jump to navigation

Negative Campaign Ads October 31, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, National, Politics.
add a comment

Read this article from the AP.
Here are my favorite bits:

So far this campaign, the political parties have exposed voters to nearly $160 million in ads attacking congressional candidates. How much spent painting a positive image? About $17 million.

The message ingrained in such a disparity in numbers: Don’t vote for a candidate; vote against the opponent.

At this point, Republicans have spent $87.5 million to oppose candidates and Democrats have spent $72.6 million. But the edge on negativity, according to independent analyses of the ads, goes to the GOP.

“Negative ads only work in two situations — when you are incredibly desperate or when you’re incredibly close to the end,” said Ray Seidelman, a professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College who has studied political advertising and voter turnout.

I’m sure most of you can relate to this story.  Every person I’ve talked to about the 52nd Ads is ill over all the negative talk.  I guess I can’t figure out why campaign managers/staffers don’t get it.  I mean, 99% of people hate the negative ads, so why run them?  Cause your candidate stinks?  You’ve got nothing else to talk about?  Or do they really work?

I’ve got my opinions, for local and national races, what about you?


52nd District Questionnaire October 31, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

Last Sunday, October 22nd, I sent an email to all 3 of the candidates in the 52nd District race. The email contained the following:


I’m a local blogger, and resident/registered voter in the 52nd Senate District. I’ve lived in various parts of the district my entire life. I’m writing this email with hopes that each candidate will respond and I can post the responses to my blog. The responses will displayed as they are given, and I will not modify them in any way. I will comment/critique them as I see fit, but I will not alter the responses. Fellow viewers of my blog may also comment on the posts as well.

Please note that I am not affiliated with any political party (I’ve never voted in a primary), but merely someone who tries to remain as unpartisan as humanly possible.

I must also point out, that I am trying to do this for a multitude of reasons:

1. I’d love to get unfiltered, real, responses from the actual candidates themselves; without any media interference/bias.
2. I’m hoping to put together a valuable series of posts for the few hundred people who visit my blog on a daily basis.
3. I believe my questions are pertinent issues for this election and this would be something that would not expel a large amount of time to complete.

Basically, you are free to do as you wish. The questions I have posed are listed below. Please feel free to elaborate where appropriate.

Also, ANSWER the questions. I do not want a negative campaign ad, as a response. Tell me about yourself, because that is what I am looking for.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have with respect to this email. The responses, if given, will be posted to my blog https://jdub217.wordpress.com

Hopefully, you will find time in your busy campaign schedule to complete this request.

Thank You,


1. What do you like most about the 52nd District?

2. Who has inspired you the most personally, professionally?

3. Give ONE reason why you are a better selection than the other 2 candidates?

4. What do you think is the single most important issue (a.k.a. #1 priority) that needs addressed with relation to our District and/or State?

5. Abortion – Personally, do you agree/disagree with abortion? Legally, what would be your ideal abortion policy?

6. Minimum Wage Increase – Would you vote to help raise the minimum wage, or would you like to keep the minimum wage the same as it stands now?

7. Stem Cell Research – Is this a wise venture for the State? Should we be spending state funds to promote such research?

8. Alternative Fuels – Do you feel as if we are doing as much as possible with respect to alternative fuels? Either way, please explain your answer.

9.Social Security – Do we need to reform the Social Security system? If so, do you agree/disagree with President Bush’s idea to privatize the system? If you disagree with privatization, please briefly explain your solution.

10. Higher Education/Pensions – Do you think we need to increase funding to our schools, most notably at the college/university level? If so, how would propose increasing the funding? Also, how would you remedy the under-funded pension system in our state?

So far, Joe Parnarauskis is the only candidate to respond. He replied, with all his answers, by the 24th. I have not heard a peep from either Judy Myers or Mike Frerichs. Not even an email saying, “Sorry, we’re too busy”. Basically, no acknowledgement that my email even existed. In case you are wondering, I sent the email to their campaign email addresses, which are plastered all over their websites.

