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Elections 2012

Illinois Primary 2012: Is State Rep. Kelly Cassidy Heading for Victory on Tuesday?… and More

WAITING FOR MITT ROMNEY: GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has a likely Illinois sympathiser in "Fido" of the 4600 North Block of Central Park Avenue in Chicago who signaled his affinity last week for a vehicle's roof, a place once occupied by Romney's own pet during a family vacation.

(Chicago, IL) – Storming Towards Tuesday – State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) is campaigning furiously like someone who wants to win on Tuesday. She is aiming to defeat her Democratic primary opponent, lesbian activist Paula Basta who has mounted a tough challenge.

But can she?

At summer’s start, Cassidy’s campaign lurched agonizingly and slowly forward, worrying key supporters. But Cassidy has been jamming the petal-to-metal since fall.

She has outraised Basta $203,150 to $139,135. Of that amount, Cassidy brought in $114,066 in big-dollar donations of $1,000 or more since January 1, 2012. Basta has raised only $7,550 in similar sized donations in the same period. Basta had $63,697 on hand at the end of December and Cassidy, $40,467. For the final push, Cassidy accumulated twice the financial fire-power.

Since January 1st, organized labor heavy weights, such as SEIU and AFSCME, have donated $15,000 and $5,000 respectively. Business interests have also backed Cassidy. Commodities trader Richard Dennis gave $5,000; AT&T kicked in $3,000; the Chicago Chamber of Commerce donated $1,500; and businessman Fred Eychaner, $2,000. Political allies also wrote checks. 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman gave $2,000; House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) sent $1,000; and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle also handed over $1,000.

The appointed, first-term lawmaker has used the money to wage an aggressive air war. Cassidy’s campaign has dropped 12 mail pieces into homes of voters across the district compared to three for Basta. Additionally, groups such as AFSCME, SEIU, the Illinois Federal of Teachers, and Personal PAC have also bombarded voters with mail in behalf of Cassidy.

In addition to the hail of mail, Cassidy and her volunteers have bruised knuckles, banging on just under 11,000 voter doors. Those volunteers have included: 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman, 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore, Osterman, State Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago), State Rep. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, 49th Ward Committee Dave Fagus, and 48th Ward Committeeman Carol Ronen.

And 24 hours before the election, Cassidy was still at. She and one her sons were greeting likely voters at the Howard El stop on Monday evening.

Can Cassidy win on Tuesday? Yes, she can.

Political Clash Round II – 18 Years Later. State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) is actively pushing Judge Lanie Berger in race for a seat on the Cook County 8th judicial subcircuit on Chicago’s north side. One of Berger’s five opponents is ex-State Rep. Ellis Levin (D-Chicago). Feigenholtz defeated Levin, a long-standing lawmaker, in the 1994 Democratic primary. And she’s looking to prevent a Levin comeback.

A veteran condo association lawyer, Levin may be a sleeper in this contest. Lingering name recognition among older voters, the most reliable of voters to have at your back, and more than two decades of condo work likely have boosted Levin’s name id among younger condo dwellers along the condominium-studded lakefront.

Additionally, Levin is playing to win. He has self-funded his campaign, dumping $58,575 into the race. Berger has raised only $40,969.

We’ll see if Feigenholtz can help stop Levin on Tuesday.

Don’t Let the Door Hit You in the Butt on the Way Out Illinois House GOP Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) wants indicted State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) out of the House win or lose on Tuesday.

“In light of the extremely damaging charges contained last week’s federal indictment of Representative Derrick Smith (D-Chicago), I believe he should resign his position immediately,” Cross said in statement on Monday.

Listen to Cross’ comments here:

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch – Smith’s Democratic primary opponent, Republican Tom Swiss, broke the $100,000 self-funding barrier last week, notifying the Illinois Board of Elections today, Monday, that he has now officially spent $100,644. That means, under Illinois law, in the next 18 hours all campaign spending caps come off. It’s Katie bar the vault–if there’s time.

Money Still Gushing In – Even as the primary clock ticks down, donors are still rushing up to give candidates money. And lots of it. State Rep. Randy Ramey (R-West Chicago), who is battling State Senator Carole Pankau (R-Istaska) for a senate seat in DuPage County, reported $15,000 in contributions on Monday. The Illinois Lunch Pail Republicans PAC gave Ramey $5,000 and State Rep. Roger Eddy (R-Hutsonville), who recently abandoned his own primary reelection effort, handed over $10,000 to his House colleague…

State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), who is locked in a primary fight, reported on Monday $13,000 in new campaign cash, of which education reform powerhouse Stand for Illinois Children gave $7,500… Chicago Democrat Kenny Johnson, who is battling Preckwinkle ally Christian Mitchell for an open House seat, today reported $17,300 in new contributions, including $10,000 from Cook County Board of Review member Larry Rogers and $7,300 from 10th Ward Alderman John Pope.

In Western Illinois, where ex-State Rep. Mike Boland (D-East Moline) is fighting State Senator Mike Jacobs (D-Moline) for the area’s senate seat, a fight which is an extension of a family feud that extends to the senate tenure of Jacobs’ father, Denny, the Laborers Local 309 PAC dropped $3,000 into Boland’s cash-starved campaign on Friday… Judge Andrea Schleifer of DesPlaines, who’s hunting for a seat on the 12th subcircuit in northern Cook County reported $7,900 in contributions on Monday, including $3,500 from her own purse.

Don’t Quote MeRumor and gossip that’s not quite fit to print, but, what the heck, we’re including it anyway as a public service because we’re sure you’ll find it as titillating as we do… One Two Many ­– Illinois GOP Treasurer Dan Rutherford irritated Mitt Romney’s campaign staff over the weekend by insisting that his assistant accompany him on the campaign plane carrying Romney and his wife Ann, sources say… Was the Writing on the Wall? Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey’s announcement that he was abandoning his 32nd Ward Committeeman reelection effort against 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack came on the heels of a meeting between Wauguespack and Mayor Rahm Emanuel who pledged his support to the alderman in the race, according to a source… Waiting in the Weeds – Filing deadline for Chicago’s Local School Elections is Friday, March 23, and slates of parent reformers, seeking to oust some rubber-stamp council members backed by their principals, are lying low until the last possible moment to file their candidacies so as not tip off school officials.

Tomorrow’s News… Chicago Fox TV reporter Dane Placko is working on a story targeting the City of Chicago’s use of rental trucks…

What’s a Work Day? Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have no public events… Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) will be touring his Chicago north side district visiting and greeting election judges…

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and Huffington Post blogger, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


2 thoughts on “Illinois Primary 2012: Is State Rep. Kelly Cassidy Heading for Victory on Tuesday?… and More

  1. David: Thanks so much for your great coverage of the primary elections! I am really enjoying it.

    Ann Williams

    Posted by Ann Williams | March 19, 2012, 10:36 PM
  2. Ann,

    I take it as a public service to feed the “junkie” habit, which is, for us, polls, pac contributions, etc.

    Thank you very much for reading, Ann.


    Posted by David Ormsby | March 20, 2012, 6:45 AM

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