Monday, August 18, 2008

Terry Link for (State Senate) President? (UPDATED x2 + 10th District Update)

I have a legal brief due today, so not much time to write, but the big news of the morning (for me anyway) is that several news outlets (see Tribune and Sun-Times), plus Capitol Fax, are reporting that Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, who has been a staunch supporter of unpopular and embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich, is retiring as president of the Illinois Senate. For us, the most interesting part of this is that State Senator Terry Link, who is on Jones' leadership team, is reportedly on the short list to be a possible successor as Senate President.

Probably most people don't realize the significance of the office of Senate President; I sure didn't, until relatively recently when it became clear that Senate President Jones was one of the most powerful people in the state, given his ability to essentially block any piece of legislation by not calling it for a vote in the Senate. Even if the State House passed a bill, and the Governor expressed his support, if Jones didn't call it for a vote, there is no way it could become law, and really no way to force Jones to change his mind.

That's POWER, folks.

So, you can bet there are going to be a boatload of Dems who are going to be knocking each other over to get at that seat. Will Link try to grab it? It certainly seems that he has the ambition for something like this (and it would be a nice capper to his career), as well as the fact he could probably get his beloved Waukegan casino a lot easier if he were Senate President.

On the other hand, he might decide he's better off throwing his support to another contender in exchange for favors later on, since if Link is seriously considering throwing his hat in the ring, he will have to contend with the recent scandal involving his two indicted petition circulators, Jerry D. Knight and Kenneth Davison.

As TA readers know, Davison turned himself in last week and we're dying to see if he cuts a deal with prosecutors to finger Terry Link's right-hand man, Pete Couvall, who actually hired Knight and Davison to pass petitions, which the duo then (allegedly) used the phone book or other methods (old petitions?) to fake the signatures of voters who were living and dead. If that happens, who knows where this could lead. But for now, prosecutors have been falling all over themselves to point out that they feel there is no evidence to tie Link (or Couvall) in to the forgery scheme.

Frankly, I hope Link goes for it. That will invite even more scrutiny into the petition scandal and maybe we'll actually get some movement up the food chain (although it's still very, very early in the investigation, so patience, campers).

Link isn't all that popular, even among members of his own suburban caucus that he's put together (Rich Miller at Cap Fax is reporting this morning that some members of Link's own caucus are expressing reservations already--would that be you, Susan Garrett? Rich also referenced the petition scandal, although he's been doing a good job keeping the lid on it to the extent he can). Check out Capitol Fax Blog later today, I'm sure there will be a ton of speculation on how all this will turn out.

Given that we have been following this story ever since we broke it back last November, I will be watching my Sitemeter with interest over the next few weeks to see if Team America's Blog suddenly becomes a very popular research tool for the Senate Democrats and friends... although, it's not that the other senate Dems would actually have any moral reservations about naming a guy like Link senate president, but the competition will no doubt be ruthless in trying to villify Link and would be happy to raise the petition scandal to do it. And, we'll be happy to oblige.

UPDATED: The Pioneer Press blog is talking about Link and his possible state senate president aspirations, and whether the Dems would want that kind of publicity. Interestingly, Rich Miller of Cap Fax was already there to comment. Miller has covered the Link scandal this week, mostly by excerpting favorable quotes from the MSM stories where Link is proclaiming he's been exonerated, and avoiding linking to Team America, even though we by far have the most detail on the inside story of this scandal. Judge for yourself whether Miller is out doing damage control for Link.

UPDATED x2 8/19/08 6:40 a.m.: Terry Link has stated to several media sources that he is "definitely a candidate" for the retiring Emil Jones, Jr., as State Senate President. Whether Link is 100% serious or is just saying this to be a player holding some cards when the actual decision time comes around, who's to say, except Link? But, this also means that there is no way the petition scandal scrutiny is going to die down anytime soon, not with Mr. Davison in jail, and Mr. Knight on the lam. Link continues to protest that he had nothing to do with the acts of these men, saying "you can't control everyone in the world." But, isn't that what Emil Jones' job is all about, at least as far as Illinois goes? ;-)

FYI, GOP Chairman Dan Venturi will be on WKRS AM 1220 (your best bet is to listen on the Internet) with Libby Collins today talking about the Link petition scandal at about 8:15 a.m., and then Link's GOP challenge Keith Gray will be on Al Salvi's show at around 11:00 talking about his race, and the potential impacts of Link's issues.

