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Hastert looking like a candidate

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009

* Ethan Hastert looks like he’s in

The son of former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert took another step toward running for his father’s old congressional seat, announcing [yesterday] that he’s forming a committee to start raising campaign cash.

Ethan Hastert, 31, is a lawyer and former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who moved back to far west suburban Elburn in the 14th Congressional District. After Dennis Hastert retired, Republicans lost the long-held seat in a special election last year to Democrat Bill Foster of Geneva, who also won a full term in November.

From his press release…

Ethan Hastert on Tuesday announced that he will form a political committee to advance his run for Congress representing the Illinois 14th Congressional District.

The longtime Fox Valley resident took the next step in his bid for the U.S. House after spending recent weeks traveling the district, meeting with and listening to voters and local leaders. Those conversations revealed that residents are hungry to rein in government and spending and disappointed with what they see from the current leadership in Washington, Hastert said.

* Moving on to the Senate race, Collin Corbett has a sharp rundown on why doesn’t believe that Lisa Madigan is running for Senate, why her touted candidacy is helping Democrats and how the GOP can counter it…

Lisa Madigan is a powerhouse in the gubernatorial race, but after losing her funds and diminishing her name advantage she is a weaker candidate for the US Senate. In addition, the field has been cleared for her to run for Governor. That is why, despite the rumors, she is not even remotely considering a run for Congress’ upper chamber. Her name is simply being floated as a tactical move by Democratic strategists. This rumor was started and perpetuated by Democratic interests for several political reasons, and Republicans have been playing along needlessly. An examination of the thinking behind this move reveals a glimpse of the strategic games Democrats play on a regular basis.

Go read the whole thing.

* GOP Congressman Mark Kirk has taken heat in the Democratic blogosphere over comments he says he made to Chinese officials…

“One of the messages I had - because we need to build trust and confidence in our number one creditor - is that the budget numbers that the US government has put forward should not be believed,’ Mr Kirk said.

‘Congress is actually going to spend quite a bit more,’ he said.

The Washington Monthly serves up a typical response

America’s credibility — and, in particular, President Obama’s reliability — with China is absolutely necessary to the health of the nation’s economy. It’s one thing for conservative lawmakers to try to undermine confidence in America’s leadership on Fox News or in some tirade on the House floor, but Mark Kirk, by his own admission, went directly to the Chinese and told them not to believe the Obama administration. Our role in international finance is predicated on the full faith and credit of the United States government, and Mark Kirk wants China to think this isn’t worth much.

There may be more reckless and irresponsible moves a congressional Republican can make, but very few come to mind.

But is what he said true? If it was, and it seems likely, then what’s the big deal?

Still, he may not have helped his case on this point when he told a Fox News host this

VAN SUSTEREN: So why is — so why would [Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner,] make — why would he say something else, the “justifiable confidence”? I mean, why — why would he tell us something different?

KIRK: Well, because both parties don’t want to create a panic,

Um, does that mean one party does want to create a panic? Just askin…

* Related…

* Kirk loves him some Drudge

* DCCC tries to put Kirk, Biggert on the spot

* Political consultant John Ruff dies in auto accident: A key figure in the perjury investigation of U.S. Sen. Roland Burris died in an automobile accident Monday, authorities in far west-suburban Kendall County confirmed Tuesday.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - just one - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 8:25 am:

    What about all the rumors of State Rep. Kevin Joyce running against little lip

    I haven’t read anything about it on your blog

  2. - Steve - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 8:27 am:

    Mark Kirk spoke a little too much truth. As interest rates go higher, these sorts of subjects will become taboo.

  3. - Rick - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 8:27 am:

    “Kirk, by his own admission, went directly to the Chinese and told them not to believe the Obama administration”

    If a Dem congressman did the same thing six years ago, they would have been accused of treason on Fox News.

  4. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 8:41 am:

    I made the same comment here previously, without the detail :) about LMad as Corbett, so I generally agree with the article.

    However I think Corbett is grossly overestimating the publics response to pointing out that LMad is related to the Speaker… “or a crippling, yearlong attack….” I highly doubt this attack would be crippling or even laming. Look at the blistering attack adds on Blago by topinka, and those had actual substantive wrong doing identified in them.