This is my last effort to get participation from Myers and Frerichs. If I still receive no response, I’ll still post Parnarauskis’ answers.

For the rest of you non-candidates; Do you think my questions were/are pertinent? What else should I have asked? I probably know one that most of you will bring up, but I’ll wait and see what you have to say first.

Open Thread October 30, 2006

Posted by j-dub in General.
add a comment

You choose a topic today….  🙂

2006-2007 NFL – Week 8 October 29, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.
1 comment so far

Games I’m picking this week:

San Francisco at Chicago
Atlanta at Cincinnati
Seattle at Kansas City
Baltimore at New Orleans
Jacksonville at Philadelphia
St. Louis at San Diego
Indianapolis at Denver
Dallas at Carolina
Monday Night Football

New England at Minnesota

My Picks:

Chicago, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Carolina,  and New England

College Basketball: Preseason Rankings October 28, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Basketball, Sports.
add a comment

Here is a link to the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll:
Our beloved Illini are not in the top 25.   See my previous post about the Illini to get the latest.

On another note, I almost gagged to death when I saw Bruce Pearl on the ESPN College Basketball homepage.  The article was about Pearl’s personality.  If you’d like to read it, go here. 

Post your thoughts about the upcoming college basketball season.

Friday Night Lights – Playoff Edition October 28, 2006

Posted by j-dub in H.S. Football, Sports.
1 comment so far

I missed the Friday games, but here are the saturday matchups I’ll pick (local teams 1A-6A):

#13 Carthage (6-3) at #4 Gibson City (G.C.-Melvin-Sibley) (8-1) – Sat., 2:00
#11 Arcola (7-2) at #6 Mt. Olive (8-1) – Sat., 1:30
#5 Elmwood [E.-Brimfield Coop] (6-3) at #4 Sidell (Jamaica) [Salt Fork Coop] (6-3) – Sat., 1:00 @ Catlin
#5 Paxton (P.-Buckley-Loda) (5-4) at #4 Spring Valley (Hall) (7-2) – Sat., 1:00
#5 Monticello (6-3) at #4 Decatur (St. Teresa) (8-1) – Sat., 1:00
#6 Pittsfield [P.-Griggsville-Perry Coop] (6-3) at #3 Tolono (Unity) (8-1) – Sat., 1:30
#12 Mahomet (M.-Seymour) (6-3) at #5 Breese (Mater Dei) (7-2) – Sat., 1:00
#16 Mattoon (5-4) at #1 Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin) (9-0) – Sat., 1:00 @ Memorial Stadium
#11 Normal (Community West) (6-3) at #6 Oak Forest (7-2) – Sat., 6:00

My picks:

GCMS, Arcola, Salt Fork, PBL, Decatur, Unity, Breese, Springfield, Oak Forest


Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.

The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals are the World Champions of baseball!!!

2006-2007 College Football – Week 9 October 26, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.
add a comment

Games I’m Picking this week:

#11 Notre Dame at Navy
Illinois at #17 Wisconsin
#19 Oklahoma at #23 Missouri
Georgia at #9 Florida
Miami (FL) at #21 Georgia Tech
#8 Tennessee at South Carolina

My Picks:

Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Missouri, Florida, Miami (FL), and South Carolina

Upset Alert #1: Florida – Georgia has an outstanding defense, but they don’t score a lot either so it’s a push. With this game in Gainesville, I’ll still give the edge to the Gators but I wouldn’t count out the Dogs.

Upset Alert #2: Tennessee – Spurrier has owned Tennesse in his career. This game is in SC, and the Gamecocks play outstanding defense. This should be a great game, especially with the way Tennessee lights it up. This game will match strength (SC Defense) vs strength (TN Offense). I’ll take defense in this battle.

Not an exciting week in college football, but a few intriguing games….hence the 2 upset alerts. There are a few games where there are good 2 loss teams (see the Miami/Georgia/SC games) playing ranked 1 or 2 loss teams. The Notre Dame/Navy game is a good game if you’re a die hard/traditional college football fan.

