Saturday, December 12, 2009

Libertyville Township Endorses Mark Kirk, Dan Sugrue, Others, In Marathon Endorsement Session

I was very proud today to participate in the Libertyville Township GOP endorsement session, led by longtime Township Chairman John Emerson, a Libertyville attorney. Emerson orchestrated an impressive event, which started before 9:00 a.m. and did not wrap up until 5:00 p.m. We knew we were in for a bit of a marathon session given that candidates in most of the races got an amazing 10 minutes each to talk and answer questions (a handful of the downballot races like comptroller ended up getting 5 minutes each). In total, by my count, we heard from 35 candidates over the course of the day, so you can understand why it took a while.

As often happens, some segments ran a bit long, so we ended up about an hour and a half over the scheduled time for the day, but every one of the committeemen (as well as the candidates) whom I spoke with was glad of the opportunity to hear more from the candidates than the standard 2 or 3 minutes that most townships allow due to time constraints. I think it speaks a lot of the commitment of our township committeemen that they were willing to sacrifice an entire day to give our GOP candidates a full hearing and make a decision based on as much information as we could obtain.

I also have to say that I was really, truly impressed with the quality of the candidates who presented themselves today. Many of them I knew, but some, like Lt. Governor candidates Jason Plummer and Brad Cole, Comptroller candidates William Kelly and Jim Dodge, U.S. Senate candidate John Arrington, and 10th Congressional District candidate Arie Friedman, were impressive candidates who I had never met or had much exposure to. Many of these candidates had compelling personal stories and great ideas. And, I have to say, with only a very few exceptions, I really think that the crop of GOP candidates we are fielding are people of great intelligence, integrity and vision.

Simply put, the GOP candidates for Illinois offices get it. They realize that the state has been mortgaged almost to the point of bankruptcy by former Governor Blagojevich and the rest of the Democratic party, and it has reached a crisis situation. The constant refrain of the day was 'jobs, jobs, jobs,' followed closely by clamping down on spending, reforming the state pension plans, and reducing the deficit. The rest of the state is starting to realize the disaster brought on by years of one-party rule, and the GOP as a whole is buzzing with excitement at the prospect of many Republican victories in November 2010. But, they all realize that a GOP landslide is not just going to fall into our laps, no matter how favorable the political climate may be.

In any case, here's the run-down of the endorsements for Libertyville township. Note that where no candidate got at least 60% of the vote after two rounds of voting, no endorsement was made, but in certain cases, the top three voter-getters were noted. I should say that in races where there was no endorsement, that certainly does not mean that no candidate merited the endorsement; quite the opposite, in fact, as it really means that many of the candidates are so good, it was simply too hard to pick among them to get a 60% majority for any one candidate.

First up is Congressman Mark Kirk, who won the endorsement for U.S. Senate in the first round of voting (I also heard that he won Maine Township today, something like 48-1). Mark covered a number of topics, from policy to politics, and as usual, impressed the committeemen with his experience and deep grasp of foreign policy. An honorable TA mention goes to my friend Patrick Hughes, who is dipping his toes into his first political race. From what I saw this morning, Pat has matured a lot as a candidate, and even deftly handled the policy question on Iran that I threw at him. If it wasn't for the fact that Pat was running against Mark Kirk, I'd probably support him, but there are very few people who can really hold a candle to Mark Kirk, and Pat simply isn't there yet. I look forward to great things from Pat if he stays involved in politics, but the choice this morning was clearly Mark Kirk as the best candidate, and the best hope for retaking this U.S. Senate seat.

In the Governor's race, there was a second round of voting but still no clear 60% winner. Thus, the top vote-getters, in order of the greatest number of votes, was former Attorney General Jim Ryan, political consultant Dan Proft, and DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom.

For Lt. Governor, State Senator Matt Murphy was endorsed after a second round of voting.

In the 8th Congressional District, Long Grove Mayor Maria Rodriguez was endorsed after a second round.

In the 10th Congressional District, there was no 60% winner after two rounds of voting, and the top vote-getters were State Rep. Beth Coulson, businessman Bob Dold, and veteran navy pilot and physician Arie Friedman.

