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In September of 2003 I made a decision that would forever change my life.  I had spent some time soul searching about the direction of the country and how it would affect the lives of my children and others in their generation.  It seemed critical to me that we needed a better Congress. We needed a Congress that was willing to protect the environment, invest in our future through education, new technologies, and economic development.  My current Congressman, Henry Hyde, did not seem willing to vote for any legislation that furthered these goals.

So I decide to run for that seat (IL-06).  I received two pieces of advice: don't run if don't have $500,000 of your own money to put into the race, and don't run if you don't plan to run twice.   I didn't have the money but I did make the commitment to run twice.

I ran to win the first time but I was honest with myself that this could be the first year of a three year campaign cycle.  I always kept in mind that I would be building for the future.  In the end I received more than 44% of the vote, the most a challenger has received against Hyde since he first ran for Congress.  Out of the 18 challenger races, on both sides of the aisle in Illinois, I received the second highest percentage of votes only behind Melissa Bean--I also raised the third highest amount of money.  Most importantly, I became the adopted race of many grassroots organizations like the Democracy for America (DFA), and of course I was named to the Dean Dozen.  In Illinois, this is an honor I shared with only one other candidate: Barack Obama.

Now in my second run I understand the importance of this strategy. I do have some name recognition, and that is important, but the most important asset I bring with me is the organization I have been able to build and maintain since the election.  

I come from a family of small business owners so it is easy for me to see a campaign like a small business.  As anyone who has started a business can tell you the first year is the hardest.  There are so many things that need to be put into place and so much work to be done: creating a product, advertising, hiring workers, finding investors and getting good advisors. Of course, a campaign is all about people, and usually people that are passionate about progress.  The candidate becomes your product, the investors are the people that invest their time and/or money into the campaign, and the workers are your staff and your advisors who tirelessly give of themselves because they believe in, and have faith in our message.  All of these are needed to run a successful campaign, and they take time and resources to get organized. Like many small businesses the first year is not usually profitable but with hard work and good planning the second year, or in the case of a campaign, the second run can be profitable.  We have seen this in candidates like Melissa Bean and Stephanie Herseth recently.

As seasoned political advisor told me, if I wanted to win in 2006 I needed to start in November of 2004.  I took that advice to heart and kept as much of my organization in place as possible to gear up for what is now will most likely be an open seat in 2006.
I have been running with a really strong sense of urgency though since there are strong rumors that Henry Hyde will be given an ambassadorship to the Vatican in 2005, kicking off a special election. I do not know if it really will happen, but I would be foolish not to be ready if it did.  So in the next few months we will be running this campaign as if the election is going to happen this summer.  If it does not then we will be just that much stronger in 2006.  There are many who believe that the Sixth District is the best target in Illinois in 2006 for a Democratic seat.

Many people have asked me to write more about what is going on in the campaign and to keep those of you that are distant supporters abreast of what is happening.  I will try to keep a diary of events that will hopefully give you some insight to our campaign over the next few weeks. In the very near future we will have website that will have tools to allow two way communications between our campaign and the grassroots.  Our current site facilitates people setting up meetings and coffees that have been the core of campaign from the beginning. Take a look at the current site, and let us know what you would like to see as our new site is being created.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the amazing things you do out of love for our country.  Being involved in the political process can be time consuming and a resource drain, but I know you do it because, like myself, there is a strong desire to leave this country, and this world, a better place for the next generation.  

Thank you for your dedication,


P.S.  I will be around to answer some questions for a short while but then I must leave to attend our first Cegelis MeetUp of this cycle.  I will log on again later after I get home.

Originally posted to Christine Cegelis on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:05 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is great - Recommended (4.00)
    Bring more candidates and congresspeople onto Kos!  You did a great job in 2004.  Many of us were following your race from a far.  Good luck in 2005 (or 2006 if it goes that long).  We are pulling for you.  

    Thanks for taking the time to talk with us directly.  I have no questions, other than to say thanks for running once and doing it again.

    •  Seconded (none)
      I think CC is in a great position to win the next race.  She'll be miles ahead of any potential challenger if Hyde retires.

      What color are your pajamas?

      by Unstable Isotope on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 04:37:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You go girl! (none)
        The Illinois Rethuglicans still haven't learned.

        Let's learn 'em.

        Let's pick 'em off one by one.

        After we help you wallop Hyde, let's run their pride-and-joy Speaker of the House out of the state.

        We're with you 100%.

        Starting this week, I'll be doing my best to get your name out so my Chicago cohorts know exactly where their dollars should go.

        You're fighting the good fight.

        You don't need half a mill straight out of the gate. You have the truth on your side. We're with you all the way.

  •  Thanks for writing this, and for running! (4.00)
    Christine, you know I have been a long time supporter of yours, but I want to thank you for what you are doing.  I really would have very little hope for the future were it not for people like you who are willing to put it all out on the line to try to change their country.  

