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May 13, 2006

Galesburg -- white hair and civic duty

Galesburg, another cool and gray May day, Democratic committeepeople gathering to nominate candidates who'll form the final field from which they'll pick a replacement candidate for Lane Evans in the 17th Congressional District.

At the Orpheum Theater, four of the candidates -- Mark Schwiebert, Phil Hare, Rob Mellon and Mike Boland -- formed a reception line in the lobby. The fifth, John Sullivan, was inside, working the area cordoned off for elected committeepeople only. I stood watching him, and counting chairs. Seven rows, 11 seats on one side of the aisle and six on the other -- 129 chairs.

As the chairs filled, and they all did, one fact stood out ever more starkly. It was a white-hair (or no-hair) crowd. I'd be surprised if even a half-dozen of them haven't left 40 long behind.

That's no kind of knock. Saw a lot of familiar faces -- good people who mostly get nothing for what they do except criticism and the satisfaction of playing a part. They take their parts seriously, too, or they wouldn't have driven the 40- or 60- or 100 miles they did, to listen one more time to the five men who want to replace Evans on the ballot.

The committeepeople got eyes, too, and self-awareness. Mellon, the 35-year-old whippersnapper from Quincy, acknowledging after his nomination that he's a longshot in this contest, talked about the future. "Heck," he said, "in 10 years, I'll still be younger than all these other guys are now.'' He got a burst of uproareous laughter and a huge round of applause. Same thing happened when he talked about chess and planning, then said that George W. Bush is a checkers player. Mellon's made a lot of friends the last month or so, even if not many of them cast a vote for him -- this time.

When I talked to him in the reception line on the way in, he didn't expect to get a nomination. Might not have, either, if Boland hadn't done it. "This is kind of unusual," Boland said in preface to providing an opponent the formal recognition needed to continue in the race. Asked Boland later why he did it, and he said that Mellon's adamantly stuck in the race, is a smart kid and ought to be encouraged.

Pretty gracious. On the other hand, I suppose having Mellon in for the final vote may cost Sullivan a little down-district, and every little bit helps from a Rock Island County perspective. There's a building consensus that Sullivan, a state senator from Rushville, will be the man if RICO committeepeople don't substantially back one the three hopefuls calling it home.

That's probably right. I've talked to a lot of committeepeople in the outer reaches of the sprawling 17th District as this improbable campaign has played out over the last month. Lots of them like Sullivan, like him a lot.

Anyway, here's the final field from which the committeepeople will pick the nominee:

-- Sullivan, a state senator from Rushville, who was nominated by Adams County Chairman Don Hagestrom.

-- Mellon, a school teacher from Quincy, nominated by Boland, committeeman for South Moline 17, in Rock Island County.

-- Boland, a state rep from East Moline, nominated by David Guzzardo, from Kewanee Precinct 4 in Henry County.

-- Schwiebert, Rock Island's mayor, nominated by Helen Heiland, from South Moline 1, in Rock Island County.

-- Hare, a long-time aide to Evans, nominated by Douglas House, Black Hawk 7, in Rock Island County.

The session went off without a hitch, following the procedures 17th District Committeeman Don Johnston and Committeewoman Mary Boland laid out in advance. There was no evidence of the controversies their decisions have stirred up around the district. Johnston said at the outset that the state board of elections advised him to get an opinion from private counsel; that Rock Island attorney Stuart Lefstein had provided procedural guidance and his advice would be followed. No one challenged him.

There's still no firm date for a decision. Johnston said committeepeople will be given three weeks to vote, after the ballots are mailed. Before mailing the ballots, he said, he first must have certification of votes in each precinct from each of the 23 county clerks in the district.

When that information's all in hand, each of the 396 elected committeepeople will be mailed a ballot that includes the number of votes they're entitled to cast, a number equal to the Democratic vote in their precinct in the March 21 primary. Each committeeperson can split the votes, dividing them among the five candidates however they want.

The ballots will be held in a locked post office box until the designated day, when Johnston, Mary Boland, and a committee of five county clerks open the box and count the ballots. Whoever gets the most votes from among those cast will be nominee. No last-minute horse-trading, no runoffs.


The possibility that Sullivan might get the nod, and win, had people talking about when was the last time Rock Island County was not home to the congressman for whatever district it was in at the moment. Nobody was coming up with a name, or time. Beyond me. Tom Railsback of Moline was the guy when I got to town 34 years ago. Evans replaced him.
Got the answer, though, when I stopped by the Cherry St. Brewing Co., a couple of blocks from the Orpheum, for a Hare meet-and-greet after the meeting.

John Gianulis, RICO's venerable chairman, was there, though he hadn't attended the nominating session. I asked him, and he knew. It was Gale Schisler, from London Mills, down in Knox County. He was elected in 1964. JohnG even remembered the circumstances. Dems didn't have a candidate in the primary and some people who liked Schisler got up a write-in effort, got him on the ballot for the general election and he won. It was a one-term thing, though. Railsback beat him in 1966.

Didn't ask Gianulis, who's been working hard for Hare, for a prediction. He didn't volunteer one. Just said during the conversation that the process is running its course, and the job is to get the votes in and counted.

