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Jesse Sullivan hires Youngkin’s senior campaign strategist

Monday, Nov 29, 2021

* Jesse Sullivan on Fox News over the weekend

And you know what, I know what it takes to serve the people of Illinois and protect them, make the city streets safe again. And you know what, speaking of Glenn Younkin, and what he did over in Virginia, well, his team could choose to work with anyone in the entire country and they chose to come and work with me and are going to be helping us win this victory in Illinois.

* Politico today

Kristin Davison, who most recently worked on the GOP governor’s race in Virginia, has joined Illinois Republican Jesse Sullivan’s gubernatorial campaign. Davison was senior strategist for Glenn Youngkin, who defeated Terry McAuliffe to take the Virginia governor’s mansion, handing Democrats a stinging loss. Along with Davison, Poolhouse media agency, which also worked with Youngkin’s campaign, is on Sullivan’s team, too.

Poolhouse designed Youngkin’s logo. Davison is with Axiom Strategies, which provides a menu of services for campaigns, particularly those with money, and Sullivan does have cash.

* Davison was integral to Youngkin’s win and she has talked about it several times since then. One example

First, I think it was a textbook example of the theory that candidate quality matters. We started with a once-in-a-generation talent in Glenn. He — you know, what you see is what you get. He’s a genuine guy with a positive, upbeat attitude all the time who really wanted to focus on a positive, unifying campaign. So when you have that foundation, I think [that’s] an advantage to start.

Then, the strategy: From day one, we didn’t run to win a convention and lose a general election. We started very early to reach out to different voting groups that haven’t been Republican ever or haven’t been Republican in a long time; starting different coalitions back in February — African-American Virginians, Asians, Hispanics, women — and then focusing the race on Virginia and what families were talking about at their kitchen tables, not what the talking heads were talking about on TV.

I think the third takeaway that helped drive this home: We had an opponent who focused on every political talking point the DNC probably gave him. And Glenn stayed focused on things like cost of living, education and safety — [which] were on the forefront of conversations that families were having every day.

* She also has some Illinois experience, which didn’t turn out so well. Here’s the McHenry County Blog

McHenry County voters have seen Kristin Davison’s handiwork in Illinois before, as recent as the 2020 election cycle when she was the general consultant for then IL-14 Republican candidate Catalina Lauf (R, Woodstock).

Davison also organized in December of 2019. the short-lived “Stop The Squad” slate uniting Lauf with Anna Paulina Luna (R, FL-13), Lisa Song Sutton (R, NV-04) and others, covered on McHenry County Blog nearly two years ago.

As many local Republican activists are aware, Axiom Strategies was trying to recruit young, attractive minority women to seek election to Congress for the 2020 election cycle, and Stop the Squad slate was a result of this recruitment effort.

Only two of the original Stop the Squad slate members won their respective Republican nominations, and none won election to Congress last year.

Lauf lost the primary to Jim Oberweis.

* Back to Sullivan’s Fox News interview. It focused on Chicago crime, of course

Blood on the streets of Chicago every single day. Look, I’ve lived and worked in some of the most dangerous, corrupt violent cities across the world, from Port au Prince, Haiti, to Helmand, Afghanistan. And it pains me that this home that I love so much, Illinois and this great city of Chicago, it’s now become a corrupt warzone. Why? Because our political leaders have failed us. They want to separate this out into blue lives, verse Black lives. It’s not only wrongheaded, it’s dangerous because the truth is 95 percent of all of those violent deaths that have happened, the victims are minority communities, our Black and Brown brothers and sisters. I listen to those gunshots happen on the streets of Chicago and it brought me right back to Helmand, Afghanistan. And it’s wrong and our political leaders need to step up and quit prioritizing criminals and putting them before victims and police

* On challenging Gov. Pritzker

Nobody creates a better contrast with JB Pritzker than me. You know, JB Pritzker was born in California with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s one of the wealthiest governors in the country. But you know what, he’s morally bankrupt. And the people of Illinois know that. Whereas I was born in central Illinois with a set of values of faith and family and service. And I grew up working on a farm, and I’ve earned everything that I have. JB Pritzker, he wants to raise taxes on the people of Illinois, whereas I want to lower taxes. I’ve worked with Alter to create jobs around the world to back entrepreneurs. I know what it takes to make Illinois a business-friendly state. JB Pritzker, he doesn’t know the first thing about what it means to protect and to serve. It’s the reason he’s not backing are law enforcement falls back on these, you know, Democrat talking points of blaming guns, and throwing money at the problem through social programs, not actually backing and supporting our police. I’ve served over in Afghanistan. And you know what, I know what it takes to serve the people of Illinois and protect them make the city streets safe again.

