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April 07, 2006

Stray bits and pieces from the 17th District notebook....

Stray bits and pieces from the 17th District notebook...

-- The blogs are an interesting addition of the Democrats' dilemma in picking a replacement for Lane Evans as their congressional candidate. While those based in the Quad-Cities tend toward Rock Island County-centric views of the contest, the many others scattered around the district offer even the mildly curious quick access to out-district viewpoints and discussions.

Blogville is entranced with the topic; posts are frequent, and the comments are flowing in, from gossippy insider stuff about candidates to rational discussions of the fine points of election law. However the Democrats proceed, they'll do so in a much brighter spotlight than in pre-blog days. Makes the world tougher for old-school pols who prefer to deliberate in secret, then make pronouncements about how it's going to be.

-- State Sen. Mike Jacobs, newly nominated for that job, said the right things in announcing he wasn't seeking the congressional nomination. "I feel I have an obligation to the people of the 36th District who nominated me," he declared.

I'd have been more impressed if it hadn't been necessary for him to make such a declaration, and it wouldn't have been if he hadn't said he was interested in the congressional job about five seconds after it became known that it was available.

I'm completely baffled by his statement, made when announcing he was out because of his obligation to senatorial duties, "If it had been an open process, I would've been the first one in." I can't imagine how it could be more open process than it's turned out to be.

-- Phil Hare, the long-time aide Evans recommends as a replacement, is getting rapped on the blogs for not having a college degree. Say what? Whatever his plusses and minuses, a college degree isn't very important.

Lots of really smart people don't have degrees; the lack hasn't hindered them in successful and useful careers. What Mr. Hare has done with his life, the knowledge gained and the character displayed are the critical measurements, not whether he picked up a degree 35 or so years ago.

Besides that, it strikes me as being distinctively un-Democratic to propose judging a congressional candidate on such an elitist basis.

-- The Democrats need to settle the issue of who gets to vote at their nominating convention. Don Johnston, the17th District committeeman and co-arranger with committeewoman Mary Boland of the convention, contends only precinct committeepeople elected March 21 get to vote. Rock Island County Democratic Chairman John Gianulis thinks votes should go to committeepeople to be appointed later this month to fill the many vacanies that exist -- up to 50 percent of the posts may be vacant.

There's talk about going to court and what not, but if a battle of lawyers is added to the already fractious process, I'd guess it'll turn a lot of people off and will rebound against whatever poor soul emerges with the nomination.

-- Oh, yeah, don't forget. The first of an unspecified number of candidate forums will be held at 10 a.m., April 15, at Moline Township Hall. Be interesting to see who actually shows up, and whether anybody cares.

-- Republican nominee Andrea Zinga could hardly ask for a better scenario. Her long-shot candidacy against Evans has been suddenly transformed into decent-chance thing against the god-knows-who candidate of a divided party.

Her luck's running strong. If I was her, I'd be buying lottery tickets, too.

Posted by jcb at April 7, 2006 08:09 AM


Interesting that you want to make your article about someone who is not even in the race. Mike Jacobs is out of the congressional race. How about talking about the folks who are wanting to be placed on the ballot. I don't know who some of the people are whose names are being tossed around - like Sullivan - or the ex-mayor of Galesburg. I don't really know much about them.

As far as my other two cents worth - I think Mary Boland will work hard for her husband to be the name on the ballot. It seems like sort of a conflict to me but I guess that's not my call.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 7, 2006 08:34 AM

You are right about lawyers getting involved. It will be a messy process. Glad you are supporting Phil Hare as he is the best candidate- degree or not. But will there be a stigma attached to whoever is placed on the ballot? I think there will be. Plus you have to follow Lane Evans. Tough job.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 7, 2006 10:33 AM

Whoever drafted this law obviously had in mind a congressional district in Chicago which overlapped into Lake or Dupage County. Because the Ward and Township Committeemen in Cook County are all powerfull, they were going to have the say so over replacements like with Lipinski. They couldn't follow the general rule and have the County Chairs decide because then the Cook County Chairman would have been the one to decide. But to include Dupage they couldn't name the county chair because they hadn't done it for Cook. So they threw in the business about the precint committeemen.
No one in his right mind thought this would be the result.
Neither did Lane Evans. He, Hare and Gianulis probably thought that Gianulis could name Hare. He'd have 1/3 the vote and all he needed was to round up another 1/6 from a handfull of county chairmen.
Hare can't even keep his story straight. In the Galesburg paper he is quoted as having said that on the Friday before the announcement Hare and Evans talked about Evans dropping out.
Any objective person knows that in an open primary if only one of them had run, either Boland or Pat Veronda would have been the nominee.
Lane Evans' play was to take out Boland and put in Hare.
As things have worked out, Boland is up against the insiders. It's amazing to say this, but even though his wife is the Democratic State Central Committeewoman, Mike Boland is still the outsider.
The way things are, its between Hare, Boland and Sullivan.

Either I'm the Congressman or I'm out. The way this thing has worked out, if a Democrat does get elected, I'd be lucky to get a job as a case worker. To get a job with the Secretary of State, I'd need a letter from Jacobs. The one thing I got going for me is that Evans is supporting me and 80% of the time that's enough. Oh, I forgot, that's in an open election. It's too bad Evans, Gianulis and me didn't know about this wrinkle in the law. Well, let's see if Gianulis can stack the deck with all these vacant committeemen spots.

Look time is running out. I had a tough time keeping the Rep job last time and it's not going to be a picnic this time either. The longer this drags out, the worse it's going to be for me to keep my Rep job. My chances are good if I can just keep it with the elected committeemen. They are knowledgeable folks many of whom hold elective office themselves. They know that Hare doesn't look the part and the Democrat's got to be from this area. People will even buy Galesburg but not Rushville. I'm not a spring chicken. I've had plenty of chances to try to move up. People are starting to think I'm chicken. Johnston's carrying a lot of water for me on this. He's probably wrong with this legal interpretation but still that's our only chance. Of course, I've still got my ace in the hole. I've never used Quinn before but if I ask him he's got to pull through for me. People will pay attention to him because they know that something could happen to the governor, like a criminal indictment, and Quinn would be top honcho.
I'd better stay in a little longer see what turns up. Mary's going to have to help me with this.

I've got nothing to lose. My seat is not up. I'll still be Senator. But I wont be able to run for LaHood's seat when it comes up because people won't put up with it if I run in the 17th. I've already got the nomination sewed up but winning against someone from Rock Island is not going to be easy. That liberal media that a democratic candidate can always count on is not going to like the idea that Davenport and the Illinois Quad Cities wont have a congressman. With the media gone and Zinga having a head start and Blagojavich and top of the ticket not being of much help, my chances are 30% at best. If I run and lose, I'd be just like Mangieri. I'm too young, I've got time. Not this time.

Posted by: True Observer at April 7, 2006 11:52 AM

I agree with you jcb, that blogs have brought some much needed sunlight into the murky, backroom dealings of the Democrat Party. This is especially important in an area like RICO where there is no viable second political party.

We do have differences about Mike Jacobs "if it had been an open process" comment. I thought his comment was a hoot, since Mike obtained his Senate seat by less than "open" means. I'm thinking he meant the "primary" process. But unfortunately, few local Democrats obtain their positions by going through the regular democratic process----most arrive at their stations by backroom machinations (Verschoore, Jacobs, whoever succeeds Lane, most judges, etc.) then run as encumbents. So jcb, the replacement for Evans could be through the more "open process" of primaries, instead of 721 (more or less---I'm sure this headed to court) people making the choice for ?????(don't know the number) Democrats in the 17th.

