Posts tagged ‘John Laesch’

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.

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.


PDA IL: John Laesch on austerity measures in Illinois

by , posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2012 at 9:51 am

from PDA-IL

John Laesch of Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice ( speaks about austerity measures in Illinois.


TRS Pension Rally at the State Capitol

by , posted on Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 at 8:55 am

The Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice Coalition held a rally in front of the Illinois State Capitol Building on Tuesday May 29th. The purpose of the rally was to point out the failure of Gov. Quinn, Speaker Madigan and the Democratic Party to lead the state toward a positive solution to the teacher pension issue. In addition, the speakers also pointed out that no one in the House or Senate are broaching the subject of the only real solution to the debt problems of the State-new revenue. The Coalition has put forward several proposals to generate the revenue needed to fund our States’ budget. They include a “graduated income tax”, a “transaction tax” on the Commodities Exchange among other solutions. For more information please contact:



“Corporations are People, Teachers are Not. Fix That!”

by , posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2012 at 7:29 pm

A five-year-old girl sitting in a wagon held a sign that read, “How can this be my fault? Tax the 1%”

Her mother, Dr. Annette DeAngelis-Marshall, who came to the teachers’ rally in Naperville this past Thursday,

May 17th, was pulling her. Dr. DeAngelis-Marshall is a special education teacher consultant and advocate who came to the rally as a citizen, taxpayer, and teacher to demand attention from politicians enacting pension changes for Illinois teachers.

“I’ve tried to speak to Darlene Senger but she doesn’t listen to me.” DeAngelis-Marshall said.

Senger is on Governor Pat Quinn’s task force charged with the job of changing the teachers’ pension system. Frustration with Senger was echoed by dozens of other people attending the rally. Approximately two hundred people were there. While most were teachers, some were union workers, college students, Occupiers, retired teachers, and just plain parents. All were taxpayers with a stake in good public schools.



Teachers and Citizens Demand a Seat at the Pension Funding Table

by , posted on Sunday, May 6th, 2012 at 10:06 pm

A group of about forty people from Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice gathered in the noon day sun outside Illinois Senator Mike Noland‘s office in Elgin on Friday, May 4th.  The people wanted Senator Noland to hear their concerns about the lack of revenue and funding for Illinois teachers’ pensions.  Senator Noland is one of four legislators appointed by Quinn to a task force to solve this issue.  While earlier State Senator Mike Noland (D-Elgin) had informed the group he would not be present to respond to their rally, he unexpectedly showed up

John Laesch, from NIJWJ, announced the rally was about the group’s concern regarding the State’s lack of funding for teachers’ pensions, but Noland didn’t seem to understand until the end of the rally that the citizens standing before him had not been sent by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) and were instead concerned citizens and workers—about half of whom happened to be teachers.

“This is a workers’ issue. And we are concerned that our legislators have not funded our teachers’ pensions. We have a revenue problem here. This is a concern to all taxpayers and to all people who work for a living,” said Laesch.



ATMI Precast Rally and March

by , posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2012 at 4:49 pm

, Aurora, illinois, February 12, 2012


Occupy Aurora action, January 21, 2012

by , posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 12:23 pm


Things Rich Miller Pretends to Know About-Part 1

by , posted on Thursday, December 10th, 2009 at 1:46 am

I was a bit fascinated by Illinois Media Progressives posting of this item on their blog, now cross-posted here on Progressive Fox. I can’t say I disagree with anything in the post, but I can say this: It doesn’t go far enough.

I know the author of the post, in fact in the interest of my own full disclosure I’ll point out that I first met the author when we were both working on John Laesch’s 2008 primary campaign, which is when he also first met John Laesch. My acquaintance with Laesch goes a bit farther back – to the 2006 campaign. Which is part of the reason I think the post does not go far enough: the author of it was not in the room when Rich Miller’s favorite Republican 18 second John Laesch YouTube sound-bite was taped. I was.



Moron Bites Back: Rich Miller’s Revisionist History

by , posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

An astute IMP reader informed us of “Capitol Fax” uber-blogger Rich Miller’s foray yesterday into the land of adolescent personality politics.

And it seems to be well worn ground for Miller, at least where it comes to one gentleman.

Apparently Rich has fashioned himself as an authority on Civil War politics, specifically Ole Abe himself, and has used/is using that hyper-inflated belief in an attempt to smear an individual for voicing an opinion over three years ago.

That individual would be one John Laesch, former Congressional candidate in IL-14 district.

John, if you don’t recall, came within a handful of votes of winning IL-14’s 2008 Democratic general primary, despite being outspent 17-1 by the eventual victor, Bill Foster.

Less than 1/2 of 1 percent, in a honest-to-gawd grass roots campaign.

So Rich Miller, who has shown an amazing amount of competence in bringing news of Springfield’s chicanery and general goings-on to the masses, apparently decided attacking John Laesch was worthy of the day’s news, and re-posted, in the words of commenter “How Diasappointing”, an “isolated soundbite” of video of Laesch at a campaign event over three years ago.

The clip, originally posted on a Laesch smear site on YouTube, is an 18 second excerpt from 2006, where Laesch suggests that President Lincoln acted predominantly upon economic, rather than moral concerns when issuing the Emancipation Proclamation.

Miller’s transcription of the clip:

“Abraham Lincoln, I don’t know if you know this, he didn’t [free the slaves] for the right reason, social justice. He just did it because so many white people were out of work because they couldn’t compete with slave labor.”