He never actually says what he’ll do, however. We hear this a lot. One 2016 presidential candidate claimed the problem could be solved in a week with unspecified tougher police tactics.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

101 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:31 am:

    A Lauf candidacy is a vehicle to grift. Has been for a few cycles.

    How Kristin Davison handles the stolen valor will be most interesting, to me.


  2. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:33 am:

    What on earth is wrong with focusing on Chicago crime as a serious contrast between Republicans and Democrats?

    The suburbs are being overrun with violent crime, flash robberies and car jackings while our Governor touts his social programs to Reimagine Public Safety.

    Feel safer yet?


  3. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:35 am:

    =I listen to those gunshots happen on the streets of Chicago and it brought me right back to Helmand, Afghanistan.=

    Where and when did you hear gun fire in Chicago, where and when were you under fire in Helmand?


  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:38 am:

    ===it brought me right back to Helmand, Afghanistan===

    Like I said, stolen valor… unless Sullivan wants to be painted as a mercenary…

    I really want to see how this plays out.


  5. - TheRambler - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:38 am:

    Thanks for talking about this Rich, my Republican family members had that Fox News interview on and I overheard him again claiming to be a veteran and a simple central Illinois boy so he’s got the lying with a straight face down.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:40 am:

    === What on earth is wrong with focusing on Chicago crime as a serious contrast between Republicans and Democrats?===

    Recent polling has “crime” ranked 4th overall, statewide.

    Wonder what abortion will be ranked after the Texas and Mississippi cases are ruled on by SCOTUS.


  7. - Pundent - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    =What on earth is wrong with focusing on Chicago crime as a serious contrast between Republicans and Democrats?=

    Nothing wrong with this. But unfortunately the ILGOP focus on crime almost always tends to focus on using dog whistles to energize the downstate vote while doing nothing to suggest that it has a serious solution for crime in the city or suburbs.


  8. - Jibba - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    corrupt warzone
    he’s morally bankrupt
    faith and family and service
    what it means to protect and to serve

    Just a lot of word salad. Even if I were conservative, I’d want to see a plan before deciding he’s my guy.


  9. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    Maybe these new consultants can get him to move beyond serving a dozen different varieties of word salad.


  10. - Now I'm down in it. - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:47 am:

    He may be just fine, but he’s alienating veterans by claiming to have served in Afghanistan. I’d suggest to his new campaign manager that she handles that particular misstep immediately. Like OW, I am curious to see how this plays out.


  11. - Hamlet on the Potomac - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:47 am:

    Jesse seems like a good person. Some of his “political glittering generalities” seem overly scripted, but perhaps that doesn’t resonate with the average voter. The Veteran issue is a faux issue, because it takes too much explaining to make it into a scandal. He was in Afghanistan, in dangerous places, doing honorable work, that is all that matters in the long run, the early stumbles on defining that were not politically fatal.

    I am surprised at how many of the Democrats on this blog are not taking the crime issue seriously. It isn’t just a republican talking point, it’s a conversation across the political spectrum. Continuing to ignore or dismiss it can be done, but Democratic candidates will pay a price for it.


  12. - Annonin' - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:48 am:

    So the new guru does not do well in whack job rAces…how is she with Trumpster?


  13. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:48 am:

    ==Feel safer yet? ==

    Yes.

    We’ve been trying the “Let cops murder more black guys” policy for several decades now. If crime is rising, then it’s not working. So let’s try something else. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.


  14. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:49 am:

    One major difference between Sullivan and Youngkin is VAGOP was able to finangle a convention to nominate Youngkin. Sullivan will have to go through an actual primary.


  15. - Rudy’s teeth - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:51 am:

    Was Ms. Lauf the Real Housewives of Somewhere candidate? Remember something about walking and waving. Not impressed with the spot.


  16. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:56 am:

    The interview is linked, Jesse did not claim to be a veteran.

    He said he served in Afghanistan. Is that a lie somehow?

    Sullivan was recruited to be in the Army’s Human Terrain System, which helped commanders understand local populations.

    Lying with a straight face down?

    Like promising to veto a map drawn by politicians?

    Chris Kennedy had it right

    “And another contender, Kenilworth developer Chris Kennedy, said voters should consider Pritzker’s words as if they were conducting a job interview for governor.

    “I’ve hired a lot of people and I can tell you just one piece of advice to the voters of this state: You should never hire someone who lies to you during a job interview. If they’ll lie to you to get the job, they’ll lie to you to keep the job. And you do not want a liar as the governor of the state of Illinois,” said Kennedy, a member of the iconic Massachusetts political family.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-met-democratic-governor-debate-pritzker-kennedy-biss-20180314-story.html


  17. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 9:58 am:

    If Sullivan or the GOP really cared they’d already be working with the most dangerous areas to reduce crime. But, they’re carpetbagggers, just like Rauner, who starved the most vulnerable communities of funding just so he could bust their unions.


