Just a Thought

Do George Bush and his allies really have any standing to call someone out for fumbling a sentence?

“If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they’re afraid to debate real men. And this time it won’t work because we’re going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq.”

UPDATE: Slight grammatical fix.

From Comments-the Obama event in Collinsville

Attention Democrats!!! Please join Senator Obama at a rally for Judge Bruce Stewart, Sunday November 5, at Electricians Local 309 in Collinsville.

Senator Obama will arrive at 3:45 and the rally will go until approximately 4:30. If you are interested in attending you are encouraged to arrive early, doors will open at 2:30 PM. Seats will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.

Live music will be provided by Dave Hylla’s Good Times Band and other musicians from the Democratic family, along with free refreshments (this is not a fundraiser). Please try to attend and show your support for Judge Stewart as we have one last push for him before election day.

IBEW Local 309 is located at 2000 Mall Street Collinsville, IL 62234, just off Rt. 157.

If you have any questions about this event please call Robert Stephan, with Senator Obama, at 618-616-8476 or Randy Harris, with Judge Stewart, at 618-558-9047.

Just Making it Up

From the Radogno Campaign

Lemont, IL-State Sen. Christine Radogno, Republican nominee for Illinois treasurer, today called television ads run by her Democratic opponent Alexi Giannoulias false distortions designed to deflect attention from his refusal to explain loans his bank made to crime figures and asked that he provide proof of his sources or remove his ad from the airwaves.

In a negative ad released yesterday by the Giannoulias campaign, it claims Radogno voted to raise telecom and utility rates by 22 percent and cites a Chicago Sun Times story from Oct. 23. A search on the Sun-Times website found no stories with the words Radogno and utility rates. Nowhere in the only news story on October 23rd that discusses utilities does Radogno’s name appear nor does the story mention a vote by the General Assembly, said Radogno.

“This is simply a desperate distortion by Alexi Giannoulias,” said Radogno. “He is again attempting to deflect attention from the fact that he has refused to answer questions about his involvement in loans he and his family’s bank made to organized crime figures. It’s no coincidence that he chose to run this negative ad at the same time new polls show this race is a dead heat.”

“He has spent millions of dollars and now he’s desperate,” said Radogno. “He’s now resorting to using made up material in television ads. The source he cites never even mentions my name or any specific vote taken by the Senate. This is just fantasy designed to turn people’s attention away from the fact that his own party chairman won’t support him and has asked him to explain his connections to organized crime.”

Democratic State Party Chairman Michael J. Madigan has asked Giannoulias to explain his alleged connections to Mob figures. Giannoulias and his family run Broadway Bank in Chicago have made tens of millions of dollars in loans to organized crime figures including Michael Giorango, a convicted bookmaker and ringleader of a nationwide prostitution enterprise.

“Giannoulias’ distortions are designed to make people forget that he approved these inexcusable loans to convicted felons,” said Radogno. “He hopes he can make people forget about that for one more week so he can buy a Constitutional Office with campaign money from Broadway Bank.” Giannoulias has received millions in campaign contributions from his family and from customers at Broadway Bank, according to state election records.

“This is no smear campaign,” said Radogno. “This is about getting to the truth that he has refused time and again to address. This is about being honest and open with the voters. In my 10 years in the Senate and eight years as a village trustee, I’ve always told the truth to the public. Alexi Giannoulias should try being truthful with the voters instead of openly distorting my unblemished record in cheap attack ads.”

“I ask that Mr. Giannoulias provide my campaign and the media the article in the Sun Times on October 23rd that states I voted for a utility rate increase. If he can not provide this article, I want this ad pulled from the airwaves. I have been in campaigns where votes are taken out of context but never has an opponent just made up a source from the media,” said Radogno.

I checked out Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe too. Nada. It appears to be a straight up lie.

I did a search for the last 10 years and Radogno and utility or utilities. Nada relevant. Electric–no better. 10 articles, but none related to electric utilities. Telephone-nada. Telecom nada. Now, perhaps there is some record I don’t know of in the General Assembly, but if the campaign cites it, I should be able to find it in the cite.

Blah, Blah, Blah, negative advertising reduces turnout, Blah, Blah, Blah

Michael McDonald actually looks at the evidence:

(3) Negative ads turn off voters and reduce turnout.

Don’t be so sure. The case on this one is still open. Negative TV advertising increased in the mid-1980s, but turnout hasn’t gone down correspondingly. The negative Swift boat campaign against Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., apparently did little to depress turnout in the 2004 presidential race.

Some academic studies have found that negative advertising increases turnout. And that’s not so surprising: A particularly nasty ad grabs people’s attention and gets them talking. People participate when they’re interested. A recent GOP attack ad on Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr., D-Tenn., a Senate candidate, has changed the dynamic of the race, probably not because it changed minds or dissuaded Democrats, but because it energized listless Republicans.

We’ll have to wait to see whether the attack on Ford backfires because voters perceive it as unfair. That’s the danger of going negative.

He actually goes through five voting myths. The standard line that everyone hates negative advertising is somewhat true in that everyone knows they are supposed to dislike it so they tell reporters and pollsters that they don’t like it. It’s also effective and it’s not clear what it does to turnout.

Voters sort it out. They don’t do it by long hours of analysis, but by impressions and remarkably, those impressions serve them well over the long run even when they might miss it on specific elections.

