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*** UPDATED x1 - First reported in 2014 *** Harold campaign pushes back against NBC 5 story

Friday, Mar 9, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* As we all know, Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold is a former Miss America. Mary Ann Ahern has three anonymous sources who say Harold was asked an unusual question at the 2000 Miss Illinois Pageant, which she did not win

One of the questions to Harold that year was: If she, like her mother, was responsible to place a child in foster care and had to choose between a.) A loving gay couple or b.) A heterosexual couple who were known child abusers, which would she chose?

All three sources told NBC 5 she chose the child abusers.

NBC 5 has spoken to three people, who all played a role in that Miss Illinois pageant, with direct knowledge of the exchange. They were present when Harold responded to the question.

One of the pageant officials said: “I remember it because it was so shocking. She took some time to answer it. And that drew people in. It stopped the room.”

That pageant official said: “It said a lot about her, she spoke about reading the Bible daily and said her beliefs could not subject a child to the gay lifestyle.” […]

The interview was not part of the pageant presentation seen by the public. It lasted about 10 minutes, however the points from that interview were important in the overall judging. It may have been recorded for the contestants to watch later as a way to improve their performance, however no recorded copy of the Harold interview has yet surfaced.

* From Harold’s campaign, which is absolutely livid…

Voters should first know that NBC Chicago has chosen to air an unverified story from anonymous sources twelve days before an election about an alleged event that supposedly occurred nearly two decades ago when Erika was 20 years old. Erika does not recall the alleged exchange, but Erika certainly supports same-sex adoption and foster care placement.

* Ashley Hatfield, the executive director of the Miss Illinois Scholarship Organization…

It is troubling that people claiming to be former pageant officials are anonymously attacking former contestants. No one associated with the Miss Illinois Organization is making these claims, and it is not representative of the organization. All current and future contestants should compete without the fear of being anonymously attacked by pageant officials. Erika was an outstanding Miss Illinois and Miss America, and we are proud of her work with our organization.

Look, I love me some Mary Ann. But even if Harold did say it, she was 20 years old. I doubt I now believe even half the things I believed at that age.

But there’s no sense in ignoring the harsh reality that whatever the truth is here, this story will almost undoubtedly wind up as a very ugly TV ad during the fall campaign.

It’s quite the life we’ve chosen.

* On to the react in the order it was received…

Republican Attorney General candidate Gary Grasso released the following statement today:

“As a father to 6 children, I am sickened by the idea of placing any child in danger, especially in the home of known child abusers,” said Grasso. “Above all else, we must protect our children so they have the opportunity to thrive without the fear of an abusive parent or guardian. Child abuse is a disgusting and heinous crime and, if true, I am appalled by my opponent’s statement.”

* NASW IL…

Like most who read the Mary Ann Ahern report, we are stunned to learn an Attorney General candidate held this offensive view. While we realize the question was hypothetical, it is vital to state that the hypothetical behavior would be highly unethical for a person holding a social work license and would likely result in loss of license and their employment.

We sincerely hope, Ms. Harold’s views have evolved since this question was posed to her. Our next AG needs to be an advocate for the LGBTQ community and defend the supportive same-sex foster parents who are critical to our safety net. Further, they need to be the champion of the children in our foster system, a portion of which are gay youth in care.

There is no place in our government for the view that it would be better to expose foster youth to abusive placements because of personal opinions rooted in hatred. Instead of dismissing criticism, we encourage Ms. Harold to reach out to one of our over 20,000 licensed social workers in Illinois and explore why she held/holds these views.

Kyle Hillman
Director, Legislative Affairs
National Association of Social Workers, Illinois Chapter

* DGA…

Another one of Governor Bruce Rauner’s political allies is in hot water, and Rauner’s dodging the tough questions. NBC Chicago reported in a disturbing story that Governor Bruce Rauner’s hand-picked Attorney General candidate, Erika Harold, reportedly told Miss Illinois judges she would rather have a foster child grow up in an abusive household than live with a same-sex couple. One person recounted that Harold’s answer was so shocking, it lost her the pageant.

Rauner’s operation has been completely behind Harold from the beginning. He claimed he “personally recruited” Harold and recently donated $350,000 to help her close out the primary. The Illinois Republican Party, largely funded by Rauner, has officially backed her candidacy. Harold has such close ties to Rauner, she was even heckled for trying to claim independence from the Governor.

