Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What Caused this Mess? The Answer On Video

Earlier today we asked (somewhat rhetorically) who was to blame for the current financial mess.

This video answers everything. If you ever wanted to counter Ellen, Nancy Pelosi and every other Dem who thinks that GWB is responsible for not regulating the banks and Wall Street closely enough, watch this all the way through.

h/t: redstate.com

Don't Panic! (yet)

Good morning, everyone. I seem to be having some problems with Blogger software, which is not letting me publish more than a few sentences in a post. So for now, let's do what we do best here: assign blame! Who's responsible for the financial crisis? What to do next? Discuss.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cook Report Downgrades Dan Seals; The Pup Releases Final Dying Gasp

My my, how quickly things can change. Just a few short months ago, Dan Seals was bursting with joy as the Cook Political Report upgraded the IL-10 race for Congress to "Toss-Up" -- meaning the pundits had no clear indication of who would win in November.

Dan's had a few problems since then. His number one donor, Charlie Rangel, racked up a few legal and ethical problems. He and Tammy Duckworth broke the law by using state resources for a campaign event. Freedom's Watch decided to make a "substantial" TV buy to let voters know about Dan's plan to tax us into bankruptcy. And now Dan trails Mark Kirk by 22 points.

So it's no wonder the leading political pundit in America -- the Cook Political Report -- the same one Dan screamed about in June -- has downgraded IL-10 from "Toss-Up" to "Lean Republican," giving Mark Kirk the clear edge going into November.

Dan took the news pretty hard. So he released a silly negative ad that allegedly contains little snippets of voice attributed to Mark Kirk. There's no context given to the excerpts or video to prove the voice belongs to Kirk, but the hit itself is pretty silly. Take a look:

The Kirk camp posted a response the other night. Frankly, I'm not clear on what Seals thinks is damning about calling Bush "decisive." I don't hear Kirk saying he agreed with Bush's decisions -- only that Bush is decisive (see the Daily Herald's take on whether Kirk usually agrees with Bush or not). Does Dan think Bush has been indecisive? I doubt it. There are many legitimate criticisms of this administration -- I don't think indecisiveness is one of them.

I also liked how the Daily Herald yesterday pointed out that Dan doesn't always "back the Obama agenda."

The ad doesn't tell voters anything about Dan. And it doesn't really ding Kirk beyond a photo of him with Bush. It appears to be the last gasp from a dying campaign -- it's heartbreaking to watch.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Whose Side is He On? Lake County Coroner Testifies in Defense of Child Molester

In our own Lake County version of 'News of the Weird,' Democratic Lake County Coroner Richard Keller is coming under fire for acting as a paid expert witness for the DEFENSE in a recent child molestation case. Read the Daily Herald article here.

Keller seems quite unashamed of himself and says he'll do it again.

In a press release, the Lake County GOP had this to say:

Lake County GOP Criticizes Coroner for His Role
as Paid Defense Witness For A Child Molester

Lake County Coroner Richard Keller has used his office to defend a child molester.

Predatory sexual assault of a child is one of the most horrific crimes imaginable. In this case, the victim was a five-year-old child, and the defendant, Montel Branch, was convicted of this crime by a Lake County jury. Branch had a long criminal history. On Friday, September 19, 2008, Branch was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Although Montel Branch thankfully was convicted, what was outrageous about his trial was that the paid expert witness for Branch was Lake County Coroner Richard Keller. The Coroner is the second highest law enforcement agent in the County. In fact, the only person that could arrest the sheriff is the coroner. It is astonishing that Richard Keller would use that position to be a paid defense expert witness for a convicted felon in a child molestation case.

Lake County Chairman Daniel Venturi condemned Keller’s actions and called for his resignation.

“The office of Coroner is a full-time obligation, and is not something that you can put on hold to take a side job in a position that compromises the integrity of the office,” said Venturi. “In addition, it has the potential to cause confusion to a jury when the second-highest law enforcement officer in the county appears as a paid witness for the defendant,” Venturi continued.

Almost as offensive is the fact that Richard Keller hired himself out at $100 per hour to work as a defense expert while being paid a six figure income as Lake County Coroner.

“Ironically, even though Richard Keller testified on behalf of the defense, the jury obviously disregarded his testimony and the individual was still convicted of the horrific crime,” said Venturi. “The citizens of Lake County deserve better; they deserve law enforcement officials who will honor their oath of office and advocate for the victims of crime, and not the predators. There is no excuse for Richard Keller's action and he should immediately resign as Lake County Coroner.”

Keller is being opposed in the November election by emergency room physician Dr. Michael Oster of Gurnee.

Sorry, Dr. Keller, but you can't double-dip and be a voluntary paid expert witness defending heinous criminals while at the same time collecting your county paycheck for being the second-highest law enforcement officer in the county. Whose side are you really on? The citizens of Lake County have a right to know.

Dan Seals' Top Donor Charlie Rangel Subject of House Ethics Probe; Seals Still Won't Return Contributions

It's official! Dan Seals' number one contributor is now the subject of an official House Ethics probe.

On Wednesday, the House Ethics Committee voted to launch an offical probe into Congressman Charlie Rangel's alleged illegal activities. As you'll recall, Dan Seals has taken $55,000 from Charlie Rangel.

According to an Ethics Committee press release, the probe will examine allegations that Rangel abused his public position to raise corporate funds for a library bearing his name, illegally rented multiple rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, failed to disclose income from a property in the Dominican Republic and illegally stored a personally-owned vehicle in the House parking garage.

And Dan Seals remains silent.

The Hill newspaper called the latest development "a significant step indicating that the panel's members believe the allegations are complex, serious or both."

And Dan Seals remains silent.

Several Democratic candidates around the country have already returned contributions to Rangel, including U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Alaska candidate Mark Begich.

And Dan Seals remains silent.

On Monday, the Palm Beach Post called on U.S. Reps. Tim Mahoney, Ron Klein and Alcee Hastings to return their Rangel contributions. Combined, the three Democrats accepted $29,000 from Rangel -- just over half the amount accepted by Dan Seals.

And Dan Seals remains silent.

While some Democrats have shown the courage to stand up to Charlie Rangel and give back his dirty money, Dan Seals remains silent. We already have a governor who knows how to take the Fifth when it comes to corruption in his midst -- we don't need a congressman who does the same.

How can Dan Seals change Washington when he won't even stand up to his own campaign supporter's corruption and illegal activity?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Real Deal Seals: Dan's Plan to Tax You Into Bankruptcy (UPDATED WITH SEALS WHINING)

While I was going to put up another page soon on Real Deal Seals, this time on Dan's Plan to Tax You Into Bankruptcy, looks like someone beat me to the punch!

As we mentioned below, the Daily Herald is now reporting that "Freedom's Watch" has started running TV ads to support Mark Kirk. The first series is hitting our boy Dan for wanting to raise taxes. Here's the ad:

It's certainly all true -- but I wish they would have provided MORE facts about Seals' tax plan.

