Monthly Archives: October 2008

Roskam Web site reaches out to Obama supporters, split-ticket voters

Split-ticket voting may be the best hope for local Republicans come Election Day.

There’s little doubt that U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., of Chicago will carry Illinois with its 21 electoral votes. The last Republican presidential candidate to win this state was George H.W. Bush when he beat Michael Dukakis in 1988.

With Obama’s victory in Illinois all but certain, Republicans have been trying to short-circuit the coattail effect. And U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-6th District, of Wheaton may have found an answer.

A Web site called www.ObamaVotersForRoskam.com provides testimonials from residents who are committed to Obama and yet plan to vote for Roskam. Not surprisingly, the site also links to www.RoskamForCongress.com.

“I registered to vote so I could vote for Barack Obama,” Manuel Fortuna of Addison is quoted as saying on the Web site. “I’m voting for Peter Roskam because he is fighting hard for families like mine.”

“I’m voting for Obama for President and Peter Roskam for Congress,” said Rodney Pate of Villa Park. “Having a diversified portfolio is a great way to make the most of your voting power!”

The Web site also includes the following quote from Obama on March 31, 2004 when both he and Roskam were still state senators: “I am a member of the mutual admiration society with Sen. Roskam. He is always terrific.”

The campaign of Jill Morgenthaler, the Des Plaines Democrat who’s challenging Roskam in the 6th Congressional District, has a different take on this tactic. To start, the Obama quote was taken out of context, Morgenthaler’s people said.

According to an e-mail from Morgenthaler’s campaign, here is the conplete quote: “I am a member of the mutual admiration society with Sen. Roskam. I — he — he’s always terrific, and I know he’s got his family here today. He — he’s produced some beautiful children, which clearly shows to me that he knows how to choose a — a spouse. And we were just talking about the fact that we both improved our DNA with our — with our — our choices of spouses. Having said that, have I said that he’s wrong? I — I love him, but he’s wrong.”

Morgenthaler pointed out the irony of Roskam aligning himself with Obama, given the major differences in their positions on key issues.

“It is very telling that my opponent is showing no loyalty to John McCain, who he had pledged to support.  He has shown that same lack of respect to the voters of the 6th District.” Morgenthaler said in her campaign’s e-mail.

While Morgenthaler may find Roskam’s move cynical, I think it’s clever. If he can pick out even a few Obama supporters, why not? Appealing to split-ticket voters has been a recent Talking Point for the GOP in Illinois.

Local Republicans obviously see the writing on the wall and realize Obama will most likely carry Illinois. So they’re talking up the advantages of split-ticket voting in hopes of limiting the damage to the party that could come with an Obama landslide.

We’ll have to wait and see if Roskam’s method is successful on Election Day.

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Roskam’s office expects him to be cleared of alleged franking violations

Officials with the office of U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-6th District, of Wheaton believe a complaint filed againt him last week with the U.S. House of Representatives’ Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards will soon be dismissed.

The nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen filed a complaint Oct. 23 against Roskam, claiming he violated his congressional franking privileges by sending out mass mailings during a pre-election blackout period. Members of Congress are prohibited from sending bulk mailings within 90 of a general election, and this year’s blackout date was Aug. 6. Public Citizen claimed Roskam sent out mailings from Aug. 18 to Oct. 7 in violation of congressional franking rules.

However, Roskam press secretary Matt Vriesema said all mailings sent out by Roskam’s office were approved beforehand by the Hosue Democratic majority. He said the complaint was frivolous and was intended only to impeach Roskam’s reputation right before the election. He said the Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards, also known as the Franking Commission, is planning to issue a letter within a few days dismissing the complaint.

Salley Collins, press secretary for the House Republicans on the Committee for House Administration (which oversees the Franking Commission), said the complaint filed by Public Citizen against Roskam has no merit. Mass mailings with less than 500 pieces of mail, called 499s, are not subject to the same rules as are bulk mailings with at least 500 pieces of mail. The mailings in question from Roskam’s office fall into this category, Collins said.

In its complaint, Public Citizen claimed that different sets of mailings sent out by Roskam’s office had similar headings and should therefore be considered the same, Collins said. But the content of the mailings is different, and so the complaint is without merit, she said.

