Today, America was terrorized with attack leading to the end of several lives and over a hundred injured so far reported. Although it isn’t entirely clear who was behind this attack, what is known in the coming days and weeks fingers will be pointed in every direction. Already a CNN contributor has blamed “right wing extremists” being behind the attack. Here at Illinois Conservatives, it will not matter if the perpetrator is a Republican, a Democrat, a Muslim, a Christian, an American Citizen, or a foreign national, or anyone else. What matters is that . What is known is that this person and his/her actions have no place here in America, and what matters is that justice will and should be the result. This person came with the goal of changing the day to day lives of Americans, and that will not happen. During the toughest of times and the darkest of moments Americans have showed that they will help one another. After the attacks today it was widely reported that Boston Marathon runners continued to run past the finish line after the attacks all the way to a local hospital to donate blood. The quote of the day goes to District Attorney Dan Conley “Seconds after those bombs went off, we saw civilians running to help the victims right along side members of the Boston Police Department and Boston EMS. And in the hours that followed, police and medical personnel from across the region have sent dozens, maybe even hundreds, of volunteers to help us here in Boston. That’s what Americans do in times of crisis; we come together and we help one another. Moments like these, terrible as they are, don’t show our weakness. They show our strength.”
Together, America is always strongest. The best way to show that these attacks only made America stronger is to come together, pray, and to fly your Stars and Stripes tomorrow.
Congratulations to Stefanie Nissen on becoming the new P.R. Director of the Illinois Conservatives.
A lot of people have asked “can he win”? The answer to that right now is probably. In 2008, when Schilling challenged former Rep. Phil Hare, the Rock Island Republican won his county by 994 votes (Schilling-23,054 and Hare-22,060). Despite this, in 2012, in the matchup between Democrat Cheri Bustos and Schilling, Schilling lost Rock Island County by a margin of 6,629 votes. This clearly seems that Schilling lost support in his home county, but he actually received 28,789 votes (increase of over 5,500 votes). Cheri Bustos though received 35,418 votes (an increase over Hare’s numbers by over 13,000 votes). A total of 64,207 votes were casted in 2012 compared to only 45,114 in 2010. Therefore, it is very reasonable to expect that in 2014, the amount of votes that are casted will go back down closer to the 45,000 range because of it being an off year election and therefore lower voter turnout. If Democrats stay home, the Republican candidate can possibly win Rock Island County and have an easier time winning the 17th.
Another question being asked is ‘why was it lost in the first place?’ The district went from a Democratic +3 district in 2010 to a Democratic +7 district in 2012. Only 47 percent of the old 17th District from 2010 was placed in the new district in 2012 meaning the incumbent advantage was erased in over half of the district. There were over 90,000 more people that voted district wide in 2012 than in 2010 and in a Democratic leaning district an increase in 90,000 votes is a toxic statistic to any Republican candidate. Obviously, the reason for so many more ballots being cast is because it was a Presidential year. President Obama is still very popular in Illinois and he gave every Democratic candidate in Illinois a bit of a bump with having his name alongside them on the ballot.
Can the 17th district be reclaimed by Bobby Schilling? That is the million dollar question (more likely multi-million dollar question if he does run.) I am confident he can. Even though the numbers show that the district now leans farther to the left, Schilling was able to win in 2010 because he was an independent mind strong enough to stand up to outside pressure. Schilling showed that time and time again in Congress and could have the opportunity to do so some more if he takes the opportunity next year.
It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives. As I leave office this week, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support the last 20 years. Below is my final speech I submitted for the record last week and a link to an abridged version of the speech I delivered on the House floor this afternoon.
It’s difficult for me to come to the floor today after 20 years in Congress and say “goodbye” to my constituents and fellow colleagues.
When I was ten years old, I decided I wanted to be a Member of the United States House of Representatives. I want to thank everybody for making possible my boyhood dream. After I graduated from law school, I immediately settled in a town of 3,500 people, Oregon, Illinois, the county seat of Ogle County. I raised beef cattle on a small farm, and at age 38 met Freda, the woman who changed my life dramatically.
In 1990, I ran for Congress and lost in the primary. I decided I would not run again, until Freda encouraged me to fulfill that boyhood dream. In 1992, I won the March primary and the November election against incredible odds. How this unknown country lawyer, with no political experience and who lives outside a town of 42 people, could get elected to Congress is a testament to what we call the “American Dream.”
