Friday, January 27, 2006
Same goes if you know someone who was in an accident; if the vehicle was struck by a pickup truck, please contact me at your earliest convenience.
Please don't drink and drive.
A campaign insider shared this, among other interesting things:
The county clerk would not let our supporter check the files without a "court order." ... Every other election office opened their doors and were very gracious. (Aurora, Kane County and Dekalb) There were 58 voter registrations to be checked (in Kendall) but we did not need them, after all.
So maybe Kendall County Clerk Paul Anderson can explain why he violated the law by not allowing inspection of these public records?
Voter registration is, in fact, a matter of public record. It is open for inspection at any time (except during the month prior to an election day) during the county clerk's regular business hours.
As a matter of fact, Zamora only needed to issue a "written request" to keep Anderson and his deputies at work until he was done, whatever that entailed.
That is the law in Illinois. Check it out.
You can fill in the blank yourselves, gentle readers:
"___________ is a shifty-eyed goddamn liar. . . . .He's one of the few in the history of this country to run for high office talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time and lying out of both sides”
I take great offense, btw, at the historically inaccurate spelling of the term, "God-Damned."
Thursday, January 26, 2006
This name game is pretty serious, though.
See, you have all of these Feeleys. First, there was Bridget, who requested copies of Zamora's petitions under the name Bridget Stencel. Anyone can request copies of petitions. Not so remarkable unless you add in the timing of the request.
Then Patricia's name shows up on the Laesch campaign as its treasurer. And, of course, if you've been keeping up with what I've already tipped you off about in the Kendall County petition challenges, there's Jim Feeley, the Sergeant of Arms of the Kendall County Central Committee, who objected to at least one petition of the 11 committeemen that were thrown off the ballot a few weeks ago.
Ah, remember those were "Progressive Democrats" who filed objections to the Democratic candidates for committeemen in 11 precincts.
And Jim Feeley is a "Progressive Democrat" in Kendall County, which meets, oddly enough, on the same night, at the same time, as the Kendall County Democrats. Very odd for a group supposedly promoting the Democratic party to have such a regularly scheduled conflict. And how very odd for an officer in the regular party to make a commitment to both groups.
And John Laesch, who I understand does not attend Kendall County Democratic Party meetings, also is one of these "Progressive Democrats" in Kendall.
Take a look at their candidate list here. Odd, how slanted it is toward PDCKC members; plain old Democrats have nothing in the information field next to their names.
By now, you're wondering the same thing as me: not whether or not Jim Feeley can be at two meetings at the same time, but how he and his wife (who are well-connected Democrats with ties to Chicago Alderman Richard Mell, the governor's father-in-law) and their daughter, Bridget, got involved in all of this without thinking that someone would notice.
Now, this pair of Ducos. I sure would like to know if one used a party organization to simply tout the other's boss for a cheap endorsement, while Ruben Zamora would be presumably flopping around trying to save his campaign and pay his attorney fees. And it sure would be interesting to hear why at least two prominent members of the Laesch campaign, one Mr. Duco included, attended the petition challenge hearing before the Kendall County Elections Board.
Oh, yes. There's just one more thing, as Columbo might say. Those papers filed in Kendall County at the same time the objection went out on Zamora were all notarized by one Patricia D. Feeley. So all 11 of the candidates can look no further than the Feeleys to thank for the challenge, which took 11 regular Democrats off the ballot in favor of these "Progressives."
How convenient all of this is.
Both campaigns verified that the email was authentic. The Zamora campaign asked pointedly if anyone from their campaign had shared it. The answer is "no."
John Laesch responded by offering me a good schooling in public relations. In that email, Laesch states, "I did write the e-mail, but I don't think that it is in anyone's best interst to get this information on the streets."
Thanks for the lesson.
And of Zamora, Laesch also says, " If you take every race in 2002 and 2004 and compare three factors (money raised, total votes and % increase), you will learn quite a bit. Zamora did OK for the amount of $ he raised. Prior to my stepping in this race, he had not yet raised $5K and probably would not have done too much better than last time (we will never know).
"I believe that bringing to light the issue of ethics in public forum does not help our party or Zamora's future poltical (sic)ambitions."
That was interesting. We will never know? Sounds pretty sure. Pretty cock sure.
And bringing to light the issue of ethics? Come now. Let's turn for a moment to a different ethical question for a moment.
What if a candidate received an endorsement, then the endorsement was withdrawn? Wouldn't an ethical candidate want to clarify the situation for the same public which had received their press information about said endorsement?
