With his first credible challenger in years threatening his nomination for re-election, and the most recent poll showing a dead heat, Congressman Dan Lipinksi is coming out swinging with gobs of mud. Some of the mud has even found itself into the mailboxes of Republican women, who Lipinski must now be targeting.
Readers have forwarded multiple pieces of literature that accuse Newman of not caring about health because a restaurant she invested in with her husband was cited for ‘fruit flies’. He also is running commercials calling her an outsider although they both live in the district. Lipinski is hoping his home base of the 23rd Ward, which he moved out of, and Mike Madigan’s political organization wins against Newman’s “Democratic” issues campaign. Newman for her part has been saying Lipinski isn’t a real Democrat.
In a second piece of mud, Newman is branded as anti-worker and it claims her policies, which by the way are 100 percent in line with the national party, would result in 14,000 people losing their jobs in this area. That kind of nonsensical attack is reminiscent of Oak Lawn politics and must come as quite a shock to the SEIU leadership and the postal carrier’s union that backs Newman over Lipinski.
Lipinski is counting heavily on ward bosses like Mike Madigan to bring out the votes while Newman is counting on young voters, women and primary voters who believe in the party’s principles. Lipinski has been accused by Newman and her allies of being a Democrat in name only.
Lipinski even has a television commercial using the same restaurant partner link to paint Newman with guilt by association. It is an old trick used by politicians. Oak Lawn’s Mayor Sandra Bury has used it in her campaigns and now Lipinski is taking a cue from Bury or maybe he taught Bury this trick.
But he should be careful because Lipinski has a direct connection to the most notorious convicted felon that has ever served in office in Illinois, former Governor Rod Blagojevich, who currently is a guest of the United States Government and is known by his inmate number.
Lipinski endorsed Rod Blagojevich for re-election as Governor even when Blago was widely known to be under indictment. But that’s not his only connection to the disgraced Governor. Before Dan Lipinski became Congressman, his father served as Congressman with Blagojevich, who was trying out his act in Washington.
According to a 2010 Chicago Magazine article, “Sometime in 1999, shortly after Daniel had completed his Ph.D. in political science at Duke, his father called Rod Blagojevich (then a congressman), according to a former Blagojevich staffer. The elder Lipinski wanted Blagojevich to put his son on Blago’s Washington staff. “I remember Rod coming back into the room afterward saying, ‘This is just a test to see if I’ll play ball,’” recalls the ex-aide.
The article goes on to say, “In the end, Blagojevich did hire Daniel, mainly, explains the aide, because “it was right around the time that Rod was looking at what other office he would run for and he didn’t want to have Bill Lipinski as an enemy.” (The elder Lipinski was a key early backer of Blago’s 2002 gubernatorial bid.)”
We won’t even mention the Carol Marin investigation that nabbed his one time Chief of Staff and others for playing loose with registering voters to addresses they didn’t live at such as bars.
Another 23rd Ward powerhouse, Jim Laski, was also tied to the Lipinski family for years and he, like Blago, was convicted. He was Chicago’s City Clerk when he was convicted and served prison time for pocketing bribes.
So, Newman may have invested in a restaurant with a guy that served time. The health department may have even cited the restaurant for “fruit flies” according to Lipinski. But Newman’s associates never cheated the taxpayers like Lipinski’s associates, Blagojevich and Laski.
Is guilt by association fair?