Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Personal Aside: In Every Election There’s a Surprise. Where Shall it Be in This One?...Gary MacDougall Should be Convinced to Return as State Chairman.



In every election I’ve participated in there’s a “surprise”—an occurrence that makes you say: “Damn, if I had only been paying attention, I would have spotted it!” Sometimes it’s the election of someone the newspapers have dismissed…sometimes it’s the rather easy victory for someone the pundits had said would be locked in a “too close too call” effort. Remember the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan? I well remember “Washington Week in Review”—composed of four liberals agreeing with each other—saying as all shook their heads solemnly that the race between President Carter and Ronald Reagan would be “too close to call.” That was because the pundits, dismissing the evidence, wanted Carter to pull it out. It was over relatively early on election night.

What will be the “surprise” this year? Write in Reader’s Comments and tell me. Let me run a few by you. Will it possibly be the Kirk-Seals race where Democrat Dan Seals who has impressed lots of people in the 10th who nevertheless say, he’s a good candidate but--…will defeat supposedly one of the GOP’s rising stars, Mark Kirk? I’m told that in a recent debate Seals really trounced Kirk. He would be Illinois’ second African American super-star, the first to triumph in the Brahmin North Shore district since Abner Mikva. Will it be Dan Seals?

Or will it be David McSweeney who has always been touted as a very good candidate but whom some pundits say, with the political breaks running against Republicans, he can’t pull it out. I would really, really-and-truly want to celebrate that one because I have been a fan of McSweeney’s before he ran. His winning that thing would cheer me enormously.

I obviously hope Peter Roskam will win in the 6th to carry on the tradition begun by my old hero Henry Hyde—but with the polls going, albeit slightly his way, I don’t register that victory, even close, as a surprise…but in a disastrous year I’ll take whatever I can get. Of course a real surprise would be Andrea Zinga triumphing in the downstate 17th which would be cause of celebration by me well into the morning—after I finish celebrating for David McSweeney. Tony Peraica’s victory would be inestimably good but am I wrong to imagine it won’t be a surprise? Nevertheless it would indeed be wonderful to savor.

Don’t tell me that the surprise will be the election of Judy Baar Topinka, God help us. Just don’t tell me that. But if you must…you must. (Incidentally, I never felt sorrier for anyone in my life than for Steve Huntley, the “Sun-Times” editorial page editor, who has always had a high regard for Topinka, who was told to sit down and craft an editorial supporting Rod Blagojevich. And after that support for the Democratic candidate for state treasurer. And after that support for Todd Stroger. That is a triple headed penance that no one—least of all Steve who is a decent, moderate…and I stress moderate…conservative…should have to endure. For those three things he should get a hefty pay raise.

Tell me where you think the surprise will come! And for those out of state, including Frank Nofsinger, go across the map, if you will. Does Frank even care if Connecticut’s liberal Republican Chris Shays wins, I wonder? It’s a game all can play and the winner will be celebrated in this web-site’s Hall of Pundit fame!


Gary MacDougall was one of the best state Republican chairmen I’ve ever seen…and I’ve seen a few in two states. He was unceremoniously dumped through Bob Kjellander’s machinations for Judy Baar Topinka who refused to endorse a sitting, honorable, outstanding Republican U. S. Senator, Peter Fitzgerald, for reelection. Now that the worm has turned and Topinka is adrift in the wild, blue seas without a paddle and with no intellectual resources or knowledge of government to sustain her, there should be a just retaliation—but more than retaliation: the return of an outstanding party official with the highest integrity and acumen.

Just as an example of how highly he’s regarded, I was attending a Dave McSweeney reception featuring Senator John McCain…no one whom I have an interest in supporting for president but whom I had wanted to scout nevertheless. I was standing by the door talking to Gary and his family when McCain and his entourage enter and McCain makes a bee-line for MacDougall and spends a vast number of minutes conferring with him. That’s the kind of stature that an Illinois state chairman should have. It’s my hope that after this is all over…and I write in Randy Stufflebeam…the GOP will wisely regroup and draft MacDougall! (I hope he’s not committed irrevocably to McCain for president, however).


  1. Is it possible dirty tricks methodologies have advanced since the days of Rumours in Bars, $15,000?

  2. "The only thing men learn from history is that men learn nothing from history."

    Tom, the "surprise" to come out of this election will be that the Jacobins who aspire to cleanse the party of all who disagree with them will be as successful following the 2006 election as they were after the 2002 election, when they abandoned the pro-life Jim Ryan and hung him out to dry because he wasn't ideologically pure enough for them.

  3. Tom, with all due respect, I disagree with you on one point about Gary MacDougal.

    First, let me say I like the guy. I think he did a decent job as Chairman under trying circumstances. And the way he was treated by Kjellander and Topinka was repulsive.

    I would like to see him stay involved, but not as Chairman. That's the problem, he hasn't stayed involved. After he was sacked by KJ and Topinka, he went M.I.A. Where has he been talking about reform?

    Of course he should stay involved, but lets get some new blood. Maybe if McSweeney loses (and I hope he wins of course), but if the worst happens, I think he might be good. But that's just one idea. There are a lot of good honest Repubs out there.

  4. Mark Kirk becoming more embattled by the day. The Tel Aviv University email scandal is seriously undercutting his Jewish support. Also in another erosion of Kirk's base, the VA Watchdog, a veterans advocacy group, gives him failing grades on his votes for veterans issues:



  5. How about Gary MacDougal for National Committeeman? Finally dump Kjellander and but Gary in. Now THAT job I think would be perfect for Gary.

    I still maintain we need a new face for Chairman though.

    But Gary would be great as Nat'l Committeeman, and what sweet, sweet justice!

  6. Lovie's LeatherOctober 31, 2006 at 8:44 AM

    I know it might not be a suprise... but I hope Radogno wins the treasurer's race. As far as the Congress goes, I doubt we will see many suprises. On election night we will see Kirk, Roskam, Bean, and Hare victorious. And, as much as you hate it, Tom, I would like to see Topinka win. But with each passing day, that seems to get a little further out of reach. I think another pleasant suprise for the GOP will be Peraica. The funny thing is, one poll has him way up and one has him way down. Unfortunately I don't live in Cook County, because Peraica is somebody I would really like to vote for.

  7. Tom,

    I came across this website www.tcn4.com. It is like the Jon Stewart Daily Show. They do a spoof of Daley to Soprano music and Blagojevich rapping to a hip hop song I'm a hustler. It is hilarious. The streaming video takes a while but it is worth the wait. I hear they are upgrading the video so it runs smoothly

  8. I live in Rock Island and the cafe I go to for breakfast has been handing out Zinga signs. It's a Democrat cafe. My neighbor said he was called by a poll and said he was voting for Hare, but has actually already voted for Zinga. He didn't want to take any chances it was somebody from the county calling him, but he's had it with the machine here. I think something really big is going on out here and you're going to get your surprise. I have never had more Democratic friends tell me they have decided to send a message to our county party.