Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reasons to Blog

A question was recently placed on your (Pekin Daily Times) News Column Blog concerning why I choose to use my name rather than a pseudonym when I am making comments. The blogger pointed out that I am the only County Board Member who communicates via blogging to the residents of Tazewell County.

First I want to point out that while I am the only County Board Member who use his/her name when blogging, I am not the only County Board Member who blogs. Several others involved in the process also blog, but choose not to be identified. I use my name when I blog because I see no reason to mask myself from those I represent. I want my constituents to know who I am and why I vote the way I do.

I include my website address so that others can have full access to the information I have access to. Most of this information, including the full County Board Packet with in-depth background information on the issues we vote on, is not readily available to the general public and currently is not offered on other internet sites. This in-depth background information allows the public to not only read my opinion and those of others, but to also be able to see real, un-biased facts on the issue and come to their own conclusions. While the local media does a decent job of covering some of the issues and some of the background information, they do not have the space to cover all of it. It is my goal to provide this background information so that a full understanding of the issues is available to my constituents.

As always, I consider it an honor and a privilege to serve you on the Tazewell County Board and if I can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

John C. Ackerman
(309) 635-7624
www.JohnCAckerman.com

Sunday, May 30, 2010

June Monthly Political Column: Lessons Learned; Experience is Always a Good Thing

The time after each election gives those of us is politics an opportunity to sit back and review the events and upgrades in technology and strategy that have just taken place so we can watch for them in future campaigns. One that sticks out to me this time happened to a close friend of mine; the charge of being a Professional Politician.

First, let’s review what the historical role of professional politicians are. Shortly after the primary election, I was listening to a local radio station and found a callers statement funny. He claimed that proof that we do not need professional politicians is that the Founding Fathers were just a gathering of common citizens. Well then, let’s review a few.

Thomas Jefferson; Virginia State Legislature (1769-1774), Continental Congress (1775-1776), Virginia State Legislature (1776-1779 & 1781), Governor of Virginia (1779-1781), Minister to France (1785-1789), Secretary of State (1789-1793), Vice President (1797-1801), President (1801-1809).

Samuel Adams; Writes protest of Stamp Act (1765), Massachusetts Legislature (1765-1774), Founder of the Sons of Liberty & leads political opposition to Tea Act (1773), Continental Congress (1774-1776), United States Congressman (1776-1781), Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor (1789-1793), Massachusetts Governor (1794-1797).

Richard Henry Lee; Justice of the Peace for Westmoreland County (1757), Virginia House of Burgesses (1758–1775), Continental Congress (1774–1779, 1784–1785 & 1787), Virginia State House of Burgesses (1777, 1780, 1785), United States Senator (1789–1792).

Edward Rutledge; Continental Congress (1774-1776), South Carolina Assembly (1776-1796), South Carolina Senate (1796-1798), South Carolina Governor (1798).

Philip Livingston; New York City Alderman (1754-1763), Albany Congress Member (1754), New York Assembly (1759-1768), New York Assembly Speaker (1769), Continental Congress (1775-1777), New York Senate (1777-1778).

These five were just the first I picked to research and I thought at this point I have made my point on why I found that calling the Founding Fathers amateurs is funny. The fact is this collection of genus did not just meet at a bar and design this great nation, they had years of experience in running political offices and fine tuning the political craft that they were so great at. They were professional leaders, professional politician.

When I hear the term professional politician used in current conversation, the individuals are usually talking about longtime, entrenched politicians that rely on that political position for their financial prosperity; names like Daley, Madigan and Durbin, just to name a few. The people doing the talking are usually pushing for term limits as the only solution, often forgetting about the option of just voting them out of office. They also usually forget to mention great professional politicians of the past like Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, George Herbert Walker Bush, Ronald Reagan, Everett Dirksen, most of the founding fathers, and many more.

As I have stated in previous columns, we need to diversify politics. We need to hear the voices of more farmers, hard working factor workers, middle class citizens and others and less from lawyers, the wealthy and the professional politicians. But we do need to hear the voices of the lawyers, the wealthy and as much as we hate it, we need the professional politicians. Politics was meant by the Founding Fathers to be a cross section of America. While that cross section is not 85% lawyers, we do need to have some lawyers in congress.

Another consideration, would you really want to go to an amateur doctor if you are sick? Do you really want to rely on an amateur home builder for your dream home? Of course not, we want the professional expert. Politics is an art form and some individuals are better leaders than others. Abraham Lincoln said of his own political desires when running for the Illinois State Legislature “Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem.” For Lincoln, Honor and esteem was the highest reward, and honor and esteem came through service to the public; Professional Political Service.

Richard Striner, Professor of History at Washington College, points out in his book Father Abraham: Lincoln's Relentless Struggle to End Slavery, “politics is the art of the possible, and Lincoln was a consummate politician, a shrewd manipulator who cloaked his visionary ethics in the more pragmatic garb of the coalition-builder. He was at bottom a Machiavellian prince for a democratic age. When secession began, Lincoln used the battle cry of saving the Union to build a power base, one that would eventually break the slave-holding states forever.”

What is the lesson to be learned here? This is not the first time we have seen wrongful political fads used in political campaigns. Think back to the Red-Baiting and McCarthyism of the 1940’s and 50’s. As with that example, the fad will move on once the public realizes the falsity and manipulation that is being attached to such labels.

