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Greenburg’s slur and Oberweis’ bumbles

Thursday, Feb 28, 2008

* Oy

Republican challenger Steve Greenberg circulated a news release Wednesday referring to the Barrington Democrat as Melissa Luburich Bean, adding her Serbian maiden name.

The news release blasted Bean for not supporting Kosovo’s move to separate from Serbia and her backing by pro-Serbian organizations.

Greenberg defended the news release Wednesday, saying her maiden name was fair game and her support for Serbia is disturbing, especially in light of last week’s attack on the U.S. embassy in the Eastern European country.

“I think ultimately when you run for office you are being vetted many ways — your middle name and last name and you get called many names,” said the Long Grove businessman. “If we are thin-skinned about it … we are probably in the wrong business.”

Bean has a long record of supporting Serbian groups and Serbia’s efforts to prevent a Kosovo succession. The position is in conflict with the official stance of the Bush administration and that of several key Western European allies.

* The press release itself refers to Bean’s support by the “anti-American Serbian Unity Conference.” I couldn’t find a group called the “Serbian Unity Conference,” but I did find one named the “Serbian Unity Congress.” They apparently have some Hollywood support, but I’m not exactly sure why Greenberg thinks the group is “anti-American,” other than the fact that the American president supports Kosovo independence and the group doesn’t, and there were some recent riots in Serbia attacking the American embassy that were eventually put down.

* By the way, I’m speaking as someone who isn’t exactly a big fan of Serbia. I was in Kosovo in 1999 - shortly after the war ended - and saw what the Serbs had done to that country. I was also arrested and put on trial in Serbia (long story). But this schoolyard maiden name taunt and the loose definition of “anti-American” is over the line. Greenburg really needs to grow up.

* Meanwhile, Bill Foster’s campaign whacked Jim Oberweis but good in a press release yesterday…

A television commercial by 14th congressional district candidate Jim Oberweis has been pulled from rotation by WGN and NBC-affiliate WMAQ, in response to violations of Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The ad in question contains multiple failures to comply with disclaimer requirements, representing an attempt on the part of Oberweis to evade responsibility for the allegations levied against Mr. Foster contained in the ad.


Foster is also claiming that Oberweis may have violated the federal “Millionaires’ Amendment” law by not informing Foster that he was about to dump a bunch of his own money into the campaign.

And the Tribune had a story on the upcoming special election that’s probably worth a read.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:13 am:

    What if Bean put out a release talking about Greenberg being Jewish when Israel bombs Lebanon or shoots someone in Gaza?

    Probably wouldn’t fly, she’d be tagged as being ‘anti-semetic.’

  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:16 am:

    I didn’t realize the Northwest Suburbs was a hotbed of Balkan intrigue.

  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:18 am:

    Hilarious - the Serbian National Congress’ charity fund is called the Blago Fund! I am not making this up!

  4. - Rob_N - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:25 am:

    Bean by a dozen this November. Greenburg’s cash is going to turn into a liability if this is the sort of thing he’ll be spending it on.

  5. - Ignatius J. Reilly - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:39 am:

    A person’s legal name is their legal name and if it can be used as potential liability–then that is indeed disturbing–if you are sympathetic to the individual–and not at all a problem if you dislike the individual. The proof is that it is not a problem for all those Irish maiden names on the ballot for judges. It has been used, particularly in Illinois, for perceived advantage for decades, it is fair game and it must stand as well if it also a disadvantage. Otherwise, what’s a poor Grabowski running against a Reilly to do? Innuendo and ethnicity are the central strategies of the political game and political selection processes–except of course if you just don’t like someone.

    Hypocrisy is very selective isn’t it?

  6. - Crimefighter - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:40 am:

    I think it’s fine that the middle name was used in this case. Is Bean not proud of her Serbian hertiage? Bean really needs to explain why she opposed Kosovo spliting off from Serbia. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that no one wants to associate with that country after what happened in the 90s.

  7. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:49 am:

    Wasn’t it the U.S. position that Kosovo was part of Serbia until two weeks ago?

