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Illinois' Machiavelli

"Douglas Kane, an American politician and economist, offers readers a straightforward, personal account of what it is like to run for and hold public office - the demands, conflicts, temptations, and rewards created by political, economic, and social forces . . .

"In Our Politics, Kane reflects on his nearly 50 years of active engagement in state and local politics.

"In a series of essays, he seeks to understand the forces, motivations, incentives and technologies that shape our politics and produce the consequences that we live with every day.


"He describes how candidates and officeholders deal with the fundamental contradictions inherent in the democratic process, and how and why the political power structure has changed.

"He also explores the personal experience of being a legislator, from deciding how to vote to building relationships with party leaders, fellow legislators, the governor, and the voters in the district.

"Kane concludes by considering the possibility of change, how it might happen, and the steps that candidates, political parties, activists and others might take to better our politics with results more to our liking."


"Kane is a 21st-century Machiavelli, though constructive in tone, neither partisan nor cynical. He advises not the Prince but the voters on how to turn our centralized, angry and polarized, money- and message-driven political system on its head, returning political decision-making to our local communities." - Jim Nowlan, co-author of Illinois Politics: A Citizen's Guide and Fixing Illinois: Politics and Policy in the Prairie State


Via Wikipedia:

"Kane served as a former Illinois state representative who represented Springfield from 1974 to 1982, as a Democrat, and was on the Alma School Board. In 2014, Kane was elected to the Buffalo County, Wisconsin Board of Supervisors and is the chairman of the board.

"Kane went to Barrington College and received his bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois. He was elected to the Capital Township, Sangamon County, Illinois Board of Auditors. He also served as staff assistant to the Governor of Illinois 1973 and 1974 and director of staff for the Democratic leadership of the Illinois House of Representatives 197 to 1975. He was also a newspaper reporter.

"Kane is an economist and President of Program Analysis Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in economic and public policy issues. One of his current clients is the Office of Management and Budget of the State of Illinois that sought his help with the economic effects of the gross receipts tax.

"He currently resides in Alma, Wisconsin with his wife, Wisconsin State Senator Kathleen Vinehout."


Kane's dissertation: Regional Distribution of Taxes and Expenditures in Illinois.


Comments welcome.


Posted on April 23, 2019

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