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August 01, 2006

Nope, didn't have legs; and the search for better

The answer to the question posed in this post is no, Phil Hare's double-donations got no legs as an issue.

The Republicans soon fell to re-fighting their primary; a good many other folks drifted off into the need for something better.

Here's that part of the string:


This thread reminds me why I long for a third party, as do 70+% of the public, if polls are to be believed.

Locally and nationally, the Democrat Party represents mindless zombies. My jaw bruised my sternum when so many of the committeemen voting for the selected Hare, said "hey, if Lane wants Hare, that's good enough for me". Local Dems have surrendered both their brains and their cojones to the party. Nationally, Dems will move to the right of Patrick Buchanan, if they can attack GWB. Let's get real----the Democrats stand for nothing except winning elections.

But the Republicans are just as pathetic. After 40 years of Democrat control in the Congress, the Republicans finally win a majority. Their "Contract With America" stipulated that less government, more personal responsibility and lower taxes was needed. But thanks to GWB and his "compassionate conservatism" and a decade in power, the Republicans have demonstrated that they are every bit as corrupt as the Democrats. Some choice, huh? ILDC just parrots the Democrats when he implies Republicans should surrender their hearts, minds and cojones to The Party. Pathetic.

Anyone who wants to join me in supporting a political party that represents the people, not the powerful, speak up!

Posted by: paladin at August 1, 2006 01:29 PM



For the past months you've been on this blog whining about the local "politburo."

Well, no one gives up power for the hell of it! A better matched competitor has to take it from them. In politics, it's not easy to do. It doesn't happen over night. It takes work.

And the fact is that grassroots volunteers win elections. It's the people that put the signs in, talk to their neighbors, raise money, make phone calls, drive senior citizens to the polls that have an impact on elections. If you don't have that then you don't have anything.

And if you think that this area is better off because of the D's dominance, where Democrat PC's don't even have any political leverage, let alone your average voter, then we are just going to have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 1, 2006 03:33 PM



As I have likely slit my throat with the local Republicans, count me in. I would love to see what a group of people can accomplish if they care about nothing other than the people and the issues that affect those people (and lose all of the 'agenda's').

Posted by: Jim Mowen at August 1, 2006 04:38 PM


Paladin ...

There are times that this life-long Democrat begins to wonder about the two-party system that spends an inordinate amount of time taking care of their own, sometimes at the expense of solving problems. That's what led to Ross Perot in 1992. I was a Paul Tsongas supporter, because he had that independent streak and because he had a single-minded focus on the deficit.

Illinois election law is stacked in favor of the Republicans and Democrats. Independents in this state stand about as good a chance at success as a snowball rolling outside 5th Avenue in downtown Moline tonight. That doesn't mean folks shouldn't try, but those are the odds, in my view.

Posted by: grillmaster deluxe II Jr. at August 1, 2006 07:13 PM


Too late for any independent candidates this year; June 26 was last day to file.

Take a look at the BOE memo for non-Dem/Rep candidates. Next time will be along soon.

Posted by: jcb at August 1, 2006 10:50 PM


The 2008 Congressional elections will be normal elections - my guess is there will be strong challengers from both parties. There is really no chance for an independent candidate to win - so establishing a coalition of voters under the banner of one of the parties is the only means to accomplish a congressional victory.

In 2008 there will be more voters due to the presidential election - the fact that both parties at the national level will have multiple presidential candidates will draw an even higher number of voters to the polls. That means more moderates -- voters the local party leadership has less control over.

My opinion is that a downstate Democrat is the best option - so the coalition would be with downstate Democrat and moderate Republican voters married up with a strong base of support in RICO. That type of candidate is the only one that can upset the balance - a Dem from RICO will most likely always be apart of the RICO party system with little autonomy - the Republicans will generally look for name recognition or money - both would be the best option.

That is why it is difficult to get an average person to win even a primary election. Those who are dissatisfied are too splintered --how do you build a coalition of splintered parts?

Posted by: Rob Mellon at August 1, 2006 11:33 PM

Posted by jcb at August 1, 2006 11:31 PM


No one ever said fixing the political problems facing this country would be easy. It has never been easy to effect change in any culture especially concerning political loyalties. But it has been done; there have been independent candidates that have pulled off victory.

I never was a Jesse Ventura fan, although he did look impressive in the WWF with his body builder's physique and boa draped around his neck (what is it with pro wrestlers and feather boas?), but he managed to pull off a shocker taking out lifetime politician Humphrey. He was just over his head when he needed to work the system.

