After filing a real live news story about the Jay Footlik vs. Dan Seals primary race for the 10th Congressional District in Illinois (instead of reportage through blogging) I got a frantic call from Simon Behrmann, Footlik’s campaign manager, informing me that my story contained a “factual error.”
It’s not the kind of call you want at 8:30 at night after a pretty long day. Behrmann, though, is claiming that Seals’ assertion that he is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University is not true. Seals regularly rolls out his position at Northwestern as a key piece of his resume. It is on his Web site. I heard him talk about the position at two debates. And he told me in an interview about the job.
But Footlik’s campaign is saying it is a fudge, that Seals has never taught at Northwestern and has only signed up to teach a class that will start in April. That is well after the Feb. 5 primary, and is misleading to voters who could see Seals’ affiliation to Northwestern, a highly respected university, as a sign of credibility, Behrmann says.
The Seals campaign flatly denies the charge.
“These types of baseless political attacks are why people are fed up with Washington and ready for change,” said Liz Smith, Seals’ communications director. “Dan is running for congress to put an end to this type of politics.”
(Barack? Is that you?)
But local blogs such as Team America’s Tenth District blog (which those close to the Seals campaign describe as a right-wing rag) have picked up on the story.
And Behrmann says that the local press is going to run with it and that the Tribune has already interviewed him regarding the matter.
The Seals campaign is not amused and those close to Seals say that the Footlik campaign is grasping at straws.
Smith was working on getting someone from Northwestern to clarify Seals’ position for me. In the meanwhile, she sent JTA the link to Northwestern’s course guide for next semester.
Check out MPPA 490-0, Special Topics: Federal Policymaking. Starts April 1.
“They are making hay out of something that isn’t an issue in this race and why are they doing it? Because they are desperate because they are so far behind,” one person close to the Seals campaign told me. “It says more about their campaign than the Seals’ campaign.”