Spin from local Republican commenters does not mask questions about Jim Oberweis’ campaign health from discerning readers
COMMENTARY: This past Monday, when Jim Oberweis’ congressional campaign released its statement concerning Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s reticence on issues in Illinois, long-time blog commenter “Correcting” responded with discernment their assessment of Oberweis’ campaign. A commenter named “Jim” (not THE Jim Oberweis) responded with in my honest opinion disparaging and condescending tone.
Here’s the excerpt to judge for yourself:
In event Jim’s response is unreadable, here it is transcribed:
“‘Correcting’….you are out of touch, Catalina has repeatedly endorsed Oberweis as have the other candidates he bested in the primary. No, all Republicans don’t subscribe to everything Oberweis has said or done, but the vast, vast majority of conservatives and middle of the roaders know we must elect him and Jeanne Ives in November.
Additionally, Richard Rostron, a blog contributor included this reference to “Correcting”:
“…as Jim said, Catalina has firmly endorsed Oberweis.Richard Rostron comment, 8/3/20
I saw Catalina at an event recently where she spoke in support of [Oberweis].”
First, “Correcting” is one of the most discerning readers of McHenry County Blog and is always the first to call out something based on fact or their own personal observation(s). That doesn’t make them right 100% of the time (and who is), but when “Correcting” makes observations, 9.9 out of 10, it’s not whimsical.
So Jim trying to label “Correcting” as “out of touch”, based on readers who’ve read Correcting’s comments on the blog, know Correcting is not out of touch, and the person saying what they said was wrong to take such a tone.
And what Jim said challenges the truth that has been observed. Former congressional candidate Catalina Lauf has NOT “repeatedly endorsed Oberweis”. Far from it. Lauf only endorsed Oberweis publicly for the first time two weeks ago at an Oberweis fundraiser on July 22 in Woodstock. If she has publicly endorsed Oberweis beyond the Woodstock event, please show me.
Lauf was scheduled to make her public endorsement as the headliner of a June 29 fundraiser for Oberweis in Woodstock, but Lauf was out of town in Texas, where she spent the last half of June and over 2/3 of July on a combined work trip and vacation (per social media). Her time away included attending the June 19 world premiere of Uncle Tom: An Oral History of the American Black Conservative in Southlake, TX, a suburb of Dallas/Ft. Worth, per a posting on her Instagram page.
Lauf was the guest on The Chad Prather Show from Texas on July 22 (posted on YouTube July 22), and actually left the show before it ended, as the hosts confirmed to “catch a flight”, presumably to return to Illinois, in time to attend the July 22 Oberweis event in Woodstock to give her first formal endorsement.
To my knowledge, Lauf has been the guest of three interview shows (2 live streamed, one audio podcast) since the March 17 primary including an interview published last Friday for LatinEQUIS and did not mention Jim Oberweis by name in any of the interviews.
Later Monday afternoon, Correcting went on to say, in response to Jim and Rostron:
“I’m not talking about at a private event that wasn’t even advertised on their social media with a couple dozen GOP insiders that are voting for Oberweis anyway. I SPECIFICALLY said she endorsed him at the fundraiser but that Oberweis did not mention Lauf’s endorsement on HIS social media and that Lauf did not mention her endorsement of Ob[e]rweis on HER social media.
“Did I miss it
“Post the link FROM THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA — not the link to the McHenry County Blog article. When has Lauf EVER said on social media to vote for Oberweis, to donate to Oberweis, etc?
“Was it within the last few days? WHERE IS THE LINK? Show me!
“Do you boomers even understand the differencCorrecting, mid Monday afternoon 8/3/20
“Do you know how reach and influence work?
“Do you understand WHY it would be more helpful to get it on social media with Catalina’s 80 thousand or however many followers?
“It’s like you people don’t read.”
One can understand Correcting’s tone. Outside of McHenry County Blog and a tweet from my own Twitter ID, there was no mention of Lauf’s endorsement on either Oberweis’ campaign social media sites, or Lauf’s. Indeed, Lauf made no mention of her Oberweis endorsement on Twitter and her nearly 80K followers, and on her Instagram page, she posted a photo from the event, but not with Oberweis and did not mention Oberweis by name.
Indeed, the only reference to Jim Oberweis on a tweet from her Twitter ID was a retweet from Lauf to her followers this morning of DuKane chapter of IL A.B.A.T.E. President Chris Hansen:
But Hansen’s tweet brings up other things, like is Oberweis’ campaign communicating to voters through social media? How about through texts? Honestly, I have not seen it on Facebook or Twitter. Does Oberweis’ campaign post pictures of recent events on their Facebook page or their campaign website, like the fundraisers, the rally at Al & Kathy Salvi’s residence on July 26, or even the recent meet & greets this week? None that I’ve seen.
And as Correcting pointed out, Underwood has commercials. Underwood has digital ads. I’ve also seen Underwood supporters are phone banking. Have Oberweis/Republican Party been phone banking for Oberweis in the 14th district? I’ve seen no mention of it, nor any ads, digital or TV, from Oberweis.
The only reference to engaging the voters I’ve heard from Oberweis was during a morning radio interview with Amy Jacobson and Paul Vallas on July 10 where Oberweis said his campaign was conducting multiple tele-townhalls. McHenry County Blog would like to hear from voters who’ve participated in these events, and one thing is certain, they are not advertised on social media.
Speaking of the July 10 radio interview, Oberweis sounded tired and weak. Whether the interview was early in the morning, it was not a good interview, and coming off the heels of the broadcast radio interview on At Issue the previous Sunday, and recorded the previous Thursday, those two media interviews did not go all that well.
And again, no mention of these appearance for supporters to listen on social media.
It is hoped Oberweis’ campaign turns itself around, dramatically and quickly. They cannot wait until Labor Day to begin to get their message out about Underwood and why he better represents the district.
While campaigning during the age of COVID is different, and a summer without summer festivals for campaigning is a first, Oberweis’ supporters within the Republican Party would do better instead of disparaging comments critical of the campaign, pass along the feedback they hear from voters, and not try to defend any campaign that appears to not be fully engaged with voters to WIN any high profile election including the 14th district.