    I hope the GOP takes up this cannard of a problem having both madigans in office; a year long ineffective campaign on an what is a non-issue to most voters i a great way for them to exhaust their resources.

    After all, its not like the GOP will run on the issues; No more stem cell research etc.

  5. - Greg - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 8:54 am:

    Like a congressman’s opinion on the US credit rating makes any difference.

  6. - Segatari - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 8:55 am:

    Okay…so we’re supposed to trust what the tax cheat treasury secretary says…yeah right. The Chinese laughed the crook out of the country. They’ve already withdrew the plan to sell new 30-year bonds.

  7. - train111 - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 8:59 am:

    As a resident of Il-14, if its Foster vs Hastert2, I’ll definitely pick Foster. Him killing the Prairie Porkway–er ‘Parkway’ sealed the deal for me.


  8. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 9:08 am:

    Well I have seen Hastert on the stump, he does a decent job better than Foster does. Killing the parkway isn’t playing well all over the district (would have created a bunch of construction jobs).

    Foster is seriously charismatically challenged and often comes accross as not wanting to be where he is at. (Dude is a geek, I can understand).

    Also it’s a midterm and they generally don’t go as well for the party in power.

  9. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 9:09 am:


    Foster didn’t kill it - he just helped send it to the back of the line where it belongs now. 100 years from now, it will be part of a big outer loop connecting all the intermodal facilities coming into Chicago, about 200 years after Daniel Burnham proposed a similar concept in his Chicago plan.

  10. - fedup dem - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 9:13 am:

    Bill Foster will mop the 14th District against “Toddler” Hastert (just stick that nickname on Denny’s son and watch his political fortunes sink like a stone).

  11. - Pat Collins - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 9:17 am:

    I have seen Hastert on the stump, he does a decent job better than Foster does.

    We are assuming he gets past a primary. I am not sure that’s a foregone conclusion.

  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 9:34 am:

    I’m not sure why Kirk is so concerned about the Chinese. They know what the deal is better than anyone.

    The Chinese are honked off because they hold so many dollars. They’re stuck: they can’t dump them and they can’t stop buying them because they need U.S. consumers to buy their junk.

    It’s partly their fault. They’ve kept the value of the yuan artificially weak to boost exports.

  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 9:42 am:

    Hester’s son is leaving before Mayer Brown lays him off. His book of business disappeared once his dad left the Speaker post.

  14. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 9:44 am:

    Kirk is right. The Chinese know this too.

    How is what Kirk did different from what Pelosi did in 2007 in Syria, or Democratic congressmen did in Cuba? If Democrats want to claim Kirk is harming US policy by speaking overseas in a way that dismisses presidential policy positions, they should first remember how they behaved during the Bush years. Remember Gore denouncing Bush in Saudia Arabia?

    Gee, what a bunch of hypocrites!

  15. - 14th Dist Voter - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 9:52 am:

    Hastert the Younger’s announcement went over with a fairly universal ‘thud’ in the Fox Valley based on coverage and esp. comments from local voters, residents and others yesterday.

    Even Illinois Review readers had ‘less than glowing’ comments following his introduction at last month’s Kane County Young Republicans monthly meeting.

    The operative theme in the news media, blogs, etc was ‘Hastert’s scion wants to take over the family franchise’.

    The vaunted ‘Hastert Machine’ is a shambles of its former self, the Kane GOP is more of a ‘Lauzen camp followers’ shell, the Kendall GOP doesn’t have the moxie it once held.

    THe District has seen substantive demographic and other changes, as evident from the past 2 election cycles. Foster outperformed Obama by 2-3% in the 2008 returns, (as I recall). He’s established a consistent and proven track record in his voting records, constituent services, interest group ratings and is serving the dsitrict well thus far.

    Time will tell the tale, looks like it’s ‘game time’ again in the 14th.

  16. - Greg - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 9:59 am:

    Kirk should have kept quiet about what he told the Chinese but it wasn’t anything the Chinese didn’t all ready know.

    Liberals in Congress overtly tried to undermine the US these past eight years. They tried the same in the first Gulf War as well as their attempts to undermine Reagan. Those who have cheered those tactics have little room to complain. You reap what you sow. So enjoy.

