John Laesch, candidate for IL CD 14, has connections that run pretty deep. Among endorsements the first-time candidate has garnered: AFL-CIO, UAW and PDA (Progressive Democrats for America). You don't get endorsements without trying hard.
And he has a pretty impressive organization, with names that are linked to all kinds of other powerful organizations like the DFA, and Richard Mell the powerful Chicago 33rd Ward alderman (and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's father-in-law). You need connections like those when you're a candidate for the U.S. House.
But it appears the Laesch campaign may be trying some things too hard.
Laesch's opponent in the March Primary, Ruben Zamora, has run against Hastert once already. And Laesch and his campaign people have been harshly critical of Zamora, mostly in private, for a number of things related to his virgin run for office (Zamora got his name slated on the November ballot after no Democrat could be found to run in the March Primary).
Laesch has a track record, of sorts, as the campaign manager for Dr. David Gill's 2004 run against Tim Johnson in IL CD 15. Some Zamora supporters pin Gill's loss on Laesch, which is hard to prove. After all, Laesch was not the candidate. And so it goes.
When Zamora's petitions were challenged a week after filing, some Zamora supporters cried foul, and on SoapBlox/Chicago, Laesch's Campaign Manager, Clint Raulsten, vehemently denied a purported connection to his candidate. With some interesting details thrown in for good measure. In other posts, including this one, Raulsten gave plenty of details.
So it was no surprise to me that a number of people began privately sharing information with me, your humble blogger, after a casual mention that for someone with no connection to the petition challenge, he was sure looking as guilty as a character in a Columbo episode.
The information I have makes a number of connections to this petition challenge, and others.