I thank you for all your hard work and support during my last 910 days of campaigning.
It was your challenge to the power structure that weakened Dennis Hastert in 2006,
culminating in a Democratic victory in the March 8th special primary.
This campaign has never been about me as an individual.
Any success that we have achieved in building a stronger political structure in Illinois and raising the bar on our Democratic opponents is because of you.
Many of you have written e-mails encouraging the pursuit of the recount over the last four weeks.
I have considered and carefully weighed the opinions of those who worked hard going door-to-door and contributed for real change.
However we have to remember that the possible is not always probable, and a recount will be costly in terms of both volunteer time and supporter money, and there is no guarantee.
In light of Saturday’s election results, and in consultation with my senior campaign staff, I have directed my attorney this morning to withdraw the recount petitions.
Because our Congressional campaign is over does not mean I will end my involvement in electoral politics. I vowed to stay in until our service men and women return from Iraq, and I have every intention of honoring that vow.
My brother and I worked on our first campaign in 2004. He recently sent a picture with his son Luke and offered his thoughts on the election:
“… let them know, that despite everything you are going to fight on for Single Payer, because that is where the Democratic party should be, fair trade agreements, because that is where the Democratic party should be, and so on…”
That is what I plan to do; stay involved and fight for real change.
I did not get involved in politics for personal gain or power.
I got involved because the alternative was doing nothing about the injustices I see every day.
Bobby Kennedy was fond of saying, “the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who fail to act in great times of moral crisis.”
As Iraq and the economy continue to burn, I hope that everyone will stay active in electoral politics, will stay informed and will hold all our elected officials accountable for the decisions they make in our name.
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.
On Friday, December, 14, John attended a breakfast hosted by the Fox Valley Chambers of Commerce. All the primary candidates for the 14 th Congressional District were invited to discuss the important issues in this election. This was the first time candidates from both parties were on the same stage for discussion and debate. The give and take was lively and informative.
John is a strong advocate for fair trade policy and single payer health care. He explained how these two initiatives were good for business, as fair trade will help bring good paying jobs back to the 14th District, and universal health care will provide relief from skyrocketing costs for both small and large businesses. He conveyed his belief that when we work together to strengthen the middle class, everyone prospers.
Last night George W. Bush delivered his final State of the Union address.
Early on he stated, “We believe that the most reliable guide for our country is the collective wisdom of ordinary citizens.”
He closed his address citing the first three words of our Constitution, and the three words I chose as our campaign theme, “We the People”.
Unfortunately the President’s rhetoric last night does not measure up with his actions, and he demonstrated that he is still committed to the politics of fear.
Fortunately, after seven years of his pro-corporate policies that weaken the middle class, after six years with a Republican Congress ready to rubber stamp these policies, after five years of George Bush’s fear-based, foreign policy debacle that is Iraq, the American people are speaking their wisdom in record numbers this election season, and their voices are summarily rejecting these policies.