Friday, October 31, 2008

Dan Seals Stumbling at the Finish Line: No Money, No Mail and No Message to Give Obama (UPDATED)

Wow, our favorite 9th District Seal Pup appears to be up to his usual standards by stumbling badly at the finish line of the most expensive campaign the 10th Congressional District has ever seen. It just goes to show that sometime no matter how much money a candidate has access to, in the end, the candidate still has to come through. Maybe better luck in 2010, Danno.

Today I was amused to get yet another desperate e-mail plea from Dan Seals, asking for money because a last-minute mailer was apparently lost at the post office. The netroots wasted no time in making thinly-veiled accusations that somehow dirty pool must be at work, since we all know how infallible the U.S. Postal service is. Maybe Team Seals simply forgot to stick the stamps on ;-). Now that I recall, I think Team Seals also insinuated that somehow the break-in at Seals Waukegan satellite office a few weeks ago was also perhaps the result of dirty politics.

Sadly, the appeal from Seals stated that they needed the money they expected to bring in to keep Dan on the air. Now they are out of luck since the mailer didn't go out, and they are desperate for cash.

Here's what I really want to know: How can someone who wants to be our Congressman and handle billions, if not trillions, of budget dollars, not even manage his own campaign well enough to budget money for the last weekend push? In typical Dem fashion, it looks like even though he knew he'd need money for this last big weekend, he counted on funds coming in, and now he doesn't have them. Is this how he'd manage our tax dollars?

The other funny thing is that the "lost" mail was only 8,200 pieces. Was that the whole mailer? Why so few pieces, in a district with hundreds of thousands of registered voters? Or was the mailer much bigger, but only a few thousand pieces were lost? If so, what's the big deal, and why the desperate e-mail? Something doesn't make much sense to me.


The Seal Team is making a big deal out of the fact that Barack Obama finally figured it was close enough to the election that Seals wouldn't be able to commit any gaffs serious enough to hurt Obama, so the BarackStar finally recorded a voice-only ad for the Pup. Obama was still apparently concerned enough that he didn't want any video to exist of him with Seals, so Seals is promoting the audio with the one and only picture of Seals and Barack taken a few years ago.

What's the saddest part? After all this time, Seals couldn't even feed Obama anything intelligent to say about Dan's accomplishments. In fact, the main line from the ad is:

"To Dan, change isn't just a word, it's a way of life."

Seriously? That's it??? That's the best thing that Seals could get Obama to say about him? What does that really mean, and will the voters of the 10th District be insulted that Obama apparently thinks we're so dumb that a platitude like that will earn our vote?

How many voters do you think that will sway that weren't already going to vote Obama-Seals? And how many votes will such a banal statement lose for Seals?

Tuesday simply can't come soon enough.

UPDATED: 11/1/08 8:30 a.m. LIBERALS PLEA FOR MONEY: This is really getting funny. Check out the further pitiful pleas for money for Dan Seals going on over at DailyKos. It's becoming clearer that Seals can't be trusted with the federal budget if he can't even manage his own campaign well enough to reserve some money to publicize the little radio ad he expected to have cut by the BarackStar. Either that, or he was shocked that B.O. actually decided to do anything for him, and this came as such a complete surprise he now can't take advantage of it. Either way, why would we want this guy as our Congressman?

While we're on the subject, wouldn't you love to take Barack aside from his busy schedule of picking his new cabinet and ask him EXACTLY WHICH instances of "change" brought about by Dan Seals that makes B.O. qualified to tell US that he's lead a life of "change" (except, of course, for the inability to keep a steady job). Can you imagine the blank look on Barack's face with THAT question?

It's also too bad that Barack couldn't take time out to cut a new photo with Seals to go along with the radio spot since Team Seals and even DailyKos has to keep recycling the same years-old photo of the two of them together. It's safe to say that Obama and Seals are not frequent golfing buddies, and that Seals probably isn't someone that Obama "exchanges ideas" with on a "regular basis."

Pioneer Press Notes the Ellen v. Team America Flame War

The Pioneer Press BlogBuzz column has noted the cyberwar between Ellen of the Tenth and Team America in the 10th District, as we each support our favored candidates, Dan Seals and Mark Kirk, respectively.

BTW, Team America is currently clocked in at over 46,000 hits since last October. I was hoping to hit 50,000 by Election Day, and it looks like we'll be just a tad short, but refer your friends and we'll see how close we get!

Obama Promises Everything; Already Preparing to Deliver Nothing

Folks, I called this months ago (back in May, actually), even before the current economic crisis was so apparent. Now that Obama's folks seem comfortable in the prospects of winning the White House, they are already laying the groundwork to admit to the American people that they can't deliver on all the crap that Obama promised. BIG. SHOCK. PEOPLE.

What will the excuses be? Will he be like Rod Blagojevich, who is still trying to blame some problems on former Governor Ryan, though Blago's been in office six years now? Or will Obama blame the Congress, again kind of like Blago, whose party has a virtual lock on the state legislature--considering that Obama, if elected, will likely have significant Dem majorities in both the House and Senate?

Or will he simply say that not even Superman could have fixed the mess he inherited?

Oh, wait, you told us you WERE Superman.

If you vote for Obama, DO NOT COME CRYING LATER.

This has been a Team America public service announcement.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mark Kirk's New TV Ad: Endorsed by Every Major Paper in IL-10 (UPDATED)

In response to the misleading TV attack ad that the DCCC is running that tries to fool 10th District voters into thinking that the Daily Herald and other print media are down on Mark Kirk, Kirk fires back with this sharp new TV ad making sure every voter knows who really won the endorsements of every major newspaper in the district (hint: it sure as heck ain't The Pup).

UPDATED: A longer version of the "endorsed" ad is available at Kirk's website. I hope and assume that we'll see both versions of the endorsement ad in heavy rotation on TV over the weekend and up til the election.

Lake County Voter Fraud Suit Heads to Federal Court; Is There A Dan Seals Connection?

Yesterday, the voter fraud suit we told you about was removed to federal court. While the Lake County News-Sun interpreted this move by Democrats to stymie the lawsuit as a victory that would result in no action until after the election, I'm not sure that's correct at all. In my experience, federal courts are very used to moving swiftly and taking action on emergency issues, so while this may mean a delay of a day or two, it's still very possible a federal judge could hear the case before Nov. 4th.

Interestingly, while State Senator Terry Link (who is also Democratic Lake County Chairman) has been known to ignore some moves by the GOP from time to time, this one apparently got his attention, as he showed up personally to the hearing yesterday. He's still making excuses and missing the point, though, as shown by his comments to the News-Sun:

Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, who doubles as Lake County Democratic Committee chairman, called the suit "a desperate reach," and "a tactic" being used by Republicans nationwide in an effort to stymie an avalanche of new young and minority voters who they fear will vote Democratic. *** "They're trying to suppress the vote, especially in North Chicago and Waukegan, in African-American areas," Link said. "You don't see them challenging people in Lake Forest or Barrington. If there are illegal registrations, the clerk should find them. If she can't, she should hire more people."

As usual, Link tries to blame politicians for inserting politics into an election. Huh? Don't quite get that one, but trying to shift blame to Republicans is a common tactic with Link, who tried to cast redirect blame from his campaign regarding his fraudulent petitions to so-called "Republican operatives."

