Did Jim Oberweis Violate the “Millionaires’ Amendment”?

DCCC Release:

Jim Oberweis, the Republican Congressional candidate in IL-14, appears to have broken federal election law by triggering the Millionaires’ Amendment without notifying his opponent as required by law.  This would not be the first time Oberweis broke the law or tried to deceive voters.

“Jim Oberweis has a disturbing pattern of violating federal election law and deceiving voters” said Jennifer Crider, Communications Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  “This time, it looks like Jim Oberweis personally and deliberately failed to follow the law, pouring money into this race that he made investing in Chinese companies that threaten American jobs.  Jim Oberweis acts like the rules and law don’t apply to him – Illinois voters deserve better.”

According to his most recent FEC filing, Oberweis put in $640,000 of his own money.  [http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/dcdev/forms/C00436642/324695/sc/ALL]

  • $300,000.00 on February 7, 2008
  • $340,000.00 on February 11, 2008

The Millionaires’ Amendment is a part of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law.  McCain-Feingold increases contribution limits for candidates facing opponents who put substantial sums of their personal funds into their own campaigns.  An individual who puts in more than $350,000 into their House race risks triggering the Millionaires’ Amendment.  Once the millionaire candidate trips this threshold, the candidate must notify his opponents and the FEC by filing a FEC Form 10 within 24 hours.  The opponent can have access to higher limits depending on his or her own spending and fundraising. [http://www.fec.gov/press/bkgnd/MillionairesAmendment.html]

Jim Oberweis’ Pattern of Violating Federal Election Law and Deceiving Voters

  • Oberweis was previously fined $21,000 by the FEC for breaking federal election law.  The FEC said Oberweis benefited from a television ad he appeared in for the Oberweis Dairy in the 2004 Senate race and that the ad constituted a corporate contribution which is prohibited by federal campaign laws.  [Associated Press, 7/27/07] 
  • Oberweis used fake headlines in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign. Oberweis ran two TV ads that use made-up newspaper headlines to attack his opponents integrity. The words were displayed as if they appeared on the front pages of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the State Journal-Register. The St Louis Post-Dispatch ran a story with the headline “Ads for Oberweis using Fake Headlines…” after TV spots he ran attacking is opponent used replicas of real newspapers with fake headlines.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/2/06] [Chicago Tribune, 3/1/06]

Candidates That Violate the Millionaires’ Amendment Receive Significant Fines

  • $91,000 Fine for Former Representative Charles Taylor. In December 2006, the FEC Taylor On December 27, the FEC fined Taylor, R-Brevard, $91,000 for failing to properly report loans and contributions totaling more than $800,000 that he made to his 2004 congressional campaign. [Asheville Citizen-Times, 1/6/07]
  • $71,000 Fine for J. Edgar Broyhill II (NC-05).  In July 2006, the FEC fined for J. Edgar Broyhill II, a candidate in the 2004 primary election, for violating the reporting requirements of the Millionaire’s Amendment, along with other reporting requirements of federal election law. [$71,100 CIVIL PENALTY PAID BY BROYHILL FOR VIOLATIONS OF MILLIONAIRE’S AMENDMENT States News Service July 19, 2006 Wednesday]
  • $68,250 Fine for James R. Socas (VA-10).  In March 2006, the FEC fined James R. Socas, a candidate in the 2004 general election for for violating the reporting requirements of the Millionaire’s Amendment. [SOCAS PAYS CIVIL PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS OF MILLIONAIRE’S AMENDMENT States News Service March 16, 2006 Thursday]


Hiram:  Jim Oberweis Believes In Health Care For Cows – Not People

Jim Oberweis supports health care for all cows in his business. But the Chicago Tribune points out Jim Oberweis is against employers providing health care insurance for people – he says employees should go it alone. Cows get guaranteed health care while people go without. Should we treat cows better than people? Yes, it sounds strange, but you know where Jim Oberweis stands.

Foster campaign reports it’s daily tracking shows a small lead opening up between Foster and Oberweis. 

Here’s the Skinny:


What’s fascinating is that Oberweis is talking about a health care system that existed 20 years ago and not what exists today.  There are incentives to avoid overusing health care, but more importantly health care now is starting to focus on more preventative care which is the only way to truly reduce the rising health care costs.

Not So Much

OneMan clearly doesn’t understand the depths of my cynicism:

If Jim was the one backing out of forums I know Archpundit and Hiram wouldn’t let it go without a comment (and rightfully so).

It’s true I’m sure I have taunted a candidate or two on this, but I largely see debates about debates to be kind of pointless, especially with this short of a timeline.  If you have several months before an election such events can be kind of useful, but this close out, they don’t do much when you could be doing more effective voter contact.   So if I’m ranting about a debate about debates, you know I’m being disingenuous.

