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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.

Culture and Religion

Snatching Defeat from the jaws of Victory: ‘Writing out’ Most Guns with the Bump-Stock ban.

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Bump Stock

The latest Liberty grabber wave has crested, but Trump is about to give them a tremendous victory over the 2nd amendment.

Now that the Sturm und Drang of the March for gun confiscation has ‘died down’ it has become evident that, much like previous movements of the past, it came to nought aside from some localised suppressions of Liberty. The problem is there a vestige of this assault of freedom that is still rearing it’s ugly head, that of the infamous ban on so-called “Bump-Stocks”.

Those who are rightly concerned about this assault on Liberty can still inscribe their opposition with the Moonshine, Cigarettes and Fire-sticks bureaucracy [Better known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – BATF]  pushing through a new ‘law’ that all by himself, Trump has taken to “Writing Out”.  The deadline is June 27, 2018 11:59 PM ET for everyone to post their opposition to this ‘Law’.

First they came for the Bump-Stocks.

For those who may not care about someone else’s concerns over freedom, just be mindful of a reprise of Martin Niemöller Poem starting with the line: “First they came for the Bump-Stocks, and I didn’t object – For I didn’t care about Bump-Stocks…. Soon enough, they get around to coming after the firearms everyone else cares about, and eventually that will be hunting rifles or shotguns. If you chose to remain silent those guns will be “written out” as well.

But don’t just take our word for it, listen to what the Liberty grabbers have stated in bragging about the subject:

Delaney Tarr [March for Our Lives]

When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.):

Upon being asked if the bill was a slippery slope toward further gun restrictions, she said, “So what? … I certainly hope so.”

Apparently we’re not supposed to notice when the Liberty grabber Left broadcasts their intentions to the world. We’re supposed to let them get a foot in the door of a pretext for further bans before objecting.

Giving up the question.

David Deming over on the American thinker, Made the very important point that sacrificing one more time to the Liberty grabbers of what seems to be nothing is in essence:

If we agree to ban bump stocks because they facilitate rapid firing, we have given up the question. We have agreed in principle that any dangerous gun can be banned and confiscated by an arbitrary executive order. All guns are capable of rapid fire, and all guns are inherently dangerous. Pump-action shotguns can be rapidly fired and reloaded. Jerry Miculek can fire five shots from a double-action revolver in 0.57 seconds. High-capacity magazines most certainly facilitate rapid fire, so they also will have to go. A writer who wants to ban all “private individual ownership of firearms” recently argued that “even bolt-action rifles can still fire surprisingly fast in skilled hands.” He’s right. All magazine-fed guns will be outlawed.

Automatic redefinition.

In point of fact, the ATF previously ruled that Bump-Stocks [and presumably other ways of ‘bump-firing a gun – Fast fingers, Rubber bands and Belt-loops] don’t actually convert ordinary semi-automatic firearms to a “Machine gun” because the trigger has to be pulled for every shot. Now with the President’s authorising this linguistic legerdemain, this definition codified in the law has been blurred to the point that any gun that can be ‘Bump-fired’ could also be banned. However, they can’t very well ban fingers, belt-loops or rubber bands, so they will just ban each and every gun that can fire too fast.

Just ‘Write-out’ this legal requirement and Voila! Any gun that can be fired too fast for the sensibilities of the Liberty grabbers can be thought of as a “Machine Gun” and banned instantly – converting most of the 120 Million gun owners into instant felons. With a bit of training,  most guns can be fired faster, so in essence, letting them change this legal definition could have them ban just about every gun in existence.

The Takeaway.

One might not care about the fate of thousands of inert pieces of plastic or what happens to those who have them. One might not care if someone won’t be able to bump-fire a weapon in this particular way. But we on the Pro-Liberty Right will rue the day that we let this go through in exchange for nothing.

If we let the powers that be arbitrarily proclaim that some guns with these pieces of inert plastic are “Machine Guns’, the day will soon dawn when ALL guns are dishonestly ‘written out’ as the same. It will then just be a slippery slope to everyone having to undergo a background check, registration and of course – TAXES – on guns that we already own. Followed by the inevitable confiscation of those guns.

Those who remain silent now will only have themselves to blame when this happens – so now is the time to stop this dead in it’s tracks. The comment window is only open for a few more days [Jun 27, 2018 11:59 PM ET], make the best of it.

 

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Opinions

Conservative Picks for the Colorado Primary

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There isn’t too much action in the Colorado Primary, but the race to watch seems to be out of District 5. Colorado is a state that can embrace the grassroots. Doug Lamborn seems to have lost touch with the grassroots due to his struggle at getting on the ballot. As a result of temporarily not being on the ballot, he finds himself in a contested field and is a more vulnerable incumbent. If Lamborn’s reputation can’t recover, Darryl Glenn is poised to capitalize.

Best Pick: Darryl Glenn
Worst Pick: Doug Lamborn
Best Race: District 4
Worst Race: District 3, District 6

District 1

Casper Stockham is the only Republican in this race.

District 2

Peter Yu is the only Republican in this race.

District 3

Scott Tipton is an incumbent RINO. He is unchallenged.

District 4

Ken Buck is Colorado’s most Conservative Congressman. He is unchallenged.

