Looks like 10th Congressional Candidate Dan Seals is too chicken to show up to a non-partisan forum on Israel issues without mob banker Alexi Giannoulias there to offer him 'protection':
Jewish Telegraph Reports on the Giannoulias and Seals Withdrawal From Israel Forum
Illinois Senate hopeful pulls out of Israel forum
August 13, 2010
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Illinois Democratic Party's candidate for the U.S. Senate withdrew from a forum on Israel.
Alexi Giannoulias, the state treasurer, withdrew Monday from the Aug. 22 forum, sponsored by the Protect Our Heritage public action committee and 16 other Jewish organizations. His campaign said he had prior commitments.
The nonpartisan forum is held for Senate and House candidates. Participants can question the candidates on issues related to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
Giannoulias, his Republican opponent, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), and other local politicians had agreed to participate in the forum months ago. Giannoulias' campaign had confirmed his availability for the forum in Northbrook, Ill., according to Protect Our Heritage.
"As Iran continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons and terrorists threaten Israel from Gaza and Lebanon, our next U.S. Senator should not be afraid to stand up for our strongest democratic ally in the Middle East," Kirk said in a statement.
Giannoulias did not respond to two phone calls from JTA seeking comment.
The day after Giannoulias withdrew, Dan Seals, a Democratic candidate for Illinois house seat, also declined to participate in the forum.
Despite repeated assurances that House candidates would at no times share the stage with Senate candidates, according to To Protect Our Heritage Seals' campagin said "Alexi Giannoulias' decision not to attend the forum creates an event that...is inherently weighted in favor of the Republican candidates."
Seals also did not respond to JTA's request for comment.
Protect Our Heritage is a Midwestern political action committee that promotes a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.
Mark Kirk's Senate campaign applauded the decision of the forum organizers to go ahead, with or without the lame-O Dems.
The Bob Dold Campaign had this to say:
Dold: 10th District Deserves Candidates Serious on Israel
Dold Remains in Israel Policy Candidates’ Forum after Seals follows Giannoulias in Backing Out
Winnetka - Today, 10th District Congressional candidate Robert Dold expressed disappointment that his opponent Dan Seals followed Alexi Giannoulias’ lead in backing out of next week’s Israel policy candidates’ forum. Dold urged Seals to reconsider and participate in the forum so that the voters can hear the Democrat’s views on Israel and the Middle East.
The non-partisan forum, scheduled to feature U.S. Senate candidates Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias, and Congressional candidates Robert Dold and Dan Seals, has been heavily promoted for months within the pro-Israel community. Alexi Giannoulias officially withdrew on August 9th, prompting Dan Seals to pull out on August 10th.
“Given the increasing threats posed by Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, Hezbollah’s build-up in Lebanon, and Hamas’ rockets in Gaza, these are extraordinarily critical times in the U.S.-Israel relationship that require candidates committed to leadership on Israel,” said Dold. “I call on Dan Seals to participate in this candidates’ forum, rather than hide his views on Israel and this Administration’s policies in the Middle East. You can't be a leader if you don't show up."
The candidates’ forum is hosted by To Protect Our Heritage, a bipartisan group that promotes a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, and sixteen other Jewish organizations. This forum was similarly held in 2000, during which both 10th District Congressional candidates at the time, Mark Kirk and Lauren Beth Gash, participated.
“The 10th District is home to one of the largest and most passionate pro-Israel communities in America and deserves candidates who recognize the special responsibility that comes with representing this District,” continued Dold. “More must be done than simply voting for pro-Israel measures; I am committed to being a pro-Israel champion in Congress who will use my voice to advocate for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.”
Sheesh. Even Lauren Beth Gash showed up to this event, and Seals can't?