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Weller under siege, may not run

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2007

* I was told by some top Republicans yesterday that Congressman Jerry Weller is not yet circulating his nominating petitions. Kristen McQueary reports today that Weller’s donors are getting indications that he may not run for reelection. And that’s bringing up the possibility of a hotly targeted race featuring a prominent Illinois Democrat, who is in the middle of a four-year term…

Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D-Crete) is considering running for the 11th District congressional seat, in part because of hot pursuit from Emily’s List, a prominent fundraising group in Washington, D.C., that supports pro-choice Democratic women. Halvorson is meeting with Emily’s List recruiters this month to discuss a possible congressional bid.

Rumors are circulating that Weller may decide against another term, particularly in light of the bad press he is receiving over his Guatemalan financial interests. Phone calls, I’m told, have been made to his top donors indicating he may be preparing to “hang it up.” His family, after all, lives in Guatemala. That’s a long commute. […]

“I don’t know if I want to be one person out of 435,” [Halvorson] said Tuesday. “Compared to, possibly, being the first-ever woman Senate president, I don’t know. It’s a big decision.” […]

Either way, Weller will have to face questions about the Nicaraguan land deals and whether he reported or hid them on his congressional disclosure forms. Then there’s the Central America Free Trade Agreement vote that may have benefitted him directly and the questions that arise every election cycle about where he really lives - Morris, D.C. or Guatemala. He is scheduled to address the Joliet Chamber of Commerce later this week. Will he make a big announcement? Address the media? Or slink away in his Jaguar without taking questions?

* Meanwhile, the news just gets worse for Weller

Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.) has landed on a Washington watchdog group’s list of the “22 most corrupt” members of Congress – and, separately, been subpoenaed in a criminal case linked to disgraced former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham of California.

The “most corrupt” list, an annual compilation of the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, includes several congressmen and senators reportedly under investigation for ethical issues, including Reps. John Doolittle (R-Calif.), Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) and William Jefferson (D-La.) and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).

Weller makes the list, the group said, for a host of ethical questions, including his failure to report some Nicaraguan land deals on his financial disclosure form. The group also alleges Weller appears to have used his position to boost interests in Puerto Rico and Belize in exchange for campaign contributions.

The group’s report on Weller is here.

* And then there’s this

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and 11 other members of Congress have been subpoenaed to testify in the trial of a defense contractor charged with bribing jailed former Rep. Randy ‘’Duke'’ Cunningham.

All of the lawmakers said they would not comply on the advice of House attorneys. […]

Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.) was also subpoenaed.

This Weller situation has become a full-blown problem for the GOP.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Bill - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:15 am:

    I hope Jerry Webber didn’t quit his day job yet. If Debbie runs, you can stick a fork in him!

  2. - fedup dem - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:15 am:

    Of course, the longer Cong. Weller delays announcing his intentions for 2008, the harder it will be for the Republicans to find a top-notch candidate (more likely, a sacrifical lamb that won’t cause further damage) to run if he opts out of a re-election bid.

  3. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:17 am:

    In the ’90s I heard it claimed that this district was the most heavily unionized (most households with a union member) in the state.

    Obviously, the districts have been redrawn. And many of those union jobs have left the district or disappeared completely.

    I’ve also heard someone who travels in Dem circles say that the Joliet Democrats are most dysfunctional local party organization in the state.

    BTW, what are the Democrats willing to offer Jason Wallace, the Green Party candidate, to get out of the race?

    Politics is about negotiation. You can’t argue Wallace got in the race as a spoiler since he was running before Weller got out.

    So, what are the Democrats willing to offer?

  4. - wndycty - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:21 am:

    If Debbie runs, she wins. To me the most important thing she can do is to broker an agreement between Congressman Jackson and the Will County group as it relates to the Peotone airport.

  5. - butt head - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:26 am:

    Um Carl, until the Green party wins a single election in Illinois I don’t think the Democrats need to offer that guy anything. Why try to buy him out when you can just beat him?

    If Debbie runs she would be great, but I totally understand why she would want to stay in the Senate too.

    Weller is probably seeing the spray paint on the walls.

  6. - Fan of the Game - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:27 am:

    Will Sen. Halvorson, as chair of the Senate Rules Committee, allow the ethics bill–that she co-sponsored–out of the committee before she runs for Congress?

    The bill has been sitting in the committee since April. All House members voted for it, and the bill is co-sponsored by almost 80% of the Senate membership. Yet, the bill sits as Sen. Halvorson bows to the wishes of Sen. Jones.

