IL-06: Voting for the Patriot Act Compromise Bill

Putting aside 'electability', which is a stupid insider metric, Duckworth is a great candidate but basically untrustworthy when it counts. Cegelis is a real progressive. And note that Michael has done paid graphics work for Cegelis. - Matt

This just came through one of the groups I'm on. I think it's safe to say that most of us reading this oppose the renewal of the Patriot Act. So where do the candidates in IL-06 stand:

The three candidates in the Democratic Party primary election for the 6th Congressional District were recently interview by the *DailyHerald in an endorsement session. All three were asked if they would have voted in favor of the compromise bill reauthorizing the Patriot Act.

Lindy Scott answered first:  Because Democrats are in the minority, from a practical perspective, the compromise bill was probably the best deal that the Democrats could get, he said. He said he was still concerned about privacy issues and would push to ensure greater protections in the future, but he would have voted for the compromise bill. 

Christine Cegelis said she agreed with Sen. Russ Feingold, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, and others who opposed the reauthorization as embodied in the compromise bill. "I would have voted no. Period," she said. She also said that one of the problems with U.S. intelligence gathering is that agencies "have too much information -- they're overloaded with information" and their computer systems can't effectively process it all or coordinate it between agencies.   

Tammy Duckworth said she, too, had reservations about privacy issues, but she would have voted for the bill and then would push for additional changes in the future. She also noted, however, that if information derived from electronic eavesdropping or other forms of intelligence gathering would have prevented 9/11 or "saved the life of a single soldier," that benefit would outweigh privacy concerns.

Cegelis agrees with Feingold, the ACLU and the ALA, and would have "voted no. Period." Duckworth said she would have voted for it, and sees value in trading privacy rights off for government eavesdropping's benefits. Scott thought the bill was the best we could do and would have voted for it.

Is there any question which candidate is the true progressive, the one that would fight for Democratic principles, stand up for us, and that we should support in this race?

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Why I trust Cegelis

Katha Pollitt has this to say today at The Nation:

Duckworth wants to stay in Iraq, she's allied with the more conservative wing of the party, and she seems to have very little substantive to say about most issues. She' s trying to push out of the way a candidate who has a lot of support, more local roots, who ran an incredible race last time, and who has much better politics. I would trust Cegelis a thousand times over Duckworth to take progressive stands once elected, including on women's rights and abortion rights. Duckworth told the Washington Post she thinks abortion shouldn't be a federal issue. That's not exactly a ringing defense of abortion rights, since unfortunately it IS a federal issue.

I couldn't agree more. We hear a great deal about both Cegelis and Duckworth's bottom lines. But the fact of the matter is do we know how they will vote?

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IL-06: Emily's List Weighs In

Emily's List has picked Duckworth:

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

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

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

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

This is a insider/outsider fight.

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

Cegelis isn't taking this lying down.

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

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

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

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We Need Leadership?

I just took the opportunity to re-listen to the District 6 Candidate's Roundtable, broadcast yesterday on Chicago Public Radio's "Eight-Forty-Eight" program. You can listen to it here.

At around 15:00 Scott asks Duckworth:

"Why would you volunteer to run in the in the Sixth Congressional race where it was already contested when you live in the 8th?"

Duckworth replies:

"I looked at the sixth district and I realized we needed some leadership. I realized we needed someone who was going to be able to beat Pete Roskam, and someone who could really connect with the voters, such as myself, who understood those key issues..."

She then goes on to progress through a laundry list of items resting on her  AMT speech before being interrupted by the host who asks her "So what's your solution."

This quote demonstrates why the local Democrats in the Sixth are so incensed by Duckworth's campaign. It typifies how the Duckworth campaign and it's backers think they know the district well enough to actually have Duckworth say she saw a lack of leadership in the district and chose to fill the void herself.

I guess that's why her staff is provided by one of her backers, her fundraising network by her backers, and her publicist by her backers. I guess that's why only 2 of her donors (itemized) and three of her petition passers live in the district. That's filling a void alright. But I don't think the void is in the district's leadership.

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Cegelis and Fundraising

While this topic has been done before on MyDD, I wanted to hit it again now that Christine Cegelis has released her Fourth Quarter fundraising numbers.  I'm going to do three things in this entry: look at the numbers by themselves, compare those numbers to other Illinois candidates, and compare them to other candidates nation-wide.

Details below:

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