March 28, 2006

Evans steps down

Rep. Lane Evans will announce at noon today that he will not seek re-election in November, sources have confirmed.

The 12-term incumbent was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1995. He has not participated in any votes in the House since Feb. 15. He has been away from work on the suggestion of his doctors.

Rep. Evans' office said there would be an announcement made today at 1 p.m. Washington time, noon local time, but would not give further details.

Former state Sen. Denny Jacobs, of East Moline, confirmed that Rep. Evans would not seek election in the fall because of his ongoing health problems.

"It is unfortunate he had to go out this way," Mr. Jacobs said. "It's much nicer to go out on top. My understanding is his doctors and his brothers said `Enough is enough. This is killing you.' Lane Evans exemplifies service above self."

Rep. Evans, who was nominated earlier this month for a 13th term in Congress, has been at his Washington home since Feb. 15, and an aide on Monday declined to speculate about when the congressman would return to work, raising the possibility that he will miss another week of votes.

Rep. Evans absence from work has been on the suggestion of his doctors as a way to combat the effects of Parkinson's disease.

Steve Vetzner, spokesman for Rep. Evans, would not say Monday whether the congressman would return to work this week, nor would he say whether the congressman plans to announce his return in advance.

The House of Representatives was out of session last week, but returned this week with the first votes scheduled for this evening. It plans to take up a slate of non-controversial bills today, and then on Wednesday and Thursday is to vote on the reauthorization of higher education programs and a bill to exempt online speech from federal campaign laws.

First elected in 1982, Rep. Evans, 54, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1995. He has stated, through Mr. Vetzner, that he plans to resume work at an unspecified later date and plans to pursue his re-election campaign.

Evans' 2004 opponent, former television broadcaster Andrea Zinga of Coal Valley, won the GOP nomination for the office in the primary this month.
What now?

Schweibert is on the short list.

More at Passing Parade

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's statement regarding Lane Evans' retirement announcement.

37 Comments:

At 3/28/2006 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would we put a republican to run against Zinga. Schweibert is a republican and should be out of the running.

 
At 3/28/2006 5:31 PM, Blogger youngdem503 said...

This is truly a loss to West-Central Illinois and the rest of the nation. Congressman Evans has served with great dedication and has helped elect many Democrats not only in this area but statewide (i.e. Barack Obama). I think Phil Hare, Lane's district rep is going to be the best person to carry on Lane's fight for vets and the working class.

 
At 3/28/2006 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel that we need a battle tested individual that is able to raise funds. I know ofonly a few of these people on the short list that fall into that catigory.

 
At 3/28/2006 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Jacobs, with a campaign war chest of over 300K, fresh from winning a primary, where for the past 8 months, with everyone calling every name in the book, still managed a convincing victory, and with the energy to handle this big district is a no brainer for the future of the party and the 17th. Mike can get the Decatur Democratic machine behind him with his personality, and with a promise of filling his seat with Porter McNeil, the demos are in for a good run. Go Mike Go. Go Porter Go.

 
At 3/28/2006 6:10 PM, Blogger cutedem14 said...

The only person that I see fit for this positon in the Great Phil Hare.

 
At 3/28/2006 6:22 PM, Anonymous SympathyForLeDevil said...

Phil Hare is by far the best candidate to fill this position. Those who need to stay put are: Jacobs, Boland, and Scweeby. If Jacobs runs, I think I'll go kick him square in the junk until he cant campaign no more.

 
At 3/28/2006 7:14 PM, Blogger Decatur Democrat said...

Seriously enough with the Mike Jacobs love fest. On every major blog in this state you've taken advantage of a sad day in the 17th district to spread a blowhards name everywhere. I don't give a damn about Mike Jacobs now because of you. Before I thought he might stand a chance, ignoring the fact that he still hasn't won a general election, which would be a pretty damn good indicator of his talent, but now to hell with him. Way to go anonymous, you've single handidly soured me on your boy Mike Jacobs. Bravo anonymous, Bravo

 
At 3/28/2006 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, 17:31,

You obviously haven't sat in a Rock Island city council meeting where Schwiebert rails against Bush and Republican legislation.

 
At 3/28/2006 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank Heavens Lane Evans----------is gone!

 
At 3/28/2006 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is truly saddening news for the 17th District. Evans has been a solid representative for us for a very long time. While some of us might have different priorities than he has had, I do beleive he has done what he feels is right for the 17th and right for mankind.

As a Republican, this is very interesting news with respect to local politics. What happens next is anybody's guess; obviously the Democrats pick their candidate and that individual runs against Zinga. As a party, are we well-positioned? It's hard to say. Zinga has some good qualities, good energy, and she is indeed thoughtful and intelligent. However, she does have some baggage and has seriously turned off a lot of voters.

It will be fun to watch this unfold, and I say that with respect to the political angle only. It is no fun at all to see our Congressman of so many years end his career this way. I do hope that releif from his job in Congress allows him the rest and relaxation that he deserves, and that he stays with us for years to come. He is a kind and decent individual and does not deserve the fight with Parkinsons.

