IL-14: Open Thread About the Debate *UPDATEx4: FULL DEBATE VIDEO plus Twitter Poll, Jerry Evans Statement, Oberweis Video Clip from Lauf consultant*

The first congressional debate is in the books.

Many readers of McHenry County Blog attended tonight.

So what did you think?

Which candidate won?

Which candidate did well?

After the just-over two hours debate was over, here were my initial impressions:

Update #4: JUDGE FOR YOURSELF — Full Debate Video

On a scale of A, B or C, how would you grade the seven candidates? Clearly, my “A” performance goes to Jim Oberweis for the reason cited in the tweet.

Like to hear what those who attended the debate in person saw of all the candidates, and assign your score with a brief reason for why.

I’ve set up a Twitter poll that runs through tonight, with the three candidates whom I think were the top 3, and the remaining four comprising an “other” selection (Twitter only limits to 4 choices):

Will post more detailed article later.

Daily Herald link:

Jerry Evans & son

Update #2: Jerry Evans Statement

Late last night, the Jerry Evans campaign issued the following statement:

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my message with voters in McHenry County.

“I want voters to know what they are getting when they cast my name in the ballot box in March.

“Voters deserve transparency and I hope they found that tonight.

“I’m here to be bold, stand up for life, lower taxes, and show my support for President Trump.”

Jerry Evans statement post-debate 1/22/20

Added his campaign spokesperson:

”Jerry Evans has a winning message that resonates with the voters of the District, along with the fact that he is best suited to take on Lauren Underwood in November.

“Tonight was the first real chance for voters to evaluate the candidates based on viability and charisma.”

Campaign spokesperson post-debate 1/22/20

There is a growing consensus Evans may have had a breakout performance last night. What do you think?

Jim Oberweis

Update #3: Was this an Oberweis gaffe or was he being thorough on Social Security?

Kristin Davison of Axiom Strategies, the lead consultant for Catalina Lauf, tweeted the following video clip of Jim Oberweis’ response to Social Security insolvency.

View the video, and do you agree with Lauf campaign message of tweet?

Judge for yourself and say what you think in comments:


IL-14: Open Thread About the Debate *UPDATEx4: FULL DEBATE VIDEO plus Twitter Poll, Jerry Evans Statement, Oberweis Video Clip from Lauf consultant* — 58 Comments

  1. You could tell the LARGE difference between the PRETENDERS and the CONTENDERS, for better or for worse.

    JimmO the milkman will win the nomination because of $$$ – complain as much as you want but that is what wins with simpletons and brainless Boomers (and older). JimmO will not stand a chance against DEMS and Underwood. This is a large (and gerrymandered) and diverse District. He is still using talking points from the 1990s and its truly embarrassing. “Balanced-budget” is his TOP priority!? lol

    The GOP is old and dying.

  2. With this group of Goobers, Lauren Underwood is the clear winner. Does anyone, even some of the sad misfits pushing Milk Shake Jim, think any of these alleged candidates have a snowball’s chance in hell of beating Congresswoman Underwood. And what happened to Catalina Cupcake?

  3. Lauf quote From the Daily Herald article:

    “We need to ensure our rights are not being touched. Chief among them is the Second Amendment. And right along with that is the First Amendment. Why should we have to whisper if we supported President Trump in 2016? Why are we afraid to wear American flags on our T-shirts? We need to make sure freedom is at the forefront of everything we do as elected officials”

    So cringeworthy. The 1st Amendment prevents the government from jailing citizens. What is she afraid of? Getting thrown in jail for wearing a MAGA hat or…. having people shun her for supporting a 73 year old man who conducts himself like a bully on a middle school playground? The 1st Amendment doesn’t protect you against the shame of publicly supporting someone who repulses most of society.

    And she’s really afraid to wear American flags on your shirts? What a joke. Hope she wins the nomination. Underwood will crush her.

  4. While the talking point of a “balanced budget” might be embarrassing, knowing what the actual Federal budget deficit is might change some minds.

    The U.S. federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2020 is $1.10 trillion. FY 2020 covers October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The deficit occurs because the U.S. government spending of $4.75 trillion is higher than its revenue of $3.65 trillion.

    The deficit is 1% greater than last year. The FY 2019 budget created a $1.09 trillion deficit. Spending of $4.53 trillion was more than the estimated $3.44 trillion in revenue, according to Table S-4 of the FY 2020 budget.

    The Federal Debt is now more than $22 TRILLION. Might be more important to discuss the DEBT.

  5. From left to right on stage…

    Sue Rezin, James Marter, Jerry Evans, Anthony Catella, Ted Gradel, Jim Oberweis, Catalina Lauf

    Rezin- B/C. The content of what she said was not bad, but she seemed disinterested. She shows little emotion.

    Marter- A. Marter is the real deal. It’s easy to see why he has passionate supporters.

    Evans- A. He was impressive at the debate. I’d say he was the biggest winner of the night. Even if you think someone had a better debate performance, Evans was starting from the bottom. People didn’t even know who he was, so to have such a good debate helps him out the most in the relative sense.

    Catella- C. For an unpolished guy, Catella gave a few good answers. You can tell he’s out of his league, but his heart is in the right place. If he does more debates he can work on not getting off topic and wrapping up.

