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[13 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]

The outcome of Illinois’ gubernatorial race, which Republican Bruce Rauner won by an unofficial tabulation of 171,900 votes (50.8 percent), proves anew that any mother’s can grow up to be governor – provided that can self-fund $28 million and raise another $60 million.
Rauner’s win also reaffirms another pearl of wisdom: Bad always gets worse. If Illinoisans thought state government was incompetent and leadership dysfunctional under the Quinn-Madigan-Cullerton Democratic regime, they ain’t seen nothing yet.
The 2018 governor’s campaign started on Nov. 5. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is the presumptive Democratic nominee. …

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[29 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

Now is the time, just days away from the Nov. 4 election, for all astute candidates in still-winnable races to “pivot.” If they don’t, they lose.
After months of pummeling their opponents with negative ads and mailers designed to trash their reputation and credibility, to solidify their own base, and to diminish their foes’ polling numbers, “pivoting” is a switching of the gears. It’s finally time to give the voters a reason a reason to vote for somebody, not against somebody.
The goal of negative advertising is to cap the opposition’s polling …

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[23 Oct 2014 | One Comment | ]

After Pat Quinn (D) wins on Nov. 5, stories will proliferate in the media that Bruce Rauner (R) ran the worst gubernatorial campaign that money could buy. Well, you read it here first: Rauner is running the worst campaign money can buy, and is definitely on track to lose to the man who is arguably America’s worst governor.

How can a guy spend $75 million from mid-2013 through Election Day, have a saturation TV presence, have an opponent whose “unfavorables” are double his “favorables,” and still lose? Here’s how:
After the March …

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[16 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

Here is a multiple choice question: Republicans in the Illinois Senate are:
(a) Irrelevant
(b) Inconsequential
(c) Invisible
(d) All of the above
The answer is (d). In the Illinois House, Democrats have a 71-47 “super-majority,” meaning they have more than three-fifths of the chamber, and can override governor vetoes and pass bills in overtime sessions. In the Illinois Senate, Democrats have a 40-19 edge, which is two-thirds of the chamber. Call that a “super-super-majority.”

The Republican contingent could plausibly dwindle to 18 in the 2014 election, or, as is more likely, nudge up to 20 …

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[30 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

The November 4 election, for Democratic politicians in Chicago, will be a “UPS moment.” Which committeemen among the 50 Chicago wards will deliver? And will their delivery be decisive and intimidating?
With Chicago politicians already heavily focused on the Feb. 24, 2015 municipal election, and those with statewide ambitions intensely pondering the state landscape for 2016 and 2018, the 2014 vote will, to use that ancient sexist expression, “separate the men from the boys.”

Many decisions will be made, or unmade, based on which candidates run best, and which committeemen produce the …

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[23 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

Here is some revisionist history. Illinois is not necessarily the “Land of Lincoln.” It could just as plausibly be known as the “Land of the Stupid Voter” – about 1,736,731 of them.
* That is the number of votes secured by Rod Blagojevich (D) for governor in 2006, after he relentlessly and mercilessly bashed his Republican opponent, Judy Baar Topinka. “What is she thinking?” his TV ads blared, as he spent $25 million in “pay-to-play”-raised funds to define Topinka as some kind of crackpot, and win a second term by 367,417 …

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[17 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

In sports, just like every other endeavor in life, you can’t win if you don’t show up. Quitters forfeit the game, and deserve no respect.
Now that the baseball season is thankfully culminating, and the Cubs and White Sox are fiercely striving to be among the half-dozen worst teams in Major League Baseball, it’s time to move on, and identify other losers.
No, not the Bears – at least not yet.

How about the Cook County Republican Party? At least the Sox and Cubs show up to play, albeit to sparse crowds. In …

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[11 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

In 2006, an anti-Bush, anti-Republican, pro-Democratic “wave” year, Democrats made a net gain of 31 U.S. House seat, eliminating the Republicans’ 232-202 majority, giving the Democrats a 233-201 majority, and making Nancy Pelosi speaker. Of those 31 turnovers, only three reverted to the Republicans in 2008.
In 2008, the “Year of Obama,” when anti-Bush fever crested, another 21 Democrats won Republican seats, upping their majority to 257-178. But Obamacare and other liberal initiatives took a toll. Of those elected in 2006 and 2008, 30 lost in 2010.
In 2010, an anti-Obama wave …

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[29 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

If the English bard Shakespeare were resurrected, and brought to Chicago’s northwest side and northwest suburbs in 2014 to pen some verse on political reality, he would undoubtedly coin the phrase: “To pact or not to pact? That is the question.” And the answer is: Those politicians who don’t pact, don’t win.
Among area “Pact-Men” and “Pact-Women,” past and present, are Pete Silvestri, Michael McAuliffe, John Mulroe, Mary O’Connor, Rob Martwick, Skippy Saviano, Barrett Pedersen, Brad Stephens, Bill Banks, Jim DeLeo, Marty Moylan, and Bob Provenzano. The two most pact-less and …

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[20 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

A whole bunch of words and phrases aptly describe the Illinois state treasurer’s contest, none of which have yet registered a blip on the votes’ radar:
Not. Most. Why? Nobody. Uh-oh. Stay Put. Plan No. Mess. And, lastly, Blame George Bush. Here’s a synopsis.
NOT. As a job, being state treasurer is not rocket science. It’s just arithmetic. State revenue is generated from taxes and fees; it is collected by the treasurer; it is invested by the treasurer for maximum return; and, periodically, it is transferred to a state account administered by …