The Republican Party wasn't born until the 1850's (?) and was born as a way to fight slavery. For a third party or an independent party to succeed they need a cause to crusade (this country has plenty of causes to crusade (personally I am looking for a candidate that can assure a Chicago Cubs' World Series championship, I'm an easy sell), someone to bankroll the cause (a tough road to hoe, but by using the internet to cut costs and get out the message maybe not as impossible as it used to be, plus the smaller the office being sought the less cost involved), and a charismatic Prophet to spread the word (there are plenty of prophets, finding one who has not sold their soul and will not sell their soul once established in office, probably difficult) and that is capable of drawing the sleeping and disgruntled masses to the salvation show.

Of course finding the correct righteous cause that will rustle voters from both parties and awaken the apathetic would be the secret. There will be over two years for the righteous to sermonize, guide and build their congregation. I guess the people directly involved in Politics have to ask themselves; is the gain worth the risk or should they just get in line and raise their hands requesting permission from the headmasters to go to the toilet?

Posted by: NMP at August 2, 2006 06:45 AM

Having legs on a blog site and having legs in the mind of the FEC are two different things.

Posted by: Not A Media Guy at August 2, 2006 11:09 AM

How about this for a cause:

No more corruption, no more favors, no more nepotism, no more blind allegiance, and no more secret societies.

I could back a party that is open, honest, and passionate. A party that could think for themselves and do what is right for the community. It would be a huge bonus if I knew that the politicians could be normal people, wouldn't have to be born into a family full of Senators.

How about, the Honest Party in 2008?

Posted by: Anonymous at August 2, 2006 12:07 PM

Amen to opening up the incestuous little can of worms that the local Dem organization has become.

Time to expand the sphere of power and let in a lot more sunlight and fresh air. The current leadership and elected officials should be leading a concerted effort to bring in more people to the party, but they seem disinterested at best and simply sleep-walk through the motions, mouthing the words others write for them to say, and trying with varying degrees of bluster and sucess to suggest that they're JFK, FDR, and MLK all rolled together.

Things could use a good injection of reality.

Posted by: TID at August 3, 2006 04:30 AM

What I believe has legs is what a couple of terrible candidates we have in a very important race (nationally, an open seat).

Phil Hare was given the nod 60-days ago, yet his website is still "Under Construction." Now here is great leadership, taking a 2-day (max) job and allowing it to be turned into a 60-day+ effort.

Andrea Zinga has a blog on her website to keep the faithful informed of what is happening on a daily basis in her campaign. The blog has not been updated since the 4th of July! (Is this to mean that nothing has happened since a couple of parades?).

I really mean this with no disrespect, I truly suspect that in their own rights they are both wonderful people, but are these two the best that we can do?

Posted by: havinfun at August 3, 2006 08:26 AM

They call it the dog days of summer for a reason. I think you will see alot of activity as we move to the second half of Aug.

Posted by: Observer at August 3, 2006 11:28 AM

I have to agree with havinfun.

I think the best two candidates in the entire field are Mike Jacobs and James Beals. I am glad they have agreed to run a clean run.

Mike Jacobs will probably win a close race. He has incumbent status, family name recognition, and a campaign warchest.

James Beals has impressed me with his West Point diploma, work experiences, and values. He has defended his character AND that of his opponent.

I would not be surprised if we see a Jacobs - Beals rematch in a 2008 Congressional Race.

Posted by: Crystal Ball at August 3, 2006 12:18 PM

havinfun, I agree with the idea behind what your saying. There certainly hasn't been anything about either candidate that says they will be a great rep. or a 'rockstar' of politics like Obama. But to blame their websites I think is going a bit far. Though the web is increasing in importance in the political realm, I don't feel like it is at the forefront yet. Just think back a couple election cycles, were websites a factor at all? I don't remember them as all that important. Most likely in the future they will be necessities of campaigns, but I feel like they aren't at that stage yet. I do wish that the sites were better because I am a web junkie, but I also realize that there are other aspects of campaigns that take precedence. I did talk with the Hare campaign recently and they are apparently really close to launching their site. I guess they are still getting information posted. Also, building a quality website is much more than a 2-day job. Not 60 days either, but any 2-day website is crap.

Posted by: Robbie at August 3, 2006 01:27 PM

Robbie while your comments about the importance of a website are accurate - it does say something when creidble candidates are not using everything at their disposal to give them an advantage - will a website the difference in a campaign - I don't know. If the race is very close whatever the site could provide would be well worth it. In addition, I managed to maintain a website and keep it relatively updated during the 17th nomination process. Moreover, I did it all on my own - without help from a paid service. If the sites are not done yet - it is because Phil and Zinga have not effectively delegated authority to make sure it is accomplished. My site is updated and more informative and I have not touched it in two months.

Posted by: Rob Mellon at August 3, 2006 02:01 PM

Rob, I recall visiting your website a while back and it was a good site. But I still just feel that a website still hasn't become an integral part of a campaign yet. While it is nice, it doesn't seem necessary. I was talking with a candidate recently who offered a coupel of insightful tidbits of information. First, he made the argument that most of the web savvy message board types that demand such high standards from a website are most likely not the swing voters he is working on recruiting. I tend to agree with that. Most of the online community has a strong voice one way or the other as to how they feel. Do you think that a website is going to gain votes? If so, how many? And then weigh that against the time and money involved.

