Thursday, April 30, 2009

Aaron Schock on Bradley Student Radio

Bradley Junior Wassim was thrilled to welcome Congressman Aaron Schock on his weekly radio show. Last week Schock dropped by The Edge Bradley Student Radio for a light-hearted casual interview. The discussion centered around issues relevant to Bradley Students. He talked about how he was able to complete his college career by the use of summer school and mini-mesters, and also talked about his life in Washington.

No doubt Aaron welcomed an easy interview after going up against the likes of Steven Colbert. Kudos to Aaron for never forgetting his roots. Thanks to Paul Wilkinson for the hawtie photos!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fair and Balanced

I always squirm a little bit when I hear Fox News refer to itself as fair and Balanced. Anyone with half a brain would realize that it is no more fair and balanced than, say, CNN.

I did have a lightbulb moment today when I realized that if you look at it from a broader perspective, as in the entire Media, this little slice of conservative main stream media does help balance out the political scale. In fact, if we had about 3 more news channels just like Fox News, the distribution of main street media might then be considered fair and balanced.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This is kind of cool...

I have just started dabbling a little in Twitter. As I posted the prior story, I couldn't help but notice some of the links on the same site. Here I found the twitter page of Karl Rove. He is pretty hacked off at President Obama right now. He just published this in the Wall Street Journal.

You can follow your friends, enemies, celebrities, and politicians on Twitter (if they twitter). Search for their name here. All Repubs should have a Twitter account. If you don't know anything about it, stay tuned. I'll write more about it later.

Oh, and memo to Aaron (if you are reading)- send a few Tweets to populate your Twitter page! Lol!

Schock among DC's most influential "under 40"

Here is the link

Leading The News
Rep. Schock is D.C. influential after three months
By Michael Gleeson
Posted: 04/17/09 11:47 AM [ET]

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) has been a member of Congress for only a little more than three months and has already made a list of the 250 most influential Washingtonians under 40.

Schock, who at 27 is the youngest member of Congress, joined basketball player Caron Butler of the Washington Wizards and several other lawmakers on the Washington Life magazine’s list.

“It is great to meet all of these people who have made a difference of the community here in D.C.,” said Butler, one of several on the list honored for their charitable work. “I have met a lot of very interesting people, and I am honored to have made the list."

Besides Schock, notable political names on the list include Reps. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), Glenn Nye (D-Va.) and Adam Putnam (R-Fla.). Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) and Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty also made the list.

In the past, Washington Life’s “Young and The Guest List” was a reflection of one’s social status in the city. This year, however, the magazine emphasized charitable contributions.

Change, as reflected in politics, was on the lips of many at a Thursday night gathering of those who made the list.

“The promise of change, the idea President Obama spoke about on his campaign is here in this room tonight. Change is not just rhetoric anymore; the spirit is alive and visible in the achievements of the people at this party tonight,” said Lamell McMorris, founder and CEO of Perennial Strategy Group and a member of the list.

Sticking with the theme of change, Washington Life, which last year held its party in a mansion in Georgetown, this year utilized a space in an unoccupied office building in the Noma district (north of Massachusetts Avenue), which lies just north of Union Station and Capitol Hill.

A space comprised of nothing more than concrete floors and exposed duct working was transformed into one of the poshest party spaces, leaving many of the revelers in awe. Glamorous sitting couches, gorgeous bars and 360-degree views of the city from the 10th floor led many of the trendier, jet-setting attendees at the event to note how Washington Life had brought the spirit of a hip New York City party to D.C.

“I am grateful to be included on this list along with my good friends Adam Putnam and Glenn Nye,” Schock said in an interview Friday. He was unable to attend the party because he is back home in his district for the recess.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Is our local media arithmetically challenged?

Five hundred or three thousand? That is the question regarding the head count at last Tuesdays tea party in downtown Peoria.

It appears that our local newspaper estimated the crowd to be over 500, while WEEK reported closer to 3,000. Granted "over 500" could also mean 3,000, but so could the phrase "over 10".

My educated guess - somewhere in the middle - but closer to the higher figure. Maybe all media should consider having a trained in-house "crowd counter". ;)

Hat Tip: Atomic Lib Smasher

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Peorians exercise their right to assemble

Hundreds of protesters flooded the downtown Courthouse grounds yesterday to participate in one of the hundreds of tea parties going on all throughout the country. The tea party's are being used as a vehicle by ordinary citizens to voice their concern over the massive spending by congress.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I saw many of our local Republican friends in the crowd but the protest was non-partisan. Republicans, Democrats and Independents all weighed in. As usual I captured plenty of images to post here:

People came from all over the middle part of the state, including Henry, Kewanee, and Ottawa.

The signs were very clever and creative:

The protesters marched all around the courthouse several times and at its peak the line completed the full circle of sidewalk surrounding the courthouse.

Everything was very civil and peaceful but you could sense the level of commitment and determination of the protesters by how firm and how high they held their signs. There is something about a peaceful protest that sends chills up my spine every time. It just makes me so dang proud to be an American!

We should all be thankful for and exercise our amendment rights. Who knows how much longer they will be around.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Aaron Schock to appear on The Colbert Report tonight

Update: Schock Rocks!!! Both Schock and Colbert demonstrate their amazing skills of deadpan... Here is the link:

From an e-mail from Steven Shearer:

Hey all, Aaron Schock should appear on the Colbert Report tonight on Comedy Central cable network. Check local listings but it is usually on at 10:30 or 11:30 pm. Should be funny.

I'll post the youtube link here as soon as it is available!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Comments are now enabled...

Apparently some have been having trouble leaving comments. I believe I have identified the problem and it should be fixed. If you continue to have trouble please send an e-mail to

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Election wrap-up. Congrats to all of our candidates...

...particularly Mayor Jim Ardis who won re-election with over 90% of the vote. Has that ever happened before?

Dan Irving won handily with nearly 80% of the vote in the 5th District. He serves my district so I'll be keeping him busy. Heh heh.

Republican Patrick Nichting is our new City Treasurer. Congratulations to Pat on a brilliant campaign.

Tim Riggenbach will serve the 3rd District, winning by a slim 13 votes over Beth Akeson. Quite the nail biter. Outstanding campaigning by both candidates.

Barbara Van Auken defeated relative newcomer Curphy Smith in a contentious campaign. Curphy did very well against an incumbent and something tells me we will be seeing more of him.

Last but definitely not least my friend and fellow blogger LAURA PETELLE won Spanglers seat on the District 150 School Board. She won in a landslide victory capturing over 50% of the vote in a 3 way race - all the while struggling through a challenging pregnancy. I am so proud of you Laura and know that you are going to get in there and make the difference we have been praying for. Folks, Laura and I working together on her campaign is proof positive that Republicans and Democrats can and should work together to serve their community. Laura's resounding victory was a clear message from the community that they are tired of misplaced priorities - that they seek a new vision and direction from someone not tainted by failed, nepotistic district policies.

And lest I forget, I was tickled at the passing of the "Build the Block" referendum. That in itself was deserving of it's own post.

Congratulations to all the candidates, to those who prevailed and did not prevail. It takes a huge personal and professional sacrifice to put your reputation on the line and run for public office. You all stepped up and were there - an act deserving of our respect and admiration and we thank you.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Boston Tea Party makes its way to Peoria!

Several Peoria Tea Party Rallys are taking place on tax day, Wednesday, April 15. They will both take place downtown by the courthouse. The first one I was notified of via Peoria Republican Women e-mail. Here are the details:

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Peoria County Courthouse Courtyard
324 Main Street, Peoria, IL 61602

Do you love this country? Do you love the rights and freedoms this country provides that so many died for? Do you want to see actions more than words from your politicians that reflect the principles and values you stand for? come to the Peoria Tea Party.

We will be meeting in the courtyard area where the vendors stands are in the summer. Please bring family and friends to join the cause. This would be a great experience for youngsters and teens. Also, bring signs that are constructive and peaceful. Make sure your voice is heard.

The details of another tea party taking place were posted on the Community Word blog here. That tea party is sponsored by a national organization. They will be meeting downtown as well. It appears there may be some overlap. I wonder if we should all try to join forces? In any event, I'm going to try to hit both of them. See you there!

Update: Here is some information about the Boston Tea Party for a few of my historically challenged friends at, who allege similarities between last weeks passage of the sales tax by voter referendum and the British Monarchy's taxation of the American colonists leading up to the infamous Boston Tea Party protests in 1773.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

State Representative Jim Watson speaks at Republican Womens Lunch

As we journey through this thing called life, occasionally we stumble upon someone truly remarkable. Peoria county Republican Women will agree that they did just that at Wednesday's luncheon when they were introduced to key note speaker State Representative Jim Watson. A quick youtube and google search of his name will give you just a sampling of the amazing story of this not-so-ordinary politician.

Representative Watson, who represents the 97th District (Springfield vicinity), is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and recently returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq. He had some amazing and inspiring stories to tell - and he doesn't hold back. He described the good, the bad and the ugly of his most recent tour- starting with the wrenching decision as to whether or not he should voluntarily embark upon another extended and dangerous tour of duty as the father of 3 children. "Once a marine, always a marine" Jim explained, and he knew some of his fellow marines were serving their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th tours of duty. Additionally, he knew instinctively that he had the expertise they needed the most - government building. In his capacity as state legislator, he knew that he possessed the tools to help them succeed. True to the Marine spirit, Jim answered the call larger than himself and in February of 2008, departed for Iraq. His mission - to teach ordinary Iraqi's who have suffered under years of terror and oppression to learn to govern themselves.

Jim had a slide show presentation that illustrated their daily lives, their challenges and their successes. We were all moved as he showed the friendships and trust that developed between the people of Iraq and their Western liberators. He described the need for resourcefulness as the government they were to build would start from nothing. Jim explained how he downloaded Illinois statutes as a basis and modified them to fit the needs of the Iraqi people. He explained the challenges of instilling confidence in new Iraqi government leaders when those that fulfilled similar roles before them had been cruelly tortured and executed.

Jim completed his second tour of duty in September of '08. He said it was quite an adjustment returning to the relative opulence of American life. "Who would have ever thought that you would miss ice-cubes, or pavement?" He is somewhat disturbed by our cultures propensity to squander and take advantage of the opportunities we have here in America. I was reminded of our own election the day before where less than 20% of eligible voters turned out to vote.

Jim agrees with the current Obama Administration policy on Iraq. He feels that a gradual pull-out is in order and that this is the right time to begin the transition of power. In no small part due to the efforts of Representative Jim Watson and his comrades. Thank you, Jim, for blessing the Peoria Republicans, and thank you for your outstanding and selfless service to our country.

If you are so moved, you can send him an e-mail at and thank him as well.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What is a Republican?

In the last few presidential election cycles it appears to me that what some view as republican is not the same to other persons.

I think the big tent philosophy has done some harm to the core of the party.

The social issues wing of the party and the economic wing of the party are not playing well together.

We need an organizing principle that will unite the party not slice it into factions


Monday, April 6, 2009

Aaron Schock featured in Chicago Tribune expose

Here is the link.

We've known forever he is not just a pretty face. You go, Aaron. We are so proud of you and praying for your success in Washington!

Freshman Congressman Aaron Schock from Peoria, Ill. walks through the rotunda on his way to his office. (Tribune photo by Nancy Stone / April 1, 2009)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nancy Brinker inspires and humbles Peoria Republicans!

Peoria Republicans were awed and inspired by the wise, profound message of Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen race for the cure. Ms. Brinker was the key note speaker at the March 21 Lincoln Day Dinner at the Hotel Pere Marquette.

As the former US Ambassador to Hungary and the chief of Protocol for the George W. Bush Administration, one could well imagine that she had quite a few stories to tell.

Most moving to me were the stories she told of her and her sister, Susie, growing up. She recalls a time that they decided they wanted to put on a show for their friends and family. Susie declared "You sing and dance, and I'll sell tickets". Nancy reluctantly agreed, and after the show she felt quite pleased with her performance. Her pride was short-lived, however, when Susie shortly thereafter declared "Next time I'll sing and dance and you sell the tickets".

Nancy discussed at length how important she considers public service. "We must serve!" She recalls how excited she was when she was offered the position of Ambassador to Hungary. Shockingly, she was due to depart for her post on September 11, 2001!
I wondered if I should still go, but my father said "there is never a conveniant time to serve your country". It took me 10 days to get to Hungary as the US shifted in to full war mode.

At that moment the room felt a collective shiver up their spine.

Nancy made the fight against breast cancer her number one priority while she served as Ambassador. With an emphasis on education and early detection, upon her departure breast cancer went from the first to the 3rd leading cause of death among Hungarian women.

As chief of protocol for the George W. Bush Admin., Nancy's primary responsibility was to help build relationships with other countries. "That is where the real diplomacy begins", she said. "We must reach out more to women and get back to basics. Smart diplomacy can bridge our differences." Something tells me she was exceptional in that capacity as well.

After her comments, Nancy took questions from the audience.

Nancy Brinker with Peoria City Council candidate Curphy Smith

She was asked if she ever speaks with President George W. Bush. She said she does frequently. The President and first lady are comfortably settled into their new home. She said that it would be hard to imagine the toll that the stress of the past eight years has taken on them. She holds them in the highest regard and said it deeply pains her to hear how some talk about his presidency. Have to say, I agree.

A big Thank you to the Peoria County Republican Women Lincoln Day Dinner committee who made this event such a resounding success!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Re-elect Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis!

Why? Because he rocks! Seriously, don't forget to ask all your friends and family to vote, too. Voter turnout is expected to be very low - somewhere around 15%. When the turnout is that low, strange things can happen. Here is the itinerary I would recommend for next Tuesday morning.

1. Get out of bed

2. Pour yourself a cup of coffee

3. Put a long trench coat over your jammies. Tuck the bottom of the jammies into your boots so no-one can tell you are wearing jammies - especially if they have a pink elephant pattern.

4. Go vote. We would strongly recommend voting for Republican candidates! ;) Also, remember to vote yes for Peoria. Vote Yes to "Build the Block". This will be the final ballot item and will be referred to as a Public Utility tax.

5. Spend the rest of your day resting easy that you have exercised your right to vote! Oh, and don't forget to proudly wear your "I voted" sticker, or as my kids like to call it their "I farted" sticker. :giggle:

Aaron Schock rallies Republicans at the Tazewell County Lincoln Day Dinner!

I had taken a great deal of notes at this event, but lost them somewhere between my first and second glass of wine. I don't need to refer to notes, however, to report that Aaron did a fabulous job bringing Tazewell Republicans up to speed with important issues facing us not only as Illinoisan's but as Americans.

The Lincoln Day dinner was held on March 14 at the Grand Ballroom at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria. In addition to key note speaker Schock, we heard from Doug Whitley, candidate for Illinois Governor.

For complete coverage of this event, you can refer to this article, by Karen McDonald of the Peoria Journal Star.