Friday, November 03, 2006

Shabbat Shalom 12 Cheshvan 5767

Endorsements Issue

Welcome to my first general election political endorsements issue. Many of you are probably assuming that I am going to endorse only conservative or Republican candidates due to my personal political ideology. As you will soon learn, that is not the case. My criteria in making my selections includes issues, accomplishments and character. I will be making endorsements regarding local and state races in Illinois as well as a few key races outside the Land of Lincoln. So lets have some fun and hopefully a debate.

Illinois Governor...Judy Baar Topinka (R)

When Rod Blagojevich left his congressional seat after one term, he ran on the premise of reforming Springfield in the midst of the George Ryan fiasco. Blagojevich was young, energetic, good looking and being compared to Bill Clinton. His name was even mentioned as a potential Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate in 2008. Nearly 4 years later, we have indictments and scandals surrounding his administration making George Ryan look like a choir boy. The State financially is still in shambles to the point that he has stopped paying into the employee pension fund. Big business continues to leave Illinois and the state bond rating is one of only three states with a negative rating. Earlier this year he created multiple election year programs that nobody knows how they are being paid for. The above mention scandals are too numerous to mention, but many can be found throughout the history of this Blog. I have not forgotten him appointing a follower and adviser of Louis Farrakhan to the state panel on discrimination and hate crimes. When the Jewish community asked Blogojevich to have the individual condemn Farrakhan anti-Semitic comments, he refused.

As Treasurer Topinka has done a good job. She created one of the best college savings plans(529) in the country and has run a clean office, especially in an environment surrounded by corruption. Topinka has a history of working well with both sides of the aisle and has very moderate political views that are a good reflection of the state. As a Republican she is more moderate than I like, but fiscally she is sound and that is what the state desperately needs. A vote for Topinka is a vote for a person who will be in office four years from now. A vote for Blagojevich is a vote for his Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn, who would become governor after Blagojevich gets indicted. Vote Topinka.

Illinois Attorney General...Lisa Madigan (D)

Many of you are about to pass-out from this endorsement, but truth be told, Madigan has done a good job. Her goal is to be governor and she is banking on a Topinka victory or a Blagojecvich indictment, so she can run in 2010. I adamantly opposed her in 2002. Her father is House Speaker Michael Madigan, which to this day is a conflict of interest. Nevertheless, she has been fair, stood up to her Party leader the governor on numerous occasions and deserves to be sent back. Her opponent Stu Umholtz has barely made an effort to win this office and should of never entered in the first place. Vote Madigan

Illinois Comptroller....Carole Pankau (R)

I'm not sure if anyone even cares about this office, that includes current Comptroller Dan Hynes. For those of you who aren't familiar with Hynes, he is the Democrat that was supposed to defeat Barack Obama in the 2004 senate primary and be Illinois senator.. Hynes comes from a old Democratic Machine family and has been very vocal in supporting an 2008 Obama Presidential run. I wonder why? He hasn't done anything noteworthy and is just buying time until he can run for a higher office. Pankau is a state senator, great fiscal conservative with ideas about making the office worth the taxpayers money. She actually wants the job. Vote Pankau

Secretary of State...No Endorsement

Jesse White (D) of the Tumblers fame has brought the office into the 21st century, but it is just as corrupt as ever. Why his daughter has a $133,000 job nobody knows. State Senator Dan Rutherford (R) is a very respectable legislator who would be wasting his abilities in this office. I am hopeful he will consider a run for a higher office in the future. No Endorsement

Illinois Congressional Races

6th District...Peter Roskam (R)

This race gathered national attention when Democrats recruited an Iraq War Veteran, Tammy Duckworth, who lost her legs when her helicopter she was piloting was shot down by insurgents. Duckworth deserves everyone's utmost respect. She has served her country and made unimaginable sacrifices. Unfortunately as a congresswoman she offers nothing except a second vote for Nancy Pelosi. After missing debate after debate she eventually showed up and offered no ideas or solutions of her own. Her answers to all questions are verbatim from the DNC playbook. I have written and stated before, she is being shamefully exploited for her disability. I wanted to be wrong, but after watching her televised debate on WTTW, my concerns were confirmed. State Senator Peter Roskam has an excellent track record of fiscal discipline and common sense. His conservative values fit the district and he will help bring back fiscal responsibility to the GOP in Washington... Vote Roskam, Respect Duckworth.

