Saturday, September 3, 2016

2016 - November elections

The margin of victory in American elections is determined by our most mentally challenged citizens.  The  bright ones, whether progressive, conservative, or self-serving, have made up their minds long before the election campaign ever begins.

It's the air heads who are swayed by all those 30-second commercials that cost so  much to broadcast.

This year's presidential election has the distinction of featuring a candidate whose career in television has given him  a unique appeal to dimwits, especially if they have a taste for the vindictive resentment stoked by decades of right wing talk radio.

 So Donald Trump might actually win this thing -- just as McDonalds makes America's favorite hamburger and Miller Lite is the country's favorite beer.

Intense political involvement, regardless of orientation,  tends to addle the brain.  Since I share many of their views, left wing pundits tend to embarrass me.   I prefer to read their opponents.

This  is the first presidential election in which I have followed the right-wing websites - having become addicted to their expressions of pain and outrage, especially towards each  other. 

My favorite is Erick Erickson.  Far less reptilian than George Will or Charles Krauthammer, he shows flashes of honest self-awareness.

As when he writes: "If we have to ask whether conservative media created Trump, we should not stop there. We should ask who created conservative media. The answer is actually the mainstream media."
Like a truculent child addressing his parents: "Yes, I know I'm a bad boy, but you made me that way!!"

And I have to respect his #NEVERTRUMP crusade.  It  has inspired me to go #NEVERHILLARY.

Not that I have any interest in her lies or emails. If that's the worst thing she's ever done, she would be a saint among politicians.

I cannot vote for her because she has, and will, find opportunities for military intervention - and that is one thing that POTUS can do without Congressional assent.


Friday, February 12, 2016

2016 - March Primary - Democratic

President, U.S. 4 Year Term, Vote For 1:

Hillary Clinton Democratic 1 Willie L. Wilson Democratic 2 Martin J. O'Malley Democratic 3 Roque 'Rocky' De La Fuente Democratic 4 Larry (Lawrence) Cohen Democratic 5 Bernie Sanders Democratic 6

I confess that I didn't take Bernie Sanders seriously until the overwhelming majority of kids did. The view from those at the beginning of their adult lives is quite different from those, like me, who can already see the exit door.  I had figured that the greatest priority was electing a democrat - period - so that eventually SCOTUS would undue the mischief of the Citizen United case and let the country again attempt to disconnect big money from big politics.

But now, I'm not so sure that Hilary is the most electable Democrat. And I'm not comfortable with her approach to foreign policy -- including this account of her role in the Libya intervention.
Bernie appears to be less interventionist and less pro-Israel -- and what, besides foreign affairs, can a President actually accomplish with a Republican House and Senate?

So now I'll be voting for Bernie -- as long as I can keep myself from watching any more debates.

As LBJ,  that great achiever of Civil Rights and Medicare may once have said:  making laws, like making sausages, should never be looked at too closely -- and it's a bit disgusting to watch politicians pandering  to various kinds of self interest, rather than articulating a common good..

But since electability is my primary concern --- Clinton may eventually get my vote.

Here is a piece by a Gay-Jewish pundit who argues that Bernie has no chance to win. Coincidentally, I queried a cross-dressing customer at my shop last week, and he/she said they would never vote for a Socialist. (they're backing Ted Cruz)

On the other hand, this opinion piece argues that Bernie fares better in face-to-face polls against Trump because, like Trump, he is not politics-as-usual, while unlike Trump, he is not a proven scoundrel


Something might also be said about the phenomenal success of the Trump campaign over on the Republican side. He is quite an accomplished entertainer/public speaker who has tailored a message for the crowd whose appetite for  anger and resentment has been whipped up by talk radio.

They may be driven by paranoid innuendo and patriotic blather - but they're not especially accommodated by the traditional conservatives whose ideal of small government better serves the interests of  wealthy  investors and corporations.

So I'm glad they now have a champion who is destroying the Republican coalition, even if it eventually recovers.

