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A few Hamos strengths and weaknesses

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009

* Democratic state Rep. Julie Hamos has a great story to tell during her upcoming 10th District congressional race. Her parents fled Communist Hungary when she was a child after they survived the unthinkable

“As a daughter of Holocaust survivors, I am passionate about Israel as the Jewish state that has a right to co-exist with safe and secure borders — and I am committed to supporting human rights and democracy throughout the world,” she said.

Some partisans commented here yesterday about Hamos’ alleged problems with Jewish voters. But she has a pretty strong hand, if you ask me.

* It’ll also be tough to peg her as a Mike Madigan clone since she’s been on the outs with MJM for quite a while now. Here’s a recent and quite snarky Speaker Madigan quote about her…

“Well, she is very knowledgeable. I mean, we should all be as smart as Rep. Hamos. Have a great day.”

That little feud goes back to the Blagojevich days, which won’t be good for Hamos

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been urging House Speaker Michael Madigan to attend a meeting about the state’s budget. Now a member of Madigan’s own Democratic caucus is joining that call. […]

This is the kind of meeting Speaker Madigan has skipped recently, so the governor’s sending the invitation through the press. Today he got some help from Representative Julie Hamos, a Democrat from Evanston.

HAMOS: I do wish that Speaker Madigan was more engaged now, as one of our key leaders in the state of Illinois. You know, we have some big issues that we did not resolve his year, and if Speaker Madigan is not at the table, they’re really never going to get resolved.

More on that Blagojevich/MJM/Hamos feud from a column written by GOP Rep. Jim Sacia in June of 2008…

What a gutsy lady. Though I often disagree with Representative Julie Hamos (D-Evanston) on issues she brings before the House, she hit the nail on the head last Saturday evening at about 10:30.

Ms. Hamos expressed her anger and disgust on the House floor (and on the record) as she chastised Speaker Michael Madigan for refusing to allow our $31 billion capital jobs and infrastructure plan from moving forward. […]

Ms. Hamos stated for all to hear that Speaker Madigan didn’t want this Governor traveling the state for the next two years cutting ribbons and accepting accolades

She also voted for the income tax hike, which may not play well in that congressional district.

* Hamos’ biggest problem right now, however, is her campaign itself. Her announcement video, which I posted yesterday, is just flat-out horrible. No self-respecting campaign would ever release something so amateurish and thoroughly flawed. What the heck was she thinking?

* Meanwhile, another Republican tosses his hat into the US Senate race…

Robert Enriquez believes the Republican Party is in trouble.

A Republican since his teen years, the 53-year-old Auroran now sees a party leading itself into disaster, and closing itself off from the diversity that surrounds it. That’s why, he says, he’s decided to run for the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama in 2010. […]

“The party wants to go the easy route. They want things handed to them,” Enriquez said. “These individuals handed us where we are in Illinois today.”

These beliefs are strongly Republican, and Enriquez said he did not consider running as an independent. But, he said, the “Republican Party has abandoned me.” He said the two-party system has proved damaging, with elected officials more concerned about topping one another than creating good laws, and thinks the Republican Party has neglected the cultural diversity that could help it connect with voters.

* Related…

* Battle lines being drawn in DuPage County - 3 announce pursuit of County Board chairmanship; 4 others considering run

* Breen to Announce Bid for IL House 41: With Friday’s retirement announcement by State Rep. Bob Biggins (R-Elmhurst), Lombard conservative leader Peter Breen has declared his intention to seek the Republican nomination for the 41st District.

* Hamos: I’m running for Kirk seat

* Hamos says she’ll be an ally of Obama in 10th District

* Alexi Giannoulias Makes Campaign Stop in Peoria

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Team America - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:52 am:

    The more GOP contenders throw in for Senate, the better that is for Mark Kirk, as the clear GOP front-runner with the most resources. To the extent a conservative ‘protest’ vote still exists come next Feb., it appears that it will be splintered among a bunch of also-rans, assuming they even get on the ballot.