County Board Meeting Tonight October 25, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
1 comment so far

Sounds like the County Board has called a special meeting tonight.

IP has a post about it, which you can read here. They also link to a News-Gazette article about it.

Basically, if you’ve followed the Champaign County Nursing Home issue, then you’ll probably be interested in what happens.

No matter what happens tonight, I just hope that we can get some closure to this issue, get the NH open, and move on to other important County business.

Also, is anybody else wondering why County Republicans haven’t started using the acronym NHM (a.k.a. Nursing Home Mold)? Dubya, would be proud.

I could see the press conferences and newspaper articles already…”Local republicans have determined that there was additional NHM found on site…”

Sorry, just me trying to be humorous again… 🙂

Tax Breaks Continued… October 24, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

Read this article to get updated…Also, here is my previous post on this topic.

Let me give you a quick rundown. Last month, our County Board voted to not grant an enterprise zone to the Clearview Project out by the I-57/I-74 interchange. This is important because Christie, Carle, as well as other businesses, are looking to build in this area. The tax abatement will last for five years.

The Board changed their tune this month. They decided to grant the tax break this month.

County Democrats called attention to the practices of Christie and Carle. Most notably, the fact that they don’t take uninsured patients, etc.

Maybe the County Dems think it makes sense to not allow the break because you don’t agree with the business practices, but I don’t like that approach. I think it makes sense to not grant the tax break by determining whether or not this is a location worthy of an enterprise zone label. Honestly, that would be the more legal approach in my mind.

So let’s say you take the County Dems approach, and you really, truly care about the health care practices of these two businesses. Why not make a deal? Tell Christie and Carle that you’ll grant the enterprise zone if you hit certain “target” numbers for uninsured, medicaid/medicare patients, etc. If they don’t hit the numbers, they pay the county back…with interest even.

I don’t think that is too difficult, but maybe it would be. Maybe you’d have a hell of time monitoring that, but I wouldn’t think so. If they can monitor it, and point out the shortcomings of the two businesses; surely they could monitor the increase/decrease as well.

My conclusion is this. Obviously the County Dems threw out every possible reason to not grant the zone: they didn’t want to choose sides between Christie,Carle, & Provena, the zone didn’t classify (but the Ethanol plant not far away did), we don’t like the way Christie/Carle do business, etc. And in the end, they didn’t get any sticking points on either of those issues. So what was the point? Did you really mean any of it? I also wonder if all the Union folks, who usually donate lots of $ to Dem campaigns, who showed at the meeting had any kind of influence on the vote? I’m guessing that MIGHT have had a slight effect on just enough Dems.

In the end, the Board got the vote right; it only took two months and two tries.

I just wish everyone would cut the crap and things would get done a lot sooner and smoother.

Joe Parnarauskis… October 22, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

…come out, come out, wherever you are.

Joe Pa, I need an email address.  The email address provided in the Champaign County Voter’s Guide bounced back.  I was hoping to send an email to your attention.  I have some election related questions that I would like to ask you.

I also submitted my questions via the World Socialist web site.  I used the online form and requested it be sent to your attention.


2006-2007 NFL – Week 7 October 22, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.
1 comment so far

Games I’m picking:

Carolina at Cincinnati
Pittsburgh at Atlanta
Washington at Indianapolis
Minnesota at Seattle
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
Monday Night Football:

NY Giants at Dallas

My picks:

Carolina, Pittsburgh, Indianoplis, Seattle, Philly, and the NY Giants

2006 World Series October 21, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
1 comment so far

St Louis Cardinals vs Detroit Tigers

A third meeting of these teams in the world series (1934, 1968). The Cards won in 34′ and the Tigers in 68′.

I want the Cardinals to win the series, but they are banged up and I’m not sure if their outstanding pitching performance in the NLCS will carry over to the Series.

I also think Detroit is a team of destiny, two years removed from a 119 loss season (1 away from a MLB record), and with the way they played this year they reminded me of the Red Sox in 04′ and the White Sox of 05′. I’m not sure there is any team that can stop them.

