Illinois is quickly becoming one of the center points when it comes to the battle for the U.S. House of Representatives. At least six districts are currently in the midst of competitive races including IL-14 in which we already highlighted. These races are probably going to come down to the wire on election night next November but one race stands out a little more.
Illinois’ third congressional district is smack dab in the middle of a Democratic primary battle that will be decided during Illinois’ primary election February 5th. Congressman Dan Lipinski, son of the previous Congressman William Lipinski, currently represents the highly democratic leaning district. This is one that is shaping up to represent the voters’ feelings towards D.C. and its ability or inability to get things done, namely Iraq.
Lipinski’s district gave John Kerry 67% of the vote in 2004, thus representing the idea that the district should be headed by a progressive Democrat, primarily one that wants to represent the people’s view of ending the current war in Iraq. From my perspective I would just like someone in a safe Democratic district to be stalwarts for key progressive principles, such as ending the fiasco in Iraq, standing up for choice, as well as the environment. These are things that I care deeply about, and I think a district that gives 67% of the vote for the Democratic nominee for President, cares strongly about these issues as well.
But it does seem to be the case when it comes to Lipinski. The war in Iraq continues to be funded at unprecedented amounts, while Lipinski continues to support it. He has only finally come to realize that he needs to support a timetable because of this primary challenge.
It should not take a primary challenge for someone who we elect to do the right thing, to finally do it. If Lipinski had stood up on the right side of the war, then he would not have voted continuously to fund it at the rate of over $360 billion.
To top it off the younger Lipinski continues to be embroiled in what is becoming clear to be a nice little scandal involving his father, a children’s charity and some staff salaries. You really should read the entire article because it lays out the whole concoction at its best.
That’s what you get when an elected official’s father is a well-connected lobbyist and they try to work on the same issues, separately. You’ve got Dan Lipinski, a congressman, promising to bring a Central Avenue underpass to Bedford Park and serving on the House Transportation Committee, while his father, former U.S. Rep. William Lipinski, collected fees from Bedford Park as a paid consultant to lobby specifically for the underpass.
Dan Lipinski says his father did not, and does not, lobby him directly. But they do talk. In fact, Dan Lipinski paid his father, nominally, as a consultant two years ago. But they don’t discuss the elder Lipinski’s clients, and there is no lobbying that takes place, according to the Congressman.
Dan and William Lipinski share office space at 5838 Archer Ave. for political purposes. The building serves as William Lipinski’s headquarters for his business, Blue Chip Consulting, and Dan Lipinski’s campaign office. William Lipinski launched his consulting company after deciding in 2004 not to seek another congressional term and arranging for his son to take his spot on the ballot without opposition from the GOP.
The All-American Eagle Fund, which the elder Lipinski operates, also lists 5838 Archer Ave. as its headquarters along with the 23rd Ward political operation.
It just seems to get worse for the younger Lipinski and it seems like it is deservedly so. Its called standing up for some principles, like not taking money from a supposed charity, and for standing up against Bush and this war.
That is what is at stake here early on in Illinois. This race will be one to watch for how much of the rest of the country goes. And we have not even gotten into the other two pawns that are in the race to split the anti-Lipinski vote. More on that later.