State Sen. Mike Frerichs last week won the endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Party during a closed-door meeting where they also backed Gov. Pat Quinn for re-election.
The backing of the state's largest local Democratic organization is a major boost to Frerichs' still-unofficial campaign for state treasurer, he said.
"Obviously in a Democratic primary a large percentage of the vote comes from Cook County and having the support of the party up there will be very beneficial to a run," the Champaign Democrat said.
In a Democratic primary, Frerichs said, about 62 percent of the statewide vote comes from Cook County.
"So I'd say this is a very big endorsement. To win the endorsement over a Chicago alderman (Jason Ervin) who is a member of that committee shows really strong support," Frerichs said.
In the first round of voting on the endorsement, according to a Chicago Tribune story, the vote between Frerichs and Ervin was close. After that, Ervin threw his support behind Frerichs and seconded a motion to endorse him by acclamation.
Frerichs said he isn't certain how close the first vote was because he was not allowed in the room for the balloting. Only ward and township committeemen were present.
He said he won't formally announce his candidacy until after Labor Day.
"But obviously this is a very strong showing of support which would make any campaign more confident," he said. "I think we'll make an announcement when people start paying attention. There are still a lot of people on vacation or getting their kids ready to go back to school."
Frerichs said he'll campaign around the state for the rest of August, attending the DuQuoin State Fair this weekend and other parts of southern and western Illinois.
"I'm putting a lot of miles on my car and a lot of minutes on my phone," he said.
Republican forum. All four Republican contenders for Illinois governor will be in Gibson City on Saturday, Sept. 7, for a breakfast meet and greet.
Sens. Bill Brady of Bloomington and Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, along with Chicago venture capitalist Bruce Rauner and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford will be at the event at 8:30 a.m. at the Railside Golf Course in Gibson City.
There is no charge for the event which includes a free breakfast, according to Ford County Republican Party Chairman Tom Bennett.
Ice cream social. State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, will host a free ice cream social from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. today at Eisner Park in Champaign. She will be joined by Champaign County Board member Michael Richards of Champaign.
"I encourage everyone to stop by and join me for a lively discussion and a summer treat," she said.
Davis misquote. Both factcheck.org and the website the Daily Beast have hit the League of Conservation Voters for misusing a quote from Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, in a critical television spot.
The ad attempts to portray Davis as "extreme" on the issue of climate change, but it misuses a comment Davis made during an appearance last year on WILL-AM. Oddly, there's no question that Davis opposes cap-and-trade proposals and other plans to tax polluters, but he has never said — as the spot insinuates — that he dismisses the notion of global warming.
Factcheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania which says that its mission is to "reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics," said that the League of Conservation Voters "went too far when it edited an audio clip of Davis to make it sound as if he said something that he didn't."
And the Daily Beast opined that the LCV "was caught misusing" a Davis quote.
"It's not hard to find many Republican lawmakers making extreme or childish statements denouncing climate change," it said. "The League of Conservation Voters should have just picked from the broad selection of comments that have actually been made."
They said it
"The key with Kirk (Dillard) is getting organized. I walked in here and I felt better. They had things pretty well organized. Not that this is going to mean the difference in the election, but you've got a lot of opinion makers here so you've got to make a presence. I think Kirk will win. I'm not convinced that (Bruce) Rauner could win the general election. You just can't get too far to the right. If he continues to push this anti-union thing, that's fine for the primary. But this is not Idaho."
— former Gov. Jim Edgar at Republican Day at the state fair, talking about Sen. Kirk Dillard, his former aide who is running for governor
"This was a deliberate snub by mostly old white men who are bitter over the fact this highly accomplished woman of mixed race won't listen to them. Harold won't run for an unwinnable race like 'good' minority candidates are 'supposed' to do in the Illinois GOP, and the old men resent it. It's as simple as that."
— Doug Ibendahl of Republican News Watch, on how Erika Harold, who is challenging Rep. Rodney Davis in the 13th Congressional District, was not allowed to speak at a Republican Day rally at the state fair
"This is the House of Representatives. We're supposed to be the unruly body. The Senate is supposed to be the cooling chamber. They're not responsive to election cycles every two years. We are the ones who are supposed to be responsive to the emotions of the time. So I never apologize for us being emotional. I think that's what we're supposed to be, on both sides,"
— U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, speaking at a Champaign County Farm Bureau breakfast meeting, on partisan fights in the House
Tom Kacich is a News-Gazette editor and columnist. His column appears on Wednesdays and Sundays. He can be reached at 351-5221 or at email@example.com.