Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Kirk wins 54-45

Just got home from the Kirk victory party.   Well done sir, well done indeed.  

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chicago Sun-Times Endorses Mark Kirk

"Mark Kirk is exactly what the 10th Congressional District, the State of Illinois, and our country needs in Congress: a congressman who is hard working, very knowledgeable, fiercely independent, dedicated to bipartisan action, and an effective contributor to resolving the nation's and his district's problems."

League of Conservation Voters Endorse Mark Kirk

"Mark Kirk's is an important voice for clean energy and fuel efficiency," LCV President Gene Karpinski said. "As an important champion for our water resources and for new sources of energy, Mark Kirk is the kind of leader this country needs."

Chicago Tribune Endorses Congressman Mark Kirk

" of the most thoughtful, independent and effective members of the House. Kirk is a leader on environmental issues, including the protection of Lake Michigan. He is a strong advocate for embryonic stem-cell research. He's a workhorse on local concerns, known for having a diligent staff. Voters should look beyond partisanship and embrace their pragmatic, get-it-done congressman. Kirk is endorsed."

Read it all here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Kirk beats Seals 59% to 41% in Pioneer Press Live Web Chat Poll

Maybe the outside lefty-loos prematurely claiming a Seals victory should take a look at yesterday's live web-chat hosted by the Pioneer Press  which asked participants the following question: 

Who did/are you voting for in the 10th Congressional District?
and the answer:
Mark Kirk 59%
Dan Seals 41%

I know it is not scientific but then neither is most of the drivel coming from the anti-mark, 1oth cd-voters-are-stupid-and-uninvolved-seals camp. 

Kirk folks are more energized than I have seen them in years and while I think the 18 point lead demonstrated in this informal poll is certainly too high - the ground-swell of support for Kirk spurred on by the relentless lying negative Seals ads should result in a clear Kirk win - make it happen - volunteer now at Kirk for and be sure to get out and vote!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Early Voters Strongly Supporting Mark Kirk

The Northbrook Star has a nice piece about people early voting at the Northbrook Village hall. I was with about 125 other Kirk volunteers working the phones at Kirk Campaign HQ over the weekend urging folks to get out and early vote. We made a lot of calls in Northbrook and it looks like the calls are paying off. Congressman Kirk was outside the polling place and according to the article:
"Kirk was accompanied by two campaign workers, and two from Seals' campaign were there passing out literature, too.

Few voters talked much to the Seals workers, but many recognized Kirk. They included Marsha Pearlman, the American Cancer Association volunteer from Northbrook who thanked Kirk profusely for his support.

"He walks on water," she gushed."

To paraphrase another favorite Illinois politician "Contrary to popular opinion Kirk might not walk on water but I hear he flew from Krypton to save the earth"

Ahh who are we kidding - we know Kirk really does walk on water!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dan Seals Thinks You're Lazy and Stupid UPDATE: Daily Herald Sets Record Straight - Seals Ad FALSE

The Daily Herald Website had this to say about the latest Seals' lie:

"Just for the record, the ad quotes the Daily Herald as if it is an endorsement of Seals. The Daily Herald endorsed Kirk "


In the latest attack ad from the Seals camp – comments from local papers were taken completely out of context in a lame attempt to make it seem that Mark Kirk was not supported by these papers. Seals is counting on 10th CD voters being too stupid or lazy to look up the quotes and see that the stories cited were in fact ringing endorsements of Mark Kirk. As a reminder, Mark Kirk has been endorsed by every MSM news outlet in the area – TA has a great roundup here.

Seals had to go back to 2006 to grab a couple of words from the Daily Herald. I searched the papers archive and paid $2.95 to view the entire article which reads in part:

Kirk in 10th House District, Schakowsky in 9th

“In the eight years since he was first elected to represent the 10th District, Republican Mark Kirk has gone from being a freshman in a House dominated by his party to an experienced legislator in a Democratic House. As his district trended from solid Republican to leaning Democratic, Kirk has represented his constituents well and should be re-elected. "

I don’t want to violate fair use and re-print the whole thing, but if you would like to read it all you can buy it here.

The Pioneer Press article quoted in the ad is from this year’s Pioneer Press endorsement of Mark Kirk. Which includes the following more lengthy comments than the attack dogs at team seals see fit to quote:

“Kirk's greatest contributions come in his district service. He helped secure funding for the double tracking of Metra's North Central Line, preserved open space at Fort Sheridan and pushed to save the North Chicago veterans' hospital”

“the 10th has a solid, energetic representative in Kirk who was raised here and remains attentive to local needs.”

