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Damaged goods? - And a campaign roundup

Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Greg Hinz reports that Chicago Urban League President and CEO Andrea Zopp is seriously considering a US Senate bid

In an interview, Zopp, 57, says she’s “seriously considering the race” and believes she’d be “a strong candidate.”

“I think the interest of the community I represent needs to be represented in this race,” says Zopp, who is African-American. “I have a history in the private sector that’s unique in this field,” she adds, referring to her background as the top aide to Cook County State’s Attorney Jack O’Malley when he ran the prosecutor’s office, and later as an exec at Exelon, Sears and Sara Lee. “I think my perspective is different and broader than Ms. Duckworth’s.”

Zopp confirms that she’s begun talking with possible pollsters, managers and other campaign types. She certainly has a big backer in Bill Daley, the former U.S. commerce secretary.

* But

Team Duckworth seems concerned enough that bits of potential dirt on Zopp have begun to circulate. Such as her votes as a member of the Chicago Board of Education to close 50 schools and to approve that controversial $20.5 million no-bid contract to Supes Academy that’s now under federal probe.

* She worked for Exelon? The company that wants a state bailout?

She voted for the no-bid Supes Academy contract? The same contract which was suspended today and has FBI agents scurrying all over the place?

She voted to shut down 50 schools? I’m sure the CTU will love that one.

And she’s backed by a Daley?

* Friends, we have what is known in the trade as a “Superfecta.” She’d probably better wait a while before she announces because doing so in the midst of all the current negative publicity about Exelon, Supes and the lingering Daley fiscal hangover could be quite a spectacle.

…Adding… More from Greg

Duckworth has introduced legislation to end the congressional franking privilege, saying that doing so will “hold Congress to the same standards as our constituents.” The franking privilege allows members of Congress to send mail to constituents postage-free.

From Sen. Mark Kirk’s campaign…

In 2014, Rep. Duckworth Introduced A Bill To Eliminate Congressional Mail Franking. “Today, U.S. Representative Rob Woodall (R-GA-07) and U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL-08) introduced H.R. 4872, the “Ending Special Mail Privileges for Congress Act of 2014.” This bipartisan legislation repeals an antiquated federal law, known as the Franking privilege, that allows Members of Congress to use their signature in the corner of an envelope as postage and exempts Congress from the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) prepayment requirement. Though originally adopted by the Continental Congress in 1775, the Franking privilege still allows Congressional offices to send millions of dollars’ worth of mail through the USPS each year without first paying for the postage.” (Rep. Tammy Duckworth, “Reps. Woodall And Duckworth Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Eliminate Congressional Perk,” Press Release, 6/19/2014)

Duckworth Said Members Of Congress Needed To Lead By Example By Removing The Franking Privilege. “As members of Congress, we lead by example,” Duckworth said in a statement. “With so many working families out there trying to make ends meet, it’s important that we meet the same obligations that our neighbors meet. Removing the franking privilege for Congress is a small step we can take to show the American people we are here to work for them.” (Rep. Tammy Duckworth, “Reps. Woodall And Duckworth Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Eliminate Congressional Perk,” Press Release, 6/19/2014)

But Duckworth Has Spent $37,924.71 Of Taxpayer Dollars On Mail Franking After Her Bill Was Introduced In 2014. (Statement Of Disbursements Of The House, Accessed 4/21/2015)

In 2015, Duckworth Reintroduced The Bill To Eliminate Franking Mail. “The bill, introduced by Reps. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), would repeal the privilege, which allows lawmakers to use their signatures on envelopes in lieu of postage.” (Cristina Marcos, “Bill would eliminate lawmakers’ ‘freemail,’” The Hill, 4/20/2015)

Since Duckworth Became A Member Of Congress At The Beginning Of 2013, Her Office Has Spent $55,087.22 Of Taxpayer Dollars On Mail Franking.(Statement Of Disbursements Of The House, Accessed 4/21/2015)

* In other campaign news

State lawmakers are trying to help county clerks cope with a new voter registration law for the upcoming special election for former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock’s seat in Congress. […]

Clerks in the 19-county district earlier said they would have trouble complying with a new law requiring same-day voter registration that goes into effect June 1. When the law was signed, clerks believed the first election they’d have to be ready for wouldn’t occur until March 2016.

But then Schock, under siege for lavish spending on office decor and travel, resigned, triggering a special election.

Not only did that set up a scramble among candidates seeking to replace him, but it also sent clerks scrambling to find money to upgrade computers and train judges on how to handle registering voters at polling places.

Some area legislators are drafting legislation to postpone the requirements, but that needs to be done very soon.

…Adding More… I think we’re going to see lots more candidates coming out of the woodwork

Sneed has learned Kimberly Foxx, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s chief of staff, plans to form an exploratory committee to run against Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez . . . her former boss.

