June 26, 2006

IL-8: VP Cheney, Debates & Scheurer

Cheney stumps in Chicago area
In a nod to the national significance of a congressional race going on in the suburbs, Vice President Dick Cheney raised money Friday for a candidate who could help determine whether Republicans hold on to control of the U.S. House.

Cheney spoke to about 300 people at a downtown hotel at a fundraiser for Barrington Hills businessman David McSweeney, who is trying to win back the seat Democratic Rep. Melissa Bean snatched from 35-year GOP Congressman Phil Crane when she beat him in 2004.

Cheney called McSweeney a “common-sense conservative” during a 22-minute speech in which he boasted about Bush administration economic policies and called for continued resolve in the war in Iraq and against terrorists.

“It's vital we have strong partners like Dave McSweeney in the Congress of the United States to help us,” Cheney said. [..]

Republicans hoped to raise $200,000 at the McSweeney fundraiser, money he will need in his battle against the incumbent Bean, a Barrington businesswoman.

Bean had about $1.75 million in her campaign fund as of the end of March, while McSweeney was left with about $147,000 after winning a six-way GOP primary March 21. Bean was unopposed in the primary. The next campaign filing reports are due in July.
McSweeney calls for 24 debates in 8th District
David McSweeney, the Republican candidate for Congress in the 8th District, Thursday renewed his challenge to incumbent U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Barrington, to debate him.

"Melissa Bean attacked (former Congressman) Phil Crane for not being in the district and airing the issues but she's already adopted the same policy," McSweeney said in a telephone press conference. "I have called for 24 debates, one in each township in the 8th District. This way, Melissa Bean and I can look voters in the eye and tell them where we stand on the issues."

"There's plenty of time to do that (debate)," responded Brian Hermann, a Bean spokesman. The election is Nov. 7.

"She has a job to do now, and she's doing it," Hermann said. "She's doing the job she was elected to do. She's out there communicating with her constituents and working on the issues that matter to them in Washington."

McSweeney blasted Bean for her recent tax-paid mailings to constituents in the 8th District.

"Melissa Bean's campaign thus far has been focused on amassing and hoarding money for her campaign while using tax dollars to send out campaign-like newsletters and making automated calls that amount to self-promotion," he said. "She should use a little of the time that she has to attend forums and debates over the issues rather than fund-raising in San Francisco and socializing with the Hollywood elite."
Third-party candidate expects to get on ballot
Bill Scheurer, a Moderate Party candidate in the 8th Congressional district, said this week he has the 13,950 petition signatures he needs by Monday to get on the ballot.

"I don't have a final count, but I have every indication we've gone over the amount we need," he said.

The anti-war, pro-life candidate with labor support was worried last week that he may not reach the mark, but Scheurer says he made it with the help of dozens of volunteers and his wife, Randi, who collected signatures from thousands of local residents.

Scheurer, a lay minister, peace activist and a Lindenhurst resident, said he's found voters receptive to his independent candidacy.

"Voters are unhappy with the choices they've been getting," he said. "I think people have lost faith in the ability of Democrats and Republicans to come together in Washington, D.C., and fix things."

Determined to be a factor in November, Scheurer said he will run as a write-in candidate if he fails to get the minimum number of signatures or if his petitions are thrown out because of a challenge.
Democrat Melissa Bean voted to re-affirm President Bush's policies in the Iraq war.


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