March 4, 2005

IF Boland chooses not to run...

... who would likely run for his seat?

Alert Dopester Dissenter posed this lively and pertinent question in another thread below (about the sham "big political news" that a commenter said would happen that didn't. The Dope apologizes for being mislead.) and it deserves it's own topic.

The subject has drawn some very interesting and thoughtful comment, so here's your place to speculate, name names, and offer your views of who would be the best candidate and why.

So far, Dennis Ahern, Porter McNeil, and Tom Benson have been named as potential candidates, as well as the euphoniously named Tony McCombie, a realtor from the Savanna area.

Another commenter speculated that the question is moot, as Boland isn't going anywhere and will run for his seat again.

And it seems to be the time for The Dope to issue this statement in advance of the inevitable calls for his candidacy: If nominated, I will not run, (a decent campaign) and if elected, I will not serve. (very well)

Previous commenters, feel free to restate and expand on your views here.

40 Comments:

At 3/04/2005 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is Tom Benson? I haven't heard of him before.

 
At 3/04/2005 3:19 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Neither has The Dope. Anyone out there who could provide any background?

 
At 3/04/2005 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Benson lives in Rock Island, he would have to move. Very doubtful he could beat Ahern or McNeil. Look for one of those two to support the other, I hear they are friends. Either way they are good candidates. Anyone from Savanna suffers due to population. Me thinks Boland does not jump.

 
At 3/04/2005 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as I know, he's a Rock Island attorney. Why is he listed for the 71st District if he lives in Rock Island? Dope, what's up?

And quite frankly, what a waste of time asking this question. Seriously. Mike Boland isn't going to announce anything until July, and everyone in Spfld is now saying he's running for his House seat.

Methinks this is a bunch of wasted blog space.

The more salient questions should be: who is going to win on the recounts for EM Mayor? EM Ward 1 recount?

 
At 3/04/2005 3:31 PM, Anonymous Peter Frampton said...

You all are missing the key ingredient: an appointment.
The Jacobs family just proved to the QC's how to do it. If, and it's a very big if, Rep. Boland ever decides to leave his seat he'll very likely have his daughter or son-in-law appointed.
Come on, man, this is the QC royalty program. No one else has a chance.

 
At 3/04/2005 3:34 PM, Anonymous insider said...

QCT has been snooping around Mike Jacobs and Boland for a while now and there may be something interesting Sunday

 
At 3/04/2005 4:00 PM, Anonymous cornfused said...

snooping? interesting reporting from the times? more dope for the DOPE! I, like the Dope, have baited breath. I mean I will be waiting with baited breath.

 
At 3/04/2005 4:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

re Anonymous (really people, at least click on "Other" and type in a made up name. It's not that tough)

The fact that it's so far away from any anouncment either way from Boland and so far out from the primary are the reasons The Dope hasn't posted this topic before now.

But at least Ahern has been actively soliticiting support for this presently non-existant race. So I suppose it's only natural to speculate.

 
At 3/04/2005 4:19 PM, Blogger latinv said...

Ahern never stopped running, and looking at him compared to other QC Dems he makes it a point to play the role of a candidate, so he remains a step ahead of the others... smart play on his part IF the vacacny occurs.

 
At 3/04/2005 4:25 PM, Blogger bygump said...

Don't you dream, Dope, about who you're gonna be?
We already got us some folks who don't serve very well... you'll fit right in!

 
At 3/04/2005 4:28 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well, life is like a box of uncounted absentee ballots, you never know who you're gonna get.

 
At 3/04/2005 6:46 PM, Anonymous John Cougar Mellenkamp said...

My vote is with McNeil for State Rep.

He's got the experience!

 
At 3/04/2005 8:10 PM, Anonymous Blue State said...

Ahern may have been campaigning the past two years, and maybe more (and he's a fine guy from what I hear), but he's not the only one who been working the political network. McNeil started in the early nineties and hasn't stopped.

 
At 3/04/2005 8:18 PM, Anonymous lower case said...

well dope i'm so glad to see that we have so much energy being spent on what seems to be months of ongoing speculation. but hey since we are on the subject here are my views-boland will not run if logic wins over ego-stands to lose to much if he doesn't survive a primary. if ego does win and boland's seat opens you will have several look at the position but my bet in the end it will be at the very least ahern and lack benson doesn't have the right stuff.

 
At 3/04/2005 9:39 PM, Blogger Dissenter said...

My love of this site, and the excellent way in which the issues are presented, continues to grow. Dope, in your short tenure, you are fast becoming one of the most interesting Illinois blogs.

Those who dismiss out of hand the mere possibility that Boland may be in for a contest the next time around are too quickly discounting one of two scenarios.

FIRST SCENARIO: Boland runs for State Senate. This is the easy one. To say it is not possible is to ignore the reality that he himself has told his supporters of this genuine possibility. He is floating the idea in Springfield and in the district.

