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The Beachwood Election Guide To Throwing The Bums Out And Smashing The Machine

Dear Beachwood:

I'm completely stumped on a few races.

I really want to send the Republicans in Congress a message, but it looks like all of the local races involve sending the Democrats a message. I'm torn. Voting Republican actually makes my skin crawl, although I've done it a few times in the past in extraordinary cases.

I've met Judy Baar Topinka a dozen times, but I just can't get myself to vote for her. I won't vote for Blago (didn't last time either . . . I abstained, although I do like Pat Quinn. Should I vote for indictment? I'm leaning Green Party here, even though I know he can't win.

As for Cook County Board . . . I can't and won't vote for Stroger . . . but a Republican? Is there a third choice? I'm leaning toward abstaining.

My congressman is Mark Kirk, who is a decent man (I've met him many times), but he voted for the Iraq War. I'm voting for Seals.

I can see why so many people don't bother voting . . . and it's not because we're uneducated about politics. It's because the more we learn, the less we want to vote.

Aaargh. Help us.

- Stumped and Torn

Dear Stumped and Torn:

Help is here.

Indeed, the elections this year are all about sending messages . . . or more like, sending the same message but to members of both parties: We've had enough. Don't shy away from voting against candidates with glee this year, instead of voting for candidates. Consider it a first step toward reclaiming our democracy.

Governor: Rich Whitney. If the frickin' Rockford Register Star had the guts to endorse the man, why can't you? He's polled as high as 15 percent in recent days despite operating in a virtual media blackout. He's right on the issues and every indication is that he's honest. Nobody owns him. And you know what? There's no reason to think he'd be anything but a fine governor - unlike his two opponents. Sure, the General Assembly would stiff him at every turn. What else is new? That's just one more reason why you should vote against tyrannical House Speaker Michael Madigan if you live in his district. Vote for the stooge he put up as his "competition." It's time to say you've had enough. Go Green.

Lt. Gov: You don't get to vote separately for this office, but it is worth keeping in mind that Judy Baar Topinka's running mate comes out of the infamous DuPage County criminal injustice machine. Pat Quinn becomes governor if/when Rod Blagojevich gets indicted/convicted. Whitney's running mate, Julie Samuels, is, as far as we know, the least compromised.

Secretary of State: Vote Rutherford (Republican) or Karen Young (Green). Jesse White might be popular, and he might employ a troupe of tumblers as the greatest name-recognition gimmick the state has seen, but he's still a Machine Hack who sees nothing wrong with tripling his daughter's salary, among a series of hiring scandals that have marked his tenure.

Attorney General: Lisa Madigan might be Michael Madigan's daughter, and the way she rode her father's strong-arm tactics into the office is indefensible, but she's done a relatively decent and honest job and might even make a fine governor or U.S. senator one day - if she would only tell her dad to cool it. My suggestion: Skip this race. Madigan will win in a walk. You will be on record as having voted neither for nor against her. So you kind of send her a message, but you don't turn her out of office.

Treasurer: Vote Radogno or Schlorff. Radogno appears to be a relatively solid, respected legislator. I don't know that this office is particularly sensitive to political ideology. Democrat Alexi Giannoulias supposedly has a batch of new ideas for the job, but how many new ideas are we looking for in a state treasurer? Barack Obama endorsed Giannoulias because Giannoulias gave him a ton of money, which tells you something about Obama. Giannoulias appears to be an arrogant, careless, overly amibitious, rich 30-year-old who has never seemed to adequately address the questionable loans given out by his bank.

Comptroller: Dan Hynes is in much the same spot as Lisa Madigan; both ascended to state office in large part due to their political families, but both have performed admirably in office. Like Madigan, Hynes is a potential future governor (and unlike Madigan, already a failed U.S. senate candidate). Hynes has been candid about the state's finances - in particular contrast to the sitting governor. I see no reason not to vote for him.

Cook County Board President: If Tony Peraica becomes the accidental county board president by virtue of the Democratic Machine's shenanigans, then so be it. The Machine must be destroyed; it is immune to reform. Don't be fooled: There is nothing to fear from a President Peraica. Not voting in this race is not an option (unless you don't live in Cook County, though maybe even then). Todd Stroger and his puppetmasters (Richard M. Daley, Barack Obama, Dick Durbin, Bill Beavers) must be stopped. A Todd Stroger victory would be the ultimate insult. Don't let it happen. Please. I beg you.

Sixth Congressional District: I don't live in this district, but if I did I would consider not voting. I can't stand Tammy Duckworth - she is a Dick Durbin/Rahm Emanuel creation who has nothing unique to say about Iraq despite her service there. If she hadn't lost her legs, she wouldn't be a candidate. If she had lost her legs and had something worthwhile to say about the war, like, say, Ron Kovic, she'd be a fine candidate. But that's not the case. Christine Cegelis got screwed. Meanwhile, Peter Roskam doesn't deserve the job if only because of the poor judgement shown in using a photo of himself in a Speedo in one of his television ads. What is he thinking? If you're a Dem, write in Cegelis. If you're a Repub, write in yourself. If you're independent, write in Stufflebeam, even though he doesn't live in the district. Neither does Duckworth.

Eighth Congressional District: I don't live in this district either (I live in the Fourth), but I can't stand Melissa Bean or David McSweeney. Vote your party and go home and throw up.

Other House Races By District:

* First: Bobby Rush is in bed with the telecoms. Send him a message.
* Second: Jesse Jackson Jr. is the smartest of the bunch. Send Daley a message.
* Third: Dan Lipinski is quite possibly even more disgusting than Todd Stroger. You know what to do.
* Fourth: I have mixed feelings about Luis Gutierrez, but he's been on fire this year on immigration and City Hall corruption. See Jackson.
* Fifth: My impression is that Rahm Emanuel is one of the most cynical, power-hungry politicians on the planet.
* Seventh: Danny Davis seems like a decent - if sometimes misguided - sort. Don't vote.
* Ninth: I don't have a fix on Jan Schakowsky, but I doubt she deserves your vote.
* Tenth: Mark Kirk is a smart guy who would have a brighter future as a national leader if moderate Republicans were more in vogue. I haven't followed Dan Seals's campaign, but up to now he hasn't gotten much support from Emanuel, who has the keys to the party's cash, so that's in Seals's favor. Vote your party. Or your conscience. Either way.
* Eleventh: Jerry Weller is a walking, talking, sitting conflict-of-interest. You know what to do.
* Twelfth: I have no idea who incumbent Jerry Costello is.
* Thirteenth: Judy Biggert is a captive of corporate interests, as far as I can tell. Doesn't Corporate America own enough public officials?
* Fourteenth: House Speaker Dennis Hastert is a greedy dick who thinks anyone who is against tyranny at home is soft on terrorism. Or at least pretends to think that. He has gotten a free ride long enough. Send him home.
* Fifteenth: I have no idea who incumbent Timothy Johnson is.
* Sixteenth and Seventeenth: You know, I just don't care. Really.
* Eighteenth: Ray LaHood is Hastert's mouthpiece - and not a very good one. Send him a message.
* Nineteenth: John Shimkus was in charge of the congressional page program. If anyone should pay, it's him.

Cook County Board of Review: Brendan Houlihan.

Judges: Judges, people. Find out who to vote against.

These views represent me and me only; I will not foist upon you the illusion that an editorial board has come to these conclusions after considered reasoning and study, as the daily papers try to do, instead of telling you that in the end the publisher comes into the room and rips up all the work that has gone before him in order to satisfy personal and business agendas which readers are never let in on, making endorsements one of the most fundamentally dishonest things newspapers do.



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Posted on November 2, 2006


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