 
At 3/28/2006 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the only way that a democrat could be appointed to the job. Any other cenerio would come down to a primary runnoff. If he left now it would be a runnoff. Do any one of you think for a minute that this was an accident. I think not. Lane is as sleezy as the rest of them.

 
At 3/28/2006 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you read John Marx comments you can see how the paper is set up as a jackel factory. They reach out to John Marx to give political advice. They tried to keep Jacobs down with Beydler and that didn't work so now they are reduced to John" where to take a two year old to eat" Marx to enlighten us. He could be a little bit undercover but he shoots his wad in the second paragraph.

"And I don't mean state Sen. Mike Jacobs, who seems to have the market cornered on political jobs being handed out. Jacobs needs to keep the seat his dad gave him rather than a post in congress."

For the record Mike Jacobs just had the people vote him in as their primary candidate for Senate. You can drop his dad gave him the job moniker. It doesn't fit anymore. He was the only local politician to win their election. Both Grchan and the Blackhawk referendum were both defeated. You want a sitting republican thinking mayor to be the democratic nomination for congress? I don't think so.

As for the democratic foot soldier. Please!!! He has never gotten his hands dirty, never chose to get in front of an issue, and never endorsed a democrat. If that is a good foot soldier in your book then, I will never take his advice as to where to take a two year old to dinner.

The paper wants a congressman that they can count on to do what they want so that they can lead the area. I for one am looking for a leader that can think for himself. The press should not be in charge. That is their problem with Jacobs and their desire for Schweibert.

You are always so quick to point out protocol. Why is this any different? Jacobs has to be the frontrunner as he is the highest ranking democrat in the district. Not a rep and certainly not a mayor.

 
At 3/29/2006 1:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil Hare is the choice to succeed Lane. He knows the district, will continue Lane's fight for veterans, working people, and seniors, and will serve with the same integrity and character that we have come to know from Lane.

 
At 3/29/2006 3:23 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Amazing. Barely a word about Evans' health or service, or the fact that he'd made this incredibly difficult decision.

Instead we get craven politicing and campaign BS for various people hoping to take his place.

There's time for that later, but it's amazing how comments are essentially "Lane who?" within hours of the announcement.

Pretty disappointing and revealing as well.

 
At 3/29/2006 6:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil Hare is a JOKE!He is no Lane and never will be!

 
At 3/29/2006 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NS would make a good replacement.

 
At 3/29/2006 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is the nature of the business. Lane knows it and that is why he is stepping out of the way.

 
At 3/29/2006 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil Hare. Would make a great chief of staff. Not a candidate.

 
At 3/29/2006 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil Hare. Would make a great chief of staff. Not a candidate. A snake in the grass.

 
At 3/29/2006 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone give me a list of Lane's accomplishments?

 
At 3/29/2006 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a life long RI resident. I would not vote for Mark "Eddie Haskell" Schwiebert. He has done very little for us with great costs.

 
At 3/29/2006 9:45 AM, Blogger youngdem503 said...

You for once, are correct Dope. We should be ashamed of our selves for not recognizing Congressman Evan's contributions to our district and our nation. Being the leading advocating for veterans Lane sought to give dues to the people that have sacrificed the most for our nation. Lane’s fight for the working class people surpasses any political agenda and shows a man who genuinely cares about the people. To the assholes who have used this forum to bash a man of great character, you are truly the scum of the Earth, excuse my language, but it is true. I hope everyone keeps Lane in your hearts and prayers as he fights this horrible, horrible disease.

 
At 3/29/2006 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it's really a shame. Let the dust settle before taking this route people. Lane deserves alittle more respect.

 
At 3/29/2006 10:22 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

I am sad to see Lane not running and it's our loss as a District.

The Democrats need to find someone who most closely fits the profile of strong Democrat, man of the people, and appealing to mainstream voters.

This will be tough but we can do it as long as we discount and remove all the folks scrambling to be on the short list who are not worthy and/or have no chance to win. That is likely most of them.

My heart goes out to Lane and yet I hope he continues to stand by and advise party leaders on the subject of replacing him on the ballot. Lane's opinion is the most important one in this equation.

 
At 3/29/2006 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil Hare, no way. There is no measuring stick in the world that could compare Phil to Lane. Schweibert is the only name so far that even comes close to Lane's qualifications. Besides Phil is a schmuck!

 
At 3/29/2006 11:56 AM, Anonymous paladin said...