As if the outright dishonesty of this ad is not enough - the comments that Seals pulls from the Pioneer Press endorsement refer to Mark’s commitment not to raise taxes! Good God Dan if you agree with the Pioneer Press on this one and are planning to raise our taxes why don’t you just admit it?

Maybe it’s because in addition to thinking we are stupid and lazy Dan Seals thinks we are also millionaires and wants to redistribute our hard-earned money.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Kirk is Top Centrist to Keep in Politico Picks

Politico asks the question:

"So who are the centrist candidates out there deserving of your vote and support?"

And answers with the first on the list:

"Mark Kirk of Illinois: A military man and leader of the Republican Main Street Partnership, this congressman from the suburbs of Chicago has the unenviable task this year of running against a charismatic African-American challenger. But Kirk has shown the mettle to stand up to Bush and Tom DeLay and the vision to set out a “suburban agenda” that is “pro-defense, pro-personal responsibility, pro-environment and pro-science.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tribune recognizes Kirk as "a workhorse on local concerns, known for having a diligent staff."

Mark Kirk and his staff are some hard-working public servants. And they are working for us. Not ideology, not a national party agenda - but us. They listen and they respond and they deserve to be sent back to Washington to continue their good work. The Chicago Tribune recognized that in today's endorsement. I hope that the voters of the tenth take the Trib's advice and "look beyond partisanship and embrace their pragmatic, get-it-done congressman."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kirk wins debate hands down.

Just a quick post for now with more details to follow. Kirk nailed this debate looking poised, knowledgeable and at times justifiably angry. Dan could not score a point and spent most of the afternoon looking dopey, smug or befuddled. Kirk had a wider range of facts, broader outlook on the issues and a deeper understanding of what it is going to take to fix the problems facing our country - expecially when it came to the economy. As usual Dan could only say what he is not in favor of or list pie-in-the sky programs that he can only pay for by raising taxes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dan Seals Campaign "Just doesn't see..."

In talking about the latest hatefully offensive attach ad Dan Seals Campaign spinster Liz Smith said she didn't "really see what is so controversial" about the ad. Do they really think we are that stupid or do they really not see what the problem is with their campaign of lies, smear and hate. They do not see what is obvious to the rest of us -

Mark Kirk is a true champion of veterans and is endorsed by the VFW

Mark Kirk was serving as a Naval Officer in the pentagon on 9/11 and the Seals attempt to discredit Kirk by using a Vet who thinks 9/11 was a hoax is more than controversial it is despicable.

Dan Seals never served our country either in the armed forces, a civic organization or elected office.

Mark Kirk has a record of accomplishments to run on while Dan has none - and so his only recourse is negativity.

Dan Seals can't talk about the economy because he would have voted against the bailout and to raise taxes so he falls back on DC KirkisBush lies and talking points.

The 10th District does not need Dan Seals when he cannot see what is so plain to the rest of us. Lets all work hard to make sure the only thing Dan Seals sees on November 5th is a Kirk Victory.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The list of Dan Seals Lies adds up to Zero Credibility

The book All Fisherman Are Liars is a collection of stories by Linda Greenlaw, Captain, Fisherman and writer of absolutely truthful sea-tales. Honest.
I don't mind a bit of fabrication from wonderful witty writers, its another thing alltogether in wanna-be congressional candidates. I have been amazed at the non-stop stretching of the truth, barrage of misinformation and whale-sized whoppers that have been coming from Dan Seals and his little fibber-kins for the past 3 years. They make fisherman look downright trustworthy. I am staggered by the sheer volume and audacity of his fabrications.

He lies about his resume (professor? consultant? stay-at-home dad? director? sub-prime mortgage peddler? what does this guy do except run for congress?)

He distorts Mark Kirk's record (Mark supports veterans, the environment, a woman's right to choose, fiscal responsibility, a smart end to the war in Iraq, and is recognized by the Sun-Times as "Fiercely independent" )

He prevaricates about how he would have voted on the bailout.

He hedges about when he will move into the district he wants to represent.

