Showing posts from 2004

We're back...

But over here. Thanks for making the trip. Having this site up here instead of JoinCross will allow me a bit more flexibility. It will also allow me to put up stuff that didn't always 'make it' past the 'Standards & Practices People'... Now...I'm the 'Standards and Practices' People. As I get settled in to my new home, I want you guys to NOT forget about my old home . I'll still be posting over there, but it won't be as regular. Shortly I'll get to the whole story as to why this all happened. It's quite a good yarn...

Passenger Side

I've only lived downstate during my 4 years at UIUC , so I don't know too much about rural life. I do know that at least 2 guys on our staff who happen to be related* have gotten into a bit of a pickle with having a few too many pops and then driving. In the Missouri legislature, at least on  one member  is going to side with my guys. Missouri Transportation Committee Chairman Jon Dolan announced last week that it will be a top priority to pass tougher seat belt laws and open alcohol container laws. Sen. John Cauthorn, R-Mexico, said he's not happy to see those as priorities. "The rural community feels threatened by someone telling them what to do," Cauthorn said. I can see  Ron Stephens  get up and say something like that. Too funny..... Ummm...I think it's already against the law to Drink and Drive. How is this going to make the 'rural community' any different? *2 of the nicest guys in the world and my collegues, btw.

Too Much?

Are the critics heaping too much praise on Wilco? That's  Kevin 's  argument. Wilco has gone from a small band with a cultish following to a heavily hyped, critically loved behemoth. And rock critics are heaping praise -- a little more than is warranted -- on the band's latest album, A Ghost Is Born. They laud its mix of understatement and obstinacy, even while couching those accolades with qualifiers. Rolling Stone makes unsurprising comparisons to canonical figures such as Neil Young and the Band; it also calls Ghost "eerie." Spin labels it both "engagingly complex" and "willfully obscure"; The New York Times declares it "stunning" and "an evasive maneuver, intended to frustrate listeners." ...The media latched onto the story, and who could blame them? The David-and-Goliath angle made for great drama -- especially when, upon its release in 2002, Foxtrot became the band's most commercially successful album t

Shipping Out

Patrick Daley, Mayor Daley's boy, is set to ship out for the Army after the first of the year. My claim to fame is that he stole a lady away from me. Seriously. Down in Champaign there was a girl named Elizabeth who I dug pretty hard. She played hoops for the Illini . She was tall. real tall. And...a woman. Not a girl. Sneedless to say, I was no match for the 'Daley Prowess'....or the fact that looked like this . God Speed, Patrick.

We may know something about that.

The LA TIMES ponders what's hip and why? I think that we may know a thing or two about being least according to Carol Marin : Cross knows a lot about Metros and Retros. His district out in suburban Plainfield has plenty of both.  His staff includes some very young, hip guys who know the Internet like the back of their hand . They, too, like Topinka, are recruiting a farm team, but by borrowing a page from the book of one-time presidential hopeful Howard Dean. Go to and you'll see what I mean. There, you can play the ''Take Back Illinois'' video game, a four-week contest moving electronic little people around a screen addressing issues like medical malpractice and education. The ultimate goal, of course, is to retake the Illinois House and Senate from the Democrats who now control it. Wait until the Holiday party invites go out to the office--then we're really going to show our 'hip chops'. I think that some of the weine


All right...I am working on getting credentialed for the GOP Convention in NYC. How cool would that be. I have been putting the heat on some of the folks around the office about the credentials and about a new powerbook... As David Dring says, "Keep asking until someone says 'no'."

All Sortsa Stuff

As usual, I am running in about 15 different directions. I have 45 things in my head and I can't get one of them done. We had a special guest in today from Southern California to work on a project that we're going to be rolling out on September 20th. It should be really cool. You'll all hear a ton more about it. In the meantime, we have a ton of other stuff to work on. Thanks to Rick Klau's encouragement , we're really working hard to move the blog to a different space and to make it a bit better. We have a great vendor in 1871media, but we (read I) want to do some stuff that I'm not sure that they are capable of.... We'll see. Their guys have been great, but I think that we're overwhelming them a bit. In the mean time...we're working on a "TV" site. I'll let you guys go try to figure out what the url is. Hopefully by tomorrow we'll have more than a "landing" page over there and by Monday, we'll launch a litt

