Catching up With Former Congressman Manzullo

(Oregon,IL) This past December, the Illinois Conservatives PAC celebrated our eight year anniversary. During that time our group has grown to nearly 3,500 members. As a group, our first endorsement of a candidate was none other than U.S. Congressman Don Manzullo. To celebrate our anniversary, we thought it would be nice to catch up with now former Congressman Manzullo and see what he is doing these days.
Donald Manzullo served in the United States Congress from 1993-2013, representing the 16th Congressional District in northern Illinois. Manzullo was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and was the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. This allowed Manzullo to meet the various heads of states from several different countries including China, Poland, Romania, Israel, Norway, Italy, and Jordan. Some of Congressman Manzullo’s proudest achievements include passing legislation that saved the U.S. taxpayer millions of dollars by reducing or eliminating unnecessary regulations in several areas including clean air attainment, industry, and education. Manzullo also made it possible for the Chicago Rockford International Airport to achieve its international status, resulting in the airport authorities naming the international terminal after him.   Congressman Manzullo co-founded and co-chaired the bipartisan House Manufacturing Caucus and also served as a co-chair of the House Automotive Caucus. Mr. Manzullo has had the opportunity to meet eight Presidents: Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Ford, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama.
The former congressman was known for going out of his way to help young people while in office. Manzullo said, “My greatest achievement is having served as a mentor to innumerable young people, some of whom worked in my congressional offices as interns or employees. I hear from them from time to time and share in their success and their choices of professions. Being a congressman is a great opportunity to bend the twig of a young person so that he or she grows in the right direction.” Several former Manzullo staffers continue to serve in Washington D.C. The former congressman gave this advice to young people considering a run for public office: “If you decide to run for office, do it for the right reason. You must have a servant’s heart and truly believe the people you would serve are more important than you are. Holding political office is not about the officeholder. It’s about the people served. During my 20 years serving in Congress, some of the greatest victories are so personal to the individual served that I cannot share the details. Ronald Reagan said that it is amazing the things that can be done if the politicians don’t concern themselves about who gets the credit.”
Manzullo currently serves as the President and CEO of the Korea Economic Institute of America (, which is a nine person, not for profit, public policy and think tank organization. The purpose of the organization is to strengthen relations between the United States and South Korea. Manzullo does not do any lobbying.
Manzullo still resides in rural Ogle County and has continued to  raise beef cattle on his property. On a personal note, Don Manzullo has been not just a political role model, but a personal hero to me. His love that he shows his wife Freda has showed me how to be a better husband and a person.
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Illinois Conservatives to host Tea Party Express on Monday

Convention Review

(Lemont, IL)

  • Call to order was made by President Oltmanns at 1:15pm.
  • Attendance was taken by Vice President Spitzer in attendance were President Oltmanns, Vice President Spitzer, Speaker Kaiser, Rep. Jarratt, Rep. McCabe, Rep. Kirk, Rep. O’Connell. It was determined that a quorum was present and the meeting continued.
  • It was determined that the Illinois Conservatives would move forward to create a Federal PAC.
  • Annual fundraiser will take place on Flag Day (June 14th, 2012) for the 3rd consecutive year.
  • New literature will be ordered to replace out of date literature.
  • A reporter from the group will be sent to CPAC-Chicago to give our members live updates.
  • Discussion took place on our meeting structure and how we endorse candidates.
  • Budget was presented by President Oltmanns.
  • Much discussion followed about third party candidates.
  • Floor was opened to the public with many people addressing the leadership team.

30 under 30 (Day 3)

Thank you for reading our 30 under 30 list. We hope you found it informative. These 30 individuals will be at the head of our movement in the years to come. We also want to recognize some of our fellow under 30 leadership members Charlie Kirk (18-SOS Liberty/Illinois Conservatives), Dalton Gray (19-Illinois Conservatives), JC Hagen (28-Illinois Conservatives), Andrew Spitzer (22-Vice President Illinois Conservatives), and MaryAnn McCabe(Illinois Conservatives). We also want to thank McHenry County Blog, Illinois Review and Ulysses S. Arn with (29-Blogger, Author, Activist) for cross posting our list.  Series was written by Joe Kaiser and Zach Oltmanns

Jon Schweppe– is a 24-year-old Communications Director for the Bobby Schilling for Congress Campaign. His hometown is Aledo and he currently lives in the 17th Congressional District. In 2010, Jon graduated from Augustana College with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics. In the future, he would like to not only get Congressman Schilling re-elected but to also get other hard working conservatives elected throughout Illinois.

Timothy Stoll– is a 27-year-old Chairman of the Kane County Young Republicans and Precinct Committeeman for Rutland 1. Timothy is from West Dundee and lives in the 14th Congressional District. He is also currently doing district outreach and casework for Congressman Randy Hultgren. His goal is to make Illinois a state where business thrives, private sectorjobs are plentiful and people are free to create the life they want with minimal governmental interference.

Mark Cavers– is a 25-year-old policy analyst from Mundelein in the 18th Congressional District, working for the Illinois Policy Institute. His job duties include government relations and talking to state leaders everyday about the conservative cause. Mark is hoping that Illinois will become the land of freedom and prosperity, while also holding a future goal to someday become the Governor of Illinois.

Lucas Hawley-is an 18-year-old fulltime student at Victor J. Andrew High School. Lucas is from the 1st Congressional District and lives in Tinley Park. He recently finished his work on severalcampaigns during the primary season including a congressional race, state representative race and state senator race. In 2010, he interned for Jeff Junkas. A short term goal for Lucas is to get elected to a local office in the Tinley Park area. He would also like to reform the GOP party in Illinois byclearing the party of corruption and the ineffective leaders. A long term goal of his would be to get involved with U.S. Embassies, mainly the embassy in Berlin, Germany.

Katie Salvi– is a 23-year-old college student and soon to be law student from Mundelein and the 14th CongressionalDistrict. She recently worked on the Santorum for President Campaign in Illinois and has helped other conservatives get elected as well. Her futuregoal in politics is to get more conservatives elected to office and to return this country to greatness. She believes anything is possible for her in thefuture.

Mick Paskiewicz– is a 24-year-old who is the State Chairmen for the Illinois College Republican Foundation. Originally from Indianapolis, Mick now finds himself living in Illinois in the 7th Congressional District with the current job of working for the Joe Walsh re-election team. He hopes in the future he can help get more Republicans get elected in Illinois.

Anthony Barry– is a 25-year-old staffer for Congressman Joe Walsh. Anthony is from Yorkville, which is in Kendall County and in the 14th Congressional District. While his short term goal is to get Joe Walsh re-elected to congress, his long term goal is to restore America back to the way the founders intended it to be.

Jon McLean-is a 29-year-old who is currently the Chairman of the St. Clair County Republican Party. He lives in Belleville in the 12th Congressional District with his two daughters and wife. His goal as chairman has been to get more Republicans elected to the St. Clair County Board, whose chairman position he is currently running for.

Adam Brown– is a 26-year-old farmer and State Representative from Decatur, IL. Adam currently represents the citizens of the 101stDistrict, but he will be shifted to the 102nd district with the new maps. Adam lives in the 13th Congressional District with his wife Stephanie and is the youngest member of the general assembly. Before becoming a state representative, Adam served as a Decatur City Councilman. In the future, he plans to advance a pro-jobs agenda that allows families and businesses to prosper in Illinois. Adam would like to lessen the burden of government red-tape and eliminate abuses of our tax dollars.

Terry Schilling– is a 25-year-old from the 17th Congressional District, where he lives in Genesco with his wife Kaite and his two young daughters. He currently serves as Campaign Manager for Bobby Schilling’s re-election bid in the 17th District. In 2010, Terry laid the grown work for Congressman Schilling’s win against Democrat Phil Hare. His future goal is to turn the country around by electing conservatives to as many public offices as possible.

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30 under 30 (Day 2)

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. 

Melissa Denker– is a 19-year-old student living in the 14th Congressional District. Originally from Belgrade, Serbia, Melissa now lives in Harvard, IL where she was recently elected Precinct Committeeman Chairwoman of Dunham Township. She has been involved in several campaigns locally and nationally. Her future goals include getting more young people to care about voting and to educate them on the issues. She is also hoping to become a senator and show Washington what it means to follow the constitution.

Meghan Gray– is a 22-year-old senior at Columbia College in Chicago majoring in journalism and public relations. A native ofBeach Park in the 10th Congressional District, she just recentlyended her internship with the Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. She is also a member of the Lake County Young Republicans and will be joining the Dold for Congress staff within weeks. In the future she hopes to work in the nonprofit sector and to start her own planning or consulting firm.

Demetri Broches– is a 25-year-old Legal Assistant from Sycamore in the 14th Congressional District, though in the past he has volunteered on campaigns in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Demetri was also a coordinator for Adam Andrejewski’s Gubernatorial Campaign and a coordinator for Don Manzullo for Congress. He currently serves as a Tea Party activist and a DeKalb County Republican Precinct Committeeman. His future goal is to recruit more members to the Tea Party and to reform the Illinois GOP into a legitimate, more conservative political party.

John Sweeney– is a 28-year-old Winnebago County Board Member, currently residing in Rockford in the 16th CongressionalDistrict with his wife and young son. At age 25, he was elected Republican Caucus Chairman on the Winnebago County Board, which has 20 of 28 board seats controlled by the GOP. He is unsure of what his future will hold for him inpolitics.

Collin Corbett-is a 26-year-old small business owner from Palatine, now in the 6th Congressional District. Collin is currently a precinct captain and the President of the Palatine Township Republican Organization. He was also the founder of the Lake County Young Republicans and has worked on several conservative campaigns throughout thestate. His future goal is to turn Illinois red, which has him committed to staying in Illinois until that mission is complete.

Shannon Coughlin-is a 27-year-old writer and producer for McDonalds Corporation from Darien, IL in the 13th Congressional District. Her current role in politics is being a freelance communications specialist. She also is a recruiter, volunteer, and supporter of the DuPageCounty Young Republicans. In the future Shannon hopes to execute new communication strategies for the Republican Party in Illinois. While she does not have a current desire to run for office, she wants to help craft the message for people that do. She hopes to continue to recruit knowledgeable and humble people to step up for the Republican Party that she hopes will instill the image of what a true conservative looks like.

Joshua Colson– is a 16-year-old student at Johnston City High School from Johnston City in the 12th Congressional District. He is the current Chairmen of the Southern Illinois Teenage Republicans. He is unsure if he will ever run for office but is determined to help the most conservative candidates get elected to office.

Rob Abraham-is a 29-year-old private technology consultant living in Lake of the Hills in the 16th Congressional District with his wife of two years. Rob was recently elected Precinct Committeeman of Algonquin Township 57. Rob is also a Navy veteran who joined the military on 9/11/01. He hopes to one day be a congressman in which he would serve on a defense committee and would like today’s politicians to never lose sight of their job, serve the people that elected them.

Patrick Kelly-is a 19-year-old student at Elmhurst College where he majors in Political Science and History with a minor in Urban Studies. His hometown is Palos Park in the 3rd Congressional District. In 2008, he volunteered for the McCain/Palin campaign while during the 2010 cycle he served as a co-campaign manager on a state representativecampaign. This year he hopes to help phone bank for the Republican presidential nominee in Indiana. His interests include foreign affairs, specifically Africa and the Middle Eas,t as well as journalism. In the near future he hopes to run for local office and, in the long term, a state seat.

Kyle McCollum-is a 25-year-old, first year law student at Southern Illinois University School of Law. Kyle currently lives in Frankfort in the 12th Congressional District. Recently, he served on a team that hosted an event for former Presidential candidate Rick Santorum in Herrin, IL and this upcoming summer he will serve as a Legislative Intern for Congressman Tim Johnson (R-13). After he returns from his internship he hopes to become very active in campaigns leading up to the November election. In the future he hopes to be involved in government affairs for a business or a non-profit company, while long term he would like to run for elected office.

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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  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 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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Another Reason to go with Manzullo over Kinzinger

Well as if you did not have enough reasons to pick Congressmen Manzullo over Congressmen Kinzinger, here is another one.  Adam Kinzinger does not even live in the 16th Congressional District!  I know, I know, I know, the Kinzinger campaign will come back with “Joe Walsh does not live in the 8th Congressional District but he is running for re-election.”  The reason for that is simple he did not want to take on a fellow CONSERVATIVE Republican.  Congressmen Walsh would rather take on the Chicago machine than go against Randy Hultgren.  You might ask yourself why didn’t Kinzinger run against the winner of the ultra-liberal Jesse Jackson Jr and the ultra-liberal Debbie Halvorson (who he beat in 2010) in the 2nd Congressional District?  Well your guess is as good as ours!  Below I have posted a map of what towns Manzullo and Kinzinger live in, in regards to the new district.

Click on the picture to enlarge.






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Illinois Conservatives announce 5th endorsement

Response to Congressman Kinzinger’s comments

Congressman Don Manzullo Press Conference

We were very happy to hold a press conference with Congressman Don Manzullo, our fourth endorsed candidate for 2012, this morning. We look forward to working on getting him re-elected once again.

You can view video from the conference with the link below: