From the Capitol Fax

In an especially hysterical version that had me laughing for a several minutes, there is some scuttlebutt on the Senate. Most important, check out the Machiavelli quote.

US SENATE STUFF Jayne Thompson, the wife of the former governor, reportedly has some interest in running for US Senate. *** DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom and, to a lesser extent, retired CEO Ron Gidwitz are reportedly leaning against a run. *** Jim Ryan? Hmm. *** Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole’s name was floated yesterday as a possible replacement for Jack Ryan. Cole is a cracker jack of a mayor, a very hard worker and is hugely popular in southern Illinois and with many conservatives. He would probably be a great pick if the party decides to build for the future instead of go for the win this year. *** Some well-known hopefuls may not survive the state GOP’s intense vetting process, designed to ferret out everything about a prospective candidate’s past. ? 2004

I think Cole is intriguing, and I’ll include him in the Cattle Calls. I just don’t buy that Jayne Thompson would make the run, but given the way this race has gone, I’m done making solid predictions for a while.

It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Ends Up on the Hood of Car

Ummmm…if this bill doesn’t move as reported in the Capitol Fax, someone will be having a Rostenkowski moment:

THE END GAME (excerpt) * Thousands of retired teachers will descend on the Statehouse today to pressure the General Assembly to approve a bill that will allow them to keep their health insurance.

Retired teachers will lose their health insurance July 1 if the General Assembly does not approve legislation extending a deal that was cut in 2001. The Senate had been expected to pass the extension yesterday, but the chamber didn’t move the bill.

The insurance program faced financial collapse a few years ago until it was bailed out by the state. Active teachers were also required to kick in part of their paychecks to underwrite the program. The new bill would increase premiums for retirees and also require annual state funding.

Leader Correction Watch Day 5

The Leader has yet to correct Jill Stanek’s Column June 24th Column saying the files were sealed from the end of the divorce–which is not the case. There was a one year period where the files were not sealed.

Jeff Berkowitz graciously gives me a walk on the files sealing issue, though he still thinks it’s an open question. While it can be confusing, the key point is in Rick Pearson’s article which is consistent with other news outlets version of the timeline.

2000

June: Ryan requests that the court seal records of custody hearings that occurred after the couple’s divorce was finalized. The request is opposed by Jeri Ryan and rejected by the judge.

September: An attorney for Jeri Ryan says in a court filing that one of Ryan’s attorneys had told her a few months earlier that Ryan wanted parts of the divorce file blacked out, removed or sealed because he was “concerned [it] would negatively impact his political aspirations and embarrass him.”

2001

September: Ruling that portions of the Ryan divorce file, if revealed, could harm the couple’s young son, additional documents are sealed and all sealed documents are ordered removed for safekeeping in Ryan’s attorney’s office. Jeri Ryan supports the request, citing safety concerns after a man was convicted of stalking her.

The stalker was on Usenet in 2000 and his rantings are available here (warning strong adult content).

Even the Cross Guys are Giving Him Good Press

😉 Obama gets better pictures than the Minority Leader on the Minority Leader’s own site!

Really guys, get Cross to grow the hair out–it makes him look much older.

They are also all over a race affected by the Hospital scandal–apparently a Dem House Member is in the middle of it. Sigh. OneMan should be picking this up. I am not familiar with Franks so I don’t have much more to say.

End of the Quarter Begging

Okay, donate if you can–every dollar at this point is important! It looks like people haven’t been visiting the sponsors as much which is probably due to me being on vacation, but let’s do a round-up:

Melissa Bean is running in the Illinois 8th against conservative fossil and special interest magnet Phil Crane. What are here chance? See this post (ignoring Dan’s comments ;)) This is a targeted DCCC race and is rated a top race by National Journal, The New York Times and The Daily Kos. Melissa matched Crane in fundraising last quarter. If you can help with dollars go to the upper left hand and click on their ad. If you can’t, do it anyway and volunteer if you have some time and are near the area–Lake, Northwestern Cook and McHenry Counties.

Barack Obama is a rock star probably about to face a well-funded Republican challenger. While everyone, including me, rates this as likely pick-up for Dems, every dollar raised by Barack frees up money for races in other states like Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Colorado. Click on the upper right for him. A good fundraising quarter will scare away other strong candidates as well.

Tari Renner is running in the 11th against Jerry Weller, a Congressman primarily known for raising funds. Renner is running in a district that was about 50-48 for Bush last time and was specially configured to include Weller’s parents. I kid you not. Tari has run tough races in McLean County beating out the former head of the Illinois Christian Coalition branch, Lee Newcome for the McLean County Board and is putting on a strong insurgent challenge. His ad is down, but will be back soon.

Tom Cross is raising funds for the House Republicans. I’m always happy to have their ads as they run a first rate operation. I’m not going as far as to tell you to donate, but certainly pay a visit and see what they have to say. Cross is a good guy in Illinois who has opened up the Illinois Republican caucus to be far more democratic and open. He’s a moderate in an increasingly conservative party and has a long record of working with everyone in the Lege. Ads to the right.

The guys from Join Cross also have a novel idea to Draft Ditka to be Republican Party Chair. Hell, it can’t hurt and think of the press conferences. Or him dealing with any bellyaching by either the moderates or the conservatives.

And finally, don’t you people take vacations? C’mon check out the Paradise Charters link for me. I know most of us visiting the site are political wonks and junkies, but you need a break.

A Brief Missouri Interlude

May 30th Post-Dispatch:

Jeff Smith, for example, has attracted lots of attention since winning the support of Dean, who may stop here to campaign for him. Smith also captured the Democratic endorsement in Jefferson Township a few weeks ago over the objections of Londe and others who backed Carnahan. Smith’s red-meat rhetoric often ignites forum crowds. A standard line: “If John Ashcroft is for it, I’m probably against it.”

Russ Carnahan at the 17th Ward Meeting this week:

?If John Ashcroft is for it, then I?m against it?

Adopting a position or such that is similar to an opponent isn’t such a big deal. Stealing lines virtually verbatim is just stupid. If you have some extra cash, go donate to Jeff so we can have someone in Congress who isn’t an absolute idiot.