District 5

The first impression from this race is that incumbent Doug Lamborn badmouthed Trump. But rather, Lamborn is in a fight because he had some ballot issues because he was using nonresident signatures or something like that. He survived that court battle but that is only the first battle for in this swamp creature’s quest to stay on top. Looking at his record, he was more Conservative under Obama.

His most serious challenger is Darryl Glenn. Glenn is a candidate with a strong grasp on federalism and separation of powers. He is also running as a fiscal hawk who seems as though he would align with the Freedom Caucus on spending issues. It’ll be interesting to see if Glenn’s Youtube campaign is matched by his ground game. If so, he just might have this.

Conservative Pick: Darryl Glenn

District 6

Mike Coffman is an unchallenged RINO.

District 7

Mark Barrington is the only Republican in this race.

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Culture and Religion

Is Mike Pence too political for church?

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There have been a lot of talk lately about Mike Pence speaking at the SBC. Many complained claiming it was divisive and political. Jonathan Leeman wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition criticizing the very idea of Mike Pence speaking. I will address this article in greater detail on the points that I agree and disagree with. But first, let me answer the very question I posed: Pence isn’t too political to address a congregation, but his speech was.

In short, Mike Pence’s address offered zero substantive theological content. It was merely about his privilege as serving as Vice President. While acknowledging this privilege merited a short section in the beginning, it needed no more continuation. Instead, Mike Pence droned on and on about his experiences and the administration’s accomplishments.

I think there’s only one way you can sum up this administration: It’s been 500 days of action, 500 days of accomplishment. It’s been 500 days of promises made and promises kept. 

Pence’s address followed a pattern of praising Trump with loosely intertwined references to God and praising his hosts as guest speakers often do. The intertwined religious language while praising the accomplishments, not of God, but of the President is the briefest summation of Pence’s speech to the SBC that can be offered. The only biblical passage cited was Psalm 126 in reference to a story that served as praise to the Trump administration. God wasn’t working though Trump in Pence’s speech. Instead, Trump was working. At the end of his speech, Pence did offer a superficial message about praying for America with a quoting scripture.

Mike Pence had an opportunity to address the leaders of many churches. He blew it. But would all politicians do the same?

Politicians Should Be in the Pew, Not the Pulpit?

Jonathan Leeman’s article for The Gospel Coalition draws this conclusion. He has five reasons for not allowing politicians to address a church event.

  1. No reason to give attention to a politician’s words over a plumber’s or an accountant’s, at least not in our assemblies or associations.
  2. Having a political leader address our churches or associations of churches tempts us to misconstrue our mission.
  3. Undermines our evangelistic and prophetic witness.
  4. Hurts the unity of Christ’s body

Reason one is most certainly true. However, I believe we ought to separate the person from the profession. On the basis of spiritual maturity and calling should a politician or any notable guest address an assembly. This first reason is the one I believe to have the most merit in regards to the situation at hand. Inviting a politician to address a Congregation is wrong if the only reason is that they are a politician. However, if the politician is a member of the church, what is wrong with having a fellow member speak?

Reasons two and three are certainly tied together in there logic. I believe these reasons hold merit for Pence’s sacrelidgious speech but are not inherently true of all politicians who accept such similar offers. Reasons two and three open a multitude of separate issues both independent and dependent on the circumstances. Meaning, yes this could happen, but the degree in which we can mitigate the temptation are limited for Satan is the tempter. In the case of Pence, reason three was definitely true. Many would see that the SBC tied itself to Trump. But that is not the fault of the SBC per se. But that is Pence’s fault for giving a campaign rally speech instead of a message. If Pence gave a theologically sound speech there should be little temptation to misconstrue the mission. The third reason is inevitable. Since the beginning, Christians witness has been undermined by the lies of Satan. The original Christians were thought to be cannibal and even atheists. We can’t always prevent these lies, but it would be good not to validate them which Pence did.

Now hurting the unity of the body of Christ is a weak point. Leeman’s fourth point is basically saying that Pence is too polarizing, because Trump is… Trump, on a National level to address a church. Pence is polarizing, but he was polarizing before Trump. The polarizing premise is true but, assuming Pence is indeed a follower off Christ, this would be the result of living a Christian life. Here’s another polarizing figure: Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop. Would polarity disqualify him from speaking? If we are to apply national likability to our church speakers, we’re going to end up with a lot of TV personalities who don’t comprehend dyophysitism.

Like Jack Philips, Pence has taken a lot of flak for being a devout Christian. Isn’t this the kind of person who may have a good message to the assembly? Seemingly so. Again Pence under-delivered. To be fair, Leeman clearly states he doesn’t blanket outlaw politicians from speaking.

I can envision a few circumstances where there is some measure of mission overlap that could justify it. Maybe a group of Christian college presidents asks the secretary of education to address them. Or a Christian conference on work asks a Christian congressman to talk about working as a Christian on the Hill, so that attendees can apply the principles to their own settings.

But while it’s not an outlaw, such an unwritten policy places constraints on the church that are not inherently necessary. Leeman supposes some similar justification was used when The Gospel Coalition had Ben Sasse speak. In 2017, Ben Sasse addressed The Gospel Coalition and gave a theological speech. He was noted for sounding more like a pastor than a politician.

To me only two things matter:

  1. Theological substance
  2. Correct theological substance

On these two requirements I think the body of Christ would remain unified with a clear picture of its mission.

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