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Fallout continues over Erika Harold story

Friday, Mar 9, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Prairie Advocate

Gov. Bruce Rauner and a host of other GOP luminaries are slated speak at the Whiteside County Republicans annual Lincoln Day Dinner on Friday […]

The keynote speaker will be Erika Harold, attorney general candidate and Miss America 2003.

That should be interesting.

…Adding… I’m told Harold still plans to attend the event.

* Pritzker campaign…

According to a shocking new report, Republican Attorney General candidate Erika Harold said she’d rather see children adopted to “a heterosexual couple who were known child abusers” than a “loving gay couple.”

As the two share a stage tonight at Lincoln Day Dinner in Deer Grove, will Rauner speak out against these hateful remarks?

“Bruce Rauner hand-picked Erika Harold to run for attorney general and is contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to boost her candidacy, but does he stand by her blatant homophobia?” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh.

* Meanwhile…

…Adding… Grasso is backed by the leaders of the Illinois Family Institute, one of the most anti-gay groups in all of Illinois, so this call of his for her to drop out over anti-gay remarks is kinda weird.

…Adding… Grasso campaign…

Rich, we are calling on her to drop out because she advocated for the endangerment of foster children. Placing them in known abusive homes.

* From the day the Illinois Senate passed the gay marriage bill

Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, who said during debate he once discriminated against those attracted to the same sex, said he’s changed.

“Evolution is part of what we do as a body,” he said.

* Former Gov. Pat Quinn…

Erika Harold’s reported views about the legitimate adoption rights of gay couples should alarm everyone in Illinois. Ms. Harold should know that there is never a situation when it is acceptable to knowingly put children in an unsafe home.

All children deserve loving parents who will protect them from harm. To expose foster youth to abusive placements is inexcusable and wrong.

As Governor, I stood for tolerance and fought hard to make marriage equality the law of Illinois. As Attorney General, I will speak out against bigotry whenever it surfaces. I will protect children from abusive situations and I will safeguard the rights of gay couples.

As Bruce Rauner’s handpicked candidate for Attorney General, Ms. Harold has the duty to protect children from abuse and combat bigotry of any kind.

* Press release…

Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, an adult adopted person who chaired The Adoption Reform Committee in the Illinois House and championed scores of laws making adoption inclusive in Illinois, said:

“Illinois cannot risk electing an Attorney General who will allow her personal bigotry to reverse years of progress on adoption policies that reflect inclusion, equality and the best interest of the child standards that are codified in Illinois law.

“Whether Harold recalls what she said or not, I demand that she answer that same question now and to answer it publicly. “

Agreed on the need for Harold to speak publicly herself, not through a spokesperson.


  1. - NotMe - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:23 pm:

    And honestly, we’ve come too far on these issues for her to simply say that statement doesn’t reflect her current views. We need her to spell out exactly how and how much she has evolved, and then voters can decide if she’s fit for the job.

  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    Still wondering when JB will speak out against Senator Durbin’s previous anti-abortion remarks and stances, and ask him to resign.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    Rauner and Harold both need to say “something”, Harold from her herself…

    Rauner is afraid to say anything on anything…

  4. - Nacho - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    ==And honestly, we’ve come too far on these issues for her to simply say that statement doesn’t reflect her current views. We need her to spell out exactly how and how much she has evolved, and then voters can decide if she’s fit for the job.==

    Agreed. Simply saying she supports same-sex adoption leaves a lot of wiggle room.

  5. - Anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    “The keynote speaker will be Erika Harold, attorney general candidate and Miss America 2003.”

    Miss America is used to describe her. Still think her answer is irrelevant though?

  6. - Texas Red - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    President Obama evolved from anti-gay marriage in 2008 to pro by 2012. That conversion of heart and mind only took four years ( one election cycle). I bet Harold has really changed in 20 years!

  7. - Mike - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    Erika is a right-wing fundamentalist who still opposes same sex marriage. What makes you think that her views have evolved? I doubt they have based on everything I’ve read about her.

  8. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:32 pm:

    Durbin isn’t running until 2020 and yes he changed his mind. He said so himself. What does this have to do with JB?

  9. - Anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    Oh, for crying out loud. Is Harold really so big a threat that they need to attack her for comments that she made 18 years ago, when she was 20 years old? Maybe someone should go back to when some of these critics were 20 years old to see what skeletons they have in their closets. If some of the things that I did in 2000, or when I was 20 years old, came to light, I’d….well…I better not say.