10th District Update: New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg, a longshot but possible VP pick, was in town yesterday hanging out with 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk. Bloomberg endorsed Kirk in his upcoming congressional race against 9th District resident Dan Seals, and touted with Kirk a bill that would close a loophole that allows gun deals to sell off their existing stock of guns if they lose their gun selling license. "Can you imagine what would happen if we arrested a drug dealer, and before we took him in, we allowed him to sell all his (drugs)?" Bloomberg said. "There would be a riot."

The Daily Herald cited Dan Seals' spokeswoman Elisabeth Smith stating in response to the endorsement that the Seals campaign will 'remind voters that Kirk falls in line with President Bush on numerous issues.' Yawn. Wake me up when this race is over and Seals gets a job in Wisconsin with the other socialists.

Final Thoughts for this morning:
You think Lauren Beth Gash is fuming over Terry Link taking all of the credit for turning Lake County "from bright red to pale blue"? Just askin'.

Hey, when is someone going to ask Susan Garrett, Karen May, Kathy Ryg, Dan Seals and the rest of the suspects to comment on Terry Link's petition scandal, whether they still support him as chairman, and whether they think he'd make a good senate president?


Anonymous said...

When I read the front page story in today's Tribune about "I need my pay raise" Jones resigning today I knew it was going to be a good day. And then I read your Blog posting. Good grief, TA, this is more than I can take so early in the morning! Let's hope that Susan Garrett and others with some brains and clear thinking will come up with some worthy replacement for the slugs and thugs in leadership in Springfield. I just heard Paul Green on WGN's Spike O'Dell program and he didn't mention slick Terry. The thought of this just makes me want to get back under the covers and sleep this one off.

Anonymous said...

As a Republican, I hope they choose Sen. Link as President of the Senate. Having a top Democrat under criminal investigation at the highest level of our state legislature is too rich for voters to stand. Prosecutors will then squeeze Link's indicted campaign workers all the more and this scandal will help us to defeat Ryg and Garrett in 2010.

Anonymous said...

How much more twisted can things get in this state? Here's a guy who's been a major part of the problem (i.e. expanding Chicago-style politics to a state level) for four terms, and he's being considered as Senate President? My only hope is that the egos and greed, of which there is no shortage within the democratic party, perpetuates the infighting that will ultimately lead to more party balance in our state government.

Rich said...

I ain't doing damage control. lol

This is problemmatic for Link, but prosecutors rarely issue such statements about lack of involvement if they intend to pursue charges.

You're a partisan blogger, so I take that for what it is.

the biggest damage this does to Link, which I'll go into a bit tomorrow, is that his failure to pay attention to detail could hurt him badly in a situation where attention to detail is so important.

Anonymous said...

Link's election as the President of the Senate will mean that prosecutors will take a much keener interest in him.

Garrett and Ryg will be very hurt by voting for a corrupt guy like Link.

Anonymous said...

Some of my fellow Republicans drive me batter than the far left wingers of that "other blog site."

Why is everyone talking about the 2010 election when there is an election the first Tuesday this November?

There is an excellent candidate running against Rep. Ryg right now, Daniel Sugrue. Support him!

There is an excellent candidate running against Sen. Link right now, Keith Gray. Support him!

There is an excellent candidate running against Rep. May right now, Timothy Stratton. Suport him!

We have one of the best Congressmen in the nation, Mark Kirk, who is being targeted for defeat by the Democratic House National Committee with a flyweight who could never fill his shoes. Support him!

Our county wide Republican office holders and candidates need our support today, not in 2010!

Our county board Republican office holders and candidates need our support today, not in 2010!

WIth some Republicans, once 2010 rolls around, the next war cry will be "Wait until 2012!" Enough already!

Louis G. Atsaves

Lone Wolf a.k.a. RPT said...

Great blogging TA! Louis is right, and it is good to keep pressure on Link right now since he is also being challenged.

PS, I did my part today by protesting Dan Seals on the corner of NW Hwy and Arlington Heights RD. Will be doing more soon, and updating as I do it.

Anonymous said...

let's review Terry Link's current scandal:

1. Campaign worker number one was indicted and surrendered to authorities. No doubt prosecutors will pressure him to give up Link and Couvall.

2. Campaign worker number two was indicted and fled police. So the key number two employee of Sen. Link's campaign is currently a FUGITIVE from justice.

3. Got to hope that Garrett and Ryg back Link and his criminal campaign workers for Senate President. We will crucify Garett and Ryg for supporting Link.

Anonymous said...

Just finished a conference call of key people in Springfield on Emil Jones successors. When the name Link came up, one wag said "if we elect him, Senate meetings will have to be held in the Springfield jail with Link's staff."

Too true.

Anonymous said...

Message to team Kirk, you don't use up your ammunition before the battle starts.

Half the north shore is on vacation right now, and the other half is likely not paying attention to a down ballot race with the exception of the pup's mafia of liberal lunatics.

The time for bloomberg is the first wednesday in october, roll out a bill with him to get free media coverage, do an interview for cltv so it plays over and over in the 24 hour news cycle, get the fundraising check, cut an ad and roll on. Seriously.

The kind of political advice to do this now is why we are dealing with dan, and down ballot why we have loser legislators like link, karen may, and susan garrett.

And also, when are we going to start seeing him hit hard? I don't understand why we have a republican party when the democrats are taking this race seriously and throwing every piece of mud they can find at mark, and despite all of dan's stupid b.s.-he admitted on t.v. to the city club he was unemployed, in addition to those iran clips- the best we can do is some stupid charlie rangel thing.


Anonymous said...

Heard Lake GOP Chairman Daniel Venturi on WKRS. He did a great job detailing the "other" petitions circulated by Knight and Davidson on behalf of "other" Democrats in Lake County who are now way too shy and bashful to admit they ever received help from them, the Re-Elect Senator Link campaign and the Lake County Democratic Party.

Missed some of the call ins but it appeared that there were a number of callers who were EXTREMELY upset that Davidson has been sitting in jail for 3-4 days unable to make bail. Common expressions used were "he was a little guy," "he was used" and "he was the fall guy." Knight still hasn't turned himself in and is "at large." Our county sheriff better jump on that pretty fast.

I will give Davidson credit, under severe pressure to take the fifth from Link's attorneys and the ISBE hearing officer, he still pressed ahead and fessed up to the whole conspiracy.

Didn't get a chance to listen to Keith Gray on the Al Salvi show on the same station.

Louis G. Atsaves

nosophist said...

Rep. Kirk's bona fides as a Republican take a hit when he allies himself with the likes of Mayor Bloomberg.

Rep. Kirk has never demonstrated a working understanding of the 2nd Amendment, or any respect for gun owners. This gun dealer bill might have a foul aroma all its own, but it's hard to tell, given the two characters who are promoting it.

Ya gotta feel sorry for folks in the 10th--at least in the 8th, conservatives know they have no representation in Congress.

One trueblood has gone on record he will be voting for Seals.

Rep. Kirk has a number of good qualities, and I, for one, am grateful for his service to our country. However, none of that makes up for the fact that he just "doesn't get it" when it comes to bedrock conservative principles and holding fast to the Constitution.

Anonymous said...

8th, when we passed welfare reform, the tax cuts,and all the great war on terror legislation we had a great mix in the caucus, sure we had liberals like Chris Shays and conservatives like John Kasich, but the point was we had them, rather than having those seats in evil liberal hands where jan schakowsky and barney frank (he's the gay congressman that ran a prostitution ring out of his capitol hill apartment and is now trying to legalize dope) can actualize liberal fantasies.

In the 8th, a wealthy conservative district, with a sleazeball liberal like Melissa Bean, you should have no trouble finding an articulate conservative that can put together 2 million greenbacks to take her out and support 2nd amendment rights. 200,000 successful republicans, you can find 2 surely with some ambition to serve and feast on her record.

If Mark went into your district and tried to get you a pro-choice guy or gal, I would not applaud that, as I don't applaud you now trying to keep us from having the only kind of republican we can muster here to lead us to victory in the land of lake shore voters.

Lone Wolf a.k.a. RPT said...

It seams that the dems, Seals and Bean in particular, feel that they can live in outside districts and run and legislate for other districts. This is a flaw that voters of the districts they are running in really need to understand. They are not there to serve the needs of the people who live in the district they are running for, they are there for power, an accomplishment they can tout at dinner parties, events, etc. Mark Kirk has done a lot for his district. This is one thing that you can't deny, whether you like his bona fides as Republican or not. For the most part, he has been right on a lot of issues. This is much better than the alternatives, which are wrong on most of the issues.

greywolf said...

lone wolf: right-on about Mark Kirk. Noso for noso-fist. Voting for d's if the r isn't conservative enough for you? heh. Dan Venturi was great today on WKRS. Kudos.

Anonymous said...

I've encountered the knuckleheaded approach of those who claim that they will vote for Mark Kirk's opponent because he is not conservative enough. More often than I can to admit right now. You know the knuclehead arguments. They "cannot bring themselves to vote for Kirk" under any circumstances.

That knuckleheadedness results in a Dan Seals victory. And then the knuckleheads will say they prefer Dan Seals so that they can run a fellow knucklehead against him in two years, after Seals severely hurts the interests of the 10th Congressional District for a term or two.

So you let the fox INSIDE the henhouse and later wonder what happened to all of the chickens. Complete knuckleheadism!

