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!