About Cegelis

In his update to Johnathan's "Examining the DCCC v. Netroots Meme" Chris laments (I corrected his spelling):

Did any grassroots and movement candidates lose in the House once they got out of the primary? Makes you wonder how Christine Cegelis would have done in IL-06.

As anyone who's read this blog since the primary is aware, I was a big proponent of Christine Cegelis' campaign and a big detractor of Duckworth's. How Christine would have faired in this race is anyone's guess, and I can only dream of what we could have done with the type of resources Duckworth's campaign had along with Christine's strong anti-war populist message.  However, right after a close loss is not the time, especially for the volunteers who worked their asses off for Duckworth. I remember how I felt after the primary. They can't feel much better and deserve credit for working so hard for a candidate they believed in or to just to try and regain the House for Democrats. Now is not the time to play "what if Rahm backed Christine."

Instead, this post is about what Christine Cegelis did post-primary. I think it's an and astonishing example of what one person is capable of doing for the Party even after it threw her under the bus.

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Kirk's "Independent" Streak

Dan Seals is catching on around here in Chicagoland. So much so that Mark Kirk is now distancing himself from Bush in his latest ads, touting his "independence." The local CBS affiliate in Chicago noticed and did a piece on Kirk's apparent split with the Decider. Click the graphic to watch the video:

The money quote from Dan Seals:

"He's the assistant majority whip of the Republican Party. You don't get to be whip by having a strong independent streak," Seals said.

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Standing-O for Matt, Chris and Tim

The win goes to the grassroots activists and the voters, but a big standing ovation to MyDD's Matt Stoller and Chris Bowers, and our blogger who can't hold down a job for six months in a row, Tim Tagaris.

The coverage was great. The updates were great. The inside the campaign looks, the poll work, and funny bits, all made this race one to remember. The victory only makes it that much sweeter.

Congratulations to the Lamont campaign staff, volunteers and to all those who helped out. Great work Matt, Chris and Tim!

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Democratic Congress Members: Say "Republican"

So I'm watching the debate on C-Span, and keep hearing repeatedly from our Democratic Congressman that the "majority party" or "the other side of the isle" or "the Bush administration" are the root of this sham resolution they are "debating."

One suggestion to those on the floor and any of their staffers reading this: Use the word "Republican."

Give the American people the clear understanding of who is in charge, who's fault this war is, who is pushing this sham resolution, and who the hell they need to be mad at.

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DCCC Recruits Against a Democrat. Again.

So if you're Rahm Emanuel, head of the DCCC, and you've just triumphed over a local progressive Democrat in IL-06, what do you do now? You go to NY-24, rinse, and repeat. From the Hill:

The Democratic primary in the race to succeed Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) is shaping up as a contest between a political insider supported by the national party establishment and an unproven outsider who could have broad appeal to independent voters in the general election.

The really frightening aspect of this article for me is how eerily familiar this is. Just like in my district, the DCCC has gone out of their way to recruit against another Democrat while Republican seats go unopposed, and is neck deep in a contested primary trying to influence the outcome of a local race.

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Crisis of Faith

I'm having a crisis of faith today. Not in the sense you might assume though. I've always been a big proponent of the Blogosphere, and I feel it let me, and the Cegelis campaign, down. I'm not talking about the rank and file people who post a diary or comment regularily. I'm talking about the "main line" blogs like dKos, MyDD, etc. I read this statement from Chris Bowers, who is probably my favorite blogger, in disbelief:

A few months ago, I floated the idea of the netroots getting behind Cegalis full-force to a few other bloggers, but after we had all heard pretty much the same stories on how Duckworth was going to cruise, we agreed it probably wasn't a very good idea. Better to focus our resources elsewhere.

Chris Bowers is someone I'm confident is a supporter of candidates like Christine.  But yet even he, and the "few other bloggers" he spoke with, still bought the storyline out of Washington that Duckworth would win and win big. He ignored, as did other main line bloggers, the word coming from the activists on the ground that Cegelis was for real and the race would be close.

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Over the top in the Illinois 6

The Democratic Forward
March 21, 2006
Over the top in the Illinois 6
By Tim Bagwell

Contested primaries, even those for an open seat, have generally been governed by a set of rules.  First among the rules is that the party elites wait until after the primary to formally endorse, contribute and support a candidate.  The second rule is that the first rule applies doubly to party institutions and organizations.  In the Democratic primary in the Illinois 6 congressional district the party elites have turned off all the rules.  The party elites, by meddling in a primary at the eleventh hour, have unreasonably raised the stakes for election to congress.  In turning off all the rules they risk damaging, the party, congressional campaigns across the county, and their own reputations with their voters.  All these risks apply even if their candidate wins.

The Sixth District of Illinois

The Illinois 6 congressional district is located in the western suburbs of Chicago.  Most of the district is contained within DuPage County.  The district takes in part of Cook.  An important characteristic of the district is that it contains O'Hare Airport and many of its supporting industries.  DuPage has been characterized as a Republican County for over 30 years.  There are neither county wide Democratic office holders nor Democrats in any of the townships or mayoral offices.  The same situation applies to the state senate and state representative officeholders who reside within the district.  Henry Hyde (R) has held the congressional seat for 16 terms.   Until the 2004 election Hyde had increased his margins in every election.  In 2004 the Democratic challenger reversed Hyde's gains by thirty years, delivering to him the worst margins since his first term in office.  

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Duckworth's Photo-op Takes Advantage of a Non-Profit

I've complained about Duckworth showing up in my mailbox and no where else - to the tune of four mailers in a little over three weeks now. So imagine my surprise to hear that Duckworth had an event at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital right here in the district. I guess my surprise was only matched by that of Marianjoy's CEO's when she found out that there was a political event being held at her facility:

There's nothing Kathleen Yosko likes more than publicity for Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital.

But not when it's tied to a political event.

That's why the CEO of the Wheaton hospital is clarifying Marianjoy's position following a highly publicized tour there Feb. 16 by 6th Congressional Democratic candidate Tammy Duckworth.


The hospital gives frequent tours, and that's all Yosko thought she was providing.

Instead, a posse of television, radio and print reporters followed Duckworth and Cleland around the hospital. Midpoint, the two held a news conference chastising the Bush administration for failures on health care issues.

So not only was this "event" not listed on Duckworth's campaign site so district resident could have come out and asked her questions in person, but her campaign didn't even bother to tell the facility they dragged the media to for a photo op that they intended to do so!

Why is this a big deal? Because Marianjoy is a non-profit:

That wasn't on the agenda, Yosko said.

"She was invited as a disabled veteran not as a candidate. I was taken aback by the level of media there," she said.

As a not-for-profit organization, Marianjoy has tax-exempt status but as a result cannot engage in political activities.

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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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