Tea Party Express rolls through Illinois in April

Posted On 3:14 PM by Steve Stevlic | 0 comments

The biggest national tea party tour to date will make two stops in Illinois during the month of April.  The Tea Party Express (TPX) national bus tour will roll through Springfield on April 5 and Rockford on April 6.  The tour will begin with a March 27 rally featuring Sarah Palin in Harry Reid’s hometown, Searchlight, NV and culminate with a rally in front of the White House on April 15.

The Tea Party Express tour features leaders in the tea party movement along with musical performances at each event.



Springfield, IL (Tea Party Express):
Monday, April 5
6:00 p.m.
RSVP via Facebook

Rockford, IL (Tea Party Express):
Tuesday, April 6
2:30 p.m.
RSVP via Facebook

Chicago, IL (Tea Party Patriots):
Thursday, April 15
12:00 p.m.
Sign-up on the left for more updates

Washington, DC (Nationwide Tax Day Tea Party):
Thursday, April 15
Outside the ellipse, just south of the White House


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With the Illinois Republican Primary on February 2 rapidly approaching, a standing room only crowd of almost 600 tea partiers jam packed the Woodbine Golf Club for a Stop Mark Kirk Express rally. The rally, hosted by the Joliet Tax Day Tea Party and Homer/Lockport Tea Party, served as a meet and greet for Kirk's primary opponent – conservative candidate for U.S. Senate Patrick Hughes.

Joliet Tea Party organizer Tim Kraulidis explained to the crowd, "In this election, it's pretty clear who's who and what's what, folks...75% of Republicans say they're conservative. How is this guy (Kirk) polling ahead of real conservatives in this race?” Kraulidis said Hughes is the "one person able to carry our banner, to carry our cause and take the fight to the selected one. He's a true Reagan conservative, he's a true traditional candidate."  Patrick Hughes

The February 2 Illinois primary date is the earliest in the nation. It was moved up by Illinois Democrats to give then Senator Barack Obama an advantage on Super Tuesday in his primary fight against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. In addition to battling the Chicago style politics of Illinois Democrats, Patrick Hughes is a threat to the establishment of the Republican party.  Hughes has been endorsed by tea party groups across the state, several pro-life groups and the Gun Owners of America. The Chairman of the IL GOP, Pat Brady, recently called opposition to Mark Kirk a “fringe movement.” 

I had a chance to sit down and talk with conservative candidate for U.S. Senate, Patrick Hughes, after the Stop Mark Kirk Express rally in Will County. We discussed how he plans on defeating Congressman Kirk in the upcoming February 2 Republican party, how he'll confront Kirk on the issues and how his race compares to high profile campaigns such as Marco Rubio in Florida and Scott Devore in California.
Q: The Illinois primary is approaching very quickly. What are you going to do between now and February 2 to convince those 60% who are undecided?
Hughes: Obviously there is a giant difference on policy between myself and Congressman Kirk. We’re advertising on Fox News statewide. We're raising additional dollars, we're going to continue to do that. We have a coordinator in 18 different regions throughout the state getting our vote out. County chair people who support us, township organizations who support us, tea party groups, 9/12 groups who support us throughout the state. Grassroots, bought media and earned media - that's how we're going to get it done. It's a tough task because the primary is early. But the difference on issues in a Republican primary between myself and Mark Kirk are so huge. His vote on Cap and Trade, I'm a fiscal conservative. His vote against the Iraq surge, I'm a supporter of our military. You know the issues, he's for partial birth abortion, he's in favor of hate crime legislation, he sponsors it. He get's an F from the NRA, he votes for bank bailouts. He's not even remotely a conservative. It's getting clear to me that he's to the left of many Democrats on all of these issues. When people know the difference between us side by side, they're going to vote for us. It's just a matter of getting our message out and that's what we're going to work on over the next weeks.
Q: You took a pledge to only serve two terms if elected, how will you get Mark Kirk to commit one way or another to that pledge?
Hughes: There is no doubt in my mind that he will not commit to a two term limit because I believe he is a life long politician and aspires to continue to be a politician which is why he's voted the way he's voted to try to keep himself in office. It's why he's tried to move to the right in this election because he wants to keep himself in office. So I don't have a lot of hope for Mark Kirk on term limits.

