WBEZ | Randy Hultgren http://www.wbez.org/tags/randy-hultgren Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Congress passes deal to re-open government and raise debt ceiling http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-17/morning-shift-congress-passes-deal-re-open-government <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Flickr geetarchurchy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After narrowly avoiding a default on its debt, the U.S. government is back open. We hear from a trio of Illinois Congressmen about why they voted how they did for the deal. (Photo: Flickr/law_kid)</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-death-of-neighborhood-high-schools/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-death-of-neighborhood-high-schools.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-death-of-neighborhood-high-schools" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Congress passes deal to re-open government and raise debt ceiling" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 08:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-17/morning-shift-congress-passes-deal-re-open-government Congressman Joe Walsh says he'll run for re-election in new 8th District http://www.wbez.org/story/congressman-joe-walsh-says-hell-run-re-election-new-8th-district-94752 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-09/joe walsh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) announced Thursday night that he will run for re-election in Illinois’ newly-drawn 8th Congressional district in the western suburbs.</p><p>The state’s congressional boundaries have changed since new census data was released last year. But Republicans have sued the Illinois Board of Elections over the new boundaries, saying they heavily favor Democrats.</p><p>Walsh, a Republican with Tea Party support, currently lives in the newly-drawn 14th Congressional district. If he had run in that district, Walsh would have faced a tough primary opponent against fellow freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren.</p><p>“It didn’t just feel right to me to stay out in the 14th (District) in a nice, safe Republican district, take out another Republican in a primary, when the Democrats have drawn an 8th District, my old district – my current district – a new 8th District and reconfigured it to be very Democratic and we Republicans are just going to let that seat go,” Walsh said Thursday night. “It didn’t feel right.”</p><p>Walsh made the announcement to Cook County Tea Party supporters at a bar near Wrigley Field. The Chicago ballpark lies outside the 8th Congressional District.</p><p>Walsh still needs to win the Republican primary, which occurs March 20.</p><p>If he wins, Walsh could face a Democratic opponent, possibly Tammy Duckworth, Raja Krishnamoorthi or another candidate who has not yet filed.</p></p> Fri, 09 Dec 2011 03:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/congressman-joe-walsh-says-hell-run-re-election-new-8th-district-94752 Election 2012: Congressional money race http://www.wbez.org/story/election-2012-congressional-money-race-93125 <p><p><em>Updated at 2:46 a.m. on Oct. 17&nbsp;</em></p><p>Campaign finance reports from the third quarter (July – September) were due this weekend to federal election officials. Candidates had to report how much cash they raised (and from whom), how much they spent (and to whom) and how much they have left.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/fec.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 151px;" title=""></p><p>Illinois looks to have some super competitive U.S. House races in the March primaries. This is, in part, the result of new district boundaries formed during this year’s redistricting. The once-a-decade process was controlled by Illinois Democrats, as they hold the governor's office and majorities in both chambers of the legislature. Keep in mind, Republicans filed a lawsuit against the new map, and the boundaries could change.</p><p>But, for now, the map is what the map is. So here’s a look at the top-line money situation in a few of the expected primary races in Northern Illinois congressional districts. And if you just can’t get enough of campaign finance data, listen to WBEZ's <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> on Monday morning.</p><p><strong>SOUTH CITY, SUBURBS AND EX-URBS: Illinois’ Second Congressional District</strong></p><p>Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson is running against 16-year incumbent U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. The two have battled for years over control of the non-existent Peotone Airport. Now they’ll battle in a Democratic primary as Jackson’s district absorbs area much farther south. Halvorson announced her campaign about ten days ago. She told me at the time she had some cash left in her account from her 2010 loss, but had not started fundraising for this race.