  18. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:01 am:

    -Unfortunately the ILGOP focus on crime almost always tends to focus on using dog whistles to energize the downstate vote while doing nothing to suggest that it has a serious solution for crime in the city or suburbs.-

    Yep. They don’t actually care about those communities. They just want their base elsewhere to think they do.


  19. - Roman - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:04 am:

    == Recent polling has “crime” ranked 4th overall, statewide. ==

    True, but I think you might be underestimating it’s dog whistle effect in a GOP primary.

    Based on these hires, Sullivan obviously wants to follow the Virginia playbook—de-emphasize social issues and stay away from Trump. But that’s a general election strategy and he’s gotta get out of a primary first. Maybe they figure he appeases primary voters by talking almost exclusively about crime, which, if he survives, won’t scar him for the general like focusing on other social issues would.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:07 am:

    ===He said he served in Afghanistan. Is that a lie somehow?===

    That’s… wow.

    Veterans will accept that.

    Then again, veterans are the first to point out if they served in combat, in which theatre, and quickly point out if they served away from combat.

    Sullivan didn’t “serve”, then who was his superior officer, in what unit, how long was his deployment… was he honorably discharged?

    How can a contractor be honorably discharged?

    I wouldn’t go down this road.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:09 am:

    === True, but I think you might be underestimating it’s dog whistle effect in a GOP primary.===

    Welp…

    ===A new Illinois survey of likely 2022 GOP Primary election voters was released today.===

    They were GOP primary voters.

    https://capitolfax.com/2021/10/05/campaign-roundup-bailey-has-early-lead-sullivan-launches-tv-ads-pathetic-dga-videos-unclear-on-the-concept/


  22. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:10 am:

    “Let cops murder more black guys” policy for several decades now

    This is not even remotely the problem in crime ridden neighborhoods.

    It is poor black and brown people shooting other poor black and brown people, some completely randomly.

    Maybe you missed the loss of 10% of the black population in Chicago over the last decade.

    How many innocent “black guys were murdered” by police Arsenal?

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-chicago-black-residents-exodus-census-20211122-uphhe7bakngtjoh45uhnqjepwy-story.html


  23. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:11 am:

    == The Veteran issue is a faux issue, because it takes too much explaining to make it into a scandal. ==

    Not really. “He claimed to be a soldier when he wasn’t.”

    Really easy, and now it’s on Sullivan to explain “Well, he never *explicitly said*…Human Terrain System…understanding local populations…”

    Whenever you’re explaining, you’re losing, and Sullivan’s explanation is a lot more complicated than the attack.


  24. - John Lopez - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:12 am:

    === How Kristin Davison handles the stolen valor will be most interesting, to me. ===

    If past performance an indication, not well.

    After the Lauf loss in March last year, Davison was the campaign spox to FL-19 Republican candidate Casey Askar, one of 9 candidates running for the open FL-19 seat in a heavily Republican southwest Florida district.

    Askar, who actually served in the USMC, could not prove he served when Florida press could not confirm with DoD he actually served.

    Instead of having Askar’s discharge papers, or other official proof handy to share with media when the question is asked, the campaign relied on two pics of a young man who resembled Askar in USMC dress blues as proof he served in the Marines.

    The campaign had to formally request DoD for copy of Askar’s discharge papers, which campaign shared with the press, and Askar had to endure 3 weeks of “stolen valor” claims during crucial stretch of the primary campaign because he could not prove he served in the military.

    To be fair, Davison was the spox, and not general consult to a candidate who put $ 3 million of his own money into the primary.

    But someone in that campaign, including Davison, wasn’t watching Askar’s flank, and he got burned and finished 3rd in that primary, losing to now Congressman Byron Donalds.


  25. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    ==Chris Kennedy had it right==

    Look, you can claim to be a tribune of the people of Illinois, or you can cite third place primary finishers. But you can’t do both without me laughing at you.


  26. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    - He said he served in Afghanistan. Is that a lie somehow? -

    Yes, it is.


  27. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:18 am:

    ==Recent polling has “crime” ranked 4th overall, statewide.==

    Not just 4th, but almost 30 points behind the top issue (Government waste, proving that there’s still quite a bit of 1994 in the Illinois Republican Party, lol).

    The problem is, the Republican base is no longer in the suburbs, and definitely not in Chicago, so none of those voters are really impacted by Chicago crime. I think it’s still effective in an eastern Block “CHICAGO BAD” kinda way, and I think it’s a legit vulnerability for JB in the general, but in the primary, it’s just window dressing for the culture war.


  28. - Comedy Gold - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:19 am:

    This brand of Republicans (not all Republicans) care about crime when it arrives on the doorsteps of suburban voters or can be used to appeal to new groups of voters they can scare into believing them (suburbanites, police).


