Sunday, November 30, 2008

Daily Kos Declares "Kirk or Bust" For IL GOP in 2010 Governor's Race

"Brownsox" (hey, it's better than "brown stain" or something like that, I guess) over at Daily Kos declares that as far as the IL GOP bench for winning the governor's mansion, it "sure looks like Kirk or bust." It's a bit of a back-handed compliment, considering that blog's view of the IL GOP, but they are probably correct that Kirk seems to be one of the few Illinois GOP politicians that has figured out how to field a winning team, and then some, considering Kirk fought off a six million dollar national onslaught by a candidate back for a second try, and still wiped the floor with his opponent in a district that voted for both Kerry and Obama. Could Kirk win state-wide against the likes of Lisa Madigan or Dan Hynes (or even, I suppose, Blago, if the fates somehow smile on him)? Dunno, to tell the truth.

So, I don't know how much to read into this, considering the source, and considering that I know that Kirk has not made any irrevocable decisions (yet). But while I'd be happy to support Mark in whatever he does, I fear for what that would mean for the 10th District. Heck, that would be reason enough for even Dan Seals to stick around and declare yet a third try, in the desperate hope he'd be running against an essentially empty seat in a Dem district, considering I have no idea who the GOP could field that would have a chance of stepping into Mark's shoes.

TA's not available, so we'll have to look elsewhere if need be.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Congressional and Lake County Election Prognostications to Aid (or Ruin) Turkey Digestion

Continuing our Thanksgiving weekend tradition, now that we've had a chance to recover somewhat from the recent election, and also since we have digested yesterday's scrumptious turkey & fixin's, we offer a few thoughts on the next election cycle for further digestion and comment. And, as many people are aware, the specter of the next redistricting looms over everything... and while it won't really affect the 2010 cycle, the 2012 political landscape may be unrecognizable in some areas compared to today...

10th District: We've already covered this in some detail, but suffice it to say that the Democrats threw everything they had at five-term incumbent Congressman Mark Kirk, and his two-time loser challenger, Dan Seals, did not even do as well as he did against Kirk in 2006, despite Obama-mania. That means that Seals is quite unlikely to try to make a third appearance; if he does, he will be the subject of abject scorn and will likely face a primary challenger. Is Jay Footlik still interested in the 10th, by chance? Some commentors have suggested that given his work as a foreign lobbyist, that's pretty much the kiss of death, but I'm not so sure. I imagine, though, that the 0-for-5, bitter, scorned and generally pissed-off former candidate Lauren Beth Gash, is already looking elsewhere for someone, anyone, who she can promote to finally beat Mark. All of this is assuming, of course, that Kirk does not answer the siren's call of running for either Senate (against the eventual appointee to Barack Obama's vacated seat) or for governor.

Redistricting Effect?-> Will the 10th cease to exist in 2012? We expect to lose one Congressional seat in Illinois due to the anticipated results of the 2010 census. It may be that the 10th District continues, but additional democratic voters are added from adjoining districts to try to further enable the dems to finally pick off this Dem-leaning district.

8th District: TA hears that Steve Greenberg is not running again, but one never knows. Melissa Bean has moderated to fit her district, which in turn has moderated towards the center (from a once solid-GOP district when Phil Crane held the seat). The GOP needs to find a candidate now, preferably a woman, and needs to stop considering only self-funders, who (based on candidates like Ozinga and Oberweis) often seem to prove that deep pockets do not an electable candidate make.

6th District: Peter Roskam seems now well-entrenched in Henry Hyde's former district, but TA hears the Dem plan may be to combine Roskam's and Judy Biggert's district, and eliminate one GOP congressional seat that way.

Lake County Board: State Senator and evil Dem chessmaster Terry Link did a good job in orchestrating a changeover in four county board seats, which leaves the GOP with a bare majority on the county board. It's a shame they used lies and dirty politics to do it, but that's the Link machine for you. Look for the Dems, led by senator Michael Bond, to come loaded for bear to try pick up at least two more seats to give them a majority on the county board.

State Senate Races: Michael Bond has a gigantic target on his back, but is well-funded and should have lots of resources to fend off the inevitable assault. Who will the GOP candidate be? Look for interest from former Lake County Board member Randy Whitmore, Lake Villa Township supervisor (and GOP county chairman) Daniel Venturi, and maybe even County Board Chairman Suzi Schmidt, to consider a run. Senator Terry Link is not up this cycle, but look for hard-working GOP candidate Keith Gray to lay the groundwork for another run. There is always the possibility that Link might retire (perhaps take a job or post offered by Obama?) and appoint someone like State Rep. Kathy Ryg, to the post, which (I believe) would trigger an early election for the seat in 2010, but that's not likely until Link achieves his longtime goal of placing that casino in Waukegan. Recent victor Dan Duffy has no race this cycle, of course, but look for Dan to take a party leadership role both in Springfield and back home in Lake County.