</p><p>“Because I did not want to raise money until I knew I was going to do this, because it wouldn’t be fair to anybody to take their money and then me decide not to do this,” Halvorson said. However, she did claim to have nearly $100,000 in pledged donations, “all in very small amounts.” Those pledges, of course, are not reflected in the totals below.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>DEM primary IL 2</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Debbie Halvorson</td><td style="text-align: right;">$221,772.39</td><td style="text-align: right;">$83.66 (interest)</td><td style="text-align: right;">$11,544.86</td><td style="text-align: right;">$210,311.19</td></tr><tr><td>Jesse Jackson, Jr.</td><td style="text-align: right;">$305,818.10</td><td style="text-align: right;">$85,725.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$132,327.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$259,215.47</td></tr></tbody></table><p>This is a solidly Democratic seat. The only Republican with paperwork on file with the Federal Election Commission is the Rev. Isaac Hayes. He ran in 2010 against Jackson, but told me last week, “Right now it doesn’t look like I’m running” in 2012. He said he’s focusing on helping Mitt Romney win the Republican nomination for president. (Romney was one of the only established politicians to help Hayes in 2010; his PAC gave Hayes $2,500.)</p><p><strong>NORTHWEST SUBURBS: Illinois’ Eighth Congressional District</strong></p><p>The new 8<sup>th </sup>District is quite a bit more Democratic than it was a year ago, when Tea Partier Joe Walsh upset incumbent U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean. Walsh is likely to run in the new 14<sup>th</sup>, so this is an open seat.</p><p>The Democratic primary is a showdown between two candidates who’ve run big races before and impressed a lot of people, but failed to take home a win. Tammy Duckworth is a Purple Heart-awarded Iraq War veteran and former veterans affairs official at the state and federal levels. She lost a 2006 bid for Congress in the 6<sup>th</sup> District to Republican Peter Roskam.</p><p>Raja Krishnamoorthi is a former campaign advisor to now-President Barack Obama, and a former deputy state treasurer under Alexi Giannoulias. Krishnamoorthi lost the Democratic primary last year for state comptroller to state Rep. David Miller (who ended up getting crushed by Republican Judy Baar Topinka in November).</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>DEM primary IL 8</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Tammy Duckworth</td><td style="text-align: right;">$0.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$478,354.47</td><td style="text-align: right;">$113,016.43</td><td style="text-align: right;">$365,338.04</td></tr><tr><td>Raja Krishnamoorthi</td><td style="text-align: right;">$403,335.51</td><td style="text-align: right;">$313,535.74</td><td style="text-align: right;">$80,874.53</td><td style="text-align: right;">$635,996.72</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Duckworth got into this race a few weeks after Krishnamoorthi, so the cash-on-hand total is a bit misleading. But that's still a considerable advantage for Krishnamoorthi.</p><p>While a number of Republican names have popped up in press reports considering runs for the district, none have filed recently with the FEC.</p><p><strong>NORTH SHORE: Illinois’ Tenth Congressional District</strong></p><p>The 10<sup>th</sup> has become more Democratic under the new map, but freshman U.S. Rep. Robert Dold is still going for re-election. Right now he has a huge cash advantage over the Democrats eying the seat, with just shy of a million dollars on-hand, having raised $376,534 in the quarter. (As is common with sitting members of Congress, he got more than half of those recent donations from political action committees.)</p><p>The Democrats include Ilya Sheyman, a former MoveOn.org organizer and staffer to then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, and business consultant Bradley Schneider.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>DEM primary IL 10</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Bradley Schneider</td><td style="text-align: right;">$306,150.46</td><td style="text-align: right;">$179,045.34</td><td style="text-align: right;">$68,178.87</td><td style="text-align: right;">$417,016.93</td></tr><tr><td>Ilya Sheyman</td><td style="text-align: right;">$60,255.30</td><td style="text-align: right;">$151,169.35</td><td style="text-align: right;">$69,911.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$141,513.65</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Schneider's total raised this quarter includes a $100,000 loan from himself - on the final day of the reporting period. Take that away and his fundraising appears to be stalling.