    As to Hamos, Rich is right on that Hamos’s enthusiastic support of higher taxes will not play well in the fiscally conservative 10th Dist. This morning, I found this fairly recent video of Hamos from a local news show lamenting that she was not able to push the income tax hike through. Yikes!

  2. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:55 am:

    Mike Quigley won as a guy who won’t just raise taxes on voters while in Washington. He also ran as a reformer.

    Hamos doesn’t meet that Quigley standard. If there is a pendulum swinging, it seems that right now, it is swinging away from Hamos. Coupled with her odd presentational skills, she just might discover a similar situation as Feigenholtz.

  3. - Will County Woman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:04 pm:

    even if Hamos doesn’t get much support from Madigan, don’t you think she would get support from freinds like Jan Schakowsky, who would bring a wealth of support? Or, is Shackowsky too democrat and liberal for the 10th’s liking and someone who would not play well there?

    My initial impression was that Hamos hurts Seals’ chances. But, I don’t live in that district and I don’t know much about the other candidates and their chances.

  4. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:09 pm:

    How often do we see a candidate claim that the party whose nomination they are seeking has lost it’s direction? It is a rather difficult sale to make, isn’t it? The claim comes off as egotistical because the candidate is saying that earlier nominees were not dutifully nominated, or that the majority of voters made a mistake, or were duped. That sets up a situation where the candidate has to woo voters they are actually insulting. The candidate has to woo a party they claim doesn’t know what it is doing. What kind of person would want a nomination from a party they believe is this far off base?

    If you want your party’s nomination, try praising it and it’s supporters instead of claiming that you are their savior. Don’t run against it. Run against the status quo, after you get the nomination. If your party is the status quo in the General, tread carefully to avoid looking like Don Quixote.

    Yeah - doing this stunt will get attention to your campaign. In the short run. But eventually you will look foolish if you continue to damn the folks you expect to support you.

  5. - lakeview lawyer - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:31 pm:

    i attended the kickoff event for julie hamos, which was much more impressive than the video suggests. she has a lot of local support from elected officials, unions, etc., and her speech was engaging and well-received. in the speech, she specifically talked about fiscal responsibility, but i think she understands that part of fiscal responsibility is recognizing when more revenue needs to be raised (even 8 republicans were ready to vote for a tax increase according to the post about cross earlier today). i think her positions on political reform, Israel, the environment, health care, transit, and social issues will resonate with voters in the 10th who might otherwise be concerned about her position on taxes and i think her stance on taxes will be viewed as principled in an era when most people are more concerned about the next election than balancing the budget responsibly.

    i have also talked with several strong seals supporters from 06 and/or 08 and they are either wavering on support for him this year or supporting julie. i think people believe seals had his chance. julie has been elected to public office many times, including by a large number of people in the 10th district, and she has gained name recognition as a result of her outstanding transit work. i truly believe she will not only be a formidable candidate, but that she will win and be a legislator with integrity and a strong purpose who we can be proud of here in Illinois.

  6. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:32 pm:

    Any talk of who wants Julie’s seat? Alderman Joe Moore?

  7. - lakeview lawyer - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:36 pm:

    there are several announced candidates for julie’s seat who have been running since soon after julie started exploring a bid for higher office. eamon kelly is one. i have seen another at many events, but his name escapes me.

  8. - Will County Woman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:38 pm:

    If joe moore ran for Hamos’ seat he’d be taking a pay cut. and he would be trading Daley in for Madigan. If he thinks Daley is bad and doesn’t like him, he has to know that Madigan would be worse and likely meaner to him than Daley.

    Besides, why would he want to commute to springfield at any point in the year?????

  9. - Shore - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:40 pm:

    People in the 10th don’t know about Mike Madigan and don’t care, some areas need springfield, others like ours need it to stay out of our lives and so we don’t pay as much attention. We know who blago is and DO care and there’s no telling what that trial will reveal.