State Representatives: Look for most GOP incumbents to do fine, but not without a lot of hard work and attention to their campaigns. Sid Mathias, Mark Beaubien, Ed Sullivan, and Jo Ann Osmond should all do fine, although some had closer races than others. My friend Sandy Cole will be targeted once again by her former would-be opponent Terry Hall, who was bounced from the ballot last time around due to deficient nomination papers, so that will be a race to watch. Watch for rookie Dan Sugrue to make another run against Dem Kathy Ryg. Sugrue will be better funded, have more name recognition, and lots more support from the Lake County GOP, which was spread rather thin in their battle against the Obama onslaught last cycle (but still largely successful), but will pay a lot more attention to this race this time around. Kathy, you've been warned.

County Offices: The incomparable County Clerk Willard Helander will have a giant target on her back, despite her universal accolades for the excellent job she does in running her office. The GOP will not let her be beaten. County Treasurer Bob Skidmore is also up for election, but should be fine. The interesting race to watch will be the sheriff, with Dem incumbent Mark Curran having massively annoyed the Dem machine by endorsing Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller (who won a close election). Will Curran face a primary opponent? Terry Link isn't afraid of promoting primary battles amongst Dems, as evidenced by the Eddie Washington/Angelo Kyle primary last time around.

GOP Party Leadership: I don't think there will be much changeover in local leadership, so look (and hope for) for continued and improved cooperation among the various Lake County GOP groups, including the Lake County Republican Central Committee, the Lake County Republican Federation, and the Republican Assembly of Lake County, and the various candidates and office-holders, as well as better coordination with the State Party, as many of the boots-on-the-ground party members seem to have finally figured out we must all hang together, or the Obama democrats will hang us all separately.

So, there's a couple thoughts to think about over your yummy turkey leftovers. Please add your own thoughts and comments, and let's look forward to some real fun in the coming months.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Obama Credited by the Tribune for Mark Kirk's Idea to Starve Iran of Gasoline

I hope this isn't part of a larger disturbing trend of my former favorite newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, to recast every good idea that Barack Obama appropriates as his own, but in today's editorial, the Tribune appears to credit the President-elect (you know, they guy with the snappy podium signs to remind of us of who he is?) with the idea to apply pressure to Iran to give up the quest for nukes by cutting off its gasoline imports.

Ignored by the Tribune is that this idea has been around for quite a while, at least since June 2007, when our own 10th District Congressman supported the notion in a bi-partisan bill aimed at coming up with a real, practical solution to carry the no-nukes message to Iran in a way they would understand. The House "Iran Working Group" (which Kirk helped organize) has been mulling this idea for some time now, it seems. Despite being an oil-rich nation, Iran imports nearly half the gasoline it uses, and this is a targeted approaching to hitting them where it hurts, in the gas tank. We know how that feels.

I'm not 100% sure if Mark Kirk was the very first person to come up with the idea, but it seems to me he was promoting this months before Barack Obama ever adopted it. I do hope that the Tribune's staff cuts and new look are not also a harbinger of poor fact-checking and an editorial bias toward giving Obama credit for everything that comes along, whether deserved or not. The Main Stream Media already has enough problems without adopting a "dear leader" mentality where we have to give thanks to our new president when the sun comes up in the morning and sets at night.

Settle in folks, this could be a long couple of years.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mark Kirk, Peter Roskam Address the Economy (UPDATED); Blago and Durbin Chat But No Senate Pick Yet

Yesterday, Congressmen Mark Kirk and Peter Roskam held a meeting downtown at the Dirksen federal building to discuss 'out-of-the-box' ideas for stabilizing and stimulating the economy, with an emphasis on private enterprise, new energy initiatives and lower taxes. Economic experts and leaders like Doug Whitley of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce also attended.

President-elect Obama's emerging economic plan seems to be centered on an FDR-style make-work program, and while the nation could certainly use a lot of attention on its crumbling infrastructure, I've always been of the opinion that its the private sector, not the government, that creates sustainable jobs and really grows the economy. Thoughts?

UPDATED: Fox News has some Mark Kirk video on his economic ideas. Check it out.

