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Dunkin’s defense

Thursday, Feb 11, 2016

* From Rep. Ken Dunkin’s Facebook page

I was honored that President Obama affirmed my decision to find a compromise to bring people together. As the President noted, our problems are not new and compromise is not a sign of weakness or being a sellout, but necessary for self government. I also found his Lincoln reference interesting considering some of the dialogue surrounding the politics in Springfield. Honestly, I feel vindicated.

* From Dunkin pal Maze Jackson’s Facebook page


Perhaps some history revisionists would like to revisit their statements! The only people who don’t seem to get it are the Springfield regulars. So as your social service agencies continue to starve and families continue to suffer, I often wonder do you pat yourself on the back for not being able to reach a compromise. I Know you think you are being valiant, but most of us are tired and want to get a deal. The state is screwed and YOU participated.

I 100% believe that Dunkin was referenced in the speech and it wasn’t negatively. The funny thing is Dunkin has been getting calls from all over the nation commending him on being a visionary. Whether you like it or not Dunkin was the POSTIVE in the speech, I think the people with the ooh’s and ahh’s were who the POTUS was actually talking to!

From the Washington Post:

The president was clearly at ease. He joked with Illinois state Rep. Ken Dunkin (D), who angered his own party by missing a key vote to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a labor bill. Obama said that compromising with the opposing party “doesn’t make me a sellout to my own party.”

“Heck, yeah,” someone shouted from the floor.

Obama responded: “We’ll talk later, Ken.” The audience exploded in laughter and applause, and Dunkin stood and saluted the president.

Oh…and how about that 8 second intro from the Speaker. The POTUS made it his HOUSE today, but alas, for the negroes back to work tomorrow!

Because in Springfield, no matter how high you climb, you are still a [racial expletive deleted]!


During his speech, Obama said making bipartisan compromises “doesn’t make me a sell out to my own party.” He then turned to Rep. Ken Dunkin and said, “We’ll talk later, Dunkin. Sit down.”

Dunkin, a democrat, has recently come under fire after forging an alliance with Gov. Rauner.

“I was honored that President Obama affirmed my decision to find a compromise to bring people together,” Dunkin told Ward Room. “As the President noted, our problems are not new and compromise is not a sign of weakness, but necessary for self-government.”

Dunkin also told Ward Room that he has been invited to visit the White House on March 17.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Handle Bar Mustache - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 9:46 am:

    Funny that the invite is post- March 15. oops.

  2. - Albany Park Patriot - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 9:46 am:

    This guy is all about himself. He’s not about the community. Good thing this Maze guy is with him. These guys belong together.

  3. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    Translation from Dunkin: “Any press is good press, amiright?!?!?!”

  4. - Earnest - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    Representative Dunkin, here’s your moment. If you’re a leader, lead. Bring the House Republicans to the table to get some things done. Show you’re not simply Rauner’s tool. Get some credit, set yourself up for a run for higher office. Believe in your own greatness and make your state better.

  5. - Juvenal - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    When the President calls you “Dunkin” instead of “Representative Dunkin” and tells you to “sit down,” i don’t think he is speaking positively of you.

    Especially when he says of you “Some folks never change.”

  6. - State Engineer - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 9:50 am:

    Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  7. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 9:51 am:

    “I was honored that President Obama affirmed my decision to find a compromise to bring people together,” Dunkin told Ward Room.

    If Dunkin keeps spinning, few will blame the president if he subsequently removes all ambiguity regarding the matter.

    – MrJM

  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 9:53 am:

    Let’s break this down;

    ===I 100% believe that Dunkin was referenced in the speech and it wasn’t negatively.===

    When Dunkin interjected himself in a grandstanding way, was then rebuffed by the President, with his alleged Caucus taunting him, Dunkin, who takes that as a positive?

    ===The funny thing is… ====

    Dunkin is delusional to thinking this is all positive? I agree

    ===Dunkin has been getting calls from all over the nation commending him on being a visionary.===

    So people in Madeupville, USA are scrambling to find out and call Ken Dunkin? “We have problems here in Madeupville, but I need to commend that state representative in Illinois. Geez Louise..,

    ===Whether you like it or not Dunkin was the POSTIVE in the speech,===

    Maze… or the President of the United States and how the President went about negatively singling out Dunkin?

