Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Howard Dean's online fundraising -- so good, it inspired me to give again

The Dean campaign is really good at inspiring me. And they've also inspired more than 130.000 other small contributors to band together to try to stop the Bush corporate money juggernaut. I sent over another $10 yesterday, after I had decided that I was going to take a pass on December contributions to any campaign. First a message from Joe Trippi, the campaign manager. Then one from Governor Dean (which I believe was written by Governor Dean). Then one from Al Gore. That's the one that got me to give. Here's an exercpt from Joe Trippi's email from this morning. If the campaign is this good at insipiring the most small donors to ever give to a campaign, they are probably going to be as good at inspiring swing voters to take back the White House from the corporate insiders that are ripping off taxpayers and vote to clean house in November.

Here's the pitch-perfect email from Joe Trippi, campaign manager (which makes me feel like I am part of a movement, and you can't ask for anything more from a campaign email than that):

Dear Dan,

Today you have made history. Together, because of your action, we will exceed $15 million by midnight tonight-- the most any Democratic campaign has ever raised in a single quarter.

But that's not the history you've made.

The history is that hundreds of thousands of Americans are coming together in common purpose to reclaim our values and our principles -- to remove an administration that misled us about the reasons we went to war -- and to defeat a President who is mortgaging our future with tax cuts for his biggest contributors. The history is that thousands are taking part to change the established way of doing things in politics. And you have made history with a single click of the mouse.

What's the definition of the establishment? They're people who've come to do things in the established way. Too many Democrats have lost the spirit to fight what's wrong. They voted for the war, and too many voted to give the President a second blank check in Iraq. They voted for his reckless tax cuts. And they've hidden behind faceless committees that use images of Osama bin Laden to attack our campaign.

But you have sent them a message that their vacant attacks are just that -- vacant attacks. Those who rely on special interests to fund their campaigns or on committees to launch their attacks are doing things the old establishment way. But we are going to shatter that forever. What your contribution represents is a new and different way of doing things -- a way to strengthen the Democratic Party by being the party of people.

Today, because of your contribution, you have shown the way to all the cynics and doubters who don't believe that millions of Americans can raise $200 million to match George Bush's special interest money. You have shown that it can be done by raising more than $40 million this year alone. You did that -- through hundreds of thousands of small donations.

Thank you for being part of the most determined Democratic campaign in history -- the only campaign that has the strength to defeat George W. Bush. Together we are going to win the White House in 2004.

Joe Trippi
Campaign Manager
Dean for America

Monday, December 29, 2003

Oral arguments in the Supreme Court case that can bring back competitive elections

Pennsylvania Democrats, represented by Jenner and Block, have brought a constitutional challenge to naked partisan gerrymandering -- that is, when the dominant political party manipulates political district lines to ensure the perpetual re-election of their candidates, even if a majority of voters support the other party.

The oral argument is here and it is a good read (it's fun to see the lawyers and Supreme Court Justices stammer so much).

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Low-wage workers, Wal-Mart, China and the progressive agenda

I went shopping at Target yesterday and was amazed at how cheap these China-made products are. Nice looking shoes for ten bucks! A wooden bookshelf for fifteen! If I were paid just to put the bookshelf together the price would be more than fifteen dollars. How can we ever compete with the Chinese labor market when they are capable of producing products for such an incredibly cheap price?

Well, we can't. So what are we going to do about it?

First, I think we should look on the bright side. For the people buying the products (like me), it's great that they can get decent things for such a cheap price. I'm glad that people can get a decent pair of shoes for ten bucks. I'm glad that I can buy a decent bookshelf for fifteen. (I'll never forget this heartbreaking anecdote: I was shopping for a dresser at a 24-hour store in L.A., and asked the clerk who was working the midnight shift where there were good deals to get one, as they run about $100 for the low-end dressers. She told me that I could take some of the cardboard boxes that the store had in the back, and with duct tape, put together a dresser at home for next to nothing. That's what she did, and she was kind enough to show me how to get into the back of the store to get whatever boxes I needed).

It's a good thing that decent products are available to low-income Americans for very low prices. That increases purchasing power and raises our standard of living.

It also eliminates manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and there isn't a good answer to that problem.

