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Ozinga continues to impress *** UPDATED x1 ***

Wednesday, Jul 9, 2008

* As I told you yesterday, Martin Ozinga put up some pretty impressive 2nd Quarter fundraising numbers

Republican Martin Ozinga III said Tuesday he has raised about $800,000 since jumping into the 11th Congressional District race in April.

That early fundraising is helping him close the money gap with more established Democratic foe state Sen. Debbie Halvorson (D- Crete), who has been running since October. She has raised $1.27 million, including $400,000 from April through June, campaign spokesman Brian Doory said.

Halvorson still is expected to have more money on hand when both campaigns file required paperwork with the Federal Election Commission by Tuesday. Her campaign estimated it had $900,000 left as of June 30, while Ozinga’s campaign put its total at around $650,000.

* The Politico takes a look at the race

Ozinga has proved to be a more nimble candidate than expected. He joined the race as something of an accidental candidate after the initial GOP nominee, Tim Baldermann, abruptly dropped out of the race in February. Ozinga emerged as the consensus choice to replace Baldermann on the ballot only after several other local elected officials declined to run, a delay that appeared to give Democrats the upper hand as the GOP scrambled to find a replacement.

Once he officially became the nominee, Ozinga relentlessly attacked Halvorson over her ties to Blagojevich and immediately proved his fundraising chops. Though he has the ability to self-fund, he raised $800,000 from individual donors over the past three months and is poised to outraise Halvorson in the most recent fundraising quarter — no small feat because Halvorson, who reported more than $678,000 cash on hand at the end of March, has been one of the top Democratic fundraisers.

By all measures, the race should be competitive. The exurban Chicago district, with its sizable blue-collar constituency, agricultural base and culturally conservative leanings, has been favorable to Republican candidates — it voted for Judy Baar Topinka, the hapless GOP gubernatorial nominee, in 2006 and gave President Bush 53 percent of the vote in 2004.

Halvorson’s biggest challenge is to persuade voters that she matches the culturally conservative sentiment in the district. Her endorsement by EMILY’s List, which supports abortion rights, could hamper her efforts on that front.

But she also has received perfect ratings from the local branch of the National Rifle Association, an important asset in the exurban and small-town 11th District.

* And the charges and counter-charges were flying yesterday

The push to develop a Veterans’ Administration hospital in Joliet may be years away, but the movement received a huge boost Wednesday when a leading lawmaker joined the campaign.

U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, entered the effort during a press conference in Joliet’s American Legion Harwood Post 5 [with Halvorson] where he vowed to push Congress to see the facility created at what will be the former Silver Cross Hospital in either late 2011 or early 2012. […]

“This is the same Debbie Halvorson who took to the Senate floor months ago to claim that veteran home funding wasn’t a top priority. … Debbie Halvorson should apologize to veterans for pretending to be their advocate after years of shortchanging them,” Ozinga’s campaign said.

Halvorson said she was offended that this push for veterans’ care is called a political stunt. “This is about veterans, about my stepson. This is not about the campaign.”

Thoughts?

*** UPDATE *** From a press release…

11th Congressional District candidate Marty Ozinga released the first television spot of the campaign on Wednesday.

The ad will begin running this week on cable stations throughout Will, Kankakee, Grundy and LaSalle counties, which together comprise about 85% of the 11th District vote.

Click here to view the spot on our YouTube page

The transcript is below:

My name is Marty Ozinga, and I’m running for Congress.

I grew up observing my dad, his enthusiasm for work and for serving in the community…

Having a job and working was a real privilege…

I enjoyed it, and it was always very exciting to me…

I like to work, I still do.

I’m no politician, but I know if we work together, we can solve our nation’s problems.

There’s a lot of change needed in Congress…

I believe that I’m a person that can go there to make those changes.

I’m Marty Ozinga, and I approved this message.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


29 Comments
  1. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 8:04 am:

    everyone, including myself, underestimated orzinga. he is getting in some serious body blows to her and she has not effectively counterpunched.

    Right now I would say she need to get a strong message going and land a few blows of her own or she is going to lose.


  2. - Fan of the Game - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 8:09 am:

    Has that ethics bill Sen. Halvorson sponsored ever made it out of the committee she chairs? If not, I can imagine Ozinga using that info at some point in this campaign.


  3. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 8:11 am:

    WHich committe does she chair? Jones yanked her from Rules to put Hendon, a more controlable puppet in place. Or perhaps Jones just did it out of sheer curiosity to see what hendon would say next.


  4. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 8:22 am:

    Ozinga has been better than I expected. This will be a close race. Debbie is not getting her message out (whatever that is).


  5. - K to the 3 - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 8:28 am:

    I really thought the DCCC goons were more competent than this. I guess I underestimated their ability to lack knowledge about the 11th CD. If it weren’t for the Obama factor, Halvorson would be in trouble.