    And I really, really hope we have a special election, because I want you in Congress THIS YEAR so maybe you can give a little backbone to some of our so-called "Democrats" who just let the bankruptcy bill take one more step towards passing!  Ugh!  We need you!

    Work for change with DFA in Illinois!

    by citygirl on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:05:38 PM PST

  •  Christine (4.00)
    You are my hero!

    Keep up the hard work and rewards will follow.


    When the PEOPLE lead, the LEADERS follow!

    by mlkisler on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:06:21 PM PST

  •  you forgot to ask for money. (4.00)
    I know you may be shy about this but even grass root candidates need money.

    Christine is a wonderful candidate that you will be proud to support and vote for.

    So all you Kosians, Kosacks or Kosopolites got to Christine's web site with an open wallet.

    Do it for me if for no other reason.  I cannot stand the thought of Henry Hyde, or any of his minions, being my rep. for another two years.

    Please Please Please.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:11:26 PM PST

    •  You can contribute at (4.00)

      Or if you are in Chicago you can come to the fundraiser that I am organizing on March 15th ... at Cactus, downtown, two hours of open bar, and a chance to meet Christine.  Details and RSVP at:

      I also want to say that I did a comparison of money raised by all the DCCC's targeted "Red to Blue" races last year, and the ONLY three who wone either outraised or matched their opponents fundraising.  If I knew how to post a spreadsheet, I would post the figures -- it is quite sobering to see!

      Work for change with DFA in Illinois!

      by citygirl on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:18:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Chicago fundraiser next Tuesday 3/15 (4.00)
      Anyone interested in attending a downtown Chicago fundraiser for Christine next Tuesday, please let me know--I'm on the host committee.  

      "Going for the Green" Fundraiser for Cegelis for Congress

      • Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2005
      • Location: Cactus Bar and Grill, 404 S. Wells, Chicago
      • Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
      • Includes: two hours open bar plus nacho/taco buffet
      • Special Guest: Candidate Christine Cegelis
      • Suggested Donation: $50

      I used to work across the street from the bar at a and I look forward to sending glares of death at my former employer.  Come for the taco bar, stay for the glaring.

      In all seriousness, I am really looking forward to the event.  Christine is a great candidate, and, thanks to Melissa Bean's victory last November, we are off to a good start electing talented women to Congress on their second try!

  •  Also, I know Kossacks like facts and figures (4.00)
    so here are a few:

    Past Dem vs. Hyde Vote Totals In IL-06
    Cegelis 44.2%
    Hyde 55.8%

    Berry 35%
    Hyde 65%

    Christensen 41%
    Hyde 59%

    Cramer 31%
    Hyde 68%

    De le Rosa 33%
    Hyde 64%

    Work for change with DFA in Illinois!

    by citygirl on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:12:34 PM PST

  •  Thank you for your support! (4.00)
    As many of you already know a campaign can not be successful without the great support of passionate people.  Thank you everyone for your support as we continue this fight to take back the House.
    •  So Christine.. (none)
      What is our opinion about the bankruptcy bill?  How would you change it if you could?

      Also what about campaign events coming up.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:19:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bankruptcy Bill (4.00)
        The bill does a great job at protecting the credit card companies and especially those with predatory lending practices.  We need to make sure there is protection for the elderly, veterans, and people that have gone into debt due to illness.  With the rising cost of healthcare many people even those with insurance are finding themselves in financial trouble
    •  2006 Will Be Our Year (4.00)
      Barring a complete implosion by the GOP, the Senate may be out of reach in 2006, but there is every reason to think that taking the House back is a real possibility.  Fifteen seats are all we need!

      Districts like the Illinois Sixth are eminently winnable for the Democrats (47% Kerry/Edwards).  I strongly suspect that the only reason Hyde won was because of his greater name recognition (translation: laziness by voters who didn't realize how much he's out-of-step with their concerns).  If the seat is open in 2006 -- or before -- that's one fewer hurdle to clear.  And even if it's not open (stubbornness by Hyde?), his advantage would be significantly reduced by keeping the name of Christine Cegelis in the public eye.

      Christine, I'm glad to see that you've already raised over $20,000 for the next election cycle, and I wish you the best at your upcoming events.  I assume that at some point in the not-too-distant future you will be contacting contributors from 2004 (of whom I was proudly one) for assistance going forward.  Hopefully, you'll be getting some strong early backing from the DNC/DCCC.  You'll certainly be getting it from the online community.  Best of luck, and I'm sure we'll all be hearing a lot more from you soon.

      Finally, while I don't want to seem like I'm trying to put you on the spot, but I was wondering:  If elected, what would be the first piece of legislation you would attempt to introduce?  Assume a hypothetical Congress where as a newly-elected Representative you are encouraged to do this immediately after being sworn in.  Alternatively, what would be the subject of your maiden speech on the House floor?

      •  From your mouth to God's ear (none)
        and I'm an agnostic.

