Thursday, October 29, 2009

And they're OFF!

Last Monday as of approximately 10:30a.m. John completed the petition stage of the campaign as he filed his petition and Statement of Candidacy in Springfield, IL. He was in line well before the 8:00 AM filing deadline to be included in the ballot position lottery. That lottery will determine the order of placement of his name on the ballot.

John's petition included 107 pages of 1,570 qualified signatures. Six additional petition pages trickled in after the deadline, but we are fine on numbers, as he well exceeded the statuatory requirement of 500. Since John is running a Circuit race which includes the five counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Marshall, Stark and Putnam, he felt it was important to secure a range of voter signatures that represented all five counties. Over the past 90 days, he has visited constituents and secured signatures from the following cities and townships:

Laura, Lacon, Hopewell, Henry, Toulon, Wyoming, Princeville, Brimfield, Peoria Heights, Creve Couer, Lafayette, Peoria, Baronville, Bradford, Chillicothe, Rome, Washington, Edwards, Dunlap, Pekin, Hanna City, Mapleton, Trivoli, Glasford, Tremont, West Peoria, Varna, East Peoria, Bartonville, Morton, Farmington, Edelstein, Delavan, Green Valley, Groveland, Mackinaw, Granville and Spring Valley.

It has been our pleasure visiting and getting to know the families throughout the Tenth Judicial Circuit. Thank you to the precinct committeemen and everyone who passed the petitions on John's behalf as well as all who signed it.

No matter how big or small, how wealthy or poor, all communities desire an honest, fair, and competant judiciary. Electing John as your Circuit Judge will achieve that goal. If you would like to meet John or have him speak at your club or organization please call the campaign office at 309-251-VOTE (8683) or email us at

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hall of Fame Inductions

Posted by John P. Vespa

It is always great to go back to Peoria High. Last Saturday, we inducted several individual athletes and teams into our Athletic Hall Of Fame, with a ceremony in the foyer. Being on the Board Of Directors' Athletic Hall Of Fame Committee, I played a direct role in selecting and recognizing these athletes' achievements. I was thrilled to have this opportunity. I remember the excitement I experienced when my class of 1974/75 football team was enshrined in Peoria High's Athletic Hall Of Fame back in 2004.

After the ceremony, I was able to meet with several old friends. It's impossible to name them all, but among them were Cortez Blake, Tommy Sturdivant, John Fetcho, Tim Richards, Mr. Genge, Mr. LaCroix, Jerry Davidson, Dave Ayoub, Kirk Wessler, Mr. Robertson, Bill Robertson, Alicia Butler, Coach Salzer, and Tom Hoskins.

In this photo from L to R - Bill Robertson, Corky Robertson,
John Vespa, Jim Vespa

It was especially thrilling to have my son there with me. Jim is 8 years old and was able to meet some of Dad's old football and high school buddies. He had also never been inside Central. So, he received a tour of the foyer, which included the trophy case and various plaques dedicated to the Athletic Hall Of Fame recipients.

I enjoy seeing kids involved in sports. It helps them learn teamwork, and that some things can only be accomplished through cooperation with others. I also want them to learn the thrill of victory and how to accept defeat. When they compare the difference in outcomes, it will help motivate them to make the right decisions.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Campaign Kick-off wrap up and more....

Last Wednesday evenings campaign kick-off was a resounding success and exceeded our wildest expectations! Thank you to all those who helped with the planning and preparation, in particular Artist and neighbor Dawn Kapp who designed the room decor and centerpieces, Paul Sullivan who made the hall arrangements and who, with John's being his 4th judicial campaign, was an endless source of knowledge, advice and inspiration. We also appreciate the contributions of Brendan Kennard, who trained us in some technology used for the event. It takes a big person to admit they need help from a twelve year old! Brendan re-invigorates our confidence in the future of our great country.

Also a shout out to our friends at, who hooked us up with the remarkable entertainer Lamar Harris. Lamar blew everyone away with his talent. I'll never forget my brother, Steve, telling Lamar "It's amazing how you can memorize every one's name," to which Lamar replied "Why, Thank you, Steve". He was amazing!

Last but by no means least a very heartfelt Thank you to our event sponsors. Your generosity made the event possible and your support is truly humbling. It was a enchanted evening made possible by you.