  6. - Fan of the Game - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 8:33 am:

    ===- Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 8:11 am:

    WHich committe does she chair? Jones yanked her from Rules to put Hendon, a more controlable puppet in place. Or perhaps Jones just did it out of sheer curiosity to see what hendon would say next.===

    That’s what I didn’t know. Looking it up, I see her removal happened in May. I can’t believe that’s good campaign material for her. Thanks for the update, Ghost.


  7. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 8:38 am:

    FG, yep it sure looks bad on the outside. Seems like a really bad move for the Dems by Jones. Although there is no love loss between jone and Halvorsen, this move may cost him a dem seat in the Senate. Between Jones and Blago working to remove Dems from the GA, the Repubs are being handed their best chance to rebuild.


  8. - Hearing Voices - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 8:42 am:

    At an Independence Day parade in the middle of the 11th district Halvorson received a very cool reception while Ozinga got a good round of applause.


  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 8:49 am:

    Sounds like a ballgame.


  10. - grand old partisan - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 8:53 am:

    From the Politico:

    “She hasn’t talked to [Governor Blagojevich] in at least a year. She’s been invited to meetings and just hasn’t gone,” said Halvorson spokesman Brian Doory. “They don’t really have anything to discuss.”

    == Really? The Senate Majority Leader doesn’t have anything to discuss with the Governor? Maybe that explains why absolutely nothing constructive has been accomplished in Springfield lately!!


  11. - fed up - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 8:57 am:

    Jones and Halvorson get along fine. She carried the water for him preventing ethics legislation from coming up for a vote, she left the chairman spot to protect herself. This way she can claim she didnt support the pay raise and is independent (what a joke) Halvorson is a Jones Blago puppet She is whats wrong with springfield not whats needed in DC. Even jessie jr seees her as a corrupt blago puppet.


  12. - South Side Mike - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 9:02 am:

    =======Between Jones and Blago working to remove Dems from the GA, the Repubs are being handed their best chance to rebuild. =========

    Ghost, if Blago really wants to get GA Dems removed, why doesn’t he endorse them and crash their campaign rallies?

    (The scene:

    Blago: “I want to thank my good pal and close supporter, Rep. X, for inviting me here today. He is responsible for most of my grand ideas!”

    Rep. X: “No! That’s a lie! Don’t listen to him, people! We hate each other, really!”

    Blago: “In fact, I’m also announcing the Blago/Rep X Totally Unnecessary, Duplicative Feel Good Initiative with the money I’ve withheld from this district for the last two years! Again, this was Rep. X’s idea as we had our weekly Thursday lunch with each other.”

    Rep. X: “I can prove it’s all a lie! I’m in Springfield every Thursday! Don’t listen to that madman!”)

    With scenes like this repeated throughout Illinois, the state GOP would manage to recover despite its best efforts to self-destruct.


  13. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 9:05 am:

    Well, he has gone to the Oberwies school of campaigning/advertisinig on WLS. I have never heard of his company before this season (not that I would have a reason to have heard of them). All of a sudden, he is advertising some environmentally friendly concrete on WLS.


  14. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 9:05 am:

    This would be a good opportunity for a few Illinois citizens to clearly demonstrate dissatisfaction with
    the current Democratic administration. With: continuing massive pay to play, delayed ethics legislation, massive state government patronage, badly run state agencies, “campaign contributor” clout and squiffy contracts, not to mention grossly overpaid legislators for life and the huge perils inherent in a one-party state.

    If Ozinga could pull it off, he would be doing Illinois a huge favor. And if he can’t pull it off
    in this district, then the Republicans in Illinois are well and truly vanquished.


  15. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 10:01 am:

    I like Debbie, but she got too close to Jones.

    The responsible thing for any Ill. Dem. Senator to do would to be part of a revolt against Jones, and she’s refused. That’s bad for her, and bad for Illinois.

    If she loses, the rest of the Ill. Senate Dems need to wake up and ask what sort of job Jones is doing.


  16. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 10:03 am:

    I recall Halvorson and Jones having a bit of a roe over Hlavorson supporting the recall amendment. This was going against Jones and the Blago protectors. it was shortly after she started showing support for recall that she was pulled form Rules. The on the pay-to-play legislation that Halvorson negotiated, Jones was threatning to ammend with a poison pill to stop it. halvorosn did not ask to be tossed form the pwoerful rules committee, she was replaced for not backing Jones on recall and there is a bit of a rift between the two.


  17. - johnnyc - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 10:09 am:

    Ozinga, personally, gave $25K to Blago and $10K to the HDO. Everytime he tries to tie Debbie to Blago that should be brought up. Everytime he says that she stalled the ethics bill she should say she voted for the ethics bill that was meant to stop state contractors, like Ozinga, from getting contracts for their $25 K donations.

    She has plenty of cover, IF, she can start getting her message out.


  18. - right on - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 10:29 am:

    Ozinga’s got a lot of nerve given all the cash he’s given to Blago, plus the fact that he’s in cahoots up to his eyeballs with Daley’s Chicago Machine.

    What a hypocrite!


  19. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 10:30 am:

    If you read my posting regarding this race ever since Baldermann started making “Chinaman” remarks against Lee during the primary, you would know that I am not surprised by Ozinga’s success so far.

    Both Ozinga and Halvorson are nice people. Voters in the 11th should be happy to get this choice because either one would do a great job. Ozinga is a classic Republican businessman and Halvorson is a classic Democratic politician, and I don’t mean that negatively.

    The 11th is a purple district with a long history of being red. The purpling has come about by the new influx of Chicagoans escaping Cook County. These are families that wanted better housing stock and schools. So while historically Democratic and proudly so, their family and economic needs have a higher priority, making them more conservative than average Democrats.

    Halvorson needs to make this race a national race. The GOP is in the dumps and Obama looks capable of having coattails in Illinois. Her DCCC staffers are not from the 11th however, so when Ozinga and Jesse Jackson Jr raised hot local issues poorly handled by Halvorson, her staffers were unable to address them. Naturally Halvorson’s staff is focusing on this race on a national pattern - not local or state.

    This is where Ozinga can beat her. Halvorson does not have votes to waste. She needs to carry Joliet big to offset the rest of the 11th. If Ozinga saturates Joliet with his campaign, he can cut Halvorson’s Joliet plurality and beat her easily in the rest of the district.

    Halvorson isn’t just weak on state and local issues, she is weak ideologically in the 11th as well. She is an admirable liberal lady, but the 11th is not San Francisco. Ozinga fits the 11th’s polical center better than Halvorson. So Ozinga has a few options, and he should use them all - tie Halvorson to Illinois’ failed state government, where she is one of the leaders - and tie her to Nancy Pelosi who Halvorson fits ideologically. Halvorson even looks physically similar to Pelosi. I can see ads with both ladies photographed in wide-eyed wonderment above a listing of their similar liberal stands a-la-identical-cousins style. That won’t play in the 11th either.

    A wild card will be Obama. If he has magical coattails, (which we haven’t seen in ages), Halvorson could top Ozinga. Ozinga can also make mistakes that can topple him.

    It will be an interesting race!


  20. - Go SOX - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 12:07 pm:

    Rich do we have totals from the State Board of Elections as to who raised the most in the race for Governor?


  21. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 1:16 pm:

    That is impressive - especially for such a late start and the NRCC’s apparent refusal to get involved with many races this year.

    Skeeter’s point about Emil Jones is a good one. Seriously, what path has he led the Senate Dems down? The sad thing is all of the five freshmen are tied to him and they will all need his $$$ when it comes time for re-election. And in 2010, if the state is further swirling down the toilet, the GOP should be able to challenge a lot of Jones’ members.


  22. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 3:27 pm:

    You guys seemed to have forgotten Emil Jones will be the country’s kingmaker if Obama is elected president. He made Obama.


  23. - fed up - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 3:40 pm:

    Emil Jones did make Obama but if Obama has enough sense to drop the preacher he knew for 20 years,introuduced him to christ, who married him and mentored him and gave him the title for his book for political cover Emil (my family needs some work) Jones will not be getting his phone calls answered.


  24. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 3:41 pm:

    VMan,
    Nobody else mentioned Sen. Obama.
    Your last comment was pretty close to race-bating.
    Emil Jones did not “make” Obama.
    Obama made Obama.
    Obama’s mother and grandmother “made” Obama.
    Harvard Law “made” Obama.
    Frankly, Hull did more for Obama more than Emil Jones ever did.
    To suggest somehow that Emil Jones will have some grand authority in the Obama administration is simply ridiculous, and you know it.


  25. - fed up - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 3:41 pm:

    sorry about duplicate post, I thought it didnt go through.


  26. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 4:55 pm:

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

    Barack Obama would not be senator without Emil Jones. Emil knew that Obama would be an excellent 2004 Senate candidate and went out of his way to help him acheive that by giving him the bills to sponsor to create a senate record. Consequentially, as senator, Obama has earmarked millions to Jones’ senate district as any good friend would do with those powers. It is not illegal and no one is claiming it is.

    Anyone who could sense any kind of race-bating out of my last posting doesn’t know what race-baiting is. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the importance Emil Jones has been to him. If Barack Obama is elected, Emil Jones can be considered the guy who first gave Jones his big political break to make it happen.

    Deal with it.


  27. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 5:04 pm:

    To suggest somehow that Emil Jones will have some grand authority in the Obama administration is simply ridiculous, and you know it.

    You seem to have no clue what the term “Kingmaker” means.

    Before you call people race-baiters, get your facts straight.


  28. - Deep Water - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 5:39 pm:

    I suggest Debbie get a hold of some ‘minority” disadvantage subcontractors Marty took advantage of while doing business in Chicago! This will come out later, now is not the time.


  29. - right on - Wednesday, Jul 9, 08 @ 11:07 pm:

    It always irks me when any person running for office, especially a big one, says “I’m no politician.”

    But given the money he and/or his company have given to politicians like Blago and Daley, coupled with the huge concrete contracts his company has received from government, this guy should give us all a break.

    If he wants to claim he’s not a politician, fine. But he should at least acknowledge he’s done a lot of business with them.


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