[Election Coverage, March 20th, 1990]

A taped broadcast of the first hour of Channel 5's (WMAQ-TV Chicago) coverage of the 1990 Cook County and Illinois primary elections featuring Carol Marin and Ron Magers as co-hosts.

00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins with static followed by scrubbing back and forth through an Illinois Lottery commercial.

00:27Copy video clip URL WMAQ-TV Chicago programming promos. 

00:33Copy video clip URL A graphic featuring the Chicago skyline and flag as well as a stylized subtitle “Decision 90.” Camera opens on a news desk while an announcer introduces co-hosts Carol Marin and Ron Magers, Political Editor Dick Kay, and Chicago Tribune Analysts Clarence Page and Mike Royko. 

00:54Copy video clip URL Marin introduces coverage of the 1990 Cook County and Illinois primaries, highlighting the “interesting” Republican race for Governor between Illinois Secretary of State Jim Edgar and Real Estate Developer Stephen Baer. Marin reports that Baer is “doing rather well” according to preliminary results, and that Edgar’s team says they need 70% of the vote “not to be embarrassed” by Baer’s showing. 

01:43Copy video clip URL Magers and Marin announce projections for the winners of the Democratic nomination for various Cook County offices, as well as an update on the Republican nomination for IL Governor. 

03:53Copy video clip URL Footage of Edgar commenting that he is “not worried” about the race against Baer.

04:23Copy video clip URL Magers and Marin announce updates on the races for the Democratic nomination for various Illinois offices.

06:05Copy video clip URL Magers introduces Channel 5 News Correspondent Paul Hogan live at Richard Phelan’s headquarters following projections that Phelan would win the Democratic nomination for Cook County Board President. Footage of Phelan and daughters celebrating news of the projection. Hogan reports that following the death of his wife, Phelan’s children became heavily involved in the campaign. 

07:12Copy video clip URL Marin announces Edgar as the projected winner of the Republican nomination for IL Governor. 

07:32Copy video clip URL Marin introduces Channel 5 News Correspondent Ray Suarez live at R. Eugene Pincham’s headquarters following projections that he would lose the Democratic nomination for Cook County Board President. Footage of Pincham dismissing the varied projections and asserting “we win, we win.” Suarez interviews an Analyst of the Pincham campaign who calls the projections “premature” and expresses confidence that later results will come in their favor. 

09:40Copy video clip URL Magers introduces Channel 5 News Correspondent Rich Samuels live at Stanley Kusper’s headquarters. Samuels reports that Kusper has been unavailable for comment, which he speculates is due to Kusper’s duties as the current County Clerk as well as a poor showing in the polls. 

10:55Copy video clip URL Marin introduces Channel 5 News Correspondent Art Norman live at Ted Lechowicz’s headquarters. Norman reports on the whereabouts of Lechowicz as well as the conflicting predictions of his supporters. 

11:55Copy video clip URL Magers introduces Channel 5 News Correspondent Rick Sallinger live at Congressman Sidney Yates’ headquarters. Sallinger interviews Sidney about his primary win, the concession of his opponent, and the coming general election for a 21st term in the US House of Representatives. Magers asks Sidney if he forgives his opponent for “making age the issue” of the campaign. Sidney quips “to err is human, to forgive divine.” 

14:37Copy video clip URL Marin introduces Kay, Page, and Royko, who discuss the projections and current polling data. Kay says that Baer’s surprising showing at the polls is “strictly a pro-life lobby.” Royko describes the projections as largely unsurprising, adding that the possibility of a win for Mel Reynolds will be “the second biggest story of the night.” Page discusses the racial components behind the success of multiple candidates with the panel.  

21:32Copy video clip URL Commercial break. 

23:41Copy video clip URL Magers introduces US Senator Paul Simon live from Washington DC. Simon answers questions about distancing himself from Cook County races, his opponent’s spending on TV advertisements, the growing cost of campaigns, concerns over “issues” versus “trivia” in the media, and his relationship with Rev. Jesse Jackson. 

28:44Copy video clip URL Marin introduces IL Congresswoman Lynn Martin, Simon’s Republican opponent in the general election. Martin answers questions about the reasons for the large amount of money her campaign has spent on advertisements, the role of media consultants in campaigns, and the rising “hardcore conservative” constituency in the IL Republican party. 

33:27Copy video clip URL Marin introduces Channel 5 News Correspondent Derrick Blakley live with Cook County County Chairman George Dunne. Dunne answers questions about the poor showing for Democratic party endorsed candidates, the declining reputation of slate-making tickets and the Democratic organization in Cook County, as well as the future of Dunne’s position after stepping down. 

39:06Copy video clip URL Commercial break. 

40:48Copy video clip URL Marin announces an update on the Democratic primary race for the US House of Representatives from the 2nd district of IL, with Reynolds and Gus Savage too close to call. 

41:19Copy video clip URL Magers says they will try to better cover the “key suburban races” than they have in the past. Magers introduces Joan Esposito, who says they have “plenty, plenty of suburban races to talk about” if “you guys gets bored and run out of things to say.” Esposito announces updates on suburban primary races. 