    But Congress should leave diplomacy to the executive and use their purse and oversight responsibility to check poor foreign policy.

  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 10:03 am:

    – If Democrats want to claim Kirk is harming US policy…–

    Who, what, where, when, how? There’s no criticism of Kirk at all in the links.

  18. - Highland, IL - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 10:05 am:

    I can already see the Cheney/Hastert commercials.

  19. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 10:06 am:

    Bill Foster had problems talking to audiences on the stump.

    But Lane Evans seemed to be mumbling years before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

    In some ways Foster is a better communicator than Evans. In some ways Evans was (pre-Parkinson’s) better than Foster.

    Foster is a driven, successful guy who is very smart.

    If the district wants to go in the Republican direction they will have that option.

    BTW, what do the Republican stand for now? They still peddling the small government lie? Hastert gonna tell people of IL-14 they need to be scared of terrorists and evil do-ers? Maybe tax cuts?

  20. - R_K - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 10:19 am:

    Two things on Kirk:

    First, he didn’t tell the Chinese anything they don’t already know.  Anyone paying even the least amount of attention knows that Obama and the Democrats have been on a spending binge and are unlikely to stop any time soon.Second, maybe this nascent wave of Democratic outrage over Kirk’s supposed “sabotage” of Obama will do some good.  Maybe issues like our out-of-control spending, debt, and coming inflation will get more attention.  Kirk’s been beating this drum for some time now, it’s good to see it’s finally getting some attention

  21. - 14th Dist Voter - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 10:37 am:

    Latest commments from Illinois Review item posted yesterday re: Hastert the Younger (aka: ‘Toddler’) are rather scathing and show a fairly ‘lackluster’ level of support:

    A few gems such as this:

    “You can’t be somebody with nobody. The son of a has been is a nobody.”

    “If he gets elected this proves we are done and we have not learned our lesson. ”

    “Good grief! Why would we ever want another Hastert in Washington when you remember what a disaster Denny was for the GOP? “

  22. - Rick - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 10:38 am:

    “If Democrats want to claim Kirk is harming US policy by speaking overseas in a way that dismisses presidential policy positions, they should first remember how they behaved during the Bush years. ”

    I absolutely agree. And Republicans should do the same. If they criticized Democrats for doing this during the Bush years, they should be doing the same to Kirk right now. And all I hear on that side of the aisle are crickets.

  23. - hastert - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 10:50 am:

    1. As a young republican I am eager to see my party come back in a big way.

    2. As a young republican I am not eager to see what drove our party out of power come back. Hastert’s father gave away our congressional majority and I’m really not thrilled with the idea of his son making a play. It would be one thing if hastert the father had a great run in the capitol but he didn’t and it annoys me that his son would think a year of stuffing envelopes working for dick cheney would qualify him. Run fo state senator, prove you aren’t a hack, then we’ll consider you, but to think you are entitled to office because your father blew a majority we spent 45 years craving is awful. Same thing goes for darin lahood whose dad is now a cheerleader for obama.

    3. The kirk bashing in this state and on this blog is insane. Kirk knows china better than any member of congress in the illinois delegation. Without a doubt there were democrats who went abroad on codels during the bush administration and didn’t exactly toot the American horn on other issues. Plus alexi’s junket to greece was a much bigger issue.

  24. - shore - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 10:50 am:

    sorry that hastert post was me.

  25. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 11:01 am:

    Shore, where’s the Kirk bashing?

  26. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 11:04 am:

    Again, I’m not sure why Kirk is so concerned about the Chinese investment in treasury bonds. They can take care of themselves.

    I trust he also raised the issue of rampant copyright and brand piracy that the Chinese government allows and harms American businesses.

  27. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 11:07 am:

    Let’s see if I have this straight now:

    According to certain Democrats and other posters here, America’s credibility in our markets and in the world is taking a hit because Kirk told the Chinese the truth?

    Or is it America’s credibility in our markets and in the world is taking a hit because the Treasury Secretary is fudging a few facts?

    Weren’t we all screaming about banks doing something like this a few months ago?

  28. - shore - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 11:21 am:

    Anytime anything happens with Kirk he immediately draws heat here and it’s just very interesting. There’s 803 stories about how lovely lisa madigan is or what will her next move be, but Kirk does one thing and he’s getting blown up.