  10. - DarkHorse - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    Is it possible Harold can lose to Grasso in the primary?

  11. - Flat Bed Ford - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:35 pm:

    Wait. Didn’t Breen and Harold partner up to damage a moderate Republican? Minor? Perhaps their collective homophobia was the root of an “agreement” to sink Minor in order to keep the GOP ” pure.” Shame on them both for their intolerance.

  12. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    Harold should just speak for herself and clear the air. That’s life in the NFL.

  13. - A Jack - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    Yes, she needs to clearly state her views given her association with Breen and Breen’s association with Ives.

    I am not sure Governor Diana will let Bruce talk about this.

  14. - 19th ward guy - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:44 pm:

    I bet she will speak. And I bet she will deliver an eloquent end thoughtful response. By the the end of it her opponent in the primary will look like a moron and the people pushing this garbage out will slither back into their holes. I dislike this argument because it sounds whiny but don’t tell me there isn’t a double standard in the media for conservative women.

  15. - Ron - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:46 pm:

    Uff, she is not an option.

  16. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    “Agreed on the need for Harold to speak publicly herself, not through a spokesperson.”

    This is not remotely a close call. And asking her to explain her remarks and how they’ve evolved is not “attacking her because she’s a threat.” It’s called common sense. Voters deserve to hear directly from the candidate.

  17. - Flapdoodle - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    ==Miss America is used to describe her. Still think her answer is irrelevant though?==

    What she said is relevant. She needs to come out and confirm whether she said it or not, and if she did, own the statement and tell us what her current views are.

    But having been Miss America — how in the world is that relevant to being IL AG? Is it like somehow actually important in anything like the real world? Sheesh.

  18. - Texas Red - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:50 pm:

    Oppo dump timed perfectly; this will make her
    St. Patrick’s Day Parade walks a bit more interesting !

  19. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    Harold needs to repudiate those remarks and then move on, like JB did with his.

  20. - earworm - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:03 pm:

    Does anyone else read anything Pat Quinn says and hear it as if he is giving a speech? I’m not sure that happens with any other person’s quotes I read. Help.

  21. - efudd - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:13 pm:

    I wondering is some of the Harold apologists feel the same way about Pritzker’s comments with Blago on the tapes. You know, so long ago, people change, blah blah.
    I’m guessing not.

  22. - Juvenal - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:14 pm:

    Rich -

    It isn’t just Harold that should be speaking up and speaking out.

    Breen, Rauner and a number of other GOP leaders called for Burt Minor to drop out over his alleged bigotry.

    It seems if they apply the same standards to Harold, she should no longer be in this race.

  23. - @misterjayem - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    1) Erika Harold didn’t just say she was against same-sex couples; she’d rather see children placed with known child abusers rather than a “loving gay couple.”

    2) Until Erika Harold makes a statement expressly renouncing her previous views, that 20-year old statement remains her last word on the subject.

    3) Erika Harold’s close association with Peter Breen and his ilk place the burden of proof regarding her current “evolved” views about same-sex couples on Ms. Harold. The logic of “We’ve all changed, therefore she must have changed” does not apply.

    – MrJM

  24. - Sigh - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    As I asked on the other post…. how can Harold oppose gay marriage, but (now) support same-sex adoption and foster care placement? If she now truly believes a same-sex couple can provide for a child, then why should that couple not be allowed to get married?

  25. - Pundent - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    =Harold needs to repudiate those remarks and then move on, like JB did with his.=

    I think this is a bit trickier. JB had not choice but to walk back his comments as they were offensive to a large base of his potential voters. For Harold these comments are a bit more aligned with a narrative that appeals to the far right. Walking back her comments to appeal to moderates by saying I now support same sex marriage and adoption by gay couples doesn’t necessarily help her with her “base”.

  26. - Sputnik - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    Harold could extinguish this fairly quick. By reversing that statement and dismissing that as something from a naive 20 year old. We all have done foolish things at that age.

  27. - Claud Peppers - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:28 pm:

    Her statement will help her in the GOP primary.

  28. - Responsa - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:38 pm:

    Harold does need to respond. While I personally believe this attack is over the top, this serves to test her steel and how she can stand up under pressure– which is important to know R voters may be influenced by their perceptions of the attack as much if not more than what she said 20 years ago to a ridiculously phrased question.

