Aurora Beacon News: Experience gives Lauzen the Advantage
During the intense, sometimes-heated 14th Congressional District campaign of the past few weeks, some subtle differences have been revealed in the Republican candidates' positions on issues such as Iraq and immigration reform -- and significant splits in their positions on foreign trade and the Prairie Parkway.
In the end, however, the clear distinction between the GOP candidates comes in the category of experience -- and that's where state Sen. Chris Lauzen wins hands down. For that reason, The Beacon News endorses Lauzen as the Republican nominee in both the special and regular elections for the seat held for two decades by the venerable Dennis Hastert.
There is some truth to the criticism that Lauzen's effectiveness can be stymied by his stubbornness, but we respect his independence and willingness to stand up to the political elite, even the leaders in his own party. As a congressman, Lauzen's independent thinking has the potential to help change the culture in Washington.
Whether we agree or disagree with him, Lauzen has always stood for frugal spending, smaller government and conservative family values. He has not wavered from his convictions at any time in his career.
Lauzen does have room to grow when it comes to learning how to compromise and build consensus, but we know from experience he will not kowtow to special interests.
We also know Lauzen will make his constituents his top priority. For 15 years, the Aurora senator has gone out of his way to personally return phone calls and letters, listen to residents' concerns and try to find solutions. The emphasis his office places on responding to constituent needs is rare and merits applause.
If elected to higher office, we have no doubt Lauzen will direct his congressional staff to provide the same level of commitment to the residents back home that he has demonstrated in the state Senate's 25th District.
Sugar Grove businessman Jim Oberweis has run a better campaign this time around than in his three previous attempts to win elected office, and we admire the way he has built Oberweis Dairy into a tremendous success story. But his attacks on Lauzen in last week's Beacon News-sponsored debate showed a mean-spiritedness we see too often in Washington.
Both candidates have regretfully resorted to negative campaigning in recent weeks. Lauzen's ads have aggressively attacked Oberweis' failed election bids and mercilessly lampooned his dairy business. During the debate and in his own mailers, Oberweis has gone after the $100,000 in campaign donations Lauzen returned from a convicted felon whose company is under investigation by the state. It might have been slow to come, but Lauzen did the right thing when he returned the money last month, and no one has alleged the donations were tied to political favors.
We hope both men stay focused on the issues in the final weeks leading up to the Feb. 5 primary election.
Lauzen did not win the support of former House Speaker Hastert, but his independence and commitment to the voters make him our choice for the Republican nomination for Congress.http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/beaconnews/news/opinions/749152,2_4_AU20_EDIT_S1.articleKane County Chronicle: Republicans 14th District: Lauzen
The race for the Republican nomination in the 14th Congressional District seemed to go from wide open to pointedly narrow overnight.
Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns dropped out. Michael Dilger never was a legitimate candidate.
The race, at least for the past several weeks, has been between Jim Oberweis, famous for his family’s dairy but wealthy because of his fund-management business, and state Sen. Chris Lauzen, an accountant and alumnus of Duke and Harvard.
Oberweis has presented himself as a Washington outsider (albeit one who won the endorsement of Hastert, an ultimate Washington insider) who will approach being in Congress with the same values with which he has approached his business. He talks a lot about Midwestern values.
Lauzen has presented himself as an everyman candidate who sticks by his guns and who reaches across the aisle when it is in keeping with his values and when it will benefit his constituents. Lauzen names his experience in the state senate as evidence that he understands the inner workings of government and knows the ground rules of the legislative process.
For these reasons and others, we are endorsing Lauzen.
In public forums and in private interviews, he has tried to stay above the rhetorical fray and focus on the issues. And the campaign has been nasty and negative at times.
The constituents of the 26th state senate district have re-elected Lauzen repeatedly since 1992. His conservative values are consistent with those of the 14th Congressional District.
So are Oberweis’, some will argue.
But Lauzen has been focused on our end of the district for years, while Oberweis has run for various offices without success. http://www.kcchronicle.com/articles/2008/01/21/opinion/editorials/doc4792ae3043894092109075.txt
DeKalb Chronicle: In Our View: Lauzen and Foster the Best Options
The races for both the Republican and Demo-cratic nominations for the 14th Congressional District are wide open. There is no incumbent - thanks to former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's decision to throw in the towel midway through his term. There are issues - and candidates from both parties have made a modest attempt to address them.
But the races, and our endorsements, are not about the number of times the candidates have invoked “experience” or “change.” Rather, they are about the candidates' background and the manner in which they approach the challenge to which they aspire.
Republican state Sen. Chris Lauzen, an accountant and alumnus of Duke and Harvard universities, has served constituents of the 26th Senate District since 1992. Some - including Jim Oberweis - criticize him for being a career politician, but Lauzen seems comfortable with the reality of the label if not its familiar negative connotation. He appears to have a proper appreciation for the amount of hard work that goes into making policy and the painstaking pace at which even the most incremental change often occurs. It is easy to see Lauzen as a bridge-builder for getting things done in Washington because he's already done it in Springfield.
In stark contrast, Repub-lican Jim Oberweis is overtly confident and speaks as though “tough” issues are really quite easy to identify and equally simple to solve. Oberweis, perhaps best known for his family's dairy, runs a successful fund management business. He says he'll bring to Washington the fiscal experience of running a business. That's good.
Oberweis also says that Dennis Hastert was right to resign halfway through his term. That's not so good. Oberweis claims that quitting was justified when Hastert determined he could no longer be effective. We wholeheartedly disagree. But when you've already received the former speaker's support, what else can you say? But if a “You scratch my back - I'll scratch yours” approach is evident before the election, we wonder what will happen when Oberweis sets foot in Washington.
Oberweis says he's sometimes been ahead of his time. Maybe. But whether he's ahead of his time or behind it, we are quite certain that now is not his time.
We endorse Chris Lauzen for the Republican nomination.
The race for the Democratic Party nomination is not as clear-cut. In a year when a strong Democrat may have had a chance at winning next month's special election, none have emerged.
Candidates Bill Foster, John Laesch, Joe Serra and Jotham Stein have seemed far more interested in telling voters what's wrong with the others than what's right about themselves. This is disappointing, if not surprising.
Despite his willingness to mix it up with the other candidates and his frequent difficulty in responding to their attacks, we endorse Bill Foster. He is a businessman and scientist with an impressive background, having worked at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia. He also was one of the founders of Electronic Theatre Controls. Foster's scientific background and analytical approach to problem-solving would be very beneficial in Washington.
Foster supports bringing the war in Iraq to an end and responsibly withdrawing the troops. He seems to know the issues and is well-informed on most relevant topics. We believe that Foster would work hard for the residents of the 14th District and would be a credible candidate for the Democrats in the general election.http://www.daily-chronicle.com/articles/2008/01/20/opinions/opinions01.txt