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Sweet column: Duckworth, long on cash, short on grass roots operation in 6th CD race.


Big names back Duckworth, but where's ground support?

I spent part of Saturday and Sunday in the sixth congressional district -Des Plaines, Lombard and Roselle. For a report from the field on the biggest Democratic primary in Illinois-- a race with national implications, click here.


At her rally (where she didn't need a US Senator to draw a crowd), Cegelis explained that she began running for the seat in 2003 because her children, now in their 20s, don't have the same opportunities that she enjoyed when she came out of college and she wants to go to Washington to change that.

When people ask her why she persists in this race despite everything that's being thrown against her, Cegelis said "because you should never underestimate what a mother will do for her children." That line brought the house down!

You know, if the DCCC et al. put the kind of effort behind USMC Major Paul Hackett's bid to defeat a vicious right-wing Republican (Jean Schmidt) last August that they are putting behind Duckworth's bid to defeat a progressive Democrat in this primary, we'd already have one less Republican seat in the House. Makes you wonder what their priorities really are, doesn't it?!

I should highlight Lynn's comment about Cegelis volunteers "stuffing campaign kits." We weren't just piling on literature for Christine, we were packaging the IVI-IPO tabloid (with recommendations for progressive candidates up and down the ballot, including Christine) with literature for State Senate candidate Dan Kotowski, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District candidate Debra Shore (only candidate endorsed by the Sierra Club), and Cook County Circuit Court candidate Martha Mills (only candidate this year rated "Highly Qualified" by the Chicago Council of Lawyers), among others. These packets were to be given to voters in Elk Grove Township along with Cegelis's own "door knocker."

The reason we did this is that Christine is part of a whole progressive, good government movement. As she said Saturday, "this thing is bigger than just me."

Anyone think Duckworth and her people will lift a finger to help worthy Democratic candidates in the area?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the IPO/IVI endorsements made by just a handful of members? Isn't this a minuscule organization with bucks to throw around? I bet they don't even have more than a few members (if any) living in the 6th district nor do they have any idea of what our real needs are here. I'd rather see endorsements coming from within the 6th by organizations that have the interests of the people living here at heart.

IVI-IPO has been around for 60 years. We don't have a lot of money, but our tabloid reaches hundreds of thousands of voters, including many thousands in IL-6. As for local endorsements and endorsements from other Illinois GOOD GOVERNMENT groups, how about these for Cegelis:

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) (largest union in the district with 11,000 members in IL-6)

* Illinois Committee for Honest Government

* Progressive Democrats of Illinois

* Schaumburg Area Democratic Organization

* Democracy for America of Elk Grove Township

I should also note that the IVI-IPO conducted its open-to-the-public endorsement session for this race in Des Plaines, specifically in order to get LOCAL input. The vote to endorse Christine was unanimous.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 6, 2006 7:32 AM.

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