One new part of the progressive agenda which ought to get implemented, because of the shift toward low-wage workers and low-price products, is to stop taxing low-wage workers.

Progressives tend not to focus on tax cuts as a core part of our agenda. But we should. A tax cut for working people and low-income people is basic social justice. And it's good for the economy, as low-income people spend the money they earn. (Wealthier people tend to invest some of their rmoney, which might ultimately finance investments in other countries, which isn't particularly helpful to the U.S. economy).

I'm trying to build the consensus in Illinois to end the taxation of any income earned below $12,000. Currently we tax income earned over $2,000. So minimum wage workers pay state income tax -- which should not happen. To raise the level of income that triggers taxation from $2,000 to $12,000, and to have the state break even, we'd need to raise the state income tax from 3% to 4%. That's an increase of 20 hours of work per year. But because the level is raised, anyone earning $40,000 or less gets a tax cut. Everyone else gets a tax hike. However, the state income tax hike of 20 hours per year is subsidized by the federal government, as state income tax is deductible from federal income tax. Anyone earning more than $40,000 is paying at least 25% in federal income taxes, so that state income tax increase of 20 hours is really only a 15 hour increase, as 5 of those hours are deducted from federal income tax paid. And those numbers turn out to be about $200 million for the entire state (if we did this smart switch). I think that's a good trade-off: we help to ensure equal opportunity by cutting taxes on anyone earning less than $40,000 and we bring in $200 million to the state from the feds every year.

Any other project that brought in to Illinois a billion dollars every five years in federal spending -- forever -- would be embraced by any civic group worth its salt. I hope this one will be too.

Email me at if you want to help. I'm going to put this on the primary ballot in the 17th precinct in the 43rd ward (an affluent part of Lincoln Park) to see if wealthy people will support the policy. And I hope we can win this advisory referendum to prove support to legislators. Maybe we can get some press out of it and build the consensus. I need some help so email me to get involved.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Ralph Nader, the Green Party and an independent presidential campaign in 2004

Ralph Nader has decided he will not compete for the Green Party's presidential nomination in 2004. He still may launch an independent campaign for the presidency in 2004, and will make up his mind on that question by January.

One, there isn't much demand for a non-Democratic progressive presidential campaign. I was an enthusiastic nader 2000 supporter, and I'm backing whatever Democrat gets the nomination. I underestimated the relentless drive of the Bush Administration to eliminate the middle-class (by cutting taxes on the most well-off and cutting spending on investments that manufacture a middle-class, like higher education). I also think the Bush Administration is rather incompetent regarding homeland defense, given their invasion and occupation of Iraq instead of focusing on Al-Queda. So, I'd like to knock out Bush, and I suspect about half the 2.7 million people who voted for Nader (and virtually all of the 3 million or so who switched to Gore in the last 48 hours of the campaign) think the same way.

I predict that Nader will not run an independent presidential campaign, even though I think he really, really wants to. I think he won't do it because there isn't much support for it, and he is nothing if not an analyst. (That's the way I like to think about Nader and his motivation: an analyst who is so frustrated with public policy that he thinks he needs to be a candidate to get any attention for his research and findings.) It's really difficult to get on the ballot as an independent presidential candidate (25,000 signatures in Illinois alone). I'm not sure where the bodies will come from to get those signatures. I didn't think he'd be able to get on the ballot in Illinois with the Green Party's help. We just barely (and I mean barely) got Nader on the ballot in 2000 when there was a ton of interest and support for an alternative to the increasingly corporate, big-business Democratic presidential candidate (from Clinton to Gore to the most corporate Democratic Senator, Joe Lieberman). That interest is largely gone, from what I can see. Lots of progressives have decided for 2004 to buck up and join the majority coalition (the Democratic Party), at least for the presidential race.

What's interesting is where this leaves the Green Party. This shifts the likely presidential candidate into the status of Libertarians: no-name, no-backing people that are intelligent, motivated and give a great speech. David Cobb, a friend of mine, is probably the guy most responsible for pushing Nader out of the race, and he's running for the nomination. David is trying to be a presidential canddiate that does the following (potentially mutually exclusive things): (a) help to elect the Democratic nominee, or at least, not help re-elect Bush, (b) find and inspire new people to build the Green Party, (c) help elect other Green Party candidates in races where there is no risk of playing a spoiler. I don't know how you run for an office with the goal of not getting votes, but what the heck -- it will be interesting to see it play out.