    Gradel- C. This guy left his football kicking game at home. Nothing was memorable about what he said. I’d say he was the biggest loser based on expectations and the urgency to have a good night.

    Oberweis- B. Oberweis knows policy well but he’s not exciting. I agree that he’s still the front runner. Nobody landed a knockout punch on him.

    Lauf- C. She seemed flustered. Maybe she was nervous or someone got under her skin. She didn’t come across as knowledgeable, wasn’t a good speaker, and seemed angry. There was a lot of contrast between her attitude and the positive guys like Catella and Evans. She used Trump as a crutch too much.

    I was disappointed that people rarely got into debates with each other. If you were to watch that debate, the only difference you might detect would be Evans being the only candidate to not want to abolish the estate tax. The only times this happened was when Oberweis “corrected” Rezin over a point on nuclear energy prices and natural gas prices. She immediately said she misspoke, then went on to clarify later on, and I knew what she meant in the first place, so that was BORING. Another time Rezin attacked Marter for being a Cruz supporter in 2016 and that too was a failed attack, although Marter missed the opportunity to ask her who SHE backed in the 2016 primary. Lauf missed the opportunity to name Oberweis and attack him. She was clearly talking about both he and Rezin when she mentioned career politicians and “the swamp”; she should have named them, especially Oberweis though. Marter also wussed out on naming Lauf when he brought up the fact that someone on the stage had worked for Rauner. We wanted fireworks, all we got was a burning doo-doo bag.

    The debate’s questions were good. Some of those questions early on I would have loved to have heard ALL the candidates instead of just one answering. The length of the debate was perfect, but there are still many issues that I hope they touch on more in the future. They can’t get everything in two hours.

  6. Since these people are vying to be seen as the farthest up Trump’s A** and since they (now all of a sudden) want a balanced budget and since Trump has now said cutting Medicare and Social Security is in play, will they vow to preserve Medicare and Social security or will they say whatever Trump wants I want?

    Dems goi g to make this the 1A or 1B issue in 2020 with health care. How do these people respond???

    In an interview with CNBC, Trump was asked, “Entitlements ever [going to] be on your plate?” To which the man who said “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid” responded, “At some point they will be. We have tremendous growth. We’re going to have tremendous growth. This next year I—it’ll be toward the end of the year. The growth is going to be incredible. And at the right time, we will take a look at that. You know, that’s actually the easiest of all things, if you look, cause it’s such a big percentage.”

  7. Trump has to find a place to balance the budget – Medicare and Social Security cuts fit the bill!
    They’re “entitlements” – remember? Just wait till we see the numbers.
    If you already get Social Security or Medicare expect a nice big reduction.
    Doesn’t matter it it’s a Republican or a Democrat – cutting these two programs is just plain WRONG!

  8. Marter, as someone said, is the real deal. He is smart with business experience. He has gravitas.

    Marter is the best to run against the alleged nurse. Oberweiss should step aside for Marter, support him and say that he wants to spend more time with his family and get back full time to his business.

  9. I’m guessing it was like reading a Dashille Hamet novel, but here the mystery is not who’s killing off the characters, but why they were characters in the first place.

  10. There was no Oberweis “gaffe” there.

    He said he favored raising the retirement age, not raising your taxes.

    Why is Kristin Davison confused about that?

    He listed other ways to shore up money, ideas which come up all the time, like raising taxes and raising the cap but it was clear he didn’t think those were as good of ideas as raising the retirement age.

    Kristin Davison was not listening or else she is misleading people

  11. How come Rezin appeared to be disinterested and inconvenienced on being stage?

    Strange for someone who wants to represent the 14th District.

  12. Random comments:

    Wish the Debate format allowed for more chances for fireworks, challenges to positions/statements, between the candidates real time, like the TV debates do.

    The “two minute drill”, then pick the ping pong ball for the next person took too long, and detracted away from real time personal engagement among the candidates.

    There might have been 2 maybe, times where someone challenged the other candidate speaking?

    Though not possible in this setting, separation by space (all sitting and too close to one another) would have made for more natural interaction and challenges.

    Candidates I recall that took the time to seek out attendees,introduce themselves and listen for a bit pre-debate start; Lauf, Gradel, Marter.

    I list them because they went to far points of the building and out of their way to introduce themselves, where others seemed to “hang with their own” down in front and would introduce themselves to people passing directly by them. The other 3—made it a point to try and make contact with folks on an individual basis, even when it was just one on one and not part of a larger group of people.

    That stuff counts when you’re trying to learn about candidates.

    Hated the opening when Oberweis declared “Gonna take a lot of money to beat Underwood, and I have a lot of money”…Great, why continue with the debate then, if you’re the declared winner by the amount of money you have–same goes for you a little Mr Lopez, too much with the “Moo man wins cuz he has dough and commercials” showed a little to in his performance. A certain arrogance came across while trying to pretend to be down home..heck even the dudes wearing the Oberweis T shirts had the same kind of tude as they marched around the facility pre debate, scouting I guess for photo angles—talking loudly, one sitting RIGHT NEXT to me for a bit to take a VERY LOUD phone call–I asked him and his sidekick ” you guys work for Jim”?

