BREAKING: GOP Candidate Baldermann Drops Out of Hotly Contested IL-11 Race

Well this is a shocker. This fall, the corrupt Rep. Jerry Weller announced that he would retire from his seat. IL-11 has a PVI of just R+1, so this was marked to be a huge battleground. Just a few weeks ago, New Lenox mayor Tim Baldermann won the GOP primary against two lesser challengers, but now it appears he's suddenly ready to drop out. 208/GOP_nominee_for_Weller_seat_to_withd raw_from_race.html

All I can say is wow. What a blow. Why would you run for a primary if you didnt want to stay in the race? I believe the GOP has the ability to hand-pick his successor, but that person will start at a huge organization disadvantage. The Democrat in this race is State Senator Debbie Halvorson.

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Mark Penn to 21 States: You Dont Matter

For weeks now, the spin coming out of the Clinton camp has been to downplay the success Sen. Obama has had in any states. They've all just lined up for him, be it because they had a high African-American population, educated and affluent Democrats, independents you name it. Still, I was stunned by Mark Penn's comments today to reporters; in dismissing Obama's achievements, Penn claimed, "Could we possibly have a nominee who hasn't won any of the significant states- outside of Illinois? That raises some serious questions about Sen. Obama"
Are you kidding me?!?
First of all, if you live in in any of the 21 non-Illinois states Obama won, then Mark Penn just said it plainly enough: you dont matter. Thats all there is too it, you're not "significant."
Second of all, a much more appropriate question might be this: Could we possibly have a nominee who lost ten consecutive states? Who's only real strategy is to bank on the biggest states? Who suffers CRUSHING defeats in swing states like Colorado, Washington, and Virginia?
So there you have it. Mark Penn is one of Clinton's closest aides, and will certainly have a top spot in the Clinton Administration if there is one. Do you really want someone like THAT being our next Karl Rove???

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Gilchrest Defeated; Dems Lose Anti-Iraq Vote

This morning we all celebrated the victory of Donna Edwards over Al Wynn, as the Democratic Party became a little more Democratic. However, the Republican Party became a bit more Republican as well last night in Maryland. Thats because in Maryland's 1st Congressional district, Rep. Wayne Gilchrest was defeated by State Sen. Andy Harris. What does this mean for us?
Well, Gilchrest was a sort of bizarro Joe Lieberman. In spite of representing a solidly Republican district (Bush carried it with 60%+ support), Gilchrest was considered a liberal within his party. He voted with Democrats for a date-certain withdrawal from Iraq, sponsored a bill for D.C. voting rights, and voted for McCain-Feingold among other issues. So if Democrats gained a reliable liberal in Donna Edwards, they lost a frequent swing vote in Wayne Gilchrest.
So the question now is this: can we win in November? There was a Democratic primary too last night, and Queen Anne's State's Attorney Frank Kratovil won the race. Kratovil has an uphill fight, but Harris probably does not have high name recognition and is much more conservative than Gilchrest so its worth a shot.

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Sen. Clinton Hypocritical on Reagan

A lot has been made recently about Sen. Clinton's attempts to tie Sen. Obama with the policies of Pres. Reagan and the Republicans. I think this is pathetically overblown, but I came across something interesting on the topic today. On Sen. Clinton's website, there are countless press releases, including one from December 12th touting a New Hampshire newspaper chain's endorsement. The editorial glows about Clinton and states, "But no president can do it alone. She must break recent tradition, cast cronyism aside and fill her cabinet with the best people, not only the best Democrats, but the best Republicans as well.. We're confident she will do that. Her list of favorite presidents - Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Truman, George H.W. Bush and Reagan - demonstrates how she thinks. As expected, Bill Clinton was also included on the aforementioned list." se/view/?id=4674
The editorial indicates that this information came from an interview with Senator Clinton herself. You dont have to rely on CONTEXT here to get Clinton's feelings towards Reagan: at some level, she admires him.
I do not mind that she finds something admirable in President Reagan. I DO mind that this bit of information clearly contradicts her and former President Clinton's consistent lambasting of Obama for even suggesting a hint of admiration for Reagan; Clinton made a point to, at length, stretch the truth on the issue at yesterday's debate. Obviously, she made no mention of her own record on the issue. It is exactly this kind of deception and hypocrisy that makes Clinton the wrong choice for the Democratic party.  