Here's another bite of a followup email from a source close to the Laesch campaign:
- Interesting that he hasn't retracted the story about Laesch getting a PDA endorsement. PDA cancelled plans to endorse Laesch when it turned out that the local chapter which voted for the endorsement had never had a public meeting and had ignored numerous emails asking for the meeting times and locations.
When I directed an email to the contact for this PDA group for clarification, I received the following terse response:
- ...Our chapter of the PDA, which is the Progressive Democrats of the 14th Congressional District, did endorse John Laesch and that endorsement is not, nor will it be, withdrawn. Many members of our group are currently working with the Laesch campaign and we will continue to do so. The state chapter of the PDA, Progressive Democrats of Illinois, has decided not to endorse a candidate in the primary for the 14th congressional race. The national chapter is currently deciding whether to endorse, and if so who to endorse. I hope this will clear some points up for you, let me know if you have any other questions.
Now the coincidences are stacking up, I thought. So I sent another email back to Jessie Duco, which read, essentially:
- You didn't really answer my question. Perhaps it's better if I pull a quote from another email I recently received about John Laesch's candidacy:"
( see above quote )
Is this true? If it is, are you planning to respond somehow? If it's not, why would someone say that about an endorsement by a Democratic group?
One more question -- Are you related to Matthew Duco, John Laesch's communications director?
- Dear Hiram:
I've read your insightful comments regarding Mr Zamora's campaign and I must say I agree with them. I've chosen you to be the first to get this update because I believe you to be very fair and honest.
I thought you'd like an update on today's hearing but first some background on me if you don't mind.
I have never (I'm ashamed to say) been involved in politics before but the state of the nation has deteriorated to a point where I can no longer sit on the sidelines with a clear conscience. When I was looking around for a candidate to back, my logical choice was Rubin Zamora. I voted for him last time, he's from my town and I had heard him speak on Air America's Mike Malloy show. My decision was made until I heard John Laesch also on Malloy's program. To reconfirm my decision I wrote a few e-mails to John because my main concern is with church/state relationships. Since John touted his Christian background I thought I'd test him on that issue and he came through with flying colors as far as I was concerned. He invited me to a get-together and my wife and I attended. We felt very comfortable with his team and so we decided we'd cast our lot with John. I had nothing against Rubin, and still don't, it just worked out that way. Essentially a flip of a coin. So I guess that made me a "Laesch supporter" although I considered myself merely a Democratic supporter. This occurred around Thanksgiving time of last year..
Ok, I'm getting to the "challenge". I would go to Laesh's office from time to time and from the beginning the emphasis was on getting signatures for John's petition to get on the ballot. There was never enough and they were collected until the deadline. In addition to collecting signatures, much time was spent verifying signatures to be sure they were of registered voters, proper signatures and addresses and anything else to be sure the lists were valid. To be honest I don't know the exact number of signatures collected. After they were submitted I never asked. I would guess 3000.
As any efficient organization should do, I believe, when it was learned that Rubin only submitted 1,332 signatures it wasn't rocket science to think it a good idea to verify his names to be sure he was over the 863 minimum to actually be on the ballot. Not expecting to get the results we did, to my surprise we found more than enough names to show that Rubin was sloppy enough to not verify his signatures to guarantee his viability or he just decided to submit what he had in the hope that nobody would notice. So there you are, I did notice and so I was faced with the question- What is the right thing to do? This was in no way a "fishing expedition". The audit was done professionally with full confidence that the challenge would be vindicated as we had enough to show he was below the minimum. There's no way I would have challenged Rubin if he had been above the minimum. What would be the point? I decided the best thing to do was to file the objection and let the Board of elections decide. When I decided to get into politics I had no idea I'd be faced with such a conundrum but I'm determined that everything must be on the up-and-up no matter who's campaign or who's party I find problems. I haven't seen or heard all of the vitriol that has been generated but the fact is that the challenge has been vindicated in that as of today's hearing Rubin was shown to only have 837 valid signatures with 20 more still under review. That means that 495 or 37% of his signatures were not valid. Again, that is as of 3 pm today.
I'm writing this before the final decision takes place this Saturday at 2pm because Mr Zamora has been given another bite of the apple and he has until then to try to resurrect enough of the now rejected signatures to get himself above the minimum number of 863. That's 26 people he has to find to get notarized statements from that they are, in fact, the proper person at the proper residence. I have no doubt that will happen. Rubin has 2 high powered attorneys and they won't allow anything else to happen. I wish him luck.
Here's a scary thought which helped me decide to go forward. What if there had been no challenge, Rubin advances beyond the primary and then the Hastert campaign found out Rubin wasn't a valid candidate?
