Roskam's car surrounded by Chicago paparazzi Monday – (Mark Weyermuller photo)
CHICAGO – Any Chicago visitor catching the news at the airport or a bar would be convinced by local media coverage that the hottest, most compelling story in the Midwest's biggest city isn't its gang wars, crime or financial catastrophe – it's Congressman Peter Roskam's audacity to avoid a mob scene.
What the Chicago media is referring to as a "town hall."
The nerve of Roskam - not wanting to be fileted alive before an audience of ghoulish Leftist Democrats commissioned to shout at, ridicule, diminish and demean the DuPage Republican for his work with the U.S. House majority.
This whole week, attention-desperate news stations and newspapers have hounded Roskam – embarrassing themselves by spending precious network minutes telling Chicagoans that Roskam suddenly has become weak and unwillingly to face righteous, democracy-adoring constituents. Voters demanding he defect from the GOP's effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.
These "protesters" that claim to be Roskam's constituents have certainly never voted for Roskam, nor would they ever. The conservative represents a district that was competitive in 2006, when he first defeated Democrat Tammy Duckworth in DuPage County's 6th District. Roskam has been re-elected easily every two years since that win until this year, when the voters in that once-conservative and solidly Republican district chose Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump for president.
Despite Roskam winning re-election and overcoming the top of the ticket in 2016, he's now on the target list for Democrats in 2018. Nearly every day, the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sends out a press release blasting Roskam for going along with the Republican leadership.
And the Chicago media is playing its part in the DCCC's game plan – yes, the Chicago media has truly become part of what Donald Trump calls the "opposition party."
Here's some recent press release headlines from the DCCC about Roskam:
These are just from the last two days. Seriously?
What do we hear from Roskam? His office refuses to acknowledge the Democrats' tactics and focuses on the work at hand. His office tells us about legislation he's working on, his statements explaining his votes and other serious matters. And the fact that Roskam is sticking with reforms that the silent majority in his district wants him to support.
It's just the way you'd expect a respectful lawmaker to respond to media-enabled political hysteria. With a calmness and confidence that is desperately needed at the helm these days.
Do us all a favor and tell your visiting friends that there is another side to Roskam town hall avoidance story. It's one they won't get in the Sun-Times, on ABC7, on WTTW or in Politico.
And be prepared, conservatives. Rocky roads are ahead, because the Leftists are in a frenzy. You ain't seen nothin' yet.
Just because you don’t vote for the congressman doesn’t mean you are not a constituent. While there are people that certainly voted for him and agree with the policies he supports, there are others that don’t. He, as a representative of this district, has a responsibility to listen to all of his constituents.
Come on Rick, he already knows what the other side thinks. All they want to do is embarrass and ridicule him.
And the Chicago media is enable the Left’s temper tantrum. They are acting like children.
There is nothing good to come from Roskam participating in a town hall.
I am a constituent. I live in Wheaton, IL. I have never voted for Roskam, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t represent me. I am engaged and I’m bringing my neighbors and friends in his district along with me to make our voices heard. If he doesn’t listen to the constituents in his district, he will be voted out in 2018. He’s so scared of dissenting opinions that he won’t have a town hall? Does he need a safe space? How can anyone respect that. To call us “commissioned” and “ghoulish” is to completely misrepresent his district. It’s fine though, he will hear us in 2018.
Also, Trump did NOT win in District 6. Hillary won by 8 points. Better watch out Roskam. The district is changing.
GRosScam blatantly denies health care to the least of these, and favors tax changes that advantage the rich and oppresses the poor. Not what Jesus taught us. Our choice is to reject Jesus or reject GRosScam and his fraud.
I hate to inform you that I voted for this man and I am a constituent that participated in a protest that demands he speak interactively with his constituents. Your biased portrayal to the conservative base reading this article is utterly incorrect. If this man would simply sit down and have a civil conversation with a group who is longing for civil discourse about healthcare, planned parenthood, school vouchers, Trump’s taxes, border protection, and other things that have gotten to be prominent after this election, it would be nice. To claim people are ghoulish and should be ignored only reinforces lack of access to democracy. Shame on this conservative publication for not respecting our democracy more!
