Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Like Chris, I screwed up on Cegelis.  I didn't realize that the party establishment was as weak as it was, and I didn't get the basic dishonesty of the DCCC in this fight.  The DCCC was squeezing donors hard to give to Duckworth, as did golden boy Barack Obama who appeared in Duckworth's commercial.  But what offends me is not that they weighed in on Duckworth's side, but that they pretended like Cegelis did not exist. I bet that a substantial portion of Duckworth's voters simply did not know that Cegelis was a Democrat.  They probably saw Duckworth on TV with Obama, got some mailers, and figured, hey, I'll vote for the Democrat.  

Now, awhile back I was posting on Cegelis, and bumping diaries on a regular basis.  I pretty much stopped for two reasons.  One, Michael in Chicago misled this community on whether he was being paid by the Cegelis campaign.  He did web design work for them, and got paid for it, but he was not paid to blog.  Still when people asked him point blank if he was receiving money, he said 'I'm not being paid to blog.'  It was a clear misrepresentation and looking through the FEC reports proved him wrong.  But we could only find that out because he at one point listed his username and name together.  What else was he hiding?  How could I know whether his assertions about grassroots energy were real?  The other reason is because another pro-Cegelis commenter lied about their location.  It seems small, but this cast more doubt on the online Cegelis supporters' credibility.

Now, misrepresenting yourself on blogs is not, you might say, a big reason to jump in or out of a race.  But the thing is, I had no other information about the race from Cegelis's side.  I can't just fly to IL-06 and check out the district, I can't afford it.  All I knew was that the two most ardent proponents on the blogs, the people who write a lot for Soapblox Chicago, were ethically lacking when they were communicating to me and this community.  I don't really care that people lie in politics, that's life.  But I try to base my decisions on information, and the Cegelis supporters on this blog proved completely unreliable.  How could I trust Michael in Chicago when hey said that Cegelis had massive support, if Michael in Chicago was basically lying about whether he was paid by the Cegelis campaign?  

It really sucks.  I feel terrible this happened, but that explains why I lost enthusiasm for this race.  

Now, just so I don't leave anyone out in my post getting everyone angry, let me say that Cegelis proved that Paul Hackett was a coward.  Hackett refused to put his choice to the voters, and Cegelis did.  And this is because Hackett didn't believe in the people working for him. He didn't believe in the grassroots and the volunteers.  He didn't like doing call time, so he blamed party leadership for kneecapping him and refused to organize.  And then he went on a bunch of TV shows to announce his decision before coming onto the blogs, and we were his first supporters.  Cegelis did the most honorable thing possible.  She didn't have Hackett's advantages.  She is not nationally known, she didn't have Hollywood throwing money at her.  And she had a hell of a lot more firepower arrayed against her, the whole Chicago machine as against a few phone calls from Chuck Schumer.  But she organized and gave the finger to the establishment that tried to crush her.

I really don't know what to say here.  I guess politics is tough, and I know I have a lot of learning to do.  I know I've made a lot of mistakes, and one of them was not getting behind Cegelis as much as I should have.  I hope I don't make you too angry with this, but these are discussions that we need to have.  

Tags: Cegelis, Paul Hackett (all tags)

Comments

114 Comments

Cegelis and grassroots


Fellas:

Have you noticed how many votes Cegelis gathered?  Turnout was PATHETIC.  If Cegelis had such a great grassroots effort, how can you explain the unbelievably small number of votes she received?  There was no prairie fire in this district.

Before Chris and Matt go off again about the big bad Party leaders, ask yourselves this question?  Who did the Republicans want to see
win this Dem primary?  I don't think it was the biracial female double amputee, war hero/war critic.  Just a hunch.

And calling Paul Hackett a coward?  Not cool.

Duckworth paying for a recount?  Absurd.

You might want to remember, it's OK to have an unpublished or unblogged thought.  

Jim Hannon

by Thaddeus 2006-03-23 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Cegelis and grassroots

I replied to this down the comments but the shorter version is: you don't know what you're talking about.  

Oh, and if the GOP had really wanted Cegelis to win, she would have won easily.  They control EVERYTHING in DuPage and would have made sure Duckworth lost, if they really were worried about one versus the other.  One theing they DON'T want is a growing, motivated, increasingly visible Democratic party in DuPage.  That's what Christine was helping to build and that would have affected the GOP for years to come.  Down ballot elections.  The aura of inevitability.  Party registration numbers.

Sorry, but the GOP knows how to deal with disabled war hero types.

by jakester 2006-03-23 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Cegelis and grassroots

If the Cegelis campaign was building an increasingly visible Democratic party, why didn't they get more than 13,000 people to freakin' vote for her.

I don't know what I'm talkin' about?  At least I know how to count!

by Thaddeus 2006-03-23 12:01PM | 0 recs
Turnout was HIGH!

Compared to PAST PRIMARIES, the turnout was incredibly high...At least in the precincts I have knowledge of. On average, 10% higher than most primaries.

What people don't understand is that Illinoisans don't like voting in Primary Elections because they have to declare a party. That is especially true for DEMOCRATS here in REPUBLICAN DuPage County.

There was a time, not too long ago in fact, when pulling a Democratic Ballot in DuPage could cost you things like your job, your reputation, your social status, etc. NO BULLSHIT! The Republicans here are/were really that vindictive! Fortunately things have begun to change in the last 6-10 years.

by dabuddy 2006-03-23 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout was HIGH!


The turnout in this district was as low as any contested district in the state, and lower than some without a supposedly hot grassroots movement.  Less than 13,000 votes in a Congressional primary is a voter mobilization FAILURE.  

 

by Thaddeus 2006-03-23 12:04PM | 0 recs
On False Dilemmas

But the thing is, I had no other information about the race from Cegelis's side.  I can't just fly to IL-06 and check out the district, I can't afford it.

I have the same problem with your criticism of Michael in Chicago that I do with Jerome not blogging about Warner. Since Jerome stopped providing information about Warner there has not been a credible or authoritative source of information about Warner. I can slam Warner to my heart's desire and there is no one capable of defending him or his positions.

In the case of a House seat the problem is even more magnified. What other source of credible information should we rely on if candidate supporters, either paid or un-paid are suspect? The local paper? The NY Times? Maybe the LA Times will start covering House races in the Mid-west so I can stay informed. Right.

Michael in Chicago was placed in an untenable position by the false dilemma and unreasonable standard that Jerome has set by refusing to blog for Warner. His answers were both accurate and sufficient about his role in the Cegelis campaign. How was Michael in Chicago's role, insights or opinions any more suspect than Emmanuel, the DLC, Obama or Durbin? Why should bloggers be held to a higher standard than paid political operatives for the DLC and Democratic Party?

Are we supposed to believe that none of the anonymous DLC trolls who participate at MyDD and Dkos are paid staffers? Give me a break. The standard Jerome set by not blogging for Warner compels bloggers to compete with one hand tied behind their back.

I complained vociferously when Jerome was intimidated into not blogging about Warner even though it is highly unlikely I could ever be persuaded to support Warner. We need to allow paid staffers to compete on an even playing field with paid Democratic Party staffers.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-03-23 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: On False Dilemmas

Michael decided he didn't want to disclose, so he didn't.  Then he was confronted by the FEC reports and got extremely defensive.  If he had disclosed up front it would not have mattered at all.

by Matt Stoller 2006-03-23 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: On False Dilemmas

Why do you need Jerome to blog on Warner?

I don't think we have a "right" to have an inside source on Mark Warner or anybody else.  Besides, Jerome is clearly biased, anyway.  And he could turn this into a sports blog if he wanted to.  

And I too like Warner at this point, but it's early; If you want Warner "spin" on an issue, why not go to his blog, or ask people like me on this blog or others? Then you'll get an honest opinion.  (or, hah, maybe I'm getting paid huge bucks to act this way and persuade with genuine integrity....somebody, please, hook me up with such a job)

I cannot believe the DLC has anywhere near enough money to pay people to comment on blogs.  

by Andmoreagain 2006-03-23 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: On False Dilemmas
I work for Governor Warner's Forward Together PAC and I blog regularly on MyDD. Check out my diary and please feel free to ask me any questions you have about the PAC.
Jerome still blogs for Forward Together, he just limits it to the Forward Together official blog.
by Texas Nate 2006-03-23 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: On False Dilemmas

"Are we supposed to believe that none of the anonymous DLC trolls who participate at MyDD and Dkos are paid staffers? Give me a break."

PRECISELY!

Case in point - The DCCC/DNC Staffers who pretended to be local Duckworth Supporters on Rick Klau's Blog (TINS). They were actually stupid enough to blog WHILE ON THE DNC INTERNET CONNECTION! Rick traced the ip addresses back to DNC/DCCC Hq., then called them on it publicly.

Michael said he was not paid to blog. HE WASN'T! He has put his heart & soul into DuPage Grassroots in general, and the Cegelis Campaign in particular. Michael owns a graphics business. ALL businesses have to be paid for their professional services, in order to STAY IN BUSINESS. But Michael's blogging was 100% VOLUNTEER. I'm sorry you didn't see the difference.

Perhaps you may want to dig a little deeper next time, given the amount of influence you wield. The grassroots has suffered a serious defeat because you DIDN'T DO THAT this time.

by dabuddy 2006-03-23 09:25AM | 0 recs
OOPSY!

I inadvertently left out "IN PART" from the last sentence of my comment above.

"The grassroots has suffered a serious defeat, IN PART, because you didn't do that this time".

by dabuddy 2006-03-23 10:10AM | 0 recs
2 nits to pick

1. The electoral mechanism here is this: you go to the polls, ask for a Democratic ballot, and then choose between various Dem candidates.  Although I accept that the electorate was probably fairly confused/uninformed, once they had the ballot in front of them, they didn't think Cegelis wasn't a Democrat.