So for any reporters out there who might be wondering if the "Freedom's Watch" ad is true or not, I welcome you to check out TA's Real Deal Seals: Dan Seals on Taxes.

Got taxes? Drink Seals.

UPDATED: Dan must be pretty freaked out by the entrance of Freedom's Watch into the 10th District. Guess he didn't see this coming. It's got him about as badly unhinged as Sarah Palin surprised Barack Obama & Co. Just this evening, I got the following e-mail from Team Seals (don't ask how I got on his mailing list). [my comments are in brackets, italicized]

To: Team America [obviously they have me under a different name, or they would not be sending this stuff to TA]

Subject: Dirty Tactics [remember this as you read the e-mail]

They're back. [whaddya mean, "they're back"? Since when has Freedom's Watch run anything in the 10th District? Was this group even around last cycle?]

A right-wing, privately funded swift-boat style ["swift boat" is Dem code for anyone who forcefully disagrees with Democratic dogma] group called Freedom's Watch made a $430,000+ cable advertising buy attacking Dan. [It's okay, I guess, that DCCC has a buy that's about 3x's larger, but let's not talk about that] You may have even seen their latest attack ad that was put on the air today throughout the 10th District of Illinois. [I hope so] Unlike 527 groups, Freedom's Watch is a 501(c)(4) organization, allowing it to conceal financial contributors. [Many of the founding donors are listed on Wikipedia, which is also where it appears the Seals staffers got a lot of their information]

Freedom's Watch is bankrolled by Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire Las Vegas Republican [and who is Jewish, by the way], and the group has been described as the successor of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" group that attacked John Kerry's military record in 2004. [and did it successfully, we might note]

Freedom's Watch, founded and advised by former Bush White House officials [when in doubt, bring up some connection to GWB], including Karl Rove [for bonus points, throw in Rove], has a long record of distorting facts [telling the uncomfortable truth] in their advertisements, including falsely claiming that Iraq rather than Al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001. [better source this one for me, if they can] They've even been forced to pull advertisements they've run in other Congressional races for "false claims and inaccuracies." [Daily Journal, 5/7/08][I looked for this quote/source on the Internet, couldn't find it]

Freedom's Watch showed up at our Fourth of July parades to film Dan. [Hmm..., just like the Seals nutters who follow Mark Kirk around with a camera?]

The footage is coupled with their smears [uh, you mean, the facts] to attack Dan and the positive change [that's all we'll have left is "change", under his tax plan] that he will bring to Washington.

* * * [pitiful plea for money deleted] * * *

Thank you,
Team Seals

OK- so where is the "Dirty Tactics" Seals referred to in the subject line? Is it "Dirty Tactics" to talk about Seals' tax policy and how it will affect working Americans? Once more, Seals proves how Dems can dish it out but simply can't take it.

Dan Seals Holds True to Democrats' Usual Double Standard and Criticizes "Washington Hit Men"

The first rule of the Kirk campaign is that "there is no calvary," in other words, Mark Kirk knew that he would be on his own in terms of funding his own campaign this cycle. Not because the national party didn't want to support him, of course, but they needed to spend their more limited resources (compared to the Dems) on those candidates that could not help themselves as well as Kirk can.

Well, it looks like some calvary has indeed arrived, after all, in the form of a TV ad buy from Freedom's Watch, which is an independent political group in the same vein as MoveOn.org. TA understands that Roll Call reports that the first ad buy is $430,000.

Dan Seals, of course, believes that he is the only candidate entitled to benefit from the support of outside groups, and issued a statement saying, "Washington hit men will do or say anything to distract voters."

Uh, excuse me??? This is the same Dan Seals that soundly criticized the national Democrats for not coming to his aid in the last election? This is the candidate that has gladly accepted the help of the DCCC in the form of a $1.4 million ad buy, plus lots of poorly-crafted mailers that have been blanketing the district lately?

What's that about "Washington hit-men" again, Dan? Is that the glass house you live in shattering I hear?

IN OTHER DEM HYPOCRISY: The News Sun noted the rejection of several Democratic hopefuls to be placed on the fall ballot after their petitions were ruled invalid for various problems, as we reported earlier. The News-Sun reported that Terry Link, Lake County Democratic Chairman, had the following response to this embarrassing defeat:

"Inadvertently, some mistakes were made" in the challenged candidacies. "It wasn't like, 'Oh, we're going to go out and defraud anybody,'" Link added. "If they won the case, they won the case," he said. "Now the electors won't have a choice in those races."

Oh, boo-hoo, those poor electors that won't have a choice. Was Terry Link concerned when he challenged his own opponent, Keith Gray's petitions? That would have removed the electors' "choice" at the ballot, for sure.

Or Kathy Ryg's opponent Dan Sugrue? Or even the Dem's objections to the poor Green Guy, David Kalbfleisch, who was trying to run in the 10th District race with Mark Kirk and Dan Seals?

No, folks, it's just another example of how the rules of law, ethics, morality or fairness just don't seem to apply to Terry Link, Dan Seals, and other Dems.

Is Dan Seals Losing the Ground War in IL-10 Against Mark Kirk?

The ground game in politics is oh-so-very important, and Dan Seals seems to be falling behind to Mark Kirk on a rather important part of that: the "Letter to the Editor" (LTE) war.

Let's not kid ourselves. The majority of good LTEs don't just happen on their own. A good campaign has a well-run LTE program as part of one of its primary strategic missions. You have to motivate your supporters to get out there and write letters to newspapers, which can be a difficult thing. Most people are busy, most don't like to write or don't feel they are good writers, and many are reluctant to sign their name to something that is going to get published. A good LTE doesn't just say, vote for this guy or that one because he's nice (although that's what a lot of Seals letters sound like). Thus, one of the challenges is to get people to pen their thoughts on why their guy (or gal) is better, and back it up with some logic and facts.

I don't have any official statistics (yet), but I read four newspapers every morning (Trib, Herald, News-Sun, WSJ) and get Google Alerts for both Dan Seals and Mark Kirk. From my informal count, Seals is getting crushed in the LTE war, in both number and qualiity of the letters, in my opinion.

As just a sampling, in the Daily Herald we have seen letters on Kirk's support of veterans, Kirk's ability to promote change, Kirk's leadership, and his work on Internet safety. We have also seen letters critical of Seals' residency in the 9th District, and Seals' recent "rubber stamp" ad against Mark Kirk.

At the same time, the pro-Seals letters are rare and unpersuasive, such as this one that basically says, vote for Seals if you like Barack Obama so Obama has help in Congress. That's not something that really appeals to an independent-minded voter, such as we have here in IL-10.

Not only does the LTE battle reflect well on Kirk's organization, it reflects well on the level and quality of his support, and the underlying merit of why we must send Mark Kirk back to Congress. Dan, better get your folks writing, if you want to try to make this race even as close as it was in 2006.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Keith Gray Unveils New Video Ad Against State Senator Terry Link; Thieves Rob Dan Seals Office In Waukegan But Leave Poll Data Showing Seals Lagging

Waukegan businessman Keith Gray, who is challenging State Senator Terry Link in the 30th Senate District, has unveiled a new video ad. As you might expect, it's heavy on Link's problems such as the petition scandal and his ties to Rod Blagojevich.