    Nowhere is it mentioned whether or not if lisa tried to clout kids into u of i, or whether Karen May gave scholarships to donors and pals like that guy from chicago.

  29. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 11:31 am:

    Kirk is a China genius in 2009, like he was an Iraq genius in 2002.

    Kirk is a partisan hack that has achieved credentials through getting his ticket punched. He learned nothing about *policy* along the way.

    He does a little name-dropping to impress people who have weak understanding of policy. He schmoozes some media outlets (like the Chicago Trib). He plays a “moderate” on guns, gender issues and BP’s Whiting facility while being a reliable GOP vote on foreign policy and economic policy. Has he ever voted against the GOP in a really close House vote? And the other thing Kirk does well is when big business writes him a check (like Exelon) he knows how to spew his contributor’s talking points.

  30. - Reformer - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 12:06 pm:

    IL Republicans love to grouse about Democratic family dynasties. Le’t see what they think about a GOP family dynasty.

  31. - moron - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 12:07 pm:

    what’s all this about Dennis Haysbert’s son running for Congress?

  32. - train111 - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 12:34 pm:

    Thanks for VanMan and Woodie Guthrie for the insppiration.

    In honor of both the Dems and GOP here in Illinois and dedicated to Todd Stroger, Daniel Lipinski, Emil Jones III, Ethan Hastert, Lisa Madigan and the many untold others:

    This job is my job,
    no its not your job.
    How dare would you think
    my birthright you’ld rob.
    Here in Illinois–
    this is sacred
    This job was made just for me.

    Now my daddy
    for twenty years.
    Fed off of taxes
    he shed no tears.
    Now I want my share
    How dare you stop me
    This job was made just for me.

    In Illinois–
    the religion.
    right in the open.
    I want my slopping
    at the public trough
    This job was made just for me.

    train 111

  33. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 12:50 pm:

    Let’s see what they think about a GOP family dynasty.

    From the comments so far here and elsewhere, not much. Of course, with so few R’s in power, the options for dynasties are extremely limited.

  34. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 2:20 pm:

    Train111 parents had job, I think he should be fired and prevented from having a job. After all, kids should strive to achieve something less then the main role models in their lives.

    We should not consider or care about qualifications or ability, just what your parents did.

    Lisa Madigan has earned her office more then many other elected officials.

  35. - Anon - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 3:16 pm:

    14th Dist., you mean the handful of nuts at Illinois Review don’t like Hastert? SHOCKING. That website’s a joke. A sad, self destructive joke.

  36. - Downstate GOP Faithless - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 3:30 pm:

    there are two things i know about the 14th, and they seem to run contrary to what has been said:
    1) denny is still well thought of throughout the district (i’ve seen the empirical evidence)
    2) the kendall gop is a remarkably strong party-i was always a fan of the previous leadersip and while i concede they didnt really handle the takeover right, keith wheeler has built one of the finest organizations in the state

  37. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 4:18 pm:

    Just one — the rumors on State Rep Kevin Joyce running in IL-3 go back several years… They go something like this: The Combine wants Little Lip to serve just long enough to earn the lifetime benefits and then he’ll retire to go back into teaching and Little Joyce will be annointed into the seat…

    We shall see.

    As for why Rich hasn’t posted on it … he doesn’t seem to be a big fan of rumors, especially stale ones.

    He is a reporter, not a gossip columnist, after all. Just sayin’.

  38. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 4:27 pm:

    Shore, perhaps you should just go back to planning your congressional bid. Seriously, what the heck are you talking about?

  39. - Bill - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 4:31 pm:

    No offense but if Foster is so bad how did he beat your guy?

  40. - grand old partisan - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 4:55 pm:

    I am - by no mean - even close to sold on Ethan Hastert being the GOP’s best hope in the 14th. But let’s get something straight from the start, just to be fair. There’s a significant difference between using your family’s name id & connections to get an edge on endorsements & fundraising, and having your father manipulate the system to avoid a contest and guarantee your nomination. Ethan’s no Toddler – he’ll have to face the voters in the primary and earn his spot on the fall ticket. I’m keeping an open mind and waiting to see what other candidates emerge. And I’m thankful to the Hasterts for allowing me that opportunity.

