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I commented this in an IL-14 thread yesterday, but people seemed unaware of the facts. Yes, John Laesch, the unsuccessful 2006 Democratic nominee for IL-14, lost the Feb.5 primaries for the special election and the general election. Yes, he lost the latter primary by only 400 votes. No, he's not packing it in and letting now-Congressman Bill Foster carry the Democratic banner. From the Courier News:

Citing "different" issues across 56 precincts in the 14th Congressional District, John Laesch is asking for recounts in his close Democratic primary election loss to Bill Foster.

Laesch and attorney Richard Means declined to talk specifics about the discovery recount petitions filed Friday, deferring until after today's special election between Foster and Republican Jim Oberweis. Speaking generally, Laesch described the problems as "something different everywhere."

The formal recount request coincided with the State Board of Elections certifying the results Friday that show Foster with a 398-vote win in the primary election, to determine who will have the spot on the Democratic ballot in the November election.

"It is the first opportunity to file these petitions," Laesch said. "I think anybody in my position would do the same thing."

Laesch has refused to concede the primary, seeding doubt about Foster's legitimacy. But on Feb. 5, remember, he lost both the special and general election primaries - the special election primary he lost by 3769 votes, in part because one of the fringe candidates skipped that primary and didn't leech more votes from Foster. The clear intent of Democratic voters was to reject their 2006 candidate in favor of someone else. Think about it: If a revote was held, would voters pick the man who just shocked the GOP and stole Denny Hastert's seat, or this bitter ex-candidate?

I throw it to the masses: What do you think?

Originally posted to daveweigel on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:58 AM PDT.


Should John Laesch proceed with his challenge?

20%20 votes
61%60 votes
18%18 votes

| 98 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Look, He Has a Right to a Recount (8+ / 0-)

    Seldom do they change much, but he has that right.  Other than announcing it on Friday, I don't see a problem with it and there is plenty of time to get it out of the way before the general election campaign really gets going.

    John did much better than many of us who were critical of him thought he could and given how close it was, I can't blame him for wanting a recount.  

    •  Of course he has that right... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crestingwave, yinn, chicago minx

      But I'd rather see resources put toward winning him a seat, than in challenging this one.  And I say that as someone who had donated to his campaign.

      "2009" The end of an error

      by sheddhead on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:03:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, He Pretty Much Loses All Respect From Me. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yinn, BasharH

      He had a month to announce he would seek a recount.

      To do it on the eve of the special general, with a vague claim of "widespread problems", stinks of trying to cut Foster's legs out from under him in yesterday's election.

      "You share your young with the wolves of the nation...
      Theres nothing left til you pray for salvation"
      Black Rebel Motorcycle Club "American X"

      by Steve Singiser on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:42:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Should Clarify... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Him filing on Friday was not the issue--the article makes clear that Friday was the date the result was certified, and thus the first day he could file the paperwork.

        I am saying he did not need to go to the press with it on Friday, especially without giving a clear rationale.

        Also, it seems he could have both filed and announced a challenge/recount request the following week....

        "You share your young with the wolves of the nation...
        Theres nothing left til you pray for salvation"
        Black Rebel Motorcycle Club "American X"

        by Steve Singiser on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:46:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are dead wrong (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musing85, Joseph Stupec, llbear

          He did not go to the press with it on Friday.  In fact he pressed his attorney hard to wait until Monday to file, but the attorney said it was impossible, and that he would, by Laesch's instruction, do whatever he could to file as late in the day and as quietly as possible.

          Since the press was also well aware of the deadline that proved futile, but if you want to blame someone for the timeline, blame Blagojevich, not Laesch.

          •  I Appreciate the Information... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            llbear, Downtowner

            The article was by-lined on Saturday, and there were quotes (from him or the campaign), so I made the assumption that he had talked to the press on Friday about it.

            If that was an errant assumption, I apologize.

            "You share your young with the wolves of the nation...
            Theres nothing left til you pray for salvation"
            Black Rebel Motorcycle Club "American X"

            by Steve Singiser on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:05:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Steve - John was and is really pissed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musing85, Joseph Stupec

          that the filing was required to be done before Saturday.  Name me one reporter who has talked with him, one posting on a blog anywhere, one e-mail he senet to anyone commenting on this.

          This diary was written by sore losers - maybe they know that Bill Foster's position for the November race is shakier than I do.  John Laesch is a class act all the way.

          John Laesch, Jerry Northington [aka Possum], Gilda Reed: You'll be working with a great Dem. President

          by llbear on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 04:04:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  He did not announce it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It was noticed when it was filed - and those who were looking for that filing were prepared to pounce. They did.

      John has said nothing to anyone - not even me - about that filing. Your bias against a net roots operation as successful as this one is clear as a bell.

      John Laesch, Jerry Northington [aka Possum], Gilda Reed: You'll be working with a great Dem. President

      by llbear on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:31:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tip jar (11+ / 0-)

    The proceeds go to the Rahm Emanuel Horse Head Delivery Service.

  •  wow, really? (5+ / 0-)

    I like John Laesch and was pulling for him in the primary but if this is true, that's just crazy. and sad.

  •  We have a great need for (5+ / 0-)

    progressives in our state legislature, so I really hope he will consider that.