SECOND SCENARIO: Boland faces a serious primary challenge. Who, I dare ask, among you would suggest that Jacobs would not support a strong primary challenger? Boland has been relatively unsuccessful in his fund-raising efforts, and he does not have the ability to self-finance to the extent that other potential candidates do. He faced a real challenge in the general election last time by Steve Haring who, as a republican, garned a significant percentage of the largely democratic electorate. Boland's performance in the general election connotes blood in the water for democratic primary sharks. To those who say that Boland will not face a strong democratic primary challenge IF he chooses to run for re-election, I respectfully say to you that you are not considering all of the factors that are involved in such an equation.

 
At 3/04/2005 9:43 PM, Anonymous Benson from 72 said...

Thanks for getting me involved in speculation for the 71st District. I am a proud lifelong resident of the 72nd District and have a fine State Rep. in Pat Verschoore. Porter McNeil knows his stuff and would be a great asset to the Quad Cities if he became the next State Rep. from the 71st District. It's OK to say that Mike Boland has done good things for his district. It is also healthy for our democracy to bring in new ideas and a fresh approach. Mike Boland has been a member of the legislature that has not been able to bring a long term solution to our deficit problem. I think the people of the 71st deserve a choice and Mr. Ahern gave it his best shot. It doesn't matter what Mike Boland wants to do and the sooner someone steps up to the plate to talk about the issues and challenge Rep. Boland, the better we will all be served.

 
At 3/04/2005 9:48 PM, Blogger Dissenter said...

And now onto the issue raised in the lower blog, about the potential candidate from Whiteside County. His name is Mertes. He is an attorney in a pretty successful law firm in Sterling/Rock Falls. Over the course of the past two years, he has become very actively and publicly involved in democratic politics. He hosted Senator Obama and Senator Durbin, together, in his office last summer. He has contributed thousands to democrats at the national level, according to the political moneyline website and he has become involved in an awful lot of high-profile issues here in Whiteside County. A lot of dems in this county are just waiting for him to announce something. He is not without his share of disadvantages. First, he has never held political office, as far as I know. Second, he is not at all well known in the Quad Cities, where most of his votes would have to come from if he were to seriously challenge Boland. Third, he has defended a lot of defendants in high-profile criminal cases, and politically that kind of thing could hurt him. I suspect that I know a lot more about the guy then you do since I hail from the Whiteside County area. And for all I know, he might not run for anything. But if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck....

By the way, you are all astute enough to probably be aware of it, but just in case you aren't so aware, the political money line which enables you to identify political contributors in your area is at www.tray.com.

 
At 3/04/2005 10:03 PM, Anonymous Blue State said...

Thanks, Dissenter, for shining a spotlite on Whiteside County. That is very interesting information. And thanks for the website about contributors.

 
At 3/04/2005 10:10 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Dissenter owns this topic! And thanks for all for providing such knowledgable discussion on this.

Dissenter gives us all a good tool for tracking money. Another really cool place to check out as far as national money goes is www.fundrace.org
They give you the capability to input any address and show you donors starting with those living closest to you.
They also have a very cool map that shows where the money for candidates came from and by how much.
Worth being in your "favorites" folder.

 
At 3/04/2005 10:19 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And I see that someone beat me to the punch, but I was going to notice that no one had mentioned Jerry Lack, the Evans aide who is often mentioned as a potential contender for Boland's seat if it indeed becomes available.

One assumes that Lack would only be going for the seat as a stepping-stone towards eventually going for the Evans seat when it becomes available.

Would this serve the party? Or would it instead box out some other good candidates?

And no one has raised the scenario in which a Boland/Jacobs bloodbath might be avoided altogether. This is the one where Boland is offered incentives to run for a state constitutional office, such as treasurer.
Then Mike Jacobs won't have to endure a bruising and no doubt very nasty and negative campaign, and it also opens up Boland's current seat to new blood.

 
At 3/04/2005 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lack? Who? I've never seen his name mentioned and have never met him at any political events. He must be running a stealth campaign.
Dope, I think you're giving him way too much political credit. Why would you think a guy no one has heard of might run for Congress? Who in the hell told you that? Who are you listening to out in those little bars in the middle of nowhere?

For Congress, the national party would go right to the State Senators in the congressional district first.

 
At 3/04/2005 10:27 PM, Blogger Dissenter said...

Great points as usual, Dope. But I suspect that the planets would have to align as they never have before in order for Boland to run for State treasurer. He has expressly discounted that possibility, and frankly, with good reason. Boland would have tremendous difficulty in a bid for statewide office.

 
At 3/04/2005 10:33 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Boland has done an amazing amount of work on a state-wide basis. The Dope hears that he's traveled the entire state and met with officials in just about every county.

I was not aware that he'd discounted such a move, but certainly defer to your on that point.

It is an appealing scenario, at least in The Dope's eyes, for the bruising fights that it might avoid.

 
At 3/04/2005 10:36 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Lack is known to be eyeing running, and since he'd obviously have Evan's support, it's assumed he'd have to be considered a viable candidate.

And I found that out from the semi-psychotic ex-Green Beret I met out at the crossroads. He told me a lot of very dangerous information, but I had to sell my soul to get it.

