Friday, April 18, 2008

Frank Wolf: $1,000 to Jim Oberweis

I've been looking through the FEC disclosure database to see where Frank Wolf got his money and where he spent it. Within a couple of minutes, I came across an interesting item: on February 13, Frank Wolf gave $1,000 to the Jim Oberweis For Congress campaign in Illinois. As far as I can tell, that is the only campaign contribution Wolf gave to anyone this past quarter.

Who is Jim Oberweis? As you may recall, Oberweis was the Republican nominee for the seat vacated by former House Speaker Dennis "page scandal coverup/Tom DeLay's puppet" Hastert. Oberweis was defeated by Democrat Bill Foster on March 8, in what was widely considered a major upset in the strongly Republican-leaning Illinois 14th district.

According to Wikipedia:
On December 13, 2007, Hastert endorsed Jim Oberweis to succeed him the 14th Congressional district seat. On February 5, 2008 Oberweis won the Republican primaries for both the special and general elections, defeating State Senator Chris Lauzen by a 56% to 44% margin. However, the Republican primary was bitter, and due to Oberweis's numerous negative ads, Lauzen refused to endorse him. In the special election, he ran against physicist Bill Foster, and was defeated (52,010 voted for Foster, 46,988 for Oberweis) in what has to be considered an upset in this heavily Republican district. Oberweis will again face Foster in the November 2008 general election. Some Republicans are hoping he withdraws from the race.

Here's some more interesting information about Oberweis:
During Jim Oberweis's 2006 gubernatorial campaign, two undocumented workers, Rosa Ramirez and Jorge Ibarra, from Chicago's northwest suburbs brought a complaint to the Illinois Department of Labor alleging that Oberweis Dairy and janitorial subcontractor Patmar Janitorial Service of Lake in the Hills, Illinois, knowingly employed the two and exploited their labor by paying them only $3.23 per hour (less than half of Illinois minimum wage, $6.50 at the time). Oberweis, an open critic of illegal immigration, said the complaint was a “smear job,” and says that “we weren’t paying them at all…they never existed as employees within our organization.”

Fascinating. But it gets better; check this out: Oberweis sent out a campaign mailer that had "pictures of some average families and then show how much more money Foster wants to tax them." The only problem is, there was a disclaimer in tiny letters at the bottom that said, "The four examples are fictional, and any similarity between these characters and any real people is pure coincidence." Hahahahahaha. Funny, I know. Almost as hilarious, the disclaimer continued, "The effects on the individual's tax bills was calculated using the tax calculator found at a link to the Heritage Foundation." Oh, wonderful, using the far-right-wing Heritage Foundation to "calculate" tax bills; sort of like using the Bush administration's ideologues -- you know, the ones Frank Wolf keeps voting to confirm? -- to override Nobel Prize winning scientists on global warming.

Finally, let's watch a little video (see above) that talks about Oberweis employing illegal immigrants at his dairy stores AND investing $1 billion in Chinese companies. Yes, that's right, Jim Oberweis was busy employing the former and investing in the latter. Gee, I could have sworn that illegal immigration and Communist China were two of the things that get Frank Wolf all hot and bothered. Was all just an act?

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