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Oberweis compares Durbin to Nixon in new radio ad

Friday, Aug 8, 2014

* From a press release…

The Jim Oberweis for US Senate campaign released the following statewide radio ad to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the resignation of Richard Nixon:

VO: Did you know Article 2, Section 1 of the impeachment against Dick Nixon was for using the IRS against his political enemies?

VO: Did you know Dick Durbin asked the IRS to investigate a political opponent about the same time the IRS began illegally targeting American families?

VO: Did you know Dick Durbin refuses to reveal any other correspondence he may have had with the IRS during the midst of the scandal?

VO: Did you know Dick Durbin took thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the IRS union and refuses to return the money?

VO: Did you know Dick Durbin refuses to answer whether he supports a Special Prosecutor to get to the bottom of the IRS mess even though most Americans want one?

VO: Paid for by Oberweis for Senate

JO: I’m Jim Oberweis and I approve this message and if you elect me to the U.S. Senate, I’ll make sure we get those answers…. and that the IRS will never again be used as a weapon against American families.

JO: It was wrong when Dick Nixon did it, and it’s wrong when Dick Durbin does it.

JO: To help me stop this type of abuse, please visit my website,

To listen to the ad, click here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Jimmy - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    This is devastating, Durbin should resign immediately and Oberweis should be named lord of the Senate! My God, that ad reads like Oberweis drafted it at the country club bar. I can hear the cheers of his rich buddies in background as he reads them the draft radio spot…

  2. - John A Logan - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    While I appreciate Mr. Oberweiss taking on the political giant that is Dick Durbin, this entire campaign is a waste of time. Nobody is going to buy this comparison.

  3. - Amalia - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:24 am:

    some poor Republicans. they are so haunted by Nixon and Watergate that they warp all sorts of things out of proportion. this commercial, whatever their pique du jour is about Obama. complete waste of time, State Senator Oberweiss.

    Happy Anniversary!

  4. - Frenchie Mendoza - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:24 am:

    What Oberweiss doesn’t realize is that to the younger demographic (folks 40 and under) any references to Nixon make Oberweiss sound like old and out of the touch.

    I wonder about this, BTW — younger folks. Both Rauner and Oberweiss are doing nothing to speak directly to this demographic. Oberweiss here is making an out of touch reference to Nixon. Rauner is now linked to the Caymans and all the shady stuff that that entails. Legal or not — it’s still shady — and for me (one of the 40-and-under folks) I’m beginning to realize that these guys are really only speaking to their buddies — the 50+ country club set. It’s as if they don’t understand that there’s an influential block of voters that are being ignored by their weird, out of touch references and associations.

    I think the 25-40 folks are going to give both these guys a surprise come November.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    It’s good to motivate the Oberweis “Slytherin” base, but it’s probably “Meh”.

    The Oberweis Crew is trying to be all things Rauner on the social issues (ignoring his own ‘Support the SSM Plank…unless you’re a ‘good Republican’…), but willing to throw the highly partisan issues as not only “red meat”, but are used to frame Oberweis as the “Friend” of the conservative GOP.

    This will help in the Rauner cake more than the Oberweis “recipe of success.”

    It will gin up the hyper-partisans, but how many under 40 equate Nixon to anyone except in caricature, not in actual practice? The “lesson” and “teaching” on this one Ads ain’t gonna frame all this on its own.

  6. - Downstate - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:27 am:

    So then Durbin’s actions are okay here?
    Just asking.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:30 am:

    - Frenchie Mendoza -,

    Great minds, it’s going to be lost on the “Under 40s”.

    This is another area where Oberweis’ tin ear misses the message people tell him.

  8. - yo - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    instead of “dick Nixon” he should have called him “tricky dick Nixon” and instead of “Dick Durbin” he should have used “tricky dick durbin.” tricky dick Nixon, and tricky dick durbin. that is a dog that would hunt.

