Thursday, August 30, 2007

Personal Aside: The Lauzen-Oberweis Differences.


The Difference.

Earlier this week I suggested rhetorically that if there are no ideological differences between conservatives Jim Oberweis and Chris Lauzen in the 14th district, perhaps one or the other of them should vacate the lists rather than run the risk of a third candidate…a liberal, pro-choice Republican, the mayor of Geneva…winning the nomination.

A number of views came in, most of which are from Lauzen people and are revelatory. Of course as is expected someone named “Lawrence” responded by calling me names—but Lawrence who salts his missives occasionally in capital letters is a pretty sick puppy. Anyhow, there have come in several items that list the differences between Oberweis and Lauzen which necessitate, a number of people said, a primary race. These observations come from a variety of sources—not directly from either candidate…but these I present now reflect the views, pretty generally, of Lauzen supporters. So here goes. If you favor Lauzen or Oberweis, give me your views which I will record here (I am sure Lawrence will; having called me a traitor to my country and now “pig” he will have to think up others if his keeper allows him a sharp instrument like a pencil or pen with which to write).

From the first batch I received over the past days:

First difference: Lauzen has been doing for 15 years what Oberweis has promised in three campaigns.

Second: Lauzen wins elections; Jim loses them. Lauzen has an 11 to 1 record since March, 1992—the only loss coming in November, 1998 for comptroller. However in that race he won each of the five largest counties in the 14th: DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Lee over Dan Hynes.

Third, Oberweis ran: for the U. S. Senate in the GOP primary and lost in March, 2002; ran for the U. S. Senate again in 2004’s primary and lost. Then he tried for the Republican governor’s nomination in 2006 and lost. He sp;ent an average of $2.5 million per primary. He lost campaigns for: State Republican chairman; Kane county Republican chairman and 14th district GOP state central committeeman.

Fourth, Lauzen debates with statistics in a temperate manner; Oberweis with a blunderbuss. In a state Senate debate, Lauzen was the only member of the 59-member body to speak and vote against providing 2/3rds tuition discounts to illegal immigrants (thus taking admission slots away from legal citizens at Illinois public universities). Oberweis’ approach was to fly a helicopter over Soldier field and misquote statistics. While in the state Senate a subsequent vote was won by a single vote because the political line had been drawn in Lauzen’s first debate, Oberweis had become an easier target to caricaturize and damage which would be easy prey for a Rahm Emanuel-type campaign in the general.

Fifth, while Lauzen has been unambiguously pro-life, Oberweis has been quoted as saying that pro-life people demonstrated an intolerance and zealotgry comparable to the Taliban. He is still trying to clarify where he stands on a number of issues and the Taliban issue comes up all the time.

Sixth, Lauzen sponsored the successful “Truth in Budgeting” and “Truth in Pensions” bills to bolster his reputation as a fiscal conservative, Oberweis reiterates campaign promises.

Seventh, the fact that Oberweis has spent $7.5 million of his own money in three earlier runs and thus far $5 million in this, a question must be raised whether he is in sync with voters who have to get the mortgage paid, pay for college, not being wiped out by a medical emergency

Eighth, 88% of the people in Kaneville, Ill. and 80% in Big Rock have voted in the referendum against the Prairie Parkway or “Sprawlway” or “Outer Belt” aka “Hastert Highway.” Whether well-founded or not, there is a widespread, serious resentment about the perception that he may have profited $2 million directly or indirectly from transportation decisions made in Washington, D. C. Dick Morris, in his recent book “Outrage,” used one of Hastert’s two sons who worked as lobbyists as examples of what’s wrong with our system of self-governance.

Ninth, now that the centerline has been established by IDOT for the future transportation corridor, the current decision is “how do we best spend the $207 million earmark that we are grateful Hastert secured for the “north-south connector between Routes 88 and 80?” A great majority support the “Route 47 Plus Plan” which reliecves immediate traffic congestion and for now protects many environmental concerns rather than building a 5-mile stretch of the Prairie Parkway between Routes 34 and 71 which could most likely benefit land speculators rather than relieve traffic. Since Jim Oberweis has said he supports “the Hastert legacy,” he will frustrate his neighbors’ immediate traffic concerns about Rt. 47 and the surrounding network of north-south roads in Kane and Kendall, starting with widening Rt. 47 through downtown Yorkville. Lauzen is in favor of the “47 Plus Plan.”

Tenth, Lauzen stood up to the big drug companies and their huge profits by allowing consumers to purchase drugs through safe Canadian suppliers while it was a legal process. A program that his volunteers started at no cost to taxpayers saved customers an average of 50% on their prescription bills. The question is what is the Oberweis position of helping people on this issue.


