Saturday, January 16, 2010

Patrick Hughes Loses Major Conservative Endorsement, Slammed by Conservative Candidates for Not Voting

While the eyes of the nation are focused on the Scott Brown senate battle in Massachusetts, back here at home, it's only 16 more days until our own primary to decide which GOP candidate will do battle against the Dem nominee for U.S. Senate, which is still presumed to be Alexi Giannoulias.

Earlier this week, ABC-7 hosted a U.S. Senate debate in which only three of the six candidates showed up. One of them, oddly, was Andy Martin, who has no traction in the polls and is regarded by many, including the IL GOP, as not a legitimate candidate. That was a recipe for high (or low) comedy, and I tried to watch the video clips on the ABC-7 website, but I will admit I did not quite make it all the way through. It was just too tortuous. It was clear that front-runner Congressman Mark Kirk won just by not showing up and subjecting himself to the farce that was labled as a debate.

Hughes spent much of the debate jousting with Andy Martin, wondering aloud why anyone was paying attention to the self-proclaimed muckraker, and recited over and over again that the race was only between he and Mark Kirk, as if only if he repeated that often enough, it would come true. Perhaps Hughes' poor performance in the debate was one reason that the Illinois Conservative Action Network announced it was pulling its endorsement of Hughes for Senate – and was endorsing former judge Don Lowery instead (and Lowery, like Kirk, didn't even show up to the debate either). Back in December, the ICAN group had endorsed Hughes.

Just look at how Hughes handled the emerging controversy over his voting record (or lack thereof) during the debate when fellow candidate John Arrington called him on it:



Poor Pat had to be rescued by the moderator and clearly wasn't ready for prime time. Lucky for Pat, Channel 7 decided not to air the debate live.

It seems that Hughes' voting issue may turn out to be his Achilles' heel, to the extent that he ever had the chance to get any traction. In a joint candidate appearance before the Springfield State Journal-Register yesterday, Judge Lowery also slammed Hughes for running a negative campaign when he never bothered to vote much before running for one of the highest public offices in America.

From today’s SJR:

Lowery, a former southern Illinois judge, said candidates need to have a record and said Hughes hadn’t voted until recently in Republican elections.

“We can’t blame all the ills of society on Congressman Kirk,” Lowery said.

Hughes, who lives in suburban Chicago, said he has often voted for Republicans but couldn’t remember which Republican primaries he voted in before 2008.

“When I decided to get involved in the political process, I did it in a major way,” Hughes said. “There are many ways to show your patriotism.”


Ouch. And check out this video that discusses which important elections Patrick Hughes missed this decade:



That's not too good for Pat either.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking away, and it looks like it's getting late for the Hughes cavalry to arrive. Tick tock, tick tock.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

TA

The Illinois Conservative Action Network won't open. It asks for long information.

Gold Fish said...

Tic Toc, Tic Toc Patty Boy. Here is some free counsel, pull your $250K out of your campaign. You are as done as day old road kill in the Texas heat.

Anonymous said...

http://illinoisconservative.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/ican-switches-endorsement-to-don-lowery-for-u-s-senate/

Anonymous said...

Pat Hughes is kind of like a 16 seed in the ncaa tournament, comes in thinking he can play, then gets blown out and becomes a footnote.

Alexi has 3 hopes right now. 1 the economy starts to recover. 2, blago goes down easily. 3, he morphs into obama over night.

1,2,3 aren't happening.

FOKLAEAPS

Anonymous said...

If Hughes can't answer the question about not voting, he's not qualified for the Illinois State Senate, much less the United States Senate. This guy is not ready for prime time.

Anonymous said...

Hughes is a joke -- this will kill any traction he was getting with the right.

Mike said...

TA,

You've got three broken links above. Here they are:

http://illinoisconservative.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/ican-switches-endorsement-to-don-lowery-for-u-s-senate/

http://illinoisconservative.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/illinois-primary-endorsments-by-ican/

http://www.sj-r.com/news/x1689208409/Republicans-show-differences-in-US-Senate-race

Team America said...

Thanks Mike - people have been saying the links are giving trouble today, but they seem to work for me on my computer. But if anyone can't seem to link through directly, they can paste in the links you posted. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hughes makes me laugh. He never was bothered about politics until he decided to get involved, and then he decided that he should run everything? I guess if the Presidential election had been this year, he might have gone for that instead, since he seems to think we can't live without him.