It will be interesting to see how widespread the Gray campaign can afford to disseminate the video, but it's a nice little piece. I don't know if Terry Link has EVER done a TV ad, but we'll see if this spurs him to try some new things, after years of complacency.

10th DISTRICT CRIME WATCH: Several media outlets including the News-Sun are reporting that Dan Seals' small Waukegan campaign office was recently broken into. Apparently the thieves were persistent, and after failing at breaking in through the back, simply broke the glass in the front. They stole a bunch of computer equipment and other supplies. TA has an alibi.

Apparently no useful campaign data was stolen because Seals doesn't have any. After all, what good are internal polls showing him 22 points down to Mark Kirk?

All kidding aside, it's good no one was hurt, and considering Seals' office was right on one of main drags, Genesee Street, right across the street from the revamped Genesee Theater, it shows that Waukegan has still got a lot of work to do to make it a safer downtown where families are going to feel comfortable going for entertainment.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Real Deal Seals: If you support Israel, is Dan Seals worth the risk?

Today, Jewish groups are gathering to protest the arrival of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the U.N. General Assembly. Just last week, the Iranian leader again pledged Israel's destruction. Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency's most recent reports shows Iran is rapidly expanding its nuclear program -- and draws closer and closer to realizing its vision of a world without Israel.

If you support Israel, is Dan Seals worth the risk? Here's the latest video that's surfaced online after Seals hosted Congressman Howard Berman for a fundraiser in Highland Park.

To set the record straight, today I'm unveiling the first issues page on the "Real Deal Seals" -- Dan Seals on Israel.

By the way, in case you didn't figure it out already, the correct answer to the blog title is NO.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dan Seals and Charlie Rangel: Birds of a Feather?

Check out this video from our friends at the NRCC. The only thing they forgot to mention was that some of the more honest(?) Dems have already given back Rangel's dirty money. But not Our Man Dan. Check it out.

Can It Get ANY Worse? Dan Seals' Patron Charlie Rangel Calls Sarah Palin "Disabled"

Given Dan "A Gaffe A Day" Seals' recent woes over the Tammy Duckworth van-gate issue (and the memories that dredged up of Seals' other media fiasco, his inept gas-for-votes stunt), he really doesn't need any 'guilt by association' problems. But, Seals has shown no desire to distance himself in any respect from New York Congressman Charlie Rangel, who has now been in the news for weeks over a variety of tax scandals and housing issues. You are known by the company you keep, Mr. Seals. And you, sir, have so far taken in over $50,000 from the out-of-state Mr. Rangel (making Rangel your biggest donor to date) and shown no inclination to return this tainted money. It's so bad, even other Dems are beginning to abandon Rangel and return his contributions, but not Seals, despite challenges by this space and others to do so.

The latest scandal concerning is that loose-mouth Rangel on Friday called Alaska Governor Sarah Palin "disabled," in reference to her foreign policy experience. Rangel not only used the word "disabled," he confirmed that was exactly what he meant, after the news reporter (who was understandably incredulous) asked him to confirm it.

Check it out:

In a CBS 2 HD exclusive interview, Rep. Rangel called Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin "disabled." The question was simple: Why are the Democrats so afraid of Palin and her popularity? The answer was astonishing.

"You got to be kind to the disabled," Rangel said.

That's right. The chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee called Palin disabled -- even when CBS 2 HD called him on it.

CBS 2 HD: "You got to be kind to the disabled?"

Rangel: "Yes."

CBS 2 HD: "She's disabled?"

Rangel: "There's no question about it politically. It's a nightmare to think that a person's foreign policy is based on their ability to look at Russia from where they live."

Wow. That's bad, even for Rangel. Although at least he didn't use the word "retarded."

Rangel finally realized his serious mistake after the interview (no doubt after a staffer explained to him what he'd done) and tried to say that he used the wrong word. But, the damage was done, and if you look at the transcript of the interview, there is no doubt he meant what he said at the time. It's especially stupid considering that Palin is the mother of a child with Down Syndrome.

Keep going, Charlie. You are doing Mark Kirk a great favor by staying in the news headlines, and Dan Seals is playing right along by taking Rangel's money. Seals is hoping the voters of the 10th District will ignore the crap that keeps coming out of Rangel's mouth and not make the Seals-Rangel connection.

We're not going to let that happen.

h/t Redstate.com

Friday, September 19, 2008

Appellate Court Rules Terry Link Improperly Slated Candidates; Will Lake Dems Ever Learn to Take What They Dish Out?

Well, the Second District Appellate Court has spoken, and affirmed the prior ruling of the Lake County Electoral Board rejecting the Democratic nominees for three Lake County Board seats (for background, see this Daily Herald article and some of our previous posts here and here) and the circuit court's decision rejecting the Dem challenger for State Rep. Sandy Cole's seat (62nd Dist.)(for more background on Cole, see here). You can download both the appellate court's decision on the county board seats and the decision on Cole's race here.

In the county races, it was determined that Terry Link, as Lake County Democratic Chairman, improperly tried to slate the nominees though the central committee, instead of convening a separate county board district committee. This means that the three county board members, Chairwoman Suzi Schmidt, Diana O'Kelly, and Bonnie Thompson Carter, will not have a Dem opponent on the ballot. Way to go, Terry. Bet this really helps your already tarnished image as Dem leader.

Cole's challenger, Terry Hall, was also rejected, again. After the circuit court ruled against her, Hall was notable for crying a river over the injustice of the challenge to her nominating petitions. Well, sorry, lady, the rules are there for a reason, and next time, don't put down a "Mailboxes, Etc." address as your mailing address. Although, ironically, the appellate court ruling was not made on the basis of a bad address, but because Hall herself realized the potential error and tried to cure it by withdrawing her original papers, and re-filing, but after the deadline had already passed. Whoops.

The Hall letter mentioned above was followed by a ridiculous letter by 8th District Democratic State Committeewoman Nancy Shepardson that sought to divert blame to the Republicans that filed the challenges to the Dem nomination petitions, claiming that the GOP challenges should be withdrawn so the County Clerk (a Republican) could do her job by printing the ballots (you can read the biting response to Shepardson by Lake County GOP Chairman Dan Venturi here).

What Hall and Shepardson so easily overlook is that Terry Link and his right-hand man Pete Couvall regularly file challenges to GOP nominees, as well as nominees of other parties, such as the poor green guy, Dave what's his-name, who was running in the 10th District congressional race against Mark Kirk (oh, yeah, and Dan Seals). The Dem challenges to 30th Senate Candidate Keith Gray and 59th State Rep. candidate Dan Sugrue were particularly baseless and quickly dismissed, as the only claim was that the nominating meetings were held on the same afternoon, which the Dems couldn't seem to fathom could have actually occurred (two meetings on the same day??? no one (in the Dem party) is that efficient... must be a lie!).