    I would hope that, if Sen. Halvorson wants to be a U.S. Representative, that she would allow this bill to come out of rules so the Senate can vote on it.

  7. - ZC - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:29 am:

    Hopefully this will get the national Dems to take another look at this seat, and the news media too, and quit focusing so much on the maybe-less-vulnerable Kirk.

    Yes, Kirk is beatable, but the problem is his district has been pretty thoroughly combed over for Democrats (by Beth-Gash and Seals), and twice it’s come up lacking. It’s great if you can get 47% of the vote Democrat, but that last 3%+1 can be murderously hard to get.

    Weller’s district hasn’t been combed in a long time. You do a serious voter registration push out there - if the local Dems get organized, or care to - and he might be a balloon ready to pop. Sounds like Weller thinks he might be.

  8. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:30 am:

    If Weller drops out and Deb or someone else of her stature runs, no “offer” will be needed; I don’t see the Green Party as more than a 1% or 2% swing vote in the 11th. The 11th is a fairly heavy unionized district. However, Weller has received considerable union support, primarily because of all the construction money he brought to the 11th. The Will County Dems may be dysfunctional, but they were successful in replacing former local hero and NBA star George Mikan’s Republican nephew Joe with Larry Walsh as County Executive, and have had other successes at the local level.

    This begs another question: If Weller drops out, who replaces him on the R ticket?

  9. - GOP'er - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:31 am:

    Incredible. The Illinois GOP is still in freefall. The chickens are still coming home to roost after years and years of incompetent leadership.

    And Tony “I’ve got friends in low places” Peraica’s candidacy for State’s Attorney is further proof the party still doesn’t have a clue.

  10. Pingback Faithfully Liberal - » Weller may not run? - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:44 am:

    […] H/T: The Capital Fax Blog […]

  11. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:44 am:

    And Jason King, the Republican candidate, who figured out Weller wasn’t “all that” deserves a mention too.

    King has been using You Tube and the Internet to reach out to people.

  12. - Fire Ron Guenther - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:45 am:

    if Weller drops out, would Bill Brady consider running? I am surprised the AJ Wilhelmi hype machine hasn’t announced his candidacy for the seat.

  13. - Super Mega - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:47 am:

    Whoa, slow down people!

    Sure the IL GOP is in a free fall, but they have little to no say as to who is running for Congress. The state party is lucky it can pay its bills, let alone play king maker.

    Halvorsen would have had a shot under the old district lines. This district takes in Will, Kankakee, Grundy, LaSalle, Bureau, Woodford and McLean counties. Not strong Democrat area and the district was designed as a GOP district.

    If Weller does not run and a decent GOP candidate is nominated, I have no question it will be a ‘GOP Hold.’

    Don’t kid yourselves about a Democratic takeover. This district doesn’t include the City of Chicago or Southern Cook Suburbs anymore.

    BTW, enough with the Green Party stuff. They have no chance. Enough!

  14. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:48 am:

    If a voter is sincerely against occupying Iraq, do you think it sends a stronger message to vote Democrat or to vote Green?

    Haven’t the Democrats shown that they are unwilling to end the occupation if it means offending the Beltway elites–the same pretentious, clueless clique–who originally bought into the flawed case for invading?

    Democrats have no room for complaining about people voting Green on Election Day 2008 if the U.S. military is still occupying Iraq.

  15. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 10:05 am:

    OK - This is my advice to Debbie:

    The Congressional district you would be running for has been redrawn to favor the GOP. So running for Congress as a Democrat would mean running with one hand tied behind your back. Any capable GOP candidate, of which there are many, has an edge over you.

    But that is not the only negative hits against you right now. This summer’s fiscal meltdown and your leadership position in the Senate makes you look like a part of the problem, even though were weren’t. You didn’t step up in these battles and take a stand, but staying quiet while the sign on your door reads, “Assistant Majority Leader” doesn’t help you. It will be so easy right now for your opponent to tie you up with Mr. Jones and Company. Every Jones blemish and your relationship to him would be shown on TV repeatedly by any savvy GOP candidate.

    But there is also more negative news regarding a Congressional run, Deb. Your record. In this race you don’t want to be The Liberal. Your political positions fit Bloom Township just fine, but would not be the least bit acceptable outside Joliet. So, if you take this gamble, you will only find voters there. The rest of the district will not vote for you. Any capable GOP candidate will roast you on your political positions and the entire campaign will end up with you in a defensive position in Joliet.

