Saturday, October 31, 2009

Out for now...

Today, after much thought about the race for the US Senate, my own family situation, and the current state of the Republican Party, I have decided not to pursue a spot on the February 2010 Primary Ballot. Therefore, I officially declare that I am no longer seeking nomination as the Republican Party Candidate for United States Senator from Illinois.

It should be understood that I still very much think myself qualified for the job and that American Government needs the input of non-career politicians more now than ever before. As of right now there are ten candidates for the seat currently held by Roland Burris; five are Republican, four Democrat, and one Green Party. There is very little chance that my staying in the race would do anything short of split the Republican vote further than it already is. Over the past five months I have learned more about American Government, Politics, and the Constitution than I ever thought I could. Hopefully with all of the people I have had a chance to meet, all the concerns I have heard, and all the miles I have traveled, I have accomplished something.

Those of you who regularly read this blog are aware that I became engaged three weeks ago to a wonderful woman, who even before meeting me, made the decision to become a mother and adopt a child. Many plans are to be made as she and I bring our families together and I intend to use this break in my busy schedule for just that. In addition, I have discussed with my campaign consultant the possibility of running in the general election as an Independent. This may be the best option since I never did curtail my beliefs to the strict norms of either political party and my love of the Constitution and this nation has never been stronger.

For the many well-wishers, family, friends, and supporters who encouraged me on the way, I say thank you. Your impact on my life and my beliefs will never fade. May God bless each and every one of you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Ed Varga

Friday, October 30, 2009

Still on the Stump!

This is the week for filing candidacy papers in Illinois. Needed for the office I seek is the collection and submission of at least 5,000 valid signatures of Illinois registered voters. Although it does not sound like a difficult task, this is the first time the candidates have a chance to knock each other off the ballot.

When I first contacted the Illinois GOP about seeking elected office, the Chicago representative I spoke with suggested obtaining at least 8,000 signatures. His impression was with the attrition caused by incorrectly filed petitions and the disqualifications from other candidates, that would be the minimum number I should aim at to make sure I had 5,000 when all was said and done.

To make sure I accomplished this goal, the Committee to Elect Edward Varga contracted with a political consultant downstate to assist with not only campaign consultation but also with signature collection. They are still hard at work to finish signature collection as close to the 8,000 they can. I have collected what I can at events I attended but it is hard to work the room (as they say) and carry a clip board.

Monday, November 2, 2009 is the last day to submit candidacy paperwork. Until then I am on the stump!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Am I a Moderate?

Last night I attended the Concerned Citizens of America meeting in Rockford. The CCA is a political action committee and last night they held a candidate's forum for those seeking the office of United States Senator.

It was good to see some of the other republican candidates again. We have been attending events together for the last three months and the atmosphere is always congenial, for the most part. The only candidate I have not had a chance to really talk to is representative Mark Kirk. His appearance style is much more traditional to what we expect from campaigning. His handlers show up before the event starts, the lawn outside the event gets plastered with signs, Kirk shows up to speak and as quickly as he arrived, he leaves.

Last night I found myself at a table with Eric Wallace and Don Lawry waiting for our turn to speak. These are two of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. I was up to speak second, after Bob Zadek. He and I met in Dekalb and he was his normal ear-to-ear grinning self last night.

The moderator of the event was Larry Jacobs, VP with World Congress of Families. His job was to make sure each candidate got asked the same questions and to make sure we followed the rules. Each candidate was given two minutes to introduce themselves, followed by 5 quick answer questions, then more in-depth questions in which we had up to three minutes to answer each. The final question was a two minute allowable time frame.

The meaning behind the title of this blog entry is based on my answer to one of the quick fire questions. All of the candidates that presented last night answered every question the same, except for one. The question was whether or not I would support a constitutional amendment to define marriage as occurring between a man and a woman. My answer was that I would oppose such an amendment.

On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer question and any candidate trying to appeal to a conservative voter would support such an amendment. However, I was not out to pander to voters, instead I approached it from a constitutional viewpoint. the constitution makes no provision for the federal government to regulate marriage and therefore the decision belongs with the individual states. I guess since my answer differed so much from all of the conservatives, that means I am a moderate.

The people in attendance were very interactive and seemed receptive to my position that for issues from education, to health care, and even the economy, we need to remove the influence of the federal government and empower the states to meet the needs of their populations.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More Good TARP News!

If you think I am going to write good news about the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), then you did not see the sarcasm in the title of this Blog entry.

CNN just ran a report on the testimony offered by Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the treasury's financial sector rescue. In his testimony and supporting report, he states the bailout has several hidden costs. According to Barofsky, "the monetary loss will likely be substantial... the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Troubled Asset Relief Program will ultimately cost taxpayers $159 billion." $159 billion... is that all?

