Friday, November 5, 2010

Random Thoughts and Reflections After the 2010 Midterms

In no particular order, here are some of the thoughts I've had in the past 48-odd hours since the election.

First, let's just all say it together: "Senator-Elect Mark Kirk." Wow, that sounds great! Let's not forget in all the news about the Quinn-Brady drama, Walsh-Bean, the Beer Summit, and other post-election intrigues, we will now have a U.S. Senator from Lake County, the first since Adlai Stevenson III, if he counts. Probably more important, we took back the U.S. Senate seat that was formerly occupied by now-President Barack Obama, and more recently, Blago-appointee Roland Burris.

Mark is not especially tall, so I wonder if the President will invite Mark onto the White House basketball court for one of his famous pick-up games, and give him a little street lesson on what happens when you beat the President's basketball buddy in a U.S. Senate race. ;-) I suppose if Obama really misses Alexi that much, he can give Alexi a job in his administration somewhere, which I bet is a good possibility, since Alexi needs something to do, and to get some age on him, before he comes back to make a run for something else here in Illinois.

I've talked to some of Kirk's staff in the last day or so, and it appears to me that they have basically not even had time to process all this, as they instead are concerned with logistics for the swearing-in, and what the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress is going to look like. For the first time in seven years, I believe Mark is planning a few days away, though, so good for him.

What else? Well, there's the big win by Bob Dold over three-time loser Dan Seals. And yes, despite some protestations from the usual quarters, he is a L-O-S-E-R. I wonder if the DCCC will ask for the $8 million+ in campaign cash that they have wasted on Seals over the past three cycles. Believe it or not, I read some speculation about whether Seals would consider yet another race for Congress in 2012. Sometimes you just have shake your head over these things.

Bob Dold himself credits his win on reaching out to the people of the 10th District, and I couldn't agree more. As we've said, some people thought his campaign bus was a stupid idea, but Dold was out in the District making as many direct voter contacts as possible, while Seals was.... well, during the last two weeks of the election cycle, I had no idea what Seals was doing. As we've seen here and on other blogs, even many Dems resoundingly criticize Seals' campaign strategy and implementation, so we're not alone on this. I should also note that my nine-year old still insists on watching the "Seals for Dold" video, which I have to say I find funnier each and every time I see it. For real, Broheim?

Speaking of the Kirk-Dold interplay, Russell Lissau at the Daily Herald takes a look at the odd circumstance that, since Mark Kirk will be sworn in early to the U.S. Senate as a result of the "special" election to replace Roland Burris until the rest of the new Senate is sworn in this coming January, there will be a temporary vacancy in the 10th District. But my friend John McGovern (who came in to work for Dold in the last months of the campaign) explains in the article that there is no provision for fulling such temporary vacancies by appointment, as there is with the Senate.

Moving on, the biggest disappointment in this election cycle for me (and I would argue, for the State of Illinois) is the failure of the House Republicans to make any meaningful inroads towards stripping Speaker Mike Madigan of his majority. Not only will Madigan and the Dems control the remap process, which spells bad news for the GOP, but more importantly, the people of this State have seen fit to send back the very same folks who drove us into a $13 billion budget hole. We simply can't keep kicking the can down the road and expect to dig our way out of this mess. Already, another $4 billion in borrowing is being discussed in Springfield as the way to temporarily plug the budget gap. But what next? By the way, we'll be watching all of the Dems that won election, such as Carol Sente, Karen May, Daniel Biss, etc., to see if they make good on their promises to be "independent" and vote against party leadership when it is in the interests of their districts. WE WILL BE WATCHING YOU. For better or for worse, it's not a heckuva long time until they will be up for re-election.

We did better in the State Senate, of course, where Suzi Schmidt trounced Michael Bond. What goes around, comes around, buddy. Whaddya think Geo thinks about you now? The rest of us will keep an eye on Bond to see where he lands in a state-appointment and see your tax dollars continue to pad the pockets of Democratic politicians. Our eyes will also turn to the Lake County Board to see who is appointed to fill Suzi Schmidt's spot (my guess is Dan Venturi, Lake Villa Supervisor, but we'll see), and how the leadership positions on the Board are jostled around a bit after Suzi's departure to the General Assembly. I'm hoping for David Stolman for County Board Chairman, but we'll see.

