Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thomas Geoghegan for Congress

I was at the library a few weeks ago and I looked at their used book sale cart, and found a book called "Which Side Are You On? Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on it's Back." It looked interesting, so for a dollar, I bought it.

I found it to be a though provoking book. Geoghegan is a Harvard educated labor lawyer, who has represented workers whose plant is closing, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, mineworkers, nurses and other labor activists. His book often took a deep and probing look at how the labor movement was hurting, and how he felt like he wasn't doing enough to help it. It was a book filled with a dark humor. I liked it, and I did some googling, and saw that Geoghegan worked in downtown Chicago, and was contemplating a run for Congress.

Geoghegan lives in Lincoln Park, a prosperous neighborhood of Chicago which has a history of producing some of the more conservative Democratic party congressmen. Consider Dan Rostenkowski, who would be tried for corruption. In 1994 Rostenkowski was replaced by a republican, a rarity in a Democratic stronghold like Chicago. Soon after, Rod Blagojevich took the seat. Yes, the same Blagojevich that as Governor of Illinois, is now under investigation for his attempts to sell a senate seat to the highest bidder. When Blagojevich left Congress to become governor in 2002, Rahm Emmanuel ran and won the congressional seat. Emmanuel has become an icon for the more conservative wing of the Democratic party. He has backed the more conservative members of the party in primary elections, even in cases where the more progressive candidate had a better ground game of grassroots outreach. Emmanuel has consistently backed the war, voting for every funding request of the Bush White House. Emmanuel is also a strong supporter of Israel, after all, he is an Isreali Defense Forces (IDF) veteran.

When Obama won the presidential election, he called on Rahm Emmanuel to become the new White House Chief of Staff. While many progressives are upset over this choice, it also gives progressives a shot at replacing Rahm Emmanuel with someone more liberal in the 5th Illinois Congressional district.

Thomas Geoghegan should be that person.

I encourage everyone to visit Geoghegan's wbesite.

The Democratic primary for this special election is March 3rd and the general for the special election will be April 7. Geogehan needs all the help he can get. I will be out collecting signatures on a petition to get him on the ballot later this week. If you want to help me, just e-mail me at

There are other contendors. Most are much more conservative, a former homeland security official, and a state rep who is endorsed by Richard Mell- Blagojevich's father-in-law. There is also a young progressive Matt Reichel. While Reichel has good progressive positions on the important issues, I just can't take him that serious as a candidate. For one thing, when Bush won in 2004, I stayed in the US and continued to fight for progressive change. Thomas Geoghegan stayed in the US and fought for progressive change. Reichel ran to France. Then when France elected conservative Sarkozy, and the US elected liberal Obama, Reichel comes back to the US. I think Reichel could have a political future, but he needs more experience.

Thomas Geoghegan wants to end the war, expand social security, fight for universal single payer health care, and make labor unions strong again. Thomas Geoghegan should be the pick of all progressives in the IL-5th Congressional District.


  1. True progressives don't vote for Democrats. If his positions are as you describe them, then he shouldn't be a Democrat, when the Democratic Party is pro-war, anti-single payer, and does precious little for unions anymore. Where's the disconnect?

  2. Geogheganis more in touch with groups like Progressive Democrats of America, people like Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders and Cynthia McKinney. The Democratic party has it's conservative wing, and it's progressive wing. I don't see anything wrong with supporting third-party progressives as well as progressives in the democratic party.


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