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Friday, March 24, 2006

It's a Sign

About signs: we are gathering up those we know we placed.

If you are a chairman,coordinator, PCM or volunteer who was responsible for a group of signs, please see if you can either retrieve them or make arrangements for them to be saved.

Individuals: take that sign out of your yard when you're ready, and SAVE it!

A sign is a sign. EVERY SIGN IS ONE MORE SIGN WE PUT UP IN THE FALL!

THANKS.

It's Not All About the Candidate

A few more thoughts post-election:

A candidate seldom wins an election by him- or herself. It's just not possible. The effort is too large, complex and daunting.

First, there's family. We all know that when your husband and family are with you, it doesn't matter so much who's against you. I have the BEST of both. THANKS y'all.

As anyone who's campaigned can tell you, a campaign consumes your life and the lives of those around you. Special recognition is also due a dedicated group of staff and volunteers who threw their ALL for Zinga for Congress into the primary race. One lives outside the 17th and couldn't even vote for me! but was an asset in whatever capacity, whenever needed. One drove an hour each way to and from her job--one researched tirelessly--one walked in parades when it seemed an impossibility, and set the pace for the rest of us... In three other cases, the help came from seasoned experience; and brilliant strategy; and cheerful willingness to tackle the formidable challenges of a federal campaign. And almost all of it was done without money as the object. People like that are rare and wonderful--true friends.

From there, it moves on to other friends: county coordinators and county finance coordinators, the men and women who sponsored fundraisers and helped set up events, volunteers who showed up for expos and put out signs and did 101 other things that you never even IMAGINE when you first run for office.

A special thanks to the donors: IT DOES NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT YOU.

A special thanks to PCMs and party chairmen and officers: whether in private conversation or by public endorsement, you keep grassroots politics alive and well in America.

And finally, to my two opponents: you fought hard, you executed some good strategy, you talked about issues, you made it a competitive race that I think was energizing and representative of the best of American politics in action. I have always carried around a quotation I found somewhere and can't even attribute: "One key ingredient for success is a good, wide-awake, tireless competitor." A race like that one makes us all stronger and more knowledgeable, and is excellent preparation for the fight ahead. In this new general campaign, with 7 and 1/2 months to go, our feet are already on the ground and we are running hard.

THANK YOU!

To all my supporters throughout the 17th District: GO GRASSROOTS!

I am very proud and also humbled at the outcome of the primary election. Perhaps the best part is that it came not from any one county or region, but from all around the 17th.

We wrapped up the last week of the campaign as we had done every other week: working nonstop, getting our message to the people.

As I'm sure you know, a major snowstorm hit the southern part of the district Monday night into Tuesday (in Pike County, they got 12 inches. ) Turnout was low. In some counties, voters crossed over to have their say in hotly contested local races.

But the faithful made it to the polls, and let their collective voice be heard. For that I am very thankful!

I also have the deepest appreciation for those who put their convictions into action: making a donation, walking neighborhoods, hanging literature, knocking on doors, putting out signs, calling neighbors, working as election judges, and/or honoring me with a personal endorsement.

The Zinga for Congress effort from now to November will be challenged HEAVILY by the opposition. But the fact remains that WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN. Now more than ever is the time for us to pull together as one.

I pledge to each and every one of you that my campaign will be an honest assessment of the state of the 17th, and how we can improve it. It will be a positive and truthful campaign to the end, as it has always been. I will be discussing more ideas and issues over the next weeks, so please visit this website often.

We all know we need new representation in the 17th District. I intend to continue building an even stronger base throughout the district, showing that each person counts. I've always said that YOU are the boss. You hire your U.S. Representative, through your vote and through your tax dollars. You deserve to know all you can, and then I will leave it up to you the voter to decide.

In the meantime, I will be calling on some of you for help. Please let us know here if you can come on board one of the most exciting campaigns in the state of Illinois. You may wind up giving only a few hours of your time or a few dollars, but the grassroots has got us this far and will take us all the way. Remember, all we need is 50% plus 1!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support, your help, and your vote. Now let's go to work....!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Peoria Journal Star Endorsement

The Peoria Journal Star has released their endorsement.........

