Posts tagged ‘Bill Foster’

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.

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


Clarification from Foster’s Office

by , posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Someone at Foster’s office must have noticed this comment in n0madic’s post about Foster’s intent to run in ’10, because I received an e-mail from one of his senior staffers today informing me that his office in Dixon is indeed still staffed. Specifically, the staffer says:

We have two people working in Dixon (1 full timer and 1 part timer) who also staff Geneseo on Thursday. We will post our hours on the website. We actually work longer hours than most Congressional offices. We are here in Batavia from 8-6 M-F.

Thank you to Foster’s office for the clarification.


Has anyone else been wondering whether Bill Foster is running for re-election or not?

by , posted on Sunday, June 28th, 2009 at 10:08 am

When Ethan Hastert officially announced he was running for Congress a few weeks ago, a number of the stories made passing reference to Bill Foster’s intentions. Or perhaps I should say lack of intentions, because the impression that was initially given was that maybe Foster hadn’t decided yet whether he was going to run for re-election. Which seemed odd, because why on earth wouldn’t he? He just got the job, what, a little more than a year ago?

And yet, the first story I saw, in DeKalb’s Daily Chronicle, stated that “Foster said this afternoon that he hasn’t decided if he’ll run for re-election.”

The next story I saw, in the Kane County Chronicle, said Foster wasn’t undecided at all: “Foster is planning on running for re-election, according to a spokeswoman who released a statement Monday in response to Ethan Hastert’s announcement.” But all the statement itself had to say about whether Foster was or was not planning on running was this: “he is not thinking about elections right now,” which didn’t seem to unambiguously support the claim that he was indeed planning on running again. Washington Wire, a Wall Street Journal blog, quoted that same line from the official statement, but said nothing to indicate that he was nevertheless going to run again.

That Daily Chronicle story seemed pretty unambiguous. “Foster said … he hasn’t decided.” Where was the Kane County Chronicle‘s certainty coming from? Was it possible that some of these media outlets were running only a part of the statement that Foster’s office had released? “What’s the deal, here?” I wondered.



Ethan Hastert officially in: IL-14 officially over

by , posted on Monday, June 8th, 2009 at 7:45 pm

The Kane County Chronicle is reporting that Ethan Hastert has officially declared he will run for the IL-14 congressional seat formerly held by daddy Denny.

Meh – no surer way of ensuring Foster hangs on to the seat, imho.

Anyone who was paying any attention at all knows that Foster outpolled Obama in Kane County (which contains about 50% of all voters in IL-14) in ’08 – and anyone who is local knows damned well why that happened: Lauzen supporters voting for Foster as a means of getting even with the powers-that-be who got behind Oberweis and managed to leverage the nomination for him.

Which makes 2010 a repeat-in-the-making, because Lauzen will be Lauzen, will be Lauzen, ad nauseum: he’s so scary that moderates will vote for Foster (or whatever alternative is on the ballot) if Lauzen does get the nom, and his supporters are so violently pro-Chris, they will likewise vote for whatever alternative there may be to the Repub who beat Chris out for the nomination – exactly as they did in ’08.

Only way out of the spoiler-Lauzen scenario for local Repubs is if they can get Lauzen to throw his support behind someone like Ethan Hastert. And anyone who has followed Lauzen’s career knows there’s a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening.

So the Dem on the ballot in IL-14 in 2010 is elected by default: barring Lauzen getting struck by lightning or a random meteorite, it’s already done.


Question: Where does the union bug go when …

by , posted on Sunday, May 24th, 2009 at 12:47 am

… you get your house painted?

Answer: Nowhere. Not when you hire a non-union painter to do the job.

So here’s the deal. A few days ago somebody slipped some photos under the cyber-door here at The Progressive Fox. Pics of a lovely home in Aurora getting spruced up with a little fresh paint. And it turns out that’s Vernon and Linda Chapa LaVia’s home.



Ethan Hastert officially “exploring”

by , posted on Friday, April 17th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Laesch had it first, but the Daily Herald is now reporting that Ethan Hastert is exploring a run in IL-14.

Lovely. We can now look forward to a run by a guy whose two greatest claims to fame are:
a.) being the son of the Speaker-from-hell who presided over the gutting of the checks and balances that we should expect from the People’s House in order to serve instead as the Cheerleader in Chief for a criminal administration
b.) working for the only person, Scooter Libby, actually convicted from that administration

Just charming.

UPDATE (already)
Andre Salles at the Beacon has it here.


Another Hastert for Congress Effort?

by , posted on Friday, April 17th, 2009 at 8:06 am

Last evening on my drive home from work, I received a call from a campaign supporter by the name of Ben. He was calling to tell me that he had received a polling call yesterday.

Ben, who lives in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, did not know who conducted the poll, but he recognized that the polling questions were framed by the Republican Party. Issue questions framed Obama’s agenda in a negative light and focused on tax cuts. It always amazes me that the Republicans have not figured out the fact that their tried and true message of the past, “tax cuts will save America,” is not working.

