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The Beachwood 2010 Primary Guide

Editor's Note: This is a primary. You don't have to vote if you don't want to participate in internal party activities. But if you do chose to vote, don't hesitate to use our eVoter ad on our right rail to construct your sample ballot, or consult the Tribune or Sun-Times election centers. And remember, you can take this guide with you into the voting booth. Just cut along the dotted lines.

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GOVERNOR, DEMOCRATIC

Candidate: PAT QUINN

Sleaze Factor: 8 of 10

Chance Of Winning: 50 percent

Reason To Vote For Him: So Green nominee Rich Whitney becomes the default progressive candidate.

Reason To Vote Against Him: Backed by Ed Burke and Joe Berrios.

Relevant Trivia:
* Says his greatest accomplishment is "assuming office last year and stabilizing the government." In what state?

Political Arts
  • And letters.

  • * Says the wildest thing he's done is salsa dancing. Lame-o!

    * Failed to name his biggest mistake when everyone knows it was the cutback amendment.

    * Says when asked which candidate from either party he would most like to have dinner with: "Lordy. What a grim group - sorry - after what they all said about me [after the State of the State speech]. There's that guy named Adam, that guy named Proft. I'd say Rich Whitney wins by default." Let's hope so.

    Editor's Note: Most trivia culled from the Sun-Times.

    Conclusion: A bumbling, double-talking, classless, incompetent, lying fool from Sellout City.

    -

    Candidate: DAN HYNES

    Sleaze Factor: 3

    Chance Of Winning: 50 percent

    Reason To Vote For Him: Quinn is a disaster.

    Reason To Vote Against Him: So Green nominee Rich Whitney becomes the default progressive candidate.

    Relevant Trivia: Says the wildest thing he's ever done is "protected by a confidentiality agreement among my friends in college." Good answer.

    Conclusion: A safe, boring pick when safe and boring might be just what the state needs. To, you know, stabilize government.

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    GOVERNOR, REPUBLICAN

    Candidate: ANDY McKENNA

    Sleaze Factor: 6

    Chance Of Winning: 35 percent

    Reason To Vote For Him: You secretly support Dan Hynes.

    Reason To Vote Against Him: He's Dan Hynes without the charisma.

    Relevant Trivia: Says the wildest thing he's ever done is run for governor. A boring rich person is a hundred times more boring than a boring poor person because it shows just how deep the lack of imagination really is.

    Conclusion: A small man with small ideas and a big bankroll. It's not just that he's one of the most boring men in Illinois, or that he's a lousy politician, but that he'd make for a lousy governor. Undeserving at that.

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    Candidate: KIRK DILLARD

    Sleaze Factor: 7

    Chance Of Winning: 35 percent

    Reason To Vote For Him: You secretly support Dan Hynes.

    Reason To Vote Against Him: Appeared in a commercial for Obama when it looked like bipartisan centrism would pave the way to the governor's mansion, then turned around and called him a socialist when right-wing wackiness came into vogue.

    Relevant Trivia: None.

    Conclusion: An opportunistic bastard who sells his ability to work across the aisle and puts former boss Jim Edgar in ads yet takes money from mortal mainstream Republicanism enemy Jack Roeser. Dillard is your basic run-of-the-mill George Ryan Republican without the skill, experience or rationale to be governor.

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    Candidate: JIM RYAN

    Sleaze Factor: 10

    Chance Of Winning: 25 percent

    Reason To Vote For Him: He's actually become less scary than McKenna and Dillard; sleaze rating is largely due to lingering Rolando Cruz horror.

    Reason To Vote For Him: He's actually become less scary than McKenna and Dillard.

    Reason To Vote Against Him: He's still Jim Ryan.

    Relevant Trivia: None.

    Conclusion: It's a sad state of affairs when retread Ryan is the party's most moderate and reasonable candidate. Still, he's run a lousy campaign and only now says his biggest mistake was the Cruz case. Too late, and a failure of judgement so large that he shouldn't be allowed anywhere near public office. He tried to kill the guy.

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    Candidate: ADAM ANDRZEJEWSKI

    Sleaze Factor: 2

    Chance Of Winning: 2 percent

    Reason To Vote For Him: Breath of fresh air who can't win the general.

    Reason To Vote Against Him: You secretly support Dan Hynes.

    Relevant Trivia: None.

    Conclusion: Intriguing outsider and newcomer who never caught fire, though he is supposedly surging late. Maybe he'll run for something local now.

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    Candidate: DAN PROFT

    Sleaze Factor: 6

    Chance Of Winning: 2 percent

    Reason To Vote For Him: High entertainment value.

