Category Archives: martin ozinga

>REACT: GOP offers up another "gimme" to the Democrats


Well, seems like all the Republican crazies are assembling in Illinois’ 11th Congressional District to give the seat to the Democrats. You have to give the GOP in the Land of Lincoln a lot of credit for ingenuity and perseverance. It is not easy to keep handing over election victories to opposition candidates who are way too liberal for the voters and represent arguably the most scandal ridden political machine in America. This is especially true in such “safe” districts as the 11th.

We have seen the GOP’s genius in turning over the 14th congressional seat to the donkey party — the seat once held by former House Speaker Denny Hastert. And we all remember how a virtually unelectable Barak Obama’s Senate career was launched first by the sexless scandal that knocked out candidate Jack Ryan followed by the incomprehensible stupidity of giving the nomination to kooky Alan Keyes.

Now the handlers of the Republican Party have seized the opportunity to surrender the 11th district seat, once held by Congressman Jerry Weller.

First, the powers that be picked another sprinter for the marathon. New Lenox Mayor Tim Balderman, and choice of the boys and girls in the back room, was handed the nomination only to quite the race before the first mile marker. This gave the local county chairmen (especially Will County Chairman Dick Kavanagh, who has 48 percent of the weighted vote) the chance to hand pick the candidate on behalf of the voters.

Apparently they could not risk retaining the seat with any one of half dozen winnable candidates. Rather, they concocted a silly notion that they would auction the seat off to the highest bidder. Okay. They did not call it an auction, but they said they would only pick a “self-funding” candidate – the guy putting up the most money. That sounds like an auction to me.

So, Kavanagh puts his muscle behind a rich road contractor named Martin Ozinga. Money was so important that the boys and girls in the back room did not care that Ozinga does not live in the district. It’s not a legal requirement, you know, but usually a good idea if you want to win.

They knew the Ozinga family has lots of money to throw around because they saw past donations from him, his father and the company they run. Let’s see … there is some $25,000 to Chicago Mayor Daley, $20,000 to Governor Blagojevich and another $25,000 to the Hispanic Democrat organization, the street army and patronage broker for Hizzoner, the Mayor. They are in the epicenter of the corruption investigation by the U.S. Attorney, as is the Governor. There are also contributions to such Dem candidates as Gery Chico, Paul Vallis and Senator Dick Durbin, just about the most liberal and strident partisan guy in the U.S. Senate. In other words, the GOP backroomers are going to hand the nomination to a guy who’s family is funding everything the majority of 11th district voters loath.

Why so much money to “the other side,” you ask? No mystery there. Road building and public works construction are among the seediest enterprises in the state. It is pay-to-play.

So, take your pick. The Ozinga family gives these guys tons of money because he believes in their philosophy and governing style (Ugh!), or he gives it to get to the front of the line for those lucrative, rip-off-the-taxpayers contacts (Arrrrrgh!). Either way, not something the voters can feel good about.

Of course, this kind of skullduggery cannot be performed in public. As soon as the opportunity to blow this election presented itself, a lid of secrecy was clamped down on the process. Potential candidates were sworn to silence, and even they were not provided a lot of information about “the process.” It was sort of a “silent auction,” if you will.

Despite all this, there was a chance, ever so slight, that Ozinga could win. Politics is full of surprises. The GOP could not afford that risk. So … some of the ideologues on the right have a great idea. They want to mount a write in candidacy. Since they would present a much more acceptable candidate to the voters, it is very likely that they can get a bunch of votes away from Ozinga — the coup de gras.

The conservative thinking has three motivators. First, to punish (well deserved) the leaders for picking Ozinga. Second, to actually win the seat with a candidate more like the district voters (hope springs eternal). Third, to assure Ozinga’s lose because they see no difference, and then can come back in two years to reclaim the seat with a true believer. The fact that reclaiming public offices has not been a GOP strong suit appears to be lost on them

So, there it is. The perfect political “storm” to achieve the virtually impossible — losing a safe conservative Republican congressional seat to a tax-and-spend, super liberal candidate who is a leader in the corrupt Illinois Democrat party. The 11th district could soon be represented by the type of politician most of the voters would not want living next door – and one of them doesn’t.