“I will bring Reagan conservative values to the U.S. Senate, to Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat.” Patrick Hughes

Q: How are you going to get Mark Kirk one on one in a public forum?
Hughes: January 14 the League of Women Voters is holding a debate and I plan to be debating Mark Kirk on January 14 on ABC 7 Chicago.
(Note: Mark Kirk no-showed this debate without any explanation.  I made repeated attempts to contact the Congressman to ask his reason for not participating in the debate, but received no response.)
Q: When you have a chance to confront Kirk face to face, what is the first question you're going to ask him?
Hughes: What is your real reason for voting for Cap and Trade? I've asked him that before at the editorial board meeting for the Chicago Tribune and other times on the stump while we've been competing with each other for endorsements. So far his explanation on voting for the largest tax increase in American history has changed two different times and neither one is true. The first reason was it was for our national security interests. But when I said you won't drill in ANWAR or off the coasts he backed off of that. Then he said it's in the interests of my district, so I polled his district - they don't want it either because it's not in the interests of his district. Regardless of whether he thinks it is or not the people don't want it and it's going to devastate Illinois entirely and his district will fall into that problem also.
Q: Nationally, people are hearing about Marco Rubio's campaign for U.S. Senate against Charlie Crist in Florida, they’re hearing about Chuck Devore in California, what do you want people to know about Pat Hughes against Mark Kirk in Illinois?
Hughes: The situations are similar but in fact even more dire. I think Congressman Kirk is the most liberal of the Republican Senate candidates running right now. What's worse is I think he has very little chance of winning the general election. He's abandoning his left wing base to try to beat me in the primary and they're leaving him, NARAL has left him a little bit, the Sierra Club has as well. On the right side, the base is never going to come out for him. Look at the event tonight, the events that you go to. There is no doubt in my mind that this guy can not put the coalition together to win. The coalition that I can put together is the Bob McDonnell coalition which is fiscal conservatives looking for reform in government and economic issues and the base. You have to have the base with you, independents, good government Democrats who are tired of Quinn, Blagojevich, Alexi Giannoulias, our $11 billion budget deficit, our 11% unemployment rate. They want new leadership. You know independents are being more and more fiscally conservative, and those are the people that we will reach out to. I think I'm the best candidate in the general. I think Congressman Kirk is so liberal on the most important issues. I want the people of the country to know and I want people of this state to know this is the first primary. Marco's primary is in August. They have to get in now to prevent this guy from becoming a Senator. I will bring Reagan conservative values to the U.S. Senate, to Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat.
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Andy McKenna has jumped out to the lead in the latest Chicago Tribune poll for the Republican primary for Governor of Illinois.  Jim Ryan’s numbers have tanked, dropping 8 points, and Kirk Dillard has moved up to become one of the frontrunners.  Here are the results of the latest poll along with the percent change since the Tribune’s last poll in December:

  Latest  Poll % Change since Dec
McKenna 19% +7
Ryan 18% -8
Dillard 14% +5
Brady 9% -1
Andrzejewski 7% +1
Proft 6% +4
Schillerstrom 2% -
Someone else 6%  
Undecided 17% -21

I’m among the quarter of the electorate that has yet to decide on a candidate.  I know the candidate I like the best, but I’d like to vote for a conservative that can win.  McKenna, Ryan and Dillard are unacceptable, which leaves us with Brady, Adam or Proft.

What should we expect?

McKenna looks to remain the favorite.  He’s running commercials slamming Ryan and Dillard for supporting tax increases, deservedly so.  His new TV spot also shows Dillard appearing in a commercial for Barack Obama during his 2008 Presidential Campaign.  Many voters are unaware Dillard did a commercial for Obama since it primarily ran in Iowa before the caucuses.  Only in Illinois could a candidate who appeared in a commercial for Barack Obama run in a Republican primary. 

Jim Ryan’s support should continue to collapse.  He was leading when he entered the race based entirely on name ID and his numbers have dropped precipitously ever since.  Ryan doesn’t have any issues that can help turn things around.  He’s supported tax increases, he’s against the second amendment and he already lost to Rod Blagojevich.  Choosing Jim Ryan to run against the Democrats would be like rehiring Dick Jauron to coach the Bears. 