And, excuse me, the County Clerk needs to hire more people? Isn't this the same Senator Link that told us the county couldn't afford new judges (until he worked it out so they had a chance to be Democratic judges)? Link to me looks once again like he's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar and is trying desperately to make up excuses. Good luck with the federal court, Senator.


Interestingly, Dan Seals is on the record as supporting Citizen Action, which is the group accused in the lawsuit of turning in the scores of bogus registrations. Watch his endorsement of the group here:

However, TA is told that Seals recently pulled the endorsement of himself BY Citizen Action off Seals' website.

Wonder why?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daily Herald Calls Dan Seals On Misleading Attack Ad Against Mark Kirk

As we noted previously, Dan Seals (OK, technically the DCCC) takes old quotes out of context from the Daily Herald to support a new attack ad against Mark Kirk that leaves the viewer with the incorrect impression that the Herald endorsed Seals, not Kirk.

The Daily Herald's "Animal Farm" blog has taken note and sets the record straight:

"Just for the record, the ad quotes the Daily Herald as if it is an endorsement of Seals. The Daily Herald endorsed Kirk and below the ad is what the editorial said in full..."

You can see the full editorial and the Seals ad at the Daily Herald blog here.

I think it's pretty telling that since Seals did not get the endorsement of even ONE major print outlet in IL-10, the DCCC has taken to misrepresenting the position of the Herald.

Whether it's the DCCC going maverick or not, Seals is abdicating his responsibility as a candidate if he does not respond to the Herald's criticism of the misleading ad and demand that the DCCC pull it.

Mark Kirk to Clean Up Waukegan Harbor with Federal Funds

Well, the last time Congressman Mark Kirk came up with tens of millions of dollars in federal funding to clean up the PCBs in the sediments of Waukegan Harbor, the project failed because the City of Waukegan wouldn't pony up its share.

Now, Kirk has taken matters into his own hands and secured enough federal funding to do the job without the City. The City, of course, is pleased (so it says), although its long-term plan to force out industries from the lakefront and go condo is no doubt intact.

See stories from the Daily Herald here and the News-Sun here.

Just take this as another example of "decisive" action (something Dan Seals appears to criticize) by our Congressman. Having no real energy plan of his own (except traffic-snarling gas give-aways), Seals is no doubt simply pacing his office hoping the Barack-star can bring him over the finish line this time.

GOP Targets Voter Fraud with Lawsuit in Lake County (UPDATED WITH VIDEO)

Yesterday, Lake County GOP officials, along with the Illinois Republicans, filed a suit aimed at combating voter fraud in Lake County. You can download a copy of the Complaint here.

The lawsuit cites numerous instances of fraudulent voter registrations that have been submitted to the Lake County clerk, fictitious names at both fraudulent and legitimate addresses, multiple registrations for the same individual (with different signatures every time), real people who live in other districts, and (to top it off) a Lake County Most Wanted Gang Member (ineligible to vote because he's a felon).

The suit alleges that this is evidence of a coordinated effort to perpetrate voter fraud on the part of a group called Citizen Action/Illinois, and the Lake County clerk's office must be ordered by the court to take measure to ensure that actual votes cast on Election Day are valid. The suit requests that newly-registered voters be required to show ID, as well as specially code the registrations submitted by Citizen Action/Illinois to require such voter to cast a provisional ballot, which gives the Lake County Clerk up to two weeks to check the legitimacy of each vote.

Dan Venturi, Lake County GOP Chairman told the Daily Herald, "We need to restore confidence in the electoral process in Lake County and across the country." According to the Lake County News-Sun, Venturi also cited the recent petition fraud problems with Dem Party Chairman and State Sentator Terry Link's nominating petitions.

The Dems will no doubt scream voter intimidation and disenfranchisement. But I still don't see how requiring someone to show an ID when voting for the first time in the face of the orchestrated attempts to defraud the electorate is unreasonable or unduly burdensome in this day and age. The GOP has asked for a quick ruling on this, so we'll see what happens.

UPDATED: Watch ABC-7's coverage of the GOP press conference down below:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Memo to DCCC: IL-10 Print Media Unanimously Endorsed Mark Kirk

In a sign of desperation, perhaps, the DCCC's latest TV attack ad on Mark Kirk takes print media quotes out of context to give one the impression that the newspapers are down on Mark Kirk, when in fact they have unanimously endorsed him.

Unincorprated Middle has a great analysis.

We won't dignify the ad by placing it here, but if you are really curious, it's up at Capitol Fax Blog.

Can we please end this and send the DCCC back to DC and Seals back to the 9th District?

Lake County News-Sun: Elect Judges Val Ceckowski and George Bridges; But Wait, Terry Link's Politics Lurk Behind the Judicial Elections...

Today the News-Sun endorsed sitting judges Valerie Ceckowski and George Bridges for election to the two new subcircuit judgeships. We heartily concur, in that their opponents, David Weinstein and Jay Ukena, appear to bring little to the table.

As the News-Sun pointed out, considering that the subcircuits were supposedly added to bring more diversity to the bench, the only diversity that the Democratic candidates would bring is the fact they are Democrats. The GOP candidates, Ceckowski and Bridges, a woman and an African-American man, respectively, appear to enhance diversity on the bench much more so than the two male Caucasian Democratic candidates (one of whom (Weinstein) I can't help mentioning reminds me of Zoltar, the mechanical fortune-teller). Ironic since the Dems claim their party is the champion of minorities.

Oddly, what the News-Sun missed in both its editorial and its accompanying overview article of the subcircuit race is that behind the scene of all of this is... you guessed it... our old pal, State Senator Terry Link. Even the News-Sun seems to have forgotten the massive flip-flop Link did a few years ago when he tried to create new judgeships that would be elected by subcicuit to try to promote the election of more Democrats to the bench. He flubbed this legislation and then tried to (and was successful at) removing the three new judgeships he mistakenly created as full county-wide elected posts, saying at the time that the "state can't afford these three new judges." Of course, once he fixed the legislation and got his subcircuits, the funding issue mysteriously disappeared.

As usual, Terry Link is more concerned about playing politics than serving the voters of Lake County and promoting good representation on the bench. Time for him to go, and please vote for Keith Gray.

Monday, October 27, 2008

IL-10's Mark Kirk Named as a Politico "Stand-Out Centrist" for 2008; Plus: Print Endorsement Wrap-up

Congressman Mark Kirk has been named by as a "Stand-Out Centrist" for 2008, despite his opponent Dan Seals' desperate attempts to paint Kirk as a George Bush rubber stamp. Politico said of Kirk:

A military man and leader of the Republican Main Street Partnership, this congressman from the suburbs of Chicago has the unenviable task this year of running against a charismatic African-American challenger. But Kirk has shown the mettle to stand up to Bush and Tom DeLay and the vision to set out a “suburban agenda” that is “pro-defense, pro-personal responsibility, pro-environment and pro-science.”

Local news outlets like NBC-5 appear to have already picked this up. It should be noted that every major 10th District print media outlet in Chicago has resoundingly endorsed Kirk and rejected his opponent's futile attempts to paint Kirk as a Bush clone. In case you missed it, here's a print endorsement round-up:

Chicago Tribune: "We wish Seals were running in the 9th District, where he lives. But he's not. Instead, he's running against one of the most thoughtful, independent and effective members of the House. Kirk is a leader on environmental issues, including the protection of Lake Michigan."

