June 30, 2005

Poll #2 hijinx

It's become blatantly obvious that the current poll is being manipulated by a person or persons voting mulitiple times.

Tom Benson, a campaign worker and lawyer who works in Springfield, is getting votes far out of proportion to his name recognition and viability as a candidate.

His votes will remain static for a number of hours, and then if someone passes him into first place, his votes will pour in just until he's in the lead, and then the votes will stop.

Myself and others have documented this. So it appears Benson or someone on his behalf is having a little fun at the expense of our poll.

Watchers of the poll should bear this in mind. Apparently, the poll service that I've used is not fool-proof, and either Benson himself or someone else has not only discoved how to cheat, but is doing so in a blatantly obvious way. (They could have at least been subtle about it.)

I should also point out that if voting for one candidate is skewed, then it follows that votes for other candidates may or may not be padded as well, though the numbers appear in keeping with a straight count. I'll attempt to find a more fool-proof polling method if I can.


At 6/30/2005 4:18 PM, Blogger diehard said...

That makes sense. He is the least known person on that list. I've never heard of him.
The others I have heard of. Maybe he should change his name to none of the above!

At 6/30/2005 4:47 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


I think I'm on solid ground to suspect mischief.

At 6/30/2005 5:28 PM, Blogger Tom Benson said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 6/30/2005 7:07 PM, Blogger illinoisone said...

Tom, you are puffing up your resume. I haven't seen you at any events in my decades of Democratic involvement --until you sucked up to Ganulis to get your job last year.

Up to then, the only Benson I knew who did anything for the party was your mom. You were sitting at home on the couch eating cheetos as far as anyone knew.

Nice of your mom to help you get a nice State job though. Nice.

And since you brag to everyone about how much money you make and how you will be promoted soon over everyone else, why in the heck would you ever take the pay cut to run for office?

Unless you think you want to run for president?

At 6/30/2005 7:31 PM, Blogger illinoisone said...

Hey, what happened to the mile long explanation from Tom Benson?? IT was just there a few minutes ago....

Maybe he realized it was all total BS and removed it....

At 6/30/2005 7:41 PM, Blogger Tom Benson said...

Illinois One thanks for the comment and bringing me back to reality. I removed my previous post because of your inciteful or is it spiteful comments. I don't know you as well as you seem to know me. It's pretty lame to launch an anonymous personal attack, so I will not respond to your personal attack any further. I don't know why you feel the need to support your candidate by attacking others. That's not the Democratic Party I want to be a part of.

I will reprint the first part of my previous post...

Tom Benson said...

Hello. I first would like to say that after having been informed that my name appeared in this poll that I actively worked to Get Out The Vote. I sent dozens of emails and made phone calls asking for votes in this poll. Thank you to all of my friends who have voted. If anyone is voting multiple times I ASK YOU TO NOT TAKE THE SHORTCUT and just email or call a few people to help me out. I am surprised that the power of the internet has not delivered more votes for me up to this point.

Have a great day

At 6/30/2005 7:44 PM, Blogger Tom Benson said...

illinoisone if you have any integrity you should remove your post and you can talk to me one on one anytime you feel the desire. We need to be a party of addition and I am working for the future of the party. What have you done lately?

At 6/30/2005 8:23 PM, Blogger illinoisone said...

I stand by my assertions and further you aren't cut to be a politician if you can't take the heat.

So stay out of the kitchen Tom.

At 6/30/2005 8:27 PM, Blogger illinoisone said...

I will tell you why you don't know me. Because you have bragged to too many people about yourself.

Your own fault.

So that makes it hard to narrow the field if you catch my drift.

Maybe you will keep quiet in the future.

At 6/30/2005 9:20 PM, Blogger Tom Benson said...


did you just recently become so bitter or have you been dragging our party down for all of those "decades" you have been involved?

I can't personally attack you or your family like you did mine because you want to hide your identity. Plus, I don't make things personal. I would gladly debate you on any substantive issue, if you know what that means. So bring it on! There is no point in responding further to you. I obviously will not get your vote in the future so my time is better spent elsewhere.

At 6/30/2005 10:34 PM, Blogger politicalwind said...

I just want to say that Mr. Tom Benson has worked hard to develop a network of allies in this region, first as State Rep. Pat Verschoore's field coordinator and also as a paid member of the Kerry for President campaign in Illinois in the primary. He knows something about getting out the vote, and should not be underestimated in this campaign effort.

At 6/30/2005 10:36 PM, Blogger youngridemocrat said...