</p><p><strong>NORTH AND WEST EX-URBS: Illinois’ Fourteenth Congressional District</strong></p><p>U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, currently of the old 8<sup>th </sup>District, announced last month that – unless the Democrats’ map is changed – he’ll be running in the new 14<sup>th</sup>. That pits him against the district’s current occupant, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren. Both are Republican, both freshmen who beat Democratic incumbents in the 2010 wave and both are on the more conservative end of the GOP House caucus.</p><p>Where they differ is style. Walsh is a cable TV regular, a flame-thrower, a “fighter” in his words. And he’s already casting Hultgren as a career politician and a go-along-get-along type. Hultgren, a former state legislator, is soft-spoken, and – he argues – more focused on local issues than Walsh is. He’s painting Walsh as erratic and sound-bite driven.</p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>GOP primary IL 14</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Randy Hultgren</td><td style="text-align: right;">$244,780.47</td><td style="text-align: right;">$186,945.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$155,915.90</td><td style="text-align: right;">$275,809.57</td></tr><tr><td>Joe Walsh</td><td style="text-align: right;">$472,894.53</td><td style="text-align: right;">$156,099.72</td><td style="text-align: right;">$162,936.47</td><td style="text-align: right;">$466,057.78</td></tr></tbody></table><p>The candidates' cash totals look much like they did at the beginning of the quarter, with both spending roughly what they raised. But Walsh has a definite cash advantage going into the final months.</p><p>No Democrats have recently notified the FEC that they intend to run in this district, which is considered solidly Republican under the new boundaries.</p><p><strong>NORTH CENTRAL STATE: Illinois’ Sixteenth Congressional District</strong></p><p>Youth vs. experience. Energy vs. stability. Freshman vs. ten-termer.</p><p>U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, elected just last year to the 11<sup>th </sup>District, would face fellow Republican Donald Manzullo if the new map holds. Kinzinger will be just 34 when voters go to the polls in March, when the primary rolls around. Manzullo, who’s represented much of the district since 1993, will be just shy of his 68<sup>th</sup> birthday. And there’s going to be a lot of money around to buy up Rockford airtime.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>GOP primary IL 16</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Adam Kinzinger</td><td style="text-align: right;">$431,511.86</td><td style="text-align: right;">$212,258.19</td><td style="text-align: right;">$76,757.82</td><td style="text-align: right;">$567,012.23</td></tr><tr><td>Don Manzullo</td><td style="text-align: right;">$222,994.33</td><td style="text-align: right;">$320,392.15</td><td style="text-align: right;">$59,392.07</td><td style="text-align: right;">$483,994.41</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Manzullo really stepped up his game this quarter, but trails Kinzinger due to the freshman's aggressive fundraising earlier in the term.</p><p>No Democrats have recently filed with the FEC to run in this solidly Republican district.</p><p><strong>OTHERS</strong></p><p>Keep an eye on the 11<sup>th </sup>District - though for the general election, not the primary. Former Congressman Bill Foster, a Democrat defeated last year by Hultgren, is looking for a comeback as the party's presumed nominee. He raised nearly $300k these past few months, and has $552,588.36 on hand. And he'll need it, as his likely GOP competition is flush.</p><p>If the map holds, he'll probably face Republican U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, whose 13<sup>th </sup>District was relocated to the southern half of the state, and whose Hinsdale home got swallowed up in Congressman Mike Quigley’s 5<sup>th </sup>District, which extends all the way to Chicago’s North Side. Biggert took in nearly as much as Foster did in the third quarter, but started with a bulging bank account. She now has $886,412.29 at the ready.</p></p> Sun, 16 Oct 2011 17:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/election-2012-congressional-money-race-93125 Attack or hold back? Candidates hedge when asked if they’ll go personal http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-10-10/attack-or-hold-back-candidates-hedge-when-asked-if-they%E2%80%99ll-go-persona <p><p>It’s early. The primary elections are almost six months away. There is a lot of time left for candidates to wave around their resumes in front of voters. There’s also lots of time for candidates to wave around their opponents’ garbage: corruption allegations, DUIs, sex scandals, you name it.