Posted by: paladin at April 7, 2006 12:16 PM

Come on, I am a Republican and this does not appear too difficult to figure out...Hare kept Lane in office when Lane could not do the job (which has been the full 24-years). I have got to believe that the intelligent move is to bring forth a RICO candidate (either Boland or Schweibert - either of which will beat AZ easily, as we don't even like her (58% voted against her in the primary) and make a deal with Hare to stay on in his current position (which any candidate would love to have Hare running the show).

Posted by: havinfun at April 7, 2006 01:16 PM

Anon: 10:33 AM -- in pointing out that, in a middle-aged person, life experience is more important than a degree, I wasn't supporting Phil Hare. Just saying I don't see that as being very important.

Posted by: jcb at April 7, 2006 01:47 PM

John if you could read you would see that Jacobs said he would be interested if the party came to him. He wasn't the only qualified, maybe the most qualified but not the only qualified person so he took his name which he never put into contention out. I believe your paper put his name in contention not him. As for him saying if it were an open primary he woud run. Well what is wrong with this. He was elected just 5 days earlier. If Lane had retired before the election I think Jacobs would have run for Congress. How is that a negative.

You seem to have gone out of your way to attack Jacobs.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 7, 2006 05:40 PM

Lane Evans staff had this planned from the start. When Hare is elected then Evans staff which protected him the last few years will all have their jobs still. All of them will move up the ladder one rung then the process starts all over again. When Hare leaves office he can hand it down to his people. Great work from a great team.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 7, 2006 05:44 PM

I find it interesting when people complain about the process, but the discussion only mentions the top few candidates. There are other candidates that are not part of the Democratic machine - that do not have contacts - are not tied to special interests, but they are not even mentioned. Sometimes I think that the media wants the backroom deal - makes for a better story. For those of you out there that are sick of politics as usual - I would like to be the next Congressman from the 17th. Blog is the new grassroots instrument - and the only way to get my message out. www.robmellon.com

Posted by: Rob Mellon at April 7, 2006 11:40 PM

Rob, actually, you've at least been mentioned in a couple of D/A stories;

Democrats still hammering out plan to select candidate

List of Evans replacements narrows

I noticed while clicking around on your website that that there's a blog included. Good luck with that -- and may all your commenters be rational.

BTW, are you planning on being in QC for the April 15 forum?

Posted by: jcb at April 8, 2006 12:44 AM

The law on filling Precinct Committeeman vacancies is simple and not open to interpretation. After April 20 (30 days after the primary) the county chairman can fill vacancies. We will not even have an official vacancy on the ballot for Congress until after that date. So you are telling me that a county chairman cannot follow the law and fill his committee and have his county's weighted vote participate in the process?

Please read the law:
(10 ILCS 5/7‑9)
Sec. 7‑9. County central committee; county and State conventions.
(i) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, whenever a vacancy exists in the office of precinct committeeman because no one was elected to that office or because the precinct committeeman ceases to reside in the precinct or for any other reason, the chairman of the county central committee of the appropriate political party may fill the vacancy in such office by appointment of a qualified resident of the county and the appointed precinct committeeman shall serve as though elected; however, no such appointment may be made between the general primary election and the 30th day after the general primary election.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 8, 2006 08:38 AM

jcb - thank you for including the links - I appreciate it.

Thanks again,

Posted by: Rob Mellon at April 8, 2006 06:39 PM

My view as a party activist is that we need an opinion from the Illinois Attorney General on the proper procedure and process, and then we need all candidates to agree to support each other no matter who wins. This is not rocket science, but the irresponsibility of blog behavior (anonymous posts blasting fellow Democrats) just undermines the party. The GOP is excited because these QC blogs give them the feeling we have real trouble. I have this to say to the GOP -- wait until the Democrats unite.

Posted by: anonymous at April 8, 2006 11:01 PM

A good article on Hare ran about a year ago in the QCT. I know it's the competition, but it makes a good introduction for those who don't know much about a background player like him.


Posted by: Anonymous at April 8, 2006 11:49 PM

Remember Lane Evans was younger than Rumler when elected. For Jacobs to have beaten such a strong candidate in Rumler a Lane Evans like candidate speaks volumes of Jacobs strength and the up and comming Paul Rumler.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 9, 2006 12:51 PM

Anon 12:51,

Lane was 31 when elected. I believe Rumler is 26.

Posted by: ILDC at April 10, 2006 08:31 AM

Why is it that everyone wants to look upon Lane Evans as such a wonderful representative of the people. We have serious issues facing us in day-to-day life,

1. Immigration reform,
2. Social Security reform,
3. Healthcare reform,
4. Energy policy,
5. Terrorism
6. Etc.

Where has the leadership come from on these issues from Lane Evans? Let's be totally honest, where has any meaningful comments on these issues come from from Mr. Evans? (The only comment that he has made on these issues was to have the taxpayers (you and me) pay the utility bills for an expanded welfare-state!).

On top of this, he jerks the process around in an effort to get Phil Hare the job, as he knows that Mr. Hare could not move forward in a contested primary. Lane Evans appears to be the same arrogant politician as everyone else in DC (both sides of the isle).

I beg of you Dem's - please put forth someone who can handle the job with a degree of 'care for the people' as, whether you believe it or not, Mr. Evans clearly has not represented the people on the issues that we need representation on.

Posted by: havinfun at April 10, 2006 09:35 AM

Here's the way for you to go back to DC Mr. Rumler. Run Rumler RUN!

Posted by: Anonymous at April 10, 2006 10:39 AM

Can you run for two political jobs at once? Can you keep both of them then?

Posted by: Anonymous at April 10, 2006 11:35 AM

Just because Evans has this disease doesn't mean that his brain doesn't work. I have done research and with Parkinsonís Lane will be able to handle these issues:
1. Immigration reform,
2. Social Security reform,
3. Healthcare reform,
4. Energy policy,
5. Terrorism
6. Etc.
Phil Hare can carry out the wishes of Lane Evans and we can still have the great leadership that we have had with Lane for the last 25 years in DC.
Lane Evans has been a wonderful representative for the people because Lane is one of the people. Not above the people as so many people are today. Lane cares for every one of us.

You are very arrogant to suggest that Lane Evans isnít showing leadership. Shame on you!!

Posted by: Anonymous at April 10, 2006 12:35 PM

Hare is the right guy.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 10, 2006 02:47 PM

I feel your pain havinfun. I don't understand the Evans fawing hero-worship either. At best, Lane was adequate as our Congressman. At worst, he was completely out of touch.

But I don't blame Lane for this, after all, what politician wouldn't want to fly under the media/voter scrutiny? Lane had been diagnosed with Parkinsons three years before he deigned to inform the proles. He never did acknowledge that he had missed a full month of work BEFORE the primary (and still counting). Lane Evans makes George Bush look like a piker in the secrecy department. Where were our brave "watchdogs"? Beats the hell out of me.

I emailed Joe Beach on March 20, asking him to provide better coverage of our wonderful "elected" officials in both Springfield and DC, or to appeal to those who had the power at D/A. As usual, Joe gave no reply. Yeah, shocking, I know.

Posted by: paladin at April 10, 2006 03:47 PM

Leadership means more than just taking care of some Social Security casework or a flag request.
This is called "constituent service" and it is a no-brainer. Real leadership means stepping up to the plate and taking the lead on an issue, on a national stage and congressional colleagues follow your lead. It means taking a tough stand that requires some independence and backbone. Someone with 20+ years seniority in congress should have a national audience and some clout.

NONE of the above qualities applies to Evans. When is the last time you saw Evans on CSPAN? Ask people on the Hill: They might say "Lane who?" They might say out of courtesy, "He's a hard worker." But they will NOT say that he is the "go-to" guy or someone who does heavy lifting. (Compared to others who have the same seniority).
As far as tough votes- Well, Evans has voted contrary to his district, I will give him that. The Farm Bureau and the NRA will not miss him, for example.
Bottom line- Just because Lane is ill and has to retire, let's not get carried away in making him something he was not - a "leader" in Congress.