Posted by jcb at May 13, 2006 03:25 PM


It is over jbc. This is why you are trying to make it sound like Sullivan has a chance. If you talked to people at the meeting it is no suprise that John G. isn't getting upset about these non-elected committeemen. They are not needed. Hare has the nomination sewn up. This thing is over. I was supprised to hear several people from the southern part of the district say that because of Lane Evans and John G. that they wrer casting all of their votes for Hare. Gohn G. has shown that he has the power to get the votes for Hare even without the non-eleced. Hare winns with 600 votes to spare as of right now. As people realize that Schwiebert and Boland don't have a chance they will go to Hare. Hare will win by 1500 votes. Mark it down.

The swami.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 13, 2006 04:24 PM

Sullivan's speech was a disaster - he even lost his place half way through and was silent for about 30 seconds - the only ones that could have left the meeting ready to vote for Sullivan are the ones that entered the room today ready to vote for him. He did not look like a congressman today. The rest of the candidates stepped it up - Sullivan seemed to take a few steps back.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 13, 2006 04:53 PM


You captured the feel of the event and thanks for the historical anecdotes from John Gianulis.
Regardless of one's politics, John G has an amazing mind for the details of the past and the history of politics in our region.

Posted by: anonymous at May 13, 2006 05:49 PM

Schrewd move by Boland to help the Rock Island County Democratic candidates. Keeping Mellon in the race hurts Sullivan and helps Hare-Schwiebert-Boland. When it comes to politics, don't count Mike Boland out!

Posted by: anonymous at May 13, 2006 05:54 PM

Since the Congressional Committee has never met before, it has no by-laws or rules. It must follow Robert's Rules of Order

From Robert's Rules of Order:

A Quorum of an assembly is such a number as must be present in order that business can be LEGALLY transacted.

The quorum refers to the number present, not to the number voting.

The quorum of any … deliberative assembly with an enrolled membership (unless the by-laws provide for a smaller quorum) IS A MAJORITY OF ALL THE MEMBERS.

In such an assembly the chairman should not take the chair until a quorum is present, or there is no prospect of there being a quorum.

The only business that can be transacted in the absence of a quorum is to take measures to obtain a quorum, to fix the time to which to-adjourn, and to adjourn, or to take a recess.

While no question can be decided in the absence of a quorum excepting those mentioned above, a member cannot be interrupted while speaking in order to make the point of no quorum.

From the reports it appears that a quorum was not present.

Posted by: Anon at May 13, 2006 06:13 PM

I admit up front I'm a Hare fan, but I think it would be pretty hard to say this day wasn't bad for John Sullivan. Every other candidate ratcheted up their game a knotch, but Sullivan had a bad public speaking day--and not just losing his place in his notes...his knowledge of the issues seems a little thin at times, and he read the mood wrong today. Don't get me wrong--if he wins this I'll back him with some enthusiasm over Zinga--but several of the speakers did well, and Phil Hare got a standing ovation at the end. This was Phil's day. It's just time to get the bloody thing over with and allow the nominee to focus on the job at hand.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 13, 2006 06:29 PM

I wouldn't call Sullivan's speech a disaster. He lost his place once, said so, and then fumbled around with his notes for a while. He did get a great round of applause when he finished his speech.

Incidentally, here's my reading of the applause meter:

1. Hare, by a hair -- a passionate delivery of themes he's repeated: He's pro-choice, pro-labor, anti-trade agreements, pro-stem cell research and ready to do war with the drug and oil companies.

2 Sullivan -- he did stumble, but recovered, I thought. He emphasized his part in getting an equal-pay bill through the state legislature, and another that provides umemployment benefits for locked-out workers. He finished by recounting how his father's last words to him were "Don't forget the little guy."

3. Mellon -- two great rounds of applause, as recounted in my post; put them together and he's No. 1.

4. Schwiebert and Boland (tie). Both talked about electibility some more, though both tossed some red meat.

Schwiebert said we've got to "get away from giveaways to the drug companies" and railed against the "deficits from this bankrupt administration."

Boland said this Congress is "a corrupt institution controlled by special interests" with the drug and insurance interests topping the list.

He also spoke longest about abortion -- said whether to continue a pregnancy is the business of a woman, her doctor and her god. Got applause from most of the room, as did Hare when he said he was pro-choice.

Others didn't mention the issue, though Schwiebert has previously said he's pro-choice. Sullivan's against abortion, with exceptions in the case of rape, incest and life/health of the mother. Mellon's said he accepts the tenets of the Catholic Church.

None of them mentioned immigration. Mellon was the only one to talk about Iraq, and however much sense he made, it was still a variation on the "we need to get out as soon as possible, but not before we get the situation under control" theme.

Other notes:

-- Amy Stockwell, the Macon County auditor who withdrew her candidacy earlier in the week, nevertheless made the trip to Galesburg. Sullivan, who got her endorsement, introduced her and she got a nice round of applause, too.

-- Mellon stopped by the Hare meet-and-greet. One of the committeemen, not sure of his name, introduced Mellon to Gianulis and mentioned he's the kind of guy that can help the party in the future. Gianulis was polite.

-- Johnston/Boland had stacks of Lefstein's opinions on procedural issues available to anyone who wanted a copy. Also available were copies of the letter the state board sent, telling Johnston he should ask a private attorney for advice on how to proceed.

Posted by: jcb at May 13, 2006 09:55 PM

This is comical, the blind alegiance that RICO Dem's play to John G!