2. It wasn't the Chicago machine (Emanuel's old-time connections to Daley notwithstanding).  It was some funny new coalition of DC power brokers and local insiders.  This may sound like a stupid technicality, but remember that the Chicago Democratic machine is still a very organized system of ward bosses and precinct captains who know exactly how to turn out the votes and also know that their job security depends on it.  I was actually pretty impressed with Duckworth's GOTV team, but it was mostly local (DuPage county) volunteers who'd seen Tammy on TV and felt inspired to help out, not something sinister and machine-driven.

by Daniel Biss 2006-03-23 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: 2 nits to pick

You're completely right, especially on the first point.  It was a Democratic primary.  Who's voting in this thing, with a Democratic ballot, and doesn't know she's a Democrat?

by jhupp 2006-03-23 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: 2 nits to pick

Unless you sit down for a full day with certain voters, there's only so much education you can do.

Believe me, despite our best efforts, plenty of people don't know how primaries work, even after all these years, even after they've voted in them in the past.  Plenty of people don't know what a congressional district is.  Plenty of people didn't realize Duckworth and Cegelis were running against each other (Duckworth certainly never mentioned either Cegelis or Scott by name).  Such is the state of our democracy.

Now, these people know plenty more about accounting than most of us do, or about cars or brain surgery or Bradgelina or Jungian analysis or what have you.

But there's a profound dearth of knowledge about our own political system.

by jakester 2006-03-23 09:30AM | 0 recs
A Contested Primary???

Again, the idea of a contested primary...Especially a DEMOCRATIC contested primary...Is an absolute foreign concept to DuPage Voters. Repugs Slate their candidates with great discipline, and democrats rarely have ANY candidates...Let alone THREE competing against each other.

I can't tell you how many times I heard "oh yes, I'm voting for the Democrat!", only to get a blank stare when I tried to explain that there were THREE Democrats to choose from.

Most people simply hadn't bothered to research the candidates, because they didn't realize (and some couldn't comprehend) that there was more than one to choose from! You have to understand that this was ABSOLUTELY UNPRECEDENTED here in DuPage.

by dabuddy 2006-03-23 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: 2 nits to pick

Further to this point...Cegelis ran in 2004 and she had been running for this seat again since that election.  If after over 2 years of campaigning you do not have enough id recognition that the local members of your own party do not know who you are or what you are running for, then how could you expect to win the general election?  

by drpd02 2006-03-23 11:44AM | 0 recs
People who voted for Christine TWICE

in 2004 (primary and general election) told pollsters they didn't recognize her name a year later. Casual voters have the attention span of a flea. Since I was working off of lists of Democratic voters, in my canvassing I typically got the response "I'm voting for the Democrat." I would then have to explain to the voter that it was a PRIMARY and there were 3 Democrats to choose from (and then go on to explain why they should choose to vote for Cegelis).

by Jim in Chicago 2006-03-26 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: 2 nits to pick

While Duckworth's vote totals in Cook County may be, in part, attributed to some "machine" politics, Daniel is certainly right in pointing out that the Chicago Machine had little or nothing to do with this race.  Even if it had played a role, look at what happened to the slated candidate in the Treasurer's race, Mangieri lost by a large margin to a punk-kid running on his daddy's money and Obama's endorsement.  Money plays a huge role in these sorts of races and Duckworth was able to raise it. Cegelis did as well as she did because she had very strong, enthusiastic supporters who turned out in a bad weather, low turnout election.  That was almost enough to beat money and the support of Durbin and Obama, but in the end, it came up short.  Still, if the democrats want any chance of winning this seat in November they will need every vote they will have to come together sooner rather than later.  IL-6 is still a heavily Republican district, despite trends, and it will be hard to beat Roskam.  As a side note, is any else shocked that Lindy Scott got almost 16%?  That seems to be a significant total for such a conservative candidate.

by mitchjones 2006-03-23 07:50AM | 0 recs
1 nit to pick

Duckworth didn't raise jack. "Boss Hogg" Rahm raised a ton of money for her.

by ElitistJohn 2006-03-23 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: 2 nits to pick

"I was actually pretty impressed with Duckworth's GOTV team, but it was mostly local (DuPage county) volunteers...."

EXCUSE ME????

Her "ground team" were mostly PAID "volunteers"! She sent out urgent requests through groups like Human Rights Campaign & College Democrats BEGGING for help! She was offering $10+/Hour for such "volunteers"

On any given day, the last week or so of the campaign, the MAJORITY of the cars parked in front of her SUBURBAN campaign office had CHICAGO Vehicle Tax Stickers and "Fighting Illini" bumper stickers on them...They were PAID students from the University of IL.

by dabuddy 2006-03-23 09:49AM | 0 recs
Politics IS tough

Politics, like business, is tough.  "The New Guy" is always disadvantaged, particularly if he or she is wearing renegade colors openly.

I don't know how many times I've seen an honest campaign get derailed at the last minute by an effective piece of dirty mail, for example.  

I have to say, your ideas about what thoughts are in Paul Hackett's head are totally unproductive, imaginary at best, and will not make you look good.  Candidates will be wary of you.

A tip: if you want to stay in politics, do not air dirty laundry like this in public.

by Andmoreagain 2006-03-23 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Politics IS tough

But he is pretty much right about Hackett, (and I say this as someone who gave a fair amount to his congessional race but stayed out of the primary).  It is also true that if people want a Dem Senate, and they want DeWine out, they have to get past Hackett and support Brown.  

Politics isn't beanbag (btw it was George Washington Plunkett, better known as Plunkett of Tamany Hall, who first said that), and it isn't therapy either.  Nor is it sports.  The first rule of political involvement is "don't fall in love with your candidate" and the second is loyalty to principle trumps loyalty to people.

by Mimikatz 2006-03-23 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

...I pretty much stopped for two reasons.  One, Michael in Chicago misled this community on whether he was being paid by the Cegelis campaign.  He did web design work for them, and got paid for it, but he was not paid to blog.  Still when people asked him point blank if he was receiving money, he said 'I'm not being paid to blog.'  It was a clear misrepresentation and looking through the FEC reports proved him wrong.  But we could only find that out because he at one point listed his username and name together.  What else was he hiding?  How could I know whether his assertions about grassroots energy were real?  The other reason is because another pro-Cegelis commenter lied about their location.  It seems small, but this cast more doubt on the online Cegelis supporters' credibility...

Ouch.

Now I understand why we were asked to change our user IDs to our names a while back.

A million years ago when I volunteered on the Forum for America, may it rest in peace, I was regularly accused of getting paid by various campaigns. I wrote under my name, so it was easy enough to give such accusers the phone number of DFA and the Kerry campaign, along with the URL for the Federal Election Commission and taunt said accusers for not being smart or industrious enough to do their homework. I was merciless.

In that place, long ago and now far away, I always warned everyone (also in the "FAQ") that "not everyone who posts here is who they want to appear to be." "No one, other than the management has been vetted as to their identity."

That's the way of the world.  

by Michael Bersin 2006-03-23 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Michael ... you did a great job. I remember it well. Hope you are doing well my friend.

by MurshedZ 2006-03-23 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Still fighting the good fight. Good to hear from you. We need to connect about 2006 and 2008.

by Michael Bersin 2006-03-23 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Wow, Matt, kudos to you for really sticking your neck out with some brutal honesty.  At the end of the day I think it only helps us confront some issues that need to be addressed.

The bottom line for me, if someone like Michael discloses that he is a paid employee of the Cegelis campaign, my reaction is that I appreciate his honesty (since, after all, this is the Internet where everyone is anonymous by default).  Will it make me take his statements with a little grain of salt, maybe so, but we ought to be taking everyone's statements with a grain of salt, really.  It's not like if "asdf1234" tells me how things are in IL-06 I should just be taking his word for it.

Jerome can do whatever he wants, but really, I don't understand the point of saying "I'm an employee, I guess I'd better not blog," unless of course that's how the candidate wants it.  I'd think the candidate would generally want the opposite, because more communication with your activist base is a good thing.  I'd like to see more, not less, blogging from people involved with the campaign, and it goes without saying that full disclosure should be the norm.

by Steve M 2006-03-23 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Hey, stop picking on asdf1234!

by nathan 2006-03-23 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis
....I'd like to see more, not less, blogging from people involved with the campaign, and it goes without saying that full disclosure should be the norm.....

Before I changed my user ID here to my name I wrote about a campaign I was involved with (as a volunteer) in an effort to encourage such voluntary participation in others. I stopped writing about that campaign after the change - the opinions I express here are my own, and are not necessarily those of that candidate or that campaign. The world being what it is, I stopped writing about that campaign because I did not want someone attacking the candidate for my views on a number of different subjects (most of which have nothing to do with this particular type of campaign).
by Michael Bersin 2006-03-23 07:33AM | 0 recs
I don't get it
Matt, I just don't get what you're apologizing for.
You don't owe any candidate anything here.  If a candidate gets mentioned here, they should just consider it gravy, not something to which they are entitled.
by Teaser 2006-03-23 07:25AM | 0 recs
Post on this to come

Been meaning to write a post on this since I spoke on the phone with AdamB about this in Feb. But short response as time is limited now:

1. I made a mistake.

  1. The majority of my design work was completed before Duckworth entered the race.
  2. I cut my posting back greatly after my discussion with Adam, and his explanation of the FEC ethics issues he was directly involved with.
  3. I maxed out my in-kind contribution in response.
  4. I changed my profile to include my contractual status.
  5. I always posted as partisan Cegelis, and never tried to hide the fact that I was a supporter.
  6. I ignored or did not completely answer "are you paid in any way" questions as I felt they were personal attacks, and intended to undermine the points I was making by attacking the messenger. I still believe that, but it was a mistake not to have addressed this sooner and more honestly.
  7. I was not paid in any way to blog for Cegelis. I was paid for design work, of which I did a considerable amount.

by michael in chicago 2006-03-23 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Post on this to come

Mistakes aside, you've done a valuable service to the community by providing a constant stream of useful information about the district and the Cegelis campaign.  While you're probably wise to post what you just did, in my personal opinion, your apologies are as unnecessary as Matt's and Chris'.

by arenwin 2006-03-23 07:52AM | 0 recs
A 3 for the honest realization...

that this was a mistake.

