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Can't Tell The Players Without A Scorecard

The primaries here in Illinois happen on Feb 2.  As a public service, here's a quick run down of some of the key races and my usual snark.

Let's start with the Senate seat that is literally up for grabs.  Republicans in Illinois smell a chance to win it back.  The seat was originally held by Democrat Carol Mosley Braun during the Clinton Adminstration.  She then made a lot of questionable choices (as Aaron Freeman quipped, "She's the first politician to ruin her career without making any money") and a fit of voter annoyance, the seat went to Peter Fitzgerald of the R's.  Fitzgerald was a true independent who took his job seriously, appointing AG's who wanted to clean up the culture of sleaze in Illinois.  The R's didn't like someone closing up their buffet, and refused to support him.  He decided not to run for re-election, and Jack Ryan was running for the seat for the R's.  Then, his marriage to Star Trek: Voyager actress and fap material Jeri Ryan busted up.  There were stories that he took her to a sex club and asked her to participate.  She said no and they left.  This isn't the problem.  The problem is, with the election coming up, he tried to bury her statements in the custody hearings and asked reporters not to probe to protect his kids' delicate sensibilities.  The voters didn't like him using his kids as shields, and put a little known politician on the rise named Barrack Obama in there.  Obama became President, and there was talk of a special election to fill his seat.  The front runner at the time was an R.  The D's didn't want to lose the seat and blocked the vote for a special election.  Thanks to the delay, Gov. Rod Blagojevich was able to appoint Roland "Tombstone" Burris to serve the rest of the term.  Burris is not running for re-election -- his war chest got less than $1,000 in contributions, so he's dead in the water.

So now, the R's want the seat they claimed they wanted when they forced out the guy who was actually doing the job right.  The frontrunner for the R's nomination is Mark Kirk.  They are behind him, even though he supports abortion rights and gun control, both an anathema to the party platform.  Also, the Tea Party Patriots in the state think he's full of shit.  Reason enough for me not to vote for him.

On the D's side, the front runner is 33 year old Alexi Giannoulias, the current state Treasurer (who hasn't served a full term in office yet).  He says Obama is his mentor.  Reason enough for me not to vote for him.  And, in addition to, on top of that, his only previous work experience was for a family bank currently in financial trouble.  Boy, do we know how to pick them.

For the office of gov, the D's have Pat Quinn, the lite gov who got promoted when Blago was told to hit the bricks.  Quinn has given voters lots of reason to vote against him.  He has increased taxes and state fees (renewing your license went from $15 to $35, more than a 100% jump) instead of cutting spending.  He wants another tax increase to help right the state instead of cutting wasteful programs.  He tried cutting costs by letting some nonviolent inmates out of prison.  Whoopsie, there were some violent offenders who got out, too, and they went and committed some serious new crimes.  He's dead in the water, too.

For the R's nomination, there are six candidates jockeying for position.  Four of them are Machine.  Two are independent, Adam Andrzejewski and Dan Proft.  Andrzejewski is good, but he's a bit conciliatory.  Proft is a firebrand who has been hitting every Tea Party Patriot event in the state and is reaching out to everyone, D's and R's (one of my co-workers got a call last night to sit in on a virtual town meeting Proft was hosting).  Proft is looking to stir up some shit, and his pedigree is good.  I'm leaning towards him.

This is Illinois.  Vote early, vote often!


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC)
Are you going to stay home and not vote since you are underwhelmed by the choices?
Jan. 30th, 2010 02:09 am (UTC)
No staying home for me (I'm thinking of grabbing a Republican ballot and voting for Proft). I think that would make me a bit of a hypocrite.

First of all, when you vote, you are basically hiring the politician. If you can't bother to try and weed the field down a little bit, you have no one to blame but yourself when you are stuck with bad choices. After all, it's not like you did anything when you had the chance.

Second, this is basically the situation I have prayed for since I first started learning of the culture of sleaze running my state. There are actually some good ones to pull out of the pile this time. I would long say that, if people were given facts and an opportunity, they would support someone who is looking to uphold the American way instead of just fattening themselves and their friends with public funds. I look at this year as God saying, "You want to change the Illinois political culture? Here's your chance. Don't blow it." Sitting out the primaries basically means my cynicism is more important than doing my (admittedly limited) part. Voting isn't that tough, and can change everything.

Third, I believe that, if you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain about politics. And if I couldn't complain, I think my head would explode. ;-)
Jan. 30th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
I hope you realize that my questions are to learn more, not to accuse or be obnoxious. That is only a happy by-product. :-)

I guess what you're saying, in a far more pleasant way is, 'If you don't vote, don't b**ch!' Pretty much my view...

Thank you for your answers. I do appreciate them.
Jan. 30th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
No problem. I mean, I'm not John Byrne here (Byrne censors his own message board if people disagree with him or he just doesn't like them). I regard your questions as us having a conversation. You also bring up valid points, like the one about the iPad and Linux. We're all dudes here, I don't like the idea of people being afraid to speak around me.

Besides, if you ever piss me off, trust me, you'll know. ;-)
Jan. 31st, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
Thank you for that quick rundown of the upcoming primary.

I understand that there is a person named Perry running for lt. governor. I hear that Perry is a down-state politician (read as "not Chicago connected") and that he may be a good choice for that job.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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