IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

Emily's List has picked Duckworth:

Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth received an endorsement from EMILY's List because she agreed with the social-issue stand that is the group's organizing principle: The influential political action organization only backs Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights.

But Duckworth, who is competing for the 6th District seat left open by retiring 16-term Republican Rep. Henry J. Hyde, also received the group's nod for a politically pragmatic reason. EMILY's List officials believe Duckworth -- who has drawn national attention for the grievous war wounds she suffered while serving as a helicopter pilot in Iraq -- is better suited than her two opponents in the March 21 primary to seriously compete this fall in the Republican-leaning 6th.

"Tammy has earned impressive support across the 6th Congressional District in Illinois, and demonstrated that she is one of our best opportunities to pick up a Democratic seat in the U.S. House," EMILY's List President Ellen Malcolm said in a statement released late Friday. "EMILY's List considers this to be one of our top priority races and our membership will dedicate their considerable strength to seeing that Tammy Duckworth is victorious."

EMILY'S List opted for Duckworth, a first-time candidate, even though she is opposed by another Democratic woman who supports abortion rights: Christine Cegelis, a technology consultant who took 44 percent of the vote and held Hyde to 56 percent -- his lowest re-election vote share ever -- in 2004.

This is a insider/outsider fight.

Even before EMILY's List stepped in, Democratic insiders were lining up behind Duckworth. She has received contributions from committees associated with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California; Illinois Democratic Sens. Richard J. Durbin and Barack Obama; Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel, who represents Illinois' 5th District; and Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois' 9th District.

Cegelis isn't taking this lying down.

Cegelis touted an endorsement last week from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents many 6th District residents who work at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

She's somewhat of a netroots favorite, with $78K plus via Actblue, though certainly not a consensus pick.

UPDATE: Wow, in listening to this radio interview, Duckworth is waffling on parental notification. It's odd that Emily's List endorsed her for the primary.

Tags: Christine Cegelis, IL-06, Tammy Duckworth (all tags)

Comments

34 Comments

Naive impressions; big picture

I really know very little about either candidate.  Perhaps locally, for the people of the district, Cegalis may seem better.  But looking big picture, and longer-term, wouldn't the Democrats be better off picking a "marketable poster-child" like Duckworth?

Some battles must be lost to win a war.  Call me cynical, etc etc, but in terms of the national picture, and the real GOP vs Dem battle, doesn't it make sense to have as many Dem vets in congress as possible?

I reiterate: I know practically nothing about either candidate.  But that may give me a fresh unbiased strategic view.  If we want to pick "netroots-vs-beltway" battles, we're better off throwing our weight into Lamont vs Lieberman, aren't we?

On the other hand, perhaps Duckworth is a terrible candidate with all kinds of skeletons in the cupboard.  Can anyone tell me, objectively?

by Winger 2006-02-21 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Naive impressions; big picture

I'm with you.  Duckworth's issue positions are commendable.  Despite many bloggers' sentimental attachments to Cegelis from 2004, it seems that they're equally qualified to be representatives and that Duckworth is much more marketable.  Just because Cegelis was "already in the race" doesn't mean that Duckworth should have stayed out.

We need to pick our battles, and this doesn't seem like one worth fighting.  Let's conduct bitter primary fights on blue territory, not in red districts like this one.

by lorax 2006-02-21 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Naive impressions; big picture

Most bloggers I see posting on the topic, such as Michael in Chicago and other former Dean activists seem to be interested because they are invested on the ground. These are people who have worked hard to make the 6th district competitive. Living in the district, they probably also feel that the imposition of Duckworth from Washington is an undemocratic intrusion into their district.

Speaking for myself, I'm more a lurker than a blogger. I've met Cegelis twice, at non-Political c community events. I like the way she does politics. I share her positions on issues in many cases. And in others, she speaks clearly and plainly so I know exactly why she thinks as she does.

As for Duckworth, I don't know who she is or what she's about. I listened to the candidates debating last week and didn't leave with any new information about Duckworth.

