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Lane Evans open thread

Wednesday, Mar 29, 2006

We have tons of comments on yesterday’s retirement announcement by Congressman Lane Evans. Time for a fresh thread. Your thoughts and predictions, please.

Here is his official announcement:

This is a tough day for me. I am announcing that I will not run for reelection and will retire at the end of my current term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

When I announced in 1998 that I had Parkinson’s Disease, my doctor said that this condition would not interfere with my work and that I would be able to perform at a high level for a number of years. That window of opportunity is now closing.

I fully expected that I would continue my work for the foreseeable future following this current break from the office. But I have come to recognize that the time needed to address my health makes it difficult to wage a campaign and carry out my work as representative. I will return soon and to the best of my ability complete the important work of this term in my roles as representative and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

This decision is especially tough because this job means so much to me. I believe strongly in serving people and working to make a positive difference in their lives. Every day has been rewarding and I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish and the fights I’ve made.

I thank my family and everyone who has worked with me — great friends, terrific colleagues, a dedicated staff, fellow vets. And I appreciate the support of people I never met before who would ask how I was doing and tell me to keep up the good fight. I’ll be doing that in the weeks and months ahead and look forward to thanking every one of you personally for all you have meant to me.

To my constituents and veterans across this country, it is an honor and privilege to represent you.

Semper Fi,

Lane Evans

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 8:33 am:

    You couldn’t make this decision a few months ago when there could have been an open primary? I understand people like you and respect you. Your military service is commendable, but your this little move is a mark on your “legacy”.

  2. - Kessa - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 8:33 am:

    What a great man!!! We will miss him tremendously. I believe he was one of the few honest men left in congress. This is a sad day for all.

  3. - The Underground - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 8:35 am:

    Lane’s work ethic in the face of this Disease has been an inspiration to us all! We are proud of you Lane!

    Now predictions. With the weighted voted it will be difficult for someone outside the Rock Island area to be selected. With that said, We can not think of a better moderate Democrat than Former Quincy Mayor Chuck Scholz.

  4. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 8:48 am:

    Actually Wumpus, Evans has been known for his constituent service, his attention to veterans and for his political shrewdness — how else could someone with his extreme, left-wing philosophy survive in the middle of the middle west? That same political shrewdness was evident as he waited till after the primary to make this announcement. This way, he will have a strong voice in picking his successor. That is very important to politicians.

    This seat would seemingly go to the Quad Cities, but some serious deals will need to be cut. There’s talk of a ’southern counties’ coalition of democrats to appoint ‘one of their own.’

    It looks like Mike Jacobs will be best positioned, he’s got a ton of cash, a lot of energy and some understanding of the game.

    However Sen. John Sullivan would be a stronger Dem to put in there, purely because of geography. All these people say he ‘doesn’t live in the district,’ but that’s not important. He’s from the district and has deep roots in the district. His biggest problem would be getting the funding and his relative neophyte status in the world of democrat politics. However, he did knock off LK Donahue!

    The next several days are going to be interesting!

  5. - Lloyd Dobbler - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 8:52 am:

    I agree waiting 1 week after the primary to withdraw leaves a sour taste on his otherwise proud legacy. Let the power brokering begin!

  6. - Observer-2-all - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 8:57 am:

    The Dem’s seem to have some leeway when the Republicans have put themselves into a gunfight armed with a water pistol.

  7. - We'll Miss Lane - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 9:21 am:

    Anyone saying that Lane waiting to announce his retirement until after the Primary was part of a plot clearly did not know him at all. You should be ashamed. This was far from a political strategy. He is a hero and public servant whose health took a turn for the worse pretty quickly. He made the extremely tough decision within the last couple of days.

  8. - Voice of Reason - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 9:42 am:

    Just a few points of interest. None of the money that Jacobs has would be able to be used in a run. Look at the vote and you will see that while R.I. has the most votes of any county they are far from a majority. This district takes in at least 4 media markets and will take a ton of cash for either side to get a strong footing.

    So when thinking of a replacement think of someone who can meet some of these requirements 1) name iD in the most counties 2) access to ready Federal Hard Dollars or who can self finance 30 someone who can bring the county chairs together as well as keep Labor and the conservative dem.’s on their side.

  9. - babs - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 9:53 am:

    Remember that Lane was hospitalized in February. It is very likely that that stay made the withdrawal necessary. I would give hime the benefit of the doubt on that. He’s no Lipinski.

  10. - No Way - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 9:56 am:

    People aren’t serious about Mike Jacobs, are they? I mean, this is just some cruel joke, right? Mike Jacobs would be the biggest disgrace to Lane’s vacated seat. He knows nothing about policy, he can’t give a public speech without looking worse than Bush, and he would be nothing without his father (and I can’t wait to see if anyone actually disagrees with that). Mike Jacobs could barely win a democratic primary against a no-name democrat, but all of a sudden he is congressional material? No, this can’t be serious…

    Rock Island County has way too many egos and they will blow this easily. With 10 people interested in the job from R.I., they will split up that vote 10 ways as they all stab each other in the back. Advice to all the smaller and southern counties…come up with one candidate and join together and that will be your next member of congress. The chairmen don’t decide, precinct committeemen do.