We need as voters to be watchful and hesitant to jump on these fads and research all of the candidates, especially in the primaries. I have often found that the individuals that use this tactic of attacking the character of the other individual usually do so when they have no real political issue to attack them with. If these individuals have no other reason to run for the political position, no goals and/or objectives, do you really want them in the office? Issues need to be the focus of our decision and not claims, accusations, and personal attacks.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Local GOP sites

A big "attaboy" is in order to Lowell Schroeder, Chairman of the Tazewell County GOP for his efforts in getting a new, slick Tazewell County GOP site up and running. Lowell also does the site maintenance and keeps it up-to-date with Republican news and events. This service is priceless to GOP candidates, so be sure and thank Lowell for his expertise and hard work.

The Peoria County Republican site can be found here.

Thank you to the Administrators of these sites for keeping our local Republicans informed of relevant news and events!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

History’s Noteworthy Twist of Fate

We have all grown up with the comforting knowledge that the United States Navy that we have known is the most elite, best equipped naval force the world has ever known. But today I want to take a look back at the very humbling beginnings of the Navy. By the time we end this story, you will be able to see for maybe first time one of the largest Twist of Fate episodes in the History of the United States.

The debate concerning the creation of a United States Navy started immediately following the organization of the federal government with the acceptance of the Constitution. The debate was centered on what this new force would be used for. Was it to protect the ports of the United States, in the role of defense? Would it be used to put armed force on foreign shores? Should we build lots of small ships or a few of the largest vessels of the time, 74 gun Battleships. The debate in Congress, and also in President George Washington’s cabinet, was divided into two groups; one side of Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist and the other side of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the Democrat-Republicans (not the current Republican Party).

The Democrat-Republican’s being lead by Thomas Jefferson in Washington’s Cabinet and James Madison in the Congress argued for a defensive, volunteer unit similar to the Minutemen of the Revolutionary War. This Civilian Navy would have small vessels about the size of a small coastal fishing boat with one or maybe two sails and oars and would be armed with one 32 pound mortar. These little boats could be used for harbor defense but would not be seaworthy enough for trips away from the coast. They could be dismantled and stored in buildings around the communities the volunteers lived in during peace time and when called upon, they could be re-assembled and ready to defend their ports. This vision of volunteers defending their communities matched perfectly with Jefferson’s idea of a rural America.

The Federalist being lead by Alexander Hamilton argued for large ships, not as big as the 74 gun Battleships of the English Navy but larger and faster than the majority of their Naval Ships, the English Frigates. They turned to Philadelphian shipbuilder Joshua Humphreys for assistance. He listened to their ideas and suggested 44 gun frigates that would be built with heavier, stronger lumber and built with a new larger design that would make them superior to any other frigate.

The key to Humphreys design was he called on using Southern Live Oak, Quercus virens, for the key pieces of the frame, including the futtocks, knight heads, hawse pieces, bow timbers, stanchions, knees, transoms and breasthooks. The downside was that Southern Live Oak is only found in Southeastern United States and only in a twenty-mile-wide coastal zone stretching from Southern Virginia to East Texas. They would also only be able to use the oldest specimens, maybe one in fifty, in order to get the length of finished wood they would need.

The greatness of the Southern Live Oak is the strength of the wood. A mature tree will only grow 40 to 70 feet high but it branches can spread to a radius of 75 feet and shade over a half an acre. Its main branches, each weighing a few tons a piece, grow at a right angle to the amazingly strong trunk. This dense, strong wood would later make history for one of these frigates as well as earn it the name “Old Ironsides”.

The debate came to a head on March 10th, 1794, with the vote in the House of Representatives on the Act to Provide Naval Armament. The vote of 50–39 was along party lines with the Federalist winning and Congressman James Madison and his Democrat-Republicans coming up six votes shy of blocking its passage. Passage in the Senate quickly followed and President Washington signed it into law on March 27th.

The Act to Provide Naval Armament called for the construction of four 44 gun frigates and two 36 gun frigates. It gave the President the authority to appoint six captains who would supervise the construction of their individual ships. These six frigates would be built in six different ports. While all would build the same ship designed by Joshua Humphreys, Washington wanted to spread the financial benefits to the six most populous and wealthy ports. The four 44 gun Frigates would be built in Philadelphia (the USS United States), Boston (the USS Constitution), New York (the USS President), and Norfolk (the USS Chesapeake). The two 36 gun Frigates would be built in Baltimore (the USS Constellation) and Portsmouth (the USS Congress).

While construction of several of these six frigates would be halted several times after the Democrat-Republicans later took control of the Presidency and Congress, all six would eventually be completed and would become the beginning of the great History of the United States Navy. They would prove their worth first against the Barbary States Pirates, then later against the French and British Navies. In an interesting twist of fate, the two strongest leaders against construction of these six Frigates, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, would later be elected President and during both of their terms they would benefit from these same six Frigates.

Thomas Jefferson upon being elected President called for the navy to be dismantled and the six Frigates be put in Dry Dock storage in Washington, DC.. He also called for the construction of his volunteer small ships he had originally proposed. The results of this new small boat force were disastrous. While in theory 74 of these small boats could be built for less cost than a 74 gun Battleship and would match it for firepower, in action it was hard to coordinate these attacks as these ships where hard to control in any conditions other than calm water. Also, just a close call miss-shot would cause serious damage to these small ships. Jefferson would never see the Dry Docking of the six Frigates as he would soon send them into action against Tripoli. The Frigates performance in this War with Tripoli would be a highlight of Jefferson’s Presidency and would take the United States Navy out of the “small little navy” status and into a leading world naval force.

