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Conservative candidates to look out for in Illinois Primary

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The traditionally though of as blue state, does fallow the trend of other blue states where more rural counties vote more Republican and urbanized areas vote Democrat. That being said, Illinois has a lot to offer in the 2018 Primary. What’s remarkable about Republicans in this state is that they are keeping the Democrats honest fielding a candidate in most races. What is highly disappointing is the lack of Republicans that aren’t RINOs running in the race. So many are just as uninformed on guns as liberals in the media. And too many have ideas for healthcare other than repealing Obamacare. DACA is a split issue, and Trump, surprisingly, is a nonissue in most, if not all, of these races. Another side note, is that Illinois has a very low presence of 3rd Party candidates, so the Libertarian Party wasn’t put into much consideration. Nor were endorsement all that meaningful.

Best Picks: Max Rice, Jitendra Diganvker, Connor Vlakancic, Preston Nelson, James Marter, Bill Fawell, Donald Rients
Worst Picks: Author Jones, John Morrow, John Elleson, D. Vincent Thomas Jr., Jeremy Wynes, Sapan Shah, Mike Bost, Adam Kinzinger
Best Race: District 16
Worst Race: District 10
Favorite Candidates: Connor Vlakancic & Preston Nelson

District 1

Standing in the red corner is Jimmy Lee Tillman II facing off against Bobby Rush. This isn’t his first time making a run for the seat, but this time he is unopposed in the GOP Primary. Though it seems he runs to serve as an opposition to Rush rather than to win. Tillman seems like a different kind of Republican which one would have to be running in Chicago. For his willingness to shut down underutilized military bases and government offices, Tillman seems fiscally responsible. Either way Chicago conservatives don’t seem to have much other alternative than Tillman who is the founder of the MLK Republicans.

District 2

This is a solid blue district also, but conservatives should steer clear of John Morrow. If Conservative ideals are to gain traction in the district they ought to be led by someone who isn’t a RINO. From this online interview, he opposed eliminating the Obamacare mandate, thinks there’s a gun show loophole, opposes Israel, and is open to accepting North Korea as a nuclear power. I’ll take a Democrat over this guy. David Merkle is a better pick for Conservatives as he is more focused on working for constituents and not the system.

District 3

No Republican decided to oppose Arthur Jones, so I would urge Conservatives to write in a nomination. Please coordinate if you want to vote Republican. Otherwise it seems as though Daniel Lipinski is the candidate of choice. He is one of the few pro-life Democrats in Congress and has one of the most interesting primaries of Democrats this year. A pro-life Democrat is better than a neo-nazi.

District 4

Longtime swamp-dweller, Luis Gutierrez announced retirement. Mark Wayne Lorch is the only Republican in the race. Meanwhile three Democrats eagerly thirst to replace Gutierrez in this highly gerrymandered seat. Lorch seems like a good choice, in the sense that he is running on a tax cuts friendly platform. Not too much other information can be gathered, not even a website.

District 5

Tom Hanson appears to be the only Republican running, but he’s just a placeholder.

District 6

Here we actually have a Republican incumbent, Peter Roskam. Roskam is a run in the mill Republican, reliable on votes and Democrats are mounting an attack for his seat. Roskam is unopposed in his primary. He is also the best hope of thwarting the Blue Wave.

District 7

The GOP front runner is likely Jeffrey Leef. Leef is strong conservative on a multitude of issues, Israel, immigration, and is quite knowledgeable on economics. However on two polarizing issues, I see weakness. He’s weak on protecting the 2nd Amendment despite stating that gun control does not curb violence and states we need background checks, something we already have. He also indicated being in favor of laws capping people’s ability to stockpile. On matters of healthcare, he seems more focused on replacing Obamacare, than repealing it. But his “replacement” is a lot of fluff. He talks about phasing out the ACA and moving it towards a more fiscally responsible system which hardly explains what he wants to do. Meanwhile his opponent is Craig Cameron. On the issues, Cameron comes off as a Big Government Republican, though his heart may be in the right place. He wants more jobs, believing that will make a safer community(Chicago). His means of getting that are merely scaling back government and its regulations. Rather he’s in favor of tax incentives and limited subsidies (a step-up from most of Capital Hill.) On a local level, I think Cameron would make an excellent politician. On a national level, he doesn’t stand out as particularly strong. This is a tough choice for conservatives.

District 8

Another unopposed Republican going up against an incumbent Democrat. Jitendra Diganvker or JD is looking to take back the seat once held by social media commentator, Joe Walsh. JD seems like he would be a solid representative of his district seeing his emphasis on not making the financial lives of his constituents harder. This shapes his positions on both taxes and the national debt. JD is a solid choice for Conservatives, and if he plays his cards right, he can make this a competitive race.

