Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Has the DCCC Walked Away From Dan Seals? (UPDATED AND BUMPED UP)

Has Dan Seals been abandoned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which was supposed to roll in like thunder and level the playing field to make up for Seals' massive shortfall in fundraising (as least compared to incumbent Mark Kirk?) It's a question that ought to be weighing on every Chicago political reporter's mind after the DNC got rolling a few days ago now.

A few months ago, Dan Seals was the flavor of the month for national Democrats. Barack Obama was the nominee and suddenly Mark Kirk looked vulnerable. In February, the chairman of the DCCC, Chris Van Hollen, came in to stump for Dan. TA noted back then that Van Hollen's support seemed tepid at best -- but national Democrats were willing to give Dan a shot.

The Obama-euphoria even led the Cook Political Report to upgrade the IL-10 contest -- and as you can see, Dan was pretty excited.

But something has happened -- it looks like the DCCC is walking away from Dan Seals.

Yesterday, as the Politico reported, Chris Van Hollen welcomed the DCCC's top 50 candidates for change on to the stage with him at the Democratic National Convention. Dan Seals wasn't there and wasn't mentioned (though Debbie Halverson was mentioned and Bill Foster got a shout-out in Van Hollen's speech). In fact, the Daily Herald even reported live from the Illinois delegation breakfast in Denver -- and while the article mentions the Kirk-Seals race, there's no mention of Dan being at the convention and getting any love from the DCCC.

Is it because of Seals' failed gas stunt?

Is it because Roll Call named him carpetbagger of the year?

Is it because Dan took $14,000 from Charlie Rangel?

Did they find out what was in the envelope Dan took from Rostenkowski?

It could be -- but it's probably because Kirk Looks Strong, according to the pundits. With a 21-point lead, an endorsement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the launch of TV ads in August, Seals is looking very weak now. Seals looks so weak, in fact, that the Rothenberg Political Report recently moved the Kirk-Seals race from Toss Up to Leans Republican -- a major backslide for Seals. I don't blame them -- Chris Van Hollen even co-authored legislation with Congressman Kirk as recently as July 1st.

In addition, we know from the blogosphere that Dan or the DCCC recently took their own poll to test the waters -- and since we haven't heard about it in a month, it must've been pretty bad for Dan.

So reporters, if you're going to bed scratching your heads and wondering why Dan Seals isn't getting the love -- well, it's not all that confusing when you put the pieces together.

UPDATED: The Waukegan News-Sun "Newshound" noticed the same lack of Seals-mojo at the DNC that we did and ran this post online this morning. Check it out.


Anonymous said...

Seals is toast. His support is flagging and Kirk will roll.

Anonymous said...

Seals is a joke -- I heard that Jan and Rahm got into a huge fight over having Dan at the convention. Rahm won -- he remains the brains of the operation.

Anonymous said...

In a contest between Rahm and Jan there is no contest. She's a carping and annoying thing while he is clearly in command. Rahm knows that Mark can 'clean' the Pup's 'clock' so why embarrass themsevles by touting the loser on the national stage. Seals and Jan are losers, big time.

SirWilliam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

There's some connection between Rahm and Mark, they went to high school together (New Trier still sucks though), and I think it may have more to do with a deal that was cut earlier when the democrats were out of power, and mark was the only republican on the appropriations committee who could deliver federal funds.

For a big state, Illinois has next to no members of congress on this vital committee and after november when Mark kicks dan's ass, and DEMOCAT and her owner have heart attacks, which is which I forget", he, Durbin and Jesse will be the only ones left on the committee. Jesse might run for mayor or get promoted which means it could be a very very very long time before Illinois gets any clout again there, perhaps a generation so it's doubtful if Rahm has to choose between wacking a member of congress in alabama and keeping his pork for the shedd aquarium flowing that he will seek to get rid of Mark. You honestly think the Mayor wants Dan, or he wants his hundreds of millions for transit?

Again this is Chicago politics.

Jan's a t/fool, and on her way out. If you heard mark warner last night he hit on a theme which is rising, and HUUUUUGE for young people, which is the end to the partisanship bull shit. Jan's sole achievement in life is attacking rush limbaugh and with that era ending, she's going to be up shit creek without a paddle.

joe mccarthy and the red scarecrows said...

I think the current lack of national support is Dan's own making.

In nearly every appearance Dan makes, he plays the world's tiniest violin, bemoaning how the national party overlooked him in 2006.

Guess what? Rahm et. al got the message. If you can't say something nice about those who control the party, be prepared to set up another account on

No soup for you!

NorthSideSoxFan said...

Let's not get carried away here people. Dan has over $2 million in his account. The DCCC won't just walk away from that. He's one their most impressive fundraisers. I quote Rahm Emanuel from four years ago, just after he took over the DCCC, "Knocking off Mark Kirk would be my biggest prize." So let's not declare a Rahm-Mark lovefest.
And while I respect Mark Warner and believe he is a centrist, King Obama's end of partisanship rhetoric is as he's said, just words. He's just waiting to assume the throne to usher in his way left of center agenda. Obama believes he can sway the country to believe in the left's policies if he has the bully pulpit. He already made 18+ million people believe in him. We need to make sure 50.1% don't in November.

Anonymous said...

Seals has only $1.1 million cash on hand (FEC) as a result of being drained by Jay Footlik in the primary. Kirk just cracked over four million raised.

If you look at Kirk's FEC forms you will see over three dozen former Seals supporters now with Kirk.

Seals then sank his own campaign with his failed gas stunt, winning a $2,000 fine from Lincolnshire police and buckets of bad media.

Seals has now paid for three polls and not released one -- because they show Kirk winning 53% to 32%.

Anonymous said...

yo sox fan
stop with the southside math.
I am not sure where you got $2 million for Seals but please see the Chicago Tribune story below from july.

Kirk had nearly $3 million and Seals had only $1.17 million. I agree that is way too much money for Seals to have (and if you have visited his website he will walk out onto the screen and tell you that).

2006 rivals Rep. Mark Kirk and Dan Seals release campaign fundraising totals that hint at heated North Shore rematch
In 10th Congressional District race, Republican incumbent has raised about $4 million for election, and Democratic challenger took in $2 million

Tribune staff report
11:36 PM CDT, July 7, 2008
U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk and Democratic challenger Dan Seals released second-quarter fundraising totals Monday showing the 10th District race should be as hotly contested as their 2006 showdown.

Kirk, a four-term Republican incumbent from Highland Park, raised $900,000 for the three-month period ending June 30, giving him $3.87 million raised for the 2008 election cycle and more than $2.85 million in his campaign fund.

Seals, a self-employed business consultant from Wilmette, collected $635,000 during the second quarter toward his $2.1 million total.

Seals, who narrowly lost his bid to unseat Kirk two years ago, had $1.17 million in his campaign fund.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:32-
Seals actually had to pay more than $2,000 because he had to pay the bill for the Village of Lincolnshire Public Works and the Buffalo Grove Police Department that had to help with traffic control. The final bill was closer to $4,000.

The Seals stunt also cost Seals support of the Lincolnshire Mayor and Police Chief.

Anonymous said...

Mark has to campaign like he's 10 points down the rest of the way. Leads under 30 points are meaningless this year.

The key to this race is the top of the ticket, if McCain keeps it close it means people haven't gone full bore for Obama and Mark will win by 5-10 points again. If Obama puts it away, Dan COULD squeak by.

Either way, it's a big time embarrassment that we are 50 miles from Hyde Park, at a time when Democrats are killing the GOP in deep red areas, and Dan can't touch Mark.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:26 I agree with you on what Mark Kirk needs to do to win on November 4. He needs to campaign 24/7, keep his record and his accomplishments front and center. Obama hasn't closed the deal nationally but here in IL it's a different issue. He will have the coattails that could be dangerous........

Anonymous said...

Dan Seals has more problems:

- Democrats gave back all the Rep. Rangel (D-NY)money after the sca,dal broke. Dan didn't.

- Dan's team was trained by Robert Creamer, AFTER his conviction for bilking seniors of their savings.

- Dan teamed up with Sen. Link, whose campaign workers were just indicted (and one still on the lamb!)

Anonymous said...

you are a scary bunch. try facts rather than adolescent blather. seals was invited to the convention and chose to stay here and continue meeting w/voters - something kirk only does in the few months before elections.
I know it's a foreign concept for republicans to actually get facts before they speak, but you should try it some time.