McKenna’s lead is not a surprise in this weak field of candidates.  McKenna spent $1.3 million in advertising in 2009 alone, not counting his spending in January leading up to the primary.  In terms of fundraising, “outsider” McKenna has been able to tap the insider contacts he developed as chairman of the Illinois Republican party.  McKenna also borrowed over $1.7 million from his wife to help stay on TV and radio.  Borrowing $1.7 million from your wife is one thing, but imagine borrowing $1.7 million from your wife to run for office and not winning.

Who has the cash to win?

The important data to look at besides polling is money in the bank.  Who has enough bullets left to win the fight?  Here is the estimated cash on hand for each campaign based on their semi-annual disclosure reports up to 12/31/2009 and donations reported in January 2010:

Gov Hand 2

McKenna is dominating the money battle.  Dillard remains competitive thanks to a couple of $250,000 donations (including one from Jack Roeser) and money from the Illinois Education Association (IEA).  Ryan won’t compete for the lead while being outspent by McKenna 4 to 1. Adam is on the radar because he’s loaned his campaign over $800,000 thus far.

Is it time for Adam or Dan to drop out?

Two conservative candidates are political outsiders and could bring real reform to Springfield – Adam Andrzejewski and Dan Proft.   They’re the only candidates receiving support from tea party groups across the state.  Unfortunately, they’re splitting the conservative reform vote.  Proft has shown some movement in the polls due to his radio commercials and debate performance, but he’s still only even with Adam.  

Conventional wisdom says that Brady is also splitting the conservative vote, but his strongest support remains downstate.  If Brady were to drop out his voters may go to Dillard, who is currently leading downstate with 22% of the vote.  Adam and Dan probably have a better chance if Brady stays in the race.

This isn’t a decision we, the voters, are able to make since the primary is only 10 days away.  We can campaign as hard as we want for our guy in this primary, but time is running out.  Rallying around one Scott Brown is possible, but fighting for three Scott Browns simultaneously and hoping one of them wins is not going to happen.

I have no recommendation on who should drop out and who should endorse what candidate.  Now is not the time for us to say “That’s why everyone should vote for Adam.” or “Vote for Brady because he has the best chance?” or “Dan Proft is my favorite”.  The voters don’t need to be convinced, the candidates do.  It’s time for the candidates to come together and support the man they believe has the best chance to win and save this state from it’s rapid decline.  I have no recommendation on who should drop out.  This is simply an observation that unless it happens, we’re going to be stuck with Andy McKenna as the Republican nominee for Governor.  Adam and Dan need to show us real leadership before it’s too late.

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President Barack Obama was heckled while campaigning for Martha Coakley today at a Democratic rally in Northeastern. Coakley is now trailing her opponent, Scott Brown, in the January 19 special election to replace Ted Kennedy in the United States Senate.

Obama campaigning for Democrats has become the kiss of death. Obama campaigned for Creigh Deeds for Governor in Virginia - Deeds was destroyed by Bob McDonnell. Obama campaigned for John Corzine in blue state New Jersey, and Chris Christie beat him to turn the state upside down. Now Obama is getting heckeled in the bluest of blue states - Taxachusetts, er, Massachusetts. If Massachusetts is no longer safe for Democrats, where are they safe?

The hecklers disrupted the President's remarks for more than 2 minutes. Obama even walked away from the podium at one point.

One of the hecklers has a sign that read "Jesus Loves All Babies". The video includes him being dragged away by the police.

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It all began in Massachusetts on April 19, 1775 with a shot that rang out around the world. A small band of brave Americans battled a vastly superior tyrannical government. These men declared to throw off such government and provide new guards for their security. The pundits claimed it could not be done. But against all odds the American people prevailed. Many called it a miracle and gave thanks for the gift of liberty.

Today our liberty is threatened by another tyrannical government. Thankfully, we have a way to defend it without resorting to arms. On January 19, 2010, Massachusetts will again become a battle line in the fight for freedom. The people will elect a new U.S. Senator. The choice could not be more clear.

