The Tea Party network got the word out that there would be a rally Friday, January 29th on Federal Plaza in Chicago in support of Republican Gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrezejewski.
Andrezejewski is gaining steam in the upcoming primary here in Illinois. He has a shot at taking the nomination away from a crowded field of mostly establishment-backed go-along Rinos. The issue in Illinois, besides a pestilence of corruption, is the State’s lousy financial situation. A “combine” of Dems and Repubs, has left the treasury looted and the state with an $14 billion budget hole. Unfunded pension liability for State workers is $89 billion and counting. Click here. Only California has a worse Moody's credit rating.
As is typical in January, downtown Chicago was no place for the lightly dressed. The wind-chill factor made for a single-digit, ear flaps-down temperature. No reason to wonder why The Machine scheduled the primary election for the first Tuesday in February.
The real draw for the rally was former President of Poland, and founder of Solidarity, Lech Walesa, who was in Illinois to announce his support for Andrezejewski – by the way, the pronunciation is simpler than it looks: Just say N-G-F and put a Ski on the end. N-G-F-Ski. Repeat it three times and you’ll sound like a real Chicagoan.
Here is a video link to the whole of Walesa’s remarks, and some of Andrezejewski’s, both of whom were brief – they were frozen, too. Click here.
I brought along my wife’s digital camera but didn’t use it. Instead, fingers numb, I shot a few 3-D views with my trusty Stereo Realist (which I mention in my “revisionist” Plumwood Road review of the movie Avatar, posted January 28th).
What was my impression of the rally? Honestly, just between us? Hmmm…I know a lot of Tea Party people who are very impressed with Andrezejewski, and it was easy to see why: He speaks well on the stump, he was sharp and crisp in front of the media, he is gaining experience, but clearly a work in progress. By next fall he could be fantastic. Most importantly, he has a simple, compelling campaign message: “Open the Books”. When I heard those three words, I knew he was in possession of the political equivalent of The Bomb. And, I could see it in his eyes; he’ll use it.
The first thing Governor Andrezejewski will do is circumvent the Democrat and old-boy Republicans and issue an executive order calling for a complete audit of the State of Illinois; where have all those billions of dollars gone? Let’s “Open the Books” and find out whose pockets are getting stuffed. A hint of where that question may lead was given by another speaker, John Bambeneck, who is involved professionally in investigating internet crime. “And, when you are talking about internet crime in Illinois,” Bambeneck said, “You are talking about Organized Crime.” Message received.
Did I see any problems with Andrezejewski? Yes, and a pretty big one: campaign organization. He is young and he needs an experienced hand guiding him and training a rebel band of organizers. And he needs somebody to take charge of the schedule.
The event was set to kick off at 2:30. Andrezejewski and Walesa arrived 40 minutes late. That left a lot of filling to do at the podium as well as 150 supporters standing in the cold. Luckily for the candidate, the people in the cold were dedicated activists. They are the kind of people who are ready to rock. The first of the “filler” speakers was a flag-carrying retired 20-year Marine. This man knew a crowd of volunteers could get little restless. With just a few words, he had us standing straight and focused. “Let me hear an Ooh-Rah!” And he heard one.
But Andrezejewski can’t let this happen again, not when he has a crowd of curious or undecided voters. Write that down, somebody, and get it to him.
Will I vote for Andrezejewski on Tuesday? Most likely. I had previously been leaning toward Dan Proft, another fire-ball conservative, but N-G-F-Ski’s “Open the Books” theme is brilliant. If he gets the nomination, there are going to be a lot of nervous politicians in Illinois.