Schoenburg: Bernie-backing Gronemeyer vs. Clinton delegate Mazzotti for Dem post

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Dec 16 2017
Bernard Schoenburg
State Journal-Register
http://www.sj-r.com/opinion/20171216/schoenburg-bernie-backing-gronemeyer-vs-clinton-delegate-mazzotti-for-dem-post

There will be a rematch in the March primary for a place on the Democratic State Central Committee.

PAMELLA GRONEMEYER, a pathologist from Glen Carbon, is running against incumbent JAYNE MAZZOTTI of Taylorville as 13th Congressional District state central committeewoman.

The same two candidates faced off in the spring of 2010, with Mazzotti winning by 53-47 percent. Mazzotti was unopposed in 2014.

“I think I represent the grassroots,” Gronemeyer now says. “I get out and demonstrate and deliver letters to our congressman each month and work hard to promote polices and issues.”

She is co-president of the Illinois chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, a coordinator of Progressive Democrats of America in Illinois, and was a BERNIE SANDERS supporter who was on the platform committee of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. She also coordinates a progressive group called Southern Illinois People for Progress.

“My goal is to try to activate people and I try to represent people that are pushing for more progressive ideals,” Gronemeyer said.

Mazzotti, a French teacher, union member and wife of Christian County Democratic Chairman JACK MAZZOTTI, is on the Democratic National Committee. She was also a convention delegate for former President BARACK OBAMA in 2008 and 2012 and for HILLARY CLINTON in 2016.

Mazzotti said via email that she wants to “continue the work that’s already in action, including meeting regularly with other members of the Democratic Party in our state and working together to improve polices rooted in fairness, justice and opportunity — opportunity like access to quality education. As an educator and a parent, I understand the importance of quality schools and learning tools that our young people so deserve.”

She said such access was recently “made possible to students throughout our state” by school funding reform sponsored by Sen. ANDY MANAR, D-Bunker Hill.

Manar supports Mazzotti for re-election.

Democratic voters in the March 20 primary will pick one man and one woman from each congressional district for four-year terms on the central committee.

Incumbent TERRY REDMAN of Wapella is unopposed to remain the committeeman from the 13th. In the 18th Congressional District, current members BILL HOULIHAN of Springfield and SHIRLEY McCOMBS of Petersburg are unopposed for new stints.

Republican precinct committeemen will meet after their March primary to name one member from each congressional district to the Republican State Central Committee. Then each elected member appoints a deputy member of the opposite sex. Current members are FRED FLORETH of Springfield in the 13th, and MIKE BIGGER of Wyoming, in Stark County, in the 18th.

 

$20,000 loan

MIKE MURPHY, the former restaurant owner who is running for the GOP nomination for the Illinois House from the 99th District, loaned his campaign $20,000 to get the race going.

“I needed to have some seed money in there to get the campaigning rolling,” Murphy said.

There was also a fundraiser at Charlie Parker’s Diner — the restaurant Murphy used to own — and he said about $9,000 was raised.

Murphy has also received in-kind help — payment for billboards advertising his campaign — worth $5,100 from Mid-America Advertising.

Murphy has the endorsement of the Sangamon County GOP as he seeks the seat now held by Rep. SARA WOJCICKI JIMENEZ, R-Springfield, who is not running for another term.

Also seeking the GOP nomination in the district is STEVEN WESTERFIELD, a precinct committeeman. There’s an objection pending to the petitions Westerfield filed, so there’s a chance he won’t be on the ballot.

On the Democratic side, JENICA MYERS-HOPKINS of Pleasant Plains and MARC BELL — formerly of Chatham and now of Springfield — are seeking their party’s nomination in the 99th.

Rule change

A couple days before last Friday’s deadline for signups to the Affordable Care Act, the House Administration Committee passed a resolution allowing members of Congress to provide links to healthcare.gov — the government signup website — on paid social media posts.

That put the new rule in place, said ASHLEY PHELPS, spokeswoman for Rep. RODNEY DAVIS, R-Taylorville.

Davis is chairman of the Franking Commission, and some Democrats had complained that members of Congress weren’t always being allowed to link directly to healthcare.gov in paid digital ads.

In a Dec. 7 letter, Davis and two other Republicans on the commission told Democrats on the commission, including ranking member Rep. SUSAN DAVIS of California, that they had come up with a solution, but it needed approval of the full administration committee.

“We agree with your concerns, and as part of the ongoing effort to increase transparency House-wide, the Committee is proposing an update to allow all Members of Congress to directly link to any federal government and House-hosted websites, including healthcare.gov,” Davis and the two other Republicans wrote. The content of any online ads would also have to meet rules outlined in the congressional handbook.

Phelps said in early December that of more than 190 Democratic members of the House, about 30 ads were submitted referencing healthcare.gov, and while the Franking Commission approved most of them, less than 10 were pending. Because approval of the new rule was expected, Democratic members of the group were encouraged to tell fellow Democrats in Congress to prepare ads to be ready to go with the action Wednesday, Phelps said.

The Trump administration cut advertising spending for the heath care signup by 90 percent, and cut the enrollment period in half, compared to last year.

To Louisville

MICHON LINDSTROM, who has been Statehouse reporter for WAND-TV for nearly two years, is leaving to work for Spectrum News in Louisville.

She will be a producer for the “Pure Politics” program that covers Kentucky, and she could get some on-camera time.

Lindstrom, 27, is a Bartlett native and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale graduate with a 2013 master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield. As part of that master’s, she was an intern with WICS-TV.

She said like Illinois, Kentucky is struggling with public worker pension problems, so she’ll be venturing into some familiar territory.

As for covering Illinois, she said, “It was very exciting. It was exhausting. But I learned a lot.”

Dec. 22 is her last day with the Decatur station.

Contact Bernard Schoenburg: bernard.schoenburg@sj-r.com, 788-1540, twitter.com/bschoenburg.

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