StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-116118795424925.jpg’, ‘Photo by John McGinty’, ‘Endorsing Richard Auman for Congress: (left to right) Former U.S. Rep. (1961-1981) John B. Anderson (R-16), Candidate for 16th Congressional District Richard Auman (D), former Ill. State Treasurer, former U.S. Senator (1970-1981) Adlai E. Stevenson III (D) and former U.S. Rep. (1990-1992) John Cox (D-16).’);
In a rare display of past national and state Democratic party firepower last Friday, Oct. 13, the Dick Auman campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-16) brought in former U.S. Rep. John Cox (D-16), former U.S. Sen. Adlai Stevenson III (D-Ill.) and former U.S. Rep. John B. Anderson (R-16), who ran unsuccessfully for president as an independent in 1980.
With the former officials offering their endorsements and then standing behind him in front of Memorial Hall, Auman gave prepared remarks and answered questions from the press.
Lamenting the influence and power of big money in running for Congress, Auman said: Theres too much money in our system, and I think we have to have public funding of elections. The average cost is $1 million to run for Congress. Manzullo is sitting on $600,000. The challenger to the incumbent cant come up with the money to run a credible campaign.
According to the Federal Election Commission, as of Sept. 30 reports, Rep. Don Manzullo (R-16) has raised $807,957 and spent $620,545. His cash on hand was $524,886. Of funds raised, $421,525 (52 percent) came from PACs; $379,044 (47 percent) from individuals, $0 from the candidate and $4,310 (1 percent) from Party Committees.
According to the Federal Election Commission, as of Sept. 30 reports, Auman (D) has raised $78,870 and spent $71,232. His cash on hand was $7,636 as of the last report, June 30, 2006. Of funds raised, $8,000 (10 percent) came from PACs; $65,192 (83 percent) from individuals, $0 from the candidate and $4,678 (6 percent) from Party Committees.
Auman also stressed all Americans should have access to health care and said he has seen the need as a former U.S. Marine, two-term Mayor of Galena, teacher and counselor.
He declared Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert should resign in light of the recent disclosures on the Mark Foley page scandal.
Auman emphasized he had been a teacher; and as to any assault allegations, Our obligation is to the child, not the adult. That should go for everyone in Congress.
Asked to assess the makeup of District 16 since his defeat by Manzullo and how the redistricting had affected him and could affect Auman, Cox said: The district has changed since then. The dilemma about McHenry County is the ability to communicate effectively on Chicago TV and in the Chicago Tribune. Without substantial backing, you cant afford it.
The west half of that county does watch Rockford TV. Your constituents have to see you. Now those county voters have elected a Democrat several timesState Rep. Jack Franks [D-63]. That organization is just getting formed.
As to the conservative areas, I see a real chance for Mr. Auman being from a rural area instead of reaching out the other way around. We have to fire up the rural counties and then reach out to the more urban Winnebago, Boone and McHenry areas.
I think the U.S. House will definitely go to the Democrats.
Everyoneto have a member of the House in the majority is fundamental to the constituents of the 16th District, Cox stressed.
Stevenson said: Im a voter in this district now. I live here. I feel strongly that this country is off track, and Congress must bring it back. Its shot through with corruption. Dick Auman is a pillar of integrity and competence. He should be elected.
Auman held a fund-raiser with his endorsers at Sams Ristorante Friday evening.
It went real well, we had over 100 people, Sara Millhouse, Aumans spokesman, said. I was very happy with it from several points of view. It was a real honor to have Mr. Anderson, Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Cox there. I think it was another audience for Dick to get out his message, and he received a real good reception to that. He had supporters there and then others who were convinced. John Andersons perspective as an independent was very valuable.
For an extensive interview with Anderson, go to www.rockrivertimes.coms Online Exclusives.
From the Oct. 18-24, 2006, issue