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Beachwood Election Guide 2014!

Remember, you can print this out and take it into the voting booth with you!

Governor: Grimm or Quinn? Because you are not to vote for Bruce Rauner. Take it from fellow Republicans Jim Edgar and Kirk Dillard (and Bill Brady). The man has just run the most disingenuous campaign this side of Obama '08 and Emanuel '10 and must not be rewarded for it. Plus, the last thing we want to do is bring any amount of satisfaction to Michael Ferro. And a vote for Rauner is a vote for Ferro.

So Quinn, right? Not so fast. Quinn has not earned your vote either. He made a decision early on in his accidental governorship to throw in with the hacks in order to keep his job and many people have been hurt because of it; namely social service providers and recipients.

So Grimm, right? Not so much. Libertarians bring interesting ideas to the table, and I welcome their presence in the political arena, but the whole of their agenda is only suited for small villages, not massive modern international economies. As a protest vote, perhaps (and I wouldn't assume he's taking votes from Rauner - I'd like to see exit polling on that. I suspect he'll get votes from a certain number of folks who otherwise wouldn't choose Rauner or Quinn).

So no vote in this race? That's the way I'm leaning - unless someone can convince me my vote will be the actual difference-maker. Then I vote Quinn, but even in a race that looks like a dead heat, I doubt very much that I'm the kingmaker.

P.S.: Memo to John Kass, Eric Zorn and Steve Chapman: You don't have to choose. Really. Something happens psychologically to people who feel like they have a stake in a candidate by dint of their public support. For example, has Zorn admitted how wrong he was about Obama? And Kass, well, he's fallen under the spell of the right-wing conspiracy now that he has a right-wing radio show that's part of the right-wing media consortium. Facts no longer matter as much as (false) memes. Chapman? Disappointed. How anyone can give Rauner a pass on not only clouting his daughter into Payton but lying about it to reporters repeatedly escapes me. What would you have needed to learn about Rauner to not support him? Donations to both sides of the aisle in order to improve business and influence power (and lying about it)? A phony primary run in which his assurances to conservatives that he is one of them ends 24 hours after winning the nomination with a commercial introducing, for the first time, his pseudo-Democratic wife? Horrid business practices? Multimillion dollar image-shaping? Evading reporters? Never clearly articulating an actual stance on an actual issue? Would he have to have actually pulled the plug himself in those nursing homes to not get your vote? What would it have taken?

Lt. Gov: You don't get to vote for this separately anymore, but it's worth noting that Quinn's running mate is fully capable of taking over as governor of the nation's fifth-largest state, should that be necessary. In fact, he's probably more capable than the guy at the top of the ticket. Rauner's running mate, on the other hand, has demonstrated repeatedly that she's barely qualified for the Wheaton city council seat she was plucked from. Meanwhile, Rauner bashes Quinn for not choosing someone certainly more capable than his running mate but in no way qualified to be governor, Stephanie Neely. If Quinn had picked Neely, Rauner would accuse him of playing the race card - which is what Rauner did. He can't find an African American to be among his 54 executives at GTCR, but he can find a Hispanic for his ticket!

U.S. Senate: Dick Durbin is a masterful spinning partisan who has my grudging respect but only grudging because I'll never forget watching him spin a room full of high school students on gay marriage or seek leniency for George Ryan. He also remains tireless, somehow appearing on the Sunday morning TV shows as well as all over the state every week, cutting ribbons for CTA stations and meeting farmers downstate. I've written several times that he's better qualified to be president than Obama, but in the end he's still an Illinois Democrat, and therefore I find it awfully difficult to give him my vote. He's done nothing to clean up his party, here or at the national level. So I'll pass. Besides, I don't think he needs my vote against Jim Oberweis, who will never appear on the South Side of Chicago again after Tuesday, much less open a few ice cream shops there. Sharon Hansen is the Libertarian Party candidate. The Greens don't have their shit together so they don't have a candidate in this race or on the ballot for governor.

U.S. Congress: I live in Luis Gutierrez' district. He's with Rahm. I'll go with Republican Hector Concepcion.

If you live in a different district, feel free to extrapolate.

