Thursday, August 16, 2007

Personal Asides: Doug Ibendahl’s Letter Reprinted in Full…In the Full Sweep of History, Blago Will be Regarded as a Rogue Governor…On View Today in “The Observer”—Tom Roeser of Otto Engineering and Others.


Doug Ibendahl

If you find this open letter to me from Doug Ibendahl patronizing, it should be understood that he works for and derives his income from Jack Roeser…so this letter bears all the earmarks of having been written with one eye on his employer to seek his beneficent reaction. Jack and I have been friends for many years and agree on much while having disagreed never unpleasantly to my reckoning. Doug has worked on many projects for FTN including the Marriage Amendment. His stridency is herewith reproduced with the exception of the words he typed as capitals. He writes frequently either under his own name or that of “Dan.” It is always of the same vein: to denounce any deviation from the iron rule of the FTN.

He sees himself as the enforcer of conservative ideology, along the lines of the medieval Dominican friar Savaronola. Kjellander’s head on a plate, preferably still gasping for breath is what Ibendahl wants: also to return the State Central Committee to “democracy” which means the way it used to be when Pete Granata, a boss of the West Side Mafia Bloc, a Republican state senator, was on the Committee and packed a gun under his vest while he sat near me when I went to SCC meetings representing my employer, Bob Stuart of Quaker Oats. I rather nervously agreed with almost everything Sen. Granata said, noticing the protuberant bulge under his vest.

But give Young Ibendahl some slack. He is a bright young lawyer if ill-tempered and insulting. Hearkening back to his work for adoption of the Marriage Amendment, it can be hoped that once he adds some years…or marries and has a family…he’ll gain some maturity. In that way he will be even more helpful to his employer.

Jack Roeser makes his point more sagaciously than does young Ibendahl…and Jack was recently on my WLS radio show and will be welcomed back whenever he wishes. Incidentally, Jack’s son, Tom (again, no relation) has a very interesting piece in The Chicago Daily Observer today, a publication young Doug derides. Doug’s hot letter also appears in today’s Observer.

The best part is at the end where he signals we shall never correspond again. I am holding him to that promise.

Here goes:

An open letter to Tom Roeser regarding “Individual K”

By Doug Ibendahl

Reprinted from the Family Taxpayers Network

[Tom Roeser, no relation to FTN’s own Jack Roeser, has a piece on his new blog defending his friend Bob Kjellander and mocking reform-minded Republicans. In this open letter, Doug Ibendahl sets the record straight on several key facts.]


By my count you got about one thing right in your latest diatribe in defense of your friend Individual K. It’s the last line, “There: how’s that for alienating everybody and pleasing none?”

Well, actually, that’s not right either. Obviously your friend, Big Bob, will appreciate the way you destroy your credibility in order to salvage his.

If you want to brag about your long history as a conservative leader in a state where the conservative “movement” is now so weak it can’t even stop a Democrat (Topinka) from getting the Republican nomination for the state’s top job—have at it. If you want to sup on a “conservative” boat cruise with a guy who has called good conservatives many names including “kooks” and “incestuous”—and then come back and shill for that attacker of conservatives—again, that’s your choice.

But you have many lines in your piece that just defy logic. Here are just a few.

First, I found your belittling comments about Jack Roeser totally offensive. When you say things like “But this will enable Jack and others to possibly turn all their energies to building up the Illinois GOP…” Tom I wish you would spent just 1% of the time that you spend defending Individual K to do some of the really positive work Jack does. Jack has easily been one of the single biggest financial supporters of good GOP candidates in this state—and he does it with no expectation of getting anything in return other than good government.

Jack was the biggest single contributor (by far) to Oberweis just last year, the one candidate who could have stopped Kjellander’s candidate, Topinka. Jack also single-handedly nearly saved the Protect Marriage referendum last year. FTN’s Republican Renaissance Project is the most serious effort in years (maybe ever), dedicated to recruiting new candidates for public and party office. And all the thankless work Jack and his team do in providing transparency on the education spending front is truly miraculous.

Those are just a few of the true building efforts Jack Roeser is involved with—while you obsess over how to keep propping up Individual K. Tom, none of us spend 1% of the time trying to save him~ If it weren’t so true—it might be funny.

But I have several more beefs with you.