“Any Chicago visitor catching the news at the airport or a bar would be convinced by local media coverage that the hottest, most compelling story in the Midwest’s biggest city isn’t its gang wars, crime or financial catastrophe – it’s Congressman Peter Roskam’s audacity to avoid a mob scene.”
No, it’s not. Every business colleague and visitor I’ve interacted with in the last 30 days only talks about the gun violence in the city and Trump’s obsession with mention Chicago. Ask any person outside of Illinois and they have no clue who Roskam is. The only people who do are Chicago-area residents and people who are hardcore GOP wonks. If we’re truly talking about an average American, they don’t know who there US House Rep is at all.
“The nerve of Roskam – not wanting to be fileted alive before a audience of ghoulish Leftist Democrats commissioned to shout at, ridicule, diminish and demean the DuPage Republican for his work with the U.S. House majority.”
While I don’t agree with the second part of this extremely long sentence, I do agree with most of the first part. I don’t blame Roskam for not wanting to have a town hall style meeting. It won’t serve any purpose except to just yell at him. But, the problem is not that he isn’t having any town hall meetings. The problem is Roskam makes it EXTREMELY difficult to have any meeting with him period. If you call his offices, they direct you to a page on his house.gov website to fill out a request form. (Also, that link is not listed anywhere on his site. You have to know the exact URL to get to it.) Once you fill out the form, you get an automated response that tells you to go to the same page to request a meeting. So, until someone from Roskam’s staff contacts you, you have no idea if your request went through. Next, Roskam only personally meets with people at his Washington office and only if you want to discuss something that you both mutually agree on. If he doesn’t agree with you, you won’t meet Roskam personally and, at best, you’ll meet with his staff at his local offices. Lastly, he claims he’s available to public in a myriad of ways. But, he counts “public” meetings as arranged visits with private businesses, private organizations, or fundraisers. All of these are not open to the public, or they require paying money to get in. So, if you’re an average constituent who wants to voice a concern, you have no way to talk to him directly and, at best, you talk to staff member who doesn’t have any power other than to report what happened to Roskam. It is a literal, deliberate cutting off of the the average constituent to make it hard to air a grievance and manipulate the message of community engagement.
Also, the use of the word ‘commissioned’ is way to say ‘paid protester’ without saying it. Until you have proof that protesters are being paid to protest Roskam, this needs to be dropped now. The DCCC said they would provide financial help IF there was a candidate to run against him. Right now, they’ve done nothing. Everything that has been done has been grassroots-level organizing without any outside financial backing, and there is copious proof of it.
“The conservative represents a district that was competitive in 2006, when he first defeated Democrat Tammy Duckworth in DuPage County’s 6th District.”
Mentioning anything about the 6th District pre-2012 has to factor in the boundaries were different. The boundaries pointed much further north, didn’t include the majority of anything south of I-88, and was a much more conservative district. So, saying he beat Duckworth sounds impressive, at the time it really wasn’t. Since 2012, there are more municipalities that are leaning liberal with each election and no real viable Democratic candidate to go against him.
“Despite Roskam winning re-election and overcoming the top of the ticket in 2016, he’s now on the target list for Democrats in 2018.”
Tying into what I just said, it appears that enough of the district has leaned liberal enough to make an effort worthwhile. This shouldn’t be shocking.
“Nearly every day, the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sends out a press release blasting Roskam for going along with the Republican leadership.”
You understand if they want to elect a Democrat in the 6th, then that’s their job. If they weren’t sending press releases everyday they would look like they didn’t care.
“And the Chicago media is playing its part in the DCCC’s game plan – yes, the Chicago media has truly become part of what Donald Trump calls the “opposition party.””
Is Chicago media playing into DCCC’s game plan? My opinion is it seems to be having an effect but they are simply following the ball where it’s being thrown. If the GOP were cranking out this many press releases and having this many protests, they would be following that as well. And, calling the press the “opposition party” is literally repugnant and shameful.
