Diary

Planning to Turn Rahm Emanuel's Seat Red

On Saturday afternoon, in the midst of Chicago’s famous St. Patrick’s Day celebration with its tradition of turning of the Chicago River green, a cadre of concerned Republicans met to plan a way to capture the Congressional seat of Chicago’s 5th District, the one being vacated by Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

The candidate charged with this task is Rosanna Pulido and she only has about three weeks to do it. The special election for Emanuel’s seat is to be held as soon as April 7th.

Her supporters and other interested parties (me included) met at the top of a Michigan Avenue high rise in the comfortable setting of a decades old executive dining room of a Chicago insurance company. The rich wood decor was meant to invoke an old Irish pub, but carousing wasn’t on the schedule that day. Planning a political campaign was, however.

This meeting, dubbed a “council of Trent” by organizer and long-time Chicago conservative political activist and radio raconteur Tom Roeser, was meant to gather those that might help candidate Pulido to launch a campaign to turn Emanuel’s seat red.

This race is interesting for several reasons. As mentioned, it is for the Congressional seat of Obama’s Chief of Staff, but oddly enough the Illinois Democratic Party is not much involved in the campaign for Pulido’s opponent Mike Quigley. Quigley is running as a “reformer” and has widely criticized many members of Chicago’s Democrat political machine. That, combined with the fact that the Ill. Dems simply assume any Democrat will win the seat regardless, seems to have added up to Quigley being left to his own devices by the Party for his campaign for the 5th District seat.

This being the case, one would think that the Cook County Republicans or even the state party might swarm in and make a play for the seat with a show of support for their Republican candidate, Pulido. Imagine stealing the Congressional seat of Obama’s chief of staff? What a coup that would be, eh?

Unfortunately, you’d be wrong thinking the Illinois GOP was smart enough to try it. And this salient fact shows the utter fecklessness of the Illinois GOP establishment as well as its utter hatred for any candidate that is remotely conservative. The Illinois GOP and the Country party both have turned their collective back on Rosanna Pulido. Hence the reason that Tom Roeser and crew have felt the need to come together to organize a citizen’s committee to act in place of the party establishment to support Pulido’s run.

Rosanna Pulido is a life-long resident of Chicago’s 5th District, but is not a typical Chicago politician. She is an earnest and true believer in conservative values. She began her political activism as an organizer for the National Rifle Association by running shooting workshops for Chicago’s women. She was also a founding member of the Chicago Minutemen Project immigration watchdog group and it was with this effort that she came to national attention via Fox News. After involvement with John McCain’s campaign — and her disappointment in the candidate’s views — Pulido decided to become a candidate herself and make a run for the 5th Congressional District seat.

I was able to ask Pulido a few questions on her positions after the gathering.

On the hot buttons she stands in favor of the 2nd Amendment, including voicing a support for concealed carry laws. She is pro-life and feels that abortion “harms women” in more ways than physically. She is for school choice. She is also for low taxes, as well, saying that Chicago is strangling its citizenry with overburdening taxation. She said she feels the 5th District is forced into “taxation without representation” since Mayor Richard Daly seems to be able to impose his will with abandon. On the bailouts Pulido insists that it is wrong headed to imagine we can “spend our way to a balanced budget.”

Pulido is passionate about observing the Constitution and feels the living Constitution idea is the wrong interpretation of the supreme law of the land. She also is very centered on local control, less on federal.

Pulido is running on an anti-Mayor Daley platform and says that opponent Mike Quigley is just more of the same type of corrupt political mess that we already have. She said that Daley has imposed a “corruption overload” on Chicago.

After talking with candidate Pulido one thing was abundantly clear. She was not a slick, business-as-usual, Chicago politician. No glad-handing, no fancy rhetoric, and no airy talking points comprised her style. She is straight forward and readily admits she doesn’t know everything. “I may not have all the answers,” she told me, “but I am ready to work with the people to find all answers we need to make this state work.” Earnestness and honesty seemed to mark her style far more than slick political chicanery.

But, the main problem Rosanna Pulido faces is the incredibly short campaign time she has been given to organize. The primary was just held on March 4th and the election itself is April 7th. Naturally, since the GOP establishment is ignoring her race, she is also working on a shoestring budget.

In any case she has a FaceBook page up and running (replacing an older one), go sign on to be her friend won’t you? There is also the campaign website that has more information: http://www.rosannapulido2009.com/.

And she could use your financial help, of course. Checks in the mail are always best as the handling charges for credit cards takes away some of the donation… on the other hand, no one will turn away your credit card donation I am sure!

For more information, contact Rosanna’s campaign manager Tom Hoefling at [email protected].

Good luck candidate Pulido. It sure would be a kick to turn Emanuel’s seat red, wouldn’t it folks?