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More pressure on Oberweis, and Ozinga’s uphill climb

Friday, Apr 25, 2008

* RealClearPolitics takes a look at some Illinois congressional races. Here’s one…

llinois 14: Former Speaker Dennis Hastert was replaced by Democrat Bill Foster in a special election in early March, and a rematch in November will again pit Foster against Republican Jim Oberweis, a candidate many in his own party blamed for losing the seat. Both candidates spent more than $3 million in their bids, and both have a long way to go to rebuild their war chests. Foster had $262,000 in the bank after March, while Oberweis had $132,000 lying around.

In three previous contests, Oberweis has had to largely self-fund, and if donors don’t kick in contributions now, he will either defer to another candidate or start writing checks again. Watch next quarter’s report to see how serious Oberweis will be this Fall in a district that, despite the Obama-mania, McCain should carry.

I’m told House Republican Leader John Boehner said at a recent event that he wants Oberweis out of the race. Boehner’s campaign office did not return a call asking for comment. I’m not sure Oberweis will ever drop out, but the pressure continues.

* They also looked at the 11th

[Likely GOP candidate Martin Ozinga] will face State Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson, who has already raised $861,000 and still has $673,000 left in cash. Not only will Ozinga have catching up to do, but national Democrats have already hammered him for his business dealings. If Ozinga doesn’t respond by defining himself soon, Democrats will remain strong favorites to pick up this seat based largely southwest of Chicago.

* Halvorson has her problems, but Ozinga surprised some observers by saying recently that he will limit the spending of his own money…

Part of Ozinga’s appeal to GOP leaders is that he has enough money to pay for his campaign, but Tuesday, Ozinga said he would not spend more than $350,000 of his own money—the federal benchmark that would allow Halvorson to ask donors for more than the $2,300 individual limit.

But Ozinga said it was philosophical strategy, not political strategy, that persuaded him not to dip into his personal account if he is chosen as the nominee. He said he intends to generate broad-based support, including friends and business associates from all over the country, which would demonstrate to voters he has the political will to win the seat.

It’s not a bad concept if it works. But that will be tough if the analysts continue to place this R seat in the Likely D category.

Also, it would help if he tried to get a grip on his campaign staff. [Language warning]

…Adding…. It turns out that the comments mentioned immediately above appear to be coming from Ozinga’s business, not the campaign site.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Rob_N - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 10:18 am:

    Why the “[Language warning]” on the link to Arch?

  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 10:32 am:

    You didn’t see the sentence: “get a —- clue”?

  3. - Ghost - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 10:34 am:

    Arch used a naughty word decribing the poor attempts to attack him by the Ozinga campaing thinking they were acting anonymously.

    Apparently he does not have a tech savvy staff.

  4. - archpundit - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 10:38 am:

    I’m not even sure it was an attack. The point was a legit question though a bit strange given the article was quoted in the original post.

    It’s just stupid though. I was tempted to ignore it and wait for it to continue and even escalate, but I try and treat campaigns pretty evenly on those issues. Now, it’s a simple warning. In October it turns into a news story.

  5. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 10:39 am:

    –Democrats have already hammered him for his business dealings.–

    Yeah, the last thing Democrats would want is a Congressman with business experience. They prefer professional politicians.

  6. - Pat collins - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 10:50 am:

    he wants Oberweis out of the race

    Of course, in IL a candidate can file “withdraw” papers whenever he wants to, and he is off the ballot. The larger Q is, who replaces him?

    If it’s Lauzen, then they have a chance. If it is the typical plan B we’ve seen recently duhhh, who will we get???? then what is the point?

  7. - archpundit - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 10:51 am:

    And the Lee Elia tirade pretty much gives AP a permanent language warning.

  8. - Ghost - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 10:54 am:

    Yeah VM makes a good point, when I call an electrician I don’t want some who is a professional electrician, I want someone with business experience who has no clue about electricity.

