Thursday, January 3, 2008

10th District Debate Showdown Week Approaches for Dan Seals and Jay Footlik

As we have reported previously, here and here, Tenth Congressional District Democratic primary candidates Dan Seals and Jay Footlik will square off in several debates, beginning next week.

The first debate (the 'warm-up'?) will be held at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, on Wednesday January 9, 2008, at 7:30 p.m. You can get directions to the school and some limited information about the debate at the Stevenson website here. It will be held in the Performing Arts Center's "Little Theater."

Mr. Andy Conneen, a Stevenson teacher (and one of CBS Channel 2's "2 Regular Guys"), got back to TA with some additional information. The debate is sponsored by the Stevenson High School Political Action Club. The format for the debate will be a 60 minute debate, moderated by Stevenson students. There will be six "preset" questions, then audience questions for the remainder of the time. According to Mr. Conneen, both candidates have confirmed their attendance. And, the public is welcome to attend, although I expect that Stevenson students will be the core audience. The theater holds about 250 people, which is fairly large, although since this will be the first public Seals v. Footlik debate, I would also expect attendance to be good. So you may want to get there early. The Political Action Club had no plans of this writing to do a video post, so you may have to show in person to get the scoop. We here at Team America, of course, will do our best to provide a full report.

Mr. Conneen also announced that the club will be hosting an 8th Congressional District debate between the GOP candidates on the same evening from 5:45-7 p.m. So, it should be a busy evening.

The second set of debates will be sponsored by the League of Women Voters. As we previously reported, these debates will be on Thursday, January 10, 2008 and Saturday January 12, 2008. The first debate will be at New Trier East High School in Winnetka at 7:00 p.m. on the 10th. More info is here. The second debate will be at the Arlington Heights Library at 10:00 a.m. on the 12th. More info is here.

I spoke with Ms. Judith Royal of the LWV Palatine-Arlington Heights group, which is hosting the Saturday debate. No one returned my call from the Winneka-Northfield-Kenilworth group, which is sponsoring the Thursday debate, but Ms. Royal explained that the LWV debate format is pretty strict, so I would expect both debates to follow the same basic format. BTW, Ms. Royal says the LWV prefers the term "candidate forum" rather than debate.

Basically, there will be a moderator who is a LWV member, but one who resides outside the district. The candidates will both be introduced and have two minutes for an "opening statement." Questions will then be asked of each candidate, and each candidate gets the same question, with each candidate having an equal number of chances to speak first. There will be a one minute time limit for responses, with no rebuttal. The questions will not be specific to any candidate, in other words, a candidate will not be asked a question that the other candidate cannot also answer. So, probably no tough questions for Seals about his questionable employment record, or the terms of Footlik's leased 10th District housing. Each candidate will have one minute at the end for a closing statement. Pre-written questions will also be taken from the audience by means of cards that must be filled out and turned in to the moderator, who will ask all of the questions. Seating may be fairly tight, at least at the Saturday debate.

SO- if you were advising Seals and Footlik on how to prepare for the debates, what would you suggest? Here's TA's big tip for both candidates: since you are in a Democratic primary, and you are essentially speaking to Democrats (despite the non-partisan nature of both debates), don't waste more than 20 seconds on establishing that George W. Bush has ruined the country, and Mark Kirk has gone along with it. No one wants to hear (again) about how Bush screwed up the response to Katrina or started an unpopular war. Your audience gets it. And, it's way older than yesterday's news.

Instead, maybe try to explain why you, and not the other meshugana, ought to be the guy who gets the chance to go up against Mark Kirk in the general election. Be specific, and don't simply try to say that you would vote differently than Mark Kirk, because we can assume so will the other guy. This is the big time now, and the loser of the February 5th primary gets to go home, whether that's the 9th Congressional District (for Seals) or Washington, D.C. (for Footlik).

Other advice?


Publia said...

As a New Trier taxpayer, my major question would be why are my tax dollars sponsoring heat, lights,etc. for a DEMOCRAT debate. This is not a debate for ALL voters; primaries are uniquely the turf of political parties. This is wrong. The Democrats are always trying to use the schools in hopes of sending a message to students "We're all Democrats." Why are they allowed to do this and is a lawsuit the only answer?

Team America said...

Well, I'm assuming that the LWV is getting charged something for the use of the space at the High School (and the Library), but I would suggest that such debates (at least when sponsored by a non-partisan organization like LWV) are a civic service, allowing the public to meet the candidates and hear their views (and they may have a policy that any group can have such an event in their space as long as its open to the public). Even if it's a party you do not personally support, one could make the argument that if you kept an open mind and went to the debate, you might learn something or even be persuaded (I know I am appreciative of the opportunity to go, but for entirely self-serving reasons...)

In any event, unless the school itself has some kind of record of ONLY allowing Dems to use their facility, or charges Republicans or not Democrats or something obvious like that (which I would highly doubt is the case), I would not get too warped out of shape about this. I also strongly suspect the LWV will try to get both general election candidates to debate as well.

