Daniel Lipinski is an anti-choice, anti-stem cell reaearch, Bush Dog Democrat serving in Illinois’ heavily Democratic third district. He’s getting his ass primaried…largely because he voted to keep funding the war with no strings attached and he voted to strip us of habeas corpus protections that were supposed to be enshrined in the Constitution. But, it’s not only that…

Lipinski, who was first elected three years ago to succeed his father, 11-term Democrat William O. Lipinski, has come under fire from political opponents and liberal activists for his voting record, particularly on social issues. The congressman’s detractors also bemoan the manner by which he was originally elected: William Lipinski’s decision to retire after the 2004 primary election paved the way for local party officials to select Daniel Lipinski as the Democratic nominee, as permitted under Illinois election law, and essentially assure his election that November in the strongly Democratic-leaning district.

Actually, Lipinski is so unpopular that he is getting three primary challengers. And that might be what saves him. The anti-Lipinski contingent runs the risk of splitting their vote.

The latest entrant in the Democratic primary is Gerald Bennett, the mayor of Palos Hills, a suburb southwest of Chicago with about 18,000 residents. Bennett, who filed a statement of candidacy last month with the Federal Election Commission, joins a primary field that includes Mark Pera, a county prosecutor in Cook County (Chicago), and Jim Capparelli, an attorney…

…A crowded primary could work to Lipinski’s advantage because the anti-Lipinski vote would be split among multiple candidates. In the 2006 primary election, Lipinski took 55 percent of the vote against two primary challengers, outpacing the runner-up by almost 30 percentage points.

Bennett said he is not worried about splitting the vote with Pera. He said his tasks now are to begin raising money and “presenting his experience and credentials” to 3rd District voters.

Lipinski reported raising $198,000 in this year’s second quarter (April 1 through June 30) and $269,000 cash-on-hand as July began. Pera reported total campaign receipts of $141,000, including $86,000 in loans, and had $116,000 left to spend. Bennett and Capparelli have not reported raising campaign funds because they have only recently entered the race.

I hope the anti-Lipinski vote can solidify around one main opponent. The guy needs to go.

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