* As with last night, I won’t be able to watch the WTTW debate tonight at 7, so please help out in comments. Y’all did a great job last night. Let’s try it again. Thanks much.
* By the way, this is from Scott Lee Cohen’s latest press release…
SATURDAY: Cohen wraps up the week with an appearance with Reverend Jesse Jackson at Rainbow PUSH on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m.
Not quite. I called Rainbow PUSH and was told that this is their traditional candidates event. It’s open to all candidates who want to come. Cohen won’t be speaking. Rev. Jackson will simply be acknowledging the candidates in the room and what they’re running for.
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.
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.
* David Ormsby noted something interesting about yesterday’s Rasmussen poll. While Rasmussen has found that the number of self-identified tea party movement members is dropping nationally - to 17 percent in early October from 24 percent in April - it’s rising fast in Illinois…
According to… a March 8, 2010 Rasmussen Reports survey, 13% of Illinois voters identified themselves as members of the Tea Party movement, in contrast with a new survey on October 26 by the pollster which now identifies 22% of Illinois voters as part of the movement—a 75% increase. […]
In Illinois, only the precipitous drop among the 18-29 age demographic tracks the national numbers. In the March 8 survey, 21% of Illinois 18-29 voters self-identified as Tea Party members, while only 6% did so in the October 26 poll, a 71.4% drop.
However, Illinois women who claimed Tea Party membership spiked from 10% in March to 18% in October, an 80% increase. Self-identified men increased the protest movement’s ranks from 17% to 26%, a 52.9% jump.
In a couple of other key states though Democrats aren’t showing any increased interest and in some cases could even be sliding backward. The likely electorate in Illinois in August was Obama +9 and when we polled there last weekend it was still Obama +9. Usually for a Republican to win in a blue state like Illinois they would need a massive advantage with independents and to win over a fair number of Democrats. Mark Kirk and Bill Brady are doing neither of those things but still in a position to win because of what’s likely to be a massive drop in Democratic turnout in the state.
* The Right is certainly being stirred up here by shows like Fox & Friends, which told at least two blatant lies today…
The story is about how Cook County Jail inmates are suppposedly “taking priority” over soldiers. “Felons vote, soldiers don’t… at least, that seems to be the attitude in Cook County, Illinois,” said the show’s guest, Quinn Hillyer of the Washington Times.
The segment delved into the 2600 ballots that were allegedly delivered to jail inmates, which the show claimed, is the same number of ballots that were sent late to soldiers serving overseas “from that area.”
Actually, Cook County and Chicago sent overseas absentee ballots on time. Chicago’s board of elections sent the overseas applications two weeks ahead of the federal deadline.
They also claim on the Fox show that the city’s board “hand-delivered” ballots to inmates at the county jail. “It’s awful,” said Hillyer, who also claimed that “inmates don’t even have to request the ballots.”
A ballot is delivered to a detainee only if we receive an absentee application from a valid registered voter who is not yet convicted – under the standard of innocent until proven guilty. If the application is from someone who is convicted between the date they requested the ballot and election day, that sealed ballot, whether or not it’s from a registered voter, is not allowed into the count. Through [October 20th], there were 1,373 applications. [Emphasis added.]
So, to sum up: Inmates have to request the ballots. Only those who aren’t convicted are sent ballots. And soldiers received their ballots ahead of schedule. Other than that, the show was quite accurate. Except, there was no other than that.
* Speaking of stirring people up, blood always runs hot this time of year. But there’s hot and then there’s boiling…
BILL BRADY NEEDS 400,000-450,000 VOTES Cook County aka Liberal Hell, and if you think the tea party princess is going to magically sprinkle winning tea leaves on him to win, without your help… Well, you are wrong.
Mike Madigan will have 500 foot soldiers out in Worth Township and the 19th Ward protecting his home front this weekend. This. Is. Dangerous.