    The Democrats right now think 2008 will be their year. Its empty hype. Do you want to be woman candidate on a ticket with the top spot headed by another woman? Voters will split their ticket at your expense. You will lose at least 10% of Clinton/Clark voters and you will not gain any votes from the Giuliani/Huckabee voters.

    2006 was a fluke. 2008 will not be a repeat. Take a look at the 2006 results in this district. What the Democrats pulled off against Weller in 2006 is your base and it isn’t strong enough for you to run on.

    Look what you would be giving up! You will be the Senate Majority Leader. After the Jones fiasco, your cohorts would welcome your personality, drive and gender in charge. We always look for a change agent after a guy like Jones, and you are the person who will be selected to reform the Leader’s role and clean up the office. Why would you give up to play Don Quixote?

    The Democrats courting you don’t care about what you would be giving up. They don’t care about the unchangable conditions you would face by running in this district. They don’t care if you become another Duckworth. But you and your staff are needed right here in Illinois!

    Even if you are successful, just how much effect would you have in Washington for Illinois? Right after you are sworn in, you have to start running again since 2010 would be right around the corner.

    If you want to be Governor, stay where you are. If you want to make a difference in Illinois, stay where you are. If Bloom is ever going to get the help it needs to fix all the crap we had to endure back in the 70’s, please stay right where you are!

    Make history in Illinois - with the situation we face right now, we need you HERE!

  16. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 10:07 am:

    VanillaMan, as it happens, Halvorson asked about you last night. Apparently, you have a fan.

  17. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 10:19 am:

    We need Debbie here, not in Washington.

  18. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 10:47 am:

    It just occurred to me…Gary Dahl could be a candidate in the 11th, and he is not lacking for money. VM has some good comments on Deb and her challenges, but I think they are a little overblown. Will, Kankakee, Grundy and LaSalle counties are not as R as, say 20 years ago. Don’t they all have D county board majorities?

  19. - Fire Ron Guenther - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 10:50 am:

    Will County Board is GOP majority but its county executive, former State Sen. Larry Walsh, is a Dem.

  20. - archpundit - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 11:07 am:

    ===Halvorsen would have had a shot under the old district lines. This district takes in Will, Kankakee, Grundy, LaSalle, Bureau, Woodford and McLean counties. Not strong Democrat area and the district was designed as a GOP district.

    ===If Weller does not run and a decent GOP candidate is nominated, I have no question it will be a ‘GOP Hold.’

    The Cook Rating is +1 R with a 53-46 Bush in 2004 and 50-48 Bush (using the new lines) in 2000. It’s competitive District. It’s an interesting District because the West side of Bloomington is Democratic which is out of character of the rest of the county.

  21. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 11:08 am:

    20 years ago is the old Democratic lines. The district used to swing D/R during the 1980 and 1990s until Weller and the GOP redrew the lines. The new lines are GOP favored as of 2000. The new lines are far more rural and southern than before.

    So it is still a GOP leaning district for 2008 that is unaffected by Chicagoland political trends.

  22. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 11:11 am:

    Any of you that think the 11th is a GOP strong district don’t know what you are talking about. You have Halvorson, Wilhelmi, Gordon, Dugan, Mcguire, Mautino representing the District in the GA. You have Will County now with the majority of countywide seats being held by Democrats. Grundy county had huge gains with Democratic county positions last election. LaSalle county has gone dem in the past, hell Blago even won it. Kankakee has two Democrats in Springfield. The 11th was only R+1, and we are talking about Dems compete ting in the 14th and 18th which were both R+5. NO question that this seat can be won by a good dem campaign.

  23. - God's Country - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 11:20 am:

    Six Degrees,

    The Kankakee County Board is comprised of 17 Republicans and 11 Democrats.

  24. - archpundit - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 11:23 am:

    ===2006 was a fluke. 2008 will not be a repeat. Take a look at the 2006 results in this district. What the Democrats pulled off against Weller in 2006 is your base and it isn’t strong enough for you to run on.

    Actually, all the polling shows an even worse year for Republicans an, in fact, the Republicans are having an incredibly tough time raising money for the campaign committees. The number of retirements are way up on the Republican side meaning they have far more seats to defend. Clinton could create some problems in that she draws out Republicans, but that’s assuming she is the nominee.