    When told yes, I asked him whats the District number he represents— they didnt have a clue. A certain arrogance is what comes across with him, and apparently those close to him, like a “we got this” routine.

    Nothing personal, I’m sure he and they are all fine folks, but can only go by what you see/hear sometimes in person.

    btw–was the debate held up from the 6:45 start because “Jimmy” as his guys called him on their handhelds was late?

    I didnt know any of these candidates, except seeing Oberweiss when he ran back in 2006, so really tried to listen/learn and observe.

    I was curious about Catalina Lauf—so young against so many older than her, all of “been the trip” of life; businesses, families, offices…how could she possibly have anything to say of substance to match any of these folks?…

    I thought she did just fine, and did make points worth listening to, and does have some background actually in working in government (Trump/Rauner) vs Music man, Software guy,Football guy, State Senators, and the Priest.

    Some of them may have done some Republican Chair kind of work, but she being in the Trump admin carries some weight for her to be there, so its not all “shes just a Republican AOC”, meaning nothing besides bartending—Lauf has some credentials and was not flustered at all in that setting.

    I did not like when Jim Oberweiss stated “Global Warming is Real, Green New Deal is Not”….

    wait a minute bro, someone on the stage should have interrupted him, though I dont remember if it was in the Opening or not so maybe out of respect no one asked for clarification on that statement.

    But that was the type of Fireworks that was needed to find out a bit more about each Candidate—

    I dont think the Logistics and set up allowed for it to flow that way, so so be it..not complaining, just saying.

    But do know the Oberweis “Global Warming is Real” statement was not directly challenged.

    I loved when Lauf said

    “Even if I dont win a Message has been sent”,

    “Going to be creating a whole new generation of Patriots”,

    “A Disrupter is needed”.

    Made me think, she’s partly right about the Disrupter part–and given her Social Media contacts, awareness Nationally,influence on Millenials and in near AOC fashion, she’s probably a great Disrupter….

    Marter made some great points, and with his business background is certainly a very viable candidate. Thats not saying the others are not, and they have business, Military in their backgrounds—he just was a bit more impactful, especially with his Trump bumper sticker anecdotes.

    Top issue by each candidate:

    Marter- Abortion
    Gradel-Term Limits
    Oberweis-Term Limits
    Lauf-Drain the Swamp
    Rezin-Beat Underwood

    They’re all great Top Issues.

    Thank you McHenry County Republican CEntral Committee for putting this together, the Pledge of Allegiance led by the son of one of the members, and this Blog for promoting it.

    Whoever wins the nomination I do hope all the other candidates stay energized to help that person win–

    if they dont, well then thats another note to keep in mind if in the end this was just all about them and not getting helping get this seat back to where it belongs.

  13. The debate format was horrible.

    I think potential voters or even those who were already decided on one might have been more confused by the inability to assess each candidate on the same issue.

    It jumped back and forth.

    It was tedious, and tiresome at some points and not well prepared.

    The questions chosen by the moderators weren’t challenging in the least, predicable safe questions.

    And the answers given by many were seldom on point.

    This is a litmus test of competent knowledge, leadership and gravitas bundled in a coherent message.

    If Republicans want to take this seat, they have more work ahead in my view.

    The candidate format needs to get well beyond the “safe” zone.

    I was surprised that Oberweis wasn’t the worst performer, however that’s not saying much.

    Change the format for upcoming debates, otherwise, voters should stay home and not waste time on in person attendance.

    Republicans are looking for energetic problem solvers and those who won’t apologize for better governance in the future.

  14. “…same goes for you a little Mr Lopez, too much with the ‘Moo man wins cuz he has dough and commercials’…

    Mr. Bob Wire, I thank you for the callout.

    I know you said it was a “little” of a reference to me, and your directing it at more the pundits who’ve said Oberweis will win by, and here is your omission, NAME ID alone.

    It’s more the name ID that is Oberweis’ biggest advantage at this point of the campaign.

    The cockiness/strut you referred to, not in those words, but you are clear, has been noticed by many.

    Reminds me how Oberweis was in 2008 after winning the primaries in February over Chris Lauzen.

    After his first loss in the special election in March, his campaign people said “…we didn’t see this coming.”

    Something I also said was for all the candidates who are not Oberweis needed to have the gloves off to be assertive if not downright aggressive.

    Deferring to Kerri, she is right about the debate format to a point.

    The McHenry County Republican Central Committee (MCRCC) had the challenge of insuring equal time to all seven candidates.

    The moderator laid out the rules, and he kept to the rules overall, pretty well.

    Where the moderator needed to be better is he let attacks/inferences of one candidate to another candidate(s) go without allowing the person attacked to respond.

    That about the format being said, the candidates themselves missed many MANY golden opportunities to go after Oberweis and possibly other candidates.

    They needed to be more assertive and get real hits, not hitting foul balls as Catalina Lauf’s campaign consultant did in the tweet excerpt above.