Plus, that lunatic, Toni Periwinkle, has earmarked $400,000-$450,000 to defeat conservatives on the Southwest Side. She has also promised to round up members of the Purple Army, members of SEIU! I needn’t explain that just because these people are not wearing Brown shirts doesn’t make them any different than their brothers and sisters from decades ago.
They have been flooding the Southwest Side and we need to defeat them.
If we lose, call the movers because we won’t have a prayer.
* Green: Where Quinn must get votes to eke out victory over Brady: Quinn must also narrowly win suburban Cook County; get beat by fewer than 125,000 votes in the collar counties, and get trounced by fewer than 200,000 votes Downstate. Key to Quinn losing the collars and Downstate by less than expected margins will likely be the success in these regions of Whitney, who is again running for governor on the Green Party ticket, and independent candidate Scott Lee Cohen.Brady, on the other hand, wins if the Chicago turnout is not robust and he is able to hold Quinn’s winning margin there to 375,000 votes, while breaking even in suburban Cook County. But he must also win the collar counties by 150,000 votes and totally demolish Quinn Downstate, with a margin of at least 250,000 votes.And unlike the Quinn scenario, Brady must minimize the vote for Whitney and Cohen in his base — the five collar counties and Downstate.
Bizarre. Brady has raised a ton of cash. There are no indications that his campaign is broke. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that happening with a major campaign here. I wonder if this will come up during tonight’s WTTW gubernatorial debate. Paging Phil Ponce!
And, as the story notes, the RGA is now running ads, so Brady isn’t totally dark today. I saw it on the World Series last night. Here it is…
*** UPDATE 1 *** The Quinn campaign responded to the above story and then added something new. The campaign claims that Brady’s “Partner” ad has been pulled by some TV stations. I’m checking, but here is the statement…
Separately— one of the few Brady ads still on the air - “Partner” - was ordered to be pulled down today by television stations across the state. The ad attempted to link Governor Quinn and Rod Blagojevich, and makes claims found to be patently false.
Watch the ad in question by clicking here. It’s the Rod Blagojevich ad that claims Quinn stuck taxpayers “with a $250 million pay raise for government workers.” As I wrote the other day, the alleged “deal” with AFSCME was about layoffs. AFSCME’s contract, which included the pay raises, was negotiated by Rod Blagojevich.
…Adding… More from the Quinn campaign…
The first stations to report to pull it down were WIFR and WSIL. I’ll send the rest as they come in…but it may be everywhere it was playing.
*** UPDATE 2 *** I just got off the phone with Bill Brady’s campaign manager Jerry Clarke, who explained the situation. Jerry said the campaign placed a $2.2 million buy on Monday for the week. The Republican Governors Association was supposed to kick in $700,000 toward that ad buy today, but then decided to run its own ad instead. That meant the Brady campaign had to redo the buy and reduce it by $700K. The buyers, for whatever reason, did not pay for today.
Clarke said that the campaign is not dark. He didn’t know if WGN was in the current buy, but insisted that other stations have now been paid by his buyers and ads are running.
* As far as the Quinn campaign’s claim that Brady had pulled the “Partner” ad, Clarke said the ad was gone as of this morning because they changed traffic. “No station pulled it,” he insisted. According to Jerry, the “Future” ad is up as is the “Flatline” ad.
More info as warranted.
*** UPDATE 3 *** I called one of the two stations the governor’s campaign identified as “pulling” the “Partner” ad. WSIL TV general manager Steve Wheeler said the Quinn campaign claim is untrue. “We wouldn’t pull a candidate’s spot over its content,” Wheeler said.
This violates the old rule of letting your opponent twist in the wind. The Quinn campaign stuck their nose into this and screwed up the hit.
* Let’s add some semi-related stories while we’re at it…
Answer our phones or read our inbound e-mails and you’ll learn from Democratic activists that the Tribune reflexively has endorsed Republicans for Tuesday’s election. That is, our endorsements are preordained, partisan, party-driven. And the party is Republican.
