Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Heckuva Way To Come Back From a Three Day Weekend

Well, some days it doesn't pay to go out to get the morning papers, or even turn on the computer.

This morning, we were treated to an above-the-fold story in the Chicago Tribune (with a full-page jump) on Senator Mark Kirk and an FEC complaint filed by his ex-wife, Kimberly Vertolli, regarding payments made by the Kirk Campaign to Dodie McCracken, who used to be (but isn't anymore) Kirk's girlfriend. (and, I swear, if someone says "Release the McCracken!" in comments, I will ban them for life.  I've read that about 20 times today on other blogs.  You're not the first person to think of it).

The other great news today was that an internal poll released by Democratic nominee for the 10th congressional District Brad Schneider showed him tied with Congressman Bob Dold.  The implication of the poll (according to the pollster) is that without even getting warmed-up, Schneider is already in a dead heat with the incumbent in the new more-Dem-friendly 10th District.  There's still a lot of time left, and Dold hasn't even begun to dip into his considerable campaign war chest, but you can bet that Team Schneider will be touting this poll for weeks to come, and leveraging it to bring in the big donors and the DCCC.


Blue Wind said...

Hi TA,

I was shocked reading this story today. It seems that senator Kirk will have a major problem with this issue. I always thought that his ex-wife (Kimberly Vertolli) was a person of very high integrity and very intelligent. Based on this alone, I suspect that her alleagation has merit.

Will have to see how this story develops. But I will not be surprised if Kirk does not run again for re-election.

Anonymous said...

The only thing is that they didn't say who conducted the poll.
Which more than likely means that it was done either by Schneider's campaign team or the 10th Dems.

Anonymous said...

The poll was conducted by Normington Petts, a respected democratic pollster. Dold's twin problems in the poll are that he has good name recognition (i.e., harder to grow from 39% upward), and as we all know, 39% of the district is new to Dold and leans democratic. Dold has been doing the right things to tack to the center. The question is whether a republican, any republican, can win the newly-reconstituted 10th.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Blue Wind just wanted to rile some of TA's readers and one took the "bite". Ignore Wind Bag and he won't have an audience. There is no story, there is nothing illegal to investigate, the FEC will throw this out and life will move forward. Our Senator is on the mend, will return to his Senate seat, will be the man on a mission to do all he can to help our nation get back on track. And the Dold/Schneider race is more than interesting to watch. Bob Dold is going to hold this Seat because his message is the right one, he's a center-right moderate Republican who is running of a very fine first term record.

Team America said...

Dear Friends - I deleted a comment today that was directed to another commentor because it was simply nasty and had nothing of value to say. If you disagree with another commentor, give us your opinion, but explain substantively why someone's completely off-base, if that's what you think. Drive-by nastiness isn't acceptable here.

Anonymous said...

Dear TA

Your diligence in monitoring this board for unnecessary rudeness is appreciated. However, before becoming an aging spinster I was a teacher of English. The correct spelling is "commenter" or the word "commentator" can also be used.

Bitter Woman

Anonymous said...

1. The DCCC will be spending every last dollar on this race whether tickle me elmo, sheyman or schneider or the goof that a bees knew had won. Democrats need 25 seats, they are going to lose another 15 in the south, and they don't have many better targets this. Prepare for an epic onslaught.

2. It really pains me that team kirk is trashing Kimberly and they should be ashamed. They can take on the complaint without unloading on her personally. She was a great advocate for him and doesn't deserve this bs from people who did a lot less for him before he was MARK KIRK.

3. Senator Kirk's bigger issues are in order 1)his health 2) his health 3)his inability to drive any kind of consistent message or agenda about what he's doing in dc the last 7 years other than just trying to get through the day ahead.

4) What Senator Kirk is going to face in 5 months when congress returns from the summer and in the next administration is going to make whatever he's faced to date in his political career look like a winnetka school board meeting. Most of the other moderates will be defeated or are quiting this year and he will be the 51st vote on most of the key issues next year. I really hope he has his shit (sorry mrs team america for the language) together because this position has mentally and politically broken most of the other people who've recently been in it and they didn't have health issues or some of the jv stuff we've seen from his team of late. They were seasoned senators and every time there's a critical vote he's going to face major national scrutiny like he's not faced before.


Anonymous said...

How is what Kirk is accused of doing different from what John Edwards is on trial for?

Blue Wind said...

To Anon, 11:50 AM

Your entitled to your denial of reality and facts. However, the allegation against the senator does not seem that different from the John Edwards case.

And, yes, I stand by my comment that Kimberly Vertolli is a highly intelligent person of very high integrity. I think her background and service to our country has pretty well established that.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a bitter, jealous, angry x-wife to me no matter her service to the country. And don't forget her politics are very much to the left not that it matters.

Anonymous said...