    For example, on immigration, Lauf had a gift to talk in-depth about E-verify, while at the same time taking aim at Jim Oberweis and Sue Rezin by quickly stating her support for E-Verify, and:

    Show her knowledge of federal law by stating the 1986 Federal Immigration Reform law allowed for STATEs to enact and enforce certain Federal Immigration laws, including labor laws, and punish employers who hired illegal immigrants, which is against federal law.

    The two state senators have not taken advantage of the federal law to require Illinois businesses to use E-Verify, but have backed laws like Senator Oberweis did by allowing, as Jeanne Ives called it, “radical” law to allow the potential for an illegal immigrant to be a student trustee at state universities when he voted for SB172 last year.

    And even if the Democrats would have rejected an E-Verify state mandate with enforcement teeth as allowed by the 1986 law and upheld by the courts, did he or Rezin support or cosponsor laws the state could have enforced under the 1986 law?

    That’s what’s wrong with career politicians and why we need new people like Lauf in Washington

    Oberweis and Rezin would have been put on defense, and explained in Oberweis’ case a questionable vote, and asking both legislators why they haven’t done all they could on immigration under existing federal law.

    While talking about photo IDs for voting is good, Lauf missed a huge chance to score points against Oberweis, and some degree Rezin, and get them on defense for questionable votes.

    As I said, a missed opportunity.

    Will comment more later, but here is how I scored the debate, and grade the candidates and some feedback.

    Please know, I am not being mean, but honest and am willing to discuss with the candidate and/or their campaign if they wish:

    Winner: Jim Oberweis, and earned an “A”, since he, in spite of many questionable things said, did not lose the debate because the other candidates didn’t score points.

    BREAKOUT Performance: Jerry Evans, and grade of “B+”. He showed genuine passion, and sincere man of faith in God and unapologetic love of Christ, publicly and convinces he will carry forward a Kingdom Agenda in Washington if elected.

    Sue Rezin: “B-“, while keeping to a message that Lauren Underwood is the real target, and her winning record message, she needed to be aggressive with Oberweis, too, and while doing so with her velvet hammer approach, she still had to stand corrected when she misstated a detail about energy.

    James Marter: “C+” He is the first of several candidates who need to be aware of stage presence. During much of the debate, he appears to be glaring, instead of listening. He did not like the casual manly jovial tap on the shoulder Jerry Evans did at one point, and Marter sent a mean “stay out of my space” message to Evans by encroaching his left hand during closing statements. Marter did show he was the real deal, but seemed dispassionate and unoriginal in delivery.

    Catalina Lauf: “C” Lauf missed many if not most opportunities to go after Oberweis, in addition to the example above. Lauf’s best moment in the debate was towards the end of the debate on impact her candidacy has had both locally and nationally. She needed to be having her best moments earlier in the debate. Finally, her stage presence needs work. First she said the most “non-words” (“Ah”) which impacted her delivery. While the other candidates, including drama-trained Anthony Catella, let a few non-words out, Lauf did it from opening statement through closing. And lastly, stage presence, Lauf cannot be sending the wrong message by running her hands through her hair throughout the evening, as it sends a nervous message. Also, her hair had flyaways that don’t show up live, but on video, it’s seen and shows her a little unkempt. Also, her name sticker should have been removed for the debate while she’s on the stage.

    And she did it again, Lauf took a swipe at Jerry Evans by claiming she is the only Millennial in the race, as she did recently in The Resurgent last week. She also had the tag “…that could win.” at the end. This was one time the moderator should have allowed Evans to respond, since he was being singled out by virtue of being the only other Millennial on stage. I did briefly mention this to Lauf after the debate, that she is not the only Millennial, and mentioned to her just because they are 10 years apart, he is a Millennial (it’s actually 9 1/2 years). Hopefully, she won’t do that kind of gaffe in future.

    Anthony Catella “C” – Not many expected a lot from Catella, but he held his own, and delivered the best zinger at Lauren Underwood of the night, see 49:27 to 49:50 of video.

    Ted Gradel “C-” – He’s reserved, but appeared dispassionate at times, but he’s rated lowest because there are high expectations for him, and he had the biggest gaffe of the night 1:14:59 through 1:16:42 (which I discussed with him after the debate in detail). Underwood does not support a single payer health insurance like Medicare for All, and if facing Underwood one-on-one and said what he said, she will quickly and convincingly dispute the claim because it is not in the record. She will show accurately she does not support Medicare for All legislation (H.R. 1384) through vote or cosponsorship and has not cosponsored to date the Medicare OptIn plan (H.R. 2000).

    The nominee MUST be able to challenge the Underwood record, but it must be done honestly and thoroughly with the truth of the record, and Gradel missed it badly.

    While the campaign is in a sprint, there are at least 3 more public debates on the schedule in the next three weeks, with the next one in Batavia.

    The event next Thursday will be about an hour, so that will not be the time for a slow-start.

    And Mr. Gradel did accept what I said and he genuinely appreciated my feedback.

  15. Couple of miscellaneous comments/learnings from last night.

    – Anthony Catella, like Congresswoman Lauren Underwood and Catalina Lauf, lives at home with parents.

    – Jerry Evans’ brother is black, which he accurately stated “good luck” to Lauren Underwood and Democrats at calling him a racist.