For Comptroller, Jim Dodge was endorsed (note the correction from earlier where we erroneoulsy reported that there was no endorsement).

Finally, in the 59th District, our favorite attorney Dan Sugrue won the first round vote for the endorsement (Sugrue was also endorsed by Vernon Township last Monday night).

Appellate Court Justices Mary Schostok and Ann Jorgenson were also endorsed.

Yawn. Time for a nap now.

12/13.09 ALSO- I was remiss in not noting that per our tradition in Libertyville, all non-contested primary candidates were endorsed as a pro-forma matter, which include Sheriff Mark Curran, County Clerk Willard Helander, Treasurer Bob Skidmore, Superintendent of Schools Roycealee Wood, and Judge Wally Dunn.


Anonymous said...

7 hours on a saturday before christmas and the first day of hanukah is a major effort. I give props to you team america and hope you will be rewarded in 11 months with many candidates turned elected officials for catwoman to convulse about.

Mr. Hughes should consider taking on Mr. Link now that mr. hughes has a statewide fundraising network. If pat goes nicely he can have a future in the party. If he goes nasty and makes Mark sweat, there will be hell to pay. hopefully team kirk can use its diplomatic skills to send an envoy-perhaps you team america to camp hughes to get him to play nice for 6 weeks and Senator Mark Kirk will then agree to clear a field for him for some future office.

glad to see your guy thunderdan got the endorsement.

props to libertyville republicans on a job well done.


Anonymous said...

did dold give a position on abortion?
Then did dold give another position on abortion?

Anonymous said...

No, Bob was consistent as usual on his position on abortion, as he has been throughout this election.

No federal funding
Parental notification
No late term partial birth abortions.

Dold is the only candidate to win any Township endorsements and I think that is scaring the rest of the field. Proof positive, the nasty guns are turning on Dold, i.e. anonymous emails and fake anonymous rumors of flip-flops. This cesspool campaigning is the stuff of Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Looks like we're down to three meaningful candidates in the 10th. They seem to offer a pretty good contrast with each other as well. Coulson who is liberal and supposedly a good match for this district in the general election. Dold who seems to be a pretty straightforward businessman/conservative. Friedman who seems to have a background that fits well with the current issues of war and healthcare. He also might grab some of Coulson's moderate Jewish vote.

This is getting interesting.

Really, the person with the biggest problem with abortion in this primary is Coulson.

Easy said...

someone please tell me the difference between Dold and Coulson on abortion. Coulson voted for parental notification and voted for a bill to end partial birth.

Seems like Dold and Coulson are the same, right?

Anonymous said...

That might be true, but Coulson has a long-standing record of identifying herself as "pro-choice". People might not remember anything else about her.

Anonymous said...


You are incorrect. Elizabeth Coulson is 100% pro-choice. She received a 100% rating from Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, a 0 rating from Illinois Federation for Right to Life

In addition, the Illinois Citizens for Life gave her a rating of 'Totally Opposed to Pro-Life issues'

One should consider Ms. Coulson and Mr. Hamond very pro-choice. The other candidates, Friedman, Dold, Green and Cadigan are moderately pro-choice. They all agree that:

No federal funding
Parental notification
No late term partial birth abortions.

These positions would not earn a 100% or a 0% from either the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council or the lllinois Federation for Right to Life.

All candidates in this race are pro-choice enough to win in the general election in the 10th Congressional District.

Easy said...

I don't really care what the groups rated them as--we are not privy to each and every questionnaire and it appears some positions have been revised already.

All I am saying is based on Beth's votes in the General Assembly, she has the same position as Dold.

Tell me specifically how they differ based on the fact that Coulson voted for parental notification and she voted to end partial birth.

Anonymous said...

Dold has Penny Pullen backing him. You don't get her support by telling her you are moderately pro-choice.

Anonymous said...

Dold has supporters from all parts of the local Republican Party voting for him, as evidenced by the fact that he is the only candidate to have won any Township endorsements (New Trier/Elk Grove & Vernon) and is the only candidate to finish first or second in those township races that did not get the 60% necessary to endorse. (1st in Palatine, 2nd in Wheeling to Cadigan, 2nd in Libertyville to Coulson)

I voted for Dold yesterday, because he is the most electable, the hardest working, the best on the issues and the clear alternative to too-left-Coulson Unlike Green, Hammond, Ari and Cadigan, Dold has proven he can build a campaign team, raise money and get boots on the ground. Dold is our best option to electing a solid Republican while still maintaining electability in November.