  29. - A guy - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:50 pm:

    The premise of the question is utterly idiotic. Why would that be the only choice? Would gay couples automatically be loving and hetero couples automatically be abusive? Nobody would be required to make such a choice.
    Nobody would advocate for adopting children into an abusive home. Ugh.

  30. - Dude Abides - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:50 pm:

    She’s toast in the General in November anyway.

  31. - DarkHorse - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:54 pm:

    The real damage here may be reporters and opponents snooping around to see what other shocking or just merely ridiculous things she’s said in the past.

  32. - paddyrollingstone - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    Dude - I believe you are correct. There will only be more of this coming out at her - not comments such as this, but support her comments for repealing Obama care, against legalization of marijuana, against abortion, against gay marriage. Wait until they start asking her about gun control, assault weapons ban, armed teachers, sanctuary cities, etc.

    Donny, you’re out of your element.

  33. - Undiscovered country - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 4:07 pm:

    The statement is the product of a young mind under pressure. Regardless of her faith-based views, she shouldn’t have accepted the binary choice. Its a classic “when did you stop beating your wife” moment. I don’t much care what that 19 year old’s positions were. HOWEVER, I do care what her views are today, which she can clear up as others have suggested, and I’m very troubled by her Trumpian crisis management approach; deny, attach the “anonymous” sources, and vilify the media. Her effort at “this is fake news” reveals a serious character flaw in my opinion. As AG, will she accept reality or attack it. Everyone makes mistakes, trustworthy people acknowledge them and move on, duplicitous people do not. Her response reveals far more about her fitness than her statement 18 years ago.

  34. - Wensicia - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    The longer she refuses to address this personally, the worse it will be for her campaign. I hope she has more to offer than saying gay marriage is law now so she won’t object to adoption by prospective gay parents.

  35. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 4:17 pm:

    – Grasso is backed by the leaders of the Illinois Family Institute, one of the most anti-gay groups in all of Illinois, so this call of his for her to drop out over anti-gay remarks is kinda weird.–

    And then it got weirder…

    …Adding… Grasso campaign…

    Rich, we are calling on her to drop out because she advocated for the endangerment of foster children. Placing them in known abusive homes.–

    Cui bono, before the primary?

  36. - The Full Story - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 4:24 pm:

    It is laughable that this woman is running to become the chief law enforcement official in Illinois. First she was greatly offended by someone using ugly words in front of her (not calling her the words - just saying them), then she went along with allowing her private conversation from 4 months earlier to be used as a political hit, now she is exposed as a bigot who would rather have children live with abusive parents than be placed in a home with a loving gay couple. Where is Alan Keyes when the Illinois Republican Party needs him?!

  37. - illini - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 4:25 pm:

    This story has been out there for 24 hours and still no comment from the candidate herself.

    This fact, in my opinion, is telling.

    If her opinion from years ago remains the same that is very troubling.

    Or, in the alternative, if her opinion has changed she will have to jump through many hoops to convince anyone that her newly enlightened position is little more than a political ploy to get her through November.

  38. - anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 4:27 pm:

    If she truly believes she never said this (but doesn’t recall the specifics Q&A), then her statement should be (1) I do not recall any such question and answer 20 years ago, (2) the answer attributed to me is not one I believe I would have said had I been asked that question, even as a 20 year old, and (3) more importantly, the assertion that this is my position today is patently incorrect: children should be adopted into loving homes based on the best interest of the child, not based on the sexual orientation of the adoptive parents.

  39. - Chicago_Downstater - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 4:27 pm:

    I said my piece on how I feel about all this on the other board. However, I just want to reiterate that I’m very interested in hearing where exactly she stands today…in her own words. That’s what matters to me.

  40. - Cindy Lou - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    She needs to speak to what has been reported. This region of our state tonight is also the one who recently lost a caseworker who tried to take a child from an abusive home. The abusive parent beat the caseworker which eventually died from her injuries.

    To this region , she will not have to just explain her view (and now changed view) on gays, she will have to explain why she felt, even if twenty years ago, a child should be in a known abusive environment.

  41. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 4:37 pm:

    If I were Ms. Harold’s speechwriter, this is what I would say. “When I was 20 I thought that gay and pedophile were the same thing. I now know that a person can be gay but not a pedophile.

    We must be vigilant in protecting our children so that we do not have cases like Laquan McDonald who was reportedly physically and sexually abused while in foster care.

    As Attorney General my job is to enforce the law, not my personal morality.”

    But I am not her speechwriter, so I have no idea what she will say.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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