First of all. Check your inboxes. We sent out our 3 reasons for $3 today. If you're not on the list, then fill in your email address up on the top right and click the box for the 'Cross Connection'...

On to the business of the day.....

This Chief stuff is nonsense. I mean....Come on. As a proud grad of the fine University of Illinois, I am proud of the Chief and how he conducts himself. This symbol or as some in the legislature call it "a mascot" is simply not a mascot. When a new car wash opens in Champaign The Chief doesn't go there and do a dance and hand out foam tomahawks. He doesn't do endorsements. In fact, the university does not use his image anywhere to promote anything!

A smart man named Chapin Rose said yesterday, "I think it's a little bit ludicrous to hijack a tier-one university's funding over an athletic symbol."

Right on, Chapin.

Many do not know how revered the Chief is inside the locker room and around campus. I've seen plenty of losing football games at Memorial Stadium and the alumni who sit on the west side rarely stand up (There rarely is anything for them to stand up about), but when the Chief comes out--they go bananas!

When the football team comes in right after the 2nd Quarter, the Chief is standing with arms folded in the corner of the ramp. It is pretty cool. He has 2 state troopers next to him. He goes out and "gets some" as I like to call it, and then when the team is ready to reemerge back onto the field, he is back in the same spot with his arms folded like he never left. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

Also, I believe that the students just had a vote yea or nea on the Chief. It was something like 8K for 2K against. Whatever the numbers... it doesn't matter. There are something like 40K students there. I bet that almost every anti-Chief student made a point of voting, but most pro-chief students were too busy eating tan lunch (fries, chicken fingers, know...everything is the same color--tan) at the Frat or buying low cut jeans at the mall or cooking ramen noodles on the stove to care about that vote.

Now, now. Don't think Chris Rhodes is insensitive. I'm not. This is just one issue that gets to me.....

There's more to the Chief story and I don't feel like writing about it now....maybe over the weekend.

On a different note, we've been successful at our "Change Starts with you" campaign this week. We've been able to raise $2K in about 3 days. Thank you for all that you do.

What'd everyone think of Lance? I thought he was great. We'll be seeing more of him around here I think. We might get Marc Camp to write a little too. He's been really busy. Yesterday was his birthday. Happy B-Day Marc.
I've been slobbering all over the Arch Pundit lately...

Well, we here at the joincross blog have decided to put our money where our mouths have been. We decided to take the plunge and advertise with him.

I may not always agree with everything he says, but it certainly is interesting. Now, for all of you consiracy theorists out there... we didnt do it to get 'positive coverage'. I actually find him a interesting read. Some of the stuff is good, the federal dem stuff bores me to death.

He has a pretty wide readership and they appear to be quite regular. He doesn't get a ton of 'comments' but neither do we and we get a ton of hits when we send out the emails.

He is usually pretty good at keeping up with the news of the day. They are going to have him blog over at the DCCC @ Stake Blog. What a great idea. They claim that the GOP doesn't 'get it', but guess what....over here at CFI, we're not your father's GOP. We do get it and want to tap into the new generation of newsmakers and opinion makers....

That really got me thinking. I am willing to share my space with just about anyone who wants to. I'll have a little entry for them if they are interested in swapping space with us at joincross.

We can even send their blog entries to our 50K list if they want.

Calling Jeff Berkowitz or Archpundit or One Man or Peoria Pundit... anyone listening?

My name is Chris Rhodes I approved this message...
I was reading over (Linky) here that Iraq is getting a new flag. They're getting rid of the traditional colors and replacing them with blues and such. I think it's a great idea. They say they want a fresh start, and I'm all for that....

all, right. That's more than enough heavy stuff. more than enough current events. Now we can get down to the real stuff here at CFI.

We've been all over the place recently.

Archpundit has given us some props. (Linky) --under 'Calling da speaker'--- He's pretty kind, except he takes a dig at the Leader's Hair. In Leader Cross' defense, it was a summer photo and he has shorter hair for obvious reasons in the summer....not saying you're wrong Arch, just adding some reasons....

So too, has 'ecampaign weblog' (Linky) --scroll down a bit.

I am pleased that there are more lurkers out there then I previously thought. We've noticed the traffic picking up here as our daily hit totals continue to climb. Hopefully, the community will continue to grow, but we need your help.

Check out the homepage. We've started a new "change starts with you" campaign. This really is a people-powered campaign to take back Illinois. We've heard from almost 2,000 of you. We need to keep hearing from you. Use the refer your friends function on the site. Tell your neighbors. This isn't simple rhetoric, it is reality. We have a one party system in Illinois. I don't care if you are Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, Reform, whatever.... we all can agree that having a one-party system is a bad thing. There is a way to change that.

We can pick up seats. Maybe one this year, maybe two. Maybe one or two in 2006. It takes time, but we can move back toward the majority.....but again, what do I know. I mean, I just work at Home Depot on weekends. I'm no expert like Russ Stewart or Keith Hanouw at prognaticating wins....
I know a lot of my friends who don't vote. I know, you probably say, big deal. Well, I tell you what, it kind of is a big deal. I don't know, but I don't think people all of a sudden grow up and start voting. There isn't some magic switch that goes off in your head that says...."Hmmm....I've got the minivan. I've got the John Deere Lawnmower. I've got the receding hairline. What am I missing....oh yeah....that's right. I've forgotten to vote for the past 15 years."

