John Laesch & Contesting Elections

I deleted yesterday’s diary about Democratic candidate John Laesch contesting the results of the IL-14 regular Congressional primary, because today the Chronicle confirms that he has withdrawn the recount petition.

Laesch certainly had a right to file the recount petition, and he couldn’t help the timing because of a combination of an abbreviated special election cycle and Illinois law pertaining to contested results. If Foster had been badly beaten last Saturday, it might have been perceived as brilliant, even.

Still, he’s got a way to go to mend fences and is not going to do it by floating the sorts of rumors I’ve heard from diehard supporters over the past couple days. Most of them I will not repeat. However, let’s nip the one about Laesch considering a run as an independent in the fall, in order to save his campaign from further embarrassment:

A candidate for whom a nomination paper has been filed as a partisan candidate at a primary election, and who is defeated for his or her nomination at the primary election, is ineligible to be placed on the ballot as an independent candidate for election in that general or consolidated election.

Some are arguing that state law doesn’t cover national candidates, but I beg to differ. This provision is connected to a paragraph of the Election Code (10 ILCS 5/10‑3; from Ch. 46, par. 10‑3) associated with both statewide nominations as well as “of independent candidates for public office within any district or political subdivision less than the State” and which specifically mentions congressional candidate nominations. Most states have such a provision, and with rare exceptions it applies to all offices having a primary nominating process except for the presidency.

Oh, and it’s known colloquially as a “sore loser law.”

Trib: Oberweis Makes Up Stuff

[Updated: Make the jump for video of Oberweis explaining why his campaign used actors in the infamous campaign flyer, as well as expressing outrage that anyone thinks he has a problem with immigration(!)]

The Chicago Tribune endorsed Bill Foster and that might have been the end of their commentary, but it’s not. Ouch and double ouch:

Rob Wadsworth is a firefighter. His wife, Amanda, works as an office assistant. They live in Yorkville and get by OK on $73,000 a year. They have a mop-headed little boy and a cute little girl. Take a look at their photo here. Aren’t they just adorable?

Well, life’s not all rosy for the Wadsworths. Rob likes to hit the tavern with his buddies after work, so Amanda basically has two jobs because someone has to ride herd on the kids — one’s a chronic shoplifter, the other likes to play with matches and neither of them can recite the alphabet without prompting — and Rob says he’d come home if Amanda’s hag of a mother wasn’t there all the time …

Actually, we made up that last part … but who cares? Jim Oberweis made up the Wadsworths!

The editors are not going to forget about Oberweis’ made-up headline under the Chicago Tribune masthead in his smearing of Judy Baar Topinka in the governor’s race. Continue reading Trib: Oberweis Makes Up Stuff

Veterans for Foster

Veterans for Foster speak out for change in Iraq.

As veterans, we strongly support our troops and the magnificent job they have done. However, we firmly believe that the greatest and most important support we can give them now is to change course and bring them home from Iraq.

Having served in all branches of the US Military, we are intimately familiar with the need to maintain high morale and prevent our forces from being stretched too thin. The war in Iraq is hurting our military’s ability to stand vigilant against the threats we face at home and abroad.

Now is the time for a Congressman who is committed to changing course in Iraq. We have come together because we know that, on March 8, Bill Foster will become an immediate voice for change.

“Our military simply cannot afford to be guided by so-called leaders who will keep them in harm’s way, and overextended, in an unending war,” said Navy veteran Robert Reed, Co-Chair of Veterans for Foster. “Jim Oberweis wants to keep our troops in Iraq for another 10 years, and that is unacceptable.”

Air Force Vet Don Cassidy, who is also a member of Republicans for Foster, is co-chair of this new group.

Remember, you read it here first! Be sure to shoot me an e-mail ( if you are interested in this group and I’ll hook you up with Mr. Reed.

Republicans for Foster

A couple weeks ago I told you about lifelong Republican and retired Air Force vet Col. Don Cassiday endorsing Bill Foster for Congress in Denny Hastert’s vacated seat. Cassiday described himself as a “retired Republican” and has now gotten together with others who are calling themselves “Republicans for Foster.”

Republicans for Foster eschewed party allegiances to support Foster because they see him as possessing the experience, background, and roots in thecommunity to represent 14th residents of all political stripes. Foster — a Democrat — joined the group of Republicans today [3/1] at Elgin Community College…Members of Republicans for Foster include William Bangs, Chuck Brown, Cassiday, Ed Fauth, Frances Fauth, Jill Hansen, Dave Johnson, Walter Joy, Bernadine Murphy, and Jim Volk. The special election to fill the seat vacated by former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is next Saturday, March 8.

I see that Foster nailed down the Daily Chronicle endorsement as well.

Oberweis Ad No-Nos

This comes straight from the Bill Foster campaign. They are saying that one of Jim Oberweis’ TV ads was pulled out of WGN and WMAQ lineups for breaking Federal Communication Commission (FCC) rules.

The ad in question contains multiple failures to comply with disclaimer requirements, representing an attempt on the part of Oberweis to evade responsibility for the allegations levied against Mr. Foster contained in the ad.

Politically incorrect possible translation: “He lied like a rug and got caught.” Remember, this is the guy who used fake headlines in a TV ad against Judy Baar Topinka during the 2006 primary season. I am having a hard time seeing why anybody would want to send such a person to Congress.

The Facts on Bill Foster & ETC

Wow. Somebody really got his facts wrong.

Foster’s ads claim he is also a businessman who does not outsource anything to foreigners, and I was curious as to what kind of business he has. According to his Web site (, the company is Electronic Theatre Controls Inc. However, in contrast to his attacks on Oberweis for dealings with Asians and taking U.S. jobs, the Electronic Theatre Controls Inc. Web site proudly lists the company’s 1995 accomplishments as: “ETC expands into Asia with opening of Hong Kong office” and “ETC expands into Europe, acquiring the lighting control division of London-based distributor ARRI GB.” How hypocritical!

ETC has over 600 employees and more than 500 of them are employed at its plant in Middleton, Wisconsin–most in good old-fashioned manufacturing jobs. The foreign jobs are in sales and distribution of products made in the USA. Continue reading The Facts on Bill Foster & ETC

Oberweis & the Millionaires’ Amendment

Looks like Jim Oberweis may be in trouble with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) for violating a part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act known as the Millionaires’ Amendment.

The provisions of the Millionaires’ Amendment may, in certain circumstances, increase the contribution limits for House and Senate candidates facing opponents who spend personal funds in excess of certain threshold amounts. The threshold amounts and the triggers for increased limits for House and Senate candidates differ. For House candidates, the threshold amount is $350,000.

Whether contribution limits are actually increased depends on the pattern of campaign spending in a particular election cycle. What’s not in dispute is that as soon as the candidate puts $350,000 into his/her campaign s/he is obligated to notify within 24 hours both the FEC and the opposition candidate.

Oberweis deposited $300,000 into his campaign on February 7 and another $340,000 on February 11, which triggered the reporting requirement.

The FEC has penalized Oberweis once before. Last year he was fined $21,000 for a television ad played during the 2004 Senate race that was ruled to be a corporate contribution prohibited by law.