Posted by: Gurn Blanston at April 10, 2006 08:50 PM

Anon 12:35 - you state that 'Lane will be able to handle these issues.' These issues HAVE NOT been handled! This is the issue!

We have serious issues facing our (yours and mine) day-to-day life that requires true leadership. Lane Evans has had 24-years to address these issues - AND HAS NOT!

Remember the late 70's - and the energy crisis. Lane has never done a thing on this issue in 24 years!

Please look at the list that was provided and tell me what he has done on any of these issues that shows LEADERSHIP to help THE PEOPLE on these issues! Please, it is beneath every intelligent person to say that someone is a great leader, a great representative - AND NEVER POINT TO A SPECIFIC POINT OF VALUE AND BENEFIT.

My point is only as simple as...

Lane Evans may be a nice guy - fine. But if we give the future Congressman the same 'pass' that we have given Lane Evans on LEADERSHIP and PERFORMANCE our area will continue to lag behind.

Posted by: havinfun at April 11, 2006 07:43 AM

This is the meanest thing that I have ever read. Evans has been a leader for us all. To say otherwise is blasphamy. You are picking on someone with a disability. You and your hate filled spaech must be a republican. Ypou have no right to say this kind mean spirited attack. Lane Evans is the best congressman that has ever walked the 17th district.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 11, 2006 08:31 AM

You have got to be kidding me - 'the meanest thing that you have ever read.' All that was written was the request to have an explanation to the comment, as you state, that 'Evans has been a leader for all of us.' All I am asking is - HOW HAS HE LED?

In the issues that mean the most to us (you and me), HOW HAS HE LED? Is it 'mean' to ask an elected official to be accountable to those he serves? You continue to hide behind his disability, did I ever bring this up (NO)? I could not care less - IF he is doing the job. I have only asked you, his supporters, to identify JUST ONE way in which he has shown leadership in the areas that affect OUR day-to-day lives.

I fear that our Country, and specifically, our District, have tremendous problems ahead and if THE PEOPLE are unwilling to hold their Representatives accountable to perform FOR THE PEOPLE.

Let's face it, if a Republican had the record that Lane Evans had (which is so bad that you are totally unwilling (likely because you are unable) to address it in any manner - you would be screaming bloody-murder! You hypocrits!

Posted by: havinfun at April 11, 2006 09:50 AM

Mr. Beydler. That you would let this kink of negative things be said about our greatest congressman in this areas history be talked about like this is travisty. You are just as guilty as he is. You have the power to censor things like this. You are to blame with your negative better than you attitude. I hope that you think long and hard about this.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 11, 2006 12:33 PM

There will be a backlash to all of you people talking about a man with a serious disease. He will get his friend Phil Hare elected and then you will be quiet about a great man like Evans as you see his power. If it weren't for Lane Hare would have no chance. You will see Evans political strength and leadership in this process.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 12, 2006 08:26 AM

Come on - no takers?

Can't one person point to one area of leadership on the ISSUES that mean the most to us, THE PEOPLE?

1. Immigration
2. Social Security
3. Healthcare
4. Energy
5. Terrorism

You have proved my point, the electorate is clueless and unless we become better informed and hold our next Congressman accountable on PERFORMANCE on the ISSUE that matter most to the PEOPLE, we should expect nothing more than what we have gotten, which is lost jobs at the RI Arsenal and throughout the District and growth far behind our neighbors.

Yes, Mr. Evans is sick, but does that mean that he gets a free pass for the last 24-years? Why can't one of you make an intelligent, and factual, statement about HIS RECORD?

Posted by: havinfun at April 12, 2006 08:57 AM

The RI party leadership has hired two indivduals in the HQ office staff to submit quips (such as 4/12 @ 08:26) into all the blogs in an effort to make readers think Dems really want to hand Phil Hare the spot on the November ballot out of loyalty or respect to Evans.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 12, 2006 11:07 AM

The party leadership is so completely out of touch. This current idea being floated that any eventual candidate will have to come to the table with a $1 million warchest - is not only short-sighted but sickening. This is exactly why people feel they have nothing in common with current politicians. This process should be about an exchange of ideas, but ideas have become secondary or tertiary, very sad. They are too busy trying to see who can raise the most money. Moreover, do they not realize that whoever the nominee is - that person is going to get the financial backing of the Democratic Party - the finance issue should not factor into the chairmen's decision process. If you are tired of the direction of the system and the party - do something about it. There are other candidates, not just myself, who are not a part of the system - start supporting them.


Posted by: Rob Mellon at April 12, 2006 01:41 PM

I don't understand, with so many good people wanting to be considered for the vacant position (Lane Evans seat), why did no one stand up and run against Mr. Evans in the primary? Clearly, regardless of how wonderful of a guy he is, his job performance, or lack thereof, should have had a clear-minded Democrat who cares about the people standing up and running in the primary. Mr. Mellon claims that there are many that 'are not part of the system' - this would certainly indicate otherwise.

Posted by: havinfun at April 13, 2006 10:12 AM

For you to state that Evans hasn't been anything but the most influential congressman with the most accomplishments in the QC history in Congress is to be a republican. Every democrat loves Lane Evans. His sickness should not be brought up by evil minded posters like havinfun. He thinks he can just go out and say this kind of things without any resistance he is dead wrong. I know that the good democrats will give Phil Hare the position of congressman because this is what Lane wants. Lane will tell them all and except for Mrs. Boland and Mr. Johnston I think it should be unanimous. Not for Hare but For Lane Evans. He is a hero to the democratic party. Not just here but throughout this great nation.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 13, 2006 12:13 PM

Is it just me or does it seem that Rob Mellon is picking up some support in Rock Island County?

Posted by: anonymous at April 13, 2006 05:39 PM

I would rather vote for any one of the myriad of homeless people on the QC streets to represent the district than the hand picked party boot-lickers being pushed by the two party machines. At least I know that person would have some idea of the day to day problems facing this district.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 14, 2006 02:39 AM

* The Republican Perspective *

Below are merely the arms and, say, a leg of an ailing straw man--I know. But these "brilliant" posts are just too amusing to ignore.

Quote 1:
"This is the meanest thing that I have ever read. Evans has been a leader for us all. To say otherwise is blasphamy. You are picking on someone with a disability."
[Posted by: Anonymous at April 11, 2006 08:31 AM]

My Comment: Blasphemy? Sorry--blasphAmy? Now that almost sounds like a barely-literate, yet extreme right-wing comment. The deification of a mediocre (at best) politician is solid ground upon which to build an argument. Good one. By the way, disability neither elevates one's political eminence nor expunges one's record of complacency. Evans doesn't get a free pass.

Quote 2:
"There will be a backlash to all of you people talking about a man with a serious disease. He will get his friend Phil Hare elected and then you will be quiet about a great man like Evans as you see his power."
[Posted by: Anonymous at April 12, 2006 08:26 AM]

My Comment: I'm almost at a complete loss for words here. Supremely funny; keep it up.

Quote 3:
"Mr. Beydler. That you would let this kink of negative things be said about our greatest congressman in this areas history be talked about like this is travisty. You are just as guilty as he is. You have the power to censor things like this."
[Posted by: Anonymous at April 11, 2006 12:33 PM]

My Comment: Anonymous, you sound both interested and passionate about politics. And I assume your party allegiance is strong, albeit presumably blind. Learn to write; learn to spell. You'll at least appear less laughable. Finally, I doubt your party would back your appeal for censorship. Just a thought.

Conclusion: Keep up the good work, my friends. At this rate, the 17th District seat will certainly be filled by Republican ass come January. Just a couple of final thoughts: Hyperbole destroys your credibility. Backroom deals piss people off. (My party has recently paid for that brand of blunder, and you're not immune.) Rob Mellon (or one of the other outsiders) sounds like the best chance you've got.

See you in November.