  16. Would guess 130-150 people there by rough estimate…

    no disruptions took place, started well after 6:45, little to no crowd reaction, per rules, though at times smatterings of claps–

    nearly all candidates got some clapping here and there, but overall, per the rules, wasnt allowed so was at a minimum.

    Was glad the debate took place, moderators did fine, just the format might have been quickened, more questions meant to draw out differences would have been good, ended at 9:10 I think.

  17. Oh yes, I do believe I spotted Jack Franks there—his hair is now like all White, right?

    If so, that was him.

  18. ** Jerry Evans’ brother is black, which he accurately stated “good luck” to Lauren Underwood and Democrats at calling him a racist.**

    Did he really say he couldn’t be racist because he had a black brother?!

  19. No, he just said “Good luck” to Underwood & Democrats for calling him a racist.

  20. Marter gets “A+” he is truly genuine, honest, and real deal!!!!

    when he introduced himself he elaborated on very important topics that are important to him but as well important to the american people !!!

    he is on fire and that is a good thing, that is the person we need in congress!

  21. We had similar analyses, John.

    I may have been too easy on Marter.

    He buttkisses Trump too much like Lauf, but I think I give him more leeway because at least with Marter I get a sense of his underlying worldview.

    I’m not sure what to make of hers.

    Good point about the video vs live.

    I watched some of this video and there is a different feel to it vs if you were there.

  22. Vote for me because they can’t call me racist????

    That’s his pitch??!

    So much there:

    1. What low standards the GOP has…. vote for me because they can’t call me a racist because I have a black bother.

    2. How pathetic that this is an actual issue someone is running on.

    3. Underwood didn’t beat Hultgren because anyone thought he was racist. That was never an issue.

    4. This group of candidates is absolutely pathetic.



  24. Thank you for the reply Mr Lopez—in the end I do recognize Oberweis advantage is more formally called, “Name Recognition” so yes he wins on that for sure and it will carry him far.

    Can he beat Underwood with it?

    Not sure.

    About the other candidates I can only speak from personal experience, that when Catalina Lauf introduced herself to me, she had a genuine passion and belief in her eyes and presence.

    Sure she’s attractive, but whats more attractive about her was her ability to make a person feel important, listened to and she truly does believe in what she says.

    Like you said, a little more polished on stage (less hair flipping,do folded hands, smile more and than come out blasting and she will command a debate) and merged with that same passion on the issues she believes in, as when with indivduals she will make a big impact.

    Jim and Sue seemed bored, little real passion about anything, like folks who have been here a thousand times, going through the motions–just what we dont need in Washington.

    Need fire, passion, outside of the system…Martel, Evans, Catella, Gradel, they’re all outside the system too, all self made, great life experiences.

    How the heck an outsider, no name, fake Nurse Underwood took a District that has been Republican for 46 of the last 50 years is a wake up call.

    If Underwood did it coming from nowhere, why cant another outsider do it again, and get it back.

    I like Lauf, her mothers from Guatemela, so if Underwood wants to go all minority on her, she’d be ready, same with Mr Evans.

    Gradel and Marter are very successful in business and have the savvy and experience of getting results and Mr Catella has been a Priest and Soldier, way better cred than Underwood was as a “kind of a Nurse”..

    I need another Debate or two to make a final choice.

    Thank you Mr Lopez for responding.

    We’re all in this together.

  25. While there were missed opportunities by the Candidates to attack their opponents, I think they all were united under the fact that the real enemy is radical Underwood and not each other.

    This was like a party before and after the actual event.

    It should be very interesting to see who emerges as the victor.

    Whomever it will be, can’t afford to miss opportunities to call out Underwood on her lies and her votes.

    Who among these would be up for that task?

  26. @Bob Wire said: “ I like Lauf, her mothers from Guatemela, so if Underwood wants to go all minority on her, she’d be ready, same with Mr Evans.“

    This is so dumb.

    When has Underwood ever gone “all minority on someone?”

    I have no idea what that even means to go ”minority on someone.”

  27. Lani, with the urgency of the primary election, and while several candidates said “we are all conservative” and to varying degrees, it is true, primary voters will sooner than later have to start making their choices to support one of the seven for the nomination.

    While Ted Gradel can be recognized for taking a risk, as long as its executed with research, prep and coaching, will it be effective.

    I know I didn’t say this in my previous comment, but he took the biggest risk taking on Underwood with a little more depth.

    His execution was wrong which produced the gaffe, and while he didn’t say “Medicare for All”, he described a single-payer system.

    Gradel’s been in business and he’s played and coached organized sports, so he knows him and his team will review what was said, find out what happened on his research side, and adjust accordingly.

    Lani, a better question to ask is, are any of these seven ready to share the stage with Lauren Underwood for 7 1/2 months?

    At this point, the answer is none of them.

    Ready or not, one of the seven will be nominated for that stage on March 17, and that is where everyone will need to unite behind the winner.

    Sue Rezin didn’t mince words, that no matter who wins, the general election will be a $15 million race when all is said and done.

    She is a realist, and she had a good debate (in my opinion), but she needs improvement too.

    With the video the McHenry County Republicans released, you can bet the candidates and their inner circles will review it thoroughly, and be better for the next scheduled debate in Batavia on Thursday.

