Covering The Election For $4,000

12/20/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Michael Miner Chicago Reader

Sam Zell needs to know about this. Veteran political observer Stump Connolly covered the latest presidential campaign for 21 months and spent less than $4,000. "Thank God for the buffets in the press room," says Stump.

If Stump were a fly-by-nighter that would be one thing. But he's been in the game as long as those fancy-pants Tribune Company pundits with the big salaries Zell's methodically dumping. Stump's first convention was the Democrats in Chicago in 1968, though sticklers won't count it, since Stump -- or at least his alter ego, Scott Jacobs -- was there as a protester. But Jacobs wrote up TV coverage of the '72 conventions for the Milwaukee Sentinel, and in 1992, after leaving newspapers for video, he collaborated with Chicago's Tom Weinberg on documenting the Democratic convention for PBS. By 2004 Jacobs, writing as Stump Connolly for, was a fixture on the campaign trail. began as a house organ for IPA, an editing house Jacobs founded in the 80s and sold in 2000. It continues as a repository of reporting and commentary by Jacobs and friends who have written things close to their hearts that they don't know what else to do with.

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