The Gospel According to Trippi

My co-contributor Lance Stevens pointed out some stuff to me yesterday. He was all a twitter with excitement over the DNC and the online resources at his fingertips. He pointed out Chris Matthews Hardblogger and some of his contributors. One of those contributors is none other than Mr. Joe Trippi. I've recently gotten to page 139 and 149 and someone's name twice! (more on this later) Anyway, Joe had some things to say about 'Market Demos' and trying to attract some youth's to the movement : It’s all wrong. The key to this election will be young people, disaffected young people, young people who have never voted before- and I’ll be damned if I am going to come up with some cutesy name for them "like Sons and Daughters of Nascar Dad and Soccer Moms." Just shoot me! What is remarkable about this election cycle is how for the first time in decades the younger generation of Americans is the most active and energized. How they communicate with each oth


I was on the Park District Board of my hometown for a few years. I ran for the post right out of college. When I was on the Board, I learned about a fund called OSLAD (Open Space Land Acquisition and Development) funds. They come from the Department of Natural Resources and are used by Park Districts from Zion to Cairo. They're super effective at allowing Park Districts that wouldn't have the necessary resourcees grab open space. As we all know, space in the Collar Counties is disappearing at a rapid pace. House GOP Leader Tom Cross and other House Republicans know that OSLAD is a good program. The Governor decided to put the program on a "holiday". Which basically meant that he thought that the state could do better things with the money than buy open space. Well, the House Republicans began fighting to keep OSLAD back in the budget from the Moment that Rod said he wanted it out . Well, guess what? It's back in. You should call or write your House Rep

First Lady's Wax

The Washington Post writes about Laura Bush and her record collection . I've always been a Bushie, but this pushes me firmly into the Laura camp. I'm all over her, now. She sent Bob Dylan's "at Budokan" to the girls at a summer camp when they were in the sixth grade. I'd love to pow-wow with Barbara and Jenna. Sit around listening to "Just like a Woman" or "I shall be Released" on bean bag chairs. Anyway...back to reality.... That's just crazy. Good crazy. I have all sorts of imagery about that Laura the Librarian and the counter-culture now.... I'd love to see what else is in the collection. GW probably threw in some of his Oak Ridge Boys...

We're Back....Sorta

All right, now that all of that DraftDitka nonsense has been settled, we can get back into the groove over at in the JoinCross space. It was certainly a fun ride while it lasted. I never thought that it would have blown up so rapidly and reached so many people. This really tells me the power of the blogosphere. I kinda used this as a test case for myself. When I compiled the initial media list to blast out the press releases, I only used a handful of 'traditional' print journalists. The top dogs. You know? But what I also included was about 1,000 blog writers. Everyone that I could find, I included in our media list. That's really how this whole thing blew up. I have been talking to reporters the past few days and have been telling them this same story. They tell me how they read blogs and how they (the blogs) have a way of keeping stories going, creating stories, and pointing out stories that the "mainstream" or traditional press misses. Let this be a lesso

Pats on the Back

Dan Johnson-Weinberger who is a bright, but progressive political follower had some things to say about the Draft Ditka Movement : My hat is off to the Illinois GOP media operatives who have launched the Draft Ditka campaign. My guess is it's ... the smart guys running ... Tom Cross' online media work.  It's a brilliant tactical move.  ...And to get Mike Ditka in the converation about the Senate race? Brilliant! They've got *nothing* right now. They don't even have a candidate! And somehow just talking about Mike Ditka as a potential candidate gets more attention than Barack Obama. It's great, great media work by the GOP operatives. Notice the conversation isn't about the almost unprecedented train wreck where there isn't a candidate in mid-July and the potential replacements keep saying no (Rauschenburger pulled out a few days ago). Instead the converation about the IL GOP is about a fresh, fun story involving a Chicago icon. Just great work.  I

I'll Just Post the Whole Thing...

