Danny Davis turns back challenger

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By Jim Bowman


Danny Davis faced a challenger in the March primary -- River Forester Dan Roche, 38, husband, father of two, nine years in counter-terrorism with the CIA, currently heading anti-terrorism worldwide for CME (was Chicago Mercantile Exchange), smart, photogenic, fourth-generation Oak Parker by birth, a Fenwick High alum.


Chi Mag writer Carol Felsenthal thought he "seemed to have a pretty good campaign going" over three months -- until Jan. 10, when he called to tell her he was dropping out as a candidate, his nominating petititions unrelentingly challenged by a Davis worker until it became clear to Roche and his lawyers that he was running out of money.


"The process was becoming too costly," he told Felsenthal. "They [even] challenged my wife's signature." The idea, he had told supporters, "was to waste our time and money [at] hearing after hearing at the Board of Elections, requiring full preparation of election lawyers and paid staff." He couldn't afford it. Danny Davis won. He had more money and a winning strategy. Not a ballot was counted.


Felsenthal had not seen it coming: 

Roche had some savvy people working for him, and more interns than he could use. He was raising some money ($50-75,000 in two months, he says, and the same in "commitments"), and he claims that he was accumulating endorsements from "suburban officials" and Chicago alderman, but he won't name names.


Roche [thinks] Davis saw him as a real threat, as "a viable alternative. I have a history of public service, fourth generation in the area, business experience, enthusiasm and energy and the potential to raise real money."


I asked Roche if he'd run again in the 7th—he absolutely rules out moving his family to another district. He called the result of his short campaign "disheartening," but said "I would be remiss if I didn't consider running again."


His war on terror time:


He comes back often to his 9-year service, much of it "in harm's way," abroad, in the CIA. He joined right after 9/11, working in "counterterrorism analysis and operations. I know government service [he said] and it's not the commuter flight between Reagan and O'Hare.


Right now I'm just a citizen, which seems a pretty good thing," Roche says. "I've been in some lousy, lousy places overseas."


He could be back in a year or so. He'd be "remiss," he said. We could hear more from him.


Consider this first-time tactic by Davis, who I think has a feeling 'way down deep that he could not stand up to a credible opponent. His Malcolm X College performance on Aug. 22, 2009 -- "Danny Davis: Damn the cost, full speed ahead" -- is a case in point:


To an audience salted with "public option" signs, he had only to mention "public option" and people stood and applauded. The preacher who opened the meeting put public option into his prayer, just before naming Jesus, presumably as one who would endorse it.


Davis himself pulled out the stops with: "No matter the cost, quality health care should be provided for every citizen." Not non-citizen, notice: that's for the Puerto Rican Chicago congressman to say; it's everyone to his own constituency.


"Every time I hear the cost is too much," Davis continued, in full cry, "I am reminded of [black liberationist] Frederick Douglass" and what he said about abolition of slavery. "There's always a reason" not to do what's right, Davis quoted, adding his own "as the insurance companies won't like it, the medical supplies companies won't like it."


Douglass said opponents of abolition, "deprecate agitation" and (employing one of several metaphors) "want the ocean without the roar of its mighty waters." But "one thing is for sure," Davis said, again quoting Douglass, "you won't get all you pay for, but you will pay for everything you get," apparently referring to the current struggle over health care reform but collaterally and unintentionally endorsing town-hall protests coast to coast opposing it.


"No price is too high for quality health care," Davis said again, apparently absolving himself of fiscal responsibility as to mounting deficits and inflation and rising tax rates.


He has solid socialist backing. His message that resonated with the Malcolm X audience will not play as well with other parts of his long, diverse district, which includes


much of the West Side of Chicago and parts of the suburban communities of Bellwood (all), BerkeleyBroadviewForest ParkHillside,MaywoodOak Park (all), River Forest (all) and Westchester.


In Chicago, the 7th District includes all or part of the community areas of Austin,Chinatown (Armour Square)DouglasEast Garfield ParkEnglewood,Fuller SquareBronzeville (Grand Boulevard)Humboldt ParkKenwood,LoopNear North SideNear South SideNear West SideNorth Lawndale,OaklandWashington ParkWest EnglewoodWest Garfield Park and West Town.