Its knuckleheaded voters that gave us Governor Public Official "A" instead of Judy Barr Topinka and the total and complete destruction of State Government in Illinois. That is just one example.

I'm sick and tired of this behavior by some so-called conservatives in our party (who really are not Republicans but accuse everyone else of being RINO's while they continue to refuse to support Republicans and claim slavish adherence to a platform which clearly states the Republican party welcomes everyone and all views, the part they hypocritically don't slavishly adhere to).

Government has become a disgrace in Illinois as a result. The disgraceful petition circulation stunts not enough to get you to vote for Republicans this time around?

Accepting support from convicted felons and lawbreakers OK with you knuckleheads who are really now Mr. Dan Seals supporters?

From this point forward I'm calling knuckleheads out on their knuckleheaded behavior. They have caused everyone enough problems.

Remember, there is no intelligence test to vote in this country. Anyone can vote, including the knuckleheads who claim they cannot for Mark Kirk because he is a moderate.

But then, I guess, there is always 2010, right?

Makes you wonder sometimes about some people!

Nosophist said...

Perhaps the comment was not directed to me...

I am critical of Kirk, and I know a 10th conservative voter whose hot button is the 2nd A, and who is not only voting Seals, but gave a decent donation to his campaign.

Personally, I'm trying to get Bean unseated, but won't lift a finger--beyond criticism--against Kirk.

Too bad the Gold Coast folks are so confused on matters of public policy. But that helps them fit in with Illinois politics, I guess.


Anonymous said...

"I know a 10th conservative voter whose hot button is the 2nd A, and who is not only voting Seals, but gave a decent donation to his campaign."

So this knucklehead will be turning in all his guns to the Dan Seals For Congress HQ? The so-called "conservative" is voting for the ultra-liberal candidate in the race? Moderation sucks for him? He would rather be represented by a liberal rather than a moderate? That is the classic definition of a political knucklehead!

Does that knucklehead wonder why the ultra-left wing of the Democratic Party in Illinois, i.e. "The 10th Congressional Democrats" are supporting Dan Seals? Are there any brain cells in his head still working?

And you wonder why I call folks like that complete knuckleheads? Its the knuckleheads of this State that have given us the current horrible government in Springfield, and have foisted the near paralysis in Washington, D.C. upon us.

Tell your knuckleheaded friend that he is a complete knucklehead. Do the rest of us a favor.

The knuckleheads in our party who are sitting on our hands need to support McCain and Kirk, whether they like it or not. The consequences of such lack of support should have been made painfully obvious to them right now, just look at Springfield.

Crtiticism of Kirk from Republicans is OK, don't get me wrong here. But "I'm going to support the liberal Democrat because Kirk is moderate and conservative enough for my tastes" is sheer knuckleheadism.

But then again folks like that are complete knuckleheads. And knuckleheads are a perpetually unhappy and hopeless bunch.

Someday, science will invent a cure for knuckleheadism. Until then . . .

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

"Crtiticism of Kirk from Republicans is OK, don't get me wrong here. But "I'm going to support the liberal Democrat because Kirk is moderate and conservative enough for my tastes" is sheer knuckleheadism."

Oops. Forgot the NOT between "and" and "conservative"

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Great point Lou. These knuckleheads just don't understand. What does the bible say? Half a loaf is better than no loaf...Another way of putting it is that if you don't like a moderate Republican then deal with it...a wise man once said it's better to have your enemy INSIDE your tent pissing out than OUTSIDE pissing in. Also Neosophist, we're the NORTH SHORE not the GOLD COAST so get it right. If you cant deal with these realities then I demand you stop calling yourself a Republican. The true Republicans are taking this party back and it starts here.

Anonymous said...

First of all, this guy is not a knucklehead, and any Republican who is not pissed at the state of our party right now is not a good republican. However, this is not a conservative district and supporting dan, will not get you a peter fitzgerald to run against him here next time. Rumsfeld himself, a conservative leader, was a moderate when elected from here.

I'm a moderate but couldn't agree with him more that there are some in our party that need to go. Start with everyone in springfield.

This guy should support the nrcc or the american conservative union, that would be better money spent then helping elect a liberal wackjob like dan.

The papers this morning couldn't be better, McCain finally up in the polls, the state democrats on defense because of this latest nepotism deal.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that focused on his Second Amendment Rights who would prefer and support including making a donation to Dan Seals over Mark Kirk for the 10th Congressional District is a knucklehead. Period.

You support the moderate over the liberal in that circumstance. You then run a conservative against Kirk during the next primary if you feel that strongly about removing him.

