Friday, February 05, 2010

Don't ever say Illinois Politics is Boring.

By the time the votes were counted on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, a surprise candidate outta nowhere had won the Democratic Nomination for Lt. Governor in the State of Illinois. His name is Scott Lee Cohen, and in a six person field, he won 26% of the vote.

The next day is when the fun began.

It was 'revealed' that Cohen had been involved in 'domestic dispute' with a girlfriend. Not your run of the mill girlfriend either.


Cohen has come under fire for allegations of domestic violence, involving a 2005 arrest for allegedly holding a knife to a then-girlfriend's throat.

From the Capitol Fax:

Friday, Feb 5, 2010

* Illinois political reporters are just so much more versatile than our counterparts in most other states. We cover it all, man.

Today is no exception, the Chicago Tribune has found Scott Lee Cohen’s ex-girlfriend, who was once convicted of prostitution and had Cohen arrested for domestic abuse. Apparently, Amanda Eneman is still with the same massage outfit, which has relocated to Villa Park, and she didn’t want to be found…

At that point, the reporter gave the [massage parlor employer] his Tribune business card and asked her to have Eneman call him. Later Thursday, a woman called the reporter’s desk and left a voice-mail message, stating: “Hi. I received your business card. You’re looking for me. I don’t know exactly what it could be that you need to find me. I would appreciate that you make no further contact to locate me. Thank you.”

Ms. Eneman obviously doesn’t read the papers.

The story takes a comic turn…

Later Thursday, another reporter returned to the massage parlor and encountered two women, including one who fit Eneman’s physical description. The reporter addressed that woman as “Mandi,” and asked to talk to her. She said nothing, but another woman with her yelled, “Quick–run to the car!” and told the reporter they wanted nothing to do with the story.

I thought Cohen said that if this woman was found she’d be glad to tell her story? Oh, well.

The Trib has lots more on Eneman’s arrest and Cohen’s ever-changing story…

While Cohen has not given a detailed timeline for his relationship with Eneman, his statements indicate that he likely met her around April 2005. Glenview police shut the spa down after the April 22 arrests, and Cohen has said that his relationship with Eneman lasted “five or six months.” The incident that led to the battery charge occurred Oct. 14, about six months after her arrest. She pleaded guilty Oct. 27 to the prostitution charge, meaning she was charged and dealing with that case while they lived together at Cohen’s Gold Coast apartment.

When the Tribune first asked Cohen about the relationship on Wednesday, Cohen said through a spokesman that he met her in a bar. But Thursday he acknowledged that he met her at Eden Spa. Cohen said Thursday that the first explanation was a misstatement by his spokesman.

Now, it's hard to feel sorry for the Illinois Democratic Party. It's not like this stuff was hidden. If they had done a complete criminal background check of the pawnbroker turned politician, they would have found out this information. In this day and age, and good Private Investigator would turn up this sort of information quick.

Now, the following Illinois Pols have requested that Cohen step down:

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin today called for embattled lieutenant governor nominee Scott Lee Cohen to drop out.

Madigan, who hadn't commented publicly since Tuesday's election of Cohen as the Democratic running mate for Gov. Pat Quinn, issued a statement late this afternoon condemning Cohen.

"Scott Lee Cohen should step aside immediately. It is clear that he is unfit to hold public office. The fact that he thinks he’s 'done nothing wrong' just proves that," the statement read.

"His ex-wife and court and police records confirm that he has a recent history of violence against women. His alleged failure to pay child support and his admitted use of steroids are just a few other examples of his complete lack of judgment. This conduct is inappropriate for a public official, and his extreme character flaws are an insult to the people of Illinois," said Madigan, who is on the statewide ticket with Cohen.

Four other Democrats today also called on Cohen to step down: Durbin, Illinois comptroller candidate David Miller and U.S. Reps. Danny Davis of Chicago and Phil Hare of the Quad Cities.

“People clearly needed the media or other politicians to ask the hard questions before the election. Certainly his background is worrisome, it’s troubling,” Durbin said. “I don’t believe he will be lieutenant governor. I hope that he’ll sit down with some people that he trusts with good political judgment who will tell him what’s ahead. This is not going to go away. It’s just going to reach a point where he ultimately will realize he can’t be lieutenant governor.”

Now, you know who isn't among those calling for Cohen to step down, and a silent voice that I find oh-so-curious:

Head of the Illinois Democratic Party and Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Massa Michael Madigan.

Now, call me crazy, but....

The gentleman that came in second place, his name is Arthur Turner. Longtime, loyal Democratic party pol. He put in his time. He paid his dues. He's African-American. Was told by the ' Party', that this was his ' time'. Now, the Lt. Governor doesn't exactly DO anything in Illinois, but, it would be a statewide office, and would be a stepping stone for other statewide political offices. The Secretary of State of Illinois is up there in age, and I can't see him running for another term if he wins this time, so with Lt. Governor under his belt, Turner would have been a good choice to run for that position in 4 years. He was qualified, and put in his 'time', but he had no money and very little advertising. So, the 'Party' doesn't give him ANY help, and the pawn broker who puts up nearly 2 MILLION of his own money, wins the Primary.

Massa Madigan despises Pat Quinn. He wouldn't have been upset if Quinn had lost to Dan Hynes, who was one of his. Of course, he wanted his DAUGHTER (our Attorney General) to run for the office, but even for Illinois, the thought of 2 out of 3 of the most powerful positions in the state to be in ONE FAMILY, was a bit too much.

So, Massa Madigan is silent as this Cohen fellow more than likely would SINK the electoral chances of Governor Pat Quinn, because the Governor and Lt. Governor are a package deal in Illinois - they are NOT voted on separately. Madigan would be able to hide behind the ' it's a Republican Governor' excuse for why he's not doing shyt if Quinn is defeated. Especially if the guy holding the lead in the GOP Gubertorial Primary comes out on top - Bill Brady - a stone cold right-winger.

I didn't earlier in the day, but I do now feel bad for Turner - played for a sucker all along by Madigan. Thought his years of loyal service actually meant something.

A Discussion of this subject on tonight's Hardball.

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I disagree with Lynn Sweet's opinion on the ' weakness' of the State Democratic Party. They supported strongly who they wanted to; and left others to wither on the vine. I DO however agree with Jim Warren - the drop in what qualifies as journalism is obvious. Remember, we are the state, in as late as 2004, that had 2 Senate candidates drop out because of problems in candidates' personal lives that were discovered because of investigative reporting. That this guy was allowed to skate during the primaries is pathetic.

It's quite possible that the Governorship and Senate Seat could go into Republican hands this year, and of course, they will try and tar the President with that.

1 comment:

Roderick said...

This is what happens when you hold a primary on the first Tuesday of the second month of the year. Heck people are just getting their credit card bills from Christmas so it should be no surprise that there was a low turn out.

Couple that with the fact that someone can win a party's nomination without at least 50%+1 of the vote then you get someone like Cohen who slips in under the radar.