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Drama in the 14th

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 7, 2008 8:52PM

With how nasty the race for Dennis Hastert's vacant seat has gotten recently, you'd think a couple of high school girls were running the campaigns leading up to tomorrow's special election for Dennis Hastert's seat in Illinois 14th Congressional District.

2008_3_oberweis.jpgBoth Republican Jim Oberweis and Democrat Bill Foster have campaigned hard for the vacancy, and this week each accused the other of misleading voters. Bill Foster hit the dairy man on his use of actors in a recent campaign ad. "Jim Oberweis admitted to the news media what voters in the 14th district already know well: he has no support for his '"nasty, smug, condescending ... and dishonest' campaign tactics. He also demonstrated how incredibly out of touch he is with real people's concerns," the Foster campaign said in a press release late yesterday. Oberweis responded, saying "Three or four days before the end of the campaign to go out and spend time trying to find people to fit those different categories was a lot more difficult than just finding actors."

2008_3_foster.jpgBut that's not all. A mailer from "Latino Neighbors Against Hate Crimes” claims that “Oberweis wants to scare people, and then turn them against Latino families” and “Since Oberweis started his anti-immigrant and anti-Latino speeches – hate crimes in the United States against Latinos have gone up 35%.” Oberweis wasn't too pleased about that, either. "That makes me mad," he told CBS2. "This is just wrong. I have never had a position or problem with immigration." (You sure about that, Jimbo?)

And while recent polling suggests that the district could go Democratic this time around, Republicans in the 14th are behind Jim Oberweis. "I'm probably going to be leaning toward Mr. Oberweis. He's not the one I would have chosen, but I'm a Republican and that's who the Republican Party and the district has chosen," William Barclay, a Geneva alderman told the Tribune.