More Like It

Rich has Dan Hynes’ response to Governor Quinn and it’s decidedly un-Hynes like:

Statement from Dan Hynes’ Campaign Spokesman Mike Rendina on Governor Quinn’s Negative Attack

“Governor Quinn is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. After Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn spent 6 years in silence watching Rod Blagojevich drive our state into a ditch it is puzzling that he describes a 50% income tax increase on Illinois families as leadership. Comptroller Hynes sent Governor Quinn two letters this past year laying out $1.2 billion in cuts along with alternative revenue sources and urged the Governor not to incite panic in order to pass a 50% tax increase on the backs of working families. While Quinn flip-flopped on his own plans for the last six months, he couldn’t find the time to read either letter.”



Usually Hynes says something strong and by the end of the paragraph backs out of it.  It’s still possible that he’ll back down from this one, but ultimately, I hope this is a new tougher Dan Hynes.  It’s safe to say he’s in the Governor’s race and while I don’t dislike Quinn and appreciate the job he’s done given the circumstances, I’m quite happy to have Hynes as an alternative and fully plan on supporting him.

Unless he starts backing down from this…

Why is a Straight Answer So Hard?

Eric asks the GOP candidates if they are birthers:

As you know, there are some on the right who have serious concerns about whether President Barack Obama qualifies as a “natural-born citizen.” They question the validity of his birth records and therefore the legitimacy of his presidency. To what degree, if any, do you share those concerns?


Adam Andrzejewski— I do have concerns about Obama’s policies, which I think run counter to the American  mainstream.  I would hope that the many conservatives who are “concerned” about Obama’s citizenship exercise their citizenship more effectively by pointing out their differences with his policies rather than with his birth certificate.

Bill Brady–I frankly don’t hear that much about it. I continue to hear people talk about how they’re worried about the economy and jobs.  Obama will be judged on his actions and if I were him I’d just provide the proof. One action he should do is provide the proof. I really haven’t seen any proof, but I haven’t been following this issue closely.

Kirk Dillard — (via a spokesman) Senator Dillard has no comment with respect to this issue. He’s out talking to the voters about the economy and the enormous issues facing Illinois.

Matt Murphy — (awaiting answer)

Dan Proft –I’ll defer to Kirk Dillard on this matter as I’m sure he was fully briefed prior to cutting his endorsement commercial for Barack Obama.

Bob Schillerstrom–(via a spokesman) The short answer is no. From the economy to soaring unemployment to runaway spending, we have real challenges that require serious attention – that is not one of them.


Credit to Andrzejewski and Schillerstrom who didn’t take the time to point out how ridiculous the whole discusssion is, but were clear in pointing out they don’t agree with the Birthers.

Dillard fails miserably.  Proft finds a way to attack someone completely unrelated to the question.  And Bill Brady buys into the Birther conspiracies by calling on the President to produce what he has already produced.

Leave it to the jackass from my hometown.

If He’d Just Obeyed the Police Officer

The usual suspects are trying to claim Henry Louis Gates is at fault for not obeying the police in his arrest from his own home:


I’m saying ‘You need to send someone to fix my lock.’ All of a sudden, there was a policeman on my porch. And I thought, ‘This is strange.’ So I went over to the front porch still holding the phone, and I said ‘Officer, can I help you?’ And he said, ‘Would you step outside onto the porch.’ And the way he said it, I knew he wasn’t canvassing for the police benevolent association. All the hairs stood up on the back of my neck, and I realized that I was in danger. And I said to him no, out of instinct. I said, ‘No, I will not.’

My lawyers later told me that that was a good move and had I walked out onto the porch he could have arrested me for breaking and entering. He said ‘I’m here to investigate a 911 call for breaking and entering into this house.’ And I said ‘That’s ridiculous because this happens to be my house. And I’m a Harvard professor.’ He says ‘Can you prove that you’re a Harvard professor?’ I said yes, I turned and closed the front door to the kitchen where I’d left my wallet, and I got out my Harvard ID and my Massachusetts driver’s license which includes my address and I handed them to him. And he’s sitting there looking at them.

Now it’s clear that he had a narrative in his head: A black man was inside someone’s house, probably a white person’s house, and this black man had broken and entered, and this black man was me.

So he’s looking at my ID, he asked me another question, which I refused to answer. And I said I want your name and your badge number because I want to file a complaint because of the way he had treated me at the front door. He didn’t say, ‘Excuse me, sir, is there a disturbance here, is this your house?’—he demanded that I step out on the porch, and I don’t think he would have done that if I was a white person.