Also, Dick Durbin finally got an audience to discuss Obama's U.S. Senate replacement with Governor Blagojevich, but it wasn't exactly the sit-down summit I would have imagined Durbin would have liked. Rather, the AP is reporting that Durbin got 15 minutes on the phone with Blago. Reportedly, Durbin went through a long list of names with the guv, but no leaks as to which names were on and off. It's probably a safe bet that Tammy Duckworth's name was on that list, but no word as to whether Dan Seals was discussed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Terry Link Gets Called By Barack, But Will He Get the Call? (UPDATED)

State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) showed up every once in a while in the news during the past election, as reporters desperate for anything to report on Barack Obama's past (which was mysteriously shrouded during the campaign) dredged up many Illinois legislators in hope of getting some insight into what an Obama presidency might be like. One of those people who made the news every so often with a folksy quote about Obama's poker-playing or golfing ability was Link. Link was quoted in the Washington Post about getting a recent call from Obama on Link's cell phone, but I've always wondered if Link's relationship with Obama was really that tight, and perhaps if so, maybe a Washington job could be in the works.

Given Link's recent embarrassing defeat for state senate president (he got only two other votes besides his own, before the final vote was made unanimously for Cullerton), he might not have much influence in the new senate (UPDATED: Capitol Fax reports this morning that Link "likely" will keep his senate leadership spot but doesn't provide any details). But, he probably will not rest until Waukegan gets a riverboat casino. Link won re-election handily over GOP newcomer Keith Gray, who ran a hard-fought campaign. (I have to say that Link does so well in his district, he couldn't do any better than if he programmed the damn voting machines himself).

Of course, we still have the matter of a few indicted campaign workers to deal with, as well as some allegations of campaign finance improprieties. But, it may be that the best hope for the Lake County GOP is to get Link sent off to Washington. Maybe Barack will do us a favor and take Link to D.C. so he can do for the nation what he's done for Lake County....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Durbin Snubbed by Blagojevich in Senate Appointment Process; Dan Seals Drops Out of Sight? (UPDATED)

The Daily Herald reports today that Governor Blagojevich began holding interviews with possible candidates to be appointed by him to fill the U.S. Senate seat recently vacated by Barack Obama. According to the Herald, 9th District Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky snagged an interview this week (as did Congressmen Danny Davis and Luis Gutierrez), but Senator Dick Durbin, who has been repeatedly trying to get an audience with Blago to talk about possible replacements, continues to be ignored by the Guv.

As we've been discussing here recently, some have raised two-time 10th District congressional wanna-be Dan Seals as an outside-chance replacement for the Obama seat.

Although Seals was mentioned on a few lists early on, we have not seen his name raised as a serious candidate recently, and if Durbin (who might be expected to support Seals, as Durbin did extensively in the 10th District race against Mark Kirk) can't even get in to see Blago, it seems like Seals would have few cheerleaders in his corner that could influence Blago. Certainly Schakowsky, who recruited Seals in the first place, is not going to promote Seals over herself. Although if Jan was appointed by Blago, that would clear the way for a special election in the 9th District, where Seals actually lives (not that it matters to him), so maybe Dan could spend another few months covering up being unemployed by saying that he's running for Congress once again.

Wonder if Seals' supporters are ever going to wise up?

BTW, 10th Dems, who's the next victim you're going to send up against Mark Kirk?

UPDATED: A group of African-American ministers is trying to get Blago's attention for the idea that Obama's Senate replacement ought to be an African-American. JJJ and Danny Davis seem to be favored by the group, perhaps, although they are reluctant to name names, and Emil Jones is disfavored. CBS-2's Derrick Blakely reports that Durbin is gunning to push Tammy Duckworth, if he can get an audience with Blago. Seals' name is nowhere to be seen.

Interestingly, the CBS-2 piece suggests that the successor chosen by Blago would have a huge leg up in the next election, while many of the folks over at Capitol Fax Blog seem to think that whoever is picked will actually be tainted by the 'Blago curse' and actually will be at a disadvantage.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chris Radogno In For State Senate Minority Leader; Cullerton for Dems, Link a Loser (!)

This may be the first sign of a sea change for the Illinois Republicans as Senator Christine Radogno of Lemont was selected last night as the Senate Republicans new minority leader (and the first woman to hold the post), replacing my friend Frank Watson of Greenville, who left the post after a recent minor stroke. I've met Radogno on many occasions (often during her run for State Treasurer a few years back), as she is a frequent visitor to Lake County and has spoken at a number of GOP events. She is a smart, balanced senator with an acumen for budget issues, and is a social moderate, which should help bridge some gaps in the IL GOP, if the ultra-right wingers will give her a chance.

Meanwhile, the Dems elected Senator John Cullerton as their majority leader, with our 30th District State Senator Terry Link getting only 3 votes for himself. I believe it was Link voting for himself, his senate henchman Michael Bond, and one other senator that I'm pretty sure was NOT Susan Garrett, who reportedly can't stand Link. I'll check on that later this morning.