Another interesting aspect is that the group of people that will pick the Green presidential candidate is a convention that will meet in Milwaukee in June. It is almost certain that not enough people will show up to fill all the delegate slots. It is also true that by the time June rolls around, it will be too late for many states to put a candidate on the ballot (like Illinois -- our deadline for third party candidates to turn in 25,000 signatures to get on the ballot is late June). So in many states, the national party convention process for picking a presidential candidate is largely irrelevant to whomever appears as the "Green Party" presidential candidate on that ballot. Whoever has the ability to collect the signatures and declare themselves a Green Party presidential candidate gets on the ballot in Illinois -- Ralph Nader or Ralph Reed. And if two people do it? Who is the 'real' Green Party candidate for purposes of the Illinois ballot? Who knows? It will make for a great legal argument if two candidates actually do it (but probably, zero candidates will do it in Illinois).

I'd like to believe that we can figure out how to harness the unmatched vote-getting advantages of a progressive third party (inspiring new and younger people) to strengthen the progressive wing of the majority coalition (the Democratic Party). It's not an easy thing to figure out, but we're getting there. Instant runoff voting clearly helps. Proportional representation is even better.

One final thought. Jason Farbman, a nice, dedicated 25-year-old, ran for state representative as a Green Party candidate against Harry Osterman, the Democratic incumbent, in the Uptown-Rogers Park neighborhood on the Far North Side of Chicago, a traditionally progressive part of the lakefront. He ended up tying the Republican candidate, in an 80-10-10 race, earning 2000 votes in November of 2002.

I'm convinced that at least 1000 of those 2000 Farbman voters only showed up because Jason was running. I'm also convinced that at least half of them (and probably almost all of them) voted for the statewide Democratic candidates (Rod Blagojevich for governor, Lisa Madigan for attorney-general, etc.) that won for the first time in 25 years. Any Democratic statewide campaigner would be delighted with 800 or so new voters.

It would be great for progressive areas to have a two-party system of Democrats and Greens, where the Green candidates bring out new people an dteach them about our governments, so that many of them who would otherwise have not been engaged vote for Democrats in close races against Republicans (and presumably, vote for progressive Democrats in primary electionsagainst corporate or machine Democrats).

It takes a far-sighted incumbent to welcome a Green Party candidate running against him or her as a good thing for building and maintaing the progressive majority. It also takes a Green Party candidate who can communicate those intentions to the incumbent Democrat and campaign in a purely policy-oriented way to bring out more voters and keep them engaged with government. After all, that's what we progressives do is to run governments in smart ways that invest in people. Corporate candidates and reactionary voters just want to stop us from doing that, so we have a greater challenge to keep our voters educated about government. We need educated voters, and no institution educates voters about government more than campaigns.

Julie Samuels, a Green Party state representative candidate in Oak Park with the Oak Park Greens,
, might be finding a better balance to use the advantages of the Green Party as an institution to strengthen, not divide, the progressive majority. Maybe we in Cook County can figure out this out and be a model for the rest of the country.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Bush and the ballot -- Madigan is relentless for Bush

Chad Anderson's report in the Rockford Register-Star includes this update on the Bush ballot situation:

Meanwhile, Republicans are still scrambling to make sure President Bush appears on the general election ballot in November. Topinka has said her top priority as state GOP chairman is putting Illinois in Bush's corner in November.

Further action is required to get Bush on the ballot because the General Assembly failed last month during veto session to waive a state election rule that requires presidential nominees be certified by Aug. 27. The GOP national convention in New York will be held after that deadline.

The Senate couldn't muster enough votes for passage after Democrats included a provision to allow the state Board of Elections to dismiss fines against political campaign committees for improperly filing financial statements. Though the GOP sought the Bush language, Senate Republicans refused to support the bill in light of the campaign fine provision.

The election board has levied $305,900 in fines against the campaigns of legislators and constitutional officers, according to the board. Of those, 94 percent were levied against Democrats, 6 percent against Republicans.

Cross, who is leading the effort to get Bush on the ballot, said he is confident the president's name will appear. He said House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, assured him this would occur early in the spring session.

