Monday, January 28, 2008

Is Dan Seals Showing Impaired Judgment in Supporting Eddie Washington?

Every family has their squabbles. Some are better at keeping such dirty laundry within the family, and some less so. For a long time, as a whole, the Lake County Dems seemed to be putting up a pretty united front, apparently all focused on the singular goal of ending the long GOP vise-grip of political control over the county. Sure, every once in a while, some inter-party fights would boil over to the surface, such as the long-standing feud between Waukegan Township Supervisor Pat Jones and State Senator Terry Link. But, for a long time, the Lake County GOP seemed to be the party that was bent on fighting over the soup pot to be in charge of the ladle (I know I've used that metaphor before, but I just dig it).

As we reported some time ago, this dynamic may have undergone a sea change lately, as the Lake County Dems appear to be so self-assured with their recent successes that many have now decided that inter-party power struggles now take precedence over beating their GOP rivals. Nowhere is this as evident in the very public power struggle going on in the 60th District, which mostly is comprised of Waukegan and North Chicago, and which has been represented by Eddie Washington since 2003.

Eddie seems to have fallen out of favor with some of the Lake County Dems lately, especially State Senator Terry Link, who also serves as the Lake County Democratic Party Chairman. It is largely due to Link's chessmaster-like control of the Lake County Dems and his calculated political moves made over the last decade that has resulted in the greatly diminished power and standing of the Lake County GOP, so I try to remember him with a little curse every night before I retire (just kidding, Senator). But, Washington still has a fair number of backers including (surprise) Pat Jones.

Link has put his political muscle behind County Board member Angelo Kyle, and the rhetoric between these two contenders has been extremely heated in the months and now weeks leading up to the Democratic primary on February 5th. While on the one hand, many voters detest Link and his Chicago-style machine politics, many other voters are critical of Washington's record and contend that he has not represented his district well, and is tainted by a wide variety of scandals and accused malfeasance. Link has pulled out all the stops, including paring his campaign signs with Kyle's up in the Waukegan/North Chicago area and sending in his myrmidons to do battle on behalf of Kyle, including 59th Dist. Representative Kathy Ryg (D-Vernon Hills), who was quoted as calling for massive voter turnout on behalf of Kyle to "bury" Washington. There is, of course, no love lost going the other way, and Washington touts the recent editorial calling on Link and Kyle to explain the accusations of petition fraud as set out in the News-Sun, which editorial is provided on Washington's campaign website.

As much as I hate to admit it, it appears the wiser group of Dems (which would include Link in this case) are backing Kyle, even though he has stated that he will not relinquish his county board seat even if he wins election to the General Assembly. One of the good things about primaries is that it forces candidates to take positions and, in the heat of battle, sometimes some very telling comments get into the record, many of which candidates probably wish they could take back later.

As a case in point, one reported quote from Washington, which was made to Elroy Reed, the editor of the People's Voice paper in North Chicago, is as follows: "My god is Allah, My god and your God is at war, and my god is going to win." Washington is a Muslim, Reed is a Christian. See the whole article here. The Reed piece is absolutely scathing. As you may imagine, it's fairly obvious Reed has an agenda... and it's definitely not supportive of Washington. But, even as over the top as the "My god is Allah" quote may seem, Reed is standing by his article, even in the face of a defamation lawsuit brought against Reed by Pat Jones. Washington declined comment to the News-Sun on the lawsuit and will not file a suit of his own, according to the paper.

Among many other issues raised by Reed, including allegations that Washington has a criminal past, Reed states that:

"Eddie has gone through about six paid office staffers, legislative administrative assistants in about three years. They all report intolerable working conditions, verbal abuse and mental stress resulting from working with him. Eddie Washington's legislative agenda has focused on ghetto related matters such as Senate Bill SB0075 where he advocates for persons convicted of felony prostitution to get off with a light sentence of probation. He is the sponsor of a bill, “The Pimp and Whore Bill”, that protects the rights of prostitutes if they are abused by their Pimp. This one drew laughs and "behind the back" conversations about the intellect of Eddie Washington. He became the laughing stock of the House of Representatives. Springfield is still laughing about Washington and the community that he represents."

Ow.

Washington is also an ardent supporter of expansive rights for illegal immigrants. At this last weekend's Waukegan Leadership Council / Immigrants Rights Forum, one of TA's cub reporters brought back the following take-aways:
  • Washington touted his vote in support of illegal immigrants;
  • Washington opposed giving Waukegan Police the authority to initiate deportation proceedings for illegals who are dangerous felons; Eddie's answer was to let Bush do it;
  • Washington said that we don't need non-federal policymakers and voices commenting on federal issues;
  • He stated, "I haven't taken anything from the Democratic Party over the table or under it."
  • Washington closed out the forum by chanting "power to the people."
Ugh.

However, before you go feeling too sorry for Eddie Washington, you may be glad to know that he has one other remaining friend in the Democratic party: 10th District congressional candidate Dan Seals. Dan Seals appears to be one of the only Democrats to stand by Washington for the primary election next Tuesday, noting at the December opening of the new Washington campaign headquarters that Washington was an early supporter of Seals in his 2006 campaign to unseat Congressman Mark Kirk.

"Last time, when the Democratic party wouldn't help me out, when nobody knew who I was, guess who was there for me?" Seals said. "He's a good man to have in the trenches." (News-Sun article dated December 10, 2007, available in News-Sun online archives for a fee).

