Republican challenger Bobby Schilling's highly effective new ad, Phil Hare was here, features the numerous closed factories in the 17th Congressional District of Illinois.
There are many reasons to vote against the thuggish Hare, particularly his attitude that he doesn't worry about the Constitution when he casts his votes. I am particuarly pleased by the devastating visuals in this ad, however becuase it was a cynical bit of gerrymandering by Hare's mentor that made such a devastating succession of shuttered factories, all sporting big Phil Hare was here signs, possible in the first place.
Congressman Lane Evans, a founding member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was first elected from this district in 1982. In the 1990s Evans narrowly survived a series of challenges. After the 2000 census great pains were taken to jam as many areas where blue collar trade unions dominated the political scene into Evans' Congressional district as was possible. The result was a sprawling district resembling a deformed crab claw that encompassed most of the small manufacturing towns in west central Illinois, including Sterling, Rock Island, Moline, Kewanee, Galesburg, Canton, Macomb, Quincy, Springfield and Decatur. When Evans, who had been under an ethical cloud for illegal coordination of campaign activites, suddenly pulled out of the race after the 2006 primary, he anointed his long time aide Hare as his successor.