</p><p>No one likes to be associated with these kinds of attacks. They can work really well, but they can also backfire. And they’re messy.</p><p>I asked a few candidates if they plan to go personal on some choice nugget in their opponents’ pasts. They each hedged, leaving the door at least a little bit open.</p><p><strong>Halvorson on Jackson</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-07/jackson.gif" title="(Chicago Tribune website)" width="529" height="69"></p><p>A couple weeks ago, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson was mulling a challenge to a fellow Democrat, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. In a phone interview then, I asked Halvorson if she believed Jackson was more vulnerable as a result of questions surrounding his bid to be named to the U.S. Senate by ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich.</p><blockquote><p>HALVORSON: Well, you know, that’s for the voters to decide. You know, like I tell people, maybe he’s had a few distractions lately, you know what, and that’s up to the voters. I’m not here to talk about what’s happened in the past. I’m here to talk about giving the people a choice. […]</p><p>HUDZIK: So, so I mean would you not bring up some of that Blagojevich stuff should you run?</p><p>HALVORSON: You know, we’re dealing in hypotheticals at this point. You know, that’s for the pundits, and all I know is what the people want to talk about. So, you know what, I’m just going to talk about what the people want to talk about, and you know what, let’s just move ahead. You know what, we don’t have a whole lot of differences with regards to the issues in Washington. We have differences in how hard we work in our districts. […]</p></blockquote><p>But last Thursday, when Halvorson made her formal campaign kick-off in front of Bloom High School in Chicago Heights (her alma mater), she went a bit farther. Here’s part of her opening statement to reporters.</p><blockquote><p>HALVORSON: We need an airport [in Peotone]. The current congressman has not made it happen. This has been his pet project for 15 years. Where is it? I want to make it happen, too, but we’ve got to do it right. And we need a congressman who doesn’t have ethical distractions. Maybe that’s why he can’t get anything done anymore.</p></blockquote><p>Halvorson was asked by Charles Thomas from ABC-7 to clarify what she meant by “ethical distractions.”</p><blockquote><p>HALVORSON: Well, I’m going to leave that up to you guys, because I’m going to…</p><p>THOMAS: No, no, no. You said it. I didn’t say it. You said it.</p><p>HALVORSON:&nbsp; Okay, here’s the thing. He’s got distractions. He’s up before the House Committee of Ethics. He’s been listed as one of the most corrupt members of Congress [by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, in 2009]. And the House Ethics Committee has him under investigation. It’s up to them to take then take that under consideration.</p></blockquote><p>Do Jackson’s problems from the Blagojevich probe even fit in the “personal attacks” category? It’s not as though Halvorson is hitting the congressman on infidelity issues (see <em><a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/blago/2010/09/jesse_jackson_jr_responds_to_s.html">Sun-Times</a></em>).</p><p>Jackson’s office did not make him available for an interview with us after Halvorson’s announcement, so I couldn’t ask him whether he expected such attacks. But a statement sent by his office included this line: “People today want more jobs and less political infighting."</p><p><strong>Pankau on Ramey</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-07/ramey.gif" title="(Chicago Sun-Times website)" width="538" height="76"></p><p>Last month, DuPage County Republican Party Chair Randy Ramey, a state representative, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence (see <em><a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/7892196-418/dupage-gop-chief-state-sen-randy-ramey-pleads-guilty-to-dui.html">Sun-Times</a></em>). Ramey is challenging state Sen. Carole Pankau, a fellow DuPage Republican, in the primary election next March. When I talked to Ramey the week before his plea (but well after the DUI arrest had been made public), he called for a positive race.</p><blockquote><p>RAMEY: Far too many people are tired of the personal attacks. Unfortunately, they always seem to come out, because to a certain extent, they still work. But – obviously – I have issues, she has issues. There’s no need to go there. The idea is here to present your case to the people why you would be the best person to represent them in Springfield.</p></blockquote><p>Later that day, I asked Pankau if she would bring up Ramey’s DUI in the campaign.