From Dan Johnson-Weinberger (again) : Chris Rhodes runs a blog. He's got a breezy style, shoots from the hip, makes fun of some of the GOP trainwrecks, is a partisan White Sox fan and has some interesting things to say. He linked over to my site today. It's here. The bizarre part is that he is the official blogger for Tom Cross, the Illinois House Republican Leader. Has anyone else seen a political figure that hands over the keys to the website like that? I mean, can you imagine a John Kerry or George Bush website where the blogger has a little fun at their own party's expense? (His little riff on Terry Parke and ABBA is awesome). I think it's great. And it's a symbol of the new style for House Republicans in Illinois. The House Republican caucus had a little revolution in December of 2002. With a new map and the Dems sweeping state government, Lee Daniels decided to step down as House GOP Leader. Most of the suburbanites (especially the women) decided they


As I told you guys last week, I had lunch with Rick Klau up at the world famous Applebee's on Route 59 in Aurora/Naperville. As I told you then, this guy's got it. He cut his teeth politically in a high-stakes environment of the Dean for America . Anyway, he wrote us up a bit today on his blog . As expected, he was very nice about everything. When I broke bread with him, he did comment on the fact that many vistors to his blog comment on the GOP ad. It's obviously part of our stragegy. I figure, we'll continue to work on the GOP'ers through traditional means. In order, though, to be successful globally, you've got to show people that you are not crazy. By reaching out the the Dem blogs or Independent blogs, or Green blogs, I figure, we're showing people that we're not all nut balls . (I am just kidding). Jake knows they don’t have all the pieces in place yet. But they’re working on it. And their tech strategy isn’t the only thing they’re paying attenti

SSC Takes Applications

For the U.S. Senate Seat, that is. I've heard a bunch of names bantied about and some make sense and others don't. The obviously most intriguing one is Patrick Fitzgerald. It seems like he's not interested in the job. His spokesman for the 'G' says: “[Patrick Fitzgerald] is not running for any electoral office. He has had no discussions with anyone about this matter," Sanborn said. "He is very happy with and intends to keep performing the job he has. I am denying there is anything to this whatsoever.” So, of course, the Illinois Leader (the conspiracy theorists that they are), say that the 'insiders' floating Fitzy's name just want him out of Illinois. There may be a bit of truth to that, but more importantly, he may be the only  guy  that can win. There are some other interesting names that I can think of. Corrine Wood. I always thought that this was going to be her seat. She had to run for Governor a few years back. She could have pas

Odenkirk Goes Down

It looks like Budweiser outsmarted Miller . I really like Bob Odenkirk and I thought that those commercials were pretty funny, but the Bud ones are great zingers. I never knew the Miller wasn't American. This is a great response ad campaign.

Draft Ditka Comes Alive

There's so much out there, it's hard to digest it all. I've been reading all afternoon, and I'm not anywhere near the end of it. It's going to be interesting. This will certainly make a fun case-study. How someone who won a primary walked away from a General Election.... On another note, check out Draft Ditka . My dreams have become a reality. The site is not in conjunction with Leader Cross. Some operatives have cobbled it together. Thinking about it, this movement should be for real. The ILGOP can't take more hits.

I Stand Corrected

A few days ago, I posted some comments about Mr. Rich Miller and his abilities as a journalist, commentator, web designer, and as a Don Juan. Yesterday, I checked the ole' inbox and I got this friendly reminder from Rich: To: From: Subject Playboy?  not any more, bubbah. playboy is married I stand corrected. My apologies to the lovely Mrs. Miller.

Lunch Encounter with Rick Klau

I just got back from lunch with Rick Klau who made his name with the Dean for America Campaign. I have to tell you...He's such a genuine nice guy. Very knowledgeable and respectful. He's clearly a partisan, and so am I, but he had some nice comments and suggestions for us and our blog. 1. Improve the blog format 2. Start a Diary over at Daily Kos 3. Read "interface" and others. Thanks, Rick. I want to hook back up with him in the future. He's so knowledgeable about the future of all this stuff.