  29. - Ogden - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:22 am:

    As much as the commenters on this page don’t want to believe it, there are some real vulnerabilities in the current IL Democratic Party.

    The crime issue is very real. The SF prosecutor is up for recall. If you don’t think that this is a major issue to Chicago or suburban voters, than you are very out of touch.

    The bigger vulnerability is schools. Take lessons from Virginia.

    @OW is trying to get ten miles out of an inch with the “stolen valor” thing. Give me a break. Voters will see that he was over there and won’t make the distinction between a branch and the DOD.

    I am all in on JB and think he has done a great job but there are real vulnerabilities that should be taken seriously.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:25 am:

    === This brand of Republicans (not all Republicans) care about crime when it arrives on the doorsteps of suburban voters or can be used to appeal to new groups of voters they can scare into believing them (suburbanites, police).===

    Right now inflation, gas prices, and supply chain issues dominate the thinking.

    With 86% of those polled in October having a favorable view of Trump, abd the likelihood of a Trumpkin being the nominee… isn’t crime already baked in?

    What are these new voters that will ignore Trump, or these other voters that support Trump but will support a nominee they doesn’t fully support Trump?


  31. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:30 am:

    === The SF prosecutor===

    This is Illinois.

    ===…trying to get ten miles out of an inch with the “stolen valor” thing. Give me a break. Voters will see that he was over there and won’t make the distinction between a branch and the DOD.===

    You must not know a single actual veteran.


  32. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:31 am:

    Given the less than stellar performances of the Republicans who have recently been POTUS, and ILGov, I have no plans to ever vote for one ever again. The party is going to have to do better than anyone I see running for either office to change my mind.


  33. - walker - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:32 am:

    “”focusing the race on Virginia and what families were talking about at their kitchen tables,..”"

    Sounds like a reasonable approach.

    If my calls, discussions, and emails are any guide, crime is on the radar but not in the top five immediate concerns in these suburbs. Probably also true in the rural area where Jesse lives and grew up.

    This could change with massive messaging driven by those “talking heads.”.


  34. - Ogden - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:35 am:

    @OW

    If San Francisco is worked up enough about crime to potentially take action against their prosecutor, I suspect it is a ripe issue in Illinois, as well. Try to make the analytical leap.

    I know a great many veterans. I don’t disagree that they may have concerns and care about that. I do think it is challenging for JB to draw much out of that because he isn’t the greatest messenger on that topic.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:37 am:

    === If San Francisco is worked up enough about crime to potentially take action against their prosecutor, I suspect it is a ripe issue in Illinois, as well. Try to make the analytical leap.===

    Analytically, it’s polling 4th among GOP primary voters.

    === I do think it is challenging for JB to draw much out of that because he isn’t the greatest messenger on that topic.===

    How about $10 million focused on veterans to educate them about the stolen valor in a shorter, tighter, primary to general election window?


  36. - Steve Rogers - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:42 am:

    New drinking game: every time Sullivan says “you know what,” take a drink. I’ll be wasted before his speech/interview is halfway done.


  37. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:49 am:

    ===it’s polling 4th among GOP primary voters===

    This means almost nothing. “Roman” is likely right. Have you not noticed how GOP voters have flipped on numerous issues when party leadership moves? Not to mention that this one has the added “benefit” of race, and Fox News and its ilk love to bash the city.

    Also, a bit of friendly advice, do not ever die on a polling hill built by Ogden and Fry (or, really, any single pollster).


  38. - JS Mill - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:53 am:

    =Whereas I was born in central Illinois with a set of values of faith and family and service.=

    Umm, small towns invented corruption Jesse. I see it every single day, they just don’t think it is corruption. Somebody’s uncle works in the assessors office and can get that tax bill lowered, or a friend is on the school board and suddenly their kid is not suspended anymore. These are all corrupt acts. And, Jesse, your faith isn’t the same as many in Illinois. This ain’t Alabama bro.

    And, Jesse was not a soldier. He was doing research. And lots of people work in dangerous places, they just don’t talk about is everyday and try to grift off of it.

    =The bigger vulnerability is schools. Take lessons from Virginia.=

    =The suburbs are being overrun with violent crime, flash robberies and car jackings=

    Whew, some people watch too much FOX. The suburbs are definitely not “overrun” by crime. That is hyperbolic to the extent of being a lie.

    Schools are just fine, partisan politics are the biggest threat there.


  39. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:54 am:

    ===The SF prosecutor is up for recall===

    So was the California governor. How did that work out?

    Not saying that crime isn’t or won’t be an issue. But, for now, that goofy recall argument is truly weak sauce. Do better.


  40. - John Lopez - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:57 am:

    === follow the Virginia playbook ===

    To quote Oswego Willy, this is Illinois.

