Just four days after Congressional candidate Christine Cegelis posted this blog:
It is crucial that this race stay positive. This will be a tough battle, and though it can be difficult to stay on the high road, I think it’s important that we not get sidetracked. We will win this race on our own merits. Focus on the issues and the candidates and not the behind the scenes players.Cegelis supporter Kenneth Brummel submitted this letter to the Chicago Sun-Times, titled "Say No to the Duckworth 'machine'":
Duckworth, in other words, is a cog in Emanuel's elaborate national machine to be installed in the 6th District....now that the land has been paved, Emanuel desires to steal it from the residents of the 6th District and replace it with a casino whose profits will go to his national organization....The 6th District is not a suburban outpost ready to be colonized by the sleazy political machines of Chicago and D.C.I don't want to get into a back-and-forth in the Sun-Times, but I thought it important to rebut some of the idiotic assertions and hypocrisies in Mr. Brummel's attacks.
1. Off the bat, it's ironic to note that this demand for autonomy for the 6th CD comes from a man who lives on Chicago's south side.
2. Attacks by Cegelis surrogates on Emanuel ring hollow. Cegelis herself actively sought Emanuel's support, and her campaign disclosures indicate she traveled to Washington, D.C. with her staff to rub shoulders with D.C.'s "sleazy political machines".
3. Mr. Brummel conveniently ignores that, while Cong. Emanuel is playing a key role in helping Maj. Tammy Duckworth get her campaign together, Duckworth also has the support of Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Dick Durbin, and Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn. Why does Brummel ignore this fact -- because it clearly doesn't fit his framing of the facts.
4. Efforts by Cegelis surrogates to reframe this debate as an Insider v. Outsider debate also ring hollow. A review of Cegelis's campaign disclosures indicates that much of her financial support comes from outside of the 6th District, including "sleazy" Chicago and people across the country. Cegelis relied heavily on her ties to Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean in her 2004 race, and continues to refer to herself as a former member of the "Dean Dozen."
5. Brummel echoes the Cegelis party line by trying to give Cegelis single-handed credit for establishing a Democratic beachhead in DuPage County, an outright lie. First, Cegelis did worse than John Kerry in the 6th CD in 2004, and far, far worse that Barack Obama. If there are any Democratic candidates who deserve the title 'trailblazer" in DuPage, It's SOS Jesse White, who won the county in 2002, and folks like Dan Hynes and Lisa Madigan who continue to impress voters with their fiscal conservatism and highest ethics.
But the real fact is that demographic trends deserve more credit than any one candidate. And, following the Bean victory in the neighboring 8th CD, there's little doubt that Democrats would have taken a hard look at this seat anyway, absent Cegelis, and even if Hyde had stuck around.
So, why are so many Democratic leaders supporting Duckworth and not Cegelis? Much has been made of Cegelis' inability to raise money, so I won't go into it again. But despite her recent olive branch, Cegelis and her supporters have a long history of antagonistic behavior, ingoring the old adage that "Politics is a game of addition, not subtraction."
Exhibit A, this excerpt from an e-mail sent by Cegelis herself to her listserv on August 14, 2005:
Subj: Disturbing news for those going to DCNot very statesmanlike, is it? And another great reason to keep candidates away from the e-mail at 11 p.m. at night.
Date: 8/14/2005 11:22:08 PM Central Standard Time
From: email@example.com_ (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reply-to: _NovemberVictory@topica.com_ (mailto:NovemberVictory@topica.com)
To: _NovemberVictory@topica.com_ (mailto:NovemberVictory@topica.com)
There is a rumor and I will say is just a rumor at this point that the DCCC is polling my district to find if they can put in a self funder and defeat me in the primary. Again not sure if this is true.....
Those of you speaking to [DCCC staffer's name redacted] should keep in mind that he would be behind such a scheme. We are putting out feelers to see if any one can verify this and we should know before your trip.
BTW the DCCC will tell you they don't get into primaries but they do and they will lie to about it. I have had several people that worked for them say as a staffer they do get into a primary and then lie about it right to anyone's face. This is after all politics. (emphasis added)
Oh have a nice day!