Tuesday, January 15, 2008

10th District Newspaper Endorsements: Team America's Prognostications

It's a bit early to try to call the 10th Dem primary between Jay Footlik and Dan Seals. Despite the polls released by Seals that show him with a huge lead in name recognition, I still have reservations about those polls and how they were conducted. And, even with the election only a few weeks away now, there is still plenty that can happen that would make those numbers meaningless.

For example, I am one of those people that still tend to think that newspaper endorsements matter, at least among a certain segment of the electorate, especially the undecided voters that in political parlance, tend to "break late." So far, the only major area newspaper group to do an endorsement (unless you count the Waukegan News-Sun, which more or less endorsed Dan Seals even before he announced he was running for re-election) is the Pioneer Press, which endorsed Seals. We criticized the Pioneer Press endorsement earlier, noting among other issues that the endorsement was made without the benefit of the recent debates and seemed to tout Seals mostly as the most 'winnable' candidate, rather than the best candidate.

But, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald will both endorse Footlik over Seals. Based on Footlik's performance in the debates, and also before the Tribune editorial board, which video was made available some weeks ago, it is clear that Footlik is the candidate with much more depth and ability to articulate and address the issues. Seals tends to repeat the same points he raised in the last election, and his appreciation of these issues has all the depth of a kiddie wading pool. If the MSM has been paying any attention at all to issues raised on this Blog and elsewhere, they also should have some pretty serious concerns about Seals and his work history, and especially his dubious claims to be a "current" professor at Northwestern University when he doesn't start teaching until AFTER the primary.

Seals may have done well against Kirk and have a bigger base and more name recognition, but that's not what newspaper endorsements should be about in my opinion--it should be about who is the better candidate to (potentially) represent the people of the 10th District in Congress. Tribune endorsement in the 10th is expected tomorrow; not sure about the Herald.

As to whether these endorsements will make or break the primary race, who's to say?, but I can guarantee that it will breathe new life into Footlik's campaign if he walks away with one, or especially, both endorsements, and stems the tide of Seals' self-proclaimed inevitability as the primary winner.

SPEAKING OF ENDORSEMENTS: The Tribune ran its first set of Congressional endorsements today, and Dan Seals must be seething. Mark Kirk was mentioned twice as an example of great bi-partisan cooperation on important issues in the Chicago area, both with Dan Lipinksi and Melissa Bean, and Kirk doesn't even face a primary opponent!

I was also remiss in not noting earlier that Steve Greenberg received the Trib's endorsement over his primary opponents Ken Arnold and Kirk Morris. Way to go Steve!


Anonymous said...


Thank you for covering the 8th -- you should do more.

Team America said...

Probably I should, but on the other hand, this is Team America's TENTH District Blog! I'm trying to cover stuff that happens in Lake County all over, as well as the Tenth District, but it's a tall order.

Anonymous said...

Any speculation on who they will take in the 14th?

Team America said...

Honestly, Anon 10:17, no clue at all. I think any newspaper will have to think long and hard about endorsing Oberweis, simply because of his track record of running for any position that appears on a ballot, whether it's the House, Senate or Governor.

I'm not taking a position myself (heck, none of the 14th is even in Lake County), but I admit I got a chuckle out of Lauzen's "dead cow" mailing that went out a few days ago. See it here. But beyond that, the Republican on Republican snarling that's going on over there is simply frightful.

lake county democrat said...

I'm probably out of place here, but as a near-lifelong lake county democrat and a Jew, I'm offended by Footlik's canidacy, particularly the identity politics, even though I'm probably closer to him ideologically. Here you have Seals, with little money and nearly no name recognition, come close to toppling a popular GOP incumbant. It's a no-brainer that you run him again with more money and more name recognition. What a waste of donations/resources.

Anyway, I'd like Kirk a lot more if he'd email me real questionaires instead of the silly, biased stuff (e.g., he doesn't want to know what constituents think of the Iraq War, but *does* want input on whether we agree with Chuck Rangell on bringing back the draft. Glad you got your finger on the pulse of the district there Mark!)

Team America said...

Lake County Dem- we're more than happy to have you here to comment. Unlike Ellen, we welcome everyone's views, as long as it's clean and respectful.

I think most of us Repubs question, however, whether Seals' success was simply a case of being in the right place at the right time. I am frankly rather astounded (and amused) by the objections of many Dems (typically the local party elite like LBG, EBG, etc.) that are critical of Footlik for "interfering" in what they seem to think is Seals' 'anointed' right to contest Kirk again without anyone else in the party seeking the same thing.

Clearly, I and other like me have an agenda (re-elect Kirk!), but I think I am being pretty fair when I say that based on the debate performances and interviews, Footlik is smarter and a better candidate than Seals, and except for Seals' name recognition, Footlik would actually be a tougher opponent for Mark in the fall.

But, anyway, I'm glad you found our humble little Blog and I hope you come back.

Anonymous said...

Steve Greenburg has bankrupted two companies. He's not someone I want to spend my tax dollars.

Team America said...

Ken Arnold once suggested building a bridge across Lake Michigan at Zion, which he claimed would solve the traffic gridlock issues. That sound like a good use of tax dollars to you?

Publia said...


Re the pic: help yourself.

I have a little collection that I've been working on for quite a while for a couple of candidates. Send me an email (just click on the profile on my blog and there's a link on the left hand part of the profile page), and I'll be happy to share for a good cause.

Anonymous said...

Article about Steve Greenburg's struggling company: