It is often said, not quite accurately, that there are old politicians, bold politicians, but never old, bold politicians. That’s because the longer a politician serves in office, the lower the risk-taking quotient
In reality, there are three distinct political career tracks: Risk-takers, free-shooters and stay-putters.
The first category is typified by short-term officeholders who are not part of any political dynasty, view their current post as a steppingstone to a more powerful and prestigious position, do not want a lifelong political career, and lack patience or political connections. It’s up or …
Can you say “Governor Sanguinetti”? Or “Governor Rodriguez”? Or even “Governor” Kim or Tracy.
But one of these obscurities may be Illinois’ next lieutenant governor. And, as they say, just a heartbeat, scandal or impeachment away from the governorship.
In Illinois, where five of the past ten governors have been indicted, and four jailed, that’s not too farfetched. Being lieutenant governor may not necessarily be a career track, but it’s definitely an opportunity structure.
In 2010, Democrats averted a major fiasco. Big-spending pawnbroker Scott Lee Cohen unexpectedly won the lieutenant governor’s primary in …
One of the now-deeply ingrained realities of American politics, in both law and fact, is the concept of “non-retrogression.”
That means once a legislative office is occupied by a black or Hispanic, it is violative of the federal Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the precepts of affirmative action for the post to revert and retrogress to a non-minority. As they say, once you go black (or, now, Hispanic), you can never go back.
Yet the sustainability of “non-retrogression” will soon be tested on two fronts, one very large and …
Amid the so-called “government shutdown.” and on the cusp of the deadline to raise the country’s $17 trillion debt ceiling, two voices have been notably, and probably joyously, silent: Team Clinton.
While the Boehner-led House Republicans and the Obama Administration and Harry Reid’s Senate remain implacably obdurate, the path to a restoration for Hillary and Bill has become crystal clear, and a 2016 presidential win looks not just likely, but almost inevitable.
In fact, Team Clinton’s strategy to snare the presidency can be summarized in just a few words: Bail. Shut up. Disappear. …
It’s inoculation time. The 2014-15 political season has begun.
And the best defense against forthcoming insults to intelligence and noxious negativity is the following: Don’t answer the doorbell. Don’t read newspapers. Don’t watch TV. Get hefty bags for the avalanche of junk mail. And definitely don’t read this column.
Nominating petitions for the March 18 primary are due by Dec. 2. Some odiferous contests are already underway.
* 40th House District. Recently appointed Jaime Andrade (D) will soon discover whether, in the “Land of Me, Mell and I,” loyalty begets reciprocity. The Wizard …
Over 50 years ago, David Halberstam authored a book about the Kennedy Administration entitled “The Best and the Brightest.” Nobody would ever utilize that phrase to describe Illinois’ government, governor, or state legislature. “Dumb and Dumbest” would be more apropos.
In fact, the “Land of Lincoln” is more aptly characterized as the “Land of Least Worst” – which describes the array of abysmal choices Illinoisans confront when choosing a governor.
Of the state’s past ten governors, five were indicted, one was impeached, and four went to prison.
The current governor, Pat Quinn (D), …
Remember that old saying? Heed the message. Don’t kill the messenger.
When owners of 1.8 million parcels of real estate in Cook County got their first and second installment 2012 tax bills in April and August, the message, as mandated by the county’s recently-passed Debt Disclosure Ordinance, was beyond grim, beyond bleak, and perhaps even beyond remedy.
The bills’ messengers – the USPS, as deliverer, and the Cook County treasurer’s office, as preparer – contained some very traumatic information:
Even though property values have declined, property taxes have increased, will continue to increase, …
As of August, 2013, this column has appeared uninterrupted for 40 years. That’s 2,080 columns containing at least 1,500 words apiece, for an aggregate total of 3.2 million words.
If nothing else, that undoubtedly qualifies me for recognition as a purveyor of verbosity, a paragon of consistency, and the receptacle of considerable enmity.
Looking back over four decades, and analyzing the machinations, foibles and idiocies of perhaps a thousand national, state and local politicians, the question of the moment is this: What has changed between then (1973) and now (2013)? The …
* The Great “Son Swap.”
Who says Hispanics aren’t assimilating? In fact, Chicago’s Hispanic politicians can connive, deceive, dissemble and behave as selfishly as any veteran white or black politician. According to Cook County Commissioner Edwin Reyes (8th), State Representative Luis Arroyo (D-3) is the “next Mell” – a reference to Dick Mell’s recent bequest of his aldermanic job to daughter Deb Mell – and is conspiring to give his son Reyes’ job.
The 2011 city council ward remap created a new Hispanic-majority 36th Ward, effective in 2015, specifically including Arroyo’s residence …
Here’s a quiz for old-timers who reside in Chicago’s far Northwest Sider 41st Ward:
* Who is Harry Bell? And is there a “Curse of Harry Bell”? Current ward alderman Mary O’Connor scoffs at the notion. According to her senior advisor and press spokesman, Jason Hernandez, O’Connor, the ward’s first female alderman, is “well-positioned” to win a second term in 2015. She’s not, he insists, going to be a one-termer, as was Democrat Bell, who served 1959-63.
O’Connor’s most formidable 2015 opponents, Maurita Gavin and Rich Gonzalez, who finished second/third in 2011, are out …