James Madison would be elected President after Jefferson and while he shifted money back to the Frigates and canceled Jefferson’s small ship force, he still thought the army was of more importance than the navy. History would record the failure of his army during the War of 1812 with Britton while the navy he disliked and had lead the opposition to their construction while he was in the Congress would save the War for the United States and save his Presidency. The six Frigates would defeat more of the British ships than where lost and would seriously cost the British commercially as well as damaging their naval invincible image enough to bring the British to the table to talk peace.

Six Strong Frigates had brought peace for America, had left a positive mark on the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and would inspire future President Theodore Roosevelt who during his administration would grow the United States Navy into the strongest naval force the world has ever seen. Roosevelt would later become famous for a quote: “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick”. The United States Navy was his big stick.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hillary Clinton defends the Tea Partiers

Hillary Clinton defends the tea party movement. You've gotta hand it to her - when many other key Democrats are criticizing the tea partiers and calling them names Hillary takes a firm stand on their behalf. Go Hillary!!



Hat tip: AV8R on Peoria.com

Monday, April 12, 2010

Are you ready?

Don't get mad, get busy. The HOI 9-12 Project has organized a tea party for this Thursday, from 11 - 2:00PM down at the Peoria Riverfront. Operating on just a hunch here, I predict this one will be HUGE! Might be a good idea to leave the kids at home. While you are here, please take a moment and respond to the new poll in the upper right side bar. You can choose more than one answer.

See you Thursday!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Help Nancy Pelosi retire!

She deserves a rest. Did you know she is up for re-election? Here is her opponent's website. You may want to consider clicking the Donate button. He also has a Facebook Fan page here.

Speaking of Facebook, I notice that Ms. Pelosi has an official Facebook Fan page too - Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Incidentally, the "unofficial" Nancy Pelosi page "Impeach Nancy Pelosi" is here. It's a tad more popular.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

2010 General Election; Up and Running...

Bill Brady is joined by most of the Statewide Republican ticket as they kick off the 2010 General Election. Great video clip...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Brady's Peoria Stop Update: Change in Location

Please note that the location of Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Brady's stop in Peoria has changed to the Pere Marquette Hotel in Downtown Peoria.

The Peoria County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner is that night and they have arranged to have a separate room available to the general public to welcome Senator Bill Brady to town for the first time as the Republican Party's Gubernatorial Candidate.

Even if you are not attending the Peoria County Lincoln Day Dinner, please feel free to attend this FREE gathering to show our support for Senator Bill Brady!

Bill Brady Statewide Thank You Fly-Around

Illinois State Senator and Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Brady will be in Peoria on Monday as part of a Statewide Thank You Fly-Around. This will be a great opportunity to help celebrate a long awaited end to this 2010 Primary Election and help build momentum towards victory in November!

They will start in Chicago at Ogilvie Transportation Center this evening, March 5th. On Monday then, he will start in Rockford at 10:00AM, followed by a stop in the Quad Cities at 11:15AM. They will be in Quincy at 12:30PM, Cahokia at 1:45PM, Marion at 3:00PM and Champaign at 4:30PM before their stop here in Peoria.

At 5:15PM they will be stopping at the Pere Marquette Hotel in Downtown Peoria. We would like to have a huge crowd on hand to welcome Senator Brady to town for the first time as our Official Republican Candidate for Governor of the State of Illinois! If you have signs, bring them with you to show support!

After their Peoria stop, he will end the day back home in Bloomington at Doubletree Hotel Ballroom at 7:00PM. Many of you will remember it was at this same location many gathered Primary Election Night to watch the results come in. While they left without an answer that night, this time they will leave with the answer we have all been waiting so long for; Senator Bill Brady is officially the Republican Candidate for Governor of the State of Illinois!

We have a long ways to go before Victory in November, but let's start this leg of the journey right. Please join the Official Republican Candidate for Governor of the State of Illinois Bill Brady and Republicans from throughout the State at one of these events! I consider it an honor and a privilege to serve you on the Tazewell County Board and if I can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's Schock vs. Maddow this Sunday on "Meet the Press"

From GOPSteven:
Sunday morning on NBC's Meet the Press this week with special guests: Congressman Aaron Schock, Rachel Maddow, David Brooks and Harold Ford Jr.

Check your local listings for the time as times are slightly different in various locations.

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Brady in Tazewell County

As I mentioned in my last newsletter, the Tazewell County Republican Party will be hosting a Unity Breakfast this Saturday, February 13th, starting at 8:00AM at the Ashland House in Morton. This will be a great opportunity to meet the Primary Election winners.

I was informed last night that Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Brady will be stopping by at this event from 8:00 - 8:30. He has to leave early for another event, but wants to visit with his supporters here in Tazewell County. Lets get a large crowd to welcome our downstate Gubernatorial Candidate back home to his district!!!

Brad McMillan meets with Peoria County Republican Women regarding Illinois Fair Map Amendment

Brad McMillan, the Director of Bradley University's Institute for Principled leadership in Public Service spoke Wednesday at the Peoria County Republican Women's monthly luncheon. Brad spoke of the efforts underway in re-drawing state legislative districts through the Illinois Fair Map Amendment.