I've droned on long enough, but I also wanted to mention the BIGGEST surprise of the election (although we'll give Bill Brady's loss an honorable mention, since it seemed to go against the majority of the polling), which is, of course, Joe Walsh's slim victory over Congresswoman Melissa Bean in the 8th District. Even though some polling showed Walsh ahead, really no one except he, his wife, and his die-hard supporters believed he had a chance. While his lead appears to be narrowing somewhat as late-arriving ballots are counted, he still appears to be holding on. This one isn't over by a longshot, however - remember how Al Franken basically stole the election in Minnesota through the recount process, and it's not impossible the same could happen here, if the GOP isn't careful.


Anonymous said...

I am hearing Rich Hill might be being touted for the seat that will be vacated by Suzi. I hope not since now appears to be a closet TP

edsullivanjr said...


Good work with the info on the blog. We are starting to get some data back on the House. It looks like the difference between Madigan remaining as Speaker and Cross replacing him as Speaker was a total of about 5,000 votes. How about that for a kick in the family jewels! Madigan picked up 3 seats in the Obama wave and we picked up 6 in this Republican resurgence. Something to build on.

Here in Lake County we can be very happy at what happened at the county level. These folks remembered what the Dems did last election and worked hard from day one. County Board Commissioner Diana O’Kelly put together a great email outreach program for these folks and they have been in grassroots mode for two years. That’s how you win elections.
So, thanks again for your fine work. I need to go out and get the rest of my yard signs!

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Anonymous said...

And we will be keeping a close eye on Suzi as well. Now that the Democrats do not have a super-majority in the Senate, the GOP members will actually have to participate. We'll be watching.

Oh, and Suzi better hope she covered her tracks well, because some of the outrageous deals she cut over the last 6 months may come back to haunt her and the rest of the board.

And thank you Eddie. One wonders how you will vote on the bill to stop double-dipping. Which group of taxpayers is paying you to make on-line postings during business hours?

Anonymous said...

We can be thankful for one thing, it wasn't a Walsh vs. Seals race. Walsh may pull it out in the neighboring 8th, but he would have been clobbered over here.

edsullivanjr said...

Anon 12:08,

The people paying me are the same people that just re-elected me. They are the same people that paid me for the 6 times I spoke at various homeowner associations the past year about property taxes. These speeches typically started about 7:30pm and ended after I answered all the questions sometime about 10:00pm. They are paying me when I am at breakfast meetings in Springfield that start at 7:00am or committee meetings that start at 5pm after a long day on the house floor. They paid me the time I showed up at a trailer home at 2:30am after the home was devastated by wind. They paid me the Sunday afternoon in Lake Zurich when I came upon a head on accident and helped until the authorities came. You probably will never get my point because you do not want to. This is not a 9 to 5 job and it never will be. If an elected official truly wants to help people they have to be able to “work” all the time because life does not shut down outside of the hours of 9 to 5. If you would actually pull the records you would see that in 8 years in the GA I have missed exactly 2 days of regular session. I hope you will forgive me for attending my son’s birth I guess my wife and I could have planned better.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

A. Bees said...

Easy Eddie, whomever the heckler is doesn't even have the stones to use a name. Just some fool hiding behind anonymous. Very sad.

Mick from Lake Forest said...

It's really too bad that duels w/ pistols are illegal. If they weren't I'd bet folks would behave in a much more civil manner. For example, if I were Ed Sullivan and duels were legal and some arm-chair political analyst called me out, I'd straight up challenge said analyst to a pistol duel outside of the Daley Center at high-noon the following day. Think of the entertainment value that these duels would bring to all of our boring monotonous lives. And, think of the panzies that would opt out, thus shaming themselves and the honor of their family name. The drama of pistol dueling is what Illinois needs to light a fire underneath just about every problem we face as a state. Who's with me? Hamilton was good enough for pistol battles; are we above this man?