    For the record, after 30 years of walking preccincts on the north shore and being heavily involved in jewish affairs, Jewish voters are a WAY different breed in the 10th. MUCH more Hawkish on Israel, much more fiscally conservative and much more used to voting for republicans for congress.

    Just because she’s jewish means absoulutely nothing. Lee Goodman was jewish, he was destroyed. Jay Footlik was a jewish Israel affairs chief for clinton, he was destroyed in the dem primary. Lieberman could have been the first jewish vice-president and did WORSE in the district than southern democrat edwards and non-jewish democrat biden, and that was before the Iraq war vote, and just months after Bush went to bob jones university which is a major reason jews dont vote republican.

    Finally next year is a big year for the chicago media. With things not going well and dems at the helm, they are going to be fiercely watched by conservatives to see if they hold democrats like Hamos accountable the way they held the GOP accountable for Bush and Ryan.

  10. - Shore - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:43 pm:

    Lakeview you are totally out of your mind if you think creating a massive budget deficit and then calling for tax hikes to clean up her mess is fiscal responsibility. Also her website said NOTHING. ZIPPO ZERO, ZILCH, NADA about fiscal responsibility last week. True mark of a career politician, disengenuously changing positions to get higher office. Disgusting.

  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:45 pm:

    Shore, take a breath, man. Somebody’s website is not the be-all, end-all.

    Hamos was rightly critical of Blagojevich’s plan to lease the Lottery and use the cash for education because it was just a four-year plan. She said she was most concerned about what happened after those four years expired. That’s fiscal responsibility, and it’s just one example.

    Again, tone it down, dude.

  12. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:52 pm:

    I will be interested to see who folks like Elaine Nekritz and Mike Kreloff are supporting. I know they like Seals but nobody wants to back a 2 time loser.

  13. - Segatari - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:53 pm:

    Lack of cultural diversity has nothing to do with the GOP’s problems, how many times do I have to say it? Turning away from and rejecting conservatism has taken the GOP to where it is now.

  14. - Team America - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:57 pm:

    Phineas- the Herald article linked to above stated: “About 100 people attended Tuesday’s event. Other prominent supporters in attendance included state lawmakers Elaine Nekritz and Karen May.” Whether their attendance amounts to an official endorsement of Hamos to the detriment of Seals, I can’t say.

  15. - lakeview lawyer - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:58 pm:

    elaine nekritz introduced julie and served a mistress of ceremonies at the announcement.

  16. - been there - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:03 pm:

    probably we should keep in mind that julie hamos’s husband is alan greiman, who for a few years was mike madigan’s right-hand guy in the house, until madigan helped him get to be a judge.

    mike madigan isn’t hurt by anything that julie hamos says, but distancing herself from him helps her. his mildly snarky line about her sounds to me like his little effort to play this in the way that helps her.

  17. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:05 pm:

    been there, you apparently weren’t around this year. Things are not good between those two.

  18. - Shore - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:31 pm:

    Fair enough Rich. But you should still write the book while Obama is in office and you can make serious money.

    If chris matthews can write the same book 6 times on basically nothing and sell it, you can write a book on 2008 and one of the defining years in Illinois political history and market it to a national and international audience.

  19. - L.S. - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:39 pm:

    that’s a classic madigan line. Funny stuff. It also serves as a nice little reminder of how eager Hamos, Tom Cross, Sacia and others were to give Blago billions more in contracts to illegaly sell off to the highest bidder. Because, of course they knew Lisa was going to run for governor and the speaker didn’t want Rod to cut ribbons. What a difference a year makes.

    Hamos is a typical hollier-than-thou type limo-lib. To say she is out-of-touch with your average homeowner with kids paying taxes and slugging through a reccession while their 401k tanks would be an understatement. Didn’t she refer to voters as cockroaches not that long ago? The transit stuff got her some press but it’s not like that problem is totally solved. I think the more people ge to know her, the less they will like her. I’ve met her. She’s a nice enough person, but when introducing herself to voters for the first time, it will be hard for her to avoid looking awkward and cold.

    Seals actually regressed as a candidate last year and his shop was terribly disorganized. This seat should be a D pick up, but for the candidates.

