Saturday, August 29, 2009

A day at the ballpark

This summer has offered the perfect ball park weather, and we have taken full advantage of it. Last week we checked out a Peoria Chiefs game during a political fundraiser at the Pepsi Pavilion, where we continued to gather support for the campaign and several pages of signatures on John's petition. The kids were thrilled by an impromptu visit from local legend Pete Vonachen, who pulled up alongside them in his golf cart. Jenniffer, our six year old, negotiated quite the deal and traded her soft pretzel for a Peoria chiefs baseball personally autographed by Pete! Then she negotiated even the return of the pretzel.

Hmmm... kind of reminds me of something but I can't quite my finger on it.

Our son had his own thrill just a few weeks prior, when the Chiefs invited his Coach Pitch baseball team onto the field to play with the team. All the kids walked away with baseballs autographed by the players. Below John stands with his team that he sponsored and coached. The kids reported the days events as "awesome"!

Citizens of Peoria are fortunate to have such a family-friendly sport and venue at their fingertips. The Peoria Chiefs really go the extra mile to reach out to the community and they continually inspire and amaze our kids.

Over hill, over dale, we will hit the dusty trail...

John has been busy getting to know some of the faces and places of the Tenth Judicial Circuit which includes includes Peoria, Tazewell, Marshall, Putnam and Stark Counties. It is a very large area and has been keeping him quite busy.

Below John greets voters at a Health care clinic. He has been reaching out to all voters but given this is the primary campaign season, he is particularly interested in connecting with Republican voters. Personally, I would like to see judicial elections be non-partisan (like the School Board elections) but I doubt we have the clout to change that (Lol!)

This stage of the campaign involves gathering enough signatures to get his name on the Republican ballot. The required number of signatures is 500, but to insure that they are all "qualified" signatures the goal is to triple that.

A qualified signature is one from 1. a registered voter 2. who resides in the circuit (Peoria, Tazewell, Marshall, Putnam and Stark counties) and that 3. has not and will not sign a petition for a Democrat candidate.

If you meet that criteria and have not yet signed John's petition and would like to do so, please call the Vespa for Judge campaign headquarters at 309-251-VOTE (8683) or e-mail us at We can also use help circulating petitions, particularly in counties other than Peoria.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Signs, Signs, Everywhere are signs...

Although we are several months away from sign placements, it is not too early to start identifying locations where we can place "Vespa for Judge" yard signs. If you would be willing to put a sign in your yard please e-mail the campaign at with your name, address, and phone number. One morning several months from now a sign will magically appear in your yard. Don't forget to also ask your neighbors and friends!

Signs will also be available for pick up at the Republican Headquarters at 8835 N. Knoxville Avenue in Peoria.

Anything you can do, big or small, is very much appreciated!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Forward - MARCH!

This weekend we celebrated the early settlers of BRIMFIELD, IL as the campaign participated in "Old Settlers Days" festival and parade. Line-up was at noon for the start time of 1:00 but the time went by quickly as we hurriedly decorated John's new Jeep with garland, banners and car signs.

It all came together nicely and even though the sun was blistering we still had a great time and the enthusiasm among the sprightly campaigners was palpable.

In the pic below, John entertained campaign supporters prior to the parade by doing his rendition of Steve Martin jokes.

Suffice it to say, we had a rockin' good time in Brimfield, IL. There are several more parades on the schedule. If you would like to march with us in any of them please contact the campaign headquarters at 309-251-VOTE (8683) or
email at

A big thank you to the BRIMFIELD AREA MENS CLUB for the opportunity to spread John's message!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chick peas and shish-ka-bobs and nachos - Oh my!

Updated with new pics!

Last night we took the campaign to the Riverfront for the always popular "Taste of Peoria". As usual, there was a massive crowd. Is is just me, or should this be a 2 or 3 day event?

In between crab rangoons and Alu-Tikki we connected and re-connected with friends, old and new. Meanwhile the kids drenched themselves in the fountain. Many thanks to all who chatted with us and signed John's petition.

Below Cutie-Patootie Connie Davis-Cressy signs John's petition. Yay!

Coming soon...

VESPAFORJUDGE.COM. The Campaign website is well underway. It will be informative and interactive. It should be up and running in the next week or two. Our apologies if you have already visited and found nothing there. It will be worth the wait, though, as we have a great friend and great web designer working on it!

In the meantime, you can download and print volunteer and donation cards here. There are many ways you can help John's campaign. Currently, we are establishing a parade walking crew.

The qualifications for a parade walker are 1. You must be able to wave; 2. You must be able to smile; 3. You must be able to throw candy; and 4. You should be able to do at least 2 of those at the same time! Lol!

Please call Campaign headquarters at 309-251-VOTE(8683) or e-mail us at if you would like to walk in parades with us. Stay tuned for a looong list of upcoming parades and other events. We need your help!!!

Vespa moves and shakes with his fellow Italians!

Our family celebrated the gazillionth Vespa family Reunion last Saturday out at Hickory Grove Park. OK, gazzillion may not be accurate but that's what it feels like. The Vespa Family Reunion is held in conjuction with the Italian American Fest every summer. Several other Italian families do likewise and we crossed paths with fellow candidate for Judge Verne Dentino. (Verne will be on another ballot and is not opposing John - Lol!)

This is our favorite ethnic event of the year, of course, because our family (on both sides) is Italian through and through! We secured well over 100 signatures for John's petition. Thank you to all who signed the petition and expressed their support for John's campaign. Another big thank you to the the Italian-American Society for this great event and the scholarships they provide to young people throughout our community.

John helps McGruff take a bite out of crime!

We hosted our neighborhood "Night Out Against Crime" event and the unexpected highlight of the evening was a surprise appearance by Mr. McGruff and his Crime-stopping crew. They handed out balloons and hugs to the kids and when no one was looking I was able to sneak him some ice cream for the road. If he is anything like our Pekes he loves ice cream!

A huge thank you to the Peoria Fire Department, The McGruff Squad, Peoria Police Department, Steve Fairbanks, the city of Peoria neighborhood event co-coordinator and our 5th District Councilman, Dan Irving. Dan read a proclamation from Mayor Ardis but also put in a great plug for John for Judge.

If you have an event going on in your neighborhood or your organization please consider inviting John to your event. We have found that people really enjoy meeting local candidates and its great for the Democratic process!