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Schimpf slams Sullivan combat leadership claim

Monday, Sep 20, 2021

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul Schimpf has mostly followed Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment and avoided speaking ill of his Republican opponents.

Until now.

When a relative unknown named Jesse Sullivan jumped into the race earlier this month with a nearly $11 million out-of-state-funded campaign war chest, state Sen. Darren Bailey and businessperson Gary Rabine both called him a member of the San Francisco/Silicon Valley “elite” because that’s where his business was located and where much of his campaign money came from.

The Silicon Valley angle took hold in segments of the mainstream media. Did Sullivan really live in downstate Petersburg, as he claimed, or did he live in the San Francisco area? Sullivan’s campaign pushed back hard on the out-of-state angle, insisting he was a Petersburg guy who had made lots of influential business friends in California and other states.

But Schimpf, a former state senator, actually welcomed Sullivan into the fray, saying, “another robust campaign spreading the message that J.B. Pritzker is undeserving of reelection is good news for the Illinois Republican Party.”

Schimpf was born on an Air Force base in the Metro East, graduated from Annapolis Naval Academy, then graduated from law school and served 20 years in the US Marines, serving as the chief American adviser to prosecutors in Saddam Hussein’s trial. His service, to my knowledge, has not been questioned, but his ire was raised by some of Jesse Sullivan’s campaign claims.

The neophyte Sullivan has peppered his campaign website and announcement with photos of himself in military uniform.

“I proudly served our nation in uniform doing counterinsurgency work in Helmand Afghanistan with the US Department of Defense,” Sullivan declared in his campaign announcement speech near Petersburg.

Sullivan was part of what was known as the Army’s Human Terrain System, which recruited civilians with social science backgrounds to help military commanders understand the local populations. A 2012 profile of Sullivan in the State Journal-Register mentioned that his team, “left the British military unit stationed in the area with recommendations for strengthening the local police force and reopening a school.”

When I questioned Sullivan’s campaign about this seeming rhetorical contradiction, they acknowledged that he was an Army civilian without veteran status who nevertheless “led and participated in combat patrols in Afghanistan.”

The Army’s unclassified handbook on the Human Terrain Team says its leaders were active duty or retired military officers. So, I asked, how could Sullivan have “led” combat patrols?

Sullivan’s campaign responded with a 300-word background statement which claimed Sullivan’s Army team leader never left the base. Instead, the campaign claimed, Sullivan led a small team consisting usually of “another human terrain analyst, possibly a social scientist depending on the mission, and an interpreter,” which would, “embed with a military unit.” Sullivan, “was responsible for translating military objectives into collection priorities, executing the collection mission, reporting back, and advising the military decision-making process.”

To me, the long-winded explanation looked more like Sullivan had led a small group of advisers alongside soldiers in combat areas than actually leading what most would consider “combat patrols.” That still took courage, so why embellish it?

I sent Schimpf everything I had from the Sullivan campaign along with my own self-directed research. Schimpf was initially reluctant to say anything about Sullivan, but eventually issued this response:

    “Although Jesse Sullivan, who is not a veteran and has never been on active duty, should be commended for having worked in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor, his claim to have led combat patrols flies in the face of Department of Defense regulations and established practices. While civilian contractors may be armed and act in defensive roles such as providing security, the use of contractors in contingency operations is specifically limited in DoD Instruction 3020.41 to support operations ‘in a non-combat role.’ If Mr. Sullivan wants to claim unprecedented combat leadership experience as a civilian contractor, he should identify the officer that he directly reported to while in theater in order to verify this extraordinary assertion. Otherwise, he should correct the misleading language on his website.”

Sullivan has managed to make a big splash in the Republican primary. He’s a young, handsome made-for-TV candidate and already has way more money than any of his opponents could ever likely hope to raise. But Sullivan should probably stop digging holes that he’ll eventually have to fill himself. It’s a really bad habit and I’ve seen it fatally backfire more than once. Like I said before, there’s no need to embellish this stuff.

And, for sure, this military combat claim needs to be cleared up right away.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

76 Comments
  1. - Ret. Army Col. - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 5:48 am:

    The troubling words are “in uniform” and “led and”.

