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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Moving Forward

February ushers in Black History Month, a dedication of the same month each year to keeping alive the rich tradition and history of the African-American culture. We all know how quickly generations can move on and forget.
We have just lost two of the giants of the struggle for civil rights: Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King. And both of them women! It's my hope that they rest in the peace of having made a difference.

For the rest of us, a check with any of the fine colleges and universities in the 17th District will
yield all sorts of events going on for Black History Month--thought-provoking, instructional, fun!
From the Campaign Trail

February 4
brought the Mercer County Lincoln Day Dinner, under the able, enthusiastic and professional leadership of Head Elephant Bob Vickrey, Verla Thompson, Jeff Benson (Jeff, GREAT program book, worth all the work!), Mike Bertelsen, and many others.

Our Mercer County campaign coordinator for Zinga for Congress is Ron Moffitt.
This kicks off a series of dinners around the 17th at which I have the opportunity to update my campaign and ask humbly for the vote again.

The Mercer County gathering of party faithful delivers, every year, a remarkable balance of seriousness, devotion, and laughter. As honored Republican, Jeff Benson received a retired fire hydrant--and was thrilled! It was OF COURSE painted red, white and blue. A few years back, my husband and I were presented matching shorts for the Aledo Green Dragons.
You never know with the Mercer County Elephants! They'll keep you guessing and set a great pace year round for making sure Mercer County NEVER FORGETS!

Monday, it was back to McDonough County and a meeting of precinct committeemen and women in Macomb. They were planning THEIR Lincoln Day dinner, and it was good to see old friends from my growing-up days and make some new acquaintances. AND to get to carry that message of electability! I just believe in it so strongly myself, it's not difficult to share. Through years of news work in our area and nationwide I've acquired strong name recognition. I am a proven vote-getter, and I have a good grip on the issues of importance to our area because I'm a native of and have lived around the district throughout my life--not to mention touring the 17th pretty much non-stop with an eye to the issues since the fall of 2003.

Time to take the gold and purple (Hail to Western!) car on the road again, so let me just say that the campaign team has also this week been in Galesburg, Decatur, back to Galesburg, the Quad Cities and are now headed back south around the 17th for 3 days of events, meetings and one-on-ones. This is how a congressional representative should do it, folks. Be out there every possible second, meeting the people you serve and learning your district so thoroughly that something like the closing of Maytag doesn't come as a surprise.

Knox County holds their Lincoln Day dinner tonight with featured speaker Senator Bill Brady, one of a group of able candidates for governor. WE NEED A NEW ONE!

On that subject, why is it that our congressman can't help us hold jobs or make the 17th attractive to incoming business? Lane Evans and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich are of the same party, after all. In times like this, most congressional representatives whose state governor is of their party would be leaning heavily on that governor. "Rod--you're killing me here. How can I help attract business and industry to my district, if you are running the state in a way that's spiraling Illinois down to the BOTTOM of all states? HELP me make Illinois a place employers want to come!" In other words--asking tough questions, pursuing answers, being a strong voice for you the voters of the 17th.

Instead, what do we see? More photo ops at factory gates as more jobs leave town. A news conference this past summer at the first inkling of what BRAC planned to do to the Rock Island Arsenal--at which the governor and our U.S. senators all had nothing much to say beyond "Thank heaven for Lane Evans." Thank heaven for Lane Evans?

Our congressman had 8 years under a President of his own party and has served in Democrat-controlled Congresses. A total of twelve years.........WHAT'S HE BEEN DOING?

He did appear in Macomb recently to accept a check for $38.5 million. You more often see congressmen and women PRESENTING checks. So we checked that out, and found that what our congressman was doing with that blow-up check he was holding, was ceremonially accepting money for mortgages apportioned to central Illinois by the USDA. His personal involvement there was minimal to say the least!

MONDAY FEBRUARY 13: Fundraiser in Decatur at the home of Dan and Nedra Brintlinger.

That's followed immediately by a free public Listening Event at the Decatur Library from 7 to 9. If you are in the area, it's a chance to vent and know that SOMEone is listening--me.

God's guidance to you for a great weekend. I will see you soon!

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