    A dispirited base, an unpopular war, a housing crisis, high retirements, low fundraising. I’ll take the odds on 2006 not being a fluke.

  25. - Pat Collins - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 11:37 am:

    One would think Weller would want to run again to keep some Congressional immunity to being subpoenaed.

    Real people could care less about what he does or doesn’t do in Central America. If it looks like corruption, that might be different. But as for his wife and her maybe less than savory relations, that is a VERY hard “connection” for the average voter to make.

    “Where he lives”. Please.

    Who in IL, since Ken “king of pork” Gray has actually returned to his district when he left Washington? Darn few.

  26. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 11:39 am:

    I predict 2008 will be a very bad year for Republicans.

    What have they got to run on? Arguing Iraq really is a success? Immigrant bashing? More tax cuts paid for by more borrowing? Gay bashing?

    In Illinois the GOP has number of specific issues that exacerbate the negative trends on the national level.

    The state party is in disarray. It lacks resources. It has a smaller chunk of the gov’t jobs than in the past. And the Republicans on gov’t payroll are old and comfortable. The people that want jobs know that they are more likely to get them working with the Dems.

    Also, I suspect that the media environment in Illinois is less pro-GOP than in other parts of the country.

    Republicans can talk trash about marginal R districts being a lock. But talking trash is easy. Does the GOP have the money, manpower, organization and drive to do what’s necessary to win?

    My prediction: No, the GOP does not have what it takes to win in Illinois.

    In 2008 the GOP will lose IL-10, plus at least one of IL-11, 14 and 18. IL-13, 16 and 19 will at least be close.

    Remember, national money is going to be tight for Republicans in 2008. The party is already losing the fundraising battle with the Democrats.

    If the GOP can raise $30 million six weeks before the election where is the party going to send that money? To swing states in the presidential race? How about the long list of vulnerable incumbent U.S. Senators?

    Incumbents in other states are more likely to get money than open-seat candidates in Illinois. Because of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate it makes much more sense for GOP interest groups to spend their money on Senate races than House races. Once the GOP is the minority party in the U.S. House, it doesn’t really matter if they are the minority party by 25 seats or 65 seats. The minority is impotent.

    So, any GOP candidate running in an open seat in Illinois better be prepared to raise his/her own money in the final weeks of the campaign, b/c the national party isn’t going to be there for him or her.

    In 2010 the GOP will lose another seat Illinois.

    And in 2012, on a new map there will be from 3-5 hard GOP seats and the rest of the turf will be quite unfriendly.

    Betting the future of the party on Bush and invading Iraq seemed like such a good idea in 2002, didn’t it?

    Sucks having to pay the bills for living too well in the past, eh?

  27. - Boone Logan Square - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 11:48 am:

    To repeat Archpundit, the current district only has a PVI of only R+1.1. It is not a Republican district, but a swing district. Should Halvorson get in with EMILY $, she has an excellent chance to win an open seat.

    Given the funding problems of both the state GOP and the national house campaign committee, the Republican nominee may suffer from funding problems in a presidential year, where the Democratic half of the district will be mobilized. If I’m betting money, this district (should Weller drop out) flips next November.

  28. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 12:16 pm:


    While I generally agree that Joe and Jane voter have trouble getting their hands around many scandals of this kind, I think it’s very easy for people to see a problem with their Congressman living in a foreign country, especially when you have some nice personal enrichment corruption thrown in.

    Or let me put it in the form of a rough political ad script:

    [Photo of Weller on screen] VO: Congressman Jerry Weller claims to represent you.

    [morph to photo of Daniel Ortega with Fidel Castro] VO: Yet he lives in a country run by avowed American enemy Daniel Ortega.

    VO: And as your Congressman, he even voted to provide tax breaks for Ortega’s Nicaragua at the same time he was making investments there.

    [Pic of Halvorson] VO: Isn’t it time we had a Congressman who put our needs first for a change?

  29. - 10th Indy - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 12:32 pm:

    The tenth is not a lock for the dems - after a tough primary the nominee will face a strong and extremely well-funded campaigner in Kirk.

  30. - Pat Collins - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 12:41 pm:

    political ad script

    *^^* That’s good, but let’s not forget Weller’s classic against Clem. “Hey dude”

    And frankly, Halvorson is a prime target for such ads. Not because of her per se, but you can make her “part of the Chicago Democrats that can’t get a budget done, but they CAN give them selves a raise” etc.