Oberweis people are invited to contribute to this further discussion. We might as well understand that there will be a primary and the debate could well be conducted right here.


  1. Well here it is, 2:10 AM... the day came and went without a trickle of posted support for Oberweis!

    Why is that? I thought he had so much money! That should mean he has tons and tons of support..... right?

    WRONG! Just ask Mr. Forbes or Mr. Gidwitz....

    Money alone simply does not portend success in politics.

    To suggest that Chris Lauzen get out of the race because he is not as rich as Jim Oberweiss is a bit overstated, don't you think?

    Chris Lauzen has spent years building a good record of public service as you have well noted here. It just sad that this "sick puppy" had to push your nose in your "do do" to motivate you to post some of the great attributes of Sen. Chris Lauzen; attributes that Jim Oberweis has to play catchup on.

    Since Jim Oberweis jumped into politics in the year 2002, his approach has been awkward and stilted as various political consultants plotted his path. Yes he spouts conservative issues but his approach leaves one cold and uninterested. He has succeeded in creating an image that invites political attack. Even his approach to the Immigration issue failed because of the way he handled it or the way a political handler told him to handle it. A great populist issue was flubbed. Jim Oberweis lacks the common touch that a politician like Reagan had.

    It is like going into one of his ice cream establishments... when you enter, something seems to be missing. The atmosphere is more like that of a well maintained steril bathroom rather than a warm, vintage, and nostalgic ice cream parlor. The toppings simply lack that homemade touch! The toppings may be OK but they are boring.

    You can follow all the business forms and all the management books of the Ivy League and not leave any dimes on the table like a Michael Eisner or you can have the warmth, charm, imagination, and timeless success of a Walt Disney. A Michael Eisner type may make a lot of money but he will never win a popularity contest that person like Walt Disney would.

    I know how Jim Oberweis could win but like his ice cream parlors, he would need a make over and I don't think that his ego or business plan would be open to that! But then, who am I? I am just that "sick puppy" as Tom Roeser has called me who knows exactly what I am talking about and am right on the mark!

  2. I am not an Oberweis supporter, and in fact view the contest as six of one, half a dozen of the other. Nevertheless, I do think both sides deserve airing. Kudos to Tom for providing the space.

    First, I would say that Lauzen has always seemed to be running for some other office. Hence, his run for Comptroller in 1998, his latest run for State Senate, and now his congressional interest. The man is restless. I ask: what other offices will he run for in the future?

    Two, he is not the consistent tax fighter he would have us believe. His SB2080 last General Assembly was a tax increase on the internet. His lame excuse was this was a "consistency" move and that it was balanced by a Senate Joint Resolution (not a bill) this GA (two years later) that would freeze (not reduce or offset) property taxes. Even his advisor Mr. Zahm bailed on Lauzen and publicly stated that he (Zahm) didn't support it. Lauzen is running away from this issue as fast as he can. After what Gidwitz/Rauschenberger did to Topinka last year over her food sales tx/Senior Citizen exemption proposals, expect to see this as an issue in the primary.

    Third, he attacks his friends. Read his news releases blasting Frank Watson as a member of the "Topinka-Cross-Watson-Edgar-Kjellander-McKenna team". Didn't he vote for Watson as Senate Leader?

    Fourth, he hasn't been much of a leader in the Illinois Senate. He is really a pariah in his own caucus. See above.

    Fifth, sending him to Washington would deny him the opportunity to reform things at the state level.

    I'll save the rest for later.

  3. Lauzen's property tax freeze is not a "resolution", it's a constitutional amendment (some would say even better than a bill). I saw the commercials.


  4. Come on Tom, be honest, just once. Why don't you disclose that most of those differences you list came from Chris Lauzen himself in a letter he sent you. I and a lot of other people have seen it. I hear he's furious that you attributed a quote to him that he said he didn't make (i.e., that he supposedly said his views were indistinguishable from Oberweis').

    Maybe you should just stick to writing about your dog if you're just going to keep providing heat and no illumination.

  5. With names like "factchecker" and "indifferent" you must have been picked on alot in school!

    But again, where is the flood of support for Oberweis? Lets focus on Mr. Oberweis, with his funding and decent appearance, he should be able to WIN. But what is wrong? In my prior post I have touched on some of this.

    I wonder if his political consultants are intimidated by him. Does he attract more todies than people who will give him solid advice that he may not want to hear? Lets face it, wealthy people attract more then their share of toadies!