Diane's brother, Joe Gizzi, is the lucky winner of the door prize

Of course, the highlight of the evening was the opportunity for John to address the gathering of our friends and family. We feel he shares a powerful message of commitment and love for a community that he was born and raised in. A community where he chooses to live his life and raise a family- a feat that is no longer quite so simple. John shares a message of commitment to hard work, values and a healthy dose of old fashioned common sense.

He spoke of his desire for a return to the values our country was founded upon. Values at one time held dearly, but that have become lost in a society that is slowly blurring the lines between right and wrong. Values that have always been an integral part of his life, originating even earlier than his Grandparents arrival in Toluca, IL, where his grandfather worked in the coal mines. John expressed his concern about our undeniable descent into an "excuses" society that is slowly eroding the very fabric of human existence.

John places a high value on being a loving nurturing parent, a responsible homeowner, (other than getting behind on the lawn mowing a bit this summer), helping the sick, disabled, the elderly and those down on their luck, the every-day hero who is committed to his community and his calling. Call him old-fashioned, but John still holds those principles dear, and rejects the trend towards an expanding gray area of acceptable behaviors.

As Judge, John will strictly interpret the law and offer every participant a thorough and respectful hearing of their case. He will rule with good judgement, integrity and common sense. He will not legislate from the bench.

John's message had a resoundingly positive reception from the crowd. His childhood friends Chuck, Tim, Dutch and Al all chuckled as he spoke. John's strict adherence to rules is legendary. Having grown up with him, they nodded their heads in acknowledgement as John in a very self deprecating way referenced his rigid code of behavior throughout his adult life. "I act the way my parents taught me to act", he said. A friend or two may have found it troublesome at times, but as we age, the wisdom of such principles becomes increasingly evident. His is a philosophy that, possibly due to the current state of affairs, is slowly returning to society, but for John has never left.

A strong dedication towards one's family, one's country, the constitution, and a responsibility to society to become the very best person we could be is what John Vespa is all about.

Thank you once again to all of our dedicated volunteers, all those who celebrated with us and supported the official kick-off of John's campaign for judge. Thank you to all who have circulated petitions on his behalf. There is still much work to be done, but we are well on our way, and we could not be more pleased with the private and public support we have encountered along the way.

If you would like to volunteer to help the Vespa for Judge campaign, please call Diane at 309-645-8608 or fill out the on-line volunteer form on the campaign website. Your participation can be as simple as walking your street or introducing John to your group or club. We value even the smallest gesture.

Today by 8:30 AM, John will have completed the petition stage of this race. More to come on that later.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

We gear up for fabulous Campaign Kick-off event!


Lamar Harris was the lead act for the Westward HO! Casino in Las Vegas for 13 years! He is a One Man Band Musical Review and does dead-on impersonations of the famous songs of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jimmy Buffett and many, many more. You will be enchanted as he channels the various artists through the use of hats.

An absolute wonderful time is guaranteed as you relax, meet the candidate, and enjoy a fabulous evening of interactive entertainment and dining with friends in support of the John Vespa for Judge Campaign!

Tickets are only $30 and include a full buffet of heavy hors devours, drinks, entertainment and dancing, plus a short program by the candidate at 6:30.

Sponsorships are available in the amounts of $100, $250, and $500 and will include special recognitions plus 2 event admissions!

The event is from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. next Wednesday, October 14 at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 7403 N Radnor Road, Peoria, IL.

Please call me ASAP for tickets at 645-8608, or contact us through the website. We so look forward to seeing many of you as we enjoy the fellowship and give John a rousing show of support as he continues his journey for election to the Tenth Judicial Circuit.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Operation Santa

Operation Santa is a program of citizen support for America's military. This year their goal is to ship 35,000 stockings filled with the comforts of home to deployed troops around the globe.

The always-busy Peoria County Republican Women sponsored a workday last Thursday in which we cut, sewed, and pressed stockings of all colors and patterns. Many of the ladies worked all day. Here you can see they were quite proud of their work!

John's campaign was honored to participate in this worthwhile project and made a contribution to the organization's shipping fund. You can too. Information to mail in your donation can be found at the bottom of this post!

Citizen, Husband, Father...

John wears many hats, and one hat that I find absolutely amazing is that of John as "Dad". Our children are our world, and God blessed them with the most awesome father a Mom could ever want for her kids! He is the right mixture of discipline and love, gentleness and strength. Lord knows we aren't perfect but every day we cross our fingers and pray that we are making this world a better place for them.

I snapped this photo yesterday and couldn't resist posting it here!