A letter clearing Roskam of any violations should be sent out within a few days, Collins said.

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Federal lawsuit claims teacher didn’t want to keep discipline in-house

Valley View School District 365U in Bolingbrook has found itself in hot water after a teacher allegedly tried to outsource discipline in his class.

A federal lawsuit recently filed against the School District claims a teacher at Brooks Middle School encouraged his students to slap another student one day last spring during an English as a Second Language class. The teacher allegedly made the request after the girl had asked him a question, according to the lawsuit.

The lawuit claims the teacher called the student inattentive and asked his students more than once that day to slap the girl. The suit alleges that the district was aware of the teacher’s inappropriate behavior toward students and demands he be fired.

If there’s any truth to this story, it’s pretty bizarre. When I attended elementary school, the nuns wouldn’t think of asking students to dole out the punishment — they were perfectly capable of doing it themselves.

One nun I had as a teacher wouldn’t hit anyone as I recall, but she had a way of instilling the fear of God in you just the same. She would clench her fists and lift students up, placing her hands right where the neck meets the jaw.

Being a tall, thin woman, she would raise students up several inches so they could see the piercing anger in her eyes. I experiened it all of once, and that was enough for me.

Families like mine would never consider suing our schools or the nuns who taught there for such disciplinary measures. I’ve often said that where unrurly behavior is a problem among students in public schools today, all the schools have to do is to hire a few retired nuns and give them big wooden rulers.

Problem solved.

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How is Dave Diersen involved in the collapse of our financial markets?

Just when I thought I had seen the worst in Dave Diersen’s background, the editor of GOPUSA Illinois throws another change-up.

Yesterday I exposed Diersen’s shocking relationship with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. Let’s review the facts about the points of connection between these two men:

Commonwealth Edison. DuPage County. Education reform. Political activism. University of Illinois at Chicago.

It’s astounding, Diersen and Ayers are practically acquaintances.

Given this alarming revelation, I thought a further probe was warranted. You’ll never guess what I discovered

Diersen uses the following terms in listing his areas of specialization as a financial professional: derivatives, structured notes and mortgage-backed securities.

When I read that, my jaw dropped to the floor. These are some of the very same terms that have been thrown around in describing the factors that led to the subprime mortgage crisis.

So not only do we see connections between Diersen and Ayers, now we have linked Diersen and our economic meltdown.

Does Diersen have an alibi for his whereabouts when the financial collapse began? Is there someone (other than Ayers) who can vouch for him? What else does he know about the credit crunch that he’s not telling us? And will he now be willing to discuss why he refused to publish or even acknowledge the e-mail messages I sent to him on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22 in an attempt to reach out to his subscribers?

I’m not sure how much longer I can endure uncovering these bizarre details of Diersen’s life. But I’m afraid we’re probably only glimpsing the tip of the iceberg.

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Watchdog group files complaint against Roskam for abusing mailing privileges

A nonprofit watchdog group filed a complaint Thursday against U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-6th District, charging that the freshman legislator from Wheaton violated his franking privileges by sending political mailings out at taxpayer expense within 90 days of the upcoming general election.

Public Citizen filed the complaint with the U.S. House of Representatives’ Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards. Roskam’s office sent out political mailings from Aug. 18 to Oct. 7 at taxpayer expense; such mailings should have ceased Aug. 6, according to Public Citizen’s complaint.

“Members of Congress are allowed to distribute mass mailings to their constituents at taxpayer expense touting their legislative records (‘franked’ mail), but not within 90 days of an election. A bipartisan Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards, known as the Franking Commission, is responsible for oversight and regulation of the franking privilege in the House of Representatives,” according to a press release posted by Public Citizen on its Web site.

“Right up into October, just weeks before the election, voters have been receiving two-page color mailers paid for by taxpayers, with Peter Roskam’s name splashed all over them,” Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen, said in the press release. “Taxpayers should not be footing the bill to advertise Roskam’s candidacy for Congress.”

“If the commission finds a violation, it will refer the matter to the House Ethics Committee for enforcement,” according to the press release. “The Ethics Committee has wide latitude in all its enforcement actions, ranging from a private letter of reprimand, to civil penalty to removal from office. This issue likely would result in a letter of reprimand and a requirement that the campaign reimburse taxpayers for the franked mail.”