Should we all genuflect now, before he loses to Kirk in a landslide?

Anonymous said...

Hughes's campaign is a disaster

JB Powers said...

How lame,

Kirk votes for one of the biggest tax increases in US history, and the big issue is whether Pat Hughes voted in an election or not.

How about sticking to the issues...or just showing up first?

JBP

Anonymous said...

JB, interesting how you used the phrase "just showing up first".

Watching campaigns as closely and for as long as you probably have as well, you have to admit that if Kirk didn't have a record, Hughes would obviously have very little on which to campaign.

The fact that Hughes' ENTIRE campaign has been nothing more than bashing Kirk on his positions, and parroting his one major talking point re: Cap&Trade over and over again--after it's been explained--COMBINED with Hughes' voting record, shows how unprepared Hughes is to run for UNITED STATES Senate.

Hughes can't even manage to get on the offensive or come up with a unique thought with regard to foreign policy--a topic where he's been provided advisors.

And THIS is the man that you think will be able to represent us well in the US Senate? Too much, way too soon.

The best we can hope for from Hughes is that he hasn't burnt too many bridges thus far so that he'll be able to put whatever knowledge and experience he's acquired during this race to run again at some point. Otherwise, this whole fiasco orchestrated by Caprio--who had SIX years to come up with a viable Conservative candidate to run, mind you--will become a total waste of everyone's time.

If you're close to Hughes, I'd suggest that you remind him of the importance of a good concession speech and phone call to congratulate the Primary winner.

Anonymous said...

And again with regard to "just showing up first", Kirk has been serving his State and Country in various capacities for DECADES now.

Hughes decision to run suddenly because of Kirk's alleged "failures"-- again, COMBINED with his voting record--show alot of missed opportunities on Hughes' part and alot of DEDICATION on Kirk's part during the same periods of their lives.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, TA. The 3:10 and 3:24 comments were from Anonymous ?.

JB Powers said...

Oh Humbug,

Kirk's record stinks and the whole Republican party knows it.

Shouldn't an opposing candidate be "bashing" Kirk on the issues? What is Hughes supposed to do, say "oh well, Kirk really hasn't shown much leadership over the years, but I guess that's OK because Andy Martin is so crazy, voters in the 10th like wishy-washy".

I am glad that Pat had the nerve to run against this guy. You can vote for whoever you like, that is why we have primaries rather than shouting matches. But it is just juvenile to hammer on Hughes for bringing up legitimate issues (cap and trade, the surge etc) where Kirk has been irresponsible.

JBP

Anonymous said...

===
I am glad that Pat had the nerve to run against this guy.
===

I'm glad he did, too.

Again, I'm just hoping that he (and his supporters) will be smart enough to apply the experience and knowledge he has/they have acquired during this race to a successful run in future.

Depending on the other candidates who run against him in any future Primaries he might choose, I'd seriously and very happily consider supporting him myself.

Anonymous said...

However, he bit off a bit more than he can obviously chew this time around with a run for the UNITED STATES Senate...and it's been quite obvious.

Anonymous said...

You have to admit that while Hughes' "looks" remind us of Jack Ryan (whom I, as a Moderate, very publicly and actively supported), Jack actually had a VERY impressive record PRIOR to his US Senate run even though he never ran for office before.

Jack's record included serving on our Finance Committee and contributing tens of thousands of dollars to supporting other Republicans.

Hughes just doesn't have enough for us right now. And, again THAT combined with Hughes' voting record, just isn't enough right now.

JB Powers said...

The US Senate has to be one of the easiest jobs on earth. If your positions on the issues are consistent, what else do you need? Hughes is a hard worker and shows up for debates.

It is just childish to say (repeatedly) that the issues don't matter. If Republican vote based on issues, then Pat Hughes wins the primary.

JBP

Anonymous said...

JB, you know as well as I do that once the Campaign is over, the REAL work begins. And that's when know-how when it comes to strategic and tactical moves become even MORE important.

And THAT's what primaries are for: to determine who has the best potential to do battle--and win more often than not--once the Primary Victory Party lights go out.

Team America said...

