Democrat Bill Foster beat Republican Jim Oberweis 53% to 47% in a special election for Dennis Hastert's former House seat in Illinois (link). Foster will only serve until the end of the year; a new election will take place in November for the full term. There are no doubt many reasons for the GOP losing one of their apparent strongholds, but one possible reason is a 2005 smear from the Mexico-linked Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights which the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) repurposed for the latest race.
In the 2005 smear, two illegal aliens were hired by a subcontractor to clean a few of the stores owned by Jim Oberweis' family dairy. Purely by coincidence, a video shot by the Chicago Workers' Day Laborer Collaboration caught the two in the act, and then the ICIRR and the CWDLC helped the two illegal aliens file a labor complaint alleging that they'd been paid below the minimum wage. Oberweis called the two "plants", and that certainly appears to be a very correct assessment. More on the incident here, here, and here. Oberweis Dairy has since fired the subcontrator and, according to them, they were never served with a labor complaint.
This time around, the DCCC ran a TV spot (youtube.com/watch?v=J_asTXB7OkI) referencing the incident, without, of course, revealing ICIRR's link to the Mexican government and the fact that the incident looked for all the world like a smear. Oberweis Dairy has now sued the DCCC for libel, with the DCCC responding with an FEC complaint (link). Whether the DCCC worded their smear ad correctly remains to be determined; they say that "Illegal immigrants worked at Oberweis' own dairy stores", which isn't the same thing as saying that Oberweis Dairy hired them.
And, throughout all of this, the fact remains that the Democratic Party strongly supports illegal immigration and Oberweis opposes it. In that way, it's a bit like drug runners trying to frame a DA by planting drugs on him.
Politics · Sun, 03/09/2008 - 11:06 · Importance: 1