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Kennedy campaign says story was “irresponsibly reported”

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* Sun-Times

Chris Kennedy touted health care coverage as a vital part of the “American dream” this week — yet newly filed campaign expenditures show the Democratic gubernatorial candidate hasn’t paid health insurance costs for his own campaign employees.

The Democrat’s campaign officials says they offered coverage, but no one took them up on it.

That puts Kennedy at odds with at least four other gubernatorial campaigns.

Democrats J.B. Pritzker, state Sen. Daniel Biss and Ald. Ameya Pawar, and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, all listed health insurance payments on campaign disclosure reports due on Monday.

But Kennedy’s health insurance payments are missing.

“It’s something you’d expect to see,” said Sarah Brune, executive director for the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

* From Kennedy’s campaign manager…

Let’s be clear: Kennedy for Illinois offers full health insurance coverage to all full-time staff members.

My team and I work for a candidate who believes healthcare is a civil right. There’s no discrepancy, no false promises.

Today’s Chicago Sun-Times story is a total nonstory that led with a couple iterations of a blatantly false headline posted online before editors settled on this misleading headline for print.

My pregnant wife delivered our first child prematurely. She has to have weekly shots to help her carry this pregnancy full term. We need health insurance and we have it, which is why I didn’t take the campaign up on its offer for healthcare coverage.

I wasn’t the only one who declined health insurance offered through the campaign. In fact, for the bulk of this campaign, all full-time staff members declined because they had other sources of coverage.

However, as support behind our campaign grows, so does our staff. We now have four staff members who recently requested healthcare coverage and will receive it effective this current quarter.

It’s disheartening that the topic of healthcare coverage, something so critically important to all of us, was irresponsibly reported.

Back to work,
Brendan O’Sullivan
Campaign Manager
Kennedy for Illinois

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Kyle Hillman - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 9:22 am:

    I am backing someone else, and I still agree with the Kennedy campaign. There have been a few of these rush to print articles this cycle that make you scratch your head - how is this a story that got printed?

  2. - Almost The Weekend - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 9:23 am:

    “Back to work”

    What’s working on the Kennedy campaign again?

  3. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 9:24 am:

    Nice independence from the new union ownership there, Sun-Times.

  4. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 9:26 am:

    PS - “at odds” means to disagree with, not to differ from. The story implies that the Kennedy campaign disagrees with the health insurance policies (no pun intended) of the other campaigns, not that they’re different in they aren’t paying for any at the moment.

  5. - siriusly - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 9:27 am:

    Facts matter, I agree with the Kennedy people this is a ridiculous story because it’s not true apparently.

    Pritzker is still sending mailings to Dem voters in Chicago region FYI, even if he is not on TV. Some Dems have gotten 2 from him this week including the “Governor Junk / Damage Done” piece and a planned parenthod piece

  6. - Phil King - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 9:34 am:

    lake county democrat,

    ==PS - “at odds” means to disagree with, not to differ from==

    That’s false. “At odds with” means to conflict with, to be inconsistent with.

  7. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    Yea, I’m supporting another candidate but I agree this is a non-story. It’s frustrating at times when journalists think they have a good story, discover there’s no there there but still publish it anyway. Lots of useful stuff to hit Kennedy for these days. This is yawn…

  8. - Shytown - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    Yet another day on the defense with the Kennedy campaign and it’s only July. I think it’s legit to raise the fact that some folks on the campaign aren’t getting health care when you’re candidate is campaigning on the subject (even if some can obtain coverage outside the campaign, no one is going to convince me that others who don’t have health care opted to not get it via the campaign).

  9. - BuckinIrish - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    ==Nice independence from the new union ownership there, Sun-Times.==

    I’m sure you’ve been waiting to make that comment since the day of the sale. Plus, do you really think that the CFL came in and demanded coverage for their causes within a week?

  10. - Political Animal - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 10:02 am:

    Chris Kennedy is learning what it’s like to be a Republican in a general election. The powers that be have already thrown in for JB.