Posted by: RED at April 14, 2006 03:10 AM

There must be something about Lane Evans that inspires the type of nuttiness that RED describes...and he just touched the tip of the Lane Evans Dementia Iceberg!

Over at the comment thread on the Joe Beach post, there were these two gems:

1. From Max on 4/14@6:24 am, "Lane did a great job and we reward him for his service by appointing his best friend to his seat." Which makes me think they don't teach civics or government in school anymore,

2. It's a shame there aren't permalinks on the comments, because there is just too much good stuff in this comment from anon 4/13@11:30am: "...we have a very sick congressman...(t)o not give this position to Phil Hare would kill this man (Evans)...(other candidates) please do the right thing and get out of the race and help Lane Evans get his life back...(Hare and his staff) would be without jobs and how would that affect Lane..." Apparently anon believes we are required to give job security to all of Lane's cronies in perpetuity.

And don't forget the hapless lady (can't remember her name) who stalked Lane for years saying he was her boyfriend/fiance/husband/whatever? I don't remember what happened to her, but I imagine she wound up in either a mental hospital or jail---or both.

Lane Evans has magical power to inspire weirdness in others...it's kinda scary!

Posted by: paladin at April 14, 2006 03:57 PM

#1 - Why is it so incredibly difficult to get a Lane Evans-supporter to state how Mr. Evans has shown leadership? It is a simple question - nothing ill-willed, I am just trying to learn...

#2 - To show you that I am not just a partisan Republican-hack, let me state that I am grossly offended that we (Republicans)are running the 5th newscaster in 6 races - 17TH DISTRICT REPUBLICANS HAVE GOT TO BE THE STUPIDIST PEOPLE ON EARTH!!! (Can anyone name just one newscaster ever to serve in the House of Representatives??? - we seem to think that it is an essential element to winning!!!).

Posted by: havinfun at April 14, 2006 04:55 PM

Make fun all you want red. But you will see Evans power. He will get Phil Hare elected as he is the smartest individual to be in the running and Lane Evans knows this. He is his friend after all. When Hare wins I expect anappology for the way that you have treated Lane. He is sick and to question his power and his abilities is selfish of you. You need to respect your elders. I can tell that you are young by the niavete' that you display. Hare will take this community the same direction that Lane Evans has brought it. Straight to the top. Evans and Hare shoot for the stars.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 14, 2006 10:22 PM

I agree with you havinfun----the Republican Party fell down some time ago and can't get up. But to be clear, I'm neither Democrat, Republican or non-partisan. Call me anti-partisan.

However, I do believe that Lane Evans and John Gianulis have given Zinga a priceless gift....all Andrea has to do is run against One Party Rule/ Democrat Corruption, and she's got the prize. There are so many examples of Politburo malfeasnace, so many "appointments", so much nepotism that Hare will be seen as part of the problem of one party rule corruption.

On some other local blogs, Democrats were turned away today at the candidates' forum in Moline----they're PO'd. What can I say but "Mr. Gianulis, tear down this wall."

While looking for information on another matter, I ran across an article in the D/A, apparently written at the time that Evans announced he was running in '04. The article was written by Scott Reeder. The headline was "Evans Says He Can Do The Job". Further down, this Evans quote was highlighted: "I just didn't quite see what she (Zinga) was saying, and her remarks still kind of confuse me." How dare someone say he isn't up to the job.

As it turned out, no one bothered to ask why Evans was "confused", and no one asked the hard questions about Evans' competence. Scott Reeder deserves blame for this. Maybe Evans wasn't "confused" maybe he was just lying. Of course, he wasn't so "confused" that he couldn't deliver this hit on George Bush "I don't know if he (Bush) lied or not, but he came awful close." Sorry Lane, but you are the liar.

Lane Evans will have been inoperative the last year of his term in office, which he crowed he could "do the job". Like most men, he placed himself and his hold on power above his constituents---this will be Lane Evans' legacy.

Shame on Lane Evans and everyone who believes he has the "right" to appoint his successor. Evans is part of the problem and not the solution.

Posted by: paladin at April 15, 2006 02:03 PM


You can speak evil of Lane Evans, but you could feel his presence when Phl Hare spoke today in his stead at the township hall. Everyone was wearing these cool "Thank Heaven's for Lane Evans" tee shirts, and we were all esmerized by what Phil had to say, Phil really stuck it to Boland, Sullivan and Schwiebert.

Phil really gave strong speech.

Posted by: holdum at April 15, 2006 04:18 PM

* The Republican Perspective *

"Make fun all you want red. But you will see Evans power. He will get Phil Hare elected as he is the smartest individual to be in the running and Lane Evans knows this. He is his friend after all. When Hare wins I expect anappology for the way that you have treated Lane. He is sick and to question his power and his abilities is selfish of you. You need to respect your elders. I can tell that you are young by the niavete' that you display. Hare will take this community the same direction that Lane Evans has brought it. Straight to the top. Evans and Hare shoot for the stars."

Posted by: Anonymous at April 14, 2006 10:22 PM

My Comment: Unbelievable. Well, there's nothing noble about picking on someone who is so obviously "unarmed." However, I think you need some help here, Anonymous. I'll respond to each of your statements in turn:

Anonymous: "Make fun all you want red."
Me: You're doing fine on your own.
Anonymous: "But you will see Evans power."
Me: See, this is what I was referring to when I mocked you for deifying Evans. (That means lending Evans a god-like quality such as omnipotence.) This is the kind of thing that could actually mar Evans's reputation and hurt Hare's run for the seat.
Anonymous: "He will get Phil Hare elected as he is the smartest individual to be in the running and Lane Evans knows this."
Me: That's not how it works, and if it appears as though that's what is happening in the coming weeks, your party is going to be in worse shape than they already are. Check the law.
Anonymous: "He is his friend after all."
Me: Cronyism is unlawful, wrong, and idiotic to support. I'm not going to explain this one. Look it up.
Anonymous: "When Hare wins I expect anappology for the way that you have treated Lane."
Me: If Hare wins, expect an investigation. I'll apologize when you learn to spell it.
Anonymous: "He is sick and to question his power and his abilities is selfish of you."
Me: Yes, he's sick. That's unfortunate. And? You need to get past that if you want to speak intelligently here. Using the word "abilities" is good. Stick with that; stop referring to Lane's "power." Although it makes me laugh out loud every time I read it, it also makes you look ridiculous and I'm sure that's not your intent. By the way, I don't think "selfish" is the word you were looking for. Try again.
Anonymous: "You need to respect your elders."
Me: Irrelevant. However, I've got to give you credit here. This is one of only three error-free sentences in your post (good job), and it happens to be the only sentence that--while completely impertinent--posits a clear, cogent message.
Anonymous: "I can tell that you are young by the niavete' that you display."
Me: Okay, n-a-i-v-e-t-e. Got it? Now--who's being naive here? I'll give you a hint. (It's not me.)
Anonymous: "Hare will take this community the same direction that Lane Evans has brought it. Straight to the top."
Me: Look around; adjust comment as necessary.
Anonymous: "Evans and Hare shoot for the stars."
Me: You wouldn't happen to be married to one of these men, would you?

Surprisingly as it may seem, I got no satisfaction out of what I just wrote. I almost feel bad, Anonymous. The best and most genuine advice I can give you is this: You're not helping Evans or Hare. And you're making a fool of yourself. Please stop.

** Okay, if "Anonymous" is actually some Republican hired to pose as the local hot-air buffoon (as one conspiracy theorist claims above)--stop it. It's unethical and stupid. If, on the other hand, Anonymous is really a Democrat--more of you truly intelligent, reasonable Dems and Lane/Hare supporters (as I witnessed above) need to get him or her to cut it out. Anonymous isn't helping you.

Posted by: RED at April 15, 2006 07:20 PM

Paladin, you are so right in so many ways. Anti-partisan? Beautiful.