Needless to say, I feel a little put out by this new revelation, considering the time I spent with you discussing how you might improve your advocacy. But as I said, I wasn't backing anyone in particular in this race, so it's no skin off my nose to try to help turn you and others into better advocates.

In fact, maybe it strengthens my hand against accusations like this one (that my claim to have been turned off by overzealous advocacy reveals a hidden "agenda" of some kind) and this one (alleging that my purpose was to create "a very difficult environment for Cegelis supporters").

The bottom line, of course, is that if you're asking us to trust you when you say those of us living far afield should be supporting your candidate, you're going to have to trust us to be able to determine whether or not the nature of the work you did is biasing the opinion you're expressing.

You didn't do that, and it's a shame. Because it undermines everything these sort of community blogs are supposed to be about.

by Kagro X 2006-03-23 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Post on this to come

As long as we are all parsing language today, I don't consider a free-lance graphics designer who works for many clients as a "paid employee."  Receiving professional fees for contracted work on a particular campaign is not the same, to me, as being an employee of the campaign.  Is a partisan blogger Jiffy Lube serviceman who changes oil in a candidate's car employed as an oil changer, or employed by the campaign?

There is plenty of mea culpa to go around.  Let's acknowledge it, get it behind us, learn from our mistakes, hold up our heads, and continue to work for our causes.  It will take more conversation, argument, discussion, disagreement....but we can take back our government for We the People.

by Archetype 2006-03-23 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

She can always run for U.S. Senate in 2010.

by ROGNM 2006-03-23 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Or better yet, maybe you can run for senate.

by DFATMA 2006-03-23 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Would you like her to run against Dick Durbin or Barack Obama?

by Maven 2006-03-23 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

I'm going to stick my neck out here. But this is just getting to me.

I seriously don't know why you all were trying to get behind Cegelis. I really don't. I haven't heard a lot about what her positions were as opposed to Duckworth's. All I've heard about is the fact that she was the supposed grassroots favorite and Duckworth was the favorite of the Powers That Be.

Seriously, this all has felt like a little temper tantrum thrown at the Powers That Be for no otherr reason than that the Netroots could do it.

I hear lots of complaint about how the Establishment corralled donors to give money to Duckworth. But what is the Establishment supposed to do? That's their job! It's part of how the Democrats win elections. yes, the PTB has not gotten the power of the grassroots. Yes, they have not taken the Netroots seriously. But that doesn't mean that they should shirk their job and be criticized when they succeed at it.

This in-fighting has really gotten me down. Or perhaps it's woken me up. Yesterday I was so exercised by all of this -- the whole Duckworth/Cegelis debate sparking things for me -- that I wrote a lengthy blog post trying to figure out how to do this differently. You're welcome to read it here: http://mlflorence.blogspot.com/2006/03/n etroots-and-relationship-to.html or http://tinyurl.com/okpt2.

by blackmahn 2006-03-23 07:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

The DCCC is not supposed to take sides in primaries. That is not part of the job. They are supposed to get behind winners of primaries, not pick sides in a local primary.

by Dameocrat 2006-03-23 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

From the DCCC:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) serves as the official national Democratic campaign committee charged with recruiting, assisting, funding, and electing Democrats to the U. S. House of Representatives.

Their job is to place Democrats in the House of Representatives.  I'd generally rather they not do that by involving themselves in contested primaries, but this oft-repeated line that they're not "supposed" to do so is a total red herring.  They're "supposed" to win, by whatever (legal) means necessary.

by arenwin 2006-03-23 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: recruiting

In the past, I believe that has usually been interpreted to refer to recruiting challengers for seats where we didn't ALREADY have strong challengers. A job the DCCC has done piss-poorly in the past. It would be nice if they worked on that instead of not just recruiting against but completely stacking the deck against local candidates by raising $1 million against them (and then complaining that the DCCC's coffers are dry).

by Jim in Chicago 2006-03-26 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Cegelis' positions were laid out clearly on her web site -- many of us had also heard her speak in person. We knew where she stood on the issues, but I know that other than cutting and pasting from her web site, I wouldn't want to paraphrase them for others.  And how interesting is a cut-and-paste?

What was harder to get a handle on was Duckworth's positions, as they evolved over time.  She didn't have much time to evolve her positions, so I for one was never clear just where she stood on any given issue.  I know she feels strongly about the health care system in the US -- that that's a cornerstone of her campaign -- but I'm not exactly sure what she'd like to do about it.  I think she's pro-choice-ish, but believes in strong parental notification laws . . .and that's the sum total of what I know.  I know that when she first started campaigning she was unclear about what exactly the Bankrupcy Bill was.  I would hope she knows now.

But of course anytime anyone posted any critiques of Duckworth's positions, or even mentioned they seemed unclear -- we were told we were maligning a decorated and wounded war vet and should just shut up.  So how could one do a comparison?

by Maven 2006-03-23 09:34AM | 0 recs
My thoughts: lets support the winner

I love blogs.  I love MYDD.  But I am starting to see an annoying trend (and not just here)x.  Its seems the trend is to root for the underdog, or the anti-establishment candidate, and then when they lose, to yell foul, and attack the Democratic Party for it.

Rooting for the underdog is great.  It is the American way.   But underdogs lose most of the time.   Thats why they are underdogs.   There is no use going on and on about it.

Cegelis ran hard in '04.  But others ... with more pull and more money ... thought Duckworth would run better in '06.   These folks won - fair and square.  Why can't we just move on?

I wish Tammy Duckworth lots of luck.   She is now the longshot to win, but if she pulls it off it would be something for all of us Democrats to crow about.

by dpANDREWS 2006-03-23 07:45AM | 0 recs
Re: My thoughts: lets support the winner

The point is fair, but please keep in mind, Cegelis was a big star in the netroots long before anyone even knew this would be a contested primary.  The reason so many people supported her was because she did such a good job against Henry Hyde in 2004 and because she was very good at reaching out to the netroots.

The fact that the DCCC eventually came along with their own candidate is the source of all the drama, of course, but it's not really what made people root for Cegelis in the first instance.

by Steve M 2006-03-23 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: My thoughts: lets support the winner

You "root" in sports.  Not politics.  

Many people here seem to be losing the point.  The point is to change the government as the first priority, because they are doing so much damage.  The second priority is to build a more progressive Dem Party for the long haul.  We wnat to win so that the GOP will have to give up power, not so we can feel good, or vindicated.

Over-identification with candidates has become a real problem here, to the degree that people are losing sight of the purpose of this effort--to put people in office who will be more likely to change things in the direction we want.

The enemy is the GOP.  When the primary is over, you get behind the Dem candidate.  That's how coalition politics works.  What I think many disappointed commenters want is to be taken seriously.  If the "netroots" or whatever it was that Cegelis represented gets the reputation for picking up its marbles and going home, it is going to be very diffcult to get taken seriously.

by Mimikatz 2006-03-23 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Good for you for this entire post.  It's good to put your cards on the table, especially this early in the lifespan of the netroots.  

An awful lot of the newcomers to politics who make up a good portion of the netroots and grassroots seem to feel a sense of entitlement, as if because they have pure hearts and a little experience the DCCC should get out of their way.

Well, the fact is you have to earn it.  As I've said on a few other posts, this game is not about this election or the next one but about a lifetime of work.  Getting motivated by Howard Dean in 2003 (I was one of the first elected officials to endorse him in NJ so don't think I am belittling that campaign) and spending three years blogging and volunteering for campaigns isn't enough.

If you want the respect of the party you have to earn it over years, and put like-minded people is positions of authority starting at the precinct and eventually in the statehouse and beyond.  

You have to demonstrate you can inspire people to give money and time and vote for your people.  You have to demonstrate that you can do this even after you lose a few, and that you improve these skills over time.

Your candidate lost an election?  So what.  I've won two and lost two personally, and won more and lost more working for others.  I can tell you it hurts pretty bad when you are the losing candidate, hurts a lot more than it feels good to win.

The proper reaction is not to winge and cry out at the inequities of the world, but to drink heavily for a week and then get the hell back in the game trying to beat back those inequities.

You may not win in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2020, 2050 or  any other particular year but the issues we face will be just important then as they are today.  If you quit today then it will be harder on those who follow you, and those who still fight.

And this is about the issues, and improving the world.  It's not netroots vs DCCC, or locals vs Washington, or any other facile comparison.  This is a long-term fight to change the things we don't like about the USA and protect the things we do like about the USA.

To be totally sappy, this is about making the world a better place for our kids and their kids and their kids.

But that's where sappy ends: in our motivation.  We have to be tough as nails and not quit just 'cause we got beat.  Recognize that the battle is about the issues we believe in, and not about our own personal disappointments.

Be tough.  Fight hard.  Lose often.  Get up.  Fight again. Win sometimes.

by nathan 2006-03-23 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Nathan, nobody felt ANY sense of entitlement.  I'm about to go postal on the next person who uses that word.

All we asked for was respect.  Respect that Christine EARNED with her showing in 2004.

Now we're being told that the party knows best.  Even though they've never done anything to help build a base in the 6th Congressional District.  Even though they've lost election after election after election.  We're told we have to EARN the party's respect.  When is the party going to try to earn OUR respect?  Because ultimately WE, not the powers that be, are the party.

A Duckworth victory in November (which I very much hope to see) would the result of a cynical ploy that completely bastardizes the immediate needs of party building.  It would do nothing to spread longterm party health in those areas we are most in need.  This is NOTHING against Duckworth herself, a great candidate and hopefully a wonderful Congresswoman.  But spending $600,000 to gain 14,000 votes?  98% of which came from outside the district?  Makes you wonder if there aren't some misplaced priorities.

by jakester 2006-03-23 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Who doesn't respect Cegelis? Dude, you need to cool off and remember, this is about winning. You can lose and still be respected, and we all respect her.  We respect her not because she ran in 04 and won some votes -- she only scored a couple points higher than average Dem performance in the district, so any competent candidate would have done similarly -- but because she appears to be a decent human being.

Stop treating politics like some morality play in which there are good guys and bad guys, and everything is a direct affront to YOU. Everyone's trying to win. Your candidate lost. No one is "entitled" to anything (are the White Sox "entitled" to represent the American League in the World Series this year?). Move on and support Duckworth in the general, with every bit as much passion as you gave Cegelis. That's how to earn everyone's respect.

by ColoDem 2006-03-23 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

I do support Duckworth and hope she wins.

There ARE good guys and bad guys.  Karl Rove, for instance, is a bad guy.  In between the good and the bad there are gradations.  Pretending they don't exist is silly.

It's not just about winning, either.  I believe in winning with ethics.  I believe with winning within the bounds of the law.  I believe in winning with substance over style, because I fear for the direction of this Democracy.  I believe in winning with progressive values for similar reasons.  I fear the Democrats turning into the Republicans, and know that my silence could help facilitate that.  

Nonetheless, in the end I am a Democrat.  I long for a return of a Democratic majority to the U.S. House of Representatives.  That's why I got involved in the Cegelis campaign in the first place.  THEN I became a fan of Christine Cegelis.  THEN I saw what the DCCC did to her.  And got away with.  Do you not think other campaigns paid attention to this?  The DCCC or the highway thing?  Yes, it happened to MY candidate this time, but when it happens to YOUR candidate next time don't be surprised when you feel emotions other than detachment and "take one for the team."  At some point we will need to all take a stand or things will never change.  This is NOT sour grapes.  I know the difference between primaries and general elections, and losing with dignity.  This is NOT a routine case.

by jakester 2006-03-23 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Very well said.  One of the things I find to be ironic is that on any given day, a bunch of us will be disillusioned with the Democratic Party for whatever reason, and everyone else will be in the role of talking us down off the ledge.  The next day, a different group of people will become disillusioned for a different reason, and the roles will reverse, and so on.

Maybe this is just how life is when you're part of a coalition.  I kind of feel the netroots are not so much looking for the party leadership to acknowledge them as the activist majority who are always entitled to get their way, but merely looking for an acknowledgment that they are a significant PART of the coalition that should at least get their way some of the time.  I think people would have an easier time accepting that they won't always win if they felt like the leadership at least occasionally viewed us as more than an ATM machine.

by Steve M 2006-03-23 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

I have respect for Cegelis, but a lot of people posting here -- not necessarily you -- seem to feel that she deserved a cleared field because of her 2004 performance.

I have a lot of respect for her because she stuck with the race even when things went against her, and fought hard and almost won.

And I know what you are going through.  In 1998 Maryanne Connelly ran against Rep. Bob Franks in NJ7 and came closer than anyone else had in years.  She announced right away she was running again.

However, Franks decided to run for US Senate and that made it an open seat.  The Democratic organization decided that they needed someone other than Maryanne to run if they were going to win the seat.  The DCCC endorsed the organization candidate in a primary, which before then was anathema.  Emily's List kept its powder dry for the only woman candidate until the last week or so.

I was one of the first elected officials to endorse her, and the only male elected official at her announcement.  I managed her website way back then, and volunteered in her office.  (I had an ulterior motive, too.  I met my future wife in that office!)  I drafted letters to the editor, and went door-to-door.

Jon Corzine was running for US Senate that year, and ran on the organization candidate's line.  Money was not a problem for the organization candidate, and Maryanne had to fight for every penny.

That is pretty much exactly the Cegalis story, with Barack Obama playing Jon Corzine.

In NJ7, Maryanne won the primary but lost the general election and we got stuck with Mike Ferguson for the past six years.

So I know what you are going through.  I went through it too.  Cegalis has my respect, as do the people who worked for her.

But the fact is there are lost of people who thought the DCCC should have just ignored the race and let Cegalis run unopposed.  That is the sense of entitlement I was talking about.

I have no problem with the DCCC coming in to my race in 2000, or this one in 2006.  It's politics.

by nathan 2006-03-23 11:54AM | 0 recs
Bollocks

I'm on a State Committee, and many of my "long term and earned it" coleagues are about as crooked as the day is long. We have people who are solely employed in life by their political connections who operate out of whatever gets them ahead. Folks vote on who they want to help based on who sucked up to them the most.

It's really pathetic, and quite unethical.

by ElitistJohn 2006-03-23 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Bollocks

Just being there a long time isn't what I was talking about.  I'm talking about good, progressive people being there for a long time and earning respect.

You don't get respect just for lasting a long time, but you can't get respect without lasting a long time.

by nathan 2006-03-23 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Bollocks

Bull. IME, the long timers are the most self-absorbed and least "progressive" of the bunch. And they hoard power like no tomorrow.

And yes, respect is shown them like crazy by everyone who wants in. I've yet to meet many "long time progressives", unless you count corrupted boomers who used to be progressive back in the 60's.

by ElitistJohn 2006-03-23 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Bollocks

I think you miss the point.  I'm talking about US hanging in long term so WE can become the long-term progressive activists who have a say in things.

I'm not talking about the current long-termers.

by nathan 2006-03-23 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Bollocks

Ah. Understood. I agree totally. I apologize...I'm just so used to people making excuses for the fossils I expect it.

by ElitistJohn 2006-03-23 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

extremely well put. Thank you for voicing what many of us feel.

by DemocraticBass 2006-03-23 03:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

I was impressed with Cigeles' run in '04 and continuing to support her efforts was easy (I ponied up some North Carolina love).  Instead of capitalizing on that earlier noble effort, the DCCC brought in a ringer (I have heard she had to first establish residency in IL6 before she could run) instead of expanding on Cegelis' already established support.  Given Duckworth's credentials, it appears they could have picked any CD in the state in which she would have been an immediately credible candidate (if that residency story was true).

Who was complaining the other day about Dean not focusing resources on key races?

by stumpy 2006-03-23 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

U.S. House races have no district residency requirements.  Any resident of the state can run in any district in the state provided the person is at least 25 years old and has been a citizen of the U.S. for at least seven years.

by mitchjones 2006-03-23 07:56AM | 0 recs
There's been too much hand-wringing about this

I was a proud Cegelis supporter since 2003, but I abandoned her in the last few months of this campaign.  I still think she's a great person, but I chose to stop contributing because I want to beat Roskam and I do think Tammy Duckworth has a better chance.
Not because Tammy's a better candidate (they're both excellent candidates), but because of the support of the establishment.  After all their efforts to influence this race, I'm confident that they'll pour millions into the general election.  If Chris had won the primary, she would have received almost nothing from the DCCC. They would have written her off like in 2004 and then would have been utterly shocked when she finished just a point behind Roskam.
It's complete bullshit and completely unfair, but that's the system progressives are up against.

This race is winnable and it's important to have a candidate who can afford to compete.  I think that Chris would have been able to raise adequate funds, but I know Tammy will.
If I lived in the district, I would have voted for Chris.  I feel awful for how Emanuel and his ilk have treated her.  I feel badly for not sending checks in the final months.  But I'm pragmatic about things like this.

by ChgoSteve 2006-03-23 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: There's been too much hand-wringing about this

When push comes to shove, Duckworth would be a better Representative than Roskam.

by Baltimore 2006-03-23 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: There's been too much hand-wringing about this

No doubt about that.  Katherine Harris would be a better representative than Roskam!  Roskam's a right wing nut.

by ChgoSteve 2006-03-23 08:39AM | 0 recs
Too bad you decided not to support Cegelis

Although Duckworth will most certainly deny it, she is likely running a faux campaign, with no chance to defeat Republican Roskam in November.  The gaffes and waffling on critical issues which became evident during the primary will provide easy targets for the Republicans.  She is destined to lose to Roskam in a big way, and no amount of campaigning, outside funding, VIP endorsements or glossy mailings will change that.

However, the puppet-master Rahm will look upon the loss and say that the attempt was valiant and Duckworth should be given another opportunity somewhere where she can draw upon her vast campaigning experience in the 6th District.

by pascal1947 2006-03-23 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Too bad you decided not to support Cegelis

I supported her in spirit until the end.  I think the world of her.  I just stopped giving money.
Hey, if things go as you predict, then Chris should return in 2008 and run as a Democratic outsider with nothing but contempt for the Democratic establishment.  I'm sure it would be sincere, and in this GOP-leaning district it could be a successfuly ploy.

I think party leaders need to reevaluate such aggressive actions on behalf of a particular candidate in a primary.
I got a mailing attacking treasurer candidate Alexi Giannoulias paid for by the Illinois Democratic Party.  It really pissed me off.  I donate money to the party and here they were spending it to attack my candidate in the primary.  So no more money for them.

by ChgoSteve 2006-03-23 11:39AM | 0 recs
All eggs in one basket

For the same media cost the DCCC could highlight all primary candidates. It  would support the DCCC candidate AND the grassroots candidate and I can only think that it would help to motive the base.

Just a blogged thought ;)

by PurityOfEssence 2006-03-23 08:28AM | 0 recs
On turnout

Okay, can we please explode the myth of low turnout being a reflection on Cegelis?  Turnout was generally low throughout Illinois.  It's an off-year election, there's no Senate race in Illinois, and the Democratic governor race was not a real race.  The GOP had the sexy race (for governor) so in an open primary, people who were unaffiliated likely took a GOP ballot to stop the loon Oberweis from winning.