You think that Mellon will take votes away from Sullivan, yet never discuss the votes that the 3 RICO candidates will take away from each other?

I think that we are going to learn that the 'Democrat machine' perception, was just that, 'perception.' Sullivan will win the nomination and likely crush Zinga. The interesting thing will be whether or not the Republicans are smart enough to figure out that it has not been the 'Democrat Machine' beating them all these years, it is the fact that they run terrible candidates (5 newscasters in 6 efforts!).

As JCB pointed out, the Democrat Party apparently has less youth in it than the Republicans. The questions (that will shape the future in this area) will be, (1) which party will regenerate sooner, and (2) will the Republicans look in the mirror in November after Zinga and Beals get beat badly and see that it is their weakness, not the Dem's strength, that has caused these results?

Posted by: havinfun at May 15, 2006 05:58 AM

I agree with havinfun - the party that "regenerates" sooner will have an advantage. I have personally found that the Democratic Party is not ready to embrace new ideas or candidates right now - that may eventually have damaging effects.

Posted by: Rob Mellon at May 15, 2006 12:55 PM

jcb, yours is the best account I've seen about the Galesburg confab. Lots of color and nuance.

Posted by: paladin at May 15, 2006 01:36 PM

It seems as though the folks from Rock Island are claiming that Sullivan did a poor job at Galesburg. I was there, and it didn't appear to be that way to me. I'm just wondering if it's because everyone in the Rock Island area prefers Phil Hare and are afraid that Sullivan is the front runner. This could be an attempt to make the Senator from the south look bad in order to undermine his standings.

Posted by: Pinnacle at May 15, 2006 02:24 PM

As a QC Democrat, I think "havinfun" makes some sense, at least on one point -- the RI Dems have more gray hair than youth these days. I know talented folks in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are waiting for first crack and opportunity in the party, but folks in their 70s, 80s and even 90s don't want to retire. 50 is considered a "young Democrat" in RI County. That could be a problem at some point, folks. I suspect the GOP isn't too different, though.

Posted by: anonymous at May 15, 2006 03:19 PM

Mr. Mellon, I am very comfortable with my party, and how we embrace and cultivate our future candidates. This is one reason why we in RI County are set to move into the future, led by young States Atty. Jeff Terronez, and Big Mike Jacobs. We have good, talented leadership elsewhere, from young Mike Carton, a future Mayoral Candidate, to Denny Ahern and Mike Darrow building on solid campaigns for the future for the state legislature in the 71st and 72nd. Throw in the work of Brian Gustafson in our Coroner's office and Kelly Fisher, in the Rec of Deeds slot and the young Dems are progressing fine; and don't count out Paul Rumler either for a future County Board slot, and probably more. Don't throw the gray hairs out just yet, as they serve to offer sage wisdom, advice and counsel for our future leaders. The future is bright in RI County, and we will be happy to assist in Adams, Warren, Henderson, or wherever we find hard working, thought provoking Democrats as candidates to move our party forward.

Posted by: futureisbright at May 15, 2006 08:58 PM

Unfortunately RI's success of producing good candidates has not been mirrored in other locations. I was speaking more directly about the local political situation in Adams Co. I am not educated enough on RI politics to comment on that - I should have been more specific with my earlier comments. The party is fractured in Adams and needs to be mended.

Posted by: Rob Mellon at May 16, 2006 08:59 AM

Mr. Mellon, you are being too kind...'RICO success in producing good candidates' - let's 'unpack' this statment,

Evans was never a good candidate, he was thrown in so that 'someone' would run against Railsback and lightning struck and the Republicans handed him the seat.

Hare - he is so unelectable, Lane had to play this game to try to back-door him in.

Boland - half of his own party can't stand the man.

Schweibert - people in his own party cannot even agree whether he is a Democrat or not.

Mike Jacobs - had to have the seat handed to him by his father.

I do not know that RICO Democrats have anything to brag about - other than the RICO Republicans being more inept!

If we are lucky, the next Republican candidate will be Neil Castor...

Posted by: Anonymous at May 16, 2006 09:36 AM

Lane Evans served 24 years in congress. Boland is a highly succesful politcian and author of the Benadini Amdendment. Schweibert is long time Mayor of Rock ISland. Big Mike Jacobs was "handed his seat" hy the voters in the recent Democrat Primary and has been names one of the top 10 young politicans to watch by the Chicagos Daily Bullentin. Democrats control every seat in the county but for one. Somehow that seems pretty good to me. Hope this clears up the confusion 9:36. Good luck with that Zinga thing!

Posted by: KateNelson at May 16, 2006 10:27 AM

I appreciate the rebuttal and I must say that you have a very positive outlook on this. However I will have to stand by my 9:36 post, which, quite honestly is based on blogs by many Democrats on this very site.

Posted by: anonymous 9:36 at May 16, 2006 10:32 AM

"futureisbright" must be wearing his rose-colored glasses ... i don't think our party does enough to promote middle-aged (let along young) talent ... that may change with the "changing of the guard" and the retirement of Lane Evans as the dominos start falling and changing and opening up new opportunities.

i've never been a big fan of term limits, but when you look around you begin to wonder if we should have them for county board, countywide and other elected offficials.

maybe that's a referendum item to push ...