  11. - Voice of Reason - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 10:13 am:

    Let’s just clear the air for everyone. At least this year there will be no votes cast for anyone except who the county chairmen decide will fill the slot on the ballot for lane. The committeemen do not cast a vote. The 2008 primary there will probably be a blood bath but not before.

  12. - No Way - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 10:26 am:

    Voice of Reason – can you please cite where the state board of elections says that the chairmen and not the committeemen determine a congressional vacancy? I do not doubt you, but is that just your opinion or did you actually research that?

  13. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 10:28 am:

    NO “voice of reason” the precinct committeemen selct this person. Call the state board.

  14. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 10:37 am:

    Lane was hospitalized after filing had ended so other than being a bit overconfident in his health, he didn’t do anything wrong–pulling out before the primary, but after filing wouldn’t have changed anything.

  15. - McDem - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 10:43 am:

    The County Chairs will decide.

    (10 ILCS 5/7‑8) (from Ch. 46, par. 7‑8)
    Congressional Committee
    (e) The congressional committee of each party in each congressional district shall be composed of the chairmen of the county central committees of the counties composing the congressional district, except that in congressional districts wholly within the territorial limits of one county, or partly within 2 or more counties, but not coterminous with the county lines of all of such counties, the precinct committeemen, township committeemen and ward committeemen, if any, of the party representing the precincts within the limits of the congressional district, shall compose the congressional committee. A State central committeeman in each district shall be a member and the chairman or, when a district has 2 State central committeemen, a co‑chairman of the congressional committee, but shall not have the right to vote except in case of a tie.
    In the organization and proceedings of congressional committees composed of precinct committeemen or township committeemen or ward committeemen, or any combination thereof, each precinct committeeman shall have one vote for each ballot voted in his precinct by the primary electors of his party at the primary at which he was elected, each township committeeman shall have one vote for each ballot voted in his township or part of a township as the case may be by the primary electors of his party at the primary election immediately preceding the meeting of the congressional committee, and each ward committeeman shall have one vote for each ballot voted in each precinct of his ward located in such congressional district by the primary electors of his party at the primary election immediately preceding the meeting of the congressional committee; and in the organization and proceedings of congressional committees composed of the chairmen of the county central committees of the counties within such district, each chairman of such county central committee shall have one vote for each ballot voted in his county by the primary electors of his party at the primary election immediately preceding the meeting of the congressional committee.

  16. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 10:45 am:

    Again call the state board! The county chairmen do NOT decide.

  17. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 10:49 am:

    McDem is right. Move along.

  18. - Voice of Reason - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 10:50 am:

    The State Board is wrong. Unless they would like to change state law somehow.

    (10 ILCS 5/7-61 paragraph 13)
    In the proceedings to nominate a candidate to fill a vacancy or to fill a vacancy in the nomination, each precinct, township, ward, county or congressional district, as the case may be, shall through its representative on such central or managing committee, be entitled to one vote for each ballot voted in such precinct, township, ward, county or congressional district, as the case may be, by the primary electors of its party at the primary election immediately preceding the meeting at which such vacancy is to be filled.

  19. - No Way - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 11:01 am:

    County Chairmen do not decide…and time will show you that.

  20. - respectful - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 12:02 pm:

    How about Mike Boland? He’s got the experience and name ID.

  21. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 12:15 pm:

    PLEASE! Anyone other than Boland.

  22. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 12:56 pm:

    Rahm Emanuel will have a big hand in this. I’m quite sure that the county chairmen in the 17th CD will listen intently to what he says. The county chairmen may decide but don’t think for a second they are going to be a bunch of mavericks and do as they please. His job as HDCC (or whatever that acronym is) is on the line and if he loses two Congressional seats in Illinois he is toast. Losing Lane Evans’ seat and not winning Henry Hyde’s seat (or McSweeney beating Bean) would tip the balance of the Illinois Congressional delegation back to the GOP. Plenty of young Dems would be willing to step in to Rahm’s shoes.

  23. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 1:59 pm:

    If IL is anticipated to lose another seat in the next census, it’s likely to come from downstate.

    Will Evan’s early move out keep the district and Rock Island from getting carved up into Republican districts?

  24. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 2:35 pm:

    By waiting until after the Primary, Evans made sure that the Candidate didn’t spend any money during the Primary. Also, the candidate doesn’t get beat up by his/her competition within the Party. Smart Political Move.

    Also, this allows Dem Primary losers (like Paul Mangieri) to be considered as well as insiders on his staff who have no political following.

    I hope Paul Mangieri gets the nod. He hasn’t done particularly well locally in the statewide races, but then again he hasn’t really worked in his backyard much. Centrally located, lots of name recognition and proven ability to raise money. Just my opinion.