The Terminal

Am I the only nerd who gets a big grin on his face when he hears "End of the Line" by the Traveling Wilbury's during the commercial for "The Terminal" with Tom Hanks. For those of you guys who don't know about the Wilbury's, I would check them out. Volume One is amazing and Volume Three ain't bad either. Some people call "Full Moon Fever" by Tom Petty Volume Two. They're such a power. Put on Side Two of Volume One and it is pure heaven. These guys were such giants solo, but put together, they're amazing. I was never a big Jeff Lynn guy.... you know.... Don't bring me dooooowwwwnnnn, Brrrrruce. Don't bring me dooooowwwwnnnn, Brrrrruce. The ELO stuff never did it for me, but I became a beliver when those 90's Beatles stuff came out. You know, "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love". Listen to those, and then put on a Wilbury's record, and you can tell that Jeff really held his own in the TW s

Illinois Leader Lampoons

We're getting chatted up over at the Leader . Here's part: I'm guessing that part of the blog stratagey is to attract different people to the party.  Get them to read something politically related. As a 44 year old man,  I understand your comments about getting the message across about lower taxes and less government, but how many 22 year olds really care about that??? I  think some of the stuff is silly too , but how are we going to attract younger people to get involved?   Why is Rock the Vote so popular?  Blogging is "hip" to a younger generation.   This generation want's to be entertained..  We need to draw new, young people to our party.  How do we do that??  One way is to attempt to entertain them.   I couldn't have said it better myself. I mean....I guess this is a mostly my personal spot to point out things about Cross, the House Republicans, the state of the Illinois Party, and other things that I find interesting. I am a 26 year old guy, who is

Seventy minus One

Archpundit responds to my call for the environment to stop being a R v. D issue . Caution. This is not a Joincross like post where we talk about bands, or what we ate, or have pictures of Willaim Ligue Jr... Rather this is wonk talk. And *good* wonk talk at that.


I like to be righteous and support independent record stores and independent book retailers. I figure I should pay the extra couple of bucks to buy my records at Threshold Records than Best Buy. I mean, corporations control music enough, I don't want to give them any more profits than they already make from the distribution, concert ticket sales, radio station ownership, and bland cookie cutter artist development. But on June 22, I'm going to have to think long and hard about not going to Borders or Barnes and Noble. The whole 'books and music' concept hitting home for this guy. Maybe I'll even pose as a real upwardly mobile hipster and pick up a frappacino....Maybe not. Big Day. Wilco's new record and President Clinton's new book . A two-fer.

Ahem....Illinois Leader Readers:

Mr. Greg Blankenship, the Director of the Illinois Policy Institute, which most Illinois Leader readers fall all over each other about, had this to say about our fearless Leader: As far as Tom Cross goes, he just passed property tax relief for the state. In Collinsville I thanked him for proving that it was indeed possible for republicans to cut taxes in this state when I congratulated him on his great win. Realistic conservatives recognize that we need people like him if we are going to win. I agree with Greg. But I drink the kool-aid. You would have thought with a board who directs this executive director which includes John Biver, Chris Lauzen, Dan Proft, Patrick O'Malley, Jill Stanek, and Joe Wiegand, Greg would not be allowed to compliment Cross. Yep. We're awful. Keep trying 'to find candidates against House Leadership'--that's a winning idea

All We Need Are Looks!

And you won't find 'em with Camp, Stevens, or Rhodes.... Archpundit says we're 'fun and bright'!

Something Wiki This Way Comes

For all those of you who don't get the blog (see below), I think we're investigating a wiki.... According to 'smart guy' Rick Klau, Kos just announced the dKosopedia , an open collaborative wiki that the community edits. I posted over at Rick's site asking him what he thought. Kos is going to have a progressive political junkie's political encyclopedia, I was thinking of starting Illinois' political junkies encylopedia..... Could be fun....