JB, I really don't get you. From your argument, you would be willing to put any yutz in the U.S. Senate as long as you were sure they agreed with you 100% of the time. No wonder a guy like Kirk scares you. An intelligent guy that does his homework and knows a lot more about things like the situation in Afghanistan might actually make a choice you might not agree with, and then where would you be?

I think I could have programmed my old Apple ][+ computer to respond to a pre-selected set of so-called GOP values and cast Senate votes based on pre-programmed criteria and that would suit you just fine.

Put simply, "issues" do not 100% a candidate make. Mark Kirk has more foreign policy experience in his little finger that all the other Senate candidates combined, friend. But if you blindly care only about "issues," well then, it's not important.

By the way, if issues are so key, why Hughes and not Arrington or Lowery? They all seem pretty dogmatic - even enough for you. Is it just because Hughes is tallest? It seems that's about how deep your criteria for picking a candidate run, so it wouldn't shock me.

Oh, finally, is blocking ObamaCare an "issue" for you? If so, maybe you ought to consider voting for a guy like Kirk who can actually win the general election and cast a vote in the senate. Please don't embarrass yourself further by suggesting that Pat could actually win in the general. Maybe you better sent him $15 million, stat, so he can get his fundraising going, because that's what the GOP nominee is going to need. SO far, Kirk's raised almost $5 million of that. What's Pat raised?

Oh, who cares? It's about "issues," after all.

Anonymous said...

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2010/01/mark-kirk-revs-up-cook-county-gop.html#comments

JB Powers said...

Fundraising is not what I vote for. It may be what gets you elected, in which case the system stinks. Maybe we should just cancel the elections and just have a competition to see who can raise the most money? If that is Democracy, I say the hell with it.

Intelligent guys may have opposed the Surge. After it worked, Kirk should come clean and say his vote stunk, which it did. Kirk matched up nicely with Obama's wishy washy stance on supporting the troops in Iraq; which is enough to vote for any of his more consistent competitors (excluding the bizarre guy of course)

Cap and trade is a disaster, wrecking the economy for the love of on junk science. An intelligent Republican can oppose it, like Hughes does.

Senators really don't do a hell of a lot except for voting. Yes, I just want somebody to vote for conservative/small government stuff. That's all. This is not rocket science.

JBP

Team America said...

Well, JB, if the job was really as simple, mindless and unimportant as you make it out to be, I would suggest that maybe Pat really is your guy, expect that would actually demean Pat, who is a smart man. Never said he wasn't. You need at least as smart as guy as Pat is serving in the U.S. Senate.

But, I bet if you asked Pat how simplistic and inconsequential the challenge of serving in the U.S. Senate is, he would heartily disagree.

But don't worry, he'll still take your vote. He needs every single one he can get.

Anonymous said...

===
The US Senate has to be one of the easiest jobs on earth.
===

Really? Why don't you challenge your boy Hughes to just a single term in US Congress? Let's see how gray his hair gets during that one term.

And with regard to "my boy" Kirk: Please keep in mind that not only has he been effectively serving as a US Congressman, BUT he's also been running for US Senate, AND serving as a Reservist.

In other words, those wrinkles and gray hair look damn GOOD on him--especially since they were acquired in battle for our State and Country.

Anonymous said...

And mind you, even under the circumstances, Kirk is STILL in EXCELLENT shape physically, emotionally, and INTELLECTUALLY compared to Hughes--even with all of "He Who Shall Remain Nameless"'s attacks.

Do I REALLY need to reference the question during the televised debate regarding Hughes' voting record and Hughes' response to same to prove that point?

JB Powers said...

Lame Anonymous poster at 5:53,

To the best of my knowledge Pat Hughes is nobody's "boy" except his mother's. Same for Kirk.

If you and Rep. Kirk think being a Senator is too much work along with his other commitments, then maybe our man in the 10th should not run for Senate, as the task of bellowing around Washington about 3 days a week is certainly a real chore.

JBP

Anonymous said...

Wow. NOT AT ALL what I had expected from "JB Powers" as a response. lol

Interesting. And perhaps even intriguing.

Anonymous said...

This is stinkin' hilarious! JB says that fund-raising doesn't matter when Hughes struts arounds saying constantly "I'm the ONLY ONE that's got the money!" He has blown up on more than one occassion when he's been pressed on any issue in front of the crowds. The man is imploding!