    Who to believe, who to believe. Ugh.

    ===I think the people with the ooh’s and ahh’s were who the POTUS was actually talking to!===

    No, they were for Dunkin. The oohs and ahhs were mocking the twice Century Club winner, no one else.

  9. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 9:56 am:

    –The funny thing is Dunkin has been getting calls from all over the nation commending him on being a visionary.–

    Don’t hide your light under a bushel, Maze. Testimonials are powerful persuaders.

    I think the public would be well-served hearing the comments of people from around the nation on the subject of Ken Dunkin, Visionary.

    –Because in Springfield, no matter how high you climb, you are still a [racial expletive deleted]!–

    I think that’s a terrible thing to say about the relationship of Rep. Dunkin and Gov. Rauner.

    I’m sure it’s based on mutual respect and striving for the common good.

  10. - FireFighter - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 9:56 am:

    Funny how John Kass and his colleagues at the Tribune hold Dunkin up as some paragon of virtue now. I don’t remember them admiring Dunkin’s “guts” when he bucked Madigan and was virtually the only Dem who stuck with Blagojevich.

    Gee, is there a pattern here of the Governor’s Office using its considerable “resources” to influence a pliable legislator?

    As has been said here before about Dunkin — First with Rauner, last with Blagojevich.

  11. - Anon221 - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 9:57 am:

    POUTUS to Dunkin-

    Sit. Down!

  12. - Big Joe - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 9:57 am:

    So Dunkin has a visit to the Principal’s office on March 17th. Very interesting. We’ll talk later Dunkin. Sit down!

  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    If you think IBHE is an agency without merit now, just wait until Rauner installs Dunkin as the new director.

  14. - burbanite - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:05 am:

    This is being spun and sold to the general public as a positive for Dunkin and sadly I think it is actually going to help him, though any one who saw the exchange would know it was not what they are spinning.

  15. - Downstate - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    Since I wasn’t at the speech - I’d appreciate a perspective on a comment by Obama.
    He first said, “Reaching across the aisle doesn’t make me a sellout to my own party.”, and then followed that with “We’ll talk later Dunkin.”

    Simply reading that line, it came across as a little petty (on the part of Obama). Again, since I wasn’t there I would appreciate someone offering a non-partisan perspective. I realize Republicans loved the first part, and Democrats the second. But did the swipe at Dunkin diminish the impact of the first part?

    Just asking.

  16. - Dee Lay - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    The Dunkin/Maze spin is awe-inspiring in its audacity.

    You got called out because you made deal$ to undercut your constituents and your fellow democrats. If the shoe fits, wear it.

  17. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    The spin is funny but this is actually a face-saving opportunity for Rauner.

    Have Dunkin come back with a reasonable proposal that the Dems would agree to as a prerequisite for what would otherwise be “budget/tax only” negotiations. Say that if Rauner opposes he pledges to vote for any budget the speaker puts up for a vote. Something like redistricting reform, a vote on term limits, and something that amounts to 25% of the rest of the turnaround agenda. Rauner accepts, Dunkin doesn’t look quite as much like a clown, and the Dems face some pressure.

  18. - Curious Georgina - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:12 am:

    Dunkin “has been getting calls from all over the nation commending him on being a visionary.”

    Okay, Maze. Suuuuuure. Just who, exactly, is even paying attention to Dunkin outside of Illinois? Give me a break. Delusions of grandeur.

  19. - siriusly - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:14 am:

    Dunkin can spin this any way he wants. He can blame gridlock on the 70 Democratic House members if he wants.

    But reality is that if there is a single mother in that district who has lost access to child care - I don’t think she cares about spin or who said what. She will care that Dunkin didn’t allow for the child care vote to pass.

  20. - Usually Silent Observer - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:16 am:

    “Compromise” does not equal “sell out,” Rep. Dunkin, but what you did was actually sell out your constituents and vulnerable Illinois residents. You own that.

  21. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    Any important votes coming up on March 17?

