Sunday, September 27, 2009

No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another - author unknown

A five County campaign cannot be run on adrenaline alone, although we give it a good try. The reality is that John's message could not be heard if it wasn't for the selfless efforts of campaign volunteers. This post is an expression of appreciation for everyone who has reached out to John and offered their help in large and small ways.

To all of our friends and neighbors who have touched the campaign, supporters and endorsers, to those who have made financial contributions, the precinct committeemen and the GOP Central Committee members, we thank you!

Of course, there is much more work to be done. If you or someone you know can help in even a small way, please contact us at 309-251-VOTE (8683), or visit the Volunteer page on the campaign website.

Here are our most pressing needs...

1. Help us identify sign locations
2. Host a coffee or "meet and greet" in your home
3. Introduce John to your club or organization.
4. Walk your neighborhood with campaign literature.
5. Make a financial contribution

I have found that it is great to involve children and teach them the Democratic process first hand. They will learn that they do have a say in their future! It is crucial that a civilized society have a highly qualified judiciary. Electing John Vespa as Tenth Circuit Judge will deliver just that.

Please get involved if you are so moved. You may find a new friend, and you are guaranteed to share a giggle.

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. ~Franklin Delano Roosevelt

A shout out from the Stark County news...

John had an opportunity to meet voters in Stark County last Sunday. A review of the event headlined by Congressman Aaron Schock appears here.

There was a super turn-out, but all credit goes to the Congressman! ;)

tip: Keep scrolling, John is way at the bottom!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Peoria County Bar Association's Diversity Luncheon

posted by John P. Vespa

I had the pleasure of attending the Peoria County Bar Association's Diversity Luncheon today. The speaker was wonderful and her message rang true. Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez described how she rose from an impoverished background to running the second-biggest States Attorney's office in the United States. It was a "rags to riches" tale - truly inspirational.

She is living proof of what a great country we live in. Everyone has a chance. Put in the necessary work and good things will happen. Don't listen to your critics - those who tell you why you can not succeed. You CAN succeed... just ask Anita Alvarez.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The "It's Tuesday it must be Belgium" Syndrome

When a campaign is in full swing, a candidate and his family may find themselves doing in a single weekend what would ordinarily take place in a month. Last weekend was just that as we scurried to and from a variety of Fall events that took place throughout the Tenth Judicial Circuit. Below I have posted some of our favorite images of the past week.

We kicked the weekend off at "Dunlap Days" where
Village Trustee Colleen Slane secured numerous signatures
on John's behalf with her brown eyes and dance steps that
would put Beyonce to shame!

My Daddy is the awesomest Daddy ever!

The popular band "Jamsammich"
packed the tent into the wee hours.
Above singer and pal Brian Carroll belts one out!

We were up and 'at em bright and early for a 9:00 line up at the Pekin Marigold parade the following morning- by far the biggest parade to date.

We marched in conjunction with the
Tazewell GOP and had a blast.
The kids caught a break
this time and road the GOP trolley!

Two of our most dedicated parade walkers
- good friends Heidi and Bob Shaw.

The GOP booth at the Marigold Festival after the parade was a beehive! People waited patiently in line to sign the GOP petitions!

Our most heartfelt thanks goes out to the Tazewell County GOP, particularly Lowell Schroeder, for his hard work and dedication to the success of the GOP candidates!

Stay tuned for a full slate of weekend events, beginning with the Morton Pumpkin festival parade tomorrow. If you or someone you know would like to volunteer to help the John Vespa for Judge campaign, please contact us through the "Volunteer" page on the official campaign website.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

So much to say, so little time...

Ugh! I'm running a little behind on the blog. Rest assured John could not be busier. Monday night we attended a re-election event for State Representative David Leitch. Read up on a re-cap of that event here!

Rep. David Leitch has endorsed John's candidacy. What an honor to have the confidence of such an esteemed and accomplished legislator.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Recognizing our working men and women

Labor Day in America is a day that we celebrate the American dream through commitment and hard work. There is no better country and no better system of government than the free market capitalism that, as Americans, we enjoy. We were proud to participate in the Marshall County (Toluca) and Peoria Labor Day Parades. The weather was beautiful and the crowds really came out!

Since both parades started at the same time, the campaign split up in to two groups. The need for an additional vehicle was resolved compliments of Green Chevrolet, who provided us with this awesome Hummer. The kids loved it because they could ride in the back of it! A huge Thank You to our friends at Green Chevrolet as well as friend and campaign supporter Dave who made the arrangements and drove it without wrecking it.

Half of our group marched in Peoria and John joined our friends in Toluca.

Here John is shown with friend
and campaign supporter Alma Toedter

John enjoyed pal-ling with Bill Kenyon of
the popular Kenyon's restaurant in Lacon.

John greets his cousin Sophie Aggatucci,
of Aggatucci's fame. The Aggatucci's originated
in Toluca, as did the Vespa's.

John is thrilled to run into one of his baseball
players, future great Peyton Perez

This is just cute!