  8. - Reddbyrd - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:50 am:

    Looks like ChopperJim is in trouble…Let’s see GOPs have all but lost Weller, Hastert up for grabs, could Capt.Kirk by next?
    Is this the consolidation Chairman Andy had in mind? Keep up the good work.

  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 10:06 am:

    Greenberg has $62,000 on hand.

    The personal fortune is a fallacy.

  10. Pingback Steve Greenberg runs for Congress … in Kosovo « Illinois Reason - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 10:22 am:

    […] February 28, 2008 in Congressional Campaigns, Democrats, Republicans by robnesvacil Steve “Hector Jebediah Tiberius” Greenberg apparently likes extra names. Taking a tack from Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. Greenberg has taken to using Rep. Melissa Bean’s maiden name to declare that she is “un-American”. […]

  11. - Ghost - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 10:28 am:

    Oberweiss is his own worst enemy. I think he persuades more people to vote against him then his oppoent.

    This whole name thing is just dumb. From Obama to Bean, if you need to make up facts about a canidate based upon their name your really just saying you have no substantive challenge.

  12. - PhilCollins - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 10:39 am:

    I hope that many 8th Dist. voters who voted for Greenberg regret their votes. They should have voted for Ken Arnold, the most conservative candidate in that race. Greenberg will win, since Bean’s popularity has been decreasing. In 2004, she received 52%, and, in ‘06, she got 51%. In ‘08, she’ll get 50% or less.

    Yes, Reddbyrd, Rep. Kirk might lose. He got 64%, in 2004, and 53%, in ‘06. He’ll get more votes, if the Lake Co. GOP recruits conservative candidates who will run against State Senators Terry Link and Susan Garrett. If conservatives run in those races, republican turnout will increase, since many people will want to vote for candidates for congress and state senate.

  13. - Some Guy - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 11:00 am:

    Greenberg will win, since Bean’s popularity has been decreasing. In 2004, she received 52%, and, in ‘06, she got 51%.

    A 1% drop? As decreases go, that ain’t much. Actually, move the decimal back a space and it’s even better. She got 51.7% in 2004 and 51.2% in 2006.

    ‘course this all ignores a key difference in the races - it was a two-person affair in 2004, and the Greens entered a candidate in 2006. Bean won by 3.4% in 2004 (51.7% to 48.3%), and by 7.5% in 2006 (51.2 to 43.7%). I don’t see the voting trends as evidence she’s on the way out.

  14. - Anon & Curious - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 11:21 am:

    Since this is about local campaigns: Google this winner in a special election on Tuesday. (Info from NY Times article on a slightly different topic.) Perhaps the Oberweis people might have a reason to be concerned.
    On Tuesday (NY State) Assemblyman Darrel J. Aubertine, a Democrat, won a special state Senate election in an overwhelmingly Republican district in the northern part of the state…. where Republicans have a 78,454 to 46,824 enrollment advantage.

  15. - jerry 101 - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 11:30 am:

    Actually, on the main page for the serbian unity congress, the link for the charitable fund says “Preserve Heritage BLAGO Fund” (exactly that way).

    At first glance, it looked like Blagojevich’s legal defense fund or something. :-)

    That said, why does Steve Greenberg hate Serbians? Did he hate Toni Kukoc? Why does Greenberg hate the Chicago Bulls? Why does he hate Michael Jordan?

    Yes, silly. But so is Greenberg’s attack on Bean.

  16. - jerry 101 - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 11:30 am:

    oops…kukoc is croatian. my bad.

  17. - North of I-80 - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 11:41 am:

    Why is the name George Washington Carver ok?
    Why is Hilary Rodham Clinton ok [no hyphens either] acceptable?
    James Earl Jones is fine with his name…
    We could go on & on w/various examples where it is acceptable to use full names… but when it comes to Barack Obama or Melissa Bean it is a slam? What are the rules here? When can and can’t we use a middle or maiden or given 3rd name? Do these rules apply to families from other countries?

