NEWS

Bernard Schoenburg: Giuliani emphasizing big states

Bernard Schoenburg

The fact that former New York Mayor RUDY GIULIANI is coming to Springfield three days before the Feb. 5 primary election is part of his strategy – Giuliani is putting more emphasis on populous states like Illinois rather than early states like Iowa.

“Illinois is extraordinarily important this year, much more so than in many years in the past,” said MIKE DuHAIME, Giuliani’s national campaign manager, in a telephone interview from New York City this week.

“A lot of campaigns, I don’t think, have recognized just what a big prize Illinois is and how important it is now that it’s moved up so early.”

Formerly in mid-March, the Illinois primary is now Feb. 5 – though other states also have changed their primary schedules, so Republicans in about 20 states will go to polls or caucuses that day.

Giuliani isn’t expected to lead the ticket in either the Iowa results today or the New Hampshire primary next week.

“Nobody’s ever won every single primary,” DuHaime said. "We’ve decided to look at this from a long-term approach, knowing that there are large states like California, like Florida, like New Jersey, like New York, that have moved up and have a say this year that (they) never have had before.”

Florida has its primary Jan. 29. The other states he mentioned all have Feb. 5 contests.

“I really believe that voters in Illinois are going to make their own decision, regardless of what voters in Iowa or New Hampshire say,” DuHaime said. “Each individual voter is going to vote based on who he or she thinks is going to be the best president, and I think Rudy is that person.”

He said the campaign has viewed the primary season “from a long-term strategy in terms of trying to get the most delegates. It seems simplistic, but it’s a different and somewhat unorthodox strategy, and we accept that and know that with that comes some criticism.”

But he said getting major endorsements from the likes of former Illinois Govs. JIM EDGAR and JIM THOMPSON, and House GOP Leader TOM CROSS, plus having an office in DuPage County and about 10 staffers in the state already, will pay dividends for Giuliani.

Giuliani is moderate on some social issues, such as a willingness to allow abortion, and GOP candidates who have been successful in Illinois, including Edgar and Thompson, have also been considered moderate.

But is Giuliani thus hurt in the GOP’s conservative base?

“I think voters are going to look at Rudy … and they’re going to find someone that they agree with on a whole heckuva lot more than they disagree with,” DuHaime said. “He’s somebody who’s certainly going to be very tough when it comes to foreign policy, somebody who’s going to be very strong in keeping us on offense in the terrorists’ war against us, somebody who’s got the best record of fiscal conservatism of anybody in the race.”

On social issues, he said, “You’ll see a lot more agreement than disagreement. You know, when Rudy was mayor of New York … abortions went down, adoptions went up dramatically through some of his initiatives.”

He said New York City government is the 17th largest economy in the world, giving Giuliani strong executive experience. As a federal prosecutor, he said, Guiliani took on “the Mafia and white-collar crime.”

Because of the help Chicago police and firefighters provided after Sept. 11, 2001, to New York, DuHaime added, Giuliani has a special bond with Illinois and Chicago. There is, he said, “a passion about Illinois that really comes through.”

Giuliani has recently chastised former Massachusetts Gov. MITT ROMNEY and U.S. Sen. JOHN McCAIN of Arizona, two other presidential candidates, for attacking each other.

DuHaime said that doesn’t mean Giuliania won’t produce sharp ads.

“He will not attack unless he gets attacked first,” DuHaime said.

Giuliani is also married to his third wife, possibly opening him to attack on family values.

DuHaime, not surprisingly, doesn’t think such issues will dominate.

“The New York press certainly dove into his private life a great deal when he was mayor,” DuHaime said, but he thinks Giuliani’s public record will be more important.

“I believe he is the single most effective government official in America in most of our lifetimes,” said DuHaime.

He said he thinks Giuliani did “an incredible job” after 9/11, and in general, “I don’t think there’s anybody who could have done as great a job as he did in terms of actually making the lives of people better.”

Giuliani will speak at the Sangamon County GOP’s Lincoln Day Luncheon at the Illinois Building at the State Fairgrounds on Feb. 2. DuHaime called the Sangamon County Republican Party’s endorsement of Giuliani a “huge boost.” The appearance is a way to say thank-you and show the importance of Illinois.

Giuliani is spending at least two days in the state in the week leading up to the Feb. 5 voting, DuHaime said.

“Springfield, Illinois, has a special place in every Republican’s heart in terms of Abraham Lincoln and (the) symbolism there,” added the New Jersey native. “I’m a big Lincoln fan, although that wouldn’t put me in a very unique category.”

Other presidential candidates are backed by prominent Illinois Republicans. JOHN McCAIN has the support of U.S. Reps. RAY LaHOOD, R-Peoria, and JOHN SHIMKUS, R-Collinsville. State Sen. DAN RUTHERFORD of Chenoa and former U.S. House Speaker DENNIS HASTERT of Plano are for MITT ROMNEY.

Not to take away from others, DuHaime said, but “I don’t think there’s anybody that has the volume and quality of endorsements we have. … I just think when you compare everything, I really think we have a very strong team.”

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DAVE KELM, co-host of a morning talk show on WMAY-AM and a candidate to be a McCain alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention, is also doing consulting for JOHN MORRIS, one of the Republican candidates seeking to represent the 18th Congressional District in the U.S. House.

Kelm said he’s helping out with the southern part of the district.

The district is represented by LaHood, who is not seeking re-election. Morris, a former Peoria City Council member and fund-raiser-on-leave for a public TV station, is running against state Rep. AARON SCHOCK of Peoria and JIM McCONOUGHEY of the Peoria County town of Dunlap. McConoughey is head of a Peoria-area business umbrella group. No Democrat is now in the running.

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KATY LAWRENCE, 37, of Springfield, is the new manager of state government affairs for United States Steel Corp. She will represent the company before state and local governments in Illinois and Minnesota.

U.S. Steel operates iron ore mines and palletizing facilities in Minnesota and an integrated steelmaking facility in Granite City, Ill., which employs about 2,300 people.

Lawrence had her own business, KML Consulting, since 2002, and through that business represented U.S. Steel since the beginning of 2004.

“Katy brings more than 12 years of governmental affairs experience to this position,” said CHRISTOPHER MASCIANTONIO, the company’s general manager of state governmental affairs and Lawrence’s new boss, in a statement. “Her broad-based knowledge of local, state and federal issues combined with her extensive understanding of the political and legislative processes will be a tremendous asset for U.S. Steel.”

From 1994 to 2002, Lawrence worked in government affairs for the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, including being director starting in 1998. She had also been an assistant legislative liaison for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in 1993-4.

Lawrence is the daughter of MIKE LAWRENCE, who heads the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University.

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KATIE ANSELMENT, 27, of Springfield, who has been a research and appropriations analyst on the staff of Illinois House Speaker MICHAEL MADIGAN since 2002, has joined Zack Stamp Ltd., as a lobbyist. She replaces RUDY BRAUD, who was sworn in in September as an associate circuit court judge for the 7th Judicial Circuit, which includes Sangamon County.

Among her duties on staff have been to draft education-related bills requested by House Democrats, analyze legislation assigned to the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, and draft and negotiate budgets for the State Board of Education and Illinois Board of Higher Education.

A 2002 political science graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Anselment was EIU student body president in 2000-2001 and student board member of the IBHE in 2002-03.

She is running to be a HILLARY CLINTON delegate to this summer’s Democratic National Convention.

Bernard Schoenburg is political columnist for The State Journal-Register. He can be reached at (217) 788-1540 or bernard.schoenburg@sj-r.com.