Here's the headline:
BREAKING NEWS: IT'S BEEN REVEALED ZAMORA DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH SIGNATURES TO BE ON BALLOT. HASTERT DEMANDS HIS WITHDRAWAL FROM CAMPAIGN!!
So there you have it.....the rest of the story. No fishing expedition, no secret plot to remove a perfectly good Democratic candidate from a ballot, no trying to give John Laesch a free ride to the general election and certainly nothing personal on my part against Rubin. In fact as of 3pm Saturday the pall of illegitimacy should be removed and we'll have no fear of it being used against him. I feel I've done him a service although he may find it hard to see. I've already told him that if he's successful in the primary that I'd be calling him to ask how I could help. You see I have my sights on Dennis Hastert, not Rubin Zamora and I hope he realizes that. It sounds hoaky but whoever gets past the primary is going to need, every last friend and Democrat to defeat the Republican. I'll watch the primary with interest knowing I cannot lose it no matter who "wins" it.
Thanks for your time. I hope you can pass this along to help cool this environment and get our eyes on the prize again.
On a personal note, you should be aware that Mr. Stupec is in his sixties. While he has opened this can of worms himself, please respect his privacy and leave him alone.
The glowing truth of the matter is that no one's numbers are questioned unless the petitions are found by the SBE to be inadequate, or if someone challenges them. And again, there's the timing of things that begs the question, "was this orchestrated somehow?"
Whether he was talked into it or not, Mr. Stupec's naive approach to the perceived "problem" with Ruben's candidacy did no one any favors.
Mr. Laesch, however, indicated before the challenge was decided by the mediator, and since, characterized Zamora's as both "illegal," "unethical" and "fraudulent," and told me in an email recently that the petitions were under lock and key by Mr. Stupec and Patricia Feeley.
There's that name again. Feeley.
Laesch, himself, refers to Stupec as a "firm supporter."
But try to connect Mr. Stupec to the Laesch campaign, and you get flat denials. And some confusing information.
Clint Raulsten, who posted (in peace) a number of outrageous comments at SoapBlox/Chicago, had plenty of details for a guy who wants to claim he's not in on the objection. In fact, Raulsten stated a number of times that his candidate had actually wanted a Primary race, and thought it would be good for the party.
That, however, would seem to be counter to information that's since been shared with me. The following is Laesch's response to a representative of Progressive Democrats of Illinois, who sent the campaign an email asking why he was challenging Zamora's signatures.
It's important to note that I did not receive any information from any of the recipients of this email. No one from either campaign has supplied me with information. All of the recipients I queried did authenticate it, however.
- From: "John Laesch"
Subject: RE: Signatures challenge
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2006 23:55:53 -0600
Thank you as always for your support of Progressive causes and candidates. Perhaps PDI members are working for the wrong candidate.
I have not challenged Ruben's signatures. Joe Stupec, a firm supporter, has issued a challenge. After the challenge was filed, I took the Christmas holiday to review Zamora's signatures personally and compare them to a voter file (this consumed a week of my valuable time). Zamora does not have enough signatures to get on the ballot and there are clear signs of unethical signature gathering procedures. There are near-full pages all written in the same handwritting. This is illegal, unethical and not representative of our party. I will furnish copies of these petitions to you if you wish.
With all due respect to Mr. Zamora, we need to do better.
I am supporting Stupec's challenge based on ethics. I don't understand how someone who has been running for Congres for the past two years can fail to get on the ballot and a guy who has been campaigning for 4 months can:
- Collect 1925 signatures
- Raise more money
- Earn more endorsements
- Earn national media (and we'll do it again here shortly)
I don't care if the challenge goes forward or there is a primary - I plan on going to Washington in Jan 2007. I have a brother stationed in Iraq and betting on a Zamora for Congress effort is not good enough. If your brother was in harms way, I promise that you would not bet on a guy who gathered a mere 87,000 votes and 600-some signatures in front of grocery stores.
Zamora is diverting my time and resources away from a real race against DH. If you want to see a liberal Democrat defeat the Speaker of the house, then I would like to welcome you aboard.
Second is the outright claim of support for the objector's challenge, which would mean Mr. Raulsten was lying on behalf of his candidate (not a good idea). Make what you will of the rest.
Now, what about timing? Laesch claims he "took the Christmas holiday" to review the petitions himself, which should raise eyebrows. What Laesch (a son of missionaries) defines as "the Christmas holiday" is open to speculation. It would appear to be, perhaps, weekend-to-weekend since he says it consumed "an entire week of (his) valuable time."