Blue Wind, the FEC complaint filed by Kimberly, filed in November, has absolutely nothing in common with the John Edwards case. Either bone up on what is alleged in the Edwards case or don't make asinine comments about both charges being similar. Both Kimberly and Dodie did work for the 2010 campaign. The ex-Mrs. Kirk is stating that the payee, Dodie McCracken, should have been clearly identified and not paid thru the consulting company. There is nothing illegal at all about how McCracken was compensated, Blue, so get your facts in order. The FEC will dismiss this and life will go on. Totally, completely different than the Edwards case.

Anonymous said...

And the hits just keep on coming.


Hello? Congressman? You there? said...

Anon 10:34 - You may want to dial back on the asinine description. The fact of the matter is that there are similarities, and, after today's revelations, it only seems to get worse. Try to look at the Senator's problem from a slightly less partisan and more dispassionate viewpoint. The echo-chamber usually found among this commentary doesn't do him any good at all.

As to the recent poll, this should be panic-button time for the Dold camp. An incumbent, especially one from this particular congress which was paid so much to spend so much time in their districts running for re-election, should be 8 to 12 points ahead of a first-time challenger. Even that margin is not considered safe, as August and September are typically gap-closing months. It appears that Dold wasted his winter and spring and is now clambering uphill. All those silly assumptions about jobless rates and gas prices adversely affecting base turnout for the Dems can never substitute good ol' hard work. Schneider goes about every day believing he's six points behind. That's how you win a race.

Anonymous said...

1. I'm not a dold cheerleader but I don't think he's as vulnerable as you think he will be. He's going to have a huge turnout advantage because democrats are depressed and aren't going to want to come out to vote the way they did in 2008. Republicans are going to come out the way they didn't in 2008. The people that do come-independents are not going to come out to vote to save the country from romney they are going to come out to vote because they are tired with the recession and want economic change.

2. I said last year Romney was the best possible nominee for dold because he was moderate. He got that.

3. Republican SuperPacs have pledged to spend $150 million or more on keeping the house. Democrats have no superpacs for the house and will be outspect 25-1 with superpacs at the presidential level. This will give dold a huge advantage on the air and with messaging.

4. Sorry but schneider is a horrible candidate for democrats and I think a lot of democrats will just leave that blank. A financial services republican-a 10th dems supposedly about social justice has now nominated finance mba's every cycle since lee goodman-is not going to inspire any confidence or willingness for the 10th dems activist base to help him.

5.Usually you'd think senator kirk would film ads for dold the way durbin has for seals in the past. It will be interesting to see if that happens this year.

Hello? Congressman? You there? said...

Witness how the path to defeat is generally paved with hubris:

1. "He's going to have a huge turnout advantage because democrats are depressed and aren't going to want to come out to vote the way they did in 2008."

Even if Democratic turnout is 10% less than 08, and GO-Tea-Party turnout is 10% better, Dold is still neck and neck with Schneider. Numbers don't lie. Turnout is not a static number, and can be effected by good field work. Prognosticate all you want, foklaes, I go by Green and Gerber's study of GOTV. Knock on the door, look'm in the eye and drag their ass to the polls.

2.I won't even repeat your point 4. You kept harping about that in the primary. You were wrong then and wronger now to the extent that you're wrong-minded. Schneider's background eats Dold's supposed moderate-ness. Dold lives with his voting record and it is NOT moderate. And now he has a number of precincts that are currently in Walsh's 8th. Even hard R's in Lake Villa Twp, Gurnee, Zion and Beach Park are disgusted. Line Dold's record up with Walsh's, (and they line up well), and you start emptying the Dold bucket into the Schneider bucket. Those are two-for-one pluses, and Schneider's already picked up a lot of those. Dold lost the hard R Zion crowd with his Planned Parenthood support, and lost the educated moderate Planned Parenthood folks with his vote to de-fund them. Sorry, foklaes, grab some bench.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I'd suggest that YOU check the verifiable voting record of Bob Dold because YOU are dead wrong. National Journal has no axe to grind and they rate him exactly where Kirk was in votes on issues: right smack dab in the Center. Votes on ISSUES are used to determine the true record of Members in the House. Other votes, when to adjourn, when to begin are NOT part of one's record. Bob Dold has an enviable, well earned record and I am NOT on his staff, never have been, but I know how to tally the votes that count.

Anonymous said...

@ Hello?, I wonder if you feel comfortable naming a GOP congressman who isn't a tea-party crazy?

Hello? Congressman? You there? said...