8th District....Dave McSweeney (R)

This race is all about character and Congresswoman Melissa Bean has shown very little. She purposely ran ads distorting McSweeney's position on abortion. She knew the ad content was false, but continued running them after her sources publicly condemned her. Recently she has attempted to turn the table on her opponent claiming he is running an ad distorting her view on social security. The problem she faces is that the source McSweeney used was an AARP questionnaire Bean filled out. McSweeney is a conservative in the tradition of Reagan and will also be a vocal supporter of Israel. Vote McSweeney

9th District....Anyone but Jan

If Sadam Hussein ran for congress as a Democrat in the 9th congressional district he would win with 70% of the vote. When Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky was a state representative she was called a Socialist by a fellow Democrat. She has made numerous pro-Fidel Castro comments, never seen a social program she didn't like, never voted against a tax increase and has the same disdain for the military as John Kerry (did I say that). Schakowsky represents one of the largest Jewish constituency's in the country, but has been silent regarding the growing anti-Israel sentiment within the Democratic Party. Last year during a mock impeachment proceeding of the President, she sat behind congressman Jim Moran as he prompted a former FBI agent who blamed support for Israel as the reason we went to war in Iraq. She said nothing, shame on you.

Making an endorsement is a moot point in this race. She will win and win big. Her opponent is Michael Shannon, so good luck, you will need pictures of her molesting a child to get 40% of the vote.

10th District...Mark Kirk (R)

I could probably right a novel about my support for Mark Kirk. Nobody represents his district as well as the Congressman from the North Shore suburbs of Chicago. From his work to save a local Veterans hospital and protecting our children from internet predators to his effortless work to keep Lake Michigan clean and his support for tax cuts, Kirk is the man. Kirk is in the words of a friend of mine who works for AIPAC, "he's our best friend." Kirk has been an adamant supporter of Israel since he took office in 2001. When the United Nations pass anti-Israel resolutions, Kirk is at the forefront condemning the UN.

Kirk has won re-election with overwhelming support in his past two races. Right now it is unclear how safe or unsafe his seat is. Kirk is a prime example of how many in the Jewish community in Chicago still cannot accept the idea of a Republican being their friend. Kirk's district leans Democrat, but as a moderate who is pro-choice, pro-Israel and a champion for environmental causes he has been well received. Right now his opponent, Dan Seals, has benefited greatly from anti-Republican sentiment. Seals has raised serious money and has a strong grass roots campaign. Kirk is a Naval intelligence officer who was a strong advocate of the war against Sadam Hussein. He is now suffering the consequences of the public's disapproval for the war in Iraq .

The simple truth is that no Jew in their right would vote against Kirk. At a time when the very existence of the Jewish people is under grave threats from Iran and a multitude of Islamic Terrorist groups, Israel and the Jewish people need advocates such as Mark Kirk. Unfortunately, many Jews on the North Shore only vote for the "D", regardless of the candidate or the consequences. Enthusiastically Vote Kirk

Races of National Significance

Tennessee Senate...Harold Ford (D)

If you read my blog within the past few weeks, you will recognize the name Harold Ford. I have stated over the past two years that the Democrats and the Media should be making Ford their African American rock star, not Barack Obama. Ford is a moderate Democrat who doesn't believe God is a four letter word and doesn't support increased taxation. He actually believes that the first 10k each citizen earns should be tax free. A far cry from improving the tax system, but to have any Democrat offer any tax relief is in itself a miracle. Ford is a man of impeccable character, placing his principles ahead of party loyalty, a lesson everyone should learn.

