Wednesday, October 19, 2005

All About the Benjamins

In yesterday’s column in your Chicago Sun-Times, Lynn Sweet drops a bombshell: In the last campaign reporting cycle, 6th District Democratic congressional candidate Christine Cegelis did not suddenly become a multi-millionaire, nor did she become the darling of the party's Washington D.C. power-brokers.

God bless Lynn Sweet for spelling Ms. Cegelis’ name right, but there is no news here.

Christine Cegelis’ campaign has been all grassroots from the very beginning. She’s not independently wealthy and it’s no secret that her campaign volunteers don’t have gold-plated Rolodexes that can be tapped for $2000 contributions.

And it is not news that Christine Cegelis is not the party leaders’ vision of an ideal candidate, i.e. self-funded and more-of-the-same. Although Christine Cegelis has mainstream Democratic values and ideals, she is independent of any party bosses. She answers only to her own conscience and her grassroots supporters. Sure, the party leadership would prefer to tap a candidate who knows who’s boss and that they can count on to toe the line. But I prefer a candidate who knows the voters of the 6th District are the boss and won’t be afraid to step out of line to act in their interests.

But it just makes sense that Lynn Sweet’s story focused solely on the funding aspect of the Christine Cegelis campaign. Ms. Sweet is based in Washington D.C., where the focus is always, always, always on the money. Out in the district, folks are less obsessed with the pursuit of large donors than they are excited by Christine Cegelis’ ideas and values, her grassroots network of volunteers and building on her unprecedented showing versus Henry Hyde in the last election.

No Christine Cegelis’ candidacy is not perfect.

But I have never seen a perfect candidate yet. No, not even Barack Obama.

So while some of the commentators at the Capital Fax Blog may want Christine to step aside and make way for their imagined perfect candidate – a mythical 6th District messiah who’s wealth is unrivaled and who’s identity is known only to Rahm – I will continue to bang the drum for a real candidate – the candidate who drove Henry Hyde into retirement:

Christine Cegelis for Congress.

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