"He's a workhorse on local concerns, known for having a diligent staff. Voters should look beyond partisanship and embrace their pragmatic, get-it-done congressman. Kirk is endorsed."

Chicago Sun-Times: "In his eight years in Congress, Kirk has made bipartisanship a priority, bringing a spirit of cooperation to a Congress in sore need of it. And despite what his opponent would have you believe, he is anything but a clone of President Bush."

"Mark Kirk is exactly what the 10th Congressional District, the State of Illinois, and our country needs in Congress: a congressman who is hard working, very knowledgeable, fiercely independent, dedicated to bipartisan action, and an effective contributor to resolving the nation's and his district's problems."

Daily Herald: "Republican incumbent Mark S. Kirk, 49, of Highland Park is an energetic representative who works to protect Lake Michigan..."

"Kirk is not the George Bush mouthpiece Seals would have us believe. He is, as we have stated before, one of the most independent members of Congress."

Lake County News-Sun: "Congressman Mark Kirk has been a good public servant with a solid record of achievement for Lake County. We believe he deserves another two-year term in Washington, D.C."

"This is the second matchup between Kirk and Seals and, frankly, we have heard nothing new from the challenger this go-round to sway us from backing the congressman for another term. The 10th District has a gem in Mark Kirk, and voters should keep him in Washington."

Pioneer Press: "...Kirk has represented his constituents well and should be re-elected."

"He was instrumental in securing increases in impact aid, the per pupil amount the federal government gives to school districts which educate children of military personnel."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chicago Tribune Rounds Out Lake County Legislative Endorsements; Only ONE Democrat Makes The Cut

This morning the Chicago Tribune added to its endorsements with GOP incumbents Sid Mathias and JoAnn Osmond in the 53rd and 61st Districts, respectively, and challengers Tim Stratton and Bill Anderson in the 51st and 60th Districts.

The Trib called Sid Mathias "a terrific legislator, an independent thinker and a perfect fit for this district." And, no surprise that the Trib glowingly endorsed former GOP County Chairman JoAnn Osmond, saying "JoAnn Osmond has been an effective, energetic representative. She's a very independent voice, a hard worker and a leader on insurance issues. She's one of the best legislators in Springfield."

In the 58th District, the Trib said that newcomer Tim Stratton "is a sharp young business guy who has been active in Glencoe municipal affairs. He is endorsed over Democratic Rep. Karen May, who is too intensely partisan."

In the 60th, the Tribune notes that incumbent Eddie Washington angered the Lake County Dem establishment (a/k/a Terry Link), but still managed to eke out a victory, and that Bill Anderson is picking up some Democratic support. The Tribune said of Anderson: "He is a lawyer, member of the Waukegan public school board and president of the library board. He is knowledgeable on budget matters and would focus on school funding reform. Anderson is endorsed."

Finally, an honorable mention goes to GOP challenger Dan Sugrue, a great guy and extraordinarily hard worker who has a tough job against incumbent Dem Kathy Ryg in the 59th District. The Trib gave a favorable mention to Sugrue, even though it went with Ryg, stating that Sugrue is "a smart, principled attorney." While I like Kathy Ryg as a person, I think the Trib gave her a little too much credit for "reaching across the aisle," and find her way too supportive of the Democratic agenda in Springfield. She would also do well to disassociate herself from Terry Link, but I figure she's banking too much on being able to step into his shoes at some point in the relatively near future (and after seeing what Link does to Dems that don't bow and scape--just look at what happened to Eddie Washington when he fell from favor); thus, Ryg continues to pin her hopes on linking with Link.

We should also note that the Trib previously endorsed GOP incumbents Ed Sullivan, Jr. (51st Dist.), and Mark Beaubien (52nd Dist). The Trib noted that Sullivan Jr "is very knowledgeable about property tax and business issues. (He's the Fremont Township assessor.)" and that Beaubien "is a passionate, hard-working legislator and brings an intelligent approach to pension reform issues. " Sandy Cole (62nd Dist.) did not receive an endorsement, but that's because her opponent was knocked out due to Terry Link's screw-up with Cole's opponent's nomination papers, and therefore it's not a contested race.

For anyone keeping count, between the legislative district endorsements and the senate endorsements (which were given to Dan Duffy, Matt Murphy and Keith Gray), only ONE Democrat (Ryg) received endorsement from the Tribune. As we noted previously, the Lake County News-Sun didn't even give the nod to Ryg, and encouraged a "GOP Sweep" of the Lake County legislative delegation to remove the political cobwebs out of Springfield.

People nationwide may be hungry for change, but the desire of Illinoisans to clean up Springfield may come as a rude awakening to some Dem legislators next week. We can only hope.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Seals Campaigns with Blagojevich Treasurer Despite Ties to Mob and Illegal Gun Ring

How can you stand for change when you stand with the rampant corruption of Millerod Blagojevich's administration?

TA readers remember the last time Dan Seals campaigned with a Blagojevich representative – they ended up breaking the law.

Today, Seals held a "rally for change" with another representative of the more-of-the-same pay to play corrupt Blagojevich politics – State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

We all remember how Alexi was the banker for the Chicago mob.

But did you know he also helped finance one of the largest illegal gun rings in the Chicago area?

As Crain's Chicago Business reported, Broadway Bank – run by State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and his family – made a series of mortgage loans for as much as $400,000 to Ugur "Mike" Yildiz at the Bell's Gun & Sports address. Giannoulias helped finance Yildiz's gun shop despite a previous suit by the City of Chicago in 1998 alleging hundreds of Yildiz's firearms ended up in the hands of Chicago gang members.

In June, the U.S. Attorney charged Yildiz with illegally transporting weapons to Ontario. Yildiz owned Bell's Gun & Sports Shop in Franklin Park and, after losing his federal firearms license in 2005, transferred ownership of his remaining 207 firearms into his name. Since June 2006, Canadian law enforcement traced approximately 80 weapons registered to Mr. Yildiz, many discovered in the execution of search warrants in connection with drug and violent crime investigations. Fifteen guns registered to Yildiz also were found in a dumpster in the Detroit area.

Why would Dan Seals campaign with the banker who financed the biggest illegal gun ring in the suburbs? Washington needs strong independent leaders. How can you stand for change when you stand by a corrupt Blagojevich administration?

Keith Gray Hammers Terry Link on Ties to Blagojevich

In the wake of GOP State Senate candidate Keith Gray's endorsement by the Chicago Tribune, and Gray's mailer hitting Link on his graveyard voting issues, this "puppet" mailer hit the 30th Senate District mailboxes this week.

In case you missed it, the Chicago Tribune reported this week that Blago's approval rating is worse even than President Bush's. In fact, even the DCCC has thrown Blago under the bus.

Download the complete mailer here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mark Kirk, Keith Gray, Rake In More Endorsements

Our splendid Congressman Mark Kirk completes his sweep of the major print media endorsements by earning the support of the Daily Herald. The Herald said:

Republican incumbent Mark S. Kirk, 49, of Highland Park is an energetic representative who works to protect Lake Michigan and is a lead advocate for embryonic stem cell research. *** Kirk is not the George Bush mouthpiece [opponent Dan] Seals would have us believe. He is, as we have stated before, one of the most independent members of Congress.

You can see Kirk's endorsements by the Tribune, Sun-Times, News-Sun, and Pioneer Press here.