    Wouldn’t it be terrific if McHenry County Republicans held another debate in late February or very very early March, taking the feedback on the format for a better debate when more average primary voters are now paying attention?

    Hopefully, they’ve thought about a 2nd debate. We’ll see.

  28. All, thank you for your feedback, not only on the debate, but here in comments about our respective observations.

    Something none of us have written, and something I believe the Holy Spirit prompted me with last night driving back from Kane County, was who did Jim Oberweis go after on the stage.

    Viewing the debate, the only one he went after of his primary opponents on the stage was Sue Rezin.

    At least twice, he said he’s the only person in-district serving in the legislature.

    And he didn’t hesitate to call out her error on the details of natural gas prices and energy.

    We have to remember, his campaign did polling in the fall, so what he did on Wednesday night may be the first real proof that Rezin has begun to separate herself from the rest of the pack to challenge Oberweis(?).

    We’ll see.

  29. Commenter Ohon said: “What low standards the GOP has…. vote for me because they can’t call me a racist because I have a black bother.”

    And? The Democrat Party is the paragon of honesty, integrity, high standards and free of racism?

    Consider sleepy dummy Joe Biden. He has a history of making racist comments AND is currently considered as and promoted as a TOP Democrat candidate for the presidency of the U.S. Back in Feb 2007, soon after Illinois U.S. Senator Barak Obama announced he was running for president, this is what then Democrat U.S. Senator Biden said:

    “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

    So Joe said “FIRST” African American”. The FIRST that is articulate, bright and clean???? How outrageous AND racist. This comment by Joe is what is really in his heart. You know by what he said what he REALLY thinks about African American citizens. He has been and continues to be a phony.

    In the past, Joe had also disparaged people who immigrated to the U.S. from India.

    Apparently the Democrat Party had no integrity back in 2007 else they would have demanded that Biden resign his Senate position immediately. And, their lack of integrity has accelerated and become worse what with their ongoing and reckless and relentless efforts to undue the Nov 2016 presidential election.

  30. Bred –

    100% agree that Biden quote was really bad. But he did something that seems unthinkable in the age of Trump and a concept that is totally foreign to Republicans. He APOLOGIZED. I’ll save you the time and give you the link so you know what I’m talking about here:

    I don’t expect any Republican to ever apologize for anything in the age of Trump because Trump has taught the GOP to never ever apologize for anything. He thinks it shows weakness. Great example he’s setting for the children.

    Biden issued a statement saying: “I deeply regret any offense my remark in the New York Observer might have caused anyone. That was not my intent and I expressed that to Sen. Obama.” Biden also spoke to reporters in a conference call and said “Barack Obama is probably the most exciting candidate that the Democratic or Republican Party has produced at least since I’ve been around,” Biden said on the call. “And he’s fresh. He’s new. He’s smart. He’s insightful. And I really regret that some have taken totally out of context my use of the world ‘clean.'”

    I’ve never met Joe Biden. I don’t know him. But Barack Obama selected him as his VP and if anyone should have taken offense at that comment it’s Barack Obama. Now you obviously also know Joe Biden as well as anyone as evidenced by your quote, “This comment by Joe is what is really in his heart.” LOL Bred Winner, you clown.

  31. Ohon is confused and taken to name calling of the Bred Winner. Here are more facts about Biden.

    Joe Biden made his racist remark in 2007 NOT ONLY ABOUT then U.S. Senator Barak Obama BUT ABOUT all African Americans. Joe’s racist comments were made extemporaneously (look it up) and straight from his heart and brain. No amount of apologies from Joe could erase what he really thought about African Americans.

    This guy Joe is really pretty dumb. Not only has he made racist remarks in the past, but he has a terrible record regarding his positions on foreign affairs. He is usually wrong. Its in the record.

    Robert Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense for President Bush2 and President Obama, said this about Joe Biden:

    “I think he’s been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

    Besides being dumb on foreign policy and making racist comments, Joe has also been a plagiarist. And, Joe has a terrible history of hugging and kissing women who most always show their discomfort at his advances on them. Lots of videotape on this. He is a creep with women. You have to ask? How many women want to be kissed, hugged or smelled by Joe Biden????

    Back in 2014, he was at a Democrat campaign event in NV for candidate Lucy Flores, running for Lt Governor. She described her horrific experience with Biden:

    “As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?

    I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it.

    Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair? He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.”

    Joe Biden. A politician who made racist remarks. A plagiarist. A dope on foreign affairs. A violator of women’s space and person.

  32. Joe Biden is, “a politician who made racist remarks. A plagiarist. A dope on foreign affairs. A violator of women’s space and person.”

    Which only means I support Trump 2020!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Right on, Bred Winner.

    It’s a regular laugh riot that the ‘Party of Diversity’ has two old white guys as their frontrunners?! LOL

    And both got rich off of being life-long politicians-never having any real life business building experience but have not trouble telling us how to live and suck up their crippling regulations.

    The Democrats are not the Party they claim to be.

    I’d like to see Catalina Lauf join Turning Point USA.

    She’d be a great Democrat myth buster but needs a lot more practical knowledge.