Brad emphasized the importance of this movement stating "The problem with Illinois Government is that the Legislators pick their voters instead of the voters picking their Legislators". In an article in the February, 2010 edition of Peoria Magazines, Brad wrote:

Under the current redistricting system, politicians, in secrecy behind closed doors, choose their own voters. In addition, if the political parties cannot agree on legislative maps (which they have not done over the past 30 years), then a Republican name and a Democratic name are placed in a hat and whichever party is drawn gets complete control of the map-drawing process. We are the only state in America that has this ludicrous winner-take-all lottery system. The results of this process are some of the most gerrymandered legislative districts in the country with 98 percent of incumbents being re-elected.

This is a citizen-driven movement to reform Illinois government. Brad is requesting help from citizens to circulate petitions. Click here to learn how you can get personally involved.

Thank you to the Peoria County Republican Women for their ongoing efforts in keeping voters informed of important issues facing our state and nation.

Karl Rove to headline Tazewell GOP Lincoln Day Brunch

Tazewell County Lincoln Day Event

Karl Rove, often referred to as the "architect" of the George W. Bush campaign for election and re-election will speak to Tazewell County Republicans at their annual Lincoln Day brunch.
The Tazewell County Republican Party has announced that the speaker for the 43rd Annual Lincoln Day Event will be Karl Rove! The event will be March 20th at 9:00AM at the Embassy Suites Ballroom in East Peoria and tickets are now on sale for $55.00 To get yours, call (309) 353-8467.

Tickets are sold on a first come first serve basis and are expected to go fast. It is my understanding that you do NOT have to be a member of the Tazewell County GOP to purchase tickets.

Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit Rove had an enormous impact on public policy in the 1990's. Thank you to the Taz County Central Committee for their efforts in scoring this gig.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Seeking GOP candidates websites

If you are a GOP candidate and your candidacy covers the Central Illinois area, please e-mail me a link to your website and the name of the office you are seeking. We will begin linking to these sites in the margin. E-mails can be sent to dianevespa@gmail.com

Thank you!

Friday, February 5, 2010

John Ackerman's Recent Newsletter...

Normally I do not post newsletters, but in this case I wanted to show you what the newsletters are all about. If you currently do not get the newsletter, you can sign up for it on the website (www.JohnCAckerman.com). I do not share email addresses with anyone else, so privacy is not a concern.

Unity Breakfast
The Tazewell County Republican Party will be hosting a Unity Breakfast on February 13th starting at 8:00AM at the Ashland House in Morton. This will be a great opportunity to meet the Primary Election winners and for all of us to step-up and support our ticket in November!

Tazewell County Lincoln Day Event
The Tazewell County Republican Party has announced that the speaker for the 43rd Annual Lincoln Day Event will be Karl Rove! The event will be March 20th at 9:00AM at the Embassy Suites Ballroom in East Peoria and tickets are now on sale for $55.00. To get yours, call (309) 353-8467.

Tremont Marine Fundraiser
Just a quick update as far as the January 30th Marine Fundraiser in Tremont. Thank you to everyone who came out and joined us. I wish I could have had more time to visit with you, but I was very busy working what was a very successful fundraiser.

The Live Auction by my friends at Roth Auction Services out of Morton netted a little shy of $8000.00. I want to thank the many businesses and individuals that donated the many wonderful items we auctioned off. One really touching item was the first of the two American Flags that had been flown over the US Capital that had been donated by Congressman Aaron Schock. The final bid was $500.00 by R.A. Cullinan and Son Companies who purchased it to fly at their Tremont Offices in memory of an employee's son who lost his life in Iraq.

As far as the rest of the event, we ended up somewhere just shy of $14,000.00. This is great and I want to again thank each of you that participated in this excellent event. Central Illinois showed that we support our troops!!!

2010 Republican Primary Election, Tazewell County Results
I have a new link on the "Home Page" of the website that has the Precinct-by-Precinct and Township-by-Township breakdown of the 2010 Republican Primary Election here in Tazewell County for Governor, both 10th Judicial Court Openings, the County Treasurer and County Board District Three. I have also linked on my Facebook Page a site that has the County-by-County breakdown of the Governors Race.

I can tell you that Tazewell County and Central Illinois as a whole turned out big for Senator Bill Brady and that overwhelming support is what pushed him to Victory! Thank you to everyone who helped his campaign here in Tazewell County and now on to victory in November!

A special thanks to my good friend Mel Stanford, who is Bill Brady's Regional Coordinator for this area and who in the last few weeks of the election was really working overtime to get-out-the-vote in Central Illinois. His leadership not only here in Tazewell County but also in Woodford, McLean, Peoria, Logan, DeWitt, Macon and other locations was important to the Brady Campaign.

Website, Facebook and Blog Update
I wanted to give you a quick update on these tools. The website is still growing, averaging 11 visits a day. The most recent addition is the 2010 Republican Primary Election Results for Tazewell County (as was mentioned above).

The Facebook page has also continued to grow, with about 950 friends now. I have really liked the "immediate messaging" option Facebook has offered. It has allowed me the opportunity to get more messages out in less time. I have appreciated the ability to post links to materials I have found on the internet and photos from events more quickly. If you are on Facebook, friend me and join the group! The blog has been slower to grow, but has been moving along. Since it's introduction on December 8th, over 400 people have taken the opportunity to visit it.

With all three of these now up and running, you may start to notice some slight changes in what information is going out on what site. As I continue to work with these tools, I will start to get a better idea of what messages to send out and what information to post on what tool. That also counts towards changes with this newsletter, as in the future I will be trying to reduce the number of newsletters and make them more consolidated. This newsletter now reaches more than 1,200 people.