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Clinton flip-flops position on Obama's Ethics Bill

A recent attack by Sen. Clinton on Sen. Obama is that not only has achieved precious little as a legislator, his achievements are hardly noteworthy. The most often used example is the Senate ethics bill. Obama proudly calls it the toughest ethics reforms since Watergate, but Clinton has repeatedly admonished Obama for not allowing sit-down lunches with lobbyists in the bill, but allow stand-up lunches.
However, it seems that Clinton hasnt always felt this way. Indeed, Sen. Clinton praised the bill on the Senate floor before voting in favor of it: 008/01/15/580425.aspx
This is another example of the main quality that distinguishes Sen. Obama from Sen. Clinton: leadership. The ethics bill is NOT perfect. But the bill was the first major ethics reform legislation with teeth in a long, long time. Sen. Obama worked to make government accountable, and Sen. Clinton stood on the sidelines, supporting the bill at the time but now bashing it. And given that Sen. Clinton is the one taking fundraising money from lobbyists, who represent "real people" after all, you would think she could take a clearer stand on the issue. But she hasnt, and thats not leadership.

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Sen. McCaskill To Endorse Obama

According to NBC, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill will endorse Barack Obama's candidacy for President tomorrow. This continues a steady stream of elected officials publicly endorsing Obama in recent days: Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, California Congressman George Miller, and Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson.
McCaskill's endorsement should help Obama in the state of Missouri, which votes on Super Tuesday. 008/01/12/573817.aspx

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Brokered Convention

Has anyone given any thought to the possibility of a split convention this year? With Edwards seeming poised to top the 15% delegate threshold in most states, he will continue to pick up delegates, and the tight Obama-Clinton race might make it hard for either candidate to get 50+% of the delegates.
This scenario is even more likely in the GOP since they have at least 4 candidates who look likely to win delegates (Huckabee, Romney, McCain, and Guiliani). When was the last time something like this happened?

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11th District Democrats Kickoff Event

The 11th District Democrats are pleased to invite you to:

Our first annual organizational dinner on Friday, August 17th 7:30 PM at Aurelio's on 310 W. Lincoln Highway in Frankfort.
Please join us for food, drink, and a discussion of the state of Democratic politics in the 11th District.
Only $20 to participate in this inaugural gathering.
Additional contributions welcome.
Expected attendees include 2006 11th Congressional District candidate John Pavich and presumptive 2008 candidate Jerry Weber

    The 11th District Democrats is an organization which has recently been created to further the cause of Democratic politics within our district.  Our goal is to help raise volunteers, money, and awareness to aid those running in local, state, and federal elections.   Also, we hope to facilitate coordination between local and county Democratic organizations.  Obviously, in order to build a permanent party infrastructure, we need individuals interested in our cause to actively participate in the process.   To this end, we would be pleased if you joined us at our dinner to learn more about the organization, as well as offer any ideas or suggestions.

Please pay either by cash or check at the event.  Make checks payable to the "11th District Democrats".  
If you are unable to attend, but still would like to join the organization, please send your contact information to Nikhil Bhatia via email or telephone.  Donations for those unable to attend can be mailed to 580 Butternut Trail, Frankfort, IL 60423.

PLEASE RSVP by August 10.
Telephone: (815) 557-3528.

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LIEberman threatens to bolt to GOP

This from the Washington Post...

"Democrats must also worry about a wild card in the debate: Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut Democrat elected as an Independent, a strong supporter of the war who has hinted that he might become a Republican if Democrats go too far in trying to reign in Bush."

I guess this isnt a surprise, we've known that Lieberman was a snake and a war lover, but geez. I know this: if Lieberman goes to the GOP, this will be his last term as Senator.

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Rep. Virgil Goode is a racist

As most of you probably know, Keith Ellison became the first Muslim elected to Congress this fall from Minneapolis. Though the tradition is to be sworn in on the Bible, Ellison wants to be sworn in on the Koran, which to me seems like a reasonable request. Its the book his faith, and the Bible is certainly not THE book of this country's faith, there are many.
What you may not know is Rep. Virgil Goode's (R-VA)crusade against Ellison (pun intended). According to the Chicago Tribune, "Goode told Fox News he wants to limit legal immigration and end 'diversity visas' which he said let in people 'not from European countries' and from 'some terrorist states.'"
Furthermore, Goode wrote a letter to his constituents warning that if Americans, "dont wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran."
This is a flat out racist attack on Muslims, no doubt about it. This is shameless. Perhaps Goode did not pay attention when a fellow Virginia colleague, Sen. George "Macaca" Allen, had his political ambitions and re-election torpedoed by making racially demeaning comments. But I say if he hasnt learned by now that its not ok to play the race card and appeal to people's fears and hate, we ought to teach Virgil Goode a lesson. Lets find a good challanger for this guy and bury him!

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