Ford's opponent Bob Corker is also a great candidate. Tennessee voters will not loose regardless of the winner. I do side with Corker more than Ford on the issues, but there is a larger picture for me. The Democratic Party needs moderate common sense voices such as Ford. The fact he is African American is also important. Too many African American representatives are of the victim mentality. They want more social programs and wealth redistribution instead of finding real solutions for their communities. Sadly, many African American elected officials are blatantly anti-Semitic. Ford is not of this mentality, which makes his importance greater than just issues. Unfortunately, he will probably loose his bid for senate and no longer be serving the public trust. I only pray he stays active. Vote Ford
Connecticut Senate...Joe Lieberman (I) and (D)

What the Progressive Left did to Joe Lieberman was shameful. Everyone says he was ousted for Supporting the war in Iraq. That's not entirely true. Most Dems supported the war at first, but Lieberman made an election year fopah, he made positive comments about our efforts this year. Early in 2006 Lieberman went to Iraq and when he came back he had positive news to report. Lieberman has been critical of the Bush administration handling of the war, but when he returned from his trip he was honest with what he saw and that honesty cost him the primary. Lieberman is a man of integrity and we greatly need that in the senate. Ned LaMont is a schmuck with no ideas or substance. He is running as a anti-war advocate and nothing else. Vote Lieberman

Maryland Senate...Michael Steele (R)

This one is simple for me. Congressman Ben Cardin is against all school and social security choice programs. He even voted against the Washington DC voucher program, which has been a huge success. He clearly prioritize the NEA over our children. Cardin hates tax cuts to the extreme of voting against the marriage tax reduction in 2001. Cardin is also a big fan of the United Nations voting against reforming the UN by restricting US funding. His pro-UN stance confuses me since Cardin is Jewish and the UN is engulfed in anti-Semitism. Cardin is a typical liberal who believes government has the answers not people.

My support for Michael Steele is based on his common sense approach to America. He is pro-life, but believes Roe v. Wade should stay in place. He wants to work toward reducing abortions and unwanted pregnancies. Steele supports Mandatory sentencing guidelines for child sex offenders. He shares my feelings of being personally against the death penalty, but it should be left up to each state. Steele shows great independent leadership potential, disagreeing with the GOP on affirmative action and criticizing the White House on how the war in Iraq has been fought. Vote Steele.

Agree, disagree, praises and ridicule are always appreciated and encouraged. I won't give you the standard line of what's most important is that you vote. I don't believe anyone who doesn't educate themselves on the issues should cast a ballot or do I believe in single Party only voting. Each person has to define themselves and their priorities before they cast a ballot. I am a father, husband Jew and American before I am anything else. That is how I vote.

Shout out: I want to send a personally shout out to my blogs biggest fan, Patti Tempel, with congrats on her new job. To answer your earlier question, follow my endorsements if you choose and vote Ray Wardingly in Illinois 3rd Cong District. Nothing but love to you and your kids.

Sports Weekend

Did you honestly think I would forget my weekly picks? Last week we did ok going 2-2. Very happy to loose the Indiana/Michigan State contest. Go Hoosiers!

NCAA Saturday

Ohio State at Illinois: The Buckeyes are undoubtedly the best team in the nation and find themselves a 27.5 point favorite traveling to Urbana. Illinois is not good, but has given better teams some trouble this year and are tough at home. OSU will win, but Illinois will beat the Spread, 33-13.

Northwestern at Iowa: The lowly Wildcats head to Iowa as 18 point underdogs. After barely getting by Northern Illinois and losing their previous two games, Iowa needs to make a statement. Watch Iowa run up the score covering the spread, 34-10.

Bonus game: Indiana heads to Minnesota as 7 point underdogs. Look for a pumped well coached IU squad to win the game outright.

NFL Sunday

Denver vs Pittsburgh: The Broncos are a 2.5 point underdog and the Steelers have QB issues. The Bronco defense will contain Pittsburgh in a low scoring game. Take Denver and the points, but they will win outright, 17-13.

Miami vs Chicago. Bears are a 13 point favorite and will cover against a Miami team that may have trouble getting a touchdown, 24-6.



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