    As a combat vet, the “in uniform” is completely understandable and likely true. DACs (Department of the Army Civilians) also wore the same combat uniforms we wore, but didn’t wear rank and had nametags indicating their civilian status.

    The fact that the “lad and” comment was in response to a question from the media, not from the candidate himself, and not part of a website or printed material, both of which should be proofread, will allow the candidate to credibly claim that this was an imprecisely worded response to a jounalist’s question.

    This seems to me likely to blow over. But Rich, you’re right, it needs to be cleared up, and mistakes like this ought not to happen.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 5:56 am:

    ===“ Although Jesse Sullivan, who is not a veteran and has never been on active duty, should be commended for having worked in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor, his claim to have led combat patrols flies in the face of Department of Defense regulations and established practices. …===

    Embellishing for no real reason is a character issue.

    A campaign kick off where the character of the candidate and embellishing, not a great look, maybe someone people can’t trust to be truthful later. Very Bruce Rauner like.

    I’d still like to hear about where his company paid state corporate income taxes while Sullivan claimed his Illinois residency. Where were those taxes paid… 2016, 2017… 2020….

    Character matters.


  3. - Ret. Army Col. - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 6:10 am:

    >>>A campaign kick off where the character of the candidate and embellishing>>his company paid state corporate income taxes while Sullivan claimed his Illinois residency


  4. - MisterJayEm - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 7:09 am:

    Even the notorious Urban Dictionary gets this one right: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Stolen%20Valor

    – MrJM


  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 7:24 am:

    === his company paid state corporate income taxes while Sullivan claimed his Illinois residency===

    Yep.

    Where?


  6. - Al - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 7:27 am:

    When did you graduate from boot camp? If the response is, “I did not go to boot camp”, then you ain’t a veteran.


  7. - Elliott Ness - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 7:30 am:

    Very troubling stumbles out of the gate. The attempt to lead people to believe he was a veteran is something that will stick unless he spends some of that $11 million to restate his actual role in the civilian service and be truthful. He has the bucks and there is more from the same pool of friends but he needs handlers. Schimpf is a class act and while calling him out a bit is being kind. If Schimpf had the $11 million….


  8. - Blue Dog - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 7:34 am:

    This is yet another gubernatorial race where I cast my vote against someone rather than for some one.o


  9. - misterjayem - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 7:34 am:

    “When did you graduate from boot camp? If the response is, ‘I did not go to boot camp’, then you ain’t a veteran.”

    The officers commissioned by the service academies and ROTC programs are also veterans.

    – MrJM


  10. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 7:43 am:

    ===will allow the candidate to credibly claim that this was an imprecisely worded response to a jounalist’s question.===

    He embellished and got caught?

    Is that what you meant?


  11. - Bruce( no not him) - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 7:45 am:

    We are arguing about a candidate embellishing his life story. In this political climate, do we expect otherwise?


  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 7:49 am:

    === do we expect otherwise===

    Speaking for me, not we, I expect someone who should be proud of an accomplishment… should feel no need to embellish that accomplishment


  13. - well… - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 7:51 am:

    Sullivan knows exactly what he’s doing when he fills his website with photos of him in uniform (include one next to a tank!). He’s trying to make his brief stint as a civilian analyst look like more than it is.


  14. - No Contest - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 8:02 am:

    “Annapolis Naval Academy”

    It’s the United States Naval Academy. It’s located in Annapolis, Maryland.


  15. - Bruce( no not him) - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 8:04 am:

    Willy, I expect better. But I am not surprised any longer by anything politically. My cynicism is taking control, unfortunately.


  16. - BCOSEC - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 8:15 am:

    His “company” is a not for profit that files a Form 990. All of those are online and easily found through a google search.

    On the Form 990 it shows Sullivan’s annual salary. It has ranged from $88k-$130k per year.

    He needs to release his personal 1040 to see what states he filed in. I think he claims he has filed an IL-1040 since 2016, but it would be better just to release the returns.

    Release the entire returns, not just pages one and two.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 8:18 am:

    ===All of those are online and easily found through a google search.===

    (Sigh)

    The goal of the exercise is the response from the campaign.

