IL-14: Kane County Dem Forum

Last week the Kane County Democrats hosted a forum of IL-14 Democratic Congressional candidates Jotham Stein, John Laesch and Bill Foster before an audience of precinct committeemen at the Kane County Government Center in Geneva. It was not open to the public. I do not know who made the decision to restrict the audience nor why it did not occur to them to find private space for the private meeting instead of a public building, which is a no-no. Reportedly the Foster campaign requested no videotaping but FriendsofJohnLaesch, apparently believing that Laesch “won,” has uploaded audio of the forum in topic-sized pieces onto YouTube. The irony is that Laesch made the goofiest statement of the evening while addressing immigration issues, saying, “I disagree that we are a nation of laws; I believe we are a nation of hope.” Guess he got a bit carried away. Overall I think they all did all right–certainly one could get a feel for their positions–and am eager to attend the debate at NIU next week.

Disclosures: I like Bill Foster so much as a candidate for Congress that I voluntarily spent hours gathering ballot petition signatures for him. Because of people like me who are very enthused about his campaign, Foster turned in about 1900 signatures to get himself on the primary ballot, a good 1,000 more than was needed. I will be sending him money the next good payday and have not ruled out another stint at pounding the pavement. Meanwhile I will continue to post about him and other IL-14 candidates with as objective a viewpoint as I can muster while liking him best.

13 thoughts on “IL-14: Kane County Dem Forum”

  1. You forgot this part:

    “Disclosure: I’m knocking on doors for Bill Foster.”

    That’s a qualifier you might want to include when your calling your boss’s opponent “goofy.”

  2. Except, Andy, I am no longer doing that. I’ve finished my bit with the ballot petition, was a volunteer only (so Foster is in no way my boss), have not been asked to do anything else–including blogging–and have not yet given money (but probably will). There now.

    You were easily able to ascertain my loyalties via the front page so your insinuation simply does not fly. However, I will add something to each post so we can maybe discuss something else besides disclosures.

    And I did not say John Laesch was goofy. I said he made the goofiest statement of the evening after I listened to the batch. Any one of them might have had that honor. FYI I embedded this one not just for this somewhat far-out example of Laesch’s “United States of America” theme but also because immigration was the topic where the candidates differed the most IMO. The main purpose of the post was to call attention to the existence of the audio.

  3. All three of these guys need to do more homework on immigration. Dr. Foster’s idea of a biometrics I.D. card would open the door to identity thieves exponentially. Secondly, how much is that going to cost and who will pay for it? There are some answers to that in regards to the UK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4630045.stm Look how much information is included on those cards, and the price is there. One British pound today is worth about two dollars. That does not include how much money cards readers would cost that businesses would have to get. A thief would be able to access a lot more information than just a number with cards storing that much information. He should take a look at the new Illinois drivers’ licenses. Those look like they will stop counterfeiters in their tracks, at least for a long time. The problem is not with a lack of an identity card but the counterfeiting of them. There used to be a big ring of Social Security card counterfeiters here in DeKalb. Those cards are easy to counterfeit. It is the fake cards that need to be stopped, not collecting more personal information at a huge expense.

    Laesch thinks American factories opening up in Mexico causes illegal immigration to the U.S.??? Does he not remember former President Vincente Fox coming to the U.S. frequently to advertise for Mexicans to return to Mexico because there are new jobs? Not all illegal immigrants come here to stay, which people do not mention (although Stein mentions guest workers). Often, people come and stay for a few years and then go back. We were supposed to be impressed that he knew the word, “maquilidora,” but he used it incorrectly.

    Jotham Stein does not have as many goofy ideas but he needs to check out how much it will cost to implement his ideas. They are not cheap by any means. A decade ago, the Coast Guard was very busy rescuing Haitian boat people off the coast of Florida. That is not as prevalent today. But, I do know a lot of their funding was cut, even if they are not as busy plucking people out of the water. I would be more concerned about catching drug dealers than stopping terrorists. More people die in the U.S. over drugs than in the war in Iraq but people seem to wait until a little kid is killed in gang warfare before they go out and protest. For 2006, there were over 17,000 people murdered for various reasons. That’s too bad the war protesters (or anyone else) do not focus their attention on that.

  4. Mr. Laesch has a lot of ambition and that’s a good thing for our youth to have. But he might want to consider walking before running as his lack in depth of knowledge is clearly revealed by the very message in the ad he “approved.”

    A world ECONOMIC council made up of environmentalists and human rights activists? Good people. Wrong role.

    American companies should be mandated by either their government or their consumers to pay American minimum wage regardless of what country they are sourcing their labor to. That would fill in THE GAP in economies of the third world and reduce the need to emigrate for employment.

    Revisiting our immigration policies each year sounds good to me if that would get our laws enforced.

