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ALAN KEYES, MR. RADIOACTIVE
Realclearpolitics.com ^ | 10-11-04

Posted on 10/11/2004 11:11:38 AM PDT by SJackson

Monday, October 11 2004
ALAN KEYES, MR. RADIOACTIVE:
Just how bad is Alan Keyes doing in the Illinois Senate race? Let's just say it's hard to imagine him doing any worse. In the three latest polls taken during the past week, Keyes is drawing between 20-24% of the vote while Obama is pushing close to 70%.

To be fair, this was never really about Alan Keyes beating Barack Obama. The minute Jack Ryan dropped out of the race the GOP strategy shifted from winning to trying to field a credible challenger who could do two things: 1) keep Obama occupied and 2) run strong throughout the state to protect down-ballot Republicans from getting swamped. Keyes is failing miserably at both.

Today's Washington Post reports that Obama is so unconcerned with the threat being posed by Alan Keyes that he's now touring the country raising money and campaigning on behalf of John Kerry and other Democrats:

In the past week, Obama has mailed checks totaling $260,000 to Senate candidates in 13 states, including $53,000 to the do-or-die campaign of Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.). He donated $100,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $150,000 to party organizations in key states, including Florida, Wisconsin and Colorado.

Carrying his verbal assault on President Bush beyond state lines, Obama will fly to Los Angeles this week for a Democratic fundraiser and address rallies in Colorado and Nevada for John F. Kerry. In a close presidential race where turnout could prove decisive, Obama said in an interview that he is talking with Kerry advisers about where he can be most effective in the campaign's final days.

"Turnout is huge," Obama said after a Saturday morning rally in the hard-fought presidential battleground of Wisconsin. "If there are selective things that we can do that can be helpful, then we want to do them. The Kerry people are still making determinations as to what states remain in play. Safe to say we will probably have a couple more travel days this month."

Back in Illinois, Keyes is operating in complete isolation. He's alienated almost all of the Republican party operatives throughout the state, starting with his wild-eyed rhetoric about Barack Obama's pro-abortion stance (the "slaveholders'" position, similar to a terrorist, etc) and his attack on Dick Cheney's gay daughter (Keyes called Mary Cheney a "selfish hedonist").

Many members of the Illinois delegation, including the Chairperson of the Party, Judy Baar Topinka, condemned Keyes remarks as "idiotic" and called on him to apologize. (To make matters worse, rumors have been swirling about the sexual preference of Keyes' own daughter for a couple of weeks now. Keyes has refused to comment)

This is how bad it has become: the other night at a GOP fund raising dinner Keyes caused a stir by showing up unannounced - but more importantly, I was told, uninvited. At the dinner a sitting member Congress, speaking semi-privately to the guests at one of the tables, jokingly referred to Keyes as a "lunatic." Everyone at the table laughed and shook their heads in agreement.

The damage Keyes is doing to the GOP in Illinois, however, is no laughing matter. He will be lucky to win 25% of the vote in November and he's become not only a drag on the ballot for Republicans but a weapon for Democrats.

I'll give you a quick example. Beth Coulson is the State Senator from my district. She's a moderate Republican in a moderate to left-leaning district and always a top target of the Democrats. Here's a copy of the latest flier from the Illinois Democratic Party:

Keyes may very well cost Beth Coulson her seat, and perhaps a few others as well. And on November 3rd Alan Keyes will be sitting comfortably on a plane back to Maryland and the Illinois GOP will be in a bigger hole than they were in before Keyes arrived to help dig.

MOTHER TERESA: Can't resist this blurb on Teresa Heinz Kerry from Friday's Tucson Citizen:

In the middle of her [Heinz Kerry's] speech, Bush supporters chimed in with a chant of "four more years." Kerry supporters countered with "four more weeks."

Heinz Kerry told the Bush supporters, "I respect your positions, but you must have manners."

Adele Conover, 54, a science writer and Kerry supporter who had backed Howard Dean, described Heinz Kerry's talk as "sensational."