Anon 1:43-Nope, sorry. Kirk's votes in the Congress from 2000 to 2010 are almost irrelevant. Dold's votes were in the most partisan, least productive, and most expensive congressional term in history. The agenda was different, the substantive votes, those that had to do with funding, with social security, with the debt limit, with Planned Parenthood, and with the definition of rape, were all different, and Dold wears them all. To say he was a moderate in THIS congress is like identifying which of the pack of dogs is less rabid. Dold isn't Kirk. He doesn't have the background, he isn't as well educated, and Kirk himself opposed many of the positions of house republicans. Your comparison isn't that of apples and oranges, it's between a fresh, crisp apple and a rotten, worm-infested one. The folks that left the Lake Villa Library today were singularly underwhelmed with him. For all his craziness, at least Walsh had a little charisma.

Louis G. Atsaves said...

So what then is YOUR definition of moderate?

The far right wing Tea Partiers mistrust him. The far left wing of the Democrats (the "Ellenites") mistrust him.

The perpetually screaming angry partisans of the right and of the left dislike Robert Dold. If that doesn't make him a moderate, then no one falls under that definition.

A. Bees said...

Why waste your breath? This is just a hard D trying to make an argument without merit. We all know that Dold is a moderate and so does his district. The conservatives are still going to turn out and vote for him, because they see positive momentum on the R side and they are voting for the party, not individual votes. If this were a down R election, it would go the other way. So let this person continue to sniff deeply from their partisan Sharpie and relax, Dold's not a shoo in, but he's in good shape.

Hello? Congressman? You there? said...

Ellenites! I love it. You can't get over that, can you, Louis. I bet you still talk about your high school sports victories as well.

Y'all keep saying his record is like Kirk's. Show me. The bills on Kirk's plate during his term in the house were utterly foreign to the 2010 Congress. Show me the votes that make him a moderate and are not evidence of a complete flip-flop as in his supposed support for Planned Parenthood.

Or, just don't bother. It's too late for him anyway. The die is cast. I spoke with a certain Lake Villa resident after his weak Library appearance on Saturday and the guy basically said he didn't believe the Republican party would allow a moderate to flourish. He called himself a ticket-splitter, said he voted for Kirk for Senator. He clearly and unequivocally stated he didn't trust Dold. "If we want a moderate in Congress, if we don't want a Walsh in sheep's clothing, then why not vote for the Democrat. At least we'll know what we're getting."

I almost hurt myself laughing at his "Walsh in sheep's clothing," line. Too late, Bob. You wear all the messy garb of Louis and his Tea Party pals. Bob Churchill saw the writing on the wall and went all in, maybe it's time for Dold to do the same. At least it would be clear he stood for something rather than blowing with the breeze of the moment.

Apparently Bees comment has "something of value." But mail targeted to those hard conservative voters with Dold's 'moderate' bona fides is a pretty good way to keep them at home. I know a couple of hockey dads from the Harbor and Beach Park who are fervent Walsh supporters and want nothing to do with Dold. They will vote for 'None of the Above.' As Dold tries desperately to fill his bucket with moderates, it's leaking some base.

Anonymous said...

On schneider, democrats have already lost. I know how hard the 10th dems worked 2000-2010 and how close you came in 4 of the 6 elections to winning and every time the votes that you couldn't win-the jewish vote were because of guys like schneider who voted kerry and gore but for kirk. After making your cause fairness and wall street, and fighting bush, you've now embraced a wall street clown who gave major $$ to national republicans. In a democratic district you don't have to choose a fake republican, I feel sorry for you.

As for Mark, I really hope when he gets better John Porter sits down with him, tells him to get rid of dodi-some people have been saying this since forever, ger rid of the stupid he's surrounded himself with of late, and to show him the clips and video of who mark kirk used to be. He's not mark kirk anymore, he's become a ray lahood in the worst way on policy chasing stupid headlines being mr. machine lackey and just losing his way. The military needs him desperately to be a voice on pentagon and foreign aid cuts because he knows where the pdas's fuck around, but he's off chasing somali pirates. we need him outlining a vision on spending and an immigration plan-illinois has latinos, but he's issuing stupid reports on bullying worthy of a winnetka pta board.

I drink the koolaid, but Mark has a chance to be a very very special senator, one that gets his name on bills people note 150 years after the fact and changes the direction of the state, country and world. time to stop fucking around and be the beast we have always seen him to be.

Sorry for the language, but it's necessary.

Fan of King Louis Astaves the Ellen Slayer

Anonymous said...

Dold isn't a moderate. In his heart of heats he's a Paul Ryan/Mitch Daniels midwestern small business guy of the type of republican that existed 60 years ago and reigened back then. But he wants to get re-elected so he's using the mark kirk playbook.

It means he's the most liberal republican in the house because he has to be.


Anonymous said...

I am impressed Anonymous Fan of King Louis Astaves the Ellen Slayer on your last comment. You are correct. People have wanted McCracken gone for years. Many also had a problem with his ex-wife. His staff are out of touch. Senator Kirk also lost his way a long time ago. I am among many that hope he finds it again, but I also hope that people will allow the man to heal first.