Top of the ballot: Mark Kirk RSVPs 'no'

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) blows off Sarah Palin, the GOP's chances look so good former Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.) is considering a comeback and things are going from bad to worse for Florida's GOP contender for governor.

Like ships in the night

Palin is in suburban Chicago Wednesday for a conservative radio talk show event at the Rosemont Theatre and a $500-a-plate fundraiser at the Westin O'Hare for the Illinois Republican Party. The fundraiser isn't open press, but that still didn't entice the state's top GOP contenders to attend.

Kirk, who's running for Senate, "says he will have to be in Washington, D.C., tonight to make some planned House votes," according to the Arlington Heights Daily Herald. And House candidates Randy Hultgren and Robert Dold "have other plans tonight."

That left just gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady to attend, and he "originally" didn't plan on it.

Don't call it a comeback

Fossella is considering trying to get his old job back. The former Long Island congressman was forced into retirement last cycle after a 2008 drunken-driving arrest revealed he had a second family in the DC suburbs. But he is now taking a second-look at running again.

"I have no doubt that he is looking at it," Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) told the New York Daily News. "But I also know that he has not made up his mind."

'How much did we pay him?'

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum was expected to have a smooth ride to the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Instead, he's facing a wealthy self-funder in the primary and now he's connected to a scandal involving the website Rentboy.com, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

The paper reports McCollum, "personally requested that the state's Department of Children and Families hire antigay psychologist George Rekers at $300 an hour as an expert witness to defend Florida's ban on gay people adopting."

Rekers's reputation is in tatters after reports he vacationed for two weeks in Europe with a gay male escort from Miami he hired through Rentboy.com. The 20-year-old escort told reporters he gave Rekers nude "sexual" massages every day during their European vacation.

The potential campaign isssue: Florida paid Rekers more than $100,000 over two years for his expert testimony involving a gay foster parent who was trying to adopt two brothers.