Sunday, January 10, 2010

F Words

Howard Dean is notorious for once telling FoxNews ...
I am tired of coming to the South and fighting elections on guns, God and gays.
Transcript: Howard Dean on 'FOX News Sunday'
If Dean were ever to set foot in Lake County1, he would not find himself fighting the three Gs. He would be up against the three Fs:
Female, Famous & Funded
That seems to be the local political mantra, at least when it comes to the GOP. Your LakeCountyEye has noticed that every GOP recruiter parachuted into Lake County brings a checklist with three checkboxes at the top:
This well documented behavior typically occurs in situations where there is ...
  1. An open or Democratically held seat
  2. In a moderate or Republican-leaning district
  3. Where the GOP has no one in the batting circle except wealthy middle-aged businessmen
  4. More specifically, businessmen with little political experience but plenty of uber-right-wing 'tude
As everyone knows this is a sure-fire formula for disaster-at-the-polls2.

So more often than not, the cooler heads that prevail are heard saying,
Criminy, we need to get a real candidate in there!
Which is about when a recruiter3 arrives with checklist and marching orders: Find a candidate who is a woman (female), with name recognition (famous), and can raise money (funded).

This is what happened last year in the 10th Congressional District. Some relevant details can be skimmed from this Chicago Tribune story ...
10th Congressional District election: GOP state Rep. Elizabeth Coulson wins endorsement from former U.S. Rep. John Porter
Also running in the Feb. 2 Republican primary are Kenilworth business owner Robert Dold, Highland Park pediatrician Arie Friedman, Winnetka business owner Richard Green and Lake Forest commodities and options trader Paul Hamann.
Meanwhile, over in Representative District 59, the prospective field was so weak they settled on someone who had already signed her opponent's nominating petition. The Daily Herald has the fallout of these 11th hour maneuverings ...
Hebda off ballot in state House District 59 race
Two other Republicans - attorney Dan Sugrue and business owner Mohan Manian, both of Green Oaks - also are on the ballot.
Finally, in the 8th Congressional District they've dropped all pretense. The Daily Herald reports how one candidate makes a virtue of necessity ...
Rodriguez says gender matters in GOP race
Six Republicans are seeking the party's nomination in the 8th District. They are: [Maria] Rodriguez; [Joe] Walsh, of Winnetka; Dirk Beveridge of Barrington; John Dawson of Barrington; Chris Geissler of Barrington; and Greg Jacobs of Mundelein.
Elizabeth Coulson, Cynthia Hebda and Maria Rodriguez all entered their contests late. In contrast to their primary opponents, gender-wise, the three are roses among thorns. All three are public office holders with at least a minimum of political experience. Presumably each has the necessaries to raise enough money to be competitive.

The LakeCountyEye magic crystal ball predicts that Coulson & Rodriguez will easily win their primaries. Hebda will win her primary if she is on the ballot. And has a reasonable chance of winning even if she is thrown off the ballot.

But local party rank-and-file support for each of the three, not surprisingly, is tepid at best. Most precinct committeemen do not want some outside power-broker deciding who should be on their ballot. So if Coulson or Rodriguez or Hebda expects to win in November, she will have to dance with the one who brung her.

1Ha ha were you caught napping? Howard Dean was in Lake County last Halloween:
Tenth Dems Fundraiser hosting Gov. Howard Dean

Howard Dean Talks to the Illinois Tenth Congressional District Democrats
LakeCountyEye operatives are requested to make up their own Howard Dean/Halloween limerick here.

2Ha ha napping again? Not always a disaster:
Elect Dan Duffy
Ditto, btw, for Dan Duffy limericks.

3Surname: Criminy


wombat said...

been sleeping in the 8th? let me catch u up... maria was first in (not late in), and will be first out. she's a terrible candidate--stunning how unimpressive, how little she knows of issues. Beveridge has same amount of township endorsments, and has the endorsement of business leaders--AND is Famous--well known locally and in DC for Troop Support movement. word is Maria has NOT raised money. not a single direct mail piece. Beveridge has dropped 6 already. even joe walsh, 2x loser, will do better. Chris Geissler is impressive, but too young, and not well organized.

Rons issues said...

wombat is right...remember, she's only the manager of itty bitty long grove anyway... Beveridge even has national blogger attention... and even National Journal..

Barney Baxter said...

hi wombat,
hi rons issues,

Long Grove Village President Maria Rodriguez running for Congress

"Rodriguez will be the third Republican to enter the race. She's set to face Greg Jacobs of Mundelein and John Dawson of Barrington in the February 2010 GOP primary."


"Although she's a relatively late entry, one local GOP leader believes Rodriguez is the front-runner for the party's nomination."
Daily Herald 9/9/09

I don't disagree with anything you say. Rodriguez has been a lackluster fundraiser, to the chagrin of her backers.

I won't go into who is the better or more deserving candidate.

But speaking just from personal experience, direct mail is a waste of dollars, particularly for down-ballot primary races.

Given the attenuated primary season, small matters like name recognition, gender, ballot position all get magnified out of proportion.

My money is on Rodriguez in this one. Nothing personal, just business.

Wishing the best for your candidate, nonetheless.


Anonymous said...

Wombat, have you seen her list of endorsements vs. all the other candidates. I think somebody is in the know. Beveridge is turning himself into a laughing stock with his "Business Leaders" endorsement. Almost as funny as Walsh's Facebook endorsement. She has assembled a very strong grassroots movement that are working very hard. What's funny is Walsh tries to nail her on being just a village mayor. He is 0-2 in elections, she is 4-0

Anonymous said...

Wow! Hard to believe you guys are watching the same race. Walsh has the following endorsements.
•Illinois Federation For Right to Life
•Tea Party Palatine
•Lake County Tea Party
•Illinois Conservatives on Facebook
•National Taxpayers United of Illinois
•Republican Assembly of Illinois

Now I realise that Eye discounts the Tea Party movement, however Walsh's warriors will walk the 8th for Joe. The right wing "fringe" that Beveridge and Eye dismiss will work tirelessly. This race is bigger than you think. I will check back in on Feb 3. No doubt you will explain away Walsh's victory as a fluke, and place blame on too may candidates.

Barney Baxter said...

hi Anon 9:15,

I don't discount the Tea Party movement. Endorsements are another thing though -- endorsements are like yardsigns, they don't vote.

In a contest where there are 5 or 6 generic candidates, the vote tends to be evenly distributed. And a candidate needs to stand out from the rest to get the advantage. Geissler has ballot position. Rodriguez is differentiated by gender. She also has name recognition -- it is small but not at zero, which is probably enough.

If Walsh's warriors knock on enough doors and make enough calls maybe they can turn things around. I'd be tickled pink to see an upset in the 8th.