“Kim is definitely in,” said a top Sneed source who is this/close to Foxx, an attorney favoring the criminal justice agenda of Preckwinkle — who has been critical of how Alvarez runs her office. […]

“Kim has had conversations with several elected officials and community leaders about making a bid for state’s attorney and they’ve encouraged her to run,” said the Foxx source.

Foxx will likely step down from her job in the fall so she can run for state’s attorney full time, the source said. Look for a formal announcement post Labor Day.


  1. - Carhartt Representative - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:29 pm:

    Zopp is horrible. She’s got so many skeletons, that she’s going to have to remodel for more closet space.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:38 pm:

    To Zopp,

    Sometimes, it just not your time, at any time.

    Those lacking self-awareness usually are the same that don’t understand the optics after moving all-in on an race they just can’t win.

  3. - laughs out loud - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:44 pm:

    Andrea Zopp is one of the finest and smartest public servant/people around. Anybody that knows her likes and respects her. She would be formidable. “lacking self awareness.” I’ll just assume Oswego is having an off day

  4. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:49 pm:

    Her husband was a DEA agent. What does she have to say about the drug war that has the lives of millions of young black men and women? Carhartt, she’s got plenty of space in her bizarrely-designed house in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood.

  5. - OneMan - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:54 pm:

    Precinct Captain, it isn’t like her husband was convicted of a financial crime. Voters have demonstrated in general they care less about spouses…

  6. - anon - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:54 pm:

    Didn’t she get slapped by the federal court for prosecutorial misconduct? If I recall, the opinion more or less called her a liar. You can add that to the pile.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:57 pm:

    - laughs out loud -

    ===Friends, we have what is known in the trade as a “Superfecta.” She’d probably better wait a while before she announces because doing so in the midst of all the current negative publicity about Exelon, Supes and the lingering Daley fiscal hangover could be quite a spectacle.===

    That’s the reality.

    Zopp can be swell. Smart. Capable. A real leader.

    Politics of defining your opponent, the isdues of the day write her own negative pieces right now. Maybe, for good(?)

  8. - Pese - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:58 pm:

    Couldn’t Duckworth’s proposal to get rid of the frank cost taxpayers more money? Now, congressional offices would have to buy postage in order to mail, just costing taxpayers more.

  9. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:07 pm:

    ==- Pese - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:58 pm:==

    Congressional offices have budgets and according to the Congressional Management Foundation in 2011 , freshmen representatives spent on average only 82% of their budgeted allowance. There has got to be some left over from veteran congresscritters as well. They can use that money.

  10. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:13 pm:

    ==- Pese - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:58 pm:==

    House members getting the least got nearly $1.3 million for their offices a few years ago. You’re telling us we can’t cut franking? That’s nuts.

  11. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    What’s Daley’s angle? Does he have some beef with Duckworth?

  12. - Carhartt Representative - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:17 pm:

    ==Andrea Zopp is one of the finest and smartest public servant/people around==

    I think any Urban League President who can shill for the mayor and work against the interests of the urban poor with that kind of audacity ceases to be worthy of the title of public servant except in the Raunerian sense of the word.

  13. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    Bill Daley? That name must strike fear into opponents.

    Between losing Al Gore’s legal fight in Florida (and pursuing a course that showed he didn’t understand elections well) and quitting the Governor’s race, I’m sure the Duckworth people are terrified that Bill Daley is helping Andrea Zopp.

    But maybe Bill Daley can tap into some of the people he made rich on the parking meter deal to help Zopp.

  14. - Carhartt Representative - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    =But maybe Bill Daley can tap into some of the people he made rich on the parking meter deal to help Zopp.=

    I would expect most of them would already be on board.

  15. - gopower - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:32 pm:

    Just wondering, has anyone here ever received an official mass mailing from any US Rep. or Senator that they thought was necessary? How about informative? Or remotely useful?

  16. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:35 pm:

    Does anyone remember if Zopp was the prosecutor who tried Mel Reynolds years ago?

  17. - D.P.Gumby - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:53 pm:

    Please, someone w/ a chance run against Alvarez!

  18. - NewWestSuburbanGOP'er - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:55 pm:

    If Bill Daley is involved with her career, I am sure there are alot of people who wouldn’t vote for her. He disappointed alot of Illinois voters by supporting Rauner.

  19. - laughs out loud - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:07 pm:

    Willy—have you ever met or seen Andrea Zopp speak? Guessing not or you wouldn’t have come to the conclusion that she could be defined by those issues—Double Harvard, asst U.S. attorney, first assistant states attorney, successful corporate lawyer, head of human relations at exelon and now head of the Urban League—yeah, she’s easily defined as something bad. U need to get out more

  20. - truthteller - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    The folks backing Rauner’s supercharged would support Kirk. Goldner’s outfit would be for Zopp. That way the corporatism would win no matter who loses. And everyone else would lose no matter who wins.