"She treated them like they were children," she said of how Heinz Kerry talked to the Bush supporters.

Those Bush supporters are just so uncouth, aren't they Teresa?



TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: keyes
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1 posted on 10/11/2004 11:11:39 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson
Correct link for flyer


2 posted on 10/11/2004 11:13:16 AM PDT by SJackson (They're not Americans. They're just journalists, Col George Connell, USMC)
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To: SJackson

Remember, RINOs are to be supported by everyone, including conservative Republicans. Only RINOs can treat others, including conservative Repubs, with scorn.


3 posted on 10/11/2004 11:15:21 AM PDT by ikka
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To: SJackson

They need to put Jack Ryan back on the ballot.


4 posted on 10/11/2004 11:18:14 AM PDT by counterpunch (The CouNTeRPuNcH Collection - www.counterpunch.us)
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To: ikka

Really? That's not how it is on 90% of the Keyes-related threads. In fact, the way it works is that Keyes Kool-Aid Drinkers are allowed to say anything and everything they want, while many people who feel Keyes is not the right person for the job are forbidden from posting on Keyes-related threads and/or are suspended from FR.

But, apparently, that is just fine by you, right?


5 posted on 10/11/2004 11:19:46 AM PDT by Chad Fairbanks (How do you ask a hamster to be the last hamster to die for a mistake?)
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To: counterpunch

Better yet...I don't suppose Jeri is a Republican?


6 posted on 10/11/2004 11:20:40 AM PDT by RichInOC ("I am Jeri Ryan, and I'm running for the U. S. Senate. Resistance is futile.")
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To: counterpunch
"They need to put Jack Ryan back on the ballot."

If for no other reason than to get Keyes off the ballot and distance the GOP from him. When even the party leaders are calling someone a lunatic, it's political suicide to ask the party faithful to vote for that person.
7 posted on 10/11/2004 11:20:44 AM PDT by NJ_gent (Conservatism begins at home. Security begins at the border. Please, someone, secure our borders.)
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To: ikka
Only RINOs can treat others, including conservative Repubs, with scorn.

You dont say? What do you think Keyes is doing the Republican Party of Illionis? He's nailing in the last nail in the coffin. He is killing all the Republican candidates in close races throughout the state. It will be decades before we see a Republican Governor or Senator from the state. All thanks to Mr Keyes and what he stupidly refers to as a campaign. He's goign to be lucky to get 25% of the vote. It takes real skill and personality to manage that. The scandal ridden candidate he replaced was going to get 40-45% of the vote.

8 posted on 10/11/2004 11:21:08 AM PDT by Dave S
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Really? That's not how it is on 90% of the Keyes-related threads. In fact, the way it works is that Keyes Kool-Aid Drinkers are allowed to say anything and everything they want, while many people who feel Keyes is not the right person for the job are forbidden from posting on Keyes-related threads and/or are suspended from FR.

It's the revenge of the Tombots.

9 posted on 10/11/2004 11:22:24 AM PDT by Poohbah (SKYBIRD SKYBIRD DO NOT ANSWER...SKYBIRD SKYBIRD DO NOT ANSWER)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Are we allowed to disagree with Dr. Keyes again? I was told before that he was off limits for criticism.
10 posted on 10/11/2004 11:23:33 AM PDT by Doohickey ("This is a hard and dirty war, but when it's over, nothing will ever be too difficult again.)
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To: ikka

Conversatives are expected to be 'team players', unless RINOs say otherwise.


11 posted on 10/11/2004 11:24:03 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: SJackson

I heard beth coulson's opponent is a jerk, that no one likes.


12 posted on 10/11/2004 11:26:49 AM PDT by Patriot814
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To: Doohickey

I don't think we are allowed to disagree with Mr. Keyes yet. Maybe after the election, we can - but I don't really know. I have the feeling that after the election, those who disagree with Mr. Keyes will be required to engage in self-flagellation with barbed wire...


