Suburban Political Recount

Suburban Political Recount

Congressional Dem challengers scraping for cash

Posted by Joseph Ryan on Fri, 10/24/2008 - 12:36
Here is a look at how some Democratic challengers and incumbent Republicans are doing in their congressional battle over the suburbs: Kirk v. Seals U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk continues to far outpace his Democratic challenger raising cash to spend on TV ads, staff and mailers. However, Dan Seals continues to land considerable help from national Democrats to help make up the difference. In the latest report, Kirk had $884,973 on hand as of Oct. 15. Kirk’s fundraising has been blistering, bring in more than $4.7 million in this election cycle. Much of Kirk’s backing comes from the financing sector and pro-Israel groups, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Why voters support doing nothing

Posted by JP on Fri, 10/24/2008 - 09:36

In today’s editions, I’ve got a story about a SIU poll of registered voters regarding the state’s lingering budget woes.

Bottom line: People don’t want tax increases; they’d prefer budget cuts. That is unless the things they like get cut. And those things – education, prisons and police, care for the needy – are on the chopping block.

Of course those things make up the overwhelming majority of the state’s spending. Cutting elsewhere doesn’t yield the billions needed to truly fix the situation.

New Congressional Ads hit the suburbs

Posted by Joseph Ryan on Thu, 10/23/2008 - 15:08

Democrat Scott Harper, the well-organized start-up who is giving U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert a bit of a late-campaign scare, has launched a TV ad.
Harper reported raising nearly a $1 million and had more than $333,000 on hand at the beginning of the month. Biggert raised $1.2 million and hand more than $800,000 on hand at the beginning of the month.
Here is Harper's ad, which could be considered both amusing and creepy. At the very least, it is memorable.

No depression or recession for tight suburban races

Posted by Joseph Ryan on Tue, 10/21/2008 - 10:53
Here is a rough look at the money race in the dozen or so most contested legislative races in the suburbs. The figures include all fundraising reports filed with the state between July 1 and today. 65th House District State Rep. Rosemary Mulligan, Des Plaines Republican Mulligan raised $91,544 since July 1. Plus, the Illinois Republican Party have spent more than $50,000 on mailers for the veteran incumbent and the House Republicans have another $51,143 on staff, polling, phone banking and mailers. Mulligan’s biggest backers include long-term care facility operators, which gave her $10,000, teacher unions and the Illinois State Medical Society. Challenger Aurora Austriaco, Park Ridge Democrat

Crossed signals

Posted by JP on Tue, 10/21/2008 - 09:12

I wrote in today's editions about Republican households getting a fundraising letter from House GOP leader Tom Cross. In the letter, Cross rips Democrats handling of state finances. I got a copy of the letter from a GOP household head who wanted to know if this was the same Cross who backed Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones -- both Chicago Democrats -- on a more than $30 billion construction spending spree (which was blocked by Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.)

You can read more about it here

What didn't make the story is this tidbit:

What if Ditka had run against Obama?

Posted by JP on Mon, 10/20/2008 - 10:55

The Yahoo! sports blog "shutdown corner" asked the political question: what if Ditka had run?

You may recall that former Bears coach and football great Mike Ditka briefly considered joining the U.S. Senate race in 2004 when the Illinois Republicans were without a candidate. Ultimately he decided his endorsement and sports analyst deals -- which he'd have to give up -- were too lucrative to risk.

In the end Barack Obama stomped GOP import Alan Keyes, became a national phenom and is now the Democratic nominee for president.

Aggies to Obama to ethics

Posted by JP on Fri, 10/17/2008 - 12:55
The Daily Herald's Web site has a news tip and questions section that readers can and do use. The questions and tips get sent on to the appropriate editors and reporters according to geography and topic. So that means I get a lot of the ones dealing with politics, everything from mock elections at suburban high schools to the secret link between Obama and Osama. Today one came in that caught my attention. It’s an anti-Obama email urging the paper “FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR COUNTRY” to expose the relationship between Obama and deceased poet Frank Davis, described in the email as a “Communist and child sex abuser”. What caught my attention was the email address. twdurrett@ag.tamu.edu dot.edu? That’s a university.

Who's got the cash to win?

Posted by Joseph Ryan on Thu, 10/16/2008 - 09:34
Federal campaign disclosure reports are trickling in today from congressional races across the suburbs. Keep your eye on Animal Farm for the latest, but here is what we know now: Mark Kirk is walloping Dan Seals in fundraising and Steve Greenberg has no cash to put up a last minute challenge to Melissa Bean. In the fierce 10th District race, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk has proved to be one of the most prolific congressional fundraisers in the nation. He has out raised Seals by nearly 2-1. Now it looks like Seals, a Wilmette Democrat has a bit of a cash squeeze for such a tight contest. He reports having had $240,479 on hand on Sept. 30. He raised slightly more than $700,000 in the last three months.

My Verizon network is two, short guys in my driveway

Posted by JP on Wed, 10/15/2008 - 20:59

I've had a Verizon cell phone courtesy of the Daily Herald since 2000 and overall I'm fairly pleased with the service.

Of note, it is my business phone not my home phone. Which is a good thing because it rarely works at home. I live in the middle of Springfield, barely more than a mile from the Capitol building. It's not Chicago but it's a pretty good sized city. And yet I typically get one or two bars on my cell phone at home. I get more bars in the Capitol elevator than I get standing on my front porch.

So, with that in mind, I was shocked to see this story ...

Here's the CBS News set up:

14th Congressional candidates on the econony

Posted by JP on Wed, 10/15/2008 - 08:44

In today’s editions I’ve got a story highlighting the economic policy differences between 14th Congressional candidates Bill Foster, the incumbent Democrat, and Republican Jim Oberweis. Here are their full responses to my questions.

Q1: Do you support a government-approved bailout of the financial markets? Please explain your position.

Foster: In general I do not support the use of taxpayer dollars to bailout failed companies. However, due to the critical situation in our credit markets and the real danger of economic damage to middle-class families, small and large businesses, and the retirement savings of ordinary people, I supported the bipartisan compromise voted on in the House on 9/29/2008.