        Oh, the fun to be had with a Dem-controlled House. For starters, impeachment. Wouldn't it be wonderful to finally see the truth about this administration publically recounted, then see the Senate GOP scramble to either defend the SOBs (and go down with the ship) or abandon them.

        Then there's the not-so-little matter of Bush being an absolute lame duck from that point on out.

        My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. Sen Carl Schurz

        by Bill Rehm on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 06:23:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (none)
    Thanks for running, thanks for running again.

    And thanks for involving the netroots in the process.

  •  Is there something I can do for you? (4.00)
    I'm a teenager in Virginia, but I have served as staff on campaigns before.

    I also run this small company, which may be able to help you out.  (And considering that you're running against Hyde, I could cut the rates)

  •  What I'd like on your website (4.00)
    Chuck Pennacchio has banners available that we can place on our blogs. I'd love to see the same thing from your campaign. Especially for those of us who can't afford to donate - at least we could try to get the word out in different ways.

    I'm in Texas, but see the immense need to support candidates in other areas of the country to unseat Republicans like Hyde and Santorum.

    Thanks for listening, and good luck!

    Oh well, I wasn't using that civil liberty anyway.

    by think2004 on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:39:27 PM PST

  •  My $$$ comparison chart (4.00)
    We will see how this turns out with my limited amount of formatting skills, but here goes:

    -->The DCCC's 13 ""Red to Blue"" Races - goal was $200,000 per candidate in two weeks in August.

    Arizona        Incumbent Won    Rick Renzi (R)    Paul Babbitt (D)    2.3 million    1.3 million
    Colorado      Toss Up            John Tony Salazar (D)    Gregory Walcher (R)    1.6 million    1.6 million
    Colorado      Incumbent Won    Bob Beuprez (R)    Dave Thomas (D)    3.0 million    1.2 million
    Conneticut    Incumbent Won    Rob Simmons (R)    Jim Sullivan (D)    2.5 million    1.0 million
    Conneticut    Incumbent Won    Christopher Shays (R)    Diane Farrell (D)    2.2 million    1.5 million
    Georgia       Incumbent Lost?    John Barrow (D)    Max Burns (R)    2.8 million    1.8 million
    Kentucky      Incumbent Won    Anne Northrup (R)    Tony Miller* (D)    3.3 million    1.2 million
    Minnesota     Incumbent Won    Mark Kennedy (R)    Patty Wetterling (D)    2.5 million    2.0 million
    New Mexico      Incumbent Won    Heather Wilson (R)    Richard Romero* (D)    3.4 million    2.1 million
    Pennsylvania    Incumbent Won    Jim Gerlach (R)    Lois Murphy* (D)    2.3 million    1.9 million
    Pennsylvania    Toss Up          Michael Fitzpatrick (R)    Ginny Schrader* (D)    1.2 million    $540,761
    New York        Toss Up          Brian Higgins (D)    Nancy A. Naples (R)    1.6 million    1.4 million
    Washington     Toss Up          Cathy McMorris (R)    Don Barbieri (D)    1.6 million    1.6 million

    *indicates they were also a Kos dozen candidate.

    --->The Kos Dozen Candidates Not Above

    Ohio        Incumbent Won    Mike Oxley (R )    Ben Konop (D)    1.8 million    183,886   41%
    New York    Toss Up    John Kuhl    Samara Barend (D)    1.0 million    627,852   41%
    Ohio        Incumbent Won    Ralph Regula (R )    Jeff Seeman (D)    531,413         76,205   33%
    Florida    Incumbent Won    Katherine Harris (R )    Jan Schneider (D)    3.6 million    548,179     45%
    Missouri    Incumbent Won    Roy Blunt (R )    Jim Newberry (D)    2.6 million    212,782     28%
    Colorado    Incumbent Won    Marilyn Musgrave (R )    Stan Matsunaka (D)    3.4 million    867,279      44%
    Texas       Incumbent Won    Tom DeLay (R )    Richard Morrison (D)    2.8 million    518,433     41%

    All this information was gathered from:

    If I have made an error, please let me know.

    Work for change with DFA in Illinois!

    by citygirl on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:39:51 PM PST

    •  Alright, my point is this (4.00)
      1. Money counts.  Of the above candidates,the only winners were those that raise the same as, or more than, their opponents.

      2. The netroots are great, but you NEED the support of traditional Dem organizations like the DCCC.  None of the DKos Dozen candidates who weren't also supported by the DCCC broke one million, and the "cheapest" win in the lot was $1.6 million ... (Dean was the exception to this.)

      So how do we get the attention of the traditional Dem organizations?  By early fundraising like Christine is doing.  Most of those groups will not even look at you unless you have $100,000 in the bank.  $200,000 is even better.  Maybe after half a million they'll  actually return your phone call ...