I intend to continue to convince my friends, family and neighbors in the 6th district to vote for Cegelis in the primary. I think supporting Cegelis is politically pragmatic, because she would provide the district with the best representation.

by ssm 2006-02-21 01:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Naive impressions; big picture

Cegelis did a bad job in this debate.  She needs training.

by Matt Stoller 2006-02-21 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Naive impressions; big picture

I'd have to respectfully disagree.  Duckworth's position, as she said in the radio interview linked below in another post, is that she is for parental notification.  Now, one can argue that this is perhaps a better position to take for the district, but for Emily's List to support her over another women is pro-choice, period, stinks.

This just confirms to me that the Big Dogs in Washington are behind her.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I still am waiting to see wide support in the district itself.  Most of the local (township) Democratic chairs are behind Cegelis because she helped build those organizations when no one else wanted to.

This is a true Netroots vs. Washington clash.  I look forward to see who wins this primary.

by minvis 2006-02-21 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Naive impressions; big picture

That's not how I understood it.  I thought it was clear that she said "I oppose parental notification laws, but if we're going to have them, they damn well better have judicial bypass options."

by Adam B 2006-02-21 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Naive impressions; big picture

That's how I got it, too.

by Geoff Espo 2006-02-21 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Naive impressions; big picture

That was my take as well.

by Jay 2006-02-22 12:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Naive impressions; big picture

Lobbyist groups often times will choose to support the candidate they see as more electable as a means of gaining more clout when that perosn is in office. Even if she was for parental notification laws, which she made clear in the debate she was not, It is not shocking that she would win the endorsement.

by Geoff Espo 2006-02-21 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Naive impressions; big picture

"We need to pick our battles, and this doesn't seem like one worth fighting."

Exactly.  That is why Duckworth needs to drop out immediately. There is already a viable candidate from right here in DuPage County that is battle tested and ready to go.  Having a Chicago machine politian like Emmanuel come over from Cook County and dump someone from outside the District into the race is offensive to the extreme.  

Why the heck should those of us who did the leg work and contributed $$ 2-4 years ago suddenly move aside for the Chicago machine candidate?  I'm in IL Dist. 13 and this is offensive beyond belief to a lot of us locals who were here all along.  Go Christine!

by weinerdog43 2006-02-21 05:35PM | 0 recs
This Is The Real Bottom Line For Me

It's the contempt for the people in the district, from Cegalis on down that raises my ire.  It's not just about dissing Cegalis. Or just about the volunteers, either.  It's about both, plus everyone who "just" put up a lawn sign or a bumper sticker, or who "just" voted.  Because in a lot of places like that, thanks to national party neglect, people aren't even voting any more.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-02-21 08:37PM | 0 recs
Re: This Is The Real Bottom Line For Me

This is my fear completely. Duckworth and her "reach out and touch the media" campaign style have angered the base and independent activists in the district. While I do not encourage it, I think many of these may drop out or not vote or write in Cegelis should Duckworth win. That would give Roskam the extra 2-3% her needs to win.

Plus Cegelis has worked really hard at building up the infrastructure in DuPage. The people who have worked hard to support her campaign are going to lose the feeling that anything they do matters. This sets the party back locally.

Duckworth winning, although I still don't see it happening, would be at best a short term victory for Emanuel, and a long term set-back to the local Dems.

by michael in chicago 2006-02-23 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Naive impressions; big picture

Could you give me an example of her commendable positions, and then let me know how consistent she has been on it.

This race is in red territory, and why we need to support a candidate who will win. Duckworth is not that candidate. She matches up very poorly with Roskam, with all her weaknesses playing into Roskam's strengths.

Duckworth has few ties to the district, which gives Roskam a platform fro which to bash her bio and highlight his home town local roots.

Duckworth has tons of ties to DC and Chicago insiders, giving him an out when she tries to pin his ties to DC and DeLay.

Duckworth has been inconsistent on the issues, giving him a platform from which to highlight his consistency and trustworthiness (cough, gag).

