Monday, September 07, 2009

United Republican Fund's Conservative Summit

I attended last Friday. The Straw Poll results here at Illinois Review.

Adam Andrzejewski leading with 116 surprised me. (I put Dan Proft as my first choice but more on him later). I thought Andrezejewski's stump speech the weakest of the lot.

Nice guy but I still can't figure out what goes on Labor Day weekend in his little hometown downstate. Why start your stump speech with that? I forget the rest except he hit all the high notes a URF crowd would expect from him. I don't think he gave 116 votes worth of a speech though.

Tom Swiss covered it here. I didn't realize each candidate's unique question was submitted by the other candidates. Swiss lists 'em and Dillard's was the question I was waiting to here. Via Swiss,
Kirk Dillard's Question: Do you regret endorsing Obama?

Dillard's Answer: First, I did not endorse Obama, it was a commercial about ethics. He called me from Iowa and said he was taking heat from Democrats for working on ethics reform. If someone is on the right side of ethics, I will help them. I endorsed John McCain.
The question ought to have been, What will you say Sen Dillard, if President Obama offers to cut a commercial for you; not an endorsement, just a spot on ethics.

I thought Dillard handled it well though --it sounded better than it reads. Face facts here, Illinois's GOP is going to need votes from people who voted for Obama. Dillard's not going to be the only Illinoisan (and Republican Illinoisan) who was bamboozled by the Prez. The GOP needs these folks back. Dillard gets a pass.

Proft's question,
Dan Proft's Question: Having never been elected to anything, what makes you qualified to be Governor?

Proft's Answer: This is not my first rodeo. I have been in the political arena for 15 years. It is a policy problem, not a management problem. I am the only candidate correctly diagnosing the problem. We need to make the correct big ticket policy choices.
Never having been elected won't be Dan's problem. Cicero will be Dan's problem. Proft gave the best speech by far. Hit the issues a new Illinois GOP should be hitting: the GOP is a working peoples party, we're the party of Walmart shoppers; the GOP offers the only solution for African Americans to the crushing oppression of Chicago Public Schools.

But Cicero is going to dog Proft (and I'm a Bugalow sort of guy fond of the place). The question should have been how does he explain that relationship with that town. Illinois voters will want to know. It's a lot of baggage for Dan to carry and he needs to start explaining what he's been doing there, or at least show us at the Lunchon he's ready for the sure to come questions (and smears).

More coming....


Anonymous said...

Let's note there were less than 75 people at this "conservative summit" and several of the attendees aren't even conservatives.

I mean Tom Cross? What's that RINO doing there?

Let's also note that Proft is a long time contributor to Illinois Review, and Andrzejewski has been the lone governor candidate advertiser on Illinois Review for months.

Illinois Review is affiliated with the event sponsor, the URF. It's all the same bunch.

In any case, given the large field, such a low turnout says a lot about how little excitement these candidates are generating. Not a good sign.

Jon Zahm said...


Do not underestimate the Herscher Labor Day Festival and Parade. I have attended it three times in the past. There are thousands and thousands of people there. It draws regionally. Adam's downstate roots make him the best downstate/ag candidate. With all due respect to Brady, he is a real estate developer from a big city, Adam grew up in a farm town, where his folks still live, and Adam walked beans and detasseled corn.

Bill Baar said...

Jon, my west burb roots are showing. I know nothing of Hersher Illinois.

Thanks for the push back here.

PeteSpeer said...


The question URF avoided asking everyone, is how will your campaign obtain the $20 Million a primary and general race are expected to cost.

I posted early in the Illinois Review to which your readers can go under the comments to the Swiss article..

The Governor's race is the fulcrum around which the other state races and the County and local races will pass.

The Governor nominee will become upon election the de facto leader of the Republican party of Illinois. I was not impressed with Pat Brady's vague generalities about victory in November 2010. If the party needs to win, it will have to Organize for Victory and inspire a new group of people to fill the vacant precinct committeman jobs.

More important, the conservative if nominated will have to tame the single issue zealots, herd the moderates and attract dissatisfied indies and Reagan Democrats.

That is a whole bunch of work,balizing

Bill Baar said...

No kidding...

JerryVacha said...

I'm from Elmhurst and even I know that Herscher is in Central Illinois, maybe it's because I go to the U of I and drive by it past Kankakee on my way to college but its definitely nowhere near downstate.

Regardless of all of this, Adam's got the best platform, policies, ideas, and personality to lead this state after the upcoming election

Bill Baar said...

Jerry, everything south of I80 is downstate to me.

Pete Speer asks the question Adam ought to answer. That's really deserving of a post of it's own.

I'll watch A more, but right now he just didn't seem ready for the big fight that's going to come against Illinois Democrats. The GOP needs new young faces; ok.. but this fight isn't going to be kids stuff either.