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Bill Foster beats Jim Oberweis for Hastert seat (smear by Mexico-linked ICIRR helped)

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

Sun, 03/09/2008 - 20:50
reteach

I used to live in IL and am not surprised at the election outcome. The people in IL (especially upstate are not very bright and are easily led around by the power hungry dems. Mr. Oberweiss is a good guy.

Sun, 03/09/2008 - 22:20
llamajockey

Lonewacko, There were any of a number of factors that contributed to Foster's defeat of Oberweis apart from immigration. 1). Except for immigration, Oberweis has run as a staunch Loyal Bushie for years. Foster was running as a lets end the Iraq occupation candidate. Oberweis was using the McCain lets stay 10 years or what ever the commanders on the ground say it will take. That is not a position popular in Illinois. 2). Oberweis alienated lots of Republican power brokers in the state and nationally when he broke ranks over immigration. In 2004 Rove and Bush wanted Immigration completely left out of the political debate except for Bush's "Y'all Come" temporary worker scheme. Lets be honest the Illinois Republican party taking directions from Karl Rove stabbed Oberweis in back, almost as badly as the Democrats smeared him, by choicing the carpetbagger Alan Keyes as the nominee when Jim Ryan's candidacy blew up over the Jerry Ryan divorce/sex scandal. Lots of big business Illinois Republicans are still very pro Open Borders and will attempt to sabotage Oberweis at every turn. For instance the conservative Tribune endorsed Foster, while taking sharp jabs at Oberweis over his tough anti-Illegal immigration rhetoric. Meanwhile the more Blue Collar Sun-Times and suburban Daily Herald endorsed Oberweis sighting in part his tough immigration stands. Parts of the 14th district like Carpenterville and Elgin have become heavily Hispanic with a sizeable illegal population growing rapidly in the last decade. The district overall is 18.5% hispanic. 3). Ben Foster ran as a blue dog. He took as strong a stand against the hiring of Illegal Aliens as Rahm Emmanuel and the DCCC would allow him short of endorsing the Save Act and with out enraging the instate Enthno-Centric open borders lobbies. 4). Foster hurt Oberweis badly over NAFTA. 5). With the Illinois primary occuring less than a month ago and Wisconsins two weeks , Obama had a large organization still moblized to help Foster. Foster ran on Obama "Change" theme. 6). Oberweis's at times combative personality rubs polite midwesterns the wrong way. That said. Over the next 8 months if Foster does not sign on to the Save Act, he will be very vulnerable in the fall. Pro Open Borders Democrats cheering the take over of Hastert's former district should keep that in mind. Foster will face Oberweis again in November. If Liberal Netroots Democrats somehow believe that "CIR" is anything other than the kiss of death in Purple to Red district congressional races, they are delusional. I certainly would not interpret Oberweis's defeat as a blanket rejection of his strong Immigration Restrictionist viewpoints.

Fri, 03/14/2008 - 01:24
Smitty

Good riddence to lost Republican seats, Hastert was wallpaper on immigration, I hope his neighborhood devolves into a barrio complete with MS 13 corner meth dealers & immigrant whore massage parlors.