When you consider the fact that the petition challenge was filed on the Tuesday after Christmas, that would not be a good thing for Mr. Laesch, as his campaign manager also said Mr. Stupec came to them after filing the objection.
It would appear that the claims distancing the campaign from Mr. Stupec's objection don't add up.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
How exciting. There are two Democratic candidates vying for the right to challenge the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
That's the fight we need to take back to the Republicans, I thought. Remember Tom Foley and the whispering campaign about his sexuality? Republicans used a lie about Foley to not only take control of the House, but to defeat Foley in his home district. It was a humiliating experience for all Democrats.
Let's get Hastert, I thought. This is exactly what we need I thought. No whispering campaigns, though. We don't play that game. We'll sing in unison and raise the volume during the Primary.
At the very least, this might generate some great national press attention.
But all of that changed around 1 p.m. on December 19. The filing deadline was about 4 hours away when a copy of Ruben Zamora's petitions was requested by someone named Bridget Stencel of Chicago.
This caused a great deal of confusion for some time, because no one in the Blogger Intelligentsia could locate a Bridget Stencel at the address on record with the objection. Someone pointed out, however, that a Bridget Feeley shows up at the North Francisco address on file with the Board of Elections.
Remember that name, Feeley. It's important.
No matter the name, many Zamora supporters and plenty more Democrats wanted to know who this person was who requested the copies of the candidate's petitions. Everyone wanted to know who Joe Stupec, the challenger, was.
Above all, everyone wanted to know about their affiliations. When Joe Stupec turned out to be a Democrat, and a supporter of John Laesch, the questions boiled down to one word: What?!
After receiving a couple emails earlier today from the person who challenged Candidate Ruben Zamora's petitions, I now have a better picture of the challenge.
Thanks to Mr. Joe Stupec, the challenger, for responding with so much information, and so promptly.
More later. I need some time to sort through all the info.
There is plenty more that's already written for the blog (it needs to be checked thoroughly before posting), and now there's more still after hearing from Mr. Stupec.
For centuries, inventors, dreamers and assorted kooks have gone so far as to give their lives attempting to perfect the Perpetual Motion Machine, or create a free energy source.
Hastert and other Republicans in the U.S. House have done it in about a decade. Here's how it works.
The "K Street Project," born in the mid-90s, was the embryo for the device. Staff from Congressional offices and families alike are mingled with their counterparts in the Washington lobbyists, thereby creating a permanently established source of fuel for the device.
The fuel is further manufactured in and of itself by the sources indicated above, then those same fuel sources, as well as the Congressmen themselves, return to their home districts and convince state and local governments to join the device.
This joining of energy source particles is handled mainly by both unwitting and corrupt county boards who are convinced at some point that they must employ one of the lobbying firms in order to get whatever it is they need by their Congressmen.
Incredible, isn't it?
There's one catch. Since taxpayers are paying Congressmen, and paying the expense -- at least in the long term -- for lobbying activities over the past 10 years, and are also now paying for their local and state governments's lobbying bills, it is unknown whether this source of income is inexhaustible.
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.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
What a fitting bit of irony.
Until now, I've shared clips from the Zamora campaign, and nothing from John Laesch's camp.
That is about to change, and it may come as no surprise that at least one of the camps doesn't think it's beneficial to have this little behind-the-scenes view of John Laesch out in the public eye.
It seems, after all the ballyhoo of denials that the Laesch campaign was not supporting the challenge to Zamora's campaign, there is plenty of information that doesn't support that defense.
Pot smokers: You're screwed under the Generalissimo's fiat. Rembember that thing we've been spending money on for 25 years? The War on Drugs?
War on Drugs, War on Terror, War on the Constitution... Whatever.
- Good news!
There will be a congressional primary on March 21. The voters will have a choice.
We received the official recommendation from the hearing officer late Monday evening. The petition challenge was not sustained. We have enough signatures to stay on the ballot. The recommendation is official, pending the State Officets Election Board ruling on Friday.
A huge thank you to all of you who signed affidavits, who collected affidavits, and who pitched in to help us gather the evidence we needed to prove the validity of our petition signatures. Thanks to all of you who were willing to help, but could not reach me (due to the incorrect phone number listed in a previous email). Thanks for the outpouring of support. I am truly humbled.
Now, it's time to work on the good stuff, getting our message out to the people of the 14th District. This is why we fought the petition challenge instead of folding. There are people out there who need representation. The disadvantaged and marginalized people may have had their signatures challenged as invalid, but they are a valuable part of my campaign.