      Maybe things will be different in 2006 when there is no presidential race sapping people's dollars, but after I did this comparison, it became really clear to me that though important, the netroots are only part of the picture.  (But an important part, especially for those that understand the how their early money $$ can lead to bigger $$$ later on.)

      Work for change with DFA in Illinois!

      by citygirl on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 04:24:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live in IL-9... (4.00)
    ...but my daughter plays some of her soccer games over in IL-6.  We'll be there when you need people to walk precincts, knock on doors, or whatever -- whether it's during soccer season or not.

    We're looking forward to the next race, no matter who it's against.  Although, it would have been that much more fun to watch you beat Hyde.

  •  Hey there! (4.00)
    Chris --

    I was really surprised when you stopped by my store on one of my Benefits for DFA.  We are here and ready to help you again if you need an outlet in the City.  Just give us a call at Eclecticity.

    Of course he's written in the Lamb's Book of Life. He's the Antagonist.

    by ultrageek on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:43:41 PM PST

  •  The website (4.00)
    Christine - I don't live in Illinois, but thank you for deciding to take on something like this.

    I don't know what you have as far as staff, particularly IT resources, but I would highly suggest that you or someone in your organization check out CivicSpace -

    Right out of the box this thing has almost everything you'll need: mailing lists, blogging, the ability to easily author content like issue positions, online donations.

    The group responsible for this put together the highly successful DeanSpace project during the last election.  The community is very responsive and I'm sure some of them would be willing to volunteer or possibly work for you.

    I know that in California one of my biggest complaints about some of the candidates that run here is that I can't find any information about where they stand on issues on their website.  Those that do have a listing are great about saying what they have done, not so great about telling me what they plan to do.  I'd say is a trait which is more common to folks my age, but it could be a good way to reach an additional audience with your campaign.

    So, make sure you use the web site as more than a vehicle to gather online donations - make it another way to communicate and reach out to your constituents with detailed issue positions and narratives as well as periodic personal blog entries.

    Just my two cents.

    Take your country back one dollar at a time at

    by Raven Brooks on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:47:33 PM PST

    •  yeah yeah (none)
      good idea and if they dont respond then i personally volunteer to smack my little bro upside the head.

      Yeah the revolution starts now..So what you doin' standin' around? -Steve Earle

      by juls on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 04:35:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  On it! (4.00)
      Hi there -

      While Christine's out at the MeetUp, let me chime in: I've been helping Christine throughout with her web strategy; in the last cycle we ran the site on Movable Type so Pat, Sandra and Christine could post updates several times a week. We have taken that site down, and will be moving to a CivicSpace-powered site in the not-too-distant future. I've been involved with the CSL guys since the Deanspace days, and am eager to get Christine's site up. We will use most of what the system has to offer, including an event calendar, individual blogs, threaded forums, and configurable mailing (so anyone with an account can decide how the campaign should communicate with them).

      Lots to do, thanks for the encouragement.


      Rick Klau

      •  Great! (none)
        Great to hear it Rick, it is always good to see people with IT skills contributing their efforts to help Democratic political candidates reach out on the web.  This is one area where I think we can really excel, a lot of candidate web sites are horrible.

        I'd offer to help but we are about to undertake our own extremely ambitious CivicSpace/Drupal project.  I just got budget approval this evening so things will start happening :)

        Take your country back one dollar at a time at

        by Raven Brooks on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 10:39:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  issues (4.00)
      I'm sure the site design could stand some improvements, but I know the first thing I did when I went to Christine's site was look for the "issues" link. It was easy to find. I read through it before deciding to give money. I figured it was a pretty good bet she'd agree with me on most of the issues given that she showed up here, but it's definitely important to me to know for sure. It was great that the issues list was short and sweet - I actually read all of it! But it would be useful if each bullet were a link to another page that expanded it in more detail (as an out of state contributor I probably wouldn't bother to click on it, but if I was in her district I definitely would).
      •  I second that (none)
        And the website is a big improvement over where it was last summer.  I remember going to the issues section last summer (I'm in IL-9) and thinking that the candidate I had heard speak was not being well-represented.  Congrats on the improvements!  

        I'd agree that a link to more fleshed out policy ideas would be great.  Thanks for running again, Christine!

        •  That Was the State Party at Work (none)
          Once the primary season was over, the State Dems (iirc) counselled that all candidates should be miserly with details about policy. Their purpose, of course, for this advice may have been questionable, but folks who have since read Lakoff understand that policy is not why folks vote for you.  

          vote early - vote often

          by wystler on Mon Mar 14, 2005 at 01:10:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Working on this one too (none)
      Got some people from the Dean campaign who I work with who do this...
  •  Off to the Cegelis MeetUp (4.00)
    Thanks for your comments and we will be creating a new website in the near future.  Tonight though we are reviving an old tradition of stuffing envelopes at the DuPage Democrats office.  It is was always the favorite activity of the campaign -good food and better company. We will start planning for the next campaign and it is good place to get volunteers involved.
      Interesting news that one of the top Republican contenders has dropped out of the race already.  State Senator Dan Cronin of Elmhurst has decided not to run for the seat. There are several other Republicans interested but Cronin was always the top of the list.
      Promise to log back in when I get home.
    •  welcome, Christine! (none)
      You are absolutely right about running twice.  I was just saying this last week about Richard Morrison.