I suppose if you really oppose the use of the High School for a primary debate (and I assume your objection would hold regardless of which party is at issue), I would think the first place to complain is your school board. But I think it's a fine use of school facilities and I would hope many students would avail themselves of the opportunity to attend.

This is gonna be fun said...

My advice to Seals is to wear a fancy suit, give broad non-responsive and meaningless answers to the questions, and essentially try to look and act as much like Obama as he possibly can. He actually may want to trot out a large, life-size cardboard cut out of Obama and stand it next to him throughout the debate. Both exhalt form over substanct and by the end of the debate, the attendees will think that The Pup is in fact Barack.

As for Footlick, I would suggest the same approach: put a life-sized cardboard cutout of Bill Clinton next to him, which will allow him to close with "vote for me, I did not have sexual relations with that woman either."

This is gonna be fun said...

BTW, props to "i could be potus" on The Pup label. Hope you don't mind if I use it too.

Anonymous said...

I remember sitting in the Waukegan Yacht Club during the last race when it was announced that two hours prior to the Kirk-Seals debate Seals called and claimed that he could not make it. He claimed the debate would have been some form of a "hostile environment" for him, even though it was taking place in primarily Democratic Waukegan before a primarily Democratic group.

Of course, this was after Seals was bellyaching up a storm about not having opportunities to debate Kirk. His no-show made all the local papers which portrayed Seals in a negative light.

So, will Seals stiff the High Schoolers who are hosting the Stevenson H.S. debate?

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Question for Seals:

Both Terry Link and Peter Couvall have endorsed your candidacy for election in the 10th Congressional District. The Lake County Democratic Central Committee and/or the Re-elect Terry Link campaign hired two circulators who broke a variety of election laws, with one circulator stating on oath that he deliberately forged signatures of others and urged others to forge signatures, and the second circulator claiming that he witnessed each and every signer sign his or her name to the petitions he gathered, including the five dead people and all those who magically signed in ALPHABETICAL ORDER?

Do you condone such conduct amongst your supporters or do you condemn such conduct and please explain your answer.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

If we youtube one of these 2 goons saying something to appease the nutroots and totally stupid it's worth every taxpayer dollar.

Kim said...

There will be 3 candidates in the general election, TA, so "both" does not apply.

Rather Kalbfleisch gets invited to debate or not is another issue. If the incumbent were a Democrat, I would say no for certain. With a Republican, I think he has a chance because Kirk might think it will help split Democratic voters.

Personally, I think that belief is incorrect. I think letting Kalbfleisch debate will bring out new voters.

Team America said...

Kim- right now we're talking about the primary on February 5th. We're not even focusing on Mark Kirk right now, because he does not have a primary opponent. Dave Kalbfleisch does not either, but then he's not even on the primary ballot, thanks to Pete Couvall.

The Green party is now an established political party in Illinois, so I would think it's legitimate for Kalbfleisch to be invited to general election debates, but that's the decision of whatever group organizes any particular debate.

But, I will tell you that: #1) if Kalbfleisch actually thinks he can compete with Kirk and the eventual Dem winner, he needs money, and he doesn't have any right now as far as I know; and #2) he needs name recognition, and all his campaign has managed so far is to let him get kicked off the ballot because his petitions weren't sufficient to withstand Couvall's challenge. And, I might add, the fact that Couvall was the one who challenged Kalbfleisch's petitions shows that the Dems are much more concerned about the Greens sucking votes away from them than the Republicans are.

No offense to you Kim, but I have this impression of Kalbfleisch as this little kid in the corner of the classroom who is raising his hand and softly yelping to be called on, saying, hey, I'm over here, don't forget about me! Maybe I this was planted in my mind by his his photo which makes him look like he's 12. But the constant harping of his supporters on this page, all of whom constantly say, "Don't forget about Dave!" simply makes me want to forget about Dave.

If that's how other voters view Kalbfleisch, he really needs to do something to get around that, first off. And then get himself back on the ballot and start some campaigning.

Publia said...

TA, it's not any more a civic service for the schools to promote one party than it is a civic service for the schools to present bible readings and talks by trained scholars to inform the public on Sunday mornings. Down South here in Wilmette I have heard all these Democrat arguments for many years. Using the power of the State to promote one party or one religion are one and the same, no matter how you spin it.

BTW, I think the Pup has been quiet because the Netizen to the West is reporting on all the 10th district Dems who went to Iowa to work for Obama. I vaguely recall hearing several years ago that at Iowa caucuses you didn't have to be a registered voter at Iowa caucuses, you just had to show up. Any experts at Iowa caucuses here?

Anonymous said...

I met Dave Kalbfleisch and spoke with him for a few minutes last August at the Iraq Summer Campaign's end of summer event. We mostly spoke about what it's like to work on a submarine and I still remember his answer because it amused me: "It's like working in a cramped office, only the office sometimes takes ten degree angles and you don't get to go home at the end of the day." I commented that he looks very young for a congressional candidate, and his response was basically "Oh well, there's nothing I can do about that." Despite whatever prejudices people will put on him for his appearance, he does come off as a very genuine person. I share TA's skepticism about his ability to compete without money, but I will give him that.