    Back to Chris Lauzen, I will say that Chris Lauzen is not perfect. I did not agree with the internet tax thing at all. On the other hand, once a month Chris will go on the air on AM 1280 (a local station in his district) (on internet too) to have open line unscreened caller conversations). There are not many politicians who would do that! Denny Hastert went on that station twice but explicitly stated that HE WOULD NOT TAKE CALLS! Not once did I hear Jim Oberweis on that station. I think that part of the problem with Jim Oberweis is his isolation.

    I have two good friends who have sat next to Jim Oberweis at major Republican functions and engaged him in converstation. They found him to be nice but not well grounded in political issues. Both felt that ego was driving his political ambitions. The ego thing can be destructive for a politician because the people can sense it and are turned off by it. For many politians, the ego trip develops once they are in office. Take Denny Hastert for instance, in my opinion, Denny Hastert get impressed with his own self importance, arrogance sets in, and the ego trip begins. The political consultants, lobbiests, and the headiness of the position feed it.

  6. In Response to one of the Lauzen points:

    "Tenth, Lauzen stood up to the big drug companies and their huge profits by allowing consumers to purchase drugs through safe Canadian suppliers while it was a legal process. A program that his volunteers started at no cost to taxpayers saved customers an average of 50% on their prescription bills. The question is what is the Oberweis position of helping people on this issue."

    Jim Oberweis has already made his position clear on this issue of importance to Americans, especially senior citizens. In his 2004 U.S. Senate primary campaign, Jim Oberweis strongly campaigned for the Reimportation of Prescription Drugs from Canada. Oberweis strongly advocated this position, and even dedicated a mailer, complete with a Canadian flag prominently displayed advocating this position.

    This is where Jim Oberweis firmly stands, and is one of many reasons why Oberweis will make the superior congressman.

  7. All of you Chris Lauzen supporters must have a lot of time on your hands, if you are able to post point-after-useless-point on why Chris Lauzen is better than Jim Oberweis. All of your points are meaningless, when compared to the one, deciding factor in this congressional race.

    Oberweis has shown he can build businesses, and make a fortune using the true application of American entrepreneurship to the point he can self-finance his congressional campaign. That is the kind of champion conservative Republicans should rally around.

    Lauzen cannot win this race for the sole reason that he does not have the money to effectively compete against the Oberweis juggernaut!

  8. You act like the giddy farm boy who has never seen an inside toilet! And wealthy people sit on the toilet too! So quit your act of being ga ga at Mr. Oberweis's finances! Oberweis's so called business ability or fortune have nothing to do with getting elected otherwise richer people like Mr. Perot, Mr. Gidwitz or Mr. Forbes etc. would have had electoral success.

    In politics money helps but isn't everything.

  9. I want a breath of fresh air. I want sunshine.

    Like Diogenes, who walked through ancient Athens in the sunlight, with a lit lamp, looking for an honest man; so too, I am looking for an honest man.

    A farmer cannot lie about whether he fed and milked his cows.

    At Oberweis Dairy and Ice Cream, the product has to be pure, the consequences 'fudging' the product, are really, really bad.

    The Chinese character is flawed. Mao knew this. And Mao's advisor, American Col. Barrett of the Dixie Mission, knew the truth. John Service wrote a book about Mao's descision that China was not ready for democracy, and might never be, see: "Lost Chance In China".

    Oberweis has his feet planted on terra firma.

    I trust Oberweis and his products. I can trust his judgement.

    Oberweis is a modern-day Cincinnatus. Cincinnatus left his plow and fields and went to Rome. I want Oberweis to leave his dairy and go to Washington, D.C.

    I want a change from the predatory politics of today and more representative politics of an honest man like Oberweis.

  10. Jugo could it be that statements made on products have a legal whip behind them.... but what about Politician Speak.... IS there a warranty for misleading the public with political promises? Politicians tend to mislead the public all the time and "double speak". Or they swing conservative in the primaries and then swing to the left or MODERATE in the General Election..... Take Pres. Bush, we were all told by the astute pundits like Rush Limbaugh that he was MORE conservative than his father.... OH really? He certainly fell into bed with Teddy Kennedy on enough issues!

    Jugo maybe it is best to judge politicians on their family life.... for example, how well do they treat their wives... In my opinion there are divorce issues with your candidate. But then we are told that such matters are personal and not to be discussed. BUT I say they SHOULD be discussed I don't like what the former Mayor of New York did to his ex wife or even what Newt did to his ex wife. What Clinton did with Monica was beyond the pale. Are the voters any different than the wife? Maybe you should be asking a few deeper questions Jugo!