If you have any suggestions or recommendations, please feel free to let me know. I appreciate the opportunity to hear what you are wanting and looking for. These tools purpose is to assist me in my never ending goal of greater communication with my constituents and any advise you can give me on how to improve that process is always welcomed!

As always, I consider it an honor and a privilege to serve you on the Tazewell County Board and if I can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Aaron Schock on CNN's Larry King

Congressman Aaron Schock comments on the President's State of the Union Speech last evening. Whether he mirrors your political beliefs or not, you have to agree that his composure under virtually any circumstance is remarkable.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

12 Days for Illinois GOP Leaders to Wise Up

First off, I wanted to mention that I have posted my endorsements for the 2010 Primary Election on my blog, www.JohnCAckerman.Blogspot.com. I based these endorsements on my personnel knowledge of the candidates and their positions after getting to meet them over the past year. In some races it was difficult to get to one candidate, for example the US. Senate campaign.

With that campaign in mind, here is a great column by Lee Newcom of McLean County, who I do not always agree with but always respect and listen. Leadership picking an individual they think is the best candidate did not work for us last time (Alan Keyes) and will not work for us this time. When will they learn...

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2010/01/the-two-groups-of-people-who-dont-get-it.html

Monday, January 18, 2010

What it means to be a Republican...

As Republicans we believe that…..

There must be zero tolerance for waste, fraud and corruption in government;

Government exists to protect the freedom of the individual, not restrict it;

Effective government promotes individual initiative and responsibility. Hard work and ingenuity is the surest path to the successful attainment of the American dream;

Free enterprise, private entrepreneurship and individual incentive must be encouraged and fostered since they are the foundation upon which economic prosperity is always based;

All government must be accountable to the people it serves. When government becomes a self-serving entity that no longer meets the needs of its citizens it must be subjected to comprehensive reform;

Individuals who cannot provide for themselves deserve help and support along the path of becoming self-reliant citizens. However, government should never aim to foster a state of permanent dependency upon the poor and disadvantaged;

The proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations. In all that government seeks to undertake we must remain mindful that the best government is that which governs least;

As the party of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, the Republican Party must always be true to the cherished legacy of its commitment to civil rights. Promoting equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity is the very foundation of all government in a free society;

As a nation and party founded and supported by people of great faith and unwavering religious beliefs, the Republican Party firmly supports individuals who place their faith in a cause greater than themselves and will remain a tireless defender of individuals’ rights to worship and live their lives based on a high moral code and set of eternal convictions;

While individual members of our party may hold divergent opinions on key moral issues like abortion, the rights of same gender couples, or the definition of marriage the Republican Party remains a “big tent” that respects and welcomes diversity of thought on those issues that are, unfortunately, inherently divisive;

Government has a fundamental obligation to its citizens to practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn;

Excessive taxation and out-of-control wasteful government spending are crippling our country, decimating its middle class, and imperiling the future prosperity of the next generation of Americans;

Americans are suffering under an unprecedented burden of taxation resulting from the voracious consumption of public funds by one of the most complex, multi-layered and duplicative systems of government ever instituted;

American's excessive tax burden and strangulating regulatory environment has lead our nation's business leaders to downsize, outsource or simply relocate their operations to countries with significantly more rational tax and regulatory policies, costing Americans thousands of jobs each year;

The onerous tax burden that state and local governments place on its citizens strikes at the heart of one of the most important foundations of our society: the family.

Illinois' renewal must begin with an unprecedented commitment to shrinking the size and cost of government. Smaller and less intrusive government is the only way to secure our state’s future;

The savings that results from this unsnarling and unraveling of Illinois' massive, multi-layered bureaucracy must be passed on directly to overburdened middleclass taxpayers;

Lowering Illinois' outrageously high business and corporate taxes, as well as creating a fair and balanced regulatory environment, is the only way to reestablish Illinois as the premier location for any thriving business;

Illinois' massive debt must be brought under control. We are no longer just mortgaging our children’s future, our grandchildren will also be called upon to pay for the excesses of a state government that has lacked the courage and will to live within its means;

In order to keep our citizens safe at home and in their neighborhoods our state must enact, and our judges must enforce, tough, no nonsense criminal justice policies centered on the belief that the best way to prevent crime is to deter it through the establishment of swift and certain punishment that is commensurate with the severity of the offense;

We believe in a strong national defense to ensure that Americans remain safe, terrorists are defeated and democracy flourishes throughout the world;

The threat of Islamic extremism is a threat to our way of life and our very existence as a people. We live in a dangerous world that demands constant vigilance and the willingness to make great sacrifice;

The United States must never waver in its strong support of the state of Israel and other freedom-loving democracies across the globe;

America has been and remains the greatest force for good in the history of the world;

America and Illinois' best days are yet to come. Our party must always seek to lead with a sense of optimism that there is no challenge that our people cannot overcome;

As Republicans we believe that our party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government that will create a bright future for ourselves, our children and for generations to come.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ray Stevens...We The People

This guy has been silent for a while...but not anymore

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Quote of the Day

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle .

-- Winston Churchill

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Obama Administrations Priorities

From FoxNews.com...

White House: State of the Union Will Not Interfere With 'Lost' Premiere

The White House does not plan to schedule the President Obama's first State of the Union address on the same night as the premiere of the popular ABC series.