  9. - Under Further Review - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    Durbin is an arrogant man who smiles for the cameras, but scowls when he is unobserved. The Nixon analogy is correct, but it is not going to move too many votes.

    In another state, Durbin would be in trouble in terms of reelection, but this is Illinois. Despite his seniority, Durbin has really failed to produce for the people of Illinois. He ranks within the Beltway, but he has been fairly ineffective in terms of bringing home the bacon.

    Barring something dramatic, I expect Oberweis to lose by 6 percent or more.

  10. - Steve - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    This is an effective ad. I’m sure thin skinned Dick Durbin doesn’t like having to talk about his “relationship” with the IRS.

  11. - PolPal56 - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    What? They couldn’t figure out how to work Andrew Jackson into the ad?

    If you’re going to go for ancient history…

  12. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    Not that ads have to be true or anything, but does anyone have any idea what he’s talking about? What ‘opponent’ was targeted? What ‘families’ were targeted? What was the ‘ask’ (which seems a little bit different than the President ordering the IRS to do something)? Is there a separate IRS union? Why would taking money from them be wrong? It feels like there are about 5 dog whistle blasts in this ad and I’m not attuned to any of them.

  13. - Frenchie Mendoza - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    re: Nixon reference

    The more I think about this, the more stunned I am: the fact that “Nixon” is being invoked in any context these days makes me understand that the candidate doing the invoking is completely out of touch. Completely.

    For me, in fact, this sums up the entire GOP establishment: unaware that there are voters who weren’t around for Nixon and Vietnam. Rauner’s invoking the air traffic controllers in reference to a shutdown is the same thing: yeah, okay, some of us vaguely remember Reagan — but that was a long time ago. In a different time.

    For me, I hear references like this, and I think: out of touch white guy. The fact that Rauner had a private smoking room in the Sears tower makes me think this, too — but I’m surprised that Rauner/Oberweiss campaign handlers aren’t urging the, to refocus in the near present — not the distant past. Reagan? Nixon? Next, they’re going contextualize the NRI document dump as something akin to the Pentagon Papers.

  14. - A guy... - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    There’s a target of 7-8% of cross-over voters that have had a somewhat uncomfortable yet still loyal feeling for Durbin. This might scratch at a few of them. It’s not great for wide distribution, but he might not be able to hit that narrow target any other way. Nobody likes the IRS, so any association is bad with them, especially in a scandal type situation. There’s little downside to it, but it’s an expensive way to reach a pretty narrow audience.

  15. - Aldyth - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    You have to go back forty years to find a week comparison? And it’s a Republican to boot?

  16. - train111 - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    So what on earth is the “IRS Union”?

  17. - Pat C - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    I heard an Ad this AM. It was “Durbin pays women in his office less than men. How much less do you pay women Sen. Durbin”

    Sen. Durbin’s voice “women make 77 percent of what men make”.

    It’s by a third party PAC

  18. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    – Did you know Article 2, Section 1 of the impeachment against Dick Nixon was for using the IRS against his political enemies?–

    He tried, but to Nixon’s endless frustration, the IRS just ignored him. The inertia of the giant federal bureaucracy is a common theme of complaint from post WWII presidents.

    Three great new Nixon books out now: A collection of White House tape transcripts edited by Douglas Brinkley, an analysis of White House tapes from John Dean, and “The Greatest Comeback,” by Pat Buchanan, covering 1966 to the 1968 election when Buchanan was Nixon’s all-around body man and gopher.

    One of the most fascinating area’s is the evolution of the Southern Strategy. In 1966, Nixon campaigns all over the South for the weak Republican Party, condemning in no uncertain terms the racism of Southern leaders such as Lester Maddox and George Wallace.

    As time goes on though, it starts to dawn on him and Buchanan that those Wallace voters could someday be Nixon voters, leading to the “law and order” theme in the Nixon campaign. A lot of voters still went with Wallace in ‘68, but they were all Nixon’s in ‘72.

