Today I heard this ever-so-positive ad on radio driving to pick up my son from school.
But Friday night’s and Saturday’s phone calls were something else.
A woman’s voice comes on the answering machine:
“Hello. I’m calling with an important election alert about Matt Murphy’s campaign for lieutenant governor.“Matt Murphy would like you to believe that he’s opposed to taxes when in fact the opposite is true.
“According to the National Taxpayers United of Illinois, last year Matt Murphy voted to raise taxes four times.
“What was he thinking about?
“Tell Matt Murphy we can no longer afford his bad judgment and tax increases by telling his campaign for lieutenant governor, ‘No thanks!’
“Paid for by Plummer for Illinois.”
Who paid for the phone call was barely audible.
First of all, the phone call means that Murphy is the only candidate for lieutenant governor who has a chance of beating Plummer.
Or, maybe it means Murphy was running ahead of Plummer in Plummer’s polling.
You don’t take the chance of alienating voters, as this phone call did my wife, by going negative… unless you think that’s the only way to win.
Both candidates are attractive, but obviously Murphy, who has served on the Harper College Board and in the state senate has more experience. Even I, at the same age as Plummer, had more experience when I ran for state representative. (I had worked for the better part of a year in the United States Budget Bureau—now the Office of Management and Budget—and four years as McHenry County Treasurer.)
My guess is that Plummer’s polling showed Murphy ahead.
I decided to do some research on the NTU scorecard mentioned in the robo-call.
Here are the four times Murphy voted “wrong,” according to NTU President Jim Tobin:
- House Bill 405 – allows the government of a park district to increase the property tax for aquarium, park and museum maintenance by 600%, if voters passed a referendum.
- Senate Bill 345 – allows county governments to raise local sales taxes for the purpose of public safety and road construction/maintenance, if voters passed a referendum.
- House Bill 1921 – imposed a 25 cent charge to every disposable cigarette lighter.
- Senate Bill 837 – doubles the tax surcharge for 911 calls place in Chicago from $1.25 ro $2.50. This $8 million increase will be used to “fund non-Chicago infrastructure and vague, wasteful ‘anti-terror’ project,” Tobin write.
You can decide their importance.
Plummer, it should be noted, has the advantage first-time candidates always have; they have not had to take any votes on any issue.
But, Friday night’s negative call was not enough. There was another one Saturday while I was out passing out my recommendations and literature for every candidate I could find.
It came after a Matt Murphy phone call:
“Hi. Matt Murphy here again asking for your help in electing Andy McKenna as our governor. Andy and I worked together to fight Governor Quinn’s enormous tax increase and showed how we could balance the budget without raising taxes.“Meanwhile, Jim Ryan and Kirk Dillard have no trouble raising taxes.
“Ryan supported a $5½ billion tax increase and Dillard, like Todd Stroeger, voted for a $500 million suburban sales tax increase. And when asked about raising taxes in the past said, quote, ‘What’s the big deal? It’s not that tough,’ unquote.
“I know Andy McKenna can balance the budget and not raise taxes.
“So, please join me in supporting Andy McKenna for governor and, of course, Mike Murphy for lieutenant governor.
“Thank you for your time.
“Paid for by McKenna for Illinois.”
Next came another negative call from Jason Plummer Saturday from the same woman:
“Hello. I’m calling with an important election alert about the Matt Murphy campaign for lieutenant governor.“Matt Murphy would like you believe he is for real ethics reform when, in fact, he continues to display bad judgment by taking questionable contributions directly or indirectly from state contractors.
“What was he thinking?
“Tell Matt Murphy we want to clean up the corruption in Springfield by telling his campaign for lieutenant governor ‘No thanks’ on election day.
“Paid for by Plummer for Illinois.”
This time the “paid for” tag line was easier to understand.
While I was out knocking on doors in my precinct Sunday, my wife answered a positive call about Plummer. No details, just the tone.
And, today, I received my first phone call from Molly Murphy.
Apparently the tax hike charge from Plummer merited a response.
Molly wanted me to know that her Dad Mike Murphy “cares about my future.”
She said he had never voted to raise taxes.
“It’s not easy to be a kid,” she said, “but he’s always’ been there for me.”