Moreover, we're talking about a district in which there are NO elected Democrats.  I read someone's comment somewhere suggesting it would have been better if a local elected official had decided to run instead of Duckworth.  WHO?!?  There's. No. Body.  This is an area in which I would hear people whisper to me that they were Democrats, because they thought they were the only one on the block (of course, when five people on a block say the same thing, it's pretty funny).  Where it was suggested by a volunteer that we not place door hangers on the outside of doors because people didn't want their neighbors to go.  Where a few years ago there was no such thing as a yard sign for Gore or Durbin.  Where, if you go to vote with your husband or see  your neighbor in line, you can't quite bring yourself to ask for a Democratic ballot, even if you would have voted for the Democrat behind closed doors.  Where even with our gains, GOP registration outpaces Dem registration 2-1.  That's what made Christine's run in 2004 so remarkable (particularly on a shoe string) and one of the factors that bugged residents about DCCC's "we know best" strategy.  Christine was helping to BUILD something.  A moribund county party was becoming reinvigorated thanks in large part to Christine and the support she received.

Around 32,000 people cast votes in the race.  Only 36,158 cast votes in the 2004 primary ... which was in a presidential year, with a very high profile Senatorial campaign.  This compares to 26,791 voting in the 2002 primary.  16,010 in the 2000 primary (which was contested)!  This is a district in which Henry Hyde received 67% of the vote in 1998 - AFTER his hypocritical affair was revealed.  75% was not uncommon throughout his career.  Christine held him to 55%.  With no help from national.

So please, take a few seconds to look into what the hell you're talking about before spouting off.

One last point.  Michael in Chicago did heroic work throughout this campaign.  Yes, he made a mistake.  But the reason you didn't hear more from local folks is because a lot of us are still neophytes in the big bad national blog world.  MOST of Christine's grassroots support came from folks completely disengaged from the net, or who got connected to the blog world BECAUSE of the Cegelis campaign.  These are not latte-drinking urbanites.  Grassroots should never be confused with netroots.  Christine had both, but yes, I agree, many of the big-name coastal bloggers who should have known better chose to sit this one out.  Even some local bloggers refused to come to the defense of the Cegelis partisans who, when we pointed out what was wrong with this picture, were painted as too rabid, too immature, not sophisticated enough in the game.

The game, the game.  That's all it is to you people.  A game.  What?  Get emotional about a candidate?  About Democracy?  That's for suckers.

by jakester 2006-03-23 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: On turnout

No one is saying you shouldn't be passionate about politics.  I do feel (from long experience) that one should not get too emotionally attached to a candidate because:  often they lose; once in a while they win, and even then they may get shot after the primary; sometimes they actually win the office, and then in the crush of being in office they inevitably do something that you will really dislike.

If you are too emotionally involved, it can be difficult to recover from these losses and imagined betrayals, and then it is hard to keep fighting for years and years and years.  

Remember, if you are not with the establishment, you will lose a lot more than you win.  But you still have to keep fighting, and it is hard to do if you are too emotionally involved with a candidate (as opposed to causes).

by Mimikatz 2006-03-23 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Dear Matt,
When I met you a few weeks ago in California, I told you your shirt was on inside out.

I'm going to tell you that again.

Michael in Chicago is a teacher. He has a family to support. He's also a professional designer who sells his services to augment his teaching income. The Cegelis campaign, as other campaigns have done, paid Michael for design services.

I also could not afford to fly out to Chicago. But I did it anyway. I paid for my own trip out from California. I've met Christine and Michael and lots of the other volunteers. I've worked with them all by phone and email. So I do know the situation and the people and am in a position to straighten your shirt out yet again.

I have not seen such dedication and enthusiasm for a candidate since Howard Dean. These people gave up every spare moment to work for Christine. Christine did even more. She quit her job and re-financed her house to run this race. The hours she kept would have killed a lesser woman. Her passion inspired the volunteers to work hard enough that they almost overcame the massive amounts of money and media the Washington elite poured into this race. And, believe me, Duckworth's support was 90% bought and paid for.

Like Michael, I do this for a living. I have a bill in to the campaign for $100.00. It has not been paid yet. Despite that, I still flew to Chicago. I still spent nights and weekends writing Christine's website, doorhangers, emails, newsletters, and mailers. Even if the bill gets paid, I obviously didn't do it for the money. I make that much in a couple of hours. I've spent hundreds of hours on this campaign.

Michael didn't do this for the money either. I know how much time he spent on this campaign, and how much that would have cost. What he was paid was a pittance for all the work he did. And it was only for design work. It did not cover the hours he spent delivering lawn signs, driving Christine to campaign events, setting up events, going to photo shoots, blogging, making phone calls, and walking precincts. He did all that because he cares about the district he lives in. The district his students live in. The district he's raising his daughter in.

Like Christine, Michael and other volunteers gave up their personal lives to try to take our country and our government back from big-money special interests. They deserve our thanks and admiration.

And you owe Michael and the other volunteers an apology.

by cfinnie 2006-03-23 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

I didn't take anything in Matt's post to be questioning Michael's sincerity or the truth of what he posted about the Cegelis campaign.  His point was simply that Michael should have disclosed that he had a relationship with the campaign, which I happen to agree with.

Lots of completely unbiased people make disclosures every day, in the interests of candor.  Someone might decide, "Hey, this Michael guy does work for the campaign, he might lose that job if he blogged anything negative so I'm not sure I believe what he has to say."  Now, you might respond that Michael would never shade the truth and that everything he wrote was 100% his honest belief, and you might well be correct.  But you don't get to make that choice for the reader.  The reader is entitled to the benefit of full information, even if Christine is the best candidate ever and Michael is an absolute saint.

by Steve M 2006-03-23 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

"I didn't take anything in Matt's post to be questioning Michael's sincerity or the truth of what he posted about the Cegelis campaign."

I'm kinda slow, so please explain how this statement by Matt is anything but such questioning: "How could I trust Michael in Chicago when hey said that Cegelis had massive support, if Michael in Chicago was basically lying about whether he was paid by the Cegelis campaign?"

 

by AustinMayor 2006-03-26 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Comparison of Cegelis to Hackett is inapt.

For one thing, it is far harder to run a statewide campaign than a congressional campaign; the logistics of running a grass-roots campaign in a populous state with multiple large DMAs like OH is far different than runnign a more or less local congressional campaign. Not saying the latter is a walk in the park - it isn't - but Hackett was running in OH, statewide. Far harder.

Second, it is unclear that Cegelis was knee-capped to the extent Hackett appears to have been.

Calling Hackett a coward was over the top.

End of day, we now have roughly a half-dozen ongoing cases of DC Dem meddling in elections (IL6, PA, OH, MN, soon to be CT I am sure). The national leadership of the party does not represent us as progressives, have not done so for decades, and in fact has spent the last 6 years demonstrating their eagerness to actively work to undermine reform efforts and progressive causes dear to us. Bankruptcy "Reform". Tax Cuts for the Rich. Iraq War. SC Confirmation Sell-outs, one after the other.  

We are the left's "values" voters, and we are being ignored by a value-less party, one whose leaders seem to prefer the comforts of the trappings of their minority-status office to the rigor of actual conviction and leadership/

It may be too late for the party. Part of me thinks it is too far gone to be reformed. Part of me hopes I am wrong. If I am, there's only one way to turn this situation around, and that is to do what the Right's "values" voters did to the GOP, and that is to stop supporting Democrats carte blanche.

The time has come to stop voting for Dems who do not represent our values, regardless of immediate consequences. The only way we get the DC Dems to take note is to quit giving them support. Only when faced with real consequences will these folks ever start taking our votes seriously. And '06 is a pivotal election for these gutless Dems - it's theirs to lose due to serious GOP weakness, and if they were to actually lose seats this time around playing GOP-lite for the 6th election cycle in a row, maybe then would the DLC crowd take a hint. Then again, maybe the won't - and just blame it on Dean. Only one way to find out - and that's to withhold votes. It's now or never.

IMHO, there's never been a more important election for progressive Democrats to sit out. If your candidate represents your values, by all means vote for her or him. If not, abstain or look into the Greens or the Social Democrat candidates if you are fortunate enough to have those choices.

In my case, this means an easy vote for my DFL Representative, Betty McCollum, who walks the walk. But it likely will also mean passing on the Senate candidate, hand-picked by the DSCC, Amy Klobuchar, who sounds a lot like a Feinstein clone.

Thanks, but no thanks.

by redstar66 2006-03-23 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Chill, Matt, don't flegellate yourself. You didn't miss much. Cegelis didn't set the world on fire, she got about 13,000 votes. My God, you need more than that to get elected to city council in a medium sized suburb in bumfuck Colorado. Yes, she successfully turned out her dedicated voters, which is all to her and her staff's credit. But turning out 13,000 voters in a primary doesn't really count for "massive support". If anything, it shows that Duckworth needs to work on her GOTV operation. Plus, it was a tiny turnout with a third candidate who got over 10%. Not sure much greater of a margin was really possible. Finally, Duckworth had a load more money and free TV, not to mention endorsements, but Cegelis has been running for this seat since late 2003. It's more surprising that Duckworth won this thing at all than that Cegelis got 13,000 votes. Biggest disappointment is the turnout, which strongly suggests either candidate would be a longshot in the general. Just not enough interested Democrats.

Not sure your connection to Hackett makes sense, although I agree he didn't turn out to be the stand up guy we thought he was.

by ColoDem 2006-03-23 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

I really appreciate both Matt and Chris's mea culpa.  It shows a real maturity and humility on the part of our side.

