IL GOP Incumbent/Dem Challenger Comparative Analysis
Some of the Illinois CDs that have Republican incumbents also have Democrat candidates actively challenging them for their Congressional seats. A little comparative analysis is all it takes anyone to realize that the choice is obvious.
- There is every reason to vote for Christine Cegelis (D) (and no reason not to). Even as a freshman congresswoman, her election would signal a transformation in legislative practices and help reclaim the American dream for the public trust and not multi-million dollar corporations.
- Peter Roskam (R) is an ambulance-chasing attorney. He converted to professional politician while perfecting his skills as a young Tom DeLay. He was the unethical man's congressional aide and learned well:
Roskam: You know I worked for Congressman Delay 20 years ago almost [as a legislative correspondent and a legislative assistant]when he was a freshman member of Congress and I think everybody agrees he is one of the most effective legislators in Washington, DC. I would defer to Congresswoman Biggert, my former colleague in the House. I know that she is on that House Ethics Committee and [I] have a lot of respect for her decision making. But knowing what I know now of what Tom Delay has been accused of, my attitude would be to support him.
Roskam said that he "has not had any contact with [Tom DeLay] essentially for 20 years." He must have a short memory, or desperately trying to distance himself: "Roskam has benefited from the help of his former employer, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who reportedly has steered conservative donors to Roskam's cause." - Roll Call, February 5, 1998 "Ideological conservative state Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Naperville) is getting behind-the-scenes help in his six-way Republican congressional primary battle from GOP House Whip Tom DeLay of Texas. A top aide to DeLay has been calling around to some big conservative backers suggesting they "take a look at" (i.e., send money to) Roskam, said a congressional source. DeLay's sympathy for Roskam surely also is enhanced by the candidate's past service as a member of DeLay's congressional staff." - Chicago Tribune, January 18, 1998.
- Zane Smith (D) listens to the people and will work for them. He would never betray the trust of his constituency and vote for CAFTA. He would also work with countries like China regarding human rights violations and natural resource conservation. He has already shown his constituents that he is progressive and rather than reactionary.
- Rep. Mark Kirk (R) is a complete reactionary and usually a day late and a dollar short at that. He is in his third term and has yet to get it right for his constituents. His record speaks for itself. He always votes with the GOP agenda. It is always against the people. He is proficient at making himself look good (albeit, with very little to work with) and patting himself on the back later. His constituents deserve better. His suburban agenda is pro-war, pro-personal irresponsibility, pro-environmental degradation, and pro-big business.
- John Pavich (D) already knows more about terrorism than many incumbents on The Hill. His experience along with his legal work at the criminal tribunal in The Hague, The Netherlands, gives him a unique perspective on the nation’s security needs. He opposes privatizing Social Security and CAFTA. He is willing to represent the public trust and take responsibility for his actions.
- Rep. Jerry Weller (R), married to a member of the Guatemalan congress who will never be a U. S. citizen, fully supports and voted for CAFTA – albeit an obvious conflict of interest. He is good at avoiding responsibility and nothing more.
- Ruben Zamora (D) believes in individual rights for everyone putting them first and not big corporations. He would work for the family farmer instead of agribusiness. He would place greater emphasis on renewable energy sources. To him, the oil and gas industry are rich enough.
- Speaker Dennis Hastert (R) is a high school wrestling coach who was in the right place at the right time. According to the Chicago Tribune Business News (Washington: Jun 16, 2005. pg. 1), he now lives very well. His latest financial disclosure form put the current value of his home in rural Plano at between $1 million and $5 million. Speaker Hastert also owns a quarter interest in 69 acres of farmland in Plano, with his share valued at between $250,000 and $500,000. He also owns a townhouse in Washington, also valued at between $250,000 and $500,000 (It is a far cry from the barefoot farm boy that helped his father care for the livestock a few years back.). It helps that he is and will remain a close friend of Tom DeLay. As such, he will never allow the House Ethics Committee to act against the unethical man no matter how guilty he is. As a seventeen-year veteran of Washington politics, Speaker Hastert has become Tom DeLay’s No. One puppet. He keeps The Hill all in the family, too. His younger son, Ethan, has worked for Vice-President Dick Cheney. His older son, Joshua, is a K Street defense and technology consultant. He and his wife have logged many overseas trips compliments of taxpayers. Lately, there seems to be nothing more than two-degrees of separation between Denny Boy and al-Qaeda.
- Dr. David Gill (D) knows emergency procedures. His hospital ER experience would help the Executive Branch better prepare since the current National Security procedures are lacking. Personal freedoms, the family farmer, a healthy environment, and the availability of the best educational opportunities for everyone are all part of his platform.
- Rep. Tim Johnson (R), a professional politician and in his third term, promised to limit his time in office near the end of his first term. He has already decided to remain in office until his constituents remove him. Like Rep. Shimkus and the rest of the IL Republican promises, he is nothing more than a follower of the Tom DeLay agenda and bupkis personified. He has promised his constituents everything they want to hear and has delivered nothing but professional political excuses. Also from the Chicago Tribune Business News (Washington: Jun 16, 2005. pg. 1), his financial disclosure forms provide a peak at a few personal quirks. An interesting one is his practice of using personal bank deposits as a form of political patronage - spreading his personal wealth around small-town banks throughout his largely rural district. His disclosure form shows deposits of between $1,000 and $50,000 each in 20 banks within his district, as well as larger deposits in five out-of- state banks.
- Steve Waterworth is the Democrat candidate and a retired veteran (active duty and Air Guard). He knows NAFTA and CAFTA have nothing to do with “free” trade and wants U.S. jobs to stay in the U. S. Unsubsidizing farmers will strengthen the agriculture economy. After seeing so much of the environment destroyed in Vietnam, Steve is s strong proponent of protecting those valuable resources.
- Rep. Ray LaHood has never been a weekend warrior let alone active duty military. He is more chicken hawk than anything else. He is another one of Tom DeLay's IL followers. According to Time (New York: Jun 28, 2004. Vol. 163, Iss. 26; pg. 18, 1 pgs), he wanted to attach an amendment to a 2004 funding bill that would retroactively prohibit any departing House member from filing an ethics complaint. Obviously, he remains loyal to his unethical friend and would do anything to protect him. Rep. LaHood is a career politician (unless someone wants to count his 6 years as a junior high school social studies teacher 20 years ago) currently in his 6th Term in Congress. There is no reason to reelect him. It is time for him to “involuntarily retire”.
There is also a pattern, and it all seems to lead back to Tom DeLay and his “priorities” and lack of ethics. With the help of Speaker Hastert and John Shimkus (IL-19), So. IL already feels like a colony of TX. Central IL is getting there fast.