  20. - L.S. - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:42 pm:

    Oh, and lakeview - your posts read a little too much like a campaign website. But assuming your just an independant observer, this line:

    –i think her stance on taxes will be viewed as principled–

    is freaking hilarous. You clearly haven’t read a poll on tax issues in Cook and the collars in a while.

  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:35 pm:

    That’s a hilarious quote from Madigan. Reminds me of back in the day whenever Pate would enter the House, Madigan would introduce him as “that great humanitarian.”

  22. - Scooby - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:08 pm:

    NRCC providing help to Kinzinger.

  23. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:27 pm:

    Scooby, That’s hilarious.

    Can’t the national GOP get anything right?

    Kinzinger’s running in 11th against Halvorsen, not the open 10th that the NRCC lists. (Unless he suddenly changed his mind.)

  24. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:38 pm:

    Rob, I think that may have been a Hotline error, not a GOP flub.

  25. - Mr. Know-it-All - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:42 pm:

    VanillaMan - Hamos and Feigenholtz are two Jewish women who’ve served for some time in the Illinois House. Insofar as their congressional campaigns are concerned, the similarities end there. The race for the 5th CD was an odd special election with a dozen or so Democratic candidates, in a classically Chicagoan Dem district, on a day when nobody was voting. The race for the 10th CD nomination will have much higher turnout on a big primary day in a district with very different political leanings and history.

    That’s not to say that Hamos is primed to do better or worse than Feigenholtz. It’s just a whole different set of factors next Feburary than this past March.

  26. - heet101 - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:52 pm:

    Her campaign video LOL - Wow. I mean, reading from a stack of papers? haha. That’s all I can do is just laugh. Who cares what she had to say if that’s how she presented it.

  27. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:08 pm:

    Rich, party pooper. ;)

    But you are correct sir.

  28. - phil - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:24 pm:

    Hi Rich,

    See anything funny about this page in Hamos’ campaign website? I wonder if Ms. Hamos wants to raise taxes on everybody so she can use public funds to pay for her campaign for congress.

    Nice start–’Lamos’.

  29. - phil - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:31 pm:


    Here’s the link:

  30. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:48 pm:


    Did you find a backdoor into her site?

    Her actual homepage is

    And, it doesn’t look like whatever you found is there now anyway but congrats on giving Team Am another stupid put-down for its romper room.

  31. - whoah - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 5:33 pm:

    The 1-2 cranks on this site seem to have something personal against Hamos. As Democrats go, she is impressive. The majority of Dems are fairly cowardly and not willing to risk anything if it doesn’t get them re-elected (including passing a budget). Hamos isn’t like that. She actually tries to solve policy problems, not just pass meaningless laws just to say she passed a law. She is not a lemming, and takes principled stances. She doesn’t worship Madigan. What more do these people want? She is willing and able to actually LEAD, and this is a great loss for the Illinois House.

  32. - Ben S. - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 6:01 pm:

    @ Shore 12:43 PM

    “True mark of a career politician, disingenuously changing positions to get higher office.”

    Yeah, she’s just like Mark Kirk on Cap-and-Trade!

  33. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 6:24 pm:

    Ben S.

    Or Alexi on pac donations:)

  34. - Gob Bluth - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 7:41 pm:

    Alexi G just finished smirking his way through the interview on Chicago Tonight– I say smirking b/c when the PAC money issue came up that’s all he could muster when Phil Ponce caught him on his duplicitous stance on the issue. News flash Alexi……. if you’re going to try to hit Mark Kirk on the “special interest” money angle– you’re going to get it right back b/c you’ll have to eventually acknowledge that money from unions, trial lawyers, state lobbyists, or the DSCC/DNC (money comes from the above and other pro-business special interests) is just as “dirty” as receiving money from federal lobbyists.

  35. - Been There - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:57 pm:

    Rich, I don’t know if you will read this since it is a late posting. But this thread is a perfect example of why I understand why you try to stick to state politics.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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