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February 2010


Comeback for Cohen?

Ill-fated lieutenant governor candidate Scott Lee Cohen is hinting at the possibility of a political comeback.

The former Democratic nominee posted a message on his Facebook page February 27 telling supporters:

"Public life is not over for us, I would like to meet and hear from as many of you as possibly so thy (sic) we can concentrate on our next steps!"

Voters selected Cohen to be paired up with incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn in the general election. However, hours after declaring victor,y Cohen was answering embarrassing questions about his past.

Court records revealed a history of domestic abuse allegations, steroid use and a volatile relationship with a live-in girlfriend who was convicted of prostitution.

Cohen quit the race days after the prostitute released a statement saying she did not feel her ex-boyfriend was fit to hold office.

Scott Lee Cohen told ABC7 Chicago in early February that he spent more than $2 million of his own money on the race. When he bowed to party pressure and dropped out of the race, Cohen said he hoped Democratic Party officials would help him recoup some of that money.



Three days after he quit the race for Lt. Governor, this is still front and center on the website of Scott Lee Cohen:

“I have no intention of stepping down or stepping aside. When the facts come to light, after my ex-wife and ex-girlfriend speak, the people of Illinois can decide, and I will listen to them directly."

It's 3am and the phone is ringing...

For most people, a phone call interupting a deep sleep usually triggers twinges of fear: Has there been an accident? Did a loved one die? For me, the early morning phone call usually indicates a busy - and at times bizarre - day is ahead.

Today, the phone call was from an assignment manager.  "Did you feel it?" she asked.  "Feel what?" I responded.  "The earthquake! There's been an earthquake in Sycamore and you need to head in that direction."  An hour later, photographer Pat Keating and I are on our way.

Most people might think a call like that is a prank. I did.  The first time it happened.  In April of 2008, I received the exact same phone call.  Same story, different location.  Five hours after that call I was in Salem, Illinois.  A 5.2 magnitude quake caused a few cracks in a couple of buildings.  That's when a guy on horseback rode through town.  He was a local character and about the most interesting thing to come out of our day downstate.  

Other tragedy and triviality that's led to the wake-up call from our newsroom: Lincoln Park porch collapse, E2 nightclub, two earthquakes, snow, rain, tornadoes, and a plane crash that wasn't.