IL-10: Julie Hamos: A Different Approach for policy making

Julie Hamos spoke before Northside DFA at their October meeting, speaking about why she's running for Congress in Illinois's 10th Congressional District.

Hamos had previously spoken before the group, but this time as a candidate for Congress in the Democratic primary.  Questions were again pointed, but handled with aplomb.

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IL-10: Dan Seals: Economy, Health Care & Energy Top 3 Issues

Dan Seals spoke before Northside DFA at their October meeting, talking about why he's running for Congress in Illinois's 10th Congressional District.  

Seals spoke before a friendly audience, answering questions and giving his take on the Democratic primary.  Questions were pointed, but deftly handled.

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Roundup of news on U.S. House races

Congratulations to Judy Chu, the newly elected member of Congress from California's 32nd district. On Tuesday Chu easily defeated Republican Betty Chu by 61.7 percent to 33.1 percent in this strongly Democratic district. She will replace Hilda Solis, who left Congress to become Barack Obama's secretary of labor.

Over at Swing State Project, James L. posted a big chart containing second quarter fundraising and cash-on-hand numbers for most U.S. House incumbents and major challengers. Click over to read about some names and numbers that jumped out for him. Among the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's 41 Frontline incumbents, Jim Hines (CT-04) raised the most money last quarter, and Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) raised the least.

James L.'s overall conclusion:

I'm struck by the lackluster sums from many highly-touted candidates on both sides of the aisle. For the Dems, Michael Bond (IL-10), Charlie Justice (FL-10), Paula Flowers (TN-03), and Bill Hedrick (CA-44) in particular will need to step up their game. But many GOP candidates had pretty underwhelming quarters, too: Charles Djou (HI-01), Sid Leiken (OR-04), Jon Barela (NM-01) and Frank Guinta (NH-01) were all well south of $100K this quarter. (If you can't out-raise Carol Shea-Porter, something is wrong with you.) No doubt the crappy economy is tightening the cash flow for many candidates right now, but these candidates will have to start finding the money sooner rather than later.

In other House fundraising news, fans of Congressman Tom Perriello (VA-05) will be pleased to know that Republican Virgil Goode, whom Perriello defeated last November, raised just $154 during the second quarter. That's one hundred and fifty-four dollars. Sounds to me like Goode isn't eager for a rematch, although he does still have around $139,000 cash on hand from last year's campaign. Perriello raised about $213,000 during the second quarter and has about $381,000 on hand.

In other bad news for Republicans hoping to make gains in the House next year, incumbent Jim Gerlach (PA-06) announced plans to run for governor of Pennsylvania, forcing the GOP to defend his seat in the Philadelphia suburbs. Also, Congressman Mark Kirk (IL-10) appears likely to run for Barack Obama's old Senate seat in 2010 instead of for re-election to his House seat. Taniel noted at Campaign Diaries,

IL-10 and PA-06 are two of only six districts that voted for John Kerry in 2004 but that are still represented by Republicans. Both men somehow survived the blue waves of the past two cycles but their situation was simply not tenable and it is not surprising seeing either of them flee their district.

If Mike Castle decides to run for Joe Biden's old Senate seat in Delaware, Republicans will also have to defend the at-large House seat Castle has held for a long time. That seat has the second-highest Democratic voting performance of all Republican-held House districts (after LA-02). Incidentally, why do journalists let Republicans like Castle take credit for stimulus spending they voted against?

With the economy likely to get worse before it gets better, Democrats could still be in for a rough election cycle next year. However, every tough district Republicans have to defend will siphon money away from districts the GOP is trying to pick up.

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The Neo-Cons Trying to Buy the Election in IL-10

Mark Kirk likes to pretend that he's a moderate.  But the fact is, he's no moderate -- he's voted with George Bush 90% of the time.  By comparison, the ultra conservative Peter Roskam has voted with George Bush 90% of the time.

At least Roskam is honest.  Mark Kirk doesn't have Roskam's integrity.  Despite being the chosen candidate for the Club for Growth, Kirk has long pretended that he was "independent" and a political moderate.  Kirk obviously thinks that his constituents are stupid.

The Club for Growth, according to its own website, "has become a power broker of sorts with the conservative movement," and "has become a force in congressional elections, taking aim at moderate Republicans."

So it came as no surprise when the Neo-Con independent group, Freedom's Watch, invaded the IL-10's airwaves in support of Mark Kirk.  While Kirk may try to represent himself as an independent or political moderate, inside the Beltway, his friends know that they can count on him.  Just as they can count on ultra-conservative Peter Roskam.

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IL-10: Tossup, the Fall of Mark Kirk

This story got me thinking.  Fact: Peter Roskam "votes with Bush over 90% of the time. Fact: he votes in favor of tax breaks for Big Oil. Fact: he voted against veterans benefits."

So what's the difference between Mark Kirk and Peter Roskam?  

Image, of course.  In politics, image is everything.  Voters are supposed to ignore the wizard behind the curtain.

Mark Kirk says that he's a moderate, but he has the same voting record (in this regard) as Peter Roskam.  Mark Kirk says that he's independent, but he has the same loyalty towards the president and his party as Peter Roskam.

Peter Roskam will tell you that he's a conservative.  At least he's honest about it.  But that's probably because Roskam has stronger ties to his district than Mark Kirk.  Roskam represents what he believes his district wants.  Kirk pretends to.

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