Quite a swath. Out of River Forest by way of Oak Park came a credible challenger, whom Davis dispatched with ease. Next time or next challenger, things might be different.

Email: jimbowman7@aol.com Twitter: @BlitheSp

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Posted: February 12th, 2014 12:20 PM

Are you trying to say that Davis challenging the signatures of Roche was just an easy excuse for a broke Roche to drop out? Maybe. If Roche was competent he'd have enough for Davis to challenge and still have plenty to stay in the race. Maybe Roche realized he was in over his head?

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 12:02 PM

Jim C - Keep posting. We need your thoughts!

Jim Bowman  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 11:32 AM

Huh? "We can infer from the fact that he dropped out that he was short on valid sigs"? You lost me there. We cannot infer just as easily if not more easily that he was running out of money ? No? Why not?


Posted: February 11th, 2014 1:14 PM

I'm still here, Jim B. Just reading only because I got bored. To answer your question though, no I don't know how many or even if any signatures were invalid for Roche. I'm pretty much back to Bill D's original comment that Roche should have done his homework. We can infer from the fact that he dropped out that he was short on valid sigs. Or was there a greater problem with his candidacy besides lack of money and support? Doesn't really interest me.

Jim Bowman from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 12:09 PM

Know what I don't like about my latest comment? It's in effect calling out an anonymous commenter. Bad cess to me for that. This scrum is a wonderful thing, and to tinker with its anonymity is not good. My bad. And Jim Coughlin, take a break if you wish, but make it short.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 10:07 PM

It's been noted that I have been around here long enough. Seeing my screen name posted under Latest Comments might make some people shout "enough with this guy!'. I'll give you all break for while and concentrate on other interests. Be well.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 10:02 PM

Ray, I'm not keeping score but recall that you have been resistant to my suggestion that you avail yourself to reporting sources other than Fox News. On numerous occasions I referred you to articles published in Rolling Stone but have been always rebuffed. Whether it is a critical examination of climate change, the influence of lobbyists on our democratic process or the Obama administration's wasteful and futile war on drugs, there is much to be learned about the realities of our American life.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 9:54 PM

If you are truly concerned with the integrity of the vote, Uncommon Sense, I suggest you take the required training and offer to serve as an election judge. If there is going to be any hanky panky involving ballot casts it's not going to be an individual involved but problems with the voting machines or hanging chads. You seem to totally misunderstand the "left" and would be better served by exposing yourself to more diverse variety of thinkers. It is Fox News preaching the evil of liberalism.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 9:43 PM

Brian, I am not saying the scenario you describe is not possible but my experience tells me it is highly unlikely. Driving around going from precinct to precinct and attempting to vote multiple would be incredibly risky and expose an individual to a whole lot of trouble. Understanding the process on election day means that you have identified yourself to an election judge and signed a legal document. If caught you could be charged with a variety of crimes including perjury. Not worth it I think

Jim Bowman  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 9:16 PM

Geez, I walk away for a day or so, and you guys go crazy. I love it. Now Huh, you are sounding more and more like Danny Davis. Do you work for him? Just asking. He's all for single-payer, he told the Chi Mag writer, as he was for public option when the ACA was being deliberated, as I heard at the Malcom X gathering. And by the way as Obama has been for many years. ACA he saw as a springboard. A wink-and-a-nod sort of thing. As for Dan Roche the challenger defeated by petition challenges, I still wonder how you know any of his signatures were disqualified. You were there maybe? Come on. We won't tell.

