By Nancy Thorner –
A reception was hosted for IL Senator Jim Oberweis (R-25th District), Republican candidate for governor, by the Women’s Republican Cub of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff and GOP State Central Committeeman 10th District Mark Shaw, on Saturday, September 20, at the Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest.
Jennifer Neubauer, president of the organization, cited as its mission: 1) Advocating for Republican issues and 2) Supporting Republican candidates. Mrs. Pat Kammerer was the member host for the event. Candidates present were Dr. Mark Neerhof, challenging Democrat Scott Drury in the 58th Congressional District; Leslie Munger, going up at Democrat Carol Sente in the 59th Congressional District; and Roycealee Wood in her re-election bid for Lake County Superintendent of Schools.
Mark Shaw introduced Jim Oberweis as one born and raised in the state of Illinois. He presently lives in Sugar Grove, IL. Graduating from college, Jim Oberweis started out in 1968 as a high school math and science teacher. Later on Oberweis started his own mutual fund: the Oberweis Funds. Since then, the Oberweis Foundation has been set up to help needy people.
It was twenty-five years ago that Oberweis took over the helm of the single Oberweis Dairy store from his ailing brother (his grandfather had a small dairy business 100 years ago), and grew the business from one store into 46 retail ice cream stores with over 1,200 employees.
As a member of the Illinois Senate, Oberweis sponsored a bill to phase in an increase of the minimum wage over three years, but it was shelved by the Senate Democrats for political reasons.
It is obvious that Jim Oberweis doesn’t like to sit around. At a time when Jim could be enjoying a more relaxed life with his wife and grandchildren, he said “yes” to the state party in taking on the challenge to unseat U.S. Senate against Richard Durbin, a career politician who has been in Washington, D.C. for 32 years, first as a U.S. representative from Illinois and then as an elected senator.
Jim Oberweis lost no time in laying out why he was running to replace powerful and senior Senator Dick Durbin. In that Jim Oberweis is tired of the money being borrowed from China; Obama’s deceptiveness and outright lies; the government telling what type of healthcare you need to buy; children being trapped in failing schools; and policies dividing this nation by class, Oberweis presented these four specific reasons for his uphill but doable battle to unseat Durbin:
1. Repeal and replace Obamacare with one that will insure more people, be less costly, and be free-market-oriented.
2. Create a balanced budget.
3. Simplify our tax structure which, in turn, will create more jobs and unleash a torrent of economic activity. With more jobs created the price of labor will increase and be reflected in wages earned, giving people more money to spend.
4. Limit term in office so elected officials don’t inevitably represent the government establishment and the special interest who finance their campaigns, rather than the families they take an oath to protect and serve. As Jim Oberweis said: “If eight years is good enough for the President, it is good enough for Congress.”
In elaborating on his campaign activities, Oberweis has been traveling to the south and the west side of Chicago where few Republicans have ever campaigned. He is being met with a good reception, sometimes even better than in the suburbs. Most blacks have never before seen a white Republican candidate from the suburbs show up in their neighborhoods. Oberweis has accordingly gained the support of Pastor Corey Brooks (the “rooftop” minister) and Bishop Larry Trotter. His messages to blacks is all about jobs, education, and reducing violence in Chicago.
While Oberweis spent his life creating jobs, Senator Durbin has never worked in the private sector. Oberweis is a big supporter of school choice and private schools and vouchers, believing that with choice comes competition which make schools better. In comparison, at a congressional hearing in September of 2009, Sen. Dick Durbin, as a vocal critic of the D.C. school voucher program (The Opportunity Scholarship Program to provide about 1,700 students from low-income families with annual scholarships of as much as $7,500 to attend private schools), who likewise headed the subcommittee that controlled its funding, killed the school-voucher program.
Oberweis informed his supporters that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is likewise reaching out to the African American community. Rauner has been endorsed by Reverend James Meeks. Oberweis believes that if he can receive 20 to 25% of the African American vote, he will be U.S. Senator Jim Oberweis come January of 2015. The poll numbers are going in a positive direction; the trend is good.
Every black vote received is in essence like two votes for the Republican Party, by removing one vote from the Democratic side and added to the Republican. It is in the interest of the black Americans to spread their votes and not blindly vote Democrat. Blacks must be assured that it’s perfectly fine to vote for Oberweis and Rauner.
Oberweis gave as his greatest weakness the huge discrepancy in the amount of money Durbin has available in his campaign fund over that of Oberweis ($6 to $7 million compared to less than $1 million). More money needs to be raised to get the Oberweis ad already produced up on the air.
In asking attendees to reflect what the state would look like with two elected Republican senators; a Republican governor; four new U.S. congressional seats; and several more Illinois House and Senate seats, Oberweis related how it would ensure more balance both here in Illinois and in Washington, D.C. Putting Jim Oberweis over the top for victory here in Illinois will require lots of effort from everyone, but it’s doable.
Regarding the polls in the Chicago Tribune showing that on two successive days Rauner trailed behind Quinn and Oberweis trailed behind Durbin, they are not to be believed as only registered voters (favoring Democrats) were polled, not likely voters (The registered voters poll is not as accurate as likely voters poll, not because it favors blacks, but because Democrat voters are less likely to vote in off-year elections as in 2014.).
As a final request from Oberweis to those who had come to confirm their support for Oberweis and his campaign, they repeated on command the following words, not only one time, but twice in voices filled with energy and hope.