  18. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 11:42 am:

    North, that’s so disingenuous. You know perfectly well that it was INTENDED as a slam.

    We weren’t born yesterday.

  19. - Ignatius J. Reilly - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 11:44 am:

    North-of I80:

    The “rules” are flexible…in some cases.

  20. - Sweet Jane - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 11:52 am:

    North, come off it. If the candidate or person in question uses their middle name themselves, that’s one thing - but for an opponent to bring it into the discussion just looks petty and ridiculous. I wouldn’t vote for anyone who tries to insult my intelligence and manipulate me as a voter in that way.

  21. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 11:58 am:

    It really is amazing to me how some people embrace these schoolyard games. And it makes me wonder if these are the same types who were picking on kids back in school for their names, the way they dressed, or whatever.

    Didn’t your parents teach you anything?

    Or is it just that you think a certain segment of the less-informed population is susceptible to manipulation by these taunts, so it’s a politically useful tool?

    Seriously, which is it?

  22. - Whoops - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:09 pm:

    OK, so the usage of the middle name was a really, really bad idea, and with all the backlash I bet the Greenberg people realize that.

    But the premise of their point does have some validity to it. Bean is siding with Russian & China rather than the official view of the US and is sponsoring a bill reflecting those views. In accepting their financial support and siding with their views it does raise a few questions if you can get beyond the usage of her maiden name.

  23. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:14 pm:

    I agree that her support for Serbia’s position is fair game, although a congressperson opposing the White House’s position on something isn’t exactly new.

  24. - Ignatius J. Reilly - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:19 pm:

    Schoolyard games are steeped in the art of marginalization– an art that is well practiced in local political circles through “opinion shapers” and the like. Who decides where the line is? There is no line. What this is really about is the difference between bluntness and sophistication–that’s what the shock is all about, who’s cool and who’s not, sort of like a good Irish ballot name. Regarding school yard tactics, the archives here are peppered with marginalizing references…they are the rules you made.

  25. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:22 pm:

    Reilly, you won’t find me using heritage to marginalize anyone. There’s a line, it was crossed. If you can’t see it, then you’re part of the problem.

  26. - Ignatius J. Reilly - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:25 pm:

    I’m not exactly holding my breath, but it has been pretty funny watching the white liberal media’s shock at their candidate Tony Peraica’s thuggish election night antics. Maybe they’ll also have to admit one day that they were wrong about Todd Stroger.

  27. - Lefty Lefty - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:29 pm:

    I was out with 2 fellow 14th residents Tuesday night and they had absolutely no idea there was even an election next Saturday. So the idea that an election held on a Saturday would increase turnout only works if the electorate actually knows about it. Foster’s mailings were coming 2 a day to me before the primary, and now there are none. Maybe there will be a big push next week?

    With that said, I probably shouldn’t have told them about 3/8 since they are both Republicans. My bad, Mr. Foster.

  28. - Ignatius J. Reilly - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:32 pm:

    Panayotovich, a Serbian-American Democrat from Chicago’s Hegewisch neighborhood

  29. - Ignatius J. Reilly - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:34 pm:




    - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 11:30 am:

    I see your point now, but he’s still a twit.

  30. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:35 pm:

    Bean keeps a cool head no matter what. She is a smooth operator who has learned to effectively brush off criticism and partisan BS. When combined with her centrist/moderate views, she’s a pretty good Congresswoman.

  31. - Ignatius J. Reilly - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:37 pm:
    omes-the-kingfish/Does Blagojevich remind you of any other historical figures?

    - posted by Rich Miller

  32. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:39 pm:

    None of those are heritage things. None. You’re not gonna win this. Grow up.

  33. - Proud Serb By Marriage - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:40 pm:

    Mr. Greenberg knew exactly what he was doing when he used Congressman Bean’s maiden name in the release and his actions will ultimately blow up in his face - these childish attacks often do. Here are the questions that voters in the 8th CD have to ask themselves: Is this the person they want representing them in Congress? Will this be the level of discourse his constituents can expect when debating matters of international significance while he is serving in Congress? The people deserve better - which is exactly what they will get by returning Congressman Bean to Washington. If Mr. Greenberg wishes to debate issues in a thoughtful, intelligent manner, he can begin doing so any time now.