    Reason To Vote Against Him: Politics isn't entertainment; no indication he could actually govern.

    Relevant Trivia: Admits his worst mistake was working for the Alan Keyes campaign.

    Conclusion: Fun, smart, articulate, great e-mails, nice campaign . . . but Governor Proft would be worse than Governor Ventura because at least in Minnesota they try. Here, Madigan and Cullerton would just shut the whole enterprise down.

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    Candidate: BILL BRADY

    Sleaze Factor: 3

    Chance Of Winning: 1 percent

    Reason To Vote For Him: You're a conservative who doesn't trust anyone else in the field.

    Reason To Vote Against Him: He's really a conservative.

    Relevant Trivia: Says of his biggest mistake that "Nothing stands out." Really? Here's one: Running for governor.

    Conclusion: Inability - again - to set himself apart and cast himself as an executive who can lead.

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    GOVERNOR, GREEN

    Candidate: Rich Whitney

    Sleaze Factor: 0

    Chance Of Winning: 100 percent

    Reason To Vote For Him: Two-party system is holding us hostage to mediocre hacks and scumbags.

    Reason To Vote Against Him: You can't, he's running unopposed.

    Relevant Trivia: Says his worst experience in life was "Flunking a math class in college and having to explain that to my parents." Charmed life, or a more boring life than McKenna's?

    Conclusion: If you really want change . . .

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    U.S. SENATE, DEMOCRATIC

    Candidate: ALEXI GIANNOULIAS

    Sleaze Factor: 10

    Chance Of Winning: 33.3 percent

    Reason To Vote For Him: To punish Obama, because his basketball buddy (oh, and generous money man, that part always gets left out) will lose his old seat.

    Reason To Vote Against Him: How much time do you have?

    *

    "But populism has its limits," Mick Dumke writes. "While the other candidates try to maximize their public appearances, hitting nearly every community forum or editorial endorsement session they're invited to, Giannoulias has been a frequent no-show, relying primarily on TV commercials and press releases to get his message out. That's an indication of either his campaign's confidence, its reluctance to expose him to discomfiting questions, or both."

    *

    "For months both the campaign and the treasurer's office refused to release details of what Giannoulias knew about the Bright Start losses. Last fall the Hoffman campaign submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for copies of correspondence between the office and Oppenheimer from the beginning of 2007 through the end of 2009, but a Giannoulias aide denied it, on the grounds that the request covered a huge number of records and was too burdensome. In January, after the settlement was reached, the Hoffman campaign submitted another request, for correspondence about the money-losing fund from March 2008 to December 2009. The treasurer's office denied that one too, saying it was still part of a 'litigation matter.'"

    *

    "Meanwhile, I've engaged in my own struggle for access to Giannoulias. Early in the fall I asked his staff for the opportunity to spend time with him on the stump; I was told he was busy, he was sick, maybe in a couple of weeks. When I heard he was traveling to an event in Rockford, I asked if I could tag along. I was told they hadn't provided anyone that kind of access (which I guess meant they didn't intend to start now). I asked for a copy of Giannoulias's campaign schedule and was told they didn't have one. I asked Burnham for a copy of Giannoulias's public schedule as treasurer; he said they didn't keep one. A couple sources close to the campaign told me straight up that they didn't think the Reader would say anything nice about Alexi so there wasn't much interest in making time for me."

    *

    "We'd barely started before we were out of time, but Giannoulias unleashed a charm offensive. He gave me his cell phone number and said we could get a beer that weekend--then texted me a few minutes later asking if I'd ever considered getting involved in politics myself."

    *

    "While acknowledging that he wouldn't have a chance at being a senator without connections and money ('I've been lucky'), he also seemed to think he deserved it because he works hard."

    *

    "He sometimes looked around as if to see whether anyone in the place recognized him. He struck me as smart, with a sincere interest in both the prestige of elected office and trying to help people.

    "But I never did get a chance to see Giannoulias campaigning among voters. In the month after our rendezvous, his campaign repeatedly told me they didn't have anything like that going on."

    Relevant Trivia: He lives on the Gold Coast and his favorite musical performer is Jay-Z.

    Conclusion: If you're still wondering, you're a natural-born Giannoulias voter.

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    Candidate: DAVID HOFFMAN

    Sleaze Factor: 1

    Chance Of Winning: 33.3 percent

    Reason To Vote For Him: Because Giannoulias and Jackson suck so bad.