 
At 3/04/2005 10:44 PM, Blogger Dissenter said...

Dope:
I agree with you that the Boland run for treasurer makes some sense insofar as it would avoid a democratic war in the 71st. I also agree with your inference from his rather well-known statewide travels. I am not sure why he would have told one of his contributors here in whiteside that he does not plan to run for treasurer. Perhaps he was fearful that he would lose the contribution? Your scenario does make some significant sense. This is worth watching.

 
At 3/04/2005 11:06 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well, if he has told someone that he's not interested, I'd say that's the operative story for now.

As other's have noted, it's still a long way out, and things are always in a state of flux. It will be interesting to say the least to watch this high-stakes game of musical chairs. Who's going to be sitting where when the music stops?

 
At 3/05/2005 12:08 AM, Anonymous Blue State said...

The "Dope" had better think about the numerous other offices in the area. Conventional wisdom says Rep. Pat Verschoore will be in office 4 more years (Hell, he'll probably leave before Boland does and look at all the hot air about that district). So, who replaces Verschoore? Who succeeds Lane Evans when that day comes? Who succeeds the RI County officeholders who make more money than any state rep or state senator around here?

 
At 3/05/2005 12:22 AM, Anonymous Hot Air Balloon said...

Ahh but hot air is the life's blood of politics! Take hot air out of politics and what have you got? A pile of campaign signs and some buildings?

 
At 3/05/2005 4:58 AM, Blogger latinv said...

Dissenter- The only problem with Mertes, is that he does not live in the 71st District either. He, like Benson, would have to move, and I think Illinoisians have shown they prefer thier own men/women, not carpet-baggers.

Bolands inability to make a decision severly hurts Ahern, McNeil, and Gianulis. Mike B has railed repeatedly that if the appointment went down like it did for M. Jacobs he would go after that Senate seat. The dems need to tell Boland to shit or get of the pot, so that either young dem can form a stonger case for their election. Mc Neil and Ahern had by far the better choices of all mentioned, but like I said before, that is a race I don't want to see. There should be a place for each of them in the future of Western Illinois politics. One should get Jacobs SOS job, the other gets endorsements and support for State Rep.

 
At 3/05/2005 10:37 AM, Blogger Dissenter said...

Latinv:

I agree completely with you on Boland. His indecisiveness is leaving several very well-qualified dems in a abeyance.

Mertes does live in the 71st. His office is in Rock Falls, but his residence is in Morrison, and in the 71st. That's why the dems are watching him.

 
At 3/05/2005 4:08 PM, Blogger theheadusher said...

The last thing Boland wants is to be remembered as, "the only politican in Illinois' history to get beat by Denny and Mike Jacobs."

If I was Mike Boland, I would accept young Mike Jacobs' offer and bury the political hatchet. If not, old Mike Boland may find that "hatchet" stuck in his skull!

Boland should grow-up, control his anger, and learn to work with others.

 
At 3/06/2005 7:24 PM, Anonymous believer said...

i would think that boland will have a hard time making a serious run at a state position-he is not a party man-he will possibly have the support of his mentor pat quinn but beyond that he will have a hard time mustering the support-best guess-run in a very nasty and destructive primary against jacobs and possibly others or stay where he is at for as long as he wants-the latter being his most logical decision given his age and the guarantee of a nice pension.

 
At 3/06/2005 8:52 PM, Anonymous King of Beers said...

I couldn't disagree more. I think Boland would be a great candidate for statewide office. He has the issues, the ability to attract media coverage, the track record as a progressive which would help in a Democratic primary, the solid alliance with the Lt. Governor -- and he loves to travel the state to boot!

 
At 3/07/2005 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can attract media coverage when you call them yourself every time you blow your nose boland - I'm mike boland and I'm so great!

 
At 3/07/2005 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with theheadusher.... great one... I couldn't agree more.

 
At 3/08/2005 2:00 PM, Anonymous King of Beers said...

If Boland retires or runs for another office, is that the question?

The answer is very simple: he'll appoint a family member.

 
At 3/08/2005 3:19 PM, Anonymous pet peeve said...

Get over the fact that Mike Jacobs was appointed to the seat by the county boards. It has been going on since the beginning of politics.

 
At 3/08/2005 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boland only has two daughters, and none of them posess social graces, or political talent. His son-in-law is a kuke, just like his father in law, a dull, personality less math teacher. Boland is proof that the indians mated with the buffalo here in the midwest..

 
At 3/08/2005 4:55 PM, Anonymous corn husker said...

i hear boland was looking to introduce his son-in-law into the local political arena but i haven't heard aything about him - what's his background really? does anybody know?

 
At 3/09/2005 12:33 AM, Anonymous The War Room said...

There are some good folks in the 71st, but the political establishment could easily lean toward McNeil based on his past experiences -- Communication Director for the Kerry-Edwards Campaign in IL, legislative staffer for House Speaker Michael Madigan, has helped Cong. Lane Evans in every campaign, area legislators, close alliance with Sens. Durbin & Obama & labor, etc.

That's my view from the War Room on a a potential Boland successor.

 

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