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May 10, 2006

The field narrows (and narrows again)

Added May 11: Hal Bayne joined the ranks of the departed this afternoon. Probably won't make that much difference since he was the longest of the long shots.

Anyway, field is down to five now. Anyone else going to drop out before Saturday?

(From May 10) The D/A-QCO reports this afternoon that Amy Stockwell is withdrawing from contention for the nomination to replace Lane Evans as the Dem congressional candidate. She endorsed Sen. John Sullivan.

Couple of questions: Is Stockwell's announcement the first step in a down-district unity move?

If so, will RICO Dems folo with a unity move of their own, getting behind the Q-C candidate viewed most favorably down-district?

Posted by jcb at May 10, 2006 06:09 PM


The only vote Stockwell brings to Sullivan is her own. She has no following and had no support in the race to replace Lane.

Posted by: KateNelson at May 10, 2006 06:27 PM

If Sullivan could get Mellon out then he might have a chance. Mellon is getting good support pulling votes from Sullivan.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 10, 2006 06:52 PM

Stockwell's announcement is good news for Sullivan and bad news for our Quad City candidates. Go ahead and try to minimize Stockwell's support, but there's no doubt this gives Sullivan a few mph of momentum and naturally puts more pressure on one of our Rock Island County candidates to withdraw before this weekend. The drama continues.

Posted by: political wind at May 10, 2006 07:55 PM

I've said it before - too many RICO Dem's and Sullivan will waltz in. Stockwell's backing out, although not a big factor, only makes this more likely.

Posted by: havinfun at May 10, 2006 09:06 PM

I am an elected Rock Island County Precinct Committeeman with a listed phone number. Only one candidate has contacted me personally and asked for my support and vote. That candidate is Phil Hare and I intend to cast all of my weighted votes for our next Congressman Phil Hare. I simply can't believe that NONE of the other candidates did anything besides send mail.

With less than 400 total voters to contact, only Phil Hare made the effort and took the time to call me. Like I said, it only would take 10-15 calls a day to get through the whole list and I only have had one candidate call. Do you think any of the other candidates will find time to talk to us AFTER they are elected? If you want a Congressman who is willing to talk to you personally and listen to your views, then vote for Phil Hare. If you want a Congressman who wants to hear himself talk, I think you have 3 fine choices and two of them are from Rock Island County.

Posted by: Elected RI Committeeman at May 10, 2006 09:25 PM

I'm a Macon County precinct committeeperson. Phil Hare contacted me personally too. I'm surprised at Amy Stockwell. She never contacted us to try to get support, she's supposed to be pro-choice and pro-labor, and here she is supporting Sullivan instead of Phil Hare. What gives? Won't matter. Stockwell doesnt control many votes at all.

Posted by: RFK fan at May 10, 2006 10:40 PM

As a Rock Island County Democrat, I urge folks to vote for Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert.
A lifelong progressive and liberal Democrat, Schwiebert has what it takes to go to Washington and make a difference. He's progressive on social issues, unlike Sullivan, and effective on economic development and job issues, unlike Hare.
He'll be very strong in the general election, and he'll be a great Congressman with a strong and progressive voice and voting record.

Posted by: anonymous at May 10, 2006 11:13 PM

I wonder who's time Mr. Hare is calling on?

Posted by: havinfun at May 11, 2006 06:54 AM


For 24 years the Dispatch has endorsed and sung the praises of Lane Evans.

Finally, in today's editorial, hidden away in a single sentence, they say that they cannot endorse Hare because he would continue Lane Evans failed policies.

Posted by: Anon at May 11, 2006 08:58 AM

Correction to above anonymous at 8:58. I think the truth of the matter is the Dispatch-Argus endorsed Lane Evans only once throughout his entire career, and that was in 2004. They have been consistently opposed to Evans and his staff
(including Phil Hare and Jerry Lack) for not doing enough to keep businesses from leaving the area.