    Reason To Vote Against Him: "Rumors floated around City Hall, some of them advanced by Daley aides, that Hoffman was grandstanding because he was preparing for his own mayoral run. In fact, he says, he started thinking seriously about running for attorney general last year after serving on a commission formed by Governor Pat Quinn to propose state ethics reforms. But then Madigan opted to run for re-election. Not long after that, Hoffman says, 'a pair of mutual friends' put him in touch with leaders of AKPD, the political consulting firm founded by Obama adviser David Axelrod, and last summer they urged him to think about running for the Senate."

    So Abner Mikva's not quite right when he says "Nobody sent David Hoffman."

    Conclusion: The unanimous good government pick of editorial boards everywhere. Not the best candidate for a U.S. Senate seat, but the best one we've got.

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    Candidate: Cheryle Jackson

    Sleaze Factor: 7

    Chance Of Winning: 33.3 percent

    Reason To Vote For Her: The United States Senate could use at least one African-American, for godsakes. And another woman.

    Reason To Vote Against Her: The problem isn't so much that she worked for Blagojevich - I mean, why is that more of a problem than, say, Barack Obama working hard twice to elect the guy? - but that she worked as a flak. Her job was to spin, deflect, deceive. Yes, that prepares one for public office, but still.

    Conclusion: Let's see how devoted to creating jobs Jackson is once she loses this race. My gut tells me she goes for the money.

    -

    Note: Jacob Meister has dropped out and I don't care about Robert Marshall.

    -

    U.S. SENATE, REPUBLICAN

    Mark Kirk is the only serious candidate, though Andy Martin said this when asked by the Sun-Times what candidate of either party he would most like to have dinner with: "Maybe Alexi so I could pound the crap out of him."

    U.S. SENATE, GREEN
    LeAlan Jones says of the worst experience of his life "Right now, I don't have anything;" of his biggest mistake, "I don't have any;" and of his first date, "I don't remember."

    At least he's well-prepared to answer questions before future investigating committees.

    -

    COOK COUNTY BOARD PRESIDENT, DEMOCRATIC

    Candidate: Todd Stroger

    Sleaze Factor: 8

    Chance Of Winning: 10

    Reason To Vote For Him: Just to fuck with everyone.

    Reason To Vote Against Him: If you don't know by now . . .

    Relevant Trivia:
    * "My first job was working in the summer at the Secretary of State's office."

    His daddy may have opened the door, but he aced the interview.

    * "I don't really see myself as a politician."

    Neither does anyone else.

    * His biggest regret - like that of Terry O'Brien - is not going to law school.

    Wasn't a summer job in the Secretary of State's Office just about the same thing?

    Conclusion: Don't dismiss late shenanigans or irregularities, but it's hard to see how he finishes higher than . . . last.

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    Candidate: TONI PRECKWINKLE

    Sleaze Factor: 2

    Chance Of Winning: 45 percent

    Reason To Vote For Her: She can chew gum, tie her shoes and recite budget numbers at the same time.

    Reason To Vote Against Her: Just to fuck with everyone.

    Relevant Trivia: Says she'd cut her own salary by 10 percent upon entering office. Actually, that's not trivial.

    Conclusion: It's blindingly obvious that she's the best candidate, even if her commercials talk about fighting the Machine even as she has sought Richie Daley's endorsement and depressingly offered up key votes to him during the last year as part of that effort.

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    Candidate: Dorothy Brown

    Sleaze Factor: 8

    Chance Of Winning: 30 percent

    Reason To Vote For Her: Because you secretly want Green nominee Tom Tresser in the fall.

    Reason To Vote Against Her: You don't want to be taxed for wearing jeans.

    Relevant Trivia: None.

    Conclusion: An enigma wrapped in a mystery stuffed in an envelope of cash that no one can account for.

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    Candidate: Terry O'Brien

    Sleaze Factor: 9

    Chance Of Winning: 15 percent

    Reason To Vote For Him: Because you secretly want Green nominee Tom Tresser in the fall.

    Reason To Vote Against Him: He's a Berny Stone man. Is that enough for you?

    Relevant Trivia: That Stroger law school thing.

    Conclusion: Was never the frontrunner like stale-thinking journos supposed. But he will eke it out over Stroger to avoid a last-place finish.

    -

    COOK COUNTY BOARD PRESIDENT, REPUBLICAN

    Uh, I don't care.

    OTHER OFFICES

    LT. GOV: Hmmm, I can't decide between Hollywood Hack Hendon and the pawn shop king. Maybe I'll vote for the electrician.

    The alternatives are state Sen. Terry Link, state Rep. Mike Boland, and state Rep. Art Turner - neither of whom can be trusted.

    On the Republican side, please avoid McKenna running mate Matt Murphy like the plague. Call it crappiness by association.