Bill from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 9:12 PM

@Huh. Not sure this is the courts in Illinois or nationally given decisions in the past three years. Within IL, it is clearly the desire of the more liberal populace that requires no ID for voting and ID for any firearm, even hunting rifles, which aren't really used for crimes. Seems rather inconsistent application of law regulating our Constitutional rights.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 9:08 PM

@Huh, I'd argue the integrity of the vote is much more important. There is a reason we are Republic and not a democracy. Our founders understood the dangers of mob rule and the low info voter. Ensuring all votes are legitimate is of prime importance when the wrong policies can seriously harm us individually, but as well as the country as a whole. Disagreement on policies is healthy, but I find it odd those on the left have no interest in ensuring voting is not corrupted.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 8:41 PM

@ Jim C - I admit that I watch FOX news and business. On several occasions you have asked for more information and I have honored your requests. I have NEVER used FOX as a reference, but, rather I have gone directly to the NRA, congressional testimony I watched and interviews with the principal. It seems that when I report back with the data you request - the issue stops dead in it's tracks. Did I win that point?

Bill D  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 6:19 PM

I don't think the state or federal courts, when considering voter ID laws, give a second of thought to "the problems with under-regulation of guns," or that they "are much greater than the problems of under-regulation of voting." I think the courts see the two issues as entirely separate briefs before them, unless I'm wrong and you've just re-invented our system of jurisprudence.


Posted: February 10th, 2014 6:13 PM

We're headed towards single-payer, Dreamer. A lot of states are already taking that step on their own.

Dreamer from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 6:09 PM

I'm all for doing something about the uninsured,but this plan takes away doctors and plans people were happy with,and still leaves THIRTY million uninsured.Wasn't that the point of the legislation in the first place?

Dreamer from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 6:07 PM

This entire ACA,which Davis enthusiastically supported,just keeps getting worse and worse.No question something needed to be done about the health care system,but just Friday,the administration,and the CBO say that after full implementation,there will still be THIRTY million uninsured.Wasn't that the intent of the legislation in the first place?Now we have people losing their plans,losing their doctors,premiums tripling and co-pays and deductibles skyrocketing.


Posted: February 10th, 2014 4:59 PM

Bill, I think the reasons courts take a very "no ID" approach to voting and a more restrictive stance on the right to arms is that the problems with under-regulation of guns are much greater than the problems of under-regulation of voting. Fraud, as I linked to, is so minimal and already prosecuted well when it happens.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 4:20 PM

@ JiM; No one votes twice at the same polling place. They go to the next district to pull the lever again That's why they cant be identified or caught. They are criminals not stupid. I suggest stamping a hand with material that cant be washed off for twelve hours and that shows up w/ a blue light.

Bill from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 3:50 PM

Random thoughts from a Republican. @Huh? 2nd amendment is right to bear arms, yet under no circumstances can anyone buy a gun without an ID in IL. 2. On Danny Davis. He doesn't need the thesaurus.He is clearly a smart guy. Don'it like his progressive politics and constant testing of the waters for other offices in Cook County though. 3. 7th district is designed for AfAm representation. Can a white CIA guy from RF win the primary? Maybe Roche is getting some name recognition for other office.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 1:01 PM

People have a right to travel. And the government has a right to regulate it to help assure safety. Voting and elections are also regulated. There's a state board of elections, county boards that regulate political campaigns, and the county clerk who regulates voting rolls. I'm all for ferreting out/stopping voter suppression efforts, but I have no sympathy for people who don't get formal ID. They need to put some of the energy they spend in protesting this issue into acquiring an ID.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 12:52 PM

Interesting question, Ray. As far as I know I am not related to Ken Trainor. I guess it's possible considering this country's melting pot. According to research conducted by Ancestry.com, President Barrack Obama is a 10th cousin of Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. Obama is also a 11th cousin, once removed to George W. Bush. It really is a small world after all. Maybe you and I are linked! You may want to refrain from touting Fox News ratings. Like all of the cable news network, viewership is declining across the board though Fox has seen the biggest drop in that key 24-59 demographic.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 12:25 PM

Brian, you may want to check with Ray Simpson. He reports serving as a Cook County election judge and could provide any details about the number of times he has encountered someone trying to vote more than once. The system currently in place would make that extremely difficult; if not impossible. I would not have an objection to electronic verification that involved scanning someone's thumb print. Probably cost prohibitive for most states and municipalities.


