Tag: Where are they now?

Bernie Sanders tries to win Illinois with a Chuy-Downstate coalition

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post corrects a spelling error that I made in regards to the name of Former Illinois State Representative Naomi Jakobsson on Twitter earlier today.


While the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign is scheduled to file official paperwork to get Bernie and his slate of Illinois delegates on our state’s ballot tomorrow afternoon, the Chicago Sun-Times is already reporting the identities of many pro-Bernie delegates who are running for delegate slots at the Democratic National Convention later this year.

Some of the names are fairly obvious anti-establishment/anti-Rahm Emanuel figures in the Chicago area, such as State Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago), who defeated a Mike Madigan-supported machine incumbent in a 2012 Democratic primary, State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago), who is leading the effort to recall Rahm from office, and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who ran against Rahm in last year’s Chicago mayoral race.

However, a couple of names are clearly indicative of Bernie’s effort to win support in downstate Illinois, something that is virtually unheard of in regards to high-profile Democratic campaigns in Illinois these days, which tend to focus almost exclusively on the Chicago metro area. These are Phil Hare, a two-term former U.S. Representative from Rock Island County, and Naomi Jakobsson, a former state representative from Champaign County. I am not standing for election as a delegate, as I would only do so if the Democratic National Convention were being held in a place like Champaign, Illinois, or Terre Haute, Indiana, which is not the case (it’s being held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this year).

For Bernie to win a majority of delegates out of Illinois, he’d need a coalition consisting of Chuy Garcia voters from the Chicago mayoral race last year and a large majority of Democratic voters downstate, and Bernie’s Illinois delegate slate is clearly reflective of his attempt to win with a Chuy-Downstate coalition.

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Former Wisconsin politician Kelda Roys finds success in the real estate business

AUTHOR’S NOTE: An aunt on my dad’s side of my family is a real estate agent in the Westville, Illinois area, and my aunt’s real estate business would be a competitor to Kelda Roys’s business, if Kelda’s Wisconsin-based business expands into Illinois as planned.


Remember Kelda Roys? If not, I will tell you that she was a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly who represented parts of Dane County until she lost her bid for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District of Wisconsin in 2012 to fellow Democrat Mark Pocan.

I will also tell you that Kelda is a very successful businesswoman nowadays. Kelda founded OpenHomes, a real estate business in Wisconsin, not long after losing her congressional bid, and her business has been very successful. A couple of weeks ago, the Madison Club, an elite social club in Madison, Wisconsin, held a startup business pitch competition based on the ABC (first-run) and CNBC (reruns) reality television show Shark Tank, which was won by Kelda and OpenHomes:

OpenHomes won the Shark Tank-style pitch contest at the Madison Club on (October 15), and with that, a year’s membership to the 106-year-old, private social club that looks out on Lake Monona.

[…]

The young company, at 30 W. Mifflin St., offers a new way to sell homes that it says is faster and more efficient and involves only a 1 percent commission.

“The average agent closes nine deals a year. With OpenHomes, one agent using our platform can close about 45 deals a year,” Roys said.

Kelda’s real estate business has been successful enough that Kelda is considering expanding her business outside of Wisconsin:

Roys is starting a fundraising round and hopes to get $500,000 from investors to expand into Illinois and Minnesota in 2016. “Our company is growing. Now, we want to scale and that’s going to take additional capital,” she said.

In an era where many former politicians get caught doing ridiculous things, Kelda Roys is one of the few former congressional candidates in this country who can claim that she has actually been successful at something outside of politics and hasn’t embarrassed her community in any way.