If the Dems are going to try to play hardball, they need to start learning that what's good for the goose is good for the other goose.

Maverick Sheriff Mark Curran Ready to Boot Population of 21.5% Illegals From Jail; Terry Link Fails In Bid To Appoint Dem Challengers; Sorry for Seals

Following on the heels of Democratic Sheriff Mark Curran's across-party-line endorsement of GOP State's Attorney Michael Waller, Curran has followed through on his prior stated intention to obtain "287(g)" status from the federal government, which allows specially-trained deputies to begin deportation proceedings on inmates in the County Jail that are convicted of violent crimes. Although it may be another two years before the ball gets rolling, it appears that this is a significant step that is sure to cause ripples, especially among some Democrats.

However, as with his endorsement of Waller, Curran shows remarkably little concern about any politicians he might annoy, telling the News-Sun that "I call it the way it is, and I'm not going to mince words because someone's feelings might get hurt." The Chicago Tribune reports that annoyed Dems seem to be already paving the way to cut Curran loose if he doesn't start behaving more like the good little soldier that Terry Link and his thugs have come to expect up here in Lake County. Cry me a river, Terry.

You can download Curran's prepared statement here. Read the coverage from the News-Sun and the Daily Herald at these links.

A recent audit of the Lake County jail prison population indicated that 21.5 percent of the inmates were here illegally. The mix of nationalities was diverse, including: Mexico (105), Poland (5), Puerto Rico (4), El Salvador (3), Canada (2), Honduras (2), Philippines (1), Columbia (1), Vietnam (1), Pakistan (1), Guatemala (1), Cuba (1), Russia (1), and Germany (1).

Curran also pointed the finger at the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois, which he says have shown little desire to cooperate with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Curran believes that this move will end up saving the county potentially millions of dollars, as prisoners who are deported don't have to be maintained by the county.

LAKE COUNTY DEMS STRIKE OUT IN CHALLENGES: TA hears that Dem County Chairman Terry Link has struck out finally in his attempt to place three Dem challengers in three county board races, along with a State Rep challenger to GOP incumbent Sandy Cole. We will have some more details on this later.

SORRY FOR SEALS: Do you feel sorry for Dan Seals after the debacle over Tammy Duckworth and "van-gate"? The News-Sun does:

If you're a Democrat, you must be feeling sorry for the Dan Seals campaign about now. The Democrat this summer held a campaign event offering cheap gas at a Lincolnshire gas station to spotlight high gas prices. It sort of backfired after traffic turned Route 21 into gridlock. He was presented with a $2,000 bill by police. Then on Wednesday, Seals brings Illinois Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth to a campaign event in Wheeling to gripe about Congressman Mark Kirk's record on veterans issues. She arrives in a state-owned van, which violated a law against using state property for political purposes. Duckworth told The Associated Press she'll reimburse the state for using the van. But, still, these folks should know better. Meanwhile, Republican Kirk is telling anyone who'll listen that he is maintaining a comfortable 22-point lead over Seals and even outpolling Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in the 10th District.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tammy Duckworth Admits Error in Using State-Owned Van at Dan Seals Campaign Event (UPDATED); Terry Link Petition Circulators Back In Court

Yesterday, Illinois Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth tried her best to make a media splash for 10th District Dem Challenger Dan Seals, who is running against incumbent Congressman Mark Kirk, but the event was overshadowed by her use of a state-owned van to drive to event, a clear violation of state law. The mistake was admitted by Duckworth's office, according to the Chicago Tribune. "She will reimburse the state for the use of the state vehicle, and will not make this mistake again," Jessica Woodward, a Veterans Affairs spokeswoman, told the Tribune. The Tribune also noted that by the time the event was over, someone had quietly moved the van out of sight of reporters.

This marks at least the second time a Seals media event has blown up in his face. Aside from the very questionable wisdom in making support of veterans an issue with a guy like Mark Kirk, who is a naval intelligence reservist, and is credited with saving and greatly expanding the North Chicago VA hospital, the Duckworth mistake was the story of the event, not Seals' criticisms of Kirk's records on veterans. As to Seals' criticisms, a quote from Dan didn't even make it into the Trib story.

NBC-5's coverage of the event quoted Seals as stating that "We don't want somebody who just supports veterans some of the time. We want someone who is going to support them all of the time." So, what Seals is really saying that his criticism of Kirk is that he has not voted in favor of every single bill that had some purported benefit for veterans in it. Well, that might make for a political sound bite, but I think Kirk has explanations that make a great deal of sense for why he sometimes has to vote against a bill that contains some benefits for veterans, but otherwise is ill-drafted, has provisions that would actually harm veterans, or has other flaws. No doubt when Seals brings this up at the upcoming debates, Kirk will fry him.

Getting back to Duckworth, even though she took pains to make clear she had taken off from work and was appearing as a 'private citizen,' for someone in her position as the appointed director of a state agency, this appropriately was met with criticism. It's pretty hard to have a position like hers and then claim you are stepping away from that to campaign as a blatant partisan. Of course, we're pretty used to that kind of stuff in Illinois; after all, this is the state that basically gave Barack Obama an official state-wide endorsement when we moved the primary up to February 5th to give him an advantage against Hillary Clinton. But this also gives Kirk a pretty good hook to paint Seals as a Blagojevich-supported Chicago-style politician--which is a death knell to a candidate in the 10th, if it sticks.

Duckworth, who herself is a failed Congressional candidate, might want to think twice about the company she keeps, in campaigning for another failed congressional candidate who can't seem to gain any media attention without getting egg all over his face.

UPDATED: Just saw that the Daily Herald has a pair of articles, the first on 'van-gate', and the second on the meat of the event. Interesting that in the second article, Duckworth pooh-poohs the endorsement of the Veterans of Foreign Wars PAC that Mark Kirk just received. "We all know what that is worth," she said. Imagine- a so-called representative of veterans that doesn't care what veterans think. Nice.

TERRY LINK'S PETITION CIRCULATORS BACK IN COURT: In other news, Jerry Knight and Kenneth Davison were back in court in Lake County yesterday, this time to plead not guilty to multiple charges of forgery and perjury. Background on the story here. Jerry Knight's story is apparently going to be that people claimed to be someone they were not when they signed the false signatures. This will be a little tough to argue as a defense, though, when it can be easily shown that many of the signatures were names that were copied right out of the phone book, with errors in the addresses that were one line above, or one line below, the entry for the person in the phone book. Unless Knight didn't notice that people signing his petitions had a phone book in their hand when they were writing in names, this is going to be a hard sell.

