Monthly Archives: January 2014

Danny Davis turns back challenger, no votes are cast

Danny Davis faced a challenger in the March primary, River Forester Dan Roche, 38, husband, father of two, experienced in counter-terrorism with the CIA, currently heading anti-terrorism worldwide for CME (formerly Chicago Mercantile Exchange), smart, fotogenic, a fourth-generation Oak Parker by birth, a Fenwick alum.

Chi Mag writer Carol Felsenthal thought he “seemed to have a pretty good campaign going” over three months, until Jan. 10, when he dropped out as a candidate, his nominating petititions unrelentingly challenged by a Davis worker until it became clear to Roche and his lawyers that he was running out of money.

“The process was becoming too costly,” Roche told Felsenthal. “They [even] challenged my wife’s signature.” The idea, he told supporters, “was to waste our time and money [at] hearing after hearing at the Board of Elections, requiring full preparation of election lawyers and paid staff.” He couldn’t afford it. Danny Davis won. He had more money. Not a ballot was counted.

Felsenthal had not seen it coming.

Roche had some savvy people working for him, and more interns than he could use. He was raising some money ($50-75,000 in two months, he says, and the same in “commitments”), and he claims that he was accumulating endorsements from “suburban officials” and Chicago alderman, but he won’t name names.

Roche posits that Davis saw him as a real threat, as “a viable alternative. I have a history of public service, fourth generation in the area, business experience, enthusiasm and energy and the potential to raise real money.”

I asked Roche if he’d run again in the 7th—he absolutely rules out moving his family to another district. He called the result of his short campaign “disheartening,” but said “I would be remiss if I didn’t consider running again.”

He comes back often to his 9-year service, much of it “in harm’s way,” abroad, in the CIA. He joined right after 9/11, working in “counterterrorism analysis and operations. I know government service [he said] and it’s not the commuter flight between Reagan and O’Hare. Right now I’m just a citizen, which seems a pretty good thing,” Roche says. “I’ve been in some lousy, lousy places overseas.”

He could be back in a year or so. He’d be “remiss,” he said. We could hear more from him.


Ken Trainor lambastes a critic

Wed. Journal’s Ken Trainor unloaded the other day on an adversary who does not have 1,000 words of newspaper space at his disposal, piling on. No fair.

The adversary, who was nowhere near a household word before Trainor’s column, inched toward that eminence when his name was blazoned in Trainor’s headline, “Will the real Ray Simpson show up?

A hammer was used for the fly on baby’s nose: Hammer-wielder Trainor (call him the Hammer) got pissed off at an online comment, and out came the thousand-plus words with their in-our-faces headline. This will teach a reader not to provoke him.

The reader in this case — you could be next, whoever you are — is a hothead online but he’s also schizoid: At meetings he and Trainor attended for 11 months, he “was soft-spoken, intelligent, and [apparently] a reasonable human being.” Doctor Jekyll.

Online, however, he hides behind — look out — a “protective thicket of stereotyping, misrepresentation and exaggeration,” refusing to “engage in honest dialogue.” Mr. Hyde.

He also might simply be “afraid [his] nameless buddies in the online echo chamber [a regular Wed. Journal feature, a sort of peep show featuring right-wing zealots] will rip [him] to shreds” if he does the honest-dialogue thing, which would be “consorting with the enemy.”

“But we’re not the enemy,” wrote Trainor, addressing the offender, “and you know that because you spent 11 months getting to know us.” (You just won’t admit it, you rat.)

The Hammer, wounded, recalls his own sterling behavior: “We treated you with respect, and I will continue to treat the Ray Simpson who showed up at those meetings with respect.” (The good Ray) He finds it “hard to respect” the (bad) online Ray, however.” The Hammer tries, God knows, but it’s hard.

So: Hang down your head, Ray Simpson, the Hammer is shaming you in his column. You don’t have a column, he does. Repent.

“Take some tips,” Hammer advises, recommending “one of the few” commenters “who knows how to keep his cool.” He even has his own tip to pass on, one he has learned “over 29 years of writing newspaper columns,” namely that “right or wrong, the more you exaggerate, the less people will listen and the more they’ll lose respect for you.” Are you LISTENING, Ray Simpson?

“So if there really is the germ of an honest question in your last post,” he winds up (big if), “I just gave you an honest answer,” but only because he respects “the Ray Simpson who showed up” at those meetings.

Meanwhile, Ray, for you it’s sackcloth and ashes time. It’s your only chance.

Trifecta Sunday coming up

That be Jan. 19, with its menu featuring Rev. (uh-huh) Jesse Jackson Sr. on poverty, Gov. Quinn on justice for all, and a March for Life in the Loop — all of it competing, alas, with Patriots v. Broncos at 2 p.m. but not, thank heaven, 49ers v. Seahawks at 5:30.

