Dem’s dumb down debate

Look! I’m well aware of my general failure to play well with others, so, despite regular entreaties to do so, I simply won’t run for office. I’ll help good people get elected, but that’s about as far as I’m willing to go.

But if you were unfortunate enough to listen to the hour-long live-streamed Chicago Tribune Democratic Attorney General endorsement shouting match, you might suddenly be inclined to call me Mr. Rogers.


Here are some of the lowlights:

  • The other seven candidates jumped all over State Sen Kwame Raoul for taking tobacco money.
  • Raoul responded by calling Chicago Park District President Jesse Ruiz “a serial liar.”
  • State Rep Scott Drury and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering accused each other of taking Rauner money.
  • Former Federal Prosecutor Renato Mariotti repeatedly bashed former Governor Pat Quinn for “putting us in the situation that we’re in.”
  • Raoul responded to South Side attorney Aaron Goldstein’s insistent attacks by asking, “Should I assume that everybody who gave you a contribution is buying you?”
  • Drury accused the rest of the group of being in Mike Madigan’s back pocket.
  • Rotering accused Drury of being “the height of hypocrisy.”

I think we would’ve been much better off visiting your average fourth-grade classroom than having to listen to this kind of drivel. C’mon! If these fine folks can’t put their best foot forward during an endorsement interview, how the hell are they going to run one of the most important offices in the State of Illinois?

As the local endorsement, forum and debate processes heat up, I would advise my esteemed collar county candidates that this is exactly the way NOT to comport yourself.

All I can say is Democrats suck!


Just don’t do it!

Nothing says, “I’ve completely given up on myself and life in general,” like wearing flannel pajama bottoms out of the house. Leave it to Americans to create an entirely new definition of the word “laziness!”

And I’m not talking about the short driveway jaunt to get the newspaper, either. I’m talking about putting them on to go to the bank, the grocery store and any other place where civilized folk expect reasonably appropriate attire.

We’ll exclude Wal Mart because pajama pants would be a big step up there.

What incited this rant is having to observe one of my neighbors heading out to the car in those flannel abominations as I walked my dog this morning. And let me tell you, there’s nothing more terrifying than wondering if you’re going to catch a glimpse of something you really don’t want to see.

Have some fricken self-respect people!

So that’s it! I’m officially calling this disturbing and third-sign-of-the-apocalypse trend off. You can thank me later!


Political associations matter

As a reasonable campaign manager, I consistently warn my candidates to avoid unnecessary associations with other politicians as, more often than not, those “alliances” come back to bite you in the butt. Running as a slate is especially fraught with peril, because all it takes is one “team” member to screw up and everyone gets an equal share of the infamy.

Elgin City Councilman Corey Dixon managed to pull this off in 2017, but he was an extraordinary candidate who joined forces with well-known commodities.

The much more likely outcome is what almost happened to Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham and Treasurer Dave Rickert when they asked then Sheriff candidate Don Kramer to run with them as a Republican trio. They dodged a massive bullet when Kramer refused and went on to blow a $2.5 million hole in his budget just 15 days into office.

In that very regard, aside from her economic interest statement blip, I’ve been more than impressed with Associate Judge Elizabeth Flood’s campaign for David Akemann’s soon-to-be vacated 16th Circuit seat. Judges typically have no clue how to campaign, just ask David Kliment who’s running for the very same seat.

But then I saw Flood’s fundraising invitation.

And there it was in the list of hosts, “Senator Karen McConnaughay and Mr. John McConnaughay.” When you’re in a primary field of three, with a frontrunner who’s already won two countywide elections, that poorly conceived association means the end of the campaign line for Ms. Flood.

Former KC Chairman McConnaughay was so reviled by the beginning of her second term that her Republican compatriots finally conspired to get rid of her. When she fled to Springfield, Governor Rauner was particularly enamored of her until he became aware of her vast pay-to-play and union supporting proclivities.

Because she abandoned them the second they became superfluous, her old Kane County friends now speak ill of Ms. McConnaughay. Add that to a slew of bad press and putting her name on campaign material is bound to backfire.

You see, our generally lazy voters love to look for a reason to dismiss a candidate outright, and Judge Flood just provided them with all the ammunition they need to do that.

I’m not saying candidates should give in to the kind of political paranoia that would make Damocles look sane by comparison, but if you’re going to run for local office you can’t be quite that tone deaf about whom you hand your hat with.


The Daily Herald has no sense of humor – Part 37

The nerve of the folks at that Newspaper!

In response to Managing Editor Jim Baumann’s Facebook post thanking readers for being patient while a slew of their reporters and editors were out with the flu, my Elgin friend Daniel Rich called on me to “chip in in and lend a hand.”

But when I reminded Dan just how much the people at Paddock Publications love me, Baumann agreed, adding that the Daily Herald and Jeff Ward would be better off sticking to their own “platforms.”

When I quickly responded, “Jim, My platform is journalism. What’s the Daily Herald’s?,” he blocked me! And I’m such a nice guy, too!

I subsequently called Mr. Baumann, leaving a voicemail explaining that:

  • It was a joke
  • Had he said the same thing to me, I’d still be laughing
  • And the folks who hold other folks to the standard should have the thickest of skins

But despite being eagerly glued to my cell phone, there has been no return call. Normally I consider it a badge of honor to be blocked by anyone from the Daily Herald, but it’s much more meaningful when I actually have to earn it.

I may have gone on to say that I hadn’t noticed any effect from the lack of DH reporters and editors, and perhaps they might want to make it permanent.

I am always willing to help, aren’t I?