Here is one point I got from the CNN staory that I want to share with as many people as I can. The treasury department has spent $467.1 billion so far on the bailout. A substantial portion of that borrowing was through issuing debt as treasury bonds. In his report, Barofsky indicates 46% of government expenditures in 2009 are related to that debt. In the past 10 years, the average of new debt issues was 9%. This clearly mirrors the steep increase in this year's deficit numbers.

Say it with me; HOLY COW!

Kudos to Mr. Barofsky. He shows more of a human side than most in Washington these days because his testimony includes the psychology of our financial troubles and the way our government is addressing them. From the CNN report, "Barofsky also said that the government's lack of transparency about the bailout could cost taxpayers in the long run, as a growing distrust of the government could impede its ability to enact important legislation."

Good point, Mr. Barofsky.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Welcome to the Party, Pal!

You just never know what you will see when you read the news....

Fed boss says US should cut budget deficit

AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday called for the United States to whittle down its record-high budget deficits and for countries like China to get their consumers to spend more, moves that would help combat skewed global trade and investment flows that contributed to the financial crisis.

Bernanke's remarks to a Fed conference in Santa Barbara, Calif., comes just days after the federal government on Friday reported a $1.42 trillion deficit for 2009 budget year that ended Sept. 30. The previous year's deficit was $459 billion.

I applaud you, sir. I am with you 100% and am glad to see you want the US Government to slow down on the bailout funding responsible for the increase in our debt and deficit. Just one thing, a year ago, weren't you advocating dumping cash into the economy as a way to stave off a recession? This is Bernacke one year ago from the LA Times.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke supports stimulus plan

By Jim Puzzanghera and Maura Reynolds|October 21, 2008

Reported from Washington — The last major obstacles to another government stimulus package began crumbling Monday, shifting the debate from whether the fading economy needs a jolt to the best way of providing it.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke endorsed the idea of further stimulus for the first time in congressional testimony Monday. Soon after that, the White House said President Bush was "open to ideas" as long as they were "targeted, temporary and timely."

Bernanke's backing of more government stimulus helped stir the stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up about 413 points, or 4.7%, on hopes of more government action and signs that the credit markets were improving.

So let me get this straight, the Fed Chairman supported dumping money into the economy to spur recovery, and now says we need to fill the hole he dug to do just that. Interesting position, Ben. Maybe one of these days you could stay on one side of the fence?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Independance Caucus

Last night I completed a phone interview with members of the Independence Caucus ( This was the next step in obtaining a possible endorsement in my run for the US Senate. Four of the IC's members asked questions with two submitting written questions for me. All-in-all the conference call took a little over an hour and the topics discussed ranged from providing more jobs for American workers to preserving second amendment rights. The entire conversation was recorded so others interested could listen at their convenience.

I left the interview with a feeling of satisfaction, not so much from my answers but from the questions being asked. In this age of 24 hour news networks and sound bites, an organization that takes the time to more completely understand issues and how politicians will respond to questions is a breath of fresh air.

This interview came at a time when the campaign paper will start falling like so many autumn leaves. Latest poll results are skewed toward the politicians who can afford to pay for them. Staying under the radar right now might be an effective way of steering clear of the mud slinging which usually takes place right before a primary. Thanks to the IC for taking an interest in me and my campaign.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oh no he didn't!

Oh yes he did.

Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar endorsed Kirk Dillard for Governor of Illinois yesterday. I have met Mr. Dillard and am confident he is one of the qualified candidates for Governor. I am just not so sure he wants to take the endorsement of Mr. Edgar.

Lets set the way-back machine for November 9, 1994. On a Wisconsin highway, a commercial truck lost a portion of metal from its frame. Subsequently a mini-van stuck that piece of metal. It pierced the van's gas tank and the vehicle erupted into flames. 6 children died of burns suffered that day because of that piece of metal. And the reason that metal ended up on the highway is the result of a tragic turn of events that started in Springfield, Illinois.

The driver of the truck which lost the piece of metal received his CDL (commercial driver's license) by participating in a system of bribes and corruption in the Illinois Secretary of State's office. He was not qualified to be driving that truck legally. He purchased his license with the price of a bribe and at the cost of 6 young children. The Secretary of State at the time was George Ryan. He would later go on to become Governor where the trail of his scandal would eventually send him to prison, as it would his successor, Rod Blagojevich.

The Governor of Illinois in 1994 was Jim Edgar. His office failed to root out the corruption that existed right under his nose in the Secretary of State's office. I suppose he thinks that enough time has gone by, and that no one will remember how he was the head of a State Government system known far and wide for graft and swag. I suppose he feels his endorsement is too far removed from the lingering pain of a family grieving the loss of their children. I suppose he thinks his endorsement is worth something.