“The speaker said to me the last day of veto session, ‘Tom it will get done. I will make sure it happens,’” Cross said. “And I take him at his word. I said, Will there be anything attached to it? He goes, There might be but it won't be the campaign fine issue.”

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown noted the House passed the bill with support from Madigan and Cross. Brown said its now up to the Senate to move the bill.

Brown noted the Legislature previously approved similar campaign fine language as part of an ethics bill. That language gives the Board of Elections the option of not fining a campaign for certain disclosure violations. The language at issue last month is much broader: It would grant the board discretion to forgive fines already on the books.

“The vote was final,” said Cindy Davidsmeyer, spokeswoman for Senate President Emil Jones Jr., D-Chicago. “It’s in the Republicans court as to what theyre going to do. It’s their issue.”

But Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for Watson, the Republican leader, maintained the proposed campaign fine language is unacceptable to Watsons caucus.

Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, said Republicans in the spring would ask Democrats to move a bill to waive the election rule, sans the campaign fine provision. If the Democrats don’t cooperate, he said, Republicans will take the matter to federal court.

“We’re not going to play games,” said Syverson, who also is treasurer of the Illinois Republican Party. “Either the Democratic Party is going to allow Bush to come on, no questions asked, early in January when we go into session, or we go to court and just get it done.”

---comment time---

So why is Speaker Madigan so adamant to make it easy on Republicans who are in this pickle because of their September New York City convention?

What Michael Madigan should do is make the Republicans pay for their sins of the DC-based operatives who scheduled the political rally in September in New York City in order to get a 'bounce' off of the 9/11 anniversary. And the way they can pay for that is to admit that they are the ones who caused this problem because of their September convention (and why is there a September convention? It's not the Olympics. . .it's 9/11).

I sympathize with Illinois Republicans, because it isn't their fault, but if they are so intent on going to federal court already, then just let them do it.

As Speaker Madigan seems hell-bent on making it easier for Bush to win his re-election, it falls to the Democratic Senate caucus to hold this up. Just don't call it for a vote! Come on, Senate Dems!

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Ryan's indictment built on one honest whistle-blower who made 19K annually

Another great column by Phil Kadner of the Daily Southtown on how one Will County employee of the Secretary of State's office, making $19,000 a year, blew the whistle on widespread corruption that eventually led to yesterday's indictment of former Governor George Ryan.

The column is here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Every election builds on the previous one

Jan Schakowsky endorsed my favorite candidate for the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama.

I worked on her primary campaign in 1998 against Howard Carroll and J.B. Pritzker when she ran for Congress. I worked a precinct in the 44th ward. (And when I say 'worked' I mean I was a volunteer).

Had she lost that election and Carroll or Pritzker sent to Congress in 1998, then that would have hurt the Obama campaign of 2004. Because Carroll probably would have endorsed Hynes while Pritzker probably would have endorsed Hull.

Similarly, I worked on Rey Colon's campaign for 35th ward alderman in 2003. And he is the first Latino elected to endorse Barack Obama. If Vilma Colom had stayed in office, she would have endorsed whomever Dick Mell endorsed (which is, I think, Blair Hull).

Every election matters. It's really interesting to see it all play out.

Friday, December 12, 2003

The best reason to support Dean: he didn't back Newsom in San Francisco

When the Democratic machine in San Francisco pulled in every big gun they had to try to stop the election of uber-progressive Matt Gonzalez this week (flying in Bill Clinton and Al Gore!), they couldn't get Howard Dean to endorse Gavin Newsom for Mayor of San Francisco.

This is the report.

And that's about as cool as a leading Democratic presidential candidate can get.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Reformers win in Cook County!

It couldn't get any better for Cook County Board reformers.

We won!

Today's Sun-Times has this report on yesterday's non-vote on Stroger's tax-hiking budget.

47% for Matt Gonzalez -- amazing progressive force in SF

The Matt Gonzalez for Mayor of San Francisco campaign -- as progressive a big-city mayoral candidate as the county has seen -- earned more than 100,000 votes and 47% of the total votes cast.

This blog from the San Francisco Bay Guardian summed up the power of progressive campaigns and the only way we build power: one precinct at a time.