Duckworth is inexperienced and doesn't know the district. He is very experienced and knows the district.

Duckworth will divide the base, giving Roskam the extra 2-3% he needs to win.

Cegelis has none of these issues. She's the better candidate if we want to win in November.

by michael in chicago 2006-02-23 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Naive impressions; big picture

"I really know very little about either candidate."

This comment about sums it up.

Duckworth is a terrible match up to Roskam. He will run on her with her lack of ties to the district (he's local),

Duckworth's ties to Chicago/DC Dems and DC PACs is a really bad thing with District independents and Republicans.

Duckworth has been very inconsistent on issues like CAFTA (hurts labor support), choice (district is very pro choice), and answered questions wrong on depleted uranium, NCLB, and the Bankruptcy bill.

Cegelis has the ties to the community to keep the general about issues, not bio. Cegelis is local, with ties to the community to eliminate any outsider attack from Roskam while being able to throw his ties to DeLay back at him clean. Cegelis has been rock solid in her positions since day one, hence her endorsements coming locally and from labor with large representation in the district.

by michael in chicago 2006-02-22 10:02AM | 0 recs
ActBlue

Just wondering -- does that 78K include 2004 fundraising?  Otherwise, that's about 1/3 of her total fundraising for this cycle.

by Adam B 2006-02-21 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

Cegelis came off horribly in last week's radio debate. She was angry, hostile toward Duckworth, and accusatory. Duckworth was much more poised and positive.

by Ament Stone of California 2006-02-21 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

I just realized that the debate is available via this link, and I'll try to give it a listen.  As should you.

Trivia note: host Steve Edwards trained me as a dj and newsreader in college.

by Adam B 2006-02-21 01:35PM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

You people seem to be forgetting Lindy Scott. He's definitely a dark horse candidate, but he has a good chance, considering his appeal to hispanics in a district with an exploding latino population. Duckworth is good, but I wonder if she has as much support locally as she does nationally.

by Geoff Espo 2006-02-21 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

This is a insider/outsider fight

I would hardly call Emily's list "insiders."  They have no problem backing challenges to establishment candidates, including the primary challenger to Emmanuel in 2002.  They are hard-ass pragmatists whose desire  to win trumps everything else (except, of course, being a pro-choice Democratic woman).

by Jay 2006-02-21 01:48PM | 0 recs
Ties to EMILY"S list

Cegelis fired her media firm... who just happens to have direct ties to ELMILY's list.

So why would they then go and endorse her opponent?

by michael in chicago 2006-02-23 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

Does EMILY's List really have so much cash lying around that they want to kick in money for one pro-choice Democratic woman over another on the assumption one is more electable?  It seems like their money would be better spent after the primary, just in case Duckworth were to lose.

by CA Pol Junkie 2006-02-21 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

As I understand it, EMILY's List basically does not give money to candidate, they use their organizational apparatus to ask their members for donations for specific candidates.  EMILY's List then bundles those donations and serves as the conduit for the money from the donors to the candidate, much like ActBlue does.  But I think the implication of this endorsement is that the people who run EMILY's List clearly want Duckworth to win and are willing to put their reputation on the line in the primary.  Make of that what you will.      

by Matt Lockshin 2006-02-21 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

Early Money Is Like Yeast.

The whole point of EMILY's list is to get money in there ASAP.

by Newsie8200 2006-02-21 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

No, because an endorsement implies a commitment to raise funds for them, so they don't want to dilute their efforts.  Also, they want to have a reputation for endorsing winners, so they are very careful about who they choose to throw their weight behind.

As I understand it, they looked at Cegelis back in September and decided to take a pass.  This to me was one of the signs that Cegelis has structural flaws in her campaign.

by Jay 2006-02-21 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

Gee lets see we have a carpetbagger who didn't even live in the district. who entered with no local support and with DC money. Whose most notable accomplishment so far has been to show her blind obiedence to orders and total acqueisence to authority by engaging in an illegal war by illegal methods.
This means in a reasonable world that she qualifies as a war criminial.