Kim said...

In 2006, Blago declined to show to debate if the Green candidate got included. Without the incumbent, there's no debate. Kirk could do the same thing to Kalbfleisch. That's why I mention it.

Anonymous said...

If we had a state or even local party that played tough the way they do in every other state and district where the two parties don't sleep together at night we would get a tracker, a smart operative and some old ladies and send them to these open forums to ask Dan and Footlik some questions that would get them on record with the anti-Israel sentiment they believe in-Dan, their ties to lobbyists-Jay and overrall stupidity-both men.

Kirk could then either use the footage in a brutal ad or we could just put it on youtube and direct jewish voters and the media to them, small work, normal tactics-tough effect.

Side note-thank you loser beth gash and all the nutroots from the 10th who went to Iowa to get obama a victory there. He will now be subjected to the first and worst beating of his life courtesy of the Clinton campaign, chew on that with your ouab bagel. I am hopeful the flagrantly biased Illinois media- Lynn Sweet, campaign spokeswoman and Rich Miller-who somehow thinks its not a violation of every journalist rule to flaunt his families obamamobile will realize this scrutiny the clinton's give him is work most "journalists" who leave their hearts at home and heads in the workplace, do.


Team America said...

Anon 6:20-- if your concern is that no Republicans will attend the Footlik/Seals debates and find a way to insert some pointed questions, rest easy. We'll be there.

i could be potus said...

If you don't think cause and effect are in full force in Illinois when it comes to Dem control of all levels of Illinios goverment and the negative effect they are having on jobs and peoples lives, just look at what is happeing right here in Lake County:,5_3_WA04_ULINE_S1.article

Where is Link on this one? Where is Ryg? Garrett? Bond? May? Washington? Any Lake Co. Board Members? Pup? Foot? Ferris Buehler? Anyone? Anyone?

i could be potus said...

One more try at getting the link to post correctly:,5_3_WA04_ULINE_S1.article

i could be potus said...

For some reason, links aren't posting correctly right now (or I'm screwing something up). Here's the full story out of the Waukegan News Sun:

Waukegan losing Uline HQ
Wisconsin lures company across state line

January 4, 2008
By Long Hwa-shu
Uline, a leading producer of shipping supply products, will move its Waukegan headquarters across the state line to Pleasant Prairie in 2010.

The privately owned company also will build a 1 million-square-foot distribution center on a 150-acre site off Route 165, west of Interstate 94 in Pleasant Prairie. The headquarters building will be 200,000 square feet, more than double its current headquarters at Amhurst Lake Business Park in Waukegan.

The move of the headquarters will bring 650 jobs to Wisconsin. The new distribution center will create another 350 jobs. Uline, founded in 1980, employs 2,300 across the country and in Mexico.

Frank Unick, Uline's chief financial officer, said the company decided to make the move because it needed "significant acreage" for expansion. The location in Pleasant Prairie is close to Interstate 94 and to its facilities in Lake County. He said the company will retain its other facilities in Waukegan, Gurnee and North Chicago.

The move apparently is motivated, in part, by a $6 million financial assistance incentive package announced Thursday by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle.

"Uline is a rapidly growing company that is known worldwide for its quality products, and I'm delighted to welcome them to Wisconsin," Doyle said.

The package offered to Uline underlines Wisconsin's aggresive efforts to lure Illinois companies to move across the border. Among Lake County companies it has bagged so far include Cherry Corp. and Jelly Belly Candy Co. Abbott Laboratories, which already has operations in Pleasant Prarie, has bought 500 acres along I-94 between County Highway C and Route 165. Abbott also owns another 70 acres adjacent to it. The company has not publicly announced any building plans, however.

The $6 million assistance package includes an opportunity for Uline to receive up to $1.7 million annually in refundable tax credits if it creates a certain number of jobs that pay more than $30,000 a year. Uline is also eligible to receive up to $1.5 million in training funds. Unick declined to comment on the financial assistance.

The incentive package would also include a $1 million grant toward transportation costs. The Kenosha Area Business Alliance would provide a $2 million forgivable loan to support the project.

Anonymous said...

Hey, maybe Ferris Buehler COULD do a better job of helping run this State. Losing a company like ULINE is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. And, to your point, ICBP, where are not only the voices of the Democrats who serve our state and our county, but why did they allow the exit of other large companies in the past year for better perks across the state line.
It's pointless to ask the Pup or the Foot....not sure they know anything about this district or this county. I hope that someone attending one of the debates will ask some questions of substantive value to the two guys in this primary. They'd both be on the record with their statements. I'll be waiting for your post, TA, since it appears that you or someone you trust to report back accurately will be in the audience. Sorry I can't attend, but will wait anxiously to read your report.