IL-14: Laesch Press Conference

As many of you may know, John Laesch held a press conference this morning to discuss the unresolved election in IL-14.  At this point Laesch still trails his primary opponent by 355 votes in the general primary, although all the absentee ballots are not counted (in fact, County Clerks must wait until February 19th for their return) and there is still an outstanding question as to whether all the provisional ballots have been counted in all nine counties.

John Laesch has conceded the special primary to his opponent, who will run against Republican nominee Jim Oberweis on March 8 to decide who will fill the remaining ten months of Hastert's term, but he has not conceded the general primary, which is still undecided until all votes are counted.  This morning Laesch held a press conference to answer the many questions the campaign has been bombarded with regarding his intentions.  I attended it.  And since the campaign has made it clear they will make no further statements, I will share my observations and the text of his remarks below.

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IL-14: The Losing Strategy

What happens in Podunk shouldn't stay there.  Or at least if it does, the Democratic Party Establishment, the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, the Blue Dogs among us, will have won one more unrecorded battle against those of us who want real change.

What's happening most immediately in the IL-14 corner of Podunk (a term I use here to describe anything not directly inside the DC Beltway) is a primary and a special primary on Tuesday, between the DC insider "pick" for our district, an attorney who is a relative newcomer to both politics and our area, and John Laesch, the nominee against Denny Hastert last time out, and the only progressive in the race.

At this point, I'd call it a significant bellwether for the upcoming Congressional elections that virtually no one outside of IL-14 is paying much attention to in the glare of the presidential race, as well as a bellwether event in the battle for control of the party.  So while I don't expect this diary to get much attention, I want to leave a record of what has happened in this primary.  Bellwethers, however unobserved at the time, sometimes have a way of becoming useful history for those who follow.  

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IL-14: NOW & GCC Endorse Laesch

Just found this late-breaking set of endorsements on the Laesch for Congress website.  I say late-breaking, not just because of the time of day, but because we are a mere four days out from the both the primary and the special primary to replace the retired (i.e. completely gone and no longer my congresscritter - Yay!) Hastert.

I just learned today that the primaries in Illinois this year are special for this reason: unlike other super Tuesday states, Illinois is also conducting our Congressional primaries on this date, making them not just the earliest in the nation, but the earliest Congressional primaries in national history, per Congressional Quarterly.

I bring this up because events are happening at a wicked pace here: on March 8, this district will send a new Congressperson to the House, and we need to make sure it is the only real Progressive in this race.

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IL-14: All the Childish Pranks that Money Can Buy

Ok, so, I just got off the phone with Jim Green, campaign manager for Jotham Stein..  And, no, for those of you wondering, I am not switching loyalties, I am still a Laesch supporter.  But I heard the most incredible rumor, and decided I had to follow up on it.

The rumor, in a nutshell, was this: I heard that someone in the Foster campaign had taken recently to drawing faces and scrawling messages on Stein's first mailer, which depicts Stein arms raised, crying out for change, and faxing them over to the Stein campaign.

I figured maybe some quite young Foster volunteer had amused himself by drawing one or two such caricatures and faxing them over.  I know, as does anyone who has worked on a campaign, that you can't control every single last thing your volunteers do.  So I called Green to follow up, but the facts of the case, as he related them, really surprised me.

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IL-14 (Sorta, Kinda) Roundups

You know, it's very kind of bored now to keep us all in the loop by providing Roundup diaries.  Of particular interest to me is the race in IL-14, so of course when I came back for a pit stop between trips today and saw that he had posted an IL-14 Roundup #3 diary, I took the time to scan it.

Hmmm.  There seems to be very little going on in the Laesch campaign, to hear bored tell it.  Could have sworn I heard about more endorsements recently than those bored now mentions in his coverage of the Laesch campaign, which amounts to this:


john laesch woke up to good news this morning: state senator mike noland has endorsed him.

and this:


booman tribune has an old interview of john laesch that now comes up on google search. his campaign continues its periodic campaign updates here and here. laesch's former blogger also talks about Podunk,IL vs. the New Chicago Machine, the laesch youtube page covers his simmons appearance (broken into multiple videos and quentin young's endorsement.

and...

no, I guess that's about it - all the news bored could find the space or time to bring us about Laesch...

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IL-14: Special Election Lawsuit

I know the eyes of the world are on Iowa today, but here in Illinois, we were just treated to this bombshell from a local paper:

Election officials in at least seven Illinois counties plan to ask a federal court to intervene because they believe the dates set by Gov. Rod Blagojevich for a special primary and special general election will not give them time to meet federal and state statutes that govern elections.

The election is to replace Hastert, who has retired.  The special primary is set for February 5 and the special general March 8.  From the story it appears that the objection from the counties comes not to the primary date but to the March 8 special general date.

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IL-14: Podunk,IL vs. the New Chicago Machine

Not long ago, I ran across this comment from a dedicated Foster volunteer and supporter:  

This will be unpopular... (0.00 / 0)
...but you know I'm going to say it anyway!
I am much more interested in what goes on in Northern IL than I am in what happens downstate. With work, I get more than my fill of politics in Springfield and the rest of the cornfields in IL.
I just really don't care what is happening in politics in Podunk, IL unless it's really sexy and scandalous. Otherwise, I am bored.  (emphasis added)

by: bridgetdooley @ Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 22:18:39 PM CST

As anyone who lives in Illinois knows, anything not in the City or collar counties is routinely considered "downstate" (aka "Podunk" to Ms. Dooley) even if it's north of Chicago.  The distinction here, if you are local, is that Kane and (parts of) Kendall, being collar counties, are typically considered part of the greater Chicagoland region, while everything west of the urbanized strip on the far east of IL-14 really qualifies as "downstate." 

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IL-14: Capitulation, "With Biometrics if Necessary"

So, a couple of weeks ago, I was in a public place, right here in St. Charles, Illinois, when I overheard a conversation that alarmed, but failed to surprise, me.  The person doing most of the talking was -talking- complaining bitterly about her new job in an area public elementary school.  Not a St. Charles school and not an educator.  She's a peripheral professional who has frequent contact with children however, and that's bad enough.

Her major complaint?  "All these Hispanic children."

According to her, not only are "all these Hispanic children" unable to communicate, they are "aggressive and obnoxiously rude - especially the girls." I was supposed to be paying attention to what the person in front of me was saying and lost some of the conversation I was overhearing, but suspect her companion must have voiced some objections, because she started trying to -explain herself- dig herself in deeper.

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IL-14: Hastert's Puppet Previewed Bush Speech

More than two weeks ago, on August 26 the Chicago Suburban Daily Herald reported this about Jim Oberweis, Hastert's rumored hand-picked successor, in the IL-14 Republican primary:

With the Iraq war a dominant issue in next year's election, Oberweis takes the view that the U.S. will start bringing troops home within six months because that's what military leaders will recommend. At least some troops will need to remain for 10 years or more as Iraqis start taking over responsibility for their country, said Oberweis, arguing "that's the right approach."

Ring a bell?  Sound like anything you might have heard tonight?

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IL-14 Update: Perilous Times in Aurora Edition

Wednesday night, in Aurora, Illinois, at 46 W. Downer Place, the Laesch for Congress office officially opened.  We were pleased to see not just many "old hands" on deck, but a large contingent of new faces as well.  As you can imagine, this was a big event for us, most of the campaign staffers were on hand, John was there, Jen was there.  I meant to do a general update diary tonight, blog about our office opening, and invite you all to come down and visit us or call at (630) 801-8900, but something transpired here on DailyKos while we were distracted that we want to address.  

Planned Parenthood Under Attack
Being otherwise occupied Wednesday night, we weren't here to see this diary by Planned Parenthood until pretty late.  

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