Politicalwind is right on -- I remember going door-to-door with Tom Benson in Illinois and Iowa for the John Kerry campaign. He wasn't sitting on the couch eating cheetos then; he was helping to elect what should have been the next president of the united states.

Let's get off the personal bullshit in this blog. Let's keep it positive.

At 6/30/2005 10:47 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Tom, even if your votes were legit, the pattern of them is enough to cause anyone to question them.
As I said, they come in huge clumps, always enough to put you in first place, and then they stop.

You received a huge amounts of votes in two or three large surges. But since 11 a.m., today, shortly before I made this post, you've received a total of 1 vote.

I commend you for telling your supporters not to game the poll, but irregardless, you can't fault me or others for finding your vote pattern suspect.

At least now we know a little more about you.

At 6/30/2005 11:32 PM, Blogger FirstHandWitness said...

8. Mike Hugetoon: -----
from the-

Poll #1
Illinois 71st Legislative District preference poll
4 day poll
June 24th - 28th, 2005

I resent what you have done here. Are you trying to mock him? Yes Mike Huntoon may be a larger size- but you have no idea that his heart is much larger that that! He has been an activist for longer than anyone I know-- also it is because of him and his staff that there are countless Seniors who turn to MH for help. There have been dozens of people who have benefited because of MH's intervention for social assistance, justice, and scholorships and grants. If you ever have a need- he is the one who finds the help. So be careful who you berate-- one day he may just want to turn his back on you when you could really use the help. Do you really think that the polititions are actually doing ANYTHING?? Get a life!

At 7/01/2005 12:33 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Oh boy. I've been had.

Let me try to explain, as I now realize what happened here.

First I should explain that previous to the poll, I had no idea who Mr. Huntoon was. I've never met him to my knowledge, nor, until I read your comment above, did I know anything about him.

"HeadUsher" posted a list of potential candidates in a comment and I used the names on his list, misspellings and all, to help construct the poll.

You can find the comment in question below this post.

In redoing the poll, I simply cut and pasted the names on the list to save time. This is how the misspellings got into the poll.

It was my mistake, as I thought at the time that the spelling looked odd, and I now realize I should have verified it somehow.

Phil Banaszek's name was also misspelled in the list and appeared incorrectly as "Banazick" in the poll.

I hope you understand that the misspelling was not meant as a slight or derrogatory comment towards Mr. Huntoon in any way on my part.

I deeply regret that this happened and sincerely apologize to anyone whom it offended, and in particular to Mr. Huntoon.

At 7/01/2005 12:38 AM, Blogger Slack-jawed Yokel said...

Q. What's the difference between Tom Benson and God?

A. God doesn't think he's Tom Benson

At 7/01/2005 2:21 AM, Blogger rope-a-dope said...

great job dope on the Huntoon thing dope!

you been smoking it or have you been sniffing it,or is your brain just pickled from all those years of drinking?

you should truly be ashamed of yourself dope!

And if you are going to bother to post a poll I'd suggest you actually learn who the players are in your own district!


At 7/01/2005 2:36 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Can you read Jethro?

Before stumbling in here from the bars and making an ass out of yourself, I suggest you get someone to help you read my explanation above, that's all you need to know.

Then take back your little hissy fit or explain to me what I have to be ashamed of.

Or better yet, just shut the hell up and don't come back.

At 7/01/2005 4:44 AM, Blogger rope-a-dope said...

Hey Dope!

it's my opinion that you should be ashamed that you didn't even bother to get the name of a Democratic Precinct Committeeman straight, and were so lazy as post base a poll based on a blog post from an individual you admit is biased!

Mike Huntoon was a long time activist for Citizen Action, and is Boland's current Chief of Staff, his correct name and spelling are available on this blog, you were just to lazy and incompetent to get your facts straight. Huntoon’s wife was the City Clerk of East Moline for two years, and there is a prominent attorney in Moline named Huntoon who also serves on the Moline library board. So it’s hardly an unknown name, unless you’ve been living under a rock or a shot-glass!

It's just laziness, ignorance, and poor journalism dope - no excuses necessary for calling you on that point! As for stumbling in, this blogger thinks that’s more your role . . . dope . . .

At 7/01/2005 5:00 AM, Blogger rope-a-dope said...

your poll is just pissing in the wind anyway dope!

Boland may have aspirations, but in the end he's too conservative to risk it all on a run for Treasurer. And he as good as announced publically he's not running against Jacobs at his last fundraiser, just ask Judge Vicki if you want confirmation on that one. And if you don't know who she is, you really are living under a rock or a shotglass.

