Even though I have been lurking (and occasionally posting / commenting) at Red State and a few other sites on the right side of the blogosphere since 2004, I had never attended a political event until today.
This evening, I met the future Congressman from Illinois's 11th District, Adam Kinsinger, at an open house for the official grand opening of his campaign headquarters. Everyone there was energized and looking forward to getting their chance to continue the trend started in Virginia and New Jersey, and reinforced on Tuesday in Massachusetts.
Adam is a young, charismatic leader who successfully ran against a 12 year incumbent for a seat on the County Board at age 20. He joined the Air Force after 9/11, where he became an officer and pilot. I had been following his campaign from a distance after seeing this post by Moe earlier this year. It seems like every political commercial I hear on the radio is from a candidate claiming to be the only true conservative reformer in the race, so I was interested to meet him for myself to get a feel for what he stands for.
He said a few words to the supporters gathered there, and I was not disappointed. He spoke very optimistically about our future, and how inspiring it is to see the personal, professional, physical, and emotional sacrifices young Americans make to defend our freedom. He said that even though he enjoyed being in the Air Force, in order to defend the greatness of America for the future, he felt that running for Congress was the right thing to do. A year ago, people's spirits were much lower than they are now, and some people were ready to give up, but the founders of our country fought longer odds than we were facing back then, taking on what was the most powerful country in the world at the time. Who are we to give up on such a great nation that they and all of the other great generations since theirs have fought to give us. We don't have the right. We can do our part by taking back the House of Representatives.
(I'm not a stenographer, so my account is my best effort at conveying his message.)
He is running to unseat Debbie Halvorson who is currently serving Nancy Pelosi in her first congressional term. I'm sure Congressman Halvorson would say that she serves the people of the 11th district, but her voting record says otherwise. In a district with a Cook PVI of R+1, she has voted with Pelosi 96% of the time, including yes votes on Porkulus, Cap & Tax, and PelosiCare.
Halvorson refused to hold any live town halls with her constituents about healthcare, so Adam held his own at various towns in the district. A couple that I met at the open house told me about a protest they attended outside Halvorson's office. She refused to meet with them and had counter-protesters bussed in. The counter-protesters were allowed into her office before boarding the buses to go home, but I guess I can excuse that because it would have been really awkward to pay them out there on the street.
I know having me show up at a campaign office is just a drop in the bucket, but I'm not the only drop, and that office isn't the only bucket. Together, we can make a flood in November.
Oh, and speaking of floods..... Here's another link to his fund raising page.