As I was watching the returns on Tuesday night, I was dreading the inevitable "Now we have to get behind Tammy" posts that would have sounded so condescending and dismissive.  There will be time to get behind Duckworth (we've got over 7 months until November), but let's spend some time discussing the big issues first.

It seems to me we're talking about two things:  one, who is more likely to win the seat for the Democrats in November?  Two, what is the relationship between the netroots and the party going to be?  I think a good case could be made for the first question that Cegelis's grass-roots efforts would have made her stronger against Roskam.  If she had been the nominee, she would have had the funds she needed to compete--I don't think Rahm Emanuel is that stupid that he would deprive her of funds in November for beating his candidate in March.

Also, when I've heard Duckworth speak, she sounds as if she doesn't understand the issues.  She is a true neophyte, and Roskam is an experienced legislator.  I'm afraid he's going to wipe the floor with her in debate.

For the second question, I think a lot of us appreciated Christine's willingness to take on Hyde in 2004, and her enthusiasm for party-building in the years since.  For Emanuel to cut her off at the knees feels--well, it feels like some weird combination of Machine/Mob/Republican behavior to a lot of us.  

I liked Cegelis for her positions on the issues--I think she would be less likely to vote for a future CAFTA or bankruptcy bill than Duckworth, who will vote for whatever Rahm tells her to vote for.  For the record, I didn't give her money and I live in IL-1, not IL-6.  I belong to the IVI-IPO, which endorsed Christine, but I didn't take part in the endorsement session.

Just my two cents.  Flame away.

by rayspace 2006-03-23 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Nicely said Matt. I knew nothing about the ethical issues you raised and think perhaps you overplay them as others overplayed similar complaints raised about other bloggers but I understand completely why they caused you to question what you were being told.

Just so everyone is clear on my posts...

I am not paid in any way shape or form by the Gillibrand campaign for any service or function whatsoever. Nor do I have any financial relationship of any sort with her or any of her family members, campaign staff, employer, or any other possible association you can think of.

I am a volunteer for her campaign and one of 10 county coordinators. I do live in the district and I do care what sort of person is hired to represent me in Washington. I do not approve of the current person filling that role nor do I like green eggs and ham sam I am. I do like Kirsten Gillibrand and heartily approve of her candidacy for congress in New York's 20t Congressional District.

I am also a former Chicagoan. I have never lived in Illinois-6 but I know the area well. I no longer live anywhere near the district nor do I have sort of aboe mentioned relationships with any of the campaigns there.

I do care about the various factions of the Democratic Party learning to work together and not at odds with each other. This is why I have such a strong opinion about what happened in Il-6 and the DCCC's role in this primary.

They need to learn to share, play nice with the other kids, and work as part of the team. We are part of that team and they need to learn to adjust to a brave new world.

I also agree with your comments vis a vis Cegelis and Hackett. I might not have stated it as strongly as you did but I was very disappointed with his withdrawal from the race and the manner in which he did it.

Peace,

Andrew C. White
Stephentown Democratic Committee Chair
Democracy for the Hudson-Mohawk Region President

by Andrew C White 2006-03-23 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

We need to show them the grassroots can beat back National Democrat puppets. IN PA-08, a seat we can totally win, Patrick Murphy is a vet facing Andy Warren in the primary.

I saw this guy Murphy on Hardball! He can't even string a sentence together on the war, which is the one issue Rahm Emanuel picked him to talk about.

ANDY WARREN is the guy we need to get behind, and show them the Cegelis grassroots fight was not a fluke, but that it was a MESSAGE to RAHM: you need us as much as we need you.

by nancpy4me06 2006-03-23 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

PFfffffffffffffft.

Murphy has, by any account, the support of the grassroots of the party.  Sites like ours (Young Philly Politics, Above Average Jane, etc) widely support him.  And he is already endorsed by Philly for Change (our DFA).

Warren, on the other hand, is generally just embarrassing himself in the blog world.  He is a guy who switched parties based on spite, and none of his supporters can ever articulate any positive reasons to support him.

by DanielUA 2006-03-23 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Paul Hackett's a "coward," huh? Maybe he's just an adult. Maybe he knows that the "Netroots" crowd is a self-promoting paper tiger that couldn't elect a dog catcher, and whose loyalty can be measured in nanoseconds.

"Coward." Wow.

by cwilson 2006-03-23 09:13AM | 0 recs
Um, Mr. Stoller:

Cegelis still lost.  There's NO second place for losing closely.  To call Hackett a coward is REALLY fucking cheap.  You say YOU couldn't afford a plane ticket to Chicago.  Well, don't assume that Hackett wanted to waste his life and spend money on a losing proposition.  One could even argue that he spared his supporters like me who would have given him money.  If he knew he would lose, then I am glad he spared us spending scarce contribution dollars on him, whilst there are many many other winnable races to fund.

Btw, I agree with you on the Cegelis stuff.  That was tough.  I sent her no money either.  I FULLY understand being reticent when people are lying to you.  I would have done the same.  I hope the campaign loves the webwork that Michael in Chicago did, because he COST them big in more ways than one.

by jgarcia 2006-03-23 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Um, Mr. Stoller:

jgarcia, Michael helped the campaign more than just about anybody out there.  None of us who WERE involved thinks he hurt it one iota.

He was a Jeremiah.  A Cassandra.  Perhaps he was overzealous at times but that's what happens when you're trying to explain something to people who refuse to listen.

When Matt said he "had no other information from the Cegelis side" it means "I was too lazy to seek out other information."

Michael is great!  You are operating with less than ideal amounts of information, and so perhaps should refrain from continuing to trash this guy, for fear of making yourself look idiotic or worse!!

by jakester 2006-03-23 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Um, Mr. Stoller:

Glad you clarified things.  Perhaps we was great, but people, even in their zealotry, must be totally truthful, as credibility is all we have in the online world.

by jgarcia 2006-03-23 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Um, Mr. Stoller:

"people, even in their zealotry, must be totally truthful, as credibility is all we have in the online world."

In my opinion, spewing on regarding things about which one knows nothing is a common, but unrecognized, form of dishonesty.  

And, to someone with some actual knowledge of the subject, your ignorant statements about Michael in Chicago's contributions to the Cegelis campaign in time, money, sweat and effort are shockingly dishonest.

by AustinMayor 2006-03-26 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: 1 nit to pick

The point is, the big (stated) knock on Christine (by Rahm) is that she couldn't raise money.  Then Duckworth is GIVEN money by self-same Rahm.  Duckworth's ability to raise money HERSELF is shown by the fact that 2% of her money was in-district, and that Cegelis outraised her by a significant amount in-district.

by jakester 2006-03-23 10:14AM | 0 recs
Nobody raises money on their own
...ability to raise money HERSELF...

Nobody raises money on their own. Everyone gets a lot of help (or they don't raise any money).
by Michael Bersin 2006-03-23 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Nobody raises money on their own

Thanks, I'm not three.

My point still stands.

by jakester 2006-03-23 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Nobody raises money on their own

So, when the netroots raises money out of a district the "pure" candidates should reject it? You can't complain when your opponents use all of the tools which are available to them. In politics you never hold back. If the money which comes in conforms to federal campaign finance law, for the most part, candidates will take it, because it costs money to run a campaign.

Thanks, I'm not three.

Then stop pouting at the world like you are still three.

by Michael Bersin 2006-03-23 11:02AM | 0 recs
Obtuse by nature?

Okay...slowly...so...you...can...follow.

You can't claim your reason for carpetbagging a sockpuppet in is because the existing candidate can't raise money, and then do all the fundraising for your sockpuppet. You see, the logic bomb is that you could have just done the very same fundraising for the existing candidate. In fact, there would have been no need to as the existing candidate would have crushed the sockpuppet sans the fundraising by Boss Hogg.

It don't work.

Michael, a simple..."we wanted to have someone else in and just stomped it through...bite me" will suffice. It would also be refreshingly honest.

by ElitistJohn 2006-03-23 12:01PM | 0 recs
Amateur by nature?

Elitist, can I call you Elitist, since we seem to be on a first name basis?

Michael, a simple..."we wanted to have someone else in and just stomped it through...bite me" will suffice. It would also be refreshingly honest.

What do you mean "we".

I didn't have a dog in this fight. But I am tired of the "we never got out of junior high school" drama going on at this point. As if no one else around here has fought a tough campaign (including primaries) and lost - sometimes against overwhelming odds, sometimes because of rank incompetence, and sometimes because of inexperience or because we trusted someone else too much. That's life. Politics is hard and it's smash mouth. You mourn, you get over it, you pick yourself up, and you try again somewhere else for somebody else - and hope that maybe the previous experience taught you something. What you don't do is crap all over the carpet in public.

I've watched too many great resources similar to this place (there is a bit of an evolutionary process in blogtopia - yes, skippy coined the phrase!) dissolve into this excessive handwringing and crapfest, distracting everyone from the big picture because it was so much easier to whine when someone didn't get their way.

I also understand that all politics is hardball - I'd sooner slit your throat politically than look at you. You can't expect quarter from anyone, nor can you give any. The sooner everyone understands that, the better. When the primary is over, you turn that on the republicans - and you make them pay.

You want to hold hands with everyone and sing songs of brotherhood? Guess what, you're an ingenue if you think the republicans will back off for your soft focus view of utopia.

Once the primary is over you need to put it all behind you and work toward the goal of winning the general election. To do otherwise makes you a dilittante or worse - an enabler for the worst the republicans have in store for all of us.

by Michael Bersin 2006-03-23 12:46PM | 0 recs
Spare me

This is about ethics. What you want is for everyone to just blithely ignore ethics, and just go along and get along. Wromg.

I am not saying to hand it over to the Reps. I am saying that it's completely legitimate to work to screw over people who screw you over. Smashmouth goes both ways.