    I think Gov Blago. and Sen. Jones would be hung on her like the albatross.

  31. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 12:43 pm:

    Whether it’s Footlik or Seals (both of whom would be excellent candidates), the 10th will be very tough. Possible, but very tough.

    And BTW, to whomever implied Dan Seals was a lousy candidate like Lauren Beth Gash, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Seals ran an amazing campaign that shouldn’t have even been competitive. He might have even won if Rahm Emanuel had supported him and not written him off until the final few days.

  32. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 1:26 pm:

    Halvorson is not likely to run for this seat. However, what if Pavich decided that he would run again?

  33. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 1:27 pm:

    Both parties have albatrosses they can hang on the other side in 2008.

    The D’s can hang George Bush out there, and the R’s can hang the IL state government out there.

    I say it’s a wash, and then it gets down to candidate vs. candidate, being personable and how well they present themselves.

  34. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 1:45 pm:

    How closely is Bush associated with brand GOP?

    How closely is Blagojevich associated with brand Democrat?

    Holding the DC GOP against a Republican Congressional candidate makes sense. This is especially true when one considers how shamelessly partisan the GOP is.

    Holding the Springfield Democrats (Blago, Madigan and Jones) against a Dem Congressional candidate makes less sense. There is much less danger in Democrats slavishly lining-up behind bad policies because some leader tells them it’s a good idea.

    Mindless authoritarianism is much more a GOP thing than a Dem thing.

    The Dems vulnerability is not making the case the Springfield Dems are screw-ups. The Dem vulnerability is making the case the DC Dems are feckless in doing what they promise to reign in the excesses of the Bush administration.

    The very reason DC Dems are unpopular is the one reason that the GOP can never directly exploit. The best the GOP can hope for is voters supporting Green candidates or staying home.

  35. - Captain America - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 1:47 pm:

    I concur with Vsn Man, that I’d prefer to see Senator Halvorson stay in the Illnois Senate. She would be a much better Senate President than Emil Jones.

  36. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 1:56 pm:

    There are easily a half dozen senators who would be better than Jones, right?

    The issue isn’t whether Halvorson is in the Illinois Senate or not, it’s whether the Senate Dems have the courage to do the right thing and dump Jones.

  37. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 2:13 pm:

    Bush is an albatross around the GOP’s neck. Weller is not as popular in the 11th as people may think. Joliet, LaSalle-Peru, Ottawa, Wilmington, Princeton and parts of Kankakee County are fairly Democratic. If Debbie Halvorson ran, she could beat someone slated in Weller’s place or even Weller himself. She is both a good person and an able leader, and I think the DCCC could easily get behind her if Weller steps down or looks particulary vulnerable. Remember, though, that Weller is not nearly as bad off as some GOP members that lost last year, both in terms of the safety of the seat and his actions.

    Gary Dahl would not go to D.C. He could self-fund or help fund a Congressional race, but I don’t think D.C. allows motor homes to be parked for an entire week. And having talked to Senator Dahl several times and seeing him get worked up about the culture in Springfield, he would probably care less for D.C.

    I think people are forgetting that while Weller may be a not-too-nice individual and a shady character, Congressional members think they are all bulletproof and unbeatable. If you read Roy Blunt’s press release on the subpoena, he acts like he’s never had any dealings with any contractors or insiders. These guys are so full of baloney.

  38. - Fun(d)-Raiser - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 2:26 pm:

    Rich, I am semi-familiar with your policy on endorsements and am respectfully familiar with your policy on predictions. That’s actually a good, (if not great)policy, but I do like reading Russ Stewart’s before and after the elections to see how close he came.

    What is your policy on attending fund-raisers, even if you are comped as a friend and/or media member? I am just curious, cf. Lynn Sweet who always goes and gives a rundown on the hors d’oerves, etc.

    I do not believe I have read any of your accounts of such festivities.

    Just wonderin’ on a journalistic level.

  39. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 2:29 pm:

    I don’t write about parties. I write about what I learn at parties.

  40. - Fun(d)-Raiser - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 2:42 pm:

    Thanks for the clarity, as always.

  41. - 1930s Labor Racketeer - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 2:55 pm:

    Carl Nyberg made an excelent point that has been demonstrated for decades. Even as recently as the 80s, during contract negotiations for some Will County-based trade unions, the union representatives and the contractors’ representatives would drive together to and from the negotiations.

    That alone would be schizophrenic in some areas.

