Illinois: Tribune Blasts Oberweis, Backs Foster in Special

Posted March 4, 2008 at 6:30pm

The conservative Chicago Tribune editorial board endorsed physicist Bill Foster (D) on Tuesday, begrudgingly telling suburban voters that dairy magnate and frequent candidate Jim Oberweis (R) “sees public office as an opportunity to pick a fight.”

“This page is closer to Oberweis than Foster on several economic and foreign policy issues,” read the Tribune’s endorsement. “But we watched Oberweis in his races for the U.S. Senate in 2002 and 2004, and for governor in 2006. We’ve watched this race for Congress. His campaign style has consistently been nasty, smug, condescending … and dishonest.”

The newspaper, which twice endorsed President Bush, and backed Rep. Melissa Bean (D) in 2006 and now-Sen. Barack Obama (D) in 2004, claimed Oberweis’ campaigns during the past years employed “fear mongering” and “used headlines from the Tribune and other newspapers to attack an opponent.”

“But [the headlines] were fake,” the editorial read. “They hadn’t appeared in the newspaper.”

District voters will determine the first of two winners in the Foster-Oberweis matchup to replace retired Speaker Dennis Hastert (R) in this Saturday’s special election. The two also will square off again in the Nov. 4 general election.

The Tribune’s endorsement was featured in a televised Foster campaign ad featuring hometown presidential candidate Obama, who tells viewers “you may think you have to wait until November to vote for change. But here in Illinois, you can start Saturday.”
— Matthew Murray