…especially those running for Elgin City Council. I have yet to see a group so willing to go out of their way to entertain us.
Don’t get me wrong! There are capable conservatives like my crack radio cohort Larry Jones who actually smiles, doctors can locate his heart without an MRI, and he clearly understands the concept of cause and effect. But Larry’s the exception to the rule because the right-leaning city council contenders are showing their true colors faster than a Polaroid picture. (Look it up kids!) And as we say in the radio biz, it’s like manna from heaven.
The follies started with former Elgin OCTAVE board member and conservative ideologue, Julie Schmidt, trying to throw fiscally conservative candidate Kyle Scifert off the ballot on a petition technicality. You see, Ms. Schmidt fervently believes in less government until bringing the full weight of the government down on an opponent serves her purpose.
Thankfully, Mr. Scifert survived the challenge and Ms. Schmidt will lose yet another election.
Then we have mayoral opponent Joe Galvan who’s running a campaign that employs a middle school girl methodology. Offering no real platform of his own, Galvan’s biggest contentions are, not only did Mayor Kaptain ignore him at a public event, but the mayor had the temerity to dis his BFF councilman Terry Gavin.
Mr. Galvan will be lucky to get a third of the vote.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more fascinating – it does – thanks to our third conservative council candidate, Jamie Hjelm.
Let me clearly stipulate that, having met Ms. Hjelm, she seems like a reasonably intelligent and engaging individual. She may be a bit straight to the point, but so am I! But none of that stopped her from being hoist by her own conservative petard.
Please allow me to explain!
You see, in addition to harboring political ambitions, Ms. Hjelm owns the Elgin-based A1 Cab Company and she’s running in great part because “The Man” – in the form of Elgin city code enforcers – has come down on her cab company more than once.
The latest bone of contention was a rather disorderly Villa Street garage which she tried to explain away by claiming her father kept antique cars. And to say the relationship between the A1 Cab Company and the Elgin Police Department is strained would be the most massive of understatements.
You know how good conservatives can’t stand the police!
As the Bard once wrote, “here’s the rub.” Despite running on a fiscally conservative and less selective enforcement of city regulations platform, Ms. Hjelm has been doing her damndest to encourage more municipal regulations.
Faced with stiff competition from those app enabled Uber folks, Hjelm has been lobbying a host of local municipalities for stricter ride sharing regulations. Without going into great detail, given that Uber drivers are just regular folks like you and me, her proposed ordinance would give A1 a vast competitive advantage.
Imagine if those part-time drivers were forced to pay to have their vehicle painted like a cab – which by the way – isn’t a even an Elgin requirement.
You know how good conservatives loathe the free market.
In a most delicious irony, when Ms. Hjelm recently brought her ride share regulations before the South Elgin Village Board, instead of granting her wish, they voted 5 to 1 to do away with their taxi code completely. So now it’s even easier for an upstart South Elgin cab company to compete.
And the City of Elgin is seriously considering the same move. So let’s just say Ms. Hjelm wasn’t too happy with this outcome telling reporters, “Getting rid of the taxi ordinance makes no sense.”
What’s that old saying about sleeping dogs and leaving well enough alone?
But I think Ms. Hjelm should be thrilled with her effort because, as a mere candidate in an entirely different city, she did what most conservative city council members can only dream of! She managed to single-handedly deregulate an entire South Elgin industry!
So chin up! This is a massive victory for conservatives everywhere. So what if it was utterly unintended! The fact that Ms. Hjelm didn’t mean to do it should have absolutely no bearing on the impending celebration. Where’s Fox News? A conservative finally accomplished something!
God I love conservatives! I can’t wait to see how Jason Dusenberry plans on topping this one!
P.S. I want to give the Daily Herald’s Elena Ferarrin credit for her continuing coverage of the Elgin City Council race because it makes my life a lot easier and she scares me.