Sunday, January 31, 2010

Finally, a great and fair analysis of the Junkas-Flynn battle, in the Regional Newspaper

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The big debate in the battle between Jeffrey Junkas and Molly McAvoy Flynn, especially in the news media, hasn't been so much about the issues but rather about which one is a "Democratic plant." The debate reflects the divisions that exist in the Republican Party between moderates and hardline extremists who are trying to silence the divergent voices.

The Regional's Meg Sullivan does the best job in describing this battle in her report this week in the Palos Reporter Newspaper, which also covers Orland Park. Click HERE to read the story.

Flynn is backed by Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman, the Cook County Commissioner from the 17th District and Republican Committeeman in Orland Township. Junkas is backed by a rebel faction led by some of Gorman's critics.

The truth is that the Republicans can't afford this name calling and should instead focus on preparing to come together to challenge State Rep. Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy has been a muted member of the legislature. I don't know him and have never met him, though ironically his office is the equivalent of two houses north of my home. Amazing, isn't it, that I ran for the district rep spot in 1991 (in my bid to learn firsthand the experiences of a public candidate in launching my then political consulting firm) and McCarthy never says hi. That's because he does what he is told to do.

I don't blame McCarthy for doing what House Speaker Michael J. Madigan orders him to do. Madigan is powerful and smart, probably one of the smartest politicians in Illinois and maybe the MidWest. It always amazed me that Madigan would not have run for higher office like the U.S. Senate. But his power in Illinois is formidable and he is essentially Illinois' de facto Governor.

But I do wonder about the harsh attacks against Gorman and what motivates them. Gorman has really strengthened her leadership during the past two years. As a longtime Democrat myself, many years ago, I was one of her critics (and admirers, too). But Gorman has clearly redefined what voters need, someone who has an allegiance to a political party but who is also smart enough to reach across the partisan lines to work for the best interests of the voters.

The attacks against Gorman -- and some extremists in the Republican party have tried to blame her for this dispute between Flynn and Junkas -- are unjustified. She, more than anyone, has brought the best in the Republican Party together while being mindful of the needs of the 17th Cook County District. She's a dedicated Republican and if I were a member of the Republican Party, I'd take her advice on what needs to be done in Orland Township and the 17th District.

Gorman backs Flynn and that is a powerful endorsement that Junkas can't take for granted. His focus on the phony issue of who is or isn't a Republican is ridiculous. Every candidate in every election is always blasted as a "ringer" or a "plant" from the other side. A good candidate for public office pushes that aside and instead focuses on the issues and tells voters what needs to be done, rather than making excuses.

Whether either candidate is a plant is irrelevant. What's relevant is who is best to represent the party in making McCarthy accountable to the voters instead of to the State Machine.


  1. Ray,
    Really? Is this 'fearless and fair' reporting?
    Did you forget the article from McQueary about how my opponent even got on the ballot? Why is it my opponent has made zero appearances before voters (missing all ORTO meetings)? Ms. Sullivan's article was completed via email with my opponent and from her newspaper survey and failed to answer any tough questions.
    Also, did you not see her campaign contributor that also gave $31K to Madigan, Zalwekski, T. O'Brien, only other Dems in the same day? See for the truth about her.
    And I'm proud to have earned endorsments from the Tribune, Sun-Times, House Republican Org., Bremen, Frankfort, Rich townships and Homer/Lockport Tea Party.
    I look forward to earning the formal endorsement from voters on Tuesday.
    Call or email any time with questions. Jeff

  2. This is the conclusion???-

    "Whether either candidate is a plant is irrelevant. What's relevant is who is best to represent the party in making McCarthy accountable to the voters instead of to the State Machine."

    Did those sentences actually happen? Consecutively?

    A ringer, by definition, is the Machine's attempt to circumvent accountability. Therefore, identifying a ringer is of primary importance.

    A ringer's job is to steal votes from the candidate who will rock the status quo (see: State Machine 101). Then the ringer waits patiently for her "reward" while the Old Guard continues business as usual.

    Jeff Junkas has been promoting his agenda since last year by going door-to-door, attending public events, putting his platform on his website, and responding to newspaper surveys. He's also laid out specific claims to suggest that Flynn is a ringer, a claim supported by the Southtown Star and the Sun Times in its endorsement of Junkas.

    So where's the rebuttal? A CANDIDATE FOR PUBLIC OFFICE offers the voters an explanation. A ringer sits tight and lets the Old Guard sort it out.

  3. John, EVERY candidate ALWAYS attacks their primary opponent as a "ringer." Jeff voted Democratic four times, too and his dad, a good person I am sure, was a longtime Democratic precinct worker for Madigan. So instead of screaming at people for expressing an opinion and pretending that only the other person is bad, tell people why your candidate is the Best. Attacking other candidates is NOT a good strategy to win an election. There are a lot of morons out there already saying terrible things about their opponents and it makes them, not the person being attacked, look bad.

    Ringer? And if you were supporting Flynn, you would be saying the SAME THING about Junkas.

  4. First, do you really consider the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, House Republican Organization,the townships in Bremen, Frankfort and Rich County, and Homer/Lockport Tea Party to be a rebel faction? Second, Gorman further muddied the waters in the plant debate by calling the candidate she is supporting in this race a Democrat in a recent interview. Third, before you put the political halo on Gorman, perhaps you should take a look at the mailer about Junkas she put her name on that attacks not only him, but his father.

  5. Yes, leaving out the newspapers, I think the Republican party is split and some are fighting to drag it to the far right. I also think that whining about other candidates is not the mark of good leadership. I think GOOD IDEAS, and a TRACK RECORD are what voters need, not finger pointing and inside baseball. Who cares whether Flynn or Junkas are backed by Democrats? The accusations are flying on all sides so don't pretend you are an angel. In truth, Gorman has stood up and LED THE FIGHT on the sales tax rollback while some showboated, and she was the ONLY commissioner who spoke against Flowers and other big shot appointments. So, I think that speaks for itself. Her actions earned my support. No skin off of Junkas' back with Flynn. I never met either one of them.

    Ray Hanania