A new political committee, “Citizens for a Better Illinois”, which reportedly includes long-time Democratic leaning donors such as unions and progressive political groups, has dropped over $400,000 on the third Congressional District race to oppose longtime conservative incumbent Dan Lipinski, despite his own dubious poll and another major flip flop on a core policy issue.
The committee is producing television advertising to oppose Lipinski’s conservative record in Congress, which plays well with Republicans in the district but not with the supermajority of Democrats who are now leaning more progressive in the party and the district.
According to our sources within the Lipinski campaign, the Congressman, who is supported by 30 suburban Mayors, including Oak Lawn’s Sandra Bury, attempted to preempt the funding by flip flopping on a major issue for the second time in a year and through the release of a dubious poll paid for by his campaign that shows him trouncing his opponent, Marie Newman.
The committee expenditure in advertising will undoubtedly help Newman, who had previously commissioned her own poll showing her winning when Democratic Party voters are informed of Lipinksi’s right leaning votes and positions.
One of those positions, on the question of an increase in the minimum wage changed in the last thirty days. Lipinski now favors a $15 an hour minimum wage after publicly stating he was against such a law. It is the second major flip flop for Lipinski in his attempt to keep the Congressional seat that he inherited from his father in a kinky backroom political move. Lipinski also changed his position on illegal immigration to come in line with the Democratic Party’s position.
According to multiple political sources, Lipinski recently released a poll claiming that Lipinski is leading Newman 57 to 21 percent. With only twenty-two percent of the voters “undecided”, the poll’s purpose, according to sources, was to show that Newman cannot win. However, strong progressive groups are reportedly not moved by Lipinski’s own poll since Newman’s poll showed her defeating Lipinski 39 to 34 percent after voters were informed of Lipinski’s record and stance on issues. Political insiders who spoke off the record with the Oak Lawn Leaf said that various progressive groups have targeted the race “because Lipinski is more of an ‘R’ than a ‘D’ and it’s time for a real Democrat.”
Despite the excitement nationally, Newman faces an uphill battle amongst the political elite who control the Democratic Party. Lipinski was placed and remains in the office due to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and his willingness to support Lipinski. Madigan and the 13th Ward he controls, remains firmly committed to Lipinski. Likewise, Lipinski has the 23rd Ward and is expecting support in the 19th Ward of Chicago. Those three Chicago Wards have historically carried the District for Lipinski and made it difficult for anyone to even contemplate a challenge.
In addition, Lipinski is touting the support of thirty suburban Mayors. However, some of the Mayors, including Oak Lawn’s Sandra Bury, don’t have any political muscle and don’t even control their own village boards, not alone influence the voters in a primary election.
Those same constituencies and political leaders that Lipinski has counted on in the past may not support his recent flip flops on issues.