Friday, February 5, 2010

Scott Lee Cohen Bombshell a Major Embarrassment For IL Dems; "Who Am I?" to Have Denounced Him, Asks State Senator Terry Link

As you have probably heard by now, the shocking revelations into the past of Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor Scott Lee Cohen, including domestic abuse allegations, use of steroids, and failure to pay child support, threaten to derail the entire Democratic election campaign strategy, and may even force Governor Quinn to form a third party in order to escape the taint of Cohen as his running mate. Wow. Even in the State of Illinois, where we thought we'd seen it all politically (did we mention that yesterday, former Governor Blagojevich also was re-indicted (mostly a technical formality, but still)), this one is a whopper.

We always try to give the local angle on political stories, so one thing we find very interesting about the Scott Lee Cohen debacle is the involvement of State Sentator and Lake County Democratic Chairman Terry Link. Link, like Cohen, also ran for Lt. Governor, but Link finished 6th out of 6 Democratic candidates, and was crushed in campaign spending by Cohen, who largely spent his own money. Now Link has come forward to say that he warned both of the Democratic candidates for governor (Quinn and State Comptroller Dan Hynes) of Cohen's past, which had been referenced in an article by Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown almost a year ago, but got little notice, because Cohen was not considered a serious candidate.

So why didn't Link simply make this a campaign issue on his own? After all, he was running for the same office, Lt. Governor. You would think this would be great campaign fodder for an opposing candidate. The Daily Herald looked at this confusing situation and said this:

State Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat who also sought the lieutenant governor's nomination, said he warned newspaper editorial boards and both Democratic campaigns for governor that danger lurked if Cohen won. He pointed to a months-old Chicago Sun-Times column that made mention of Cohen's past troubles.

He said he never considered running negative ads because he didn't have enough money to pick on one candidate in a six-candidate field, especially when Cohen had said he was prepared to spend upward of $3 million, nearly 10 times Link's campaign bankroll.

"A guy like him should be denounced from the beginning. But who am I to say that? I tried warning people about this guy from Day One, but it's up to the people to do something about it," Link said, insisting it's not "sour grapes."

Wow. "Who am I," Link wants to know.

Link, a calculating politician, but not an especially brave one, may have stepped in it this time. Perhaps he thought he was helping the Dems by speaking up now and saying, essentially, 'I told you so, but you wouldn't listen,' but it's more likely he thought he was helping himself.

Link clearly did not have the political guts to make an issue of Cohen's past on his own, even though he was running for the same spot. He probably figured that by making Cohen a target, he could draw the ire of Cohen, despite the crowded field, and was deathly afraid of having Cohen's deep pockets (stuffed with profits from his pawnbroker operations) invested in negative campaign ads against Link. There's certainly plenty of stuff in Link's own past to dredge up.

Well, if Link thought he was going to ingratiate himself with party leadership and have a chance to be appointed into the spot that he campaigned for (if Cohen were to be forced out), I suspect he's pretty much blown that. Link managed in one fell swoop to embarrass Governor Quinn by making him appear inept, and also took away any chance of claiming 'plausible deniability' that Quinn (or at least his handlers) never knew about Cohen's past.

Looks like we're stuck with Link here in Lake County for a few more years, until he comes up for relection and my friend Keith Gray can take care of him in the election once and for all.


Anonymous said...

When Emil Jones left the senate, Link got crushed in the race for Senate President. This, coupled with Tuesdays results show he has very few friends outside of Lake County. It's going to be interesting to see if Sente, Bond, and Seals will distance themselves from him before November.

Adam Smith said...

What a pathetic example of sour grapes. I saw Mark Brown's column on Cohen last year. Anyone who didn't know this guy had issues is either a liar or an incompetent, (or in Quinn's case, both).

The Dems let this happen. They have to take the blame. This ticket is a rogues gallery of characters of dubious character and abilities.

For all our Dem friends who were so gleeful at Jack Ryan's mess, enjoy this heaping serving of crow!

Anonymous said...

Mike Madigan will have a conversation with Cohen and Cohen will be out by next week. He'll get all $$ spent on this race returned to him and Cohen will say he no longer wants to expose his family (and lovers) to the glaring media and Art Turner will be put in as Lt. Governor candidate to turn out black voters in November. Done.

Let's see what Link does after that.

I'm not sure Cohen's scandals are as bad as Link's - they're just sexier right now...

Anonymous said...

dan seals is pathetic. He's not yet called on this guy to quit the race. Seems the pup still has those dan rostenkowski and bob creamer values he's had for the last 6 years. Unemployment teaches him nothing apparently.


Anonymous said...

This posting is strange. Chose one or the other: either Link is a dirty, attack oriented politician, or he choses not to directly attack someone. You seem only interested in turning every issue against Link. In this case, Link made it very clear to the Lake County Dems that he would not tolerate negative or personal attack primary campaigns. And he didn't, nor did they. So, if we follow your line of thinking, attack ads ARE okay, which follows because in the GOP primaries in the 8th and 10th, that's about all there were. And look what you got out of it: Joe Walsh. LOL! That was like handing Melissa Bean a "25% off your re-election" coupon!

Anonymous said...

Melissa Bean would be crapping herself right now, if she were smart.

Team America said...

=== You seem only interested in turning every issue against Link. ===

Of course we are. You must be new here.

But seriously, friend, reread the Herald article. Link didn't run negative ads because he couldn't afford to, not because he's morally opposed to 'dirty' politics (that's a major laugh), and likely because he was too scared that millionare Cohen would start attacking Link if he spoke out. Some leader.

But you guys up in Waukegan keep relecting him, for some insane reason.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to figure out how alerting voters that a guy running for Lt. Guv has held a knife to a woman's throat, taken anabolic steroids,has anger management issues and doesn't pay child support is construed as a negative attack. People outside the city limits don't read the Sun-Times so it should have been Link's and the Democratic Party's obligation to alert their voters about this nutjob.

Anonymous said...

link is up in 2012. the targets right now are pup-I am actually starting to get tired of having to beat him up, quinn and sexy alexi. quinn screwed up by letting this guy get on the ballot, pup hasn't called for him to leave the race yet, largely because he and pup have the same level of integrity and alexi and this guy sound like they party together given the reptile seen in both of their actions.

I also think biss and the rest of the scum that pass for state level representation here need to be targeted. they are after all enablers for the springfield cess.

happy weekend.


Anonymous said...

Terry Link will go down in history as the guy Scott Lee Cohen trounced.

Rumors are Cohen wants two million dollars from Democrats to drop.

"Give generously to Democrats so your contributions can buy off Scott Lee Cohen!"

Anonymous said...

Note to TA,

The pic of Link looks newer than the ones used in the campaign. I know because I am using one as a dartboard in my garage.

Did he get the hair and teeth updated?