Zinga... is a more knowledgeable, viable candidate after traveling the district for two years. Infrastructure upgrades and investments in agriculture, especially ethanol, represent the path to more jobs, she says. On energy, the former broadcast journalist favors more oil refineries. On health care, she'd cap malpractice awards and tout tax-exempt savings accounts.

Andrea Zinga's ... maturity, moderation and independence from party group-think set her apart. She is preferred.

Though I stand by my statement that grassroots wins elections, my opposition in the primary has claimed that he has recieved ALL the major endorsements that are handed out in this race. This one is pretty major and affects two major counties in the 17th. Knox and Fulton have heavy readership of the Peoria Journal Star and will be influenced by this endorsement. That does not have us changing our plans to pursue votes until 7pm March 21st.

Tomorrow Matters .....

For a year and a half now, I and my family and campaign team have thought about tomorrow--planned for tomorrow--worked for tomorrow. We have dedicated ourselves fulltime to
being in the best possible position to defeat Lane Evans in November.

The primary election is tomorrow, March 21st. If you have not done so already, PLEASE VOTE. The weather might turn voters away. It's been a grueling race to the finish. I NEED YOUR VOTE!

One candidate running for the nomination for governor got into public service, was elected to
state office, by 8 votes. History is full of milestones that swung the way they did by ONE vote. YOUR VOTE MATTERS!

Through a hard-run primary, our team is ready to hit the ground running for the next leg of the race. I am ready to hit the ground running for the general election. It presents an exciting chance for change.

As the Peoria Journal Star said in its March 15, 2006 endorsement of me for the nomination: "Andrea Zinga's] maturity [and] moderation...set her apart. "

It's with the greatest confidence that we anticipate tomorrow as a chance to plan for the NEXT tomorrow--the day in November when we begin a new era in the 17th District--with leadership, fresh energy and fresh vision in Washington from our new 17th District U.S. Representative.

I would be honored to have that job. I have worked as hard as I know how, for going on three years now, to make it happen.

Yesterday we were on the road in far reaches of the 17th District.

March 22, with victory under the belt, we will be right back on the road around the 17th District. This has become a given in our lives. Chuck and I are accustomed to it. I am prepared, through long months of doing so, to continue visiting the District. Not only have we made many friends we want to keep, and working relationships we want to build on--not only do we enjoy winding along the highways and bi-ways of the 17th-- THIS IS WHAT A GOOD CONGRESSWOMAN DOES.

Throughout my career in journalism, information and ideas have been my stock in trade. I can envision nothing more exciting than working with community leaders, elected officials, civic visionaries in helping us develop long-range goals for jobs and the economy throughout the hard-hit 17th District.

In whatever county you are reading this, please know that I consider you, your neighbors and your lives important. Every voter should have an equal chance at help and a brighter future.
After all, every tax-paying voter contributes to the kitty that is a U.S. Representative's salary. Every voter--every resident-- has the right to expect that attention.

My ability to blog to you from the campaign trail has become more difficult as stops along that trail have become ever more numerous. Candidate forums, party dinners, parades (having participated in Decatur's St. Pat's parade on March 11, and Rock Island's March 18, we feel very thoroughly "in-greened!")--in all those places, the response has been just great, the mood encouraging. Republicans are charged up about change! and I would be deeply honored to be the standard-bearer at the federal level, as Congressman LaHood has been able to see by providing me his endorsement. His support is a major jumping off point to begin the effort to unseat Lane Evans in the fall. He seems to have a good eye for who is electable and who isn't.

Especially importantly, I have asked for and been granted the endorsement of some 50 elected officials at the city, township and county levels from all around the 17th. Grassroots!.......
grassroots....

A victory tomorrow will be a victory of the grassroots over those who would try to make a campaign a marketing plan and advertising campaign. Candidates are not toothpaste. Toothpaste does not vote on quality of life issues that affect our families.

I give the voters a lot of credit, though. I think they will determine who has their best interests at heart, and who has the best chance of beating Lane Evans in November.