Posted by: anonymous at May 11, 2006 09:57 AM

Anon@ 111:13 p.m. How can you call Schweibert a progressive and liberal Democrat? He says "let our sister cities take our poor." He has been instrumental in demolishing about 200 units of housing for families with low incomes. He declines to name persons to the Human Relations Commission ( the only vacant commission or board). The city continues to have problems with crime and a high rate of school drop outs. Almost 60 percent of children in Rock Island schools have subsidized meals. That is, more than half come from families with low incomes.
There are many downtown buildings empty. The former Capri, the federal building and on 18th St.
The newly constructed condos have vacancies.
Increasing city income from selling more alcohol and securing more gamblers is not a progressive agenda.

Posted by: Tacky at May 11, 2006 10:50 AM

Momentum is not measured in MPH's.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 11, 2006 12:09 PM

Anon 9:57 a.m. -- you're much closer to right than anon 8:58 a.m. The D/A first endorsed Evans in 2002, and then did so again in 2004. In his first 10 races, the D/A either endorsed his opponent or didn't endorse at all.

Posted by: jcb at May 11, 2006 06:02 PM

((Increasing city income from selling more alcohol and securing more gamblers is not a progressive agenda.))

Maybe not, but evidently those are the same plans Evans and Hare have had for the area. They have let every other type of employment escape from our availability and praised the gambling and tourist directed industries that are replacing the blue-collar workers in this community. Manufacturing and Government jobs have sprinted away from the Quad Cities and surrounding areas during their tenure. This has been their watch and they have failed miserably with the employment issues. People vote their pocket. That is why they are trying to just appoint Hare rather than run him through a Primary where all this would come up in debate. They talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk.

Plus you will find this district is more centrist than progressive, just like most of the Midwest. Just because the National Democratic Party scripts an extreme liberal platform do not expect the majority of the constituents to follow suit. If you do you will find that the Democratic Party will split.

Posted by: NoMorePinocchios at May 11, 2006 07:39 PM

There must be pressure on the three QC candidates to drop out and support one. If their egos won't permit that, then it's becoming likely that Sen. John Sullivan will be our nominee.

Posted by: anonymous at May 11, 2006 10:25 PM

Hare drop - not a chance, he thinks that he is the annointed one (and he knows that this is his only shot at the seat, as he would have absolutely no chance in an open primary)).

Schweibert drop - heck, he's the best local candidate, why on earth would he/ should he drop?

Boland drop - as it appears that Mike Madigan is keeping his hands offf the deal, does anyone else have influence with him?

Looks like Sullivan...

Posted by: havinfun at May 12, 2006 06:55 AM

Sullivan is the most overrated politician still in contention for this nomination. He has had ample opportunity to address important issues and offer up a vision for the future - all he is concerned about is elect-ability. That is important, but believe it or not there is still work to be done when the election is over. I live in Sullivan's senate district and to be honest with you I could not tell you any major issues he has contributed to in the last five years. Why do you think he has not been trumpeting his accomplishments - that is because he does not have any to draw upon. It is good to have a really nice guy who shakes hands and tells you that he "shoots straight", but this is about governing and on that point Sullivan is noticeably devoid of skills and accomplishments. It is not just about who looks the part - it is about ideas. Sullivan seems to be offering none of them. For those that disagree offer up some of Sullivan's great foward-thinking accomplishments. He has been in the State Senate for five years it should not be too difficult to do, but unfortunately it would be very difficult to do. We are asked to go outside of the district for that? -- not a wise proposition.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 12, 2006 08:47 AM


1. Can a person be appointed Precint Committeeman to a Precint in which he does not reside?

The Appointment statute states: “…the Chairman…may fill the vacancy by appointment of a qualified resident of the county…”

The obvious question is: why did the law not say “a qualified resident of the precint”?

The answer is because he doesn’t have to be.

2. Mr. Lefstein makes the argument that the provision which states “whenever a vacancy exists in the office of precint committeeman because …the precint committeeman ceases to reside in the precint…” mandates that precint committeemen must be residents of the precint.

This language does not argue anything of the kind. It just makes clear that once you are elected and you move out of your precint, then the County Chairman decides who will represent the precint.

3. Mr. Lefstein picks up on the “Except as otherwise provided in this act,…” part of the appointment statute to argue that this language would have no meaning unless it applied to (exclude appointed committeemen from) the composition of the Congressional Committee. He further states that it has to apply here because there is no other place where it applies (footnote 6).