So the poll, in addition to being faulty in it's design and execution, is really a moot point and an exercise in wishful thinking by some at best. This blogger believes all the obvious sign posts point to Boland sitting tight and run for reelection.

So what's your point?

At least part of MY point goes like this - as long as you hide under the “shadow” of anonymous journalism, you truly are a WANNA-BE in this bloggers opinion.

At 7/01/2005 8:19 AM, Blogger Tom Benson said...

thanks politicalwind and youngridemocrat for your support.

Dope, did you indict Dennis Ahern's supporters for the 97 votes he recieved within an hour during the closing hours of the poll AFTER he had already been working the poll for two days. No you didn't.

One of the daily tasks we had on the Kerry campaign was to identify online polls across the country and GOTV them. It was AMAZING to see how we could generate thousands of votes in a few hours by sending out emails, text messages and blogging.

Oh, and thanks to Slack Jawed Yokel for pointing out the obvious, I feel much better now that I know that you have finally figured it out. Everyone else already knew.

At 7/01/2005 9:30 AM, Blogger diehard said...

Whata that Benson that you think your God?

At 7/01/2005 12:46 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Mr. Benson.
I did mention that Ahern had gotten a huge number of votes in a short period.

"The votes did come in at an amazing rate at some points, including one 45 minute period I observed between 4:50 and 6:35 p.m. Tuesday in which 97 votes were received for Ahern vs. McNeil's 3."

And just where do you get that I "indicted" your supporters? I mention "Benson or someone else", but at no point do I refer to your supporters as a group.

Maybe you ARE cut out to be a politician. But that kind of distortion sounds more like a Republican. ha!

And thanks for your good humor in all of this.

At 7/01/2005 1:00 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I find it interesting as well that I heard from NO ONE once the poll was up about the misspelling of Mr. Huntoon's name. It wasn't until the wee hours of this morning that someone appeared in full indignation.
Why is that?
If ANYONE had bothered to point it out to me earlier, I could have made a correction.

Did you just want to wait until it was over to try to drag me across the coals?

At 7/01/2005 1:39 PM, Blogger rope-a-dope said...

If I was trying to drag you across the coals dope, you'd be showing a few more burn marks!

I was just calling you on the stupidity of posting a poll without even knowing who the folks you named were.

You were lazy, you practiced poor journalism, and you were called on it. Stop whinig because someone had the audacity to critize you!

At 7/01/2005 1:48 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Rope, take a few deep breaths.

You can get your panties in a knot because I don't know the names and spellings of every precinct committeeman. (Hell, I don't WANT to know the names and spellings of them.) You can get freaked out because I copied some candidates names from a comment because it was simply easier than retyping them all into a form. I was in a great hurry and trying to get it up as quickly as possible.

And what the hell difference does it make that the source that posted the list was partisan? Huh? Are you saying that the people on the list were wrong? Were there people in the poll who shouldn't have been there? I don't think so.

So let's see, you're screaming that I should assume that there must be misspellings in the list because the person posting the list is partisan? Don't be stupid.

I'm familiar with the name Huntoon. I'm aware that there are attorney's by that name and I believe there's even an historic house associated with it.

I admit that I thought that spelling looked suspicious and I did think it must have been Huntoon, but I made the mistake of figuring that Head Usher must know. That was my mistake. I should never give HeadUsher the benefit of the doubt, especially on spelling. I've apologized for not verifiying it, and I've appologized for any harm it caused anyone.

The fact remains that it was a completely innocent mistake, and you come off like some frothing lunatic for continuing to attack me.

Evidently, in your mind I'm supposed to be the keeper of all political knowledge in the area.

I have a life. I don't want to spend my time memorizing the spelling of hundreds of precinct committeepersons.

I don't even want to know every Dem official high and low. Shocking, isn't it?

Yet to you, I'm supposed to be all-knowing. And if I don't happen to know people YOU know, then I'm supposed to be "ashamed" of myself?

Get real.

I've never held myself out as the ultimate expert at anything. I rely on real cracker-jack players like yourself for that.

And Rope,
You amuse me by accusing me of being a poor journalist.

News flash Rope.... I'm NOT a journalist, ok? I don't get paid. I don't work for a for-profit media outlet. If you want to bitch about sloppy journalism, take it to the Dispatch or howl to CNN or the Washington Times.

And I work hard enough to try to make sure mistakes aren't made around here. I'm not going to take your bluster for one minor mistake.

I regret anytime mistakes happen, but I've certainly got nothing to be "ashamed" of.

And I'd love to see you follow through on your empty threats.
I bet it would be a hoot.

