Monday, September 22, 2014

Jim Oberweis and Mark Shaw with supporters
Left: Jim Oberweis and Mark Shaw with Lake Forest supporters

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.





Nancy Thorner with Jim Oberweis

Many who faithfully read Illinois Review every day most likely refer to themselves as “conservative Republicans.” I have been concerned for a number of years regarding the future of self-proclaimed conservatives and their waning influence in the Republican Party.

In Lake County there is a functioning and active conservative group that dates back to 2001, the Republican Assembly of Lake County.

Years ago it was mandatory for RALC members to be pro-life, to ascribe to marriage between one man and one woman, to uphold gun rights via the Second Amendment, etc. Its Platform is closely aligned with the Platform of the Republican Party in Illinois. With a relaxation of membership qualifications, no longer is it necessary for a candidate to check “yes” beside all questions asked of prospective members on the RALC membership application form to qualify for membership.

The relaxation of standards by the RALC has resulted in diminishing the impact its members can have in advancing conservatism in Lake County.

Even when a conservative Republican candidate does attempt to run for office in Illinois, an attempt is made to derail that candidate in favor of a Republican Establishment candidate, as was the situation in Illinois House District 58 when Minority House Leader Tom Cross — who has garnered far too much power and influence here in Illinois — funneled thousands of dollars to the establishment candidate after promising the Republican challenger that he never became involved in Primary elections.

The same disregard for conservatives happened at the federal level when in the 8th Congressional District no financial help was directed toward Joe Walsh by the U.S. House Republican Party in his campaign to retain his House seat against challenger Democrat Tammy Duckworth.

If the Republican tactics employed to eliminate conservative candidates seem underhanded and unfair, there is much more more to fear in the near future.

In the aftermath of the Nov. 7th elections conservatives are being told by the top brass of the Republican Party in Illinois and at the Federal level, that the Republican party must change its stripes or it will forever lose elections.

It has been decided that we, as conservatives, are out-of-step with society by clinging to our pro-life and anti-gay marriage messages. But it is on the issue of illegal immigration where a Republican compromise would bring about lasting and disastrous implications that could torpedo the Republican Party out of existence.

It is regretful that a prominent conservative senator, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), is suggesting that Republicans be more accepting and tolerant of illegal immigrants to win elections.

Do Republican (and conservatives in sync with Sen Rubio) really believe that by going Democrat-lite the Republican Party will win predictably Democratic voters over to the Republican side? Will the Democratic Party gleefully hand over some of its voter base to Republicans– Obama won 71% of the Hispanic vote in November — just because Republicans are finally saying “pretty please, vote for me” to Hispanic voters? I don’t think so!

Instead, granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens would infuse the Democratic voter base with millions of potential new voters. Meanwhile, all the Republican Party would gain from any amnesty plan is the element of hope that their largess toward Hispanics would be rewarded at the polls.

In an outstanding video featuring conservative David Horowitz, Horowitz laments how many conservatives don’t accept their own philosophy to the extent that they are able to stand up to the pressures of pop culture, either too ashamed to declare and fight for what they believe, or not equipped to explain their conservative principles which far outshine the failed policies of the liberal Left.

Michelle Bachmann was cited by Horowitz as a conservative who unabashedly stands up and fights for what she believes (and she was reelected!). Establishment GOP leaders instead consider conservatives and Tea Party candidates and legislators their greatest threat.

It was through information shared by conservative radio host, Mark Levin, during his Monday, November 20 radio show aired on WLS-890 AM, that I heard about House Majority leader John Boehner’s recent power grabs and scorched-earth maneuvering in order to crush conservative opposition in the House.

On November 20 Levin read to his radio listeners a commentary by Daniel Horowitz, Boehner’s Irony, that disputes the claim that Boehner is weak and flaccid in the face of adversity. On the contrary, Boehner has reorganized the House so conservatives will be relegated to the back burner without a voice.

In light of Boehner’s scorched earth tactics and aggressiveness against House conservatives, it is not unreasonable to expect that Boehner, in future negotiation with Democrats, will reach across the aisle, even when promising otherwise, in order to win the mantle of bi-partisanship which Republican leaders seem to crave when in power. For Boehner, not unlike other powerful establishment Republican leaders, folds like cheap a accordion when faced with Democrat masters.

Conveniently forgotten by Republicans is that Democrats in power crush all opposition that impedes them from attaining their Statist goals. Boehner, nevertheless, has created what appears to be a free rein for himself in capitulating to Democrats on a laundry list of policy items.

Why? Because both parties want big government as it offers them more spoils to split between them. Boehner’s dictatorial action in the House therefore seems to signal Republican Establishment desperation. Action had to be taken in the House to relegate Republican conservative legislators to the back burner. Beware of Boehner’s recent announcement that Obamacare is on the table for fiscal cliff talks, or that raising taxes is out of the question.

Republican pundits — Karl Rove captures the prize in demonizing conservatives — and Republican leaders in the Illinois General Assembly and the U.S. House and Senate foolishly believe Republicans need to offer amnesty to illegal aliens and compromise on issues of morality in order to win elections. Instead, they would be wise to heed the words of Eagle

Forum Phyllis Schlafly in an article published on November 21, Political Parties Need Rebranding.

According the Phyllis Schlafly, the Republican Party needs to change its marketing and its economic message so the Party “can be rebranded as the party of family, good jobs, and superior weaponry that keeps America safe without war. Safe without war and Reagan-style peace through strength can help to win back the Millennial generation.”

To Schlafly, the basic Romney-Republican economic message of cutting taxes and regulations to enable people to prosper as entrepreneurs, innovators, and employers was fine, but it didn’t relate to the millions of men who lost $50,000 jobs and then had to take minimum-wage of part-time jobs that don’t pay enough to support a family.

Schlafly had this to say about how Republicans should define the Democratic Party: “The Democratic Party should be rebranded as the Party of atheism, amnesty, abortion, and debt.”

Lastly, Phyllis Schlafly believes there is plenty of hope for the Republican Party because 30 of the 50 governors are now Republican. At the same time Schlafly urges grassroots Republicans, with the help of Tea Party allies, to take back control of their Party at the local level and set the Republican Party on a winning path!

But what are conservatives in Illinois to do when well known Republicans like John Porter, Jim Edgar and Jim Thompson support and back Democrats, as they did in the recent November General Elections, while at the same time Republicans are being urged to vote the Party line.

John Porter endorsed Democrat Julie Morrison over Republican Dr. Arie Friedman in the IL District 29 race; Jim Edgar and Jim Thompson endorsed Democrat Scott Drury over Republican Mark Shaw in the IL 58th House race. What blatant dichotomy!

After all, elections are many times won by small margins. Furthermore, while Illinois may run out of money, it will never run out of corruption.