While Kirk's endorsements are to be expected, to some degree, State Senate candidate Keith Gray, who is running against incumbent Senator Terry Link in the 30th senate district, got a great endorsement from the Tribune this morning. Unlike the Daily Herald, the Tribune gets the message that if we don't break the stranglehold the Dems have on state government, the state will continue spiraling into a financial abyss. I'm sure Senator Link's petition scandal didn't help. You simply have to read the whole thing:

Sen. Terry Link is a Lake County Democratic powerhouse, part of Emil Jones' leadership team and one of the contenders to replace Jones as Senate leader. That sounds like a prescription for the status quo in Springfield. In August, two of his campaign workers were indicted on charges that they submitted phony signatures to put him on the ballot. He's running against Republican businessman Keith Gray of Mettawa, vice president of the Rondout School Board and a member of the Mettawa Zoning Board of Appeals. Gray is a very good candidate. He's smart, has some good ideas about generating development and jobs and is outraged about the Democratic dysfunction in Springfield and Link's role in that as part of the Senate leadership team. Gray would bring welcome change, and he is endorsed.

Gray was previously endorsed by the Lake County News-Sun, Link's hometown newspaper, and Link's petition scandal appears to have also cost some other Lake County Democrats some endorsements since all of the Dem county-wide candidates also had petitions circulated by the indicted campaign workers...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

26th Senate Race: Dan Duffy Hits Bill Gentes With "Liar" Mailer

Wow, you can tell we're in the home stretch as the political mailers are flying hot and heavy. The latest one is from the ILGOP for GOP 26th Senate candidate Dan Duffy, hitting Duffy's opponent Bill Gentes on his lie to the Daily Herald about being employed when he wasn't. Brutal.

Check it out here.

Gotta love the photo of Gentes kicking back in sunglasses, though.

Keith Gray Hits Senator Terry Link on Graveyard Voting in 30th Senate District

Keith Gray, Waukegan businessman and GOP challenger to Senator and Lake County Dem Chairman Terry Link has sent out a tough mailer blasting Link on ethics and taking Link to task for having the names of deceased persons show up on his nominating petitions. You can download the complete mailer here. The piece is quite clever, featuring a picture of a cemetery with a Link campaign sign on one of the graves, as if to show where Link’s support appears to be coming from. It also ties Link, who is in senate leadership, to Governor Blagojevich, who the Chicago Tribune noted today (in a huge front-page article) has a lower approval rating than even President Bush.

The theme of the Dems importing Chicago-style politics to Lake County, including fraudulent petitions and campaign disclosure issues, voter registration problems, and mailers incorrectly featuring Cook County tax issues in Lake County races, has been front and center in many of the local Lake County races.

Word is that Senator Link went ‘ballistic’ when he saw the Gray “Graveyard” piece and is planning a hit of his own. TA understands that Gray has several more biting mailers in the queue, however. Regardless of what mud Link may try to fling at Gray, it’ll be very tough for Link to salvage his sullied reputation concerning the indicted campaign workers, so this could end up being a sleeper race that lands a big surprise on November 4th.

Also, many local Dems in Waukegan and North Chicago (which comprises much of Link’s base) have decided that they have had enough of Link, after 12 years of doing little to nothing to benefit minorities in what are some of the poorest communities in Lake County, not to mention other issues. Among other signs of Link dissatisfaction among the Dems, see an endorsement of Keith Gray from prominent Waukegan Dem precinct committeeman Keith Turner here, and a letter to the editor from Dem activist Marian McElroy that blasts Link for not supporting minority candidates for judicial subcircuit races here (the two Dem candidates are both Caucasian men, and the GOP candidates are Judge Valerie Ceckowski and Judge George Bridges (an African-American)).

Tribune Picks Dan Duffy for 26th Senate; Lying Opponent Bill Gentes Not Trustworthy

The Chicago Tribune today endorsed one of the GOP’s young up-and-comers, Barrington businessman Dan Duffy, in the hotly-contested race to replace retiring long-time Senator Bill Peterson in the 26th Senate District. The Tribune stated:

Duffy is a smart, solid guy who has excellent real-world experience. He is troubled by the state's anti-business climate and wants to hold the line on taxes.

On the other hand, the Tribune explicitly noted that opponent Bill Gentes had given voters a reason to mistrust him, due to his admitted blatant lie regarding his employment status.

Gentes has been a successful mayor, but he's given voters a reason not to trust him. He said he was on a leave of absence from his job—but later admitted he had been fired. Duffy is endorsed.

Read more about Gentes’ woes here.

The Tribune also endorsed GOP Senator Matt Murphy in the 27th Senate District, which includes a tiny portion of Lake County.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lake County GOP Attacks Invasion of Misleading Tax Mailers of Dem County Board Candidates

The busy beavers at the Lake County GOP on are the attack again, this time railing against a series of misleading mailers that were sent out on behalf of the Democratic challengers to five incumbent GOP County Board members. The issue is that the very similar mailers all condemn high property taxes and suggest that the "County Assessor" should be forced to reassess home values based on more recent data. View a sample of one of the mailers here.

The problem is that we up here in Lake County have a different system than in Cook County, and our assessments are done by Township Assessors that are independent of the County Board. Oof.

So, either the Dem candidates didn't read the mailers before someone (the Cook County Dems, perhaps?) sent them out, or none of them understand the tax system in their own county. Double oof.

Finally (triple oof?), it's also very odd that the mailers are all practically identical, but they are identified as being paid for by the individual candidates' campaigns. Some of the names of the campaigns do not even appear to be correct. Given the mistakes made by confusing the Cook County tax system with Lake County's someone (MSM, anyone?) should ask these candidates who designed, paid for, and approved these mailers...

26th Senate Race: Dem Candidate Bill Gentes On Defense for Lying About Job

Bill Gentes, Round Lake mayor and the Dem candidate to replace retiring GOP senator Bill Peterson, is continuing to take heat for lying about his job status when interviewed by the Daily Herald for endorsements. We covered the story here. The Trib picks up the story today. The Daily Herald notes that Gentes' opponent, GOP businessman Dan Duffy from Barrington, has outfundraised Gentes by a more than 2:1 margin.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kirk Runs Table With Tribune Endorsement

For those of you keeping track, this strong endorsement of Congressman Mark Kirk over his opponent Dan Seals should seal the deal for Kirk: News-Sun, Pioneer Press, Sun-Times and now the Trib.

[Kirk is] one of the most thoughtful, independent and effective members of the House. Kirk is a leader on environmental issues, including the protection of Lake Michigan. He is a strong advocate for embryonic stem-cell research. He's a workhorse on local concerns, known for having a diligent staff. Voters should look beyond partisanship and embrace their pragmatic, get-it-done congressman. Kirk is endorsed.

Lake County News-Sun Lauds County Clerk Willard Helander for Rooting Out Voter Fraud in IL-10 and Lake County

The News-Sun has a nice editorial this morning lauding our Lake County Clerk Willard Helander for being alert to the rampant voter fraud that her office has uncovered, and notes that voter fraud can come in many forms, as with the arrest of the two individuals on Terry Link's campaign on charges of perjury and forgery. It's good that there are at least some good government watchdogs out there. Go Willard!

