Saturday, December 29, 2007

Weekend Update

Lots going on this weekend, so let's get to it:

LINK ON THE HOTSEAT: I almost spit out my coffee this morning in shock, but the Waukegan News-Sun came out and demanded an explanation from State Senator Terry Link as to how he could have allowed the fraudulent signatures gathered by his two prime circulators to have been submitted in support of Link's candidacy. You know when the News-Sun, which has slobbered over Link's every accomplishment and supported his every position (even down to bringing gambling to Waukegan), comes down this hard on him (among other things, criticizing his "cavalier" attitude), there is a change in the dynamics of Lake County politics afoot. Perhaps more importantly, the News-Sun also took up the demand first made by Lake County Republican Chairman Dan Venturi and challenged the other Democratic candidates that also had signatures obtained by the two Link circulators to explain themselves.

What a difference a month makes--as much as I love to read Capitol Fax Blog, blogfather Rich Miller was like most who didn't take this issue seriously when we first broke the story. I recall Miller's November 21, 2007 syndicated column on the influence of political blogs, in which he stated "Congressional campaigns aren’t the only races being affected by blogs. A blogger in Lake County (“Team America”) was the first to report concerns about state Sen. Terry Link’s nominating petitions. Apparently a couple of dead people “signed” the petitions, as did one of Link’s former Republican opponents. Oops. The seriousness of the situation was overstated, but the local media picked up the story almost right away." (emphasis mine)

No one is calling the situation overstated now.

JERRY JOHNSON FILES HIS APPEAL: As we reported earlier this week, Jerry Johnson officially announced that he would file an appeal of the State Board of Elections decision that kept Link on the Feburary 5th primary ballot. The appeal was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County on Thursday, December 27th. Download the actual appeal petition here. As to timing, and the effect on the election if a judge were to kick Link off the ballot, it could be horrendous. It will no doubt take a few days for the State Board to be served with the appeal, then a hearing must be scheduled. Considering New Year's, that means basically a month to get that done (which for Cook County is moving at transwarp speed). If Link is removed, that reduces him to write-in candidate status, which gives Link precious little time to gear up his war machine to get out the word that the emperor will be dethroned unless the little people do their duty to write in Link's name. The fact that the ballots have already been printed (and I don't think they would reprint them now) means that Link will still be on the ballot, so voters would have to be coached to ignore Link's actual name on the ballot and then write in his name on the line that is always available for write-ins. Early voting begins on January 14th; if there is no decision by then, early voters would not even know they were supposed to write in Link instead of check his name off. Based on the rumblings in Link's power base, Waukegan, the locals are salivating at the chance to finally get back at Link for years of slights, and mounting a successful write-in campaign could be a real challenge in the face of Johnson's determined opposition.

MARK KIRK INTERVIEWED AGAIN ON PAKISTAN: As we reported earlier, Congressman Mark Kirk has proven himself to be a go-to person time and time again for the Chicago media for his insight and analysis in crisis situations, both nationally and internationally. Congressman Kirk will appear again on TV tomorrow morning on Fox Chicago Sunday at 8:00 a.m., Channel 32. See a preview here.

SEALS AND FOOTLIK TO BE GRILLED BY HIGHSCHOOLERS: In addition to the two debates scheduled for Seals and Footlik for January 10th and 12th, which will be sponsored by the League of Women Voters (see this post for more details), a debate has been scheduled for January 9th at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, at 7:30 p.m, in the Performing Arts Center's Little Theater. I don't have any more details yet, but I am assuming that the debate will be open to the public, not just Stevenson students. According to the scant information available on the Stevenson website (scroll all the way down to "News Alerts"), the debate will be moderated by Stevenson students. This oughta be good.


Anonymous said...

With coverage like this, Michael Waller will have to prosecute Links's campaign team.

I wonder when his fellow Democrats will dump him as party leader before he takes them into the criminal investigation?

Team America said...

If they had any brains, you'd think they'd be out there trying to get in front of this, but: 1) they're all scared to death of Link and Couvall; and 2) up until the news broke about Waller's investigation, they probably all thought it would blow over, just like Link did. Maybe Link still does, who knows?

As far as I know, only candidate for 60th State Rep. Tony Elam has come out with a statement (and I don't know if that has appeared anywhere else besides the Team America blog comments). Eddie Washington (the 60th State Rep. incumbent) placed a copy of the recent Dan Venturi letter on his website, which I guess is kind of a tacit statement against Link's antics, but I didn't see anything else there, and nothing that Washington himself signed or stated.

