Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Teresa Bartels' 8th CD campaign, RIP.

Teresa Bartels, whose 8th CD Republican Primary campaign seemed to be lost in space from the get go, withdrew from the race today. Bartels started the race with some candor [See here], conceding how little she knew about the issues, and ended, with the usual babble for withdrawing candidates, about how she couldn’t keep up with the money, etc. Moreover, her campaign went negative in the last week, with bizarre attacks on her three primary competitors at a candidate's forum-- and reliable sources involved in the contest reported to me that the Bartels campaign was apparently behind a negative push poll during the last week.

Her campaign manager [Mike Zolnierowicz, an import from the old, Katherine Harris Florida team, who became famous for over-doing her make-up and for helping to make George Bush President in 2000, and who may be the Republican candidate for the U. S. Senate in Florida this year] and campaign in general was unavailable for comment, which has generally been the case, when they realized they would not get softballs, at least from Public Affairs. Having scheduled three television appearances on my show and canceled three, the campaign proceeded to simply ignore “Public Affairs,” which I took as a complement, and as it turns out, was a favor to my viewers, readers and me.

On Saturday, at a candidate forum in Round Lake, Bartels pathetically went negative on the three other major candidates [David McSweeney, Kathy Salvi and Robert Churchill], and when that bombed-- one would surmise that she started singing the Doors’ famous tune, “This is the end.”

Bartels’ above mentioned three major competitors, hoping to pick up the scraps from her few supporting voters and funders, made the obligatory, complimentary statements, after the Bartels campaign demise.

From the McSweeney campaign:

“Teresa is a bright woman, and she will have a bright future in the political realm.”

Really, doing what? Raising money for others? Perhaps.

From the Kathy Salvi Campaign:

“Teresa waged a strong campaign for the values we share - lower taxes, reduced spending and commitment to pro-life and pro-family values…”

Really, I thought Bartels was supposed to be the “moderate,” in the primary field, while all the time she never would quite say what her views really were.

From the Churchill campaign:

State Rep. Churchill was on the floor in the state house, so lucky him, he was unavailable for comment. However, his campaign manager, Jon Zahm, gave me this on behalf of candidate Churchill:

We wish Teresa, Chuck and their family the very best. Teresa was strong qualified candidate who brought much to the race. We hope to earn her support and the support of those who were backing her in the election.

Well, at least the part about wanting her voters makes sense. Getting them is quite another matter, if Bartels had any.
That leaves the Republican primary voters with three real choices for a candidate to take on first term 8th CD Congresswoman Melissa Bean [D-Barrington]: McSweeney, Salvi and Churchill [To watch my shows with each of these candidates and a debate between Churchill and McSweeney],
[See here].

There are three minor candidates who apparently will remain on the ballot: Ken Arnold, Aaron Lincoln and Jim Mitchell. But nobody is quite sure why they are in the race, except for the fun of participating in candidate forums [Jim Mitchell, for example, waxed eloquent at the last candidate forum about corruption in Cook County and wrongful convictions in Illinois, without making any effort to tie such issues to the 8th CD race]. It takes fewer than 800 signatures, boys and girls, to put yourself on the ballot for a congressional race. 800 signatures and you could go to forums and spout off, too. Does that make sense?
Where do things stand now? If I were a betting person, I would say, if the election were held today, McSweeney would take it, followed by a not so close Salvi and Churchill a close third.

Because of the gender thing [now, of the three major candidates, only one female on the ballot]Kathy Salvi is probably helped most by Teresa’s departure, but not nearly enough to turn the race.

Could the above ranking change by March 21, or before with much early voting? Absolutely, a lot can happen in 50 days. Indeed, perhaps there will be some reaction by the candidates to my show with Congresswoman Bean, which will air in the suburbs next week.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at JBCG@aol.com