The Illinois primary provided us with many lessons. These lessons have soured me a bit and made me even more critical of my home state. Since my blog was originally designed to give me a place to vent…here goes nothing.
Illinois is a deep blue state. I come to this conclusion from the fact that the more radical, or destructive of a force for Illinois or the nation as a whole, the easier it was for a Democratic Party candidate to win. Michael Madigan won in a landslide. Derrick Smith is charged with bribery, but won in a landslide. Jesse Jackson Jr is likely to be investigated for his role in the Blagojevich scandal, which is why Debbie Halvorson thought she should run for the seat (to keep it Democratic), and he won in a landslide. Jan Schakowsky only says she’s a Democrat rather than a Socialist for the sake of appearances, and she got over 95% of the vote in her primary. One could argue that voters in the Democratic primary are the furthest to the left. I want to believe that is the case. My wife is always telling me to think positively, so I will.
But…the results on the Republican side make it hard to stay positive. It’s not just the fact that Mitt Romney won the presidential primary, it’s that he won big. The Republican establishment in Illinois was firmly behind Romney, so it was easy. The Illinois Republican Party has a long history of supporting big government Republicans (Jim Thompson, Jim Edgar, George Ryan). Romney does epitomize the Illinois Combine mentality. The trend continues. Very sad. I don’t even want to talk about it.
DuPage County needs a new GOP Chairman. Randy Ramey lost handily to Carole Pankau in their state senate race. That is not the reason he should be replaced as chairman. It’s how he lost that matters. Getting a DUI is not the problem. How he handled himself was the problem. Anyone who has seen the police tape knows that he asked the arresting officer “Do you know who I am?” This was just a small glimpse into the attitude of the chairman. I have seen him challenge people who he thinks may be running a candidate against him. I have seen him tell people to back down and leave an organization so another person who has clout with him can take over. I know of a conservative activist that was told to cut ties with others and work exclusively with him. Randy Ramey also has consolidated and solidified his power by circumventing the by-laws of the party. I don’t think the party and the message can move forward when the head of the organization seems to be spending his time on concentrating power. To the non-political, Ramey and his very public DUI make him a liability. Democrats are drooling at the chance to run against anything supported by Randy Ramey. Together, these are the reasons I believe he must go.
The voters are not voting for reform. I hate when I am disappointed in my fellow man, but I can’t help but feel that way. Adam Kinzinger has done nothing to reform D.C. In fact, he has abetted the decline of our country and bloating of our deficit. That didn’t stop voters from selecting him over Don Manzullo. Voters complain about runaway government spending, pensions, and career politicians. In DuPage County, voters elected two mayors (Grasso and DiCianni) that don’t want to resign from their jobs as mayors and a village trustee (Zannis), that is undecided on eliminating pensions for county board members that work only part-time. This was enough to make me shake my head on election night. I will make an exception for Grasso though. In the four-way race for three seats, he was better than the fourth option.
I hate that I painted such a gloomy picture. It just reminds me that there is a LOT of work to do. Time to go to bed. The drawing board will have to wait until tomorrow.