Warning: Campaign Season Ahead!

 It’s Lincoln Day Dinner season in Illinois!

 

Republican candidates for office will be fanning out across the state, giving speeches, shaking hands & trying to convince the faithful that Republicans should vote for them in the all too soon primary. Some of those making the circuit are old hats & there are a few new faces as well. Let’s take a brief look at some of the candidates that might or might not run for various statewide offices.

 

Bruce Rauner for Governor – Successful businessman who idolizes what Scott Walker has done to the unions in Wisconsin. I can’t fault his success. I can fault his ties to Mayor Rahm and his & his wife’s past campaign donations to Democrat candidates, campaigns & PACs as pointed out by Illinois Review contributor Sam Pierce. Rauner’s stances on social issues are supposedly in question as well, but opportunities for Rauner to explain those will be forthcoming over the next few months.

 

Kirk Dillard for Governor – Ran in 2010 & lost to Bill Brady by the narrowest of margins. Dillard does have pretty good conservative credentials & has a name presence in the suburbs – a key voting demographic. Dillard does have some problems though. He ran before & lost & convincing voters that he can get the job done this time will be tougher than last time. Also, must deal with a divided downstate voters as multiple downstate candidates could enter the race.

 

Dan Rutherford for Governor– He won bigger than Gov. Pat Quinn & did better than expected within Chicago itself when he ran & won for IL State Treasurer. He has statewide name recognition & has a statewide campaign framework in place from his last campaign. However, Rutherford was the only Republican to vote in favor of civil unions during the lame duck session of the IL GA in 2010 which many conservatives still remember & conservatives are the ones that generally turnout in numbers during primaries.

 

Bill Brady for Governor – Shortly after his loss to Gov. Pat Quinn in 2010, he notified his campaign supporters to “save the signs” indicating then & there that he planned a third shot at winning the Governor’s mansion. Unfortunately, Brady’s time has come & gone & many of those that went to the mat for him remember his far from stellar debate performances, lack of campaigning in Chicago & overall lack of campaign defense against him by Personal PAC & others in the final week of the campaign.

 

Joe Walsh for Governor – Firebrand conservative who has many Tea Partiers excited about a possible run. Walsh’s words have gotten him in trouble in the past & could hurt him in the long run. Plus, he was only a one term Representative & lost in his first re-election try. Staying power & statewide appeal will be his biggest criticisms to fight, not his conservatism.

 

Aaron Schock for Governor – A once rising star in the Republican Party, Schock – even in 2010 – was considered to be the next candidate for Governor. Two years is 10 lifetimes in politics & now Schock faces a media blitzkrieg from Bruce Rauner & conservatives alike. Schock has earned the ire of others because he seems to be one of the Anointed Ones by the Illinois Republican leadership. Schock will have a hard time convincing Republican voters he can win if a pre-emptive strike by Rauner has already damaged his chances for winning the nomination for Governor.

 

Adam Andrzejewski for Treasurer – Don’t yell at me about not putting him in the Governor race column because sources I trust have indicated that he will be running for Treasurer as soon as Rutherford announces for Governor. If I’m wrong so be it. Andzejewski was a successful businessman & new comer during the Governor’s race in 2010. He did surprisingly well downstate where his conservative anti-Chicago, anti-government message met receptive ears. Andzejewski has been active since his run with For the Good of Illinois & therefore maintains a decent name ID. Andzejewski’s biggest hurdle will be convincing voters not in downstate Illinois to vote for him though if nobody with higher name ID enters the race against him, he should sail through the primary.

 

I’ve heard other names tossed about for Governor like Dan Duffy, Jason Plummer & a few others. I didn’t include them in this initial list because I haven’t heard anything else out of those other potential candidates regarding their possible runs. The same goes for other Treasurer candidates, though Andzejewski has been the only name I’ve heard for that office. As far as Senate, Comptroller, Lt. Governor & Attorney General , I have not heard any names for those offices.

 

The main point of this article is to point out both some positives & negatives of potential Republican candidates for statewide office in 2014. I know some of you support one person over another or are not satisfied with any of the candidates mentioned. That’s completely understandable. Each candidate has their problems, each candidate has issues they must overcome to win Republican voters. I also understand it’s quickly becoming primary season in Illinois & the long knives will be coming out as Republicans trash Republicans, conservatives argue their candidate is more conservative than the next & candidates trash candidates. Such is politics – there is no way around it.