Posted: February 10th, 2014 11:32 AM

People don't have a right to fly. They do have a right to vote. That's the difference.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 11:03 AM

We are truly an idiocracy at this point. NAACP tells protesters at rally against Voter ID to.... drum roll.... BRING ID. WTF? http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/naacp-bring-photo-id-protest-photo-id-laws

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 10:49 AM

Huh, if that is your position why the inconsistency with gun control? We can show similar numbers on that issue. Why aren't you protesting the TSA treating all fliers like Terrorist when the odds of any terrorist action are slim to none? Why should all fliers need to show ID and have their baggage inspected? Why do we need ID at all of for anything? Crime in general is a small percentage relative to the population.


Posted: February 10th, 2014 8:02 AM

NYU School of Law did a key study of supposed "voter fraud" and found the rates to be .0003% in MIssouri, .0004% in NJ, and .0002 in Wisconsin. It concludes, "The voter fraud phantom drives policy that disenfranchises actual legitimate voters, without a corresponding actual benefit. Virtuous public policy should stand on more reliable supports." You can read the whole report here: http://www.brennancenter.org/publication/truth-about-voter-fraud

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 7:39 AM

@ Jim Coughlin: Would you consider a hand stamp for all voters so they could not vote again?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 10:42 PM

@ Jim C - are you related to Ken Trainor? Your logic, or lack of logic, is consistent with Ken's hand wringing myopia and intolerance of an opposing opinion. You should try watching FOX news - they actually have liberal contributers who try to make reasonable logic of your views. That is probably why they have ratings double or triple the size of the liberal competition.

Friar Tuck from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 10:22 PM

Jim, please. Big city D mayors, especially in Chicago, create voters & votes out of thin air as a matter of course. It's in their DNA. (Creating D voters where none existed before is also the sole motivation of the current push to legalize illegal aliens, but that's a whole different discussion). To say asking for a valid ID = voter suppression is dumb & simply a parroting of the DNC, & it's house organs NYT, MSNBC, etc. And invoking "Koch Bros." bogeyman is the ultimate mindless parroting.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 7:51 PM

Jim, how can you prove voter fraud if you aren't looking for it? Based on your logic, that means we shouldn't need to show ID at the airport since acts of terrorism are extremely rare. We can also apply your same logic to the gun control debate. Wasn't it hear in Chicago we are told to vote early and often?


Posted: February 9th, 2014 7:18 PM

If Republicans were capable of winning voters to their ideas, they'd be talking about that. Instead they complain about who can vote.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 6:54 PM

That was true decades ago but no longer. Today,it Is the GOP pushing legislation designed to suppress the vote. The phony claim of rampant voter fraud is driving the issue but it is the money of the Koch brothers and their ilk providing the funding. As far as declaring "end of story"; nothing is over until we say it is over!" Referring to the Democratic party as "democrat" is viewed as a not so subtle and rather childish dig popularized by the real voice of republicans, Rush Limbaugh. Consider the source before assuming the role of a parrot.

Friar Tuck from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 6:00 PM

Interesting how these comments have devolved from Davis' ineptitude/hackery to an argument about voter ID. I'll end it with this inconvenient truth...the party with the overwhelming history of voter suppression/vote fraud is the Democrat party. This fact is inarguable. In the Jim Crow south, it was Dem's who created poll taxes, lynching, etc to minimize the black vote. In the urban north, it was (& is) big city Dem mayors & their hacks to create voters from thin air, cemeteries, etc.End of story


Posted: February 9th, 2014 5:26 PM

Thankfully these attempts to enact voter ID laws don't hold up when they go to court. What it really does is waste taxpayer dollars and tries to suppress the vote.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 4:40 PM

That is mighty powerful evidence to support a claim of widespread voter fraud. One goofy kid trying to pull a stupid prank. Tea Party supporters always come off as desperate when they try to focus public attention on a single, isolated incident as absolute proof that the republic is under attack and our Constitution being ignored. Run with that.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 4:18 PM

JC, you mean like a young white guy claiming he is Attorney General Eric Holder and still being able to obtain a ballot? http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/09/young-white-activist-proves-that-without-voter-id-law-ag-eric-holders-ballot-easy-to-obtain/

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 3:34 PM

You're right, Ray. I have been around here long enough. Perhaps too long! But you own record of intolerance has compelled me to call you out on those occasions when you deliberate distort facts; ignore reality and resort to simply parroting the drivel you blindly accept from Fox news and your personal idols Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Louis Gohmert. Rather than offer a single example of the voter fraud you have encountered as a local election judge; you resort to a misguided personal attack. Somewhat typical behavior of someone who is unable to back up their bogus claims and about what I have come to expect from you. Fight the good fight but fight fair.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 2:57 PM

@ Uncommon - you have been around here long enough to know that Jim Coughlin demands, from us, exact data sources and links while supporting his own intolerance with vague poorly documented "facts" To claim the higher road while supporting the likes of Al Franken, Sheila Jackson Lee, Wiener at al - what a brain trust! Remember that "The Chicago Way" is a reference to Chicago Democrat voter abuse that is understood everywhere.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 2:08 PM

It is not the "left" who thinks people are stupid. I'm not sure if anyone is capable or qualified to make that determination.There are countless examples of people who are not able to obtain the documentation required to obtain the identification demanded. A considerable expense may also be involved. Figure that would relate to 1 in 10 eligible voters. Don't be insulted, Uncommon Sense. Know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 1:34 PM

JC, care to share some facts on what % of these low income and minorities can't obtain ID? They seem to have ID for everything else. As a minority, I find it insulting that the left thinks we are too stupid to get an ID which is basically what you are arguing.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 1:27 PM

"Any state ID would suffice" is the solution presented by Uncommon Sense but obtaining a state ID can be an expensive and time consuming exercise for many people especially those living on limited incomes. Of course, Uncommon Sense tries to make it sound simple but the fact is that for many elderly and minority individuals and as the judge who struck down the Pennsylvania voter Id law stated, "an unreasonable burden" on voters and "a legislative disconnect from reality".

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 1:14 PM

Ray, based upon your experience as an election judge; how many instances are you personally able to cite where there was an attempt to cast a fraudulent vote? Have you ever reported any individuals to the officials charged with overseeing an election? What did the investigation reveal? As an election judge, you must be aware that some voters may be required to present 2 pieces of identification in order to receive a ballot but the vast majority are asked only to sign their name which the judge compares to that person's signature on file. That information is explained in the training session judges are required to attend and is also outlined in the manual provided for you by David Orr's office. Strange that you continue to claim that persons you seek to identify as members of a fringe group intimidated voters while ignoring documented reports involving Tea Party activists conducting similar and illegal activities by flooding polling places in largely African-American districts in a number of states with white "observers". The issue of states enacting voter IDs laws will likely be reviewed by the US Supreme Court in the near future. Proponents will be required to prove there is widespread voter fraud and that the legislation is not an effort to suppress the vote and disenfranchise millions of eligible voters.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 12:53 PM

JC, any state issued ID would suffice. You know, the kind of ID everyone needs to function in society. I find it funny that when it comes to the 2nd amendment, you see nothing wrong with background checks, FOID, etc, but then you think it is asking too much for someone to show valid ID to vote .

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 9:10 AM

I serve as an election judge and see the controls to avoid illegal votes. The only ones who would object to voter ID are the ones who gain from voter fraud. The greatest majority of voters are known to the judges since they are neighbors and all new residents seem to show up with a voter card and a photo ID in hand. No legitimate voter seem to object to proving who they are and that they are exercising their right. Real voter suppression was demonstrated several years ago when two thugs from "New Black Panthers" kept white voters away from polling place with intimidation and baseball bats.

Bll D  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 8:16 AM

No, I get it, frequent flier. The demographic at risk are poorer blacks and hispanics, who likely work during the time of day ID applications can be submitted. I just don't buy that requiring a photo ID, which is required for a variety of other things beside voting, is too onerous. Take the time, get the ID and be done with it. The other crap the Republicans pull, like severely limiting early voting and causing hours long lines to vote in minority precincts, is criminal and should be prosecuted.

Adam Smith  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 8:10 AM

The real problem is that in a republic any idiot can vote.

frequent flier  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 8:00 AM

@BD -- I'm a fan but you're being tone deaf on this. The demographic at risk to voter suppression with new ID requirements doesn't overlap with those of us who deal with TSA checks at airports.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 8th, 2014 10:21 PM

Uncommon sense claims that "any idiot can obtain" a voter id card. Take us through that process and detail the exact documentation you believe is acceptable for any person, regardless of age or history of being an active voter, to be prepared to submit as evidence in order to receive a voting card. It can be a cumbersome and expensive ordeal for some people to produce the proof that some states are demanding.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 8th, 2014 10:13 PM

Jim Bowman, it sounds like you are buying the notion that voter id cards are easily obtainable and are necessary to combat masssive voter fraud. You may recall reading that the 90 year old former Speaker of the US House Jim Wright couldn't provide sufficent documentation and was not allowed to obtain a voter identification card by the Texas Department of Public Safety. His circumstances are similar to the situation faced by 1 in 10 eligible voters. Allegations of widespread voter fraud have never been proven and the very few who have been charged with a violation represent an infinitesimal number compared to the total ballots cast.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: February 8th, 2014 7:23 PM

As someone who is relatively liberal on issues, the voter ID thing is a non-starter. The Republicans have engage in unconscionable voter suppression, but requiring an ID isn't that. I have no sympathy for people who complain that it's too difficult to get a valid ID when they have two years to do so. I'm asked for my ID all the time, and couldn't get my boarding pass electronically for an international flight recently because the name on my credit card didn't match my formal name on my passport.

Jim Bowman  

Posted: February 8th, 2014 6:07 PM

Huh?: You still there? Sorry I'm late. Got tied up. So. You are up to your tricks again, I see. Or it was an oversight when you made it an issue how many were thrown out when I had asked, and these are my exact words, copied and pasted, "How do you know any were thrown out?" I am dying to know. Believe me. Uncommon Sense: My apologies also to you. Good point about i-d being easily obtainable. It gets to a new issue, why "Huh?" opposes voter i-d, since it would help reduce vote fraud. And Muntz brings us back to the main point, disparities in available money, in this case to defend against challenges, between eight-term incumbent and newbie hopeful. Quite considerable, "Huh?" will agree. That's an argument for term limits, of course. Doesn't convince me to favor limits -- surprise, "Huh"! -- but I am open to persuasion.


Posted: February 6th, 2014 11:42 AM

I'm opposed to both term limits and voter ID laws. And admit to having voted for Davis. Just because you guys can't beat him doesn't mean we should change the rules so someone can. That's the political equal of taking your ball and going home as a sore loser. Sorry.


Posted: February 6th, 2014 11:11 AM

@Huh-"couldn't hang and wasn't prepared" sounds a bit like double-talk for "lack of vast treasure chest that comes with, much like birthright, incumbency." I agree with you that challengers need to go above and beyond the basic requirements to defeat fights such as this (like get 3x the amount of signatures required). However, they are still at a huge financial disadvantage, one that incumbents just build and build on until they are untouchable to the common man/challenger. #TermLimitsIL

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 6th, 2014 10:30 AM

Huh, so do you use the same logic in regards to requiring voter ID? So Danny Davis and his ilk will cry about conservatives "suppressing the voters" by requiring valid ID that any idiot can obtain, but using legal challenges to signatures to drain your opponents resources is just part of the game? Love liberal logic.


Posted: February 6th, 2014 10:11 AM

I think you're missing my point, Jim. It doesn't matter how many were thrown out. Roche left the race because he couldn't hang and wasn't prepared. Maybe next time? Lesson learned? In any case, he wasn't viable as a candidate this time.

Jim Bowman  

Posted: February 6th, 2014 9:57 AM

Huh?, yr the gift that keeps on giving. How many were thrown out? How do you know any were thrown out? And no more of this assuming this or that, please.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 5th, 2014 5:20 PM

Danny Davis knows how politics works. He may have picked up that lesson when he opposed Bush's invasion into the Middle East, and later went along with the rest of the group. You can't always get what you want in politics, so you settle to get other things.