    For everyone who likes to bring up Virginia and New Jersey election results of earlier this month, I bring up California on September 14, noting Governor Gavin Newsom beat the Recall attempt 62-38.

    And between California and Virginia, which state and its electorate does Illinois resemble most?

    And money wise, doesn’t JB Pritzker resemble Gavin Newsom, too?


  41. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 10:58 am:

    ==As much as the commenters on this page don’t want to believe it==

    Who are we talking about here? Even your bete noir Oswego Willy has said Pritzker most certainly *can* lose, though he’s down on the current announced candidates’ abilities to be the guy who beats the guy.

    ==The SF prosecutor is up for recall.==
    It’s infamously easy to trigger a recall in CA. Newsom faced one and prevailed by nearly a 2-1 margin. That one is on the ballot doesn’t mean the voters are particularly dissatisfied with the incumbent. We need to know more.

    ==The bigger vulnerability is schools. Take lessons from Virginia.==

    Fair point, but Youngkin ran on increasing school funding. JB can talk about actually doing that. Of course, he may not, so.

    ==Voters will see that he was over there and won’t make the distinction between a branch and the DOD.==

    Or maybe voters will hear that he claimed to be a soldier when he wasn’t. Or maybe the voters won’t know anything about it at all. I don’t think you should assume that the campaign’s preferred narrative will win out, especially given how poorly they’ve handled it so far.


  42. - Rudy’s teeth - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:07 am:

    To the team promoting Sullivan—keep it simple. Try this—Jesse Sullivan worked as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan.

    Embellishing one’s credentials points to a weak candidate.


  43. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:08 am:

    ==This means almost nothing. “Roman” is likely right. Have you not noticed how GOP voters have flipped on numerous issues when party leadership moves? Not to mention that this one has the added “benefit” of race, and Fox News and its ilk love to bash the city. ==

    This is fair enough. I note that Bailey is also talking crime today.

    But here’s Sullivan’s problem, Bailey is- characteristically- being a lot more flashy about it.


  44. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:21 am:

    ===He said he served in Afghanistan. Is that a lie somehow?===

    We don’t typically use the word service to describe someone who is on a quarter million dollar a year contract.


  45. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:22 am:

    =Whereas I was born in central Illinois with a set of values of faith and family and service.=

    I found it curious the other day asking two Menard County folks about Jesse. They are close in age and connected throughout the entire county. One with only one stoplight by the way. And they had no idea who he was or what he was about. So much for being from a small town. Now I go to Athens or Petersburg and ask about a number of other folks or last names and I could talk for hours about those families. This guy just doesn’t add up. He’s really nothing that he wants to be.


  46. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:25 am:

    =Umm, small towns invented corruption Jesse.=

    And oh boy are there some Menard County stories to share. One cold case murder comes to mind.


  47. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:40 am:

    What bubble are you in where it is a negative to be a St Louis University, Oxford and Stanford grad, with tons of opportunities, but you choose to recruited by US Army commanders as a civilian advisor to serve your country and try to win a war?


  48. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:42 am:

    Really? Aren’t the Governor and his high priced staff public servants or does this only apply to Republicans?


  49. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:44 am:

    ==I found it curious the other day asking two Menard County folks about Jesse.==

    I know someone who could tell you about Jesse.

    They met working on Colleen Callahan’s campaign for Congress, lol.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:50 am:

    === you choose to recruited by US Army commanders as a civilian advisor===

    Sullivan was a civilian contractor.

    There’s no service thought to that.

    The mere fact Sullivan still sees this as service in a hostile environment (as he heard gunshots) makes one question what “service” means to a man who could just as easily with his background enlisted in a branch.


  51. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:52 am:

    ==What bubble are you in where it is a negative to be a St Louis University, Oxford and Stanford grad, with tons of opportunities, but you choose to recruited by US Army commanders as a civilian advisor to serve your country and try to win a war? ==

    Ask Sullivan, he’s the one who decided that resume wasn’t enough and he had to try to deceive the voters.


  52. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:56 am:

    Sullivan has another big problem that Youngkin didn’t have, a recent (and disastrous) republican governor. VA has had a string of dem governors that Youngkin could point to as the problem. Illinois almost went bankrupt under Rauner, and that was just 4 or 5 years ago. Not sure how much traction Sullivan can gain arguing that he’d be both a better gov than JB, and also drastically different from Bruce Rauner.


  53. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:57 am:

    This is like a “proof is in the pudding” kind of thing- Rich’s original post has nothing to do with Sullivan trying to steal valor. But it’s what we’re talking about anyway, because it’s all anyone knows about Sullivan right now. You can keep posting and posting and posting and insisting each time that nobody actually cares, but that just, in its small way, perpetuates the story.


  54. - 47th Ward - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 11:58 am:

    What a surprise that LP is backing the best-funded campaign. Comments must pay the rent for him.