Or a local who took on the task when the odds were long and proved that she was a dragon slayer by showing the vulnerability of a icon of the nutcase right. Cegelis has local support and has shown the ability to run her own campaign with money she has raised.

So which should it be the the Quisling or the local Hero?

I know which one I would vote for.

by Rational 2006-02-21 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

EMILY's list uses viability as a condition of endorsement.

And they're not a exactly an old-boys network, if you will.  They pick people they think can win, not people the party necessarily favors.

by Josh Orton 2006-02-21 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

I learned the hard way in the 2004 cycle that Emily's List, though it's a valuable fund-raising tool for the endorsed candidates and a useful stop on an information-gathering trip across the Internet, cannot be trusted to stay out of races with two good candidates in the primary. You have to look to see who else is running before you take sides, because in a couple of the races two years ago, they expended national-level effort to help one good progressive beat another, ignoring equivalent races where a progressive faced a moderate or a conservative.

The same can be said of the Victory Fund - a useful place to learn about races of potential interest, but there's no guarantee that the candidate on their list is the most progressive person running for the office in question.

I check both lists with great interest when a cycle gears up - but I've learned to check further, before I pick the dogs I'm gonna bet on.

I plan to stick with Cegelis through the primary, myself. Rahm Emmanual already represents one Illinois district in Congress. I think it should be one to a customer.

by Christopher Walker 2006-02-21 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

My contributions and voluteering this primary season will go to liberal fighters unafraid to stand up for principle. If they are outsiders and not backed by the DC establishment even better.

IMO, the 2006 primary should be about creating momentum for a "change" election in Nov. That means also enabling change agents for the Dems party establishment culture. The culture and team paralyzed by fear to stand up for principle and oppose all the corruption and deceit rained down on the nation by the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress.

So as a matter of principle this primary season I will support financially and with my time candidates not beholden to the DC loser crowd. Of course there will be many races where the establishment will also back the real fighters. I hope to assist in sending a shockwave through DC that will awaken the Dems DC leadership from the fear induced stupor and realize that it is in their personal political interest and in the interest of the nation that they stand for principle and with their base.

by ab initio 2006-02-21 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

  I live in IL-06.  Illinois has long been a state that has counted upon its manufacturing base to maintain its economy.  It has been hard hit by the effects of NAFTA and the trade agreement with China.  In addition, local companies have outsourced IT, accounting, and other jobs.  From 1999 through 2005, median income in Illinois declined $6,000.

  When asked what are the concerns of IL-06 voters, the first comments out of Duckworth's mouth were about privacy issues and stem cell research.  She did go on to mention health care and pensions.  However, the fact that Duckworth never mentioned jobs tells me that she is sorely out of touch with IL-06 voters.  I found it laughable that she later stated that middle income tax breaks would go towards paying for braces (try "mortgage", Tammy).

  A visit to her website never mentions trade or outsourcing issues except to mention that her husband "worked at two companies that outsourced local jobs to other countries".  Her website then goes on to repeat Republican talking points about how the U.S. is not producing enough engineering and science grads.  I know that if she actually took the time to talk to some of the people of IL-06 instead of spending so much of her time in Washington attending fund raisers and taking lessons in getting her DLC talking points down, she would meet a number of unemployed engineers.  I live next door to one.  Tammy chooses to ignore the fact that many companies are moving their R&D departments overseas.  What good will an education in engineering or science get you if these jobs are in India or China?

 Cegelis mentions the effect that the trade agreements (brokered by Emanuel's boss) has had on the Illinois economy on her website.  She states that she will vote against free trade agreements and goes on to say that she would work to reduce the number of H-1B visas.

 Cegelis was not "terrible".  She seemed nervous in the beginning but she settled down.  Tammy, on the other hand, seemed to want to dominate the debate at times.  At one point, I thought I was listening to a boiler plate Republican who refuses to take a breath.  If she wins the primary and the general election, she'll do it without me.  I would rather have a bad Republican represent me than a bad Democrat.