I myself, choosing the march — would’nt it be nice to have Rev. J. and Gov. Q marching along with us? heh — have been advised to record the 2 pm game. What? so I can watch it play for play, knowing who won? No thanks. A missed game, with all its glorious free-market uncertainties (winner take all, for instance, survival of the fittest) is gone, not to be retrieved.

Same goes for Rev. J. and Gov. Q., of course. I had both penciled in, by the way, before deciding as I did. Rev. J. is at the Sankofa Cultural Arts and Business Center, 5820 Division. Him I would have gone to see if only because he’s so famous, but also in hopes that he might discuss his business plan, which over the decades has clearly worked out so well for him. Look, the guy grew up in quite modest circumstances, and now look at him. What’s his secret? I’d like to know.

And the Guv, here in Oak Park, where he has had such wonderful experiences over these many decades? What’s not to like? From him I certainly would want to hear about justice but also about how to make it to the top of the Illinois Democrats, with their glorious history of wise and frugal governance. He had what it took. I’d like to hear what that is.

As for the march, it starts at 1 pm at the Federal Plaza, 50 W Adams, I read in a very helpful release by fellow Midland Authors member Tom Cieselka for Christian Life News.It’s the 9th annual such and isn’t much of a march if you’re worried about your sore feet or cold weather (pish!), making it no farther than the Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph. So take the Blue Line down and the Green Line back, unless you parked at the Blue, in which case you have a bit of extra walking at the end.

Rallies are book ends for the walk-march. Cardinal George and six others speak at the Federal Plaza, Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) and four others at the Thompson Center. The others include WLS-AM talker Dan Proft at the Fed Plaza and two congressmen, Lipinski (D) and Roskam (R), Chi Bears owner Patrick McCaskey, and whistle-blower pediatric nurse Jill Stanek at Thompson.

At both places and on the walk-march, of course, will be lots of wholesome, likable people, which is always a draw. See you there, I hope, and Go Broncos in our absence. Why Broncos I’m not sure. It’s a feeling.

“40” at St. Giles viewed by 150

That’s the documentary “40,” which “investigates the Aftermath of Legalized Abortion [whose 40th
anniversary is next week] in America, the most important human rights issue of our time.”

The 150 — my estimate, confirmed by a young man who worked with the St. Giles Respect Life committee chairman — had come from the area last night, Jan. 15, drawn by Respect Lifers from five parishes — St. Giles, St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Luke’s, Ascension, and St. Edmund’s.

The film’s producer and director, John E. Morales, was on hand to introduce the showing briefly, then answer questions afterwards. He’s a onetime sports reporter — for Fox Sports Net Chicago and stations in Detroit and Houston — and has contributed to ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS Radio Sports and other outlets.

For the award winning “Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition,” he was co-producer, writer, and narrator, conducting interviews with over two dozen Major League players.

“40” is a winner. It moves along at a good pace and has no uninteresting people on camera. Two interviewees represented two explicitly non-religious pro-life organizations, one “humanist,” the other “secular.” Many interviewees recounted the pain and regret they experienced after having abortions. Several men who fathered aborted babies said the same thing.

Morales is one of these. He told last night of his experience years earlier when the woman with whom he had “a relationship” told him she was pregnant but that he was not to worry about it, she would take care of that. Now he and his wife are adoptive parents of a six-year-old boy whose single mother gave him up days after delivery.

Morales also told of his prayer to Blessed (soon to be saint) Pope John Paul II in Rome, when he determined to do a film about abortion, and a similar experience in the chapel of a Catholic book store.

He said he tried to get Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice leaders on camera, but they declined. So he and his associates settled for people they encountered at pro-choice demonstrations. These included a major figure in the pro-choice movement. His pro-life interviewees included several women who had worked in abortion clinics.

This is an absorbing but not excited film. It’s not bloody either, as at least one powerful pro-life film is with its depictions of aborted infants. Rather, it’s what he hear called a “positive” film, gently arguing against abortion and the bad law — admitted by some pro-choice experts — behind the Roe v. Wade decision while firmly stating the enormity of abortion, with its 56 million victims in the 40 years of its legalization in the U.S.

Biblical Scholar Smacks Down Piers Morgan When Asked To Explain How Jesus Condemned Homosexuality

Piers Morgan put what he considered a killer question to a Biblical scholar, Michael Brown, asking him for one place Jesus condemned same-sex sex, and got this answer:

First, Jesus said that He came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. In other words, the Old Testament law, even in Jesus’ day, was still in force and Jesus accepted it. That is the same law that condemns homosexuality in the Book of Leviticus.

Next, Brown cited Matthew 15 in which Jesus states that all sexual acts committed outside of marriage defile a human being.

Finally, Brown cited Matthew 19 in which Jesus said that marriage, as God intended it, is the union of one man and one woman.

Brown had more to say, for which see the video.