13 posted on 10/11/2004 11:27:08 AM PDT by Chad Fairbanks (How do you ask a hamster to be the last hamster to die for a mistake?)
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To: Doohickey
Are we allowed to disagree with Dr. Keyes again? I was told before that he was off limits for criticism.

That was my understanding as well. Therefore, since I don't want to be banned, I am "officially" noticing that this thread exists, but I have nothing else to say about it.

14 posted on 10/11/2004 11:27:47 AM PDT by asgardshill (Got a lump of coal? Tell Mary Mapes to 'shove it' - in 2 weeks you'll have a diamond.)
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Related Articles

October 2, 2004
COLUMNIST: Aaron Chambers
Keyes recruiters not so quick to talk about him

U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo evidently doesn't want to discuss his role in drafting Alan Keyes to run for U.S. Senate from Illinois.

The Egan Republican and Keyes share socially conservative views and a base stocked with evangelicals. But we've not heard from Manzullo about why he helped advance a campaign that GOP leaders increasingly see as a nuisance.

I called Manzullo's office on Tuesday and asked Rich Carter, Manzullo's spokesman, to facilitate 10 minutes on the phone with the congressman. Neither Carter nor Manzullo called back.

THE FIERY RHETORIC OF KEYES has magnified the division between social moderates and conservatives in the Illinois GOP. And each time Keyes opens his mouth, Illinois Republicans throw rhetorical stones at Sen. Dave Syverson.

The Rockford Republican is widely credited with primary responsibility for drafting Keyes to run against Democrat Barack Obama after Jack "Sex Party" Ryan dropped out of the race.

Syverson, a social conservative, is a member of the GOP State Central Committee, the body that nominated Keyes. His vote was counted for more than any of the committee's 19 members.

He also was among the first Illinois Republicans to ask Keyes to come to Illinois in early August. When Keyes arrived, Syverson went out of his way to assist.

On a couple occasions in early August, he helped arrange my contact with the campaign. He told me that when Keyes toured the southern part of the state, he would see to it that I got face time with the candidate.

SYVERSON DROVE THE EFFORT to recruit Keyes, says Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, who also sits on the State Central Committee. This is a story echoed by many other Republicans.

"Alan Keyes first came to my attention as a member of the State Central Committee through the cheerleading of Senator Dave Syverson," Dillard said. "Sen. Syverson was excited and lobbied the State Central Committee hard on behalf of Dr. Keyes."

He was saying that Alan Keyes is a great campaigner who energizes conservatives, especially religious conservatives, and that in Sen. Syverson's estimation Alan Keyes would be very helpful in picking up seats in the Illinois Senate.

"Your guy was the ringleader," Dillard told me. "He was the cheerleader."

But Syverson said he was simply fulfilling his job as a member of the State Central Committee.

"I was asked to be one of the people making contacts with him because I sit on the board," he said. "Was it my idea originally? No."

Syverson maintains he initially supported Keyes because Illinois Republicans needed somebody who could quickly command the attention necessary to match Obama.

"At that point, yes, I was supportive, and I think I played a pretty key role in talking with him and arranging for him to come to interviews," Syverson said. "I still stand by that."

Syverson says he is not jockeying to be the next chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, the current chairwoman, is expected to resign after the Nov. 2 general election.

If Syverson is pursuing the chairmanship, as many Republicans believe, it's hard to imagine why he would want it.

There couldn't be a more thankless job than reassembling the Illinois GOP -- especially after this election.

FITZGERALD: TOPINKA TO BLAME FOR GOP TURMOIL

BY JEFF SMYTH
THE SOUTHERN
[Sat Sep 18 2004]
MARION -- U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, R-Iverness, says there is one person to blame for the turmoil the party is experiencing: Illinois Republican party chairwoman Judy Baar Topinka.

The uproar was created when Republican Party nominee for his seat, Jack Ryan, bowed out of the race after embarras- sing information from this divorce was made public. Visiting Southern Illinois Saturday, Fitzgerald said while he supports Alan Keyes, the Maryland transplant brought in to represent the party on the ticket, he doesn't believe Ryan should have packed it in.

