Durbin backs Goetten over Gill

Durbin backs Goetten over Gill

DECATUR -- U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin on Saturday endorsed Matt Goetten over David Gill in the 13th Congressional District Democratic primary election.

Goetten, 40, is state's attorney in Greene County, southwest of Durbin's Springfield home. Gill, a Bloomington emergency room physician, has run for Congress on three occasions and lost all three times to U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana.

Johnson will be the likely Republican candidate this time as well.

Durbin, who once represented much of the 13th District in the House before he was elected to the Senate, earlier had indicated his support for Goetten by sending $5,000 to the candidate through his own political action committee.

"I know Matt Goetten. I've known his family for years, and worked with them," Durbin said at a Decatur union hall, one of three locations where he made appearances with Goetten on Saturday. "I can tell you that he comes from a good, strong family, a working family, that has dedicated much of their lives to public service."

Durbin said he would not say anything negative about Gill.

"You're not going to hear a negative word from me about Dr. Gill," he said. "I will just tell you, though, that I've known Matt and I know what he's accomplished. I just believe thet he will be the most effective Democratic challenger to Congressman Johnson, who is running in this newly configured district."

The new 13th District arcs from Champaign-Urbana on the northeast, through Decatur, parts of Bloomington-Normal and Springfield to the Collinsville and Edwardsville areas in southwestern Illinois.

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selguy wrote on February 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Seems like a flaccid endorsement based on previous political ties

pushpin1 wrote on February 12, 2012 at 4:02 am

Considering Mr. Durbin's loathing for doctors in general, I think it is more an endorsement for a non-physician than anything else. An ER physician isn't a worker? Being a physician IS public service.

On the other hand, perhaps Mr. Goetten has a better chance to unseat tired old Mr. Johnson.

Tutone wrote on February 12, 2012 at 9:02 am

i'll vote for whoever Durbin does NOT endorse.  Durbin needs to be removed as he is nothing else but a patsy for the Chicago Machine. 


Political Observer wrote on February 15, 2012 at 2:02 am

It’s interesting when you compare Dick Durbin’s endorsement of Matt Goetten in  Springfield with the endorsement he made the same day at the union hall in Decatur.  When he made the endorsement in his hometown of Springfield, Durbin claimed that, “Goetten knows better the needs of working families.”


But here’s the real story behind this short news item: Dick Durbin has known Matt Goetten’s father, Norbert, for years and years, and is a long-time friend of the family, and so it comes as no surprise at all that he’s going to do the Goetten family a big favor and endorse Norbert’s son, Matt, for the seat in Congress. However, Durbin couldn’t just come out and say that he was making the endorsement for reasons of family friendship, he had to find some kind of “reason” or “pretext” for making the endorsement, to make it seem somewhat legitimate, when it appeared in the news media for public consumption.


Well, suppose you take a look at Matt Goetten’s campaign website, and try to find some reason listed there to prefer him over an intelligent, highly-qualified candidate like Dr. David Gill. One thing that Goetten makes a big deal out of is that he’s been the “owner of a small business”… although he never seems to get around to saying just what that business happens to be. In fact, the small business he refers to is “Goetten’s Oasis,” a sports bar in Carrollton that Matt and Jon Goetten reopened in May, 1997, back when Matt was just 25 years old. (See the Springfield Journal-Register, Sunday, 5-25-97, “Oasis Reopened Under New Owners.”)


Now, once you take note of that carefully-concealed fact, you can see the humor in this news item and in Durbin’s endorsement claim that “Goetten knows better the needs of working families.” You see, the unspoken punch line is, “Matt Goetten knows better the needs of working families: Beer, Wine and Distilled Spirits, when you stop by and visit Goetten’s Oasis!”


All joking aside, a little over a month ago, Macon County Democratic Committeemen, including Macon County labor leaders, separately interviewed both David Gill and Matt Goetten, and then conducted a secret ballot to determine which candidate each committee member would give an endorsement to. The final vote when all the slips of paper were counted was 50-0, in favor of Gill over Goetten, so they unanimously endorsed Dr. Gill’s candidacy for Congress in Illinois’ 13th District. It looks like Macon County Democratic Committeemen know a thing or two about which candidate has a better knowledge of the needs of working families. Dr. David Gill sees the ravages of unemployment, under-employment, and our still-broken health care system daily in his work as an Emergency Room Physician, and he’s willing to put forth specific plans for helping to bring jobs to Illinois. Now that’s the kind of person we need working for us in Washington, D.C.!