Keep it up. You're counter-balancing the IQ scale Anonymous is attempting to plunge.

By the way, "Holdum," is that you, Anonymous? Tell me, did Phil pay for the rent-a-plause or did SOMEBODY loan those stage props out for the day? That's right, I'm everywhere. How's that for power? You're all 'esmerized' [sic], alright.

Posted by: RED at April 16, 2006 03:16 AM

I think Red's attack is the tip of the ice burg. These no good Republicans are going to get us into another war with Iran, That's all you people want to do.

Lane Evans and Phil Hare won't let that happen again! Together they are going to move our area forward. Anytime Phil needs advice Lane will supply it. Anytime Phil needs help working the District, Lane will advise him. With Phil in power it's almost as if Lane is still our conmgressman.

I know you love Andrea Zinga Red, but the people of our are know she is a buffoner!

Posted by: holdum at April 16, 2006 09:05 AM

* The Republican Perspective *

Holdum, your empty rhetoric--while amusing--is grossly vacuous and presumptuous. Like I tried to point out to you before, you use hyperbole to the detriment of your own credibility.

Saying, "These no good Republicans are going to get us into another war with Iran, That's all you people want to do" is nothing more than forcing noise out of your head. Duncical, unintelligible noise. Let's first ignore the fact that you've clumsily side-stepped any of the issues on which I've "attacked" you and have, instead, thrown out a classic yet very weak democrat stand-by: war. (with Iran? again?)

This Republican wants to see progress in the district. You claim to want the same thing. I simply find your plan as flawed as it is disgusting. Your statement, "With Phil in power it's almost as if Lane is still our conmgressman" makes it seem as if you're not so much concerned with "moving our area forward" as you say, but rather with simply keeping things as unchanged, inflexible, and stagnant as they can possibly be.

Your loyalty to your beloved Lane Evans is admirable; that you cling to that blind loyalty at the expense of the real people of the district is both sad and exasperating. The issue with you isn't that we disagree on whether or not Hare is or is not a prudent choice for the seat. It is that, to you, it's a waste of your time to weigh any other choices at all. Now that's just plain lazy. And it's as dangerous as it is priggish.

That you presume I'm a Zinga fan simply because I'm a Republican further highlights the defect in your thinking. (Thankfully, not everybody is as casual with allegiance as you are.)

I'm not one to pledge unquestioning loyalty if it's not deserved. For instance, I don't vote Republican down the ballot just because of party affiliation. That's the height of stupidity. And I certainly wouldn't vow devotion to somebody just because he can be counted on to act as a sock puppet for someone else.

I'm here to get a sense of what real, reasonable, intelligent people in our district think about the propsective democratic candidates. Lucky for me (and everyone else who must wade through your drivel), your brand of ignorance is fairly unique to you.

One last thing--what's a "buffoner"? Feeb.

Posted by: RED at April 16, 2006 02:06 PM

Of course the fact that you have just acknowledged his/her/it's incredulous posts with a response (and now mine, sigh!) gives the sender a sense of credibility, if only in the poster's mind, while feeding the ego of that poster. I do agree, the posts mentioned do look familiar in their patterns of composition errors and comic effort, thus giving the impression that they are written by the same individual. The real question of course is the poster an extraterrestrial learning the local language, an individual attempting to make a point (good or bad), someone practicing their comedic stage routine or just a third grader more interested in the political process than his/her parents probably are?

Posted by: NoMorePinocchios at April 16, 2006 09:31 PM

We have had nothing but progress under Lane Evans. Look around we are so better off than we were 25 years ago when Lane Evans, the greatest leader in our time, took over the reigns. Things are always moving forward. Lane Evans is deserving of this appointment. Lane Evans will do a great job of mentoring his close friend. I believe that all of your fancy talk can't get around Lane Evans has done nothing but a wonderful job for his people.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 16, 2006 11:20 PM

Holdum, let's talk Iran for a moment...they have nucleur capability now. In a very short time (a couple of months) they will have nucleur weapon capability. They have specifically stated that they aim to take Israel and the 'west' off the map (these are direct quotes from their leadership). This is an amazingly challenging issue, regardless of party. WHAT WOULD YOU PROPOSE TO DO? Quit being one of these partisan hacks and deal with a real issue with a real solution - to just take the 'anti' position and say that someone is 'going to get us in a war' is cheap - what would your solution be to this alarming situation? (And don't say 'negotiations' as (1) this is being pursued and (2) how does one negotiate with terrorists?).

The Dem's will bring forth 'John Sullivan' as he will get the southern Dem's (who have been itching to get local representation for 40-years) to unite. RICO will splinter and Sullivan will waltz in with a solid majority.

Zinga shot herself in the foot with Independents/ Reagan-Democrats in 2004 (whether she was right or wrong does not matter, they HATE her) and she won't get close because of this.

Sullivan 62%
Zinga 38%
(a bigger loss that 2004)

Posted by: havinfun at April 17, 2006 07:21 AM

No, no, no, Congressman Hare will roll over Zinga 52 to 48%. Regardless of your fancy talk, and making fun of those of us who didn't attend collge --- we still run this place. You rich Republicans with all your gluttony and preversions have done nothing for our country but get our young people killed in exchnage for contracts for Haliburton.

Not even your vaulted leader can protect Andrea Zinga. Zinga compared to Congressman Hare is a zero. The only reason she will get any vote at all is the way the Dispatch, John Bydler and the DOPE will attack Phil because he was appointed to Congress by Lane. But smart Democrats will see throught this smokescreen and stay the course.

Yes, Lane can no longer serve as our congressman, but he continues through Phil Hare. These two men are closer than brothers. Lane will guide Phil and ensure that he keep the "dream alive." Hope, not dope is the awnswer. Rich Republicans with their recriational drugs and excessive lives will discover that people want a congressman they can understand.

Heck, Zinga hasn't had a job in two years. Phil has a pension and everything. Who is smart now Mr. Republican?

Posted by: holdum at April 17, 2006 11:02 AM

Sullivan was a simple auctioneer just a few short years ago - now all of a sudden he is a proven vote getter. If an auctioneer can turn into a vote getter in that time - I think that a simple teacher could do the same - Rob Mellon. Don't put too much faith in political experience - the average person does not trust it to begin with.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 17, 2006 11:50 AM


How about a column that gives people an opportunity to state who they think the nomination will go to.

In a week or so, we will have a clue as to who the people with solid insight really might be.

Posted by: havinfun at April 17, 2006 01:36 PM

Just great. Now we have a congressman who has been found to be mentally incompetent. In the old days we used to call it insane. The judge just appointed his brothers guardians over his person and estate. To do that, the judge has to find that the person in incompetent (insane).

Posted by: Anonymous at April 17, 2006 02:17 PM

Of course Phil Hare had his supporters at the forum Saturday. The room was loaded since it was in RI County. I would like to see how he plays further south in the District where there seems to be support for other candidates. Candidates like Mark Schwiebert, who served on a local committee to fight for the Rock Island Arsenal seems to be completely ignored in this.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 17, 2006 02:46 PM

Wow! I thought anon@2:17 comments were just vicious gossip until I checked the D/A website and found it was true.

Holy cow!

Posted by: paladin at April 17, 2006 04:29 PM

If Lane Evans is insane then how will he continue to serve the people. Lane didn't retire. He is staying to finish his term. To state otherwise would be a lie. I wish I knew who you were with your terrible talk about Lane Evans being insane. You are going straight to hell for your ugly words against this wonderful leader.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 17, 2006 04:46 PM

INSANE??? What planet do you live on that someone is physically in decline means INSANE?