Yet, Rauner’s camp did not respond to NBC’s request for comment last night. Does Rauner stand by his Attorney General candidate?

“Bruce Rauner personally recruited Erika Harold and bankrolled her campaign, and now must address her hateful and harmful comments,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Governor Rauner needs to tell the people of Illinois if he still supports Erika Harold’s candidacy, and why.”

* ICOY…

Illinois Collaboration on Youth’s Statement on Erika Harold’s Alleged Views on Abused and Neglected Children

An issue has surfaced around statements that Erika Harold allegedly made years ago that she does not recall making. While she says her views have now changed, we want to make a clear statement that should apply to every public official, including Erika Harold if she should be elected:

There is never a situation when it is acceptable to knowingly put children into a dangerous or unsafe home. Children and youth who have been abused or neglected deserve to have their elected officials be their fiercest advocates, protecting their safety and well-being.

When children enter the child welfare system, the State of Illinois assumes the responsibility of parent for them for as long as they are under the custody of the State. As the association representing child welfare providers who serve more than 80% of the abused or neglected children in DCFS’ care, as well as community-based youth providers who work to keep young people safe and out of the child welfare system, we expect that all of our elected officials will place the utmost importance on their role as temporary parent for our children.

* Pritzker…



Again, even if this is true, she was 20 years old at the time. Her alleged (by people who won’t appear on camera or allow their names to be used) belief was repugnant, but she says she no longer feels that way.

People can change. They can evolve as they learn.

*** UPDATE *** From a 2014 book called “Being Miss America: Behind the Rhinestone Curtain,” by author Kate Shindle

Shortly thereafter, [Miss America Organization interim CEO George Bauer] encountered another big headache: some serious difficulties with “his” first Miss America, Erika Harold (2003). Harold had competed several times before winning the Miss Illinois title. Her ultraconservative views had proven to be a bit too extreme for some judges; one year, she had failed to make the top ten after her answer to a question about same-sex adoption in her private interview: under pressure, Harold reportedly stated that she would choose to place a child in an abusive heterosexual home rather than with a loving gay couple. Unfortunately for her, one of her judges had recently adopted a child with his longtime partner. Another told friends that because of that single answer, he had dropped her interview score from a 10 to 2. Although judges are trained not to score contestants directly on their personal or political values, they are instructed to evaluate the young woman’s ability to state her opinions in a diplomatic and appropriate manner. Like everyone, pageant contestants say plenty of things that they think better of later. But if a winner publicly flubbed an answer as badly as Harold did privately, the fallout would be disastrous.

       

109 Comments
  1. - SaulGoodman - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:22 am:

    This seems relevant: https://twitter.com/MaryAnnAhernNBC/status/971945439531499520

    Look - there were a lot of things I believed at 20 - I was a conservative back then - that I don’t believe now. But one of those things did not include preferring to place kids with known abusers over a gay couple. That’s evil.


  2. - Anon Nice - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:25 am:

    Miss America is mentioned in every story about her. If it can be used to help her, it should be used against her. Sorry, but the double standard is ridiculous.


  3. - Jose Abreu's last homer - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:28 am:

    I once said Mayor Daley was a good mayor in my early 20s. Woof, was I ever wrong.


  4. - Doode - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:31 am:

    Erika frightens the dems but they are going to have to do better than this #weaksauce


  5. - SAP - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:32 am:

    ==Miss America is mentioned in every story about her. If it can be used to help her, it should be used against her. Sorry, but the double standard is ridiculous. ==

    I think that most of the Miss America references are used against her to make her appear to be a lightweight.


  6. - old time golfer - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    20 year olds make mistakes, we all made them and that includes everyone who reads cap fax. Now before anyone says, ” but we are’t running for political office” lets all agree one comment should not be how any of us are judged in life.


  7. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    Thank you, Rich, for a fair assessment of this issue. If I was ever held accountable for what I said/DID at age 20, I’d be on industrial strength Prozac just to get thru the day. But, as you say, this is the life they’ve chosen.


  8. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    It was a bad question. The answer cannot be verified and should not have been disclosed.

    Her opponents should leave this one alone.


  9. - Sigh - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    —-People can change. They can evolve as they learn.—-
    Yet, some feel that it’s ok to continue to use Bob Rita’s past against him, even though he was acquitted. Where is the “people can change” argument in regards to Rita?