Maybe he is right. His endorsement is worth something. His endorsement lets us know that he supports the continuation of the pay-to-play politics Illinois is known for.

I am a candidate for US Senate and I would never accept the endorsement of Jim Edgar. And that isn't going to be a problem since Mr. Edgar has already endorsed another US Senate Candidate. Representative Mark Kirk has been heartily endorsed by former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar in his race for the US Senate. You may draw your own conclusions about the implications of that endoresement.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Big and Bigger News

This week starts with news best termed as big and bigger.

The first news which I will call "big" is that I am in consideration for endorsement by the Independence Caucus. I was contacted by them a few months ago and everything I have learned about them since has been positive. After completing a very thorough candidate questionnaire, I am on to the next step in the vetting process. Given the Caucus's positions on fiscal conservatism and tax reform, even being considered for endorsement by them is a great compliment. The next step is a teleconference interview. Once that is complete I will post more here.

Now for the "bigger" news. On Saturday, October 10, 2009, I proposed marriage to my long-time girlfriend, Paige Soule'. I am glad to report that she said yes. I asked her during a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago. We were in front of a 1877 painting by Gustave Caillebotte called Paris Street; Rainy Day. Trying to be romantic, I told Paige I liked that painting because it was in front of it that I asked her to marry me. As she looked at me with blank confusion, I got down on one knee and produced a ring with a diamond in it that once belonged to her grandmother. I was surprised to hear others in the gallery applaud when she said yes. One bystander even offered to e-mail a photo she took of us.

Some would question the wisdom of my proposing marriage in the middle of a campaign for election to the US Senate. Quite simply it was the best time. Ms. Soule' is currently in the process of adopting a child from Haiti and her life is about to get much busier than mine. With her getting settled in to her new role as mother and me continuing to seek a position on the ballot in February, we have not yet set a date for the wedding. The hope is, of course, our wedding will get to take place in Washington DC sometime around the end of 2010.

Friday, October 9, 2009


My congratulations go out to all of the winners of Nobel Prizes this year.

Included in that class is our own President, Barack Obama. Much has been written regarding his win and whether or not he deserves it. Indeed the nominations for consideration were due in on February 1 and he took the office of President on January 20, an incredibly short time for him to make his name on the world stage.

As astonishing as this win is, keep in mind the members of the judging panel awarded a sitting President of the United States a prize bearing the name of Peace. This comes in stark contrast to America's usual criticism for its international policy and practices. Perhaps this award should be seen as a vote of confidence in our Nation's ability to be the vanguard for peace throughout the world.

My 11 year old son Jim reminded me this morning that the price of peace is eternal vigilance. Please Mr. President, remain vigilant. Do not back down from the threat posed by forces of evil in this world. As you extend your hand in friendship to our adversaries, be careful of what may lie in the shadows. Earn this award, not by being a pacifist, but by securing our peace.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I heard on the radio today how the mortgage crisis is worsening. In fact, the statistic is on average, one foreclosure occurs every 16 seconds in this country. With that being the case, another home was foreclosed on by the time you finished reading these first three sentences.

As shocking as this number is, my fear is that we brought this upon ourselves. Two years ago it seemed as if money was being handed out on the street corners. Now we see the effect of living on the brink of what we can afford. I spoke with Congressman Don Manzullo last year and he related testimony he heard on the Hill from mortgage experts. He related the most shocking information from the briefing which was that the largest number of foreclosures were not on mortgages with adjustable rates which had just increased but rather on mortgages that never had a single payment made on them.

We must not forget this lesson. Living in debt is not beneficial for us as individuals and certainly not for Government at large. A concerted effort needs to be made to elect representation on the state, local, and federal level who appreciate the need for ballanced budgets and living within our means. Politicians should set the example.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Campaign goes on!

So much has happened since announcing my candidacy for US Senate 3 months ago that I am starting a blog to help keep track of it all. I have been lucky enough to travel all over the state meeting with everyone from GOP leadership right down to the voters who will make the decision come February.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to the students at Batavia High School about government and politics. They were bright and attentive during the hour I was given and posed wonderful questions. One even spoke of his aspiration to become a federal judge. Fantastic!

Later in the evening I went to the McHenry County GOP Dinner at Port Edward in Algonquin. It was good not only to see the party regulars but also to see so many of the candidates I have appeared with throughout the state.

We have less than one month left to get on the ballot and that requires petition signatures. All of you out there helping me collect should start wrapping it up. Call me with questions. And do not forget to check for updates on the campaign!

Thanks again for your interest.

Ed Varga