Campaign 2010: Too Much Credit For "Stand IL"?
Today's Chicago news is dominated with wrapup stories about the Illinois primaries -- many of them focused on the role Stand For Children IL may have played in the races where it placed bets. The organization gave $150,000 to 14 folks -- a couple of them runing against union-approved candidates -- and when all of its candidates won Stand sent out a press release ("This is a strong testament to the will of Illinois voters to keep children at the center of our education decisions in Springfield.") and appeared in local media (Stand for Children-endorsed candidates sweep elections WBEZ, Follow the money to see who makes the winners Sun Times). Sure it's important to rally the base and take credit where due, but I'm curious curious that Stand is making their role so public given what happened last year, and dismayed that the media seems to be presuming that Stand caused these victories to happen in any measurable way. Stand opponents are making the same mistake (Grass roots’ effort comes up just a little short against Big Money and the Machine Fred Klonsky). The Chicago teachers union complained about the campaign donations as if it wasn't doing just the same thing. Sure, a little money goes a long way in an obscure state legislative race, but there are other donors and dynamics going on. Many of the candidates Stand supported were also EIA and IFT endorsed. Has Stand learned its lesson? Has the media? It wasn't all a loss, however. A Chicago Sun Times columnist named Mark Brown noted that at least one of Stand's candidates was being run as part of infighting among Illinois Democrats including Mike Madigan (via Mike Klonsky).