You say regarding Kjellander, “…for his work as a lobbyist which they maintain is a conflict of interest.” So, Tom, do you have doubts that there is a conflict of interest when a senior Republican party official makes millions with a Democrat administration? To most it seems like a textbook example of a conflict of interest. I would like to hear you explain how there couldn’t be a conflict.

“…has been blamed by some conservatives…” This is not a conservative vs. liberal thing. Tom, what about your other pal, Tom Cross? Have you forgotten that he even tried to adopt legislation several months ago to get rid of Kjellander? But I guess he is not the “Captain Ahab” to which you refer.

“Details were sealed but there is a rumor that Kjellander is considered to be Official K in Patrick Fitzgerald’s list. Is he? Who knows?” Are you serious? Numerous major papers including the “Chicago Tribune” and “Sun-Times” have reported this as fact. Anyone can read the description regarding Individual K in court documents and figure it out. It’s not true to say that all the details are sealed.

And then, of course, you rehash many of your same old disrespectful comments, mocking Kjellander’s critics.

“But Bob Kjellander has been the bete noir for some Republican conservatives who pin on him everything that has gone wrong in the GOP and beyond…possibly including the West Nile Virus.” And “but at the same time to dramatize him as the cause of all evil is…” and “the idea that the Republican party will never be the same unless Kjellander leaves is ridiculous” and last but not least you hurl the “Captain Ahab” thing for about the third time in12 months.

Tom, I’ve asked you this before—who has ever said that Kjellander is the source of all evil or the only problem? Defending the indefensible is bad enough but I think it’s sad that you can’t argue in an honest, mature fashion.

And here you show your ignorance about the party’s operation. “For one thing, Kjellander was elected to his job by the State Central committee and when Steve Rauschenberger ran against him, Kjellander won hands down.”

Wrong. Kjellander was first nominated by a committee whose members were chosen by the State Central. The actual “election” was then done by the delegates at the state convention in 2004—but of course that was all controlled by the convention chair Topinka. But yes, it is true that trhe State Central was responsible for picking a group for the nominating committee who were all pro-Kjellander except for one individual. Members were selected on that basis—so gee, what a shock that members picked for being pro-Kjellander would vote to nominate Kjellander. Returning to direct elections for the SCC would give an independent challenger a chance for senior offices like National Committeeman but of course you mock that too.

Next the biggest hoot of all was how you point fingers at Rove for working against Peter Fitzgerald—but the real culprit, your pal Kjellander off the hook. Good grief, Tom, Rove worked on Fitzgerald’s campaign for U.S. Senate. He did much of the mail, for cryin’ out loud. Kjellander worked against Peter from day 1 including his backing of Loleta Didrickson in the 1998i primary while Rove was backing Peter.

You say you don’t care how your diatribe will be taken—that’s good. Because count me in as another who won’t be caring i.e. I won[t be caring how you new internet paper fares.

You say you want more “balance” compared to the mainstream papers. But I guess I’m not seeing it. If I want to see good conservatives being mocked, rehashed insults, rehashed “facts” and silly analysis I think I’ll just stick to the papers already out there.

Tom, I’ve tried to be nice and professional in previous correspondence—to no avail. You seem only to listen to failed players of the past—that is, if you listen at all. I think we’re done here. There are plenty of Young Turks inthis state (and I’ll proudly include 84-year-old Jack “Captain Ahab” Roeser as one of those Young Turks who get it. There are plenty of Republicans in this state who aren’t satisfied repeating the same mistakes and propping-up the same old failed, self-dealing players. We’re advancing the ball on many fronts than you obviously realize.

Best wishes.

Doug Ibendahl


An article in today’s Observer written by Dr. Don Haider, one of the most knowledgeable scholars extant about Illinois government, brilliantly describes our governor. I urge you to read it.

As for me, I find Blago a rogue governor, not unlike…but slightly more stable than…Earl Long of Louisiana whose inability to get along with his legislature was psychiatric. Our guy is a rogue governor with some traits—not all—resembling also the most notorious governor in Illinois history. No, not George Ryan whose crookedness centered mainly on his secretaryship of state—not Dan Walker who only wanted to play Don Quixote against Richard J. Daley. Whom I have in mind is Len Small.

Lennington Small, called Len, who served from 1921 to `29 exceeded all governors for outrageous actions, even Blago thus far. But he resembled Blago in the way he acted. For instance, when the state public utilities commission angered Small because it didn’t help Small’s friends, the governor replaced it with a commerce commission that had duplicate powers but an obedient membership to Small. Who does that remind you of? The demagoguery was the same.

