Monday, September 20, 2010

Now Who's Meshugana? Dan Seals Blatantly Panders to the Jewish Vote in IL-10 (UPDATED x2)

Dan Seals, the third-time Democratic nominee for the 10th Congressional District in Illinois, has has pulled some real political boners in his time (recall Gas-Gate, Professor-Gate, and Van-Gate, among others.) But this latest one may take the cake, at least on the religious pandering scale. If we were rating this latest mess on the Scoville scale, we'd give it about a 15,000,000. But let's get to the story:

Dan Seals is criticizing his Republican opponent, Robert Dold, for attending a political event on Yom Kippur, which is the highest of the Jewish holidays. However, Seals is Episcopalian, and Dold is a non-denominational Christian. From Seals' campaign web page:

As families across Illinois’ Tenth District observed Yom Kippur – the holiest day of the Jewish year – Republican candidate Bob Dold joined radical front group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) at a rally in Northbrook on Friday night. [snip]

“Not only does his documented relationship with AFP show how out of touch Bob Dold is with 10th district voters, but to attend a hyper-partisan, fear-mongering rally on the most sacred day of the Jewish year is just plain disrespectful,” said Seals campaign Communications Director Aviva Gibbs.

So, why exactly does Seals think that Dold, a non-Jew, is offending Jews by attending such a political rally on Yom Kippur, to the point where Seals specifically called Dold out on it in a press release?

Now, Team Seals doesn't actually come out and accuse Americans for Prosperity as being an anti-Semitic group, but it's not too hard to read that accusation between the lines of his press release. Otherwise, why would it be something that would offend Jews? AFP certainly has President Obama running scared, so perhaps it's only expected that all Democrats would seek to demonize this group. Seals' baseless attack on Dold, using the banner of a religion that Seals doesn't even belong to, goes beyond the pale, however.

Team Seals seems to go even farther in this story as covered by Russell Lissau over at the Daily Herald:

The Dold campaign was aware Friday marked the start of Yom Kippur, but because Dold is not Jewish he carried out his schedule, [Dold spokesman Kelly] Klopp said.

Dold also had breakfast in Palatine on Saturday and spoke with merchants in Arlington Heights and went to a Korean community event later in the day.

Gibbs insisted Seals did no politicking on Friday night or Saturday.

"He did not attend any meetings, nor did he make any fundraising calls out of respect," Gibbs said in an e-mail.

So, now I'm quite confused: does Dan Seals thinks that all non-Jews should observe the Jewish holidays, and especially not engage in any political activity on such days, because to do so would be 'disrespectful'? Or is it just that Dan Seals thinks AFP is offensive to Jews and Dold shouldn't have been at that particular rally at that particular time? I can't believe that's the case, since his campaign went out of its way to state the fact that Dan was home being 'respectful' and not engaging in any kind of political activity.

Most interestingly, all of a sudden, Dan Seals has discovered the importance of Yom Kippur. Let's think about that. Seals has been the Democratic nominee for this office for three cycles, now: let's see, since 2006. That's a Yom Kippur every year in each of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. So, of FIVE occurrences of Yom Kippur over that time period, NOW he decides that this is a campaign issue.

Did Seals also refrain from campaigning or any other political activity during those years on Yom Kippur? (of course, Seals has never been known for his work ethic, so it's not unlikely he was home anyway during those prior years, but I very much doubt it was out of respect for the Jewish holiday) I challenge anyone to even show me a prior statement from Seals in years past honoring Yom Kippur and its importance to Jews, as many non-Jewish politicians do.

According to the DH article, in any event, this is not an issue in the Jewish community:

Nothing in Jewish law or practice prohibits non-Jews from doing anything they would usually do on Yom Kippur or any other Jewish holiday, said Rabbi Michael Balinsky, executive vice president of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, a group representing more than 200 rabbis of all denominations.

However, I can see that if I was desperate to appeal to the Jewish vote in the 10th District, an important constituency, I might be desperate enough to make such a blatant pander to them. Well, then again, I would hope I'd never be THAT desperate.

I'd even suggest that Seals might be a bit meshugana.

Seals didn't refrain from campaigning during the entire month of Ramadan. Does that mean that Seals doesn't respect Muslims? It makes about as much sense as claiming that Dold doesn't respect Jews.