During the Freshmen retreat in Baltimore, Kay Cole James, who later became President George W. Bush’s Director of the Office of Personnel Management, warned us that if we ever took for granted the magnificence of the great monuments in Washington – the U.S. Capitol, the Lincoln, Jefferson, and Washington monuments – then it was time to leave. Every time I’ve seen those monuments – now thousands of times after 20 years – I’ve thought of Kay’s wise counsel. And I’ve never grown tired of seeing them and what they stand for.
Swearing-in day, the first week of January of 1993, was overwhelming. I saw my name on the voting board and saw Mom and Freda in the gallery. Our three kids were on the floor of the House with me. As the time came for us to raise our right hands to be sworn in, my life paraded in front of me within a few seconds: the little 10-year-old boy dreaming of this very moment, the virtually unbeatable odds to get elected, the unspeakable honor of becoming a Member of the House of Representatives, the lives given on battlefields to preserve this country’s government, the people who had served from the time of the First Congress under the Constitution.
On swearing-in day, our family made a special trip to view the Emancipation Proclamation at the National Archives, where it was on display only for a few days. We had to get permission to get in before regular hours. Just the five of us stood in front of that document, and my heart pounded. I was from his state. He gave his life to protect the God-given freedom of others.
(The newspaper article written about that experience with the Emancipation Proclamation caught the eye of Loretta Carter Haynes, whose family members generations ago were slaves in Washington, D.C. For years she had been trying to get the National Park Service to ring the bells in the Old Post Office in downtown Washington to commemorate the District of Columbia emancipation act of April 16, 1862, which predated the more famous proclamation by Lincoln six months later. Our office intervened, and today those bells ring faithfully every April 16).
As the Speaker started the ceremony and asked us to raise our right hands and repeat the Oath, my eyes were flooded and my voice crackled as I tried to repeat the words of office, but was unable to voice them because of the awesomeness of the occasion. The kids looked at me then and at the next nine swearing-ins, when the same thing happened every time. This, perhaps, was one of those monuments of which Kay Cole James had spoken.
Committee Assignments are very important in Congress, but I chose two committees that many Members shy away from: Small Business, because I had been raised in small business my entire life and could relate to the people running small businesses, and Foreign Affairs, where I had developed an interest in international relations, especially Asia, when I studied at American University in Washington between 1964 and 1967. Four years later, I was also appointed to what is now known as the Financial Services Committee.
It’s hard to imagine the significance of my choosing Small Business and Foreign Affairs committees, especially since few Members ever ask for them as their first choice. I eventually became the Chairman of the Small Business Committee in 2001, where I expanded the services of the Small Business Administration while cutting unneeded personnel by 25 percent and its budget by nearly $300 million dollars over the course of my six-year term. Because of my interest in Asia and service on Foreign Affairs, the Speaker appointed me as the first Chairman of the US-China Inter-parliamentary Exchange.
There was an Exchange meeting in Beijing between me and President Jiang Zemin in 2003. As we were discussing various issues, I asked myself and prayed how I ended up with this great honor of representing the House of Representatives.
People have asked what I consider to be the most memorable events of my career. Was it interacting with presidents? Meeting a certain foreign leader? No: it has been the opportunity to mentor students and many of my young staff.
In November of this year, I received a note from a constituent who also attends the same church as I do in Leaf River. He had helped in our 2012 primary. He wrote to me thanking me for a conversation I had with him in November of 1999 while he attended an annual Youth Conference I hosted. In his letter to me, he stated: “I shared with you some of the struggles I was experiencing as a new Christian in a hostile high school environment. Your words of encouragement touched me deeply, and you wrote me a note in my little book that I have kept for almost 13 years. I scanned this note today and wanted to send it to you as a way of saying thank you for being a mentor to me, both when I was just a kid in high school and now as an adult who is interested in a career in public service. Your model for serving the people of the United States as an extension of your service to God is something worthy of great respect and admiration.” He then attached a copy of the note I had written him: “November 19, 1999. Adam, continue to believe that people who really care need to stay involved, even when circumstances dictate the opposite. Be of good cheer. God Bless. Donald Manzullo, United States Congress.”
I’ve always believed that God has a purpose and a plan for every life. After the 2012 primary, Freda and I received a letter from a lady who attends our church in Leaf River: “I know God has a plan for your lives so I’m not going to say I’m sorry about the outcome of the election—‘cause I’m not. It’s just time to put your fishing boat and nets away, and ‘Follow him.’” Where He leads, I don’t know.