Radogno's pick gives me some optimism this morning that the IL GOP may be taking itself in a new direction, which almost everyone agrees in necessary. Whether they will agree that this is the right direction may portend the future for our party. Based on some of the comments over at conservative blog Illinois Review, it looks like not everyone agrees, but I can tell you that if this party doesn't start coming together, we're cooked.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The First Time I've Felt Sorry for Obama

When you run for President, you (and more than ever, your family) make a huge sacrifice in your time, health, privacy, sanity (perhaps) and other personal things. In fact, most of your personal life goes right out the window. No one makes anyone run for President, however, so up till now my sympathy for President-elect Obama has been limited. But, now, I can feel his pain.

He may have to give up the "crackberry".

The reason for this, of course, is that such records could be subject to subpoena in litigation, which essentially ends any expectation of privacy for such communications.

We all have different work habits, but much of my work consists of e-mailing to clients with status updates, otherwise moving the ball forward on a case, or generating and then PDF-ing a document, and I probably do about half of it on my Blackberry while I'm traveling, on the train, or (shame) in the car. In fact, only yesterday, the trackball on my BB broke, and you can't scroll "up" anymore. It threw me off the entire day. Since I worked from home yesterday, I have already alerted the IT team at the office that they need to be ready with a new unit for me when I walk in, stat.

There may be some other occasions in the next four years where I may have something in common with the new President, but for now, since guns and religion are clearly not on his list, if I ever meet Obama in person in a receiving line somewhere, I'll plan to chat about gadgets, since it's unlikely we'll agree on anything else.

Monday, November 17, 2008

If You Like Low Gas Prices, Thank Congressman Mark Kirk

Yes, that's right, today's low gas prices are due solely to the efforts of our great Congressman Mark Kirk... at least, they are if you follow the logic of his former two-time opponent and 9th District resident, Dan Seals.

You see, back in May, as you may recall, Dan Seals pulled an ill-advised and frankly stupid publicity stunt in Lincolnshire up here in Lake County, where he advertised that he would hand out free gas, in the sense that he would make up the difference between the high gas prices at that time (although they would get still higher as the year progressed) and the price when Congressman Mark Kirk took office back in 2001. That price was $1.85. As TA readers know, the stunt caused a massive traffic jam at lunchtime, only 50 people got discounted gas, Dan Seals got a $2,000 bill from the Lincolnshire police, and the Mayor of Lincolnshire endorsed Mark Kirk shortly thereafter.

Anyway, my point is that now that gas prices have fallen off a cliff, if you bought into Dan Seals' theory last May that it was all Mark Kirk's fault that gas prices had skyrocketed (instead of attributing the rise in prices to things like... global expansion... market forces... speculation in the oil markets... you know, actual common-sense reasons), now you can thank Mark Kirk for lowering them.

Dan, if you're reading, this is one reason why you lost. People in the 10th District were too smart to buy into your populist crap that everything was Mark Kirk's fault and if we ran him out of office and installed you instead, everything would go back to the salad days. Well, it wasn't Kirk's "fault" back then, any more than gas lower prices are his "fault" now.

Dan, you were, and are, an empty suit, buddy. Keep dreaming about gainful employment in the Senate, because the dream will be alive only for a few more weeks, and then it's back to the want-ads.

Friday, November 14, 2008

50,000 Hits and Rolling


Just wanted to let everyone know that we passed the 50,000 hit mark early this morning. As we've said before, for some blogs, 50K is nothing, but considering our fairly narrow focus, to get to that level in slightly over one year is something I'm proud of. So, thanks for reading, and hats off to you, the readers -- you guys make this the best political blog on the North Shore.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mark Kirk Subject of Zogby Poll in Senate Matchup vs. Jesse Jackson, Jr.

A new poll performed by Zogby shows Jesse Jackson, Jr., as the popular favorite among 802 likely voters to replace Barack Obama in the Senate.

Of course, I'm betting that the pollsters didn't call the only "voter" whose opinion really matters on the appointment, Governor Rod Blagojevich. Even President-Elect Obama's opinion, were he to express one to the Governor, is going to run a distance second in consideration compared to what Blago thinks is good for Blago.

The poll was commissioned by the Jackson campaign (big shock). Likely this is Congressman Jackson's way of drumming up some buzz to give him a groundswell of support that Blago would have to acknowledge. That's assuming, of course, that Blago would be worried about the appointee keeping the seat in 2010. Again, Blago will do what's best for him, whatever that means.