Posted by: moline dem at May 16, 2006 02:33 PM

Moline Dem. Do you realize that people like Denny Ahearn, Shamus Ahearn, Jeff Terronez, "BIG" Mike Jacobs, Mike Darrow, Matt Papas, Brian Gustafson, Kelly Fisherand, Jim Oppenhiemer, Paul Rumler all young Dems that have their and the QC future ahead of them. These are the young bright energetic people that we in the party are counting on to bring us to the next decade of democratic stronghold to the area.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 16, 2006 03:15 PM

Considering the Democrats have ruled RICO for a generation, it's amazing that RICO has such a high poverty rate (8th in IL). Union membership is down and jobs have been fleeing the area like rats from a sinking ship ever since Lane and the Dems took control. Aren't the Dems all about helping the poor, downtrodden and minorities---to say nothing of unions? How to account for these facts? I do believe Zinga, and Republicans, if they can pick themselves off the floor, have their talking points-----and it ain't about abortion----it's about jobs.

It's up to the Republicans to offer a choice, not an echo. Can they do it?

Posted by: paladin at May 16, 2006 03:39 PM

Paladin, people don't want or need jobs here. We have so many, unemployment is down. We just turned down 1200 jobs at one time. You are barking up the wrong tree. High school graduation and teen pregnancy are the reason for us being on the poverty list. Know your facts before you embarass youself.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 16, 2006 05:42 PM

If what you say is true, why haven't the local powers-that-be-Democrats addressed teen pregnancy and drop-out rates? If Democrats aren't taking care of the poor and downtrodden, who will? Aren't the poor the Democrats' natural constituency? Why aren't they doing more to help them?

Posted by: paladin at May 16, 2006 07:06 PM

Graduation rights are abysmal across the county - while we focus on "No Child Left Behind" large numbers of kids are being forgotten. I contend this is due to a monolithic education system that does not offer enough curriculum diversity to appeal to non-college bound students. I have suggested that technical schools need to be developed so students that will never go to college have a specific skill when they leave school - not only in larger areas but in rural areas as well. I know that schools offer programs now – but I think that they do not go nearly far enough. The technical programs need to be more expansive and end with official certification. This might include apprenticeships or on the job training in local factories. I work for a small school district that is thinking of consolidating with another school of similar size - all of the focus is on the economics of the change and not the educational opportunities.

Posted by: Rob Mellon at May 16, 2006 11:38 PM

A recent trend I see nationally is how poor our students are in non-computer scholastic skills. And many of these people have already reached adulthood. Listen to how poorly they continue to do on questions of geography. Many people and students can't find our own states on the map, even of highly publicized regions. Basic math skills seem forgotten in favor of the computer age mentality; let the calculator or spreadsheet programs do the work. Math skills are deteriorating to the point there is no wonder big companies can get by with dishonest bookkeeping practices. I returned to school in the 90's to attend college after having been out of high school over a decade. I have never been a great or natural student in any school course. But I feel I had the advantage of attending a small high school instead of one of the megamart systems offered by large metro areas. (My experience has been that smaller school's students seemed more in tune with the work required of them. Maybe it's just there are more distractions at the bigger schools.) And I managed to keep my grades and work in the "B" levels and kept a respectable ranking in school despite my many shortcomings. In all fairness when I returned to school there were a lot of bright students. But even the intelligent ones seemed to be challenged by basic math and verbal/writing skills. I will not even begin to address most of their atrocious verbal and writing skill levels other than to say Homer Simpson would be proud. Doh, Beer! The students had a lot of trouble with math that did not allow the use of calculators or computers. Despite my not having participated in any school programs for years, I was having less trouble with the business math courses than the students just graduated. Another older student and I wound up helping many young kids just out of school with their math and formula homework. Something is wrong with that!
My parents never had the chance to attend high school and appreciated the value the school system offered us children. That value was stressed at home. Before I even entered elementary school I was forced by my parents to learn the states and the capitals of the US. I was also given early math and reading rudiments before I entered the school system. As I made my way through the grade and high school, I was expected by my parents and my teachers to perform to school standards. And when my work was lacking (a young man has to party once in a while) I was held responsible for my performance and expected to address the problem. Bad grades meant no extracurricular activities and days of staring at my schoolbooks rather than any social activities. We were expected to be able to do basic calculations in our head and were drilled on it. The math teachers did not allow a calculator in class. The only thing they allowed was a slide rule. All calculations had to be shown on a scratch sheet. Most of the students I went to college with were clueless when it came to a slide rule. There has to be something done to the school systems. For someone that was out of the system for many years that returns for scholastic honing and development and then has a better working knowledge of critical math and verbal skills than students that have just graduated is not an acceptable occurrence.

Posted by: NoMorePinocchios at May 17, 2006 01:55 AM


Zinga has a plan for jobs? I have been paying attention and she has never stated anything specific to help get one job here. Come on, she has been unemployed for 4-years (after being dismissed from CNN) and even when she worked, the closest she got to understanding how to create a job was to report on people creating jobs.

Zinga has absolutely no understanding of how to benefit the District in this arena. If she does, I believe that we would all love to hear her thoughts.

Speaking of that...what are her thoughts on the pork plant? What are her thoughts on immigration? What are her thoughts on...(name the topic). She has no platform to run on if not beating up Lane Evans and his record.