  19. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Trying to connect Durbin and the IRS is good; people don’t like the IRS like other agencies, and in light of some evidence of corruption, even more so. Ditch the Nixon comparison though. It is overplaying your hand.

    Now, is the connection between Durbin and the IRS true and will it resonate with voters are two questions I don’t have the answers to.

  20. - Jay Dee - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Anon 10:15 was me.

  21. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    Durbin and others contacted the IRS in 2010 to ask for an investigation of Crossroads GPS conservative group affiliated with Karl Rove. In 2011 there were letters sent to some of the contributors in regards to their donations that may trigger audits. Considering how much money Crossroads had to spend on the 2012 elections it does not appear to have hurt their ability to get donations.

  22. - Wally - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Older people vote. And there has been a lot of, “Nixon looks like Mother Teresa compared to Obama.” There is a lot of disdain for Durbin. Any comparison of DD to a guy who had to resign the presidency will resonate.

  23. - walker - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    Who on Earth is the intended audience? Anyone not already in the trenches with Oberweis?

  24. - VanillaMan - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    I barely remember Richard Nixon and have no opinion about him. I don’t believe what people say about him because they get all emotional and weird. Boomers go freak show and start spouting out embarrassingly stupid crap. It is Dan Rather-creepy stuff.

    So this ad just makes me sick.

  25. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    Does Oberweis really want to compare Durbin with a Republican like this?

  26. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    –I barely remember Richard Nixon and have no opinion about him. I don’t believe what people say about him because they get all emotional and weird.–

    You could read some books, acquire knowledge and make up your own mind. Give it a try sometime.

  27. - ZC - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    >> So then Durbin’s actions are okay here?
    Just asking.

    Yes, actually. Fundamentally Durbin is in the right here, and Oberweis and the GOP are in the wrong.

    Durbin wants the IRS to investigate conservative fundraising operations because they flagrantly broke the law in 2010/2012. 501c4 organizations were converted into anonymous super PACs / party organizations, with no disclosure. If the response is “everybody does it …” well then, yes, everybody does it NOW , because it’s now a scorched earth playing field. Who broke the laws first counts in political ethics. If it were a soccer game, Karl Rove in 2010 and 2012 picked up the ball, and started running down the field with it, to throw it into the opponent’s goal. Fundamentally the reason why GOP groups were disproportionately targeted by the IRS, was because GOP groups -were- disproportionately breaking the law.

    Yes it’s slightly more complicated than that, but it remains that basically this is a case where the Super PACs and the GOP establishment, once afraid of the IRS, found that they could effectively nullify campaign finance law with a mass intimidation campaign against the agency.

    And at some point, when both the IRS and the FEC are thoroughly cowed, thanks inordinately to GOP efforts (with Jim Oberweis now in a supporting role) we will have another Nixon-style, Watergate-level campaign finance scandal. Maybe it’s brewing under the surface right now.

  28. - Downstate - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    “Yes, actually. Fundamentally Durbin is in the right here, and Oberweis and the GOP are in the wrong”

    So why won’t Durbin release his communications with the IRS?

  29. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    I think this is great and would encourage Oberweis to spend all his money on this and then talk about how Durbin contributed to the Benghazi mess and add Fast and Furious for the trifecta!

    Oh, and VanillaMan, “I barely remember Richard Nixon and have no opinion about him.” All I have to say to you is WOW. You don’t need to remember him. Just listen to some of the tapes that have been released. How is it humanly possibly not to have an opinion on Richard Nixon?

  30. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    Some quick notes from John Dean’s analysis of the tapes available to date:

    – In the midst of the coverup, Nixon ordered Haldeman on two separate occasions to rip out the taping system and destroy all the tapes. This was before their existence had been revealed by Butterfield to the Ervin Committee. Haldeman ignored him. –

    – The motivation for the break-in and bugging was basically just a CREEP-directed fishing expedition to pick up gossip and plans for the Dems political convention. Basically stupid, high-risk, no-reward. –

    – Charles Colson has conversations with Nixon in which he worries that if the break-in gets tied to the White House, it could uncover other crimes he’s committed on behalf of Nixon, including some unspecified instances of blackmail in Massachusetts and California. –

  31. - VanillaMan - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    Its not like I’m ignorant - I don’t believe what I was told growing up.

