• on a comment on IL-14: The Losing Strategy over 6 years ago

    Thanks, and it is, but am entirely hopeful I will have good news to post on Tuesday.

  • Thank you.  Everything helps - just doubly so right now!

  • You don't think Foster's positions are substantively worse than Laesch's?  How about substantively different?

    Laesch supports and promotes single-payer, Foster will not answer the question directly.

    Laesch is a self-described, (and pretty detailed in the positions that support that descripton) Progressive, Foster has specifically stated he will join the Blue Dogs, and I quote: "there is pretty much nothing they stand for I don't agree with."

    Laesch, a veteran of naval intelligence who has done time in the Gulf, has said he would vote to cut off funding for Iraq, Foster will say no such thing, not even when directly challenged to do so by Laesch at a debate.

    Laesch has stated he supports a diplomatic surge in the Gulf, and has declared he is against a preemptive strike against Iran.  Foster when challenged to state whether he is also opposed to a preemptive strike against Iran, refused to say he was.

    Laesch thinks the issues of immigration and border security need to be separated from each other, supports fair trade over free trade, and believes that we must look for paths to citizenship for those who have been committing their lives to this country.  He did, in fact, note in a recent diary about the immigration issue and Republican attempts to whip up a little hate frenzy in our almost 20% Latino district, that the last four people from our district to give their lives in Iraq were of Hispanic heritage.  Foster thinks the solution is technological: whip a little National ID ("with biometrics if necessary") on anyone authorized to work and problem solved!

    These are serious, deep, substantive differences in these candidates' positions.

    You may think Foster is "no worse" on the issues than Laesch, but I think he is "no better" than the congressman I have been living with for decades: Denny Hastert.  

    It's why I volunteered for Laesch to begin with.  It's why I continue to work for him: more and better Dems.

    Lisa Bennett
    aka Downtowner
    blogging for the Laesch Campaign

  • I'll start with the 40% - that's better than any candidate has ever done against Hastert since his first election decades ago, and as someone else noted, it was 40% against a sitting speaker of the house.

    On to money: Laesch spent $300,000 in 2006 - to Hastert's 5.2 million.  He forced Hastert to go on air here and come home and campaign in the district, something he hasn't done in a long, long time.  In fact, his pattern had been entirely to raise money, and send it along to other Republicans congressional office-seekers.  He did a bit of that in 2006, but Laesch forced him to stop and spend it at home.

    On to 2008 money: Foster's personal checkbook makes Foster very attractive to the DCCC - they don't care if he has declared himself to be a Blue Dog (and he has) or that he's made himself pretty unpopular among Dems in a district that is almost 20% Latino by declaring his solution to immigration to be a National ID Card "with biometrics if necessary" (and he has) or that he has forever alienated much of the Dem base in this district by refusing to declare himself opposed to a pre-emptive strike against Iran while offering no option to cut off funding for Iraq (both of which came up at debates) or that he's just plain polling the worst of all the Dem candidates against the likely Republican nominee, Oberweis (and he is).  

    They just like that he has promised to spend 2 million of his own cash on the election.  Well, that's a simple enough equation on the face of it, but buying airtime won't win this seat for a Dem - any Dem - because Oberweis can, and will, buy oh so much more.  Obwerweis has promised to spend at least 5 million of his own cash on the race - and considering the fact that his net worth is something like $53 million, he can see Foster's 2 mill, and raise him...well, however much it takes, if this comes down to a "who can whip out the biggest checkbook" battle. If money is all a Dem candidate's got to offer IL-14, it's just not enough.

    Laesch, on the other hand, has the endorsements of most of the Democratic Precinct Committeepersons in the district, managed, according to the Daily Herald and just about any account from anyone present at recent debates, to garner twice as much applause as all the other candidates combined, has an organizational network that has recruited and trained Precinct Committeepersons in many places where there used to be none, has worked cooperatively with candidates throughout the district over years' worth of time - some of whom are now proudly the first Dems to hold their respective local offices in decades - and has the field effort in place to win the race on shoe leather and grass-roots support: which is what this one will take.  No easy outbuying of the competition will work in IL-14: it's just a bad strategy.  Fortunately it's not ours.  

    I hope that helps to answer your question.

    Lisa Bennett
    aka Downtowner
    blogging for the Laesch Campaign

  • Judy, Judy, Judy...yeah.  Last night I got in a comment-exchange that led to a question about Scott Harper, running against Biggert in IL-13 and turns out his website is not up yet, so I went hunting around and managed to turn up an e-mail address for him.  E-mail me at lisa at john08 dot com if you want it and I'll be happy to pass it along.

    I don't know that it will be Lauzen.  There is actually a bit of an internal Republican war brewing in IL-14 from what we can tell.  The signs are subtle, but from what we see it looks like Lauzen and a "reform" element vs. Hastert/Ingemunson crowd, and since Lauzen is already taking shots at Oberweis (and Hastert) for saying that his whole intention is to follow in Denny's footsteps, I suspect they are getting ready to rip each other to shreds in the primary.

    Here in Kane (I'm in St. Charles) which is the most populated county in IL-14, where Oberweis dairy products are everywhere, and where Oberweis carried the county in the Senatorial primary against Jim Ryan, the most common comment I hear from Republicans is "anyone but Lauzen."

    Thanks for your good wishes!

  • Thanks Theresa!  Your support means a lot.