Do yourselves a favor, IL-10, and tell Dan Seals at the polls this November that three times is enough, and we're tired of your crap.

UPDATED: 9/21/10 7:00 a.m.: I don't usually point out comments elsewhere on other blogs and whatnot, but the comments to the Daily Herald article mentioned above are quite illuminating. Seems like Seals has really stepped in it, big time. Go read 'em.

UPDATED x2 1:50 p.m.: Wow, even the ultra-liberal DailyKos is ripping Seals a new one over this debacle. Says "Norm in Chicago":

I cannot believe that a Democrat’s campaign has actually said that a candidate for office must observe any religious holiday, especially one not of the candidate’s own religion. This is base political pandering and a clear violation of the separation of church and state. [snip]

It is not Dan Seals', nor any other person’s place to tell American citizens how or when to worship, nor to force another’s religion on them. On the contrary, what is highly disrespectful and insulting is the belief that pandering to a religion grants that religion respect. It does not.

The whole thing is worth reading. I bet Dan Seals' ears are still ringing (metaphorically speaking) after reading that chewing-out.


Publia said...

Nice story. I would think that respect for Yom Kippur & other Jewish holidays would mean that you wouldn't crank up a chain saw in your yard or do things that would make a racket if your neighbors are Jewish. Is it possible Dopey Dan thinks Bob Dold is Jewish? Whatever the case may be, time to put Mr. Seals out of his misery.

Anonymous said...

If anyone out there went to Boston University I would call your president and ask for the head of the admissions director because you have 2 of the stupidest alumni ever running for office in Illinois this year in Seals and Alexi.

This is a new level of moron for this guy and it will be pretty funny when the national campaign committees pick this up tomorrow and slam him all over the national papers and the folks at the dccc remember why they ignored him in 2006.


Anonymous said...

TA, Seals has hit a new low. IF he or his staff knew anything at all about Yom Kippur, he and they would know that this Holy Day is a focus on oneself. We who are Jews go to Synagogue to attone for our own personal transgressions. We are not in Synagogue to focus on anyone but our own frailties. Poor, misguided, MESHUGANAH Dan has proved once more that he needs to fold his worn out tent, try to find a job, and get out of the
10th District race as the perenniel candidate nobody wants. This stupid attack on Bob Dold will not go well among Jewish voters who live and vote in the 10th. How many ways can you say nebish, a sad fool. That's Dan. And that's Dan's staffer who helped propose this latest stupid idea.

Anonymous said...

Dan Seals is trying to exploit Jews for his own political purposes, there's no other way to put it. I am a religious person, but I don't wear it on my sleeve. How dare Seals decide for Jews what's offensive and what's not.

Anonymous said...

More bad news for Seals. The largest pro-Israel pac in the area has just endorsed BOB DOLD for the 10th District. Before anyone gets their dander up, just know that this pac IS more than fair. How do I know? In this cycle, they've given $11.500 to Democrat candidates and $10.350 to Republicans running for offices nation-wide. This is group that Dan the Dim Wit stiffed in not attending the recent Candidate Forum. He claimed they'd not be fair. I guess the record of this pac speaks louder than Dan and his Dim Wit handlers. Keep going, Dan. Maybe you can take the hint and just stop running for office in this district.

Anonymous said...

wrong. the largest pro-israel group in the area is aipac and they don't endorse candidates.

Let's also give credit to the daily herald on this one. the header was great and for once they got a scoop that didn't come from team america.

less discussed in this race has been seals's ties to radical extremist anti-israel groups like j street and congressman keith ellison, a protege of anti-semitic nation of islam founder, louis farrakahn. Maybe he can defend those ties instead of making stuff up.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you Mr. Seals and shame on your staff. I'm Catholic so I expressed my wishes for a fruitful holy day to my Jewish friends and even said a prayer for them which was my way of participating in their Day of Atonement. Your attack on Bob Dold was low, even for you and your ilk.

Baxter and Beau's Mom

Anonymous said...

The more Seals opens his mouth, the more of an idiot he looks like (if that is even possible)

Anonymous said...