    It’s probably why I’ve asked the question the way I have on a couple of occasions.

    Where is, and has, his company filed taxes since 2016… and why…


  18. - Flying Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 8:19 am:

    Someone needs to explain the meaning of the word “robust” to Schimpf.


  19. - Steve Rogers - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 8:20 am:

    I guess this is the difference in mindsets between the greatest generation and Sullivan. WWII vets downplayed their heroism and said the true heroes were the ones that didn’t make it home. Sullivan, a civilian, claims to lead the military patrols. I’m glad Sullivan wasn’t a WWII vet, he personally would have claimed to have defeated Hitler and Mussolini with one arm tied behind his back. What a joke.


  20. - JS Mill - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 8:39 am:

    =Embellishing for no real reason is a character issue.=

    From the word go, some of his claims just didn’t seem right. When Rich posted his campaign announcement I wondered about his claims in my post. And here we are.

    If he was so extraordinary, why embellish? Just being in Afghanistan is worthy of some level respect because it was full of risk.

    I have seen this movie before and would posit that Sullivan’s candidacy may be over before it rally begins due to the embellishments.

    OW is right, it is a character issue and Mr. Small Town’s claims are not looking good.


  21. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 8:43 am:

    Jesse Sullivan creeps me out.


  22. - walker - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 8:45 am:

    “”And, for sure, this military combat claim needs to be cleared up right away.”"
    Yep

    Still, he chose to serve his country in Afghanistan, when he could have been lounging on a California beach. Props to him for that.


  23. - Techie - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 8:48 am:

    “This is yet another gubernatorial race where I cast my vote against someone rather than for some one.”

    @BlueDog - Wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually vote for the candidate you like the most without feeling like you wasted your vote?

    We need a better voting system; choose-only-one is inadequate. Approval voting lets you vote for (approve of) as many of the candidates as you want, so you can vote for your favorite candidate and also vote for a compromise candidate if you aren’t confident your favorite has a good chance of winning.

    It’s just sad to me that, in what’s supposed to be the greatest democracy in the world, we’re still forced to vote against bad candidates and lack a way to support the candidates we really like.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 8:50 am:

    ===… we’re still forced to vote against bad candidates and lack a way to support the candidates we really like.===

    “Democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.”

    - Winston Churchill


  25. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:11 am:

    ==Approval voting lets you vote for (approve of) as many of the candidates as you want, so you can vote for your favorite candidate and also vote for a compromise candidate if you aren’t confident your favorite has a good chance of winning. ==

    While I approve of RCV, there’s still tactical voting in that system. Look at the NYC Mayor primary.

    Harm reduction is always going to exist, and frankly always be a legitimate basis on which to vote.


  26. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:12 am:

    To the post:

    Sullivan is dropping passes on what’s supposed to be the easiest, best part of his campaign- the intro. Gonna be a ton of fun when he has to answer a question about masks or Trump or something.


  27. - Regular democrat - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:19 am:

    This reminds me of that kid who ran against Foxx
    Light resume lot of money. Going nowhere. That kid was so memorable i forgot his name already


  28. - Langhorne - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:23 am:

    California, silicon valley, elite

    Tax residency

    Led combat patrols

    Many, many, children

    Sloppy messaging.
    Inept recovery.
    Not ready for prime time.

    Oppo ads provided to your opponents: 4?
    Favorable points made: 0?

    Young, successful, wealthy, doesn’t matter if others define you right out of the gate. Even worse when you provide the fodder.
    I don’t see him making it to the second round.


  29. - Pundent - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:24 am:

    =The neophyte Sullivan has peppered his campaign website and announcement with photos of himself in military uniform.=

    This is about as honest as Bruce Rauner’s Timex watch and trash can van. When a candidate goes to these lengths to distort their background, it tells me that they either don’t want you to know the truth or believe they have to convince you that they’re somebody they’re not.


  30. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:25 am:

    “we’re still forced to vote against bad candidates and lack a way to support the candidates we really like”

    Welcome to democracy and adulthood. Reasonable people understand that we often have to make the best of sub-optimal choices. Failure to do so can have severe consequences, as we saw with the last governor and president.