The link is here, the poster is "capt matt" and I'll let the post speak for itself (although I prefer the term 'precinct organizer' to 'precinct captain')

suddenly i get it.

i have protested oil wars. i have signed petitions. written letters. made phone calls. posted signs.

but i have never been as involved in an electoral campaign as this one. i wrote campaign materials, gave money, and -- here's the key thing -- was a precinct captain.

in the course of doing that, a very hard 24 hour slog of knocking on doors, making calls, visiting the polling station, and doing it all over again, i saw probably thirty people vote for matt who either wouldn't have voted for him, or wouldn't have voted at all.

i saw results for the work I did, and all of a sudden i GET thinking globally and acting locally. i GET the power of neighborhoods. i GET "you can make a difference" platitudes. because i did, and i can.

and next time i'll be better at it. and inevitably, our time will come. harnessing the energy for positive social change we have here in the engine of local politics will bring about great things. it already has, and we're just beginning.

stay involved, and stay watching...

Posted by: capt matt at December 10, 2003 02:08 AM
...and my precinct came in at over 85% for matt.

together we can, indeed.

Posted by: capt matt at December 10, 2003 02:09 AM

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Stroger tax-hiking budget might not pass. Fantastic.

In this report from the Sun-Times comes word that there may not be nine votes to pass the tax-hiking budget on Tuesday. Which is great news.

Raising the sales tax and setting up a lease tax is the last thing we should do for this bloated county government. Instead we should be cutting patronage jobs and directing more of these precious public resources into services that help everyone.

Not coincidentally, the Sun-Times had a great report on how the forest preserve is turning into a patronage preserve. This kind of stuff is toxic to earning the support of swing voters for increased investment in the commonwealth (that is, higher taxes to fund smart infrastructure). I'm so glad the reform commissioners are crusading against it.

(I wonder why this isn't happening as visibly on the Chicago City Council, or for that matter, in the Illinois General Assembly.)

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Nice tax justice report for Illinois

Voices for Illinois Children put out a nice report here on the basics of our state tax system.

We have a flat 3 percent income tax rate (which is about a week and a half of work), which kicks in after one makes only $2000.

We should not let the tax kick in until one makes $12,000, and then raise the rate to 4%. Everyone making less than $40,000 gets a tax cut.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Cook County budget -- showdown coming Tuesday

Looks like the vote on the new Cook County budget (with, potentially, an inexcusable raise in the regressive sales tax) might be next week.

I admit, I read it in Sneed. Yes, I read that column. Go ahead. Make fun. I'm thisclose to reading it tomorrow!

And President John Storger is apparently getting a little bit weirder. This Tribune news article, which Zorn pointed out on his blog, has Stroger preparing for the showdown vote by suggesting the reform commissioners are pulling a Council Wars. There's some odd part of the political culture in Chicago and Illinois that is based around absolute deference to political leadership (see the way the House members followed Speaker Madigan's deal regarding the Bush on the ballot bill), and Stroger seems like he is put out that the commissioners are not just following his lead and passing the budget he crafted. I really hope we can find nine votes to block the sales tax increase. Man, we're really under-organized in this town. I'm not aware of any real grass-roots movement to block the tax hike. Just imagine if Stroger proposed an income tax for Cook County! The place would be PACKED with people.

Back to Sneed, she suggests that Earlean Collins is the swing vote. Well, if that's true, then call her office at 312.603.4566 and ask her to vote against the sales tax increase.

Commissioner Carl Hansen says that the county is stuffed with patronage. He says in this article that there are 100 extra doctors at County Hospital, that Provident Hospital should be closed and that 85% of the county's costs are personnel. I wonder: is 85% ridiculously high?

And I further wonder: doesn't it make one a good, solid progressive Democrat to RAIL against patronage and wasteful spending, so that we can spend more of our money on services that benefit everyone?

In this article, five of the reform commissioners (Claypool, Suffredin, Quigley, Goslin and Peraica) have a budget that cuts costs by 6 percent or so, shaving off the $100 million deficit that the Stroger tax hikes would pay for.

If you add Hansen, that's six. We need three more commissioners to block the Stroger tax hikes.

Who will it be? Bobbie Steele? Collins? Iceman?