  21. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:11 pm:

    ===yeah, she’s easily defined as something bad===

    Plenty of people with impressive resumes have been negatively defined. If resumes won elections, we wouldn’t need to have elections. And since the Duckworth camp is already cranking out the oppo, we know it’ll be used.

  22. - Carhartt Representative - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:15 pm:

    She also declined to prosecute Burge when Fogerl gave her evidence of torture going on

  23. - laughs out loud - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:15 pm:

    It didn’t work on Obama in 04—it won’t work on Zopp if she decides to get in.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:18 pm:

    - laughs out loud -,

    Politics must be a hobby to ya.

    “Meet Andrea Zopp

    Andrea cares about kids.

    She voted for the no-bid Supes Academy contract, The same contract which was suspended today and has FBI agents scurrying all over the place…

    Andrea Zopp cares about education.

    She agreed with Rahm Emanuel and voted to shut down 50 schools, making going to school for some kids outright dangerous.

    Andrea Zopp. Who is SHE looking out for?”

  25. - Amalia - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:29 pm:

    you can say bad things about Andrea Zopp, but her record at the IARDC does not appear to include discipline.

    But that agency also tells whether someone is a practicing attorney or if they have given up the practice of law, which would be weird for someone who wants to be a prosecutor, right? Voluntarily inactive and not authorized to practice law is the current status for Kimberly Foxx. is it convenient not to be an attorney while you are working for Toni?

  26. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:35 pm:

    I know I don’t vote for people based on whether or not they can give a speech. I prefer knowing what they’ve done–like closing schools or handing out no-bid contracts.

  27. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:49 pm:

    In reference to Ms. Zopp, I guess my question is why someone (and even someone with her resume) can’t try for something at a lower level than Senate. I know that Willy has pilloried Jason Plummer for running for higher office, and his resume is much shorter than Ms. Zopp’s. She would be an effective State Rep or State Senator. Start there. Maybe even make a move for Congress. But to start at the #2 spot on the ticket during a Presidential year?

    Franking gets such a bad rap. I know people assume that franking means that a Congressperson or Senate slams his or her district or state with junk mail. But the reality is that franking also allows a Congressperson or Senator to mail letters and event invitations into the district or all over the state. A lot of Congresspersons and Senators have great lines of ecommunications, but some districts and states are not as tech savvy or capable and a lot of seniors don’t use e-mail or social media. Just my two cents.

  28. - anon - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:54 pm:

    Not every case where a judge finds that an attorney committed misconduct is subject to action by the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Perhaps no complaint was ever filed. Does not mean that she did not misbehave and was not called out for it in a published opinion. Will keep looking to track it down.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 4:21 pm:

    - Team Sleep -,

    I think Ms. Zopp’s pronlems will be all these appointed positions, and right now they all have significant Heat attached to them.

    Duckworth will have national heavyweights pulling for her, and pulling no punches against Ms. Zopp. That might be the toughest sledding for Zopp, and money, well Duckworth won’t be broke.

    Let’s look personal story too…

    Too big of an ask for Zopp.

  30. - orzo - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 4:51 pm:

    I think Andy Zopp should forget the Senate for now and run for State’s Attorney. People think Alvarez is vulnerable (Commissioner Fritchey is floating his name), Foxx lacks experience and name recognition. And Duckworth is a strong candidate, with the best shot at Kirk.

  31. - Sue - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 6:29 pm:

    Must be a slow day. Who cares but it would be great to have the two of them beat each other up,spend tons of money and grease the skids for Kirk to keep the seat

  32. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 7:04 pm:

    As far as I know no one has cast a vote for Zopp for any elective office anywhere. Obama was bold as a state senator to run for the U.S. senate, but he at least had served in that office for two terms. Zopp has had some second fiddle jobs and in the private sector- hey do you really want to run on your experience at Sears?

  33. - Jon Zahm - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 10:51 pm:

    Senator Kirk is facing a primary challenge from a candidate with strong credentials as a Doctor/Veteran/College Ethics Teacher

  34. - Old IVIer - Thursday, Apr 23, 15 @ 12:41 am:

    So what does Zopp stand for? Like Duckworth (who stands for not being Joe Walsh)what is her signature issue? Is it closing 50 Chicago schools or being on Corporate Boards?

    The Democrats need a candidate who stands for something and doesn’t want to be a Senator just to be somebody just like Blago was.

    The only candidate with a signature issue who actually stands for something is Robin Kelly!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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