Posts tagged ‘Bill Foster’

Matt Brolley IL-14 Candidate Revisited

by , posted on Friday, April 28th, 2017 at 2:55 pm

On Tuesday I attended the monthly Kane County Democrats meeting and unexpectedly encountered two candidates, Matt Brolley and Victor Swanson running for – or in Brolley’s case still considering running for – Congress in IL-14. Since I know there’s a lot of interest in who might run against Hultgren, I’d previously profiled Jim Walz, and had previously heard these two had addressed the McHenry County Dems meeting, I quickly took out my cell phone, captured video, and posted about Brolley on Wednesday and Swanson on Thursday.

Almost immediately after I put up that Brolley post I received an emailed tip to the effect that Matt Brolley does not live in IL-14. He resides in IL-11, and that he pulled Republican ballots in 2010, 2014, and 2016. The tip had included some pretty strong evidence, but I wanted to investigate a bit further, at least to the extent that I gave Brolley a chance to respond.

I emailed Brolley at his Village of Montgomery email address, but because I am aware that elected officials can’t use municipal email or resources for campaign-related reasons, and I was concerned an inquiry about his voting record might fall under that category, I also went looking for another contact, preferably a campaign-oriented one. All I was able to find was this Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Brolley4Montgomery/

I didn’t think it ideal to send such an inquiry via Facebook message, but I did, and as it turns out it really is ideal, because Facebook messages have this handy “seen” feature.

So, while I have not received a response to my detailed inquiry to either Brolley’s Village email address, or the Facebook message, I know that the Facebook message was seen on Thursday at 11:10 a.m., precisely nineteen minutes after I sent it.

As it is now well more than 24 hours later I have to conclude that I can expect to receive no response. I had asked for verification of both facts – residency and the history of voting as a Republican – in both of my inquiries, as well as inviting Brolley to offer any comment he might have to make. As I have seen some pretty solid proof and he isn’t responding I have to think this information most likely is true.

If so, it’s giving me pause for thought. Much pause.

The IL-11 bit does not bother me all that much, frankly, as the last redistricting drew many, many people I knew out of IL-14, including a lot of them who worked like crazy on John Laesch’s candidacy in IL-14 in two successive elections. Hell, it drew John Laesch out of the district, Bill Foster promptly moved out of it to run in IL-11, and for all we know the next redistricting (coming right up!) is going to draw them both right back in.

Considering how that line is wobbling I don’t really think being out of it this year is any more of an ethical disqualifier than it is a legal one, which is to say it is not at all. I haven’t looked at it since it was redrawn, but if my memory serves me correctly I myself could move across the street and be out of IL-14. Nothing to say someone that close can’t just move back in, which doesn’t even strike me as nearly as egregious as Foster moving from Batavia to Naperville to get into the better district that was custom drawn for him.

The Republican ballots are another issue. Sure, living in this sea of red in an open primary state I know Dems who pull Republican ballots in primaries because there are no Dem candidates on the ballot, and because they think they can do more good as Dems by weighting a Republican primary one way or another. Could be the case in Montgomery most years.

But 2016? Really? Anyone else remember how tight and hotly contested the Bernie/Hillary contest ended up being here? What’s that you say? All of you? Right. I know I worked my tail off for Bernie in Kane County. So, yeah, I have a hard time buying Brolley pulled a Republican primary ballot in 2016 and is nevertheless a Democrat, much less a progressive.

But since Brolley isn’t responding, I guess we will all just have to draw our own conclusion. I know what mine is.

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2012 IL-11 campaign archive

by , posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012 at 7:00 am

updated 10 May 2012

General election

Bill Foster (D)

campaign website: www.billfoster.com

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Klinkhamer for which office?

by , posted on Friday, August 26th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I kept hearing persistent rumors to the effect that former Bill Foster staffer Sue Klinkhamer would once again be running for Mayor in St Charles, a post she held for a term before going to work for the City of Chicago, and from there to a position as Bill Foster’s IL-14 District Director. So this morning I did some digging.

I couldn’t find anyone who would definitely confirm or deny the rumor that Klinkhamer is getting ready to run against current St Charles Mayor Don DeWitte – closest I got to it was an individual close to Sue who gave it as their opinion that it would be “a real step backwards” for Klinkhamer.

But what I did hear – and this from no less than four individuals so close to Klinkhamer that I have trouble disbelieving any of them, much less all four of them – is that she is by far more likely to run for Kane County Board Chair.

Meh. There is no reason she can’t do both – the Kane County Board Chair election is in 2012, and the next St Charles Mayoral election is in 2013. In fact Kevin Burns, current Mayor of Geneva, is hedging his bets in just this manner – running for County Board Chair in 2012, with his next Geneva mayoral election in 2013 in reserve if he loses.

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IL-11: Foster’s Financials

by , posted on Monday, July 18th, 2011 at 7:30 am

I had a theory about why Bill Foster was running for Congress again, this time in the newly redistricted IL-11. It had to do with the fact that his terminal financial disclosure statement from his stint in IL-14 showed that he’s sold out of ETC (the company owned jointly with others, including his brother who ran the business) and his wealth at that time seemed to be locked up in a promissory note, in combination with the fact that his campaign essentially owed him a million dollars – i.e. he was a million in debt. To himself.