Posted by: Anonymous at April 17, 2006 05:17 PM

Quote from NoMorePinocchios at April 16, 2006 09:31 PM

"Of course the fact that you have just acknowledged his/her/it's incredulous posts with a response (and now mine, sigh!) gives the sender a sense of credibility, if only in the poster's mind...The real question of course is the poster an extraterrestrial learning the local language..."

My Comment: You're so right. Thanks for the nudge.

I think one of many good questions for would-be candidates is exactly what you posed: what do you propose we do about Iran? What do you guys and gals say? Havinfun, Paladin, what do you think?

Quote from Anonymous at April 17, 2006 11:50 AM
"If an auctioneer can turn into a vote getter in that time - I think that a simple teacher could do the same - Rob Mellon."

My Comment: I whole-heartedly agree with that. Mellon could pleasantly surprise a lot of people. Of course it wouldn't be very pleasant at all for a few local "masters of the universe," but I'd love to see that happen if for no other reason than to stick it to the man and get a fresh start for our district. (And I'm not particularly impressed with any district personalities from my party.)

A Final Note: Holdum, I'm not trying to make fun of you because you don't have a college degree. I mean, THAT's not the reason. I had no idea, until now, whether you did or did not go to college. (I know plenty of people with degrees who write like you do, by the way.) I don't have a college degree either. I'm a soldier, and have had little time to take classes. So--no excuses, Holdum.

Posted by: RED at April 17, 2006 05:21 PM

Now that the truth of Lane Evans has surfaced it will be interesting to see if John G, Dick "Pig factory" Leibovitz, Jeff Teronez, and Lou Ann Kerr will take there endorsement away from Phil Hare. It is looking more and more like the rumor that Phil Hare has been running Lane Evans for years. Evans has given power of attorney to his brother for property and self. Phil Hare didn't know that Lane was this bad. Please!! He got Lane to stay in and to endorse him when he isn't even in control of his faculties. Kind of reminds me of how Anna Nikole Smith changed her husbands will to try and get in on the money when he couldn't even think anymore. Some people will stop at nothing for power. This is turning into a big mess that will be hard for Phil to clean up. Phil's die hard congressional staff must be in on the con also. Or they are the most naive people that walk the earth. If neither of these are true then we will see if they are still backing Hare. I am a die hard Lane Evans fan and to think how this group of people run by Phil Hare has degraded him and minipulated him for there own job interest shows their ugly side. This has to be stopped

Posted by: Anonymous at April 17, 2006 05:34 PM

Evans did not give a power of attorney to his brothers. Any person while sane can give a power of attorney which continues even when the person becomes insane. There is no court involved.
This is not what happened today.
What happened today was that a Judge entered an order giving guardianship of his person to one brother and guardianship of his estate to the other brother. Before a Judge can find a person mentally and/or physically incompetent, there has to be a Doctor's Affidavit.There was Doctor's Affidavit filed today. A doctor can only give the affidavit after seeing the patient. The Judge sealed the Doctor's Affidavit so that the public can't read it.
Today there was also a summons issued to be served on Evans to advise him of what was happening, namely that he was being found mentally incompetent. Evans has a right to fight these charges.
The judge will appoint a lawyer to interview Evans to report back whether he is physically and mentally incompetent.
Mentally incompetent is the politically correct term for what used to be called insane.
Qustion: Only Evans can resign the nomination. If he is mentally incompetent, he can't do it. Can the brother do it for him?
Many believe that Evans tried to game the system through his declining the nomination strategy.
Today they tried the same fraudulent type technique by listing his name in the court file as L. Evans. They didn't want to list his name as Lane Evans.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 17, 2006 11:21 PM

Holdum, wow - what is with the 'rich republican' talk? Why would you group people together like this? Are you saying that all republicans are rich? (that would be a great surprise to many). Are you saying that all Democrats are poor? (that would be quite untrue based on the Limo Liberals in California).

It appears as though you have bought into the Social/ Class warfare argument. Talk like that is beneath rational discussion on issues. Please, you would do you and your party well by trying to stick to the discussion and not name-call (especially when you are making someone wrong for being successful (if indeed they are)).

Posted by: havinfun at April 18, 2006 07:33 AM

Evans is the laughing stock of the Congress. Now the voters of the 17th District are the laughing stock of the country.

Posted by: Anon at April 18, 2006 11:11 AM

There's a fascinating article in today's D/A written by Ed Felker about Lane's guardianship.

First off, Felker says Evans is back in Rock Island to "recuperate" from Parkinson's. Recuperate means to recover health or strength. Lane isn't going to "recuperate or recover----he's just going to get worse. Felker could have asked an MD about this.

Then Felker asks about the phrase "intermittent cognitive impairments". Did Felker ask an MD or psychologist or even a lawyer what this term meant? No. Felker asked Evans' flak Steve Vetzner about it. Being the good spinmeister that he is, Vetzner said "It's more fatigue." People, you can look cognitive (cognition) up in your Funk&Wagnalls, and it ain't about "fatigue", cogition is the act or process of knowing including both awareness and judgment. So much for the argument that Lane's brain works fine. I only wonder how long he's been cognitively impaired?

Moving on, Felker mentions that Lane's brother, Doyle, is employed as his personal assistant, however he not paid by either the federal government or Lane's campaign. Who is paying Doyle? Felker doesn't seem to be interested.

And finally, it appears that Lane has purchased a condo in Florida that carries a mortgage balance of $231,000.00. Plus the mortgage balance on his DC condo in the amount of $250,000.00. Lane's assets are listed as $12,000.00 in savings, $5,000.00 in checking and $110,000.00 in a retirement fund. How can Lane afford to buy an expensive condo in FL, considering his health has declined sharply within the last year? How much does Lane earn a year for being a congressman----obviously not enough to afford two expensive properties, the last one purchased when he had to know his term in Congress could not last much longer. But the credulous Felker doesn't seem interested in finding out how a man of such modest means as Evans can afford this new property. Lane Evans is carrying a debt load of almost half a million dollars and Felker just yawns. Pathetic.

Posted by: paladin at April 18, 2006 11:15 AM

So now you are accussin the Great Laen Eavsn of being a crook. At what depth will you stop PALADINE? You have fallen well below the gutter.

I forgot, Paldine is short for ZINGA!

Posted by: holdum at April 18, 2006 11:32 AM

we want Mellon to take on the republicans. he's a veteran soldier [enlisted and officer] and he's a teacher? oh and he has taught as an assosciate professor of political science at a local college.

Its not like he doesn't know the issues we face or how to be a leader. plus, he's more like me and my friends and family than any body else in the running. and to me that's the best thing of all. he's one of us. don't let the big dogs scare you. and don't be a pawn for one of them either. stop bad-mouthing all the new people hoping to get a shot at making things better for us.

Out with the old.

Posted by: Glockenspiel at April 18, 2006 08:20 PM

Lane Evans is retiring - if we don't start focusing on the future soon the 17th will be yet another district that is lost to the Republicans. Who can best serve the district now and in the future? Where are the answers to that question? Instead we spend our time glorifying or criticizing Lane Evans. There will be plenty time for that later. Simply anointing a candidate will not go over well with the general public - this process that we have started needs to be placed on a more democratic track. Historically, there have been buffoons that have won elections. How? It is really simple - keep them quiet and let the money do the talking at strategic times. Why do you think Zinga has not used the time of being the only show in town to her advantage? She is letting this process play out - watching the Democrats beat themselves up. The Democrats are doing much more to help her now than anything that she could personally do or say.


Posted by: Rob Mellon at April 18, 2006 09:05 PM

On April 10th (9-days ago), I asked for specific comments as to how lane Evans has worked for us, the People of the 17th District, on issues such as -

1. Immigration Reform
2. Social Security Reform
3. Healthcare Reform
4. Energy policy
5. Terrorism
6. (I'll now add) Economic benefit

In 9-days, there has been NO RESPONSE of substance! Come on, Lane Evans has won reelection with over 60% of the vote, please tell me that 60% of the people have a substanative reason for voting for the man and that someone can clearly state how Lane Evans has led in these, or just one or two of these, issues.