Unfortunately for Mr. Lefstein, there is a place it applies.

10 ILCS 5/7-8 (last para)reads: “Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a person is ineligible to hold the position of committeeperson in any committee established pursuant to this Section if he or she is statutorily ineligible to vote in a general election because of conviction of a felony. When a committeeperson is convicted of a felony, the position occupied by that committeeperson shall automatically become vacant.”

Surely exception language should be spelled out and not implied. So, why wasn’t it spelled out in the compositon of Congressional Committee language.

The obvious answer is that it wasn’t implied and there is no reason why it should be implied.

4. There is no dispute that the Congressional Committee is composed of the precint committeemen in the Congressional District.

The question is which precint committeemen?

Mr. Lefstein argues that it’s the elected precint committeemen. In support of his argument he picks up on the following language: “the precint committeemen…representing the precints shall comprise the committee.” He further states that this language states that precint committeemen “represent” the precints. He further states that this implies a representation of the voters of the precints who elected them.

The answer to Mr. Lefstein’s argument is that he completely misreads the language. It should be read as stating: “the precint committeemen…“representing the precints” shall comprise the committee”. In simpler language: “the precint committeemen…(from) the precints shall comprise the committee.”

Another obvious rebuttal to Mr. Lefstein’s interpretation is that in a sense every officeholder represents his district whether elected or appointed. Why would an appointed precint committeeman not represent his precint?

5. Mr. Lefstein attempts to distinguish the following two phrases to conclude that the Congressional Committee must be composed of elected committeemen:

“each precint committeeman shall have one vote for each ballot voted in his precint …at the primary at which he was elected…”

“each precint committeeman shall have one vote for each ballot voted in his precint…at the primary election immediately preceding the meeting of the judicial subcircuit committee…”

Mr. Lefstein’s position is that because the judicial subciruit language omits “at the primary at which he was elected” it authorizes voting by appointed committeemen whereas the language for the Congressional committee does not.


He seems to think that the primary for the judicial subciruit committee and the congressional committee would always be the same. THIS IS NOT SO.

If Lane Evans had resigned his current seat, that runs through January 2, 2007, there would have been a Democratic Primary for a Special Election in the 17th District to fill the vacancy for the balance of the term. This primary would have occurred after the March primary for the November election. In other words, at the time the Congressional Committee met to slate a candidate for the November ballot, the 17th District Democrats would have had a second primary after the March primary.
So it appears that the drafter of the language took this into account to insure that the voting strength of the precint committeemen would be based on the general primary election and not the special primary election.

6. Mr. Lefstein cited a number of provisions of the Election Code. However, he neglected to cite the one that applies.

For some unknown reason Mr. Lefstein did not cite the provision of the statute which addresses the actual making of the appointment. That provision is as follows:

(10 ILCS 5/7-61) In the proceedings to nominate a candidate to fill a vacancy or to fill a vacancy in the nomination, each precinct, township, ward, county or congressional district, as the case may be, shall through its representative on such central or managing committee, be entitled to one vote for each ballot voted in such precinct, township, ward, county or congressional district, as the case may be, by the primary electors of its party at the primary election immediately preceding the meeting at which such vacancy is to be filled.

The most striking thing about this language is the emphasis attached to the entitlement of precints to cast their votes through their representatives. There is no mention here of elected or appointed representative. Vacancies for ward committeemen, township committeemen, county chairmen and state central committeemen are filled all the time. What makes the filling of a vacancy for precint committeeman so special? Nothing.


1. County Chairmen can appoint non-resident precint committeemen provided they are residents of the County.

2. Elected and appointed precint committeemen are members of the Congressional Committee.

3. It is unlawful to exclude the appointed committeemen from all proceedings of the Congressional Committee.

Posted by: True Observer at May 12, 2006 08:57 AM

I truely could not care less about this process, however (to argue for both sides), regardless of the legal opinions (and let's face it, if the law were ever clear, we would have no great need for so many lawsuits).

