The typical Illinois GOP insider dirty trick squad is already out in force in support of Darin LaHood’s bid to take the 18th District seat vacated by the now disgraced Aaron Schock.
The establishment candidate is refusing to report his polling results. Meanwhile, incendiary false “endorsements” of LaHood’s challenger, Mike Flynn, are being sent out. They seem designed to create a whisper campaign to damage Flynn’s candidacy.
Darin LaHood, the establishment’s choice, is the son of liberal Republican and former Obama Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. He is also a sitting state senator who gained his first seat in the state legislature by a party appointment to an empty seat in 2011. LaHood went on to win his seat in his own right in 2012, though he did run for the seat unopposed. He is often touted as a fiscal conservative.
His opponent is Mike Flynn, a long-time Illinois conservative activist. Flynn is not a political novice having worked for the Illinois House Republican Policy Committee which took him to Washington D.C. where he later became the senior policy director at the American Legislative Exchange Council, the nation’s largest association of state legislators. Ultimately, while keeping his hand in Illinois politics, Flynn became an important founding editor at Breitbart.com.
LaHood may be the establishment choice and the media may assume he will be the certain winner of the upcoming special election, but this sure winner doesn’t seem too interested in releasing the polling he has most certainly conducted.
Whatever LaHood’s polls show, the race between the two now seems to be heating up with the dirty tricksters hitting targeting Flynn this week. Take the recent “endorsement” from a fake gay group that was deployed to upset Illinois social conservatives, for instance.
This week news was passed both by email and on a well-known liberal website in the state saying that the “Central Illinois Log Cabin Republicans” have endorsed Mike Flynn for Congress. Sadly the same fake announcement was placed on a well regarded conservative website and was also picked up by a tea party activist who was fooled into believing the false “endorsement.”
The original source for this dirty trick was liberal website Capitol Fax, a site underwritten by funds from the state’s far left political establishment. Capitol Fax posted the false endorsement but was soon forced to retract it and post a disclaimer by the real Log Cabin Republicans who kindly informed the site that they had no clue what this “endorsement” was all about.
The fake endorsement was listed as being from the “Central Illinois Log Cabin Republicans.” But Gregory T. Angelo, Executive Director of the real Log Cabin Republicans, informed the far left website that, “The press release is fraudulent.”
“There is no formally recognized Chapter of ‘Log Cabin Republicans of Central Illinois,’ and the gentleman who issued the press release is not even a member of our organization,” Angelo added. “Additionally, per our by-laws, local LCR Chapter Leaders cannot issue endorsements in federal races.”
One wonders why the dirty trick squad is already out there muddying the waters? If Darin LaHood is such a shoo-in, why the whisper campaign? Why the fake “endorsements” from non-existent gay groups? Just why won’t LaHood release his polling data? Is it really that bad?
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org