He lies by ommission by not releasing his tax records

And he talks out of both side of his mouth on taxes, health care, and security

Any others I'm forgetting? They all add up to zero credibility and a candidate who cannot be trusted to lead us through the tough times ahead.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sun-Times endorsement praises Kirk; Chastises Seal’s campaign for lying about Kirk’s record

The Sun-times has endorsed Mark Kirk, citing his independence, hard-work and common-sense problem solving approach. I am most impressed by the recognition of his commitment to working in a bi-partisan manner.
“In his eight years in Congress, Kirk has made bipartisanship a priority, bringing a spirit of cooperation to a Congress in sore need of it. And despite what his opponent would have you believe, he is anything but a clone of President Bush.”
We face tough problems and a congress that is more and more polarized and are going to need independents like Mark Kirk not more of the partisan lies of Dan Seals.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Kirk Cheered at Union Station

A rainy Tuesday work day ended on a positive note when I saw Mark Kirk and some enthusiastic volunteers greeting train riders tonight at Union Station.  How nice  (and kind of old fashioned in a good way) to see a sitting congressman taking the time to meet "real" people and say hello in a totally unexpected way.   He got a great reception -  heard lots of  "thank you" and "keep up the good work" and shouts of  support as folks boarded the train.   I stopped to shake his hand and let him know that I am one democrat who will be voting for him this November and found out I am not alone.  There are other 10th District Dems  signing up at Democrats for Kirk daily.  If you're a like-minded dem go sign up now.  If you are still on the fence consider this - Mark Kirk, not Dan Seals, has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Illinois Education Association, The Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood.  Seems to me having a representative who can work for human rights, education and the environment AND work with republicans is a great way to start finding the common ground we are going to need to solve some of the huge problems facing all Americans.  

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kirk Still Leading in the Home Stretch

Mark Kirk is back in the District after showing independent leadership in the bi-partisan efforts to pass economic relief legislation in Congress. Dan would have voted against it or maybe for it, but maybe not – who knows – Mr. Negativity can only point fingers and never offers any positive solutions. Kirk, on the other hand, has a proven track record of delivering positive results on the issues that matter to people who live here in the tenth as noted by this weekend’s News-Sun endorsement.

Known for spending nearly every weekend and congressional break in the District (except for when he is serving in the Naval Reserves), we can expect to be seeing even more of Kirk in the next few weeks as he continues his hard work on behalf of the citizens of the 10th. He positively rocked it at the Candidates Forum on Saturday and I can’t wait for the next debate between Kirk and Seals. Even the ultra-left Daily Kos has released a poll showing Kirk still beating Seals and I am not sure the kirkisbush screaming lies from smirky-eddy-haskill-fake-smiling Seals will be able to move his numbers any further in his direction. Voters are more likely to be swayed by the growing list of endorsements Kirk is picking up than by Seals lackluster campaigning and the irrelevant ads from outside groups. Given that Seals has not been able to move his numbers in 3 years it is unlikely he can close the distance in just 30 days. Voters in the 10th know Mark Kirk is the right guy for the job.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kirk a "Leader and a Fighter" in enthusiastic New-Sun Endorsement or Sorry Dan we are not buying your lies.

The New-Sun issued a ringing endorsement of Congressman Kirk today and in the process took challenger Dan Seals and his campaign to task for attempting to mis-state Kirk's record and perhaps more imporatntly of bringing nothing new to the table in his second attempt to unseat the effective and well-liked Kirk. The endorsement reads:

Congressman Mark Kirk has been a good public servant with a solid record of achievement for Lake County. We believe he deserves another two-year term in Washington, D.C.

His record since first being elected in 2000 speaks volumes about his constituent services in the 10th Congressional District, and, facing a second challenge from Democrat Dan Seals of Wilmette, his hard work the past two years solidifies in our minds that voters should re-elect him come Nov. 4. Kirk has been a leader and a fighter, when needed, for the 10th District. While a Republican, he has shown an independent streak and not been in lockstep with the Bush administration, as some would have us believe. Indeed, you don't get kudos from environmental groups, such as the National Wildlife Federation, if you agree with the policies of the Bush administration.

Kirk has tackled some nagging problems in the district and brought others to the forefront, such as: an $850,000 grant to establish a federal-local anti-gang taskforce for Waukegan and neighboring communities; support for the assault weapons ban; impact aid for North Chicago and Highland Park schools; working to reopen the 22nd Street gate at Naval Station Great Lakes; expanding literacy education for new immigrants; curtailing mercury pollution; battling for a cleaner Lake Michigan; transportation funding for the Route 60 bridge over the Tri-State Tollway, which is definitely not a bridge to nowhere.