Posted: February 5th, 2014 4:48 PM

If the signatures were valid, why not trust the system in place? Signatures don't get thrown out unless they're bad. The general rule with petitions is get twice as many as you think you need for this reason. It's not a conspiracy. Just flaws in the non-incumbent's campaign management.

Jim Bowman  

Posted: February 5th, 2014 3:46 PM

Huh? How do you know the signatures were bad? What we know is that it cost a lot of money to answer challenges. Danny Davis's once-chief of staff, Clayton Boyd, Davis's currently part-time staffer and friend, in Davis's words, an "activist and politically involved person," Chicago Mag reports, did the challenging. Come on.


Posted: February 5th, 2014 11:56 AM

Good topic, but not looking to get into term limits, Muntz. I oppose them. I would like to see the big money out of it. But I think the power of incumbents is good for democracy in the end...relationships are built in DC that a new member has to rebuild all over again. Seniority on committees, etc.. A fresh new guy isn't always best for constituents. Even if you don't like the current rep. Not to mention a good campaign should be prepared for legal challenges.


Posted: February 5th, 2014 11:45 AM

@Huh-Technically, you are right. But let's face it...the system is rigged towards the incumbents, whom through years/decades of rule, can accumulate a vast treasure chest of money (and clout) to leverage against any would-be challenger. Even if you follow all the rules, you'll still need the resources to fight the legal challenges which have become standard operating procedure in politics. Term limits would help prevent this power-hoarding by incumbents.


Posted: February 5th, 2014 11:26 AM

Jim, it's not like Danny Davis himself personally makes that call. The signatures were bad.There are rules about what makes a petition valid. There are lawyers, courts, election officials, and layers of process. I suggest next time his challenger be a little better organized.

Jim Bowman  

Posted: February 5th, 2014 11:08 AM

Yo Huh? Democracy isn't even democracy any more if it gets not pretty enough. Big Guy decides we don't need an election, so we don't have it? You're OK with that? What else are you OK with?


Posted: February 4th, 2014 11:58 AM

Democracy ain't pretty. The avg price of a House campaign is now, what, $1.6 million? And if you have more than that in the bank you can bombard your opponent with legal challenges. That's just the way the game is played. I'm all for getting money out of politics, but good luck with that.

Jim Bowman from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 10:42 AM

Hold on, Huh? Davis will decide the issue on his own? For the good of the republic, I suppose. Patriotic of him. In any case, all the other times he did not challenge, when he won with 80 percent of the votes, he considered campaigning not superfluous, but this time it was, so he put the Roche campaign out of its misery, for the sake of the electorate? Counterproductive to have a meaningless primary, the big guy decides? For whom? Sounds autocratic to me, among other things.


Posted: February 4th, 2014 9:33 AM

Occam's razor, Jim. The simplest answer is that Davis just would rather not face an opponent in a worthless campaign he's sure to win. But he'd still have to make a small effort. Better to knock your opponent out with overwhelming early force before he even starts. It's counterproductive to have a meaningless primary.

Friar Tuck from Oak Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 9:26 AM

You're welcome for "Thesaurus", Jim. It is derived from Davis' propensity (a word he uses with great frequency) to insert many big words where a few small words would suffice. My own discussions with two local, influential elected officials showed a clear disappointment with Davis, that for a time was coupled with covert support for Roche's effort. Was their effort real, or sabotage from within? We'll never know, but I hope Mr Roche stays the course & spends the next 2 years raising $ & people.

Jim Bowman from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 8:45 AM

Hey Huh, just kidding about no LOL's (LOL), However, it's better to light one candle than curse the darkness. (Please no LOL for that!) However again, this apparently is a first for Davis, namely to challenge, prompting the question, Why this time? Age? Felsenthal notes that 'Roche, 38, noted on his website that the district needs "a 21st century congressman able to solve 21st century challenges," a clear hit at Davis, 72, who grew up on a cotton farm in Arkansas and carries an air of the old-fashioned about him.' More likely, an awakening not only on the West Side but also in Bellwood (all), Berkeley, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, Maywood, Oak Park (all), River Forest (all) and Westchester, as above. And do we think no "suburban officials" or aldermen would endorse Roche? Are sure? Davis has no enemies? Back to the question, Why this time? -- Try also ObamaCare and ITS enemies. Hope and change, people. Times they are a-changing, sang Pete Seeger. There's gonna be a next time for Thesaurus (I like that) Danny D.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 3rd, 2014 2:07 PM