District 9

In the ninth, we have broader competition for the nomination, four candidates. John Elleson quickly falls out of serious consideration because he is apparently an avid fan of Joel Osteen, the Prosperity Gospel preacher. He’s a pastor of some presumably apostate church. He has gotten in some legal trouble for thievery which he and his wife pled no contest to. Do not vote for this crooked fraud. Then there’s Max Rice, who by all means is a solid pick. He’s strong on guns, healthcare, and has a sensible grasp on all things Trump. I also believe conservatives will like how he will deal with congressional staffing and budgets. I really enjoyed his interview here. Then we have Sargis Sangari both a veteran and an entrepreneur. though he seems likable on foreign policy and immigration, he also seems to be government heavy on anything criminal justice reform. Last but least is the RINO candidate D. Vincent Thomas Jr. The guy can’t answer a specific policy question head on and has every inclination of supporting social leftism. He’s anti-gun, against repealing Obamacare, but has the balls to run as a Republican. The Conservative pick here is Max Rice.

District 10

The tenth is a swing district, one that a rising red tide may capture pending the right candidate. There is a three way battle among Republicans to take on Democrat, Brad Schneider. First in the ring is Doug Bennett. Bennett is a local public servant looking for to represent his district. He has the endorsement from local organizations and Joe Walsh. However, Bennett was not in favor of Trump’s tax cuts. The tax cuts capped state tax deductions hurting the Illinois population. Rather than lowering state taxes, Bennett would rather raise the cap. This type of thinking is a serious issue. He is also uninformed on guns recommending legislation that already is law. But it looks like we may be desperate to find a quality candidate. There is Jeremy Wynes, the pro-abortion candidate. It’s interesting how many Congressional candidates are running with student debt in their platform and few other issues, and then offer no solutions. There’s also his main rival Dr. Sapan Shah. Both of their websites are filled with fluff, and weak explanation on their policy beliefs. Words like “common sense” are meaningless if you don’t say the solution. Shah is also pro-abortion and like Wynes isn’t strong on healthcare. I guess Joe Walsh’s assessment was right that Bennett was the only Conservative, but I’ll use that word lightly for now.

District 11

This is a particularly weak looking race between Nick Stella and Connor Vlakancic. I thought I wouldn’t like Stella because he was media endorsed, but he seems to have concise policy explanations as well. He surprisingly has a strong stance on the 2nd Amendment. On DACA the two disagree, with Vlakancic in favor of zero path to citizenship. Vlakancic has a surprisingly deeper history in politics with involvement on Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” The sharped tongue Vlakancic is stronger on guns than the others in the state and also strong on healthcare. As far as Conservatives go, he’s the real deal.

District 12

Incumbent Mike Bost looks to defend his seat. The guy is a proven RINO with a Liberty Score of 35%, a common theme among Illinois Republicans. However Preston Nelson is the Austin Petersen of Illinois. He is a pro-life libertarian running as a Republican. If he doesn’t win and likely won’t knowing seeing how RINOs performed in Texas, I hope he doesn’t give up. Nelson is a top pick out of Illinois.

District 13

Another RINO, Rodney Davis is running unopposed.

District 14

We have another Republican incumbent, perhaps the most conservative, running unopposed. Randy Hultgren is a solid choice over a Democrat counterpart.

District 15

John Shimkus is another unopposed incumbent, but a RINO.

District 16

Adam Kinzinger is the worst rated Illinois Republican on Conservative Review. Thankfully someone is challenging him. This is a safer red district. Rising to the challenge is James Marter, the candidate who in 2016 lost a in the general election for US Senate. Marter is a solid Conservative and hopefully his failed Senate campaign left him with a foundation of supporters. Marter makes it immediately clear that he supports the 2nd Amendment, a recent top priority for candidate selection. He is also for repealing Obamacare, something that should go without saying but doesn’t after 2017. Marter is a top pick in Illinois.

District 17

Bill Fawell looks to have a fighting chance in the Illinois 17th. He is Libertarian leaning and an outsider running on not being bought. Fawell is a solid choice for Liberty lovers everywhere. From his knowledge of the Constitution to his outsider perspective, opposing the system of DC as it currently is. Fawell is a top pick in Illinois.

District 18

Darin LaHood is one of two Illinois Republicans that doesn’t have an F Liberty Score. That being said, he’s not getting a nomination unopposed. This was only LaHood’s first official term, but that’s not deterring Donald Rients. Rients stance’s are centered around small government Conservatism. That is why they are few and principled. If we give LaHood more time, he will likely show his RINO horn. I’d say Rientz is the pick here in the 18th.

Foreign Affairs

The Saudi predicament requires radical changes in our foreign affairs positions

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Saudi predicament requires radical changes in our foreign affairs positions

The United States is at a foreign affairs crossroads. One of our most important allies in the most important region in the world is being led by a man that U.S. intelligence (and pretty much everybody else) believes ordered the murder of a journalist living in our nation and writing for one of its biggest news outlets. How can we reconcile between what’s right and what’s smart?

Further evidence was leaked today that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month. The CIA concluded this based on multiple pieces of circumstantial evidence, including phone calls intercepted between Khashoggi and Mohammed’s brother assuring Khashoggi’s safety if he went to the Saudi consulate where was murdered.

CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-concludes-saudi-crown-prince-ordered-jamal-khashoggis-assassination/2018/11/16/98c89fe6-e9b2-11e8-a939-9469f1166f9d_story.html?utm_term=.718b2d26599cThe CIA’s conclusion about Mohammed’s role was also based on the agency’s assessment of the prince as the country’s de facto ruler who oversees even minor affairs in the kingdom. “The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him being aware or involved,” said a U.S. official familiar with the CIA’s conclusions.

Among the intelligence assembled by the CIA is an audio recording from a listening device that the Turks placed inside the Saudi consulate, according to the people familiar with the matter. The Turks gave the CIA a copy of that audio, and the agency’s director, Gina Haspel, has listened to it.

This is much more complicated than deciding whether or not to punish Mohammed. The stakes are unfathomably high, including balance of power in the Middle East, a potential oil crisis that could cripple the world economy, and the future of a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians.

Unfortunately, what’s right and what’s smart are diametrically opposed in this situation.

What’s right?

Every ounce of evidence points to the near-certainty that Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. He was a permanent residence of the United States who lived in Virginia and worked at the Washington Post. While not a citizen, he lawfully earned the right to fall under our nation’s protections.

The right thing to do is to condemn the Crown Prince, even if that will irreversibly damage our relationship with Saudi Arabia.

What’s smart?

Based on the current geopolitical status quo, Saudi Arabia is our best proxy to keep Iran in check in the Middle East. They are also the reason the dollar is still the world’s reserve currency despite efforts by Russia, China, and other nations to change that. This status allows the dollar to maintain artificial stability. There are many factors in play that could cripple the dollar if Saudi Arabia and OPEC started dealing in other currencies, bur national debt alone would be enough to catastrophically collapse our entire economy if the world had the means to turn its collective back on us.

Saudi Arabia and the so-called “petrodollar” is the force that maintains the illusion of stability.

The arms we sell Saudi Arabia account for a substantial chunk of revenue and jobs in the United States, but more importantly it gives them the technological edge they need over Iran. If the Saudis turn to Russia or China, our influence over the region would diminish greatly.

The smart thing to do is to sweep this under the rug. Throw symbolic punishment at some sacrificial Saudi lambs and move on.

Time for change

There is no way to do what’s right and still do what’s smart, so it would seem the White House has to pick between the two.

Perhaps they don’t. Perhaps there’s a third option.

Even if we do the “right” thing by condemning Saudi Arabia Mohammed, ties will not deteriorate immediately. There will be a wind down during which time the Saudis will be looking for other partners and the Americans will be trying to salvage the relationship.

What if we didn’t? What if we acknowledged for the first time that Saudi Arabia is more than just the country that murdered Khashoggi. Their human rights record is atrocious. They have directly or indirectly harmed the United States for years, including a significant role in terrorist attacks. They spread Wahhabism across the world. If you haven’t heard much about Wahhabism, it’s because the radical Islamic sect that drives the House of Saud is protected from media scrutiny. See Network, which only partially satirizes the influence the Saudis have on U.S. media.

Saudi Arabia is a horrible ally. They’re necessary because we’ve made them necessary, but if we drastically cut budgets and spending, the economic ramifications of a break with them would be mitigated. It’s time to make deals with nations that do not smile at us in public and subvert us in private. Nations that do not like us, including Brazil and Venezuela, could be brought under our wing to replace Saudi Arabia on the oil front. It’s unimaginable now, but we live in fast-moving times.

Also, build the Keystone XL pipeline.

As for stability in the Middle East, it’s time we go all-in with Israel. They are the only true democracy and the one nation in the Middle East we can count on to not stab us in the back. They are capable of being the check against Iran. Abandon all talks of a two-state solution, work with Israel as our primary proxy in the Middle East, and make Saudi Arabia turn to others for support.

All of this sounds dangerous because, well, it is. The dominoes that will fall when we take drastic measures against Saudi Arabia will be painful. But there’s one thing to consider before balking at this. We may be heading in this direction already. The difference is it wouldn’t be us initiating (and therefore prepared for) these changes. Saudi Arabia has been quietly seeking a better deal for decades. They haven’t found it yet, but someday they will. When that happens, they’ll pull the rug out from under us.

We should be the ones pulling the rug. If we’re not, the permanent repercussions will be devastating.

Radical change in our foreign affairs stance is long overdue. Saudi Arabia is the worst kind of ally to rely upon, not just because of Khashoggi but because of everything else they’ve done. None of this seems feasible now, but it may be the only path forward.

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Guns and Crime

Eric Swalwell gets 2020 attention by reasserting his gungrabbing agenda

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Eric Swalwell gets 2020 attention by reasserting his gungrabbing agenda

Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) is running for President in 2020. He hasn’t announced it, sources close to him told Politico last week that he’s running. Today, he reasserted himself into the conversation by reminding us he’s all in for a mandatory gun buyback program.

Oh, and he threatened nuclear civil war in the process.

Swalwell was being dramatic, of course. His response to people calling him out over his gungrabbing proposals was political theater at its finest. It’s actually a little impressive to see him take on prominent 2nd Amendment proponents despite making losing arguments. Lest we forget, what conservatives view as losing arguments are effective at rallying the unhinged leftist base that Swalwell hopes to get behind him.

Swalwell’s proposal is to focus on certain guns and accessories that he deems to be “military-style” and target them for confiscation, which in leftist terms is called a “gun buyback.”

Let’s discuss that for a moment. A true gun buyback is an event, usually put on by a city, that allows gun owners (legal or not) to sell their guns to the government, no questions asked. It is voluntary and often results in a decent number of guns taken off the streets. Lawful citizens have the option of getting rid of guns they no longer want while unlawful gun owners get money. It’s sometimes effective, though studies have shown lukewarm results regarding reductions in gun-related crimes.

What Swalwell is proposing is not a gun buyback. It’s compensated confiscation. When gun owners are mandated to turn in their guns or face criminal consequences, we can no longer give it cover by calling it a buyback.

This is a political ploy to plant his flag in far-left dirt ahead of announcing his presidential run. Eric Swalwell isn’t on anyone’s radar now, but stunts like this should make gun owners take notice. Leftists are getting bolder with their gungrabbing declarations.

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Foreign Affairs

Three observations about Julian Assange following charges filed against him

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Three observations about Julian Assange following charges filed against him

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been charged by the United States. The charges are sealed and were not intended to be released to the public yet. Now, there is plenty of speculation surrounding his future.

He has been holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. He sought asylum there to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape charges. He has always asserted the charges were fabricated to get him extradited to the United States, a conspiracy theory proven no longer valid since Sweden has stopped pursuing charges.

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has been charged in US, prosecutors accidentally reveal

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/julian-assange-charged-us-wikileaks-prosecutors-court-filing-ecuador-embassy-a8636336.htmlThe Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been charged under seal with unspecified offences in the US, prosecutors have accidentally revealed in an unintentional court filing.

Federal prosecutors had hoped to keep the indictment against Mr Assange a secret “due to the sophistication of the defendant, and the publicity surrounding the case”, and so that Mr Assange would “no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter”.

There are three peculiar observations about his situation that should be noted.

  1. Sealed charges may signal the charges are related to the Mueller investigation. Most have assumed the charges are based around his leaking of classified military information and videos that started getting leaked in 2010. The timing of the “leak” might lend more to the possibility that Robert Mueller’s 2016 election interference investigation is the source. This week, Jerome Corsi said he believes he will be indicted over his association with Wikileaks. Corsi rightly “predicted” Wikileaks would release John Podesta’s emails. Did he or Roger Stone know about the emails being hacked? If so, did President Trump know as well?
  2. Ecuador hates him. If there was a honeymoon, it ended years ago. Living in the same building for six years can change a person, but it seems more likely that he really is just a jerk. Complaints have come through his stay, but they’ve ramped up recently with embassy personnel and visitors complaining about his hygiene, treatment of his cat, and a generally bitter attitude. He even sued them for violating his rights. Ecuador wants him out and these new charges might be enough to make them reverse their course. If he were extradited to the United States, a deal would probably including taking the death penalty off the table.
  3. The leak may have been intentional. Either someone is an idiot for copying and pasting information about Assange’s charges from a different document or this was supposed to get leaked. If the latter is true, the motivation could be to start pressuring Ecuador into handing him over to the United States.

Some say he’s a hero. Others call him a traitor. Whatever he is or isn’t, one thing is certain. If he ever leaves the embassy, he will be arrested.

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