But at that point, I realized that I was in danger. And so I said to him that I want your name, and I want your badge number and I said it repeatedly.


HLG: The police report says I was engaged in loud and tumultuous behavior. That’s a joke. Because I have a severe bronchial infection which I contracted in China and for which I was treated and have a doctor’s report from the Peninsula hotel in Beijing. So I couldn’t have yelled. I can’t yell even today, I’m not fully cured.

It escalated as follows: I kept saying to him, ‘What is your name, and what is your badge number?’ and he refused to respond. I asked him three times, and he refused to respond. And then I said, ‘You’re not responding because I’m a black man, and you’re a white officer.’ That’s what I said. He didn’t say anything. He turned his back to me and turned back to the porch. And I followed him. I kept saying, “I want your name, and I want your badge number.”

It looked like an ocean of police had gathered on my front porch. There were probably half a dozen police officers at this point. The mistake I made was I stepped onto the front porch and asked one of his colleagues for his name and badge number. And when I did, the same officer said, ‘Thank you for accommodating our request. You are under arrest.’ And he handcuffed me right there. It was outrageous. My hands were behind my back I said, ‘I’m handicapped. I walk with a cane. I can’t walk to the squad car like this.’ There was a huddle among the officers; there was a black man among them. They removed the cuffs from the back and put them around the front.

A crowd had gathered, and as they were handcuffing me and walking me out to the car, I said, ‘Is this how you treat a black man in America?’


I believe the crime is known as being an uppity black man.  Jeebus, you prove you identity and your residency and they still arrest you for essentially not being defferential to the police in your own home.

Principled Moderation

Or holy shit, my base hates me:


KIRK: If this comes back — and I don’t think it will, I think this bill has died in the Senate — I will be going through every detail and thinking about all of my constituents who got a hold of me on this issue. Because there has been an issue that I’ve heard nothing else about in the last couple of weeks.


Expect to see more of this on environmental issues, guns, abortion, GLBT rights, and immigration.  Everything that makes him a decent candidate statewide, makes him a crappy primary candidate.  Have fun!

Sense of Betrayal

Is how one former State Rep described the base’s reaction to Mark Kirk’s vote on the climate change bill:


Most of the comments and questions were respectful, but disappointment, sense of betrayal and outright anger was apparent. Though the Congressman cited his many calls to c.e.o.’s as experts, he found in Sunday’s audience a surprising number of bona fide experts among his own citizen-constituents — including two physicists who discounted human contribution to “global warming” (on the 65-degree July day!) and a local village trustee who owns a trucking firm and reminded the Congressman of the economic pressure the Cap & Trade measure would put on those in his industry and the horror with which they greeted his vote. Others had researched his voting record and refuted some of his claims pertaining to his positions on related issues. A high/low point came when a citizen rose, told him he’d always been “her man” and then informed him she would do everything she could to defeat his next candidacy.

Members of the host organization reminded Rep. Kirk he had pledged to vote against the measure — in his meeting with them just two weeks before the vote — unless he could be satisfied the bill would not put America at a competitive disadvantage to other countries. At Sunday’s meeting, he admitted the effect on jobs and trade balances could not be ascertained until a treaty is produced in a Copenhagen meeting. A retort that Americans do not want Europeans telling us how to run our economy was met with robust applause.

The upshot: Rep. Kirk said he had definitely got the message but refused to go beyond that phrase.


It’s going to be a lonnnggggggg…primary season for Kirk.

Seals in the 10th District Race

Dear Friend,

Thank you for all of the kind letters, phone calls, and e-mails urging me to run for Congress.  I am writing to tell you that today I am indeed announcing my candidacy to represent the people of the 10th district.

I am running to help the families of our community get back on solid ground.  I have been struck by how this economic downturn has hit people of all communities and economic strata.  I will work to make healthcare and energy costs more affordable, while focusing on job growth for our community.  I know that President Obama shares these values, and I look forward to the opportunity to join President Obama in working towards a brighter future for our children and our community.

You also know that I have raised the alarm about our national debt.  Once we have put out this economic fire, we must put our fiscal house back in order.  In the long run, if we don’t control our costs and reduce our debt, we risk not only our prosperity but that of future generations.  I support President Obama’s commitment to reduce the deficits and I will work with him to achieve it.

Abroad, we must continue to engage with the world to combat global warming, support human rights, and contain belligerent regimes such as Iran and North Korea.  And I will continue to be a strong ally in Israel’s quest for a sustainable and secure peace.

I look forward to talking and working with you on these and other issues in the coming months.  If we can keep the focus on problem solving instead of partisanship, there’s nothing we can’t do.