JB Powers said...

Fundraising can matter to you all you want. I personally don't care how much money a candidate has raised. I only care about a candidate's position on the issues, such as cap and trade, where Mark Kirk has voted for one of the biggest tax increases in history.

I am sure there are a bunch of numskulls at ComEd etc who will donate to Kirk because of his vote to tax their competitors, but I am not one of them.

JBP

Anonymous said...

===
Fundraising can matter to you all you want. I personally don't care how much money a candidate has raised.
===

Fundraising should matter to you when it seems that your Candidate's supporters are backing away from their commitments to fund him or her.

That seems to have been a "theme" of the Hughes campaign from the beginning--and seems to have included not only supporters here in Illinois, but in DC as well.

Furthermore, all of the "national" media attention that everyone was hyping when Hughes went out to DC a couple of times seems to have died down as well.

Deny it as much as you want, but those are clear Indicators.

Anonymous ?

Team America said...

=== Furthermore, all of the "national" media attention that everyone was hyping when Hughes went out to DC a couple of times seems to have died down as well. ===

And came back empty handed, we might add.

JB Powers said...

I've backed Pat Hughes since the day he announced for Senate. He is the best man for the job. I have no intentions of backing away from that now.

Insider trading within the Republicans got us into the sorry condition we are in today. It is time to change that. Some of us believe competition is good for Democracy and good for the Republican party.

JBP

Anonymous said...

I admire your loyalty, JB. However, there's absolutely nothing to indicate that Hughes is the best man for the job right now--and that's why his support here in Illinois and at the National level is where it is.

And I agree that competition is a good thing. This race will put Hughes in a stronger position the next time he runs, should he decide to do so.

JB Powers said...

Position on issues. Dedication to the job. 90% is just showing up, like any other job, to events like a debate on Chicago's largest TV station.

JBP

Anonymous said...

You keep repeating that over and over again, JB. All Candidates didn't show up for all debates even during the 04 US Senate Race. Voters know that that happens. You're beginning to sound as if you believe that this one debate somehow would have turned things around for you, which was never possible.

Furthermore, three of the Candidates chose not to participate in the debate for some reason.

I'd suggest that you consider looking at it this way: Hughes' decision to participate with Martin and Arrington gave him more air time to use; he used it to the best of his ability; and its over now.

JB Powers said...

If he wins the primary, does Mark Kirk have any major media events that he does not plan to attend?

Why would anyone give someone money, when the candidate does not bother to use the free airtime provided by ABC7? Strikes me as irresponsible.

JBP

Anonymous said...

JB, I'm starting to think that you gave Hughes the advice to go ahead with the debate and are beginning to feel badly about it. There shouldn't have been any surprises here. It was widely publicized that three of the candidates decided NOT to participate for whatever reasons well in advance. Hughes knew AM would be there, along with Arrington, so more of the "spotlight" would be shining on him. He was even warned on some of the blogs that there was a likelihood that some of the "flack" would be directed his way because the group was now smaller.

But Hughes decided to go for it anyway.

IMHO, Hughes' backing out as the others did probably would have scored more points for Hughes than actually participating. But that's just my opinion.

As you probably know, one of the major Dem US Senate Debates was recently cancelled because Alexi decided not to participate. And to his credit, Hoffman decided not to participate either--knowing he had other opportunities to make whatever points he still needed to drive home before the Primary.

Campaigns aren't, never have been, and never will be "controlled" environments. Upsets are encountered frequently--and again, those who are light on their feet and able to best deal with those upsets are generally the ones who make it through the Primary.

If you think this is tough, imagine what actually BEING in the United States Senate is like when you're constantly doing battle with some of the most aggressive in our Country. It's MUCH more than simply having the "work ethic" to "show up in DC" three days a week to "bellow" the entire time.

JB Powers said...

You want to get up to the lazy Democrats clown act level? Go ahead, but use your own money.

Any time Channel 7 wants to donate a free hour, a candidate should take it. Why the nameless demon was invited by ABC7 is beyond me, but air time is air time.

JBP

Anonymous said...

So now we've come full circle to the funding issue.

I've tried to be helpful, JB, throughout this entire Campaign because I knew it was Hughes' first time out--but I'm done now.