      More Blue candidates need to grasp this and your diary really brings the point home.

      We were all so proud of you even though you "lost" because you took on one of the big boys and held your own.  Now you are within striking distance even without a special election. I predict you will get a lot of help from here as your race starts to heat up.

      Welcome to dKos!

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 03:58:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cronin is not running? (4.00)
      If true, this is incredible news as I thought he was considered the favorite if Hyde stepped down!  I think this is good news as, based on his voting record in the Illinois Senate, he could have portrayed himself as a moderate, even though of course the Bush agenda is so extreme that unless he went against his own party on every single vote, he would be an extremist in US Congress.  But this means that if it is a toss up race, our challenger may be one of the more obviously extreme candidates. Which of course would broaden your appeal to all the normal people.  ;-)

      Work for change with DFA in Illinois!

      by citygirl on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 04:01:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congratulations, Christine! (4.00)
    How many Kossacks, like you and me, ran for the first time in 04 and are going to climb over that victory peak in 06?

    Someone should do a survey!

    Actually, I got the same questions: how much money do you have, and will you run in 06?

    And I also got more than 44% in a district that was essentially forgotten by Dems - until we organized and organized and organized.

    Go get 'em Christine!

    •  honesty? (none)
      Before we win any elections, we need to recognize where we need help, and approach battleground districts with honesty, not wishful thinking.

      In this vein, as a liberal who did not forget this district, I would like to remind JK Minnesota that the previous representative for this district was a DFLer who won 9 consecutive terms, who was redistricted out of this seat.  The DFL's own electoral index ranks this district as 49.8% democrat.  The reason there was little State support in this district is entirely because of the DFL candidate running, and JK Minnesota knows this.

  •  Ms. Cegelis or her campaign staff ... (none)
    Please get in touch with Generation Election PAC.

  •  Go for it!! (none)
    I grew up in Melissa Bean's district. My family still lives there and voted for her. My sister followed your campaign closely and is a big fan. I for one will be sending dinero your way. You will do it!!
    •  Slightly off topic.... (none)
      Were people in your district desiring bankruptcy reform ?  I ask because Congresswoman Bean signed on to the "New Democrat Coalition" letter and I was wondering if this was a popular issue in the district.  And if you think this will help or hurt her in '06?


      I know Bush wanted to run the country like a business, but I never expected it would be a dot com.

      by avagias on Wed Mar 09, 2005 at 09:07:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not my district (none)
        I grew up there. My Congressman, Tim Bishop, is not on that list. But, another Long Islander, Carolyn McCarthy is. I wonder why, as well.

        Bean's district is very middle-of-the road. It was once Donald Rumsfeld's district and Phil Crane held it for thirty years. So people have been voting Republican out of habit for ever there. The knee jerk response to bankruptcy is that it is a shameful failing of personal responsibility.  

        This letter of course is not a yea vote on the bill.  They may be naively thinking they can influence the language in the bill if they are seen as team players. Of course Hastert will just give them finger in the long run and I doubt if many will be voting for the final version of the bill.

        •  Thanks... (none)
          for the info.  I was just wondering if you have heard any feedback from people like your family that still live there, and if they are actively supporting it (not your family, but the district in general), and if there has been some kind of pressure on Bean to support it.  I know the district is a traditional moderate republican but I don't know if I agree with your sentiment that the district seems to hold that belief in general.  I was hoping maybe you had actually discussed this with family / friends who are from the district.

          I know that signing the letter is not voting for the bill, but I also don't think that the people who signed the letter are going to vote 'no' when the letter conveys a sense of urgency of "reform" the bankruptcy system.

          Thanks for taking the time to respond

          I know Bush wanted to run the country like a business, but I never expected it would be a dot com.

          by avagias on Wed Mar 09, 2005 at 11:55:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Run Twice (none)
    Do you have a primary opponent? If not I strongly suggest you find one. Ask Melissa Bean (who had a contested primary in 2004) about the benefits which include:

    Endorsements from the big Newspapers (and special interests) that you can use in your general campaign literature.

    Fresh name exposure and a chance to get out those yard signs and bumper stickers for 7 months instead of just 2.

    A dry run for your field team.

    And best of all - you get to win!!!

    A chance to be a political winner.

    •  Someone here could always run (none)
      You don't have to have a nasty primary to have it be contested. A true debate of the issues without spin might be a good foundation for Christine to take on the spinmiesters.

      Just an idea, maybe not a good one.

