- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
Guess who's going?
Bush to headline fundraiser
Roskam, McSweeney campaigns to benefit
By John Biemer
Tribune staff reporter
September 26, 2006
With control of Capitol Hill on the line in this November's elections, the two Republican candidates in the most hotly contested congressional races in Illinois have lined up the biggest fundraiser the GOP can offer: President Bush.
Invitations have been sent to Republican boosters in the area for an Oct. 12 fundraiser with Bush for 6th Congressional District candidate Peter Roskam and 8th District candidate David McSweeney in the Chicago Hilton and Towers.
Roskam, a state senator, is in a tough fight with Democrat Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran, to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde in the west suburban district Hyde has represented for more than three decades. McSweeney, a former investment banker, is challenging freshman incumbent Melissa Bean in the northwest suburban district seat she took from Republican Phil Crane two years ago.
Republicans currently have a 30-seat edge over Democrats in the House of Representatives. Democrats hope to seize on voter discontent about the Iraq war and Bush's leadership to turn at least 15 seats their way to take over the leadership.
But Bush has tried to counter that with an intensive mid-term election fundraising schedule, demonstrating that he remains a formidable money-raiser despite low, but improving job approval ratings. This will be his second Chicago visit in recent months--the first raised cash for Republican gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka in July. At that time, Bush also professed his admiration for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.
Duckworth and Bean have a joint fundraiser of their own scheduled for Oct. 23 in the Chicago area with perhaps the biggest draw in the Democratic Party: former President Bill Clinton.
Invitations for the Bush fundraiser ask for contributions of $1,000 per person. For a promise of raising $25,000, donors can be called "co-chairs" and get two VIP roundtable passes and a photo opportunity with the president. Those who raise $10,000 will be called "sponsors" and also get to mug with Bush.
The event hopes to raise a total of about $1 million for the campaigns, which will be split in a yet-undetermined way.
The Oct. 12 date sets up a tight schedule for Roskam, with the Bush event kicking off at 5 p.m.
Roskam and Duckworth had agreed to a debate that same evening at 7 p.m., 25 miles west at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.
The Roskam campaign has hounded Duckworth to add debates with the seasoned state Senate GOP floor leader--and Duckworth, a political newcomer, had agreed to four.