Allegations of Misconduct Dog Lake County Coroner Richard Keller in Tight Race

Lake County Coroner Richard Keller is under fire for accepting money for serving as a defense witness in a recent child molestation case. The News-Sun reports here, and we covered this story here. Keller doesn't see anything wrong with his testimony and seems to be unrepentant. This guy sees nothing wrong with defending child molestors and he's the second-highest ranking law enforcement officer in the county???

Daily Herald Flubs 30th Senate District Pick With Terry Link

Well, I had hopes the Daily Herald would make the right choice in the 30th Senate Dist. by choosing GOP challenger Keith Gray, but it appears that Senator Terry Link's problems with his two indicted campaign workers only gave the Herald "pause." So much for supporting change in Springfield, guys. Two corrections for the editors--Link is in his fourth term, not his third term, and the 30th District is not a "statewide race". Nice work- not.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dan Seals on Health Care

Have you seen those cable ads from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce commending Mark Kirk for his work to expand access to health care in America? And have you also seen those crazy national Democratic Party cable ads claiming Mark Kirk hates seniors? Certainly a contradiction on the airwaves. The ads inspired me to do a little more research into the contrast between Dan Seals and Mark Kirk on the issue.

Here's a brief summary of Kirk's record from his Web site. And here's the Fact Check on the Democratic claims. 100% ratings from the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Children's Health Fund -- not bad, Congressman!

But what about the pup? What's his record (I use that term very loosely) on health care? To answer that burning question, I am pleased to unveil the a Real Deal Seals page: Dan Seals on Health Care.

From taking away critical services for 90,000 10th District seniors, to taking away all prescription drug coverage for seniors, to providing taxpayer-funded health care for illegal immigrants to putting the people who run the post office between you and your doctor, Dan Seals is quite extreme when it comes to health care.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kirk - Seals Debate Open Thread (UPDATED)

I wasn't able to go to the Kirk-Seals debate as I was out of town. I noted that Ellen live-blogged it, but reading her account of the debate is like trying to get the truth about Barack Obama from the MSM. So, for those of you who attended, what did you think? Bonus question- does the debate even matter, considering Kirk's huge current cash advantage and numerous endorsements from the press and other groups?

UPDATED: Here's a balanced Pioneer Press article that'll give you a much better feel for the debate than the Seals shills. More here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rampant Voter Registration Fraud Investigated in 10th District (UPDATED)

The Lake County Clerk along with the Sheriff and State's Attorney, is investigating allegations of rampant voter registration fraud in Lake County.

The Lake County News-Sun reported:

Officials indicated that more than 800 of the forms were turned into the clerk's office by a Chicago resident claiming to represent several community organizations in Lake County.

The registrations involved were primarily located in eastern areas of the county, [Lake County Clerk Willard] Helander said, and concentrated in the 10th Congressional District where Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk faces Democratic challenger Dan Seals.

Does this remind anyone of the nationwide problems now finally coming to light regarding ACORN and Barack Obama's ties to that organization?

It also smacks of the same forgery allegations that led to the indictment of two of State Senator Terry Link's campaign workers for having deceased people on Link's nomination petitions. The News-Sun also reported:

Sheriff Mark Curran said the investigation has the potential to result in serious charges. "Clearly there are forgery issues and what have you that are felonies and serious issues that are being investigated," Curran said. "At this point it's hard to say how far it's going to lead."

In addition to the registrations turned in by the individual, Helander said she is also very concerned about registrations that involved valid addresses but were not filled out by the residents of those homes. Some residents who received mass-mailed registration forms with incorrect information such as the name of deceased people or pets brought those forms to the attention of the clerk's office.

The individual mentioned in the story is not named, so we'll have to do a little digging. Be back with more information soon...

ALSO- As regular TA readers know, the Lake County GOP has brought an official complaint against Terry Link's campaign for failure to disclose payments from the campaign to the indicted campaign workers, as well as failure to properly document and itemize over $40,000 in campaign expenditures. The first hearing before the State Board of Elections is this coming Tuesday. It will reportedly be a "private" hearing among the Board members, who will decide whether to actually take the complaint any further and have a public hearing on the issue. The Board has four Republicans and four Democrats, and a vote along party lines would mean that the complaint would not be taken any farther. Let's hope at least one Democratic member has the guts to at least decide that the complaint should receive a full hearing. After all, Terry Link is steadfast in his position that he's done absolutely nothing wrong...

UPDATED: h/t to an alert reader who noted that the Tribune has also picked up the story. Dogs, goldfish and dead people were among the registered voters.

I haven't seen a reaction yet from Terry Link in his capacity as Lake County Democratic Party Chairman, but I'm sure he thinks this is simply another case of "Republican operatives" trying to thwart the democratic election process.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is Dan Seals Running Out of Cash? (UPDATED)

The Daily Herald Blog Animal Farm is reporting that 10th District Dem challenger Dan Seals had only $240,479 on hand on Sept. 30. Animal Farm also noted that Seals didn't really raise as much as he said when Kirk forced him to make a statement with Kirk's early release of his $850,000 cash haul for the last quarter. In fact, turns out Seals only raised $660,936 in the last three months – not the $700,000 Seals claimed. Kirk hasn't released his cash numbers, but the word is he is still sitting on seven figures for the last push. Maybe Seals is sending up the flares to DCCC even as we speak...

UPDATED 10/17/08: Here's the Daily Herald talking about Kirk's huge cash advantage. And visit Capitol Fax Blog for some further updates and analysis on the Seals veteran ad issue.

Joe the Plumber Resents Obama's Socialist Plan

This guy rocks.

"Redistributing the wealth, as far as my hard work, that upsets me," Joe said. "That's not right. That's not American."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Video: Seals Mystery Spokesman Caleb Davis - Government Was Behind 9/11

The veteran that Dan Seals imported from Peoria to anonymously smear Congressman (and veteran) Mark Kirk's stellar record on vets has been ID'd as a 9/11 conspiracy supporter, but Seals' campaign sees nothing controversial about this guy, Caleb Davis.

Per the Tribune:

Last June, the Peoria Journal Star reported that Davis wore a black T-shirt proclaiming "Investigate 9/" while sitting at a table at a Peoria library where books, fliers and DVDs supporting conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks were on display. The organization argues the government's version of the terrorist attacks is fraudulent and offers a "Top 40 Reasons to Doubt the Official Story" and an "Official Coverup Guide."

Watch the video overview here:

Does the Seals Campaign Believe the U.S. Government Murdered 3,000 Americans on 9/11?

Just when you thought Dan Seals' mistake-ridden campaign couldn't get any worse, it just did.

First, Dan Seals tried to attack Congressman Mark Kirk -- the author of watershed legislation to end America's dependence on foreign oil -- for causing higher gas prices by giving away free gas. The campaign stunt backfired, snarled traffic for miles and ended with a $2,000 fine from the Lincolnshire Police Department.

Then, Dan Seals tried to attack Congressman Kirk -- an 18-year Navy combat veteran who saved the North Chicago VA and is endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars PAC -- for not supporting veterans. The campaign stunt backfired when Tammy Duckworth arrived in a taxpayer-funded vehicle.

Now, Dan Seals is trying to attack Congressman Kirk on veterans again -- this time using an Iraq war veteran -- just after Kirk received an "A" rating from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. You'll notice the ad doesn't say who the veteran is -- just some unidentified "Illinois Iraq Veteran." Credit goes to the Daily Herald for digging up that the new Dan Seals spokesman is a 25-year-old Peoria-native named Caleb Wilson.

