The Officer Backs Bush

Why does Bush want Carl Officer’s support? And why would the Leader treat this as a good thing.

Pat Gauen recounted the more colorful moments of Carl’s career in the PD in 2003:

My personal favorite was the day he gathered the press to announce that he was filing a federal suit to stop Gov. James Thompson from using the National Guard to seize the city. When I broke the news to Thompson’s press secretary, I thought the poor man would laugh himself into a stroke. No troops ever showed up.

Or maybe the best was the time Carl began a speech by greeting me from the podium, by name, but then complained the next day to my editor that the resulting story was unfair because he wouldn’t have spoken so candidly had he known a reporter was present.

No, I think it was the opening of an obstetrical unit to help deal with the community’s soaring population of unwed mothers. Carl, a bachelor, publicly announced that he was personally going to start work on populating the place that very night.

Oops, I almost forgot the major MetroLink ceremony where Carl wiped the smile off every face by vowing to block the project because he wasn’t consulted. (Civic leaders unanimously insisted that Carl was invited to every meeting but never once showed up.)

You’ve surely heard about how Zaire un-invited Carl to help fine-tune its government after he announced that he would take his own blood supply, so if he got sick he wouldn’t depend on its “monkey blood.”

Perhaps the best was when he got stopped by police doing 108 mph in a Jaguar borrowed from a convicted drug dealer. Carl bitterly denied the cop’s version, insisting he really had been doing 140.

Is there no end to it?

I haven’t gotten to the bodyguard with the Uzi. Or the $2,200 Carl claimed for trips never taken. Or the consulting contract the city council approved for $545,000 but Carl signed for $1.3 million. Or Carl’s hearty endorsement of a $450 million riverfront development plan long after everyone else, including a federal grand jury, figured out that it was just a big scam.

The uzis I believe, were present when he went to Big Al’s in Peoria–a gentleman’s club–and his ‘bodyguards’ had to explain why they were carrying uzis.

That’s some family values plan there.
From the Leader:

In breaking with his party on the Presidential race, Officer, an ordained minister, cited serious differences he has with the Democratic leadership on issues like gay marriage and abortion.

So uzis in strip clubs, okay. Populating the city obstetrics unit as a bachelor okay. But a woman having a right to choose and gay marriage bad. It’s all so clear.

If your party is so fricken’ desperate for any black person to back you all, you might try changing the approach.

Endorsement: McLean County Recorder–Iva Gibson

Many readers know I have little use for Lee Newcom, former McLean County Board Member until Tari Renner beat him. Newcom was the executive director of the Illinois Christian Coalition, but before that, had a bad habbit of telling young Republicans to pull dirty tricks because they weren’t accountable. Unethical is only where I can begin with that one, but more importantly he’s running for an office that requires good management and he’s had problem with accounting in his political organization.

More on his challenger.

Predictions….

Okay, here are mine since I won’t have time tomorrow.

Nationally

Bush 48
Kerry 50 (just under, but close)

Electoral College
I have it between 273 for Kerry all the way up to a possibility of 347 for Kerry

I’ll settle for 311 Kerry based on my reading of the most recent polls

Illinois Senate:
Obama 73
Keyes 21
Others 6

Senate: Dems 50 Reps 49 with Louisiana left. I didn’t predict this 2 years ago, but the campaigns have been stunning.

House Pick-up of 8 by Dems (generic ballot is very favorable this year)

Local Races
Bean 51-49
Renner 49-51 in a surprisingly strong showing, but the North end of the District holds it for Weller.
Cegelis 45-55
Evans 55-45

I’d be happy to be proven wrong on two of those 😉

Karmeier by 8

Blogbowl II

Okay, I owe Eric an apology, I’ve been running behind two two year olds and under the weathe and on top of it the time change didn’t sit well with them, but he is running his Blog Bowl II

BLOG BOWL II

I’ve invited a number of bloggers who regularly meditate upon the Illinois political scene to participate in Blog Bowl II, an election prediction contest.

Certain pundits shy from publicly guessing at the results of elections ? and , frankly, I think this is a ruse disguised as modesty designed to allow them to spout retrospective analyses in which they make it sound as if they knew the outcome was inevitable.

Blog Bowl II is not for them.

It will work this way: Each participant must submit to me by midnight Sunday three simple predictions:

1. The final percentage gap between Barack Obama and Alan Keyes (e.g., 37)
2. The final electoral vote margin (and the winner) between George Bush and John Kerry (e.g., Kerry by 10)
3. For tie-breaking purposes only, Alan Keyes’ percentage of the vote.

You get one point for each number you’re off (in the above example, if Bush wins by 10 electoral votes, you lose 20 points).

Winner is the blogger with the lowest score.