Better get a good lawyer, Mr. Knight. You are certainly not going to get any help from Pete Couvall and Terry Link, who immediately threw you and your partner under the bus when the scandal broke.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Was (Is) Karen May For (Or Against) Legislative Pay Raises? Depends On Which Story She Tells That Day

Was Dem State Rep. Karen May against legislative pay raises before she was for it, or vice-versa? We're not quite sure, but we're trying to figure it out.
May, an 8-year incumbent, released a statement touting her support of House Joint Resolution 132, urging the Senate to reject legislative pay raises. She further states on her political website that she voted against the pay raises, and urged her colleagues to do the same. However, her GOP opponent, Timothy Stratton, a lawyer from Glencoe, claims that Rep Karen May in fact was one of only eight other legislators to actually vote in favor of the 2008 pay raises.

Stratton claims that May previously supported legislative pay raises until the issue was raised by Stratton in this election cycle. Stratton says that, in fact, May supported a 10% pay hike for herself in 2007 with Senate Bill 241.

As the 'other blog' likes to say, the facts are stubborn things, and the voters will ultimately decide if they accept her explanation. Stratton recalls that, first, Karen May said she pushed the wrong button when she was voting. More recently, Stratton says he learned from an editor at the Pioneer Press that Karen May now claims that someone else pushed her voting button. So, which is it?

Sound fishy to you? It does to us too. State Reps have the ability to change their vote before the vote closes so if someone else pushed the button, or if Karen May really pushed the wrong button, why wasn’t it corrected? Is it because the intention all along was to vote with Speaker Madigan in approving the 2008 pay raises just as she did in 2007? The record is clear. These are serious questions and demand a response from Karen May. It’s kind of hard to pin her down on this issues, however, as Tim Stratton has tried to get Karen May to agree to a series of town hall forums to debate the issues in the District. Karen May has refused to give voters the opportunity to question her. Stratton proposed five town halls.

Stratton had this to say: “Voters should ask Karen why she voted to accept the pay raise just a few weeks ago when she was one of only a handful of legislators to do so. She also voted to accept a similar 10% pay hike back in 2007.” Stratton continued, “My opponent is doing an-about face on the issue of pay raises now that it has become an issue in this campaign. Her record on this issue is clear and now she is misleading the voters by making up a voting record that simply does not exist.”

“I am glad however, that she now agrees with my position that the State is in no condition to give politicians another pay hike when Illinois families are suffering under the tax and spend policies of the Springfield and Cook County politicians," Stratton said. "I will be a constant advocate for Illinois families on real issues that matter to our district. Voters can hold me accountable and I will actually take my votes seriously when in Springfield.”

There you have it. It sure seems like these guys would learn. Terry Link and the petition scandal, Dan Seals and his Rangel money problems, and now Karen May and her fabrication of her own voting record.

Stratton is another one of the GOP's rising stars, and promises to give May a spirited race. For more information on Tim Stratton check out his website at www.timforillinois.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Since You Brought It Up, Where's YOUR Courage to Say "NO", Dan Seals?

Dan Seals gets his own words in his new commercial thrown back at him in the face of his lack of "courage" to say "no" to the more than $55,000 in contributions he's taken from ethically-challenged Congressman Charlie Rangel.

Guess for some people, money trumps guts every time.

Mark Kirk More Popular than Barack Obama in IL-10; Kirk Debunks DCCC Ads With Facts (PLUS RANGEL UPDATE)

10th District Congressman Mark Kirk won't be caught sleeping this time around. And, thus, even though Dan Seals gave Kirk a bit of a scare in Nov. 2006 by pulling within 6 points late in the election cycle, Kirk is determined not to let Seals have a shot at getting even that close this November.

As a new poll released by Team Kirk shows, Kirk still leads Seals by about 22 points, less than 60 days to the election. Even more impressive, according to Politico.com, Kirk polls as more popular even than Barack Obama in IL-10, which pretty much torpedoes Seals' master plan of riding into victory by simply clinging onto Obama's coattails.

Probably by no coincidence, the Kirk-Seals poll was released by Team Kirk just as the DCCC finally came to town in the form of a long-anticipated shower of negative mailers to the 10th District, along with a "rubber-stamped" themed TV ad (Team Seals also offers an ad of his own, where Seals directly attacks Kirk with a little speech, which is somewhat unusual... a mark of desperation, perhaps?) . Seals clearly knows he's got to drive down Kirk's favorable ratings to have a chance. But, considering Kirk's fabulous 'favorable' numbers (63%), Kirk has the luxury of being able to give some ground here, while Seals must make up an enormous deficit in name recognition and credibility. Simply put, it appears that in three years of virtually non-stop campaigning, Seals simply can't seem to find a reason for people to vote for him that resonates in the 10th District, a legendarily quirky and "independent" bunch of folks.

In any event, whether the big media buy made by the DCCC starts to move Seals' numbers in any significant way remains to be seen. They might even work against Seals, however, as Kirk has ALREADY hit back with a "Mr. Independent" (so says the Daily Herald) TV ad, a detailed debunking of the "rubber-stamp" ad with an Internet video, and a detailed "Fact Check" section on Kirk's website. If the 10th District gets the impression that Seals is smearing Kirk and distorting his record, Seals is toast. The one thing 10th District voters hate more than being told how to vote by people in Washington is being lied to...

The other nagging question is, if Seals was within striking distance of Kirk in Nov. 2006, and Seals has been campaigning steadily ever since, why in the world has Seals lost all that ground, and essentially seems to be starting from scratch less than 60 days out? Did Seals simply peak in 2006? Or do the voters just know Seals better now and don't see him as a viable alternative to Kirk... that is, if IL-10 voters are even looking for an alternative, which at least 63% of them may not be...

ALSO- TEAM OBAMA SEEKS TO STIFLE POLITICAL DISCOURSE... AGAIN: Our friends at Team Obama ('protectors of free speech for everyone, as long as you agree with us') by organizing another call-in protest of WGN for hosting author Milt Rosenberg. Flying Debris has the scoop.

UPDATED: IS RANGEL FACING DEM PRESSURE TO STEP ASIDE? Looks like Dan Seals' #1 contributor, NY Congressman Charlie Rangel, may be asked to step aside soon from his Chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee by members of his own party as a result of multiple tax scandals. Politico.com has the update.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Mark Kirk Poll Shows He Maintains Huge Lead Over Seals; New Attack Ad Goes Up Courtesy of DCCC

10th District Congressman Mark Kirk's campaign has released a new poll showing he maintains about a 22 point lead over Dem challenger Dan Seals after months of steady, if uninspired, campaigning by Seals. Also, as expected, DCCC has rolled in with the first of its attack ads, but puts up a sophomoric "Kirk = Bush" piece playing off Kirk as a "rubber stamp." The problem with this is that for anyone who knows Mark Kirk (which is a LOT of voters in the 10th District), they KNOW Kirk is anything but a rubber stamp. DCCC is going to have to do a lot better than this to drive down Kirk's stellar favorables (63%!)

I'm in the middle of trying to do some actual work today, so for now, I'll send you over to Capitol Fax Blog, where Rich Miller has a nice wrap-up and discussion going, including a link to the video, if you are curious to see a real hack piece. Check back here later for more.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Keith Gray Revs Up For Race Against Terry Link

My good friend Keith Gray is really starting to turn up the heat on State Senator and Lake County Democratic Chairman Terry Link (D-Waukegan). This weekend, this billboard went up on Washington Street in downtown Waukegan, just west of the courthouse, where Terry Link will likely have to see it every day when he's in town.