</p><blockquote><p>PANKAU: I think other people are more than capable of evaluating that. You have, I know there are newspapers and other things that are covering that. We’ll just let them do that. […]</p><p>HUDZIK: That’s not something you’re going to bring up at all during the campaign?</p><p>PANKAU: Well, I feel sorry for Randy, and, um, we’ll see how that campaign advances. But, um, he basically did that to himself.</p><p>HUDZIK: So, so I guess, you’re leaving the door open to possibly using that.</p><p>PANKAU: I don’t know. We’ll see how the campaign unfolds.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Hultgren on Walsh</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-07/walsh.gif" title="(Chicago Sun-Times website)" width="497" height="80"></p><p>U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, currently of Illinois’ 8<sup>th</sup> District, announced a few weeks ago that he would run in Illinois’ new 14<sup>th</sup> Congressional District, unless the courts overturn the Democratic-drawn political boundaries. That pits him against the GOP incumbent from the 14<sup>th</sup>, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren.</p><p>Walsh can’t seem to get through a public appearance these days without being asked about his ex-wife’s claim that he’s more than $100,000 arrears in child support payments (see <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/6720892-417/tea-party-rep.-joe-walsh-sued-for-100000-in-child-support"><em>Sun-Times</em></a>). Walsh denies the charge, and called the paper's story a "hit piece."</p><p>After his speech to TeaCon 2011 a little more than a week ago, I asked Walsh how much he thought personal issues like the child support allegations would play into the race.</p><blockquote><p>WALSH: It’s all part of any kind of campaign. When you’ve got two guys like this running against each, my God I hope we can focus on the issues. That’s what we need to focus on.</p></blockquote><p>Last week, I chatted with Hultgren about the expected primary. I asked him if he would bring up the child support issue.</p><blockquote><p>HULTGREN: You know, we’re going to talk about what we’ve been doing. I don’t, I really don’t know, what all is going to happen in this. I hope it doesn’t happen. I’m still hopeful that the courts are going to do the right thing and change these districts. So, what we’re going to do is focus on what we’ve been doing, and the good work that we’ve done for the people. […] In this district, particularly, I know that people are sick and tired of negative campaigns. I know in the media that, that people – they like that. But in this, there’s so much positive, that I feel like I can talk about, of what we’ve been doing and what we’ve done and what we’re going to do, that that’s going to be the focus.</p></blockquote><p>I pointed out to Hultgren that his statement left the door open to using personal issues. He replied that his “focus is going to be on a positive race,” but added…</p><blockquote><p>HULTGREN: There’s so many other things that play into it, of what people on the radio will say or what people in newspapers will say, but our focus is going to be positive. I think that’s absolutely what the 14<sup>th</sup> Congressional District wants.</p></blockquote><p>Noting negative races in the past, Hultgren said, “I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”</p><p>So does that mean he’s personally pledging to run a positive race?</p><blockquote><p>HULTGREN: Well, my focus is going to be on talking about positive things. We’re, I’ve, I’m careful on pledges, other than my pledges to serve the people that I represent as best as I possibly can, and to tell the truth, and to follow through on what I said I was going to do. Those are the pledges I’ve made and those are the pledges I’m going to keep.</p></blockquote><p>That, my friends, is a careful answer.</p></p> Mon, 10 Oct 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-10-10/attack-or-hold-back-candidates-hedge-when-asked-if-they%E2%80%99ll-go-persona Early Hultgren and Walsh debate focusing on style, experience http://www.wbez.org/story/early-hultgren-and-walsh-debate-focusing-style-experience-92958 <p><p>The early rhetoric tossed around in the Republican primary for Illinois' 14th congressional district is focusing on style and experience. The district includes much of Chicago's western and northern ex-urbs, pairing two GOP incumbents.</p><p>U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh has not been shy about criticizing his likely opponent, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, suggesting he's not a fighter for conservative causes. Hultgren is holding back, while still trying to differentiate himself from Walsh, a cable TV regular.</p><p>"I have been much less focused on national media," Hultgren said in an interview last week. "I am focused on the 14th congressional district."