  9. Pingback ArchPundit » Blog Archive » Illinois Circular Firing Squad Team Goes National - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 10:55 am:

    […] Rich reports on a report to him that Boehner said Oberweis should get out of the race. I’m told House Republican Leader John Boehner said at a recent event that he wants Oberweis out of the race. Boehner’s campaign office did not return a call asking for comment. I’m not sure Oberweis will ever drop out, but the pressure continues. […]

  10. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 11:05 am:

    I suspect you haven’t heard from Boehner because saving seats in Illinois is not going to be at the top of his list this year. They’ve got a lot of work, with probably better chances for success, all around the country

  11. - Tony - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 11:08 am:

    “If it’s Lauzen, then they have a chance”

    I still don’t get this line of logic. Lauzen couldn’t win the primary, but he can win the general? Doesn’t make sense to me.

  12. - fed up - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 12:47 pm:

    pointing out halvosons record as an enabler for E.Jones and blago is what will keep deb out of washington. She has stopped an ethics bill to help protect jones family members getting fat off state contracts and sub contracts and is holding up the recall bill. Halvorson is whats wrong in springfield not what is needed in washington.

  13. - T.J. - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 1:00 pm:

    Foster never has to spend a dime. The GOP is working 24/7 to re-elect him.

  14. - Pat collins - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 1:06 pm:

    I still don’t get this line of logic.

    Here is how it goes. Lauzen lost since the “establishment” was behind the other guy. That still carries some weight in most areas. Especially those who didn’t know him.

    IF (and admitedly this is a HUGE if) they can back Lauzen for real, and not just for show, then those voters will come around.

    The D won because Lauzen’s people sat it out. At least enough of them did.

    That is the logic.

    But my bigger point is, you don’t make a change without an idea of what happens next.

    I don’t expect national Rs to pump much if any money here UNLESS they see there is a chance to win (remember the last minute ads for Rostenkowski’s Repub. replacement?). Then they might.

    But it is SURELY stupid to kick out O without an idea of who replaces him. I mean 1% chance is better than 0% chance.

  15. - Anon - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 1:23 pm:

    I was Rich’s source at the Boehner event. Boehner stated there was no way to win the district with Oberweis, and that he wanted him out: “unlikable, a terrible candidate.” This was said in the presence of at least 30 Illinois fundraisers. He even stated to a questioner at the event that “we can quote him”, and that he would help get Oberweis out of the race. I believe there is no way Oberweis can win, and if he does not get out, the GOP will lose the seat for a decade. Anyone who gives him 2 cents is just wasting cash. Mr. Oberweis, you can stop calling us. We are not going to provide any further assistance.

  16. - Pat collins - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 1:25 pm:

    And since you are one out of 30, he now knows who not to call :)

  17. - Pat collins - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 1:26 pm:

    And too Bad Boehner didn’t whisper that into Hastert’s ear a while ago :(

    One thing about Rahm E. - he went out and GOT or made sure SOMEONE got the candidates for each district. He didn’t wait for each state party to do it.

  18. Pingback ArchPundit » Blog Archive » Correction - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 4:07 pm:

    […] The earlier post about the Ozinga campaign, was not the Ozinga campaign, but the Ozinga business.  Same basic point remains, but I wanted to be accurate.  If you are an interested party in something I post, either identifying yourself publicly in response or e-mailing me privately is your best bet. As long as you say it’s off the record, I’m always happy to listen to complaints and keep it quiet if you so wish.  In some cases I may even allow anonymous comments after I know the situation.   [link] […]

  19. - Rob_N - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 4:09 pm:

    Well gosh dernit… I had forgotten Arch ended with the f dash dash dash.

