Incumbent U.S. Senator Dick Durbin came to McHenry County College for a photo op last Thursday and was rewarded with a page 3 story in the Northwest Herald. (I admit to having incorrectly thought it would be on page 1.)
Thursday night his Republican opponent, State Senator Jim Oberweis, addressed a meeting of the newly-reinvigorated Algonquin Township Republican Central Committee and guests.
The news of the night was that the Northwest Herald sent a reporter and a photographer, just as it did when Durbin visited Crystal Lake.
Oberweis asked the mainly party workers present to help him send “Mr. Durbin” into “his well deserved retirement.”
Oberweis outlined four goals, if elected:
- Repealing and replacing Obamacare
- Balancing the budget
- Simplifying the code
- Term limits
He admitted that Durbin was a much better politician than he is.
“I can never out Dick Durbin Dick Durbin.”
Oberweis hopes that his steady rise in the polls will draw in some Super PACS that intensely dislike the incumbent. (Down seven points, according to the most recent poll, one taken by his campaign. Three months ago he was down 14%, four weeks ago down 9%.))
So far the National Republican Senatorial Committee hasn’t ponied up a dime.
Real Clear Politics just upgraded the race from “Likely Democrat” to “Leans Democrat.”
He told of winning African-American Pastor Cory Brooks, known as the “roof top pastor” for spending December, January and February on the roof of a motel used by prostitutes across from his church.
Brooks did so in order to buy the property and tear down the motel.
He succeeded and is now trying to raise money for a community help center.
Oberwies has joined Brooks’ effort to recruit men to stand on the 5000 worst corners in Chicago on Friday night.
It’s called “Project Hood.”
“After I did it five Fridays, Pat Quinn decided [he should follow suit. He] went for ten minutes until the cameras left.”
Oberweis told of getting comments like, “I’ve never seen a white Republican before.”
Will it help electorally?
“The polls among African-Americans” were encouraging, he said.
The State Senator said Southsiders are interested in three things:
- Reducing violence.
Oberweis then contrasted his creation of thousands of jobs in his dairy and investment business with Durbin’s lifetime earnings of $4 million on public payrolls.
On education Oberweis believes State Aid to Education should follow the student, that is, parents should be able to select which school their children attend.
He tells the African-Americans how Durbin voted to kill a pilot program in Washington, D.C., that allowed parents to do just that.
“He’s controlled by the teacher union bosses.”
After checking it out, the Southsiders are shocked.
“Competition among schools gets all schools doing better,” Oberweis asserted.
How is he doing on the Southside?
“We get a lot of converts.”
This past weekend, prominent black Pastor Larry Trotter endorsed Oberweis.
The candidate told of having received a call from another African-American minister on the way to Crystal Lake.
“I think you’re going to see several other African-American pastors endorse me.”
Oberweis emphasized the value of getting votes from the South Side.
“Every vote here is like two votes–minus one, plus one.”
His position on the top of the ticket leads him to hope that those voting for him will “take a look at other Republicans on the ticket.”
Oberweis urged people to vote by mail or early.
He suggested telling folks they won’t get as much political mail or as many robo-calls if campaigns know they have already voted.
Oberweis touched on immigration, explaining that the numbers in his Soldier Field ad ten years ago were derived from a University of Michigan study.
“We did a terrible job in the commercial,” he admitted.
“I don’t believe we should deport everybody, but I also don’t think they should have a free ride [and move to the front of the line].
As he was about to leave, Oberweis led the crowd in the following chant:
After Oberweis left, DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan conducted a precinct committeeman training session.