I am a progressive liberal because I was taught to have compassion...

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs, who, however, has never learned to walk forward.
A liberal is a man who uses his legs and his hands at the behest ... of his head." - Franklin D Roosevelt

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Who Will Run Against Aaron Schock In The Race For Illinois' 18th Congressional District?

The 18th Congressional District of the State of Illinois has certainly had a long and storied history.  Since I've been alive, this district has been represented by 3 men: Rep. Bob Michael from 1957-1995 (House Minority Leader from 1981-1995), Rep. Ray LaHood from 1995-2009 (Current U.S. Secretary of Transportation since 2009), and since 2009, Rep. Aaron Schock - someone who, in my opinion, has not represented this district with the distinction his predecessors have.

(image is licensed under WikiMedia's Creative Commons license)
This November 2012, will see another historic election.  Not just in the sense of being able to re-elect the country's first black president, but also in the sense of the Democratic Party (not Democrat party) having the real potential to win back the U.S. House of Representatives.  And even though Illinois' 18th Congressional District has long been Republican-leaning, I believe this fall it stands a good chance of "turning blue".  But for that to happen, Rep. Aaron Schock needs to be voted out of office.  And for THAT to happen, takes organization, support, and a certain amount of excitement.  

Do the current declared Democrat candidates have what it takes?

Let's examine the "declared" candidates, according to Project Vote Smart: Matthew Woodmancy and Steve Waterworth.

Matthew Woodmancy.
(image is taken from the Matthew Woodmancy for Congress Facebook page)
  • It would appear that Woodmancy is a friend to Labor, having authored a guest editorial published in the blog Take Back Peoria, where he appears to support of Labor, but mostly from the standpoint of safety, not in the support of "living wages" that unions help provide Americans.
  • And in a press released published on the Peoria Pundit blog, Woodmancy directly takes Rep. Schock to task for his voting record saying,  
While all of these efforts might seem noble to the corporate entities who have placed him in the congress, perhaps Mr. Schock should spend his time actually working for his constituents in Central Illinois instead of doing favors for his cronies and missing votes. Perhaps Mr. Schock would consider working on legislation that will help to correct the inequities in the system and turn the economy around. We have some major issues in this country, like creating jobs, raising revenues to pay down the national debt, rebuilding our Social Security System, rebuilding our failing infrastructure, and regaining the American Dream of home ownership and prosperity for the American people.
I must point out that a commenter of that posting referenced Woodmancy's criminal battery, embezzlement, and DUI.  This, however, has not been looked into by me and is not substantiated within this article.

On to a look at Steve Waterworth.
(image is taken from VoteSmart.org)

  • Steve Waterworth's Facebook page doesn't state much.  Only that he is from Easton, IL and is running for Congress.  VoteSmart.org only provides a little more information: father of 3, previous candidate for the 18th Congressional District in 2004 and 2006.  
  • There are also TWO "Waterworth For Congress" websites: One website, WaterworthForCongress.org is "coming soon" and the other website, WaterworthForCongress.com (found when doing a "Google search" for Steve Waterworth) seems to be about alleviating stretch marks and uses for Botox.
  • In a questionnaire published by WJBC, Waterworth states he is indeed in favor of the Affordable Health Care Act, and in favor too of the Romney Tax Rule.

There you have it, Democrats.  Our two (so far) choices to oppose Rep. Aaron Schock this November.

Understand - I am a devoted Progressive Democrat who believes Rep. Schock is vulnerable and can be voted out of office!  And currently, I do not endorse either candidate (not that it matters), but will support whomever runs against Rep. Aaron Schock.  I must say though, that I am very disappointed in our choice of candidates, or at least with their current campaigning efforts.  

With this much lead time before the November elections, Democrats need to ask:
  • Why wouldn't these candidates be out in front of everyone they could as often as possible?  Especially addressing all of the local unions?  
  • Why wouldn't these candidates connect with Facebook users often? (weekly, at least)  Especially when pages like Peoria Democrats are so active on Facebook?  Candidates could easily increase their "likes".
  • Why wouldn't these candidates be drawing clear distinctions between themselves and Schock as much as possible and as often as possible?
  • Why wouldn't these candidates be trying to energize Democrats and Independents in this district?  
If these are our only choices to run against Aaron Schock, I don't think these gentlemen have demonstrated that they are "all in", doing whatever it takes to win; and I'm not convinced that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has brought all needed resources to bear to ensure the 18th District elects a Democrat this fall.  If this is the best we can do - we need to do better...much better.

Time to get into the fight, Democrats!

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