That Puts the Nails in the Coffin

Of anyone confusing Meeks with a liberal.

Hat tip Rich

“YOU HAVE DIED AND GONE STRAIGHT TO HELL!” a tall man wearing a long, black, hooded cloak bellowed over a bullhorn Sunday night as the first busload of about 30 teens and a handful of parents were herded through dark corridors lined in black plastic.

The group moved from room to room, witnessing scenes depicting what the church says are the consequences of “bad decisions involving violence, sex and drugs.”

In one scene, a girl was lying on a gurney where a masked man in surgical scrubs pretended to perform an abortion. A toilet was sitting nearby apparently to collect the aborted fetus.

‘I thought it was very scary’
A fenced-in cell housed a few denizens of “hell,” including a pedophile trolling the Internet for a young victim, a meditating Buddhist, and two mincing young men wearing body glitter who were supposed to be homosexuals.
“The jail scene were people who had recently come to hell and they were trying to explain why they didn’t need to be there,” said the Rev. Willie Comer, Salem’s youth pastor, who also plays the role of Satan. This is the third time the church has put on the “Nights of Terror,” which began Sunday and ends today at 10 p.m.

Comer knows some of the parts of Salem’s “hell” will be controversial but says he and Salem’s senior pastor, the Rev. James Meeks, who could not be reached for comment, are confident they can back up their vision of hell with Scripture.

Ummmm…I can think of better ways of spreading the Gospel of Jesus, but I guess this is what one means when they say the are going all Old Testament on someone.

An Admission

I along with many others who talk about politics thought Judy would be a natural antidote to Rod’s poll tested themes and smooth delivery.  Underlying that assumption was that she built up a lot of goodwill through her time in office and was well liked by voters.

I think the reality is setting in that she wasn’t that good of a candidate for a bunch of reasons that are abundantly clear now.  Rolling pin jokes are funny until everyone is listening.

And I count myself in this category, but I think there needs to be a rethinking of how this election played out.  Rod is credited with killing her off early and that’s not entirely wrong, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.  She had a strong hand in killing her own campaign off.
This kind of goes with my points in the past that political junkies like her for the very reasons the public doesn’t. She’s brash, a little loud, a bit goofy, and doesn’t pretend to have easy answers. The problem with that is when people pay a fairly small amount of attention to politics and that’s their first impression and then it gets reinforced, she’s not so likeable. Average voters aren’t taking the time to get to know the goofy good side, they are seeing what seems like your crazy aunt in the attic running for Governor.  Some might still argue that’s better than Rod, but it doesn’t matter.

Sure the ads finished her off, but the initial wounds were self-inflicted.

Stu Who? Pankau? Rutherford?

Kind of funny given we are talking about third party candidates who aren’t getting included in polls, but does anyone plan on polling these races anymore?

Your ICFST (Illinois Circular Firing Squad Team) relegated to third party status in the campaign.


Gianoulis in the lead

The poll also found that in the race to replace Topinka in the treasurer’s office, Chicago banker Alexi Giannoulias, a Democrat, has the support of 40 percent of voters compared to 23 percent for Republican state Sen. Christine Radogno of Lemont. Green Party candidate Dan Rodriguez Schlorff got 5 percent.

But nearly 30 percent of voters were undecided in the treasurer contest and large numbers had never heard of either major party candidate, despite a series of stories about questionable loans given by the Giannoulias family’s Broadway Bank, the survey showed.


Trib polling up on the Governor’s race.

Technically, he gained a point. I mean that’s meaningless given natural fluctuations, but you’d think something would dent the armor. Apparently not.
Will Quinn get back to regular form after the election at least? It could be fun seeing him battle down the Guv as the investigations continue.

A week before the election, the survey of 600 likely voters shows Blagojevich backed by 44 percent, Topinka supported by 29 percent and Green Party candidate Richard Whitney with 13 percent. Another 13 percent were undecided in the survey, conducted Friday through Sunday, which has an error margin of 4 percentage points

Even more fun from the end:

The survey found independent voters divided in their support for governor—29 percent for Topinka, 28 percent for Blagojevich and 24 percent for Whitney. Blagojevich also was leading Topinka in the traditionally Republican-leaning collar counties—35 percent to 29 percent—and he trailed by only 2 percentage points Downstate.

New Cook Analysis


With the election just eight days away, there are no signs that this wave is abating.   Barring a dramatic event, we are looking at the prospect of GOP losses in the House of at least 20 to 35 seats, possibly more, and at least four in the Senate, with five or six most likely.

If independents vote in fairly low numbers, as is customary in midterm elections, losses in the House will be on the lower end of that range. But if they turn out at a higher than normal level, their strong preference for Democrats in most races would likely push the GOP House losses to or above the upper levels.

The dynamics we are seeing this year are eerily similar to those in 1994.   The President and party are different, so are the issues, but the dynamics are comparable.

In 1994, Democrats were in trouble because of tax increases, a failed health plan, and the crime bill (read, guns).   There were also a myriad of scandals that started in the late 1980s that moved voters, including many Democrats, to reject the party’s candidates, including some once-popular incumbents.

This year, it is the war in Iraq and scandals.   For conservatives, the list also includes the Mark Foley affair, immigration, high government spending and high deficits.   For Democrats and independents, stem cell research and Terri Schiavo round out the list.   Finally, it would seem that voters of all ideological stripes feel that the GOP-lead Congress has become dysfunctional.