Monday, October 5, 2009

Sneak Peeks at Q3 Numbers; Dan Seals Promotes Unauthorized and Outdated Endorsements

Later this morning, we expect to have sneak peeks at a few Q3 fundraising numbers from a couple of the major campaigns in the U.S. Senate and 10th District races, so keep checking back here this morning for updates.

Meanwhile, a story regarding Dem 10th District perennial candidate Dan Seals that we didn't have time to cover last week has been gnawing at me, and I finally figured out why.

First, the story- appears that Seals got himself in hot water last week when he was forced to pull back an announcement that former Congressman Abner Mikva had endorsed Seals in the upcoming three-way primary battle between himself, State Rep. Julie Hamos and Highland Park Attorney Elliot Richardson. Greg Hinz of Crain's writes about it here. Reportedly, Mikva had previously endorsed Seals in 2006 and 2008, and also had given Seals a nod earlier this year before Julie Hamos had announced her intentions to run. It seems that Dan Seals went ahead and tried to leverage Mikva's anticipated endorsement in a fundraising e-mail without checking in with Mikva first, after the change in circumstances. This lead to Team Hamos to fire off a fund-raising e-mail of their own (the re: line being, "our opponent's error"), and a complaint to Mikva, who quickly contacted Seals and told him, sorry Charlie (a nice touch, the CQ Politics article in the previous link is available on Hamos' website!).

Apparently, Mikva and Hamos have a long-standing relationship, and while Hamos will not get an endorsement from Mikva either, it was clear that Mikva wasn't going to let Seals use him as a pawn in his uphill battle with Hamos. It's easy, after all, to get endorsements when you are unopposed in the primary (or may as well be unopposed, when your opponent is Jay Footlik). However, it's worth noting that Mikva has endorsed U.S. Senate hopeful David Hoffman in the Dem primary, so it's not that Mikva appears to be opposed to primary endorsements solely on principle.

So what really happened here? Did Mikva let Seals know before Seals sent his e-mail that the anticipated endorsement was withdrawn (and then did Seals send the e-mail anyway), or was Mikva perhaps more at fault for not being clear enough with Seals that Mikva was withdrawing his support? Who really knows the real truth behind the timing. And do we care that much? --if one were so inclined, we could just put this down as a Dem inter-family squabble and then move on.

But, perhaps even more troubling is the continued pattern of Dan Seals playing fast and loose with the truth in many different ways. While we won't get back into the issues of professor-gate today (it's all in the blog archives anyway), we noticed recently that at Dan Seals' new website, he proudly displays a number of newspaper statements about himself that for all the world seem to be current endorsements.

However, they are all from previous elections.

But, you'd never know it, because none of the quotes are dated, and none of them have any context given.

Just for example, the Chicago Tribune is quoted as stating that "Dan Seals is an impressive candidate." All well and good.

But the quote is from October 2008 and let's look at the full quotation from the Tribune's endorsement of Seals' opponent, Congressman Mark Kirk:

Republican Rep. Mark Kirk faces Democrat Dan Seals in the north suburban 10th District. Seals is an impressive candidate, and he came close to beating Kirk in 2006. We wish Seals were running in the 9th District, where he lives. But he's not.

Instead, he's running against one of the most thoughtful, independent and effective members of the House. Kirk is a leader on environmental issues, including the protection of Lake Michigan. He is a strong advocate for embryonic stem-cell research. He's a workhorse on local concerns, known for having a diligent staff. Voters should look beyond partisanship and embrace their pragmatic, get-it-done congressman. Kirk is endorsed.

Seals obviously had lots of time to build up a collection of snippets of nice things newspapers have said about him (especially when the issue at the time was comparing him to primary opponents like Zane Smith and Jay Footlik). Unless you are a complete doofus (hmm...), run often enough and someone will find something nice to say about you to take the sting out of the real truth (even Jim Oberweis has to have had somebody say something good about him, somewhere).

But to promote those quotes as if the Chicago Tribune and other MSM sources were currently promoting Seals over opponents Hamos and Richardson are a disingenuous tactic that would have me (if I were Seals' opponent) just as peeved as the Mikva debacle. Maybe those campaigns will step up and take note before Team Seals takes them to the cleaners by duping unsuspecting voters with stale endorsements.


Anonymous said...

Seals is such a jack-ellen!

Anonymous said...

Can we just acknowledge that this guy is never going to win the primary? The 10th Dems deserve a moderate who can win, actually win, the 10th District. Seals needs to take a back seat and get a real job. Running for Congress three times and losing does not a career make.