A great part of the reason I write is my firm belief in the American political process. If it truly was beyond hope, there’d be no point in trying to improve it. Sure! There will always be the inevitable pendulum swings, but if the press applies their craft correctly, they should be nothing more than mere speed bumps on the path to a higher ideal.
As the great Winston Churchill theorized in 1947, “Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
But that boundless faith is being sorely tested. This hyper-partisanship is getting old, the simmering bigotry of my Caucasian compatriots as prompted by the President is rearing its ugly head, and even the good guys seem prone to corruption.
To wit, I thought DuPage County State Senator Tom Cullerton wore a white hat until the Feds indicted him on what amounts to 39 counts of ghost payrolling. Heavy sigh! To be clear, he is innocent until proven guilty, but I wouldn’t be making any long-term plans if I were him.
But what really frosts my flakes is, whenever the political proceedings descend to this disastrously dysfunctional level, it becomes the kind of self-fulfilling feedback loop that brings out yet more bad candidates while the reasonable possibilities avoid running like the plague.
Which brings us right back to my 25th State Senate district! I wish I had good news, but let me tell ya, the current about-to-announce crop of candidates is nothing to make the folks write home.
It starts on the Republican side with perennial candidate Beth Goncher who’s racked up so many losses that she couldn’t win an election if she ran unopposed. Her claims to fame are being one of former State Rep Tim Schmitz’ legislative aides and sending yours truly a cease and desist order which didn’t phase me or my then Beacon-News editors in the least.
If you’re so thin-skinned that you can’t deal with a journalist, how the bleep are you going to effectively deal with the morass we refer to as Springfield? Add Ellen Nottke and Dennis Cook (massive eyeroll) as her campaign team and we’re talking another guaranteed loss.
That said, Goncher may actually prevail in the primary because, as it stands now, just when you thought the GOP candidate pool couldn’t possibly get any worse, it does! Yes! Wacky former U-46 School Board member Jeanette Ward’s announcement is equally imminent.
You remember Jeanette, right? She’s the board member who ignored her responsibility to the children by co-opting and turning that position into an ultra-right-wing platform. Her greatest hits include regular racist pronouncements, spitefully attacks on transgendered children, and warping the Christian religion into a cudgel she’d used to go after anyone who disagreed with her.
The impetus behind Ward’s board seat win was an absurd Kane County Clerk tax error combined with former U-46 Board member Tracee Ellis’ regular reverse racism. Without those kinds of conservative “hot button” issues around to rile the faithful, she will go down in the same sort of electoral flames as she did in her massive 2019 school board loss.
The 25th may be conservative, but they’re not Louisiana conservative.
The view ain’t any rosier from the other side, either. Karina Villa, fresh off her 49th District State Rep win, Karina Villa will seek the Democratic nomination.
Though it’s not setting the bar too high, Villa is a far better candidate than Goncher or Ward, but it’s beyond disingenuous to promise to represent a constituency and then bail on them one short year later when something better comes along. Despite their vast ADHD, the voters tend to take notice of that kind of thing.
Though I lean Democratic, even I realize we don’t need to be sending any more Democrats downstate. Villa lacks the political intelligence, the backbone, and the capacity to keep promises that would allow her to rise above being just another cog in the Madigan machine.
Given the generally dismal Democratic 25th prospects, she’d most certainly lose against any decent Republican candidate, but Goncher and Ward are so underwhelming that, considering the impending 2020 Trump backlash, the Dems could certainly flip that district.
And that’s the last thing Illinois needs.
So, here I go again! Of the distinguished 219,999 25th Senate District denizens (I don’t count!), there’s gotta be at least one moderate Republican candidate who has the capacity to get something done. Please get ahold of me – it’s not that hard – and I will run your campaign for the eminently low friends and family rate.
C’mon! Can’t we do better than this? Trust me! It won’t take much of an effort to beat the other three.