Sen. Bill Brady's campaign caught a considerable amount of flack yesterday for replacing factual policy positions on its candidate's Wikipedia page with a series of canned talking points. Unfortunately, it seems the online encyclopedia isn't the only website the Brady campaign is scrubbing. And this new allegation is far more serious.
Mark E. Wojcik, a law professor at the John Marshall Law School, penned a letter to the editor in the Windy City Times yesterday alleging that someone is trying to shield the public from Brady's position on gay rights. The letter states that someone got the folks who run the Illinois General Assembly's website to remove Brady's name as chief co-sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment (SJRCA 95) that would have prohibited the state from recognizing same-sex marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnership. If coordinated, the effort was successful; Brady's name is listed at the top of the amendment's "Full Text" as having introduced the measure but does not show up on the "Bill Status" section at all. We called officials from both Illinois' Legislative Information Services and the Senate Journal, which controls the website. Neither office knew how such a slip-up could happen and both said that the website should reflect his sponsorship. "Oh my, that should not be," exclaimed one of the women we talked with. We're still waiting for a response from another Senate Journal official, who is on vacation until Monday. (We will report any more information we hear.) But the evidence seems pretty clear; Bill Brady doesn't want voters in Illinois to know his arch-conservative social positions and his campaign is going to great lengths to hide them.
UPDATE (7/30): The Capitol Fax dug into this story as well and offers a plausible explanation. As it turns out, the State Senate never includes the original sponsor’s name in the "Bill Action" section of resolutions, which would include constitutional amendments. It's not clear why they do that but it appears to be standard practice. While the Wikiepdia controversy was real, voters can ignore this one entirely.