At 7/01/2005 1:51 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Hell Rope, I think it would be so "interesting" for you to give me hell, I'll even give you an entire post on the blog to express your views. Just let me know.

You have some interesting and apparently knowledgable views on Boland that more people should see. They likely won't when they're buried in a long string of comments on a poll.

I'll give you a free one Rope. Just contact me by e-mail, send me what you want to say to all the folks out there, and I'll put it in a special "all-Rope" post.

How's that?

At 7/01/2005 2:25 PM, Blogger rope-a-dope said...

I've owned my own message boards before Dope, so if I wanted a blog of my own, or center stage in any way, I'd just do it.

I do believe in journalistic standards though, even for Blogs, and I am a watchdog of sorts. So I barked at you! Now you are getting “catty” but I'm not feeling much like playing dogs and cats like ya wants!

It’s fun to see you get all defensive, and frankly I find it a lot more entertaining than the Head Usher’s drivel. The world is getting to see you a bit more in your own element, you are showing your true colors, and that’s kinda fun to watch.

Boo hoo - someone had the audacity to criticize you, as the Blog owner I’d think you’d show better composure than to get 'bent' so easy.

And, it’s fun to see you admit you really know nothing about politics. Sure, I could give you interesting insight into a variety of personalities in the RI County area, having been around the scene for ages.

But then I'd be providing the "inside" . . . and you'd just be dealing the dope!

I got nothing against ya dope, I just happen to know Huntoon. He’s is not a legitimate candidate, but he’s a decent guy, and he’s in the hospital right now, so he deserved better. Excuse me for being a friend and calling you on it before he had to see the name-calling crap you re-posted for himself!

Playing with you was fun Dope, but considering you’ve admitted now there’s nothing inside about your effort at all, this blogger is going to move on to greener pastures, because reading the biased drivel of the Dispatch is better than reading the ignorant drivel of a self admitted ignoramus.

buh bye - How’s that?

At 7/01/2005 3:54 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Jeeze, I really hate to see you go.
Please let the door hit you on the way out.

Listen, the fact is that you're a boorish clod who doesn't have any sense of proportion.

It's not that I'm pissed that anyone criticized me. Come on! I get criticized constantly!

I got a big earfull from "Firsthandwitness" above. That sure was criticism, was it not?

And how did I react to that? Did I go off all over them? Hell no!

I replied respectfully, explained what happened, and apologized for any harm it caused. End of story.

But then after the fire was already out, you ignore the facts and come home at 2:30 in the morning and jump on and start spewing all sorts of garbage.

It's that you jumped ugly like some frothing dog for a completely innocent mistake. That's why you piss me off. I'm not going to sit still for bullshit like that. Why should I?

You can "watchdog" all you want, though I'd suggest a better hobby. The fact remains that it doesn't take a real genious to sit around waiting to jump on someone for a minor, though unfortunate, spelling mistake.

Get a life!

At 7/11/2005 10:02 AM, Blogger Huntooner said...

Hello there Inside D!

My name is Mike Huntoon and I do work for Representative Mike Boland. Prior to being employed by Boland I worked as the local director for Citizen Action, the state's largest consumer lobby group. Congressman Evans was a long term board member of Citizen Action which many folks knew under an older name - Ilinois Public Action or IPAC.

Anyway - for the record I am NOT a candidate for ANY office at this time. Although I am not an old man, I have degenerative disc disease in my lower back as well as suffering from emphysema and fairly severe osteoarthritis. My most recent health problem necessitated the removal of my gallbladder, sometime around the first of July.

I was blissfully unaware of your poll and the misspelling of my name in it, due to my recent health issues. The misspelling of my name I would guess was a deliberate and malicious act on the part of this "Head Usher" fellow, but it is a mistake for which I hold you harmless Inside D. OK?

I am honored that I got a single vote in your poll, and am also amazed at the voracious support and virtual "brow-beating" you received at the hands of a couple of my friends. I apologize if they were over zealous in my defense, but I can't honestly find too much fault in friends who are so willing to step to a fellow's defense like that. So rope-a-dope and firsthandwitness: I want you to know I do appreciate your friendship and support.

There's NO NEED for anyone to get excited or perturbed over mere words posted on a blog. Beyond that, I will simply say it is kind of disappointing to see the level of discourse about Western Illinois politics is so nasty, but it's not surprising either I suppose.

Please keep things in perspective folks, and have a nice day.
Mike Huntoon

At 7/12/2005 7:15 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Now there's a guy that would get my vote anytime.

Thanks for your graciousness Mike.

And again, I truly regret what happened.


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