Sneed exclusive: DSCC issues Senate endorsement without calling Zopp

SHARE Sneed exclusive: DSCC issues Senate endorsement without calling Zopp

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Getting Zopped . . .

U.S. Senate hopeful Andrea Zopp, the former head of the Chicago Urban League, is feeling zapped.

Zopp, who raised more than $600,000 since jumping in the Dem primary race in May, tells Sneed she is shocked the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) issued an endorsement without even talking to her.

“Frankly, I’m saddened and shocked that the DSCC would issue an endorsement without even interviewing me,” said Zopp, an attorney with corporate credentials.

On Thursday, the DSCC endorsed U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., in her bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.


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“Don’t know if it comes from their fear of me having raised in only two weeks nearly three-quarters of what their candidate [Duckworth] raised in two months . . . or their total insensitivity to Chicago, African-American women and the democratic process,” Zopp said. (Duckworth raised $1.2 million in April, May and June.)

• Backshot: The DSCC announced Thursday it had taken sides in the Illinois Senate primary and was endorsing Duckworth, a major boost for the retired military officer wounded in Iraq, who already has the support of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

The DSCC endorsement has also triggered a response from Leon Finney, the long-time head of the legendary Woodlawn Community Development Corporation and the Woodlawn Organization — and has been described as the patriarch of black political activism.

“We found the DSCC endorsement a sign of weakness and not a little insensitive,” said Finney.

“The fact they would make an endorsement while totally ignoring interviewing or even reaching out to an exceptional, experienced, self-made African-American female candidate demonstrates how totally out of touch Washington-centered politics are with the nation,” said Finney.

“There is nothing in the DSCC rules which said they had to interview [Zopp], who clearly has financial support, but given the tenuousness of the U.S. Senate . . . you should make sure you have the best candidate you can get.

“To ignore a strong African-American candidate, who clearly has financial support, is inconsistent with trying to field the best candidate. Remember, Barack Obama carried the state and so did Carol Moseley Braun. African-Americans vote!”

Stay tuned.

The Griffin file . . .

The big question?

What kind of a report card does hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, the state’s richest man, now give Gov. Bruce Rauner, an old buddy currently enmeshed in the state’s budget brouhaha?

• Backshot: Griffin lent Rauner the use of his private jet on the campaign trail — and donated more than $2.5 million bucks to his campaign.

• Buckshot: “Ken is going to pass on this one,” said a Griffin spokesperson.


Over and out.

Downward dog . . .

Russian macho man Vladimir Putin made headlines this week because he’s considering adding yoga to his health routine.

• History note: Ostensibly, Mayor Rahm Emanuel could show him a thing or two. Hizzoner, who once studied ballet, is also a yoga enthusiast.

The gift of gab . . .

Sneed hears actress Elizabeth “Downton Abbey” McGovern is lending her voice to a public art project in Chicago starting later this summer.

• To wit: McGovern, a yank who lives in London, is joining comedian Bob Newhart, Bill Kurtis, TV writer Shonda “Scandal”/”Grey’s Anatomy” Rhimes in the Statue Stories Chicago project funded by the Driehaus Foundation — which pairs statues around the city (The Bean, the Picasso, Miro’s Chicago, the Art Institute’s lions, etc.) with celebrities and artists who will help them speak.

• Translation: Wave your phone near a plaque near the statue and get a recorded callback from one of the celebs, who also include actor David Schwimmer and Lyric Opera diva Renee Fleming.

Sneedlings . . .

Firday’s birthdays: Sofia Vergara, 43; Chiwetel Ejiofor, 38, and Jessica Simpson, 35.

Follow Sneed on Twitter: @Sneedlings

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