So what's the problem this time? The Chicago Tribune reports:

Last June, the Peoria Journal Star reported that Davis wore a black T-shirt proclaiming "Investigate 9/" while sitting at a table at a Peoria library where books, fliers and DVDs supporting conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks were on display. The organization argues the government's version of the terrorist attacks is fraudulent and offers a "Top 40 Reasons to Doubt the Official Story" and an "Official Coverup Guide."
You got it folks -- Dan Seals' new campaign spokesman believes the U.S. Government murdered 3,000 Americans on September 11th.
Kirk, who was in the Pentagon when the airplane crashed into it on 9/11, called on Seals to stop airing the ad.

"I am disappointed that you would center your campaign on a spokesman who believes the U.S. government murdered nearly 3,000 of its own citizens," Kirk said in his Monday letter to Seals.

And here's the most amazing part. What was Dan Seals' response?

Seals spokeswoman Elisabeth Smith said she didn't "really see what is so controversial" about using Caleb Davis in the ad.

Excuse me? You don't see anything controversial about saying the U.S. Government was behind the attacks of 9/11? You don't see anything controversial about claiming the Pentagon blew up from a bomb -- not a plane -- and that the Twin Towers came down from demolition munitions planted by our own government?

That leads me to today's poll question. Is this just Dan Seals' third campaign screw-up or has Dan Seals exposed himself as the far leftist fringe conspiracy theorist we all feared he might be?

Democratic Senate Candidate Bill Gentes Admits 'Outright Lie'

Well, you just may be able to put a fork in Bill Gentes, because I think he's about done. After controversy was swirling around him this week due to allegations of a conflict of interest with his wife's real estate firm and doing business with the Village of Round Lake, where Gentes is mayor, and baseless misrepresentations of his opponent Dan Duffy's stance on abortion, Gentes admitted (after being confronted) that he lied to the Daily Herald editorial board about being employed.

I don’t see how Gentes can even face the voters in his district after this. If he was too ashamed to admit he was unemployed, he could have at least called himself something that can’t be easily disproved, like a “self employed business consultant,” a la Dan Seals.

There shouldn’t be anything shameful about losing one’s job, especially in this economy. But lying about it to the voters (especially in an editorial board interview) shows, at best, a monumental lack of judgment/stupidity and will undoubtedly call his honesty into question.

Bye bye, Bill.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

30th Senate District Debates Today

Good to see the 30th Senate District race heating up. GOP challenger Keith Gray will have a great opportunity to make his case today, as he is scheduled to debate Senator Terry Link twice, first on WKRS 1220 am with Libby Collins as moderator at 8:30 a.m., and then later today at 6:00 p.m. in the Blue Room at Foss Park in Waukegan, hosted by the North Chicago Chamber of Commerce. Go Keith!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to Team America's 10th District Blog

Well, it doesn't seem like a year, but one year ago today I started Team America's 10th District Blog. You can read our first post here.

I'm very proud to say that I have kept the pledge we made all that way back in Post #1:

"I hereby pledge to keep this Blog a place where reasoned, intelligent discourse is the order of the day, and people with differing viewpoints will not be stifled, simply because they disagree."

Promise kept. I'm also proud to say that in a number of cases, we've broken stories here before they made it to the MSM, including the Terry Link petition scandal and Dan Seals' "professor-gate," among other.

FYI, we have had over 41,000 hits to date. Given how things accelerate as Election Day approaches, we just may hit 50,000 by election day. While that may not be much in comparison to some blogs, we have a pretty narrow focus here, so I'm quite gratified. Moreover, we have plenty of hits from folks in Washington and elsewhere that seem to be very interested in the goings-on here in the 10th.

Many, many thanks for your readership and all your support.

Chicago Sun-Times: "Fiercely Independent" Mark Kirk is Exactly What We Need

Wow- the accolades for Mark Kirk keep piling up, and are getting better and better. This morning, the Chicago Sun-Times gushes over Mark Kirk in a way that I haven't seen since they turned their editorial department over to Obama for America:

"Mark Kirk is exactly what the 10th Congressional District, the State of Illinois, and our country needs in Congress: a congressman who is hard working, very knowledgeable, fiercely independent, dedicated to bipartisan action, and an effective contributor to resolving the nation's and his district's problems."

Maybe now I'll even renew my subscription...

Terry Link Petition Scandal Reaches Other Races

If you thought you heard the last of the Terry Link petition scandal, think again. Link's petition woes are affecting down-ballot races, even such offices as Circuit Court Clerk. The Lake County News-Sun endorsed long-time incumbent clerk Sally Coffelt over her opponent, Cynthia Haran, stating that:

"What is simple for voters is the choice of Coffelt for clerk. Especially when Haran had some of her petitions of candidacy circulated by two men currently facing charges of forging petition signatures."

Ouch. The petition scandal wasn't enough to move the Pioneer Press from endorsing Link (although the News-Sun showed more courage), but the folks at Pioneer still took note:

"Still, we are troubled that two Link campaign workers were indicted recently for forging campaign signatures -- and the Democrat's explanation basically consisted of blaming Republicans."

Link's troubles aren't going away, and will continue to affect his race, and that of other candidates such as Haran, State's Attorney candidate Michael Jacobs, and Coroner Richard Keller, who also had petitions passed by the two indicted Link workers.

Of Jacobs, the News-Sun said that:

"[Lake County State's Attorney Michael] Waller has been a good state's attorney and his 18-year record in office is far superior to Democratic opponent Michael Jacobs, a Gurnee trustee and civil prosecutor in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office."

The News-Sun had further high praise for Waller:

"Waller has developed state-of-the-art programs to deal with violent crime, domestic violence, juvenile crime and cyber crime. He helped create the Lake County Major Crime Task Force. Waller has a long record of serving the citizens of Lake County and should be kept in office. He is endorsed."

Insanity Is... Re-electing the Same Dems to Springfield

One definition of insanity is repeating the same action but expecting different results. If we keep sending back the same suburban Democrats that are more interesting in supporting the Chicago-Springfield food chain, while the suburbs and Lake County continue to get the crumbs, nothing will ever change. Even the Lake County News-Sun has figured this out. The Daily Herald, not so much. But the Herald does take note of some of the more critical contests, like GOP contender Dan Duffy against Bill Gentes for retiring Senator Bill Peterson's seat. Read about it here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Real Dan Seals on Iraq

In the midst of a recession, with stocks falling and consumers panicking, Dan Seals wants to talk about...Iraq!

How about that -- the pup knows the economy is a bad issue for him (see Dan dancing on the bailout and more about his work that led to this economic crisis), so all he can do is talk about the war in Iraq.

The problem? As Mark Kirk pointed out in today's Daily Herald, "Things have gone much better in Iraq in the last 12 months." That's a fact. And it means Dan Seals is going to lose big if he thinks he can just talk about the war in the midst of economic panic.

But since the pup wants to talk about Iraq, let's talk about the pup's record on Iraq. Today, I'm unveiling the Real Deal Seals: Dan on Iraq.

When Dan Seals speaks to Democratic audiences, he strongly supports an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. But when he talks to more moderate audiences, his position begins to look very similar to Congressman Kirk's.