The other point he brought up to me is this. He mentioned the friend he had working on his site is always asking him for what he wants to update. It seems that the friend doing the site seems to think that the only aspect to a campaign is a website. For many of us internet junkies it is. But once again this candidate was in favor of spending his time and effort going door to door and talking to folks.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for a good website. I maintain the county website for my political party. (knoxdems.org for those interested) And I feel that the web is a growing medium, I just don't feel that its essential just yet.

Posted by: Robbie at August 3, 2006 02:24 PM

I agree that websites (and blogs for that matter) are greatly overrated, however, the point that I was trying to make is,

If Phil Hare cannot have a reasonable website up 60-days after the bid, his ability to get things done that are of greater complexity has got to be questioned.

As Andrea Zinga's blog was specifically started to keep people informed - and she cannot get that accomplished but once every 30+ days...

My concern with both individuals -
If one is not capable of dealing effectively with small issues, how can they ever be trusted with large issues?

My vote will be for "none of the above"

Posted by: havinfun at August 3, 2006 02:30 PM

What I want to whine/rant/bitch (take your pick) about is how the candidates that represent the powerful and not the people (Jacobs, Hare, Boland, etc.) feel they don't have to address the concerns of "the little people", which includes swing voters and conservative Democrats and just appear/address forums in The Elite Democrat Playhouse.

How can these people even pretend to represent their districts if they won't come out and play with the hoi polloi?

Posted by: paladin at August 3, 2006 03:44 PM

Re: campaign websites -- the primary purpose of a candidate website is to provide ready information for voters who are dissatisfied with 30-second television commercials and even with what print is able to provide in its limited space.

A good biography and well organized issue papers/positions are key elements, whatever geegaws -- contribute, sign-up, opponent watch, etc. -- are included.

Rob Mellon is headed in the right-direction with robmellon.com; one good feature of which is that the blog is actually a conversation in which he participates. A lot of "blogs" on candidate sites are one-way vehicles, kinda like listening to a speech rather than talking with the guy.

There are some far more sophisticated candidate sites out there. Check out some for congressional/governor/senator candidates around the country. What do you see that you like/dislike, and how far to they further the goal of replacing TV as the prime communication tool for candidates?

-- Robbie: knoxdems.org is off to a great start -- clean, well organized and informative. Please, as you go along, do not start sticking Flash elements all over. Little tiny bit of that goes a long way for me.

Posted by: jcb at August 3, 2006 08:55 PM

Having given sufficient time to the chess monster, back to candidate web sites:

Here are links to sites of gov candidates in Iowa and Illinois.
Rod Blagojevich

Judy Baar Topinka

Chet Culver

Jim Nussle

First bit of info I gleaned concerns the differences of the politics in the two states.

All the candidate sites have a "press" link.
On Blago's site, the top item is "Topinka Watch #5: Judy Baar Topinka claims to be a budget watchdog." The item is crap from the communications office, "slur of the day" or whatever.

On Topinka's site, top of the news list is "On High Gas Prices, Blagojevich Helps Business, But Won’t Help Middle-Class Illinois Families." Don't know what/who about that item; link goes to a "no longer available" message.

Meanwhile, over in Iowa, Culver's top news item is "Radio Iowa: Culver outlines education plan." Link to a piece by Radio Iowa staffer.

Nussle's top item is "Nussle releases hero inniative." (They need a proof reader.) It's also a piece by a Radio Iowa staffer.

If The Honest Party gets up and running, I hope its candidates lean more toward the Iowa than the Illinois style of campaigning.

Posted by: jcb at August 4, 2006 12:07 AM

Of course the wild card in any “Honesty Party”: are their enough voters who are interested in someone laying down some cold hard facts of life? Or is part of the problem that too many voters and citizens have found a cozy comfort zone through living in the oppositional goodguy-badguy “Comic Book Worlds” created by each party’s platform rhetoric filled cheerleading. It is a lot easier to blame the other guy than actually discuss and solve problems.

Posted by: NMP at August 4, 2006 02:18 AM

John, I totally agree with your opinion about flash. People think just because they know how to do flash, that they should plaster it all over. In my little experience making my own flash movies, I decided that they don't need to be an important element of websites I design.

I also agree with you about the differences of Illinois versus Iowa. It seems like Iowa is able to stay clean for much longer in their elections. Here is Illinois the hatred pours out so easy. I envy many of you QC folks that could move to the other state without having to go too far. I'm just far enough in to be apathetic to the situation.

Posted by: Robbie at August 4, 2006 07:57 AM