A vote for Scott Brown is a vote for liberty. A vote for Martha Coakley is a vote for the Obama agenda. The pundits claim a Republican can’t be elected in Massachusetts. But they have repeatedly underestimated the American people. On January 19, expect a miracle.

Video from http://MassachusettsMiracle.com

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Dick Durbin Afraid Democrats Will Lose Kennedy's Seat

Posted On 3:16 PM by Steve Stevlic | 2 comments

Dick Durbin and I finally agree.  Durbin is afraid Scott Brown will beat Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts special election for U.S. Senate on January 19.  Durbin says Republicans would "...like nothing more than to replace Ted Kennedy with a tried and true right-winger."  You're right, Dick.

After Scott Brown raised $1.3 million in one day yesterday, Durbin sent out this frantic plea for cash:
Dear Stevan,
The final health care reform vote is just a few weeks away. But next Tuesday, Massachusetts is holding a special election to fill the open seat left by the passing of my friend and colleague, Senator Ted Kennedy -- and the results will be pivotal in determining whether we pass health care reform this year.
If Ted Kennedy was still with us in the Senate, I'm certain he'd proudly vote "aye" to pass the most progressive step towards universal coverage in four decades. And the Democrat running to fill his seat, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, has pledged she'd do the same.
But Martha is running neck-and-neck against a Republican, state senator Scott Brown, who would betray Ted Kennedy's proud legacy of fighting for the uninsured.
We need Martha Coakley's vote in the Senate to pass real health care reform this year -- and to do that, we need to act now to make sure she has the resources she needs to hold on to Ted Kennedy's seat in the Senate.
Attorney General Martha Coakley has dedicated the last 20 years of her life to public service. She's a self-described "progressive" when it comes to health care, and has spent much of her career challenging the Wall Street firms that brought on the financial crisis.

Vicki Kennedy, the late Senator's wife, attests, "My husband fought for health care reform for more than 40 years. Martha Coakley shares those critical beliefs."
If elected, Martha Coakley will continue Ted Kennedy's proud, progressive legacy in the U.S. Senate -- on issues ranging from health care reform to financial regulation.
But a recent poll shows Martha trailing her Republican opponent by a point -- within the poll's margin of error. That spurred a one-day $1.3 million online fundraising haul for her opponent yesterday, fueled by national Republicans and special interests who'd like nothing more than to replace Ted Kennedy with a tried and true right-winger.
We need to help Martha fight back, right now, in these last few days before the special election.
Please click here to make an emergency contribution to Martha Coakley's campaign before next Tuesday's special election -- and keep Ted Kennedy's seat in our column.
Republicans only need to pick up one more vote in the Senate to derail health care reform. And there's no doubt Scott Brown would cast that fatal vote of opposition, recently boasting "as the 41st senator I can stop a lot of this stuff in its tracks."

It would be an awful shame to see a right-winger take Ted Kennedy's seat in the U.S. Senate, and take down health care reform, but I'm confident that if we act now Martha Coakley can keep this seat in the Democratic column.
Thank you so much for supporting Martha Coakley's campaign today.

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Erick Erickson on Colbert Report

Posted On 12:28 AM by Steve Stevlic | 0 comments

Erick Erickson, Editor of http://redstate.com, appeared on the Colbert Report on Comedy Central. Redstate is one of the most influential conservative blogs online. Erickson was recently named as one of the top Republicans to watch in 2010 in Politics Daily.

Colbert asked him questions about his oppostion to the Republican National Committee's "purity test" and the Tea Party Movement.

Colbert also asked him about some of his more controversial statements on Twitter, including what Supreme Court Justice David Souter does with goats and children, comparing White House spinmeister Linda Douglas to Joseph Goebbels and wondering if there were affirmative action quotas in place after Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.

If you're watching this video to hear from an angry, foaming at the mouth conservative, you'll be disappointed.

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Steven Crowder Talks Detroit in Ruins

Posted On 6:29 PM by Steve Stevlic | 1 comments

Detroit is not simply the best example of what can happen when statism runs amok, it’s an example of what will happen if our country is transformed by a few more terms of Hope and Change.