Republicans Can Hug Trees, Too

This bothers me and maybe it shouldn't.... On Joe Trippi's blog-- Change for America they list a bunch of sites under the heading of "democratic action". This list includes some sites such as, and Young Democrats of America--that frankly, the Democrats can have, but they also list 2 sites in particular that bother me by being listed here. They have both the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife listed in this "democratic action" category. This needs to change. And that change has begun, if you ask me. I am a Republican, and I feel that I 'own' the Sierra Club and their issues as much as anyone--especially the Democrats. This should not be a 'Democratic Action' Group item--it should be everyone's including Republicans. Maybe this is a age-thing, but I think as we mo

Some New Friends

We're got some stuff up on this guy's blog now, too. As described by One Man, he is a 'smart guy'. I've been reading his blog for a couple of weeks. He talks a lot about technology and how it evolves, helps, and hurts business/commerce. He was also very heavily involved in the Blog for America of Dr. Howard Dean. (Which we all know was very successful....) Check out his blog. He has some interesting things to say. Oh...I forgot to tell you. He lives right up Route 59 in Naperville. Which is nice. Rhodes....out.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Our friend over at Archpundit is looking for some people to fill in and post over in his space while he is on holiday. This is a great opportunity....He won't want a bunch of GOP nonsense, but I am sure that he'd take some intelligent bipartisanship....and a little Jack Ryan rah-rahing. One Man I am looking in your direction.... I think I might be able to twist Marc Camp's arm a little. Hopefully, he'll be back from the Patch by then. Or maybe he's decided to start a new life in Central Illinois? "A man can get used to this", says Marc Camp about walking to work, hibaching, and runs in the park. On the Leader , someone didn't get what they wanted, so they decided to lash out at Watson and Topinka. Take a look at the Leadership of the Leader and that of Jack's! campaign. Draw your own conclusions. I agree that this whole "stalker" story should have been a nonstory, but it became one and I guess these guys at the Leader thin

Sandwich Boards are effective

This morning, Leader Cross is going into Chicago to tape a program for Channel 5 (NBC Chicago) for Sunday Morning with Dick Kay . I kinda like Mr. Kay. I've been watching him for a few years and he seems to enjoy his gig. I liked when he had all the Senate Candidates on. I think he could tell that some of them were real odd balls.... Since Spokesman David Dring was successful in getting the Leader on Dick Kay's show, now I feel it is time to put the full weight of the Crossblog behind my efforts to get Leader Cross on to the Steve Dahl Show.(105.9 WCKG 2-7p.m.) Not sure if any of you guys watch David Letterman or listen to Steve Dahl, but Letterman had a bit involving getting him on Oprah. It went on for some time. Quite funny and was easy laughs. In conjunction with that, Steve Dahl wanted to help him out (and maybe get a little pub for himself), so he sent out "Big Steve"--an inflatable Steve Dahl--over to Harpo Studios and had him march with a sign that said

California Stars

Where do I begin? Should I start with the new line-up? The venue? Tweedy's Salad? All of it was amazing. I kinda consider myself a hardened concert-goer. I see a lot of shows and enjoy a lot of stuff, but this was over the top. I went with my brother-in-law Marc out to Dekalb. We arrived at something like 8ish and headed over this cool bohemian coffee shop on the main drag in DeKalb. (I had a turkey panini and he had a 3 cheese... which to me is just a toasted cheese (or some of you may call them grilled cheese)) Anyway we get there and the security was really tight...... They had a granola girl sitting on a bar stool checking your name off a list. Sweet. $4.50 24 oz sodas. Which was nice. Otto's is tiny. Tiny stage. Ever been to Mabel's in Champaign? About like that. It was cool. We were near the soundboard and kind of on a riser. Could see everything except when Tweedy went down on his knees for one song.... Well they opened with "ashes of american flags&qu

I am an American Aquarium Drinker....I assassin down the avenue....

You guys know that I am a Rod guy by default. I mean when you're surrounded by Rod guys all day you tend to wear some rose colored glasses. Some people tend to take him to task ( Mr. Miller and Arch ) I am looking in your direction. (Not to mention that pretty funny opinion piece in the Tribune by Rick Pierson.) Anyway....I have to give those guys a little credit for something. Someone over there is at least a little with it if they can do this.... I was watching the Channel 9 news last night and I saw a commercial for Illinois Tourism. Nothing spectacular about the commercial, except the music. That's right, this guy talking about music? Go figure, huh? When the topic of tunes comes up on some dates, that is probably about when the girl tunes out and chalks me up for being a turd. Anyway, on this commercial was "War on War" by Wilco . How cool is that? I know, I know. Commercialism and selling out. Blah Blah Blah. This isnt really commercialism. This is about pro

Convention Wrap-Up

Well, some of us are back and some are still out today. This past weekend, I spent some time down in Collinsville, IL and St. Louis, Mo. It was a great weekend, even though I went to bed way to early on Saturday evening...from what I hear. Anyway, Leader Cross gave a great speech as did Gov. Edgar, Gov. Thompson, Speaker Hastert and Senate Candidate Jack Ryan. We ate dinner at a place called Tony's. I highly recommend it. Tell the Matire'd Gene, that Chris sent ya. Gene's the best. More tomorrow. I've got to hit the books for my exam tonight. Rhodes....out.

