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Congressional roundup

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2007

* State Sen. Chris Lauzen, a GOP congressional candidate hoping to replace retiring incumbent Denny Hastert, sent an open letter to Hastert yesterday. It starts out with praise

Congressman Hastert, I respect you and appreciate your more than 25 years of public service. As one of the recently most powerful men in America, I ask that, rather than taking a predominant role in the coming Republican Primary election by endorsing any individual, please let the people decide.

Any candidate running for the Republican nomination to succeed you would feel honored by your endorsement.

Lauzen repeats his request that Hastert not endorse anyone, and continues with this bizarre little passage…

At first, I was very concerned that your health was failing somehow, and I sympathized with you and your family. But, you have assured us repeatedly that there is no health problem and we are relieved on your behalf.

I’m not sure why that was put in there, but whatever. Next, some more criticism…

Many folks express their wonder to me about the apparent necessity to spend $1 Million of taxpayer funds that could better be spent on national security, healthcare, or education, on the March 8, 2008 Special Election. Now that you are stepping away from your official duties, I believe that citizens and voters would be distressed if you reassert yourself and use your considerable clout to influence the outcome of an impending primary.

Most people to whom I listen are pretty sick these days of the results that have been produced by big money and big clout in Washington, D.C. and Springfield.

To sum up: I respect you, would love to have your endorsement, but think you should pass on that opportunity. Oh, and by the way, slap, slap. Strange, that.

* React

Oberweis spokesman Bill Pascoe lashed out at Lauzen, criticizing him for hiring Kane County Republican Party Chairman Denny Wiggins to work on his campaign last month.

“I find it hypocritical in the extreme that career politician Chris Lauzen decries the influence of big money and big clout after having used big money himself to purchase the endorsement of the most powerful county party chairman in the district,” Pascoe said.

In response, Lauzen criticized Oberweis for not speaking for himself, and called Pascoe a “highly paid, out-of-state consultant” who doesn’t care about the 14th District. Lauzen said he did not mean to be critical of Hastert in his letter, but merely express the opinions of people he has spoken to in the district.

He didn’t mean to be critical of Hastert? Then he should’ve proofread the letter he wrote.

* More congressional stuff, compiled by Paul…

* Two Democrats opening to joining race to replace Versace, Circuit Judge Rick Grawey and former state Rep. Bill Edley.

* Democrats look to replace Versace

* Peoria Pundit: Morris seeks votes at his D.C. alma mater, doesn’t get them

* McLean Co. Pundit: Reviewing the IL congressional races

* Five file for shot at replacing Hastert

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ghost - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 10:04 am:

    Lauzen and oberweiss, its like watching a battle of wits between two unarmed opponents.

  2. - Jaded - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 10:15 am:

    I’m for Lauzen. Anything to get him out of Springfield.

  3. - one of the 35 - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 10:16 am:

    While Lauzen is a hard working, conscientious legislator, he definately has a flat spot on his wheel. The letter is just bizarre. But this is the same Lauzen who legally tried to change his name to “Chris Lauzen, CPA”. Very strange.

  4. - Anon312 - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 10:23 am:

    First, it’s not that big of a secret that Hastert and Lauzen never were the best of buddies. Lauzen is just trying to head off the impending Hastert endorsement of Oberweis.

  5. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 10:25 am:

    “- VanillaMan - Wednesday, Nov 7, 07 @ 11:35 am:

    I’ve been watching Lauzen stumble around for ten years. He just doesn’t know how to campaign very well, does he? He is too emotional and needs to listen. He might be someone with a lot of good ideas, but as a campaigner he is a turn-off.”

    Mr. Lauzen is a lousy campaigner. He has enough supporters to be re-elected, but his campaigning is so amateur and ham-handed, it is embarrassing to watch. This letter is so poorly written, so poorly thought through it could have been written by a high school freshman running for class president. It is transparent and shallow in it’s concern; it is mean spirited and emotional in it’s true nature.

    Oberweiss may be a bumbling candidate, but Lauzen is incapable of keeping his narrow minded mean spiritedness in check long enough to have any positive effect on people. If this is how Lauzen behaves after considering how important this political move is to him, just imagine how he behaves once he is in office.

    Proof that good ideas can sometimes be found in cracked pots.

  6. - Concerned conservative - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 10:44 am:

    It is amazing how many people are willing to sit back complain about those in Washington and Springfield, yet when someone stands up to the clout and money you criticize them. My congratulations to Senator Lauzen for having the courage to stand up to the clout of Hastert and the money of Oberweis. Don’t forget that Lauzen was standing up to George Ryan in the 90’s when it wasn’t popular to stand up against him. Now he is in jail and it is popular to to be anti George Ryan. It takes an uncommon LEADER to stand up against clout and money to take the position everyone is afraid to take.

