* Bill Brady’s campaign chairman Ron Gidwitz is raising money for tea party groups…
The former CEO of Helene Curtis Industries Inc., who ran for governor in 2006 and now chairs Republican Bill Brady’s gubernatorial campaign, is donating his own money and raising more from other Chicago executives to help Tea Party groups in various parts of the state. The money helps the activists get organized, a largely behind-the-scenes effort that could benefit candidates up and down the Republican ticket this fall.
“I see energized people,” Mr. Gidwitz says. “A lot of people are angry. We want to identify people who are dissatisfied with the status quo in Illinois and give them the opportunity to make a change.”
Mr. Gidwitz chairs and helps fund the Illinois arm of Americans for Prosperity, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative, anti-tax group that has a political organizer—longtime Illinois GOP operative Joe Calomino—working with Tea Party groups here.
“They’re very good at putting the plan on the ground,” Mr. McQueen says. “They’re instrumental at showing us what we need to do to be effective.
That move by Gidwitz seems logical, but there’s always the danger of tying his candidate too closely to the more “out there” tea party types.
Americans for Prosperity has not yet spent big money in Illinois. They did do a huge, $4.1 million ad buy in other states. But Illinois may be targeted soon…
After seeing the list of the targeted districts, I thought it odd that AFP would neglect Illinois—given all the competitive races in Obama’s adopted state. So I called Joe Calomino who, with just one other staffer, runs the Illinois chapter of the 1.2 million member national group. Calomino told me that a new AFP project, November is Coming is, in fact, dispatching by bus grassroots activists armed with anti-spending petitions to “educate” voters in the 11th, 14th, and 10th districts on September 15th, 16th, and 17th, respectively.
One can safely bet that although the AFP bills itself as nonpartisan, its brigades will not be promoting Democrats Debbie Halvorson (11th), Bill Foster (14th), or Dan Seals (10th), the Democrat who is seeking the seat now held by Mark Kirk. The culmination of the Illinois events is an appearance in Hoffman Estates on September 18th by Glenn Beck who bashed Obama on air for his criticism of AFP.
* In other campaign news, Rich Whitney has come up with some pretty good spin…
Green Party candidate for governor Rich Whitney went on the attack Monday, saying Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has “peaked” and can’t beat Republican state Sen. Bill Brady.
At a Springfield news conference, Whitney referenced recent independent polls that have shown Brady leading the race for Illinois governor. Whitney urged voters who don’t want to vote for Brady to vote for him instead of Quinn.
“He’s peaked,” Whitney said of Quinn. “He can only go down.”
If Whitney knew how to take advantage of this situation then he might have a legit shot. So far, at least, there’s no indication that he does.
* Emphasizing Whitney’s point, Quinn’s running mate Sheila Simon just admitted that her boss’ budget is a disaster…
“It boils down to jobs and education and they are thrown in together,” [Simon] said. “The concern now about jobs is much more personal. It’s not a generic concern. The folks I am running into say they are concerned about their own jobs or the jobs of family members. The state budget and the disaster it is really has an impact on anyone at the school level.”
* Campaign 2010 roundup…
* Illinois Review: Despite the base of the Republican Party and the Party’s platform itself being staunchly prolife, Congressman Mark Kirk, also the IL GOP’s nominee for U.S. Senate, continues to hold firm on his commitment to despicable and up-until-now non-productive human embryo experimentation. This response sent out by Kirk campaign to the U.S. district judge’s decision to strike down President Obama’s stem cell executive order is disappointing and disturbing, because it assures us where a U.S. Senator Kirk would be if presented with a decision on the ever-important issue of the sanctity of life.
* Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.
* One-sided debate
* Move to merge treasurer and comptroller offices gains steam
* Candidates Gear Up for City Elections
* Cook County Board of Review staff takes day off to raise money for Da Boss