Well, the Daily Southtown has a good editorial that lays out the political situation, calling on the Board to reject Stroger's tax hikes. Now, why is it that South Side Democrats are supporting Stroger's budget? I wonder what Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. thinks about this -- maybe he can help influence the two Southland regular Dems to vote no.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

GOP's national redistricting power grab might come to a halt.

But we're relying on the Supreme Court (and the five partisan Bush v. Gore justices) to do it. That's the bad news.

The good news is that there's the first major effort in 20 years to rein in ultra-partisan redistricting that makes almost every general election a foregone conclusion. In Illinois, not one congressional seat is competitive. Not one. Out of 435 congressional districts, more than 400 are locked up for one party. That means almost all of us get NO SAY in which party is running the House of Representatives. No wonder turnout plummets.

Anyway, the Supreme Court on December 10th is hearing oral argument on a fantastic case challenging the GOP's gerrymander of Pennsylvania. The information the partisan gerrymandering case (courtesy of Jenner and Block) is here.

And Jeffrey Toobin, author of Too Close To Call (a really great read), has a fantastic article in The New Yorker here called The Great Eleciton Grab. Also worth a read.

The Illinois angle is, as I see it, a chance for Democrats to reject the incumbent protection plan that the congressional delegation created in 2001 (and left David Phelps with nothing) and push through a non-partisan redistricting regime. The Peoria Journal-Star is editorializing on this issue here (and is unfair to Senator Cullerton). Perhaps other papers will too.

Zorn nails it!

Right on Eric!

He nails the 9/11 Bush on the ballot angle in his column today.

It's here.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Senate floor debate -- a bit too long to transcribe

I received a CD today from the state senate on the floor debate on SB 82 (the Bush on the ballot bill). That's quite a nice service the Senate staff provides (only 6 bucks for the debate on CD).

However, the debate is more than 30 minutes long, so I don't think I'll transcribe it.

Here are the highlights:

The Republicans had a field day on this bill, with Senators Lauzen, Roskam, Petka, Geo-Karis and Watson speaking against the unethical nature of letting the Board of Elections waive fees assessed against campaign committees in exchange for changing state law to accommodate the NYC September convention.

Democratic Senators Hendon, Welch and Jones defended the bill and attacked the Republicans. Senator Welch did the best job of nailing the Bush campaign for taking advantage of the 9/11 attacks. I hope more Democratic Senators follow Senator Welch's lead next time the bill is debated.

The GOP's explanation for the September New York City convention.

From Paul Froehlich, Republican state representative and Schaumburg township committeeman, a request to consider the other argument from Republicans about how the convention got scheduled in New York City in early September.

According to this explanation, the Bush campaign didn't really want to hold their convention in September. But they were forced to by. . .. the Democrats!

According to this post on the Illinois Leader, when the Democrats picked the last weekend of July to schedule the Dem convention, it left the Republicans with no choice but to pick September in New York City for their convention. Otherwise, they'd have to go before the Democrats in July, or hold their convention in early- to mid-August before the Olympics are held from August 13th through the 29th. (Then again, who watches the Olympics anymore?)

So that's the story. It was . . . just a coincidence that a partisan political rally for a campaign that is centered around the "War on Terrorism" will be held a few miles from Ground Zero a week before the third anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history. Whatever.

This was a ruthless, calculated plan by the Bush bigwigs to put the convention in New York City in September. I can't imagine that the most partisan Administration and campaign in my memory didn't plan to take maximum advantage of the tragedy. They will do anything to win.

Tom Roeser calls Dems "arrogant" for not caving to GOP exploitation

I like to read Tom Roeser's columns in the Sun-Times. He's a red meat Republican partisan and a good writer.

His take on the Bush ballot battle is fairly skewed, blaming the "unsurpassed arrogance of power" of Illinois Democrats not rolling over for Bush by -- heaven forfend! -- cutting some deal in exchange for changing state law to benefit the Bush campaign.

Roeser's suggestion is to "Let the heat go to those who seek to deprive Illinoisans of their right to vote for president", counseling the Republicans to abstain from any deal with the Dems.

I would suggest that the those who seek to deprive Illinoisans of their right to vote for president are those people who knowingly scheduled a political convention in New York City in September in order to milk the tragedy of 9/11 for Bush's partisan gain. And I hope the Dems message on this point will get sharper over the winter and spring as this battle heats up.