Anonymous said...

Dold is horrible on his feet. Get him off his prepared speech and he stumbles badly.
And if he really is pro-choice, why not say that to the Tribune and Jeff Berkowitz?

Anonymous said...

Hmm. When I spoke with Penny recently, she didn't say anything about backing Dold.

Re Friedman - I'm pretty amazed at the team he's built up in less than 2 months. Still not necessarily my candidate, but I'm pretty sure he, Dold, and Coulson could all field a viable team and campaign in the general.

Also, I wouldn't say Dold is working harder than the other two. I see Friedman and Coulson all over the place. I don't know about Coulson, but Friedman put his office under his medical office and is both campaigning full time and still seeing patients.

Again, any of the three would put together a real campaign in the general. The idea that any of the three would be hamstrung by some sort of inability to organize is sorta silly. This should be about two things. Vote for who you want to represent you while keeping in mind who you think can win in November.

Just my two cents as an observer.

Anonymous said...

Coulson is the number one recipient of campaign dollars from Personal Pac. She has received more money from this extreme pro-choice lobbying group than Karen May, Jeff Schoenberg and Julie Hamos combined. I would love to see how Terry Cosgrove responds to Beth Coulson saying she isn't 100% pro-choice. As I recall Personal Pac even sent one of their employees in to temporarily work full-time on Beth Coulson's campaign. Oh and look at this quote from Terry...

Anonymous said...

Yes, Dold is so terrible on his feet that we won all the endorsements..that makes a lot of sense. I would say that the evidence points to the fact that Dick Green is horrible on his feet...0 endorsements, horrific fundraising....that there is the objective evidence, my friend.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm going to name myself "Objectivity."

So, first, Bob is not terrible on his feet. He's not the best ad-libber, but that's not the end of the world for a candidate.

However, he has not gotten some massive outpouring of endorsements as you seem to be trying to state. 3 township endorsements a tidal wave do not make. By sheer numbers of endorsements, Coulson is way ahead with all of her downstate buddies. And Friedman is the only one I know of to get media endorsements (three at least that I know of). He also got the Tax Accountability endorsement and won the straw poll at the Waukegan forum. So, it seems sorta even amongst the top three in the endorsement category.

I will agree with your assessment re Green.


Anonymous said...

Dold's support at each of the township endorsements except New Trier stems from the fact that he told single issue pro-life conservatives he was pro-life.

Anonymous said...

It's good to see I am not the only poster anymore.

Dold makes max temkin look like a harvard phd. There is nothing to the guy beyond the hair and the white teeth. I am totally unimpressed.

Don't forget coulson is backed by every major democrat special interest.

Arie friedman is not a serious general election candidate. Also with ethan hastert running and the national party broke, there will be no reinforcements for this race.


Anonymous said...

You might be correct if the three endorsements were the entire story. But it isn't. Below are the results from all the endorsement sessions. Dold is the only candidate who is there every time. Not getting the plurality every time, but every time he is right there in the hunt. Mr. Objectivity (i.e. Ari Friedman supporter), Friedman's Tax Accountability endorsement is given to every candidate who signs the pledge, hardly a significant feather in his cap. The only significant endorsements in this race are Coulson's and Dold's. Coulson has the establishment people who don't really know any of the candidates, and believe without scrutiny her erroneous argument that one needs to cut fliers with Obama & Blago to get elected in the 10th. Dold has a couple of townships, which is nice buzz, but doesn't amount to too much unless one believes that the local activists adequately represent the electorate..not a given by any measure.

Elk Grove - Dold Endorsement (2nd Green)
New Trier - Dold Endorsement (2nd Green)
Vernon - Dold Endorsement (2nd Coulson)

Northfield - No endorsement. Coulson 1st, Dold 2nd; Palatine - No endorsement. Dold 1st, Friedman 2nd;Libertyville - No endorsement. Coulson 1st, Dold 2nd; Wheeling - No endorsement. Cadigan 1st, Dold 2nd

Lastly, Jen (i.e. Coulson's Democrat Party campaign manager), just because you say the same lie over and over again doesn't make it true. Dold, Green, Friedman have been consistent about their positions on abortion. Enough with the Chicago-style whisper campaigns, we don't want your slime in the 10th.