  34. Lauf’s answers regarding alternative energy & the nuclear question was so terrible, unprepared & off the cuff – mentioning the “military” ??

    IMHO, she does not have enough life experiences to represent the district.

    As for her final remarks regarding why she would be the best as stated “she’s the only one with the credentials to win” …

    while she has the social media “credentials” I would tend to respectfully disagree she is the best prepared or able to debate (in person) Congresswoman Underwood.

    Her performance was severely disappointing, while I was looking for reasons to like her (not personally) but as a representative.

    Best prepared to “debate” would be Oberwise, Rezin, Marter & Evans as they speak with confidence AND knowledge. I have personally witnessed Underwood debate Hultgren & she IS very knowledgeable & can speak eloquently & I believe she would eat Lauf alive in a real one-one-one debate (in person)

    I will be voting for one of the 4 mentioned.

    This is not a “hate Catalina” post as I feel Catalina has a very bright future bringing people together, but most of her Twitter/IG followers can not vote for her.

    She will bring awareness to the issues in general via her social media presence, but sadly not as a congressional representative.

  35. It’s just different. Like I said, I haven’t watched the whole video though I was there.

    It’s not something one can easily describe. One example is if you’re there live, you have a better idea of what the crowd thinks, but a recording does a lousy job of that. If there is silence in a recording, can you tell if it’s silence because of disapproval, confusion, apathy, or some other reason? Probably not. In person, you can.

    A way you could test this would be if people who only watched the video came up with different conclusions about winners or losers as opposed to people who wrote the analysis about the live debate.

    I didn’t notice Cat’s hair being messed up at the debate (thought she looked good), but you can easily see it in the video. There’s unflattering shots of Marter and Gradel in the video, but in person, especially if you’re far from stage, you can’t see that. These alter how people think. Remember the Nixon-Kennedy debate where people who watched it on TV thought Kennedy won but people who heard it on the radio said Nixon won. Maybe you’d have some of that happening here too.

  36. “Lauf seems unkempt because of her hair?”

    What the heck?

    John that is a ridiculous statement. She looked perfectly fine and has the best tv presence, so what it was humid that day and she needed hair spray.

    That is so petty and a pathetic thing to bring up.

    Also – sure they’re all great candidates but the best one to take on Lauren is Lauf.

    Primary voters want the best person who they can see representing them, but also who can actually defeat the incumbent.

    My vote is to her

  37. Correcting, maybe in addition to “stage presence” we need to add a “camera presence” candidates need to be aware while on the debate stage?

    Jennifer, I recognize you are a passionate supporter of Lauf & respect your opinion. Please look at the video, & compare the two women candidates who both have long hair.

    More importantly, Lauf’s challenges from her debate performance is far more than her hair, but what she said, and failed to say, was why she rated low, in my opinion.

    As I said about all the candidates, they will, along with their inner circles beginning with their campaign managers, review the video for content, style & appearance. They’ll debrief, make changes for the next debate in Batavia on Thursday and all I am sure will be better though they will have less time and will be using LWV rules.

    We’ll see what happens on Thursday.

    And do remember, none of the candidates had a perfect night, and if the candidates or their campaign manager want to discuss more with me, they know where to reach me.

  38. Jennifer … aside from the comments about appearances & speech blunders, (which I agree are petty) do you honestly believe, in your heart, that Catalina would be the very best prepared to debate Lauren, in person, when Lauren can dive in depth on policy issues alone with actual, first-hand knowledge?

    Real or fake Profession or not, she is a congresswoman with current experience and knowledge Catalina does NOT have & that alone, Lauren would make Catalina look less than prepared or knowledgeable, which if that is her angle, Lauren would win. Oberweis & Rezin have personal experiences in both drafting and supporting legislation and can speak with conviction & facts, where fake-it-till-you make it can only go so far. (Like some of Catalina’s answers in the debate).

    In-depth, real knowledge of policy And procedures will go further than pulling the “Trump-Card” every time …

    praying for ALL the candidates that their thoughts, ideas, & suggestions go a long way to keeping our great country, great!

  39. Hmmm,I’m not sure “petty” is the right word, maybe “minor” or “distracting”.

    Whether it’s the hair, or the Evans/Marter non verbal exchange, they are observations that caught my attention on the video that are noticed.

    The running hands through hair I called out was in context of the nonverbal message she unintentionally sent.

    But HavingFaithforAll does have the priority accurately, and maybe focus should stay strictly to content, & distractions that diminish the message, not the result.

    The speech delivery, non-words, veterans of Toastmasters will remember the air horns at meetings each time a speaker used one during the 5 minute speech drills or table topics.

    The polish to minimize if not eliminate their use usually comes with age and experience, but as was pointed out, and the debate stage all the candidates want to be on after March 17, look at Underwood and she has polish after over a year in Congress the Republican nominee must compete with, let alone substance, knowledge and a record.

    Fortunately, Underwood has her own challenges outside of her record but in speech delivery.

    Most notably smirking and the message(s) that sends, which I would have called out among the Republicans if I noticed it.

  40. – John, respectfully, petty wasn’t the right word, I am trying to convey a message without sounding “petty” myself.

    With that being said, I just viewed the video which did in fact show the issues you brought up which was not all that noticeable in person.