In the 2004 general election, some 20,000 voters around the 17th District did not vote for the incumbent as they would normally have been expected to do. They were hearing a very strong message from our campaign, and they are still listening. We must not change the messenger!

Thank you to each one of you who has written a check, put on your coat and come out to an event, listened attentively to a speech, walked a precinct, put out a yard sign. TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! I ask for your vote on March 21st. Thank you to all of those who have helped so far. I could not do it without you.

God bless us and God bless America.

Sincerely,
Andrea

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Grassroots

Take a look at the website's new listing of elected officials and community leaders
who have endorsed me in my quest to be your next U.S. Representative.

These are the people other people ask about who they're going to vote for in this next Tuesday's primary elections.

Newspaper endorsements do not win campaigns. The grassroots win campaigns.

Endorsement are.... here

Valuing Life

This week, Chuck and I were privileged to attend the annual Crisis Pregnancy Center fundraiser dinner held at The Lodge in Bettendorf.

CPC, as it's known around the Quad City area, is 16 years old this year. Difficult to believe that it has been in existence that long! nor that I reported some of the early stories about CPC for local television. That's when it was just in Davenport. That's when I got to know C.J. Payne, CPC's executive director. How noteworthy that someone in a position of leadership stays with one organization so long!

CPC relies on three things to continue and grow: 1) God 2) the Word of God and 3) gifts from God, via the people of God. Private donations have helped CPC grow from serving 400 clients--women in crisis pregnancies--its first year.....to 3200 in 2005!

When I first reported on the work of CPC back in the early '90's, the idea was to counsel women in crisis pregnancies and to help them with material needs of various sorts (maternity clothes, baby clothes and furnishings.)

Today, at locations on BOTH sides of the river, CPC Pregnancy Resources offers pregnancy tests AND limited ultrasound; parenting classes; referrals for medical care, adoption agencies, housing and childbirth classes; and, for the post-abortive woman, special counseling.

In addition, CPC runs an active program on sexual abstinence, designed for and used in our schools and churches.

I have always doubted any program which teaches to "just say no". BUT, there are some WONDERFUL success stories with abstinence programs in which that wisdom is linked to developing a strong sense of self-worth in the individual.

Seated at dinner next to Renee VonBehren, who oversees daily operations at one of the CPC sites, I asked if adoption were enjoying increasing popularity among women here. "Not so much," she said. Apparently there are regional preferences that cause expectant mothers in some areas of the nation to embrace adoption, and others not. It has to do with ethnic background, cultural perceptions within that community and so on. On the other hand, many of the adoptions which do come out of crisis pregnancies here, take place within the extended family.

I was struck, as I always am at faith-based endeavors, by the sunny serenity of these women--C.J., Renee, etc.-- and the doctors who work with them on staff and as CPC volunteers. (There are, by the way, a HOST of CPC volunteers--and all it takes is four hours of a week of your time to be a volunteer receptionist, services coordinator, or clothing room attendant at either the Illinois or Iowa CPC.) Everyone involved knows the urgent and constant need to keep CPC up and running, and waits on the Lord for that need to be fulfilled. He has not disappointed yet--in fact, He keeps "sharing the wealth"!

If you are looking for somewhere to put a little money every month, you could certainly do worse than CPC. Community helping itself, the Center is also engaged in an even higher purpose: valuing each God-given life.

And on that subject, a word of get-well wishes to Congressman Lane Evans, sidelined by an illness. I know Mr. Evans has been very proud over the years of his attendance on the House Floor for votes; and I'm sure it pains him to have had to miss a month's worth of votes recently.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Want Job Growth ? ......Give Business what they need

Great write up by John Pulliam in the Galesburg register Mail that was part of the coverage for Friday's three city press conference.

Zinga emphasizes technology infrastructure......

Zinga's focus was the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has a goal of ensuring rural communities have "the same quality and range of telecommunications services that are available in urban and suburban communities."

"While private business and private/public cooperatives are working at helping these small communities I would do all I can as a congresswoman to take a leadership role in getting these federal funds into communities most in need of them," she said. "We have a U.S. representative who I think is still clinging to attitudes of 20 years ago. I don't see him out in the forefront and finding the federal help. He needs to be pointing out these kinds of programs."