All predictions (and, if they’d like, links to the blog entries that explain their reasoning) will be published in Monday’s Notebook.

If you blog regularly on Illinois politics and didn’t get a direct invitation from me, it’s because I have an old e-mail address for you or I couldn’t find your e-mail address or because I’m disorganized.

Feel free to enter at ericzorn@aol.com.

Use this format:

(Blog Name ) — Keyes/Obama by XX% ; Kerry/Bush by XX%; Keyes XX% (perma-link) (Optional ? your real name)

Winner gets braggin’ rights until the next election.

First Question for Keyes on Tuesday Evening

About those polls…

Keyes also said he doesn’t believe polls that show Obama far ahead in Tuesday’s election for the seat now held by U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald.

“As far as I know, for instance, those polls are still showing a majority of pro-life people voting for Barack Obama,” Keyes told reporters at Sangamon County Republican headquarters. “Every time somebody suggests that, I just laugh. … Who would believe such nonsense?”

What Keyes doesn’t get is that every pro-life voter doesn’t view pro-life as the only issue they vote upon. Just as every pro-choice voter doesn’t only use pro-choice issues as their only standard for a candidate.

One big consideration is whether the other guy is a huge loon.

Train Tickets and Shopping Scanners

Mr. Crane might be a bit out of touch:

Congressman Phil Crane’s eyes dart around the packed Metra train as reporters sit nearby, waiting to discuss his railroad expansion plan.

He leans forward, then takes a stub of paper off the back of the bench in front of him. He turns it over in his hands.

“Now, what’s this?” Crane asks.

An assistant, laughing nervously, fills him in: “That’s your train ticket.”

This moment during his campaign for re-election in the 8th Congressional District crystallized both what critics say is Crane’s major weakness and what he says is his greatest strength.

Reports are that the RNCC is bringing in a lot of Congressional staffers to work the race. Good. They aren’t nearly as effective as the local group Bean has.

The Plan for the Next Few Days

There won’t be many changes, but expect to see some Missouri news mixed in to make updating easier. For Missouri readers, the category archive will be Missouri and I’ll leave a link here in a bit to access it and filter out the national and Illinois issues. That will start tomorrow.

The big news–I’ll be at DNC HQ with the DCCC guys for election day so I’ll be blogging from the “war room” there. It should be interesting and there should be an amazing cross section of info coming in from across the country. Or CNN as that is usually the case. I’ll be blogging every day through the election though Monday will be spotting since that’ll be a travel day. I’ll do my usual round-up on Tuesday morning of Illinois politics, and then later in the afternoon step up to consistent updating through election night. So Tuesday night, check in, I’ll have lots of info available.

A Story of Caution, Not Bombs

After a small detour of checking in Springfield the Keyes mail bomb scare led me to the Police Department of Stafford, Texas–a Houston Suburb where Keyes contribution processing is done. Detective Veratto was very helpful and filled in the details.

This was the first call to the police department, so the human waste story may have occured, but if it did, it was not reported to the police. The Stafford PD says the company reports that they receive lots of strange things there, but that this was the first package that necessitated a police call in 15 years. The company declined to comment. I have a call into the Keyes campaign.

The package that aroused suspicion was a heavy letter with a lot of mass at the bottom of a business return envelope. Alert to potential dangers, the local police were called. The police examined the item and called the local fire department. The local fire department responded and suggested calling the Houston Bomb Squad which then x-rayed the package to ensure it was safe. The FBI was also notified. It turned out to be a railroad spike.

All of this is a reasonable reaction given concerns over such packages, but what is interesting and certainly contrary to the impression of the e-mail sent by the Keyes campaign, is that letter contained no threats–in fact the envelope only contained the spike. No crime was committed in this case. It was an obnoxious prank, but just that–an obnoxious prank.

There is no threat and the mailing of a railroad spike is not illegal. It does however cost the Keyes campaign a fair amount of postage and it obviously is stupid for the very reason of the problems it created for a business.

There appears to be no indication of criminal intent, but my own guess is that someone was mailed a direct mail solicitation, didn’t like Alan and decided to cost him some extra cash on the return.

IOW, the Keyes campaign decided to stretch the story to try and wring some donations out of people. That’s class.

Now back to other election related trivia.

UPDATE: Fixed numerous errors in grammar.

Charming Keyes Supporters

from comments:

I was outside the event for the pre-debate rally. One of the Keyes supporters claimed “There was a special place in Hell for people like me.” (Charming!) So I asked here to clarify. “God’s retribution is swift,” she replied. So I decided to push the process along: I held up my umbrella to the skies and shouted, “Strike me dead, God! Strike me dead!!” That got laughs from BOTH sides, but alas, no lightning.

I guess God supports Obama.