Keith is also airing a 60-second ad on WKRS and WXLC. Listen to the ad here.

Meanwhile, both of Link's indicted campaign workers have now been picked up and arrested. Kenneth Davison made bail, but no word on Jerry Knight, who they picked up in Minnesota and extradited back to Lake County at the end of August.

I will try to get an update on whether Knight made bail or if Link is letting him rot in jail, and also check on when the next court date for both men is (UPDATED- court date for arraignment of both men is 9/17). The interesting question is whether either or both will flip on Pete Couvall and Link, considering that Couvall and Link are claiming that Davison and Knight 'hustled' them, and they had nothing to do with the petition forgeries.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dan Seals continues to cling to Rangel cash

By my calendar, it's been 62 days since the news first broke of the shady deals of Dan Seals' biggest donor, Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY).

First, it was the four rent-controlled apartments that the politically-connected Rangel somehow got when most of his constituents couldn't even get one.

Then it was news that he'd been pressuring companies with business before the Ways and Means Committee, which Rangel chairs, to donate to a school that Rangel humbly named after himself.

Now we learn that the guy who writes our country's tax code (that's what the Ways and Means Committee does) engaged in a 20-year pattern of tax fraud by hiding over $75,000 in income from the IRS.

The incredible thing is: all of this broke within the span of two months. Rangel is a veritable scandal machine. The ethics committee is going to need to hire more staff just to deal with him.

Yesterday the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW, a non-partisan, anti-corruption watchdog group) named Rangel one of the 20 most corrupt members of Congress. He shares that honor with William Jefferson, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney.

Yet despite all of this, Dan Seals continues to have a death grip on the $50,000 that Rangel funneled to him. Even the DNC, which is lagging badly in fundraising, returned $100,000 from Rangel, and that was before his latest scandal broke. What will it take for Dan Seals to do the honorable thing and return the tainted cash?

At this point I'm starting to think that he is never going to return the money. He needs that $50,000 too badly, and he trailing in the polls by too much, to worry about a little thing like ethics.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dem Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran Endorses GOP State's Attorney Mike Waller; Lambasts Dem Challenger Jacobs and Takes Heat From Terry Link

Wow, talk about opening up a can of whoopass. As we reported yesterday, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, a Democrat, endorsed incumbent GOP State's Attorney Michael Waller. If that wasn't enough to shock you, though, you really had to hear Curran's attack on Waller's Democratic challenger, Cook County assistant state's attorney Michael Jacobs.

After lauding Waller for his 18-year record as state's attorney and 35-year legal career, Curran then took the political hatchet to Jacobs. Curran noted that Jacobs had filed for personal bankruptcy, but as his home was threatened by foreclosure, he deeded the property to his mother. Curran contended that Jacobs could not be trusted with the $17 million budget of the Lake County State's Attorney's office if he could not handle his personal finances.

Curran called Jacob's career in the Cook County State's Attorney's office (hey, don't they have a residency requirement? Just askin') undistinguished and noted that he'd never been promoted to a supervisory or management position, even though Jacobs has worked there for 20 years.

Curran even went into Jacob's personal demeanor and maturity, noting that Jacobs had been suspended for coaching football for violent and inappropriate outbursts (TA hears the 'F-Bomb' was involved) in Gurnee football.

While none of the news articles that appeared as of this writing got hold of Lake County Democratic Chairman (and 30th District State Senator) Terry Link for comment, his right-hand hatchetman, "Sneaky" Pete Couvall, didn't waste any time berating the endorsement. According to Couvall, Waller and the Lake County GOP "took advantage of a guy [Curran] who is not a politician."

Well, isn't that interesting, Pete. Do you mean that Curran simply hasn't been around long enough to know how the game is played and that he's supposed to take his orders from Terry Link, as to what he does and when he does it?

According to the Daily Herald, Curran admitted getting heat from his party's leaders after word of the pending endorsement spread. "I received an unpleasant call or two," Curran said. "I will not prostitute or whore myself on behalf of any political candidate."

Thank goodness there's at least one Democratic Lake County official who isn't scared of Terry Link. Maybe after this (and in light of the recent indictments of Link's campaign workers), more will follow as Link's formerly iron grip on the Democratic party continues to rust away.

Oh, did we mention that those two indicted petition circulators also circulated for Michael Jacobs? Well, we just did (again).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran Crosses Party Lines to Endorse Michael Waller for State's Attorney

Democratic Sheriff Mark C. Curran, Jr. (left) will announce on Wednesday that he will endorse incumbent Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller (right of Curran), a Republican, in the November election. While this announcement will no doubt take the MSM somewhat by surprise, it had been rumored for some time by people in the know up here in Lake County.

Curran's office announced a press conference to be held tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. The short release is as follows:

September 9, 2008
Contact: Sheriff Mark Curran
Phone: 847-721-1869
Lake County, Illinois

Sheriff Mark C. Curran, Jr. to Endorse Waller for States Attorney
Media Conference Alert

Tomorrow (Wednesday, September 10), Sheriff Mark Curran will hold a brief media conference to discuss his endorsement of Lake County States Attorney Michael Waller for re-election this November.

The conference will take place at 11:00 AM tomorrow morning in front of Sheriff Curran’s former law office located at the southeast corner of Grand Avenue and West Street in Waukegan. (235 N. West Street)

Curran is expected to say that Mike Waller has spent 35 years serving the Lake County legal community in an exemplary manner and he has earned the respect and votes of the citizens of Lake County. Curran will likely also note that Waller has received numerous other professional endorsements.

Curran recently endorsed a fellow Democrat for circuit court clerk, so he appears to be a classic north shore ticket splitter, but deserves a lot of credit for supporting Waller and bucking not only the party line, but also Democratic Party Chairman Terry Link. Whether the thumb-in-the-eye to Link was made easier by the damage to Link's political stature caused by the recent indictment and arrest of two of his political workers who passed nomination petitions for him, well, only Curran can answer that question. Interestingly, the two indicted campaign workers also circulated petitions for Waller's opponent, Michael Jacobs, who Waller will face for the second time in the November election. (Hey, Mikey, does Barack know you're using his picture on your website? I hear that's a real no-no without official permission...) Don't worry, though, we'll have more on Mr. Jacobs sometime very soon.

Getting back to Curran, he recently made many headlines with his self-incarceration in the Lake County Jail for a week to conduct some first-hand research into jail conditions. While this was widely criticized as a political stunt, we gave him the benefit of the doubt, and it appears the media attention he garnered is likely to help bring improvements to jail conditions.

Michael Waller was a Lake County Assistant State's Attorney from 1973 to 1979. From 1979 to 1986, he was in the private practice of law in Waukegan. In 1986 he returned to the Lake County State's Attorneys Office as Chief Deputy. Mr. Waller was appointed State's Attorney of Lake County in 1990. He was elected State's Attorney in 1992, re-elected in 1996, 2000 and 2004. See his official bio here.