Friday, March 10, 2006

Great Day for Media Coverage

Two very good articles in the media today. One in the Quincy Herald Whig and the other in the Quad Cities Dispatch. Quad Cities Dispatch will be posted on the website later since it isn't avaialble online. We also just wrapped up a three city press conference today that took us from Moline to Galesburg to Macomb. Five newspapers. Two TV stations and 3 Radio stations covered our focus on the issue of linking technology to the JOBS issue. Getting to the root of job creation will start with a focus on the technology infrastructure that attracts new businesses to thew district. We will post the media coverage in our PRESS SECTION of the website.

Zinga happy to have opponents to debate
Quincy Herald Whig - Quincy, IL
http://www.whig.com/323984450420334.php>

More Endorsements

To continue on the subject of endorsements, another recent endorsement I value highly comes from Joyce Morrison, a major contributor to the former Illinois Leader who continues to be a well-known columnist (eg the on-line "News Views") and radio commentator whose thoughts reach from the southern part of the 17th District around the nation and the world! ( Courtesy the Internet...Joyce says she recently heard from a man in Australia sharing the same problems with property issues she wrote about here.)

Joyce is intelligent, articulate, detailed and extremely well-informed about property rights and the Mississippi River; but she writes on many subjects with authority.

Here are her comments in making her endorsement:

My choice for the 17th Congressional District will be Andrea Zinga. I feel she will represent the ENTIRE district on ALL issues to the best of her ability. Mowen has been quoted as stating that he would not come to the smaller voting areas - and we have not seen him. Zinga has driven the 4 hours to attend Lincoln Day Dinners in counties where she only represents a few voters. She was promised a spot on the (House) Agricultural Committee the last time she ran. Illinois desperately needs her on this committee as Cong. Tim Johnson, who serves on the agricultural committee, votes for the environmentalists and not for property rights and agriculture. Andrea is pro-life and is for marriage between one man and one woman. She is knowledgeable about property rights - and very open to discuss any issues I have discussed with her. Her journalism background has prepared her to rely on documentation for her answers. I worked for her the last election and will support her again this year.

Thank you, Joyce.

Some time ago we traveled to Chicago to seek the endorsements of the Mexican American Political Action Committee and of the Italian American Political Coalition. This was a fascinating day, and everyone from gubernatorial candidates to those in local races was there making the case for endorsement. We recently learned that my candidacy has been endorsed by both these coalitions. The 17th District is home to large Hispanic-American populations, largely to the north; while several counties in the south of the District were settled by and continue to be home to Italian-American populations--especially Macoupin and Montgomery.

I never cease to be awed by the way in which so many diverse streams of culture and background have flowed together here in the United States to make us as strong a nation as we are!

While in Chicago I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Jeff Berkowitz, a well-known political interviewer in the Chicago area. Just before the camera went on, he told me he is a lawyer "in his day job," and has "done hundreds of depositions."

Watch for some more especially vital endorsements coming up.....

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Endorsements

I am so pleased to add some vital endorsements to our constantly growing list!

Tuesday night, the Knox County Republican Women presented a highly professional public forum at Knox College in Galesburg for candidates--including those for the 17th District Congressional nomination, and for a local judgeship.

Terry Cavanaugh, a well-known radio newswoman in Galesburg, moderated.

Wednesday, I received the endorsement of the honorable Marc Young, Knox County Republican Party chairman.

Here is what he had to say in his endorsement:

Over the past year I have had the opportunity to meet with and get to know both Brian Gilliland and Jim Mowen. Due to the fact that Andrea Zinga was the 2004 Candidate, I have had the opportunity to know her longer ... But to me, It all comes down in my mind, as to electabilty in November. After conferring with other local Republicans and County GOP Chairmen here in the 17th Congressional, they basically feel as I do, that Andrea is the most electable. We have witnessed all of their hard work and tireless campaigning throughout the 17th. However, we all have concluded that we believe Andrea is a better choice for the entire District. That it, the 17th, is much larger than just Rock Island or Adams Counties. I agree with Jim, that in November that whoever the GOP Candidate is, they have to a better job in both of those counties, but I do not agree that just because he (Jim) is the only one, native to RI, that he is the only one who can beat Evans there. In the March 21st Republican Primary.

