Though y’all are starting to get to me, I generally don’t get too excited when the rabble regularly shows signs of their political immaturity. It’s when a major opinion columnist does it that frosts my cookies.
For background purposes, as part of their investigation of the former governor, the FBI recorded a 2008 conversation between Rod Blagojevich and current gubernatorial candidate J. B. Pritzker in which the latter showed great interest in being appointed Treasurer.
And the Tribune’s John Kass, who hopes to become a real writer someday, got downright giddy at the prospect. Why, went as far as referring to the candidate as “stupid” and “moronic.”
And people have the nerve to say I’m surly and ill-mannered.
Of course, J. B. should’ve used an intermediary, but it’s not like he was looking for a salary or political power. That $3.4 billion ought to hold him for a little while. Like Jim Oberweis before him, he’s just one of those rich guys who really wants to give politics a shot.
Not only that, but the Pritzkers give more money to charity in one year than most of us will make in our entire lifetime.
So my response to this non-story was, “So what?” If J. B. wanted to contribute his way into the Treasurer’s office, it wasn’t something I was going to worry about. This kind of bleep happens every day, at every political level.
Take Kane County for example
If you recall from some previous TheFirstWard posts, though the odds are getting slim, State’s Attorney Joe McMahon desperately wants to move up to that Northern Illinois Federal Prosecutors position.
And the behind the scenes machinations to fill that potentially vacant spot are nothing short of Netflix miniseries.
I’m sure Mr. McMahon has a successor in mind, which may or may not jive with whatever Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen might be thinking. Meanwhile, since this kind of new travels fast, that $170,000 salary is going to draw a lot of local attorney interest too. They’re all making the “right” calls and calling in any favor they can right now.
The difference between Mr. Pritzker’s situation and this one is the FBI ain’t bugging those telephone conversations.
It even happens right here in lowly Geneva.
With no one throwing their hat in the ring, I thought about running for City Clerk as a write-in just to have a little fun with it. But that idea quickly evaporated when I noted that the job pays three grand a year and you actually have to work!
So I completely disavowed myself of the notion.
Then I discovered my new partner-in-political-crime, Jill Johnson, was interested in that gig. Jill and I met while trying to bring some sort of solace to the Geneva mayoral race – she was on the Mayor Burns team and I was helping out a couple of the alderman.
Given that she’s eminently qualified, she wants the job, she knows being city clerk is a 24/7 proposition and I really like her, I called those same aldermen to say, “I’m not asking for your vote. All I’m asking is, all contentions campaigns aside, please carefully consider her for City Clerk.”
And they all said “sure!”
If she gets the gig, as my candidate managing calendar starts getting booked, since Jill knows half of Geneva, you better believe I’ll call her when it’s time to get the vote out.
That’s the way it works people! The entire political world revolves around contributions and favors, and to think otherwise is the height of naiveté. Can it go too far? Sure! Just ask Rod. But without this constant “backroom” horse trading, nothing would ever get done.
Local politics would descend directly into the abyss we call Springfield, Illinois. Our budget stalemate is exactly the kind of thing that will happen when favors are no longer currency.
So please get a grip, stop trying to annoy the crap out of me, grow up a little bit and worry about far more important things like the State budget. So J. B. Pritzker discussed the treasurer position with Rod Blagojevich? Who cares! Had that spot actually been vacated, Rod wasn’t about to give it away.
There may come a day when John Kass actually gets something right, but it will not be this day!