In closing, my mind goes back to my dear, fellow Illinois congressman, Abraham Lincoln, who, in his Gettysburg address, stated: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but we can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”
Years from now no one may remember the many times I spoke on this House floor or the causes I championed. People might look at my portrait hanging in the Small Business Committee hearing room and wonder, “Who is he?” But the answer is simple. We all have a part in Lincoln’s unfinished work. I am just one man, whose deep love for this country caused him to leave his private sector job and enter into a life of public service. For that great honor, I will always be grateful to the citizens of the 16th Congressional District of Illinois who allowed me to serve on their behalf. I encourage all Members to truly remember who they represent: not a political party; not organizations but people.
A special election will be held to fill the seat.
The Illinois Conservatives are being told by sources that Jesse Jackson Jr will be making a formal announcement later today announcing his resignation. As more information becomes available we will keep you up to date.
For the first time in its history, Illinois Conservatives are announcing its support of a candidate that is not a member of the Republican Party. As a member of the Constitution Party, Dorch is running for Illinois State House of Representatives in the 117th district. Dorch is the first Constitution Party candidate to ever get on the ballot for the Illinois State House. Dorch is running against Incumbent Democrat John Bradley and Republican Chris McCann
Dorch’s political platform includes fiscal responsibility, including cutting taxes. He is opposed to the infringement of Second Amendment rights, and supports passage conceal carry in Illinois. Dorch also believes in the sanctity of life, from conception with out exceptions, As Dale says “It’s not the baby’s fault and the baby should not be murdered.” Finally, he views the U.S. Constitution as a legally binding document and, as representative, Dale Dorch will defend the constitution and fight for the rights of the state under the constitution.
When told about the endorsement Dale Dorch said “I am honored to receive the endorsement of such a well-respected and principled group such as the Illinois Conservatives. As a Constitution Party candidate I knew this would be an uphill campaign, but with the support of the Illinois Conservatives I don’t feel alone in the fight for true reform.”
“As President of the Illinois Conservatives I believe that this is an important endorsement for the group. Dale Dorch is a successful small business owner and would bring a lot of insight to the Illinois State House. The Illinois Conservatives are proud to endorse Constitution Candidate Dale Dorch for State Representative in the 117th district.” added Zach Oltmanns President of the Illinois Conservatives.
PR Done By: Ellen Blokus
On the days prior to the Presidential Debate, it is now time to see a rise in the frequency of TV political advertisements for various candidates. October is the last full month before the election on November 6th, and this is a critical month to sway last minute undecided voters one way or another. While we can all expect that the commercials will have something to do with explaining the candidate it is in support of, attacking the candidate’s opponent, or simply a compare and contrast of the different issues at hand, there is something sinister and disturbing is at play in the race for the Illinois 17th congressional district.
A video for a commercial in support of Democrat candidate Cheri Bustos has played throughout the district. In this commercial, the first several seconds shows a photo of Republican incumbent Congressman Robert Schilling at a private barbeque event and features Illinois Conservatives founder Zachary Oltmanns and myself. The photo was taken by a member of a Pro-Bustos SuperPAC which had gained unauthorized entrance into the event and furthermore, illegally took the photo and displayed onto a tv commercial without the permission of Oltmanns or myself. Now we certainly know how campaigns can get when it is an intense race, and that it can turn ugly toward the final stretch. However, this is completely out of line, and we expect more out of Cheri Bustos. This is someone who is running as the congressional representative for the 17th district, and to rely on a member of a SuperPAC to sneak into private events and post photos of those attending without permission is not only wrong, it shows incredibly poor judgment on her part.
We with the Illinois Conservatives organization are extremely disappointed by the Bustos Campaign having to resort to these tactics in the final weeks of the election. We realize she has come under heavy fire for a number of her policies that include a bring-back tax to penalize companies attempting to bring jobs back into the country, and during her tenure with the East Moline City council voted numerous times to increase taxes on working families. However, their frustations should not warrant posting up a last-minute made commercial using a photo without the authorization of those in it. This is most certainly not legal and a negative distraction that they absolutely did not need at this point.
Therefore, we with the Illinois Conservatives organization, with members throughout the state, demand the Bustos Campaign halt any more use of the commercial. If there are any more photos that the campaign or its supporting SuperPAC has in its collection for future use of commercials or literature that includes Zachary Oltmanns or myself, we would appreciate first being contacted and asked for permission BEFORE it is used.
By: Demetri Broches
In December 2008, the Illinois Conservatives were formed with the goal of getting young people involved on the conservative side of the politics. Just three and a half years later, it appears to be working as the Illinois Conservatives sits at over 4,000 members (3,000+ on the group page and 1,500+ on its friends page). However, the Illinois Conservatives are no longer the only youth led, conservative organization in the state, with several other terrific groups taking up similar causes and making us wonder if unity should be something to look at moving forward.