  •  You go, girl! n/t (none)

    I got my mojo workin' but it just won't work on you.

    by YankInUK on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 05:46:47 PM PST

  •  Love your word choice (4.00)
    I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the amazing things you do out of love for our country.  Being involved in the political process can be time consuming and a resource drain, but I know you do it because, like myself, there is a strong desire to leave this country, and this world, a better place for the next generation.  

    I love love love the way that you express patriotism in a progressive way here.  We liberal folk need to do a better job of reminding people that we are indeed patriots.  And you just did it.  Please say this as often as you can.

    Good luck and thanks for keeping Daily Kos in the loop.  We've got your back!

  •  Welcome and best of luck - and (none)
    I will help in any way I can.

    How can we get over it when people died for the right to vote? -- John Lewis

    by furryjester on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 05:49:38 PM PST

  •  Gave you a few bucks (4.00)
    And a recommend for the diary.

    About all I can do from all the way out here in CA. But I know every little bit helps!

    •  asdf (none)
      I am not sure when Christine will be back from the meetup to comment, but I just refreshed the Act Blue page, and we are up to $3,520.  It said $3,335 (I think) before she posted the diary, so thanks to those who contributed -- I know for most of you it IL-06 is a galaxy far, far away!  The total she has raised this quarter as of Monday is a little over $20,000.  We hope (!) to pull in another $10,000 at the fundraiser next week.

      You can look for yourself at:

      Work for change with DFA in Illinois!

      by citygirl on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 06:13:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What I would hope... (4.00)
    is that Christine's "Long March" strategy will inspire potential candidates in other parts of the country to start their own journey.  

    Congress is nice, but public service and political careers can start with a local festival committee, city hall, the county courthouse or the state house.  The nation needs reasonable people and progressive voices in all of those places.

    It felt good making a contribution! (hint hint)

    Please visit my webby, A friend said, "I feel like I've entered a slick modern museum of cool stuff."

    by stumpy on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 06:35:33 PM PST

  •  Go Christine! (none)
    Good to see you blogging, and I wish you the best of luck!

    "Hey, I'm willing to take it." -Jeff Gannon, 2/7/05 "I quit" -Jeff Gannon, 2/8/05

    by Jeff Seemann on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 06:57:25 PM PST

  •  Your determination is great! (none)
    Well God bless I sure hope you get it and if I was in IL's 6th, I'd vote for you!  I'll try and contribute to your campaign too in the next couple of months.  I'm still recovering from Xmas.
  •  Please help me get another rep! (none)
    I've had Henry Hyde for my whole life it seems. At least as long as I can remember. It's time for someone new. DuPage is trending Democrat, and is not far from tipping to a Democratic majority.

    Please everyone, help us out. Seed money is important and will go a long way to helping Chritine mount a great campaign that will start to change my county back to blue.

    Way to go Christine. I'm behind you!

    •  And have you noticed the very nice web banner (none)
      and other nice artwork on Christine's web page?  Gee, I wonder who could have done that ..... (hint, hint, michael!)


      Work for change with DFA in Illinois!

      by citygirl on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 07:27:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We're with you! (none)
    Godspeed and good luck.  We got your back here!
  •  saw Christine perform twice (none)
    I interviewed Christine early in her campaign for Collective Interest radion. Later I saw a video of her in a joint appearance with Rep. Hyde. She really developed into a candidate that was very effective at communicating on a wide variety of issues, including security.

    Bloggin Blagojevich's Blunders: do you want to see Roddy B challenged in the Dem Primary?

    by Carl Nyberg on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 07:51:04 PM PST

  •  I offer my time to volunteer for your campaign (4.00)
    We need more people like you in Illinois. I am a senior at DePaul University in Chicago.  I volunteered for Barack Obama's campaign and I extend my offer to volunteer for you. I am in Dan Lipinski's district, but I would love to help someone like you take over in the 6th District. I am good at political strategy, such as finding ways to GOTV, fundraising, campaign message/theme, and even precinct analysis, among many other things. Just email me at if you are interested. CEGELIS 2006!
  •  Thanks for all your help (4.00)
    Thank you for the donations and the offers for help.  Anyone that offered to help expect a call or email from our campaign in the next few days.  We had a great meetup and a conference call into a Democrat Meetup in Chicago.  There are so many meetings that it is hard to get to all of them.  That is  good news because it means there are so many people that are actively working to change our government.  The level of activity is inspiring.  Thank you again for all you do for the good of our country.  I know that it comes from the heart and is a labor of love.
    •  It was a (none)
      very encouraging meetup.  I was thrilled to see so many people, and the energy level was great.  There has been this - malaise, for lack of a better word - settling like an evil fog, on so many progressive people.  The election in November, the subsequent return to complete media adulation of Bush - it's been discouraging.

      But Christine was fired up and articulate and the group of supporters is ready to fight and win.

      We are going to exorcise the 6th district and I certainly look forward to it.

