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Treason, negativity and Libertarians

Thursday, Oct 28, 2010

* Well, it’s a start….

Asked if he has any regrets for tagging Kirk for “economic treason” last week, Giannoulias said, “I probably could have made a better choice of words.”

At least he’s now admitting that he shouldn’t have said it. So, wouldn’t it be time to man up and apologize?

* True, but not quite accurate

Illinois GOP Senate hopeful Mark Kirk said Thursday morning that Democratic rival Alexi Giannoulias announcement at Wednesday’s debate that he would only run positive ads in the last week of the campaign was a “cynical” ploy because the Senate Democratic campaign operation is “doing his dirty work.”

“This move is very cynical,” Kirk said to reporters after a town hall session with Navistar employees at the Navistar World headquarters in Warrenville, in DuPage County, a mother lode of GOP votes.

“It’s just a few days to go. He is letting the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee do his dirty work. …I think his move is very cynical knowing that Sen. (Bob) Menendez and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is doing his dirty work,” Kirk said. Menendez is the New Jersey senator who is the chair of the DSCC, which is pouring millions into ads–many negative against Kirk–to bolster Giannoulias.

Yeah, well, at least somebody is running positive ads. And Kirk surely knows that, by law, Giannoulias cannot coordinate with a third party group about their ads.

* And a mystery is solved. Remember that mailer touting Libertarian candidate Mike Labno for Senate that was paid for by a committee of the Lake County Democrats? Well, the Lake County party chairman told the Sun-Times he didn’t know anything about it

A line on the flier claims it’s paid for by “Illinois Victory, a project of the Lake County Democratic Party.”

State Sen. Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) heads up the Lake County Democratic Party, which he said has no “Illinois Victory” project. Link said he had never heard of the mailer until told of it by the Sun-Times Tuesday night.

Ben Smith at Politico got to the bottom of it yesterday

A consultant to Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, Pete Giangreco, solved the mystery in a pre-debate press room this evening: It was, he confirmed, a “coordinated” product of the Democratic campaign, the latest in a series of such attempts by Democrats to drain Republican votes with more than a touch of deception.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Team America - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 3:42 pm:

    How is that getting to the bottom of it? Sounds like Terry Link and Team Alexi are telling different stories.

    Link really has no idea about a statewide mailer that has his local Democratic organization on it, and which was printed in Waukegan, his power base? Sure.

  2. - too obvious - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 3:49 pm:

    Well Mark Kirk is a walking deception so the GOP hardly has clean hands. lol

  3. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 3:52 pm:

    How are they telling different stories?

  4. - Bubs - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 3:53 pm:

    “A ‘coordinated’ product of the Democratic campaign”?

    What the heck does that mean?

    One can’t tell from the vague explanation whether this was a case of misrepresenting the origin of and payment for a political piece. I will leave it to the many Kirk lawyers to figure out, but I’d take a long look at Article 9 of the Illinois Election Code if I were them.

  5. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 3:55 pm:

    too obvious,

    You are aptly named…

  6. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 3:56 pm:

    So it has nothing to do with the Lake County Democrats but it is a product “a “coordinated” product of the Democratic campaign,”

    Isn’t using the name of an organization that has no idea that it’s name is being used a bit, ummmm, awkward.

    If you have to ID who paid (and I am not sure you do) you can call yourselves anything I suspect, but you can’t call yourself something you are not, right?

    I couldn’t send something out and say it was a project of Citizens for Alexi could I?

  7. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:01 pm:

    One Man,

    The word you are searching for is… fraudulent.

    Entities sponsoring political materials must be clearly identified.

  8. - Team America - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:02 pm:

    The Sun-Times also referenced this issue yesterday:

    ===After the debate, Giannoulias admitted his campaign, in coordination with the Democratic Party, funded a mailer to Downstate conservatives touting Libertarian Senate candidate Mike Labno as the “pro-life, pro-gun” alternative to Kirk, who supports abortion rights like Giannoulias and who at least previously favored restrictions on handguns.

    The Democrats hoped to divert votes from Kirk to Labno. Is that deceptive?

    “No,” Giannoulias said. ===,illinois-senate-debate-102710.article

    So if Terry Link doesn’t know anything about this “Victory” group, which apparently has misappropriated the good name of the Lake County Democratic Party on their mailer, how do we know it was kosher for the Giannoulias campaign to be “coordinating” the mailer with them? Alexi seems to understand he can’t coordinate advertising with the DSCC. How come it’s OK to “coordinate” with this group, whoever they are?

  9. - todd - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:06 pm:

    if an outside group is coordinating independent expendatures for a federal election that is is big no no. And If alexi is admitting it, it is a real big no no. It would have been better if Alexi just paid for it.

    BTW isn’t this the same Pete who had the phony petition signers for Terry a couple of years ago that landed at least 1 guy in jail?

  10. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:07 pm:

    ===How come it’s OK to “coordinate” with this group, whoever they are? ==

    ===if an outside group is coordinating independent expendatures for a federal election that is is big no no.===

    Because it’s the coordinated campaign.

  11. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:08 pm:

    Okay, it’s official, we are at the point in the election season where it is time to start getting out the dead people vote. I love Illinois!

  12. - Bubs - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:08 pm:

    Thanks to that ID, this Labno piece smells like trouble for somebody, with sharp collateral damamge to Alexi. We haven’t even addressed federal law yet.