Her problem is that she is too much like our National Democrat (she can only criticize, but offer no meaningful solutions (with all due respect to Mr. Mellon)).

Posted by: havinfun at May 17, 2006 08:16 AM

Because the best and the brightest move to the big cities we are left with either people that stay for family or they can't get out or this is the big city because they are from Aledo or someplace. This is happening across America and to ignore it is wrong. We have held our own in keeping our population base. It is tough to do in todays era.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 17, 2006 08:20 AM

paladin at May 16, 2006 03:39 PM,
Union membership is down and jobs have been fleeing the area like rats from a sinking ship ever since Lane and the Dems took control.

Are you kidding me? Lane Evans has done more for the Unions than anyone. Our community is carried on the backs of the Unions. When Lane Evans took office the Unions were in trouble around here. Lane Evans is responsible for igniting the labor movement in the area. He took the lead in strengthening the Unions from the inside out. Why do you think that Lane Evans is so loved by the Unions. He took Union chief brother Phil Hare out of the Union and brought him into his office so that he could help to rebuild the crumbeling Unions and transform them into the powerful Unions that we are blessed with today. If it weren't for Lane and Phil we would not enjoy the great labor movement in the 17th district that we have today.
You are an anti-union republican that would like nothing better than to undo the great Union building that Lane is responsible for.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 17, 2006 08:31 AM

Anonymous 8:31 - you, my friend, are a sick and dillusional person. If more than just a few people agreed with your thinking, I would really be scared (and would be moving!).

God bless you for your thoughts and beliefs, but...(I am speachless!).

Posted by: Anonymous at May 17, 2006 09:26 AM

To havinfun: I have no idea what Zinga's platform is, or isn't. I assume she will tailor it to whoever her apponent is. I will not be voting for Zinga unless the Democrats nominate Hare. The reason? People like anon@8:31 who are blowing smoke, and trying to convince the rest of us that up is down and down is up with quotes like this: "(Evans brought Hare into his office)... so that (Hare) could help rebuild the crumbeling (sic) Unions and transform them into the powerful Unions we are blessed with today." HAHAHAHAHA Hilarious! Another blow for cronyism!

Posted by: paladin at May 17, 2006 10:06 AM

WASHINGTON - Capitol Hill is teeming with elected officials who wield power - or at least hope to convince the folks back home that they do.

But who really holds the power? A study released Tuesday came up with a few surprises.
Overall, Durbin ranked as the 22nd most powerful member of the Senate's 100 members in 2005, the year studied.
Retiring Rep. Lane Evans, D-Rock Island, who represents a part of Springfield, ranked 11th among the state's lawmakers, but 282nd overall in the House.

Posted by: anon at May 17, 2006 10:16 AM

Congressman Hare will rank number 1!

Posted by: KateNelson at May 17, 2006 11:13 AM

paladin, you hit the nail on the head...exactly. This is Zinga's problem, why does her response to the issues depend upon who her opponent is? Why is she not taking a position on economic development, healthcare, immigration, etc.? Why should her position be dependant upon her opponent?

Why is her only ability to run got to be positioned around knocking her opponent?

Posted by: havinfun at May 17, 2006 11:17 AM


Can you/ will you please elaborate on what is so wonderful about Phil Hare - I am asking out of sincere interest. From the outside-looking-in, he appears to be a man that has done an incredible job of running Evan's office effectively and efficiently; which is a great task. However, there is a great differnce to being a great office manager/ coordinator of some district efforts, to being a Congressman.

I am told that Hare is not an impressive speaker, somewhat rough in his demeanor - actually is the one candidate that can open the door somewhat to Zinga as the word is that he would be a terrible candidate (which Evan's must have thought, as this has got to be why Evan's played this game).

What is it about Hare that makes you fawn over him?

Posted by: havinfun at May 17, 2006 01:14 PM

havinfun, if you read the Congressional Power Rankings study that anon@10:16 mentioned, you'd know that Lane Evans was nothing to "fawn over" either, yet we kept electing him for over 20 years. We must have really low expectations when it comes to who we choose to represent us in the 17th District.

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

I think someone needs to find out if Senator Durbin or Senator Obama's staffers are helping behind the scenes.

Posted by: anonymous at May 17, 2006 04:36 PM

Who better to apppoint our next congressman than our old congressman?

Posted by: KateNelson at May 17, 2006 05:15 PM

Unfortunately Ms. Nelson Congressmen do not get appointed they must be elected - that is what our entire system is based on. Here the people decide. I always refer back to the very first example of this - George Washington left office and could have named any successor or even himself king for that matter - instead he went home to Mt. Vernon and let the people decide who would be the next president. If the father of our country can do that - every modern politician better do the same there is no greater example of honor.

Posted by: Rob Mellon at May 17, 2006 06:36 PM


That is it?! I ask you a specific question, a fair and reasonable question - and that is all you have?

I appreciate the fact that every citizen has a right to vote, one would just like to think that a little thought, a little more than silly blind allegiance is taken into account in that vote.

You at least have cleared it up for me, apparently Hare is every bit as lame as I understand him to be and as Lane himself must consider him (as a candidate), if his biggest fan cannot even verbalize one positive about the man (again, as a candidate).

