Paul McKinley never has run from the fact that he is an ex-con. He has been upfront about it, and his story of repentance since he was released in 1998 is part of his narrative of “an ex-offender trying to prevent the next offender” and his willingness to stand up to the Chicago political Machine.

But as mentioned here before, the Chicago media is trying to define McKinley’s candidacy as unacceptable regardless of what McKinley has done with his life after prison.

McKinley, for his part, lets it roll off his back; but in his latest video he strikes back at the Media’s attacks:

…This media has tried to reconvict me…the Media, the Machine would like me to still be a part of that lifestyle. And how dare me change my life and want to go in another direction. So they sicced those attack dogs on me. Some of them bit me with a smile, some of them bit with a frown. But all of them bit me. To try to make me shut up to talk about the Machine. And when I say the Machine I’m talking about the Emperor of Chicago Rahm Caligulus Emanuel or the King of New York, who are attempting to buy this election.

You people need to look at this. You didn’t have no choice in the matter. You didn’t choose your Democratic candidate. They chose her for you. They ran the commercials, they gave her money, they subsidize her, and you think that you have a choice.

And they’re trying to silence me because I am the only voice of dissent. And I’m saying to you right now don’t let them silence me, because if they silence me, they silence you.

The media’s attempts may be backfiring. Yesterday, this letter to the editor showed up in the Chicago Tribune:

I’m disgusted with the media, including the Chicago Tribune, for continually posting negative news about 2nd Congressional District candidate Paul McKinley.

They are crucifying him even before all the votes are in. The latest results from the primary election showed that Paul McKinley won the Republican nomination by 23 votes. This was a legitimate primary, and the voters chose him to be their leader.

I realize that McKinley spent 20 years in prison and that he committed some violent crimes in the past. But he was punished and served time for his acts. Now, he’s punished again by the press.

There are plenty of criminals on the streets who have committed crimes more serious than McKinley’s but have never been caught nor have they served time in prison.

Who do you think is a better servant in public office: a criminal who hasn’t been caught and believe me, there are plenty of them), or someone who has paid for his crimes and is now rehabilitated?

Let the voters decide who they want as their leader. McKinley says that he wants to turn his attention on the real gangsters, the ones that don’t wear pistols – the machine. Let’s give him a chance & see that he does it!

— Richard Post, Hinsdale

McKinley reports his campaign has been flooded with donations from across the country–and from readers of this site. He has heard from ex-cons who, like him, have turned their lives around and see themselves in him.

The Republican voters of the Second District have been unrelenting in their support, and according to McKinley, he has a message that is resonating across the diverse district and reaches those who have never considered a Republican before.

Something special is happening in this special election.