Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dan Seals Whallops Jay Footlik, But Must Contend With Character Issues in November Against Mark Kirk

Now that the festivities of last night are over, we can take a step back and ask if what happened in the 10th District means a lot for this coming November, or whether events outside the District will in some ways have more of an impact.

First, in case you have been too busy shoveling snow to hear, Dan Seals crushed Jay Footlik, about 80% to 20%. The best and most up-to-date vote totals I can find are as follows:

Cook County: 315 of 331 precincts reporting

Dan Seals: 39,306 votes 83.20%
Jay Footlik: 7,935 votes 16.80%

Lake County: (all precincts reported, but late absentee ballots and provisional ballots not included)

Dan Seals: 33,549 votes 79.20%
Jay Footlik: 8,650 votes 20.50%

Incumbent Congressman Mark Kirk got 25,366 votes in Cook County and 17,980 votes in Lake County.

So, what does this mean?

First, it's clear that Footlik turned out to be no real threat to Seals, and probably helped Seals in the sense that it made Seals gear up his organization early, raise money, and spend money on name recognition, which will no doubt pay dividends for the general election. However, Seals' success is also probably due in large part that Footlik turned out to be a much weaker candidate than expected. He did better in Lake County than Cook County, as we predicted, and I do not know how he did among Jewish voters, who he considered his key demographic, but it's clear that he made many missteps along the campaign trail. Aside from the "meshugana" mailing, which was widely panned and made more than a few Jewish voters who thought Footlik was pandering to their ethnicity very angry, he trailed off in fundraising as his early national money peetered out as the campaign went on. He also confronted a very angry and motivated base of Seals supporters who were very vocal on the campaign trail and the blogosphere that they considered it a grave affront that an upstart like Footlik would DARE challenge their anointed candidate.

On the other hand, Footlik did Mark Kirk a favor in that he forced Seals to make a bunch of appearances in public debates, spend money that will have to be replenished, and send out a bunch of mailers and take positions that may well come back to haunt him. The kiss of death for a candidate is always an attack on their credibility, especially a candidate like Seals who has no actual legislative accomplishments and must run on a platform of 'you can trust me to do better for you in Washington.' I don't care what your positions on this issues are, however, if I don't find you trustworthy, I'm not going to send you to Washington to represent me on those issues.

That's where Seals finds himself now- he is the Dem nominee, and he has a nice target painted on his back. All of the subtle credibility issues that have been brewing just under the surface as to Seals are now going to be brought to the forefront, as Seals begins to match up directly against Kirk. Among the several issues that have been raised about Seals and his lack of veracity are:

--> Claiming to be a "current" Northwestern Professor since last October, when the single night class he is scheduled to teach doesn't being until April 2008

--> His claim to be a "Presidential Management Fellow" when that program did not actually exist until President Bush initiated it (Seals was an "Intern" under a similar, but not the same, federal program)

--> Seals often claims to be a "Director" of GE Capital, rather than his real title of "Director of Marketing", which falsely leads one to believe that Seals was on the Board of Directors

Although we have been quite willing to point out these issues, the mainstream media and other sources are now getting into the act, as we have been reporting for some time now. And, if you didn't catch it from yesterday's post, check out this Northwestern student blog which uses some very colorful language to describe Dan Seals (no, I didn't pay them to put this post up).

So, not to belabor this, but Seals is going to have to defend himself vigorously against the allegations of lack of truthfulness that will be lobbed from now until November.

The vote totals themselves as to the Dems vs. the Republicans are rather startling, which can be summed up in one word: Obama. It's clear in Illinois that Barack Obama was very, very successful at motivating the Dems to come to the polls, and obviously enticed many Independents and probably a few Republicans to pull a Dem ballot to vote for Obama. It's also quite possible a lot of that overall vote total was women voting for Hillary Clinton, who is sometimes overlooked as also being a native of Chicago (Park Ridge), and probably garnered many voters who wanted to vote for a woman. There is little argument that the Dem side of the presidential race was just more exciting on many levels than the GOP.

But, will that translate into all of these folks sticking with Seals for the fall? Doubt it. As we have often noted here, voters in the 10th are notorious ticket splitters. A whole lot of folks who wanted to vote for Obama or Clinton had no choice but to vote for a Dem since they had to select a Dem primary ballot. But, these voters will all have a chance to vote for Kirk in the 10th, regardless of which Dem candidate is at the top of the ticket in November.