Anonymous said...

First I join sullivan in congratulating you, walsh, dold, obviously the senator-elect and the rest of the candidates that ran and did well. For the first time since 2000 the party didn't embarrass itself nationally-that honor probably goes to the california and new york gop's which flopped.

Having said that in an awful year for the democrats they survived to fight another day. If mark and alexi were on different sides, alexi would have probably been in the 20's in terms of his vote. Brady let one get away as did the springfield republicans.

This was one of those years you get maybe once a decade if not more to put away the opposing party for a long time -think 2002 for illinois democrats and we got some scalps, but not all of them. Redistricting is going to be a pain, but there will be opportunity and the face of the party is mark, not george ryan, not bill brady, not hastert, and not a governor whose last victory was 16 years ago, which is a great start.


Jeff said...

Just thought I would let you know that I've followed your blog for over a year now since I began volunteering for various GOP campaigns in the cold Primary. TA- you do an excellent job at furthering meaningful debate and digging in to the issues. I think you can add your efforts on this blog to the list of Republican wins this year.

Great job!

I can't wait to follow Dold as he begins his work in Congress and Kirk in the Senate!

Team America said...

Hi Jeff - thanks for all you've done for the party, and I hope you continue to chime in here. The more the merrier. There's still much work to do...

Blue Wind said...

I think we finally found something to agree on! That is the obvious. That Dan Seals is a loser. The funny thing is that in the dem primaries the last moment I voted for him, although I had given money to the campaign of Julie Hamos. Why? Because he had declared himself against the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, in contrast to Hamos who had endorsed and supported Obama's escalation of the Afghanistan war. Retrospectively, I regret my vote for Seals (in the primaries). He simply can not win. I hope he stays far away from politics, and I suspect he will.

I have to commend you once more for the freedom of opinion in your blog during the election period. I really dont understand why others dont learn from you. Allowing opposing opinions, when made in a civilized way, is always good. You and I may not agree on anything (except that Seals is a loser) but I much respect your willingness to allow me to post here opinions that are very different than yours and even "shocking" to some other visitors here. It is unfortunate that others dont get it and dont operate the same way.

Anonymous said...


I love that you refer to Mark Kirk as a 'reliable no vote' in your newest post. Not to start banging the drums already, but the best bet for Democrats in the next two years is to draw as much attention as possible to Republicans standing in the way of progress. It's pretty striking that Kirk would oppose DADT-repeal, especially given his moderate stance and about him (know you'll enjoy that reference).

Representative Sullivan,

It's great to see a state-wide elected official joining our conversation here. In hopes of sparking some debate, I went to your campaign website, but I was a little disappointed that there wasn't an 'issues' page. Might I suggest adding one in the future so voters know where you stand on key issues? This isn't a criticism, but more a suggestion.

Until Next Time,
A Concerned Colonial

Anonymous said...

To Blue and to CC. Polite discourse has always been TA's goal. I hope you both understand that many posts you made were allowed here but really nasty in nature and content. Even now it's sad that you want to imply something about SENATOR elect Kirk that simply is not valid. Mr. Kirk has stated repeatedly that he wants to wait to hear what the Pentagon Chiefs say about DADT before he makes his statement. So, with that in mind, why are you already poking jabs at Kirk.
And why is our State not going to seat SENATOR elect Kirk until December 3. Mean-spirited "leaders" in IL just can't seem to accept the fact that Kirk won and Alexi LOST.
Dan Seals should now get out, find a job, understand that the voters in this district have rejected him 3 times. ENOUGH, Dan. Move along. Only Lee Goodman, also a loser, thinks that Dan is some great guy.
I hope that TA expands the name of his Blog to include the fact that we proudly call SENATOR Mark Kirk our guy in DC.

edsullivanjr said...


Admittedly my website was a little lacking this year. I meant to post the various paper questionnaires but never got to it.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Anonymous said...

