Democrat State Rep. Elaine Nekritz is fighting for her seat against an unexpectedly strong challenge by Republican Jonathan Greenberg, who heads into tomorrow's election tied in the polls and with a chance to win.
The main issues in the Illinois legislative election are the state's massive budget problems and its economic struggles. The state GOP has boiled those down into one simple message, telling voters to fire Mike Madigan, the powerful Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, by voting against Democrat incumbents.
Nekritz, desperate and likely taking cues from her patron, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, has attacked Greenberg for his work with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a non-partisan pro-Israel organization that is well known due to its extensive advertising for donations to help Jewish refugees from Ethiopia and Eastern Europe:
The Fellowship has had a profoundly positive effect on Israel, not just in helping desperately poor Jews but in opening somewhat insular Israeli institutions to productive interfaith relationships with Christian leaders.
But that's not what Nekritz is telling voters. In a new radio ad, she describes the Fellowship--without naming it directly--as "a controversial fringe organization" that has honored evangelical leaders such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.
Essentially, Nekritz is playing to presumed anti-evangelical prejudices within a disproportionately Jewish district in the northern Chicago suburbs, appealing to bigotry in order to scare voters.
Nekritz's desperate attack on a pro-Israel organization is typical of the drift of the Democratic Party towards a dangerous and reflexive anti-Israel--as well as anti-Christian--posture, one exposed for all to see during the floor fight over God and Jerusalem at the Democratic National Convention.
All the more reason to vote her out.