46:23Copy video clip URL Marin introduces Channel 5 News Correspondent Mary Ann Ahern live at Cecil Partee’s headquarters following projections that he would win the Democratic nomination for Cook County State’s Attorney. Ahern reports that Partee’s campaign experienced controversy over allegations that he fathered a daughter that he does not support. Ahern reports that Channel 5 was the only media not allowed into Partee’s room following news of the lead. Ahern interviews Partee Campaign Manager Peter Halpin about Partee’s confidence in a win, the effect of the controversy on voters, the perception of vulnerability as an appointed candidate, and whether Channel 5 will be allowed coverage in the future. Marin reports that Partee felt Channel 5’s coverage was “unfair and improper” and that exit-polling shows the “paternity issue” was not a decisive one for voters. 

50:11Copy video clip URL Magers reports on the shift from individual network election polling to the use of a separate company, Voter Research and Surveys (VRS), funded by NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN that provides the same data to all the networks. Magers and Marin joke about the future streamlining of “railing against” pollsters. 

51:56Copy video clip URL Commercial break.

54:09Copy video clip URL Marin reports on Partee’s eventual run against Republican Jack O’Malley in the general election. Marin introduces O’Malley, who answers questions regarding his law enforcement experience, the state of the Republican party in Cook County, and the importance of not getting “embroiled in any controversy – or lack of controversy – about local political matters” outside the purview of the State’s Attorney’s office. O’Malley quibbles with the panel about what issues are relevant for him to discuss as a candidate for State’s Attorney. 

59:14Copy video clip URL Commercial break. 

1:01:36Copy video clip URL Magers and Marin announce Phelan as the projected winner of the Democratic nomination for Cook County Board President, Partee as Cook County State’s Attorney, David Orr as Cook County Clerk, Edward Rosewell as Cook County Treasurer, Michael Sheahan as Cook County Sheriff, and Edgar as the projected winner of the Republican nomination for IL Governor. Magers and Marin announce updates on the races for the Democratic nomination for various Illinois positions.

1:03:56Copy video clip URL Magers introduces Hogan live at Phelan’s headquarters, where “pandemonium is about to break loose” in anticipation for Phelan’s victory speech. Magers reports that Phelan has just put the finishing touches on his speech and that it will be a “tough one” for him as it will acknowledge the recent passing of his wife. Magers reports that Phelan “solicited” a phone call with other candidates but has not received a concession. 

1:05:03Copy video clip URL Magers introduces Suarez live at Pincham’s headquarters, where “nothing resembling a call has been made” and “a night and day image from the Phelan headquarters.” 

1:05:39Copy video clip URL Footage of Phelan walking through the crowd at his headquarters to applause and celebration. Phelan’s campaign manager says Phelan “deserves it – he’s shown tremendous character and resiliency,” expresses confidence in his victory despite a lack of concession from Pincham, calls the victory “bittersweet” in light of his wife’s passing, and remarks on the significance of a win for someone with such little name recognition. Footage of Phelan and children greeting supporters on stage.  

1:08:34Copy video clip URL Phelan delivers a victory speech, calling the campaign “the most gratifying thing I’ve ever done in my entire life” and reflecting on the experiences of “joy and sadness” during the events of the campaign. Phelan describes the priorities of the campaign, including reducing spending for “insider” deals, providing greater access to medical treatment in Cook County, and justice system reforms. Phelan says “Cook County voted for a change” and “change is on the way” to applause. Phelan thanks Pincham, Lechowicz, and Kusper, and extends the offer to work with them in the future. Phelan describes supporters of his campaign as a diverse constituency and that they are going “to stay together” to applause, and condemns the “ugly divisiveness” of Cook County politics. Phelan thanks various members of his campaign.

1:18:07Copy video clip URL Magers introduces live coverage of Edgar’s victory speech. Edgar delivers a victory speech, where he promises to celebrate “a large Republican victory” in the general election down the ticket. 

1:20:00Copy video clip URL Marin introduces Samuels live at Kusper’s headquarters. Kusper says he has tasted “bittersweet defeat” and celebrates the policy victories of the night from the County Clerk. Kusper declares that voters decided he needs to be “retired from public office,” which is answered by cries of “no!” and “short-term!” Kusper discusses the misinformation reported on his campaign by the media. Kusper congratulates the winner, but says he does not “applaud some of the tactics in this campaign.” Kusper calls his campaign a success as it “brought all of you together,” and says he will “be back.” 

1:24:44Copy video clip URL Magers introduces Ahern live at Partee’s headquarters. Partee delivers a victory speech, calling his campaign “a mix of the bitter and the sweet” as the “rhetoric was harsh” but his victory “is as sweet as the nectar of a fine wine” to applause. Partee highlights the priorities of his campaign, primarily in the prosecution of gangs and violent crime. Partee says that his victory is “a vote against negative rhetoric and campaign tactics.” 

1:29:00Copy video clip URL Magers jokes that in the studio on primary night they have candidates “stacked up like aircrafts over O’Hare,” then introduces Hogan live at Phelan’s headquarters. Hogan interviews Phelan, who answers questions about wanting to work with his primary opponents and the “bittersweet” victory without his wife. 

1:30:40Copy video clip URL Magers introduces Sheahan, who answers questions regarding the potential bitterness of the general election, the “lack of leadership” of the current Sheriff, the in-fighting on the current Democratic ticket, and corruption in the Sheriff’s office.

1:34:24Copy video clip URL Brief static followed by scrubbing back through content.

1:34:41Copy video clip URL Tape ends. 

 

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