  31. - Soapbox Derby - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:26 am:

    Didn’t Rauner already teach us that businessmen with no political experience make lousy governors?


  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:29 am:

    === Many, many, children===

    Probably the oddest claim to children you could have;

    How many is “many”… how many more do you need to have to go all “‘many, many”

    It’s like some intern was given 5-6 thingies to put 1,000 words about Sullivan, but the gaps in info became silly lil phrases like the, “many, many”

    Your announcement / rollout… that should be a slam dunk, info drop, intro good feel…

    … they were scrubbing… scrubbing… the bio.

    Then add in the embellishing of service in Afghanistan…

    The “many, many” is a signal that this campaign does not take the craft and trade of campaigns as a serious endeavor.


  33. - BCOSEC - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:30 am:

    OW.

    I am not following you.

    His “company” is a not for profit. The “tax return” for the not for profit would not require income taxes to be paid.

    He receives a salary from the not for profit. That is why his 1040 is relevant. His state personal returns should show in what state he has earned his income, if filed correctly.

    I don’t get your “sigh.” I just assumed if anyone is interested they might like to know that all of the form 990 are easy to find online.

    I can’t keep up w you sometimes. Guess I am dense.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:33 am:

    - BCOSEC -

    === His “company” is a not for profit. The “tax return” for the not for profit would not require income taxes to be paid.===

    It is about the location.

    Five words.


  35. - Lincoln Lad - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:33 am:

    Why didn’t he join the military? Bone spurs?


  36. - The Ford Lawyer - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:38 am:

    I can’t put my finger on it, but I just get this kind of Jack! Ryan vibe from the Sullivan campaign, and not in a good way.


  37. - Huh? - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:38 am:

    “Didn’t Rauner already teach us that vulture capitalists with no political experience make lousy governors?”

    Fixed it for ya.


  38. - Huh? - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:40 am:

    Embellishing ones resume calls into question their character and honesty.

    If you can’t be honest about your accomplishments, what else are you lying about?


  39. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:58 am:

    I just don’t understand the “why” here. By any account this service he actually did seems honorable. Why embellish it and give off the impression you were an active duty combat veteran when you were not?

    I also come from a military family, and GOP primary voters love to espouse their support for the troops (whether that support is there in terms of taking care of them in terms of pay and benefits is another matter). As much as they love the troops, they can’t stand stolen valor and the like. Not that this reaches that level, but this embellishment or clouding of his time there seems unnecessary, and obviously a big risk running against someone who did actually serve for much of his adult life. Just makes me shake my head.


  40. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:02 am:

    Sullivan ask Dillon Clark how things worked out.


  41. - VerySmallRocks - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:07 am:

    The political gymnastics that Jesse Sullivan engages in is a sign that only a Republican candidate looking and sounding like Rambo will succeed at the primary level. Mr Sullivan might have a better shot running as an indy.


  42. - SaulGoodman - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:16 am:

    **His “company” is a not for profit. The “tax return” for the not-for-profit would not require income taxes to be paid.**

    I believe that he has two companies - a for-profit company and a not-for-profit company.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:17 am:

    ===I believe that he has two companies - a for-profit company and a not-for-profit company.===

    It is about the location.


  44. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:20 am:

    ===I believe that he has two companies===

    Not at issue here. Stick to the topic at hand.


  45. - phenom_Anon - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:25 am:

    “Schimpf slams” seems like a bit of an embellishment.
    After much prodding from Rich, Schimpf released a statement that reads like a legal brief.
    If I didn’t know better, I’d say Rich is trying to gin this up a bit.


  46. - OneMan - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:27 am:

    == “Didn’t Rauner already teach us that vulture capitalists with no political experience make lousy governors?” ==

    And we elected another venture capitalist with no experience, so Illinois doesn’t learn it’s lessons.


  47. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:29 am:

    ===After much prodding ===

    lolol


  48. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:29 am:

    ===served our nation in uniform===

    Heck of a line for a speech.

    Reminds me of the film “Hunt for Red October”…

    “No matter what his credentials, I don’t care for him wearing the uniform.”

    Sullivan wore a uniform… as a contractor.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:33 am:

    ===If I didn’t know better, I’d say Rich is trying to gin this up a bit.===

    So Sullivan is a victim here? That’s an odd take.