  10. - Nacho - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    ==Erika frightens the dems but they are going to have to do better than this #weaksauce==

    You’d think such a formidable candidate would be running away with the primary.


  11. - Anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:38 am:

    I don’t see why the age would matter. All of her ads are about Miss America or her time at Harvard Law School.

    But for the sake of argument, sure. Let’s ask her what she thinks of Mike Pence’s anti-gay “religious freedom” laws, prayer in schools, and so on.


  12. - Anon Nice - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    Haha–right. I’m sure if she had said something about African Americans or Jews or had praised terrorists, everyone would be fine with it because she was only 20. She said children should be child abusers! That is nuts. And it’s relevant.


  13. - Ole General - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    Either the general public will need to forgive young people’s actions/speech or social media will destroy any potential candidates.


  14. - JB13 - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    Maybe JB Pritzker should take a step back from throwing stones over bigoted things said in confidence years ago.


  15. - Just Me - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:41 am:

    If the statement is so wrong, why doesn’t she just say what her current beliefs are on the matter?


  16. - Sputnik - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:42 am:

    Weak story for many reasons. Society has evolved quite far in the last 18 years. What a set up question. She was only 20. For this, I will give her a pass.


  17. - Anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    “In the first week of her reign, she also adopted a secondary platform for sexual abstinence.”

    That wasn’t when she was 20. It wasn’t in private. So maybe people have to accept the fact she’s very far right-wing and no amount of Rauner money can make campaign ads to convince people otherwise.


  18. - Nape - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    Ahern is great but this feels like she bit on an oppo dump story and didn’t fully vet it. None of the sources went on camera or were willing who use their names, there’s no actual evidence of the question or her response other than the unnamed sources and the pagent itself disavowed the story? This one should have been questioned by the reporters some more.


  19. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    Saying she’d prefer to stick kids with abusers rather than loving parents is the opposite of weak sauce.

    In 2018, this is possibly bordering on likely a death blow to her political career. Plus the narrative of what happened was published in a book in 2014 where was the hue and cry then that it wasn’t true?


  20. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    Being 20 years old does not excuse this mindset if that is what Erika said.

    To me, it makes this notion less excusable because Erika is of a generation that had more exposure to gays in pop culture and everything else. It is scary if she thought gays were more dangerous than child abusers. Gay adoption had been legal in Illinois for 5 years when this pageant took place.

    Regardless of whether this anonymous pageant story is true, her position needs to be fleshed out more.

    I am suspicious of someone saying they support samesex adoptions but having Peter Breen as an enthusiastic backer.

    Would she as AG let Catholic Charities discriminate against same sex couples in foster care/adoptions, which Lisa Madigan fought?


  21. - SaulGoodman - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    **None of the sources went on camera or were willing who use their names, there’s no actual evidence of the question or her response other than the unnamed sources and the pagent itself disavowed the story?**

    https://twitter.com/MaryAnnAhernNBC/status/971945439531499520


  22. - NotWeakSauce - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:48 am:

    Rich - You are a good reporter, but you should know these statements by Erika are confirmed in a book. Mary Ann Ahern tweeted about a 2014 book confirming everything Erika said in the interview.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/MaryAnnAhernNBC/status/971945439531499520?p=v


  23. - Stuart Shiffman - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:48 am:

    There are mistakes and there are mistakes. And they have continue on your resume depending upon many variables. If this is true what she said is pretty disgusting, she would expose a child to abuse rather than same sex parents. What is the shelf life for that type of belief?


  24. - Arsenal - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:48 am:

    The real issue for her is that she’s a social conservative in a state that’s not, and now the door is open for everyone to talk about it.


  25. - 44th - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:48 am:

    Anonymous sources of a ? from 20 years ago involving a 20 year old…


  26. - Anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:49 am:

    “She gave a speech to the convention on August 31, 2004 to support George W. Bush’s faith-based initiatives.”

    Ah, yes, those pro-LGBT 2004 George W. Bush folks. Is that relevant? If not, at what age do statements start to matter? Thanks–I’ll hang up and listen.


  27. - Crispy - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:49 am:

    I strongly oppose Harold, but even I think this is bonkers and ridiculously unfair. And even though I support JB, I agree with JB13. Enough with these deep dives into ancient history to fuel the “gotcha” politics of identity and grievance.