True, Small exceeded Blago at his worst. He was indicted while governor for allegedly running a money-laundering scheme when he was state treasurer; he was acquitted by a jury…but get this: four jurors who acquitted him later got state jobs! There is still time for our governor to match Small’s record but even if he doesn’t, by virtue of his intransigence and wholesale violation of the state constitution (by cramming into the budget, by allocating monies passed for one purpose to his own) he has mandated an expensive socialistic health care program without the legislature voting on it. As such, Blago is not just a governmental outrage but belongs in the Nut Valhalla whose only occupant thus far has been Len Small.

Coming in the Observer.

Tom Roeser, the CEO of Otto Engineering in Carpentersville, writes about the immigration dispute in that city…and writes eloquently.

Dr. Donald Haider of Northwestern University drills Blago a new…set of phrases to describe his inept administration.

Jim Leahy, one of the best grassroots experts in the Illinois GOP, writes about what his party needs.

Charlie Johnston, who is tied with Jim Leahy as a grassroots expert has a new burst of optimism about the national GOP’s chances.

…And I write about Blago, too…comparing him to an earlier Republican governor of whom you may not have heard (no, not George Ryan) but one who presided awfully when I was born.


  1. Throughout his political career, Blagojevich was also an opportunist and a back bencher. He produced no legislation after a decade in the General Assembly and the US House. Apart from picking up his paycheck, he did nothing at all. That he has proven to be inept and lazy comes as no surprise to me. Lying George Ryan at least had some knowledge of the legislature, not that he used these skills to benefit the public.

    Governor Len Small also made a mockery of law enforcement by selling pardons and paroles throughout his two terms in office. He did earn some favor Downstate by virtue of his road building projects. Need I add that he was also a corrupt product of Kankakee?

    West Side Bloc State Senator Peter Granata (R) may have been wise to pack heat. One of his brothers ran afoul of the mob while playing at Republican politics and was murdered with a pick axe near the corner of Randolph and Wells during the Forties. Granata served in the US Congress briefly until a successful recount action stripped him of his victory and a Democrat was seated in his place.

  2. These two one cylinder machines blew a gasket yeasterday at Democat Day.

    What a clown opera, staged to stick it to Speaker Madigan! Eddie Reid is stuffing Emil's looted tax-payer cabbage into his Bibs and Elvis nedded to be told what 'Time is It?' by Jones.

    Madigan was and is a Class Act! Working Class!

    Here's more:

  3. As you condemn those who had been consistent in their Conservative views with deriding condesention, maybe Tom it is time to point out that it is you who has become the back sliding social conservative! You attack those who point it out to you with demeaning name calling. Simply put Tom, you can't have it both ways. First you fell out of bed when you fell for the neo-con philosophy. You are also "soft" on the immigration issue. You praise George Bush and yet Bush's failed policies that have nothing to do with real conservatism are destroying the Republican majorities before our eyes and yet you cling in your ignorant arrogance to the Bush Titanic deck chairs. In fact, Bush has done so many things that are downright Democratic like "no child left behind" and a massive expansion of medicare, and endorsed massive spending, pushed an amnestyesque immigration bill, etc. etc. You attack the old line conservatives as Paleos and even call them (liberal) when it is YOU who has back slid into a nouveau failed political view that has its foundations in Trotskyism! Is it because you want to be popular with the young neo-con newbies or that it gives you an ego trip or a continued set of connections.....?

    I once remember a very conservative Tom Roeser who proudly played Kate Smith's God Bless America..... Where did that Tom Roeser go? Did he become a back sliding compromising purist or to put it bluntly, a mushy moderate with a slight conservative bent in the area of abortion..... Or maybe its not PC in his eyes today to be a traditional conservative. Maybe for him it is "go along to get along time". Now wonder he fumes at people like me who point it out to him again and again.... Here Tommy, take another lemon.

  4. Tom Roeser, the CEO of Otto Engineering in Carpentersville, writes about the immigration dispute in that city…and writes eloquently.

    I always knew that Tom and Jack were the same person. :)

  5. Is that the same Doug Ibendahl that ran, ever so ineptly, the Protect Marriage petition that he couldn't even get it on the ballot, who lives in sin with his fiancee of 6 years.

    Why doesn't he marry her?