  20. Pingback Ozinga quasi-campaign already caught red-handed, updated « Illinois Reason - Friday, Apr 25, 08 @ 4:41 pm:

    […] Update: Rich Miller posts from his secret location that the comments to ArchPundit blog which came from “” were from Mr. Ozinga’s business. A quick Google search did not find any official “Ozinga’08″ webite yet. […]

  21. - RAI - Saturday, Apr 26, 08 @ 10:38 am:

    NOBODY has contacted Jim Oberweis! Not from Illinois or Mr. Boehner. There has been NO attempt to get Jim to quit. As far as money goes if the NRCC gives it they then try to run everything, why then don’t they take some of the blame for the ads?
    Foster is afraid to debate and ducked televised debates in the race he won’t be able to do that again. He has told Caterpillar that he won’t support the Free trade agreement with Columbia until they provide better working conditions for the Colombian workers to allow them to unionize! Caterpillar is in his district NOT Colombian workers and NOT Union Chiefs. If you think cutting jobs at caterpillar is a popular move I got a bridge to sell you. Jim Oberweis has the money to run with Foster and this time Foster Has to debate and answer questions. Like his wife’s police complaint and his messy divorce. If Jack! Ryan and Blair Hull had to answer then Mr. Foster will as well.
    I am not saying it will be easy but Oberweis is not getting out. Nobody has asked him to get out If Anon won’t give money then he/she is not needed and is probably embellishing a touch.

  22. - Beowulf - Saturday, Apr 26, 08 @ 10:58 am:

    Two brief comments:1)Lauzen had “zero” name recognition once he got 30 miles away from his Illinois senate district base when he first began his campaign in the 14th Congressional District. Lauzen also did not already have in place campaign staffs set up in the 14th Congressional District. He was forced to rely on a hastily set up “grassroots network”. These seldom work. Oberweis already had major name recognition in Hastert’s district due to Jim’s many previous political campaigns for US Senate, Governor, etc. Also, Hastert already had established and in place his old political helpers across the 14th District to aid Oberweis. These were “huge advantages” for Oberweis. AND, we haven’t even mentioned the difference in the amounts of money that Lauzen had to work with versus Oberweis. I am not trying to criticize Jim Oberweis. I am only trying to explain the blatantly obvious reasons why Oberweis beat Lauzen. If Lauzen had the backing of Hastert or Andy McKenna at that time, Lauzen probably would have easily buried and overwhelmed Oberweis.
    2) Marty Ozinga’s campaign headquarters are located only about a block away from his Mokena concrete plant. He has some young people in the new headquarters running the fort for him. Personally, I like Debbie Halvorson. I don’t really know Marty Ozinga that well. Debbie has always “been driven” when it came to advancing her political career (nothing wrong with that). Marty Ozinga is “not driven” by his political career. This will work against Debbie. She has always blindly-served as Emil’s (and Rod’s) errand girl, no matter what they asked of her. She always believed that she would thus have “paid her dues” and would be chosen by Emil to replace him when he retired as head of the senate. Emil threw her a curve by already having chosen his successor and it wasn’t Debbie. When he finally told her this, it made her decision to run for Weller’s political office that much easier for her. This fact will help “level the playing field” for Ozinga. But, he had better hit the ground running on May 1st after he is “officially” chosen as the GOP candidate to replace Balderman. He needs to go out in Weller’s district so he can start shaking hands, walking in parades, and kissing strange babies. Yuck!
    Based on what I have been told by non-political type people that personally know Ozinga, he is a “no-nonsense” type of guy who will jump into mud up to his waist to “get the job done right”. He is bright, obviously wealthy, very religious, and he will not compromise his values to further his personal situation. Back in the 1970s, when threatened by union leaders demands to go on strike if they did not get their demands, he simply decided to accomodate their threats by closing down all of his concrete plants around the Midwest. He doesn’t bluff! He shut them “all’ down. His word is his bond and he is a straight talker. After many weeks of “no concrete” to truck or haul to construction projects, the union leaders decided that “maybe they would withdraw their threats” since their rank & file no longer had weekly paychecks coming in to pay their rent, their car payments, their groceries, etc.

    Ozinga is “a fair man” but one that will not be dictated to nor controlled by “anyone”, even his own GOP Party (much less the Washington power players and lobbyists). He is an irresistible force of nature (much like a tornado). They aren’t used to his kind in Washington. If he is elected, it should all prove “very interesting” as well as entertaining.

  23. - Beowulf - Saturday, Apr 26, 08 @ 11:01 am:

    Sorry, I guess they “weren’t so brief’ after looking at them once they were posted. I meant to “keep it pithy’ as Wild Bill would say.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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