The League of Women Voters sponsored a forum on Tuesday for all five candidates running for former Speaker Hastert’s open seat in the 14th.
Video of the debate will be posted on the League website and we’ll let you know when that happens so you can see John in action.
Excitement and interest in this race are high.
We were told the LWV expected about 200 hundred people but today’s papers report the crowd was 600.
Last night, John showed that he had the political will to lead and fight for important issues.
Among the candidate’s positions on Iraq, John’s was the only one clear and direct: cut funding for the war, the only real option for a Congressman, and bring our soldiers home now.
Regarding our health care crisis, John’s support of Rep. Conyers’ bill, HR-676, Medicare for All, distinguished him as the only candidate ready to vote for true universal health care.
While the Republicans on stage called for more free market/for profit solutions and John’s Democratic opponents wouldn’t commit to any particular health care financing solution, John offered a national health care plan that 79 members of Congress already support.
John challenged Republican Jim Oberweis’ impartiality on trade issues.
John noted that Oberweis’ investment fund , Oberweis Asset Management, makes $ 14 million dollars a year from investment in China, creating a potential conflict of interest regarding trade legislation. Oberweis did not respond to John’s comments.
John Laesch is campaigning for Congress in the 14th District of Illinois.
Laesch, a former military intelligence analyst, previously ran for the 14th District seat in 2006 but was defeated by former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. Hastert has since announced his retirement and does not plan to run for Congress in 2008.
“You’ll hear me talk consistently about the importance of three things,” Laesch said. “Those things are the war in Iraq, the importance of health care and the economy.”
Laesch has one eye firmly fixed on international affairs.
“One of the biggest reasons why I’m running is the war in Iraq; there’s no real plan to get out or to win the peace,” Laesch said. “The primary reason we’re involved is because of oil, only to occupy. Bush wants his friends to monopolize the region, that’s his goal.”
The lack of military experience in today’s political leaders is something Laesch, who served in the Middle East, sees as an advantage for himself.
“Basically, we’ve got a bunch of lawyers making decisions they know nothing about,” Laesch said. “We need someone in there who knows the situation and the region we’re dealing with.”
Laesch has a personal tie to the current war in Iraq.
“My brother received his orders to go to Iraq in 2005 and was there for the end of 2005 and most of 2006,” Laesch said. “When he went overseas, that’s when I decided I was running.”
“I want to get every American soldier and private contractor out of Iraq,” Laesch said. “We could do that in two to three months successfully. The problem is, Congress doesn’t have the power to do this directly. But I can vote to cut the war funding and basically twist the president’s arm behind his back, forcing him to do something he doesn’t want to.”
Laesch also emphasizes health care and economy, hoping to bring better coverage and more jobs to citizens.
“We’ve got families working two to three jobs just to get by sometimes. They can’t afford to pay health insurance,” Laesch said. “What I’m working toward is a single-payer national health care plan, which essentially means people will get medication and coverage for free. Basically, everyone would have open medicare from birth to death, instead of only having access to it once they are 65.”
Laesch has outlined an environmentally conscious plan which will create new jobs.
“I would adopt a new environmental energy policy, involving the production of hybrid cars, a high-speed continental railroad and environmental home remodeling,” Laesch said. “All three of these things will create jobs.”
“The trade deficit is ridiculous – something like $702 billion, it’s a problem that has to be addressed. We need to fix the trade imbalance, so we’re producing things in America again,” Laesch said.
On Tuesday January 8, State Senator Mike Noland endorsed
Democrat John Laesch for Congress in Illinois’ 14th district.
Noland’s 22nd District is in the northern part of the 14th Congressional District.
“Clear eyed and direct on the issues,” said Noland of Laesch,
“his positions on the need for health care reform, a new energy policy, and dogged persistence in general are just a few reasons why we need him now.”
“Senator Noland’s endorsement gives our campaign a tremendous boost as we head towards the February 5th Democratic Primary Election,” said Laesch.
“I have worked closely with Mike and, like his constituents, I respect his persistent leadership. I look forward to working with Senator Noland and all of the elected officials, local and state, to address issues like traffic congestion in Northern Kane County, affordable healthcare and economic opportunity.”
The progressive grassroots won a huge victory in Iowa.
Barack Obama and John Edwards both showed that people are listening to a message of economic populism and real change. The people want a candidate that will speak for their values. They want a leader who will take on corporate special interests and return government to the people.
While we in Illinois are especially proud that our Senator won in Iowa, we should also note John Edwards’ second place finish. Edwards was outspent 6 to 1, and conventional wisdom would say that he didn’t have the money to compete; but John Edwards has a message that resonates with the people.
Right now, my opponents in both parties are offering slick mailers, slogans and sound bites. Two are self-funded, dipping deep into their own personal fortunes to finance their campaigns.
I offer the voters a clear, concise message of truth, hope and change. Just as voters in Iowa said yes to change, so will the people of Illinois’ 14th district.