  28. - HCMcB - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:50 am:

    > Saying she’d prefer to stick kids with abusers rather than loving parents is the opposite of weak sauce.


  29. - Almost the Weekend - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    Cue every politician who switched from pro life to choice in the past twenty years.

    Not a good mood by JB, he seems to have a short memory


  30. - TominChicago - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    Sure we all say dumb stuff as kids but think about what she said. She thought known child abusers would be a better choice as foster parents than a loving gay couple. That’s a lot more than saying a dumb thing. It goes to core beliefs. It’s like a 20 year old saying Hitler had some good ideas.


  31. - Roman - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    - Anon Nice - is right. If she wants credit for the good things she accomplished when she was 20 years old, she has to answer for the bad.

    She points to her time at Harvard as an asset as well, and it undoubtedly is. But if she wrote something controversial in the Harvard Law Review, she’ll have to own that too.

    I accept the fact that she was young and her opinions have changed. I think most voters will come to the same conclusion. But the notion be pushed by her campaign — that this is not a legitimate area of discussion — is just plain wrong.


  32. - anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    Saul - the quote you show is clearly from the same unnamed source as Ahern’s story (the judge who opposed Harold’s conservative views then and now).

    Ahern’s story also had this oddity: “That year Harold was given an award for her ability to answer questions skillfully, even though one of the judges believed ’she flubbed that question.’”


  33. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    === why doesn’t she just say what her current beliefs are===

    She did.


  34. - Saluki - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    No wonder people don’t run for office.


  35. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    ===plus the narrative of what happened was published in a book in 2014 ===

    Also without an identified source.


  36. - Anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:57 am:

    She brags about what she did at that age. Now what she did doesn’t matter?? Only the stuff she thinks will impress voters is relevant. Got it.


  37. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 10:57 am:

    To the update: Harold spokesperson, would you care to revise your answer? Perhaps something about evolving views?


  38. - 19th ward guy - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:01 am:

    Weak stuff. Out of character for NBC 5. J.B. might want to stand down on this one.


  39. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:01 am:

    –… XXX does not recall the alleged exchange,…–

    Insert any name you want into that statement.

    When people answer like that, it seems to me they’re aware that it was quite possible that it occurred.


  40. - Dooooooooode - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    ===You’d think such a formidable candidate would be running away with the primary.===

    Glowing newspaper endorsements statewide, running the table on organizational endorsements, having the guts to run while Lisa Madigan was still in office, while spending modestly - let’s circle back on election night on that assessment.


  41. - Perrid - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    The question was also fairly loaded. It wasn’t a question of whether or not she didn’t want same sex parents adopting, but how much she didn’t want it. Personally I don’t care what her views were 18 years ago, she says she supports it now. I won’t be voting for her anyway, but I never was. I very rarely vote for any Republican.


  42. - TKMH - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    I have been pro-LGBT rights ever since I was politically cognizant (and I remember the GWB days when being so was not politically kosher). While Harold’s statements are terrible, they were no different than the consensus opinion of many Republicans (and Independents) at the time.

    Was she 20? Yes. Did we all do regrettable things/say regrettable things at age 20? Yes. I highly doubt, however, that we were trained to diplomatically phrase answers to politically charged questions, as Harold was during her preparations for the pageantry circuit. This is on her.


  43. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    “Weak stuff. Out of character for NBC 5. J.B. might want to stand down on this one.”

    How is it weak stuff to point out that a candidate had extreme views? And let’s not kid ourselves, when you say kids are better off being abused than being raised by loving, gay parents, that’s extreme.


  44. - Dooode - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    ===I have been pro-LGBT rights ever since I was politically cognizant (and I remember the GWB days when being so was not politically kosher). While Harold’s statements are terrible, they were no different than the consensus opinion of many Republicans (and Independents) at the time.===

    And lots of Dems including Obama


  45. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    One more thing. While it was 20 years ago, she still apparently said it. So now it’s incumbent upon her to explain her evolution on the issue (we’re all allowed to change) and not simply hide behind the “I can’t recall” dodge.


  46. - A Jack - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    I bet Burt Minor was wishing he read that book before asking his question.


  47. - Doode - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    ===Rich - You are a good reporter, but you should know these statements by Erika are confirmed in a book. ===

    LOL - Reminds me of Ron Burgundy. “I read about that, IN A BOOK.”


