*** UPDATE 1 - 1:41 pm *** Oh, for crying out loud. Now Wikipedia has picked up on this bogus “Brady hacked the ILGA website” story. NBC5 and Chicagoist did so as well. Silly people. They posted their stories even though Progress Illinois has now retracted their original piece. Good job by PI, not so good by the others.
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* Considering the massive weirdness of the Brady campaign hacking Wikipedia the other day, another seemingly related story looked kinda interesting when I saw it this week and then when Progress Illinois picked it up yesterday and ran the ominous headline: “Brady Scrubbing The ILGA Website?“…
Sen. Bill Brady’s campaign caught a considerable amount of flack yesterday for replacing factual policy positions on its candidate’s Wikipedia page with a series of canned talking points. Unfortunately, it seems the online encyclopedia isn’t the only website the Brady campaign is scrubbing. And this new allegation is far more serious.
Mark E. Wojcik, a law professor at the John Marshall Law School, penned a letter to the editor in the Windy City Times yesterday alleging that someone is trying to shield the public from Brady’s position on gay rights. The letter states that someone got the folks who run the Illinois General Assembly’s website to remove Brady’s name as chief co-sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment (SJRCA 95) that would have prohibited the state from recognizing same-sex marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnership.
If coordinated, the effort was successful; Brady’s name is listed at the top of the amendment’s “Full Text” as having introduced the measure but does not show up on the “Bill Status” section at all. We called officials from both Illinois’ Legislative Information Services and the Senate Journal, which controls the website. Neither office knew how such a slip-up could happen and both said that the website should reflect his sponsorship. “Oh my, that should not be,” exclaimed one of the women we talked with.
Those are some pretty serious allegations. And, if true, they would warrant a full-scale probe.
In reality, though, this is a complete non-story because it is standard Senate practice on all resolutions, including constitutional amendments.
In the Senate, for whatever reason, they don’t put the original sponsor’s name in the bill actions section. Let’s look at a Senate resolution from 2007 which made Deb Shipley the Secretary of the Senate. Here is the section which lists sponsors…
Sen. Halvorson was the original chief sponsor. But her name appears nowhere in the actions section…
All it says is “Filed with Secretary.” It doesn’t say by whom. So, if Halvorson had withdrawn her sponsorship, her name would’ve disappeared from the sponsors’ section and you’d never know by looking at the actions section that she was part of the resolution’s history.
On constitutional amendments, the full text versions do list the original sponsors. Brady’s SJRCA95 is no exception.
The House does list sponsors on constitutional amendments in the actions section of their pages. But that wasn’t always the case. If you go back to the 92nd General Assembly and look at this proposed HJRCA, you’ll see that Rep. Doug Hoeft is listed as the original sponsor, but his name doesn’t appear in the actions section.
Anyway, that’s a whole lot of info to say that this is a completely bogus story. But I figured that the GA is my bailiwick so I ought to look into it.
* And speaking of vital issues of seemingly great import that turn up nothing, this story about a Smashing Pumpkins charity event piqued my interest as well…
The event even attracted the attention of Gov. Pat Quinn, who appeared before the Pumpkins set to read a proclamation, naming Tuesday as Matthew Leone Day in the state of Illinois and calling Leone “a true American hero.” He also presented a check to the fund.
Rod Blagojevich used to love to go to events like that and hand out or promise state checks. So, was taxpayer money donated to the Pumpkins’ designated charity?
“No, not a state check,” responded Quinn press secretary Grant Klinzman. Turns out, Quinn wrote a check out of his own personal account.
* And speaking of Rod Blagojevich, Pat Quinn showed up late to a press conference this week and caught heck from some reporters…
“I really don’t have time for this today,” complains one reporter, repeatedly, to no one in particular. “We’ve got stuff to do, and this isn’t it,” grouses another.
Finally, at six minutes to 10 the governor lopes into the room.
“Twenty-four minutes, guy,” a radio reporter chides, quite loudly, a surprising display of disrespect. Then again, any harried public schoolteacher can coax a classroom of 6-year-olds into their bee costumes and giant sun outfits and shepherd them onstage to sing about good nutrition without being this late
There are other things a governor occasionally has to deal with, and Blagojevich was often hours late, so this ain’t much of a big deal. Still, since his media coverage hasn’t been all that great lately, the guv might want to start showing up on time.
…Adding… Let’s call this one “Much ado about little, so far”…
Republican newcomer Bobby Schilling is making a real contest out of his bid to unseat Congressman Phil Hare, D-Rock Island, and could yet produce an upset.
The Cook Political Report, which analyzes federal elections, has changed its rating for the 17th Congressional District of Illinois from “Solid D” to “Likely D,” a sign that Schilling’s campaign has gained some momentum. Real Clear Politics, another election analysis provider, has changed the seat from “Safe Dem” to “Likely Dem.”
There’s still a long campaign ahead before the Nov. 2 election and Hare has much more money to spend on the race. Schilling will be hoping he can ride a wave of anti-government feeling to beat Hare, although the odds are still stacked against that happening.
Hare is not a great campaigner and he’s stumbled and bumbled the past year or so. The map favors Democrats in this district, but it’s not overwhelming. Still, for Hare to go down, the Republican wave would have to be extremely large.
…Adding more… See ya…
Key Findings from Recent IL CD-13 Survey July 29, 2010
The following outlines the key findings from a survey commissioned by Judy Biggert for Congress. Interviews were conducted July 27-28, 2010. The margin of error for the entire sample (n=400) is +/- 4.9% at the 95% confidence level.
Judy Biggert is in a strong position heading into October, more than doubling Harper’s vote share.
Biggert leads Scott Harper 61% to 28%, with 10% undecided. 41% of voters are definitely voting for Biggert compared with only 10% definitely voting for Harper.
Judy’s job approval is stellar, with 57% of voters approving of the job she is doing and only 30% disapproving.
Harper has very little definition and a rather poor favorable to unfavorable ratio.
Harper’s favorable to unfavorable ratio is only 11% favorable: 8% unfavorable. Conversely, Biggert’s is 62% favorable: 26% unfavorable.
Even among those who are aware of Harper (46% of the electorate), he still trails Biggert 56%-33%.
As seen in the rest of the country, the political environment has improved significantly since Harper’s previous attempt in 2008.
In October 2008 the generic Congressional ballot in this district was tied (42%-42%). Today the generic Republican leads 47%-31%.
Both Kirk and Brady are leading in this district as well, with Kirk leading Giannoulias 49%-37% and Brady leading Quinn 49%-35%.
Judy Biggert is well positioned to be re-elected with Harper facing a difficult political environment as well as an extremely popular and well financed incumbent. It is hard to imagine the Democratic Party and their donors becoming engaged in this race with so many vulnerable incumbents to protect.