as you may know, congresswoman jan schakowsky (il-09) attended a town hall meeting on behalf of americans against the escalation in iraq in northbrook, illinois to report on her august 2007 trip to iraq. what was interesting about this specific town hall meeting was that it was held outside of schakowsky's district in the neighboring congressional district of mark kirk.
the meeting -- reflecting the intense desire of voters in the tenth to talk about the war -- was packed. but it seems that not all the fireworks were inside. while about 300 people were inside, about the same number could not enter the hall because of fire department restrictions. congressional candidate jay footlik was outside, accompanied by his campaign manager.
volunteers and supporters of dan seals surrounded footlik and gave him a rousing reception. footlik is trying to move back to illinois having been gone for almost two decades. dan seals, meanwhile, has generated significant grass and netroots support, so it was no surprise that they would surround and shout down footlik.
one seals supporter asked footlik's manager where footlik voted last year (footlik has maintained his voter registration at his mother's house in the 9th congressional district since he left home to go to college). but the real fireworks exploded when footlik's manager tried to argue about it. BELTWAY! BELTWAY! went the chant. BELTWAY! BELTWAY! in response to footlik's negligible ties to the tenth. BELTWAY! BELTWAY! for another beltway candidate trying to parachute into an illinois district.
congressman kirk was invited to attend this town hall to report on his meeting with george bush and to explain his numerous votes to support the president's iraqi strategy. it doesn't appear that he was there. or, if he was there, that he got in (kirk has a reputation for showing up and waiting outside before deciding wether he will attend district events).
welcome to the tenth congressional district, mr. beltway insider. now you know how much support dan seals and progressive democrats have here. i'm betting that it seemed like a better idea to run against this netroots leader from your beltway office...