    I would agree with Lauren’s presentation style (smirking, etc.)

    BUT her “smirking” in an upcoming debate after the primary may have substance if what she says is certainly true stemming from fact, knowledge & experience, hence Catalina’s lack of policy and experience.

    The only 2 who stand out based on that alone is Oberweis & Rezin, given their current experience with legislation and can thoughtfully recollect facts & figures (as seen in the debate) based on knowledge AND experience …

    that may not be what everyone wants to hear, but I honestly believe that is what it will take to succeed (& of course being able to raise the funds needed, which BOTH Oberweis AND Rezin are proven fundraisers).

  41. HavingFaithForAll great points.

    Point of disagreement I do have with both Oberweis & Rezin is, can they make the transition from state to federal issues to be effective to compete with Underwood.

    None have published detailed position papers.

    Closest Oberweis has done is his balanced budget amendment pledge.

    But what I’m looking for is a substantive stance on the issues, including the Underwood record she will be running.

    Big one is healthcare/prescription drugs, especially after DCCC shared those will be the two issues to defend freshmen Democrats who voted for impeachment.

    Rezin did discuss her record on healthcare on preexisting at state level that is a start.

    But Rezin told one of the papers she wants to bring lower prescription drug prices, but haven’t seen her plan.

    Underwood published her plan in October.

    So far Jerry Evans is only one who has been thorough on issues from day 1.

    His next position paper is to be published, soon, and he has 5 major issues for the primary, wo I anticipate 5 deep dive papers, first one published in November.

    We’ll see what happens.

  42. Great points, John.

    As far as publishing their policies & positions, we will have to take the “wait-and-see” approach as sometimes candidates don’t want to show all their cards so to speak, first.

    It will be interesting to see what Evans releases and who will follow with duplicative ideas, so for that I respect Evans for doing what he says he will do as it seems like he’s done that from Day 1 –

    As for healthcare reform, Sue Rezin’s family story hit home with me personally and I believe it could resonate well with voters, as she is passionate about it on a personal level, so many will be anticipating her thoughts and ideas …

    wait and see, we must.

  43. **I like Lauf, her mothers from Guatemela, so if Underwood wants to go all minority on her, she’d be ready, same with Mr Evans.**

    Good god – the blatant racism on here continues day in and day out.

  44. AlabamaShake, is nothing but a dirty Democrat working hard to make honest people look dishonest.

    Those honest people are a threat to his political agenda!

  45. After careful consideration, I’ve changed my mind on who I think can take on Underwood and that’s Rezin.

    She’s knowledgable and a fund raiser but is sadly not Conservative but no one else has a chance in Hell of beating The Machine behind Underwood but Rezin.

  46. I on, during the fall when I gave an assessment of Sue Rezin’s strengths & weaknesses, I pointed out that she is a conservative. Not an ideological conservative but a mainstream conservative. She definitely has some questionable votes, but so does Oberweis & just about anyone who has gotten anything done in elective office.

    Her overall ACU rating in her 9 years in the state senate is 83%, so using the 80-20 rule, all conservatives should be able to back her if she’s the nominee.

  47. Rezin can’t win a Republican primary and Jim is frankly not the one to beat Underwood.

    Catalina is very intelligent and has impressed me time and again on the issues, if because of one debate you all write her off than that’s your mistake.

  48. Jennifer, I would agree, one debate does not doom a candidacy, especially in a 7-person field.

    How she does in future debates and is there a consistent good debate, bad debate, mixed, etc.

    In addition to Lauf, Ted Gradel also needs to have a stronger debate the next time, and the next opportunity is in Batavia.

    The opposite works too.

    Given Jerry Evans, consensus is he did very well, will he do consistently well in future debates, or was his performance on Wednesday a “one hit wonder”.

    We’ll know on Thursday in Batavia.

  49. James Marter stood out as being the most passionate,
    principled candidate on stage, and impressed me with his genuine
    support of Our President Trump.

    I ran for United States Congress from Illinois Congressional District 3, #IL03 in 2018,
    “People and Principles Over Money and Power.”

    As I watched this debate, I looked for sincerity and specifics. James Marter checked both of these boxes.

    James Marter came across as being believable and truly trustworthy.

    Marter is strong ProLife Supporter, Strong on Defending Our Country, Our Laws, Our Constitution, Our 2nd Amendment, and wants to expand Our Middle Class.

    James Marter, above all other candidates, was supportive of Our President and his conservative solutions to bring about the best economy
    Our Country has seen in my lifetime.

    I believe James Marter mentioned he worked to get over 1000 signatures on his own, and that work ethic impressed me.

    When James Marter becomes the next Congressman in #IL14, I want him to work just as hard, connecting to his constituents by hosting many Town Halls.

    In Closing,
    I am sure of one thing, Lauren Underwood is a Radical Left Socialist and Secularist, and every Republican Candidate at the Forum impressed me enough to assure me that any of them could defeat Underwood in November, 2020.

    I will support the winner of the Republican Party Primary, I’m hoping and praying for the best Candidate to win, and for me, that’s
    James Marter🇺🇸

    With Sincere and Kind Regards,
    Dr. YERKES

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