Trouble is, that allegation would anger hordes of Republican activists still steaming that, in 2008, this page endorsed Barack Obama for president and Dick Durbin for senator. This year we’ve reopened those GOP wounds because, in two tight U.S. House races, we endorsed Democrats Melissa Bean and Bill Foster. Plus four Democrats and an independent, Forrest Claypool, in Cook County’s five countywide races. Plus six Democrats and two Green Party candidates (as well as six Republicans) running for Cook County Board. And a Democrat on the Illinois Supreme Court who faces a tough retention race. And so on …
The paper then moves on to its legislative endorsements…
We also hear complaints that we’ve endorsed people who aren’t likely to win, as if electoral prospects have anything to do with who’s best for the job.
But their logic is flawed. Their legislative endorsements do, indeed, appear to be preordained and partisan, and they appear to have provided themselves some partisan cover by what could be called a strategic endorsement of no-chance Democrats.
If you look at the Trib’s endorsement list, you’ll see that the Tribune did, indeed, endorse several Democrats for the General Assembly. Trouble is only one of those Democrats is actually in any sort of race. The rest appear to be completely safe from defeat right now.
For instance, the Tribune endorsed Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign), a tireless advocate for a tax hike, who is up against a tea party-backed Republican who had to run a write-in campaign to get on the ballot because the local GOP didn’t want much of anything to do with him. That candidate was recently slammed for allegedly racist remarks during an NAACP-sponsored forum. No state Senate Democrats in tough races were endorsed. Zero.
In the House, the Tribune endorsed one Democratic incumbent who is now having real trouble: Rep. Kevin McCarthy. But at the time of the paper’s endorsement, in late September, the House Republicans weren’t really doing all that much for McCarthy’s opponent. There were lots of rumors at the time that they just couldn’t get along with the guy. They spent less than $7,000 on him between July 1 and October 3rd. That’s all changed since then, however.
The Senate Republicans told me a few weeks ago that a member of the Tribune’s editorial board traveled to Springfield to meet with their Downstate candidates. The Senate Democrats said no such offer was made to them.
* The Sun-Times editorial board obviously leans Democratic, but that paper has been far more willing this year to endorse Republicans in hotly contested races. They backed three such Republicans in the House and two in the Senate.
Look, it’s the Tribune’s shop. They get to do whatever they want. I respect that. But a little more honesty, please.
The conduct of JUSTPAC, the political committee of the Illinois Civil Justice League and Kilbride’s primary nemesis, has been a big turnoff. The pro-business group’s leader channeled Malcolm X, of all people, in promising to use “whatever means necessary” to defeat Kilbride. The organization’s tactics prove that, not least of which was an ad using actors and graphic images to portray Kilbride as siding with violent felons. Some media outlets, including in Peoria, pulled the ad after its accuracy was questioned. Specifically there was an implication that Kilbride had voted to overturn the conviction of a serial rapist when in fact the case had been returned to the judge for resentencing because of procedural error. The ad did not provide that context.
JUSTPAC, which has raised nearly $650,000 in trying to end Kilbride’s Supreme Court career, has overreached here, has not played fair, especially for a group ostensibly representing the interests of healers. Arguably that has backfired, as it seems to have energized Kilbride’s supporters.
“Channeled Malcolm X”? Yikes. But I’m not sure they’re right about the JUSTPAC ads backfiring. Kilbride was in big trouble before those ads ever started.
* Is Sen. Rickey Hendon under a grand jury investigation? Today’s AP scoop could also indicate that a much broader federal probe is underway of state legislative grants. It’s certainly fertile territory…
A federal grand jury has demanded records describing how hundreds of thousands of dollars in state money was handed out to dozens of groups, at least some of which are linked to a top Illinois lawmaker who is running for Chicago mayor, records show.
Subpoenas from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s office arrived in August at five state agencies seeking copies of contracts and other financial records related to nearly 50 not-for-profit agencies and more than a dozen individuals.