He's also prodded Waukegan officials for torpedoing plans to clean up Waukegan Harbor after he helped snare a federal grant and labored to save billions in federal transit funds after Illinois officials were on the verge of losing that money. Too, the congressman has reached out to the county's new immigrant population with grants to expand literacy education and working to reunite immigrant families with their relatives.

One of the major points we like about Kirk is his steadfast championing of turning the North Chicago Veterans Affairs Medical Center into the nation's first joint VA-Defense Department hospital, the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, the $71 facility set to open in July 2010. That alone should silence Kirk's critics when it comes to questioning his support for the district's aging veterans.

This is the second matchup between Kirk and Seals and, frankly, we have heard nothing new from the challenger this go-round to sway us from backing the congressman for another term. The 10th District has a gem in Mark Kirk, and voters should keep him in Washington.

A gem indeed - now go get a sign, write a letter and most importantly get out and vote!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Kirk Shows Real Courage and Puts Country Before Politics

With only a month to go before the election and the lunacy spiralling out of control, I thought I would wade back into the blogging game with observations on the federal elections fom my little slice of the middle. I am still not sure how I will vote for President - more on that tomorrow - but if anything, my conviction that Mark Kirk is the right person to send to congress has only increased over the past week. Specifically, his willingness to do what was right despite the political consequences regarding the proposed bailout has solidified my conviction that Kirk is a conscientious public servent with the backbone to stand up for what he believes in.

Mort Kondracke summed it up in his column for Real Clear Politics:

"Still, certain Members stood out as profiles in courage while their colleagues headed for the high grass. And some leaders deserve credit for trying to save the day — and for continuing to try. Of 41 Members considered to be facing the toughest re-election races, only nine — six Democrats and three Republicans — bucked inflamed public opinion and voted to save the economy from ruin.

The roll of honor deserves to be called: Democratic Reps. Bill Foster (Ill.), Paul Kanjorski (Pa.), Tim Mahoney (Fla.), Jim Marshall (Ga.), Jerry McNerney (Calif.) and Christopher Murphy (Conn.). And, even more so, the three Republicans, who did the right thing in the face of a Democratic tide raging against them: Reps. Mark Kirk (Ill.), Jon Porter (Nev.) and Christopher Shays (Conn.).

Kirk recommended to GOP leaders a political pact that might have saved the rescue package Monday — and might help pass a new one. It is: Have the House campaign committees agree not to mount campaign ads against Members favoring the “bailout.” So far, the idea has gone nowhere."

I hope the "leaders" in congress listen to Mark Kirk - after all he is the guy acting like a real leader. And I hope the voters back home realize that this kind of leadership is exactly why we need to keep Kirk representing us in congress.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

My dad is a proud marine vet who has been getting terrific care from the VA for more than 40 years. It is great to see this facility moving forward and what a way to honor Captain Lovell - a true American hero. From today's Daily Herald:

" But it was a groundbreaking ceremony this morning in North Chicago that had the biggest impact on his wife, Marilyn. She dabbed at tears as Lovell, of Lake Forest, and other dignitaries celebrated the pending construction of the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, the first-ever joint Navy and Veterans Administration hospital.

"Jim has received many, many awards since flying his greatest space mission, but today has hit me the most emotionally," Marilyn Lovell explained. "I can't believe that his name is going to be on this hospital."

Set to open in 2010, the facility will be the nation's first joint Veterans Affairs/Navy hospital, said U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk of Highland Park. It will be on the grounds of the North Chicago VA Medical Center, which will merge with the nearby Great Lakes Naval Station's hospital to create the new facility.

"I'm superbly happy," Lovell said of the project. "I think this is a great idea."

When completed, the Lovell Center will serve an estimated 100,000 veterans, active-duty recruits or troops and civilian relatives annually. Plans call for the Navy facility to be demolished the following year."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

On Experience and Education Kirk is a clear winner over Seals

Here is a comparison of experience between Congressman Mark Kirk and two-time challenger Dan Seals as reported by the non-partisan Project VoteSmart. For such a young man Kirk has a remarkable resume. Seals not so much.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Another reason to keep Kirk

For helping to keep local education programs running.