  •  Running twice (none)
    You're so right about that.  The first time is mainly about getting name recognition.  The second time you drop the hammer.  Witness Congresswoman Melissa Bean in a district demographically similar to yours.

    You're also looking for support in the right place.  And if you think Barbara Boxer gets love here, just imagine if you knock off Hyde!

    I'm sending along a few bucks, and you're welcome to some free real estate on my blog for an ad.   And I'm glad to help out; my congressman (Rahm Emanuel, D-IL) is as safe as safe can be.

    WindyCityLefty Nudging the Midwest to the left one reader at a time.

    by WindyCityLefty on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 09:02:46 PM PST

    •  Write to your Congressman (none)
      Who also happens to be head of the DCCC.  Tell him why you, one of his constituents, gave money to Christine and explain why he (i.e., the DCCC) should too.

      "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

      by Jim in Chicago on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 11:00:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree on running twice (none)
      If you look at the races prior to Christine's, none of the prior candidates ran again after losing the first time.

      Dems have been quick to put loser tags on candidates if they lose a race.  Bean showed that that isn't necessary.

      And I think this applies at all levels.  I think not only the name recognition, but also learning the process of running a campaign is important.

      Developing a donor base, finding good management people are all things that can happen in that first try.

      What we as Dems need to realize is that persistance is important, no matter how bleak things may look at any given moment in time.

      And yes, I agree with a poster upthread that the House can be regained in 2006 if everybody starts now.

      Bush, so incompetent, he can't even do the wrong things right.

      by JAPA21 on Wed Mar 09, 2005 at 08:15:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Endorsements (none)
    Have you gotten any other reps. to voice early support for your race...?  Schakowsky would be a great person to have on your side.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

    by jenhoward on Wed Mar 09, 2005 at 02:37:15 AM PST

    •  We're working on it . . . (none)
      Those of us in Chicago are writing letters and sending e-mails to both Rahm Emanuel and Jan Schakowsky to indicate our strong support of Christine.  Rahm is my congressperson . . . so now is the time to get him to line up behind my favorite congressional candidate . . .
    •  Schakowsky supported her in 2004 (none)
      but it appears as though she and Rahm are looking for a big money "ringer" to carpetbag in the 6th, thinking that they need old-school tactics.

      Christine, by the way, also enjoyed the support of all the major Women's organizations that have the IL-6th as a constituency.

      •  We should all send polite but firm notes.... (none) Ms Schakowsky and Mr. Emanuel and remind them to support the current grassroots candidate.  Christine already has a energized working ground campaign and active outreach to the larger internet community.  It would do a world of good if you also sent a copy or record of a donation to Christine as evidence of you support.  However, money is nice but send a letter even if you don't give money.

        I also have heard that the `self funder' they have in mind may be a DLC member so I don't know if Jan and Rahm are the real motivators behind this primary run.

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Wed Mar 09, 2005 at 12:53:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  As someone who just put together a House database (none)
    for a paper I am working on....I can attest to the fact that many of the current members of the House had one or two failed bids before they eventually won the district....

    And after that they held onto the job for at least ten years.

    Part of the way to overcome name recognition problems is to run several times. You learn from your experience, the party gets to see how you perform without any help and the public gets to know you better...

    Another interesting statistic is that roughly 1/3rd of those who raise over $800,000 win....but it goes up to 50% if the current situation is unfavorable to the current incumbent's party...

    So our people have roughly 12 months to raise say $500,000 (that will attract some real money from traditional sources)....

    In other words, we need to convince 50,000 people to contribute $10 over 12 months.....or in even more other words....$0.83 a month.

    If we can't convince people in 100 House districts to consider this small but significant amount, we don't deserve to win....

    And every day that passes means that we lose more opportunities to really shake things up in 2006.

    Right now, ActBlue has categories that allows for you to donate to the eventual Democratic nominee. By putting money into these district coffers, we can encourage formidible candidates to eneter the race who would otherwise sit out and also help those citizen candidates have a fighting chance....

    How long should we wait?

    •  This good idea has already been done (none)
      Christine's campaign was listed with ActBlue for the 2004 cycle, and has also set up the 2006 version at ActBlue.

      I supported her then, and I continue to do so now, because I believe that the grassroots progressive movement is the next big wave to hit DC!

  •  To succeed, you need to change the rules (none)
    You need to get with other candidates running against Repukes in IL, to form common cause against these morons.  You need to brand yourselves as for the common guy, and against the elites and corporate interests.  You need something like the Contract on America, which I disliked but which was a very successful strategy.
  •  Collective Thought (none)
    Having been around a few, I would advise you, along with all the other IL CD candidates, get together over a weekend or so in Decatur (or a like place) and debrief each other.  Its like deglazing (sp) in cooking, you'll get good data.

    Candidates who lose always have better intel than those who win.  You can learn from mistakes, etc.

    Do it soon before all the good info becomes rumor.