Who wants swag?

Well, well. I am back somewhat after a rigourous exam last night. One down, one to go. I have a wonderful weekend to look forward to in Collinsville, Illinois! I will be down there. Give a holler if you are too.... Roll Call: Chris Rodes : Present Marc Camp : Present Chesty LaRue : Present Ryan Seacrest: Present Lance Stevens: Fishing with the Grand Pubaah That's right folks. You heard it here first. Our very own Lance Stevens won't be attending the IRP Convention this weekend. Too bad. Instead he's decided to go fishing. I've also got some news for you joincrossites. Check out your 'registration bag' when you check in at the convention. There should be some 'Cross' swag in there!! We're also trying something. Leader Cross is planning on speaking at 10:30ish on Saturday morning. Help us out and go bananas when he gets introduced. If you want a t-shirt to wear this weekend, stop by our booth. We'll be happy to give you one. Oh,

You're doomed to repeat the past....

Before I get to the political stuff, I thought I'd let everyone know that tickets to see Wilco at Otto's in DeKalb go on sale this morning.... Check it out here.... This will be the first show (post rehab) of the new line-up. It will be a pretty cool show, I bet. I've got a feeling that at least one lurker (Boyd....I'm looking in your direction) will be going to the show. (That's pretty good, Boyd. Two mentions in the blog in 3 days. Kinda a superstar....) Anyway, now on to the substantive stuff..... Remember that news story last week (check it out here) about how the Guv and his guys were dumping health alliance from coverage of state employees and retirees. The House Republicans bowed up and stood with the 90K employees and said that it was not right to dump these guys in exchange for John Deere Health..... (From what I understand, and I am not Mark Beaubian or Steve Raschenberger; the budgeteers, the idea to dump Health Alliance had a lot to do with cash

Untan Lunch

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.

We're part of the Stream of Commerce!

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 t

What's a Blog?

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

Chris Matthews May have been Right. That may not be Presidential, but it sure is funny....

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 enga

Power to the People

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....

You say you wanna a...

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 t


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 Su

Battle Back

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-o

Turkey Wraps for Everybody!

I went to lunch today over at the Bolingbrook Golf Club. That place is amazing. It is the nicest clubhouse I have ever seen for a municipal course. That is where Leader Cross is having his golf outing this year on July 20th. If you want to attend it, drop a line to Natalie at and she will get you the pertinent information. Last year's outing was a great time. There ususally are a bunch of contests and some nice giveaways. With the weather starting to turn, what better time than now to start to think about this event. I would recommend the turkey wrap. That's what I had--hold the mayo.... My name is Christopher Rhodes and I approved this message!

Hum Drum Wednesday...

Today HRO is having a fundraising seminar down in Springfield. All the members were encouraged to attend. If I was a candidate/incumbant, I would do my best to have a bunch of dough in the bank to fight off anyone even remotely sniffing around challenging me.... Onto the days affairs... Leader Cross and the House Republicans are in session today. On the campaign front, we are beginning to embark on an aggressive drive to register new voters in our District. The community grows at such a fast rate, it is important to get the people registered and knowledgeable about the issues and the process. If you want to register, please call us at (815)609-0099 or Click Here (Linky) to find out more... My name is Christopher Rhodes and I approved this message...

My name is...

Tuesday is a session day. Back in Springfield for the Legislators. Ever been in Springfield on a non-session day? Not so cool. A couple of years back, my buddy Todd took me and a couple of rawhides to Quincy to see the President. On the way back, we stopped at a place called Norb Andy's. (Linky) Anyway, they have something called a Horseshoe. I not a huge fan of it, but I could see some 'big' dudes just loving this. Most of the 'big' guys and gals in Springfield have a full plate today. There is a lot of bills on their second reading. (Linky) Today is the announcement of the capital budget by the Guv. According the Rich Miller, it should 'mend some fences' P.R.-wise.....