10th District Dems Launch Mark Kirk Smear Site: So, Here's the Real Deal Seals

Someone sent me a link the other day to a new website discussing 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk. It's not very flattering, to say the least. It's called wherewasmarkkirk.com, and is proudly offered by the 10th Congressional District Democrats, led by former State Rep. and former Mark Kirk opponent Lauren Beth Gash. As is typical for the Dems, there's not much here at all about Mark Kirk's actual record. Rather, it's simply a laundry list of everything the Dems think is wrong with America, and asks why Mark Kirk hasn't ridden in on a white horse and waived a magic wand to fix everything (you know, like Barack Obama says he will do).

So, not to be outdone, we've created a new adjunct blog we call the Real Deal Seals, dedicated to debunking claims by 9th District resident and 10th District candidate Dan Seals. Visit it here.

Unlike the 10th Dems, though, we'll take a look at Seals' actual statements, positions and half-truths/exaggerations/lies. The voters of the 10th District can then decide whom to vote for (except for Dan - he can't vote for himself. It's a little thing called residency).

We're just getting it off the ground, so the main page is mostly information about Seals that TA regulars already know well, such as Seals' lies and exaggerations about his former position at GE Commerical Finance, his claim to be a Northwestern "professor," and his claim to have taught "thousands" of students in Japan. Also, we look at his campaign finances, his failed gas stunt, and other issues. Coming up, we will add more in-depth looks at his positions on Iraq, health care, Israel, taxes and that sort of stuff.

Stay tuned for more.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Barack Obama's Latest Endorsement: Former Drug Addict and All-Around British Wacko Russell Brand

THIS is the guy who's the latest to endorse Barack Obama for president of the world. Last night at the MTV Video Music Awards, British comedian/actor/celebutante/whatever Russell Brand took up some stage time to urge Americans to vote for Barack Obama “on behalf of the world,” and called George W. Bush a "retarded cowboy fella", which he must not have known doesn't go over too well in this country.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Obama is running for president of the United States, not the world. Don't make me repeat this again.

If you don't know Brand (and who in the U.S. did, before this?) according to the Wikipedia entry on this yo-yo:

He dresses in a flamboyant bohemian fashion describing himself as looking like an "S&M Willy Wonka." He has bipolar disorder. He is a former heroin addict, sex addict, alcoholic and has had numerous run-ins with the police, having been arrested 11 times for public indecency. During the time of his addiction, he was known for his debauchery, a notable example being his ejection from The Gilded Balloon, in Edinburgh. He has abstained from drug use since 2003 and is now a patron of the addiction charity Focus 12. His abandonment of drugs and alcohol was instigated by his agent John Noel. He did so with the help of the Hare Krishnas, to whom he feels "indebted".

Also according to Wikipedia, he apparently showed up to work at MTV dressed up as Osama Bin Laden the day after 9/11 (and was fired by MTV for it. What were they thinking asking this guy to now host a national awards show?).

I would expect Senator Obama to repudiate this endorsement any minute now. Or is Obama proud to rack up yet another "celebrity" endorsement?

Will Charlie Rangel's Ethic Issues Ever End? Will Dan Seals Ever Give Rangel's Money Back? (Hint: same answer for both questions) (UPDATED)

Not to keep you guessing, but it would seem the answers to today's questions are "no" on both counts. Over the weekend, the New York Times reported on yet another aspect of New York Congressman Charlie Rangel's troubled and ethically-challenged finances. This time, it's about an interest-free loan he received from a top supporter. Read all about it here.

Even Nancy Pelosi has decided enough was enough and is supporting an ethics investigation.

But, what about 10th District Dem nominee Dan Seals? Has he said anything about his mentor and patron Charlie Rangel's ethical lapses and challenged accounting practices? Has he ever asked Rangel why he wants to raised everyone's taxes, but doesn't want to pay any himself? Has he given any consideration to returning over $50,000 that he has received from Rangel? Which, by the way, makes him SEALS' TOP DONOR... (looks like someone is going to have to update the Seals-Rangel video with all this new stuff that is hitting the papers on a daily basis).

VIDEO UPDATE: Looks like someone must've been reading my mind from my original post this morning. Here's a video clip dealing with the latest in Rangel Revelations. (h/t Backyard Conservative)

Do the people of the 10th District really want a Congressman that has been bought and paid for by a guy from New York that can't keep on the right side of the tax law?

The answer to all of these questions is the same. "NO."

LAKE COUNTY UPDATE: Had a great time at the Lake County GOP picnic yesterday- so much so, that I didn't even capture any pictures, but I'll try to get someone to send me some. Along with musical entertainment, great food, and lots of stuff for the kids, we had speeches by Congressman Mark Kirk, 8th District challenger Steve Greenberg (running against Melissa Bean), and a host of other GOP stars. Lake County GOP Chairman Dan Venturi kept the program moving nicely.

Dan Seals' Challenge to Mark Kirk Fails to Crack RealClearPolitics' Top 25 Competitive Congressional Races

Well, for all the bluster that Dan Seals has made on the campaign trail about his close run with Illinois 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk (left) in 2006, and a few groups that have labeled this race as one of the most competitive in the nation, this morning's RealClearPolitics report doesn't even have the 10th District in the top 25 of the races where the seat is likely to change.

The RCP report did have Illinois' 11th District (Jerry Weller's open seat) as #17, stating: "Rep. Jerry Weller, a member of the GOP class of 1994, is retiring, and it never helps when the winner of the GOP primary drops out. The replacement candidate, concrete company general manager Martin Ozinga (R), has proven a remarkable fundraiser, which he'll need to be against state Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D), a top Democratic recruit with more than $900,000 in the bank by the end of June. Halvorson is favored, but Ozinga has impressed so far."

The GOP has already figured out that Debbie Halvorson is ALSO a beneficiary of scandal-plagued NY Congressman Charlie Rangel's tainted campaign largess (to the tune of about $40,000, at least).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dan Seals' Top Campaign Donor In Tax Trouble Again; Can't Charlie Rangel Get Decent Accounting Help?

Jeez, why can't the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (you know, the committee in charge of the tax code), seem to keep the law straight when it comes to his personal finances? Yes, folks, it seems the New York Times has exposed yet another set of tax violations by our friend Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.)

What's the 10th District tie-in, you may ask? Well, as TA regulars know well, Charlie Rangel is Dan Seals' biggest backer, to the tune of around $55,000 this cycle.

It seems that just two weeks after contributing more than $40,000 to Illinois congressional candidate Dan Seals' campaign and becoming Seals' largest donor, Rangel today faces accusations of tax fraud dating back 20 years. In this morning's edition, the New York Times reported Congressman Rangel, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, earned more than $75,000 in rental income from a villa he has owned in the Dominican Republic, but never reported it on his federal or state tax returns.

