For those of you who missed Downtowner’s diary last night on what is happening in Dennis Hastert’s old district, it is a good run down of what Daily Kos member, progressive, patriot, military veteran and Democratic Congressional candidate John Laesch is up against.

In addition to tomorrow’s primary, there is a special election on March 8 for the seat that Dennis Hastert retired from and progressive John Laesch is up against a “DC insider choice” who is described as new to politics and a wealthy self funding individual who has contributed hundreds of thousands to a primary challenge.

You can check out what is happening on the campaign trail from the Laesch for Congress diary series, and we are happy to have John on our BlogTalkRadio show today at 3PM Eastern/noon Pacific.

The link to the show can be found here. John’s ActBlue page can be found here. John will talk about things that he has seen on the campaign trail, some of his endorsements, the upcoming special election and tomorrow’s primary.

A bit of background from John’s campaign website about why he is such a good candidate is below:

John Laesch is a military veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Middle East, and was involved in Counter Terrorist operations and the daily enforcement of UN Sanctions on Saddam Hussein’s regime. John is also a graduate of Illinois State University where he received a Bachelor of Science in History and a minor in Political Science. John is currently employed as a union carpenter (local 195) working for Monarch Construction. He is embarking on two new roles in life; one as the husband of Jennifer Downard and the other, with your help and your vote, as the Representative of the People of the 14th Congressional District in Illinois.

John feels that his background makes him well suited for an active role in Congress. He spent many years in both Africa and the Middle East, two areas that are becoming critical in United States Foreign Relations.

John’s parents were Lutheran missionaries in West Africa and John was born there in January 1974. His mother recalls that as a young child he was dedicated to the family mission. He often brought his injured or ill playmates to the family home, which served as the village infirmary, for bandages and antibiotics. John’s family departed West Africa in 1986 because of political turmoil in the region, and they settled on a farm in Newark, Illinois. John graduated high school and began climbing the ladder at Amoco before deciding to serve his country in the United States Navy.

John spent his years of military service analyzing intelligence in the Middle East. He participated in Operation Infinite Reach, the 1998 attack on one of Osama Bin Ladin’s training camps in Afghanistan. John also played a leadership role in Operation Desert Strike and Operation Desert Fox, two small-scale military assaults on Saddam Hussein. Although John was a leader of a small Crisis Action Cell that provided intelligence for military operations, his specialty was Iranian political and military affairs. In 1999, John was medically evacuated from Bahrain and after undergoing knee surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital he received an honorable discharge from military service.


Last week, I posted a diary announcing a series of BlogTalkRadio interviews with Democratic Congressional candidates as furthering the majorities in Congress, especially with progressives, is a sure fire way to help our cause. Not only do I think this is a great opportunity to hear these candidates in their own words talking about their district, their campaign and the issues they hold dear, but also to keep some focus on Congress, because without more progressives in Congress who are willing to stand up and fight for the ideals that we discuss here daily, it really won’t matter if Clinton, Obama, Romney or McCain is in the White House because a progressive agenda would not even begin to be seriously discussed, nor would a right wing agenda be able to be thwarted.

If you missed our interview with Gilda Reed (LA-1) from this past Saturday, you can read the diary about Gilda here and can listen to the show by clicking on this link.

Upcoming interviews are as follows:

  • Dennis Shulman (NJ-5): Thursday February 7 at 4PM Eastern
  • Barry Welsh (IN-6): Sunday February 10 (tentative)
  • Charlie Brown (CA-4): Tuesday February 12 at 8PM Eastern.

We also have commitments from a couple of others, but no dates set. We will keep you posted, and if there are any folks out there who work on a campaign, or know someone who is either a candidate or works on a campaign who may be interested, we would love to hear from you.

I hope you can listen live, and if not, we will be posting the interview at Heading Left, which is BlogTalkRadio’s official website for progressive internet radio and podcasts.

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