It is interesting to note that he told the Daily Herald yesterday he "supports a timeline for withdrawal." That wasn't his position just a couple months ago. Dan, what happened to your April 13th "phased draw down," or your December 2007 willingness to "adjust it as conditions on the ground change?"

Lake County News-Sun: Throw the (Democratic) Bums Out!

Like most of us, the editors of the Lake County News-Sun have decided that the dysfunctionality in Springfield can only be fixed by ending the one-party dictatorship of the ruling Democrats (Blagojevich, Madigan and Jones) by sending more Republicans to the General Assembly and returning a balance to the state government. The GOP legislative candidates thus run the table with the News-Sun endorsements.

The News-Sun says: “Sending a team of qualified Republicans to the Legislature might be the first step in sweeping the political cobwebs out of Springfield.” And how. What a huge embarrassment for Dem Chairman Terry Link. Is the kingdom unraveling around him?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Video: Dan Seals Dances on Bailout

I'm warning everyone, Seals flips and flops so fast in this video from his interview with the Tribune editorial board that I got dizzy. Wanna bet as to whether this earns him the Trib endorsement?

ALSO- for more flip-flops, BackyardConservative has the latest dance by Obama on domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Newspaper Endorsements Continue to Roll in For Mark Kirk

This one's from the Pioneer Press. Though they take a few issues with Kirk, the Pioneer Press editors tag Kirk as the best choice for the 10th, even though it leans Democratic. They don't even mention second-time Dem challenger Dan Seals, even as an afterthought. Ouch.

See the absolutely gushing Lake County News-Sun endorsement of Kirk here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Let's Get Back to the Issues in IL-10: How About Dan Seals and the Subprime Mortgage Market Mess

I'm tired of debating the poll numbers with the left-wing nutcases. Let's get back to the issues, considering the economy is in the tank and we're wondering how it all happened. This may be one piece of the puzzle:

Read more about this here.

Dan Seals Grasps For Lifeline From Polls, Even If They're Wrong (UPDATED)

When you're behind in every poll that's been taken in a race, you pray for that one poll that shows something different, even if it's wrong. Well, Dan Seals' prayer was answered in the form of a Roll Call robopoll over the weekend that showed Seals ahead of Mark Kirk, 52% to 44% (Roll Call also surveyed a bunch of other congressional districts). As noted by the Daily Herald blog, though, that doesn't match up with any other poll, including the one just done by the DailyKos, which Seals also thought was really good news for him.

Since lots of people seem to think it's important to analyze these polls to explain them away one way or another, here's my shot:

First, the Roll Call robo call surveys were done Saturday and Sunday, and these had greatly different results in the seven districts where surveys were conducted than what either Democratic or Republican campaigns in each district had been reporting. You tend to get skewed results when conducting survey on weekends, especially without live interviews.

Second, even the Democrat-favored survey DailyKos just did showed Kirk winning. The DailyKos poll, and every other poll done in the Tenth this year has shown Seals at no higher than 39% and Kirk always in the lead. In fact, the best numbers for Seals up until now were from Seals' own poll on Feb 7th and 8th (two days after primary), which showed him at 39%. Even Kos showed Kirk winning and Seals only at 38% -- a point below his own best on Feb 7-8.

So, the obvious conclusion here is that the Roll Call poll is a fluke or outlier. But, that certainly won't stop Seals from desperately grasping this poll as a lifeline to show DCCC and his supporters that he's not on the ropes. We'll see if they swallow it.

UPDATED 10:30 a.m. THE WORLD IS HANGING ON DAN SEALS' NEXT MOVE: My word, Seals is even more out there and egotistical than I thought. I just got an e-mail from his campaign stating:

"The latest poll conducted in this race has declared to the world what we have known all along: the 10th District wants a representative who will bring the change we need to Washington!!"

Holy moley. And I thought Barack Obama was trying to play to the world stage. At least he gave a speech in Germany. Seals has trouble getting an audience at local high schools unless they're bussed in by the unions from Chicago.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lake County Dems: A Classless Bunch at Best

Well, this is the typical stuff you get in Lake County when Dem County Chairman Terry Link is at the helm. This particular race is for the 2nd Judicial Sub circuit, which by the way, was created through legislation promoted by Terry Link just so he could finagle a way to get more Democratic judges elected in Lake County.

The candidates in this race are current judge Valerie Ceckowski on the GOP ticket, and attorney David Weinstein for the Dems. You can see by the picture that Weinstein's minions have little class or respect for his opponent, or even just common decency. Put up your signs, folks, but have some basic respect for your opponent, huh?

I don't know much about Weinstein, having met him only on one occasion, which was when I dared to show up to a meeting of the Warren Township Democrats a few months ago (they said all were welcome, after all) to find out why Lauren Beth Gash thought Lake County was turning from "red to blue." At that meeting, I was rather appalled to hear Weinstein state publicly that the current associate judges he was appearing in front of had all of a sudden all become very nice to him, to which Weinstein attributed the notion that they all thought Weinstein was going to win the election and be their boss as a full circuit judge. I almost left at that point, as Weinstein's inflated puffing was kinda sucking all the air out of the room. Well, I wonder how the associate judges felt about Weinstein after that comment (which I made sure a bunch of judges heard about).

In any event, you can learn more about Judge Ceckowski's qualifications on her campaign website. She is the only candidate with judicial experience, and if you prefer experience over ego (as well as someone with some basic common decency), I would strongly consider voting for her, if you live in the 2nd Subcircuit.

By the way, check out this picture of David Weinstein. I think he bears an uncanny resemblance to "Zoltar", the mechanical fortune-teller. What do you think?

Daily Kos Poll for Dan Seals Seems Flawed, But Even So, Why is He Still Behind in Obama's Backyard?

The Dan Seals camp is trying to make hay out of a recent poll paid for by the ultra-liberal (and some say anti-Semitic) website DailyKos. McLaughlin & Associates, Kirk's pollster, whose own results differ greatly from the numbers quoted from Kos, had this to say:

The ultra left-wing Web site DailyKos commissioned a poll by Research 2000, which was conducted in Illinois' 10th Congressional District from 9/30-10/1. The survey was flawed on three levels. First, the survey over-sampled voters age 18-29 while under-sampling voters 60+. Second, the survey over-sampled Democrats and Independents while under-sampling Republicans. Third, the survey was intentionally conducted on the Jewish High Holy Day of Rosh HaShanah that would exclude observant Jewish Democratic voters who lean more toward Kirk than average Democrats.

Skewed Age Sample: According to the database of actual registered voters, only 16 percent of voters are aged 18-29, while 30 percent are over age 60. The Research 2000 poll filled sample quotas differently, showing 19 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 18-29 and only 18 percent of voters over age 60. Mark Kirk has always done better among older voters. Skewing the poll by age skews it toward Seals.

Faulty Party Sample: Over more than two years of polling, our surveys found on average that the 10th District breaks down as follows: 34% Republican, 34% Democrat and 32% Independent. The Research 2000 poll filled sample quotas differently, showing 35% Democrats, 36% Independent and only 29% Republicans. Surveying more Democrats and less Republicans will obviously create an artificially closer race. In the 8 years that we have polled for Mark Kirk, we have never had Republicans among likely voters to be less than 33%.