Miller finds that prospect, or we should say, that isolated video soundbite amusing, and when challenged by a commenter on his site,

– How Disappointing – Tuesday, Dec 8, 09 @ 4:22 pm:

Wow, Mr. Miller, personal attack politics do not become you…BTW, I do love isolated sound-bites that lead to historical discussions in the comments. Perhaps you could tell us, since you saw fit to try and ridicule Mr. Laesch for his opinion, what the impact of slave labor was, and please detail the evolution of Mr. Lincoln’s position regarding slavery as a moral question. Feel free to cite historians of note.

I’m assuming you must have this information, no?

Rich responds in a fit of rhetorical maturity:

– Rich Miller – Tuesday, Dec 8, 09 @ 4:32 pm:

HD, I’ve read quite a lot of Lincoln history, so I think I’d put my perspective up against yours any day. To defend Laesch’s moronic statement is just goofy, especially considering that legalizing slavery was an active subject in Illinois up to and during Lincolns tenure in the Illinois House and he fought against it.

So, bite me, moron.

The commenter responded:

– How Diappointing – Tuesday, Dec 8, 09 @ 5:42 pm:

Never suggested any expertise in the period-but figured you must, since you saw fit to try and ridicule someone else’s opinion.

Please do provide cites, and why you feel they are the most accurate historical works… And the use of sound bites from political attack sites is not only poor journalism, it’s also reflective of the poster’s personal integrity.

(Please feel free to read the –whole thread– IMPs is happy to drive traffic to Rich’s site for this one) There were 45 comments when he closed the thread last evening.

So IMPs, not well-versed in 19th century American history, (not unlike the commenter) turned to the almighty Google which took exactly .31 seconds to return this piece, published in the New York Review of Books earlier this year.

Esteemed Northwestern University Professor Garry Wills reviewed a book edited by esteemed Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (yes, President Obama’s beer buddy) on Abraham Lincoln’s own words on racism and slavery.

Prof. Wills:

So deep was Lincoln’s belief in a free market of labor that he condemned slavery for impinging on the free whites’ right to the fruits of their work. The slave owners’ profits from the unrequited toil of their slaves gave them an advantage over those who paid their workers, making the latter less competitive than they would otherwise be. One of the reasons Lincoln wanted to keep slavery from the territories was to protect the opportunities of free white workers…

.31 seconds. Love technology.

So intellectually, Rich’s attempt to smear Laesch is unsound to say the least, and although we will acknowledge that a young candidate’s attempt to shorthand a complex issue was somewhat clunky, we also acknowledge that Laesch’s point is in fine intellectual company in the ongoing historical debate as to Lincoln’s motives.

The exchange between Miller and the commenter continued, with highlights including Miller’s use of the words “sillyness”, “moronic”, and a plea in defense of the right to make fun of people. All in a rather blood-bathy string of comments, in which even Georgia (Georgia10, former front-pager for Daily Kos, now an employee of the Gianoullias’ campaign) felt need to jump in to defend her credentials.

IMPs knows politics is not a business for the faint of heart or willowy of spine, but we wonder, why John Laesch?

-As Miller was attempting to hold Laesch up to ridicule to reflect upon the gentleman for whom he now works, one hypothesis suggests his loyalties could lie with the opposing camp.

-A less strategic and base musing is that Miller holds some personal vitriol for the man.

-And the armchair guess following a few libations was that Rich, once the outsider blogging voice for Springfield, has become entrenched himself in the “inside the corn-belt-way thinking” that he had initially charged himself with exposing, and is well on his way to becoming part of that problem.

Feel free, at this point, to infer that IMPs holds John Laesch in high regard, which is true, and we are few of many (31,587 Democratic voters within IL-14 alone).

But we offer full disclosure-before IMPs was IMPs, we had occasion to work for John Laesch, primarily because of his political courage and intestinal fortitude to run on what IMPs considers the obvious: that a single payer, expanded and improved Medicare for All solution to our nation’s health care crisis was, and still is, the only fiscally and morally responsible reform.

But this was only one plank of a platform that included fair, not free trade with a focus on jobs, and (as a Navy veteran), strong opposition to Bush’s Iraq war, investment in green energy and locally, opposition to the Hastert highway.

This was while his opponent was hawking biometric national ID cards as an immigration solution.

John’s positions were consistently measured against the obvious, that Illinois families are hurting (which is still horribly true).

His campaign inspired many to become further involved in politics, including a few of his old staff who have run for office themselves. And for IMPs, anyway, we were moved to take a serious look at his present employer’s campaign after John became involved, because we knew there would be a strong voice in support of Illinois’ working families. They are hurting, you know.

But none of this is apparently relevant to Rich Miller, who takes more delight in channeling his nine year-old self.

The question as to why remains open, but since our political encounter with John Laesch, IMPs is proud and honored to count him among our most trusted and respected friends, which is why we feel a compelling need to stand against what would appear to be chronic, coordinated character defamation.

And this is unfortunately old news. During his last run for Congress, Laesch was also at the receiving end of one of the most vicious smear campaigns IMPs has witnessed, and Miller took the low road back then too in not taking a strong stand against the politics of personal destruction.

The three year old smear site on YouTube that Miller chooses to reference is also a little peculiar in its following:


Rich, you’re on the wrong side of history on this one, and you owe John Laesch an apology.

cross posted at Illinois Media Progressives


My union health insurance premiums went up $110/month

by , posted on Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 9:51 am

I am a middle-class worker who has decent health insurance (an 80-20 plan) and recognizes that my recently elevated private insurance premiums are paying for those who don’t have health insurance.  In addition to paying for the uninsured, I calculated that I am also paying an extra $4,000-7,000 per year into the pocketbooks of Wall Street profiteers.

Maybe my story about a $110/month increase in health insurance premiums is not significant compared to the many stories of those who lose their homes, businesses and dignity because we continue to embrace the status quo, broken, for-profit healthcare system, but it still needs to be told.