    Also, a campaign using that photo of him perched on a tank, without a clear description of what he was doing there, is the definition of lying by omission. Until he clarifies the matter (fully this time), I’ll continue to believe that getting that kind of golden photo is all that motivated his civilian service.


  55. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:00 pm:

    “The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.”

    That’s actually the definition of practice, but I digress.


  56. - fs - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:02 pm:

    == He said he served in Afghanistan. Is that a lie somehow?==

    Yes. It is. 100%.

    To serve overseas implies, and is well recognized as such, that you served in the military. It implies that you are on that same level deserving of the same respect. Jesse Sullivan is not, never was, and never will be on the same level and deserving of the same respect as someone who actually served. To even imply such a thing is not just a lie, it’s a slap in the face to those who honorably, actually served. He will never get my vote because of it.


  57. - Pundent - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:05 pm:

    The last guy that pretended to be something he wasn’t got trounced by Pritzker. Not saying that Sullivan will suffer that same fate. We don’t even know if he can survive a primary. But the similarities aren’t lost.


  58. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:11 pm:

    - you choose to recruited by US Army -

    He could have joined the US Army if he was so compelled to serve. He didn’t, and he was paid well for whatever it was he did over there.


  59. - Turkey Coma - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:26 pm:

    50 comments before noon, the dems must be worried.
    .


  60. - Someone you Should Know - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:28 pm:

    “50 comments before noon, the dems must be worried.”

    Is this a Joke?


  61. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:30 pm:

    -50 comments before noon, the dems must be worried.-

    Blood in the water, the sharks must be worried.


  62. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===must be worried===

    Stolen valor, as an example, generates people to talk?

    Maybe.

    Crime, sure, it’s all over the news… being in comments here is no surprise.

    I’d say, 50 comments, is there a compelling reason to support Sullivan?


  63. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:34 pm:

    ==Really? Aren’t the Governor and his high priced staff public servants or does this only apply to Republicans? ==

    People don’t usually equate military service with working in politics/government.

    Also, you might want to check with Sullivan to see if he really wants you to say his work in Afghanistan is about the same as some Deputy Governor working in the Thompson Center.


  64. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:35 pm:

    ==50 comments before noon, the dems must be worried.==

    I mean, half of them are 2-3 people insisting that voters won’t care about stolen valor, so I’m not sure you’ve exactly wrapped your arms around the situation.


  65. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:36 pm:

    Risk your life going to a war zone so you can run a campaign ad years later?

    https://jessesullivan.com/twenty-years-after-9-11-sullys-reflections-on-afghanistan-and-american-leadership/


  66. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:38 pm:

    === Risk your life going to a war zone so you can run a campaign ad years later?===

    Sullivan hasn’t served, he chose to go there as a contractor.

    What that means *after* is what campaigns do.


  67. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    Lucky Pierre, your “Jesse Sullivan Did Not Try To Steal Valor” t-shirt is raising a lot of questions that you thought were already answered by your shirt.


  68. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    The defense department is led by civilian Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

    Does he suffer from stolen valor as well?


  69. - 47th Ward - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    Do you get paid more if you post campaign links in your comment?

    I’m just trying to understand how it works. Thinking about getting a side gig going like the one you have. Do you get any benefits, or is it a straight cash for comment thing? 1099?


  70. - low level - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:46 pm:

    Crime is increasing in Chicago, no question. However, suggesting its like Afghanistan is ridiculous and wont go over well.

    And a big welcome back to Ms Davison. Bring it.


  71. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:47 pm:

    === Lloyd Austin===

    He’s an American retired United States Army four-star general serving as the 28th United States secretary of defense since January 22, 2021.

    Is Jesse Sullivan?

    You’re elevating Sullivan, a civilian contractor, to Secretary Austin?

    That’s… odd.


  72. - Amalia - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:49 pm:

    LOL service as a contractor. Like Blackwater? ( new name Academi, lol.). service is military, guard, so on behalf of a friend who served there in one of those capacities, stop embellishing. as for crime as an issue in the election, time will tell, election timing will tell. Waukesha tragedy happened too close to the holiday to resonate nationally, but there is a tally of out on bond, on a bracelet and shooting and wounding or killing that is disturbing in Cook County that relates to what happened in Wiscy.


  73. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:53 pm:

    ==The defense department is led by civilian Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

    Does he suffer from stolen valor as well? ==

    Wow, you’re struggling.

    Austin is retired U.S. Army. The big difference between him and Sullivan is that when he says he “Served”, it’s true.


  74. - JS Mill - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:54 pm:

    =Risk your life going to a war zone so you can run a campaign ad years later?=

    Funny how he never mentions the hundreds of thousands he was paid for his work for the DOD. How does that compare to and Army or USMC private’s pay for actual service to our country?

