Sunday, February 19, 2017

Peter Roskam Draws An Opponent-- Meet Geoff Petzel (IL-06)


IL-06- Peter Roskam (Trumpist) vs Geoff Petzel (progressive)

Illinois' very gerrymandered 6th congressional district-- Peter Roskam's base-- was designed by the Democratic state legislature to be a safe Republican seat in order to suck Republican voters out of neighboring districts, turning IL-10, IL-08 and IL-11 safer for Democrats. It stretches from north of Lake Zurich down to Palatine, avoiiding Carpentersville and Elgin to hit Carol Steam, West Chicago, Wheaton, the east side of Naperville and over to Westmont and Darien. It's an 80% white district that went for Romney 53.3% to 45.1% and the PVI is R+4. Last week ProgressivePunch changed it's own rating to "Leans Democrat." That's because voters in DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties (as well as in suburban Cook County) puked on Trump and gave the district to Hillary 50.2% to 43.2%-- a 10 point drop for Señor Trumpanzee from Romney's 2012 vote.

Roskam retained his seat 205,746 (59.5%) to 140,023 (40.5%), at least in part because the clueless DCCC couldn't imagine 2016 wasn't going too be a good year for Republicans in suburban districts like IL-06. They refused to support the Democratic candidate running against Roskam, Amanda Howland, a middle-of-the-road Democrat who only managed to spend $98,179. Interestingly, Roskam sensed the trouble even if morons like Steve Israel, Ben Ray Lujan, Nancy Pelosi and Kelly Ward didn't. He raised $2,988,266 and then spent far more than that: $3,331,980. A couple of right-wing SuperPACs also spent some money for him. No one spent anything to help Howland.

Looking out of the rearview mirror, as usual, the DCCC is all worked up over IL-06 now, ready to target it. A progressive candidate, Geoffrey Petzel, has already jumped in. He's a single-payer advocate, has been an outspoken opponent of neoliberal trade deals like NAFTA and the TPP and is also outspoken on campaign finance reform and comprehensive immigration reform and, most of all, on the environment and Climate Change issues. He also supported Bernie for president. (Aside: In the primaries IL-06 was Bernie country and he won DuPage, Kane and McHenry counties handily.)

Saturday I spoke at length with Geoff about his campaign-- which he launched Wednesday-- and about the issues that re motivating his decision to run. One, of course, was healthcare. He had just been to the twonhall meeting of a very conservative Democrat, New Dem Brad Schneider who represents an adjoining district. Geoff told me Schneider is a nice person but wasn't comfortable with his responses to the overflowing audiences questions about healthcare. People are concerned because of Republicans-- including, of course Peter Roskam-- intentions to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Schneider basically told his constituents that he wants to "keep it in place; next question."

Like Bernie, Geoff has much more ambitious and detailed plans for healthcare. He's happy with the Affordable Care Act's accomplishments-- 20 million more of is covered by health insurance; no more denial of insurance for pre-existing conditions; the ability of young people to stay on their parents' insurance until the age of 26; and the elimination of lifetime spending caps on insurance policies, to name a few standouts. He acknowledged, though that there are still many problems that need to be addressed from a serious perspective, including rising premiums and the fact that many hospitals and doctors aren't part of the system. He says he'll fight to preserve and improve the the Affordable Care Act but he believes this country needs "a single payer health care system that guarantees health insurance to all Americans. Access to health care should be a right, not a privilege." He outlined a comprehensive health care plan that includes major reforms aimed at:

 1. Controlling the cost of health care for individuals, families and business,

 2. Providing quality care to every American,

 3. Controlling the cost of health care within our state and federal budgets.
1. We will control cost for families and businesses. The average employer pays 14% of its payroll towards health benefits and the average person pays 13% of their pay to cover health insurance premiums. Under this plan, the government would institute a payroll tax of 8.25%. This would actually reduce the amount of money spent by employers and employees.

My plan maintains the existing level of federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid. This current level of spending combined with the new payroll tax revenue would generate enough revenue to cover 100% of the medical costs for every American. Such a plan provides for certainty of cost for businesses and employees, prevents massive increases in future government spending, and provides quality health care to every American. Under my plan, every American would have health insurance.

2. A universal, single payer health care system must include coverage for EVERY HOSPITAL and EVERY DOCTOR. When someone needs medical care they shouldn't need to worry which hospital or doctor is "in-network."

3. We must give the federal government the right to negotiate drug prices for our new healthcare system. Large pharmaceutical companies should not be able to initiate uncontrolled price increases or limit access to life saving drugs for financial gain. We will also need to limit annual cost increases for services to ensure that the revenues collected can cover high quality care for all Americans.
Goal Thermometer The DCCC doesn't encourage-- quite the opposite-- candidates to go into this kind of detail about what they plan to do once they're serving in Congress. The DCCC is what you would call controversy-adverse. But Geoff isn't anyone's cardboard cutout of a candidate. He's an extremely independent minded, grassroots, activist-oriented guy, not a career-politician. You probably heard me the first time-- he was a Bernie-supporter in the presidential primary. Blue America endorsed him this week and we'll have more about his campaign tomorrow. Meanwhile, if you'd like to contribute to his campaign, please tap the ActBlue thermometer on the right and donate what you feel comfortable giving. The sooner Congress is rid of Peter Roskam the better, but, even more important, the sooner we have more men and women serving in that body like Geoff Petzel, the sooner we'll be able to put a stop to all this crackpot Trumpery and get the country moving in the right direction again.

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At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are glad to see someone step up against Roskam and are looking forward to electing a Democrat in 2018!

At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If running from constituents were an olympic sport, Roskam would take the gold medal. You've got my support in running against him!

At 8:32 PM, Blogger WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot said...

I'm glad someone is standing up to run against whom the DCCC has ordained should run. The Democrats seem to think they weren't far enough to the right and that's why they lost. Preposterous. They lose because when the choice is between a republican and a democrat who votes like a republican democrats stay home.

At 1:54 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

He's got my vote & support. Go Geoff!

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog says nothing about potential candidate Geoff Petzel. If he wants to be taken seriously by those of us tired of Roskam, he'll have to show us a lot more about the person he is: education, background, past accomplishments, etc.

At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes tells us nothing about who he is, need background. How can he be endorsed do early? Would like a debate between he and Amanda Howland in the future, she is also running.

At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where can we contribute to Petsel's campaign? Everyone needs to do more than just vote- they need to organize, publicly support, canvass, AND CONTRIBUTE. Tell us where we can give him some badly needed money to send Trumpkin Roskam packing.

At 8:02 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

If you tap on that thermometer in the post, it gives you the opportunity to contribute

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roskam was sent to Washington to represent Illinois, not himself. Tax Act proposal will hurt DuPage County, charities and will not help middle class. Corporate tax assertion of 35% is the biggest con job going because many large companies fail to pay anything and after deductions that other countries do not have the corporate tax, on average, is 27% at most. Right in the middle of the industrialized countries. But all those billionaires in the Trump cabinet will be able to pass on their estates, tax free, in a few years. What has happened to ethics and morals.

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter Roskam will pay dearly for making the “Bloody Dozen list” showing the amount of money he gets from the NRA. He doesn’t care for the safety of our kids.


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