Fans of the television show "Lost," have no fear.

The White House does not plan to schedule President Obama's first State of the Union address on the same night as the premiere of the popular ABC series.

"I don't foresee a scenario in which millions of people that would hope to finally get some conclusion in 'Lost' are preempted by the president," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday.

The season premiere of "Lost" is currently scheduled for Feb. 2.

Gibbs said the White House will "soon" announce the date for the State of the Union address.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Meet The Candidates Night"

The Peoria 9-12 Project is at it again.  We have organized the 2010 Primary candidates to come and meet with the Central Illinois voters.  The Peoria 9-12 Project is excited to bring these events to the community.  The events are all throughout the month of Jan.


Friday Jan 8th-Senate Candidates at The Gateway Building from 6-8pm
Friday Jan 15th-Governor Candidates at The Gatway Building from 6-8pm
Tues Jan 19th-Peoria Local Candidates at the Riverplex from 6-8pm
Friday Jan 29th-Lt. Governor Candidates at the Riverplex from 6-8pm

The Peoria 9-12 Project contacted all candidates running in the Primary election to come to these forums.

We believe the Primary is the only opportunity a voter has to voice who they would like their representative to be.  Your vote in 2010 is the most vital for our country's future.  We encourage voters to take this matter very seriously and educate their family and friends.

Please contact Jody Pitcher at monkeysmiles75@yahoo.com for further details. 

To 10 Ways to Join The Dillard For Governor Team

via email...

TOP 10 WAYS TO JOIN THE DILLARD FOR GOVERNOR TEAM

1) Participate in a Super Saturday at the Dillard for Governor Headquarters and bring a friend. Be a part of the state’s most successful grassroots operation!
Join us this Saturday, January 9th
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at
Dillard for Governor Campaign Headquarters
2895 E. Ogden Ave, Lisle, IL

2) Place a Dillard Yard Sign in your yard. We have tons of yard signs. Feel free to stop by our headquarters and take several extra for friends and family or call us at 630-369-VOTE (8683) and we’ll bring one right out. We also need help distributing signs throughout the state.

3) Sign up to receive Dillard for Governor Campaign Updates at http://www.dillardforgovernor.com/volunteer.html and forward the updates along to 10 of your friends. Encourage your friends to visit our website at:www.dillardforgovernor.com.

4) Make a Donation to the campaign. You can contribute online at:
http://www.dillardforgovernor.com/Contribute.html.
Or mail your contribution to:
Dillard for Governor
2895 E. Ogden Ave.
Lisle, IL 60532

5) Help distribute literature in your neighborhood or other spots throughout the state.

6) Attend events with Senator Dillard and tell others at the event why YOU’RE supporting Dillard for Governor. Contact Kim at kschaeffer@dillardforgovernor.com for events in your area.

7) Place a large Dillard sign on your property or business. These 4’x4’ yard signs are significantly larger than the yard signs. These signs are perfect for high traffic locations. We have a limited supply so if you or someone you know have a location, please call us immediately at 630-369-VOTE (8683).

8) Make Campaign Calls to targeted voters. The purpose of the call will be to encourage friends and neighbors across the state to get out and vote for Dillard on February 2nd.

9) Host a Dillard for Governor Meet & Greet in your town. These are a great way to introduce Senator Dillard to neighbors and friends. Contact Sean Murphy at smurphy@dillardforgovernor.com to schedule one.

10) Write a letter to the Editor in support of Kirk Dillard to your local paper. Contact Brook Hougesen at bhougesen@dillardforgovernor.com for emails addresses for your local newspaper editors.

For more information on ways to join the Dillard for Governor Team, e-mail Kim at kschaeffer@dillardforgovernor.com

Dan Proft Releases First TV Ad

NEWS RELEASE:


Proft Releases First TV ad: Are You Ready to Turn Springfield Upside Down?

Today, conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Proft released his first television ad which will air on Fox News Channel and other cable television channels beginning tomorrow.

Proft released the following statement in conjunction with the introduction of the campaign's first TV spot,

If you watch news channels, you’ve surely seen endless commercials featuring politicians playing farmer, politicians in pretend board rooms and politicians on staged factory tours. All of them have one thing in common: they’re fake.

Conservatives have an enormous opportunity in this election year. And we will only realize the opportunity if we offer voters a clear policy choice that puts Illinois on the path to growth. If we want Policy Revolution, a complete re-ordering of our tax and spending policies, we’re going to have to turn Springfield upside down.

Are you ready? I sure am.

Governor candidate Billy Brady receives multiple endorsements

From an e-mail:

We, as Republican Precinct Committeemen and/or Elected Leaders of Tazewell County, are supporting Illinois State Senator Bill Brady of Bloomington for Governor of the State of Illinois and ask that you too cast your vote for Senator Bill Brady in the Republican Primary on February 2nd.

Senator Brady represents a large section of Tazewell County and it has been in that role that we have come to find him to be a hardworking, honest, dependable Conservative leader. Senator Brady has done an excellent job of representing the citizens of Tazewell County in the State Senate and we look forward, with your help, to having him perform at the same level of excellence in the Governors Office.

It is time we bring pride and honor back to the Governor's Mansion with an individual we can all be proud of and we believe Senator Bill Brady is the best choice to do just that.