An accompanying letter says the subpoenas are part of “an official criminal investigation,” although it does not say who or what may have been the subject of the investigation.
A number of the agencies said they received grants with the assistance of Chicago mayoral candidate and Democratic state Sen. Rickey Hendon, who is also assistant Senate majority leader. Several of the individuals have ties to Hendon, including his sister and her daughter, whose film and stage production organization received more than $1 million from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in 2007-08, some of which went to make a movie. […]
Two people whose candidacies for public office Hendon backed financially are listed, including his office assistant, who ran for state representative. A Cook County official who said she is a member of Hendon’s political organization is named, but she told AP she has received no state grants.
The name of prominent Chicago magazine publisher Hermene Hartman appears. She wrote forewords to two Hendon books, but has received no state grants and told the AP she was unaware of the subpoenas.
* Blackmail? Really? Gov. Pat Quinn chose the Northstar Lottery Group in mid September as the new private manager of the state Lottery. The two losing firms then filed protests, including a company named Intralot. But then Intralot execs were reportedly whistled into a private meeting with Department of Revenue and the Lottery and told to zip their lips or else bad things would happen. Lewis Lazare had the scoop back on October 14th…
To the apparent amazement of the folks at Intralot, sources say, the state executives suggested it might be in the best interests of Intralot to drop its protest by Friday, Oct. 15, or the Lottery would move forward with a plan to release more detailed information about the so-called probity checks that doomed the Intralot bid.
A company named Kroll handled the probity checks for the Lottery management privatization…
What Kroll determined to be a problem during the Intralot probity check, sources say, is the background of the Greece-based head of Intralot, a gentleman named Sokratis Kokkalis. A brief review of Kokkalis’ background does suggest the man has had some questionable associations, including a stint as an agent with the East German secret police. He has also been indicted in several foreign countries, but cleared of all charges in every instance, sources tell us. What’s more, Kokkalis never became a huge sticking point in 12 other United States lottery-related bids and 40 foreign bids in which Intralot has participated in recent years.
The alleged blackmail threat apparently didn’t deter Inerlot, and the company hand-delivered a letter to the governor’s office on October 19th, according to Lazare, which explained their side of what happened.
Two companies who lost out on a contract to privately manage the Illinois Lottery have sent letters to Gov. Pat Quinn and others questioning how their protests to the contract are being handled.
Camelot Illinois is asking that the contract be rebid, but through an “unbiased intermediary” rather than by the Illinois Department of Revenue.
Intralot USA, meanwhile, in its letter cited an instance in which a Revenue official allegedly threatened to make public “certain negative information” about an executive with Intralot’s parent company if Intralot persisted with its protest.
Everybody on the state side is denying there were any improprieties and they’re planning to file a formal response soon.
This is some weird stuff, man.
* Meanwhile, in actual reform and renewal news, the Better Government Association now has several blogs for your perusal. We’ll be keeping an eye on them from now on.
The Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois recorded 168 sales in September after reporting 196 in August. In Madison County, the Greater Gateway Association of Realtors recorded 194 sales in September and 190 for August.
Sales have been gradually falling in St. Clair and Madison counties since 2005.
“Defendant’s motion is founded in substantial part on the well-known principle that if a lawyer cannot attack the law or the facts in a criminal prosecution, the only recourse is to attack the prosecutor,” Zagel said. “One aspect of the case that makes it clear that the defense had no attack on the law or the facts … is that defense counsel did not, and correctly so, choose to attack the evidence” of Blagojevich’s guilt on the lone count of conviction.
Citing the cost of $2,270 to send all three, trustees approved sending two commissioners, Marv Ruppert and Wayne Winterberg, at a cost of $960, but they won’t attend all of the sessions and won’t stay at the hotel where the conference is being held from Nov. 5 to 7 in Bloomingdale.
The key changes would be allowing voters to elect the city clerk and treasurer, rather than having the mayor appoint them, and the creation of a 7th Ward - the Roosevelt Ward, named after an elementary school in the proposed ward’s boundaries.