  5. The biometrics thing took me by surprise. That seemed to come out of nowhere. I am totally against a national i.d. for the very reasons that Kay gave.

    Around 1980, when still living in Indiana, I renewed my driver’s license and they presented an option they were very enthused about: using one’s SSN as the license number. I instinctively recoiled from that idea on privacy grounds only, identity theft not part of my vocabulary yet.

    Three general principles guide my voting:

    1) I do not give up my privacy for the sake of law enforcement at any level;

    2) The Executive branch doesn’t get to pick and choose what laws it enforces; and

    3) My role as a citizen is way more important than my role as a consumer.

    This must be why I sometimes feel like a salmon struggling upstream.

    Mac, I like your minimum wage idea.

  6. Public discourse sans political partisanisms is required regarding identification, imho. The rapid evolution of the Internet has made many things convenient, including identity theft. The hopelessly ineffective method of dealing with it is through law enforcement as the driving force because of the internationality of the medium and the sacrifice of personal privacy.

    Identity theft is a security and not a legal issue. A life savings, hard-earned credit rating, etc. can be lost in an instant as can entrance and opportunity to implement mass destruction of lives be gained. Law enforcement can only act as a meager prevention and to bring justice after the fact to perpetrators of identity theft.

    I could just as easily vote for Bill Foster as I could Chris Lauzen at this point but I want to hear more from Foster, a scientist, on biometric identification, so I hope he does not capitulate to wet finger pundits’ admonishments. I recoil intitially at such concepts, too, but I think in my case its due to conditioning from my early religious roots to fear The Mark. If a system of protecting identification exists to the point that after the fact law enforcement of that issue is deemed unnecessary then I want to hear about it. That is not to say I support biometric identification.

    yinn… what do you mean by your Third Principle in Voting? How are the two different?

  7. No teasing, just expressing my views on the subject. I don’t understand your point about the importance of being a citizen over being a consumer. I think they’re the same but I’d like to know how they are different.

  8. National database of employees?
    Puhleeze-pure classism here-not to mention Foster saying it’s a ‘worker’ id card, not a ‘national’ id card. (NIU debate, 11/6)
    So trust-fund babies won’t have to have fingerprint ids, huh?
    And a CEO candidate will have to have his/her card swiped as well?
    Orwellian, at best, and pandering to a right-wing wedge issue.

    And why won’t he actually commit to a substantive health care plan, instead of throwing around the useless meme ‘universal health care’.
    And 10% ‘bureaucratic overhead’ on private insurance administrative costs vs. Medicare? (NIU 11/6) 10%? Where is he getting these numbers?

    And how many times does he feel a need to call himself a ‘scientist and businessman’?
    I think I’d prefer ‘effective leader’ instead.

    Sorry, but Foster just seems to be another Repub-lite.

    (And to KS, if CAFTA and NAFTA guaranteed a living wage and worker’s rights, there would probably be a lot less illegal immigration.
    But free trade and fair trade are two entirely different issues.)

  9. Mac, to clarify it is consumerism itself that I reject. Being a citizen means I have a set of rights and responsibilities but that does not mean I accept membership into a cult that praises materialism, pushes the “greed is good” mentality, obligates me to buy Chinese tschotschkes to keep a war economy going, and calls all kinds of speculation “investments” while actually investing practically nothing into the future.

    Walt, I was at the 11/6 debate. You can criticize Foster’s “I am a scientist and a businessman” if you allow me the same with “Mr. Progressive” and “Mr. Lawyer-negotiator-solution-fix.”

    Foster needs to find a way to explain his worker i.d. idea in one minute or drop it. At this point nobody knows what he’s talking about. Otherwise I found his answers thoughtful and I prefer his temperament over the others.

    Stein, whom I felt fairly neutral about before, totally lost me on Tuesday. First he was so intent on staying on message that he continually repeated himself and couldn’t shake out an original idea to save his life. Then there was that weird diatribe against impeachment. Mostly though I just found him ungenuine.

    Laesch wowed me a couple times with his knack for looking at problems in different ways. In particular I was impressed with his suggestion that it might be helpful to uncouple border security issues from immigration policy in some instances. Otherwise, though, I came away thinking that he needs to separate his idealism from the picture at hand lest he appears unrealistic, and sometimes his passion made him reactive and overly emotional. His supporters in the audience did him no favors, either; they came across as a rather undisciplined lot, which feeds into the unfortunate “cult of personality” impression. IMO Laesch is destined to be a political leader but not this particular job, at least not yet. He requires more seasoning.

  10. Walt is right that if decent wages had been tied to NAFTA that would have reduced illegal immigration. If the stock market keeps tanking and the U.S. dollar keeps falling in the world currency markets, illegal immigration in the U.S. will soon just be a stopping point on to Canada. That’s half a joke, but I never remember the US$ being worth less than the Canadian$, which it is right now.

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