Crazy4glf said...

We didn't do well under George Ryan and Pate Phillip's priorities were unique.

If the local GOP's approach to jobs include initiatives like McCain allowing foreign ownership of Airborne overnight, I will pass.

Also, Kirk voted against the job - creating stimulus (Washington St. Rt 137 projects) and cash for clunkers (although he voted for the additional funding for it, the consistent person he is).

Compassionate, thoughtful, independent?

Full of angst, rhetoric, and incomplete plans yes

Anonymous said...

Dold already HAS flip flopped on abortion, but I believe it is due to his own ignorance. I saw him at a forum a few months ago and he said he is a) against late term, b) against federal funding, and c) for parental notification. Now he says he is against partial birth, against federal funding, and for parental notification.

Dold either does not know the difference between late term and partial birth abortion, or has decided to move left on the issue. It is disconcerting and embarrassing that one of the major contenders in this race did not know the difference between late term and partial birth abortion. Is Dold equally ignorant on economic, energy, and foreign policy issues?

Anonymous said...

Correction: Friedman received the most votes in Palatine with no endorsement.

In Waukegan, Friedman got the most straw poll votes and Dick Green received the most committeeman votes.

Anonymous said...

As a member of National Taxpayers United for Illinois (Tax Accountability) I can tell you that the endorsement does not go to anyone who "signs the pledge." There is actually a fairly lengthy questionnaire that is graded. But even if it were, are you saying Dold didn't sign a simple pledge saying he won't vote to raise taxes?

I really can't see voting for Dold if he won't commit - right now - to voting against tax increases.

Anonymous said...

1. The tribune has been polling on competitive races. They haven't come out with senate yet. I expect them to tomorrow and I am betting it's something like Kirk 55-17 or whatever. If Mark is anywhere north of 55 and Hughes south of 15, it's a good sign. This can't get close. Hughes seems to be losing momentum.

2. I haven't seen one of these events on the ground, but from the trib thing it's pretty apparent that green and dold don't have the chops. I have seen blog posts here that were harsher on coulson than dold and green were. She has a record and neither of them have the guts to attack it.

3. I think friedman and green are coulson's best friends right now. you could make an argument they are attacking her, making her negatives higher but I don't see her moderate republican vote swinging to dold. I think green and friedman eat away from dold's vote. Short of someone getting the kirk momentum that mark got after the kathy porter and john porter endorsements, it's coulson's to lose.


Anonymous said...

Dold won the most votes in Palatine, not Friedman. Call TOPPER if you care: 847-359-5212.

Team America said...

Topper Harley?

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me, pumping the Waukegan Straw poll!! 1/2 the people voting in that were political operatives and the so-called winner got 3 or 4 votes. The final tally was something like 4 to 3 to 1, on the snowiest night of the year with ridiculously low turnout. I mean, come on....who are you trying to kid??

Anonymous said...

Yes, Topper Harley, he was at the endorsement session with his nephew, brother and Jobu. He knows who got the most votes, but you can also ask Gary Skoin or Luke Prax and the Palatine Republican organization.

In fact, maybe that would be a worthwhile thing for TA to check since two appear to claim the plurality in that session.

Anonymous said...

The poll I hypothesized about is now out.

catlady did better than pat hughes.


Team America said...

Yep. Working on a post now. Kirk didn't get 55%, but Pat didn't even get close to 15.

Anonymous said...

This is awful even for hughes. to have zero support in some places. How does that happen?


Anonymous said...

There were more people voting in the straw poll at Waukegan/Shields than in the endorsement session at Vernon. Also, political operatives were not allowed to vote.

Anonymous said...

If anybody is going to base their claim that a candidate deserves support based on the endorsement of parochial GOP local organizations, there is is serious trouble brewing.

We better test these candidates with some serious practice fire or risk serious embarassment.