  22. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    “and sadly I think it is actually going to help him”

    Nah, “Dunkin, sit down” is far too easy to attach to literally everything Stratton does. Not saying this kills him necessarily, but it doesn’t help him.

  23. - Chicago 20 - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:18 am:

    Is Dunkin still a partner?

  24. - MasterPiece - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    Dunkin plans to be out of town on March 17? Why? Is some important vote pending that day?

  25. - out of touch - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:21 am:

    Oh, thanks Maze. I get it now. Dunkin is right, and EVERYONE else has it wrong. We all know that Dunkin is as fickle as the political winds he follows, as long as it benefits Dunkin. It’s been over 10 years since Obama served with Dunkin, and he knew this was true even then. As he said, “people never change”.

  26. - cdog - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:23 am:

    I find the “thug-speak” offensive. There is nothing civil about choosing words like that.

    If any other American used those words, it would be a DOJ investigation and make national headlines.

    Also, the double-standard being used by the GOP to judge McCann, but not Dunkin, is also offensive in its shallowness.

    BTW, I am not easily offended.

  27. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:23 am:

    ===I’d appreciate a perspective on a comment by Obama===


  28. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:25 am:

    ===my decision to find a compromise to bring people together.===

    Huh. I thought his decision was to stay in New York to watch a tennis tournament while one of his colleagues got out of her hospital bed to vote to save child care. I also remember his colleagues saying that he’d promised to not only attend, but to vote to override the veto.

    I suppose “liar” sounds a little bit like “compromiser,” but whatever helps Dunkin sleep at night I suppose.

    A profile in courage he ain’t.

  29. - A Jack - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    My hope is that the President rewards Dunkin for his excellent work by assigning him a diplomatic mission to North Korea. And that Kim even gives him a cabinet post as Defense Minister.

  30. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:30 am:


    This should clear it up. Context matters. BHO didn’t single Ken out. Ken singled himself out when he interrupted the President of the United States by shouting out. Here’s the reporting from the Tribune:

    “Obama said reaching political compromise across the aisle “doesn’t make me a sellout to my own party.” Dunkin jumped out of his chair and shouted “Yes!” before Obama verbally slammed him.

    “We’ll talk later Dunkin. Sit down,” Obama said as Democrats — and even some Republicans — erupted into wild cheers.”

    Seems pretty clear to everyone except Ken and Maze that he wasn’t getting a shout-out. He was getting a shout-at.

  31. - Soccermom - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:44 am:

    Thanks, Cynic. I can always count on you. :)

  32. - Just Observing - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:49 am:

    Whether it was a positive or negative or an affirmation or condemnation for Dunkin — I think it was just a playful ribbing by Obama. Heck, if I was Dunkin, in a weird way I’d be flattered that the POTUS is even aware of my shenanigans, remembers me, and calls me out, by last name, unscripted, in the middle of a speech.

  33. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:53 am:

    As the old saying goes, “I don’t care what they say about me, just spell my name right.” That’s D U N K I N.

  34. - Dome Gnome - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:53 am:

    Obama made it (pleasantly) clear that he doesn’t respect Dunkin’s behavior. Even later in the speech, when he referred to “dark money” entering our Illinois races, my mind wandered to Dunkin’s $500,000 historic campaign receipt. Dunkin is now attempting to flirt with a dangerous national agenda and Obama knows it.

  35. - Juice - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 10:57 am:

    –The funny thing is Dunkin has been getting calls from all over the nation commending him on being a visionary.–

    Just for the record. Collect calls from a certain Colorado location do not count.

  36. - JS Mill - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 11:05 am:

    What are the chances that the Dunkin shaming ends up in a campaign ad? Me thinks it is in the works already.

    Maze, Maze, Maze shame on you for your condescension. People are smart enough to know what was said and meant. The whole plantation narrative is disrespectful to many many good people that you purport to be championing.