Posted by: havinfun at May 17, 2006 08:20 PM

A little history lesson for Rob Mellon (and probably everyone else). There was never any consideration of George Washington being made King. In the minutes of the Continental Congress one delegate briefly mentioned that idea and it was ignored. No serious discussion of that possibility was ever made. That is just "popular" history, not real history.

Posted by: anon at May 18, 2006 10:18 AM

Mellon you are wet between ears. Hare will be appointed, not elected. Whomever, even you Mellons, if you could win an appointment, would beat Zinga. Whomever wins this appointment becomes our Democrat Congressman. That's way map is drawn to "appoint" Congressman Hare, not you.

You Mellon are a "johnny-come lately," so thick headed you don't understand when you are used by the "Machine" (Boland nominated you for the appointment for what reason) to split Sullivan's vote. I hope you are teachng our children to be smarter than you are!


What don't you understand? The Honorable Lane Evans needs Congressman Hare to carry on his legacy of service to ordinary people. Phil Hare has all the qualities loyal Democrats need or ever wanted --- HE HATES BUSH AND HIS BANKRUPT POLICIES!

Posted by: KateNelson at May 18, 2006 10:22 AM

KateNelson -- once again you offer up a mix of name-calling and nonsense. Whoever represents the 17th after next November will have been elected, not appointed.

The Democratic nominee, too, will have been elected -- by the ballots cast by several hundred
precinct committeepeople. Even "johnny-come-latelies" get that much.

Posted by: jcb at May 18, 2006 08:35 PM

Anon - you might be right regarding the Constitutional Convention in regards to a king - that may have been over the top, but there is little question that Washington had tremendous influence when he left office - not to mention, that there wasn't a Constitutional reason for him to retire - he chose to do so and did it honorably. There are those that wanted the executive to have amazing power - most notably maybe Alexander Hamilton. The term king was probably not a popular term at the time that is true.

Kate - thank you for the kind words - over the past few days those are the nicest comments that have been expressed in regards to my candidacy. You think I am joking, but that is the truth. The "wet between the ears" was my personal favorite. I would like to use it sometime, but if I do I will make sure that I give you credit.

Posted by: Rob Mellon at May 18, 2006 09:27 PM

The idea of Washington as king, or military dictactor, did get more than one passing mention.

It was first broached of officers of the army, toward the Revoluntary War's end. There's a brief account of that episode in the Washington biography at americanpresident.org

Posted by: jcb at May 18, 2006 10:26 PM

Yes, yes, yes, as jcb claimes Phil Hare will not be "apppointed" to the Democratic Congressional nomination, but rather elected by commmitteemen.

Who said one cannot teach old dog new tricks?

Your qoute could not come at a more opportune time for the Democrat Machine. Thanks a lot jcb, you are the best!

Posted by: KateNelson at May 19, 2006 12:16 AM

Kate -

One more time...any specific reason why you think that Hare is the right guy?

Posted by: havinfun at May 19, 2006 06:34 AM

Some military officers may have had some discussion of Washington as King but military officers never constituted the Government. A lot of ideas were being thrown around under the Continental Congress and the dysfunctional Articles of Confederation. When George Washington became 11th President of the United States (1st under the Constitution) there was no serious thought to anyone being King.

And to get back on topic. Go Sullivan!!!

Posted by: Anonymous at May 19, 2006 10:11 AM

Many Precinct Committeemen of 10 years or less have no idea who Phil Hare is. Phil has made more visits this month than in the past decade.

Posted by: anon at May 19, 2006 10:21 AM

I feel your pain havinfun. So many of the Democrats---at least those who comment online just seem demented. Like the anon above (5/16@5:42pm) who said "people don't want or need jobs here." This was in response to my comment that RICO had been hemorrhaging both jobs and union members since the '80s, when Evans and his Dem cohorts took over. In response to my statement that RICO was 8th on the poverty list in IL, Mr./Ms. anon blamed pregnant teenagers and high school dropouts. Well, gee, back in the olden days, Democrats thought that even single moms and dropouts should have job opportunities. Now it appears that Dems only care about jobs for their union members, who make $30.00 per hour, plus bennies. It's sad and pathetic. I wonder if the Democrat nominee (TBD) will use "people don't want or need jobs here" as a campaign slogan? Sheesh!

Another interesting and demented thread of Democrat thought is going on at TID where commenters are quite bold in stating that the best qualified candidate (usually meaning Schweibert) should NOT get the nomination because he has not produced enough big, wet, sloppy kisses to the posteriors of the RICO Politburo. Double sheesh!

So considering both these facts, it is easy to see how people in this district keep electing a do-nothing like Lane Evans and really, truly believe we should have several more decades of the same with Phil Hare.

That, and the fact that the RICO Republican Party died some time ago, and cannot/will not resurrect itself.

Ain't it grand?

Posted by: paladin at May 19, 2006 02:30 PM

Democrat - Republican, whatever. One would hope that people that care enough to 'tune in' to the blogs, would be intelligent enough to have reasonable thoughts and facts behind statements and opinions.

Of course we will not agree on everything, but can't people at least share the REASON behind their opinions OR learn not to have opinions if they are not backed up by facts...