I think the reasons for the "Lane who" comments are: 1. Lane overstayed his welcome and became like one of those athletes who continue to play past their prime. Lane overdid it by at least one election ('04). 2. Evans was never very forthcoming about his health issues. He was diagnosed in '95, but didn't bother to tell voters until '98. He had been out of commission for at least a month before the primary, and probably before, but chose not to tell the voters until days before the primary. I'm no Zinga fan, but the way she was demonized and the way Lane played the victim card when she pointed out the 8000 pound elephant in the room was just plain weaselly. He was never honest about his health problems. 3. Combined with the Denny Jacobs "retirement", months after his re-election, the the subsequent annointing of his son as successor in order to stave off a primary effectively cutting voters out of a say in who would represent them; Evans, "retiring" days after his primary election stinks of dirty machine politics. From reports I've read about his decline, he must have known for some time that he would not be able to bear the rigors of office and a campaign. 4. His 20 some years in office were not stellar, interesting or useful to his constituents. While it appears he was a strong advocate for veterans and their issues (and that ain't nothin'), he never seemed to do much for the district as a whole. If he did, he was pretty damned low key about it. I don't remember a single piece of legislation he introduced to benefit the district. He seemed to just be a seat warmer for the Democrats. So in my view, these are some reasons so many are anxious to jump ahead and move on. As for Lane Evans, there just doesn't seem to be much there there, except he was a nice guy, which I suppose is odd enough in big league politics.

 
At 3/29/2006 2:37 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Paladin - jump off a cliff why don't you? You are a jerk.

Lane is the best example of public service we have in our area and in our country and you do yourself a dishonor to say such ugly things.

Lane would be the first to defend a schmuck like you and your free speech which is why he is the kind of representative I want in Congress and why he's going to be so hard to replace and even harder to see him retire!

You, Sir, need a trip to the woodshed for your bad bad behaviour....

 
At 3/29/2006 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybesomeday - you sound like your crying, kind of like Phil Hare when he realized he is losing his cushy job!

 
At 3/29/2006 8:30 PM, Blogger diehard said...

Cmon Palidn the Supreme Court appointed George Bush for a job that is slightly more important than State rep and Senator!
And we can see what a disaster that has been!

 
At 3/30/2006 4:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using the very profound criteria put forth by our new state senator, we can't have Jacobs go to capital hill.....he doesn't know "where the bathrooms are". I guess we'll have to find someone who does. I'm still laughing at that one. Oh, Mike!

 
At 3/30/2006 7:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lane Evans is an admirable man. He has served our district well. Unfortunatly his health has to take the front line now.
I think the people of the Quad Cities should feel grateful that we have such a strong Democratic hold in this district.
Whatever happens, we should keep in mind that we need to keep that strong hold in this area. Zinga as a republican does not have the personality that people warm up to. We need name recognition. Look at how long Lane held this postion. We need a young democrate to retain this postition for just as long again.
As for who will be appointed is up to the whole democratic party, not just a retired senator. You really give to much credit to one person when it is a whole party. Should Senator Jacobs recieve this appointment, it would be a great addition, and also help us retain the democratic seat for sure in our district, which is better than letting it go to a mayor or other senator from another district. Let's all keep this in mind.
My vote goes to Senator Jacobs, with Porter McNeil stepping into Jacobs postition. I also believe that Mike Thoms should be mayor of Rock Island and let the fence sitter Schweibert go back to his boring private life. He has no personality inwhich to win an outside election.
No matter what happens we will all see Mike Jacobs on the political scene for a long time to come.
Oh, for the record INSIDE DOPE, Jacobs wasn't so off on the passenger rail as you thought, Huh!! The Christian Woman

 
At 3/30/2006 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will never be another Lane Evans. To try and act like we need another is just plain silly. We need a new young leader that will fight to bring federal dollars to the area.

 
At 3/30/2006 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Appointing people to finish a term in our state legislature is the way it is done. Appointing someone to the ballot in a congressional race is done by how the law states it must be done. People are screaming over stuff that is procedure. Come off it. Learn how politics works.

 
At 3/30/2006 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry charlie - Porter is not ready for prime time - never been tested and pretty whimpy on the issues as a backseat guy. He needs to run for something first and show he can do something without a free ride.

How about putting Pat O'Brien into the mix here? He could be good in Springfield at some point. Pat is a good candidate and widely admired by leaders on all levels and a super loyal democrat!! We should try to use him to help unify the situation somehow.

 
At 4/01/2006 3:41 PM, Blogger Louis Howe said...

Phil Hare is a loyal democrat and understands what our party stands for...Since he was instrumental in drawing the 17th District's bastardized layout, I say he should pledge to walk the length of the district this summer starting in Decatur. If he does that he'll lose 150 pounds and beat Zinga. Of course, he could fall over dead somewhere around Pike County and we'd have another shot to appoint a ringer.

 
At 4/01/2006 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

louis howe, I'm still laughing!!!

 
At 4/04/2006 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey "anonymous 13:25" .. you must not know Porter McNeil, because he has never had a "free ride" as you call it. He's been helping shape the message of our party in Illinois and regionally for 15 years, for a whole lot of good Democrats. Behind the scenes, working hard to help elect Democrats throughout the state.
I'm not sure what "free ride" you're talking about and you obviously don't know McNeil as he's one of the hardest workers I've met. Cares about our party, our message, our issues.

 

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