  37. - Soccermom - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 11:06 am:

    Cynic — did you notice that the transcript in the SJ-R spelled it Duncan? hahahahahahaha

  38. - The Historian - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    For what (little?) it’s worth, the NYT story on the interaction presents POTUS’s recognition of Dunkin in a seemingly positive light:
    At one point, a Democratic lawmaker, Ken Dunkin, cried out, “That’s right!” when Mr. Obama said that a person who voted against his party should not be branded a sellout. Mr. Dunkin missed a crucial vote when Democrats voted to override a veto of a labor contract by Mr. Rauner. “We’ll talk later, Ken,” Mr. Obama said to laughter and applause.

  39. - Anon - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 11:23 am:

    =====People are smart enough to know what was said and meant. ====

    no they arent

  40. - Skirmisher - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 11:33 am:

    The legislation to effectively strip the executive branch of state government of its ultimate authority to negotiate terms of employment with executive branch employees was truly a short-sighted and badly conceived idea. Ultimately, Illinois government was well-served by Rep. Dunkin’s defection, and eventually I presume even Democrat governors will recognize that fact. The Current AFSCME contract wrangle is not worth fundamentally altering basic executive powers. So good for Dunkin!

  41. - Chemical_Riverside - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    @Skirmisher. The sort of language in arbitration bill already applies to Police and Fire. In my opinion the language would force everyone away from extreme demands. No one wants to go to arbitration with clearly unfair or unrealistic terms.

  42. - Asking for real - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 11:45 am:

    So, why is anyone listening to this guy, maze? Was he a great policy guy? A stand-up steward of taxpayer money? A great communicator? SMH. Maybe I’ve missed something.

  43. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 11:46 am:

    ===my decision to find a compromise to bring people together.===

    Huh. I thought his decision was to stay in New York to watch a tennis tournament while one of his colleagues got out of her hospital bed to vote to save child care. I also remember his colleagues saying that he’d promised to not only attend, but to vote to override the veto.–

    Yeah, it’s always best to settle on one story and stick to it.

    The easiest way is to just tell the truth. That way, you won’t forget the nonsense stories you told before.

  44. - Bootleg Carhartt Designer - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 11:52 am:


  45. - Roscoe Tom - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 11:59 am:

    Dunkin was dissed by the President and the brothers and the sisters in his district know it no matter how hard Maze and Proft try to spin it.

  46. - nadia - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 12:06 pm:

    Not showing up for important votes should not be confused with compromising. The President was speaking of compromise that has a benefit for a group of citizens. The only beneficiary of his “compromise’ was/is his campaign fund.

    Rep Dunkin stands up and says something, in the middle of the Presidents speech. Rep. Dunkin swung the door wide open for a response from the President. That’s why I don’t buy the critics of the President saying he talks of compromise and then calls out the only Democrat who has tried to do so.

    If Rep Dunkin would have showed up for the vote, and lets say voted to not override the AFSCME bill in return for the Governor going unopposed to an override on the childcare issue, then it could have been called a compromise, but instead he did the worst disservice to his District, not showing up. Rep Ford made it and Rep Golar made it, just sayin . . .

  47. - chi - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 12:23 pm:

    It’s a shame for Dunkin that those people calling in from all over the country to commend him don’t live in his district. He’s going to need their votes.

  48. - Former Downstater - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 12:59 pm:

    Nadia hits it on the head. Dunkin didn’t compromise or push for one, he broke a pledge and failed to do his job. Those are not nearly the same thing.

  49. - Former Stste Employee - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 1:23 pm:

    I listened to the speech in CNN. Clearly they must have played a different version than the one Ken Dunkin heard.

  50. - Anon - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 1:48 pm:

    There are some that can twist a Pope’s condemnation into self-serving praise.

  51. - Pink E Kent - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    In the context of Illinois politics:

    Dunkin Sit Down

    Is right up there with

    Bleeping Golden

  52. - Anon221 - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 3:46 pm:

    my comment at 9:57 should have read POTUS! I was not knocking the President. Darn fingers!

  53. - illini97 - Thursday, Feb 11, 16 @ 3:49 pm:

    So, now that I’ve watched the video, it’s mind-blowing that any human could think that was a positive event for Dunkin.

  54. - Union Man - Friday, Feb 12, 16 @ 6:06 am:

    Compromised his integrity…. Compromise generally means both sides get something. IL Dems rcvd nothing except knowing who is a sell-out.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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