Dan Seals

Egregious Violations of Religious Funding in the Budget

I tend to find Rob Sherman a bit of a gadfly, but he’s also often correct.  Eric Zorn has a round-up of funds going directly to religious institutions for what are not solely secular purposes:


Here are the three worst examples of blatantly unconstitutional expenditures that I’ve found, so far:

On page 170, a grant of $700,000, your tax dollars, to St. Malachy School for “costs associated with capital improvements.” There can’t possibly be a single legislator in all of Springfield who doesn’t know that Article X, Section 3, of the Illinois Constitution prohibits grants of tax dollars to parochial schools, yet there are dozens of similar grants throughout the Bill.

On page 54, a grant of $150,000, your tax dollars, to Keshet for “costs associated with construction of a cabin at Camp Chi,” a Jewish camp IN WISCONSIN!  It’s bad enough that the legislature is making unconstitutional donations to religious organizations, but now they’re making donations to religious facilities in OTHER STATES!  Hey, I went to Camp Chi one year in the ’60s.  It was right around when I was Bar Mitzvahed.  It’s a great camp, but you can’t go taxing people to support a place where children are sent to have a religious experience, particularly when the place is out-of-state!

Here’s the most outrageous of them all:  On pages 335 and 336, a grant of $140,000, your tax dollars, “to Catholic Bishop of Chicago” (that’s Cardinal George) “for general infrastructure at St. Martin de Porres Church.”


My only criticism is of this comment:

There can’t possibly be a single legislator in all of Springfield who doesn’t know that Article X, Section 3, of the Illinois Constitution prohibits grants of tax dollars to parochial schools, yet there are dozens of similar grants throughout the Bill.

I’m betting there are many.

More to the point, these sort of funds are very different from allowed grants that go to religious institutions that are providing social services.  In those cases they cannot discriminate and they must not actively proselytize while providing services.  Obviously, a church and a Catholic school are all about proselytizing and thus it’s an inappropriate use of public dollars.

The Jewish camp in Wisconsin is bizarre by even Illinois pork barrel project standards.

Kirk Cannot Beat McKenna in a Primary

Unless there is a third serious contender on the right wing, Kirk is simply not pure enough for the Republican base.


He’s pro-choice, pro-gun control, not anti-gay at least, and doesn’t deny science.  If McKenna primaries him one on one, McKenna takes that race.  The only minor problem for McKenna is the Jack Roeser wing which hates him might put up another candidate that could make the race somewhat messy.



Considering it…

Kirk Says He’s Still Mulling Senate Race

July 10, 2009, 4:18 p.m.
By Shira Toeplitz
Roll Call Staff

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is still considering running for Senate, despite a report Friday afternoon that said he was taking himself out of the race in order to avoid a primary with state Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna.

Kirk told Roll Call over the phone Friday that he was still discussing the race with McKenna going into the weekend and that a published Washington Post report that he was dropping out of the race was incorrect.

Kirk and McKenna met with the Illinois delegation this week to gauge support for their campaigns. At the time, it was unclear who the delegation would back — in part because of Kirk’s vote for the controversial cap-and-trade bill that passed the House recently.

Kirk told Roll Call that he and McKenna would continue to discuss the race over the weekend.

Purity of Essence Branch Was the Push, though The Situation is Unclear on Kirk



Update, 4:17 p.m.: Although Kirk has already told several national Republicans today that he will not run for the Senate, there is an ongoing effort now to convince him to re-think that decision, according to several sources close to the discussions. Pressure is now being brought to bear on Andy McKenna, who, according to knowledgeable sources, had told Republicans insiders that he would not run if Kirk got into the race. Once Kirk signaled he was indeed running, however, McKenna reconsidered and made clear he would in fact stay in.
The plot thickens…

Original Post

Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk (R) will not run for the open seat of Sen. Roland Burris (D) in 2010, a stunning reversal from just 48 hours ago when Kirk signaled to National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) that he would make the race.

Kirk’s decision, a blow to Senate Republicans’ chances in Illinois, came in the wake of Burris’ formal retirement this afternoon.

It also followed a meeting of the Illinois Republican congressional delegation on Thursday in which his colleaguesrefused to back Kirk in a primary against Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna due, in large part, to his vote in favor of President Barack Obama’s climate change bill.

Kirk’s move makes McKenna the almost certain Republican nominee against either state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias or Merchandise Mart CEO Chris Kennedy next fall.


Global warming denial is the only appropriate position in today’s GOP.  Hilarious.