Dems Not That Into You: Cohen Gets IL Cold Shoulder
When all the ballots were counted sometime Wednesday in Illinois, and much of the squabbling had stopped about tightly contested races in the state's primary elections, the most exciting thing looked like a probable recount between Republican contenders for governor. Everyone yawned and was ready to pack up when the camera lenses focused on surprise Democratic Lieutenant Governor nominee Scott Lee Cohen.
"I was as surprised as anyone that I won," Cohen said to an assembled mob of election night reporters. The public also was surprised to find out Cohen had an arrest record for allegedly abusing a former girlfriend by holding a knife to her throat, taking anabolic steroids and flying into rages, forcing sex on his now ex-wife, missing child -support payments in order to fund his campaign--and we are just getting started with the unflattering portrait. The millionaire pawnshop owner who has no governmental experience somehow gained a few political endorsements from two Chicago aldermen, staged job fairs throughout the state, and then spent a fortune on political ads.
People claim that his spotty background came as complete surprise, but at least Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times reported on the arrests. This writer heard a report of the domestic abuse arrest on the radio. Some of the other candidates tried to get other facts out into the open, one trying to warn Governor Pat Quinn.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn/ Ill. state web site
But the story got no traction. Sources say that news outlets are so strapped for cash and staff that they couldn't follow the story. Cohen, in their minds, had been written off. So the story died, and improbably, Cohen won the race.
Now that Cohen has emerged as the 500-lb. gorilla sitting in the Democrat's Illinois living room, it's proving tough to get him to leave. Quinn, who just squeaked out a win against Dan Hynes, would have Cohen as an unwanted running mate. He has called for Cohen to step down. He also wants the Illinois law changed so that the gubernatorial candidates can choose their running mates, just as presidential candidates do. Cohen has refused to cooperate.Continued on the next page