Melvin "Dutch" Stanford, Tazewell County Board Member, Mackinaw
Jan Donahue, Tazewell County Board Member, Pekin
Russ Crawford, Tazewell County Board Member, East Peoria
John C. Ackerman, Tazewell County Board Member, Washington
Dennis Conover, Tazewell County Coroner, Pekin
James Unsicker, Former Tazewell County Board Chairman, Morton
Don Gronewold, Washington
John Webb, Tremont
James Newman, Washington
Bob Hofmann, Deer Creek
Loren Toevs, East Peoria
Merlin Kiesewetter, Creve Coeur
Norman Geyer, Morton
Kenneth Aupperle, Morton
Kathryn Yontz, Delavan
Brian Heller, Washington
Paul Shields, Pekin
Max Hutton, East Peoria
Mary Burress, Pekin
Robert Burress, Pekin
Kay Grillot, Washington
John Moser, Tremont
Duane Nelson, Delavan
Kay Ruschau, Delavan
Robert Stanford, Mackinaw

Note to readers: This blog is open to all Republican endorsements. To submit an endorsement of your preferred candidate send an e-mail to dianevespa@yahoo.com, or to any of the other authors listed on this site.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cigars and Smoking Bans

As most people who know me know, I’m very passionate about cigars. They are a favorite hobby of mine, and a source of true relaxation. I have traveled around the country, and soon, around the hemisphere in order to more fully understand my passion. I have been to cigar events from coast to coast, and spent time in the Dominican Republic, learning what goes into a premium cigar, from soil to cigar. This September, I will journey into the heart of Nicaragua and Honduras to further that knowledge.


As a cigar enthusiast, and an American, it pains me to see cigar enthusiasts lumped together with cigarette smokers, especially in smoking bans and tobacco taxes. When Congress initially suggested the cap on federal taxes on cigars be raised from 5 cents per cigar to $10 per cigar, people used the justification that cigars were for the rich. Rush Limbaugh coming out against the tax didn’t help. The fact of the matter is most cigar enthusiasts are middle class Americans who view cigars as an affordable and obtainable luxury, not unlike Starbucks.

When I see a cigar, I see a work of art. What other product, that is 100% handmade, can you enjoy for around $10. I think of all the people that had something to do with that cigar, which usually numbers in the hundreds. I think of how tobacco from regions around the world, where tobacco is their biggest cash crop, blend together to make something one of a kind. It is truly humbling when you put it in that aspect.

When it comes to smoking bans, the very establishments that should allow smoking, cigar bars are being singled out. Most laws say that you can’t allow smoking if you serve liquor. The purpose of a cigar bar is for consenting adults to get together and enjoy and share their hobby. If they want to have a glass of scotch or a microbrew with it, that shouldn’t be a crime.

I’m all for smoking bans in family restaurants. I used to hate nothing worse than going to Applebee’s or some other brass & fern chain restaurant, and having to sit in the smoking section. But, in a bar, where you have to be 21 to enter, you have a choice. You can go there or not. If you don’t like smoke, don’t go there. Bottom line is, it should be up to the owner. It boggles my mind that, in what is supposed to be the freest country on earth, the owner of an establishment is told that he can’t allow a perfectly legal activity in there. If people don’t like it, they can vote with their wallets and not go there.

I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I urge you to act, on behalf of personal choice. Make exemptions in the smoking ban for establishments that carry a Class “A” Liquor license. A 21+ year old adult should be able to decide on his own if he wants to go to an establishment, knowing the risks. The decision shouldn’t belong to a nanny government. We need to go back to when America was a great country, not a condo association with too many rules and bylaws.

My Look at the 2010 Governors Race

Over the coming days and weeks, I'll profile some of the statewide and local races that are of interest to Central Illinois.  As a note, the endorsements given in my posts are mine, not the blog's...unless of course the blog agrees with me!

First off, the Governor's race...

The major candidates on the Democrat side are current governor and former Lt. Governor Pat Quinn and state Comptroller Dan Hynes. It doesn’t look like this race will be very close, with Governor Quinn leading Hynes 49-23 in a recent Chicago Tribune poll.

This race will lean on Hynes’ ability to tie Governor Quinn with impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich. Quinn has tried to maintain his distance, but they did serve together for 6 years, even though Quinn says he hardly ever talked to Blagojevich.

One of the major drawbacks to Quinn is his inability to pass any sort of meaningful ethics reform in Illinois. Almost a year after Blagojevich’s impeachment, it’s business as usual in Illinois. Also, most people don’t realize that as one of the creators of the Citizens Utility Board, Quinn was a huge influence in electric deregulation in Illinois in 1997, and CUB’s endorsement of the bill that ultimately passed, which was crafted by Commonwealth Edison, was one of the deciding factors of the huge electric rate increases seen by Illinoisan’s in 2007.

As comptroller of Illinois, Dan Hynes has been very adept at creating financial well being in Illinois. However, most of his efforts were seen as an affront to Gov. Blagojevich, and little got done. Even with this, he’s a popular figure who has done well for the state.

