By: Mark Glennon*
FURTHER UPDATE 11/4/14: Slime won.
UPDATE: 10/24/14 The Chicago Tribune has the same view of Carol Sente in its endorsement today of Leslie Munger. Sente’s campaign is “digusting,” they said, and Munger is “smart as a whip.”
What do you do if you’re an Illinois House Democrat in a tough race and nobody is believing the usual fib that your opponent is a right wing nutjob? Why, you say she supports letting pedophiles work in schools — that’s if you are Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills).
Ms. Sente recently pushed out a robocall twisting her opponent’s dislike of unfunded mandates from Springfield into opposition to background checks for sex offenses by school workers, something her opponent, Leslie Munger, in fact expressly supports. From the robocall: “I was shocked to learn recently that Leslie Munger opposes a law that keeps pedophiles from working in schools.”
Even political columnist Rich Miller, who is usually not very hard on Democrats, puked over this. Ms. Sente risks a backlash, and “that’s as it should be,” wrote Miller.
The Carol Sente – Leslie Munger race in Illinois’ 59th District in many ways is a prototype for those Democrats in Michael Madigan’s Illinois House who are at risk. The north suburban area, which includes towns like Vernon Hills, Gurnee and Lincolnshire, is mostly socially moderate and fiscally conservative, as is challenger Leslie Munger.
Moreover, Munger is accomplished, articulate, smart, energetic, and fed up with Springfield — basically, an ideal candidate for her district — which explains why Ms. Sente would campaign like a cornered rat.
Perhaps as important, most everybody hates House Speaker Michael Madigan, so Ms. Sente is struggling to style herself as “fiercely independent.” In truth, she’s a standard Madigan gopher, receiving heavy funding through him, voting as he directs on all major issues, and bringing in daughter Lisa Madigan to campaign for her. Her campaign office address is the same building as the United Auto Workers Region 4 headquarters. Any suspicions about where she gets campaign workers? Sente works for FGM Architects, which, while she has been a state representative, gets contracts for new fire and police stations, park district buildings and the like.
Ms. Sente still isn’t backing off on labeling Leslie Munger a right wing pedophile protector, saying,
Politicians like Leslie Munger like to talk in sound bites that appeal to the right-wing base…. While that sounds great to the right-wing, the practical application is that requirements for sex offender checks would be eliminated.
The choice for voters in the 59th District couldn’t be more stark. If they choose Carol Sente over Leslie Munger they deserve every bit of what they have.
UPDATE Oct. 16, 2014: I am told by people in the district that Ms. Sente is running a TV spot making the same claim. No remorse.
*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints