Archive for November, 2006

With the boy prince

November 8, 2006

Another photo by Daniel B. Honigman from the Stroger rally, this one featuring Medill reporter Lee Whack in the background:

Stroger and Lee
Is it me or is Lee laughing at Todd?

PS … Here‘s the Sun-Times on the Peraica/Stroger ballot-counting problems…

— posted by Robert Mentzer

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Time for bed

November 8, 2006

I don’t think Peraica is going to make up the margin, but who knows? I will have to check back in in the morning.

Nationally, this was a tremendous wave election for Democrats, with gains in the House and the Senate that exceeded expectations, and a slew of exciting, tightly contested races. Soon enough all the loose ends will be tied up. We’ll see what happens.

Stroger vs. Peraica: still counting

November 8, 2006

Okay, I am back. Just saw Todd Stroger’s deputy campaign manager on CBS-2 saying that 89 percent of “our precincts” are in and Stroger has a “healthy margin.” There’s something to that–they do have a healthy margin. But Peraica has made up ground even in the two hours that I’ve been at the bar. Surely it’s not a good sign for Stroger that most of the ballots that remain will go to Peraica.

I voted for Peraica, and I hope he wins. At this point, it still seems unlikely that he’ll make up the necessary ground. But there’s no question that the remaining districts are more his districts than Stroger’s. Let’s see what happens…

[Crossposted to AMillionMonkeys…]

–posted by Robert Mentzer

Colorful characters at the Stroger HQ

November 7, 2006

Photos by Daniel B. Honigman from Stroger’s victory rally:

DC Mad Hatter

Lil’ Scotty, 61, a blues singer and South Side preacher

Lil Scotty

D.C. Mad Hatter, a local store owner and clothing designer.

At least something good came of Stroger’s victory.

UPDATE … Some weird ballot-counting snafus in this race. It ain’t over.

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Roskam wins

November 7, 2006

Damn.

Bean keeps her seat

November 7, 2006

So that is something.

Oberweis with a limp

November 7, 2006

Hilary Masell Oswald reports from ex-Speaker Hastert’s party that in attendance was perennial Illinois social conservative candidate Jim Oberweis, mysteriously on crutches. (?)

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Blagojevich: Illinois is not great because of its topography

November 7, 2006

Blagojevich in his victory speech:

What makes Illinois great is not its shape, it’s not it’s size. It’s not even its climate.

So what is it, Rod? I don’t know, I kind of drifted off. I think something to do with hard-working families…

[Crossposted to AMillionMonkeys]

— posted by Robert Mentzer

I hope Tammy Duckworth wins

November 7, 2006

Roskam still ahead in the 6th, though still fewer than half of districts reporting, according to the Trib.  I am unabashedly rooting for Duckworth in this race.  If Roskam ends up on top, it will be because of his blatantly xenophobic mailers and TV commercials.  That sucks.  So I am still hoping that later-reporting districts will flip this one.

In the Cook County portion of Duckworth’s district, it’s worth noting, she’s ahead by 10 points with a little less than 40 percent of precincts reporting. Everyone’s watching this one very closely.

UPDATE … Just shown on WGN-TV, the race is at 51 percent Roskam, 49 percent Duckworth with 75 percent of districts reporting. A nail-biter…

— posted by Robert Mentzer

The Peraica/Collins connection

November 7, 2006

Phil CollinsTony Peraica

From Kristin Markway: Some lady at the Jesse White headquarters, watch Tony Peraica on television, observed, “Doesn’t he look like Phil Collins?” And you know, Kristin says, he kind of does

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Jesse White: Party hard, but not too hard

November 7, 2006

Kristin Markway reports: Jesse White, he of the open bar, closed his speech by saying, “Go ahead, enjoy the food, enjoy the drinks.  Just remember, we take away 650 drivers’ licenses a year.”

No joke here.  That’s reasonable enough.

— posted by Robert Mentzer

County voting machines update

November 7, 2006

Correspondent Matt Lynch reports in with further details on the county’s vote-counting difficulties. 

“Chicago’s coming along fine, it’s got about 56 percent reporting,” Matt says. “But the county had a problem with the computers in early voting. I’ve now been told that they took the early votes out and put them at the end of the queue.”

What caused the problem is unclear, and it’s also unclear whether moving early voters to the end of the queue means they won’t just encounter the same problems later. But according to the Web site, the county has now counted about one-third of the votes.

NOTE … Peraica leads Stroger by 25 points in county voting, possibly supporting my theory. Worth noting though that Stroger looks to be way ahead in city voting.

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Everybody still voted yes

November 7, 2006

According to ChicagoElections.com, with about half the districts reporting our friend the unqualified judge, Robert J. Kowalski, has garnered basically the same ratio of yes-to-no votes as all the other judges.  Maybe a little less. So much for an informed electorate…

(And yes, I know that he’s planning to retire in December anyway.  Still.)

— posted by Robert Mentzer

The numbers crawl in

November 7, 2006

We’re watching numbers come in here and here, and it is kind of weird. Seems awfully slow. The county has managed to count 1.56 percent of the votes so far. That seems low to us, two hours after the polls have closed.

UPDATE … Now comes word that there is a jam-up in vote-counting. The voting machines are reportedly jammed with early-voting ballots, and the county can’t even get to the ballots cast today.

This strikes me as potentially a positive development for Peraica, because early voters in Cook Co. might be more likely to vote a straight Democratic ticket. Just a thought.

PS … I have no idea if that makes sense. It might just be wishful thinking on my part…

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Tony Peraica’s cash bar

November 7, 2006

Look, not everyone can be like Jesse White, who–Kristin Markway reports–has not just the tumblers but also an open bar for beer, wine and cola. We understand that not every pol can offer that. We’re very understanding.

But Damian Buttel tells me of a thirsty reporter who inquired at Tony Peraica’s bar about possibly getting a Miller Lite and was told to cough up $7.75. That’s U.S. dollars, folks!

Prices at Peraica’s party’s bar, which is being held at the Intercontinental Hotel on Michigan Ave.:
Coca-cola = $4.75
Miller Lite = $7.75
Imported beer = $8.50
Bottle of wine = $9 [NOTE: Like an airline mini-bottle, to be clear.]

UPDATE … Jesse White just declared the winner on CLTV over Republican Dan Rutherford for the Ill. Secretary of State race.

— posted by Robert Mentzer

They do have similar hair

November 7, 2006

austin_powers_512k_standard.jpgJBT

Breaking: Logan Molyneux reports that JBT’s campaign headquarters is playing the Austin Powers theme song for some reason…

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Umholtz found!

November 7, 2006

Through intrepid and dogged reporting, Catherine Crane has located Stu Umholtz.  He is on the train, heading to JBT’s event.  Informed that JBT’s people had twice told Crane they weren’t expecting him, he reportedly said, “Well that’s my plan.”

But you have to assume they won’t be turning him away once he arrives. So I think we can call that one mystery solved.

Still working on tracking the K-Fed Effect, however…

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Blagojevich wins?

November 7, 2006

Now comes word from the AP that Blagojevich has won reelection. With, like, 0 percent of districts reporting, they’re calling it. Based on exit polls I guess.

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Dan Hynes has questionable judgment on climate control

November 7, 2006

Reporter Kristin Markway says the headquarters for Comptroller candidate Dan Hynes has turned on heat lamps indoors for some reason. “We’re all baking,” Kristin says. “We’re sweating, it’s disgusting, and it’s only going to get worse as more people show up.”

Okay, yes, this is not the most hard-hitting election blog you are reading tonight. What do you want? It’s early. We’re waiting for the numbers. We don’t have numbers (yet), but we do have gossip and trivial gripes!

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Whither the K-Fed vote?

November 7, 2006

How does news of Britney Spears’ divorce affect the midterm elections?  More or less than news of Saddam Hussein’s death sentence?

Just wondering.

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Where’s Stu?

November 7, 2006

Has anybody seen Stewart Umholtz, Republican candidate for Attorney General? His people told ace Medill reporters Catherine Crane that Umholtz would be with Judy Baar Topinka tonight, but on a phone call JBT’s people said they weren’t expecting him. Another phone call to Illinois Republican Party headquarters uncovered someone who said they thought Umholtz was planning to be in Tazwell County tonight.

So he could be anywhere…

UPDATE … Now comes word that the Republican party reportedly can’t get in touch with Umholtz’s campaign manager. Have you seen him? I mean, we can pass the info along to Illinois Republicans…

UPDATE #2 … Still missing! Crane continues to get the run-around from Republicans at JBT’s and the state headquarters…

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Mark Kirk not registered to vote in his own district?

November 7, 2006

A friend tells me he saw a report on WGN that Congressman Mark Kirk (R-10) was improperly registered and pollworkers forced him to cast a provisional ballot this morning. I can’t find the clip but I’m sure my source is reliable…

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Sleep in, vote late in the suburbs

November 7, 2006

From WBBM 780:

A Cook County Judge ordered two suburban polling places to remain open late — the 7th Precinct polling place, at 1909 S. Laramie Ave. in Cicero; and the 92nd Precinct at 200 Glenwood/Lansing Road in Glenwood will remain open until 8 p.m., Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Marcy Jensen said. The two precincts opened about 90 minutes late this morning.

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Voting for judges, and against one in particular

November 7, 2006

Well my ballot is in, and despite traditional practices in Chicago I’ve decided to only vote once this year.

Boy, that ballot sure includes a lot of tedious yes/no votes for judges, doesn’t it? But your correspondent dutifully went through each and every one, using the cheat sheet I printed out from the very helpful VoteforJudges.org, which we recommend. Makes voting for judges slightly less of a waste of time!

Now even if you don’t care to vote for every single judge on the ballot, do take a moment to vote against Robert J. Kowalski. He’s the only judge on the ballot who received a ‘no’ recommendation from every bar association surveyed by Vote for Judges. That includes the bar associations of Cook County and Illinois State, the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. (Here’s why they don’t like him, I guess.)

Here is a story by Medill’s Hilary Masell Oswald about judicial elections–do not miss her sidebar at the bottom of the story about how there is no cap on campaign contributions to judges, which seems crazy.

UPDATE … Three more judges to vote against, if you’re so inclined.

— posted by Robert Mentzer

Medill’s Election Night 2006 coverage is a go

November 2, 2006

Check back in this space on Nov. 7 for continuous updates on Illinois’ most important and hotly contested races.