Wednesday, October 29, 2008


October 29, 2008

Congressman Peter Roskam
150 S. Bloomingdale Road, Suite 200
Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Dear Congressman Roskam,

Congressman, on June 9, 1954, seven years before your birth, an historic event occurred which reverberates down to your re-election campaign as IL Sixth District Congressman.

That fateful day Army attorney Joseph Welch confronted Senator Joe McCarthy, (Rep. WI) who was investigating subversive influence in the US Army. McCarthy was at the apex of his career smearing friend and foe alike as Communists or their fellow travelers in his unquenchable thirst for political power. When McCarthy, tired of Welch’s spirited defense against his baseless accusations, tried to smear, with allegations of Communist leanings, Fred Fisher, a young attorney in Welch’s Boston law firm, Welch responded with, arguably, the most famous undressing of a demagogue’s façade in US history:

“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you
left, no sense of decency?”

With that exchange, McCarthy’s career destroying fine reputations was derailed, and by year end the Senate’s censure completed his demise.

Those events are burned in my memory since I followed the Army McCarthy Hearings as a politically interested nine year old. I became familiar with the term McCarthyism, the use of lies and baseless smear tactics to destroy an opponent. I have lived my life weary of people in power who engage in such despicable tactics, and I call them out when I encounter it.

That sir, brings us to your re-election campaign for Congress. You must be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars airing a blizzard of TV ads impugning the character of your opponent, Col. Jill Morgenthaler (Ret.), simply because she served as Homeland Security Advisor to IL Governor Rod Blagojevich, and in that role, may have had contact with a security company associated with convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko. We’re talking about Homeland Security Advisor, sir, a role that whether at a federal, state or local level is of vital importance to our very survival; a position, sir, that Col. Morgenthaler, as a retired Iraq war veteran, with a distinguished military career, is eminently qualified to hold.

Congressman, you are holding that out to smear her as being corrupt and somehow not worthy of replacing you as Sixth District Congressman?

You cannot do this. You must immediately withdraw those ads and offer an equal number of ads apologizing for this contemptible attack on a brave and patriotic American.

One more thing, Congressman. Google “Joe Welch and Joe McCarthy.” You will be able to watch the full ten minute film of the exchange between the two Joes. Look into the eyes of Senator Joe and be prepared to see your reflection.

Respectfully yours,

Walt Zlotow
IL Sixth District Resident