  48. - Olivia Pope - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    She is a religious freedom attorney. Did her position on same sex marriage change too?


  49. - SaulGoodman - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    **And lots of Dems including Obama**

    BS - show me where Obama (or anyone else, for that matter) said he would prefer a child to be placed with an abusive family rather than a gay couple.


  50. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    Very few college students — then or now — would share this kooky opinion. She needs to own it.


  51. - Terry Salad - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    Well, this sure ain’t bean bag.


  52. - Doooooode - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    ===BS - show me where Obama (or anyone else, for that matter) said he would prefer a child to be placed with an abusive family rather than a gay couple.===

    Show me where a credible source confirms that insane question. Remember when Obama filled out that questionnaire with the signature that wasn’t his? I’d settle for that…


  53. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    My hope for her would be to use this moment to introduce herself by using negative slanting and show Illinois who she is and where she stands.

    Twenty years is a long time.

    Not 2 years, it’s twenty.


  54. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    That was a dumb and offensive question to begin with

    There are tons of healthy heterosexual couples that want to adopt so it is a false narrative that leaves no good answer


  55. - Nacho - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    ==Glowing newspaper endorsements statewide, running the table on organizational endorsements, having the guts to run while Lisa Madigan was still in office, while spending modestly - let’s circle back on election night on that assessment.==

    And yet with all that establishment support, she’s still barely polling ahead of her primary opponent. I do expect her to be the nominee, but anyone who thinks she’ll be the favorite in the general in this political environment is kidding themselves.


  56. - Responsa - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    == J.B. might want to stand down on this one.==

    Yes. His campaign team might want to re-consider the wisdom of his taking a position here. Not only did JB say some indiscreet things a while back (which are fully verified and not unsouced rumor)–but he is already known to have something of a problem in the black community. How on earth they think him taking on Harold helps him is beyond me.


  57. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    ===And yet with all that establishment support, she’s still barely polling ahead of her primary opponent.===

    Vs. a former Gov. who ran statewide how many times who can barely muster 25% in any poll - I’ll take that bet.


  58. - Anon Nice - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    @Repsonsa It’s insulting to think Pritzker can’t call out Harold’s hateful remark because she is African American. African Americans are with Pritzker on this, not with Harold just because of skin color.


  59. - Mr. K. - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    The question had one right answer. She picked the wrong one.

    If she’s not savvy enough to recognize that — how in the world is she savvy enough to be, of all things, attorney general?


  60. - WSJ Paywall - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    There’s a huge difference between “evolving” on gay marriage and saying you trust heterosexual abusers over loving gay couples to raise children.

    Sorry.


  61. - Dooooooooooooooooode - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:23 am:

    ===The question had one right answer. She picked the wrong one.

    If she’s not savvy enough to recognize that — how in the world is she savvy enough to be, of all things, attorney general?===

    First off - again, show me a credible source who confirms that insane question?

    Secondly - how can she be attorney general? take a breath man


  62. - Henry Francis - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    Obviously everyone has their own opinion on this, which is fine as everyone also has their own vote.

    What I can’t understand is how someone who is intelligent enough to graduate phi beta kappa and get into Harvard law, is apparently so ignorant as to have that view.


  63. - SaulGoodman - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:25 am:

    **Secondly - how can she be attorney general? take a breath man**

    Huh?


  64. - huh - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:25 am:

    People will forgive stuff you said when you were young. But she is claiming that she never said it = which is why this is a legitimate issue.

    Changed your position - fine I believe you. Dick Durbin has changed many positions over time, no problem.

    But don’t lie and attack the reporter. You said it, you changed your view. Okay - own it and move on.

    Politicians attacking reporters is destructive.


  65. - City Zen - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:27 am:

    “Which couple smokes?” thinks Kwame.


  66. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:30 am:

    What was Dick Durbin’s age when he switched from pro life to pro choice? DD can’t receive communion in Springfield so he just stays in Chicago to receive communion.


  67. - TKMH - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    ==What I can’t understand is how someone who is intelligent enough to graduate phi beta kappa and get into Harvard law, is apparently so ignorant as to have that view.==

    Antonin Scalia, Ben Shapiro, Tom Cotton, and Ted Cruz all graduated from Harvard Law. They all hold/have held repugnant social views.


