KANE COUNTY CHRONICLE
— First battles for ’12 elections fought in the precincts – Brenda Schory
(FROM THE ARTICLE: As Republican committeeman of the First Precinct in St. Charles, Sondra Hecox has already been out walking the walk and talking the talk. Hecox, 75, said she will take one side of the street and her husband, Dale, 80, will take the other and they will hit every house, every door. Frequently they will cover another precinct or two if their help is needed.
“We pass out literature,” Hecox said. “We’ve done a ton of that. We are collecting signatures for all the candidates who are running who gave us petitions.”
Hecox has been precinct committeeman for six years, and she served as assistant committeeman for 14 years, regularly educating and registering voters, helping people get to the polls and serving as a poll watcher on election days. “I really, really believe it’s our responsibility as precinct committeemen,” Hecox said. Christopher Faber, 32, a North Aurora trustee and Democratic precinct committeeman in the 11th Precinct of Batavia, said he also walks the precinct to get votes out for their candidates.
“I communicate with candidates,” Faber said. “I drop off their stuff. I call people to remind them to vote. I’ve talked to a few to recruit them to the Democratic side.”
As the big guns line up for political battle in the 2012 election season, the first battles are fought in the precincts, with committeemen from each party. But not every precinct has a Hecox or Faber willing to give it a full-out effort. This is something Mark Guthle, chairman of the Kane County Democratic Central Committee, and Mike Kenyon, a Republican county board member from South Elgin and chairman of the county GOP, can agree on.
“A precinct committeeman is what you bring to the table,” Guthle said. “Are you going to do something, or are you a name on a piece of paper? We have enough [committeemen] in our county, but how many actually do work their precincts?” Kane County has a vacancy rate of almost 40 percent for Republican precinct committeemen, said Doug Ibendahl, editor of Republican News Watch, an online commentary of GOP news.
Kane County has 299 precincts. In 2010, only 181 precincts had a candidate for Republican precinct committeeman. No Republican ran in 118 precincts, he said. Ibendahl’s website, www.republicannewswatch.com, hosts the Republican Precinct Project, urging people to get involved as committeemen. All that is required is 10 signatures to get on a ballot. If no one runs, the party chairman for the county appoints someone.
“Where is everybody?” Ibendahl said. “Kane’s vacancy rate is not the worst at 39.5 percent, but it should be hard to find a precinct in Kane and say there are no good Republicans there.” Ibendahl is a Chicago attorney and former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party and served on the Bush-Cheney legal team in Florida during the 2000 Presidential recount. Ibendahl’s goal is for a committeeman to take the helm of every one of the 6,705 precincts in Illinois. He said full participation in these two-year volunteer positions is critical for the success of Republican candidates – and for taking back the White House.
“They are the front line ambassadors for the party,” Ibendahl said. “They are the only party official that the average person will ever meet – they are not going to meet Mitt Romney or Herman Cain.”
He ticked off a list of responsibilities for a good committeeman – dropping off literature, collecting signatures, registering people to vote and helping them get to the polls – describing exactly what Faber and the Hecoxes do.
“We’re the ones losing elections,” Ibendahl said of Republicans. “How did [Gov. Pat] Quinn win the election when every poll leading up to the election for weeks, showed Bill Brady winning? Pat Quinn pulled it out because the Democrats do it better with boots on the ground. They’ve got teachers, unions, police and fire … the problem with the Republican Party is the country club types and company CEOs are not, by and large, knocking on doors.”
The Republican Precinct Project is geared to have the GOP match what the Democrats do in getting boots on the ground, he said.
“They have a huge army they rally every election,” Ibendahl said. “Republicans would rather sit around and complain. We’ve got less than a month to go now. People have until the close of business on Dec. 5 to file nominating petitions to be precinct committeeman.”
Kenyon said the blank spots among Republican precinct committeemen are largely in Elgin and Aurora, with only a few vacancies in Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles townships. “I go to people I know and ask them, and when I see somebody, I call and ask,” Kenyon said. “It’s similar to trying to get somebody to do something anywhere else. Why are there fewer Lions and Jaycees and Rotarians? Nobody wants to do anything.” And sometimes, there is a precinct committeeman who fills a space and then does nothing to build the party. “There’s not much you can do about that,” Kenyon said. “If anybody is elected, you cannot get rid of them unless they resign.
If a committeeman is not doing their job, and you want to put somebody else in there, they’ll tell you to go pound sand. If you have a committeeman that moves out of state or out of town, he still has to write a letter to [the county clerk] to resign.”
A review of precinct committeemen elected in the last cycle shows more vacancies among Democrats than Republicans, but Guthle said he’s not worried. “I can attest to this, the Democrats are making gains in the county through precinct committeemen in Aurora, Elgin and Dundee,” Guthle said. “In 2012, we will get more in this cycle and fill it up. It’s not a number on a ballot. We are looking for people who want to work and volunteer their time, walk the precinct, talk to people and get signatures for candidates.” Faber agreed. “Republicans have control around these parts, but the Democrats have control of the ground,” Faber said. “I always felt the Democratic side does a better job knocking on doors. When I’m out doing it myself, the other people I see out are doing it for other Democrats, rarely for Republicans.”)
– Hultgren aims to ease uncertainty – Jonathan Bilyk
— Two step: Hultgren spokesman Andrew Flach talks primary endurance, Illiniwek – Kerry Lester
(FROM THE ARTICLE: “The most physically demanding thing I’ve ever done in my life.” That’s what Andrew Flach, Hultgren’s campaign spokesman said in a 2004 Daily Illini article about his auditions for the Chief Illiniwek role as a student, and the endurance building involved in the intense four-minute dance routine. We teased him that the 14th primary against fellow Republican Joe Walsh may soon hold that place. “It already is,” he cracked. As we’re full of videos today on the blog, here’s a fun one of the Chief’s last dance in 2007.)
– Wheaton Warrenville Dist. 200 requests 4.74 percent tax increase, will likely get less than that – Marco Santana
– Herman Cain’s woman problem – Kathleen Parker
– Student rally for Paterno turns violent – AP
– Naperville looks to cut professional memberships, subscriptions – Justin Kmitch
(DIERSEN: Since 1979, I have been a member of many professional associations and I have always paid the membership fees with my own money. I served as the Treasurer of the Association of Government Accountant’s (AGA) Chicago Chapter between 1983 and 1986 and its Membership Director between 1986 and 1996. I served on the Illinois CPA Society’s Membership Committee between 1989 and 1998. I served as founding director of the Midwest Chapter of the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) between 2001 and 2004. I have been a member of the American Accounting Association since 1982, AAPC since 2001, American Board of Forensic Accountants since 1997, American Institute of CPAs since 1979, American Society of Public Administrators since 1982, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners since 1990, AGA since 1979, Federal Criminal Investigators Association since 1988, Illinois CPA Society since 1979, Institute of Internal Auditors since 1980, and Society of Professional Journalists since 2005.)
— Video of Rep. Joe Walsh shows angry GOP congressman ranting at constituents – Katherine Skiba (FROM THE ARTICLE: Walsh issued a statement about the event, saying, “I am passionate about our freedom, fighting for taxpayers and standing up against big government.” He said he apologized to the woman “for getting a bit too passionate, to which she smiled and did not mind at all.”)
— DIERSEN HEADLINE: Topinka appoints Krysztof Hanusiak to her “Polish Advisory Council.” I am 100% German national origin. Will Topinka appoint me to her “German Advisory Council?” I am White. Will Topinka appoint me to her “White Advisory Council?” I am a male. Will Topinka appoint me to her “Male Advisory Council?” I am conservative. Will Topinka appoint me to her “Conservative Advisory Council?” I am Republican. Will Topinka appoint me to her “Republican Advisory Council?” I am over 60 years old. Will Topinka appoint me to her “Over 60 Years Old Advisory Council?”
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka announced that Krysztof Hanusiak, owner of Royal Kitchen and Bath Cabinets, has agreed to serve on her office’s newly formed 10-member Polish Advisory Council.
Scheduled to meet quarterly, the Council will advise the Comptroller on issues of importance to the community and assist in formation of initiatives to address those concerns. “Chris brings a wealth of experience and insight that will serve this Council well,” said Topinka of the Niles businessman. “I appreciate his willingness to join the group, and look forward to many meaningful discussions in the months ahead.”
The volunteer Council is one of several advisory panels created by Topinka to ensure direct communication with communities throughout the state. Other Advisory Councils include: African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, Rural Affairs, and Women. Advisory Council members come from a variety of backgrounds, geographic regions and areas of expertise. Topinka will work with each group to propose and/or promote possible and existing legislation to advance the well-being of respective communities. For more information on the Comptroller’s Office, please visit: www.illinoiscomptroller.com
— What More Can Cain Do? – Lowell Ponte
(FROM THE ARTICLE: CBS News asked Cain if he would take a lie detector test. Cain agreed. He did not fall back on the usual politician evasions, e.g., “I’ll take a lie detector test when my opponent takes an IQ test.” When ancient Greek playwrights painted themselves into a corner, they often had a crane lower a pagan god onto the stage to magically resolve the drama. This device was called deus ex machina, “god from a machine.” In our increasingly godless age we put our faith in feeble science. We expect the polygraph, the lie detector, to give us veritas ex machina, “truth from a machine.” Our courts do not let this unreliable machine send people to prison. One reason, experts contend, is that some can successfully lie to a lie detector.)
— Obama’s Socialism in God’s Name – Ed Kaitz (DIERSEN: The Democrat Party platform promotes dependency on government, homosexual activity, abortion, and worse. The Democrat Party platform is extremely anti-religious. Therefore, any individual, any organization, any company, any country, any anything that promotes the Democrat Party platform or Democrats is anti-religious.)
– Most Believe Reporters Publish Damaging Info First, Check Facts Later (DIERSEN: Once an allegation is made and posted on a website, that is, once the allegation has been put into the public realm, it is a “fact” that that allegation was made. Often, what candidates, their operatives, and their dupes say are “facts” and really “allegations.” Often, what candidates, their operatives, and their dupes really want is for reporters to not report allegations against them or anything else for that matter that damages them. What they are really arguing is that allegations against them should not be reported unless or until those allegations are proven in a court of law.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: If it hurts a candidate they don’t like, most voters believe that reporters would publish damaging allegations first and seek to verify the facts later. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 54% of likely voters nationwide believe most reporters would follow the “publish first” approach while 34% believe the reporters would try to verify the facts before publishing them.)
– Defining Poverty in the Land of Plenty – Froma Harrop