 

As the campaign season begins to get into full swing & more people announce/explore, I plan on writing follow-ups to this article.

 By: Brian Milleville

Illinois Conservatives Leadership Member

Plenty of Republican Lt. Governor choices exist for 2014

 In 2010, the Illinois legislature enacted a new law that now mandates gubernatorial candidates to pick their own running mate. Before 2010, candidates that wanted the Lieutenant Governor position would run in a primary and the top vote getter would be added to the top vote getter for the primary for governor. In 2010, that left the Republicans with a Bill Brady/Jason Plummer ticket and the Democrats with a Pat Quinn/Scott Lee Cohen. Democrat Scott Lee Cohen later dropped out of the race and decided to run for governor as an Independent. Because of the Cohen mess Illinois changed the law, which will now allow the candidates to decide instead of the voters.

There are plenty of Republicans lining up to be a good choice for Lt. Governor. Below are a few we decided to highlight, in no particular order.

Erika Harold– Erika is from Champaign and is a graduate of Harvard University’s Law School. She is well known for being Miss America in 2003, but she does have a share of political experience as well. She was the Youth Director during the 2002 Republican gubernatorial primary campaign of Patrick O’Malley. In 2004, she served as a delegate at the Republican National Convention and in 2012 she even threw her name in the hat during the selection process of former-Congressman Tim Johnson’s seat.

Matt Murphy– Murphy is State Senator from the 27th district (Palatine). He lost a very close race to Jason Plummer for Lt. Governor last time in 2010 and could be right back in the mix this time. His current term expires in 2014 because of redistricting rules, so if he decides to run for a statewide office he may not have the state senate on which to fall back. Also, he could be a candidate for governor or another statewide office yet still.

Jason Plummer– Another strong name from Southern Illinois is Jason Plummer. He was the 2010 nominee for Lt. Governor and the 2012 Republican nominee in the 12th Congressional District. A lot of questions remain though. Will Jason run for Congress again? Will he have a gubernatorial campaign of his own? Or will he choose to take an election cycle off? Time will tell.

Dan Duffy– Duffy is the State Senator from the 26th District (sections of Lake, McHenry, and Cook counties) and would be a strong choice from the suburbs. Rumors have Duffy considering a bid for another statewide office. An advantage that Duffy has is that he is not up for re-election for his State Senate seat until 2016. 

Demetra DeMonte– She is currently the Republican National Committee’s secretary is from Pekin, IL and has served in that role since January of 2011. DeMonte would bring the spotlight of the national party to the race, which could help her potential running mate significantly.

Steve Kim– Steve was the 2010 Republican candidate for Attorney General. Steve, who has a legal background and an impressive job resume, travels the world often on business and some wonder if he has time to run for Lt. Governor. He is young and smart and might be a good choice for a downstate candidate like Dan Rutherford.

Kyle McCarter– McCarter is the current State Senator from the 54th District (Vandalia). He, like Matt Murphy, has a term that will come to a close at the end of 2014. If he decides to run statewide he may not have a state senate seat to return to. McCarter ran against Christine Radogno for Senate Minority Leader this year but lost. He is a successful small business owner and has been a good conservative voice and has a bright future within the party. He is a good pick if a candidate is looking for someone from Southern Illinois.

Sam McCann– McCann is the State Senator from the 50th District (Jacksonville). McCann’s term doesn’t end until 2016 so he has the senate as a fallback in case a statewide bid is unsuccessful. McCann, a small business owner, is another good Southern Illinois option for the candidates. Some rumors have him running for a different statewide office but only time will tell.

Patrick Hughes-Here is a wild card pick. Mr. Hughes ran for Senate in 2010 against Mark Kirk in the GOP primary. He struggled to gain traction but he did build some relationships along the way. One potential candidate that might look his way could be Dan Proft, as they have been seen at events together. Hughes could also give it another go for Senate in 2014.

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30 Under 30 (Day 1)

The Illinois Conservatives are proud to announce an in-depth, three-day feature: ‘30 under 30,’ in which we will highlight 30 exciting conservatives under the age of 30. Illinois Conservatives’ Members nominated the young conservatives on this list, while President of the Illinois Conservatives Zach Oltmanns and Speaker of the Illinois Conservatives Joe Kaiser wrote the biographies on each member. The biographies were also created with the help of a questionnaire that every young conservative on the list answered. This ’30 under 30’ list will come out in three segments of 10 names. Thank you for taking time to read each biography. 

