Republican Turmoil In IL-13 Likely To Benefit Progressive Democrat David Gill
You may recall how close David Gill's victory was last month when he managed to overcome the Democratic Party Machine and beat some extravagantly financed random corporate shill. The corporate shill refused to concede and finally all the absentee, military, overseas and provisional votes have been counted and reticulations are completed. The primary election results are now final and will be sent to the State Board of Elections to be certified on Friday. David won with a 162 vote margin-- a gain of 19 votes over his election night victory.
And now Democrats are unifying around him and getting ready to take IL-13 back from the conservatives. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the Republican incumbent, Tim Johnson, pulled out of the race and announced that he's retiring. Nor does it hurt that a plethora of GOP candidates are duking it out to be appointed the nominee by a committee of GOP bosses. It's getting pretty bloody. Most of the candidates feel that Johnson has attempted to rig the whole process in favor of his crony and former chief-of-staff, Jerry Clarke, who stared calling the county chairmen within minutes of Johnson's announcement on April 5. Far right kook and paranoid extremist, Kyle McCarter is flipping out.
"It's not right. This is not right," said state Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, who told a Republican luncheon gathering in Bloomington that he is interested in the congressional seat. "You know what's really insulting about this? It didn't just happen. There was talk of this happening a year ago, and it's a real insult to the people. Like I said, their vote was taken away from them.
"I think we're used to politics as usual. The politics as usual is that you manipulate the system to put certain people in positions of power. That's not the way it ought to be. The people should decide who is going to be speaking for them. Remember, this power that (politicians) have, they don't own it. It's only borrowed from the people who elect them. We forget that. But when you have people in back rooms who decide they are going to put in place who they want so that they can control them and they can control what happens in this country, that's wrong."
McCarter said the county chairmen should slow down the process to appoint Johnson's replacement.
"We need to see who would represent the people best, not what person was decided in a back room deal who was going to get the job," said the one-term state senator, who lives in the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis. "This heir-to-the-throne idea in politics, I don't care what party you're in, it's wrong. It's an injustice and it doesn't work because ultimately, when you get that person in there, they don't serve us well."
Asked who benefited from Johnson's sudden retirement announcement, McCarter pointed to Clarke.
"There was definitely a favorite," McCarter said. "I think Jerry obviously had the inside knowledge about what was happening. But as long as the process slows down and everyone is vetted, if Jerry Clarke ends up being the choice of the chairmen, I'll be behind them. I'm trusting the chairmen to do their job."
Sam Spradlin, a Springfield truck driver who also wants to be considered by the GOP county chairmen, said Monday that "this feels like a hand-me-down to Jerry Clarke."
Spradlin originally had planned to challenge Johnson in the March 20 primary, then pulled out of the race.
"Tim knew he was going to quit the race before the primary. He knew ahead of time," Spradlin charged. "If they give this to Clarke, it's a travesty."
Spradlin also made his views known in a 5-minute video he posted Sunday on You Tube [below]. In it he predicted that if county chairmen choose Clarke, "you will have a mutiny on your hands."
He said that "a lot of Republicans are crying foul that Tim ignored the primary process" and charged that this "seems like something that Rod Blagojevich would do."
Doctor Gill should only be lucky enough to get this guy (below) as his opponent, although at this point, polls show David as beating-- and significantly-- whichever Republican hack the party bosses decide to throw at him. "David Gill," says pollster Donna Victoria, "already holds a significant lead over two prominent Republican candidates. What’s clear from our numbers is that Dr. Gill has a significant base of support no matter which candidate the Republicans ultimately put forth.” If the election were held today, he would beat Jerry Clarke handily 40% to 33% and he would beat Rodney Davis, with an even greater margin, 41% to 31%.
UPDATE: Barenaked Ladies Guitar Contest
This Sunday night... for supporters of David Gill and Norman Solomon. You have a head start.