Interestingly, Jackson also asked Zogby to do a head-to-head against 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk for a Senate battle in 2010 (as well as Ray LaHood (???)- Peoria Pundit has more on that here). According to, the poll results indicated that "In a prospective match-up against Republican Congressman Mark Kirk, Jackson wins 48% support, compared to 32% for Kirk."

Couple interesting things here. First, that Kirk was picked as one of the presumed GOP opponents. So, was Kirk picked by Jackson (or was it Zogby's decision?) because Jackson really thinks Kirk might run, or was it because he was looking for some good numbers and would expect to beat Kirk, at least now before the campaign really begins and Kirk would begin promoting himself on a state-wide basis? (Interestingly, Kirk polled slightly better than LaHood against Jackson)

Also, those polled were read a short biographical statement about Congressman Jackson, which then boosted the favorable results as to Jackson. No indication if poll participants were given any information, favorable or unfavorable, about Kirk. You might expect that once the state hears about our Congressman's accomplisments, his numbers might go up a tad as well.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honor Those Who Served


Many Americans mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day America sets aside to honor American military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combat. That's not quite true. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America's war dead.

Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors ALL American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free.

TA doesn't have a lot of personal ties to any of those that have served in the military, but he knows his freedom is a result of the sacrifices that veterans, both living and dead, have made for this country. Thank a vet today.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Just When You Thought it Was Safe to Hug Seal Pups Again

We've had some fascinating discussion here in the past couple days on Congressman Mark Kirk's bright future. Now, let's talk about the future of another 10th District personality... you guessed it... Dan Seals.

Yes, kids, just when you figured Dan Seals would be out of the news for good after his second loss to Kirk (by a greater margin than in 2006), and it was safe to love seal pups again, his name is being bandied about by Roll Call as a possible appointee by Governor Rod Blagojevich for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Barack Obama.

Say what?

Generally we like to believe Roll Call knows what it's talking about, but could Blago really be seriously considering this? The Roll Call article offers only this as a rationale for Blago to consider two-time congressional loser Seals: "a consensus among Democratic operatives in the state that Blagojevich should replace the Senate’s lone black Member with another African-American...."

Roll Call's analysis, not mine, before all the left-wing nutjobs scream "racist" at me.

The truth is that Seals is no more qualified to be in the Senate than Congress (arguably much less so, in fact). Even in this past election, Seals major qualification for running for Congress was that he previously ran for Congress. Two failed elections is not a resume builder. Of course, that's not what would sway Blago in his appointment decision... as Roll Call implies, this is all about what's best for Blago, not the people of Illinois.

The looneytoons at DailyKos think it's a great idea of course (although in comments some of the smarter ones seem to be catching on about Seals, maybe). Mostly, though, they miss the irony that Seals' main patron and mentor, Jan Schakowsky, made her obsessive desire to be appointed to the Senate in Obama's stead known to Blago, and the rest of the state, months ago... oh, the irony, if Seals was now appointed instead of her.

Leaving aside potentially appeasing a portion of Blago's base with an African-American appointment, maybe he should appoint Schakowsky and let Seals run in a special election for her Congressional seat in the district where he actually lives, which is the 9th District. Stranger things have happened. Hey, maybe if Seals gets put in the Senate, Ellen will let Seals back in the house, figuratively speaking (she hasn't even mentioned his name on her blog since before the election).

Only in Illinois can anyone even imagine that we would be having this as a serious conversation at this point. It shows you how ludicrous the political structure in this state is, and how anything to do with good government and competent representation isn't even a third-rate concern among the Democratic leaders in this state.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Rainy Day Political Speculation: What Does the Future Hold for Mark Kirk and IL-10? (UPDATED)

Let's use this space for some recreational political speculation about upcoming political races. We all know that on Tuesday, Congressman Mark Kirk rode his own self-manufactured wave of independence and a work-your-butt-off attitude to victory in IL-10.

Meanwhile, poor Dan Seals, the Dem challenger, who was counting on the Obama wave to wash him into an office he didn't deserve, probably didn't even get a consolation phone call from Ellen of the Tenth; at least, she hasn't publicly acknowledged him since he lost AGAIN. It's a tough crowd over on the Dem side.

In any case, speculation is rampant that with the governor's mansion open in 2010, Mark Kirk could be the best moderate candidate with state-wide appeal that the GOP could turn to. The fact that the Dems are scared that Blago will run again (and even more scared that he'll be indicted and they will get some of their own George Ryan medicine) ought to have them all very concerned.

Imagine what the Kirk fundraising apparatus could do if turned loose on the entire state. On the other hand, it does take time to build a state-wide organization; the state party has been criticized for years for being ineffective, and query as to whether Kirk would be seen by them as conservative enough for them to even help.