Jason Plummer– is a 29 year old Republican nominee for congress in the 12th Congressional District and a former nominee for lt. governor in the 2010 election. Hailing from O’Fallon,  Jason is also the Vice President of Corporate Development for R.P. Lumber Company.  His future goal is to advance the conservative cause and help fellow Republicans return Illinois to prosperity and opportunity.

Christiaan Burner- is a 19-year-old sophomore, majoring in finance at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in the 13th Congressional District, where he isvice-president of the College Republicans. He is also currently a board member of the Jr. Tea Party in his hometown of Lemont. He maintains a Conservativepolitical blog, titled BurnerPolitics, which is constantly updated with thelatest election news and analysis and viewed by thousands of people each month nation-wide. This summer, he will have an internship at TechAmerica in downtown Chicago. TechAmerica is a trade association that represents the interests of over 1,000 of the leading technology corporations to local, state, and the federal government. His future goal is to run for Congress so that he can help bring common-sense Conservatism back to Washington.

Matthew C. Starr– is a 24-year-old Admissions Advisor at DeVry University in Naperville. Matt’s hometown in Plainfield, IL in the 13th congressional district but will be shifted to the 11th district once the next election takes place.Starr was elected in 2009 as Tax Collector for the Plainfield Township. He also serves as Secretary for the Plainfield Township Republican Organization. His future goals are to become a Plainfield Township Trustee and in the future be a U.S. Senator.

Charlie Vidal– is a 22-year-old senior studying Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Charlie is originally from Scarsdale, NY but currently lives in Hyde Park in the 1st Congressional district. He is currently the Illinois State Chair for the Young Americans for Liberty as well as the Executive Director of University of Chicago Students for a FreeSociety. A future goal for Charlie is to lead the fight in moving Illinois State employees from a defined-benefit pension system to a defined-contribution pension system.  Charlie is also a Campaign Strategist for Nick Schwaderer a Montana State House candidate and a contributor to Red Alert Politics blog.

Corey Walters-is a 19-year-old student at Saint Louis University where he studies Emergency Management. When not at school, Corey lives in the 15th Congressional district, hailing from Troy, IL. Corey first got involved in politics during Adam Andrzejewski’s gubernatorial campaign. Since then he has completed over 500 hours working for Dwight Kay in his successful bid to oust Democrat Jay Hoffman in the 112th State Representative race. Even more recently, Corey was the communications director for Herman Cain in Illinois, later joining the Santorum campaign and elected as a Santorum delegate in the Republican Nation Convention out of the 15th district. Corey’s future goals include, in the short term, being elected to a school board or city council and later on to be the Emergency Management Director at the state or national level.

Mike Vitt– is a 14-year-old freshman at Lemont High School, currently living in the 3rd Congressional District. He is the President and Founder of the Jr. Lemont Tea Party, which allows him to speak at various Tea Party events. Mike also spends time trying to educate his fellow students in the conservative cause. After high school he is hoping to go into mechanical engineering and r run for a position in a College Republican group once he is enrolled into college. As he gets older, he hopes to one day run for congress or senate. His goal is to restore America to its former glory.

Peter Kondelis– is an 18-year-old senior at New Trier High School and a resident of Northfield, part of the old 10th Congressional District but will now be part of the solidly blue new 9th Congressional District. He is currently working as an intern for Robert Dold’s reelection campaign, but has also previously spent two summers as a CapitolHill intern for an out of state congressional member, served in the role of US Senate Page and spent a week shadowing employees at the RNC. He also frequently posts political analysis on redracinghorses.com.  In the fall, he will be attending Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania. In the future Peter hopes to intern for Congressman Pat Meehan, go to law school and one day run for congress in Pennsylvania or Illinois.

Tom Demmer- is a 25-year-old elected Lee County Board Member who recently won the Republican nomination for the 90th State Representative District. Tom lives in the old 14th Congressional District and will be shifted to the new 16th Congressional District during this upcoming election. He currently works at KSB Hospital in Dixon where he is the Director of Strategic Planning. His past roles include being an Area Director for Bill Brady’s Gubernatorial Campaign, as well as being Campaign Manager for State Senator Tim Bivins. His future goals are to be elected as the Representative from the 90th District and to promote active participation among people in democracy and government in all levels.