    Hastert started talking about quitting the minute he led the Republican party into disaster a year ago. Not only was he not going to be Speaker any longer, but he wasn’t going to be able to be elected to the Minority Leader. So after raising millions of dollars to win his election he got beat and is taking his ball and going home. Hastert is a quitter and is now going to cost Illinois taxpayers a million dollars or more because he won’t honor his two year commitment and is going AWOL.

    Senator Lauzen please keep up the fight against the clout and money, you are an inspiration to what the Republican Party should be. We need more leaders like you.

  7. - GOP'er - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 10:48 am:

    Lauzen made a silly mistake bringing on the deadwood Wiggins. He should reverse that obvious mistake. Better late than never.

    But fortunately for Lauzen, Oberweis has uncorrectable problems. He’s just not electable. History proves that Lauzen by contrast, is a good candidate and many voters are very loyal to him.

    That Bill Pascoe can also give it a rest. This is the same guy who came here to “help” Jack Ryan, but only made that situation worse. He then was the biggest proponent of importing his old boss from out east, Alan Keyes. Keyes at least had the decency to leave Illinois and has scarcely been heard from since. We’re still stuck with his guy Pascoe.

  8. - kane county doc - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 10:50 am:

    Maybe this letter and it’s backlash give Burns a shot? Before you stop laughing…where was Huckabee 8 weeks ago and look at him now. Did he catch fire or did his opponents (Mitt and Fred) screw up? If people hear more trash between Obie and CPA-boy, you gotta wonder if Burns will be the voice of reason….?

  9. - OneMan - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 10:55 am:

    Kane County Doc…

    I dobut capt. 4% is going to get a Hastert endorsement.

  10. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 11:15 am:

    My sincere sympathies for the people of the 14th.

  11. - kane county doc - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 11:30 am:

    Maybe 4% then, but that poll was taken by both front leaders, I think Burns is improving. I don’t know him or work for him, but Jim and Chris may have an outsider rising in January to contend with. Burns’ 4% could decide who wins, unless he bails (not likely).

  12. - Chris - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 11:58 am:

    Don’t be so fast to discredit Kevin Burns. We hear a lot of that up here from the closed-minded Lauzen zealots and those overly enamoured with Oberweis’ money. It makes us laugh.
    First, those “polls” were commissioned by the Lauzen and Oberweis and have not been released publicly, only selectively.
    Second, Burns raised more money in the district than Oberweis and Lauzen. Obie’s money is his own, and Lauzen’s comes from special interests outside the district. And, he mortgaged his house to make the warchest look bigger.

    Lauzen’s crazy request is simply his attempt to head off something he knows he won’t get anyway.
    Hastert detests Lauzen for his obstructionist ways and his failure to do anything to help anyone in his district for 15 years, and then trying to play himself off as a hero.
    And Obie’s sniping back?
    That’s exactly why we need Burns in Congress. Burns is the only one committed to fixing the biggest problems in D.C. He’s the only one who doesn’t carry around delusional ideas about himself and his importance.

  13. - Leigh - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 12:39 pm:

    Lauzen has an established base of folks who really don’t like him in his district. There the same group he offended with his letter. He was never going to get their support anyway.

  14. - OneManBlog - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 1:19 pm:

    Fine, Kevin Burns is legitimate…

  15. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 1:41 pm:

    Interesting that I got two, count ‘em two, fund raising letters from the Oberweis campaign asking for donations and enclosing an envelope with a Washington D.C. address. Not even to Illinois, let alone to the District..

  16. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 2:51 pm:

    Bill Pascoe? Isn’t that the same guy who ran Alan Keyes campaign in 2004? Ugh.

    As nice as it was to have the Speaker from Illinois, Hastert was a disaster. Lauzen is right to offer a slap at Denny. Anyone who offers the slightest bit of reform and guile in either party should be welcome at this point. If Lauzen wins and is anything like Ray LaHood or Melissa Bean, we will all benefits.

  17. - GreenCutip - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 3:02 pm:

    Omar Lopez just announced yesterday that he’s running for Congress in the 4th congressional district with the Greens.

  18. - A WISE OLD MAN - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 3:25 pm:

    For those of you who think Kevin Burns is being dismissed, there are 2 reasons why he is rightly being dismissed: 1) polling (yes, the polls were commissioned by both State Senator Chris Lauzen and Jim Oberweis, but they were done by reputable polling firms), two polls and both said the same thing about Burns’ level of support. and 2) money — Burns only raised $61,000, and while his supporters like to boast that the bulk came from residents inside the 14th, it’s still only $61,000.