  41. - 14th Dist Voter - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 6:44 pm:


    - Anon - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 3:16 pm:
    14th Dist., you mean the handful of nuts at Illinois Review don’t like Hastert? SHOCKING. That website’s a joke. A sad, self destructive joke.

    I completely concur about Illinois Review, my primary motivation for citing them is they represent a ‘fair number’ of the locals here in the 14th, along with their perspectives on a number of issues.

    THe comments at the Daily Herald and other local newspapers were equally less than impressed or showed a groundswell of support for Ethan Hastert’s candidacy.

    Dennis Hastert’s son to run for father’s seat

  42. - 14th Dist Voter - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 6:57 pm:

    According to the Beacon News article today, Ethan mentions that ‘none of the usual suspects were stepping forward’ to run in the 14th, so we shall see if any other candidates appear from the woodwork for a primary contest on the GOP team to go up against him.

    Ethan Hastert explains run for Congress,Ethan-Hastert-explains-for-Congress-au090610.article

    “As I reached out, it became clear that the normal suspects would not be running,” he said. “So there was a shift from ‘Who?’ to ‘What about me?’ The response has been optimistic and positive

    He goes on to state one of his primary reasons for running is the budget deficits. Strange he had shown no concerns when his father was draining the bank during his tenure as Speaker and one of Delay and Abramhoff’s lieutenants.

    How Trillion-Dollar Deficits Were Created

  43. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 7:11 pm:

    Is the GOP enough opposed to deficit spending they are willing to raise taxes on the rich?

    Voters apprehend the scam where Republicans campaign against deficit spending during elections and then increase deficits to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy when elected.

  44. - Ahem...The REAL Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 11:31 pm:

    Louis, as always, raised some great, thought-provoking questions about credibility.

    gop’s right about keeping an open mind when it comes to kids. It’s a no-brainer that kids from political families may start out with a bit of an advantage because of what they learned while growing up. Having said that, they also often start off with a few negatives simply because they ARE from political families.

    We should give them an opportunity to run on their own merits before slam-dunking them before they even start. And I’ve said, and will continue to say that, about ANY kids from political famlies, regardless of party affiliation.

  45. - Ahem...The REAL Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 10, 09 @ 11:42 pm:

    Just viewed Ethan Hastert’s interview on FOX. He’s an impressive candidate. Likeable, knowledgeable…definitely has great potential. Didn’t leave a doubt in my mind that he’s standing on his own two feet.

  46. - Real Republican - Thursday, Jun 11, 09 @ 12:07 am:

    1) denny is still well thought of throughout the district (i’ve seen the empirical evidence)

    Well no he is not! This Republican will be voting for Foster. Pay to Play Hastert ruined the Republican Party. I hope the 37K a month he is getting paid by the Islamic Republic of Turkey is worth it.

  47. - Not Ready for Prime Time - Thursday, Jun 11, 09 @ 1:24 am:

    This campaign is a non-starter. Ethan is a silver spooned convicted drunk driver. No accomplishments in the 14th District as a public servant or community volunteer. Just moved back here from Chicago where he was a Romney Asst. Delegate. Lawyer for a combine firm. We will make sure that he is defeated in the primary. A local elected official with conservative credentials and a long record of volunteer service will blow him away.

  48. Pingback Has anyone else been wondering whether Bill Foster is running for re-election or not? « The Progressive Fox - Sunday, Jun 28, 09 @ 10:07 am:

    […] As I pondered the mixed messages that I was seeing, I recalled what a friend had told me, about how Foster had struck him as bored at an event where he had given a rambling, unfocused address a couple of months ago. And I saw a similar sentiment offered in a comment at the Capitol Fax Blog in the wake of Ethan Hastert’s announcement by an observer on the other side of the district, and the other side of the aisle, from my friend. Now admittedly the take away point here may be nothing more than the unfortunate fact that Foster often comes across to people at these campaign events as not wanting to be where he is at, and that may have nothing to do with how he actually feels, but I found myself also thinking about llbear’s comment here at the Progressive Fox that mentioned the fact that Foster had cancelled a couple of fundraisers out by Dixon, and his belief that Foster had already become a short-timer. […]

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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