Hello everyone. Thank you to DeKalb Stands and Northern Illinois University for hosting this great event. I’m so sorry I couldn’t be with you tonight. My running mate Juliana Stratton was looking forward to joining, but unfortunately my opponents didn’t want to share a stage with her. I can’t say I blame them. Juliana is an incredible woman and a powerful fighter for Illinois and together we’re going to put Springfield back on the side of working families.
* After reading his statement, the moderator quickly corrected Pritzker. The other candidates did not object to Stratton’s presence. It was the organizers, she said, who set those rules…
That video came in over the transom from someone who was most definitely not with the Pritzker campaign.
But I think somebody in the Pritzker campaign has subscribed to my YouTube page, so they got a notification and watched the video after I uploaded it and then asked for time to comment. After that, things got a bit testy.
This is from a September 21 e-mail sent by the organizers…
Also, the lineup of candidates has changed slightly. Chris Kennedy is joining the group. J.B. Pritzker can no longer come, but Juliana Stratton will appear in his place.
So, as of a couple of weeks ago, the organizers were obviously OK with Stratton appearing.
* Galia Slayen at the Pritzker campaign maintains that Kennedy threatened not to attend if Stratton was allowed on the stage…
“It’s unfortunate that after Chris Kennedy skipped at least 10 forums and sent surrogates like Emil Jones to represent him, that he refused to be on the same stage with Juliana Stratton and threatened not to attend if JB wasn’t there. To be clear, the forum organizers had originally accepted having Juliana attend until Chris Kennedy’s campaign complained. JB has attended over 25 multi-candidate appearances and looks forward to continuing to share his message with voters across the state.”
* Rebecca Evans at the Kennedy campaign called Slayen’s statement “petty and insulting to voters”…
It was a unanimous decision by the organizing board to keep yesterday’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates forum to just candidates for governor. For the Pritzker campaign to spend their time citing a tally of forum attendance that doesn’t accurately reflect all of the events and meetings Chris has with people throughout Illinois is petty and insulting to voters who want a substantive leader to unite our state. It’s also a signal that, despite paying millions of dollars for TV ads, Pritzker’s campaign must be feeling very insecure about their candidate’s status in this race.
After waiting hours on both campaigns to provide their responses, I reached out to the person who sent that e-mail about Stratton at around 2 o’clock. So far, I’ve heard nothing back. I’ll let you know.
But, hey, if nothing else, I did inadvertently manage to get both spokespersons to go after each other on the record.
I often host a party the weekend before the primary and invite top staffers from every campaign to attend. I’ve never once seen a fight or even an argument. Next March’s could be different.
*** UPDATE *** From the organizer…
We had a great forum last night. We certainly missed Mr. Pritzker and Mr. Pawar, but the five candidates who attended did an excellent job and had a really appreciative audience.
In answer to your question, both are correct. It was a unanimous decision of our group, made after a call from Kennedy’s campaign objecting to Stratton’s being substituted for Pritzker. However, it was only Kennedy who objected, not the other candidates (the reason for our correction to Pritzker’s statement). Kennedy did not threaten “not to attend if JB wasn’t there,” as stated in your email. What Kennedy’s staffer said was that he wasn’t prepared to go onstage with a lieutenant governor candidate and would send his own lieutenant governor candidate as his surrogate in the event that Stratton was involved.
Going after Kennedy for being notoriously MIA from forum after forum is more than fair game, it’s interesting that both sides want to have the organizers either take blame or litigate the truthfulness to Pritzker’s statement as they both go after each other.
For me, one side must be “punching down”, with those two possibly leading this field, but we have no idea right now who is punching down, and who got the front-runner to take them on.
Once petitions are filed, I’ll be super excited to watch if these Crews continue to fight for every inch, and who will be the one taking it to the other.
That will be one heck of a “get-together” that Rich puts together.
They’re all pros. Would be interesting none the less.
There ought to be some sort of Tempest in a Teapot Award for the primaries, I’d like to nominate The Great NIU Debate Debate of 2017.
The real question isn’t “Why wasn’t Pritzker there?” but “Why was Kennedy there?”
In 2014 there were fewer than 1200 Demoxratic primary ballots cast in all of DeKalb County. A fraction of that came from campus. A fraction of that attend or will hear about it, and a fraction of that will be swayed come Election time.
Not a wise use of their candidate’s time, ditto for Biss, who should have sent Wallace.
There is simply no way for the Kennedy people to spin the fact that their candidate has blown off a ton of candidate forums around the state while the billionaire has attended almost all of them. So yea, I get why they’re more than a bit testy.
===There is simply no way for the Kennedy people to spin the fact that their candidate has blown off a ton of candidate forums around the state while the billionaire has attended almost all of them. So yea, I get why they’re more than a bit testy.===
… and in the bubble… inside the bubble… inside that bubble… 9 people will think this has been a good use of anyone’s time.
“I strenuously point out Kennedy has been AWOL? Is that how it’s done? Hm? “JB can’t make it, but Kennedy?”… “No, no. I STRENUOUSLY point out Stratton can’t attend?” Oh. You both want to strenuously point out silly things… . Then we should all take some time and reconsider this tempest.”
“You point out once so we can hear Kennedy’s been a no-show a lot, you keep after it the way ya did suddenly that small lil point looks like a bunch of fancy campaign noise. There’s a difference between operating in a bubble and actually operating in a campaign , Cripes, both campaigns had Rich say it should win the Tempest in a Teapot Award… ”
Hello, I’m a Billionaire and you’re not.
So what if every other candidate is required
to appear in person and not allowed to send a surrogate?
After all, I’m a Billionaire and you’re not, so the rules don’t apply to me.
=…After all, I’m a Billionaire and you’re not, so the rules don’t apply to me.”=
You forgot the part where the “Billionaire” actually shows up to the forums, and offers to at the very least send a surrogate if he has another obligation. It’s apparent that there’s only ONE candidate that has the reputation for not showing up to forums and has straight up no-showed on numerous occasions.
=What Kennedy’s staffer said was that he wasn’t prepared to go onstage with a lieutenant governor candidate and would send his own lieutenant governor candidate as his surrogate in the event that Stratton was involved.=
So disappointed in this statement. If Chris Kennedy is serious about being Governor, then he needs to quickly realize that as a leader one is often put into situations that they are not prepared for. If he didn’t feel prepared to go on stage with a LG candidate, which I feel is a little condescending, then I question his ability to make on the spot decisions in “crisis” situations and the ability to lead our state. At some point he has to stop hiding behind the “Kennedy” name and prove to me, a dem primary voter, that he has the leadership qualities of his father and uncle.
Can his campaign clarify why he wasn’t prepared to go on stage with Ms. Stratton or any LG candidate? I feel this is an important question, bc as the person with the NAME on the top of the ticket, you should be prepared to defend your platform and debate anyone.