"The reason he left was because state party chairman Judy Baar Topinka forced him out. There was one day of stories about the allegations his wife had made in their child custody case and four days of stories with off-the-record quotes coming out of the state party chairman's office calling for Jack Ryan this and that, and pressuring him to leave," Fitzgerald said. "There was no reason for Jack Ryan to leave. Seventy-five percent of the people did not want him to leave. For some reason, Judy Baar Topinka wanted to pressure him off the ticket. I guess you could understand that if she had a Plan B, but there was no Plan B."

The heat on Ryan mounted earlier this summer after court records were released alleging the candidate tried to pressure his wife to have sex with him in front of others at racy clubs in New York and Paris. When Ryan left the race, it sent Illinois Republican Party leadership scrambling to find a replacement to challenge Democrat nominee Barack Obama in the November election.

The party couldn't find such a person within its ranks and finally settled on Keyes, a conservative talk show host and former presidential candidate from Maryland. Fitzgerald said given the circumstances, Keyes was the right choice.

"I strongly support Alan Keyes. I think he is a brilliant and talented man and I think he would make a great senator," Fitzgerald said. "He is conservative, he is pro-family and pro-life. I think he is right on most issues. He generally has the conservative approach that I have taken."

Fitzgerald also said the candidate may also be misunderstood or misrepresented by the media in headline-grabbing comments Keyes has made, such as labeling gay sex as selfish, hedonistic behavior.

"I think Alan Keyes is a brilliant public speaker but he doesn't necessarily speak in sound-bites which leaves him vulnerable if there is a reporter who wants to be a little bit unscrupulous and take what he said out of context," Fitzgerald said. "He speaks in long sentences and in paragraphs, not typical political sound-bites that stand on their own two feet."

Fitzgerald appeared Saturday at the Williamson County Regional Airport to endorse Illinois Supreme Court candidate Lloyd Karmeier, a Republican who faces Democrat Gordon Maag.

"The Illinois Supreme Court race in this district five is one of the most important races we have for any office anywhere in Illinois this cycle, aside from the presidency and my replacement in the United States Senate," Fitzgerald said.

Karmeier, a Washington County Circuit Court judge from Nashville, is generally supported by those calling for tort reform and to break the cycle of frivolous lawsuits. Maag, a Fifth District Appellate Court judge from Glen Carbon, is generally backed by trial lawyers.

Fitzgerald said the environment created by Madison County trial lawyers and sympathetic judges and juries is an "embarrassment."

"We have a real problem in Illinois with abusive lawsuits and we need abusive lawsuit reform. On the floor of the United States Senate, much to my chagrin, it has been brought up many times, the litigation problems we have in Illinois," Fitzgerald said. "Madison County is the number one judicial hell-hole in the state of Illinois. It is where the personal injury lawyers have a lot of political power. They have a lot of control and a lot of influence on the local judges. Madison County has become a magnet for junk and frivolous lawsuits."

Fitzgerald said Karmeier can help break that cycle.

"He is not beholden to any special interest. He is independent. He is not going to be answering to the trial bar in Madison County," Fitzgerald said.

The appearance may be one of the last by the one-term senator. Fitzgerald said he may return during a statewide swan-song tour sometime in October or November.

He said he decided not to run again so he could spend more time with his wife and son.

"I have a 12-year-old son. It has been very difficult for me because I have to work every weekend to spend an adequate amount of time with my family," he said. Fitzgerald said one of the merit badges he earned during his six years as a senator was his battling corruption in Illinois politics.

"One of the things I'm most proud of is bring independent United States attorneys to each of the judicial districts in Illinois," he said. "We put independent prosecutors in who are not controlled by local politicians. That is a big change from how Illinois has historically run. My legacy is that I fought corruption even within my own party. I've done everything I could to clean up the sordid political culture in Illinois and I've tried to have blinders on with respect to the party of the people involved."