Getting rid of Kirk right now hurts the Republican party even more in Illinois. I know there is a group out there that feels that we need to burn the party down to the ground and then rebuild from scratch with all new people and an all new organization, but that makes as much sense as telling your army to drop whatever arms it has in a middle of a nasty war and go home and worry about the invaders later after the new walls are built and new guns are issued.

When you are in a fight, you fight with what you have.

If I want to read illogical stuff, I can go over to Ellen's site.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Dan Seals blasted the decision to defend our second amendment rights.

We caught his on tape saying he would not ahve supported the second amendment to a group of supporters.

He supported Wilmette's ban and Morton Grove's restrictions.

Anonymous said...

Dan Seals said he supports taxpayer-funded health care for illegal aliens. If that doesn't put thing in perspective for the so-called conservatives on here, then those so-calleds are probably Seals staffers sent to try to rile up the base. No sane Republican would ever let a communist like Dan Seals get elected.

Anonymous said...

One issue voters no matter what the issue is don't think very much except for their own personal hot button issue. The idea of voting against a Congressman with whom they probably agree on 90% of the other issues aren't thinking clearly.

Anonymous said...

I remember hearing rumors on here about the pup selling his house?? Did you ever track that down....anything new on that front?

Anonymous said...

Seals is selling his house -- about 50 Republicans have gone through it -- sad the guy moved here to run against Kirk but didn't do his homework and bought a house in the 9th district before checking.

Rumor is that Seals will be moving to Wisconsin (more on that later) once Kirk beats him.

Team America said...

Anon 10:30- Seals' house in the 9th District definitely IS for sale, as far as we know, and we understand that Mrs. Seals took a job in Milwaukee. We are still working on the "story behind the story", which we hope to reveal soon... Please keep reading...

Thanx for your patience!

Team America said...

A commentor was removed for language. Please keep advised of the late George Carlin's prohibitions.

nosophist said...

"Great point Lou. ... if you don't like a moderate Republican then deal with it ... Also Neosophist, we're the NORTH SHORE not the GOLD COAST so get it right. ... The true Republicans are taking this party back and it starts here.

August 20, 2008 10:58 AM"

North Shore - Got mistake, no offense intended.

BTW that's 'Nosophist', as in "not a sophist", as opposed to some sort of newfangled, i.e., neo-sophist. No offense taken.

Demand? - whatever...LOL.

For the sake of clarity, what is a "true" Republican? Is the party going through an identity crisis? (That question is nearly rhetorical.)

A relevant fact from recent history:

When NRA asked Bush 41 to put pro-gun language into his platform, the response was not merely to refuse, but to ask "where ya gonna go?" As if he already owned the conservative vote. He LOST the NRA endorsement...and the election.

Having Clinton wasn't all bad. He gave us at least three things no Republican president could have: 1) Republican Congress, 2) 50% increase in NRA membership, 3) revitalized firearms industry, 4) a weak Democrat candidate in 2000, who also lost.

So, back to the question: what's a "true" Republican? Who are they in Illinois, what are they doing to take back the party, and how is it starting here?

Anonymous said...

In case you missed the Venturi interview on WKRS it is available on WKRS Podcast at.
The show was very interesting and showed the people of Lake Co. are concerned with crooked politicians. Also if you missed the Great Debate on having a Constitution Convention is also available on the podcast.

Anonymous said...

To said,

"Having Clinton wasn't all bad. He gave us at least three things no Republican president could have: 1) Republican Congress, 2) 50% increase in NRA membership, 3) revitalized firearms industry, 4) a weak Democrat candidate in 2000, who also lost".

Wow, was that the same Clinton that allowed Osama bin Laden to organize and ultimately attack us on 9-11??? Allowing the Clinton eight year train wreck on foreign policy and national defense weakness just to "spite" Bush-41 really worked out well for us didn't it???

Point being, even a Republican who doesn't share all your views is preferable to a weak socialist like Clinton, Kerry, Kennedy, Pelosi, Reid, Durbin, Seals, et al. This is serious business not tiddly-winks here folks.

nosophist said...

Moderate Republican = Democrat "lite" = (slower) move to socialism

"If we elect 'em, it just encourages 'em."

When RNC leaders analyze election losses, they invariably get it wrong. As a consequence, they keep moving the party's platform and backed candidates further to the left.

When the Democrat party left Ronald Reagan, he had the Republican party to go to. As the RNC leaves conservatives, as it tracks along behind the DNC, where are conservatives to go?

For the record, I never voted for Clinton. (I coined the phrase, "I knew in '92", during his scandals.) We all know we have Ross Perot to thank for both elections. Clinton, the minority president: what a loser.