Danny Davis and his ilk at the Congressional Black Caucus, Jesse, Sharpton, etc have literally destroyed the black community. What is even more sad is that the communities they represent aren't astute enough to even recognize they've been hoodwinked. Beyond sad.

Friar Tuck from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2014 1:10 PM

This is most unfortunate, mostly for the low information voters of the 7th District, who don't seem to realize they keep reelecting a completely useless representative. Danny Davis is a machine hack with no redeeming qualities other than a large thesaurus, which he uses to make himself appear smart. He's simply verbose. How is it "progressive" to have 50% unemployment in most of your district? Dan Roche cares about the poorest of the 7th much more than Davis & might've actually done something.

Youguysdon'tgetit from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2014 12:35 PM

You guys don't get it.....Davis had a challenger when Jacque Conway ran against him. He did not get knocked off the ballot. He had good signatures but couldn't muscle enough votes to beat Davis. Roche obviously cut some corners badly. Roche is not viable for anything, at least in politics.


Posted: February 2nd, 2014 3:52 PM

Sorry, Jim, the LOL was pretty much for the reason John gave. To try to challenge Davis displays a horrible knowledge of politics that would make me skeptical about anybody who would try. You're either a Republican/Independent and have no chance. Or a very misguided Democrat who is too dumb to wait until Davis retires/dies to go for an open seat.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 2nd, 2014 3:37 PM

The only outcome of Bowman's article is his last sentence, "Next time or next challenger, things might be different." A lot of words leading to a very large MAYBE? Doubt anyone is holding their breath waiting to see a contested election versus Davis.

Jim Bowman from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 2nd, 2014 3:17 PM

Hey, huh: Stop that LOL stuff right now.


Posted: February 2nd, 2014 3:08 PM

Well, you can't please everybody, Worst. You must be from the 20%! lol

Davis is the Worst from OP  

Posted: February 2nd, 2014 2:42 PM

Danny Davis is the absolute worst that Illinois politics has to offer. He's sleazy and hasn't represented anyone but himself in years. I welcome the day that ANYONE else has his seat in Congress. It's a shame that Dan couldn't get it done.


Posted: February 2nd, 2014 2:13 PM

Chris, we're the most liberal House district in IL being represented by one of the most liberal members in Congress. Is somebody going to run to Davis' left? His right? We're a Cook PVI D+35 in a machine politics town. Get real. Anybody who wants his seat will need to know how to play the game better.

Chris from OP  

Posted: February 2nd, 2014 1:51 PM

@Huh ". Danny Davis is a machine democrat in a progressive district who consistently gets 80% of the vote because he won't let any other Democrat run. There, fixed it for you.


Posted: February 2nd, 2014 12:02 PM

The negative comments about Rep. Davis always amuse. Kicking your opponent off the ballot is a pretty standard tactic for incumbents. Danny Davis is a popular progressive in a progressive district who consistently gets 80% of the vote. I doubt he's very worried. I think he does a great job. He certainly votes the way I would most of the time.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2014 11:23 AM

I think Dan came in pretty prepared. He was simply out spent on legal costs with frivolous challenges. IMO Danny Davis is about as low as you can go in pond scum hierarchy of politics.

Bill D  

Posted: February 1st, 2014 2:16 PM

I'm not a Danny Davis supporter, but after watching this petition challenge thing happen again and again, the latest with adjudicated liar and general sleaze Emanuel "Chris!!!" Welch, I have only this to say to would be challengers--- DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Learn ALL the rules, then dot your "i"s and cross your "t"s. If the rules say get 500 signatures, get 2,000. And drive it home to the people collecting signatures that they WILL be scrutinized, by experts who are adept at knocking off challengers

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