Med Mal in Illinois in 2004

Ever wonder what it would be like to have a huge medical crisis and not be able to get the necessary treatment? Well guess what? If you are in Will County and you are involved in a huge car accident and you need immediate treatment from a're outta luck. Seriously. You would have to travel out of the county to get some treatment. This is a bid deal and getting bigger. Leader Tom Cross and the House Republicans announced their Med Mal Reform Package yesterday. The Joliet Herald took notice... >>>Here's the Herald Article (Linky)>>> The Doc's in Will County are putting up billboards to tell people about this crisis... (Linky)


GOTV. Up until about 2 years ago, I would have thought it was something to do with television. For those of you how are regular readers, you know that GOTV means 'get out the vote'. This is one of the most important aspects of any campaign. Campaign staffs work for months to identify their 'pluses'--those voters who are going to vote for their candidate. Now, in the last 24+ hours, the staffs have to work doubly hard to turn those people out and do everything they can to make the 'minuses'--those who are going to vote for your opponent--stay home. I've seen rain dances and prayers for rain. I've seen prayers for sunshine and coordinated busing to polling places. The bottom line is this. We need to do everything we can to turn Illinois Bush Red. If that happens, we will have a huge shot at picking up a couple seats in the State House and keeping Peter Fitzgerald's seat in Republican Hands. Bottom line, is to get out and vote. Who knows, maybe I&

Sunday, Sunday... Parade in Plainfield

Parade today in Plainfield. We will be on Lockport Street with the Giant Elephant. Wave hello as we pass by. Later in the day we will be heading in all different directions. Palatine, Morris, DeKalb and others.

Road Warrior

On the road again. I'm up in DeKalb. Leader Cross is heading to Palatine and DeKalb today. Later tonight he's going to Grundy County to rile the troops up down there. Three primary battles. 3 winners. It all comes down to Tuesday. As for the Road Warrior part, Leader Cross was in Champaign, Danville, Vernon Hills, Dekalb, Palatine, Sandwich, Morris, Oak Brook, and of course 'Taco Tuesday's'. That's a pretty good week of travel.

3 Reasons...

Did you check out the Homepage? (linky) Join Cross has started a new campaign called "3 Reasons". It is $3 Reasons why you should give at least $3. Imagine 10,000 of you give $3 means that we can be on the air all summer long in Morris, where we can win a seat. Or we can drop 3 more pieces of mail in Effingham. This is a big deal. It is even a bigger deal that all you have to do is click on this site and give. (linky) With the added feature of being able to contribute online, we can collect the resources needed to beat the Chicago Machine. Speaker Madigan is going to have all the advantages. Look at the numbers, look at the map. The House Republicans have not won a seat since 1994. Call it ineffective leadership, call it lack of resouces, call it whatever you want. All I know is that we (the Republican Party) have a shot at picking up one of two seats and closing the gap between the Speakership and us. If you haven't already given, please do so. The resources you

Waterboy or Signal?

DuPage today. The Leader is heading into the city to work with some groups, meet with others, and then head out to the "most republican county" in the country, DuPage County Illinois--Home of the 'Schillerstrom Report'--which I recieved yesterday in the mail. I was not all that impressed with 'issue 2'. I like the first one, but this one was not as attention grabbing, and as all you regular readers know, I dig that sort of stuff. I tell you what Bob, it is going to get really old reading about you every 2 months....Try to mix it up and tell us about the party, spotlight some other party members, do something else besides toot your own horn. (that's just my 2 cents) Anyway, back to DuPage. Tonight at Oak Brook Hills, the Central Committee is having their Lincoln Day Dinner. The guest of honor is RNC Chair Ed Gillespie. (linky) I am sure that he is going to give a nice speech about President Bush and the evils of John Kerry. I am not sure what message t

What's Happening today...