  34. - North of I-80 - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 2:43 pm:

    Neither: I was one of those picked on because of my heritage; still am. I just want to know what the rules are since we are discussing crimes (or errors) of thought. Burning a flag (unfortunately) is protected free speech but calling someone by his/her real legal name is the subject of scorn? Look up Barack Obama in Wikipedia and see what you get…. maybe there should be an asterisk to warn us that using that middle name MIGHT be interpretted as a racial/ethnic slam. We all need to be careful to not pounce because you THINK that you know what I am THINKING.

  35. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 2:45 pm:

    A whole lot of Serbian voters, Churches and institutions in the 8th Congressional District.

    And Kosovo is an ancestral home for Serbs.

    Perhaps it is time to concentrate on why Bean never kept her promise to move into the District if elected. She made that promise 6 years ago.

  36. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 2:49 pm:

    ===Burning a flag (unfortunately) is protected free speech but calling someone by his/her real legal name is the subject of scorn? ===

    The last time I checked, people who burned an American flag were almost always the “subject of scorn.” Try arguing apples to apples. Nobody’s talking about passing a law. We’re talking about growing up.

    Again, stop insulting our intelligence. You know why it was used in the way it was used.

  37. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 2:53 pm:

    ===I was one of those picked on because of my heritage;===

    Then you were raised wrong, or you went awry. People who make these kinds of slurs should just go crawl back under a rock rather than attempt to defend their actions as reasonable.

  38. - Anon - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 3:19 pm:

    “Perhaps it is time to concentrate on why Bean never kept her promise to move into the District if elected. She made that promise 6 years ago.”

    Problem A: Bean never “promised to move into the District” if elected. That seems like a clever fib intended to help Greenberg… if not for… Problem B: Greenberg doesn’t live in the District either.

  39. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 3:30 pm:

    ===Problem B: Greenberg doesn’t live in the District either.===

    I just looked up Greenberg’s address and checked the ISBE’s search page. You’re right. He lives in Kirk’s district. Learn something new every day.

  40. - Man Who Grew Up Reading Chicago Today - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 6:12 pm:

    Iggy J. Reilly: Tony Peraica was the white liberal media’s candidate? Give me a break.

    Aside from some unusually thoughtful editorials from the Tribune, that was simply not the case.

  41. - NoGiftsPlease - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 7:53 pm:

    I think there are many reasons not to support Kosovo’s secession, and I’m tired of the idea that everyone has to fall in line when our shortsighted government unwisely jumps in to support a bad idea. It is refreshing to see someone who is willing to stand up for what they actually think rather than going with the flow and doing what is most expedient. China and Russia take the other side because, among other things, they also have ethnic minorities waiting to shatter those countries into fragmented countries. Other countries who are facing similar issues, like Spain and their Basques, are also understandably reluctant. That being said. Ms. Bean should be ready to defend her ideas during an election, whatever her maiden name is.

  42. - BarringtonGOP - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 6:47 am:

    Ha! I just looked up the resolution Greenberg is talking about - H Res 445. It is co-sponsored by none other than the radical anti-American Peter Roskam! I am shocked SHOCKED!! I wonder what Roskam’s middle name is?!

  43. Pingback News | Serbian Unity Congress » Republican Jewish Coalition must pull its endorsement of Chicago Congressional candidate, Jewish World Review - Thursday, Mar 20, 08 @ 7:25 am:

    […] Another popular Chicago blog named Capitol Fax weighed in immediately with the following comment - incidentally “speaking as someone who isn’t exactly a big fan of Serbia” and mistakenly alleging that the devastation in the region was Serb doing. It addressed Greenberg’s charge against the SUC of “anti-Americanism”: […]

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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