IL-05: The (Mike) Quigley Interview

Somebody has to be first. In this race, Mike Quigley was first because I've worked with Tom Bowen before, interviewing his candidate in the IL-14 special election. It was among the first things we talked about after I learned that he would be taking over the Quigley campaign.

I visited the northside on Sunday.  As I arrived, the Quigley headquarters was buzzing, with almost everyone on the phone.  Tom was excited, asking me if I'd gotten his email about their new website, More Transit, outlining Quigley's proposal for more public transit funding to be included in the stimulus package.  Since I hadn't, he got out his laptop to show me.

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IL-05: John Fritchey Meets the Bloggers

The campaign of Rep. John Frichey, candidate for Congress in the IL-05 Democratic primary, took questions for almost an hour from area bloggers interested in the race.  A little background first.  Fritchey was the first elected official who started blogging in the Chicago area.  When we held our first "Blogger's Breakfast," I invited him to join us.  So it should be no surprise that he was the first candidate in this race to invite questions from local bloggers.  As he said in the end, every candidate should do it.

Fritchey did not start with a prepared statement.  There was no attempt to frame the discussion in one area or to refuse questions in another.  We all knew that the recent Progress Illinois article. But they just opened the floor.  Having no manners, I jumped in.

"Can you walk us through your decision-making process about getting into this race," I asked.  Having Fritchey (as well as Mike Quigley and Sara Feigenholtz) as Facebook "friends," I watched him walk through the process publicly.  

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IL-05: Reality Check, again

Late Friday, Progress Illinois posted a diary raising questions about John Fritchey's work as a lobbyist before the city government of Chicago.  The post represents a point of view, "In relation to some of the issues we've covered over the past year," or what is defined as the interests of "working families."

This happens to be a point of view I am happy to see represented in the blogging community, which I think is heavy on the idealist or romantic end of politics and incredibly light on the practical or real world end of politics.  But this post appears to be something of an ambush -- and a bit misleading.  So I asked the writer what Fritchey's response to the post was, and came to find that he never requested a comment from the subject of the story.

So I did.

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IL-05: Reality Check

The beef against Mike Quigley, the reform candidate/progressive with the highest name recognition (and currently leading in the polls) in the 5th Congressional District in Illinois is that he's simply too valuable in his current job as Cook County Commissioner.

The beef against Mike Quigley, the reform candidate/progressive with the highest name recognition (and currently leading in the polls) in the 5th Congressional District in Illinois is that he's simply too valuable in his current job as Cook County Commissioner.

Progressives in Chicago respect Quigley's opposition to the Democratic machine, especially with regard to his fierce stands against corruption, nepotism and the wasteful spending related to both.  In setting up the camera to do a scheduled interview, I asked Quigley his response to this criticism.

"Yeah, let's start with that question," Quigley responded.  "I want to answer that."

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IL-05 Primary Roundup #2

Three major events capped this week in Illinois' 5th Congressional District: the nominating petition process was completed, voting has begun and a whole beavy of Candidate Forums was begun.  On the Democratic side, objections to Charlie Wheelan's petitions were overruled, objections to Roger Thompson's petitions were sustained (removing Thompson from the ballot) and Pete Dagher withdrew in the face of challenges to his petitions.  Thus, the field on the Democratic side was narrowed, from 14 to 12.  I don't expect much more narrowing in the field before the primary, as voting has actually begun in this race.

One person has voted so far in this race.  Illinois has what is called "grace period voting," which allows people who missed the deadline to register to vote to simultaneously register to vote and vote at the same time:

"Grace Period Voting" is a safety net offered to those who fail to register to vote by the deadline of 28 days before the date of the primary or the date of the election. Grace Period Voting requires the voter to register and vote all at once and in person at the Election Board offices

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