Posted by: havinfun at April 19, 2006 08:17 AM

I agree with Melon here. All the more reason for Blind Mellon to drop out of the race and endorse Phil Hare. It would be the best thing for the district. Hare will win anyway why make it easier for a republican. I believe Mellon is only helping Zinga.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 19, 2006 08:25 AM

Immigration is a new game that the feds are playing to get peoples mind off the conflict in Iraq. No one talked or cared out loud about this a year ago. Now it is the hot topic. It just shows how gullible you people are. Next you will all go and vote for Phil Hare. Come on Havinfun, roll over and vote for Hare for the good of the party.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 19, 2006 09:06 AM

Mellon is not a serious candidate. He has no base of support, can't raise the money, has never been elected or even involved with a Democrat campaign, is overly succeptable to the slightest criticism, and comes off as arrogant.

Anyone that so badley wants to be in office shouldn't be!

Posted by: BobAnders at April 19, 2006 10:13 AM

BobAnders - I respect your opinion, but I disagree. If I can convince 50 precinct committeemen that I am the best choice - that is a significant amount of the 650 or 700 that will be voting. There are almost 50 in Adams County. That is a good base to build from ? 50 of 650.

The money issue is completely irrelevant right now. It does not matter what candidate gets the nomination there will not be a shortage of support locally or nationally. The Democratic Party and local supporters will not allow the Republican Party to dominate the district financially. As for building a base - give me a few months of full-time campaigning and that "nonexistent" base that you suggest will swell. By August there will be little concern about a base.

In regards to my inexperience, I was serving in the United States Army while others were building a political network? Criticize me on that if you wish, but I would not trade a second of my time in the Army for 10 years of political networking. Moreover, as a commissioned officer I have had more direct leadership training than any of the current candidates and what is a congressman after all? A LEADER.

Money and base are two things I have ZERO concern about, right now. I have to convince a few hundred committeemen that I am the best choice for the future of the Democratic Party in the 17th - I am making some ground in that endeavor, trust me on that.

As for being susceptible - other politicians are far more susceptible than I am. I have a completely clean slate - that is the advantage that I bring to the table, not a disadvantage.

Collectively as a party we need to start planning for the future or we will continue to lose seats in Congress. Our strategy as a Party has been inept. Breaking down the old paradigm and looking outside of the box is the only way to find a progressive solution to our party's loss of relevance. We were asleep ten years ago when the Republicans gained control of the Congress ? we cannot afford to be asleep now.


Posted by: Rob Mellon at April 19, 2006 11:36 AM

I'm not so sure nominating Hare would be for the good of the party. For one thing, he would face charges of cronyism that he would have to answer. Also, Hare would have some 'splaining to do about Lane's campaign finance violations. Lane got a skate with his lame "my intentions were good" schtick, but what would Hare say about it, since he is Lane's self-proclaimed right hand man? In my view, Hare is carrying some serious baggage that is attached to his association with Evans. For whatever reasons, Lane got a pass on answering questions about his past wrongdoing---I suppose because no one wanted to be Zingad by the Evans camp, but Hare will not have that luxury. And I do hope the press will find their cojones once Evans is gone.

Posted by: paladin at April 19, 2006 01:01 PM

Mr. Mellon, it appears to me that the only chance that one from south-17th has is the liklihood that RICO Dem's may split the vote between a number of candidates. This should allow someone from the south-17th to enter into the fray. If you split the south (or even take a degree of votes away) from John Sullivan - I think that you take the best possible Democrat Congressman (and the most electable from the south) out of the equation.

No disrespect to you, but at this stage, you are nothing but playing the role of the spoiler (I know that you think otherwise, but so did Gilligan on the Republican side, who took out the most electable Republican, Mowen). You appear far smarter than a guy running on a Gilligan's-Island theme - it may be time for you to show that you are.

Posted by: havinfun at April 19, 2006 02:08 PM

Those who diss Mellon for lack of political experience, and lack of holding an elective office should look at the official biography of Lane Evans. Evans had never held elective office either, until '82 when he ran for and was elected to his current position. If Lane can do it, why not Mellon?

Posted by: paladin at April 19, 2006 02:16 PM

"In regards to my INEXPERIENCE, I was serving in the United States Army while others were building a political network? Criticize me on that if you wish, but I would not trade a second of my time in the Army for 10 years of political networking."

-- Rob Mellon

If I wanted a soldier to represent me in congress I would pick a returning war hero like Army Ranger Tyler Carroll of Rock Island, but I don't. I don't see any advantage to hiring a soldier, what I want is a politcan that knows his or her way around Congress or politics. Why in the world would I send a soldier to do a politcans job? Do you want politcans defending this country? Grow-up Mellon, this isn't Social Studies class! This is important business, business I am not willing to flutter away on a risky propostion as your candidacy remains!

Heck, Hale Bayne has twice as much millitary expereince as you do. He served in bothe Vietnam and Korea. Did you ever see action?

Posted by: BobAnders at April 19, 2006 05:23 PM

I tried to be a gentleman and address your personal concerns - that appears to be a fruitless exercise. We can simply agree to disagree. I for one think that there needs to be more former soldiers, electricians, plumbers, teachers, and average working men and women in Congress. The House and the Senate need to be more diverse, not only culturally, but in terms of background and experience, as well. The U.S. Congress is filled with the political types that you so strongly support - and they have done a real fine job..., of alienating the public. (see poll on my website: www.robmellon.com) As for some comparison of military service - that is a game that I am not interested in playing. I respect Phil Hare's Army Reserve service as much as I respect those active soldiers fighting today. Where and when did you serve Mr. Anders? I served with the 2nd ID in Korea, the 10th Mountain in NY, and the 3rd ACR in Colorado Ė did you ever serve in any of those units? I thought that there might be a chance that we served in the same unit at one point or another.

Posted by: robmellon at April 19, 2006 09:20 PM

Rob, you've been reading the blogs enough now to know that some commenters are mostly interesting in yelling, often incoherently.

I appreciate you for 1. posting under your own name, and 2. engaging with those commenters who are interested in a discussion past kindergarten playground stuff.

It's certainly a more effective use of the medium than the game-playing favored by several of our local pols.

Posted by: jcb at April 19, 2006 11:04 PM

Quote from Bob Anders:
"If I wanted a soldier to represent me in congress I would pick a returning war hero like Army Ranger Tyler Carroll of Rock Island, but I don't...Why in the world would I send a soldier to do a politcans job? Do you want politcans defending this country?...Heck, Hale Bayne has twice as much millitary expereince as you do. He served in bothe Vietnam and Korea. Did you ever see action?"
Posted April 19, 2006 05:23 PM

Good try, but if you're going to attempt using logic to discount somebody, you're going to have to do better than that (if you can). Weak, Bob. Very weak.

Stay with me, Bob. Okay--nobody's trying to get you to vote a "soldier" into congress, and you know it.

While your first sentence serves two distinct purposes, 1) setting up your shallow follow-up and 2) a platform from which to take your first gratuitous shot at Mellon, even the not-so-discerning observer immediately identifies your clumsy strategy and inelegant offering of the "bigger and/or better".

That Mellon once was a soldier is a fact. Nothing more. It offers background information. But it's not just ANY piece of background information; this bit of personal history implies certain merits intrinsic to the condition of "having been a soldier and officer": selfless service to one's nation; leadership; responsibility for LIVES; representing one's country abroad; planning and decision-making under pressure; risk analysis and management; accountability. I could go on and on.