"A literacy initiative designed for Latino parents and their young children through the College of Lake County will continue after Congressman Mark Kirk, R-Highland Park, announced a $335,043 grant from the U.S. Department of Education on Monday. The program "Families Involved in Reading Stories Together" began in 2005, but was scaled back earlier this year when the initial federal grant money ran out and local funding was used to keep the program going. "The need for this program is very high and we are thrilled to be able to resume it to its original scope and even expand it," said Mary Charuhas, CLC's dean of adult education."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Well fought and well done Ms. Clinton

"The light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be easier next time," Clinton said.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Kirk, Bean Recognized by US Chamber; Seals bad for business if he follows the leads of his mentors

Mark Kirk and Melissa Bean were honored by the US Chamber or Commerce with a Spirit of Enterprise Awards. The awards the Spirit of Enterprise based on rankings it gives members of Congress for key business votes. Votes are Chamber-designated "key votes," recorded floor votes on issues established as priorities by the Chamber’s board of directors on which the Chamber communicates its position prior to the vote. Members of Congress who support the Chamber’s position on at least 70 percent of key votes receive the Spirit of Enterprise Award. Here’s how Kirk, Bean and other Illinois legislators were rated:

Mark Kirk- 84
Melissa Bean- 70
Jan Schakowsky- 50
Dick Durbin- 45
Barack Obama- 33

Full info at the Chamber's site here.

While there should be appropriate regulation on business, creating a supportive environment for successful businesses, especially small businesses, is critical to our nation's well-being. Dan Seals is no centrist like Kirk and Bean and can be counted on to follow in the footsteps of his mentors - Schakowsky, Durbin and Obama and not be a friend to business.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wish they had this when I was in school - Mark Kirk's Model Congress

From Sunday's Daily Herald

About 70 students took on the roles of actual congressmen and debated two Proposed laws, as part of the Tenth District Model Congress held Saturday and again today at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.

Libertyville junior Emily Buehler was excited to attend. "I attended last year and thought it was worthwhile. This year, I really care about the subjects of the two bills which are being considered, so I'm personally interested, as well," she said.

The students, outfitted in business attire or dresses or suits and ties, participated in congressional hearings, "mark up" legislative sessions and heated debates about potential laws. The proposed laws included one to establish U.S. policy toward peace and security of the Darfur region of Sudan, and another to establish policy on stem cell research. Since students had to represent actual Congress members, it encouraged them to look at the issue from a point of view that may differ from their own, Buehler said. At times, the students stepped out of their roles. After all, it was politics, said Will McGauran, a senior at New Trier High School who was attending for the second year.

"It is highly likely that future members of Congress are sitting here in this room, and this will give them a jump start on the process," Kirk said. Kirk and congressional staff were on hand to guide the students through realistic committee hearings and floor proceedings.

What a cool way to get kids interested in government and politics. My own interest was spurred by the totally opposite views of my staunchly Republican Mom and my labor Dem Dad. What got you interested in government and politics?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Some quick thoughts on the Dem primary

I am a huge Hillary Clinton supporter. Have been ever since I met her while volunteering for Carol Mosely Braun. I believe she is charismatic, smart and absolutely qualified to be our next president.

And while we all know that racism is alive and well in the presidential campaign - so is the overwhelming sexism Ms. Clinton faces.

Do you think we would hear the deafening calls for Ms. Clinton to resign if she were a man? And don't suggest the Hukabee-man. He was statistically out of it - and Clinton is certainly not.

Tina Fey is right. B****s get things done. And nobody comes back like a Clinton.

I am so tired of the holier than thou attitudes of Obama-fans and delighted that called them on it:
A misleading e-mail has been making the rounds, alleging that Clinton has fewer legislative accomplishments than Obama, and that they are less substantive. We've had questions about it from a number of readers, and blogs have jumped into the fray. So what's the real story on the Senate careers of the Democratic presidential candidates? We find that the e-mail is false in almost every particular...

What impresses us is how misleading the e-mail is. Its anonymous author doesn't apply the same standards to Clinton's record and Obama's, thus leading to false conclusions about their legislative records.

Hmmmm - rabid leftists using different standards to lead to false conclusions. Could this be the work of EBG?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Making it up with Dan Seals and the 10th Dems

Occasional commenter Badge of Honor contacted me about an attempt to post a comment on a 10th Dem blog story in which the author gushes about making the dean’s list for 10th Dem University. BOH has pretty much given up posting at the 10th Dem blog but the pseudo-university posting tickled his funny bone enough to try and make this short post as anonymous:

“Now I know where Dan Seals got his teaching credentials”

Apparently the blog administrator lacks a sense of humor and removed the post within the hour.