This district is not a "lightweight"one. There are smart people who will smell out a phoney. Better find this out know and not in the general

Anonymous said...

There were about 14 including 2 proxy votes in Vernon, there were about 6 in Waukegan. I saw two political operatives voting in Waukegan.

However, I agree that Township endorsements are not even close to the end all be all. But, they do show a candidate's ability to organize and to appeal to people. Endorsements combined with money are an impressive combination, because the ability to organize and to appeal to people combined with the means to get out the message to everyone are two important functions that comprise a successful candidacy, IMO

Here is the public info at

Cadigan: Total raised $37,100 Personal cont. $5,000

Coulson: Total raised $128,078, Personal cont. $50,000

Dold: Total raised $248,342, Personal cont. $10,000

Friedman: Didn't have his stuff together to file, but is having a low dollar fundraiser in pretty soon.

Green: $74,970, Personal cont. $231,222

Ari's guys will probably say that he didn't file because he got into the race late, but (1) who's fault is that?; and (2) he is asking Republican to make a huge risk in supporting someone who hasn't proven he can raise money. The promise of a campaign is not the same thing as having built one up. The promise of an ability of raising money is not the same thing as actually having done it. One thing we know is that Hamos and Seals can raise money--we don't know if Ari can, we do know that Green and Cadigan cannot.

Anonymous said...

I looked at the FEC website:

Only interesting tidbit is that lot's of Dold dollars are out-of-staters and local (assuming friends) doing large $$ contributions.

That's no different than Green self-financing from a "grassroots" buzz perspective.

Maybe 4th quarter will be different.

Anonymous said...

I am a supporter of Arie's (by the way, if you want to appear knowledgable, you should consider spelling his name correctly). The reason he didn't file las quarter is that he literally wasn't even thinking about running at that point. I and a few others convinved him to run las week in October - and we got 1300 signatures in 6 days. Yes, Arie will be the first to tell you that fundraising is his biggest problem at this point. Personally, I believe that is because he is months behind, but that is simply my opinion. What I will say is that he has done an immense amount with what he has gotten. And in this district at least, money and votes are not the same.

But feel free to stick with Bob and Beth for thw general if you think they can actually win in the general. I am the first person who gave Arie money becuase I am 100% convinced that neither will stand a chance. I will take the under position on Beth at 40% in the general.

Anonymous said...

There you have it, an admission from the top Arie supporter; the guy can't raise money. Think about that.

Anonymous said...

That's how you interpreted my comments?

Pretty funny - and transparent.

And I like to think I am a close friend of Arie's but I'm pretty sure his top supporter is his mother!

Anonymous said...

The same mother who married the guy who ran as a Democrat against John Porter?

Anonymous said...

I met Arie, and I agree that Arie is the best candidate, in his race, and that he can win, in Nov. While Congress tries to change healthcare, we need to elect more doctors, to Congress. During the war, we should elect more veterans to Congress.

Phil Collins

Anonymous said...

"The same mother who married the guy who ran as a Democrat against John Porter?"

Yep, and if anyone finds that inconsistent, they haven't met many Jewish mothers!

Anonymous said...

There are certainly some deep passions in this primary. The reality is (and I'm a registered Republican) is that this is a Democratic district and it is Julie's to lose. The full force of the White House will descend upon us after the primaries. So, if you look at the SCIENCE of this race (as a Political Scientist), our ideal candidate would be jewish (Julie does have a compelling story) to split that bloc (which a significant percentage smartly supported Mark, but will not run to Beth or Bob over Julie) and/or have some other tie-in to another massive voting bloc. Beth splits the largest voting bloc (women) and Arie energizes the Veterans (and has more charisma than Beth). Bob is clearly the most polished, but Arie and Beth have the better chance of winning in NOVEMBER. Think November friends. Money, time and name recognition will be plenty after the primary -- these will all be neutralized when general season commences.

Anonymous said...

"Money, time and name recognition will be plenty after the primary"

Not necessarily true. Ask Steve Greenberg in the 8th last election cycle. This stuff just doesn't happen, it requires savy, skill and hard work. Money and name recognition just don't come from the sky and national money will not automatically flow to an expensive media market district when there will be so many competitive races across the country...