    Then after Deep Throat was revealed, it looked more like a disgruntled FBI careerist angry over being passed up for promotion and using his knowledge to destroy the president who gave the Director’s job to an FBI outsider.

    George Will said it could be more - but I just don’t care about it anymore than I would about the Kennedy scandals or Harding’s girlfriend.

    Politics as usual. Look at the crap going on now - same stuff.

    That is the point of the Oberweis ad, right? I agree there is stuff going down regarding the IRS, who keeps stonewalling or destroying evidence, but bringing NIXON into it?

    Its just embarrassingly old.

  32. - Ghost - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    This seems like a little too inside baseball of an attack.

    When you need that much technical background to try and make your play I am not sure it will gin much of a reaction.

    Nixon is not that much of a despised person to the under 50 crowd these days…. now if you compared Durbin to Justin Beiber,….

  33. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    –Then after Deep Throat was revealed, it looked more like a disgruntled FBI careerist angry over being passed up for promotion and using his knowledge to destroy the president who gave the Director’s job to an FBI outsider.–

    Huh? The whistleblower did it? That doesn’t make any sense.

    You don’t have to rely on “George Will said it could be more” (that’s very funny, by the way). There are libraries filled on the subject.

    And I don’t think it’s business as usual for a president to actively engage in obstruction of justice: direct the CIA to lie to the FBI to quash a criminal investigation, solicit hush money from organized crime to pay off burglars, attempt to destroy evidence under subpoena, etc.

  34. - VanillaMan - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    And I don’t think it’s business as usual for a president to actively engage in obstruction of justice: direct the CIA to lie to the FBI to quash a criminal investigation, solicit hush money from organized crime to pay off burglars, attempt to destroy evidence under subpoena, etc.

    Dude - get a clue. That is what the Oberweis ad is about. It is happening now. It happens all the time. Holy crap - look at what we’re finding out how the Clinton suppressed bad press. Oberweis is trying to tie Durbin to Nixon. He isn’t doing that out of thin air.

    It just that Nixon isn’t the first, nor the last to do the stuff that brought him down. He has just been the most vilified so far.

  35. - Ghost - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    yes but do people actually still really think villina when they hear Nixon? I think Maleficent is a better known villian then Nixon in todays world

  36. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    –look at what we’re finding out how the Clinton suppressed bad press.–

    What does that mean? Is it obstruction of justice.

    VMan, you really don’t know what you’re talking about. The rotating Fox and Friends scandals of the week don’t compare.

    Really, you could read up on it and you’d understand.

  37. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    I haven’t seen much evidence that he can read at all. And he really doesn’t like old people.

  38. - Amalia - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    loved watching Pat Buchanan on Colbert saying he told Nixon to destroy the tapes! and he was the one who found the smoking gun tape. probably interesting conversation in the green room with Dean, who followed as a guest.

    That Colbert episode with the retro 70s look is a priceless watch.

  39. - votecounter - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    The SCOUS ruled that the groups you said were breaking the law were with in their rights and Durbin and President Obama were wrong! Durban used a column Carl Rove wrote as his reasoning for his telling the IRS to investigate his political enemies. That is against the Hatch Act! BTW the Carl Rove article wasn’t written until 2 weeks After Durbin went to the floor of the Senate to tell the IRS to investigate. You Illinois Democrats are used to seeing the levers of government being used against political enemies, the rest of the country knows it is illegal. The Democratic controlled House used this issue as the number 1 charge against Nixon in the articles of impeachment. If a president can be impeached for doing this why is it OK for a Senator? Durbin is acting like a ward boss, like most Chicago/Illinois Democrats do.

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