Foster doesn’t do well in such events from what I can tell because he is bad at making quick points–not unlike Obama was at one time.

Out of Context McCain

The straight shooter, not so straight:

Q. Put in context your comment about spending 100 years in Iraq.

McCain: “As we know all’s fair in politics. The fact is that everybody in the media who follows me and spends a lot of time with me I was talking about after the war is over. Just as after the war was over in Korea, there was a cease fire, we had American presence there. After the first Gulf War, we still have a presence in Kuwait. It’s very clear what I was talking about, after we succeed in this conflict and we are succeeding unless the Democrats are able to pull the plug out and cause a date for withdrawal, then we will succeed in this confilict and we will enter into negotiation and discussion as far as the military and other relationships between our two countries. I think that’s pretty clea

Yes, he wants permanent bases in Iraq:

After the event ended, I asked McCain about his “hundred years” comment, and he reaffirmed the remark, excitedly declaring that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for “a thousand years” or “a million years,” as far as he was concerned. The key matter, he explained, was whether they were being killed or not: “It’s not American presence; it’s American casualties.” U.S. troops, he continued, are stationed in South Korea, Japan, Europe, Bosnia, and elsewhere as part of a “generally accepted policy of America’s multilateralism.” There’s nothing wrong with Iraq being part of that policy, providing the government in Baghdad does not object.

In other words, McCain does not equate victory in Iraq–which he passionately urges at campaign events–with the removal of U.S. troops from that nation. After McCain told Tiffany that he could see troops remaining in Iraq for a hundred years, a reporter sitting next to me quipped, “There’s the general election campaign ad.” He meant the Democratic ad: John McCain thinks it would be okay if U.S. troops stayed in Iraq for another hundred years…..

60% of the public wants out of Iraq in one year.  They don’t have a fantasy of Iraq becoming some a stable liberal democracy.  He doesn’t want a gradual draw down of troops that isn’t happening as Oberweis is claiming.  He wants to stay there and stay there adn stay there.

And why would he want American troops permanently stationed in Iraq?  To start another war in the Persian Gulf:

McCain: I would at minimum consult with the leaders of Congress because there may come a time where you need the approval of Congress and I believe that this is a possibility that is maybe closer to reality than we are discussing tonight.

It’s not some conspiracy theory, it’s what McCain says he’ll do in the middle of a debate. Why does anyone doubt him?  And is Oberweis ready to back another war in the Persian Gulf also?

And so the drama continues in IL-14

Both men took off the gloves in the month before the primary, sending out negative mail pieces and taking out mud-slinging radio ads. Lauzen accused Oberweis of trying to buy his way into office. Oberweis questioned Lauzen’s judgment and accused him of being a “career politician,” casting Lauzen’s 15 years in the General Assembly in a negative light.

In the end, Oberweis won both the regular and special primary elections decisively. But while Lauzen has called Oberweis to concede, he has not publicly offered his support in the special election. In fact, in a letter to supporters sent last week, Lauzen criticized Oberweis for being willing to “say or do anything to get elected … no matter how personally destructive or untrue.”

Waiting for apologyIt’s ordinarily expected that the losing candidate in a primary election will come out publicly and support the winner. Lauzen said he is willing to help Oberweis, but wants an apology first.

“All I ask of Jim is to correct the record,” Lauzen said. “I’m not corrupt; I don’t buy people off. I’m happy to help as soon as he repairs the damage he’s done to my reputation.”

Lauzen mentioned a couple of specifics. During the campaign, Oberweis accused Lauzen of poor judgment for taking money from a company under investigation by the Illinois attorney general’s office. The company, International Profit Associates of Buffalo Grove, is also at the center of a massive federal sexual harassment lawsuit.

In December, Lauzen returned nearly $100,000 in contributions to International Profit Associates and its owner, John Burgess, but the Oberweis camp questioned why Lauzen took the money in the first place and compared him to several Democrats who had also taken IPA money, including Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Additionally, the Oberweis camp was critical of Kane County Republican Chairman Dennis Wiggins for accepting a paid position with Lauzen’s campaign. Oberweis spokesman Bill Pascoe called for Wiggins’ resignation from the Kane Republicans, but Wiggins declined, choosing instead to take a leave of absence until after the primary election.

Pascoe accused Wiggins of “(selling) himself to the highest bidder,” a statement which upset both Lauzen and Wiggins.

“He attacked my integrity,” Wiggins said of Oberweis. “I’ve worked for the party for 45 years. He owes me a hell of an apology.”