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When will Dave Diersen explain his relationship with terrorist Bill Ayers?

It’s utterly shocking — why didn’t I see this earlier?

On the surface, there doesn’t appear to be any link between GOPUSA Illinois editor Dave Diersen and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. But once you start connecting the dots, you’ll see that the association is as clear as day.

Ayers’ father, Thomas G. Ayers, was chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Edison from 1973 to 1980. ComEd supplies electricity to the Chicago area. Diersen and his family have long made use of ComEd’s services — thus helping to pay Thomas Ayers’ salary, which allowed Ayers to send Bill to an elite prep school.

Coincidence? I think not.

Conclusion: The Diersen family funneled money toward the education of a domestic terrorist!

Bill Ayers grew up in Glen Ellyn, right in the middle of conservative Republican DuPage County. Diersen and his wife eventually moved to Wheaton, which is located right next to Glen Ellyn.

Coincidence? I think not.

Conclusion: Diersen knowingly sought a region to live in known as a breeding ground for a domestic terrorist!

On his Web site, Diersen often highlights news stories that discuss various approaches to enhancing education. Bill Ayers’ professional background is in education reform.

Coincidence? I think not.

Conclusion: Diersen shares the goal of reforming education with a domestic terrorist!

Ayers is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. To this day, Diersen remains a former student of UIC.

Coincidence? I think not.

Conclusion? Diersen shares a strong connection to a school with a domestic terrorist!

Both Ayers and Diersen have advocated changes in America’s political environment.

Coincidence? I think not.

Conclusion: Diersen shares the title political activist with a domestic terrorist!

So when will Diersen provide a complete background on his relationship with Ayers? When will he finally comment on why he refused to publish or even acknowledge the e-mail messages I sent to him on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22 in an attempt to reach out to his subscribers? When will DuPage County Republican leaders such as Mike Formento and Dan Cronin discuss why they are coddling a radical political activist with a shady connection to a domestic terrorist?

Stay tuned.

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Moore no longer feeling the love as Diersen again ignores e-mail messages

I hate to judge before all the facts are in, but it appears as though I’ve worn out my welcome with Dave Diersen of Wheaton.

On his Web site GOPUSA Illinois yesterday, Diersen made a passing reference to an e-mail I sent him the night before. He wouldn’t print the e-mail on his Web site like he had done a couple of times in the past week but pulled out portions to highlight.

So yesterday I printed my e-mail message to Diersen in its entirety on my blog. I sent him the link last night and wrote him another e-mail message, requesting he print this one on his Web site.

These e-mails were directed not just to Diersen but to the hundreds of people who subscribe to his Web site. I’m interested in sparking a dialogue with them about how we all can improve the political discourse in this country.

Imagine my surprise — nay, shock — this morning when I saw that Diersen had not only declined to once again print my e-mail message, he completely ignored my blog posting. This is the first time in about a week that I received not a single mention on GOPUSA Illinois.

Then today I sent him a couple of e-mails just to say hi and see if he would respond. Nothing, zilch, zero.

I can’t believe it. Does this mean we won’t be exchanging Christmas cards this year?

In hopes of reaching the broader audience Diersen captures every day, here is the e-mail message I sent to him yesterday:

* * *

To all subscribers of GOPUSA Illinois:

As you may have noticed, I’ve encountered some gridlock with Dave Diersen of Wheaton, the editor of this Web site, for about the past week. I’ve encouraged him to stop merely lobbing baseless accusations at people and defend his positions. Name-calling and making unsubstantiated charges are acts that only serve to demean our political process. So Dave and I have engaged in a tug-of-war of sorts. But I would like to begin a serious dialogue with those of you who make use of Dave’s Web site. Is there a better way of expressing ourselves, one that doesn’t include dehumanizing those with whom we strongly disagree? I hope so. I’d like to hear from some of you about this issue. Please e-mail me at jmoore@mysuburbanlife.com. I look forward to exchanging ideas with you about how our political discourse can be improved. Thank you for your consideration.
— Jerry Moore, Suburban Life Publications

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