In 10 days, the Wheeling and Palatine Township Democrats will be hosting a joint fundraiser (PDF) to help cover costs for keeping the only Democratic office in the northwest suburbs up and running.
The Wheeling Dems in particular will also be awarding the First Annual Pat Botterman Leadership Award to honor the legacy of the late, great Wheeling Township Committeman who died suddenly on March 10th.
Over the next 10 days, leading up to the brunch fundraiser, I'll be asking folks to help out the Wheeling Dems with a wee bit of a virtual fundraiser.
Keeping that Dem office open as an organizing base is important in the purpling, but still red, Chicago northwest suburbs ... especially in this election year. It's a true application of the DNC's 50 state strategy to cover all the bases.
For those unfamiliar, Pat Botterman was a good friend to many, many people -- Republican, Dem and apolitical alike. He was a pit bull on the campaign trail, burning the midnight oil and applying plenty of elbow grease for the candidates he worked for. He was also a mentor and networker par excellence, as his "alumni club" of former interns and volunteers, now campaign managers and field directors spread from coast to coast, will attest.
His most recent campaign was one with which the "netroots" are quite familiar -- managing the Mark Pera for Congress primary campaign. Before that, he also helped elect Democratic State Senator Dan Kotowski to a northwest suburban seat that had been held by Republicans for nearly a century and a half. Pat knew both defeat and victory (more often defeat given his penchant for the underdog) and as one of his friends noted after his passing, he was even-keeled in both.
Above all, he was a patriot dedicated to improving his (and our) country, state and communities and he did it with more integrity in his pinky than some in politics have in their whole selves.
His funeral and wake featured a line out the door of literally hundreds of friends and family... pols, activists and volunteers... first responders, GIs and work-a-day union guys and gals... and was decorated with floral arrangements from the likes of "Obama for America" and more.
But now, two months on, the guy who more often than not paid the bills for the local party out of his own pocket is gone -- looking on from above, probably embarrassed as all get out that people are making such a fuss.
Even contributions as little as $5, $10 or $25 will go far with group that picked up Pat's penny-stretching habits long ago. Your contribution will be much appreciated.
Miss ya, buddy.
(c/p Illinois Reason)