Quick Hits – December 8, 2017

Quick Hits – December 8, 2017

Political odds and ends

With all the nominating paperwork in and hopeless write-in candidates the only remaining option, let’s quickly cover the stragglers who turned their nominating petitions in at the end of the filing period.

As expected, Jack Cunningham filed his paperwork on Monday to limit the possibility of a challenge. It was a smart move as he has been thrown off the ballot before (and no one caught his major 2014 error).


This time, Jack’s signature sheets are rock solid, so he will face his former Chief Deputy, Stan Bond, in the March 20 primary. Again, I think Cunningham will win this one without breaking much of a sweat.

Meanwhile, though I typically applaud anyone with the cojones to throw their hat in the ring, Nicolas “Nico” Jimenez also entered that race on the Democratic side, making Don Quixote’s capacity to tilt at windmills pale by comparison.

If you recall, Nico, tried to unseat 18th District County Board member, Drew Frasz, in the abundantly Republican Blackberry Township, and he lost big. Considering the still Republican leaning Kane County voters, whether it’s Bond or Cunningham, the result will be the same.

One of the cardinal rules of running for office is to pick a race you can win. With today’s 24/7 news cycle, two losses, and especially two large losses, in a row makes it almost impossible to win the next one. So, while I certainly appreciate his enthusiasm, my fervent wish is that Mr. Jimenez had chosen a bit more wisely.

Treasurer Dave Rickert also submitted his paperwork on Monday, but that timing is immaterial because, even if he had an opponent, he’s virtually unbeatable. He’s done a great job with that office and, considering all of his input into my impending ‘So You Wanna Win a Local Election’ book, he’d be a tough target regardless of his record.


But no PCs!

This one continues to baffle me.

The Tea Party’s biggest mistake, among many, is their abject failure to get precinct committeemen elected. They didn’t even bother to slate very many! They were so busy with their silly social issue stances, they never quite figured out where the real political power lies.

Granted, our light speed media culture has rendered the old-school PC worker bee somewhat obsolete, but they, and only they, elect the local party leaders. And if you control the party leaders, you control the party.

Despite this all-to-obvious reality, with the exception of Aurora and Elgin, every even-year election sees a precipitous drop in the number of folks willing to get the 10 signatures necessary to serve as precinct committeeman.

To wit, there are 169 non-city of Aurora/Elgin precincts and, right now, only 69 have GOP PC candidates, while a mere 47 PC candidates are running on the Democratic side. Were I elected chairman of either party – a prospect that terrifies me even more than Donald Trump – that’s the first thing I’d attempt to address.


Crain’s gets it right!

Fed up with trolls and stupid people, and there are plenty of both, Crain’s Chicago Business just eliminated all reader commentary on their website. This eminently smart move eliminates the impossible tasks of enforcing non-anonymity rules and trying to keep the worst offenders from regularly destroying the conversation.


Readers can still comment on Facebook where’s it much easier to block and moderate the chicken shit readers who can’t seem to muster the courage to use their real names.

Crain’s, the last Illinois bastion of real journalism, did the right thing.


It must be something in the water

All Kane County cities have an overarching personality. Though I’m not terribly fond of the motto, Elgin really is The City in the Suburbs. Aurora’s is based on the kind of diversity that being Illinois’ second largest city brings

Geneva is the City of Whites, St. Charles embodies a mature calmness, and Batavia always seems to feel like the lost Tri-Cities stepchild. Sugar Grove, Elburn and Pingree grove are experiencing growing pains. North Aurora is a bit insular, Carpentersville is the working man’s town, and Gilberts and Maple Park have retained their rural flair.

But Huntley is fucking nuts!


Don’t get me wrong, every municipality has issues, but Huntley’s most recent claim to fame is three well-reported racist attacks revolving around the high school since last February. One of them included blatantly bigoted pamphlets taped to lockers.

That wouldn’t normally be enough for me to dismiss an entire town, but when you add my experience as a travel soccer coach, all this negative news doesn’t surprise me in the least.

The parents were nuts, the coaches were more nuts and the players, especially the middle school girls, were downright petulant and nasty. Then they’d all concoct the tallest of tales to absolve themselves of any responsibility for their boorish behavior.

This, of course, begs the question, can you prescribe Prozac to an entire village?

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