John greets a friend of mine!

After the afternoon's activities, we united forces and continued the celebration on the Peoria Riverfront. Many of the local unions were represented in the parade. Among them was a personal favorite - the Peoria Federation of Teachers. John's sister, Peg, taught children in the Peoria District 150 school system for over 25 years. And because of our grade schoolsers, we have come to recognize and appreciate the awesome responsibility teachers have in educating a classroom full of children with a wide spectrum of educational needs.

Labor Day for John often invokes the memories of his parents and grandparents, now deceased.

John's grandparents settled in Toluca after immigrating from Italy, and his grandfather went to work in the coal mines. Mario, John's Dad, was a welder at Cat for over 40 years and worked long hours (including weekends loading trucks at the Journal Star) so their Mom, Aleene, could be a homemaker.

Mario Vespa works on a Cat engine
in building KK (or LL) in East Peoria
(This picture will appear in the new edition of "Peoria Memories")

John and his 3 siblings, Peg, Joe, and Jim, grew up in a small house on Columbia Terrace (711 West Columbia Terrace) in the heart of Peoria.

John worked his way through college and law school, and upon admittance to the Bar Association, paid off student loans by hanging out a shingle and opening a private law practice. He has truly achieved the American dream by spirit and hard work - of which, as hard as they try, no one can find a substitute for!

John has spent the majority of his time in the courtroom and has conducted over 100 jury trials. By electing John to serve as your Circuit Judge you will be electing a man who was born and raised in Peoria County. A man that grew up in a working class family - a man of few "excuses". A man who graduated from a school that he loves - Peoria Central High School - and continues to serve on their Alumni Association Board of Directors.

John is a man who has seen the administration of the law through multiple lenses - as a police officer fighting crime on the streets and as an attorney in the courtroom. We are thankful for the system of justice that we have. It may not always be perfect but it is the greatest system in the world. A highly qualified judiciary is what separates us from a heathen society.

John is unmatched by his judicial opponents in courtroom experience. His broad background in both criminal and civil law will make him fully adept at handling a courtroom docket immediately. His common sense and clear understanding of the law will result in a well-reasoned application of the law to the facts of the cases that appear before him.

John is asking for your vote on February 2, 2010!

photos by Paul Wilkinson

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

West MacQueen Street Band and the Simkins factor

A man that John admires very much is Rick Simkins. Rick and John grew up near each other in the heart of Peoria - John on Columbia Terrace, and Rick on West MacQueen Street. They did not come from a background of privilege, but they were blessed with devoted parents who taught them values and how to live life with honor and integrity. The two men have been friends since grade school and recently shared a seat on the Heartland DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Executive Board. John and Rick share a common interest in the welfare of young people, and their respective job descriptions offer many opportunities for outreach.

Rick is a professional educator and is currently the principal at Germantown Hills Junior High school. If this sounds a little "business-as-usual" there is a twist. The fact is that Rick has an alter-ego. In addition to his role as principal, he is the lead singer and guitarist for the high energy and wildly popular band "West MacQueen Street". I'm not sure about anyone else, but I sure don't recall having a principal that was that cool! Imagine the thrill his school students must feel when they see their principal up on stage. What an inspiration he is to so many kids to live their dreams.

From the West MacQueen Street Band website:

Our band is named after the starting point of where the journey began, a street located in the middle of the city of Peoria, Illinois. Located on this street is a house that has been rocking with the sound of rock ‘n’ roll music since the early days of the Beatles. There, two great parents allowed their son to live a dream and form a rock band. Since then, musicians have passed through its doors for almost thirty years and their music continues to fill the streets today!

Rick has the energy of a 20 year old, and at least part of the band's appeal can be attributed to their high energy and inclusive performances. The band interacts with its fans throughout their performance and it it not unusual to see audience members up on stage singing, dancing and having a ball.

For all these reasons and more, John is proud to consider West MacQueen Street the official band of the Vespa for Judge campaign!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day Weekend kicks off!

The Fall festivals and parade season is upon us, and it offers countless opportunities for John to meet the electorate of the 10th Judicial Circuit.

As we travel throughout the counties, the scenery may change, but voter curiosity and concerns remain constant. John's calm and reasoned demeanor invites dialogue from people from all walks of life. One of his observations has been that people are most concerned about safety in their community.

One of our favorite weekend stops was the Fall Festival in Delavan, IL. Delavan is about 40 minutes south of Pekin, in the Southern portion of Tazewell County. This event offered numerous activities for the kids including rides, a talent show and a fabulous band. We spent nearly the entire afternoon there. We met most of the vendors and John enjoyed moving about the crowds, gathering signatures and talking with voters.

It may appear from the stories and pictures within this blog that campaigning is a lot of frivolty. On the contrary, campaigning is serious business. It is now more important than ever that we are fully knowlegeable about our candidates before we punch that card in the voting booth. To arrange for John to speak with your association or group, please contact the campaign through our contact page.