On the Republican side, the race for the nomination is wide open. The announced candidates are:

Adam Andrzejewski (Hinsdale, IL) Founder of ForTheGoodofIllinois.org, businessman, and self-made millionaire

Bill Brady (Bloomington, IL) State Senator, real estate and construction businessman, ran for GOP nomination in 2006

Kirk Dillard (Hinsdale, IL) State senator and former Chief of Staff to Jim Edgar

Dan Proft (Chicago, IL) Political Commentator

Robert Schillerstrom (Naperville, IL) DuPage County Board Chairman

Andy McKenna (Chicago, IL) Former Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party

Jim Ryan (Lisle, IL) Former attorney general of Illinois

Adam Andrzejewski is a young and up and coming political figure in Illinois. While he doesn’t have the name recognition or support to win this primary, he’s a strong fiscal conservative who founded ForTheGoodOfIllinois, which is a grassroots effort to promote transparency in government spending in Illinois. He doesn’t have a shot in this election, but definitely keep an eye out for him in the future.

Bill Brady is a lifelong resident of Illinois, and has done much in the Illinois Senate to try and create a business climate in that will encourage job growth, as well as revamp the woefully underfunded public university system. He would be good for Downstate Illinois, but doesn’t have much name recognition outside of his own legislative district.

Kirk Dillard is a well known political name, both in Illinois and nationally. However, most conservatives view him as being too liberal for their liking. He appeared in an infamous 2007 campaign ad in Iowa for Barrack Obama. Oddly enough, in 2004, the New York Times ran a piece urging Dillard to run against Obama for the US Senate. While he has a strong history of being bipartisan, his reputation is too tarnished among conservatives to win a primary. He’s an effective lawmaker, and may very well make a fine governor, but not for conservatives.

Dan Proft is a media commentator and founder of a large communications firm based in Chicago. He served as a consultant to Jack Ryan’s 2004 Senate campaign, and continued to work for Alan Keyes once Ryan dropped out. Proft often argues that many of the state’s problems come from the “Chicago 9”, which includes Gov. Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Comptroller Dan Hynes, Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Secretary of State Jesse White, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, and Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. He is against tax increases to close the budget deficit, and proposes a “merit-based opportunity” for admission to the University of Illinois, in response to their admission scandal.

Bob Schillerstrom is the current chairman of the DuPage County Board Chairman and former Assistant State’s Attorney for DuPage County. His main campaign feature seems to be that he’s a social moderate and a Springfield outsider. While he does have executive experience in government, he doesn’t have much of a track record.

Andy McKenna has a lot of name recognition from his years as state GOP Chairman. His views are very consistent with GOP talking points, and he’s an effective campaigner. However, I’m not sure if being in charge of the Illinois GOP is a strong selling point for someone right now.

Jim Ryan is one of the best known Republicans in the state, and, may have won the office of Governor in 2002 if he didn’t happen to have the same last name as George Ryan. He served as Illinois Attorney General from 1995-2003, and in his 1998 re-election bid won the endorsement of every major newspaper in Illinois. In recent polls, he’s been the only Republican picked to beat either Dan Hynes or Pat Quinn in a potential General Election.

Big Luke’s Endorsements:

Democratic Primary: Dan Hynes

Republican Primary: Jim Ryan

Friday, January 1, 2010

Illinois vs. New York

First off, Hello Everyone! And also, a huge thank you to Diane for inviting me to write on this blog!

First off, a little about me...after being a life long resident of Peoria (Hines Elementary, Washington Gifted, Woodruff High) I now reside in New York...on Long Island to be exact.

Since I've been out here, which is about 9 months now, I've noticed alot of similarities, and differences, between the two states.

For starters, we've all told someone we're from Illinois, and the first they ask say is, "Oh, how's Chicago?" I always find myself telling them that, believe it or not, there's more to Illinois than Chicago...and now I find myself telling people that there's more to New York than NYC.

Politically, the states are very similar as well. Nationwide, people tend to think of Illinois and New York as two of the most liberal states in the country. If you look at the trends tho, a majority of the states, land wise, are hard working people who enjoy conservative values. I seem to recall Illinois' chosen son saying something about clinging to guns and religion...but I could be mistaken.

Illinois and New York have large urban centers that pull the states to the left. They also are on par with each other in terms of government corruption, and have both lost governors in the recent past.

For the average person, Elliot Spitzer's fall from grace was more interesting, since it involved high priced hookers...but for a life long political junkie such as myself, the theatrics surrounding Rod Blagojevich was pure gold.

Illinois has become a laughing stock nationwide, all this while at a time when, politically, you would think we'd be flying high...a former Senator is president, and he hired just about everyone who ever worked with him in Chicago to work in his administration.

The Chicago Way is now the American Way, and it's costing us personal freedoms at an alarming pace. Between Senate votes on legislation that will make over 16% of the US economy taking place on holidays and in the middle of the night, cap and trade, card check, fairness doctrine...these are scary times for people who have ever read the Constitution.

2010 will be a landmark year in this country politically, and the GOP is poised to make large gains in both the House and the Senate, as well as in countless State House's and Governor's Mansions around the country.

Even in Illinois, who would have thought 18 months ago that a Republican would have a chance at winning the Senate seat once belonging to Barrack Obama. As an aside...I always thought that messiahs levitated...why would Obama even need a seat?

I strongly urge you to stay vigilant, and let's return to the grassroots organizations that swept Obama into office. In Central Illinois you are lucky to have a hardworking man representing you in Washington...Aaron Schock is one of the futures of the GOP, and is working hard for his district.

In closing...if you look at the polls, or nationwide sentiment, we are on the brink of a conservative uprising. People are fed up with big government, and it seems that the only change Barrack Obama has brought to DC is throwing trillions at problems, instead of mere billions. Get out there and make your voices heard...and if you're looking for a little light reading, there's an 18 page document called the Constitution that makes for a fantastic read!