    At the beginning of this campaign back in late summer, team Oberweis was trying to ignore Chris Lauzen, too. Oberweis’ team, including the hired guns Bill Pascoe and Jeffrey D. Davis and others, were running the Oberweis campaign like a frontrunner, ignoring primary opponents, and focusing on the Democrats.

    Team Oberweis’ approach changed dramitically for the same reason Burns is being dismissed — polling, Lauzen has a lot of support within the district in general and within Kane County in particular and money, Lauzen brought in far more money (even removing the loan) in his 3rd quarter FEC filings then expected. Oberweis stopped playing the frontrunner, as Oberweis’ hired guns have become increasingly more aggressive spreading misinformation about Lauzen through various media channels (e-commerce is a good example).

    So unless Burns’ polling and/or fundraising changes to where he can blitz voters in the 14th between now and year-end, the Republican primary will remain a 2-man race between Lauzen and Oberweis.

  19. - Stuck with Sen. CPA - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 4:51 pm:

    Lauzen’s letter is just more of his standard solemn sanctimonious self-righteousness that those of us in his district enjoy on a regular basis.

    I too would be glad to see him out of Springfield, but sending him to Congress where he might have some real power is truly frightening.

    Oberweis is not much better - especially considering his crew of hired guns.

    Burns is a non-factor and will remain a non-factor. In person, he reminds me of a used car salesman.

    Is death an option?

  20. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 5:40 pm:

    Anyone who offers the slightest bit of reform and guile in either party should be welcome at this point.

    Alan Keyes and Rod Blagojevich offered a lot of reform and guile, too. Be careful of what you wish for. There are not a lot of William Proxmires out there.

  21. - Eric - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 10:13 pm:

    Two points for everyone to remember; Sen. Lauzen should not be commended for “having the courage to stand up to the clout of Hastert and the money of Oberweis.” If he’s so against “clout and money” then why does he waste his time posting every single endorsement that comes in and why is he paying the largest county in the district’s party chairman to “work” for him. It seems to me that clout means a lot to Lauzen or else he wouldn’t care who’s endorsing or not endorsing him. I don’t see Oberweis or Burns flaunting their endorsements even though we all know they both have plenty of them. Another point to remember, in the 3rd quarter FEC filing, Lauzen contributed as much of his own personal money as Oberweis. Think about that the next time he tries to snow you on being the poor candidate in the race. A poor candidate would not be able to contribute as much as he did.

  22. - Jon Zahm - Tuesday, Dec 11, 07 @ 11:29 pm:

    Lauzen has always spoken truth to power and kept consistent, conservative positions. He has 15 years of good relationships in the district and has the most committed grassroots supporters in this race. I have worked professionally, and as a volunteer, for over 150 candidates over 20 years and there is none that I respect more than Chris Lauzen. He is not perfect, but no person is. The last perfect man on earth was crucified 2007 years ago.

  23. - Sad fact - Wednesday, Dec 12, 07 @ 1:13 am:

    A lot of people I know like Lauzen and they’ll probably still vote for him. But the energy is way down with the hiring of Denny Wiggins, who is still a member of the IL GOP’s Central Committee, and there are only 19 of those for the entire state. There are 102 County Chairmen, a much less important post. It’s hard for normal people to get excited about volunteering when one of the biggest hacks out there is being paid 5 grand a month, for reasons that have never been explained.

    This should have been an easy win for Lauzen. But his campaign seems adrift and his team over their heads. I put it as a toss-up between Obie and Chris right now.

  24. - A WISE OLD MAN - Wednesday, Dec 12, 07 @ 4:33 am:

    Oh Eric, you are sooo naive concerning Oberweis and Burns flaunting endorsements. The way Oberweis bragged about his recent endorsement from a congressional leader, you’d think the Bill Pascoe spin machine learned its bragging tricks from the Gossip Girl books. Burns has flaunted his very few endorsements, too, but no one noticed, since he’s low single-digits in the polls and underfunded.

    One more thing about Burns. If you watch his one TV commercial, you’d laugh. Someone said it right early on, Burns comes across as a used car salesman.

  25. Pingback Lauzen to Hastert: FU, wink. Hastert to Lauzen: Ditto. « Illinois Reason - Thursday, Dec 13, 07 @ 12:27 am:

    […] December 13, 2007 in Congressional Campaigns by robnesvacil State Sen. Chris “Not Allowed to Say CPA” Lauzen wrote a weak-kneed passive aggressive missive to retiring former Speaker Denny Hastert a few days back, simultaneously putting him down and asking that he keep his two cents out of the race to replace him. […]

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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