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Thursday, March 23, 2006 04:07 pm

The Hype

Republicans put the party in the party

PARTY TIME If Springfield’s election-night parties are at all indicative of how energetically followers will stump for their political parties, it’s a good thing Gov. Rod Blagojevich has $15 million in the bank. The Democratic, um, party at the Carpenters Union Hall on Tuesday night was about as exciting as the governor’s hair — and that was before Springfield Ward 4 Ald. Chuck Redpath and Knox County State’s Attorney Paul Mangieri, both state-endorsed candidates who were in attendance, learned that they’d lost their respective races. Also there: Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin and City Council members Frank Kunz and Tom Selinger, candidate for sheriff Charles “Chico” Belle, and Sangamon County Board candidate James R. Helm. By contrast, the GOP function had almost a carnival feel: popcorn, balloons, and, naturally, elephants. Among that crowd: Springfield City Council members Frank Edwards and Joe Bartolomucci, state Reps. Raymond Poe and Rich Brauer, and Republican National Committee treasurer Bob Kjellander.
DRINKING MORE LIBERALLY Last summer we told you about Drinking Liberally, a weekly gathering of mostly young progressive-minded folk. Now that the governor’s race is in full swing, organizer Will Reynolds┬ásays that although the size of the crowd is about the same — around a dozen people per week, with the occasional visit by a candidate — the meetings, at 8 p.m. each Thursday, have been moved to Floyd’s Thirst Parlor (212 S. Fifth St.). Also, Reynolds says, Drinking Coffee Liberally has been started for people who prefer quieter, less smoky environs. The new group meets at 9 a.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month at the Trout Lily Café (218 S. Sixth St.). Reynolds, who rejects the idea that the Thursday-night event provides nothing more than an excuse to get wasted, admits that he rarely makes it to the Saturday function on time.
OUR BAD Many predictions have been made in recent weeks regarding the state’s primary election, some of which we printed in these pages — including quite a few that were wrong. Paul Mangieri told me last week that that he’d beat Alexi Giannoulias to win the Democratic nomination for state treasurer. Didn’t happen. The young banker bested the party’s guy by more than 20 percent. By the guesstimation of IT’s own gonzo scribe, pundit Bruce Rushton, Sam Cahnman and his open primary would go down swinging. Ha! In fact, by most accounts, Cahnman’s measure is what put him over the top. But we’re humble, and we can admit fault — even it’s on page 9.