Quick Hits – March 23, 2016

Quick Hits – March 23, 2016

0 for 2!

This time we’re talking about Governor Rauner and Capitol Fax publisher Rich Miller.

In a March 19 Crain’s piece, Miller wrote that the Rauner-Madigan feud had nothing to do with State Rep Ken Dunkin’s massive loss nor did it factor in to State Senator Sam McCann’s big win. His theory was Dunkin lost because he failed to heed the folks back home while McCann won because he did.

Dunkin McCannThat certainly may have had something do with Dunkin’s 36 point disaster, but the flaw in Miller’s logic is, as a card carrying member of the choir, he fervently believes that the vast unwashed ADHD voter masses actually pay attention to the issues. But they don’t.

The real reason for these opposite electoral outcomes is far simpler. Dunkin lost because the Madigan team knows how to defeat a candidate, while McCann won because the fledgling Rauner team does not.

We’ve already covered just how viscerally effective Madigan’s anti-Dunkin ads were. So even if our intrepid State Rep somehow managed to mow constituents’ lawns every weekend, all that would’ve amounted to is a 26 point loss.

On the other hand, Rauner’s McCann attack ads were eminently unspectacular, simply more of the same, and they completely failed to resonate with the voters. Meanwhile, McCann’s defensive commercial, featuring a believable group of blue collar constituents, was almost as effective as Madigan’s.

What I’m saying is, effective messaging determined these elections and nothing more.

My good friend Kurt Kojzarek surmised that these losses mean nothing to Rauner because he has the kind of cash to play the long game. The problem with that thought is the Governor’s only got two more years to get a lot smarter before the Madigan team turns that messaging machine on him.

They’ve already started!

It may be just the protective canopy, but seeing the work start on Elgin’s Tower Building truly is a sight for sore eyes.

I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about this project that makes me want to pull a chair up to that Chicago and Douglas intersection and sit there and watch. Perhaps, on occasion, I’d even kiss a passerby on the lips.

I’ll keep you posted with pictures on this one!

Accentuate the positive

As a result of attending the Elgin Image Awards, I came up with an idea that I happily passed along to Mayor Kaptain. What if the Elgin City Council gave out a:

  • Volunteer of the Month Award
  • Citizen of the Month Award
  • Organization/Business of the Month Award

These kinds of positive pronouncements would go a long way towards offsetting the tacit negativity that tends to take over any city council meeting. And you can never go wrong by acknowledging folks who regularly put their best forward.

I’m not saying this endeavor should replace the Image Awards, but why wait a year to celebrate the good guys?

I’m not sure about this one

Drive-up communion? That’s a new one!


But it’s exactly what Elgin’s oldest house of worship, the First Congregational United Church of Christ, is gonna do this Holy Week. Drive-up Communion will be available in the Church parking lot from noon to 1 and 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 24 regardless of the receiver’s religious denomination or affiliation.

On the one hand, this interesting idea seems to embrace the worst of our, “if it doesn’t take much effort, I’ll do it,” instant gratification culture. But on the other, ya gotta give these guys credit for giving something different a shot

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the average non-mega church goer’s age is now a ripe old 53. So unless pastors do something to attract younger attendees, their congregations will simply start to die out.

Drive-up communion? I suppose there are stranger possibilities.

0 thoughts on “Quick Hits – March 23, 2016

  1. Jeff, as a member of the Image Advisory Commission, I have to tell you that it is hard to pick out people to award once a year, even though we can have more than a few winners. I would not want to choose one person every month out of the many worthwhile choices. I don’t think you could do it fairly, month after month. I think your heart is in the right place but I could not do it.

    1. Herb,

      Thank you for the feedback. What I’m talking about here is using a much lower standard than you guys do. More of an Employee of the Month kind of thing where you spread the wealth around. Perhaps it could just be one Good Citizen/Organization award a month in any of those three categories.


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