Leader Cross is heading up to Palatine to walk door-to-door with Representatie Suzie Bassi. We will head up there later this morning. I knocked on doors up there this past weekend, and the response was generally positive. Most people don't even want to get bothered by having to go answer their doors--in fact, I am always startled by hearing the door bell ring. It just doesn't happen that often anymore--but it still is an effective means of getting our message out. We live in the day where people open their garage doors in the morning, back out, and go to work, then come home, open their garage doors, and pull in. They don't talk to their neighbors. They don't talk over the backyard fence about issues and their community. It's too bad. I may be a bit of a starry-eyed optimist, but I wish people would. I know, I say that you know people who are like that. They talk. I am sure that they do, but we need more. We need more people who care about their commun

Check out our Offices

Ever in Downtown Plainfield? Stop on by at our Campaign Offices. We have expanded recently and now incorporate both Citizens to Elect Tom Cross and the House Republican Organization under one 'roof'. We are right on Lockport Street (Route 30) at the corner of Des Plaines Street in Downtown Plainfield. If you are in the Plainfield Area, stop on by or call to volunteer. We always have stuff to do.... Citizens to Elect Tom Cross 530 West Lockport Street 2nd Floor Plainfield, IL 60544 815.609.0099 Phone 815.577.1401 Fax

Thursday: What's happening today...

Today we are gearing up for the Primary Day. Yesterday was a good day as Represenative Bob Pritchard and Representative Suzzi Bassi were both endorsed by the Chicago Tribune. (linky) This is good news for both these campaigns. Suzzi has a strong record of running as an independant voice in the House. Leader Cross spoke at a Suzzi Bassi event last year that I was attending and he spoke of her courage. She had the courage to stand up to the undaunting task of discussing the prospect of having a new Leader in the Republican Caucus. Bob has only been down in Springfield for a few months, but he is working fast and hard. As evidenced by his press, Bob is making some wise choices and is working to help his constiuents. ********************************** Today we are putting together some yard signs and getting them out. This will help Leader Cross establish a presence in his ever-growing district that is Plainfield. We are working on securing locations. If you want one, it doesn&#


It's that time of year when our mailboxes at home are flooded with political mail. For junkies like myself, this is a fun time. I already know who I am voting for in most races, but I find it interesting to check out some of the mail ideas. This year, the Will County State's Attorney Race is turning out to be the hottest race around. Both sides have already sent 'hit' pieces against each other. Everyone says that negative ads are bad and that they shouldn't be used, but bottom line is that they work. The US Senate race is going to be fun too, in the mailboxes. My house is full of Hard R's, so we just get the R stuff. It would be nice to see both sides of the mail. I guess, like I said before, only junkies like this stuff....

Event next week--Mardi Gras

Next Monday, Citizens to Elect Tom Cross is having a Mardi Gras event at the Pasfield House in Springfield. I am pretty excited about it. I was talking to Julia Costello about it and she said that they are going to be doing it athentic New Orleans style--gumbo, hurricanes, and beads.... I've never been to actual Burbon Street, but I would be that there is going to be a lot, I mean a lot, less nudity at the Pasfield House then at the real thing. That's ok, though. They may have the drinking in the street, the debauchery and the beads, but we have the idea of taking our state back. With your help and resources, we can and we will win back seats this year. If we pick up a couple here and a couple there, we can take Illinois back from the Chicago Machine. If you want to go the Mardi Gras event next Monday, please call Natalie at (815)609-0099. Peace.

Monday--A holiday, but working anyway...

The State is shut down today, but that doesn't mean business doesn't get transacted.  I am in the campaign office--they have a full staff in today. I guess with all the hot primaries we are going to have, you need to take advantage of every day.  Yesterday, if you watched the news, Rod was on talking about budget stuff. He likes to work on Sundays....I think that is so he is the story and there isn't anyone to compete with him. Anyway, today were working on jobs and how to create them. Then tonight it is off to Michael McAullife's event in Chicago. Mike is a strong campaigner. Those guys up there take care of each other. They don't like fights and they especially don't like fights that are public. I am pretty confident that Mike will win and be back down in Springfield in January. Did you catch Prez. Bush on the NASCAR race? It looks like the campaign is in full swing. I wonder what he and Laura did for Valentines day? Something nice, I am sure....