Monday, January 09, 2006

IL-06: A Handle on the Issues?

Yesterday, Mark Brown in the Sun Times had some coverage of Duckworth's reach out and touch the media campaign from her press conference on that current buring topic, the Alternative Minimum Tax. Funny thing is, even though the AMT was the topic that warranted the coverage (of two reporters), here's the thrust of the article:
Duckworth, not the complaining type, did mention one little problem she was having when we talked last March. Her new right leg kept falling off.

[...]

It's not exactly what I'd envisioned when I'd enlisted as a charter member in the Tammy Duckworth fan club for her then-looming battle with the Pentagon over amputee rights, but there's no turning back now.

In case you had missed it, this was a press conference on the AMT. What, you expect a candidate running for Congress to know the issues? Come on, all you need is a compelling personality with no record or residency in the district. So did her AMT position get any coverage? Sure, down in paragraph 17 & 18 of a 20 paragraph puff piece:
Her presentation on the alternative minimum tax was a little dense, although she'd clearly studied up and knew more about the issue than the two reporters (me included) who were there to cover her.

If she manages to survive a tough Democratic primary fight with Christine Cegelis, the party's nominee two years ago, and Lindy Scott, a Wheaton College professor, she'll need to tune up her candidacy considerably before squaring off with presumed GOP nominee Sen. Peter Roskam.

So of the two journalists who showed up, one at least who names himself as "a charter member in the Tammy Duckworth fan club" calls her presentation "a little dense" and notes she'll need to "tune up her candidacy considerably" to take on Roskam. But she's the stronger candidate?

Duckworth had a similar experience at a recent township democratic meeting:
She had talked about health care as a problem, and I asked what solution she favored, specifically whether she would support H. R. 676, the single-payer bill. She said yes, she would support it, and then touted her own idea which is a national version of Gov. Blagojevich's plan to provide health insurance for children. Obviously, this would be unnecessary if we had single-payer, which would cover all ages. Maybe she meant the latter plan as a next best thing if we can't have single-payer. But maybe she didn't know what single-payer is and answered anyway.
 
Another YTDO member, whom we'll call "WHISKEY" since that's his nom de blog, asked her about the Bankruptcy Bill which Melissa Bean voted for. She talked about how it was unfair for companies in financial trouble to take away employees' pensions. A good answer to the wrong question.

Cegelis knows the issues. She knows the people at the local level. She lives in the district. All she needs is our help to keep the playing field level with Rahm's anointed candidate who's going to get this kind of puff media. As Cegelis noted at the YTDO meeting:
We need representatives who are not beholden to outside interests. I am willing to make the tough stands and decisions because of my belief in doing the right thing, but also because I won’t owe this seat to anyone but my constituents.

Here's Cegelis' donate page to contribute to a candidate who knows the issues and won't owe the seat to anyone but the people of her district. We can make a difference in this race.