I was really disappointed today when  I came to a Job Center meeting wearing a Patrick for Illinois button and a friend of mine said,  “Oh, you’re for that guy that took all tha money.” 
“Took all that money” – Let me explain:  Patrick Keenan-Devlin, and three of the other candidates in the 18th District race – all but Edmund Moran – sought the backing of  AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees). 
Jan Schakowsky, Julie Hamos and Jeff Schoenberg have also sought this backing,  and the financial gift that comes with it (money given by the hard working members of this union) and have been proud to recieve it.  Let me repeat:  Three other candidates for State  Representative in the 18th District tried to get the backing and campaign financial help that Patrick won because of the hard work he did on behalf of working people when he was working in Springfield as Legislative Director for Citizen Action.

It’s really a case of sour Grapes: “We wanted it.  You got it.  So now we’re going to say ‘Shame on you.’” 

I truly think Eamon Kelly – who put out a mailer at the very last minute “accusing”  of  Patrick  of wrong doing so he woudn’t have the opportunity to tell the whole story so close to election day –  should have been above this kind of unfair attack.  Eamon himself got the support of the Teacher’s Union,  and the substantial financial contribution that comes with that endorsement.  Because I’m a fighter and I felt this so very unfair,   I said to Patrick and his campaign, ” Let’s fight back.  Let’s tell the voters that Eamon  Kelly,  who publicly accused  Patrick of taking too much money,  that he, too,  took a big chunk of  Union money.  Let’s tell the voters that Eamon,  who publicly blasts Blagoavich,  worked for him in a patronage job and that’s how he got his start in state government.  Let’s tell the voters that Yes,  as Eamon Kelly says, ‘I  should be elected by Evanstonians because I was born in Evanston and always lived  here,’  that Patrick Keenan-Devlin chose to live here after graduation from Northwestern University because he had become involved in Evanston serving on the United Way Board, the League of Women Voters, the YMCA,  and volunteered at the Youth Job Center. He came to love this community and it’s values,  energy and diversity.  He chose us,  and to me that’s more important than having been “hatched” here through no doing of his own!

Well I could be, and, I guess, am, steamed up over this attack. The candidates all talked of how they didn’t want any more of the nastiness of Springfield of late.  This will be a clean campaing they all said. Patrick and Eamon seemed especially clean and untainted. 
Well, all who know the facts say this was a crummy last minute bit of dirty politicking on the part of Eamon Kelly and his campaign – I have talked to some of his supporters and they’re not pleased he made this attack,  and I feel very strongly that it was unfair and hypocritical.   Thus I write this for online publication,  and ask anyone who sees it to please weigh the candidates on their merits,  and not on this bit of nasty last minute  mud slinging.  Patrick is an incredibly honorable,  dedicated, brilliant  and compassionate young man who has proven to me and many other supporters that he will bring a new, clean, forceful voice to Springfield — a voice for the kinds of reforms that will bring honor back to our state: health care reform,  better schools, women’s right to choose, aid for those with disabilites, help for small business,  etc. He will always hear his constituents,  always fighting for honesty and openness,  always represent us in ways that will make us feel cared about and  proud! 
Please cast your vote Tuesday for Patrick Keenan-Devlin.  
                                        — Ann Jennett, founder, Youth Job Center of Evanston