Mayor's campaign workers coming from outside area

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-111159520714779.jpg’, ”, ‘Mayor Doug Scott’);

Although Rockford Democratic Mayor Doug Scott, independent mayoral candidate Larry Morrissey and Republican candidate Gloria Cardenas Cudia have different views concerning how to govern the city, all agree Scott will have an influx of campaign workers from outside the region to canvass for him during the last days of the campaign. Exactly how many “volunteers” will be here was estimated at between “10 to 15 one day and 10 to 15 the next day,” according to Thomas O. Meyer, Scott’s campaign manager.

James Thacker, Morrissey’s campaign manager, speculated that number of campaign workers may add up to several hundred workers by the April 5 election. However, Thacker said the workers will not influence the outcome of the election. Thacker declined to comment on what actions the Morrissey campaign will enact to counter the efforts by Scott’s workers from outside the area.

Thacker said he expects the last-minute influx of workers because he alleged the same tactic was employed in the 2001 election—the last time Morrrissey and Scott squared off in a bid for the mayoral position. Thacker added that state Democrats’ plan to contribute $20,000 to Scott’s campaign “is a good sign that Doug Scott is in trouble.”

Meyer replied that Thacker’s comment about campaign employees or volunteers from outside the area working for Scott means the “Morrissey campaign is in trouble.”

As of March 21, state records do not indicate such a donation to Scott’s campaign by the Illinois Democratic Party, which is chaired by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

However, one of Scott’s campaign workers, Mike Cassidy, is being paid through Madigan’s campaign fund. Cassidy confirmed the source of the financing, and said he is on unpaid leave from his state job while he is working for Scott. Cassidy added that all his state benefits and insurance have ceased during this time, but the lost benefits and insurance are being compensated by Madigan’s campaign.

Meyer said he hasn’t had any contact with Madigan or anyone from his office concerning campaign workers. However, he did say Scott’s campaign had help in the 2001 election from former State Rep. Thomas J. Dart (D-28, Chicago). Dart is no longer employed as an elected state official.

“I’m sure we’ll have volunteers from outside the area,” Meyer said. Meyer is an attorney for the Rockford Housing Authority and agent for the Rockford Housing Development Corporation, who has been involved in Democratic mayoral campaigns since the 1970s when he was a Rockford alderman.

Cudia said of Scott’s out-of-town workers: “That’s what teamwork is all about. I would prefer more Rockfordians, but what can you do? I could make other remarks, but that wouldn’t change anything.”

Whether the Democratic campaign workers from outside the area will tip the election in Scott’s favor will be for voters to determine on April 5.

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