FOOTNOTE: The nomination will be made official on April 30. So there is a chance — ever so slight — that the GOP will come to its senses and nominate a more likely winner. Ozinga accepted the recommendation of the bosses with this statement: “After much prayer and careful consideration – and at the urging of Republican leaders, 11th District voters and my family – I have decided to run for Congress to be a positive part of the process of returning to the foundational truths established by our forefathers.” Where was the “fundamental truths” of our forefathers in those donations?

>OBSERVATION: Illinois GOP about to give away another congressional seat?

>Is it possible? Can it be? Is the almost non-existent, largely irrelevant and obviously dysfunctional Illinois Republican party about to give away one of their few remaining major offices.

I am referring to the buzz in the Land of Lincoln’s 11th Congressional District that the local county chairmen have pretty much decided to give the congressional nomination to public works contractor Martin Ozinga — solely on the basis that he is as rich guy who can finance his own campaign. This obsession with a self-funder is taking on the proportions of political madness.

The appointment of a candidate was necessitated by an earlier fiasco. Seems like the hand pick guy won the nomination, then proceeded to exit rather than face the glare of public scrutiny. This left retiring Congressman Jerry Weller with egg on his face, and the local GOP bosses holding the bag.

In their myopic lust for a candidate with deep pockets, the local leaders decided that issues do not matter. Of course, philosophy has never been much of a consideration in Illinois politics. Now even electability takes a back seat to spreading around money.

After Denny Hastert blew the 14th Congressional District by imposing dairyman Jim Oberweis, a self-funding candidate with less shelf appeal than his ice cream, you would think the party operatives would want to hold on to the 11th. But noooooooo! You would think that they would notice that self-funding doesn’t necessarily lead to victory at the polls. But nooooooooo!

I really don’t know Ozinga personally. Maybe he is a splendid guy. Can’t say. However, it does not take much of a look to know his appeal to the Republican majority in the 11th will be less than enthusiastic. One might say he is unelectable. So there … I said it.

For many years, there has been a lot of “smoke” surrounding the Ozinga name. And why not? Public works and road building have operated at the underbelly of political life. It is an industry that has been associated with mob influence. Not sure why, but the boys with funny middle names seem to has a fascination with trucks. The entire sleazy public works construction business is personified by Bill “Mr. Roads-to-Riches” Cellini (pictured), the taxpayer-made mega millionaire who keeps coming up as a person of interest in various federal indictments. Ozinga, himself, will have some explaining to do regarding past business practices that have surfaced in the press.

Ozinga is the classic pay-to-play guy. Why else would this “good Republican” and his family give tens of thousands of dollars to Rich Daley. Tens of thousands of dollars to the Hispanic Democrart organization currently under investigation by the feds. Tens of thousands of dollars to the prince of pay-to-play, Governor Blagojevich. Money for Dick Durbin, Gery Chico, Paul Vallis … and on and on. My mother always counseled me that if what a person says is different than what a person does, what they DO is all that matters.

There is no amount of self-funding that will get the rock solid Republicans in the 11th District, especially the conservatives, out of their house to cast a ballot for a guy who talks like a Republican at home and then funds their most loathed political leaders at the office. It appears that Republican stay-at-homes and crossovers were a significant factor in the loss of the 14th District. They were cited as the reason Democrat candidate Debbie Halverson got more votes in the primary than did the 11th District GOP slate — and she was uncontested.

Is there a lesson to be learned here? Can the GOP learn it?

It is said that those who the gods are about to destroy, they first drive mad. If that is the case, don’t stand too close to any Illinois Republican leaders these days.

FOOTNOTE: Did you pay attention to the map of the 11th congressional district? Districts are to be “compact and concise,” according to the law. None of those old time gerrymandered misshapes, sayeth the Supreme Court. So what is that “fishhook” hanging down from the middle of the 11th? In approving a lot of politically drawn congressional maps, the high court makes a mockery of its own ruling. So, what else is new?