago Mayor Harold Washington “an abomination.” […]
“I thought it was an abomination that Dan Hynes would do that,” Burris said. “But be that as it may, it’s called politics and all is fair in love and war. But it hit the community. Especially the African American community has really let him know that it was not in good taste.”
As I told you yesterday, the two campaigns are now fighting over Hynes’ use of President Obama in a mailer on middle class tax hikes.
We’ll have to live-blog that show later today. The festivities begin at 4 o’clock. WVON’s Internet live stream is often easily overwhelmed on days like this, so you greater Chicagoland area folks need to get your radios tuned in advance.
“Remember the typewriter?” asked State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) during a gathering of lawmakers for Hynes in Chicago. “The typewriter was kind of slow and antiquated. So we got to the computer and Dan [Hynes] is our computer. We got somebody that’s a typewriter right now.”
* This new PPP poll was taken before yesterday’s revelations about the Giannoulias family bank, and that issue (among many others) will certainly be in play this fall. Still, this ain’t insignificant. From a Public Policy Polling survey of 1,062 Illinois voters from January 22nd to 25th with a margin of error of +/-3%…
In a reminder that contested primaries can be a good thing Alexi Giannoulias has jumped out to a 42-34 lead over Mark Kirk in the race to be Illinois’ next Senator. When PPP last looked at such a match up in April the two were tied at 35.
The reason for Giannoulias’ ascent is that where he was winning 60% of the Democratic vote last spring he’s now at 72%. As his party’s voters have become more familiar with him over the course of the primary campaign his support from them has increased. Right now he leads 72-7 with Dems while Kirk is up 76-5 with Republicans. Kirk also has a 33-27 lead with independents. It’s close to impossible for a GOP candidate to win statewide in Illinois without at least a double digit lead among independents and a double digit level of crossover support, and right now Kirk isn’t there.
Kirk does lead the other two Democratic candidates, currently trailing Giannoulias in primary polling, by small margins. He’s up 38-36 on Cheryle Jackson and 37-36 on David Hoffman.
These numbers could change a lot between now and November, as none of the candidates are particularly well known yet. Giannoulias and Kirk each have around 50% name recognition, with favorability spreads of 31/19 and 27/22 respectively. Jackson and Hoffman are each known to a third of the electorate or less with breakdowns of 16/17 and 16/11 respectively.
One key thing to look at when Republicans try to win in blue states like Illinois is how the moderates are voting. Scott Brown won their votes in Massachusetts last week, something that has become a very rare occurrence for GOP candidates in the past few election cycles. Right now Giannoulias is ahead of Kirk 45-25 with them. Kirk will have to make some significant in roads there if he’s going to win this fall.
It’s a long way until November, one of the quirks of the Illinois election calendar. But in a month when most of the news for Democrats has been bad this poll stands out as a rare ray of sunshine for the party’s hopes in the Senate.
* Blagojevich lawyers return to court with complaint list
* City snuffs out 4th of July Grant Park fireworks to save money
nstead, the city will count on three simultaneous July 4 lakefront fireworks displays to satisfy spectators’ desire for a light show. One will be held at Navy Pier, another at a yet-to-be-disclosed South Side lakefront spot and the third along the north lakefront.
The fireworks show, which ends a three-decades-plus run, joins the South Side Irish Parade, Venetian Night and the Outdoor Film Festival as major community events that have gone by the wayside in the last year, victims of budget woes or public safety concerns.
Yes, it costs some money to do this stuff — reportedly up to $1 million for the fireworks. But those fireworks draw at least a million people downtown, and they spend far more than that on food, transportation, parking and the like
If unions don’t OK deal, service cuts will start Feb. 7
* Daley claims strides in cleaning up hiring, but critics voice doubts
Since FBI agents raided City Hall in April 2005 and uncovered a massive hiring-fraud scheme anchored in the mayor’s office, Daley has promised reform. The city since August 2005 has paid more than $6.2 million to lawyers and consultants, including $4.2 million to the court monitor, to clean up its hiring….
The court monitor and investigators have alleged in a string of reports since last summer that a handful of politically connected truck drivers received “disproportionate amounts” of overtime, that the city has been reluctant to discipline workers who violate hiring rules, and that more than one top Daley aide has deliberately misled investigators looking into hiring abuses.
* Daley ethics aide accuses Chicago’s inspector general of unfairly attacking him
Anthony Boswell, head of the mayor’s Office of Compliance, hired a private lawyer to challenge an inspector general report urging Daley to suspend Boswell and a top deputy for allegedly mishandling a sexual harassment complaint.
Illinois Wind Energy Association (IWEA) director Kevin Borgia tells us that AWEA may have low-balled the numbers in estimating that the Prairie State is now churning out 1,547 megawatts of wind power. By his count, Illinois produces roughly 1,800 megawatts, which would bump the Prairie State’s production ranking up two spots in the AWEA ranking.
* Keller Gifted Magnet parents object to moving school out of Mount Greenwood
Parents of Keller Gifted Magnet students Wednesday blasted a proposal to kick the second-highest-scoring elementary school in the state out of its Mount Greenwood home to solve overcrowding at a neighborhood school.
…Huberman insisted Keller would not be relocated this fall, and its parents would be included in discussions on overcrowding solutions.
Sneed hears former Cicero President Betty Loren-Maltese, who has been living in a Las Vegas, Nev., halfway house since being released from federal prison last August, is now being transferred back to Chicago.
* Some Midlothian residents still on fence about home rule