As the TA faithful know, we urged Dan Seals to return all contributions from Congressman Rangel more than two months ago, when the first reports of possible corruption emerged. At that point, maybe Dan could have pleaded ignorance. But instead of returning Rangel's contributions, he took another $40,000.

That's not change – that's Blagojevich-style more of the same.

In July, the Washington Post reported that Rangel solicited donations from corporations with business interests before his congressional committee in an effort to raise money for his future library.

Also in July, the New York Times touched off a separate ethics investigation by exposing that Rangel had four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem, one of which he used as his campaign office, in possible violation of federal election law, state and city regulations and Congressional ethics rules.

According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Rangel is now the single largest donor to Dan Seals' campaign. Rangel first contributed $7,000 to Seals in 2006 and added another $7,000 on April 30, 2008. FEC filings show Rangel also transferred $41,000 to Seals on August 20, 2008 – more than a month after the first Times and Post reports.

Dan Seals' largest campaign donor now faces possible charges of tax fraud, abuse of power, violating the House gift-ban rules, accepting illegal campaign contributions and breaking local housing laws.

And you thought Tony Rezko was a bad guy.

ALSO- 10th District Dem Women Diss Kirk's Comments on Sarah Palin

Well, well, big shocker. A bunch of 10th District Dem women who never had a kind thing to say about Congressman Kirk anyway, sent him a letter telling him how little they think of VP candidate Sarah Palin. The letter dismisses Palin for her "slim qualifications and radical right-wing views". Cry me a river, ladies. Of course, our friend Ellen Beth Gill's name is prominent among the signatories.

Since the letter decries Kirk's claim that Palin is a "reformer," if that's what the ladies of the 10th District really want, maybe they ought to also turn their scathing attacks on their own anointed Dan Seals, based on the above story regarding his connections to the despicable Charlie Rangel.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

We're All Raisin' McCain! (UPDATED: Obama Admits Surge Worked Beyond Anyone's "Wildest Dreams")

I think John McCain did exactly what he needed to do tonight- he delivered a speech as John McCain. Not as Barack Obama, and not even as Sarah Palin. He was John, the guy who may be the proudest American that has ever lived, and lived through years of hell as a POW with nothing more than the love of his country to keep him going.

The Dem pundits and MSM will say that being shot down and being a POW doesn't qualify you to be president... not unless character and strength of will is something you think of as important in your president.

Unlike Governor Palin, who spoke to the convention and the GOP base, McCain spoke to the nation, and (for McCain), did a bang-up job. He knows that he cannot beat Obama on lofty rhetoric, and therefore didn't even try. What he delivered was red meat for a national crowd, illustrating how he would change the nation as president, and why he was different than Barack Obama (as one commentor over at Redstate.com put it, the biggest difference is that Obama would have been on the first plane out, in reference to McCain's refusal to be let go early from his prison in Vietnam).

McCain also took a big step in calling out his own party and criticising it for its recent failures, including lack of fiscal responsibility. But, he did take time out early to congratulate President Bush for preventing another terrorist attack on American soil for the past seven years... which, if you are a fair, objective person, will admit that if you were asked that question on September 12, 2001, you would have said such a feat would be practically impossible.

The most recent CBS poll I heard tonight had McCain and Obama dead even. Let's see what the bounce will be. But, regardless of how well McCain does, let's not get too excited. There are still two months to go.

SARAH'CUDA: Haven't had enough of the new face of the GOP? Get your Sarah Palin fix and watch the "Sarahcuda" video here.

LAKE COUNTY UPDATE: I heard from Lake County Republican Headquarters today that the office was crowded in a pretty much constant stream with people demanding McCain-Palin signs, with the emphasis on PALIN, after last night's speech. Don't tell me that Sarah'cuda hasn't re-energized a GOP base that had more or less given up, according to some. Not much worry about that any more...

UPDATED: OBAMA, THE NOT-YET-READY-FOR-PRIME-TIME WOULD-BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF: Well, after ducking Fox news commentator Bill O'Reilly for months and months, Barack Obama finally sat down to give an interview and promptly admitted for the first time that not only did the "surge" in Iraq (which John McCain strongly supported) work, it worked in ways that "nobody anticipated" and beyond anyone's "wildest dreams." Maybe any Democrat's. It certainly wasn't beyond John McCain's... but then, there appears to be a lot that's above Obama's "pay grade." Military strategy appears to be another one of them.


Go McCain/Palin!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah Palin: Moose-Huntin' Awesome! (UPDATED)

Well, I just got done watching Sarah Palin and keeping one eye on the liveblog from http://www.redstate.com/. They ought to have copyrighted the "moose-huntin' awesome" line. I highly recommend tuning in to the TV feed and having your computer on to watch the commentary... it's like Mystery Science Theater 3000 for politics.

Democrats ought to be very, very concerned.

Here's a copy of the prepared remarks in case you missed it. But if you did, find it on the web and watch it!

A couple of choice lines, among many (and Rudy had a ton of zingers, too!):

"In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change."

"[Obama] is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his own campaign."

"I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.
But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country."

"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening."

And that shot of little Piper fixing the hair of baby Trig? Wow.

Good-Bi-den isn't going to know what hit him. Not to mention the anointed one.

I need to bill someone for something tomorrow, so I need my sleep. But the comments are now open for any night-owls.

UPDATED: Fox has the transcript from Sarah'cuda's speech last night.

RNC Starts Off With Red Meat From Fred Thompson

The RNC got off to a great start with former U.S. Senator, former presidential candidate and actor Fred Thompson. See the CNN video here. Thompson rightly pointed out, among other things, the "state of panic" that the selection of Governor Sarah Palin has the 'other side' in. Fred also recounted McCain's experience as a war hero, and I had no idea the challenges (to use a very mild word) McCain went through as a POW in Vietman, including the beatings and other torture McCain survived, for FIVE AND A HALF YEARS. Wow.

Of course, the news that Governor Palin's 17-year-old daughter is pregnant took many by surprise and raised the issue of whether McCain's vetting process was sufficient. But, there could be quite a silver lining in this supposed cloud, as it is sure to highlight the differences between Barack Obama and his notion that a baby is a "burden," with the attitude of Governor Palin and her family, which has evidenced an outpouring of support and love for her daughter, and a firm commitment that is consistent with her espoused beliefs. And, for anyone who thought that McCain and Palin were going to shrink from this controversy, it is being reported this morning that the father of Palin's future granddaughter will attend the RNC! That's called putting your beliefs on the front line, unlike the other side, which, if anything, is even worse than the Clintons when it comes to shifting political views to fit the poll taken that day.

So far, the biggest downside of the convention is that Mark Kirk was not able to address the convention due to the hasty rescheduling caused by the amazing GOP response to hurricane Gustav. But, unlike Dan Seals, his opponent, at least Kirk was invited to address the nation at his convention.

As the RNC momentum builds, let's see if the bounce McCain gets is enough to bring him even again with Obama in the polls, and we'll go from there... All I know is that back home in Lake County, the requests for McCain signs is so high that we simply can't keep up with demand. That's a very good sign.