A good man to have in the trenches??? Maybe if the goal is to promote a religious war. Not only does Seals come down on the side of "peace" in a war between Israel and Iran, but he also supports an elected official that is willing to say, "My God is Allah, My God and your God is at war, and my God is going to win." Of course, Seals' endorsement of Washington was made before the Reed article came out, but as far as we can tell, Seals has not repudiated his support of Washington. In fact, Washington's endorsement of Seals is still touted on Seals' website. Washington's checkered past and sometimes bizarre legislative initiatives (anyone recall his ill-advised push to re-name the Amstutz Expressway?) also should give voters reason to question the wisdom of this alliance from Seals' perspective.

We're all judged by the company we keep, folks, and if Seals stands by his endorsement of Washington, it appears the voters of the 10th District have some serious questioning to do as to Seals' own judgment.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the guy Seals endorsed?

W.O.W.

Concerned4Waukegan said...

Eddie Washington has always been in the back pocket of Terry Link and Pete Couvall. Go to ILGA.gov and "follow the money".
Now, after Washington voted opposite Link on a couple of bills and supported a fellow Muslim candidate for 1st Ward Alderman in Waukegan (against Link's wishes) Link and the boys have dropped him and recruited Kyle as the new puppet.
Kyle is running for both offices, but the word on the street is: if he wins, he will resign County Board and Link will assign that seat to another trusted stooge, and the process continues...

I was at that "Forum" Sunday afternoon ... the room was FULL of pro-illegal immigrant people (many may have been illegal, themselves). The questions were very pointed and the moderator was obviously biased. As usual, Washington told the crowd what they wanted to hear.

However, State Rep. candidate TONY ELAM, the only other candidate in attendance. Although he was WAY out numbered, he stood up to the crowd and defended our countries laws. He defended 287(g). He defended Law and Order.

Tony Elam is putting quite a scare in to the camps of the other candidates! Each of their polls show Elam a very close second and closing.

I'm surprised TA didn't mention him in this post.
Take a look at his website and see where he stands TonyElam2008.com

Team America said...

Concerned4Waukegan- thanks for the comment, and I could (probably should) have mentioned Tony Elam, but the dynamics of the entire 60th District race from the voters' perspective wasn't really the thrust of the post--it was really the Washington-Kyle inter-party fray, and Elam appears to be comfortably outside the controversy.

From what I've heard of Elam, he has some positives as a candidate and has been getting favorable buzz, but seems to be hamstrung by a lack of broad support and a deep organization. A classic story, perhaps, of the better candidate not able to get enough traction to fight the more-established machine (or former machine) candidates. But, that's life in the big city (Waukegan).

Team America said...

BTW, Concerned4Waukegan, were Footlik and Seals at that 'event'? Any report on what their positions were on illegal immigration?

Anonymous said...

In response to concerned4waukegan;
I can't agree with you more about Tony Elam - if anyone is truly concerned about Waukegan - Tony is the clear choice because he is not beholden to anyone for a change.

Eddie should have learned years ago, when Link and Couvall set up he and Jerry to run for the 60th and split the African American vote while they(Link and Couvall) backed Jay Ukena. Jay got all the (Linked) endorsements such as personal pac and unions. Eddie and Jerry were just long shots - pawns in the larger game of political chess Link has been playing for years. It's just too bad that Eddie continued to align himself with Link.

As to Angelo running for two posts at the same time - does that really surprise anyone? Angelo managed to be a county board commissioner while working at the Secretary of State's office in Waukegan - I didn't know the SOS had part time jobs - anyone ever look into that? Angelo is certainly a successful multi-tasker; county board commissioner, NACO President, SOS employee and a minister....hmmm...

Help Waukegan - vote for Elam!

Scott said...

TA, just so you know I am around and enjoying your blog, Jay and Dan were at the Sunday Forum (http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/newssun/news/election/762430,5_1_WA28_FORUM_S1.article).

Hope all is well on the dark side.

Team America said...

Thanks, Scott. I have been following your occasional exploits over at Ellen's Blog. They aren't very nice to you sometimes; maybe you ought to hang out here where we try to respect everyone's viewpoint, unlike Ms. Shrill.

I saw the News-Scum article and probably should have posted a link but decided it was so poorly written it wasn't even worth it. Thanks for the info, though.

Anonymous said...

If Mac Attack wins tonight and Rudy drops to endorse him and strongly campaign for him its a good night for Mark. We need him to have a big night, and it's good to see Hillary doing so well.

Dan's a thug, if we had a state party that did something other than rip itself apart and make cheap talk the state party would already be working to effectively define Dan so Mark didn't have to dirty his hands going negative.

Alas a job for TA.

Team America said...

Anon 7:10- I agree, although I will say that the state party is trying hard, I think. Look to them to provide more support in the 30th and 59th/60th District races; they tend to stay out of the federal stuff, although Sauerberg is an exception to some degree.

It IS looking good for Mac- I'm pumped!

Anonymous said...

Take a look at this: "Kirk, Klein Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Counter Anti-Semitic Violence in the Former Soviet Union"

(http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/il10_kirk/Kirk_and_Klein_introduce_bill_to_counter_antiSemitism.html).

Seals is gonna need to change his own diaper after he sees this. We could see a LOT of Jewish voters come over from Footlik to Kirk after next Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/il10_kirk/Kirk_and_Klein_introduce_bill_to_counter_antiSemitism.html

Anonymous said...

How fast will Eddie spill the beans to Waller on Link once he loses?

i could be potus said...

TA, I love ya, but your comment on the state party above, "Look to them to provide more support in the 30th and 59th/60th District races," gave me a good laugh.

You may be right on the 30th Senate race and the Illinois State Republican Party as a whole, but Tom Cross on the Republican House side couldn't find Lake County on a map if he was standing in Vernon Hills.