    I’ll bet LP does not see a difference. Heard to when you have your blinders on.


  75. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:54 pm:

    ===suggesting its like Afghanistan is ridiculous and wont go over well===

    Trump said it a lot, going back to 2016.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-trump-tweets-quotes-chicago-htmlstory.html


  76. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:56 pm:

    ==Trump said it a lot, going back to 2016.==

    And he…did not do great in IL.

    But maybe third time’s a charm?


  77. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 12:56 pm:

    It’s funny to me how his website calls him an “anti-politician” but he can’t help talking in platitudes and hires GOP establishment types (Davison is a Karl Rove protegee) to run his campaign.

    Also, is him being referred to as “Sully” a new thing? I don’t remember seeing it on the website before when he first launched and now it is plastered all over his site. It feels like some focus-grouped folksy nickname a consultant said to use instead of Sullivan.


  78. - olddog - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 1:01 pm:

    Just sayin’ — there’s this, from Merriam-Webster:

    sully: verb
    sul·​ly | \ ˈsə-lē \
    sullied; sullying
    Definition of sully (Entry 1 of 4)
    transitive verb

    : to make soiled or tarnished : DEFILE

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sully


  79. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    ==Also, is him being referred to as “Sully” a new thing? I don’t remember seeing it on the website before when he first launched and now it is plastered all over his site. It feels like some focus-grouped folksy nickname a consultant said to use instead of Sullivan. ==

    It’s definitely an attempt at branding, and it’s not the worst idea. There’s a reason Pritzker fronted the “JB” part of his name. Maybe it won’t catch on (probably not, just because most people don’t follow politics that closely), but it can’t hurt.


  80. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 1:13 pm:

    Ask yourself why a rising star like Kristin Davison, who ran a campaign no one thought would win, would take a job from such a hopeless candidate?

    What does JB stand for?

    My personal favorite is Jingle Bells

    https://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/JB


  81. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 1:24 pm:

    === Ask yourself why a rising star like Kristin Davison, who ran a campaign no one thought would win, would take a job from such a hopeless candidate?===

    Bills don’t stop coming if you win or lose an election.

    The checks cash the same, win or lose.


  82. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 1:36 pm:

    LP - $$$ is the reason.

    I thought a solid conservative like you would surely understand that.


  83. - low level - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 1:37 pm:

    Sorry - the above $$$ comment was me.


  84. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 1:43 pm:

    ==Ask yourself why a rising star like Kristin Davison, who ran a campaign no one thought would win, would take a job from such a hopeless candidate?==

    Let you in on a little secret, most staffers don’t sign on to a campaign based on it’s chances, but rather based on their paycheck. They’re also often rubbish at assessing those chances, so it works out.

    All those folks who spent a magical December working for Mike Bloomberg, they didn’t think he was the best candidate, or the most electable. They just noticed what he was willing to pay.


  85. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 1:50 pm:

    So OW do you actually think he was a contractor, or do you just like spewing misinformation? He was an Army civilian… not making big $$. Not enlisted, to be sure, but he’s not some war profiteer: https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/army-civilian-careers.html/


  86. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 2:28 pm:

    A mercenary does not serve his country or it’s interests…Mercenaries are down for the cash.


  87. - JS Mill - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 2:39 pm:

    =a rising star like Kristin Davison…=

    …is in it for the money. Period.

    =He was an Army civilian… not making big $$=
    From- https://ndupress.ndu.edu/JFQ/Joint-Force-Quarterly-78/Article/607633/turnaround-the-untold-story-of-the-human-terrain-system/

    “Pay and Performance. Prior to the 2009 HTS conversion from contractor to government workforce, deployed team members typically made between $250,000 and $400,000 per year. While this rate of pay was not unusual for deployed contractors at the time, large salaries alone were not sufficient to recruit top-quality personnel for Human Terrain Teams. In some cases, team members lacked even basic social science and research skills. Despite these shortcomings, individuals were uniformly paid large salaries, with highly inconsistent results.

    Over time, the salaries paid to HTS employees gradually diminished. After the government conversion, the salary range for HTS employees dropped to roughly $180,000–$300,000 per year.”

    Again, relate that to the folks taking the big risks while actually serving in the military.


  88. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 2:51 pm:

    An E-3 or lance corporal, marines receives $2,042.70 per month at two years of service or less.

    Jesse was in it for the same reasons as Kristen. The money.

    Jesse could have raised his hand and enlisted… for… $2,000 a month.


  89. - Arsenal - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 3:13 pm:

    And let’s be clear: it was still hard, noble work that *deserved* to be compensated that much (and your average enlisted man should make that much). But it’s not any of us who are saying it’s not good enough. It’s Sullivan. He’s the one who had to gild the lily.