Less than two years ago an organization led by a group of high school students called SOS Liberty took off fighting for financial reform nationwide. SOS Liberty soon became Turning Point USA and is led by Charlie Kirk, who recently graduated from Wheeling High School and is starting college at Baylor University in the Spring of 2013. Turning Point USA deals strictly with fiscal issues.
Another group in Illinois is called Restore Our Principles (ROP) led by Christiaan Burner, Mike Vitt, and otheryoung adults living within the state. ROP strives to get the youth engaged,just like the Illinois Conservatives and Turning Point USA.
Young people are also running for local office. In fact, 19-year-old Brandon Beilke is currently running as aRepublican in Jo Daviess County to become a County Board Member. Illinois is fortunate to have so many different groups and driven individuals wanting to lead this state into the future.
Therefore, we have to wonder how powerful all these groups and individuals would be if they just joined forces, rather than being separate entities. As President of the Illinois Conservatives, I would be enthusiastic about having a convention in which every youth group is present to from a coalition. It should not matter who the leader of the new coalition would be either. It should only matter that we would be better able to serve all of the youth in Illinois if we came together instead of competing for the same goal. Since we all have the same purpose, it would only make sense to work together. This will not only help young conservatives, but it would help ALL conservatives and benefit the state in the long run. Is that not what everyone wants?
I am open to feedback at email@example.com. The conservative movement in Illinois is rising and, together, we can make a difference.
Illinois Conservatives announce their endorsement of Congressman Joe Walsh, who is seeking reelection in the 8th Congressional District.
Since becoming a Congressman, Mr. Walsh practices what he preaches. He does not accept the health care coverage and pension package offered to those in Congress. He votes against legislation that increases the size of government and does not add any earmarks to any legislation.
Walsh believes in smaller government and lower taxes. In an age that has seen the average household income drop by nearly $5,000 since 2009, Walsh does not believe more taxes on those struggling to make ends meet is right nor fair.
He believes that it is imperative that this country gets its budget under control as we cannot afford to continue to have annual deficits exceeding $1 trillion a year. We must get our budget balanced for the sake of this country.
Walsh also has attended more than 200 town hall meetings and will meet any constituent, whether they agree with him or not. He has shown that being a Congressman means making yourself available to the voters. These are the values that conservatives hold dear and why Illinois Conservatives endorse him.
Walsh’s opponent, Tammy Duckworth, believes in bigger government and higher taxes. When asked by the Chicago Tribune editorial board about what needs to be done about Medicare, Ms. Duckworth said she “is not ready to look at that now,” and that “it is something to discuss later.” Medicare will be bankrupt in 10 years and is a large driver of the out-of-control budget deficits. If Duckworth is not prepared to discuss a major issue like Medicare now, then she is not capable of discussing it later.
Furthermore, Ms. Duckworth continually turns down opportunities to debate the issues of the day with Congressman Walsh before the voters of the 8th Congressional District.
Congressman Walsh votes for fiscal restraint and believes this country must tackle the major issues facing it today. He does not hide from the voters.
The Illinois Conservatives enthusiastically endorse Joe Walsh for reelection.
PR done by: John Dyslin
The Tea Party Express recently launched their Mobile Phone Bank Bus tour on an 81-Day Get-Out-the-Vote Campaign that aims at engaging and educating conservative voters in the November 6th election.
The 45 foot Tea Party Express bus is a state-of-the-art campaign tool that allows the grassroots campaign anywhere in the country. The bus will have 15 workstations for volunteers, each with their own laptop and phone. The tour will stop in 23 states that are the key battleground states for the 2012 election.
During the Moline stop the Tea Party Express bus will be parked at the Neil Anderson Campaign Headquarters at 2424 40th Ave Moline, IL.
Anderson stated “We are excited to be working with the Illinois Conservatives and the Tea Party Express in this grassroots effort to reach the voters.”
The Tea Party Express will assist the grassroots efforts of local candidates who believe in fiscal responsibility, reducing the size of government and taxes, and controlling spending
Anderson stated “It’s time to bring focus on Illinois’ skyrocketing deficits, unsustainable debt and loss of jobs and business to other states and countries as a result of over taxing and over regulations.” He continued, “Many think Illinois is too far gone: We have an opportunity this election to change the course of our state, give it back to the people and be competitive to the other states in the nation.”
Anyone interested in getting involved or learning more about this effort are welcome to attend