Then again, now that Obama will be President Obama, his Senate seat must be filled by appointment, and all of the Chicago Dems are in a feeding frenzy about who could (and will) be appointed. Will it be Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., Dan Seals' Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of the 9th District, or even Blago himself?

Would Mark Kirk run against whomever is appointed for the next Senator from Illinois? Traditionally, appointed Senators don't fare well for re-election. Again, there's that state-wide appeal/organizational question.

As much as I'd like to share Mark Kirk with the state (or the nation) and have him do for a larger constituency what he has done for the 10th District, I'd sure hate to lose him, and filling his shoes in the 10th District would be challenging (although you know we'll be right in the middle of it here, if that should come to pass).

Anyway, enough from me. Whaddya think about all this on a rainy Friday?

UPDATED: It's always interesting to find out what the other side thinks, especially if you are into strategy, such as we like to pride ourselves on here. Here's what they are saying over at Progress Illinois Blog (an SEIU project) on Jim Edgar's take on immigration as a state issue, as it relates to Kirk's supposed record on immigration and Kirk's potential postioning as a state-wide candidate. They don't mention that Kirk has a great relationship with many Latinos in the 10th District, but it's true Seals got a lot more of the Latino vote. Anyway, check it out, if you like.

Our new trial motto: "We troll the liberal trash so you don't have to."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mark Kirk Poised for Great Things on the National/State Scene (UPDATED)

If you haven't noticed already, Mark Kirk is getting national attention as the prototype for the kind of moderate Republican that can revitalize and rejuvenate the GOP on both the national and even the state scenes.

Here's just one of the
articles that are coming out now that have identified Kirk as one of the new potential leaders of the national GOP, as well as possibly take a leadership role in the state party.

The lesson for the GOP is that we can't win unless we capture the center and middle America. We have a great opportunity to rebound from the Obama wave, and Kirk may be the guy to lead us.

Also, if you missed the party last night, here's a link to Kirk's victory speech.

UPDATED: There's lots of buzz about Mark S. Kirk over at Capitol Fax Blog, all speculating about Kirk's future.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mark Kirk Victorious in IL-10; Obama Wins, Now Let's See Some Results on Those Promises; and: The Obama Wave Only Strikes Once

Somehow, I thought it was appropriate to copy this photo off Ellen's Blog.

Kirk hasn't given his acceptance speech as far as I know, but I had to leave the party early to relieve my babysitter.

I won't deny that when I snuck into the Kirk war room, there were some tense moments.

But, the important thing is that, collectively, the 10th District chose person over party, and recognized that Mark Kirk is a fabulous Congressman who deserved our support.

Kirk Wins. Seals admits defeat, for the second time. 'Nuf 'Sed.

We'll have more on the local Lake County races tomorrow. But I would be remiss if I did not give a big shout-out to my college buddy Dan Duffy, who CRUSHED Bill "the liar" Gentes, as well as Keith Gray and Dan Sugrue, who ran great campaigns against entrenched Democrats, and also our victorious county-wide officials, Circuit Court Clerk Sally Coffelt and State's Attorney Michael Waller. All our GOP state reps also won, and although we lost a few county board seats, we are well-positioned for 2010. The Obama wave only strikes once.

But for now, as far as the 10th District goes, let's just leave it with: Lauren Beth Gash is 0-for-5.

I watched Obama's speech and I admit I liked the line about how he's going to be everybody's president. But, given all the promises he made, he's going to have to deliver an awful lot or risk being accused of overselling himself. He's going to be our president, so rather than act like Ellen, who believes that if Bush said black, it must by definition be white, I'm willing to give Barack a shot. But, I will tell you that I'm concerned about his economic policies and time will tell whether he can lead the nation out of the current financial crisis.

Frankly, some people predicted, and I agree, that what may have needed to happen for the Republican party is for the nation to repudiate 8 years of George Bush, and to start over. Fine. Now the Dems have to produce. And in the first election after a change in administration, the opposing party almost always has a comeback. So, not only does the GOP have that bounce to look forward to in 2010, closer to home we also have Governor Blagojevich and his issues, and we'll just see what the political landscape will bring in the next cycle.

Stay tuned, and thanks for being with us.

Election Day 2008 - Open Thread

At Lamb's Farm, in Libertyville, which is my precinct polling place, the line was long but moving at 6:15 a.m. when I went to place the last of my McCain-Palin signs that I'd reserved for this day, along with our local candidates, including, of course, Congressman Mark Kirk.

As we've said for months, today is the day when we'll see if the voters of the 10th District vote for an empty suit in the form of Dan Seals, or an accomplished, independent, busts-his-butt-for-us congressional representative, Mark Kirk.

I voted early, but after I placed the last of my signs, I walked into the polling place to see what was going on, and a Seals worker and a Kirk volunteer were both outside (each observing the 100 foot electioneering setback, I was happy to see), and each handed me some literature. What each camp was handing out says a lot: the Seals card was a small one-side piece featuring Seals at the top, Dick Durbin at the bottom, and Barack Obama in the middle, with a "Vote for Change" title at the top. Nothing about anyone's positions, accomplishments, etc.

Conversely, the Kirk piece was 4 pages, with long lists of Kirk's accomplishments and endorsements from the five major papers in IL-10. As we've said all along, Kirk is the real thing and his literature shows it; Seals is simply a wanna-be who knows he has to ride the coattails of other candidates to have any chance of winning. Sad.

Brave the lines, get out there and vote, and let's bring it home today for the GOP!

ALSO- thanks to everyone for your support over the last year. At last count, we're at 47,601 hits, with over 520 hits yesterday. We're definitely having an impact and serving as a resource for people who want the straight scoop on our elected officials and political candidates here in IL-10/Lake County.

Monday, November 3, 2008

For An Independent Voice for IL-10, the Choice is Clear: Mark Kirk Over Dan Seals

We ran this photo of Dan Seals in one of our Photo Caption Contests some months ago. Although we didn't declare this quote the winner at the time, it's probably turned out to be the most accurate:

"What? Barack Obama likes pistachio ice cream??? Quick, issue a press release saying I like pistachio ice cream too!!!"

If you've been keeping up with the 10th District race here in Illinois, where Dan Seals is challenging Mark Kirk for the second time, you know that Seals' strategy has been twofold: 1) hammer Kirk=Bush and talk about the war in Iraq all you can; and 2) try to convince people you're a clone of Barack Obama.

Well, Strategy #1 only met with limited success, as situation in Iraq steadily improved under the McCain strategy, and the smart voters in the 10th didn't buy the Kirk=Bush line, even though the DCCC tried to mislead voters into thinking the local media was against Kirk (despite Kirk winning all major print endorsements).

Thus, the only thing left for Seals to try was double down on Strategy #2, and boy, has he. I don't think Seals goes anywhere nowadays without pleading with people that they simply MUST send him to Congress to support a President Obama (shudder!) or Obama will be powerless to effect "change," whatever that turns out to be.

Here's a clue, Dan: First, the voters in IL-10 are smarter than you apparently think. If they wanted an Obama Jr. in Congress, it's doubtful they'd pick you. You don't even agree with Obama on all his policies anyway. And the ones you do agree with are likely to be the least popular in many portions of IL-10 as voters contemplate Obama's downward-shifting scale of who exactly qualifies as "rich" and will carry the tax burden for everyone else (Obama's wealth redistribution). Second, I think voters will, in the end, have little respect for anyone who cannot stand on their own two feet as a candidate, no matter whose coattails you try to attach yourself too.

Interestingly, Strategy #2 might not work out so well, either, as Obama's coattails have continued to be less attractive of late. Obama continues to reveal more of his wealth redistribution agenda, and if the voters in IL-10 that still insist on going for Obama can't be swayed, they may well decide they better return Mark Kirk to Washington to keep an eye on him, as an independent voice. I doubt they'd feel that a rookie congressman like Dan Seals would have the ability to stand up to anything that Nancy Pelosi or a President Obama would dictate to him.

I saw Ellen had a manifesto posted of all her reasons to vote for Dan Seals, so we offer a list of our own:

If you want a Congressman that can't seem to hold a job, vote for Dan Seals.

If you want a Congressman that can't even manage the U.S. Post Office to get a mailer out, vote for Dan Seals.

If you want a Congressman that lies about his experience teaching at Northwestern months before he actually sets foot in his classroom or teaches a student, vote for Dan Seals.

If you want a Congressman that looks up to convicted felons like Dan Rostenkowsky and Bob Creamer, vote for Dan Seals.

If you want a Congressman that handles a campaign budget so poorly, he runs out of money at the end and can't publicize his Barack Obama radio ad, vote for Dan Seals.

If you want a Congressman that will worry more about pleasing Congressional leadership like Nancy Pelosi more than his constituents, vote for Dan Seals.

And, if you want a candidate that believes he should be elected because he tries to look and sound like someone he's not, DEFINITELY vote for Dan Seals.