Excluding Kirk-Leaning Jewish Voters: It is no surprise that DailyKos, which has come under attack by Democrats like Harold Ford Jr. and Lanny Davis for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic content, chose to conduct its poll on the Jewish High Holy Day of Rosh HaShanah. The 10th District is almost 20 percent Jewish -- one of the larger Jewish districts in the nation. In addition to being disrespectful, the poll excluded observant Jewish voters who tend to vote for Mark Kirk more than average Democrats. In our last survey, Kirk did 25 percent better among Jewish voters than a typical Republican. By having fewer older voters, fewer Republicans and fewer ticket-splitting Jewish voters, DailyKos made sure the Democratic quota broke more for Dan Seals to give him an extra boost. And even with their biases, Mark Kirk still is leading.

So much for a lift from this poll, Danno. But while we're at it, even if you are within six points, if you haven't been able to close the gap any closer since last November (especially in a Kerry district with Obama's phantom pervading the very air we breathe), how ya gonna do it in 30 days?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lake County News-Sun: “The 10th District has a gem in Mark Kirk”

The Lake County News-Sun nails it:

“The 10th District has a gem in Mark Kirk, and voters should keep him in Washington.”

It also says: “This is the second matchup between Kirk and [challenger Dan] Seals and, frankly, we have heard nothing new from the challenger this go-around to sway us from backing the congressman for another term.”

Nailed it again.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Senator Terry Link Under Pressure From GOP On Petitions, Campaign Disclosures; Threatens to Sue

Turns out that, for a career politician, Terry Link (D-Waukegan) sure gets rattled easily when he's faced with some real political problems. As our readers know from yesterday, the Lake County GOP filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections claiming that Link improperly failed to disclose payments made to his two indicted campaign workers, Jerry Knight and Kenneth Davison, who are alleged to have forged the signatures of the living and the dead on Terry Link's nomination petitions.

Link must be feeling the heat, because he's lashed out at Dan Venturi, the Lake County GOP Chairman, calling him a "idiot" and threatening to sue for libel, according to the Daily Herald:

In a complaint filed Wednesday with the Illinois State Board of Elections, county GOP chief Dan Venturi and Waukegan Township Republican Chairman David Pfeifer claim disclosure reports Link submitted earlier this year did not include payments to two campaign workers who have been charged with forging names on Link's candidate petitions. * * *

Reached Thursday, Link said he was aware of the complaint but hadn't read it. He maintained he's followed the law and angrily lashed out at the Republicans for playing what he called "gutter politics."

"If these idiots want to keep (pursuing) this witch hunt, I'm going to file a libel suit against them," said Link, of Waukegan. "I'm done with the harassing and misleading the public."

The Lake County News-Sun said this:

"I'm sick and tired of the witch hunt that they are doing," Link said. "Let's talk about issues. They don't want to talk about issues. They don't want to talk about the real facts."

But Lake County Republican Chairman Dan Venturi said Link's disclosure forms are an issue, and the GOP has filed a formal complaint regarding the forms with the State Board of Elections.

"Senator Link needs to follow the law and be accountable to the citizens of Lake County," Venturi said. "This is simply the latest incident in a continuing pattern of questionable and/or illegal activity on the part of Senator Link."

Venturi also said that Link's "refusal to even acknowledge that these are legitimate concerns of Lake County voters is especially troubling."

I spoke to Venturi yesterday at a packed fundraiser for Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller, and while Venturi figured he wouldn't make Link's Christmas card list this year, he wasn't worried about anything Link said or was planning on doing. Fact is, if Link was stupid enough to file a lawsuit, that would bring far greater publicity to the "petition-gate" scandal and campaign disclosure stories than the GOP could ever afford to buy. Next time, Link might want to think about reviewing the complaint before making comments to the press about something he hasn't yet seen.

As we said yesterday, the fact that Link denies that questions raised about his ethics are a legitimate campaign issue should really tell you something. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In IL-10, Mark Kirk Reports Raising $850,000 This Quarter, $4.6 Million This Cycle

The Chicago Tribune reports that 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk has raised $850,000 this past quarter, for a total of $4.6 million this cycle -- more than $1.4 million than his campaign raised in the 2006 cycle.

Meanwhile, we expect Dan Seals to have fallen further behind Kirk, but he has not yet released his numbers. Seals is expected to continue to lean heavily on the DCCC and other outside interests, such as NY Congressman Charlie Rangel, to try to make up for Kirk's heavy fundraising advantage.

Lake County GOP Files Formal Campaign Disclosure Complaint Against Terry Link; Link Lashes Out

The heat on State Senator and Democratic County Chairman Terry Link (left) is getting pretty intense up here in Lake County.

On Wednesday, the Lake County GOP filed a formal complaint against Link's campaign organization with the State Board of Elections, alleging that Link violated state campaign disclosure laws by failing to disclose the payments made by the campaign to Link's two indicted petition circulators, Jerry Knight and Kenneth Davison. You can view the complaint here. As you all know, Knight and Davison have been indicted on multiple counts of perjury and forgery for, among other things, having dead people "sign" Link's petitions.

Briefly, the complaint first claims that Link never disclosed payments to Knight and Davison on Link's Form D-2, even though Link has admitted they were paid to circulate petitions on his behalf. Turns out, Link paid his right hand hatchet-man, "Sneaky" Pete Couvall, a staff salary, and then Couvall turned around and paid others, including Knight and Davison. As noted in the complaint, the Guide to Campaign Disclosure published by the State Board of Elections states that "any expenditure made to someone who serves as a conduit or 'middle man' for the payment must include a detailed breakdown of the expenditure - showing each recipient of the funds and a description of each expense." Was this a deliberate attempt to hide the payments to Knight and Davison from the Link campaign, just in case they were ever caught? The complaint doesn't say, but this doesn't look good for Link, on top of the problems this has already caused him.

In addition, the complaint notes that even though a campaign is required to specifically itemize any expenditure of over $150 to any single vendor, Friends of Terry Link had over $40,000 in unitemized expenditures in two recent semi-annual reporting periods (Jan 1, 2007 to June 30, 2007 and January 1, 2008 to June 30, 2008) . This would have required Link to have made payments to several hundred vendors in each period, which the complaint claims is an "unlikely scenario." Just for comparison, according to the publicly-available D-2's Link's unitemized expenditures are over 10 times what Senate President Emil Jones' were.

The Pioneer Press has already picked this up, and got a nasty response from Link:

"This is ridiculous, gutter politics, as always," Link said. "It's getting to the point where it's despicable. All he (Lake County Chairman Dan Venturi) wants to do is think, 'What more mud can I throw?' I hope the voters of Lake County read through this. When are the Republicans going to start talking about the issues?"

Uh, Senator Link: ETHICS IS AN ISSUE. One of the most important ones in a campaign. You've been in the state senate over a decade. You are the Dem county chairman. Do we really have to explain it to you? Perhaps we do. But, you're really the one that has a lot of ''splainin" to do to the voters.

It's also worth noting that when Link tried unsuccessfully to kick his GOP opponent Keith Gray off the ballot for no other reason than Gray had his nominating meeting the same day as 59th District State Rep. GOP nominee Dan Sugrue, that apparently wasn't "gutter" politics--and was that about the "issues" too? As we've noted often here, the Dems have a bad habit of dishing it out but not being able to take it.

Based on Link's reaction, it seems like he's feeling the heat. Let's see what Keith Gray does with this latest revelation about Link's questionable ethics.