AS TO OTHER RESULTS: The key race I was watching was the Eddie Washington v. challenger Angelo Kyle for 60th Dist. State Representative. As most know, Washington fell out of favor with Lake County Dem Czar Terry Link, who is facing lots of his own integrity problems. Link picked Kyle to step in for Washington, and supported Kyle to the hilt, even bringing in people like 59th Dist. Representative Kathy Ryg to stump for Kyle in North Chicago (what was she thinking?). Well, Washington squeaked by, with most of the vote counted, Washington beat Kyle, 42.53% (3,911 votes) for Washington to 41.21% (3,790) votes for Kyle. The third challenger, Tony Elam, got a respectable 16.26% (1,495 votes).

Link is no doubt smarting from this defeat. And Washington is not going to forgive easily, not against Link, and not against Kathy Ryg, or anyone else who tried to screw him. As Washington told the News-Sun, people don't want Terry Link to the "the king of kings."

An interesting vote factoid: In last night's primary, Terry Link got 17,730 votes. In the Nov. 2006 general election, where he ran against Sheilds Township Supervisor Chuck Fitzgerald, Link got 23,506 votes (these are Lake County totals only). So, in an Obama wave, why did Link get almost 6,000 LESS votes than in his last contested election? Could it be that Petition-Gate is having an appreciable toll on his popularity? Perhaps even more telling is that compared to the votes garnered by Kathy Ryg (State Rep in 59)(10,593 votes) and Eddie Washington and his competitors (State Rep in 60)(9,196 votes total among Washington, Kyle and Elam), Link pulled about 2,000 less votes ("undervotes") than the two state representative districts put together (which together make up the 30th District).

It'll be an interesting fall election up in Waukegan and North Chicago.


i could be potus said...

Good Morning Pup,

Now that you have won the right to loose to Kirk again, the first thing the people of the 10th District would like you to do is RELEASE YOUR TAX RETURNS for the past two years.

Anonymous said...

Oh I think the Pup has more to release than just his tax returns. While he did send Jay back to DC a few feet shorter in stature, I think that the in Moraine Township, the Pup should ask himself why 606 voters chose to ignore him and left that vote BLANK. Now isn't that something to contemplate. The Pup is fast being exposed for what he is: someone who isn't truthful, someone who is a full time campaigner who simply can't hold onto a job. It's all about truth going forward, and the Pup has an uphill climb at best. One needs to look at the precinct numbers to get a real snapshot of what the voters out here actually were expressing yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Terry Link - better consider a new job because State Rep. Eddie Washington is now your powerful, re-elected ENEMY FOR LIFE.

Anonymous said...

The natives at the forums are already foaming at the mouth.

We're in for a wild ride!

professor peabody said...

I can't wait until Washington promotes and backs primary candidates against both Link and Ryg in the 2010 primaries.

Comes around, goes around...

Team America said...

Professor- that assumes both Link and Ryg are still around. I know you are skeptical, but a plan is well underway...

emtae said...

How many votes did the write-in candidate get in the 30th?

Team America said...

I spoke to the County Clerk's office this morning and I believe that 320 write-in votes for the 30th Senate District were cast. They have not yet tallied the actual number of people who wrote in the name of the only registered write-in candidate, as opposed to Mickey Mouse, so we don't know how many votes are official. It's possible Mickey got more votes.

I'm not sure if anyone registered as a write-in in Cook County.

But, since 1,000 were needed, it is pretty cetain that the official write-in candidate did not meet this threshold.

Thus, I am assuming that there is an open GOP slot and I believe the chances are good that the Lake County GOP will present a fresh, qualified candidate for that appointment. That decision will not be made until after the GOP County Convention on March 5th.

i could be potus said...

Apparently Northwestern has cancelled all classes today due to bad weather.

Ordinarily, as a public service, we'd send The Pup a heads up on this, but we're pretty sure the snow will be long gone by the time he actually starts working there.

Anonymous said...

They've just printed new bumper stickers-- they say:


lake county democrat said...

Here are some questions I'd like to see Kirk asked (and where appropriate, Seals):

1) Representative Kirk, why didn't you oppose Alan Keyes' selection by the state GOP to run for senate in 2004? Why did you refuse to answer whether you endorsed him or not?

2) In Illinois, attorneys can contribute to judges election campaigns and then appear before those same judges without recusal. Have you ever spoken out against this? Do you believe it raises any federal issues?

3) Why do you believe it's more important for you to poll your constituents about whether we should have a military draft than poll them as to their wishes on what to do with Iraq. Don't you care what we think about that?

4) What earmarks have you requested during your tenure as our congressman.

5) Did you agree with the Supreme Court decision that upheld the practice of gerrymandered congressional districts? Why or why not.