“What do we hear from Roskam? His office refuses to acknowledge the Democrats’ tactics and focuses on the work at hand.”
This is patently not true. His government office may not be acknowledging the tactics, but that’s because they can’t you can’t mix campaign and government business. They are just following the rules. Now, Roskam’s campaign emails definitely acknowledge what is happening. He makes claims of paid protestors, people who don’t agree with him are un-American, and anyone who tries to protest him must be a Devil-worshipper. (All available to read by anyone who signs up for his campaign email list.) Plus, in his most recent “telephone town hall”, a caller complained that anyone who disagreed with Roskam and is a liberal is developmentally disabled which Roskam then laughed at. This occurred the day after he claimed that there needed to be more civility when engaging with his constituents.
“It’s just the way you’d expect a respectful lawmaker to respond to media-enabled political hysteria. With a calmness and confidence that is desperately needed at the helm these days.”
After NBC 5’s political reporter retweeted people who opposed Roskum’s tweets, Roskam’s office refused to talk to her for over a week because they said she was fueling the opposition. That’s confidence that he’s above the press and shows utter disrespect. Calmness? Not so much.
“And be prepared, conservatives. Rocky roads are ahead, because the Leftists are in a frenzy. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
You’re correct; rocky roads are ahead. But calling people who aren’t conservatives “Leftists” is at best, sad; at worst, makes you sound like you’re condescending and out-of-touch.
Why aren’t the Democrats having town halls?
Here Are The Top Ten Lawmakers Holding Town Halls By Party
They are all Republicans.
Peter Roskam is an intelligent Member of Congress. He made quick work of Tammy Duckworth when the Democrats attempted to foist her upon the 6th Congressional District. Roskam knows and understands that most of the crowds spontaneously appearing at his public appearances are coordinated by the likes of the ex-felon Bob Creamer and his mad cap Marxist wife Jan Schakowsky. Roskam is going to be targeted in the next election and he knows that all of these staged events are part of an effort to gin up controversy for the coming campaign. His refusal to engage with his opponents is understandable.
Thank you, Donna. It’s not just “frenzied leftists” who want a chance to be heard by their representative. All CONSTITUENTS deserve to be heard by their representative. Roskam has not provided such a forum for unpaid, nonpartisan, non-special interest groups. That’s part of his job – so not doing it will make people understandably upset.
But I don’t expect a blog that uses the phrase “democracy-adoring” as an insult to get that.
Politicians really have only two problems.
1. Getting elected.
2. Getting reelected.
Regardless, IMO, Peter and Jan need TERM LIMITS.
Their trolls have invaded this website. I’ve never seen so many comments like the ones on here.
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I’ve never seen so many Democrats comment on Illinois Review before. This opposition is incredibly organized. If the sudden interest in making a Republican town hall meeting a raucous event while Democrats are having town halls with crickets (if they have them at all) doesn’t seem fishy, then you either a partisan or not paying attention. I used to live in the 11th district. Bill Foster only shows up for TV cameras and never had any publicized town halls. Where is your outrage? Give me a break.
I also live in Wheaton and voted for him all the up to I lost faith in him when I realize Peter is only for Peter and taking care of his political career instead of the people’s business. Peter is not unapproachable and distant from the very people who elected him. In the last primary I voted for Gordon Kinzler. Now, Roskam mouths the words but I don’t believe He’s acts on the words. Simply, Peter only cares about Peter. I don’t want Democrat for the 6th but I don’t want Peter any more either.
In the 2006 election with the Duck, Peter campaigned very hard. The Duck and her henchmen pulled out all the stops and Peter won by 4,810 votes over a total vote of 177,954. At the time, Peter was the better choice. Now, Peter needs to consider listening to his constituents, especially the ones that voted for him in the past. I have not been happy with Peter, and would like to see him replaced with someone that is a true believer in the cause or republican values. If Peter wants to win me back He needs to make the argument of conservative values, unafraid, to all and let the strength of conservante values shine over the failed, and tired liberals narratives now being screamed at by the Marxist thugs.