By MSNBC contributor
updated 3/11/2004 2:55:38 PM ET 2004-03-11T19:55:38

Bill Marovitz is a big time Chicago Democrat with an impeccable partisan pedigree.

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He’s vice chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party.  He’s raised money for Democrats.  He’s been a Democratic convention delegate.  For nearly 20 years, he served in the Illinois State Senate, where as chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee he championed gun control legislation and senior citizens. He’s a member of the Illinois Electoral College. In 1994, he jogged along Monroe Street Harbor with Bill Clinton.

And he’s a legacy. He was nephew of the late federal Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz, who lived until 95, served more than 50 years on the bench, and was a fixture on the Illinois political scene.

In the 2004 presidential campaign, Bill Marovitz was a Dean supporter. When Dean dropped out, Marovitz switched to John Kerry. The primary is March 16. Marovitz’s switch was newsworthy.

In fact, the Kerry campaign put out a press release proclaiming his — and many other Illinois Democrats’ — switch from Dean to Kerry. The March 1, 2004, press release featured this headline: “Illinois Dean Leaders Endorse John Kerry.”

And there was Marovitz's name.  “Bill Marovitz — Vice Chairman of Illinois Democratic Party (husband of Christie Hefner).”

That Christie Hefner?
Huh?  Christie Hefner?  That Christie Hefner?  How did she get into the press release?  No other “husbands of” are listed among the 25 names.  Of course, none of them have the last name Hefner.  Certainly none of them are married to the chairman and chief executive of Playboy Enterprises.  That must have been a presidential campaign first, bragging about the Playboy CEO.

The Kerry camp put the two together.  But there was distance between the two in the pages of Playboy itself.  The October 2003 Playboy ran this item: “AND ALL THAT JAZZ: Christie Hefner hosted a party, attended by playboy publisher Diane Silberstein, Bill Marovitz, Arianna Huffington and Bill Maher, prior to the 25th Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.”

What, no "wife of?" Meanwhile, on the GOP side, Erika Harold is running on the Illinois ballot as a Bush delegate to the Republican convention from the 15th Congressional District. Erika Harold is Miss America 2003. No word on the ballot whom her boyfriend is.

Bill Marovitz is a big-time Chicago pol from a powerful Illinois family who got married in 1995.  In this press release, however, he’s famous because of his wife.

In fairness to women, shouldn’t the Kerry campaign have listed everyone else’s wife?

Howard Mortman is a producer for "Hardball with Chris Matthews."

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