by Todd Beeton, Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 02:31:18 PM EDT
Why IL-14 mattered:
It didn't take long for Bill Foster to make an impact in Congress.
Foster, a Democratic scientist/businessman, won a special election Saturday to replace retired former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) in the House. He was sworn into his seat representing the exurban 14th Congressional District on Tuesday afternoon. By evening, he was casting what was arguably the deciding vote on a white-hot ethics bill.
The bill, pushed aggressively by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), creates an independent, outside panel to investigate ethics complaints against House members. The House approved it last night, 229-182, with most Democrats in favor and most Republicans opposed. That margin is deceptive: Before final passage, the bill first had to clear a much closer procedural vote, which gave House members a chance to kill the idea without, technically, voting against it.
The bill survived that test by a single vote, with Foster voting in favor.
And we all know what Hastert's or Oberweis's vote would have been; only 4 Republicans crossed party lines to join the Democrats on this one. This is why we do what we do and this is a perfect example of how every congressional election impacts us all, not just those in district.
by fairleft, Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:15:40 AM EDT
People on both sides should take the message that we want people who are less divisive, less ideological and more problem-solving.
Bill Foster's victory in the gerimandered Republican 14th Congressional District sends the message that this looks like a huge year for the Democrats. If "tax-and-spend Democrat" are the best attack ads the Republicans can come up with, and all they can come up with are attack ads . . . ? Wow!
Democrats are the party proposing solutions. Imperfect solutions but at least we're offering the voters something. What's happening among voters, I think, is a "'what the heck' the Dems aren't perfect but at least they're offering us real solutions" attitude. The Republicans offer nothing except tired, very tired, attack ads. I mean Foster's opponent, Jim Oberweiss, his 'solution' to the health care crisis is killing off malpractice law suits? The Republicans are in very bad shape right now.
Savor this victory, Democrats, whether you're a Hillbot or Obamamaniac. The only thing that can prevent a big November victory for the Democrats are . . . well, I can't think of any.
by Todd Beeton, Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:04:12 AM EDT
Congratulations to our newest member of congress, IL-14's Bill Foster who had a huge victory last night, taking the seat previously held by the former Republican Speaker of the House by 7 points.
Chris Von Hollen's statement on the win:
"Congratulations to Bill Foster on his victory tonight. Bill Foster's victory in the seat that was held by Speaker Hastert sends a political shock wave across America this election year. It is a stunning rejection of the Bush Administration, its Republican allies, and presidential nominee John McCain. Republican candidates learned tonight that Senator McCain, who campaigned with the Republican nominee, cannot save them from defeat this November against strong Democratic challengers, even in districts that voted overwhelmingly for President Bush.
"Despite spending 20 percent of the their cash on hand, the NRCC was unable to hold a seat easily won by President Bush and held by Speaker Hastert for 20 years. Americans of all political stripes are rejecting Republicans' divisive, status quo politics and turning to Democratic candidates for change. I am grateful to Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Barack Obama, and the Illinois Democratic delegation and candidates for encouraging the people of this district to vote for change by supporting Bill Foster.
"Voters of all political stripes responded to Bill Foster's commitment to change. With his unique background as a respected scientist and a successful businessman, Bill Foster will be a tremendous asset to our Democratic Caucus, as we continue fighting to strengthen our economy and ease the squeeze on America's struggling middle class families."
Now, this was a special election against a flawed Republican candidate held on a Saturday in a blue-trending district district that is represented by Barack Obama in the senate. In other words, at this moment in time, it may have been as close to a perfect storm as we could have hoped for. But even with that, to win by 7% in a district that went for Bush in 2004 by 5% more than the nation as a whole did (PVI R+5) is remarkable. If this is at all indicative of what's to come in November, and I think it is, it's going to be a rough fall for the GOP. Just a cursory glance at the Cook Political Report's Competitive House Races Chart lists 33 seats currently held by Republicans in R+5 districts or better. And that doesn't even count seats that are technically even redder but where we have real shots (i.e. NM-02, AK-AL, WY-AL.)
by bored now, Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:12:01 AM EDT
first of all, congratulations to bill foster, our newest member of congress. it will be kind of weird calling him congressman. and congratulations to his staff and all the volunteers who helped elect foster. what a tremendous achievement!
foster's election is vindication of all those who believed that a serious democratic candidate with a great campaign organization could turn il-14 blue. and now we have! it is also vindication for the plan that bill and tom put together, and especially the networking they did to create a solid pool of campaign workers who went out and delivered the vote for foster. this should serve as both proof of what a good campaign can do and an example for the local democratic parties and their future candidates.
it's probably too early to really dissect how bill foster won denny hastert's open seat but we can put some things into context.
by Todd Beeton, Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 03:24:56 PM EST
Polls are now closed in IL-14 and results should start coming in any time now HERE and HERE. We'll all be out of pocket this evening so won't be able to update the results but please update away in the comments.
Update [2008-3-8 20:29:12 by Todd Beeton]:Walt Starr is liveblogging the results HERE.
Update [by Jonathan Singer]:Here are the results at this hour:
√ Bill Foster (D): 52,010 votes (53 percent)
Jim Oberweis (R): 46,988 (47 percent)
568 of 568 precincts (100 percent) reporting at 10:11 PM Eastern
It's a win!