My heart predicts the Cardinals in 6.

My brain predicts the Tigers in 6.

Sports will often tug at your heart, even when it comes to making picks, bets, predictions, etc.

This time, I’m going with my brain….and hoping my brain is wrong….

PS: In case you couldn’t tell; that IS a Tigers pick in 6, but deep down, I’m hoping I’m wrong….

2006-2007 College Football – Week 8 October 21, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.

Games I’m picking this week:

#5 Texas at #17 Nebraska
Illinois at Penn State
#21 Wisconsin at Purdue
UCLA at #10 Notre Dame
Iowa at #2 Michigan
Alabama at #7 Tennessee
Washington at #11 California
#13 Georgia Tech at #12 Clemson

My picks:

Nebraska, Penn State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Michigan, Tennessee, California, Georgia Tech

Upset Alert: Michigan – this a typical let down game for Big Blue. They cannot be looking ahead to OSU or Iowa will pull off an upset. Also, Iowa is coming off a terrible loss to Indiana, and should be fired up.

Friday Night Lights – Week 9 October 20, 2006

Posted by j-dub in H.S. Football, Sports.
1 comment so far

Sorry for bailing out last week.

Here are the games I’m picking this week:

Westville vs Georgetown Ridge-Farm
BCC (Bloomington Central Catholic) vs Unity
PBL vs St Joe
Salt Fork vs Oakwood/A-P
Centennial vs Central
My Picks:

Westville, Unity, St Joe, Salt Fork, and Centennial

Illini Basketball October 19, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Basketball, Sports.

Here’s an ESPN insider preview on the Illini squad for this year:


Sounds like a lot of “ifs”, “maybes”, and “coulds” at this point; not surprisingly however. I really don’t like the sound of “point guard by committee”, even though it is listed as a temporary setup for the start of the season. Another peculiar moment comes when Weber talks about Warren Carter as the “x-factor” this year….yikes! Nothing against Warren, but he’s a “tweener”. Too small to play forward, and he’s definetely not a guard. Also, it sounded like a lot could hinge on McBride who has punishment coming in some shape or form for his DUI.

Overall, I think the Illini will just be okay this year. Hopefully Jamar Smith will light it up and we can stay near the top of the Big Ten. Weber better start recruiting, with coaches like Sampson and Matta competing in this conference; his work is cut out for him.

Here are my preseason predictions: I’m guessing we finish 3rd in the Big Ten, make the Big Dance as a 6 seed, and are out in Round 2.

What are your thoughts, predictions, etc?

NLCS Game 7 October 18, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.

That’s right, for the fourth year in a row.  Tomorrow night the Cardinals and Mets will finish the series at Shea Stadium in New York.
Thoughts, predictions, etc?

2006-2007 NFL – Week 6 October 16, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.

Another MNF only week.

Monday Night Football:

Bears at Cardinals

My Pick:

Da Bears by at least 2 TDs.

Lou Piniella… October 16, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.

is the new manager of the Cubbies!

I’m pretty surprised by this move. I thought for sure they were going to jump all over Joe Girardi.

I wasn’t a huge Joe Girardi fan (or a fan of Sweet Lou), and I’m not sure the manager is the problem in Chicago.

The Cubs just don’t have a lot of great players, and you can’t win with minimal talent. They need to quit relying on Prior and Wood and they’ll be much better off. I’ll predict right now, that Aramis Ramirez will be traded by the All-Star Break, because Lou won’t put up with his laziness. Also, I think Jim Hendry is the most overrated GM in the game. He’s fleeced the Pirates on two occassions and other than that he’s made very few moves worth noting.
Feel free to drop your opinions on this new hire by the Cubbies…

2006-2007 College Football – Week 7 October 14, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.

Sorry, I missed the early games. Still crazy busy.

Games I’m picking this week:

#1 Ohio State at Michigan State
Ohio at Illinois
#2 Florida at #11 Auburn
#4 Michigan at Penn State

My Picks:

OSU, Illinois, Auburn, and Michigan