There are so many 20 and 30 somethings that, in my opinion, want to be engaged. For all his fire and brimstone. Plus that crazy scream, Dr. Dean from Vermont surely did one thing. He energized people that weren't normally involved in politics. He had people hanging signs in their yards and businesses who never voted before. He had people 'blogging' who never really cared about politics. That is the legacy, in my opinion of Howard Dean.

He showed that you can engage people. You can engage young people who don't really show an interest in government. I have been trying to convince some people involved in the campaign to go on a college tour. I'm not talking about the kind of college tours that you went on for a weekend when you were a junior or senior in high school and you had a buddy who had an older brother who lived in the Delta Chi House and had Ansel Adams prints on the walls and who you thought was the coolest guy in the world--kind of college tours. I am talking about visiting in one day all the state universities and some of the private ones. Engaging these young adults in conversations about the cost of education these days, registering to vote, affording a home, and other matters that are important to them. I think it would be a hit. I'll keep working on it. It's kinda like pushing a peanut up a hill with your nose. You've got to keep on it..... The powers that be around here hopefully will embrace the idea, much like they've embraced the site. (but what do I know, I'm just a blogger and I work at Home Depot on Saturdays....)


We here at CFI are trying to branch out. We've sent some of you an email talking about passing on the Starbucks Double Machiato Soy Chai Latte Tall. Instead give the $5 to CFI. Trust me. It's worth it.
Thanks to great people like you, CFI made national news yesterday. Check out these stories from around the country...

This is a truly people-powered campaign....

>>>St. Louis Post Dispatch
>>>Miami Herald
>>>Philadelphia Enquirer
>>>The South Carolina State
>>>The San Jose Mercury News

That's unbelieveable. Keep up the good work.

We're expanding our site soon. We soon will be able to offer for download posters for each county. We at CFI want you to print them out and post them everywhere you can. Send us pics of you and your posters. We'll put them up here.

Let us know what else you want from CFI. We're excited about the amount of press we received from all over the country and we want to capitalize on it.

By the way...guess who's a Beatles fan....(points thumbs at self and says) "This guy"

My name is Chris Rhodes and I approved this message....
We're more than half-way to our goal. This is the first time we're trying this here at CFI. (cross for illinois) I was speaking with the webguys and they were stunned by all the $3 dollar donations. We're almost to 1000 of 'em. That's incredible. Thank you so much. This is not a sprint. This is going to be a marathon. All of us here at CFI, and there are a lot of excited people around here, (and it's not because Gino is going to close the office at noon today), are grateful to all the contributors thus far. We knew that there were people who shared our sentiments.

The Revolution is now on-line.

"It's time for this crowd to go." That is going to be our mantra. "Illinois can't take two more years of this crowd in the Statehouse."

There's still time to contribute. If you haven' should. Wouldn't you give up just $3 on your credit card to change Illinois?

>>>>If you're feelin' it, click here to give!

My name is Chris Rhodes, and I approved this message!
The State Party is hosting an event called Super Saturday on April 24th. Their billing it as a voter registration event.
....You've heard the naysayers. Republicans are struggling in Illinois, they tell us, and President Bush is going to have a tough time here. Well, I have an idea: Let's prove them all wrong. 
On April 24th, Republicans will be gathering together at local Super Saturday rally sites across our state. And then we're going to go out and spread the word to our neighbors: Vote Republican! We're going to register our voters -- I promised the Republican National party we'll bring in 26,600 new voters on Super Saturday -- and we'll be signing up new Team Leaders and identifying our supporters. Will you join us in this unprecedented effort? 
For more information, please contact your local Republican organization or call the Illinois Republican Party at 800-369-0011 to confirm your participation. We'll be able to set you up with your local Super Saturday coordinator to find out about the various events in your area. You can also find a rally in your community in the next week by visiting
Thank you for your hard work as we march toward victory in 2004. Hope to see you in a few weeks! 
Judy Baar Topinka
I say....good for the State Party. This is exactly what we need to be doing. We, as Republicans, need to be active. We have a good message. We have the right message. Go register those friends of yours who aren't registered.

My name is Chris Rhodes and I approved this message.
Hey guys. Sorry it's been a while, but we've been busy trying to launch this site. My apologies to the regulars. We're trying to get things straight around here and soon we'll be handing off some duties of other sites to some friends, so we can concentrate on joincross. The article below is from the NY Times. I really think that the future of grassroots politics for the GOP is on the computer. We'll never have the bodies that the Democrat Union guys have, but we can be better organized online. It starts with things like the joincross blog. We need your help. Contribute your comments to this and tell me what you think....

...They call it the ground war. And as anticipated, it is back after a long hiatus, subtly changing politics as we know it. Or trying to.

After decades of playing poor relation to television advertising, grass-roots politics has become a campaign star this year, as many political pros predicted it would be in the aftermath of the Bush-Gore face-off of 2000. And today it ranges from old-fashioned shoe leather to Web technology that can make a precinct captain of anyone with a computer.

It is a matter of adaptation, or survival of the most flexible. With the country still so sharply divided that political analysts figure as few as 10 percent of voters are undecided, each side is fighting to find and bring out every last one if its voters, and persuade the "persuadables," too. That means competing door to door, computer to computer, Web site to Web site. A ground war to complement the air war.

To read the entire article, please click here: New York Times

My name is Chris Rhodes and I approved this message....