Dan Seals has much in common with his Jewish press secretary, Aviva Gibbs. Both have difficulty finding and holding jobs. After she left State Rep. John Fritchey's office she's bounced around at all kinds of unusual jobs. She has a degree from the University of Michigan. Perhaps Fritchey's good buddy, Ms. Lauren Beth Gash, suggested Aviva Gibbs to Seals. Makes sense. What remains puzzling, troubling, and downright insulting is why would a woman who doesn't hide the fact that she's Jewish advise Seals to agree to the stupid attack on Bob Dold. She claims that she likes to hang out at Wrigley Field and The Bagel. Sounds about right for this no-brain young woman.

Anonymous said...

I am more curious in learning what a former convicted governor George Ryan appointee, Patrick Mogge who worked for extremist zealot, christine cegelis has been doing on the seals payroll for 6 years. As you can see, he was a bureaucrat extrordinaire.

Announced the appointment of Patrick Mogge as the new Executive Director for Board Services to the State Board of Education. Patrick has worked in state government as a Dunn fellow in the Governor’s Office, as an employee of the Illinois Board of Higher Education and most recently, as Northern Regional Coordinator for the Illinois Learning Partnership. Patrick is a graduate of Illinois State University and a certified teacher.


Anonymous said...

I'm missing your point, Foklaeps. We know that Mogge and Seals are both losers who don't hold jobs. Are you asking what this loser jerk does for Seals? I think the answer is crystal clear. He hires more losers like this Aviva Gibbs. Heaven help those of us who live in this district if Seals ever did become elected to office. Can you imagine who'd be hired as staffers? What a hellish thought.
Don't you find it interesting that not one of the comments on the Daily Herald site have anything positive to say about Seals? And on TA's Blog it seems that the Seals folks are strangely, thankfully quiet. Even they understand idiocy when it smacks them between the eyes.

Anonymous said...

TA, I recommend you and everyone else actually read the press release.

It blasts Dold for generally being a rightwinger who supports policies that are wrong for our district, and to boot he went to a hyper-partisan rally on a day when many of his constituents were spending the day fasting, reflecting, and in prayer.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:48, I suggest that YOU read the damn press release. YOUR point might be one to own up to, but Aviva Gibbs/Seals went WAY over the line in attacking Dold for being anywhere on Friday night. To him, to all those of Christian faith, last Friday night was just that, another Friday night. Get that point straight. Once Aviva Gibbs/Seals brought Kol Nidre into that press release it opened the door for the well deserved barrage. Bob Dold should go everywhere and anywhere to learn all he can from everyone. Period. End of story. By the way, Bob Dold is more right for this district than you want to acknowledge.

Anonymous said...

one chicago thug running for congress hires another chicago thug to do his dirty work to get him elected to congress. call me shocked. not.

As for "policies that are wrong for the district" how the heck does a candidate who has never lived in the district, hires thugs from chicago and downstate to run his campaigns, know what policies are right for "our district".

I am also waiting for team america to destroy dan for claiming that he was an aide in the clinton administration when he was an intern and that according to his bio "hyde park is local roots". Apparently in addition to not teaching ethics, math, reading or writing they don't teach geography on the far south side where the pup comes from.


Anonymous said...

Hey, TA, I'm sure that's a first for Daily Kos. That guy ripped a new one to and for Seals for that truly over the top Aviva Gibbs/Seals stupid attack piece. As opposed to the lone Anon post here, everyone agrees that because Gibbs/Seals used religion as a basis for the attack, it's simply morally corrupt. Way to go, Dan. And I hope you've shown Aviva Gibbs the exit door. Wait. On second thought, let's have her stay and do more wacky things.

Anonymous said...

Heard the ad and liked it"...
"Nice to see the candidate talk about himself without just attacking his opponent."

Anonymous said...

...or considering Bob knocked-out four campaign events during the Friday/Saturday period while Dan was watching TV on his couch...maybe Dan thought...I'll just send out this press release and take a two day break from campaigning. He's losing badly on the effort & outreach front. He will lose November 2nd.

Did anyone have any clips or reactions from yesterday's midday debate?

Anonymous said...

The visual of Dan on his couch last week-end was perfect. The guy who can't get or hold a job wants to tell us how he'd be the right choice in Congress at a time when our nation is struggling to figure out how to create jobs and move out of the disaster we're experiencing makes Bob Dold the clear choice. Bob's experience as a small business owner who deals with making payrolls, providing healthcare and contributing to the fabric of American life is a far cry from the lazy lout who thinks you and I should pay the bills. After his stupid stunt this past week-end I think Dan has shown us the level of his intellect as well.