    It’s only Thursday, plenty of time for Kirk to make some hay. Let’s see what comes of this tomorrow.

  13. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:09 pm:

    I guess I would just be curious why they used ‘Lake County’…

  14. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:10 pm:


    From what I have read here, it would seem that the coordinated campaign was one-way, and that the Alexi campaign fraudulently co-opted the name of another entity or entities (Lake County Dems) who claimed no involvement. Is that how you are reading what happened here?

  15. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:11 pm:

    Not saying it’s hinky or anything, just curious why they used ‘Lake County’ and why they didn’t give the chair a heads up

  16. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:11 pm:

    A quick check reveals:

    The Illinois Victory group located at 709 North Avenue, Waukegan, IL 60085 (HQ of the Lake County Democratic Party) and chaired by Peter Couval (Vice-Chairman of the Lake County Democratic Party)

    The Illinois Victory Group located at 709 North Avenue, Waukegan, IL 60085 (HQ of the Lake County Democratic Party) and chaired by Peter Couval (Vice-Chairman of the Lake County Democratic Party).

    Yup. Terry Link, as Chairman of the Lake County Democrats knows nothing about this when his right hand man is in charge of both and running them out of the HQ of the Lake County Democratic Party in Waukegan.

  17. - todd - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:11 pm:

    “Because it’s the coordinated campaign”

    rich that doesn’t make a differance. under FEC rules on independent expendatures either it is reported as a contribution to Alexi, or it is an IE with no contact between the campaign and Alexi’s people.

    the name of the committe means little. the state SDCC can only do get out the vote and stuff like that. they can not time peices or vet messages/pieces with Alexi.

  18. - todd - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:18 pm:

    ok I stand a bit corrected…

    “If a communication is coordinated with a candidate and paid for by a party committee, then the payment is either an in-kind contribution to that campaign or it is a coordinated party expenditure. 109.37(b).”


    “Local Committees
    A district or local party committee or organization may make coordinated party expenditures only if authorized to do so by the national or state committee. District and local party units do not have any coordinated party spending authority of their own.”

    so the local committee what ever they paid counts agsint the state cap of $20,000. So how much was it? did they report?

    starts on about page 43

  19. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:24 pm:

    who cares….about this stuff honestly the ISSUES are what is important! It is aggrivating!!! I don’t care about this mailer topic, what’s important is Illinois and our Children’s futures!!!!!! Lets talk about the real issues…Education, JOBS (here in Illinois NOT shipped over-seas), Health Care, Taxes!!!!!

  20. - Jaded - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:25 pm:

    I received the ad in the mail two days ago. Confirmed for me that I can’t vote for Labno because of my hard and fast rule to never vote for a guy (or especially a gal) with facial hair. Rich, if you ran I might make an exception, but I doubt it.

  21. - Bubs - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:28 pm:

    Even if legal, which is might or might not be, it still stinks, and it will blow up on them a bit.

    Not something Giannoulias needs right about now.

  22. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:29 pm:

    Anonymous — Us political junkies care about this stuff. It is an interesting part of the game and that is what the post is about…

  23. - LCdemvoter - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:31 pm:

    I’m pretty sure no one should listen to anything Terry Link says. He is still just upset about the Lt. Gov debacle.

  24. - Ghost of John Brown - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:44 pm:

    Sen. Link - I have to call “B.S.” on you.

    Should we call him Terry Schultz instead? “I know nothing, nothing, NOTHING” (apologies to Hogan’s Heroes)

  25. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:50 pm:

    Anonymous—I’m sure you won’t bother coming back to this blog, but it DOES matter that campaigns follow the rules.

  26. - Stunod - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 4:57 pm:


    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  27. - just sayin' - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 5:10 pm:

    yawn. a nothing story already ran its course.

  28. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 5:10 pm:

    “…paid for by Lake County Democrats”?

    To quote Shaggy, “It wasn’t me!”

  29. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 6:42 pm:

    As I said Tuesday, this is fraud and it is more than a little problem. When one of the two political parties take a series of political stands that are polar opposites of their public stands, and send this propaganda under a third party candidate’s name in order for that third party candidate to siphon votes away from the other major party candidate - these actors are undermining the credibility of the election process itself.

    We have voters claiming fraud where no fraud exists. We have voters lining up in a sheer panic to vote out current incumbents. These people are upset that they feel disenfranchised from the political process. Consequentially, an act like this is practically throwing gasoline on a bon fire - because in this case, the conspiracy is true.

    What would happen if Giannoulias wins but would have lost if the Libertarian candidate pulled enough votes away from Kirk? You thought Florida 2000 was nutty? We are still hearing Democrats claiming that this was wrong a decade later.

    Well, this is more than a mere ballot design accident. This is frauds. Campaign fraud. And it is not a little thing.

  30. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 6:59 pm:

    I’m not a fan of either candidate, but accusing another of treason is the lowest of the low. Leave it the Birchers and McCarthyites.

    Better choice of words? It’s the only crime specified in the Constitution and it’s punishable by death. Little over the top there, Giangreco? Yeah, buddy.

  31. - jimbo - Thursday, Oct 28, 10 @ 8:12 pm:

    guys… it is the coordinated state campaign. link nows about it, as does the IL Democratic party.

  32. - Tomhail - Friday, Oct 29, 10 @ 1:26 am:

    Rich! Are you using that hackneyed ‘man up’ phrase now?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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