12-Page Newspaper Format Introduces Oberweis, His State Senate Record and Federal Issues with One Glaring Omission
Last week, Jim Oberweis’ congressional campaign, the Jim 2020 Committee, sent its first mailing to 14th congressional district households. According to Twitter, the mailing started being received last Thursday and Friday.
McHenry County Blog shares the mailing in its entirety, with brief observations as each page is displayed. More extensive analysis will be covered later.
The title 14th District Observer is used, and as the time line indicates, it is the first issue for Fall of 2019.
Oberweis takes the healthcare issues surrounding Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and does a play on words to describe it as “Tax Increases-For-All”.
Oberweis is applauded for accurately representing Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s position as one favoring amending ACA, and not Medicare-for-All.
For the discerning voter, it would have helped to include congressional legislative bill numbers. Other observations will be discussed in future articles.
Pages 2 & 3 is Oberweis’ personal and business history and serves as an introduction for voters who may not know him.
On Page 4, Oberweis, in my opinion, let Underwood off easy, and missed an opportunity to expose the recent endorsement of Underwood’s reelection by the Planned Parenthood Action PAC.
At the bottom of page 4, since Oberweis touches the 2nd amendment issues at the state level, he misses an opportunity to discuss his stance on H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, which Underwood and the House Democrats passed earlier this year on nearly straight line partisan votes.
Underwood uses these two pieces of gun legislation as a club on Republicans for not addressing issues with gun violence, and Oberweis missed an opportunity to tell why those two bills, as is, are unacceptable.
Under term limits, Oberweis inaccurately states Underwood as 32 years old. She turned 33 on October 4.
Pages 6 & 7 contain six endorsement letters. It is not lost that these endorsements, as “letters to the editor” consisted of 3 women, 2 racial/ethnic minority men, and one white guy.
Republicans’ hopes of winning back control of the House depends on the support of suburban women, so Oberweis is wise to include half of the endorsements in this mailing from women.
Additionally, with 2 top-tier women opponents in the Republican primary, Oberweis’ campaign shows it’s not conceding the womens’ votes to his female primary competitors.
On page 9, when Oberweis brings up he opposed all of the massive tax increases the Democrats and some Republicans supported, it is inferred Oberweis voted against all of them.
Oberweis should have made it clear he voted “present” on the “…doubling the state’s motor fuel tax.”
Also on page 9, Oberweis for the 2nd time in this mailing, mentions the Right to Shop Act he sponsored this year as Senate Bill 1187. The bill did not become law, and died in state senate committee after losing cosponsors from multiple legislators.
It’s one thing to propose legislation, it’s another thing to get it passed, and Oberweis does not mention any legislative accomplishments in this newsletter.
If Oberweis is critical of Underwood for not passing legislation, let alone getting it passed out of the House, he needs to hold himself to a similar standard.
As mentioned earlier, Oberweis’ campaign sees the importance of the womens’ vote. He has a campaign coalition organized as “Women for Oberweis”, and has this half-page ad with a micro site.
As of early this morning, the Women for Oberweis web page was not active, and hopefully, that problem can be remedied.
The last page is the worst page of the entire mailing, most notably the comparison piece comparing Oberweis’ priorities with Underwood’s.
It will take an entire article to discuss all of Oberweis’ inaccuracies and poor use of analytics and references. Suffice it to say, Oberweis has embellished Underwood’s liberal positions on issues. Given Underwood’s record, there is no reason to embellish.
Additionally, the reference points are vintage and don’t reflect changes that have happened in the past 7 months.
This will be discussed in detail in a future article, but here is an example.
Pay Raises for Congress
The date cited for Underwood’s priorities is June 4, which was when House Democratic leadership floated the pay raise of a cost of living adjustment. The pay raise quickly died after numerous Democrats and Republicans complained at the bipartisan deal the leaders from both parties proposed.
Underwood never took a public position on the congressional pay raise.
By mid-to-late June, the congressional pay raises were dead.
Reading Oberweis’ comparison piece, one would think Congress is receiving a pay raise. That is not true, and the piece is at best misleading.
Voters have a micro site to call up the contents of this mailing.
Overall, it is a good introductory piece for Oberweis, and he is very good to show a broad level of support, particularly among women and minorities.
On the congressional issues in Washington, Oberweis is very vague and even embellished Underwood’s positions on the last page.
But there is one very glaring omission.
In all 12 pages, there is no mention of President Trump, the President’s landmark legislative accomplishment of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), not even under “Taxes” on the final page comparison piece.
Republican candidates for Congress, especially in the 8-candidate field of the 14th must make a decision. Are they going to stand with President Trump on the major issues, most notably taxes?
Underwood is claiming she is fighting for the middle class with her H.R. 1757 which will dismantle the TCJA if passed. No mention of this important issue in these 12 pages.
One thing is certain, whoever wins the 14th district nomination, they are Trump-[nominee’s name].
During the primary campaign, the candidates better either run with President Trump, or discuss where/why they do not agree with the President and offer their own alternatives on the major issues during the campaign.