1. Every County Chair has an equal opportunity to 'stack the deack', but

2. Does it not bastardize the democratic process when a County Chairman can force his/ her will on the County that he/ she represents - or is that a 'perk' of being elected to that position?

Posted by: havinfun at May 12, 2006 09:38 AM

Let the legal battle begin!
Boland already paid Lefstein for his "interpretation".
I'm sure that John G. has a lawyer already on this.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 12, 2006 11:10 AM

I've got a novel idea: let's clear out the attorneys and let the process move forward so we all can start celebrating a candidate and unifying behind a candidate.

Posted by: anonymous at May 12, 2006 02:34 PM

The only thing that has helped Mark Schwiebert stay in office is his friend Denny Jacobs who handed the city an unending source of money in the casino Rock Island. It's the talk of the town. Without it the city would have blown away. Nice job of riding the gambeling wave Mr. Schwiebert. Jacobs has been your savior.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 12, 2006 11:33 PM

"Only one candidate has contacted me personally and asked for my support and vote. That candidate is Phil Hare and I intend to cast all of my weighted votes for our next Congressman Phil Hare. I simply can't believe that NONE of the other candidates did anything besides send mail."

Committeman: Sounds like your mind is already made up for casting your votes for Hare. Maybe the other candidates already know that and that's why they haven't called you. I certainly wish that Evans hadn't pulled his end run to get his office manager into his now-vacated seat. I'll think of Evans every time I go to the Rock Island post office or the Reserve Centers on Arsenal Island and see his name on them.

Posted by: Watcher at May 13, 2006 12:17 PM

I've talked to two Democratic precinct committeemen who said the two-hour meeting in Galesburg went smoothly, went without rancor, and the party seems to be proceeding effectively at this point. Good job, Democrats of the 17th CD. You were handed a tough job and you're working through it well.

Posted by: anonymous at May 13, 2006 12:29 PM

Evans, Gianulis and the Jacobs have this thing firmly in hand. Hare is going to win. The Souther part of this District has been parted like the "Great Sea" by Leader Hare.

All these unedcuated fools in the Southern part of this District are about to learn what politcs is all about.

They will be left saying, "Hey, I thought we were a;; for John Sullivan?" But once the dye is cast, all will see that the Democratic Machine that is Rock Island County is Master and Commander of the High Seas! It is amazing what a few patronage jobs can do for a person!

Posted by: KateNelson at May 13, 2006 02:33 PM

The Galesburg meeting went off without a hitch. All the RI candidates are hanging in the race. All looks good for Sullivan to win the nomination.

Howard Dean, I mean Hare, can fire up the base but he will really turn off the average voter.

Posted by: anon at May 13, 2006 02:48 PM

Hey Kate Nelson,

There are a fair amount of us in the southern part of the district who are actually backing Phil Hare.

Posted by: Mike Wakeland at May 14, 2006 03:04 PM

Phil Hare rules!!!

Posted by: Anonymous at May 15, 2006 08:37 AM

I wasn't talking about your area, I was talking about the parts controlled by Sullivanites.

Trusted commrades will be rewarded for their loyalty to the Machine! Lane wants Phil and so it shall be. Lane, Phil and you and I are one in the name of Democratic Party unity.

Posted by: KateNelson at May 15, 2006 10:37 AM

And I thought that the ditto-heads of Rush's were drinking cool-aid. Sounds like the cool-aid has found it's way to the Dem's as well.

"Party loyalty - Lane and Phil" - excuse me, while I puke!

Posted by: havinfun at May 15, 2006 01:43 PM

I would consider it an honor if you would puke and get it over with. Hare and Evans will come together in the hearts and minds of the committeepeople of the 17th district. This is the truth. Let it be written. Hare has the annointment of the leader Evans, and John G.

Do the right thing and get behind the chosen one.
Congressman Hare.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 16, 2006 03:21 PM

Am I the only one who suspects that all the anonymice who say stuff like "do the right thing and get behind the chosen one" and "Hare has the annointment of the leaders Evans, and John G." are just goofing on the rest of us?

These people can't be for real----can they?

Posted by: paladin at May 16, 2006 04:15 PM