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Two Races Show the Perils of Independence PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 21 October 2012 05:20

Ever since I published a poll last month showing indicted former state Representative Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) leading third-party candidate Lance Tyson in the 10th Illinois House District race by a mind-boggling 47 percent to 9 percent, there’s been a lot of grumbling about how Chicago voters ought to know better. Smith was arrested and indicted, after all. It was all over the news. People should know that, for crying out loud.

At the time the poll was taken, however, Tyson hadn’t spent much if any money on his campaign. He isn’t a known quantity in the district. And he’s not a Democrat – at least, he’s not a Democrat on the ballot. Likely voters were given the choice between Smith and Tyson and told their party affiliations. Smith won the Democratic primary; Tyson belongs to the newly created 10th District Unity Party.

Convincing voters to take a look at third-party or independent candidates is never easy. Go back to 1986, when some members of Lyndon LaRouche’s cultish organization won some statewide Democratic primary races here. Democrat Adlai Stevenson’s running mate was beaten by one of those candidates, and Stevenson had to form a third party to run for governor.

How Political Money Finds Its Target PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 14 October 2012 05:28

One way of getting around the state’s new campaign-contribution caps is by forming a lot of different campaign committees. State law forbids people from forming more than one committee (except for independent expenditures, political parties, and state legislative leaders), but nothing in the law prevents “friends” and allies from forming their own committees to receive and give money.

For example, House Republican Leader Tom Cross has his own PAC (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross) and his allowed “caucus” PAC (the House Republican Leadership Committee), and he also appears to control or at least influence four other committees: Illinois Crossroads PAC, Citizens to Change Illinois, the Illinois House Victory Fund, and the Move Illinois Forward PAC.

Before we go any further, let me stress that none of this appears to be illegal. The House Republicans don’t deny they’re doing this, with one official saying that they even include these campaign accounts in the presentations they give to large donors.

Additional Censored Stories of 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Thursday, 11 October 2012 05:23

This issue’s cover story puts to rest any doubts Americans may have about the media cartel’s deplorable performance in providing relevant, reliable, truthful information. The way the media cartel knowingly under-reports, hides, and sometimes outright manufactures data on critical topics (including many more not covered here) makes it public enemy number one.

Nothing is more detrimental to a free and open society than an uninformed populace. The media cartel has devolved into nothing more than an overt propaganda machine that systematically manipulates Americans’ thought processes to keep the masses docile and compliant in an ever-increasing authoritarian regime. The advances in technology afforded to us have proven to be a double-edged sword that further enables something like the Ministry of Truth from George Orwell’s prophetic novel 1984. The good news is that if the people avail themselves of truth that is out there, they can break free of this assault of lies, misinformation, and propaganda. And, while Project Censored is a very valuable place to start, even that project has missed some critical under-reported topics and events. And so we share some of those with you below as a supplement to this cover story.

Congressional Campaigns Trickle Down to Local Races PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 07 October 2012 05:30

There’s not a lot that a state legislative candidate can do when his or her party’s presidential nominee starts to tank.

The presidential race drives turnout to the point where down-ballot candidates must struggle mightily to rise above the noise and get their messages heard by distracted voters.

And because there are no statewide races in Illinois this year, that means there are no truly high-profile campaigns to “break up” any presidential advantage or momentum. Congressional races are all that state legislators have now to cushion the blow from the top, and down-ballot candidates are increasingly pinning their hopes on those contests.

Will Legistors Curb Their Own Pensions? PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 30 September 2012 05:44

For the past couple of election campaign cycles, this one included, incumbent state legislators have bragged in their campaign ads about cutting their own pay.

They didn’t actually cut their own pay. But they did vote several times to take unpaid furlough days. So it’s almost the same.

But lots of challengers have upped the ante this fall. The candidates are refusing to accept a state pension if elected.

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