John Poshepny– is a 22-year-old senior at Eastern Illinois University, studying finance. John is originally from Downers Grove and the 13th Congressional District, though he will be shifted to the 11th Congressional District during the next election. John has done grassroots work on several campaigns. Currently his goal is to educate his friends on the issues, using both the internet and face to face interaction. His future goals include running for public office, possibly U.S Senate, which he believes his finance degree will help him with.

Whitney Zahnd– is a 29-year-old healthcare researcher from the 18th Congressional District. Whitney is the Illinois Coordinator for American Grizzlies United/Organize4Palin, a grassroots group that supports candidates that espouse the same principles as former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. Whitney is also the Administrative Coordinator for the CentralIllinois 9/12 Project and writes for Breitbart.com and a few other pro Palin websites. Whitney hopes to continue her current role in the future of supporting conservative candidates who wish to clean up government, as well as to continue her writing.

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Kinzinger: Tea Party Disappointment

Monday, January 16th, 2012

In 2010 I looked to Adam Kinzinger as the possible future of the Illinois Republican Party and the conservative movement. In my eyes, the future was bright with leaders like Jason Plummer and Adam Kinzinger receiving attention as Tea Party backed candidates. They seemed ready to carry the conservative torch at the state and national level, respectively. Though the Brady/Plummer ticket ultimately lost in November, Kinzinger beat Debbie Halvorson by a very impressive margin in the 11th Congressional District, there was every reason to get excited about what was to come from the freshman congressman.

That was then, this is now. Kinzinger went to Washington and Washington changed him, while Plummer went back to work at his family owned business, creating jobs in Illinois and helping people find opportunity in tough times. It is now 2012, another election cycle, and once again both men are running. Jason Plummer is running in the 12th Congressional District, a seat that will have no incumbent in it. Kinzinger, a victim of redistricting, now has his place of residence located in the 2nd Congressional District instead of the 11th Congressional District, but is running in the 16th Congressional District, currently represented by conservative Republican Don Manzullo.

This certainly raises the question: why is he not running in the 2nd congressional district where he lives? Kinzinger had a chance to run against the winner of the Jessie Jackson Jr versus Debbie Halvorson democratic primary but he passed it up. He would rather go against a fellow Republican then the Chicago Democratic Machine.

Kinzinger went to Washington on the tidelwave Tea Party movement. Yet, he has disappointed the Tea Party and Conservatives. The Heritage Foundation, a leading nationwide conservative organization, has his score at just 60%. You can compare that to centrist Republican Senator Mark Kirk, who sits at 63%. Remember, the Tea Party never embraced Senator Kirk, yet Kirk has stood with the Tea Party more than Kinzinger.

If Kinzinger had the courage to run in the 2nd Congressional District where he lives, he could bring a right of center voice to the Democrat controlled city of Chicago. It may be a moderately conservative voice, but it would still help the conservative cause.

Instead Kinzinger’s decision could possibly push the conservative cause backward. And while Kinzinger’s decision jeopardizes Manzullo and the future of the conservative movement, Jason Plummer, the other young and exciting Tea Party prospect who appeared in 2010, has decided to try and take a democratic district and turn it red this year. Plummer, a true conservative, is fighting the democrats and standing on principle. Kinzinger has directed his fight toward a fellow Republican and has been changed by the culture of Washington D.C.

Illinois was introduced to both of them in 2010, but Kinzinger’s time in Washington combined with his decision to attempt to take out a real conservative this year has us wondering if the Adam Kinzinger of 2012 is still the Adam Kinzinger of 2010.

Illinois Conservatives Announce First Endorsement for 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2011

Illinois Conservatives Announce First Endorsement for 2012,
Jason Plummer, candidate for 12th Congressional District
Plummer will bring common sense values back to Washington

Oregon, IL – The Illinois Conservatives are proud to announce their first endorsement for the 2012 elections, Jason Plummer for the 12th Congressional District. Plummer, the 2010 Republican Nominee for Lt Governor, resides in O’Fallon.

Plummer, a small businessman and Intelligence Officer in the Navy Reserves, says he promises to bring common sense values back to Washington, DC when elected.

“We’ve always had a strong relationship with Jason, the entire leadership board agrees that he fits our group perfectly. We pride ourselves on getting young conservatives engaged in politics and Jason is a prime example of what success looks like for young people in politics,” said President of the Illinois Conservatives, Zach Oltmanns.