Since the 10th Dems are making up academic institutions and titles, I thought we should have a little fun too. Use your imaginations along with a lot of snark to make up the following:

The name of a school where “Professor” Dan can teach.
Its mascot and/or motto.
Some interesting class titles for Dan to teach.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kirk uses technology to stay in touch with constituents

I love participatory democracy. Almost wish we had caucuses in Illinois. I think candidate debates, coffees with legislators and town hall meetings are fun. But in case you haven’t noticed, it snowed this year – a lot. The last thing I want to do is leave my house for any reason. (I did brave the snow to vote.)

That’s just one of the reasons I love Congressman Mark Kirk’s Tele-Town Hall meetings. Tele-town halls are live telephone conference calls to tenth district citizens hosted by Kirk once or twice each month. In addition to his regular town halls, the tele-town halls can reach hundreds and, on occasion, thousands of people. The congressman can host the call from DC or the district. They allow for civil discourse and feedback from ordinary people so if you get a recorded call one day soon to participate in a tele-town hall - stay on the line. You don’t have to drive. You can wear sweats. You don’t have to brave the elements. And you and your fellow citizens get to ask questions and hear thoughtful responses from an elected official who clearly cares about his constituents and has thought long and hard on the most pressing issues of the day.

I don’t agree with every answer but I am always impressed with Kirk’s depth and breadth of knowledge and how hard he must work to maintain that level of understanding on a broad range of topics. I am equally impressed with the concerns and perspectives of my neighbors and learn about what matters to real people and how public policy impacts real lives.

It is participatory democracy at its finest - from the comfort of my own favorite chair sipping a diet pepsi.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mark Kirk gets it right on earmark reform

From a Daily Herald letter to the editor:

The House of Representatives passed an ethics bill that created an independent office to field complaints and investigate the conduct of members of Congress. I voted for these reforms, but they did not go far enough with regard to Congressional spending earmarks.

Since taking office in 2001, I requested grants to help many programs in my district. My job is to fight for my communities and I do.

Last year, I secured:
• A $846,000 grant for the Waukegan Police Department to fight the more than 3,000 gang members operating north of Lake-Cook Road.
• A $335,000 grant for developmentally disabled employment in Northbrook.
• A $245,000 grant for economic development in the second poorest town in Illinois, North Chicago.

I strongly supported each request. But my job also is to fight for our country.

There are some in Congress who abuse the current system. Increasingly, Congress approves low- or no-quality projects throughout this nation. For every grant to fight gangs in Lake County, the Congress approves a new "Bridge-to-Nowhere" or "monument-to-me" with little public benefit.

Should the taxpayers build a $320 million bridge from a town of 8,000 to an island with a population 50? No.

Should taxpayers foot a $243,000 bill so that school kids in Berkeley, California, can eat gourmet, organic school lunches featuring "Comté cheese soufflé with mâche salad" or "Meyer lemon éclairs with huckleberry coulis?" No.

It is because of these abuses that I became the first House appropriator to enact a moratorium on earmarks until reforms are established that boost transparency, accountability and quality of Congressional spending decisions.

I joined 32 of my colleagues including Senators McCain (R-Arizona), Clinton (D-New York) and Obama (D-Illinois) to back a moratorium with reforms in how Congress spends taxpayer dollars. Chairman Waxman (D-California) and Minority Leader Boehner (R-Ohio) are among major backers in the House.

Many congressional funding requests are worthwhile, but some do not pass the laugh test. We believe key reforms should be put in place before another series of spending bills are written.
I hope my colleagues join me in backing a moratorium on earmarks until we can enact these reforms to improve how taxpayer dollars are spent.

U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk
Highland Park

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kirk secures grant for Waukegan while Dan campaigns in Chicago.

Mark Kirk continues to work for the 10th CD:

From todays Tribune: Waukegan police will soon receive $846,000 in federal money to help officers combat gangs in the city and beyond, officials said.The U.S. Department of Justice grant, which would be distributed over two years and was procured with help from Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), would be the largest infusion the city has received for anti-gang initiatives, said Police Chief Bill Biang.The money will allow the Police Department to devote more staffing, through increased overtime, to its gang and drug operations, including more enforcement, prevention and community programs. It would also expand Waukegan's partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to other municipalities in Lake County with gang problems.