  90. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 3:17 pm:

    =He’s the one who had to gild the lily.=

    BINGO


  91. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 3:18 pm:

    The fact the US Army was willing to pay top quality personnel like Jesse Sullivan a lot of money for his expertise is a negative somehow for his candidacy?

    If only he had stayed state side and removed his toilets to save a few bucks.


  92. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 3:28 pm:

    === The fact the US Army was willing to pay top quality personnel like Jesse Sullivan a lot of money for his expertise is a negative somehow for his candidacy?===

    It is if you say you served your country.

    Are we suppose to thank him for his service… on Veterans’ Day?


  93. - Galway Bay - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 3:30 pm:

    Different state. Different dynamics. Different candidates. Sullivan cannot win. I still say the only Republican who can win is Dillard—if he runs.


  94. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 3:46 pm:

    I always hesitate to pontificate on an election that is still almost a year away. Nobody knows for sure what issues will be the main concern in fall 2022. It could be the economy or crime or COVID still, or some other issue. Just remember in November 2019 nobody knew a global pandemic would upend 2020 and the election. That’s one reason why the VA election has an asterisk for me. Another is the fact that Illinois isn’t Virginia. Virginia has the suburbs without the corresponding city so it’s more vulnerable to the pendulum swings of the burbs. Democrats benefited from that for a couple cycles, this year they didn’t. Illinois will always have Chicago to balance out the reliable GOP downstate. Then the question becomes what shifts there are in the burbs.


  95. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 4:21 pm:

    You can thank him whenever you like for signing up for what the US Army officially calls the Army Civilian Service that fills critical Department of Defense roles in more than 500 careers

    Maybe you should just tell what words Jesse Sullivan should have described his tenure in Afghanistan if the word service is so offensive for serving in the Army Civilian Service


  96. - Lefty Lefty - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 4:36 pm:

    As someone who just visited with 2 young men who joined the military this year and heard some stories about their experiences just in the first 3-4 months, Sullivan has a lot of nerve.

    To say different is just more justification of an ethically bankrupt party. But who knows, maybe the other Republican candidates will call him out on it. I won’t hold my breath.


  97. - Louis G Atsaves - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 4:47 pm:

    We drove downtown Chicago two weeks ago on a Saturday for a benefit event at a major hotel. I was the only one who had been downtown (averaging 2-3 times a week) while the others it was the first time post-Covid initial outbreak. Prior to that they regularly worked downtown.

    They were shocked at how downtown looked with all the closed storefronts and the widespread graffiti. Made me feel a little immune to the changes that had taken place.


  98. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 4:56 pm:

    ==The fact the US Army was willing to pay top quality personnel like Jesse Sullivan a lot of money for his expertise is a negative somehow for his candidacy?==

    No genius. It’s how he has portrayed his involvement with the U.S. military. But given your history it’s not surprising that twisting the truth is ok with you.


  99. - low level - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 5:47 pm:

    == The fact the US Army was willing to pay top quality personnel like Jesse Sullivan a lot of money==

    Why didnt he just enlist? Thats not “serving your country”. Thats serving the taxpayers. They got served.


  100. - Flapdoodle - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 6:51 pm:

    ==Maybe you should just tell what words Jesse Sullivan should have described his tenure in Afghanistan if the word service is so offensive for serving in the Army Civilian Service.==

    LP — Civilians fill many valuable roles at many different levels in today’s military, from custodians to intelligence analysts. No one disputes that. My wife deployed on the USS Comfort as a civilian employee during the first Gulf War. However, she quite correctly never refers to herself as a veteran the way Mr. Sullivan did in his early campaign materials. That, and not the definition of service, is the crux of the issue. He made a false claim, tried to dodge and weave, then had to admit he was in fact lying about having veteran status. He did even that only with ill grace.

    To be a veteran means taking the enlistment oath, which is essentially signing a blank check to the military. For that, veterans eventually get something Mr. Sullivan never will: a DOD Form DD 214 saying they performed their term of duty honorably and are therefore honorably discharged from it. I took that oath and did my duty. Like many veterans, I resent anyone falsely claiming that status, especially anyone who by close association with the military should know better. It happened and it can’t be defended, and trying to do so only makes a person look foolish.


  101. - JS Mill - Monday, Nov 29, 21 @ 7:48 pm:

    =You can thank him whenever you like for signing up for what the US Army officially calls the Army Civilian Service=

    I know you are not a big reader but maybe do a bit of research on the program that he was in. Shut down as ineffective and fiscal boondoggle.

    You know, that waste, fraud, and abuse you love so much.

    =You can thank him whenever you like for signing up for what the US Army officially calls the Army Civilian Service=

    Were you in Detroit? I just spent four days downtown and saw exactly one boarded up storefront and zero graffiti.

    But nice story. You want to tell me one about an old lady that stopped you the other day?


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