In the final scramble to election, a pattern of dirty tricks and dishonest campaigning seems to be backfiring on Democratic candidates. Some tricks are the results of direct candidate behavior, others coming from the Democratic Party of Illinois and the many well-filled campaign funds of Chairman and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.
1. Judicial Candidate in the Second Lake County Sub-Circuit Patricia Fix, a Democrat, held a press release with Democratic Lake County Chairman Senator Terry Link, and claimed the charges that she stole election signs were "political." Photographs of signs in her personal vehicle parked at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan where she worked? She claimed she was in the process of putting the stolen signs back up! She claimed an unnamed, misguided supporter of hers pulled the signs and gave the stolen merchandise to her. She intended to put them all back up but she was oh, so busy when disaster struck, and she was caught red handed with them. Eyewitnesses who saw her pull the signs were not really mentioned.
A few years ago, the legislature passed a law making it illegal to steal campaign signs. A 17 year veteran prosecutor now in possession of stolen merchandise? Some of her supporters in the many news articles are explaining that the blond lady seen pulling yard signs by witnesses was really bent over those signs, putting them back!
Would a seasoned prosecutor accept those preposterous alibis from a defendant? No. And why hasn't she reported the alleged sign stealer to authorities? She is now on unpaid administrative leave while the Attorney General's office investigates this whole mess.
Her opponent Luis Berrones, a well-respected associate judge, is running in a gerrymandered judicial district designed to elect Democrats. Who would you rather have on the bench deciding cases and deciding who pays fines and who goes to jail or who goes free?
2. State Representative Candidate Scott Drury, who constantly reminds us that he is a former federal prosecutor who will clean up Springfield, was the beneficiary of a vile ad that was so blatantly false that WBBM Newsradio 78 pulled it off the air. The ad falsely accused opponent, Republican Mark Shaw, of being pro-concealed gun carry in public parks (he's not) and schools (he's not). Who ran those deliberately false ads? A Michael Madigan controlled PAC. You know, the Speaker of the House, Michael Madigan, who is also chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. The one who Drury is silent about voting for if he gets elected for yet another term as Speaker of the House. That's his definition of cleaning up Springfield?
Three decades as Speaker of the House. A trick so dirty that a radio station turned down money to run it? Drury put out an e-mail asking the ad stop running, but at the same time not really disavowing the contents. Ethics? Former Federal Prosecutor?
Shaw is now using that e-mail as proof that the "independent" Madigan PAC fund and the Drury campaign fund are coordinating their efforts, in violation of the law and campaign regulations in Illinois, and has filed a complaint with the Illinois State Board of Elections, a toothless tiger whose membership is appointed and confirmed by Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and Governor Pat Quinn. Almost as similar as Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, investigating a sign stealing Democrat candidate for Judge?
All the Democrats in my State Senate and State House Districts claim to be "independents," including Drury. None will vow not to vote for Michael Madigan for another term as Speaker of the House, or John Cullerton for another term as Senate President. After the thousands of dollars Madigan and Cullerton have showered on them and their campaigns? Can we conclude that Drury, Nekritz and Morrison are bought and sold by the Democratic leadership that has tanked Illinois over the past decade?
3. Tap Dancing Sam Yingling, Democratic candidate for State House running against the well-respected incumbent Sandy Cole, has been telling the world in print ads and television ads that he has refused pay raises as Avon Township and returns all the money to taxpayers. Turns out the raises have been placed in a trust fund controlled by Sam Yingling, and not returned to the Township or taxpayers.
Tap Dancing Sam still hasn't come up with an explanation nor has he taken responsibility as to how Avon Township paid out $450,000 to settle a federal lawsuit for illegal political firings of Avon Township employees that occurred when he first took office as Avon Township Supervisor, other than to complain the case was settled without his knowledge or consent.
4. "Independent" Democrat Melinda Bush is running for State Senate in the 31st District against Republican Joe Neal in a seat being vacated by retiring Suzie Schmidt, a seat held by my late great friend, Senator Adeline Geo-Karis, for 30 years. Geo has to be rolling over in her grave watching flyweight Bush pretend to be a Republican. But then again, Michael Bond pretended to be a Republican until ousted after a single term.
"Independent" Bush touts her tax cutting, job creating, ethics strengthening, pay raise refusals, and budget cutting days on the Lake County Board, all while voting against three consecutive county board budgets that benefitted taxpayers that held the line on expenditures and allowed the County Board a AAA Bond Rating. Turns out she also voted for a bunch of tax and fee increases. She is so "independent" she has accepted well over a half-million dollars in funds from Democrats and unions to run for office. She won't say that she will be independently voting not to seat John Cullerton as Senate President for yet another term, certainly not after receiving all that money and union cash. She allows "Personal PAC" to distort Joe Neal's stance on abortions as being stone aged. Even liberal Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn derided those distortions about Neal.
This doesn't matter to Melinda Bush. Her and Tap Dancing Sam Yingling make for quite a pair in those northern legislative districts in the 10th! All symbolism and no substance.
5. Julie Morrison, Democrat running for the Senate Seat being vacated by Susan Garrett, is attempting to portray her opponent, Dr. Arie Friedman, as a tea party crazed lunatic who would allow women to die rather than let them get abortions. Dr. Friedman is a pro-choice candidate! She is following the same failing script as Brad Schneider in his lame attempts to portray Congressman Robert Dold as a tea party lunatic. Morrison bravely hides behind Personal PAC ads slamming Friedman for being pro-choice. Go figure that one out!
Both portrayals fail and both Morrison and Schneider are struggling in their races in districts that have been gerrymandered to guarantee elections of Democrats. A pro-choice doctor, who would violate the Hippocratic oath he took and allow people to die? Neither Morrison nor Schneider can point to a single policy of their party they would change, including tax raises and increased spending and deficits. It took Morrison nearly eight months to arrive at a decision to support the "temporary" lame duck midnight personal income tax increases of two years now. Now she would let them expire. Just like the last set of "temporary" income tax increases that later became permanent? Or the "temporary" toll way fees that were raised this year, that were scheduled to end once the original tolls were "temporarily" foisted on taxpayers way back in the 1950's? Can you see her fretting that long over every single vote she would be required to take while seated as a State Senator?
All those Democratic dirty tricks by the above pretenders. All cynically designed to mislead voters about their candidates.
I still believe the voters in the 10th Congressional District are too smart to fall for this type of nonsense. For the sake of all of us living in this area, I sincerely hope that I am right.