Plummer was previously endorsed by the Illinois Conservatives when he ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2010. His views match those of the Illinois Conservatives – lower taxes, less spending, pro-life, a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and being focused on bringing jobs back to the hardworking taxpayers of Illinois.

Members of the Illinois Conservatives agree, and in getting this endorsement Plummer will get the same type of support that made his Lt. Governor primary a success: grassroots assistance, outreach to younger votes, and additional volunteers to augment his campaign.

“The Illinois Conservatives are very excited about Jason’s candidacy and the opportunity for a strong conservative to be elected to this congressional seat,” said Oltmanns. “Jason’s candidacy has brought promises from the national level to make this seat a top priority this election cycle. We look forward to turning the 12th red with Jason’s team.”

The Illinois Conservatives, a leading conservative grassroots organization in Illinois, believe in conservative ideologies and supports political candidates who share in those beliefs for the betterment of the State of Illinois.

Questions? Email zach@theicfg.com

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I bet Jason Plummer would have taken the job a little more seriously

CARBONDALE, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon wants Illinois residents to know she can take a joke about a lack of definition in her job.

The first-term lieutenant governor, who appeared Saturday morning on the radio quiz show “Whad’Ya Know,“ said her only job constitutionally is to be ready to be governor.

Simon laughed when host Michael Feldman said her job is like a pitcher of warm spit. And when he asked if she spends time pretending to sign documents.

Simon later spoke about her education agenda and defended Gov. Pat Quinn for raising taxes.

The show was broadcast live from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. It’s the first time the show returned to the area since Simons’ father, former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, was a guest in 1998.

Source: State-Journal Register

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Illinois Conservatives Endorse Six Candidates for General Election

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
 
 
Illinois Conservatives Endorse Six Candidates for General Election
 
Today the Illinois Conservatives have announced their first six endorsements of the general election cycle.  The six are Bill Brady (Governor), Jason Plummer (Lt. Governor), Don Manzullo (16th Congressional District), Bobby Schilling (17th Congressional District), Cedra Crenshaw (43rd State Senate District), Sam McCann (49th State Senate District).
 
All six of these candidates are strong conservatives ready to make a difference for the people of Illinois.
 
All six of these candidates are focused on bring down taxes, fixing the state and national budget crisis, creating jobs, and are pro-life. These are some of the many reasons why the Illinois Conservatives have chosen these six to be the groups first endorsements of the general election.
 
Bill Brady, Jason Plummer, Cedra Crenshaw, and Sam McCann will be able to work together in Springfield to fix many of the problems facing our state. These four will be strong voices against the Madigan Machine.
 
Don Manzullo and Bobby Schilling will stand up against Nancy Pelosi and her liberal agenda and bring a conservative voice to Washington DC.
 
The Illinois Conservatives that is primarily on facebook with over 2,875 members statewide. If you would like to join visit facebook.com and search Illinois Conservatives.
 
Thank You


Zachary S. Oltmanns
President of the Illinois Conservatives
theICFG.com

The Campaign

The best way and really the only way for Conservatives to take back this state is for us to work together. We need to run something close to a statewide campaign to take back this State. As the President of the Illinois Conservatives I have tried to instill this idea on my fellow leadership members. You know the Madigan-Chicago Machine will be organized. We need to work together. I know that most if not all the Tea Party groups’ wont support Kirk and most if not all the GOP Central Committees will support Kirk. So lets move on to something we can agree about. How about Bill Brady and Jason Plummer? How about guys like Peter Roskam, Don Manzullo, Robert Schilling, Randy Hultgren, etc. We have to run a campaign to make this happen. We have to retake our state. The Madigan machine will do everything they can to win and I mean everything. Morally I don’t think any of us want to do the things Madigan does. Although a true grassroots campaign with all of us working together will be successful I will promise you that. The Madigan-Chicago machine has gotten the first victory of this election cycle with the judicial decision not to let Cedra Crenshaw on the ballot. She is an African American mother just trying to help her state. The machine doesn’t care what sex you are or what color you are. If you don’t agree with them you are a target. So today I am calling on ALL conservatives and conservative groups throughout the state to come together. This includes 9-12 groups, Tea Party Groups, GOP central committees, Young Republican Groups, and etc. The Illinois Conservatives will join hands with you guys and get to work in our broken state. So, the process of taking back our state starts today!

Zachary S. Oltmanns

President of the Illinois Conservatives

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