To minimize these implications is to be strategically unfair. (E.g., Yeah but, "did you ever see action?" [That's just dumb.]) On the other hand, to speak hyperbolically of the fact that he's a veteran is equally unfair. (e.g., "Why in the world would I send a soldier to do a politcan's job?" [Being a soldier is ONE of the things he has done. It's not his end-all defining quality. And, by the way, he's not presently a soldier. Do you understand that?]) Here's an example that illustrates what I'm getting at (and what you're missing): You, Bob Anders, certainly defecated in your pants when you were an infant. Who didn't? Well, let's say five or six years later on in your life, when you were ready for kindergarten or first grade, people in your family doubted that you were ready to attend school. Why? Because, they'd say, "Bob's not right for school. Why would I send a pants-crapper to do a student's job? Do you want students to come over and crap in Bob's pants?" This, of course, isn't a fair analogy. Unfortunately, however, the level of reasoning is sadly on par with your blear-witted premise and jackleg argumentation.

Your final statement is not only off-topic, at least with regard to the point that you seem to have been trying to make, but it's childish. You try to come off as very careful, thoughtful, and deliberate when weighing political matters. (Hollow pretention, Bob.) In the end, unfortunately, you prove to be about as judicious as most teenage boys--more concerned with comparing dick-size than with objectively weighing matters of substance.

Oh, by the way--I especially liked this one: "Grow-up Mellon, this isn't Social Studies class!"

Whoa...he really got you there, Mellon. And the superfluous exclamation point adds a punch that the tiresome period could never provide. Bob's like, "Yeah, let me just throw THIS at the end. Stupid Mellon!" Man, you really got burned there.

Wait. No you didn't.

Please try again, Bob. (And at least use spellcheck next time. Thanks.)

**Havinfun & Paladin, as always--informative, and intelligent comments/posts. Love it.

Posted by: RED at April 19, 2006 11:07 PM

Mr. Mellon, I agree with JCB. My hat's off to you for making yourself so accessible and vulnerable here on the blogs. Win, lose, or ignored -- you're proving yourself a regular, stand-up guy with smarts and genuine compassion for the people. Good points on your last post and excellent restraint when dealing with opponents and critics.

Even they serve a purpose -- to keep people on their toes and to provide the kind of skepticism that gives you the opportunity to succinctly and gracefully answer real people. Alas, you're the only prospective candidate I expect will ever show up in a forum like this. It's probably too risky a move for anybody else.

JCB, your comments are great. Much respect to you.

Posted by: RED at April 20, 2006 08:38 AM

I've been watching Rob Mellon's name pop up on the blogs, and at first I didn't think much of it. The more I read and watch this play out, the more I like seeing him in the game.

No one, except pehaps for Phil Hare, was prepared for the possibility of suddenly competing for Lane Evans' seat before Evans' announcement.

After reading "Hare 'in sync' with Evans" in the D/A, my take was that Phil Hare's pretty good on the issues. Then I thought: anyone with a HS education that's been working with the same boss as a chief of staff or office director for 22 years had BETTER know his boss's issues and priorities by now. How's Hare going to manage without Evans?

Rob's posts over the last couple of weeks have shown that he's thinking hard about the issues and he's developing and refining his own thoughts and positions as opposed to mimicking what his boss has said for 22 years.

As a voter, I want a congressman that can help with:
- bringing business and jobs
- improving public education for the kids
- maintaining a strong national defense
- supporting veterans

Rob can certainly help with the last three.
- He's a teacher, so he's probably got first hand experience with no-child left behind. (I started to think that Phil Hare was a child left behind and may have his own experience there, but I saw he did actually graduate from Alleman)
- He's got military experience as a soldier and as an officer. He knows what it's like to train, to go downrange. That experience is also a crucible for many other things in life that RED touched on above. He served his country for 10 years, which is more than 98% of the people in the district can say.
- Now that he's out, he knows what a DD214 is and he has first hand knowledge of what it's like to be a veteran.

As for businesses and jobs, I don't want Phil Hare to work that for me. Why would I want a union guy to try to bring businesses to the QC? What have the unions really done to keep businesses around? IH-gone, CAT-gone, how many countless others gone because unions asked for too much? What have the unions done when these jobs went away? Squat. The unions have lost their relevance in the QC. I'd rather have a businessman bring businesses to the QC.

Phil touts that Bringing 1st Army to the Arsenal was big. Yippe. big 3-star job, small staff, no troops, no impact. At least maybe the 3-star can keep the golf course open. BRAC should have brought all of DFAS to Rock Island. It should have brought the Air National Guard to the Quad City Airport's south ramp.

I really think angry-Phil is more worried about losing his current government job than anything else. Wouldn't anyone be worried about becoming a unemployed 57-year old man without a college degree? He doesn't even have enough money to buy a sport coat that fits him.

I'd rather see someone who leads with ambition and not heavy-handedness, that shares common interests and experiences with the district, and that is truly there to serve and not be served.

I'd much rather see a guy like Rob Mellon in the race than Phil Hare.

So, Rob, press on!

Posted by: Sierra Hotel, Hooah! at April 20, 2006 08:44 AM

Tyler Carroll is the grandson of Denny Jacobs and nephew of Senator Mike Jacobs.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 20, 2006 12:23 PM

A note here to various commenters who love calling me ignorant and an idiot or whatver: If you haven't figured it out by now, you have to at least be able to spell my name correctly or I'm deleting your stuff as fast as it comes in.

Posted by: jcb at April 20, 2006 01:30 PM

"returning war hero like Army Ranger Tyler Carroll of Rock Island"

Other than being there, I don't see anything that tells me that Tyler Carroll is a war hero.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 20, 2006 02:37 PM

Tyler Carroll is not telling voters that his military service qualifies him to be Congressman. However, if you get a chance to hear this young warrior speak please do. I saw Specialist Carroll recount his roller-coaster ride through Afghanistan while at a recent meeting of the Rock Island Rotary Club. By the time this brave young man finished recounting his second tour of duty to the gathered crowd there was not a dry eye in the house.

Needless to say, Rock Island Ranger Tyler "Bulldog" Carrollís Unit did not catch Bin Laden, but the foreign leader knew our boys waeret on his trail. If Tyler's role in the battle doesnít qualify the young man as a true American hero, I donít know what does. Remarkable!

By the way 2:27 PM, I hope you didn't hurt yourself watching the WAR on CNN?

Posted by: BobAnders at April 20, 2006 06:22 PM

Oh, I saw it. Up close and personal, Bob.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 20, 2006 07:21 PM

Tyler Carroll spoke at Rocky when I was in high school because he went there and his brother taught government. I think he was in Afghanistan before anyone else around here was being sent overseas.

Being new to voting I didn't know that being in a war was so important to hold a political office.

I don't know how to run spell check when on a blog. Can anyone tell me?

Posted by: Scott at April 20, 2006 07:58 PM

The only solider with as much front-line military expereince as Speacialst Carrol in the race for congressman is Hal Bayne. Hal has also travled the world in an honest effort to resotre world peace. Givcen the fact that Bayne is also a gifted surgeon, Hal may well be the best choice to hold the seat for two years before an open anf fair electon is held!

Posted by: PatSimons at April 21, 2006 12:59 PM

Hal Bayne!
This might just be the best compromise for the party. After seeing that Lane's brothers have recieved guardianship of Lane before the so called appointment of Hare stinks of misconduct to me. I have seen that most people are outraged that Phil Hare and his congressional staff have dooped Lane Evans and the people of the 17th district. What a shameless act of selfishness on Hare and his staff. If Phils congressional staff was not in on the plott then they should come out and Renounce Phil Hare and support Hal Bayne for Lane Evans sake.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 21, 2006 10:05 PM

Yes, yes, yes, Hal Bayne is most Lane like now that Phil Hare has proven hismelf unworthy of our idolation! Go Hale.

Military hero, world traveler, doctor, man of destiny. Bayne makes perfect sense to warm the seat while we wait for an open primary process.

Posted by: PatSimons at April 22, 2006 10:35 AM