I would say that you want everyone to STFU and sing songs of brotherhood with unethical scuzzballs. It's completely legitimate to tell Boiss Hogg you'll be sending your money and time to other close races fighting the Reps, and let him come up with more fundraising and people for his sock puppet.

I fully get smashmouth. I object to the whining when it turns out it's a two way street.

by ElitistJohn 2006-03-23 02:30PM | 0 recs
Spare you?

Would you mind translating that into English?

I think there was something in there where you confuse ethics and your holier than thou attitude about something along with the realities of politics. Though I'm not sure, except for the holier than thou part. Heh.

by Michael Bersin 2006-03-23 04:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Spare you?

I'm glad you amuse yourself.

by ElitistJohn 2006-03-23 04:32PM | 0 recs
Au contraire!

It is you who is amusing everyone else!

Well, okay, that was unfair. You're really not amusing anyone, you're just wasting their time.

by Michael Bersin 2006-03-23 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Au contraire!

And you're a lesson in exactly the sort of amoral types who are drawn to politics. Have a nice day!

by ElitistJohn 2006-03-23 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Au contraire!

Coming from you I'll consider that a compliment.

Frickin' amateur.

by Michael Bersin 2006-03-23 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Au contraire!

Umm, sorry to rain on your parade here, but he's got a point.

Hey, if you don't like it, you can, y'know, keep that party of yours. And do with it as you please.

Just don't expect all of us to buy this "pragmatism" crap ad infinitum. Eventually, we're going to expect some conviction and, given it's been decades since we've seen any, patience is wearing thin.

If you find that amusing, I'd say that reflects more on you than on that part of the base the Democrats have been taking for granted at their peril.

I suspect your lot won't find it all that amusing the day after election day.

by redstar66 2006-03-23 05:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Au contraire!

Oh I see. You're either quite naive or you work as a cubicle intern for the rnc.

"Pragmatism crap"? I just love that. I'll give you pragmatism. You can whine and threaten to take your marbles elsewhere, or you can pick yourself up and try to take things over. But you won't.

If you haven't done so already, I'd suggest you volunteer for a local Democratic candidate in the general election. Work really hard to establish your bonafides. No one will care about your ideology, just that you were a dependable volunteer. After that, find out how to file for ward or precinct committee and run. Chances are you'll get elected - maybe not. Volunteer for some more campaigns. Rinse, repeat.  Run for further Democratic Party committees in the hierarchy (these vary by state). In a while you'll have taken over the party.

Your other alternative is to start a third party. To do so and win, you're going to need a precinct organization in each precinct of like minded individuals and lots of volunteers. Otherwise, you're just blowing a whole lot of smoke and wasting time.

Now, if you've done neither or you don't plan on doing so in the near future - you're just wasting bandwidth.

That's "pragmatism crap", grasshopper.

by Michael Bersin 2006-03-23 11:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Au contraire!

"You can whine and threaten to take your marbles elsewhere, or you can pick yourself up and try to take things over. But you won't."

Or I can take my marbles elsewhere and stop bothering with your lot and stop whinging. And yes, I have volunteered and worked, at a precinct level, for a third party, most recently in my city's mayoral election where we damn near took second and got into the run-off. But I am also nominally at least precinct chair for the DFL, so at least for now I still have my butt between two chairs.

Taking my marbles elsewhere and eventually checking out of your party is precisely what folks like me tend to do. C'mon, how many real lefties do you know? Ok, now how many of them are willing to call themselves Democrats?

You are a credit to your wing of the party. No wonder the Dems have done so swimmingly the past few decades with the public. A core base of captured clients who really have no alternative, and we get treated to your kind of crap enough and guess what we do? Well, thanks for your patronizing attitude, you can go fuck yourself, as can the party you represent.

You part of the DCCC party outreach or something?

by redstar66 2006-03-24 02:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Au contraire!

...for a third party...

Heh. I thought so. Preaching to the choir?

...You are a credit to your wing of the party. No wonder the Dems have done so swimmingly the past few decades with the public. A core base of captured clients who really have no alternative, and we get treated to your kind of crap enough and guess what we do? Well, thanks for your patronizing attitude, you can go fuck yourself, as can the party you represent...

Not "we"?

You can go back to your parents' basement and play video games, oh great defender of the Democratic Party faith.

by Michael Bersin 2006-03-24 03:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Politics isn't for whining crybabies. If your candidate loses in the primaries, then you support the winner. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but this ain't one of them. The "Netroots" babies need to sit down, shut up and move on.

Maybe one of these days you'll actually elect someone. I have seen no evidence that any of the "Netroots" wannbes have been able to do that yet. When they do, and when it's clear that they've done it, then we can talk.

And whoever calls someone who volunteered for Iraq and then went over there a "coward" has a screw loose. What the hell are you peoeple thinking?

by cwilson 2006-03-23 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Agreed!  Reflection is for sissies!  Using the blogosphere to better understand the dynamics of politics in a given race is stupid!  Calling people babies and wannabes is the way to move forward, all in the name of party unity!!!  Which is essential because there's an election coming up!

by jakester 2006-03-23 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Reflection is okay. A little mourning is also okay. I understand all that. People get to lick their wounds. But calling Hackett a "coward" didn't just cross the line, it pole vaulted across the line.

Don't confuse me with a Lieberman Democrat, 'cause I'm not. But this circular firing squad stuff is just stupid. There's a Democratic candidate in that district, and instead of whining that it's not the one you supported I think it would be a much better idea if you supported the one who was elected.

by cwilson 2006-03-23 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

"Maybe one of these days you'll actually elect someone."

Maybe someday the DLC/DSCC/DCCC/DC Dem Leadership will actually win something with this crap.

It's been about a decade now.

I ain't holding my breath, though.

Rich it is indeed to refer to people as crybabies folks fighting to take their party back from the Corporate-sponsored party of Emmanuel, Biden, Lieberman and Clinton. We've been waiting patiently hoping your lot would shit or get off the fucking pot. As it happens, you do neither, and now you expect us to sit outside the stall quietly and wait another two years?

The stench is becoming unbearable. Much noise, of little substance, signifying nothing, coming out of that stall.

by redstar66 2006-03-23 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Excuse me, but just where do you plan to go? Look, it's too bad that your candidate didn't win the primary. But guess what? That happens. My Democrats rarely win the primaries; they are almost always more liberal than the party as a whole.

What's the answer? Vote for Nader? I don't think so. Stay home and not vote? I don't think so. The answer is that you support the nominee. Then you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and the next time around you fight for your candidate in the primary.

But one thing you sure as HELL don't do is run around calling a Democratic war veteran a "corward" for dropping out of the Ohio Senate race, and you don't reject another veteran who won that primary in Illinois. That's just insane, and it's offensive. Those veterans should be welcomed into this party with open arms.

You want to lose? You're paying the way for another glorious defeat with that kind of crybaby junk. And, like I say, I haven't seen one, single candidate ANYWHERE at ANY LEVEL who has been elected by the so-called "Netroots" crowd.

You people are really good at self-promtion and self-congratulation, but when it comes to feet on the street and dollars in the bank and votes in the box you are NOWHERE. If that's too harsh for you, then too bad because thus far there is NOTHING to show for all your whining. NOTHING.

by cwilson 2006-03-23 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Totally with you on the coward comment, see my similar comments further up on the thread.

As for "nothing to show for my whining," I ain't hardly whining, simply stating the fact I've got nothing to show, period. Haven't for three decades. Dems haven't done jack shit for 30 years, not one significant piece of progressive legislation since the Nixon administration, so your damn straight I'm going to be vocal about it. That ain't whining, it's calling a spade a spade, if you folks don't like it it's the same.

As for going 3rd party, I reserve that right. I don't see the Dems as being automatically worthy of a vote, and after a couple of decades of absolutely incompetent leadership on their part, I'm done cutting them slack.

Knee-capping Hackett is one example of that incompetence. Only one. There are many more.

No more benefit of the doubt. I'm no crybaby, but I'm not a patsy either. When Dems start talking my language, they get my time, my money, my support and my vote. That's a fact.

When they aren't talking my language, I will look elsewhere. I already have. Simple as that.

by redstar66 2006-03-23 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

You "reserve that right" to vote third party? What the hell does THAT mean? Of course everyone has the right to do it. You know, just like in the 2000 election when the left-wing whiners decided that they just couldn't stand all that compromisin' and defected to Nader. Just enough of them to elect a president who is now one of the botton five we've ever had.

Here's the deal. Instead of cryin' me a river, how about working for your candidate? How about going out and seeing if you can convince some more of those lazy college kids to get off their overprivileged asses and vote? Last election, they didn't raise their turnout by very much at all, and now they get the privilege of whining about the interest rates being jacked up on their student loans.

Here's one thing that the so-called "Netroots" and the "party establishment" have in common: They only talk amongst themselves. Meanwhile, the voter participation rate has gone from 75% in the early 1960s to 50% now. That's anywhere from 20 million to 40 million voters missing in every federal election.

What does the regular party do? Whine about how best to snag a couple million NASCAR dads. What does the "Netroots" crowd do? Whine about how the party regulars don't dot every "I" and cross every "T" on the list. Meanwhile, in every election another 1% or 2% of the public stops voting because no one is talking about what they care about in everyday language.

Fine, "Netroots." Go piss and moan about how the regulars installed a candidate in some Illinois district and how they screwed Paul Hackett. Oh, and while you're at it, see if you can find some other Democratic combat veterans to piss on. That's going to help a WHOLE LOT.

by cwilson 2006-03-23 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

"You know, just like in the 2000 election when the left-wing whiners decided that they just couldn't stand all that compromisin' and defected to Nader. Just enough of them to elect a president who is now one of the botton five we've ever had."