Monday, January 23, 2006
I would say it's only a tiny part of the problem if a Trillion dollars was not such a nebulous, mind-boggling number to the likes of me.
The issues that make up the ClusterFuck Estate created by Gingrich (and today promoted by his stooge and understudy, Denny "J. Dennis" Hastert) are manyfold. Each is so gigantic in girth alone it's a nearly insurmountable obstacle.
Multiply the length and depth and scope by the sheer weight of it, and you can clearly see it will be a miracle if any re-incarnated Bill Clinton can ever save the economy, our public policy principles and the public's trust in government.
Not that that wasn't the goal all along -- to utterly trick the public into believing once and for all, as the GOP crudely and cynically continues with Katrina response, that government is not the answer.
No, friends: this is the message Denny "J. Dennis" Hastert and his puppeteers want you to believe. Because that message of fear and failure is the foundation for the rest of their plan to de-construct government and the Federal institutions Liberals have proven necessary to keep equality thriving in our society.
Put all of these things together, and you have a lot of campaign issues, based simply on current events. I don't need to qualify any of these items; every one turned out to be a cynical joke, or an utter failure.
• Social Security "reform"
• Medicare "reform"
• Campaign Finance "reform"
• Corporate "reform"
• Securities Industry "reform"
• Cutting Taxe for Growth
• Right-sizing Defense
• Operation Iraqi Freedom
• North Korea
Now we're about to get sucked into a whole new, distracting whirlpool of deceit, called "Earmark Reform," and "Lobbying Reform," and "Tax Reform," and "Pension Reform."
All the above problems can be summed up in two words: Republican Party. Because no one can blame a single Democrat. No one.
Nothing has even gotten to the floor of the House unless Denny Hastert saw in the final analysis an overwhelming, Republican-only win that showed Democrats to be "the other side."
Democrats have been the slaves on Hastert's Plano Plantation.
Why does Denny "J. Dennis" Hastert hate our Constitution and the uniquely American principles of justice and equality for all citizens so much that he would carry the banner for these criminals?
Sometimes you tend to see so many things in life, I dunno... so much clearer.
Going to be an interesting week for Democrats in IL CD 14, let me tell you.
Did I mention it's a great day to be a Liberal in Kendall County?
Here is something I never thought I'd see. The rats are now turning on the ship's captain to gnaw his legs off before the ship sinks.
The handsome, cap-toothed, foul-tongued Robert Novak says he agrees with John McCain that earmarks are behind the corruption of lobbyists.
Does Novak not know about the quarter-Billion-dollar boondoggle Hastert earmarked for us, in the form of the "Hastert Highway?"
As I've said recently, if you want to keep talking smack and at least help me make part of my point, I won't disabuse of your own nonsense.
No one has concluded that Bush and Abramoff are "doing something nefarious together." That's one of Bartlett's trademark tricks.
It is an outright lie, however, that Bush "doesn't have a personal relationship with him (Abramoff)." It is widely known that they are connected, and that the WH not only said recently that there are no pictures of the two together, but that Bartlett and others tried desperately to prevent both discovery and publication of the photos we now know exist.
And where's Denny in all of this? Up to his fat little neck!
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Hastert, who has been virtually invisible under the leadership of DeLay and Gingrich, has been able to fly low below the radar of the press. But now that other notable Republicans and his own hand-picked committee chairmen are being indicted, the feeling is that it may not be long before "the coach" himself is tarred by the scandal. By association alone.
And with the press having found their both their testacles and scrotums intact in the past few weeks*, and with it getting so close to a vote that could decide Hastert's future as Speaker, there are some who would rather The Large One take a pass this time.
And where is the greatest pressure coming from?
Right at home. At this point, however, everyone knows there's no way for Hastert to either step down, withdraw his name for Speaker, or otherwise shrink from his position without making the GOP look even worse.
*Rumor has it that Tim Russert also recently found his ass, but the find was disqualified when it was learned that he used both hands.
Volunteers poured in Friday to help, and it appears that nearly all the information was accepted by the mediator.
A few outstanding issues were expected to be decided on by the mediator (most likely) early tomorrow.
"Democrats" challenging the petitions of Democratic candidates.
Nice, isn't it?
The Laesch campaign, for the record, has vehemently denied they had anything to do with the challenge.
Odd, I find it, that so many have now related to me the fact that there were Laesch supporters at a hearing two weeks ago in Kendall County, where "Democrats" (who call themselved "Progressives") had the petitions of 11 Democratic candidates for precinct committeeman thrown out.