    We did learn oh, much, but what makes me most hopeful for the district over the long term was the amount of organizing we did.  We took a pair of new Dem state rep seats in IL-14 - previously Republican seats - and have so many Dem candidates for things like mayoral offices, county board seats, etc, in places where previously "R" was the only option on the ballot.  And 80 new precinct committeemen!  Many of them personally recruited by John, and many of them in areas where there previously was no one.

    John took organizing in the district to heart at the beginning of the last race, never stopped between elections, and is still at it.  We will turn IL-14 Blue, one precinct at time I think!

  • comment on a post We Won't Have Hastert to Kick Around Anymore over 6 years ago

    Is out - he has declined the opportunity and said he will remain in the State Legislature.

    The most likely Republican contenders at this point are, as noted Chris Lauzen - sadly my State Senator, notorious for being the only member of the State Legislature who wanted to keep it illegal to breastfeed in public in Illinois, and Jim Oberweis - the guy who is so far to the right that, despite coming in second on the primary ballot to Jim Ryan (who withdrew in the midst of a scandal) he scared the State Republican Party so badly that they brought in Alan Keyes to run against Obama instead of giving Oberweis the nod.  Yeah, that's right - he's to the right of Alan Keyes.  Also a self-financing millionaire who has twice failed in runs for the Governor's office - and once for Senate of course.

    These two guys, and Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns, have formed exploratory committees.  Locally Lauzen seems like the most likely candidate to take the primary.

    Lisa Bennett
    aka Downtowner
    blogging for John Laesch

  • comment on a post We Won't Have Hastert to Kick Around Anymore over 6 years ago

    Ahhhh, after 20 years of Hastert as my congressperson - well, masquerading as my congressperson - this is a relief on a lot of levels.

    We are planning on live-blogging his "official" announcement from the Kendall County Courthouse on Friday - 10 a.m. central time.

    Lisa Bennett
    aka Downtowner
    blogging for John Laesch

  • comment on a post IL-14: Anti-breastfeeder runs for Hastert's seat over 6 years ago

    I breast-fed 4 babies in Illinois (when it was still illegal, I gather!) and to hear this from my state senator?  I suppose, though, that the really apalling part is that he is not even the furthest to the right of this field.

  • Just to clarify: I did not ask you for access to any poll conducted in IL-14, I asked you - many, many times - to identify which ones you used in your analysis.

    Either you can not or you will not.

  • the source of the data tht led you to that conclusion and you replied:

    "you mean to tell me that the laesch campaign... (none / 0)

    does not have a copy of the exit polling done in IL-14???  (that's my source for the statements about underperforming.)"

    But now you say you are basing your statement regarding "underperforming" on the ballot test?  Or on multiple data points?

    I am willing to consider all data points as long as it is valid data, or duly noted as to the extent of its reliability/unreliability.

    Whether you are, as you first said, basing that comment on the exit polling, or on other data sources as you now say, you have still not shared those sources, so neither I, nor anyone else, left without access to the raw data you used in the performance of your anlaysis, can examine the evidence for your conclusion: because I do not, in fact, draw conclusions on a pre-existing target based on thin air, nor do I recommend anyone else do so!

    Do you have links to your sources?

  • you are willing to keep an open mind.  Hope to see you out there this campaign season, and that we have another chance to discuss John's candidacy down the line.


  • Calling data "real" does not make it any more valid.  I can ask my closest ten neighbors what they think of provolone vs. cheddar, and the result will be "real" data based on primary research.  But it's still BAD data: no researcher would base a stitistical analysis of the market for various cheese varieties on such a statistically invalid sample!  Such an analysis could not help but be as anecdotal and subjective and unreliable as the sample itself.

    I do not see how your conclusions can be called "within the margin of error."  Samples are within calculable moe's, conclusions are conclusions - subjective: i.e. subject to the perceptions of the analyst, even where the moe is more or less reasonable, as you have noted this one is definitely not.  That is one reason market researchers strive so hard to apply as much science as possible to a field that is admitted by the best of them to be at least half art.

    I offer up election results that are historically reliable and verified secondary data, i.e. fact, you continue to compare that reliable data to bad data, derived from an unreliable sample, and use it as the basis of an interpretation that Laesch "underperformed."

    Even in a vacuum, with no further primary or secondary data available, it is simply not possible for any researcher/analyst to draw such a conclusion, on the basis of the information available, and call it valid.  

    GIGO: no one can perform reliable analysis on unreliable data.  

    Good statistical research demands the researcher/analyst go back and collect reliable data, once they realize their data is not - or if that is not possible, as seems to be the case here - admit, no STRESS, that their analysis is unreliable, at least to the degree that the data is and quite probably exponentially more.  That's just the hard reality of statistical analysis.

  • Did you get a chance to speak with him at any length when you met or was it one of those meetings-in-passing at an event?

  • Really?

    The exit poll will not cut it, they are almost always notoriously unreliable and that one was more notoriously unreliable and useless than most.

    Good statistical analysis is based first on a very simple concept: garbage in, garbage out.  This sample defines itself as garbage data.

    You suggest you are "talking name recognition, favorable/unfavorables, statistical analysis" but it is statistical analysis based on unreliable data that you have noted yourself has an insane margin of error, and which was refuted by the very election it covered.  I am offering instead actual election results - very valid and reliable data.

    Show us all a statistically valid poll or other primary research sample we can discuss and I'll be more than happy to discuss it.


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