Hackett/Brown all over again?
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The blog Goddess Musings has the dish on a Democratic establishment/netroots squabble emerging for the congressional race in Illinois' 6th district. Apparently, the Democrats' man in charge of trying to get a House majority has picked a female veteran of the Iraq war who lost both her legs in Tammy Duckworth for the seat (yet another Fighting Dem -- check out the DailyKos/Air America features on this). There's already a very successful netroots Democratic challenger named Christine Cegelis who has been very active in getting her candidacy together ( Michael in Chicago has written numerous posts about Cegelis recently the blog MyDD) that Emanuel appears to have overlooked. This is Hackett/Brown all over again, sort of.
What has Cegelis supporters hopping mad is that George Stephanopolous -- the new top ABC political correspondent and former Emanuel colleague in the Clinton White House -- has invited Duckworth on his show, This Week , and not Cegelis for equal time. Charges of favoritism and favorism and good-ole'-boyism are flying, and Cegelis' supporters want justice, damnit!
Carolyn Kay of Make Them Accountable is behind the push:
To: David Westin, President of ABC News
At the close of the This Week show this past Sunday, George Stephanopolous announced that he will air an interview this coming Sunday with Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq veteran who lost both legs in service to her country, and who is being urged by Stephanopolous' old friend and fellow former Clinton White House staffer Rahm Emanuel, to run for Congress from an Illinois district in 2006. I called the show Monday and confirmed that the interview is scheduled for next Sunday.
Emanuel has been encouraging Duckworth to run for Congress in Illinois' 6th District, which is the seat being vacated by Henry Hyde. Emanuel has refused to support the candidate who may well be the reason Hyde decided to retire. With only $100,000 in donations, and in what has been an overwhelmingly Republican district, Christine Cegelis got 44% of the vote against Hyde in 2004. She is running again in 2006, but instead of helping Cegelis, Emanuel has done everything he can to stop her.
It seems to me the story in the Illinois 6th is that an unknown with a small budget may have caused the formidable Henry Hyde to retire.
It seems to me that ABC should not allow itself to be used as an ole boy network for former Clinton staffers.
And it really seems to me that if Stephanopolous airs an interview with Duckworth, he should give equal time to Christine Cegelis.
Please join me in protesting this kind of favoritism at ABC:
ABC address and phone number:
77 W 66th St
New York, NY 10023
Jan Frel is an AlterNet staff writer.