Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Could Lipinski face congressional challenge? Will Trump be an '18 issue?

Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., has served in Congress ever since his father, Bill, retired from electoral politics back in 2005. He got the seat because his father maneuvered the process so that Dan could be appointed his successor – and has faced weak challenges ever since.
LIPINSKI: Facing first serious challenge?

In some ways, he is the exact opposite of Todd Stroger, whose father, John, famously retired as Cook County Board president, orchestrated his son as a successor – and the voters rebelled so harshly that they dumped “the Todd-ler” when they got the chance in 2010.

BUT LIPINSKI, THE younger, has continued to be sent back to Washington to represent the city’s Southwest Side and surrounding suburbs – although the shifting of populations has resulted in the son representing a district that is largely suburban.

Unlike his father, who pretty much concerned himself with white ethnic issues and concerns in Chicago and didn’t pay much attention to anything else. He kept himself locally focused.

But the Chicago Tribune reported Monday that the 2018 election cycle could be different. Unlike the last couple of bids where Lipinski ran unopposed, he’s going to have a challenger.

Unless political operatives figure out a way to kick her off the ballot, LaGrange marketing consultant Marie Newman says she wants to challenge Lipinski for the Democratic nomination for the congressional seat.

“ON ISSUE AFTER issue, Dan Lipinski hasn’t been there for us. He is out of touch with our district,” she said in an e-mail message to her would-be constituents.
LIPINSKI, BILL: Still a part of political scene

Not that it’s any surprise to people who look at the local political scene. Lipinski is a politico using the Democratic Party label even though there are those who wonder why he isn’t a Republican.

With regards to abortion, he’s vehemently opposed to the concept. During health care reform debates, he was never an enthusiastic supporter of the Affordable Care Act or of former President Barack Obama’s efforts.

Although anyone who remembers his father, Bill, who served in Congress from 1983 to 2004 after having previously served a stint as an alderman (and where he still serves as a Democratic committeeman, even at age 79) knows he was a pol who identified with Dems because of his support for organized labor.

HE WASN’T ONE to get all worked up over the social issues and causes that are the reason many people identify with the modern-day Democratic Party.
CLAAR: Lipinski (as in Dan) helped him

His son, who was a political science professor at the University of Tennessee prior to becoming an actual government official, has similar views. He likely is among those Democrats who, these days, think the party ought to think more about working white people and less about those “others” if they want to go back to being competitive in presidential elections.

The point being Dan Lipinski isn’t the typical Democrat, He may, or may not, represent the wishes of his suburban district – which quite frankly isn’t exactly an area filled with people desiring the social liberal agenda.

Heck, many of the southwest suburban types chose to live there to escape such attitudes.

SO IT WILL be interesting to see just how well Newman – who has never held elective office herself – can compete. Particularly since she’s likely to let us all know that back when Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar was being challenged seriously for his post because of his verbal support for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, Lipinski sent over his own operatives to help out Claar.
TRUMP: Will enough of us still care in '18?

But in the end, Claar won! A Trump tie didn’t turn out to be politically fatal.

Illinois may have been a state that swung over readily to Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations because of her domination of Chicago and its suburbs, But this could become an election post where we learn just how stubborn and resistant we are to the concept of “President Donald J. Trump.” Could we take it out on Lipinski?

Or is it more likely that a majority of the district’s voters will decide they have more immediate problems to address and will wind up returning the “Blue Dog Dem” to his seat on Capitol Hill??


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