  I'll say one thing about Republicans.  They cater to their base while the Democrats choose to snub theirs.  The Dems continue to search for the ever elusive "center" while they continue to lose elections.  

by alta 2006-02-21 06:52PM | 0 recs
Very Clear

Duckworth's not at all waffling.  The first thing Duckworth says is that she doesn't support parental notification, and if it did pass (and she goes on to say that it would be somthing she would certainly vote against), she would do everything she can to minimize its effect on women.

So...how is that waffling?  

Listen again.

She's very clear.

And wins the 3-way debate, no question.

by Josh Orton 2006-02-21 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Very Clear

Can somebody tell me why parents shouldn't be notified that their teenage daughter is having unprotected sex?
That their daughter is exposing herself to diseases as well as pregnancy?

Is it because 13-17 year olds are fully mature responsible adults who can make decisions on their own? Is that why they got pregnant in the  first place?

I'm serious, somebody please explain to me why this is yet another issue that Democrats go to the mat for  (at all costs) that ultimately just makes us seems like moraless idiots....

by xodus1914 2006-02-22 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

I'm glad Cegelis has a new campaign manager and has really shaken up her campaign.  I think the entry of Duckworth to the campaign was worth it just for that -- and I'm impressed by the enthusiasm of Cegelis supporters on the ground in the 6th.  I don't really see that for Duckworth: the enthusiasm for her seems to be more national than local.  

by Maven 2006-02-22 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

It's hard to get enthusiastic about a candidate who shows up in my mailbox more than anywhere else.

by michael in chicago 2006-02-22 10:08AM | 0 recs
The Cleanliness of Rep. Emanuel's Hands

The comments about the real issues in IL-06 being jobs is why Cegelis will win in the end - and why she SHOULD win. Christine used to work as an IT consultant to United Airlines, the largest employer in the District. A District she actually lives in, BTW, something neither Rep. Emanuel or Ms. Duckworth can say. Cegelis will win because she knows the District and its people better and the voters know it, despite what Duckworth's 5 too-slick direct mail pieces will say. Or more likely, because of what they don't say.

There is a reason the website for Ladda "Tammy" Duckworth (a true war hero who deserves our respect - just not necessarily a seat in Congress) does not front page concerns about jobs. Her Svengali, back when he was "Rahm-bo" in the West Wing, was one of the hit men assigned to ram NAFTA through for President "No no, I'm Really A Progressive. Really." Clinton. Duckworth can't make job losses from "free trade" an issue because her boss clearly doesn't want her to.

But to those "realists" out there concerned about "electability" against Roskam in the general, a few notes. First, every single Democratic voter in the District has already voted for Cegelis. Twice. That's 44+ percent without any national help at all and up against a paleoconservative who worked for DeLay and makes Hyde look like Kucinich. Second, other than a few labor folks in the 2-out-of-7 townships in the District that are in Cook County, Duckworth has no - zero - ground game. Any field workers who show up late in the DuPage precincts there are astroturf. Third, while everyone makes a big deal about Cegelis's Q4 FEC numbers - people who read closely will notice that she's done what Bush has been unable to do. She liquidated some bad help (so I'm told by some volunteers who've spent a lot of time in the office) and brought in some committed warriors. Her only problem was that she listened after 2004 to folks like the DC crowd who told her to hire some "pros" who mis-read the District and emptied her limited treasury. Cegelis has re-loaded and is ready for the general election.

"More electable"? Ask President Kerry how well that argument works. Cegelis will win because she should. And Rahm has way overestimated the importance of Iraq to suburban IL-06 voters. They're concerned about jobs and Cegelis has credibilty there that even the Republican doesn't. Let's see how the effects of DFA's endorsement (Cegelis), which she got yesterday, stack up in the end against More Money From DC. In the meantime, you can go to http://www.cegelisforcongress.com and vote with your wallet.

by ericd1112 2006-02-22 10:11AM | 0 recs

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