Posted by: havinfun at May 19, 2006 02:48 PM

My family has been union for many years. The Unions were and still are a part of society that needs to survive. The work place needs balance. Without Unions big business eventually runs amok and pressure the workers into unsafe practices. Some members of my family were a part of the old miners unions where blood was spilt and that had to fight for safe working conditions, decent pay and benefits for a difficult job. Many of my family members have served as a precinct committeeman during their time spent working in the local shops. One of the problems I have noticed is that the fulcrum of the balance between Union and Owner has put a lot of stress on the plank that carries both of their loads. That plank, is those of us who use the products they manufacture and live in the economy their wages influence. The owners continue to find ways to make massive profits normally and by playing games with the books. And the Union Community wants to be paid a fair share of the profit they work and sweat to help the company make. But the two are sitting on opposite ends of a board that is reaching its breaking point. The people that make up the substance of the board they sit on are generally non-union people. Some of these people are family farmers, which are being driven out of business by the big consortiums looking for tax write-offs. Others are everyday Joes and Janes that have a family to feed while working for lower wage scales. These people may or may not get an occasional raise and their benefits are small and getting smaller. As the owners and union members continue to fatten their pockets the stress on the people, who purchase the products and have to live in an inflated economy that is passing them by, is creating a backlash towards both the Owners and Unions. They tire of the Fatcat owners and they see the unions as greedy SOB’S with both of them driving up the cost of living for their more meager existence. They lack the resources or clout to keep pace with either the Union or Company pursuit of riches. Many of them would work the same Union job, they see people whining about, for a lot less pay just to pick up many of the benefits the Union workers get. Look at some of the posts on the Times site Letters to the Editors concerning Alcoa Workers considering going on strike. There are not many sympathizers with a strike vote, except those that are Union people. Though the Union people once enjoyed a great allegiance with the common man they have lost a great deal of that alliance, as in the eyes of many people they have now become the very thing they were brought in existence to fight, greed and preference. The stress created by cost of living increases for those not part of union companies, has created an environment where the Union Members are now looked at as the Poor Sister of Company Greed instead of as a friend and family member. Unless the Unions can find some avenue to once again meld with the general populace and separate themselves from the Company Greed image they will continue to lose support.

Posted by: NoMorePinocchios at May 19, 2006 05:20 PM

NoMorePinoccios looks at things a little slanted, I'd say. Of course Unions are benificial and have their place. I do not know of anyone that would dispute this.

However, "without unions big business usually runs amock" - "big consortiums looking for tax write-offs" - "Fatcat owners" - this is the type of 'babble' that creates the problem. Yes, unions have a place and do have value, but listening to NoMorePinochios you would think that our economy rests on unions shoulders and that the men and women of this economy who risk everything every single day to CREATE the union jobs, to create the business to keep the union jobs available, are of little consequence.

Without the entrepernurial spirit of those 'fat cat owners' these union jobs would never exist. Union jobs are important and respected, but please, show a little respect for the men and women that have RISKED to create those union jobs.

Posted by: Havinfun at May 19, 2006 09:49 PM

paladin at May 19, 2006 02:30 PM.

You say the people want jobs. We have enough. I stand by my assertion. Unemployment is at very low levels in the QC area. We just turned down 1200 jobs. What part of that don't you get. We are very satisfied with the job market. Health care industry is going great guns and has given us great employment rates thanks to people like Lane Evans and Obama. If you want to bad mouth Phil Hare , Lane Evans and Barac Obama then go ahead. It will only make these great leaders stronger and help the QC area. We Dems do take care of our single mothers. You think that you republicans would salute these single mothers for doing the right thing and having these babies into desperate situatiopns rather that abort these children. You should be the first one to applaud and help these single mothers for doing the right thing. The Democrats are the ones that have to comne to the aid of these children of single mothers. The State of Illinois will be giving free child care to the Children of these single mothers that you Republicans want to shut out in the cold. How do you Republicans live with yourselves.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 19, 2006 10:20 PM

Anon10:20pm, just keep repeating that up is down and down is up, the more feeble-minded will eventually agree with you.

But you make no sense when earlier you blamed the 8th ranking for poverty on single moms and the drop-outs, but at 10:20 you say Dems have done plenty for these groups. Are you saying, in spite of all your efforts, RICO still ranks 8th on the State poverty list. Shouldn't that tell you something about how effective the Democrats have been in fighting poverty here?

But hey, if you say up is down, I'm sure there will be some believers, but don't you think some of the poverty level single moms and high school dropouts could use some of the 1200 jobs you say we "don't need"?

Just askin'.

Posted by: paladin at May 20, 2006 02:37 PM

Anon 10:20 - are you happy with the business climate, the economic climate of the Illinois Quad-Cities, of Aledo, of Galesburg, of Monmouth, of Kewanee, of...???

Come on, look at Davenport, Bettendorf, LeClaire, Eldridge, goodness - Parkview! If you don't think that we have issues on the Illinois side of the river, then YOU are the issue.

Facts are facts.
Growth is growth.
Lack of growth, is lack of growth.

The issue should not be to place blame, but to look at the facts and deal with a vision for the future. We spend so much time trying to either protect those in power, or to make excuses for the (poor) reality that we have before us, that we never deal with a focused effort on making the future better.

If you are comfortable with where we are at, and want more of the same, you, hopefully, are in the minority.