  68. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    ===she is claiming that she never said it===

    Nope.


  69. - Anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    Can we please decide now what the right cutoff age is for her? Everything before it, like Miss America, like growing up as a victim of harassment, will be irrelevant. What’s the age?


  70. - Anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    Oops–that didn’t make sense since she ran again for Miss America. When she and lost doesn’t matter. So much younger then.


  71. - A Thought - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    Erika Harold: Miss Right-Wing America


  72. - Not It - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:40 am:

    == She did. ==

    No, she didn’t. Her spokesperson did. Let’s see her on camera.


  73. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:40 am:

    @Rich Miller - With all due respect, we do not know Erika’s full views on this.

    What does “support samesex adoption” mean to her, someone enthusiastically supported by Peter Breen?

    Does it simply mean she isn’t going to try to change Illinois law which for 23 years has let gay couples adopt or be foster parents?

    Will she follow Peter Breen in pushing for state adoptive/foster care funding to go to groups that discriminate against gay couples?

    That is pretty important.


  74. - Nape - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    That is the most bizarre question I’ve ever heard. Has anyone asked the pagent if the question was actually framed like that? Even for a beauty pagent it feels too specific, politically charged and strange to be true.


  75. - Mr.Black - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:48 am:

    Old enough to try represent our state in that pageant, old enough to be held accountable for the things she said during the pageant. If she’s changed her opinions since then, that’s fine. But “it was twenty years ago” is a crappy counter.


  76. - dbk - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:48 am:

    I caught this on Ahern’s Twitter feed this morning, and was figuring a lot of commenters would belong to the “she was only 20″ camp.

    But the question wasn’t “Would you be willing to place a child in foster care with a gay family”, it was whether she would prefer an abusive heterosexual couple to a loving gay couple as foster parents. It was, frankly, a loaded no-brainer.

    I said stuff when I was 20 that I wouldn’t say today, for sure, but I never said - or thought, frankly - that an abusive home was preferable to a loving home.

    Harold claims she doesn’t recall the incident, but that’s just a bridge too far - everyone there remembered it, and it cost her the title that year.

    She’s brilliant and very talented, but her religious views have overtly influenced her stance towards social issues which have been litigated/adjudicated and are now enshrined in state and federal law. She’s running for the position of lawyer for state and its people, for goodness’ sake.


  77. - anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:48 am:

    She went full on Dukakis but should have gone Bull Durham or Miss Congeniality instead.


  78. - SAP - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    ==The question had one right answer. She picked the wrong one.== If you believe the unverified, anonymous source, then yes, she did pick the wrong answer.

    ==If she’s not savvy enough to recognize that — how in the world is she savvy enough to be, of all things, attorney general?== She is savvy enough to recognize that. She responded by saying: “Erika does not recall the alleged exchange, but Erika certainly supports same-sex adoption and foster care placement.”

    38-year old Erika Harold is running for Attorney General, not 20-year old Erika Harold.


  79. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:53 am:

    Perhaps JB should condone Senator Durbin for his stance as pro-life/anti-abortion in the 1980’s


  80. - 11:53 - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    Condemn not condone


  81. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 12:04 pm:

    Madigans playing chess.


  82. - Black Balled - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 12:05 pm:

    Pretty funny on how her team responded. Fake News! These are the same people that brought you the Quincy Veteran’s Home nightmare. This is one crazy statement of many to come. It will be a steady drip. Will the state party continue to stand behind her? Of course they will as long as Rauner is pulling the strings. Me thinks Ms. Harold and her staff need to have another conversation on what is about to drop.


  83. - Practical Politics - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 12:14 pm:

    It is the silly season.

    Not a devoted fan of Erika’s candidacy for AG (she seems to be a pleasant person, but apart from graduating from Harvard Law what has she done as a practicing attorney?), but I questioning quoting Kate Shindle. There was a minor controversy when she was selected as “Miss America” as her family was quite close to the pageant leadership.


  84. - anon2 - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 12:14 pm:

    Now that we know the truth, her memory lapse is convenient, to put it charitably.


  85. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    ==everyone there remembered it==

    “Everyone” who claims to have been there, but will not identify themselves so we have no idea if they were or not


  86. - The Republican from election past - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    Hey Erica, live by the sword, die by the sword.
    Love from Western Dupage.


