August 3, 2006

IL-14: Open Thread

Democrat John Laesch reported raising nearly $92,000, he has raised more than five times as much as Aurora schoolteacher Ruben Zamora did in 2004 in his race against Speaker of the Hous Dennis Hastert.

Republican Dennis Hastert has banked more than $3.6 million this election cycle.

Dennis Hastert Summer Tour of 2006: multi-state tour to help Republican incumbents and candidates raise money and campaign during the August congressional recess.

Dennis Hastert Tour Hits Texas!
Among the dozen or so congressional seats Republicans hope to pick up this fall is the Central Texas district that includes President Bush's Crawford ranch.

So says US House Speaker Dennis Hastert who was in Waco Tuesday to campaign for Republican businessman Van Taylor, who's challenging eight-term 17th District Democratic incumbent Chet Edwards.

Hastert says Taylor would make "a great addition" to Congress because he's an Iraq war veteran who understands sacrifices and family values.
Hastert spoke at a private fundraiser for Taylor in Waco that drew about 100 supporters.

Hastert says he's "playing offense" by campaigning in 42 districts nationwide throughout August.

He says Republicans are targeting Democratic districts in Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont,West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Washington.

Taylor, who moved from Dallas to West a year ago, says he plans to focus on the issues that matter to residents of Central Texas.

He declined to say how much was raised at the fundraiser.

IL-8: Open Thread

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $2.32 million in air time for Democrat Rep. Melissa Bean.

CQPolitics Interview: Rep. Melissa Bean (IL 8)
CQ: Obviously, we’re not into September and October — the white-hot part of the campaign — yet. But will voters have a very clear choice between you and David McSweeney this fall?

Bean: Yes, I think there is going to be a very clear choice. There’s a moderate, centrist suburban incumbent member of Congress [who is] very much representing this district, which is fiscally conservative and socially more moderate. And then you’ve got extremism.

CQ: On what issue positions does he fit that definition?

Bean: Let me just say that those positions offered from [my] opponents are out of the mainstream with this suburban mainstream district.
CQPolitics Interview: David McSweeney (IL 8)
CQ: ... What is the general feeling of the [Republican] base? There’s been some talk that they’re not as enamored [with the Bush administration] or energized as they once were.

McSweeney: There is concern. The things the base is upset about right now — spending in Washington. ... There is a lot of concern about what they perceive as special interest earmarks. ... That’s No. 1.

No. 2, there is a lot of frustration on the Senate bill on immigration. And No. 3 is, what I hear over and over again is, when is the Republican Party going to get back on the offensive and draw the issue differentials? ...

Those are the three things that I hear about over and over and over again. And that’s why I’ve been pounding away, over and over again, in a positive way on spending. I’ve been talking about that when I joined the campaign — that we need to cut spending in Washington, D.C. We need to reform Congress. ...

As a party, to get our base out, we need to talk about those three issues. Talk about cutting spending. Talking about enforcing the borders, but do it in a positive way that doesn’t turn people off. ... and talk about energy policy. I think those are three important issues for the base. ...

With independents, it’s less immigration — it’s economic. It’s a combination of gas prices and pensions. That’s a big issue because we have United Airlines — not in my district, but right next door. ...

[Independents are] concerned about their jobs, they’re concerned about pensions, they’re concerned about gas prices, they’re concerned about trade.
CQPolitics Interview: Bill Scheurer (IL 8)
CQ: Could you outline some of the reasons why you are running, and also this time as an independent rather than as a Democrat?

Scheurer: Well, the reason I want to run is because I want to help people, and I feel the other two parties have completely lost sight of the idea of helping people. Obviously, if you look at our party platform, there are four key areas where we think people need a lot of help.

CQ: Could you elaborate on how the two parties have “lost sight”?

Scheurer: Well, they’re both really beholden to the interests of corporations and wealthy people. They get their money from the same places. Their economic policies become more fused to align with the interests of global corporations and wealthy people and individuals.

IL-6: Open Thread

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $2.33 million in air time for Democrat Tammy Duckworth.

First Lady Laura Bush will headline a fundraising luncheon Aug. 14 in Addison, Illinois for Republican Sen. Peter Roskam.

A Republican and resident of the 6th District will help Democrat Tammy Duckworth tout her support for expanding federally funded of embryonic stem cell research.
Tom Bowler is a registered Republican from Glen Ellyn who contacted the campaign after Bush's veto--the first of his presidency. Bowler's recorded phone message states that his son, Joshua, 31, became a quadriplegic in an accidental fall two years ago, and that stem cell research holds his best hope of regaining some movement.

Bowler notes that Duckworth's opponent, state Sen. Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton), "led the fight against embryonic stem cell funding in Springfield. He would ban all such research, even if privately funded."