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The Boldest Idea in Political Reform: Give More Money to Politicians

John Powers 24 September 2010 2 Comments

A grouchy Steve Rhodes doesn’t much like Pat Quinn or Bill Brady,

common sense and humane priorities would be a welcome antidote to the Pat Quinns and Bill Bradys of the world

woes Steve in his sorrowful screed.  So if we are sensible and humane, we don’t vote for Quinn or Brady or something as the stawman squares off in the ring.  The voters certainly had some degree of sense and humanity and elected Rod Blagojevich by a landslide.  There must be more to these election things.

Nor does Steve like Greg Hinz, because Greg is not doing PR for Steve’s favorite candidate

Marvel, for example, at Greg Hinz blaming voters for “failing to end Blago-style government” while explaining why he doesn’t cover candidates he decides can’t win.

Never fear, Steve has the solution, give more money to politicians, that will fix the problems of too much money in politics.  In fact that is such a great idea, that Steve attaches a pitch from Rich Whitney to get more money, who woos us by complaining about his fundraisers

Thus far, supporters have not followed through on such basic fundraising efforts as expected. I can’t do it all, and you can’t wait for the “campaign” to do it all.

Steve Rhodes is a good writer and analyst, but there is a lameness to flailing away at broad range of people for a fixable problem, when the solution is readily apparent.  Neither Pat Quinn nor Bill Brady are Rod Blagojevich.  Quinn has sensibly fired David Axelrod’s firm, which has been responsible for so many painful campaigns in Illinois, and Brady has focused on the only important issue in Illinois this cycle, jobs and finance.  Rhodes and Whitney could come out and tell us how Whitney would improve matters in Illinois, but they don’t.

I edit the Chicago Daily Observer, and am 100% in favor of partisan journalism and practice just that. As PJ O’Rourke has it “The worst thing in politics is ”bipartisan consensus.” Bipartisan consensus – that’s like when my doctor and my lawyer agree with my wife that I need help”.  But making declarations *Brady and Quinn are bad because they won the primary and the voters are lazy because they won’t give my candidate any money* sets up an incredible premise.

Outsider candidates can win elections (Scott Lee Cohen), but it is a lot of hard work.  The political playing field in Illinois is a bit of a locked up mess. Why not improve it rather than blaming others for not improving it?


John Powers is the President of the Chicago Daily Observer


  • Phil Huckelberry said:

    Rich Whitney has written at great length about his jobs plan, which he talks up all the time. He’s the only candidate offering a comprehensive budget plan that makes mathematical sense. If you don’t like the plans, that’s your prerogative. But pretending they don’t exist is silly.

  • John Powers (author) said:

    Whitney can write whatever he likes, but the counter to Quinn and Brady in Rhodes’ piece was a begging letter, rather than his jobs plan.

    If you want to promote a candidate, then include a link or some statement on his brilliance rather than telling me I am “silly” for noticing that he is behaving like a QVC pitchman.


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