Meanwhile Dan Seals is still campaigning in Chicago, with a fundraiser set for tomorrow in downtown Chicago hosted by Rahm Emanual. Given that Dan thinks we are all millionaires, you would think he would fundraise in the district.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Obama's campaign website has praise for Mark Kirk earmark stand.

In touting his own willingness to publish his earmark requests, the Obama campaign website highlights this Sun-Times excerpt:

The Chicago Sun-Times wrote in an editorial, "As valuable as it has already been to see the earmarks and their sponsors at the subcommittee stage, it's even more valuable to see the requests from members before they even make it that far. That's why we applaud Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, Democratic Rep. Rahm Emanuel and GOP Representatives Peter Roskam, Judy Biggert and Mark Kirk for having the courage to disclose every earmark request, whether successful or not. The sooner the public can start scrutinizing the earmarks -- which are, after all, demands for taxpayers to fund specific projects -- the sooner it can start separating the wheat from the chaff. We encourage every member of Congress to do the same. The more glare, the more scrutiny, the better the process will work."

In sharp contrast Seals' position is that he won't have to publish any earmark requests because he won't ask for any, leaving the VA, local schools and other worthy local projects out of luck. Check out this story for a more detailed discussion of how Seals would vote on earmarks.

There needs to be tough reform of the earmark system. The elected officials cited by the Sun-Times are champions of that reform. The Seals approach shows a basic lack of understanding of how government works and/or naiveté that would have terrible consequences for 10th District programs that deserve federal funding.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Election day observations

I love to vote. Lots of excitement at the polls - tons of people early this morning with more folks pulling dem ballots than I remember in years past.

Thanks for the suggestions on who to pick for 10th CD dem primary but I just couldn't fill in the black circle for either Seals or Footlik. I'll have to wait for the general to vote for the best candidate, Mark Kirk.

Saw more Kirk signs than either Footlik or Seals and a great Hillary button while waiting for the train.

Consider this an election day open thread.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm back with a question - Seals, Footlik or none of the above?

Much to the dismay of Mr. Middle, I have cast ballots in democratic primaries for most of my voting life. I have pulled Republican ballots twice - to vote for Mark Kirk when he first ran for congress and more recently in support of Judy Baar Topinka’s bid for governor.

As faithful readers know I am a huge supporter of Hillary Clinton. I plan to pull a democratic ballot come super-duper Tuesday and enthusiastically cast my vote in support of our first female president. For me it is an easy decision.

It's not so easy to decide how to cast my vote for the 10th District democratic congressional nominee – not that I’ll be voting for either candidate come the general election. This November, I’ll be one of a great many 10th district voters splitting their ticket between the democratic candidate for president, Ms. Clinton (I hope), and the republican candidate for congress, Mark Kirk. Given my support for Kirk how I should vote in the primary?

Do I vote for the guy I think would be the better congressman of the two? Neither one comes close to Kirk who has proven his ability in his past 8 years in Congress. Footlik seems to have worked hard during his race, has more government experience and is relatively strong on national defense. Seals has a credibility problem based on resume padding, is wishy-washy on defense and is too closely aligned with the radically far left. If I had to pick who would be a better congressman of the two, I’d have to say Footlik.

But maybe I should vote for the guy that would be easiest for Kirk to beat. Kirk handed Seals a 7-point loss when most democratic challengers were trouncing republican incumbents. History shows that it is unlikey Seals would win in a second try. Seals has done nothing of service to the district since his loss except insult us with his refusal to move into the district because “he is not a millionaire.” By all accounts Kirk is gearing up to mount a strong campaign based on his congressional success. Footlik may have a silly name to overcome but given Seal’s loss of composure at the Tribune editorial board, I think he is more likely than Footlik to wilt under the relentless campaign pressure that is sure to come. The nod on easiest to beat would have to go to Seals.

I could simply not vote for either of them and wait until November to vote for Mark Kirk. I truly believe Kirk is the best person to represent me and most of my neighbors. He is hard working, smart and willing to work across party lines to get things done. He is a moderate, a champion of the environment and human rights, strong on national defense and committed to finding practical solutions to difficult problems.

I really am at a loss and hope my faithful readers can help me decide - Seals, Footlik or none of the above?