Fitzgerald has some regrets over achievements he didn't realize, including resolving the dispute between equestrian riders and environmentalists on trails on the Shawnee National Forest.

"We have spent an awful lot of time on it but we have not been able to figure out any kind of solution to that conundrum," he said. "I'm not sure that we can. Ultimately, we are going to want a Forest Service plan that both sides can live with but I'm afraid the two sides are so far apart."

Fitzgerald praised President George W. Bush's handling of the War on Terror saying the post-Sept. 11 actions by the United States were appropriate.

"I think President Bush has been a great leader. He has been very strong and determined. He hasn't vacillated and he has made us safer," he said. "He absolutely did the right thing going into Afghanistan. It has been more controversial as to whether he should have gone into Iraq, but I think he did the right thing. Ultimately, the regime under Saddam Hussein was an ally of terrorists. We are better off having removed him from power."

Fitzgerald balks at the notion tendered by Democrats that the economy is suffering.

"The economy is very, very good. It is firing on all four cylinders because President Bush has had the right policy," he said. "If we had raised taxes as John Kerry would like to do, we would not have the recovery and economy we have. We are recovering from 9-11. We are recovering from the tech-stock bubble and corporate scandals. There was a lot of shock to our economy and we are doing well not withstanding the head-winds created by high oil prices."

Fitzgerald said his time in the Senate opened his eyes to how much influence special interests wield.

"The special interests nearly always win in Washington, and that's too bad," said Fitzgerald, who financed much of his run for office with his family fortune. "I came to Washington being fairly realistic. Having experienced the Illinois Senate for six years I thought I knew something about how money and politics work, but nothing prepared me for what I was going to see in the United States Senate. There are some special interests that have almost ironclad grips on the process. I don't know how you break that link between money and politics but it is clear to me that the outcomes of lots of votes is determined by campaign contributions."

Aside from spending more time with his family, Fitzgerald whose family's wealth was amassed in the banking industry, said he's like to return to the business.

"I'd like to go back into banking as an investor. I've asked a few people in Southern Illinois if there are any banks for sake here," he said. "There are a lot of opportunities for community banks to do well against big chains."

Fitzgerald didn't rule out a return to politics, but if it happens, it won't be until his son is off to college.

"We have at least six years before he goes off to college," he said. "A boy needs a dad around."

15 posted on 10/11/2004 11:27:51 AM PDT by SJackson (They're not Americans. They're just journalists, Col George Connell, USMC)
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To: NJ_gent

There just seems to be a double standard in place - RINOs get to criticize conservatives, but when a RINO is on the ballot, like Specter here in PA, conservatives are expected to support someone they find distasteful for the good of the party. That is all I trying to say.


16 posted on 10/11/2004 11:27:59 AM PDT by ikka
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To: Doohickey

Has the political genius that engineered this Keyes move
to Ill. and race stepped forward and claimed credit?

Worst political move since 1789.


17 posted on 10/11/2004 11:28:36 AM PDT by dwilli
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To: Chad Fairbanks

Either that, or he should be required to winter in Illinois...


18 posted on 10/11/2004 11:30:10 AM PDT by Doohickey ("This is a hard and dirty war, but when it's over, nothing will ever be too difficult again.)
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To: dwilli
Has the political genius that engineered this Keyes move to Ill. and race stepped forward and claimed credit?

See 15. Plausable deniability is being extablished as we speak.

19 posted on 10/11/2004 11:31:22 AM PDT by SJackson (They're not Americans. They're just journalists, Col George Connell, USMC)
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To: SJackson
Dr. Keyes is polling under 25% not because the RINOs in Springfield have abandoned him and not because Mr. Obama is some kind of electoral demigod.

He is polling under 25% because, even though he knew he would be facing an adversarial press and a passive party organization, he spoke incautiously and focused on the wrong things. He could have polled over 40% even with his handicaps - but he just did a bad job.

20 posted on 10/11/2004 11:31:43 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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