    TREASURER: Democrat Justin Oberman's vicious attacks against Bright Start will make good material for Mark Kirk should Alexi Giannoulias win his primary; Oberman's opponent is Robin Kelly, Giannoulias's chief of staff, and he keeps calling Bright Start a fiasco of her office, but it's Giannoulias's office. Oberman just tried to run for Congress in the 5th district as well as lieutenant governor; if he wants public office so bad he should settle for dog-catcher. Not that Kelly isn't tainted by Giannoulias; she is. Alternatively, Republican state Sen. Dan Rutherford is uncontested, as is the Green's Scott Summers.

    COMPTROLLER: Democrat David Miller's vicious attacks against Bright Start will make good material for Mark Kirk should Alexi Giannoulias win his primary; Miller's opponent, Raja Krisnamoorthi is Giannoulias's deputy treasurer. (I wonder if Oberman and Miller are also backing Giannoulias's opponents in the Senate race if his office was such a mess.) Roger Ebert has endorsed Raja, which is just annoying. Wilmette lawyer Clint Krislov is also in the race and worth a vote just to shake things up.

    On the Republican side, former state treasurer and GOP gubernatorial nominee Judy Baar Topinka is trying to make a comeback. She's facing assclown William Kelly and Orland Park trustee Jim Dodge. Punt.

    COOK COUNTY ASSESSOR: VOTE RAY FIGUEROA. As many times as you can. And then once more.

    U.S. CONGRESS (selected races):
    1st: Democrats, please vote Fred Smith over Bobby Rush

    2nd: Democrats, please send a message to Jesse Jackson Jr. about his noxious support of Quinn and don't give him your vote.

    3rd: Democrats, please vote Jorge Mullica over Dan Lipinski. I don't even know if he's a real candidate, but he's on the ballot.

    4th: Democrats, please send a message to Luis Gutierrez and don't give him your vote.

    5th: Quigley is a shoo-in here anyway.

    7th: Democrats, please vote Clarence "Big Man" Clemons over Danny "Moonbeam" Davis.

    COMMENT 5:39 P.M.: From Scott Speegle, campaign manager for Jim Ascot, who is in this race:

    "It is incredible to me that you could suggest that the voters in the 7th CD vote for Clemons, since he is not even on the ballot! Please do your homework the next time you put together something like this - having such a glaring mistake calls into question all of your comments."

    Rhodes response: My apologies, but just for the record, I depended on the Tribune's Election Center for information on downballot races and, as of this writing, the Trib still lists Clemons as a candidate. I regret their error.

    -

    9th: Jan Schakowsky is a shoo-in here anyway.

    10th: Democrats, please send a message - again - to Dan Seals that he should find another line of work.

    COOK COUNTY BOARD (selected races):
    1st: Democrats, please vote for anyone but Earlean Collins. (The Trib likes Onayemi.)

    2nd: Democrats, please vote for anyone but Robert Steele. (The Trib likes Grode.)

    3rd: Democrats, please vote for anyone but Jerry Butler. (The Trib likes Torries-Linares.)

    4th: Democrats, please vote for Elgie Sims over Bill Beavers.

    5th: Democrats, please vote for Sheila Chalmers-Currin over Deborah Sims.

    6th: Democrats, please vote for Nick Valadez over Joan Patricia Murphy.

    7th: Democrats, please vote for Jesus Garcia over Joseph Moreno.

    12th: Democrats, please vote for John Fritchey over Ted Matlak.

    GENERAL ASSEMBLY (selected races):
    23rd Rep: Democrats, please vote for Rudy Lozano over Dan Burke. As often as you can. And then once more.

    40th Rep: Democrats, please vote for Joe Laiacona over Deb Mell. As often as you can. And then twice more.

    JUDGES
    This stuff is important, people. If you associate with the Beachwood, chances are better than average you could wind up in court one day.

    Use these judicial ratings as a guide.

    See also:
    * "Some of the candidates slated by the Democratic Party for judgeships expect to be handed the $170,000-a-year gig with life-or-death power over defendants without having to be bothered submitting their credentials and answering pesky questions about mistakes they have made in court," the estimable Abdon Pallasch reports.

    "Pamela Hill Veal got the party's blessing in her bid to move up to Appellate Court from Circuit Court, even though the very Appellate Court she seeks to join lambasted her in an opinion for inexcusably jailing a lawyer for contempt of court.

    "Veal did not bother to submit her credentials for review or to return a phone call for this story."

    * The Tribune's judicial rundown.

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    Judges, people. Take a few minutes to get it right.

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    Happy voting.

    -

    Comments welcome.




    Permalink

    Posted on February 2, 2010


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