Team America said...

LCD- this is not Kirk's District Office or his campaign office. And, it's certainly not Seals, although I know his team trolls here on a regular basis to get the latest scoop, just like the papers do. So, I suggest you forward your questions to the candidates.

I can offer a few thoughts, though, for what they are worth:

I didn't oppose Keyes either, although I didn't campaign for him, and didn't vote for him. Unless someone is a crook or unethical or otherwise is a bad candidate, I don't see any reason for an official in the same party to trash a candidate in the same party. If you don't like him or her, don't help him or her, but it doesn't need to go any farther. As far as to why Krik didn't get involved, ask Kirk, but unlike the Dems, it seems to me that GOPers, by and large, don't treat politics as the blood sport that the Dems do in Illinois, where every single Dem seems to think it's their duty and right to weigh in on every single political decision that gets made anywhere in the state.

Also, I believe Kirk HAS released all of the earmarks he's asked for, at least the recent ones. Go do your own homework.

i could be potus said...

Folks, don't you find it interesting that LCD above didn't add another item, asking Seals to release his tax returns from the past few years he's been a candidate? Oh, right, that's because Seals refuses to do so.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhh. Hear that Pup? That's the start of growing movement of 10th District constituents that will soon turn into a loud, thunderous rumble calling on you to be transparent and release your returns. It's not a matter of if, but when, might as well get it over with.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I LIKE the game lakecountydemocrat is trying to play:

Questions to Seals:

1) If we are still forced to choose between terrorism and Israel, would you still choose "peace"?

2) What is your current occupation and can you back it up with a pay stub? Better yet, release your tax returns?

3) Why do you refuse to move into the 10th Congressional District? Do you really still expect voters to vote for an "outsider" to represent them?

4. Why have you deliberately tried to mislead voters about your teaching credentials? Don't you think that telling voters you are a professor for the last six months when you have yet to teach a class is dishonest and misleading?

5. You were for earmarks before you were against them. If it is possible to earmark funds to expand commuter rails in your district, or clean our lakefront does that mean that you would still vote "no?'

6. You claim to demand a quick and reasonable pullout of troops in Iraq. How quick and at what timetable do you think that they can be safely pulled out?

7. One of your major endorsers (Senator Link) has nominating petitions filled with forged signatures that the Illinois State Board of Elections chose not to consider when certifying his candidacy. Do you support false signatures on nomination petitions and what legislation would you propose to protect the election process from such corrupt activities?

8. Has Tony Reszko contributed to your campaign? How about Senator Link?

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 11:09, that's perfect! You've covered it all. How soon do you think the Pup or his friends will come forward and provide some answers. Don't hold your breath.

TA is right in his response to Lake county Dem. Everything that our congressman asked for in his earmarks for this district were fully and totally vetted last Summer in the Tribune. Mr. Kirk's marks to help this district with transportation, the environment, in healthcare and in social service programs are a matter of public record. The Pup and his friends remain clueless about this process. Then again, they are clueless about most things so this isn't a surprise.

lake county democrat said...

1) Did I say I didn't think Seals should release his tax returns? Wow, after an onslaught of Seals-posts, I put up 5 questions, not just for Kirk, and look how defensive you all get.

2) Um, those of us who work for a living don't have time to compile a list of Kirk's earmarks -- again, all I said is he should issue one.

3) I completley disagree about Keyes -- that's a dodge. Believe me, if Keyes had Farrakhan-like views on Israel or Jews you'd have heard a lot more. Keyes has a list of positions just as odious. When Lyndon LaROuchies got into the Dem party, they launched a whole third party, not just denounced him (yes, you can draw distinctions between LaRouche and Keyes, but you (should) get my point.

And are you guys really serious that I should cast a vote based on teaching credentials and current residency rather than whether I think $9 billion/monht in Iraq can be speant better elsewhere? That's a serious and debatable question (too bad Kirk prefers push-polls about Rangell's "bring back the draft" nonstarter). Talk about the trivial versus the profound.

Finally, doesn't Kirk deserve "the Pup" label too? He's been in office a long time, with the GOP in control of Congress for most of it, and has next to nothing to show for it. He rarely appears on talk shows, takes no leadership roles on anything of import.

Anonymous said...

Mark Kirk is only a Ribbon Cutter. That's it. Period. I wish he would return to some of those places and see how things turned out. Brutal.

Anonymous said...

All this stuff is interesting, now back to Link. What are the republicans going to do. They can't beat Link and they know it. It will be a waste of time and money.

There is only one person who can beat Link now.