Report: Pollak for Congress Luncheon raises $150,000 for Campaign (Ill, 9th District)

-By Warner Todd Huston

400 supporters packed the Four Seasons Hotel in beautiful downtown Chicago, Illinois to attend a luncheon for Joel Pollak who is running for Congress from the 9th Congressional District. Pollak’s special guest was Representative Paul Ryan (R, Wis), he of the famous “Roadmap for America’s Future.”

It is encouraging to see so many come out for a Republican candidate in so blue an area as Obama’s home town, Chicago. A wide range of supporters showed from all walks of life.

Pollak released his list of ten pledges to the people of the ninth district at the event. Items he’ll pursue includes an investment tax credit, a repeal of Obamacare, and work incentives for the unemployed and others.

After an invocation by 2nd District candidate Isaac Hayes, the first speaker was Rep. Ryan who told us of the economic plan he’s authored called the “Roadmap for America’s Future.”

In his opening comments Ryan waxed eloquent on what America is. At one point he said that we are motivated by “liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination and government by consent of the governed. And I’ve got to tell you one thing: the government we’ve got now is not doing it with the consent of the governed. This is a government that’s gone off the rails.”

Ryan went on to talk about how we are piling debt upon our children and how his roadmap could help reverse that direction. He said that the government must return to the principles of economic success. “You can’t love jobs,” he said of the current administration, “while hating the people that create them.”

Ryan wrapped up saying that he felt Illinois was competitive for Republicans and urged the crowd to put Joel Pollak in Congress.

Then candidate Pollak bounded up to the dais and gave a very impressive speech.

Pollak began his address by saying that no seat is a “safe seat.”

Not in the ninth Congressional District and not anywhere in America. Not any more. Not when thousands of your constituents have lost their jobs and you tell them that the stimulus worked. Not when the national debt is spiraling out of control and you say the answer is more federal spending. Not when the state of Israel is in danger and you align with those who rush to criticize it and to appease Iran.”

As to his ideas on the economy Pollak pledged to sign onto Paul Ryan’s roadmap if he is sent to Congress.

Of his opponent, incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky, Pollak said:

How dare she claim to speak for seniors when she just voted to cut half a trillion dollars from Medicare. How dare she claim to speak for the poor when she just cut food stamps by 12 billion dollars. At a time, by the way, when the number of people in illinois living on foodstamps has risen by almost twelve percent in the last year. How dare she claim to speak for minorities when she just cut opportunity scholarships for children, predominantly African American children, in Washington D.C. We need representatives in Congress who will debate in good faith. We need leaders that will gauge ideas from both sides on their merits. We need more people like Paul Ryan. I will follow the example he has set.

Pollak promised to “restrain” government and said he stood for limited government going forward.

Here Pollak made an excellent point, one that shows the difference between the entitlement-engorged folks in Europe and the true American spirit. Pollak said that there is good news because the American people are behind efforts to make government smaller. But…

You know in Europe today people are rioting to protest against budget cuts. In America people are marching peacefully in the streets on behalf of budget cuts.

If that doesn’t show the difference between the bloated sense of entitlement and laziness of Europeans and the can-do spirit of American individualism, what does?

“The people of the Ninth District finally have a choice, a real choice,” Pollak said. Clearly Pollak feels that he can defeat incumbent Jan Schakowsky and with this speech well delivered, I think he has a chance, too.

Afterward, both Ryan and Pollak took a few questions from the audience. Pollak gave a great answer to a query about getting the U.S.A. out of the UN. While he didn’t recommend the U.S. quit that useless body, he did say that Congress should stop funding so much of the U.N.

I do believe in selectively defunding those arms of the United Nations that have no purpose other than to defame the United States and undermine our allies. We supply the largest share of the UN budget, we can start to pick and choose and say the American taxpayers are not going to support this attack on our own security, our own values. and our own interests.

That brought quite a lot of applause. This crowd was no fan of the U.N. for sure.

With the question period over our afternoon came to an end.

Along with the politicos and Pollak supporters a few of our friendly neighborhood bloggers were also in attendance. Tom Mannis of ChicagoNewsBench, Lennie Jarret of, and John Ruberry of, not to mention your humble self, Warner Todd Huston of

Naturally there were some silly protesters at the event too, brought there by buses and few knowing why they were really there. One of the bloggers asked some of the protesters why they were protesting and few seemed to really know what their actual purpose was but to “protest Republicans.” To prove their grassrootiness they all had professionally printed signs. I can tell you what this was, it was hired folks working at minimum wage who really had no vested interest in what was going on. Just like most left-wing protests, few people really had a clue. MarathonPundit’s Ruberry heard one protest boss telling the paid help not to tell anyone they were bussed into the site for their little shindig. A few of these folks even made it into the luncheon and tried to disrupt the event but were barred at the door and quickly ushered out so their momentary yelling was to little effect.

Other Republican candidates in attendance…

2nd District Congressional candidate Isaac Hayes

Cook County Board President candidate Roger Keats

Other candidates in attendance: Isaac Hayes (2nd District); Roger Keats (Cook County Board President); and William J. Kelly (42nd Ward Alderman). Also in attendance was former candidate for Illinois Governor Dan Proft.

Amusingly enough, the campaign manager for Pollak’s opponent attended the luncheon. As candidate Pollak says, Alex Armour stayed “true to his principles of big government. He did not pay for his lunch, we let him in for free.”

This video mash-up was produced by Tom Mannis of Great job, Tom.

If you want to attend the next Pollak for Congress event, Joel Pollak will be welcoming acclaimed actress Vivica A. Fox to Evanston on September 6th. Pollak and Fox will be discussing the importance of education at Evanston Township High School from 11AM to 1PM.

For more information on Pollak for Congress visit

Finally here are two shots of me to show those skeptics that I was really there. The first one is me in my vintage Adams fedora — circa the 1940s — greeting Rep. Ryan as he entered the Four Seasons and the second is me enjoying the meal and the speeches. (Thanks to Tom Mannis of ChicagoNewsBench for the second one)

Warner Todd Huston and Rep. Paul Ryan (R, Wis)

That’s me at lunch clapping for Mr. Ryan’s comments


The Pollak campaign has added a few more videos from the event…

“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

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