  11. I must be one of the only conservatives left who believes that there is no such thing as a good divorce and that any divorce is a negative for conservative politcal candidates.

    Everyone said that Ronald Reagan broke the ice on the divorce issue and that it is now OK to have conservative divorced candidates. Maybe with Reagan the old divorce issues that I have with such candidates were blown out the window and it me who is out of step. Maybe I heard too many of the Catholic admonitions against divorce. Be that as it may, I can't help but feel that divorces are far too common today. The free as a bird "me first" "no fault" mentality rules the day. Look around you and you will see that most the people you know have been divorced! The problem is that even in so called "good divorces" (what ever they are) there is emotional rubble left behind. It is usually found with the children who are never "divorced" from their divorced parents and who must put up with awkward holidays and family events at the very least. Newt and Rudy's recent divorces left me sour on these two. But from what I see, no one else seems to care!

  12. Lawrence,

    I have never looked at either candidates personal life. Now I have some concern. I will check with sources I trust, about the character/personal lives of the candidates.

    I agree with you. Divorce matters. In America we believe in the course of true love. I would like to know the circumstances surrounding the divorce. I will give you my decision after I speak with friends.

    If Oberweis met his Soulmate, I would have to forgive him.

    If he just couldn't keep it in his pants, ala Clinton, I don't want him in Washington, D.C.

    D.C. is too full of temporal temptations, and if Oberweis isn't true and his hard-is-on but not his heart, I don't want him in D.C.

    Es claro?

  13. Boy, desperation is already setting in on Lauzen's underfunded campaign to already be raising the divoce question!

    ANYONE raising the issue of Jim Oberweis' divorce from his previous wife is grossly out of bounds. Period!

    Divorce happens, and is a reality in today's society.

    And for those who really need to know, know that Jim Oberweis was the innocent victim in this case, that he did not cheat on his wife, nor abuse her in any way!

    Stick to the issues in this campaign!

  14. Thats right, Inside Expert, stand UP for your man and expound. It is called politics and it is open for discussion.

    You call it Desperation and yet you appear to know all about it. Lets just call it a little intospection into something called CHARACTER....

    The personal character of a candidate appears to be even MORE important these days if you have been reading the papers and listening to the news. And such matters are definitely ON the TABLE these days especially if you claim to be a conservative Republican.

  15. No Lawrence, character is not the issue here, as no laws were broken in the case of Oberweis' divorce. There were no homosexual activities (Larry Craig), no name found in a Madame's client list (U.S. Senator David Vitter, who was forgiven/absolved of his transgression), and no pages harrassed (Mark Foley).

    A divorce doesn't call into question someone's character, especially when they kept their vows, but their spouse did not. Self-righteous nutcases like you, Lawrence, trying to make "hay" out of it, are in the very small minority.

    But do not worry, Chris Lauzen's character will come up in the next few weeks, too, in particular his infamous road trip to Iowa, the incident involving the football coach, and his name change stunt.

    Trust me. Lauzen is toast when it comes to character, as well as judgement!

  16. Inside expert, what you really need to do is to make a definitive case for Mr. Oberweis. Regardless of your somewhat arrogant and todyesque attitude, you have simply not made the case for Mr. Oberweis. Or put another way, Mr. Oberwis has not made a case for himself that is CONVINCING!

    Frankly I think he has made very very poor choices in hiring inept political consultants. He also may be getting bad advice from worn out political pundits. To me his approach seems to be choppy. He lacks the ability to convey a certain charm or persona needed to win. People like Reagan had such a persona. Maybe waving financial success in people's face is not a winner!

    Just because he runs a successful company or other businesses is not enough to carry him along to victory. Again look at the failed campaigns of Gidwitz and Forbes and Perot.

    Go back to my earlier post and read my comments about his Ice Cream establisments which seem as steril as his approach to politics.

    In my opinion he needs to create a persona that is electable. Right now a lot of people I know think he is doing all of this for an ego trip ala PLEASE OH PLEASE elect me to anything... my ego requires it because it is the next step up the social ladder! Right now he may be electable as president of a country club but that is about it!

    Inside Expert, something is certainly lacking.... to make him a winner!

  17. Oberweis sought the support of both Ryan and Hastert. Why would he need their permission? Why would he court their approval?

    He's not the man I thought he was.

    I do not support him.

    His second marriage is to a woman who is age appropriate and has known him since childhood. Even so, I don't like who he courts for support. I say no to both Ryan and Hastert.