On the other hand, if you want about 57 great reasons to vote for Mark Kirk, and you haven't gotten the message since we've been blogging here for a year, go to

See you at the polls, and on to Victory Tuesday Night!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ellen Says Make Sign Stealers Famous - Republican Larry Leafblad Agrees After Arrest of Two Caught Stealing His Signs

A few weeks ago our friend Ellen of the Tenth was up on her self-righteous soapbox complaining about presumed Republican sign-stealers and encouraged her readers (all 20 of them) to try to snap a picture of the theft and she would post their picture if the local newspaper wouldn't. I actually figured that was not a bad idea, since I am convinced that it's the Dems, by and large, that stoop to stealing signs, at least, it's the Dems that do it on an organized basis.

That theory seems to have been proved in at least one local race, that for Lake County Board Dist. 6, where incumbent GOP candidate Larry Leafblad faces Dem challenger (and unfortunately-named) Melinda Bush, where a pair of individuals were arrested by Grayslake Police for stealing Leafblad signs.

Leafblad released the following statement today:

Grayslake Police arrested a woman from Peoria and her father on Saturday Night who were caught in the act stealing political signs placed by the Larry Leafblad campaign. Police found Leafblad’s signs in their vehicle. The couple was charged by Grayslake Police.

“This is not some prank, these are paid, Democrat Operatives from Peoria,” stated Leafblad.

A Grayslake resident phoned the authorities when he witnessed the two enter his yard.

Leafblad said no less than a hundred yard signs have disappeared in the dark of night for the last several weeks.

“This reflects directly upon Melinda Bush’s desperate attempts to win. We knew her workers were out, from the very first days we placed signs. They were being taken right from peoples’ front yards,” said Leafblad.

“My voters are loyal. Many people have called requesting signs. So, all our signs are carefully placed, with permission, in front yards around Grayslake, Gurnee and Round Lake Park. Each time by the light of dawn, most if not all signs were missing.”

Leafblad considers a yard sign a powerful endorsement. He said he was concerned that his supporters didn’t think he cared. “We have been contending with an avalanche of junk mail, robo calls, phony surveys and boiler room tactics containing outright lies and incorrect information. Stealing personal property is proof Mrs. Bush will go to any length to win.”

Leafblad plans to press additional charges and will demand an apology and restitution from the Bush campaign.

I don't have a picture to send to Ellen, but as soon as we get a mug shot of the Peoria sign-stealing duo, we'll send it over and I'm sure she'll be very anxious to post it, as she promised.

I Don't Feel Selfish For Not Voting for Barack Obama and Dan Seals

While I don't really feel "selfish" for not voting for Barack Obama (and his wanna-be tag-along, Dan Seals, 10th District Dem candidate), it seems that Barack Obama wants me to feel guilty that I don't want the government to take away my money and redistribute it to those Obama thinks are more worthy than me for the money that I worked for. As Obama gets more cocky in his supposed lead in the polls, his true colors are starting to be revealed in every greater proportions. Now, if we don't pay the higher taxes he proposes to spread the wealth around, we're apparently "selfish."

This is nothing new for those of us who had Barack's number months or even years ago. I recall that I once commented over at Ellen's blog that the issue I had with Obama's politics was that he wanted to take all of my money and stand on a street corner in Chicago and hand it out. Interestingly, I think someone even labeled me a "racist" for suggesting that.

Turns out, I was pretty much right, only it's not just Chicago streetcorners where he wants to hand away my tax dollars, it's every corner in America.

There's lots more on the Internet on Obama's redistributionist agenda, if you look. I think those that don't know about it by now, may not really want to know about it. But if he wins, many more people than might have first thought they would be affected will find out very quickly.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mark Kirk Victory Rally Huge Success; Seals Looking for Love in Lincolnshire (UPDATED WITH VIDEO)

All the reports coming in are that Mark Kirk's victory rally in Wheeling was a big success, while Dan Seals had to scrape up supporters in Lincolnshire, even as he sends desperation e-mails trying to raise funds to publicize his call-from-the-cell phone radio ad that Barack Obama finally cut for him. Read all about it at the Tribune blog, Clout Street.

Meanwhile, over at Ellen's, they've convinced themselves that voter fraud was responsible for Bush stealing the election in 2004, and GOP operatives not only broke into Dan Seals' Waukegan office but also managed to divert his last desperate fund-raising mailing at the U.S. Post Office. I warn you though, troll over there at your own risk and sanity... ;-)

Not too much longer till the victory party for Kirk, and hopefully many other GOP candidates as well. I'll give you the GOP election party info probably on Monday, and maybe we can all meet at the Kirk victory party for a celebration shot of sambuca.

VIDEO UPDATE: An alert commentor pointed out a CBS-2 News segment on Kirk v. Seals. You can see the throngs of supporters at the Kirk event today, while Seals works the phone at his campaign headquarters enduring hang-ups. As someone else suggested, they're not hanging up on you because they think you're a robot (call), it's because it's you, Dan.