The interesting part of the poll was the question about Dennis Hastert.

“If the election were held today, would you vote for Dennis Hastert or Bill Foster.”

The next question was similar.

“If the election were held today, would you vote for Ethan Hastert or Bill Foster.”

Speculate away.


IL-14: Bill Foster and ETC

by , posted on Monday, February 4th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Originally posted at Fireside 14 and Daily Kos.

As a newcomer to the political scene in IL-14, Bill Foster, more than most, has had to spend time telling voters his “story,” has had to spend time, and a lot of money, introducing himself to a community he had been a stranger to until he moved back to the district from Washington, D.C., a month or so after he announced he would be a candidate for Congress back in Illinois. From the beginning, his story has been based upon the notion that he has a track record as a “successful businessman and accomplished scientist” that spoke to his abilities as a problem solver, and that he would be able to build upon that prior experience to become a successful problem solver as a politician, too. “Businessman, Scientist, Democrat for Change,” as one of his campaign slogans puts it.

Here is the thumbnail description of Foster’s career as a businessman that his campaign offers to those seeking to learn more about that part of his life:

Before coming to Fermilab, Bill was a successful businessman. When he was 19, Bill and his younger brother started a business from scratch in their basement. Starting with $500 from their parents, they built a company that now manufactures over half of the theater lighting equipment in the United States. Their equipment is used on Broadway shows, Rolling Stones tours, the great Opera houses, half-time shows at the Super-Bowl, and at churches, schools, and community theaters throughout the country. Their company sells millions of dollars of equipment around the world and provides over 500 good jobs — with good pay and benefits — here in the Midwest.

On one occasion, Foster campaign manager Tom Bowen put a finer point on the equation, stating that “as a businessman, [Foster] has experience solving problems close to home like meeting payrolls and budgeting for the future.” But for the most part, the blockquote above is representative of what has been consistently said by the Foster campaign about his career in business. Bill and his brother started a company from scratch while they were still in college, and now that company is enormously successful. And while there is much that is left unsaid in the gap between the beginning and the end of this part of Foster’s story, it is clear that the point that everyone is supposed to be taking away from this narrative is that Bill Foster played a major role in the development of an extremely successful company and that this accomplishment is evidence that he can be expected to be an effective member of Congress.

The problem with all this, however, is that no one has ever tried to fill in the gaps in the story of Bill Foster’s career as a businessman in order to see what the truth of the matter really is.



IL-14: The Losing Strategy

by , posted on Sunday, February 3rd, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Originally posted at Fireside 14, Prairie State Blue, Open Left and MyDD.

What happens in Podunk shouldn’t stay there.  Or at least if it does, the Democratic Party Establishment, the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, the Blue Dogs among us, will have won one more unrecorded battle against those of us who want real change.

What’s happening most immediately in the IL-14 corner of Podunk (a term I use here to describe anything not directly inside the DC Beltway) is a primary and a special primary on Tuesday, between the DC insider “pick” for our district, an attorney who is a relative newcomer to both politics and our area, and John Laesch, the nominee against Denny Hastert last time out, and the only progressive in the race.

At this point, I’d call it a significant bellwether for the upcoming Congressional elections that virtually no one outside of IL-14 is paying much attention to in the glare of the presidential race, as well as a bellwether event in the battle for control of the party.  So while I don’t expect this diary to get much attention, I want to leave a record of what has happened in this primary.  Bellwethers, however unobserved at the time, sometimes have a way of becoming useful history for those who follow.  



IL-14: Podunk, IL vs. the New Chicago Machine

by , posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Originally posted at Fireside 14, Prairie State Blue, MyDD, Open Left and Daily Kos.

Not long ago, I ran across this comment from a dedicated Foster volunteer and supporter:  

This will be unpopular… (0.00 / 0) 
…but you know I’m going to say it anyway! 
I am much more interested in what goes on in Northern IL than I am in what happens downstate. With work, I get more than my fill of politics in Springfield and the rest of the cornfields in IL. 
I just really don’t care what is happening in politics in Podunk, IL unless it’s really sexy and scandalous. Otherwise, I am bored.  (emphasis added)

by: bridgetdooley @ Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 22:18:39 PM CST

As anyone who lives in Illinois knows, anything not in the City or collar counties is routinely considered “downstate” (aka “Podunk” to Ms. Dooley) even if it’s north of Chicago.  The distinction here, if you are local, is that Kane and (parts of) Kendall, being collar counties, are typically considered part of the greater Chicagoland region, while everything west of the urbanized strip on the far east of IL-14 really qualifies as “downstate.”  

Which would seem to imply Ms. Dooley’s term “Podunk, IL” represents the vast majority of the geographic area of IL-14, containing somewhat more than half of the voters in the district.  (Of course, if you are a Chicago political insider, anything not in, oh, Chicago, pretty much qualifies as “Podunk.”  Much in the way that, to a DC political insider, anything not in New York, Chicago, LA, or DC pretty much qualifies as “Podunk” but we’ll get to that later.)  But maybe she really meant further downstate.