  25. - Central Dem - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 2:52 pm:

    This district was drawn to be Democratic. Democrats don’t need a conservative to win and a conservative will making winning more difficult if they aren’t strong with labor. The best way to mess this up is putting in someone unexperienced who isn’t ready for prime time, such as Mike Jacobs.

  26. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 2:57 pm:

    The county chairmen will decide who to place on the ballot with each having a weighted vote based on the number of Democratic ballots cast in their counties in the last primary.

    This will not end up being a free for all. Lane will indicate who he thinks would be best to run in his place and I’m betting the majority of the Chairmen will agree with him. Boland is appearing as an opportunist already - but should we be surprised? I wish these people had enough respect for Lane to let the dust settle. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we’re losing one of the greatest Congressman in the county. Regardless of whether you agree with Lane on policy, it is a fact that he stood as a pillar of integrity and character for over two decades when most of Washington was feeding at the trough.

  27. - McDem - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 3:25 pm:

    Correction to my earlier post. The Board of Elections is apparently going with the Precinct Committeeman having the vote due to the district being more than 2 counties “not coterminous with the county lines”. This will get very interesting.

    Congressional Committee
    (e) The congressional committee of each party in each congressional district shall be composed of the chairmen of the county central committees of the counties composing the congressional district, except that in congressional districts wholly within the territorial limits of one county, or partly within 2 or more counties, but not coterminous with the county lines of all of such counties,

  28. - Drew Hibbard - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 3:26 pm:

    I’m raising my hand again for Chuck Scholz.

    Remember that there is more to the 17th district than just Rock Island county, just like there is more to Illinois than just Chicago.

  29. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 3:45 pm:

    team sleep is right. Rahm Emanuel is VERY involved in this one. He’s working on a dark horse candidate with extensive law enforcement experience to lure crossover votes.

    Three words: The Moon Man

  30. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 4:25 pm:

    OK I was wrong. I just consulted an attorney. Precinct committeemen make the appointment.

  31. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 4:32 pm:

    Wasn’t Lane a mid 20’s kid with no political experience when he started?

  32. - CarthageMatt - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 5:18 pm:

    I think Scholz is the most electable candidate. He will appeal to both democrats and independants and liberal repubs. Sullivan would also be a good pick. There is more to the district than Rock Island boys.

  33. - Jon R. - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 5:25 pm:

    Lane Evans will be missed! The only person that could adequately fill the shoes of Lane is Chuck Scholz. He’s got the experience, policy credentials, charisma, and has proven that he can win in Republican terretories.

  34. - ANON - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 5:37 pm:

    I couldn’t have said it better about Mike Jacobs than No Way did at 9:56. It would truly be a disgrace to Lane Evans and to the people of the 17th District if Jacobs is chosen as the Democratic candidate. There has be to someone out there better than a guy who was appointed and then elected because of who his father is.

  35. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 6:15 pm:

    Chuck Scholz has too much baggage to even be considered. It should be either Phil Hare or Jerry Lack from Lane’s staff. Coming from a part of the district outside of the quad cities, I would be satisfied with either. Both have been in the trenches with Lane since the beginning and would be able to carry on the great work that he has done. Jerry and Phil should be the only individuals considered for the spot.

  36. - rats - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 6:15 pm:

    Evans endorsed Jacobs last victory. Jacobs is the highest ranking elected Democrat in Rock Island County other than Lane himself. Get over yourselves.

  37. - ANON - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 7:07 pm:

    Just because Jacobs was recently elected (but just barely against an unknown with no money) doesn’t qualify him for the job from the 17th District.
    Jacobs is no Rosa Parks and he is no Lane Evans!

  38. - True Observer - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 7:10 pm:

    Assuming there are 600-800 precint committeemen in the district who get to vote on the replacement, this is going to be better than a circus. Can you imagine the candidates appearing to give their presentations, etc. in 21 different counties, assuming they do not call a convention.

  39. - Roger Z - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 8:06 pm:

    Chuck Scholz is a proven leader in Western Illinois. We need to capitalize on his experience. His accomplishments in the Quincy area lays the ground work to achieve the same results throughout the district. Chuck is the clear choice.

  40. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 8:26 pm:

    Another person to consider - and no laughing! - is Brad Demuzio. Vince and Deanna’s kid is the head of the Secretary of State police and is close friends with a lot of people in Central Illinois. He has some elected experience and having the name Demuzio helps tremendously.

    Jerry Lack is also a good candidate. Since he’s Lane’s projects and grants man, he knows all the mayors, county board chairs and businessmen in the district. He’s a super guy and very polite. However, as with any candidate, can you just throw him into the fire?

  41. - Disappointed - Wednesday, Mar 29, 06 @ 10:25 pm:

    Dear Rich,

    I was extremely disappointed this morning when you did not discuss Lane’s announcement in today’s Capitol Fax. First of all, it’s time to pay tribute to a true public servant and Congressman for the last 24 years. Second of all, this is one of the biggest political shake-ups of the year. How could you pass this up?!?! It better be there tomorrow.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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