  87. - Olivia Pope - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 12:33 pm:

    —-I am suspicious of someone saying they support samesex adoptions but having Peter Breen as an enthusiastic backer.

    Would she as AG let Catholic Charities discriminate against same sex couples in foster care/adoptions, which Lisa Madigan fought——

    @hisgirlfriday- your concerns are valid. Also, I think I read that Ms. Harold’s mother was a foster care trainer for Catholic Social Services. Let’s not forget that Catholic Charities wanted to be able to decline an adoption or foster family home application to a couple in a civil union and Peter Breen had strong position back in 2011.
    ————-
    Since Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed Illinois’ civil unions law, Catholic Charities has been working to get the legislation amended, allowing faith-based organizations to “decline an adoption or foster family home application” to a couple in a civil union “if acceptance of that application would constitute a violation of the organization’s sincerely held religious beliefs.” A Senate committee voted down the amendment in April, and a House committee did the same in May.

    On Tuesday, attorneys from the Thomas More Society — a pro-life, non-profit Chicago law center focusing on abortion-related issues — filed a petition in a downstate court on behalf of Catholic Charities. The filing asks a judge to rule definitively on whether their foster care and adoption agencies could continue to turn away unmarried parents, including those in civil unions, despite receiving funding from the state. It targets the Illinois Attorney General and Department of Children and Family Services, who said they plan on enforcing new policies that would ban faith-based agencies from discriminating against same-sex or unmarried couples.

    Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel for the Thomas More Society, told HuffPost Chicago Tuesday that Catholic Charities is hoping the judgment will bring some clarity, and allow them to “operate in the same way that they’ve been operating for decades.”

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/07/catholic-charities-sue-st_n_872721.html


  88. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 12:43 pm:

    sorry, totally fair attack. horrible comment. I have two friends who were on the beauty competition circuit, and they were ultra careful about what they said. isn’t Kate Shindle also active in representing actors? she’s a smart person.


  89. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    Mary Ann’s better than this. At least I thought she was.


  90. - dbk - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 12:54 pm:

    Anonymous @12:31
    –“Everyone” who claims to have been there, but will not identify themselves so we have no idea if they were or not”

    We know who was there: the judges, one of whom was gay and had recently adopted a child, another of whom lowered her interview score from 10 to 2 for that answer.

    The names of the judges for that year’s Miss Illinois pageant should be obtainable from inquiry to the pageant’s central records office - or from other contestants, of whom there were many.

    The incident occurred, because the page cited is from a book about the Miss America pageant, not the Miss Illinois pageant; Miss Harold’s “manager” at the Miss America pageant had to deal with the fallout from her earlier appearance. Her answer had followed her there, and reappeared as a problem that needed to be handled.


  91. - City Zen - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 1:02 pm:

    Wouldn’t “known child abusers” fail the social assessment required to be a foster parent in Illinois?

    https://www.illinois.gov/dcfs/lovinghomes/fostercare/Pages/index.aspx


  92. - anon2 - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 1:20 pm:

    It would have been better for Harold to admit her mistake, apologize, and say her views have changed since 2000. It wouldn’t hurt her in the primary, and it would’ve enhanced her reputation for veracity. Unlike unlikely memory lapses and attacks on the press.


  93. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 1:20 pm:

    Twenty-year-olds serve in the military, vote, marry, enter into contracts etc. if a 38-year-old was a white supremacist at 20 you can bet that would be viewed as disqualifying. Bigotry is bigotry, no matter how you try to shroud it in scripture.


  94. - Texas Red - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 1:48 pm:

    Set-up question asked of a 20 year old private citizen (not an AG candidate), it was obviously meant to call out her deeply held religious beliefs. I’m not condoning or condemning her answer, and who knows how she feels 20 years later. Life experience tends to change our opinions. But remember there are many folks that vote and who follow biblical passages such as this one …”Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” Not a justification for her 20 year old answer but perhaps an explanation.


  95. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    == if a 38-year-old was a white supremacist at 20 you can bet that would be viewed as disqualifying. ==

    It sure wasn’t disqualifying for Robert Byrd with the Clintons and Obama


  96. - Tommydanger - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 1:53 pm:

    I would have much preferred the question: “Would you leave the gun and take the cannoli or take the gun and leave the cannoli?”