</p><p>Hultgren has been criticized by Walsh for being "in politics too long," a reference to Hultgren's decade in the Illinois legislature. But he threw that back at Walsh.</p><p>"When you look, he's been running for Congress since 1996, and the first time that he's gotten elected just this last year," Hultgren said.</p><p>Walsh did run for Congress in 1996, but didn't seek the office again until 2010.</p><p>Both Republicans say they hope a judge orders changes to the district boundaries, so the primary can be avoided.</p></p> Mon, 10 Oct 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/early-hultgren-and-walsh-debate-focusing-style-experience-92958 Under current map, freshman Kinzinger to face Manzullo http://www.wbez.org/story/under-current-map-freshman-kinzinger-face-manzullo-92788 <p><p>U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger and fellow Republican Don Manzullo appear likely to face each other in a primary next March, the&nbsp;latest fallout from new boundaries drawn by Democrats.&nbsp;</p><p>Kinzinger doesn't have a lot of options. The Democratic map has left the Manteno resident essentially district-less, so he's looking north.&nbsp;Unless a lawsuit is successful in tossing out the map, Kinzinger's spokeswoman, Brook Hougeson, said he'll run in the 16th District, which already has a Republican.&nbsp;Manzullo has held the Rockford-area seat for two decades.</p><p>The race would pit the 67-year-old Manzullo against the 33-year-old Kinzinger. But Manzullo's spokesman, Rich Carter, said on Monday that the congressman is "pretty confident" the map will be overturned.</p><p>Carter said Manzullo raised about $300,000 from July through September, and has roughly a half-million dollars in his campaign account.</p><p>Hougeson did not have an estimate for Kinzinger's fundraising. The total doesn't have to be publicly reported until Oct. 15th. In July, Kinzinger reported having more than $430,000 in available cash.</p><p>If the map stands, this will be one of two incumbent versus incumbent GOP U.S. House primaries in Illinois. The other pairs U.S. Reps. Joe Walsh and Randy Hultgren in the 14th District.</p></p> Tue, 04 Oct 2011 01:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/under-current-map-freshman-kinzinger-face-manzullo-92788 Herman Cain wins Tea Party straw poll in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/story/herman-cain-wins-tea-party-straw-poll-illinois-92729 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-03/AP110924045674.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated at 9:09 a.m.</em></p><p>Presidential candidate Herman Cain came to Illinois this weekend to woo Tea Party activists, and left with a straw poll victory. Cain attended the Midwest Tea Party Convention in northwest suburban Schaumburg.</p><p>The Georgia businessman got the crowd at TeaCon 2011 riled up on Saturday afternoon by paraphrasing the Declaration of Independence.</p><p>"It says when any form of government becomes destructive of those ideals, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it," Cain said. "We've got some altering and some abolishing to do."</p><p>Cain's speech to the activists had few Illinois references to it. Asked later by a reporter for his thoughts on local issues like Asian carp or the O’Hare Airport expansion, he laughed.</p><p>“I'm sorry," Cain said. "That one is way out of my league. I’m not even sure what you’re talking about.”</p><p>Cain won 77 percent of the straw poll vote. He was the only presidential candidate to show up at the convention, though organizers said all the contenders were invited.</p><p>Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who spoke to the group in a pre-recorded message, finished a distant second.</p><p>"I am so thrilled you’re there in Schaumburg," Bachmann said in the video. "I am so sorry that I can’t be with you there today. But please note: This isn’t the year to compromise. We can’t settle for a candidate who’s compromised. We can’t settle for a candidate who’s a moderate. This is our year of all years to not fall for the mantra of ‘Anybody but Obama.’"</p><p>The event also featured a lunch-time speech on Saturday by Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a Tea Party favorite. Walsh appealed to the activists to shun candidates who see 2012 as an election, rather than – as he put it – "a revolution."</p><p>"If they don’t understand that we’re going through a revolution, turn away," Walsh said. "If they understand that we’re going through a revolution for the very soul of this country, and they’re not willing to fight, I mean fight, I mean fight against their own party, turn and walk away."</p><p>Walsh criticized Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain – even made fun of McCain’s age – and said his party’s leaders in the U.S. House, John Boehner and Eric Cantor, are “good folk” but he says they’re afraid to fight.