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July 02, 2015

David Steinberg: Leak from LaHood Camp Reveals That Governor Rauner, a Chicago Politician, Is, Get This, Trying to Fix a Political Race

This leak is so awesome.

Here are some highlights, but it's all pretty awesome.

EXCLUSIVE: A Shocking Admission Comes From Within Darin LaHood’s Disillusioned Campaign -- About IL GOP Governor Bruce Rauner Directing the Race After Darin LaHood's embarrassing debate performance and kingmakers Mark Levin and Dana Loesch endorsing Mike Flynn, details emerge from those fed up that Ray LaHood's son got this far.

by David Steinberg

As we've reported here, those involved in the behind-the-scenes GOP nomination process — from sheriff to presidential candidate — are quite aware that the GOP leadership’s carefully chosen argument employed against conservative, grassroots challengers is perhaps the least authentic, defensible opinion you'll hear coming out of Washington....

Darin LaHood, the son of former Obama administration Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, is the GOP leadership/establishment favorite to replace disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock in Illinois’ 18th District. The district is heavily conservative, and John Boehner, Steve Scalise, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the rest of the House GOP leadership fear an actual conservative holding this seat, as one would be able to retain it and be a consistent problem for them....

After Monday’s final debate and the following endorsement for Flynn from kingmakers Mark Levin and Dana Loesch --recall, Darin LaHood's campaign had only agreed to a debate if the candidates were limited to 90-second answers and not allowed to address each other -- tips have been flowing to me from the disillusioned within LaHood’s campaign.

If it seemed to you, immediately following Aaron Schock’s resignation, that the state GOP and Governor Bruce Rauner were trying to clear the field for Darin LaHood, that's because they were trying to clear the field for Darin LaHood....

Remember when Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned in 2012? Under then-Governor Pat Quinn (D), potential candidates were given 12 weeks to gather enough signatures to make the primary ballot.

Governor Rauner instead decided that candidates could begin circulating petitions on about April 7 until April 20: 13 days, instead of 12 weeks.

Rauner also set the initial primary date for June 6. Eventually he relented and moved the date until July 7, this Tuesday. But the petition period was kept at 13 days.

A source who was working in Rauner's office at the time -- and still is -- says the reason for this was exactly what it appears to be: Governor Rauner wanted to clear the field for Darin LaHood, hoping he would run unopposed.

Further, the petition dates seemed to only apply to challengers like Mike Flynn. Witnesses report that at the McLean County Lincoln Day Dinner on April 2, LaHood’s team was circulating petitions.

Five days earlier than allowed.

Governor Rauner's undemocratic support for John Boehner's chosen candidate appears to have gone much further than setting near-impossible dates for challengers to comply with. In a special election primary, turnout is everything. Candidates must focus on getting out the vote for this election, which is predicted to only have a single-digit percentage of district voters participating.

Obviously, having an accurate roll of likely supporters to reach out could be the resource that decides the election.

The approximately 40 interns who have been knocking on doors for Darin LaHood have been sent out prepped only with an app loaded with address information for voters who pulled the lever for Governor Rauner in 2014.

They will be using the Red Dialer app over the next few days until the July 7 election to contact those Rauner voters by phone.

Click here for Governor Rauner's office number: ask them why they shared their voter data with one candidate.

Okay, so there's that.

Mike Flynn has an advantage here, though:

Some of LaHoods troops are... defecting.

They are counting on their interns --several have dropped off, they now have about 36 -- to really get out the vote on Election Day via using that Red Dialer app and their database of Rauner voters.

They shouldn’t be so confident.

Since the Monday debate, calls are now being made that proceed like this:

Hello, I’m calling from the Darin LaHood for Congress campaign. AND I’M CALLING TO TELL YOU TO VOTE FOR MIKE FLYNN. What’s been going on in here is not OK, and you need to know about it.

Hoo boy.

Great piece. Steinberg tackles two other broad points. First, he questions if LaHood's method of paying "volunteers" to come to events is legal. One political commentator notes that, legality aside, if you have to "pay for your friends," you're probably not really generating actual support.

The other stuff Steinberg goes into is questions about LaHood's background, and how he got his various government jobs.

Here’s the Chicago Tribune in 2006 -- the same year LaHood left his post after three prosecutorial misconducts -- raging angry that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert had forwarded Darin LaHood's name to President George W. Bush for consideration for a vacant U.S. Attorney post in central Illinois:
Given their party's devastating experiences with cronyism and insider politics, you'd think the Illinois Republicans in Congress would be careful about even the appearance of favoritism in choosing new federal prosecutors to enforce our public corruption laws.

But if you do think that, you’re wrong. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, with an assist from several of this state’s clueless GOP congressmen, has given President Bush the names of three candidates for the vacant U.S. attorney’s post in central Illinois. One of the three is Darin LaHood, the son of, that’s right, Ray LaHood, the distinguished GOP congressman from Peoria.

After spectacularly failing as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office, Darin LaHood has since received aggressive support from two -- TWO -- GOP Speakers of the House. Dennis Hastert and John Boehner.

He says he can find no evidence for LaHood's boast that he was involved in any terrorism prosecutions while in his Daddy-Got-Me job. And given his poor record, it does seem unlikely that he'd be entrusted with a high-profile case.

Even if you don't want to donate, please consider volunteering to make voter-contact phone calls for Mike.

Oh, and if you're in the district -- please volunteer as a walker! It now comes down to GOTV. LaHood has pursued a low-turnout strategy, just contacting Rauner's voters, apparently from Rauner's own list, but that strategy could result in a high percentage of RINOs turning out for LaHood. Mike Flynn might actually benefit from a larger turnout in the very-conservative district.

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posted by Ace at 05:04 PM

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