Monday, October 10, 2005
Broadcast from Hell
The title of my Sunday broadcast Political Shootout lived up to its name last night with the possible modification to Political Shoutout. If you listened to my WLS-AM program last night you heard a distinctly historic broadcast wherein a critic of Jim Oberweis, Frank Avila, and Oberweis tangled about immigration for an hour. What you didnt hearand in this you were fortunatewas the screaming of high decibel sweet reason during the commercial breaks where James Leahy, the Oberweis grass-roots coordinator was remonstrating at Avila. Remonstrating at Avila is the right phrase. Frankly, I am surprised you didnt hear it anyway because the swimmers in the adjoining Renaissance Hotel swimming pool stopped and cocked their heads to catch the words. It seems that Avila had told the Conservative summit in mid-September which endorsed Bill Brady that Hispanic votes to Oberweis would be negligible if Oberweis won the nomination which Leahy protested. Leahys remonstration seemed to throw Avila (usually an excellent debater) off his game and me off mine wherein the night ended with me in my bed seeking calm, ears ringing and teeth clenched in nervous spasm. For his part, Leahy does not need a microphone: he need only throw open a window and let go with his views to the world.
While Leahys commercial break shouting unnerved both me and Avila, the broadcast did accomplish much in addition to the exercise of Leahys vocal chords. In answer to the question where Avila gets off as a Democrat forecasting Hispanic votes for a Republican, it is ascertained that Avila has long been active in Latino affairs and his father has been elected repeatedly as commissioner of what used to be known as the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Cook County. It developed that a good number of Hispanics called in support for Oberweis. We learned that at the Summit, Avila voted for Democrat Glenn Poshard for governor notwithstanding that Poshard is not running (and that I had voted for him rather than George Ryan in 1998).
I asked Jim Oberweis this: If another conservative Republican candidate rates higher in a statewide poll than you and it looks likely that by staying in the conservatives would be divided causing them to lose the nomination to, let us say, Judy Baar Topinka, would you stay in or pull out? His answer was that he is now leading in the polls so the question had best be put to his primary opponents. This I will do individually at the appropriate future time.