</p><p>In his speech, Walsh did not mention by name U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, his likely GOP primary opponent. But he made it clear later to reporters that he would use that same line of criticism against Hultgren.</p><p>"I think he's been in politics too long and I think you can look at our records these past eight months as to who's fighting and who's not," Walsh said.</p><p>Walsh and Hultgren were both elected to Congress last November, but Hultgren spent a decade in the Illinois General Assembly before then.</p><p>Hultgren spokesman Andrew Flach defended his boss as a "constant conservative," and took a shot at Walsh.</p><p>"Much like Barack Obama, the congressman from the 8th District feels the best way to govern is through speeches, press releases and sound bites," Flach wrote in an email. "It's very clear that this is an ineffective method of leadership that points to a lack of experience and responsibility."</p><p>Hultgren and Walsh are expected to face each other as a result of the Democratic-controlled redistricting process in Illinois. Both of their homes were drawn into the new 14th Congressional District. Most Republican members of the state's congressional delegation - inluding Hultgren and Walsh - are fighting that map in a federal lawsuit.</p></p> Mon, 03 Oct 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/herman-cain-wins-tea-party-straw-poll-illinois-92729 Unless map changes, U.S. Reps. Joe Walsh and Randy Hultgren will face each other in GOP primary http://www.wbez.org/story/tea-partys-rep-joe-walsh-run-14th-district-forcing-gop-primary-battle-92276 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-21/RS3390_AP110727072578.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Two Republican congressmen from Illinois are likely to face each other in a primary election next year. U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh said he will run in the 14th District, against a fellow freshman, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren.</p><p>Democratic leaders in Illinois drew new congressional boundaries they knew would pit some incumbent Republicans against one another. That has now started to happen.</p><p>Walsh represents the northwest suburban 8th District, but the new boundaries make the 8th much more Democratic. In a letter on Wednesday to supporters, Walsh said that unless a lawsuit against the map prevails, he will instead run in the new 14th - a more solidly Republican area.</p><p>Trouble is, that means he's up against that district's current representative, Hultgren.</p><p>Walsh called the situation "unfortunate," but noted his home was drawn into the 14th District.</p><p>"In many ways Randy and I are both good conservatives who share many of the same values but there are also healthy differences between the two of us," Walsh said. "We've both had a very different initial tenure in Washington, and the voters in the new district will decide which one of us will best be their voice in D.C."</p><p>In a statement, Hultgren said he's disappointed by his fellow Republican's decision. He accused Walsh of "playing into the hands of" Democrats, who he said drew the map "specifically to encourage" a contested GOP primary.</p><p>But the chair of the Illinois Republican Party, Pat Brady, had nothing but positive things to say about Walsh's decision.</p><p>"Well, you know we encourage primaries, and it should be a spirited debate, and we'll see who comes out of it," Brady said. "Either way in the 14th congressional we'll have a conservative Republican back in Washington, which is what we look for."</p><p>The primary is likely to include a debate over who's more conservative, the soft-spoken Hultgren or Walsh, the cable TV star.</p><p>Brady acknowledged issues other than ideology will "surely" enter the race, including allegations, which Walsh denies, that the congressman owes his ex-wife many thousands in child support.</p><p>Brady said the party won't be making an endorsement in the primary.</p><p>"Rarely do we do them, and certainly not in this race," Brady said. "We'll just wait and see what happens, and do whatever we can to get the infrastructure ready for the general election."</p></p> Wed, 21 Sep 2011 17:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/tea-partys-rep-joe-walsh-run-14th-district-forcing-gop-primary-battle-92276 Illinois congressmen react to Obama's jobs speech http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-congressmen-react-obamas-jobs-speech-91747 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-09/AP110908127530.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Parts of President Barack Obama's proposed $450 billion jobs plan are getting bipartisan support from the Illinois congressional delegation. But several lawmakers are expressing concern over the details of the plan and how it will be funded.