Thursday, June 29, 2006

Scheurer: It ain't over in 8th CD until the Fat Lady sings

Larry Handlin, the proprietor of the Archpundit blog, is a smart, thoughtful political analyst who is a big time supporter of Democrats, especially progressive Democrats. In short, Larry bats well to the left of the plate. However, he has shown little patience with Democrats who criticize first term 8th CD Congresswoman Bean [D-Barrington] for some of her “Republican votes,” on some key issues e.g., CAFTA, Bush Tax cut extensions, Iraq War resolution. This apparently is because Handlin understands that the 8th CD is still strongly Republican [56% to 44% for Bush in 2004]--so he gives Bean a pass on her 18 month voting history.

On the other hand, and somewhat ironically in light of the alleged involvement of a Lipinski staffer in the scam perpetrated on would be third party candidate Bill Scheurer in the 8th CD, Handlin has been critical of Democratic Cong. Dan Lipinski [Son of Bill] for casting some “Republican votes,” in the tradition of Father Bill [especially on social issues, but also on health care] in the strongly Democratic 3rd Cong. District in his first 18 months in the House.

Bean sent Congressman Crane packing in 2004 after he had spent 35 years representing the 8th CD, but almost everyone agrees that her upset win had much less to do with ideology than with Bean’s winning personality, financial firepower [sent her way by the DCCC toward the end of the '04 campaign] and her ability to communicate, during her two campaigns ['02 and '04] that the District deserved someone who would pay attention to it, be a part of it and serve it diligently – and that she was such a candidate

In light of the above described feelings by Archpundit towards Congresswoman Bean [D-Barrington] it is perhaps not surprising that Handlin calls Scheurer “an idiot,” for naively falling for the scam [see here]. While there is plenty to fault in terms of how Scheurer ran his petition drive, from what I hear-- there are easier things to do than getting 14,000 signatures in a congressional district, especially when the major party with which the candidate most identifies [Scheurer ran in the '04 8th CD Democratic Primary] would like to crush him in the way a sixteen wheeler crushes an ant. There are easier things to do.

On Tuesday, 8th CD "Moderate Party," would be candidate Bill Scheurer started to shoot back at his critics, saying:

that Eric Krol article [See here] in the Daily Herald [of Tuesday] was full of factual errors and political fallacies…it seemed like nothing more than a conveyance through the paper of ‘Bean camp spin,’ which is unfortunate in that the Daily Herald has generally provided good, comprehensive balanced coverage of this congressional race during a Republican Primary. I hope that this doesn’t indicate some undue connection between them [the Daily Herald] and the Bean camp because I know they endorsed her in 2004.

When asked what he meant by Krol article errors, Scheurer referred to Krol’s statement: "Still, Scheurer said he thinks Constantine and the Bean campaign were involved, but he could not provide any proof to back up his claim."

Scheurer argued on Tuesday, “that is inaccurate, we do have proof…we told him [Krol] we have it and we couldn’t give it [to him, because of how we are proceeding with the legal authorities and defending against challenges]."

Scheurer criticized the idea, expressed in the Krol article, that his campaign is a marginal one. Scheurer said:

Calling this just an anti-war campaign is bizarre. Certainly major unions from around the country and other interest groups didn’t get involved in this campaign because it is a marginal anti-war campaign. The whole idea that we are going to pull a marginal one or two per cent just from Bean voters—I mean that’s just totally inaccurate spin.

Scheurer also noted that Krol’s article reports, “Bean spokesman Brian Herman dismissed the notion that Bean’s campaign was involved [in the scheme to deceive Scheurer that his petitions were being completed] as “absurd” and “ridiculous.” Scheurer argued that the only thing that is absurd and ridiculous is to assume that the Democratic Party was not involved solely for the benefit of the Bean campaign. Why would anyone [else] do this? Who is going to file the objections to my petitions, asked Scheurer?

Scheurer stated to me the way the Democratic Party can wipe their hands clean of this is to do the same thing the Republican Party is doing and come out publicly and say they are not going to challenge my filings and they respect the will of the thousands upon thousands of voters who have signed their name—saying they want a third party choice on the ballot. Scheurer said, "It is absurd and ridiculous to think they [the Bean Campaign and the Democratic Party] are not involved. People don’t do this just for the fun of it.”

Bean spokesman Brian Herman told me last Friday that he had not discussed with Cong. Bean the issue of challenging Scheurer’s petitions so he did not know whether the Bean campaign would challenge them.

Herman did state to me on Friday that if Scheurer were on the ballot, “with an opponent on the extreme left and with an opponent on the extreme right, Cong. Bean would argue to the voters that she is not only in the middle of the three candidates, but that she consistently represents the mainstream values of the families of the 8th Cong. Dist.” Of course, neither Scheurer nor McSweeney would concur with Herman’s positioning of each as on the extremes of the political spectrum and of Bean as being in the middle, but Herman’s argument that Bean would benefit from Scheurer’s entry into the race is a novel, if not persuasive, one. Nice try, Brian.

Of course, you would expect Bean, if that were the case, to have persuaded Illinois House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan not to challenge Scheurer and that apparently did not happen, as Speaker Mike’s guy is busily reviewing the petitions, as you read this. It is not a matter of tossing Scheurer off the ballot for insufficient signatures. Speaker Mike’s approach to such matters is, as I said, to crush this guy. If it can, the Illinois Democratic Party, i.e., Speaker Mike with a Capital D, would like to show Scheurer has no argument, at all, to have his name anywhere near the ballot because the number of good signatures is so pitiful. Can Mike do that? We’ll see.

After Rich Miller [Capitol Fax] wrote on Friday that this story could be huge, he acted on Monday as if he was folding his tent on the item. The Daily Herald was ready to join him, apparently. Miller has become almost MSM, if not yet respectable. And, the MSM in Illinois have little, if any, interest in Congressional elections until about October 15, 2006. After all, the bread and butter of Capitolfax is state and local.

So, it is left to the true bloggers of the world to find out what evil lurks in the minds of men [and women]. And, while we do that, 8th CD third party candidate Scheurer has a presser scheduled for today at 11:00 am in the Loop. Scheurer and his attorney will announce, they say, new developments about the criminal fraud and conspiracy activities that they contend were conducted in an attempt to sabotage Scheurer's 8th CD independent campaign.