Busy weekend, so just a few tidbits to keep things moving until Monday...
BARACK OBAMA: Have you noticed the simultaneous tack to the center, and the increasing reticence to take a tough (or even clear) stand on the issues, that seems to define Barack Obama lately? Many people have, including Politico.com and the Tribune. So much for his courage to take the country in a new direction. If only I thought his soaring rhetoric might have matched what he could do for this country, even I might have voted for him. But, even those that fell for his spell may be coming around to reality, and it's going to get worse for Obama as this race goes on.
DAN SEALS: As TA regulars know, Michelle Obama will be featured at a fundraiser this coming Monday evening for 9th Congressional District resident Dan Seals (who, as you also know, is running against 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk). But, it looks like Seals' big moment to bask in Michelle Obama's reflected glory is going to be a bit less impressive than we were first led to believe by the Journal & Topics news article that appeared last week, which was the only MSM (if you can call it that) that the event received. We suspected that Seals was keeping a tight lid on the media attention for this event, since he was likely to be asking a top dollar donation to keep his campaign afloat... not something that really meshes well with his typical populist Dem platform. And, turns out we were right, given that Seals is asking $1,000 a head.
But, it also turns out, as reported by the Tribune Clout Street Blog, that contrary to what the Journal & Topics paper reported, Mrs. Obama will not be coming to the 10th District. No, as typical for Seals, he needs to run home to Chicago for his support, and that's what he will be doing this time as well... the event will reportedly be held at a private residence in Chicago. And, not only does it turn out that Seals isn't really responsible for snagging Mrs. Obama as the event headliner (Rahm Emanuel did that), the event is a shared event for 11th District Dem candidate Debbie Halvorson. Regular Cap Fax Blog readers know that Halvorson has been locked in a battle with Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., and also has baggage from her tenure in the Illinois State Senate as one of Emil Jones' primary hatchet-men (women?).
Seals apparently finally woke up and noticed that the Q2 campaign finance disclosure deadline (June 30th) was right around the corner, and scheduled a bunch of events in a flurry. As a few commenters here have pointed out, you don't haul out your big guns in the middle of the summer, unless you're desperate. And desperate he does seem, as a new web ad just put up a few days ago begs for money by June 3oth. TA thinks that the Seals numbers for his quarter will be very telling, and even if the Obama event is a success, he still only gets half the take (at most).
TERRY LINK: I noticed this morning that back in the news is Rodney McCulloch, who was convicted of election fraud in March (specifically, he signed off as a petition circulator for petitions that had been circulated by paid circulators (one a homeless person who lived under a bridge in Oswego) not by McCulloch personally). McCulloch received two years' probation, rather than up to five years in jail (as well as a fine and community service), apparently because of his lack of a criminal record (except for a DUI in 1980).
We here at Team America have been watching this story with interest, as it bears a lot of similarity to the allegations brought against Terry Link's right hand man, "Sneaky" Pete Couvall, who Link's primary challenger Jerry Johnson accused of coordinating a scheme to forge petition signatures on Link's nominating petitions. As we know, the Lake County State's Attorney is investigating, and TA suspects that we may hear something regarding the criminal investigation quite soon. We also hear that GOP challenger Keith Gray is making Link pretty nervous. I'd be nervous too, given the circumstances.
Enjoy your weekend!