</p><p>Here's what congressmen from around the Chicago region are saying about the proposal Friday morning:</p><p>Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren, from the far west suburbs, said he likes the president's plans to encourage small business growth and hire more veterans. But he said he does not like Mr. Obama's plan to pay for the measure.</p><p>"You know, spend this now, and then we'll figure out over the next ten years, you know, where we could make cuts to pay for it. I think people are tired of that. They've seen through that game of 'Trust us - we're gonna pay it now, and then we'll find it somewhere else, you know, 10 years down the line.'"</p><p>Representative Danny Davis, D-Chicago, said he doesn't see much room for debate in the proposal. He said the speech was designed to bring politicians together, not draw partisan lines in the sand.</p><p>"When you consider that it focuses around rebuilding our infrastructure - roads and bridges and highways, things you can't really do without - it's pretty often difficult to argue about that."</p><p>Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican who represents parts of the far southwest suburbs, said he agrees with Mr. Obama's plan to reduce taxes, but he, too, is skeptical about how the president wants to pay for it.</p><p>"The president made a mistake in saying, you know, for forty minutes, "This is paid for, let me tell you how." And then when he finally reveals it, it's just by adding $400 billion on to the target of the super committee - so in essence, spending the money up front, with the promise of cuts later."</p><p>Representative Dan Lipinski, a Democrat representing the south and southwest suburbs, said he thinks the president should have focused on jobs earlier. He's most interested in seeing how much money the president wants to devote to transportation infrastructure.</p><p>"I think that the president took his eye off the ball on jobs, but now we look forward and hopefully we can&nbsp; come together and get something done."</p><p>Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk said the president's call for free trade agreements with Panama, Columbia and South Korea would help some major Illinois businesses, such as Boeing and Caterpillar. But he said he's been told the bill is at least a week away from being ready.</p><p>"If I had counseled the president, I would've said that, 'If you're going to do a big, high-profile speech before a joint session of Congress, the bill should be on the podium.'"</p><p>Meanwhile, Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in his chamber, said the plan should stimulate economic growth without adding to the country's deficit. But Durbin said he doesn't like how Republicans acted cool to the president's $450 billion proposal.</p><p>"If (Republicans) don't believe that we need to be serious, focused and make a substantial investment in America, then this economy is not going to get back on its feet."</p></p> Fri, 09 Sep 2011 14:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-congressmen-react-obamas-jobs-speech-91747 Illinois Republians, Democrats differ over FAA bill http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-republians-democrats-differ-over-faa-bill-89612 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-25/AP100324045382.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Thousands of contractors have been ordered to stop work on airport construction projects Monday. Congressmen from Illinois continue to disagree over legislation needed to put those workers back to work.</p><p>The Federal Aviation Administration's operating authority expired Friday night after the House and Senate couldn't agree on a bill to extend it. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he tried to pass a temporary version of the bill, but Republicans objected.</p><p>"This political brinksmanship may be somebody's idea of a victory," Durbin said Monday. "It's my idea of a defeat for workers across America and for the maintenance and the construction of new airport facilities."</p><p>But Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) said his chamber is being proactive, passing a plan that Senate Democrats don't support.</p><p>"What they're doing is they're just kicking the can down the road another couple months each time that this happens," he said.</p><p>O'Hare Airports's modernization program is not expected to be affected by the work stoppage yet. But the FAA said the $1.5 million re-paving of a Chicago parking lot won't happen until Congress reaches an agreement.</p></p> Mon, 25 Jul 2011 19:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-republians-democrats-differ-over-faa-bill-89612