I plan to vote for Andrea Zinga. I plan to list this endorsement on my website along with other statewide campaigns that I also have endorsed. I have also given Andrea permission to include my name along with others who have also endorsed her campaign. I do not speak for any other individuals or groups. This endorsement is mine and mine alone. For what ever it is worth.


Many county parties choose not to endorse in a primary but I have the personal endorsement of these fine individuals..... the honorable Gary Krueger, Republican Party chairman in Jersey County; the honorable Barry Lakin, Republican Party chairman in Macoupin County; and the honorable John Birch, Republican Party chairman in Pike County.

However, there are exceptions and some county parties have chosen to override their usual practice and endorse in this race.Among them, the Macoupin County Republican Party (where the endorsement was unanimous) and the Pike County Republican Party have also added their endorsements to the Zinga for Congress campaign.

Back to this past week--must mention that also Tuesday night, James Ruddell ( volunteer extraordinaire for both the Steve Haring campaign and for us in 2004) had organized a candidates' forum in Erie, Illinois, in Whiteside County. I would like to thank both James, and my friend and supporter John Sample of Cordova, for representing me there.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Unbelievable

This past Sunday's edition of the Quad City Times carried an article profiling the primary campaign for 17th District Congress.

In that article, Jim Mowen said: "Let's face it--women are basically created to give birth."

I have heard from women with five or more children, and from women who have never had a child. The reaction to that statement is intense.

My own take: I suppose I know what he thought he meant; but in this case, words speak louder about this man's view of the world than actions ever could.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Adams County Lincoln Day and Ray Lahood endorsement

Last night (3/2) was the Adams County Lincoln/Reagan dinner. Always a professional and packed event—this time featuring candidates for governor Judy Baar Topinka and Jim Oberweis—candidate Bill Brady’s wife Nancy—Lt. Governor candidate Steve Rauschenberger, speaking for Ron Gidwitz—plus a host of other candidates.

Adams County Chaiman Larry Ehmen missed part of the evening, as he’d been named a winner of the Jefferson Award for community service in Adams County. We joked that it was quite the night for Presidents!

It’s always good to go to Adams County. From the past two and a half years we have made many friends there, and it’s a warm, vivacious community—with men and women who know the meaning of teamwork and whose efforts are always classy! Quincy also featrures a nice balance of industry, small business, historic preservation—even a BRAND NEW BRIDGE!

Yet I surprised a few people, who thought Adams County was picking up population, when I told them that according to U.S. Census Bureau figures, Adams County lost 2% of its population between 2000 and 2004. As in every county I have checked in the 17th except Sangamon, WE ARE LOSING POPULATION. Why? That’s NOT a tough question. When people lose their jobs, or can’t find a good job, they move away.

Compared Rock Island County IL and Scott County Iowa. .

Here’s a question I’ve had since I started coming here again (we used to visit when I was a kid): Why does Quincy, with 40,000 people, have TWO beautiful bridges over the Mississippi River, while the Quad Cities—half a million people in the region has SO
much trouble even getting a replacement for the I-74 bridge. (Just two days ago I drove south leading away from the bridge and noticed that –YET AGAIN—northbound traffic was backed up for blocks and blocks, sitting at a standstill. Whenever that happens—and it’s often—I’m tempted to drive up and down past those gridlocked cars with a sign that says “Thank Heavens for Lane Evans??” But of course, I can’t drive up and down—that’s the whole problem. WE NEED A NEW BRIDGE, and with someone in Congress whose effectiveness in no way matches his years in office, it crawls along at a snails’ pace.

Last night (3/4) I was honored that Ray LaHood endorsed me at the McDonough County Lincoln Day Dinner. I am looking foward to learning even more from Congressman LaHood about how to bring effective leadership to the 17th district.