IL-14: Lauren Underwood Sweeps a Doubleheader of Debates from Jim Oberweis

Lauren Underwood
Jim Oberweis

Joint Daily Herald/Shaw Media editorial endorsement interview won by incumbent on less than honest answers

On Wednesday, the editorial boards of the Daily Herald and Shaw Media held a joint endorsement interview with Congresswoman Lauren Underwood and Republican challenger Jim Oberweis. Here is the video, with commentary to follow:

COMMENTARY of Debates Part 2

After the just over one hour meeting, Underwood was the clear winner with a grade of “B” and Oberweis graded a “C-“

This was the 3rd virtual debate between the two 14th district candidates, and this one was the most lopsided. The commentary I will bring is my feedback from what I witnessed on the video.

Ramblin’ Man

During many parts of the debate, Oberweis appeared to be rambling his answers, and he was slow. Do not know what time this virtual meeting took place, but he appeared tired. While the Herald/Shaw interviewers did not keep the candidate responses on a time limit, there were more responses where Oberweis was talking for 3-4 minutes, whereas Underwood’s answers were succinct.

Enough about Mike Madigan!

Oberweis is clearly trying to link Underwood to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, who chairs the Democratic Party. Whether he is doing this based on internal polling or as a strategy is not clear, and the first time he brought up Madigan was linking Underwood’s campaign account she has with Madigan. That is fair enough, and that is where the Madigan linkage should have stopped.

But at least two more times, Oberweis brings up Madigan’s name again, the 3rd time was describing how his state Senate healthcare shopping bill had bipartisan support, but it died in committee, then Oberweis said it was the Democrats and then Madigan’s name came up again. The Daily Herald moderator even asked if Oberweis was running for state office, while the facial reactions of the other interviewers was the same reaction I had. It’s on the video.

Underwood votes 100% with Pelosi, so say examples and why they don’t represent the district and why they are not “bipartisan”

Throughout Wednesday’s debate, Underwood was overemphasizing how she works across the aisle. She left herself open to attack, which Oberweis did half-heartedly.

For example, a theme Oberweis used throughout was Underwood votes 100% with Pelosi. That’s fine and fair game and the truth.

But frame it with specifics, and put Underwood on defense to defend the more radical leftist proposals out of the Democratic House.

Dan Crenshaw

A good place to start is the Dan Crenshaw (R, TX-02) “Radical Democrat” capsule published here on McHenry County Blog, and supplemented to show how very few, if any Republican votes were for the legislation, which begins to display how loosely Underwood uses the word “bipartisan”.

In the two debates last week, Underwood talked up the “For the People Act” (H.R. 1), Oberweis could have and should have jumped over that because:

  • Passed on a straight party-line vote which blows away Underwood saying the reforms have broad support
  • Mainstream voters not ready for public financing of campaign, per Crenshaw’s presentation and what’s in the bill
  • House Democrats voted down amendment to insure only citizens can vote in ALL elections, including local elections (Crenshaw himself offered this amendment on the House floor in March of 2019)

Points can be made about the Top 10 legislation in Crenshaw’s video, and Oberweis must be quick to force Underwood to defend her votes on these genuinely radical bills which passed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House.

Beyond the Top 10 list, Underwood pointed out how she supported changes to healthcare and the HEROES Act, which are bills not on Crenshaw’s Top 10 list, but Underwood left herself open to attack, which Oberweis did not capitalize:

  • HEROES (H.R. 6800) — Contained poison pills like bailout for state/local governments for non COVID-19 spending and included election 2020 provisions
    • Eliminated voter ID, including signature checks under Illinois law
    • Mandated election authorities to send “unsolicited vote-by-mail ballots”, which Illinois law prohibits
    • Established California-style Ballot Harvesting nationwide, enabling strangers to handle a voter’s completed vote-by-mail ballot.
  • H.R. 1425 (healthcare changes) passed on a partisan vote

While Oberweis, late in the debate, challenged Underwood being bipartisan utilizing the Lugar Project’s rating her 344 of 437 in the House in 2019, he needs to supplement with Underwood having a very liberal definition of “bipartisanship”.


Once again, this was where Oberweis clearly won over Underwood. It was discussed last week after the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce forum and at the Chicago Sun-Times of Underwood referring to “The Three Bills” of hers that President Trump signed into law.

On Wednesday, Herald reporter Russell Lissau pointed out what Underwood said is not true, and her Three Bills were incorporated into other legislation.

Sadly, Oberweis repeated his honesty challenge by saying he ran for Congress because of Underwood’s voting record, which did not go radical socialist until after Oberweis announced his 2020 congressional candidacy.

So What Do You Think?

Please post your comments below, and keep them on the topic of the Underwood-Oberweis Debates (any/all 3)


IL-14: Lauren Underwood Sweeps a Doubleheader of Debates from Jim Oberweis — 6 Comments

  1. I watched the first one and my grades were

    Underwood B
    Oberwise D

    Several times during the debate Jim tried the same she votes with Pelosi point.

    Why not say 93% with AOC.

    He should be trying to link her with the radical democrats, not just Pelosi.

    She wants to be a member of the squad, so treat her like she is.

    When asked what his top 3 issues were he should have put the violence at the top not the economy.

    That is Underwood and every democrats weak point this year so hammer it.

    Explain that the economy can’t get better and covid won’t be under control with large mobs of people causing violence in our streets.

    Then ask what she plans to do about that.

    He tries several times to get her denounce the violence and was ignored.

    If he did it this way, she could still ignore it but it would look much worse.

    Overall Lauren is the more skilled debater and performed much better in my opinion.

    She was calm and got her message across.

    Jim tried to go on the attack but didn’t seem to have much of a strategy other than trow out Madigans name and attempt to get her to denounce rioting.

    He seemed to be content to walk away being able to say Underwood wouldn’t denounce the riots, rather than force her into a position where she has to say something about it.

    Instead she was allowed to ignore it.

    Jim seems like a nice guy and that might be his weakness.

    If you want to defeat someone like underwood, you can’t be nice, you must go on the attack and be relentless about it.

    The first thing that actually popped out at me in the first debate (st. Charles) was that Jim agreed with his opponent on the first question and at several other points.

  2. Thanks, Jim.

    Once again, milquetoast man proves that there is no fool like a wealthy
    old fool who believes he is entitled just because he is wealthy.

    Now it’s up to us to drag his sagging old ass across the finish line.

  3. Honest Abe, so very true!

    Gradel and Lauf would have clobbered her.

    Hell, Catella would have even been better.

    Oberweis better be prepared to throw som real coin into the race to save his own sorry, mangy, milk-fed hide.

  4. Buckwheat will be back whitewashing fences soon.. may be the sea witch will join in..

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