    I wonder if Sullivan took “the oath” as a contractor that those in the military take upon induction?


  50. - Pundent - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:38 am:

    =And we elected another venture capitalist with no experience, so Illinois doesn’t learn it’s lessons.=

    Not sure I would characterize Pritzker as a venture capitalist. He’s a rich guy from a rich family no doubt. But he’s not out there pretending he’s not.


  51. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:47 am:

    ==So Sullivan is a victim here?==

    When honesty comes for the GQP, they play victim. It’s all they know how to do in the face of a reality they don’t like.


  52. - Shark Sandwich - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:49 am:

    “When did you graduate from boot camp? If the response is, “I did not go to boot camp”, then you ain’t a veteran.”

    This is bad news for all Army and Air Force veterans. In a nitpick semantics battle, the nits count.


  53. - The Ford Lawyer - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:50 am:

    I served my country in uniform. Ok, it was a Hardee’s uniform and I served them cheeseburgers, but still….


  54. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 10:58 am:

    Sullivan sounds like the Jason Plummer of ‘22. Much like I’ve always felt Alexi is the Aaron Schock of the IL Democrats.


  55. - phenom_Anon - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 11:10 am:

    =So Sullivan is a victim here? That’s an odd take.=

    Feel free to let me know where I said Sullivan was a victim. This whole thing was clearly an unforced error from a neophyte campaign. This is why he impressed no one with his bragging about his team of outsiders. This is why you hire people with experience.

    I was just noting the hyperbole of the coverage here. Maybe I missed out, but I haven’t seen this story anywhere else.

    To Rich’s lolol,
    “Schimpf was initially reluctant to say anything about Sullivan, but eventually issued this response” sounds like prodding to me.

    I don’t think I would ever describe “Otherwise, he should correct the misleading language on his website” as a “slam.” That’s all I’m saying.


  56. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 11:14 am:

    === Feel free to let me know where I said Sullivan was a victim===

    Ok…

    === If I didn’t know better, I’d say Rich is trying to gin this up a bit===

    Gaslighting the idea you don’t know what you said is embarrassing. Rich? Ginning up?


  57. - Huh? - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 11:24 am:

    The officers commissioned by the service academies and ROTC programs are also veterans.

    Technically no - you need a DD214 to be considered a Veteran. Reservists and National Guard folks, while their service is commendable, are not Veterans unless they served more than 180 days on active duty.


  58. - Pundent - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 11:25 am:

    =This whole thing was clearly an unforced error from a neophyte campaign.=

    A slip of the tongue would be an unforced error. This seems more of a deliberate attempt to portray yourself as something you’re not. Kind of like Swedish immigrant grandparents born and raised in Wisconsin.


  59. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 11:27 am:

    ===Kind of like Swedish immigrant grandparents born and raised in Wisconsin. ===

    lol

    Forgot about that.


  60. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 11:29 am:

    Rookie mistake by Sullivan and crew. Your opponents will do a full background check on everything you say.


  61. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 11:30 am:

    ===This seems more of a deliberate attempt to portray yourself as something you’re not. Kind of like Swedish immigrant grandparents born and raised in Wisconsin.===

    I agree. This campaign had multiple miscues but this military service issue was written specifically to highlight and seemingly embellish that part. Reading, you can tell where time was spent and where details are missed (many, many kids?)


  62. - Cindy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 11:38 am:

    Dude is treading very closely to a theft of valor case. I sense he’s playing fast and loose in other areas too. Next!


  63. - Huh? - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:04 pm:

    The doppelganger struck again at 11:24. Wish the person would use another handle.


  64. - Liandro - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:09 pm:

    “Reservists and National Guard folks, while their service is commendable, are not Veterans unless they served more than 180 days on active duty.”

    That is not quite accurate. I got my first of several DD214 following Basic (not boot camp, heh) and AIT when I was released from active duty back to my first Army Reserve unit. I was a military Veteran. Due to time and type of service, I did not yet qualify for VA benefits, but I was certainly a military Veteran.