    If you live on Chicago's north side, get involved with Northside DFA.

    by citygirl on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:16:15 AM PDT

  •  "Clear intent"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llbear, Downtowner, daddy4mak

    I'd love to know how you get that out of the results you cite. If Democratic voters in this district were that upset with Laesch, he would've lost huge to Foster. Instead, Foster eked out two close victories--one by under 500 votes. If voters were that thrilled with Foster, he'd have won the general primary by the same margin--or a bigger one--as he achieved in the special primary. Instead, he nearly lost it.

    Foster is a political n00b, and virtually a carpetbagger. He comes off as aloof and smarmy--and the biggest reason he won yesterday is that he was running against a racist loon who's still stuck in the '80s. Had it been Chris Lauzen instead of Überweiß on the ballot, I'd be willing to bet we'd all be singing a different tune here today. We have Fat Denny Hastert to thank for that. I doubt the Republicans are going to do us any more favors like that. I predict Foster's term in Congress will be short, possibly measured only in months and not even in years.

    •  I will only add to this (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, Joseph Stupec, llbear, daddy4mak

      that Foster, in true carpetbagger mode, outspent Laesch by over $64 dollars per vote to Laesch's under $4 per vote, and still only managed to end up in recount territory with less than 400 votes out of over 70,000 between them.

      And I'll add another prediction: if Foster does end up in Congress until 2010, we'll all be back here demanding someone, anyone, primary him him by 2009 - because his stands on the issues and his affinity for the Blue Dogs pretty much ensure he'll be the Lipinski of that cycle.

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      Foster lives in the district for 22 years and he's a carpetbagger?

      That's just idiotic.

      All my peeves are my pets.

      by yinn on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 12:43:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As far as politics is concerned, yes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llbear, Downtowner, daddy4mak

        He admits himself that he paid no attention to it until he decided/was recruited to run for office. And for that matter, I don't in fact know where Foster lived all those years when he was working at Fermi. He could have lived in DuPage County (very little of which is actually in this district) and taken the train quite easily.

      •  Foster lived in the district (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musing85, Joseph Stupec, llbear, daddy4mak

        for 22 years and in all that time, despite all his money, he didn't support a single local Dem candidate, or single local Dem cause, or single local Dem effort.  In fact, since he didn't even vote in 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002 or 2001, we can be sure he wasn't even supporting Dems at the ballot box.

        So yes, a political n00b, who spent his entire adult life disengaged from the political process, and a virtual carpetbagger.

  •  Any Dem over any Repug (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musing85, llbear, Downtowner, daddy4mak

    is usually how I look at races but we really don't have a Dem that won. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Ober is gone.  He's a great loser but he's had a lot of practice at it.  Anyway, we can wait and see how Foster does but that can be painful.  He's an opportunist and is on his way to buying a Congressional seat.  He never did anything prior to this election to help the folks of the 14th district rid ourselves of the pox that was Hastert. He didn't contribute to Laesch's campaign last time and now he's bought time until November.  Part of the success of Foster comes from the ground-breaking work that Laesch has done over the last 3-4 years to awaken the Democratic party here in the 14th.  John broke ground, planted the seeds and Foster bought the crop.  If Laesch feels it's in the best interest of the 14th District and the Democratic party, sans Rahm Emmanuel and his ilk, he deserves the chance to try without second-guessers criticizing him.  He really does have the best interest of the people of this district in mind.  Let's see what happens.  It's not hurting anything.
    For those who don't know it, I did suppport John in these 2 elections and will continue to do so. He is a unique individual and deserves our support.

  •  Heads up, dave. (0+ / 0-)

    The Laesch trolls have arrived.

    All my peeves are my pets.

    by yinn on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 12:45:00 PM PDT

  •  John Laesch has a right to ask for a recount (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joseph Stupec, llbear, Downtowner

    When a vote is this close, let's make sure who actually won.

    John represents the best of the democratic party. I hope and pray he wins the recount and destroys Oberweis (or whomever is on the ballot) in November.

    •  recounts, voting integrity and sore winners... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ozzie, Joseph Stupec, llbear, daddy4mak

      Not only did Mr. Laesch have the right to ask for a recount, in a real sense he had the duty - and an obligation to the people who worked so hard to help elect a progressive.

      Of course we know that, as of this morning, Mr. Laesch has withdrawn his recount petition. There are overriding concerns of party unity, urgent needs for our country, and consolidating the Democratic gains in this district. The latter were as least as much the fruit of Laesch's party building efforts as the millions that Foster and the national party decided to pour into the district in the last few months, and it would do the Foster camp well to acknowledge that.

      The transparency and integrity of our the vote should be a priority in any election.
      Recounts should be automatically triggered should the vote margin be as narrow as it was Feb. 5. There should be 5-10% sampling of actual ballots vs. official tallies as a matter of course - we shouldn't have to pay extra for "quality control" in our voting. Laesch has apparently decided that those goals would be better achieved by ending the election now, and working for the right people to be elected into positions of local government trust in the near future.

      The annoyance of the Foster camp at the Laesch campaign has been similar to the consternation of the Clinton camp at Obama's amazing rise. Clinton, like Foster, was the chosen of the National Party, they both came in with a sense of entitlement, a perception that they were the clear frontrunner (at least Hillary had some polls to back her up there) and a clear disdain for having to actually campaign and debate these "lesser candidates" in public forums. Foster has had to become a better candidate in the process - the progressives should take some heart in knowing that their efforts to improve our government succeed in defeat as well as victory - a hallmark of a worthy fight.

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