  11. - LilLebowskiUrbanAchiever - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    Tina fell for other campaign’s spin yet again…

    Awful story. Literally nothing there. The headline was changed at least 3 times. The Sun-Times political reporter needs to do better.

  12. - Arsenal - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    ==Chris Kennedy is learning what it’s like to be a Republican in a general election.==

    Maybe he should move to the left on some issues, then.

  13. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 10:09 am:


    According to Meriam-Webster and Cambridge’s online dictionary, the definition is “to disagree”

  14. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    ===no one is going to convince me===

    You must be such a pleasant person to disagree with.

  15. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 10:12 am:


    Actually I was naive and hoped for better - kinda like Bezos and the Washington Post to date.

    Regardless, come on now - you know that nobody at the CFL has to be that crass. Jim Kirk and crew are smart cookies and knows which horse they’re backing.

  16. - Anon0091 - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    You Kennedy guys are pathetic. You get a bad story and it’s the unions fault. Or it’s Pritzker’s fault. How about, reporters love to play gotcha with apparent hypocrisy? Nothing more complicated than that. Is it is a big deal? No. But how you can see a conspiracy in this one is just amazing.

    Feeling a little defensive because your campaign’s not going so well perhaps?

  17. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 10:25 am:

    This isn’t a deep dive or even a snorkeling effort. This looks like a weak set up hit.

  18. - BuckinIrish - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    ==Actually I was naive and hoped for better - kinda like Bezos and the Washington Post to date.==

    Well it’s been a week, so maybe give it a little time. Also, WaPo needed Trump before it could really take off. (Meaning its profit finally matching its quality reporting)

  19. - Amalia - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    Let’s see. campaign has staff that stays on parent insurance, others who stay on other insurance, and new ones may be insurance if they choose. so currently, no one is on health insurance on the campaign but why is this a story? This is not just a bad story. it is a baseless hit job. why?

  20. - Sic semper tyrannis - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    Kennedy’s Campaign Manager said: “Healthcare is a “civil right” ?!?

    Code words for Kennedy will raise your taxes still further to finance “civil rights” for others.

  21. - JoeMaddon - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    ==Nice independence from the new union ownership there, Sun-Times.==

    LOL - y’all know that a) the CFL hasn’t endorsed in the Governors race, and b) Hanah Jubeh - Kennedy’s consultant/spokesperson is also Jorge/CFL’s political consultant?

  22. - Soccermom - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    This is a non-story. If it’s true that everybody on the campaign has health insurance, and that the campaign is offering coverage to everybody, then why is Kennedy responsible if people opt to get coverage elsewhere?

    And I speak as someone who once had to pay out of pocket for our family’s insurance premium because my elected official boss didn’t want to offer coverage. (And yes, I was working on healthcare issues at the time. It was annoying.)

  23. - LilLebowskiUrbanAchiever - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 11:23 am:


    Where in the statement did you see anyone saying anything about a conspiracy? It’s a BS story, and they explained why it’s a BS story. Easy push back.

    And if you don’t think this story came from another campaign… you’re wrong.

  24. - Anon0091 - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 1:06 pm:


    Umm, maybe because half of you Kennedy guys are saying it happened because the unions were involved with buying the SunTimes and the other half are saying it’s because of Pritzker. Pick a paranoia and stick with it. Or maybe just have a better understanding of how the press works.

  25. - Anon0091 - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 1:08 pm:

    And btw Lil, I already said it’s not a big deal and not much of a story. I just find the Kennedy crew hyperventilation to be a weak cover for a failing campaign.

  26. - JP Altgeld - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 1:32 pm:

    The more these types of haphazard articles come out along with what really appeared to be a doctored Facebook exchange about CK’s event with moms, the more I think CK must have a nice polling lead.

  27. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 2:37 pm:

    Anon0091 - *my* campaign? “Kennedy crew”? Hey, I’m just a voter - I’ve met CK once but I don’t know a soul on his campaign, and there’s no love lost between me and Bill Daley.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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