My theory was influenced as well by persistent rumors I heard at the time of Foster’s last campaign against Hultgren, that he was rather bored in Congress, would like to return to physics, etc, etc. Not rumors I had ever passed along as, so far as I could tell, they came from no one very close to him and seemed speculative at best. But I heard them frequently enough that I was surprised to hear he was interested enough in being in Congress to decide to run in IL-11. And then there is the lack of any staff as of his first new FEC filing of this campaign – not even a professional fundraiser.

So my theory was simple: Foster had decided to run to raise enough cash to pay himself back that million dollar loan to his campaign fund, and if he won, okay, but if he lost, well that would be okay too. Now I think that theory is simply wrong.
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Ballot Access Problems in Kane County

by , posted on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 at 10:39 am

I went to vote this morning, signed the sheet, was asked to confirm the address I live at, which they read out to me from their computer, and was immediately told “Okay then, we just need to see a photo id.”

To which I responded “No you don’t.”

Much conversation, several phone calls, and even more problems ensued. The details are below.
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DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen on Lessons Learned and the Road Ahead

by , posted on Saturday, May 8th, 2010 at 6:00 am

In Red to Blue: Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Grassroots Politics, author Sanford Gottlieb tells the story of Chris Van Hollen’s successful grassroots campaign for Congress in 2002, and the lessons Van Hollen, and others, took away from that campaign in subsequent election cycles.

Van Hollen’s district

is MD-08, located in Washington DC’s Maryland suburbs. In the primary he beat frontrunner Mark Shriver, a Kennedy cousin with a lot of money to spend and a consultant by the name of David Axelrod on his team. He then went on to unseat longtime incumbent Connie Morella in the general election that fall. Morella was a well-liked, liberal Republican who had been long thought to be unbeatable, having enjoyed more than a little bit of support from local Democrats through the years on election day. And Van Hollen pulled this off in a Republican year. This was the first congressional election to be held after 9/11. The Republicans won back control of the Senate in 2002 and added to their majority in the House. Only two Democrats unseated incumbent Republicans that year. Chris Van Hollen was one of them.

Van Hollen has brought this experience to bear in his subsequent work at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). And he was not the only one to go to school on that 2002 campaign. As Gottlieb puts it:

David Axelrod told Van Hollen in 2008 that he had learned some lessons from being on the other side of the 2002 primary. It was a really good grassroots campaign, Axelrod said, with the passion on Van Hollen’s side. Van Hollen carried the lessons learned in 2002 into the successful effort to build a House Democratic majority in 2006. Axelrod and David Plouffe may have applied those lessons in the 2008 50-state race for the White House. (Gottlieb, Red to Blue, 32)

Last week Van Hollen appeared with Gottlieb at a book event in Washington, DC and talked about his attempt to apply those lessons learned to his work with the DCCC. Van Hollen’s introductory remarks, plus the question and answer session that followed, are presented below.

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My Phone Call from Organizing for America: A Rant

by , posted on Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 at 9:00 pm

So it’s been a long few days. My company lost it’s biggest contract – the one I was assigned to for the balance of this year – last Wednesday. They are a governmental entity who shall remain nameless and their budget was cut by their state legislature. Bad news at casa Downtowner. Happened just as I was about to get on a plane to visit my daughter, son-in-law and 9 month old grand-daughter in Phoenix. So I went.

By the time I got there, one of my grand-daughters back here in Illinois was sick with the flu, and two days into the trip, my Mom (who lives in Florida, but was here in Illinois visiting my brother) was hospitalized with a wide array of symptoms, ranging from a blood infection to problems with her heart. So I’ll admit I was stressed already, but then I got the phone call…

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Hasterts, Healthcare & Hysteria in IL-14

by , posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 3:52 pm

If you’ve been following the local press in IL-14, you know that Ethan Hastert is currently seeking the Repub nomination to fill his Daddy Denny’s former seat, currently held by Bill Foster, and you’d also be aware that this seat is high on the Repubs wish list for recapture in 2010.

If you’ve been following the local press for the last week, you’d be able to discern that, what with their “name” candidate, and their itch to take revenge for the lost of such a high profile seat, this area has become somewhat of a priority for targeting by the opponents of meaningful healthcare reform as well.

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Bill Foster signals support for a strong public option

by , posted on Sunday, July 12th, 2009 at 1:58 am

In a move that surprised me (because I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with his spokesperson Shannon O’Brien and have been unable to get a definitive answer) Bill Foster signalled his support for a strong public option, without triggers, when he signed a letter from 22 members of the New Democrat and Blue Dog coalitions to Nancy Pelosi last Wednesday.

A copy of the letter is posted here on Firedoglake.

There’s more…

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Bill Foster and the Gambling Mystery UPDATED

by , posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 8:52 pm

While n0madic has been pondering the mystery of whether or not Foster will be running again in 2010, Foster has been busy brewing a mystery for me to ponder.

Foster has signed on as a co-sponsor of Barney Frank’s internet gambling bill.

I don’t claim to be very familiar with this issue, but I can’t help but be aware that at least two large employers in IL-14, the casinos in Elgin and Aurora, are potentially threatened by the legalization of internet gambling.

So, yes, all other potential ethical questions related to gambling addictions, etc, aside, I’m more than a little surprised that Foster would sign on as a co-sponsor.

I asked for a statement regarding his co-sponsorship, and Shannon O’Brien, his spokesperson, has replied tonight by e-mail with this:

No, we have not made a public statement on this subject.
Best,
Shannon

So the mystery of why it seems like a good idea to Foster to put jobs in IL-14 in possible peril in these tough economic times abides.

UPDATE: 2,332 jobs to be exact

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