Partisan Democrat

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Katherine Harris News With An Illinois Twist

Hotline is reporting that virtually all of US Senate candidate and 2000 Florida recount sweetheart Katherine Harris' campaign staff quit. Again.

Last April Harris lost "her chief political strategist, her campaign manager, her spokeswoman, her director of field operations and even a traveling aide who helps hand out stickers at campaign appearances," as the Orlando Sentinel reported the first exodus.

This time she is losing:
Glen Hodas, Harris's campaign manager, her spokesperson, Chris Ingram, and Pat Thomas, her field director. The status of Harris's chief fundraiser, Erin Delullo, is not clear.

You may remember Glen Hodas from his work in Illinois. You can find his bio here.

H/T: [TPM Muckraker]

Quick Question

Can you name all of the statewide Republican candidates? There's only six of them, how hard can it be?

Stumped? You can find the answers here.

Five of the six are running against incumbents yet outside of the Governor's race they get no mention ever. Do these people really exist?

New Poll Shows Blagojevich Widening Lead, Topinka Increasingly Unpopular

A new Rasmussen poll shows Blagojevich with an 11 point lead on Topinka:

After trailing earlier in the campaign season, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) now leads Republican State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka by 11-points in his bid for re-election. The latest Rasmussen Reports poll shows Blagojevich with 45% of the vote to 34% for Topinka.

It also shows Topinka with a 10 point favorability gap:

Governor Blagojevich is viewed favorably by 48%, unfavorably by 49%. Topinka is viewed favorably by 40%, unfavorably by 50%.

The poll was taken July 6th. The previous Rasmussen poll taken on April 18th had Topinka leading Blagojevich 44% - 38%.

Hat tip: [Capitol Fax]

Top Republican Aide Pleads Guilty, Fingers Boss

I know that Republicans like to claim that corruption in Illinois was limited to George Ryan, nevermind the fact that about 70 people went down in that investigation, and now another Republican corruption scandal has borne fruit.

This one is the Lee Daniels corruption scandal. While he was head of the IL GOP he had House GOP staffers stay on state payroll and falsify their expense reports so they could subsidize campaigns with state money. They literally ran campaigns with state money on state time. Sound like anyone else you know?

Yesterday top Daniels aide Michael (the Anti-Christ) Tristano was sentenced to a year and a day for his role in the fraud. This likely is not the end of the investigation as noted here in the Sun-Times:

Lawyers also disclosed in court that Michael Tristano, 58, Daniels' former chief of staff, cooperated covertly by attempting to record conversations with another individual over the phone.

Tristano's lawyer, Jeffrey Steinback, would not say who his client called, but it has been apparent over the last several months that Tristano is providing information about his old boss.

I thought I saw some news organization that wasn't even hedging, they were flat out claiming that Daniels was the target but I can't find it. It must have been on tv.

I'd like to know if any of the state workers were used to help Topinka in 1998. As we know she's no stranger to accusations of having state workers do campaign work on state time as has been alleged by her former chief of staff and lover and was also alleged separately by contract employees in her office. Of course she denies it. Of course she does.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Lessons Learned

With full apologies to Think Progress I'm copying their entire post because it's too good not to:

Today the National Journal published a list of salaries for the 403 White House staffers. Here are the four most overpaid:

Deborah Nirmala MisirEthics Advisor$114,688
Erica M. DornburgEthics Advisor$100,547
Stuart BakerDirector for Lessons Learned$106,641
Melissa M. CarsonDirector of Fact Checking$46,500

And yes, there is a White House Director for Lessons Learned. We aren’t making this up.

Do you think the Director of Lessons Learned learned that they ought to fire the fact checker? You get what you pay for I guess.

Well Rahm Emanuel took the ball and ran with it:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) released the following statement in advance of delivery on the House floor:

"Mr. Speaker, yesterday the President said we continue to be wise about how we spend the people's money.

"Then why are we paying over $100,000 for a 'White House Director of Lessons Learned'?

"Maybe I can save the taxpayers $100,000 by running through a few of the lessons this White House should have learned by now.

"Lesson 1: When the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of State say you are going to war without enough troops, you're going to war without enough troops.

"Lesson 2: When 8.8 billion dollars of reconstruction funding disappears from Iraq, and 2 billion dollars disappears from Katrina relief, it's time to demand a little accountability.

"Lesson 3: When you've 'turned the corner' in Iraq more times than Danica Patrick at the Indy 500, it means you are going in circles.

"Lesson 4: When the national weather service tells you a category 5 hurricane is heading for New Orleans, a category 5 hurricane is heading to New Orleans.

"I would also ask the President why we're paying for two 'Ethics Advisors' and a 'Director of Fact Checking.'

"They must be the only people in Washington who get more vacation time than the President.

"Maybe the White House could consolidate these positions into a Director of Irony."

Good stuff.