Posted by: Jim Mowen at May 22, 2006 09:32 AM

Mowen you got beat by Zinga. You would lose to Mellon. You heard me Mellon. It is time for you to quit acting like people want to hear from you. They don't the people have spoken. Listen to the people. If you need to comment be anon like the rest of us.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 24, 2006 04:46 PM

Jim, I'm assuming you'll ignore anon 4:46 p.m. and continue to speak when you want, and be adult enough to say who you are.

The many anons could well follow your example.

Posted by: Jim at May 24, 2006 07:38 PM

Anonymous 4:46

I appreciate your opinion, however, the last post is correct, opinions are quite useless/ meaningless if one does not have the conviction to stand up and be identified with that opinion.

Yes, I did get beat by Zinga, surprising as that was. However, I put my hat in the ring, I invested one-year of my life, a lot of money, a lot of time away from my career (lost income) and a lot of time away from my family - to try to help, to try to do what is needed, which is to get people into office that want to 'serve' with right motives and not self-seeking motives. Unfortunately, the people did not respond in a manner that provided for my success.

You, on the other hand, type anonymously, a few meaningless lines that offer no solutions, no hope - just a little critisism of someone that is trying to make a difference.

I am certain that your mother is very proud of you. Have a great day!

Posted by: Jim Mowen at May 25, 2006 07:21 AM

Jim, I believe that you think that you have solutions, However Your solutions were rejected by your own party to Andrea Zinga. If you keep saying goofy things with your name on them you will only fall farther out of the lime lite that you seem to crave so much. Thanks for asking about my mother. She is doing fine and she is somewhat proud of me. How about yours.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 25, 2006 12:39 PM

The problem I have had with both parties for a long time is that they would rather blame each other for the problems the country faces than solve them. From what I have seen over the years is there is plenty of blame to go around for both parties. Both parties spout rhetoric and champion their cause but after the speeches they all go out and have an imported beer on the taxpayer leaving the work undone. The last two Presidencies were hampered by so much controversy between the feuding parties it is creating a deep resentment across the board for both of them. Something goes wrong; lets impeach the President rather than solve the problem. The Republicans wasted so much time trying to impeach Clinton when they should have been working on issues that face everyday Americans. Right now the Democratic Party stands a good chance of taking control of the Congress. Are they talking about how to solve the problems we face, no? They are shouting the same rhetoric as before and talking about how wonderful it would be to have control so they could try to impeach Bush. It is like two rabid dogs fighting over a rotting carcass. And with all the problems we face they continue to fight rather than work towards solutions while the country decays. It is disheartening to watch.

Posted by: NoMorePinocchios at May 25, 2006 01:27 PM

Ok, this is where we learn lessons...please allow me to call your bluff/ or your stupidity. Although I do not pretend to have the answers to all of our ills, I believe that what I have stated has been reasonable and well thought out. I invite you to back up your statement...

Please point out to me the 'goofy things' that I have said, and (for bonus points), please explain why they might be 'goofy' (if you further back up your position with facts and evidence, not just opinions from 'anonymous', I might even surrender! However, up to this point, you still seem like a misfit that has no backbone to even put your name on an opinion.

Posted by: Jim Mowen at May 25, 2006 01:27 PM

NoMorePinocchios, BINGO! Every word you wrote is dead-on. What a shame that this is the state of American politics. We all feel this, we all talk the 'throw the bums out' talk, but it never happens, as it is always everyone else's bum that we want out.

Where are the people with a backbone who are willing to discuss and address the real issues - even if it means them getting voted out?

Until we, the voter, demand accountability of our politicians to addressing our issues - and enforcing their lck of action by voting them out - this will never change.

Posted by: Jim Mowen at May 25, 2006 03:47 PM

All we can do is make sure people have political options. Jim Mowen gave the Republican primary voters an option. It may fail 9 times out of 10, but unless we have non-traditional candidates willing to run and offer that option we will be left with only the traditional choices (no options). Going up against established political groups is not easy, but it is essential for the health of the system. At least that will keep the traditional candidates on their toes. Our democracy should not be easy - getting elected should be a challenge. All too often we get into the mindset that we all need to rally behind the "favored" candidate. We get so focused on rallying we lose track of what is most important - what will the person do if they get elected. Full time campaigning with a minimized focus on governing may be one of the key factors in the nation�s current level of pessimism.

Posted by: Rob Mellon at May 25, 2006 10:44 PM

So true Mellon. I think about what the situation would have been if you had ignored the POWERS THAT BE and run against Evans in the primary. It might have been a replay of '68 when my hero, Eugene McCarthy, stood up against the Democrat powers and ran against the sitting POTUS, LBJ. This gave Bobby Kennedy the cover he needed to break away from POLITICS AS USUAL and challenge LBJ. He might have made it too. At any rate, it shook up the Democrat Party (for better or worse, hard to tell), and it did change the way the Democrats conducted business in their party.

This is just my opinion, but I think the local Democrat Party would improve with a Eugene McCarthy in the mix.

Posted by: paladin at May 26, 2006 02:06 PM

I agree Rob Mellon has brought so much to the mix. He has changed this election. It was a joke until Mellon came to the rescue. He has energized the masses. Some say that he might get 10 or 15 votes. This guy is a regular dynamo. Way to change the politics as usual. You have been the saving grace of this appointment.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 26, 2006 10:32 PM