Steven Crowder appeared on Fox and Friends to discuss his latest video for PJTV, Detroit in Ruins

In the interview, Steven said, "I weep for Detroit. It's really sad to go back to my hometown and see it that way. But considering that they have all promised the same thing, it's been the same Democrats coming back in, working with the unions, I don't see much changing in the near future. I hope I'm wrong"
As usual, the reaction to the video from the thoughtful and open minded left has been very negative.  There are a couple of questions they just don’t understand the answer to:

1) How can’t it be Bush’s fault? All evil in America and around the world is, of course, the fault of George Bush.  The fact that Detroit’s long, slow decline was nearly complete before Bush even took office is hard for the libs to comprehend, let alone admit.

2) We care SO much, how could our policies be bad?  This is the question the more thoughtful libs are asking themselves.  They are the good people, they care about the poor, they care about the middle class.  Conservatives are the ones who are evil and hate the poor, their policies are bad because they don’t care about people. 

The people of Detroit have been victimized by unrestrained statist policies for generations.  It’s a slow motion Katrina, where the people who have the means have long since left and only the poorest and most vulnerable are left to be victimized.  There is no one else left to blame.  Crowder’s video is powerful because it definitively shows good intentions do not equate good results.  Destructive policies are destructive policies, no matter how caring the people who devised them claim to be.   

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Tea Party Patriots descended on the capitol for a “Code Red” rally against the government run healthcare bill(s) in Congress.  Michelle Bachman received a rock star welcome and told the crowd to send a message to Congress. “We are citizens of the United States…We expect you to maintain our freedom”, Bachman said.  Bachman also encouraged everyone in the crowd to ask their Senators and Congressman to tell them where in the constitution does it allow them to mandate American citizens to purchase a service or product against their will.

That’s a great question.  As you may recall, I asked Senator Durbin that same question.  The answer I received was par for the course from the number two ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate.  Durbin, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the statists in Congress don’t have an answer to that question. 

Watch the video above to see Bachman’s remarks, followed by a speech from Laura Ingraham.

Bachman urged Congress to do the right thing, stating “The right thing is always conformity with the Constitution of the United States”.  As usual, Bachman is right. 

The tea parties have had to make a lot of visits to Washington lately.  Maybe the time has come for us to never leave. 

Visit http://www.teapartypatriots.org/ for more information and to find a tea party group near you.  If you’re in Illinois, visit the brand new Illinois Tea Party website for information on the more than 30 tea party groups here in Obama’s home state. 

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On most nights, I would prefer to write about Cap and Trader Mark Kirk than about Captain Kirk, William Shatner.  But tonight I must make a notable exception.  Shatner interviewed Rush Limbaugh for his "Raw Nerve" show on A&E.  This interview was shockingly good.  

To his credit, Shatner dares to do what few in the state controlled would even remotely consider – he asks Rush “What is a conservative?” and actually gives him a chance to answer the question.

Rush lays out what conservatives actually believe in: the principles that founded this country, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Rush explains that conservatives believe in individual liberty and that the individual is best left to pursue the aspects of daily life on their own.  Also to his credit, Shatner listened to Rush’s answer and said that nobody would disagree with what Rush said.  This exemplifies why Rush makes liberals’ nerves raw. Whether they are willing to admit it or not, they know that when most people listen to Rush they agree with him because he makes sense.   They’re even more afraid that he makes more sense than they do. 

If you're like me, you still may be wondering what Rush is doing being interviewed by William Shatner.  It turns out the two men have something in common - tinnitus - a ringing, hissing, or buzzing in the ear that replaces normal sound.

Rush discussed how quickly he was going deaf (he was losing 10% of his hearing EVERY WEEK) and how scared he was it would end his career. For a month before his cochlear implant operation he could literally not hear himself speak while he was broadcasting.  I knew Rush was dealing with serious hearing loss before his procedure, but I had no idea of the severity until this interview. 

Rush is perhaps the nation’s top spokesman for American Exceptionalism and motivating people to overcome all obstacles to achieve their goals.  The stories Rush tells here about his hearing loss shows that Rush walks the walk, even when he can’t hear himself talk the talk.

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