I dunno, he is perhaps the worst. President. ever. But Clinton was probably, after Reagan, the most effective conservative President of my lifetime. So I can see why folks would belly-ache. 'Specially since all we hear from the Dems and folks like you is "shut up, quit your whining and work for the same guys who've ignored you and disrespected you the past decade or so".

End of day, the GOP are clearly dominated by outright fascists. But the Dems.reallly.suck. And have for quite some time. Sure there are some good eggs who still stand for core party Great Society principals, but they're in the minority. As a result, as a political consumer, my market is not served. I'm talking utterly ignored. It's like I've got two choices, one poisonous and the other foul tasting. I'm supposed to be happy with this state of affairs?

Voting third party has one major benefit voting democrat doesn't have. One does one's civic duty, but one is not responsible for the crap the Dems will undoubtedly pull (wellfare reform, Nafta, Cafta, bankruptcy reform, tax cuts for the rich, Iraq War resolution, Patriot Act, Telecommunications Act, etc...). Vote Dem and I am responsible, at least partially, for garbage I find utterly reprehensible. Vote 3rd party and I am not.

Anyhow, volunteering in my local Dorothy Day center does a helluva lot more good to folks truly in need than supporting a bunch of corrupt, power hungry DC Dems and their local proxies.

"Here's one thing that the so-called "Netroots" and the "party establishment" have in common: They only talk amongst themselves. Meanwhile, the voter participation rate has gone from 75% in the early 1960s to 50% now. That's anywhere from 20 million to 40 million voters missing in every federal election."

I hardly think the "netroots" are responsible for 20% of the population checking out of the political process. I would put the onus of this on 30 years of utterly incompetent Democratic leadership. Goes back to the poison versus bad tasting product issue. People are obviously averse to poison, but they sure as hell aren't attracted to a bad tasting product. So they check out.

I suspect they'll check out until the day the CA deficit piper comes to demand payment and white middle class folks start hurting. But I don't see Democrats being in a position to capitalize on this eventuality, they've been too busy playing "echo, not a choice" for too long to extricate themselves from association with the mess. Dubya may be a horrible president, but your party has been along with him for the ride for most of his 5+ years in office...

by redstar66 2006-03-23 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Bill Clinton wasn't liberal enough for me. That said, he gave it a shot. You might recall that the Denmocrats lost 50-something seats in 1994, and Clinton's back was to the wall. He tried and lost on gays in the military and national health care. His political retreat was very well executed, and Clinton's people took brilliant advantage of Gingrich's ego problem.

You're right, it's not the fault of the so-called "Netroots" that turnout has declined. But the "Netroots" people have doing NOTHING, I do mean NOTHING, to raise it. Their websites are congraulatory, self-referential little cliques that have NOTHING to offer the unanointed.

Look at the '04 election, for God's sakes. Wouldn't you have thought that for all the outrageous hype about the Internet and its use as a political tool that turnout among the oh-so-connected youth would have done a little better?

Here's the deal: I don't care who does it, be it "regular" Democrats or the so-called "Netroots," until my Democratic Party figures out their top 3 priorities and put those priorities in every candidate and officeholder's mouth, and until those people are taught how to cut out the Washington jargon and talk like normal folks, none of the rest of this stuff will amount to ANYTHING.

That's what the so-called "Netroots" could have brought to the table. But take a look around. All the "Netroots" has shown itself to be is a big clique of many 1,000 wanna-be chiefs who couldn't get voted onto the student council let alone anywhere else.

by cwilson 2006-03-23 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

"until my Democratic Party figures out their top 3 priorities and put those priorities in every candidate and officeholder's mouth, and until those people are taught how to cut out the Washington jargon and talk like normal folks, none of the rest of this stuff will amount to ANYTHING."

No argument from me.

When was the last time? 1966?

Year of my birth.

by redstar66 2006-03-23 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

I date the Democratic Party's communication problem to Jimmy Carter, whose standard answer to everything was to stress how complex the issue was. Ever since then, the Republicans have been putting things in simple terms and the Democrats have been calling voters idiots for preferring politicians they can understand.

One of these decades, the Democratic Party will learn that simplicity need not be stupid. Other way around. Simple language leaves neither the speaker nor his critic anywhere to hide. There is nothing wrong with people who want it digestible.

Until someone can answer the question, "Why are you a Democrat?" in 10 words or less, the Democratic Party is going to be in trouble. The so-called "Netroots" crowd is making this problem worse, not better.

by cwilson 2006-03-23 02:52PM | 0 recs
Three YEARS and they Didn't know she was DEM?

Matt said:

"I bet that a substantial portion of Duckworth's voters simply did not know that Cegelis was a Democrat.  They probably saw Duckworth on TV with Obama, got some mailers, and figured, hey, I'll vote for the Democrat."

Cegelis ran once. Got a lot of votes. Essentially ran non-stop for THREE years and people didn't know she was a Democrat? Now does that speak to the quality of the last two years of campaigning or what?

With the turnout, which one poster informs us was bigger than usual, she had more than enough time to make her name ID HUGE! But I'll bet she never mailed the entire Dem district more than once if at all because of money.

THREE years and they didn't know she was a Democrat in a Democratic Primary?

Sorry something really wrong with the Campaign that might not have been fixed with some state based professional help. Those people she had enough money to hire, but I think the 'ego' of the 'grassroots' precluded that obvious answer.

Does anyone have a good shot at the General election? I admire the dedicated Cegelis supporter who admits they switched because they think the winner will have a better shot at the General! That takes guts on the Blogs and in person.

And one person here thinks the same solution is to do to her what they did to Hackett....throw him into an even harder more money intensive race: the Senate! What a ridiculous thought. Talk about the frying pan into the fire!

Here's what I do want and haven't seen...it sure isn't on her website...I want her to be and actual Democrat and get an email out to every supporter requesting in the strongest language that they get into the Duckworth campaign. She's going to need them.

Cegelis herself should be making Media appearences today with the winner to show solidarity to the Opposition who only has 805K in the bank!

You want to be a real Candidate and then you lose...that's what you do with the winner...show up and offer to help.

For those that laugh...remember what Gov. Dean and Gen. Clark did for John Kerry? They were the two most active non-stop surrogates in the Presidential Campaign! Did either of them agree with John Kerry? No, not really. But that was their job...as Wes Clark famously said..."I'm reporting for duty." And his supporters did too. I can't speak for other campaigns.

And Cegelis and all her supporters should do the same. It's called Being a Democrat and gracious loser.

by BigDog 2006-03-23 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Well, ok, but they could have talked to the local party apparatus on the ground in DuPage and suburban Cook BEFORE they brought in Duckworth -- see what was really going on in the District instead of assumming they knew all about it.  And much of the local party people were energised by the Cegelis campaign, much more so than they had been in years and years.

by Maven 2006-03-23 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Hey BigDog: Truer words were [b]NEVER[/b] spoken! Now's the time when we find out whether the losing candidate was ever worthy of support to begin with. We also find out whether her supporters are worth a damn.

by cwilson 2006-03-23 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis

Very honest report Matt.t takes a real mench to say what you said. I chipped in $25 for Christine based only on reports appearing in MYDD about Duckworth not supporting an Iraq Troop pullout and sounding more Hillary like than Feingold like. I hope none of your points indicate that i was misled here on that?

by politics64 2006-03-23 02:40PM | 0 recs
Some Thinking about Cegelis

Matt:

You didn't know Michael was in the can for Cegelis?  You're the one who needs a head examination. I've been reading Michael's posts since him and Gary Boatwright were bitching about Duckworth even entering the race. I kept asking him if he was on the payroll. I just assumed he was.  

To be honest with you, it doesn't mean squat to me if he was taking inkind money or cash.  

Cegelis got 18,000 votes in the primary in 2004 and less than 11,000 in 2006.  That pretty much says it all about her building a constituency. You weren't misled by all the DC folks.  They called it right, there was just had a low turnout of Duckworth supporters.

Cegelis was a horrible candidate and that is why Durbin, Obama, and Rahm all sought somebody different to run in the general against Roskam. I get the impression that talking to Cegelis was about like me telling my 8 year old something.  She doesn't listen because she is the smartest person in the room.  Dad doesn't know anything.

Don't buy this malarky on Rahm kneecapped her on fundraising.  Cegelis sucked at fundraising and more importantly, at holding onto the money she did raise.  Holding coffee klatches! Give me a break.  That works for the PTO, not for the rough and tumble of House politics.

But Matt, you probably were wise to distance yourself from this losing proposition because of some of the weirdos that the Cegelis campaign seemed to attract.

Like this post today from "Donna Loves Dean" who says this in her post "...have nothing against Tammy Duckworth, but I have no connection with her.  How can a war vet with no legs represent me?  It seemed to me that the DCCC were making her a side show rather than a candidate".

Some other Bill Frist wannabe but a "progressive (what the fuck does that word mean to these two people) eluded to Duckworth having PTSD and was "concerned" about her breaking down on the House floor. These people were neither wise or progressive, they are just plain friggin pathetic in making such statements.

If I read one more statement about how Cegelis was building the party I will have to throw up.  Leaders and winners build party organizations that generate voter turnout, not 2nd place finishers who can't think beyond the next lofty progressive idea. She actually thought that uranium tainted munitions was a cutting edge issue for the voters of IL-06. Who is out of touch?

by riverred 2006-03-23 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thinking about Cegelis

"Cegelis was a horrible candidate and that is why Durbin, Obama, and Rahm all sought somebody different to run in the general against Roskam. I get the impression that talking to Cegelis was about like me telling my 8 year old something.  She doesn't listen because she is the smartest person in the room.  Dad doesn't know anything."

You won.

You can finally stop talking shit about Christine.

Good luck against Roskam.  

by AustinMayor 2006-03-26 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Thoughts on Cegelis
DCCC trying the same thing on Jan Schneider in Fla 13th.
It's not right .
by danwalter 2006-03-24 11:36AM | 0 recs

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