Some of my random thoughts:

Of interest is the ghost of Adeline J. Geo-Karis hovered over the 31st District Senate race. It hovered to the astonishment of Republicans in that area who worked so hard to throw her under the bus during the last campaign. What did they expect? Where were their brains 4+ years ago? It also hovered to the astonishment of Senator Bond who crudely tried to resurrect her for his own benefit, his overreaching hurting him more than it helped in my opinion. It also greatly upset her family.

It's time that both sides finally allow her to rest in peace, since both sides used her and then abused her, more so many Republicans. If I were ever to decide to go public with what I know about Geo and her actions, I can guarantee that both Republican and Democrat politicians would be supremely red faced and humiliated.

So put a sock in the Geo comments everyone. And I mean it.

I'm also thrilled that Suzi won that race and I believe that she will become a stand out Illinois Senator, aptly filling the very large shoes of the ghost who was thrown under the bus by both parties.

It's also time for Lake County Republicans to embrace and thank Carlton Marcyan for running for County Board in District 23. By doing so, he bottled up Anne Bassi in her own district and prevented her from campaigning for other Democrats running for the County Board as she has in the past. Other than the Republicans of Moraine Township, he received no help from the party. That's wrong.

We should also give our strong kudo's to Kelly Folino and the campaign to elect Robert Dold. They faced a barrage of personal ignorant negative campaigning that crossed the line of decency at times, and they ultimately responded with their "Dold with a D not an E" song and the Seal endorsement parody, and then rode that bus all over the place shaking hands and meeting with voters. A positively refreshing act on their part which in my opinion put them over the top.

We should all be asking if the nearly two decade old destructive civil war of the GOP is over, or if it will rear its ugly head again with the usual recriminations and back stabbing we are all sick and tired of experiencing.

I'm now hearing that a few "independent conservatives" that "used to be Republicans" will revert to pounding on Republican office holders instead of Democrats. Three of them have asked me to remove them from my Moraine Township GOP E-Mail list. They didn't like my proposal of a unified meeting of Republicans post-election. Oh well! I guess they haven't learned how destructive that behavior is. I'm also hearing that a certain Township civil war between Republicans is again erupting, with some notices curiously sent out the day after the election. The 100 years war continues in Lake County!

Nice timing guys!

What the GOP in Illinois needs is a penalty box where we can give these types a "time out," have them sit in the corner and have them write 10,000 times, "thou shall not speak ill of any fellow Republican." (Ronald Reagan) A few hard heads should be sentenced to 50,000 or until their fingers fall off their writing hand, whichever comes first!

I have been listening to "progressive radio" this week and it seems that "progressives" (the new name liberals have assigned themselves) feel that Obama should announce right now that he will not seek a second term, having refused to completely adopt the "progressive" agenda they demanded from him. A few are threatening to create a "progressive party."

It's Saturday and I spent my entire day cleaning out my garage after collecting yard signs and other campaign items post campaign. The recycle bin will be full for a while.

Let's make sure on the Republican side that we don't recycle the civil war nonsense that destroyed our great party and left all the power with the Democrats to mismanage.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

More random thoughts:

We had two extremely classy and thoughtful individuals running for State Representative in Southern Lake County this time, Dan Sugrue and Lauren Turelli. They both did our proud with the way they campaigned. The Democrats attack on Sugrue was over the top, personal and disgusting. The Democrats last second attack on Lauren Turelli was more laughable, as they never bothered to do any real homework on her and took a Karen May win for granted.

It was a pleasure to campaign for both of them, in particular Turelli in my neck of the woods. They were smarter, more thoughtful and better prepared on the issues than their opponents were. In Karen May's case, after a decade in office, that is just shocking!

So will Sente and May vote for Madigan for Speaker of the House in January, or will they show that they are truly "independent" and either abstain from voting or vote for someone else? In May's case, she is 5/5 in voting for Madigan. In Sente's case, she sure took a boatload of Madigan cash.

As a certain HBO comedian is fond of saying: NEW RULE! You can't proclaim yourself "independent" if you vote the party line and party boss way 87% of the time!

So what are the odds that May and Sente will abstain from voting on the Speaker of the House? Zero? Less than zero?

Louis G. Atsaves