State Attorney General: Lisa Madigan doesn't need my vote, and besides, I'm extremely unhappy with the state of her Public Access Counselor's office, which has turned into a royal joke. Her opponent is a bigger joke who "plan[s] on transforming the Attorney General's office into a watchdog for limiting the size and scope of state government." Um, you're applying for the wrong job, dude. Ben Koyl is the Libertarian. Pass.

State Comptroller: Judy Baar Topinka asked Quinn to get her son a job. She did. And then she lied about it. She's also the epitome of a career politician. I doubt comptrolling was her lifelong dream. She's also pals with Sneed - and other journos with whom she's carved out a mutually beneficial relationship. No thanks. On the other hand, Sheila Simon never realized how good she had it when she lucked into the lieutenant governorship. Her political career now appears over. Julie Fox is the Libertarian. Pass.

State Treasurer: Mike Freirichs has made an ass of himself. Then again, Tom Cross claiming he's running "to clean up the mess in Springfield" is a laugh - first because he's running for treasurer, and second because he was the House Minority Leader for 11 years. That's like Mike Madigan running for comptroller to clean up the mess in Springfield. Michael Skopek is the Libertarian. Pass.

Secretary of State: Jesse White doesn't need my vote, and besides that, he's a hack who has sprung too many clowns like Derrick Smith on us. He's also a Rahm guy. Michael Webster is the Republican and Michael Christopher is the Libertarian. Pass.

Cook County President: Toni Preckwinkle doesn't need my vote, though she might have had it if she ran for mayor. (By the way, she's never told us the real reason why she didn't run for mayor - surely it can't be because she has unfinished business with the county. That would make her quite insane, and I'm pretty sure she's not that. Why is it so hard for these people to tell the truth? If you didn't want the job - maybe because of the hours, the stress, the scrutiny - just say so. If it was the campaign you dreaded, just say so. But don't make shit up.) Pass.

County Clerk, Sheriff, Treasurer, Assessor: David Orr, Tom Dart, Maria Pappas and, gulp, Joe Berrios are all unopposed. That's not my idea of democracy and I refuse to enable it. Pass.

County Commissioner: Mine is Luis Arroyo. Who? Just another guy. Plus, endorsed by Proco Joe Moreno, fauxgressive-in-chief. Pass.

(Again, extrapolate to your county commission race. My guess is the result will be the same.)

*

Geez, so far the only vote I'm going to cast is for Hector Concepcion! Maybe I can help throw some judges out. Oh. The Chicago Bar Association opposes just one judge up for retention this year. That's no fun. And it might not even be the right thing to do. I give up.

(I also refuse to cast a vote for all those judges running unopposed - all of whom happen to be Democrats, which generally means they have Ed Burke's blessing. No thanks.)

*

Cook County Referenda: I believe in all four, but all four are non-binding, and therefore a cynical waste of time.

General Assembly: I live in Will Guzzardi's district. He's running unopposed. I will not give him my vote because that's not an election. They have more choices in Ukraine.

Water Reclamation District: Cynthia Santos should have been the first ward alderman years ago when she tried to knock off Jesse Granato, but I can't vote for her here because this is a chance to vote for three Greens, who are into sewage for real and don't seem capable of competing for real offices. So it's partly a pity vote.

CORRECTION: I was thinking of Cynthia Soto. Sorry.

State Referenda:

1. No. (Cynical ploy - playing the crime victim card.)

2. No. (Cynical ploy - obviously the answer is Yes, but the question itself notes that no instance of this type of voter suppression has ever been reported. This is really about voter ID laws.)

3. No. (Cynical ploy - it should be raised to $15.)

4. No. (Cynical ploy - state law already seems to cover it.)

5. No. (Cynical ploy - if the point is to move to a progressive tax structure, let's do that instead of putting forth silly ideas like this, as good as it may feel.)

-

Comments welcome.



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Posted on November 4, 2014


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - Charter Schools Complicit With Segregation.
SPORTS - USA Gymnastics Bans Illinois Coach.

BOOKS - The Randomness Of Harvard Admissions.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Public Lands Matter.


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