Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Comments & Questions Re: Duckworth's Campaign

Over at Capitol Fax, Rich had a post up yesterday afternoon about the media coverage Duckworth was getting in the Daily Herald. What caught my attention was a couple of the comments to the post. First was this comment by 'inish' which I shortened for brevity:
A servicemember may not run for political office. It is a directive of the Dept. of Defense 1344.10

Until Duckworth has been discharged, she can not be a candidate. Discharge papers are “misplaced” all the time. I am the wife of a retired servicemember. It took almost two years for our retirment to be approved.

4.1.2. A member on active duty shall not:

4.1.2.1. Use his or her official authority or influence for interfering with an election; affecting the course or outcome of an election; soliciting votes for a particular candidate or issue; or requiring or soliciting political contributions from others...

The bold part (emphasis mine) is what caught my attention. I've said this before, but I'll say this again: How is Duckworth, with no announcement, getting 50 volunteers circulating petitions, paying for a-list consultants working on her campaign, media outreach sufficient to get her on This Week, and a campaign spokesperson and publicist? All this costs dollars. Big dollars. So how is she paying for it if, according to Dept. of Defense 1344.10, Section 4.1.2.1, she can't solicit political contributions from others? How is a big-dollar fundraiser held for her at the Hilton Towers in Chicago last week? Is the DCCC laundering the contributions or am I reading the DoD regulation wrong?

Someone help me out here.

The next comment that caught my attention was this one by 'bored now' again edited for brevity, not content:
(rahm has been collecting petitions for her. i am told that he — and madigan — had 50 people out “gathering” signatures for duckworth at one cook county train station a week or so ago. commuters felt like they were running a gauntlet, and i doubt very many of them refused to sign! given where it was, though, one has to wonder how many signatures were valid…)

Can anyone else verify this? It seems odd to me that the ABC 7 News piece noted her "friends and family" were out getting signatures for her. If this is correct, than Emanuel and Madigan (Lisa or Mike?) are now relatives and family friends. And they are gathering signatures in Cook County no less! For the record, Cegelis had 200 volunteers gather nearly 4,000 signatures to get her on the ballot. I don't think they were all relatives and family friends though. Just part of the Democratic base in DuPage.

Now I know Duckworth was allowed to circulate petitions by her commanding officer. But again, how does this jibe with DoD regulations? If anyone has a greater understanding on this topic please comment.