I want to hear from all of those Dems who had Knight and Davison as circulators, but also from the rest of the pack, like Kathy Ryg (59th State Rep., which is the other half of Link's district), who did NOT use Knight and Davison, but have been tight with Link these last many years and continue to support him as their party leader.

I am Sparticus said...


Not sure if you've seen the meltdown chaos over in Ellen's world, but the lefty Dems in IL-10 have decided to go Axelrod on Kirk -- blaming him for diverting our attention from Pakistan/Afghanistan, and suggesting Kirk is to blame for Bhutto's death. Off the meds perhaps.

Still, I think you might be well-served to do a post on Kirk's past efforts on Pakistan. She links to testimony he offered before the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this year ( Anyone who reads this has to realize that Kirk is THE EXPERT in Congress on this matter. Way to go Ellen.

But this work didn't start in February. Here's a press release I found from early 2005 on Kirk's leadership on the hunt for Bin Laden:

This year, Kirk offered an amendment which passed the House -- a piece of legislation I think holds the best chance to hunt down Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri.

Here's a link to the amendment.

It basically would allow U.S. government rewards to be paid to members of the Pakistani military or government. Currently, that's illegal and considered bribery. But post-Bhutto, the media is exploding with how people inside the Pakistani military and intelligence services are close to the Taliban and al Qaeda. Maybe one of them would rat out a colleague for $25 million.

My question is this -- the House passed the Kirk legislation in June, and Senators Reid and Durbin have done NOTHING on it. Six months have passed -- Benazir Bhutto is dead -- Osama bin Laden released another tape -- and yet Durbin and Reid continue to block the most important legislation pending to crack down on al Qaeda's leadership.

Maybe Ellen should start asking why Durbin and Reid are blocking the Kirk amendment from becoming law and hindering our hunt for Osama bin Laden.


Team America said...

Sparty- on the advice of my doctor, I'm trying to limit my visits to Ellen's; he says it's bad for my blood pressure.

Frankly, I think you've already said what needs to be said on this. Ellen will never be satisfied with Kirk- if he's out there speaking to the public, he's grandstanding; if he's not, he's hiding. You can't argue with a zealot.

I find it amusing, though, how bent out of shape Ellen & Co. is over Kirk's efforts to put the Pakistan crisis into context and explain its implications; they know that the issue highlights some of Kirk's best attributes and gives a stark contrast to Seals and Footlik. No one is interested in interviewing either of them because they have nothing to say. So it will be until the general election, when Kirk will come out on top and Lauren Beth Gash can go back to the drawing board (once again).

Publia said...

Wait? A Democrat PRIMARY function at a PUBLIC high school, funded by both Democrats AND Republicans and no one comments? And running a Democrat PRIMARY event by and for high schoolers by a "non-partisan" group?

This smells worse than week old fish, and I am amazed no one is screaming.

Anonymous said...

Ellen Beth Gill is a lonely woman with a cat, no boyfriend and a dead end job.

She is also crushingly boring. TA, nearly all of us switched to you a long time ago.

Way to go breaking the Link scandal story...You are providing a real public service against a corrupt state senator.

Anonymous said...

Link is tied to the Governor-we have no state party-thank you Andy McKenna-and they get away with everything these days so while something like this would play well at a time when dems were on the ropes , I don't think this is going anywhere.

We need to tape those debates looking for a Macaca moment from Also-Ran Dan or Jay K-Street Footlik.

They aren't bright men so I am sure they'll throw some brain dead red meat to the Jan/Ellen nutroot crowd that Mark can use next November. We need to be prepared.

Anonymous said...

Actually, TA, it is my experience that if a candidate is removed from the ballot after the ballots are printed, the Court will order the election authorities to sticker over the removed candidate's name so there will not be confusion for the voters. Any absentee or early ballots that include a vote for Link would be ignored in this situation, the same as for a write-in candidate who had not registered before hand.

Team America said...

Anon 5:48- I've heard about stickers too, but I've also heard that the votes for someone removed from the ballot would simply 'not be counted.' I will try to call Willard's office today and get some clarification.

i could be potus said...

I would strongly suggest to one of the highschoolers to ask Danno if he had to choose between Iran and Israel, what side he would come down on?

The squirming, captured on tape, would become an instant YouTube classic.

Team America said...

ICBPOTUS- naw, no one could be that stupid... could they?