Mary Ann Ahern, Chicago's NBC 5 political reporter, made a phone call on Tuesday to a candidate running for United States Senate in Illinois.
During the course of the conversation, Ahern uncovered the fact that Illinois State Senator Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove was not home in Illinois vigorously campaigning, but on vacation in Florida at his winter condo in Bonita Beach, Florida.
It wasn't easy for Ahern, after repeated questions about his whereabouts, Oberweis finally told Ahern, and “I think you've figured out by now that I'm not answering that question."
It's always the cover-up that gets politicians in trouble.
Ahern did hear from the Oberweis campaign, when campaign director Tom Mannix released a statement, defending the Florida trip:
It is certainly no secret that in a highly contested U.S. Senate race in one of America’s most populous states, I will be expected to travel quite a bit over the next six months, mostly inside Illinois but occasionally outside Illinois, to meet with contributors and to attend fundraising events.
I have currently traveled to Florida for two reasons. First, to fulfill a promise to my wife (Julie) to spend a few days with her in Florida for her birthday, and second, to raise money for my U.S. Senate race.
Shocking, isn't it?
This is the tale of two political candidates running for the United States Senate in Illinois. Both are Republicans and both have little or no chance of defeating Democratic U.S. Majority Leader, Senator Dick Durbin.
One candidate is the aforementioned Oberweis, who is on vacation in Florida.
The other candidate is Doug Truax of Downers Grove, who is the heavy underdog, hoping for some kind of divine intervention or some kind of spark.
Challenger Doug Truax has a problem with it too, blasting Oberweis for taking the Florida trip, calling him a "timid snowbird" that was "lounging in Florida" and ducking debates.
We might refer the inspiring song starts powerfully with the lyrics: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
King Solomon of Israel, the wise guy that ruled all those many years ago, is universally credited with writing the Book of Ecclesiastes, and in that book of the bible is a famous verse (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
The inspiring song, "Turn, Turn, Turn," was written by Pete Seeger which he in turned was inspired by the above-mentioned biblical verse. That passage of the bible, or even those inspiring lyrics by Seeger, made famous by the British group The Byrds, may have saved Oberweis some heartache had he taken those words to heart.
I am pretty sure King Solomon did not have in mind a Florida vacation for an Illinois candidate, when one is in the midst of a political campaign, and after having already having refused to debate his opponent. Oberweis probably didn't think it was the "season for snow birding" and a "season for lounging" and the "season for ducking debates with his opponent."
It will make little difference here in Illinois. Oberweis will likely defeat Truax. Durbin will undoubtedly defeat Oberweis, not that it makes much difference, but Oberweis presented Durbin with an opportunity get "label and branded."
Election Day is this coming Tuesday, March 18, 2014.
If only Oberweis had taken the song to heart, "Turn, Turn, Turn":
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
NBC 5 News - Oberweis Hangs Out In Florida a Week Before Primary
Chicago Tribune - Week before primary, Senate hopeful Oberweis takes 'a few days' in Florida
Send John Presta an email and your story ideas or suggestions, firstname.lastname@example.org.