    •  We are already doing it! (none)
      The candidates from the 2004 Congressional campaign have already met a few times.  I also have had meetings with candidates that ran for state rep in my district.  We are all working together to put together the best possible campaigns throughout Illinois in 2006.
      •  Dr Gil (none)
        Hope you can hunt him up, he gave it a good shot in CD 15.

        I know jobs are a big issue there, where so many workers are stuck in those anti-worker, pro-poverty Temp agency assignments.  Its almost become a career path in rural areas.  Plus defiant anti-union shops like Toyoto down near Olney.

        Never, however, heard anyone mention the issue in any of the CD races last cycle.

        •  Dr. Gill and I have met and spoken many times. (none)
          During the campaign and after I spoke with many of the other candidates and my staff kept touch with their staff to make sure we tired to maximize our resources. Thanks to Tim Bagwell for setting up meetings after the elections.  I mention jobs quite often and I will be speaking at the Democratic Club of DuPage County tomorrow on the issue of jobs, special visas (H1B) and international trade and how it affects our district and jobs.  I come from an Information Technology background and have had large multi-national corporations as my clients as well as having a degree in International Relations.  We live in a global economy and we need to look for ways to succeed financially in that economy.
  •  how much? (none)
    You sound like a strong candidate with a terrific chance of winning in '06.  Best of luck to you!

    None of my business, but I'm curious to know how much that site cost...??

    I'm a professional web designer with a pretty decent portfolio, and I'm looking for a congressional candidate, preferable in CA, to offer my services to.  Free.  Only problem is that I'm not a programmer, so any back-end database stuff would have to be paid for unless I can find a like-minded individual who wants to collaborate.

  •  Go Christine! Very inspiring and fascinating story (none)
  •  Don't Forget the Women (none)
    Do you have a good women's vote program for your campaign?  It is the women, by the way, who vote Democratic these days - particularly single women.  And women voters love progressive dynamic women candidates just like yourself!  We've got the women in Missouri all riled up but have no candidates willing to come out for '06. So we'd love to help you.

    You Keep on Running!

    I love the slogan from Pat Schroeder's first campaign:  She Wins.  We Win.

  •  So, anyone from Illinois (none)
    posting here needs to write their Congressperson ... well, their Democratic Congressperson :)  ... and tell them to endorse Cegelis this time around.  Paraphrasing a friend of mine: "Hyde's bad choices affect us all."  And if your representative is Rahm Emanual or Jan Schakowsky, that goes double.  Make them know how important this race is to you, their constituent.
  •  Christine I am proud of you (none)
    As a resident of Wheaton, I have been voting in every general election since 1996.
    One thing that always bothered me as a voter who has never voted for a single Republican candidate even for DuPage County elected posts is the fact that I have never heard of the name of Democratic candidate for 6th district before the election day (Typical example of the candidate not campaigning seriously enough.) except for the 2000 candidate Brent Christiansen who made some noise because Henry Hyde was the Chairman of House Judiciary Committee who impeached President Clinton.
    I think there is still lingering resentment of the role Henry Hyde played in the impeachment among the voters of 6th district (I wasn't happy of what happened in the Oval Office, either.), and I still haven't forgiven him for that.
    The 2002 candidate was such a dud that I still voted for him, but was angry that he didn't make any noise, and gave another easy victory to Hyde.
    Perhaps, having such a dud candidate in 2002 wasn't too bad afterall (No, I don't advocate candidates not taking campaigning seriously.) because that prompted someone who was serious to stepped up to the plate, and the voters of 6th district finally got a serious candidate who will campaign around the district even if the candidate may not have a lot of money to spend.
    Christine, you are the first Democrat in 6th district and DuPage County to campaign seriously as a candidate, and I am proud of you because of that.
    I am also proud of your strong liberal-leaning views on health care (Your advocacy of a single-payer health care system.) despite the fact that 6th district isn't such a liberal district (I am sure Republicans will try to scare voters by screaming, "government is going to take over health care!!!" if they start feeling threatened.).
    I hope you can keep it the way it is, and not become another moderate like Melissa Bean just to win (I am happy that Melissa Bean beat Phil Crane, but I guess I am not thrilled that she tends to be more of a moderate on business/economic issues.).
  •  Head up from "This Week in Fascism" (none)
         I have a policy of letting diary authors know what I said about their diaries in my series on This Week in Fascism 03-10-05 [Time to do Something]

         Come on over and let me know what you think about my comments. I also remind the Authors that I probably recommended their diaries and am consistantly the top recommended each week. Hint! Hint!

         without further ado here is what I said.

              Kossacks in Action

         Christine Cegelis who ran against Henry Hide last year in Illinois joined the fun and gave us some advise. You Have to Run Twice (IL-06) was the advise she got when she ran the first time. Go visit her website.

    "It's about the accountability, stupid." Thomas Davis 2005

    by Tomtech on Thu Mar 10, 2005 at 07:46:50 PM PST

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