    What this means for the ‘08 congressional election is that anything can happen, and it usually does.

  42. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 2:58 pm:

    Will County permits are at the lowest level since 1997. Building trades are starting to hurt. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few of them backing away from Weller(not to mention a few tribune articles).

  43. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 3:21 pm:

    The trend in the district is against Weller. Whether that would still translate to a Dem if Weller were to step down…who knows?

    ‘02 Weller 64% vs. VanDuyne (no real campaign)
    ‘04 Weller 58.5% vs. Renner (underfunded, won McLean)
    ‘06 Weller 55% vs. Pavich (underfunded, inexperienced)

    If the Dems would have kicked in some help for Renner & Pavich, they would have been closer (maybe a winner). An example is ‘04: Weller’s home address was a garage! But with no money to capitalize on Weller’s many missteps, the opposition cannot get over the hump.

    IMHO, the DCCC needs to rethink. They will pump a ton of money into the 15th next year and lose it to the R nominee who will travel the district with the very popular LaHood. They will put nothing into the 11th, lose it, and continue to say Weller is not beatable. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

  44. - El Gallito - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 3:41 pm:

    Luis’ GOP oppponent’s website is no longer accessible. Any idea why? No tengo la menor idea.

  45. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 3:42 pm:

    FYI, the Democratic candidate has already met with and asked Wallace to drop out of the race; but Wallace did not agree to do so. (This is becoming some what of an annual tradition between Democrats and Greens at all levels.) I think that the Democrats are concerned about Wallace’s candidacy because he’s a decorated Iraq war veteran who happens to be in sync with even the conservative rural voters on key issues like opposition to a third-airport in Peotone and shipping the world’s nuclear waste into Morris to be reprocessed into weapons-grade plutonium. Neither Democrats or Republicans can claim to best represent the residents on these issues, and these tend to be the most important types of issues for anyone living in those areas of Will County. The question that the Democrats should be asking is not how they can get Wallace to drop out of the race but, rather, how they can implement majority elections, using a reform like Instant Runoff Voting. I mean, it’s been 7 years since 2000; and if the so-called spoiler problem was such a big deal, you would think that this Democratically controlled House, Senate, and Governor’s mansion would have lifted a finger to do something about this. Must not be a very big problem, because they’re certainly not at all addressing it. They’re the ones in office.

  46. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 5:03 pm:

    Wire reports have it that Weller is expected to retire no later than Friday. Stay tuned.

  47. - Some Guy - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 5:35 pm:

    Let’s see -

    Phil Crane lost in 2004.

    Henry Hyde stepped down in 2006.

    Peoria Boy (blanking on his name), and Hastert are already stepping down in 2008. Weller’s out.

    In a few years the state legislature will have to redraw the map. Barring a miracle, they’ll have to look for a seat or two to cut from the existing map. Given how heavily Dem the legislature is currently there are good odds it’ll still be majoriy Dem when redistricing comes. (Normally I’d say great odds but great googly moogly things are fouled up down there right now).

    Even if Roskam keeps on a-chooglin’ and the GOP holds all these seats, the state legislature can pick and choose which low-tenured GOP Congressman they want to throw under the bus.

  48. Pingback Señor Weller, le conocíamos apenas « Illinois Reason - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 9:44 pm:

    […] The Daily Southtown’s Kristen McQueary connected several electoral dots on Cong. Weller, leading her to believe he wasn’t going to run, and her colleague Rich Miller backed up those thoughts. Now Roll Call is sending it out nationally. […]

  49. - paddyrollingstone - Wednesday, Sep 19, 07 @ 10:04 pm:

    regarding redistricting, it appears that we will lose 1 seat next tome, leaving us with 18. why would the D’s not do a map that is like 14 D 4 R?

  50. - Kevin O'Connor - Saturday, Sep 22, 07 @ 4:47 pm:

    This rebuttal is in response to the uninformative statement made by “butt head” claiming “until the Green party wins a single election in Illinois I don’t think the Democrats need to offer [Jason Wallace] anything.

    The IL Green Party is fairly small in numbers still, mainly because it just became and established party under IL ballot access laws. However, it’s the largest growing political organization in the United States and in 2006 state membership doubled. The fact that Greens are a viable option now will only give them more opportunities in the media and branching out to new voters and disillusioned Dems/Pubs. Jason Wallace has already received fair madia coverage for the most part and will continue to gain support toward the general election.

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