    Lord knows I didn’t describe myself that way until after my first combat tour, though. When people hear “Veteran”, they generally think of combat experience and/or retiree–as did I, even as a young Soldier.

    To the post: it sounds like Sullivan did some very honorable service when he could have passed. He and his campaign need to tighten the semantics (which are very important here) and then continue to be proud of that service.


  65. - Publius - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:14 pm:

    Sounds like Sullivan expected a coronation as a business person who could fix the state. Not that it worked out for the last guy.


  66. - Langhorne - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:34 pm:

    “Many, many kids”

    Might work if they were foster parents to a bunch of kids over a period of time. Even so, as presented sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.
    And no clarification.

    Hey kids, let’s clean up the barn, and put on a musical./s


  67. - SomeGuy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:40 pm:

    Petersburg held their Harvest Fest Parade over the weekend. Sullivan walked in the parade with his many, many children. The crowd seemed to love him. On the flip side, I heard parents telling their kids to not pick up the candy tossed by the Democrats of Menard County float since they “don’t take anything from democrats”. The divide between urban and rural people seems to be getting wider by the moment.

    I understand it’s an outdoor event, but considering the shoulder to shoulder spacing of the crowd I was disappointed (but not surprised) to not see a single mask. On top of that Sullivan was walking down the side of the street shaking everyone’s hands. Nothing like spreading some germs around a few blocks packed with people in a county that ranks 83 out of 102 for vaccination rate.


  68. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:42 pm:

    -Might work if they were foster parents to a bunch of kids over a period of time. Even so, as presented sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.
    And no clarification.-

    Even there they need to tread lightly. Yes fostering many children is also laudable. However, some are more permanent placements than others, and they need to be careful about claiming them as their own versus referring to them as foster children. Some are just temporary while a parent or parents go through rehab or a court case, etc. I can imagine it would be very hurtful for someone in that situation who has made some mistakes but is working to get their kids back to have someone else claiming them, especially publicly. Like the Afghanistan issue, words matter.


  69. - Quibbler - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 1:26 pm:

    Whether Sullivan was civilian or military, doing counterinsurgency work in Helmand province is hardly anything to brag about. When the US wasn’t enlisting the help of cruel warlords to subjugate the local residents, it was indiscriminately sending them to Guantanamo. In a healthy society, Sullivan’s work there would be disqualifying for office.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/09/13/the-other-afghan-women


  70. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 1:55 pm:

    Well said, Quibbler.


  71. - River Folk - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 2:53 pm:

    “Petersburg held their Harvest Fest Parade over the weekend. Sullivan walked in the parade with his many, many children. The crowd seemed to love him. On the flip side, I heard parents telling their kids to not pick up the candy tossed by the Democrats of Menard County float since they “don’t take anything from democrats”. The divide between urban and rural people seems to be getting wider by the moment.“

    Was there as well. Had a good chuckle at him trying to make the parade his own personal parade. They also took their banner and planted it outside the brewery on the square. The town is excited about him, but I think it has more to do with the town actually getting some attention. I’ve seen more signs for Bailey in Petersburg than Sullivan. That might change in time. Also doesn’t help that the Sullivan family kind of secludes itself from a lot of the residents.


  72. - Soapbox Derby - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 3:36 pm:

    @ Huh?

    My comment on wealthy businessmen making poor governors goes for those that inherited great wealth too.


  73. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 3:37 pm:

    Something I’ve observed over many years?…those persons who lie needlessly are both practiced and manipulative liars…beware.


  74. - Blue Dog - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 5:26 pm:

    I have two criteria for voting against someone. Fabricating legends on ones military service and cheating on your taxes.


  75. - phenom_Anon - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 7:42 pm:

    =Gaslighting the idea you don’t know what you said is embarrassing. Rich? Ginning up?=

    So….? Once again, let me know when I called Sullivan a victim. He got exactly what a sloppy campaign gets. Whether Rich is ginning it up or not is not tied to that.


  76. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 7:53 pm:

    ===Once again, let me know when I called Sullivan a victim===

    I can’t help your gaslighting.

    === If I didn’t know better, I’d say Rich is trying to gin this up a bit===

    Please, you’re not good at this. This statement makes Sullivan the victim, even in your left-handed way.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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