Since the year began, Elgin officials have handed out $21,345 in fines for violating the city’s animal control ordinance.
So far, the city has collected $6,820, or about a third of what’s been levied so far, said the city’s Corporation Counsel William Cogley.
Soon, if someone can’t pay a fine penalties under the city’s stronger animal control ordinance are $1,000 if a dog bites a human or another dog they will be able to work it off through community service at a rate of $10 per hour.
A third construction-related business has provided $1,000 to backers of a Gurnee Elementary District 56 ballot question seeking permission to borrow $28.5 million mostly to build a new school in Wadsworth.
Black Engineering Co. Inc. of Lake Forest made the most recent donation to Citizens for District 56 Schools. Black’s $1,000 gift was logged Oct. 20, according to state campaign finance disclosure records.
Quincy ranked the highest among the top 15 cities in cost of living and commute time. Forbes ranked Quincy No. 4 in the nation in lowest cost of living and No. 7 in shortest commute time(s).
Dubuque, Iowa, was ranked No. 1 overall, followed by Manitowoc, Wis., Marquette, Mich., Midland, Mich., and Marshfield, Wis., in the top five. Twelve of the top 15 cities listed are from the Midwest.
The state made that easier Wednesday afternoon, by officially creating a STAR Bonds District. It will offer major tax incentives. Developers say they can now recruit potential businesses a lot more easily.
When Kirk pulled out his yellow-highlighted list of mobsters that Giannoulias gave loans to as senior loan officers at his family’s Broadway Bank, Giannoulias pulled out his own list of five felons Kirk has taken campaign contributions from over the years.
But Kirk said the difference was he had returned those loans “The instant we knew about criminal activity.”
The testiest exchange came when Kirk accused Giannoulias of flip-flopping on President Bush’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, which Giannoulias has said he would have voted for but would have insisted on more safeguards to prevent the big banks for mis-using the money.
Giannoulias complained that Kirk voted for that bill but against President Obama’s follow-up bills and the bills to prohibit banks that took the money from giving executives big bonuses.
“Congressman Kirk, because he’s bought and paid for by the corporate special interests, voted against it,” Giannoulias said. “That’s the fundamental difference. I never said I was against it.”
Kirk contended Giannoulias, the first-term state treasurer, displayed his “immaturity” by “trying to have it both ways” in saying he would have voted for the Congressional bailout of financial institutions while wanting more oversight in the legislation.
Kirk also accused Giannoulias of flip-flopping by saying he did not favor reopening the North American Free Trade Agreement, though the Democrat’s Web site proposes to seek more labor and social protections. Giannoulias “wanted to start a trade war,” Kirk said, prompting the Democrat to interject that the Republican’s statement was “absolutely unequivocally untrue.”
The two began talking over each other so much that Kirk asked the show’s host, Phil Ponce to restore order. “Do you want to moderate this?” Kirk asked.
Questioned on his vote for the Iraq war, Kirk, a five-term Congressman, criticized the way intelligence gathering was handled. On reports that Iraq was pursuing nuclear weapons, Kirk said, “I think that we were lied to in the end, by the deputy director of national intelligence absolutely.” Questioned on the point, Kirk backtracked, saying the intelligence was wrong.
Giannoulias pounced on Kirk’s answer, saying, “He actually convinced other members of Congress that he knew to a moral certitude” that the Iraq war was necessary.
[Kirk] returned repeatedly in the debate to his credentials as an endangered moderate. “The path to partisanship,” Kirk said, “is the path to leadership” in the House of Representatives, explaining that he’d deliberately sought Democratic co-sponsors and consensus causes.
“Most Americans are centrists and moderates who want to make things happen and the question is who represents us,” he said. “I’ve tried to be very moderate, very centrist, very coalition-building.”
Giannoulias also said that he will not be running negative ads from here on out. However, the DSCC is still up with negatives and isn’t going to stop.