By Nancy Thorner -
The Lake County Republican Federation held its 52nd Annual Spring Gala with U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) as keynote speaker.
A "Call to Order" was presented by president Larry Falbe, after which the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Don Wilson, Candidate, State Senate 30th District. Daniela Sloan sang the national anthem; Carla Wyckoff, Candidate, Lake County Clerk, offered the invocation.
Remarks were made by Robert "Bob" Cook, Chairman of the Lake County Republicans; Jim Oberweis, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate; and Robert Dold, former U.S. Representative, and candidate, for Illinois's 10th Congressional District.
Larry Farber introduced Senator Mark Kirk, calling Kirk "the Favorite Son of Lake County." Kirk, in turn, introduced Keynote Speaker, Senator Ron Johnson, referring to Johnson as "the embodiment of Mr. Smith goes to Washington."
Senator Johnson spoke highly of Senator Kirk, recalling how inspiring it was to see Kirk walking up the Capitol steps on his first day back to work. Senator Johnson next spoke of what drove him to get involved in politics. Asked to speak at a Tea Party event where he was encouraged to run for office, Peterson replied, "I'm not crazy." It was, however, a remark made by President Obama about doctors being "greedy and money grabbing and willing to unnecessarily take off a foot or whatever to make a buck," which raised Johnson's dander. Johnson's daughter was born with a severe heart problem. He and his wife, Jane, had the freedom to find for their daughter the most advanced surgical procedures of the time. With the passing of Obamacare in December of 2009, Johnson came to realize how his daughter's treatment and recovery would have been at risk under Obamacare. Obamacare would have limited Johnson's freedom to choose the care his daughter needed. This cinched Johnson's decision to run, although he didn't start running until May 17 of election year.
Senator Johnson believes Obamacare must be repealed. Also rating high is that America must be made more attractive for business innovation through reforming the tax code and enacting fewer regulations.
Johnson spoke about his power point presentations when home in Wisconsin on weekends. He reminds his constituents how our Founding Fathers came from a dictatorial form of government, that government was meant to be limited, and that the purpose of government is not to solve our problems. Instead, as government grew our freedoms receded. Urgently needed is a restoration of faith in government. A healthy distrust of government must be engendered, such as our Founding Fathers had of an all-controlling federal government when writing our Constitution.
While all of us share the same goal as a compassionate nation by wanting a prosperous America, Johnson questioned the $16 trillion spent on the "War On Poverty" when the poverty rate back in 1965 remains unchanged today, still at 15%. All of the good intentions didn't contribute to good consequences, but actually destroyed the family. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a New Deal liberal who believed in alleviating poverty channeling public money directly to the poor, later criticized the War on Poverty maintaining that marriage, although not a panacea for poverty, is a significant contributor to upward mobility. Today 41% of all births are out-of-wedlock.
In speaking about a Business Round Table event Johnson attended in Washington, D.C., he remarked that business is not standing today with the American public. The public has been led to believe that business is evil, and that it's only fair for the top 1% to pay more. With this prevailing attitude, what can be done to enable business to work as a positive force in society? Standing in the way is a University System that has been controlling education and culture for the past 50 - 60 years. Business must start defending itself by educating the American people. This said, our nation is in a bad place when the American people must be reminded of what this nation stands for, complicated by a media that is no help at all.
Senator Johnson is not pleased with fellow Republicans who believe the fix to problems is to spend a little more money. The Left thrives in giving out candy; it's tasty stuff, and people like it. Republicans should be serving Novocaine to deal with problems that are threatening this nation's fiscal stability, but how many Republican are willing to do so when the other side uses money to buy votes?
Republicans, however, do have a victory to point to. Johnson spoke of the thousands of letters being received from constitutes who are not happy with their health insurance. Even so Senator Harry Reed had the gall to call all the letter writers liars, as were their complaints, in an attempt to creates victims of us all by a government that has become all powerful.
In commenting about the 9% approval rate of Congress by the American people, Johnson thought it way too high; nevertheless; it does show that the American people are not pleased with what they see in Washington, D.C. Irregardless, the American people still elected Barack Obama to a second term of office and likewise politicians who are dedicated to growing the state.
A word to candidates running for office: A message of a broken, out-of-control, and an ineffective government must be taken to constituents. Do they really want government to continue to grow? What about the intrusion of government into their lives? Are they comfortable with government taking over this nation's healthcare system? Whether a candidate for office or not, it is up to all of us to convince at least 51% of voters that big government and its intrusion into our lives is a bad idea.
Optimism was expressed by Senator Johnson in regard to the coming November General Elections: "Never has there been a better opportunity for the Republican Party to be successful as at the present time." [Not mentioned by Peterson, nor how to deal with it, are those who vote illegally and the election fraud that commonly occurs in large cities across the U.S.]
Senator Johnson spoke with pride about an immigration swearing-in event he attended where 63 individuals from all over the world first announced all allegiance to the place of their birth, followed by their swearing of allegiance to this country. Johnson believing that this is the greatest country in the world remarked, "Wave after wave of immigrants have come to a land of unlimited opportunity which we have had the privilege to participate in."
It was when visiting with triple amputees at a rehabilitation center that Senator Johnson was at a loss of words in expressing his awe, inspiration, and his hope for America that continued to linger with him after his visit. One triple amputee told Johnson that he was shortly planning to visit those on the floor above who had just been admitted to the rehabilitation center to boast their morale. As Johnson said: "When three limbs are missing, there isn't much left."
In closing, Senator Johnson spoke of the "Spirit of American" as being alive. "Although not always visible in some quarters, it is alive in the hearts of you and others so that it will survive for future generations. May God Bless America!"
The final event of the 52nd Annual Spring Gala was the presentation of the "Bob Milton Award" given to honor a volunteer who has perform admirably during the year. Recently deceased Ray Card, a much loved and a tireless worker, was last year's recipient of the Bob Milton Award. In memory of Ray Card, the Bob Milton Award was renamed the "Ray Card Lifetime Award." Chelsea Stanley, Former Executive Director, Lake County Republican Federation, handed out this year's Bob Milton Award to Nancy Kubalanza of Grant Township. She was described as fiercely loyal and a hard worker willing to drop everything to help with an event or a mailing. A flabbergasted Nancy Kubalanza, usually never at a loss for words, was overwhelmed at being so honored. Nancy downplayed her work, giving credit to her husband who supports her and a daughter who assists her.