  97. - A Jack - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    That twenty year old comment taken alone would not influence me. But taken in context with her current association with Peter Breen, I would have to question where she stands on this issue. And certainly her spokesperson has said that Erika feels differently now. But the campaign is in damage control mode after this comment came out.


  98. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 1:58 pm:

    –Set-up question asked of a 20 year old private citizen …–

    She was “set up” at the Miss Illinois pageant? Who were the sinister figures behind that?


  99. - Sigh - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    ——Erika certainly supports same-sex adoption and foster care placement.—-

    Since Peter Breen supports Erika Harold and has defended her in the past, can we find out where he stands on same-sex adoption and foster care? Since Catholic Charities wanted an exemption (as noted in a post above) have they changed their position on same-sex adoption and foster placement?


  100. - Texas Red - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:08 pm:

    =Word

    Ever been to beauty pageant ? The participants/judges are not what you might call right-wing. Harold had a reputation as a ultra conservative . The judges knew that …” had competed several times before winning the Miss Illinois title. Her ultraconservative views had proven to be a bit too extreme for some judges;” .. Doesn’t take a genius to see this question was selected just for/because or her.


  101. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:09 pm:

    If it’s ok to call people Madigan or Trump puppets when they clearly are not then I hardly see how this line of attack is wrong.


  102. - Blackhawk - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:13 pm:

    Are we sure she is Rauner’s choice and not Ives choice?


  103. - Chiquita Banana - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    You know who really supports family values?

    Pat Quinn, who just took a loan of $250,000.00 from his own son.


  104. - Sigh - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:23 pm:

    @Blackhawk - I believe Rauner has endorsed her and indicated she was a rising star in the Republican Party.

    On a serious note, how can a candidate (Harold) be against gay marriage, but (now) supports same-sex adoption and foster care placement?

    This article from Sept 2017 indicates she is oppose to abortion and gay marriage.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chicagoinc/ct-erika-harold-durkin-0920-chicago-inc-20170919-story.html


  105. - A Jack - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    She certainly is taking Rauner’s money, but is supported by Peter Breen. Peter Breen is also backing Ives. It’s pretty clear where Ives stands on this question. And you can review Peter Breen’s voting record to understand where he is at.


  106. - Conn Smythe - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    Book excerpt or not, it was lame to run that story without a named source, video, audio or notes from the interview. Mary Ann is a great reporter but the Chicago media is foaming at the mouth right now to engage in reputation bombing.


  107. - Chicago_Downstater - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:38 pm:

    It was 2000. This was three years before the Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws in Lawrence V. Texas. And pro-gay still wasn’t okay with the majority of Americans. In 2001, the Pew Research Center began collecting data on opposition to same-sex marriage (a useful if problematic stand-in for support of gay rights generally). The majority opposed (57%). Basically Harold had a lot of company.

    As a gay woman, if I judged every politician on their stances on gay partners raising a kid in 2000, then I’d be very limited on who I could vote for. Instead I like to focus on what their current stance is on “religious freedom” (aka free-to-discriminate) laws, transgender rights, etc.

    Harold appears to pro “religious freedom” & likely anti-transgender rights, so she won’t get my vote.


  108. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    What an absolutely idiotic question. Why not ask, “If you were responsible for placing a child in foster care and had to had to choose between a.) A loving gay couple or b.) A loving heterosexual couple, which would you choose?

    It’s idiotic for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that known child abusers don’t get to foster children. What the question is intended to ask is if Harold believed children’s needs and rights are best served by being raised by a mother and a father or by two people of the same sex. The question was phrased in this idiotic and pernicious way to make answering it difficult. No one would knowingly place a child with known abusers. It’s stunts like this that make loving one’s enemies challenging.


  109. - Anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 4:11 pm:

    I am the same age as Ms. Harold and had friends on the pageant circuit with her, and I absolutely heard about this at the time. Later, after she won Miss America, I was working at a camp for children and she was invited to the camp, and there was quite a to-do about it because of her well-known opposition to “the gay lifestyle,” and the number of our campers who had gay parents or family members. A number of parents objected or even kept their children home, and the senior camp staff had such a pitched battle about it that all the counselors were aware.

    I’ve honestly been surprised this hasn’t been more of an issue in this campaign because she sure wasn’t quiet about her opinions back then, and among her peers they were already seen as pretty backwards and unpleasant, even if her parents’ generation still approved.


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