I just hope he doesn't make it all the way to the white house.

Senator, U.S. 6 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Andrea Zopp Democratic 21 Tammy Duckworth Democratic 22 Napoleon Harris Democratic 23

Napoleon Harris is a retired NFL linebacker who opened two pizza joints and then got elected to the Illinois senate from a poor, southeast suburban Chicago district. He is currently at odds with the Labor Department for paying his  employees below minimum wage. His website demonstrates an interest in education and alternative economy -- but not much relating to the national issues that come before the US senate.

Andrea Zopp is an attorney who was CEO of the Chicago Urban League and worked for various national corporations.   She appears to be well connected with Chicago political leaders. In contrast to Mr. Harris, her website actually does discuss national issues --  but it feels like a half-hearted boilerplate -- just going through the motions

On the other hand, Tammy Duckworth offers even less information and discussion on her website.. Her life story, as a disabled combat veteran, is more compelling than anything else she has said or done.

With greater name recognition, perhaps Tammy might do better in the general election --- but Andrea might well become a more effective legislator.

Representative, 7th District 2 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Danny K. Davis Democratic 41 Thomas Day Democratic 42

Thomas Day offers nothing to this race other than his military background.  Not even a website that might discuss issues in greater detail  than a 5-minute video.

So I see no reason to unseat Danny Davis  even if his attendance record is poor. Have there really been many congressional votes in the past 8 years that were not  decided beforehand?

Delegate to National Nominating Convention, 7th District 2 Year Term, Vote For 9:

 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Ira Acree (Clinton) Democratic 51 Mattie Hunter (Clinton) Democratic 52 James F. Coyne (Clinton) Democratic 53 Emma M. Mitts (Clinton) Democratic 54 Larry Rogers, Jr. (Clinton) Democratic 55 Eileen Kay Rhodes (Clinton) Democratic 56 Michael Scott Jr. (Clinton) Democratic 57 Anna Valencia (Clinton) Democratic 58 John A. West (Clinton) Democratic 59 Tumia Romero (O'Malley) Democratic 60 Tierra S. Jackson (O'Malley) Democratic 61 Peggy A. Roth (O'Malley) Democratic 62 Katrina Veerhusen (O'Malley) Democratic 63 Anne Conderacci (O'Malley) Democratic 64 Michael K. Forde (O'Malley) Democratic 65 Joshua Sam Lapidus (O'Malley) Democratic 66 Hugh R. McCombs (O'Malley) Democratic 67 La Shawn K. Ford (Sanders) Democratic 68 Robert J. Peters (Sanders) Democratic 69 Melissa Parks (Sanders) Democratic 70 Robert Angert George (Sanders) Democratic 71 Martin Ritter (Sanders) Democratic 72 Jan Rodolfo (Sanders) Democratic 73 Willie Mack (Sanders) Democratic 74 Tara S. Stamps (Sanders) Democratic 75 Brianna Tong (Sanders) Democratic 76

Comptroller, State of Illinois (Unexpired Term) 2 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Susana Mendoza Democratic 31

No contest

 State Senator, 4th District 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Kimberly A. Lightford Democratic 111

Is  there any reason why  Ms. Lightford should hold this job  until she dies or retires?

State Representative, 7th District 2 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Emanuel 'Chris' Welch Democratic 121 Chris Harris Democratic 122

Hats off to Tim Harris for challenging the lifetime incumbency of Chris Welch.

All of the accusations printed above are false -- but Welch has always run for office:by  accusing opponents of his own crimes.

As the Chicago Tribune writes:

7th District: Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, must be worried about his opponent, Chris Harris of Forest Park, or he wouldn't be sending out smear mailings that are so misleading they're comical. 

Sadly, it has always worked for him in our low income district.

More sadly -- Illinois really does need legislators who can deliver services while getting the state out of bankruptcy.

Here are some more Welch flyers that I've been collecting.

The good news is that this blizzard of mailings, billboards on the Eisenhower,  and telephone calls (by paid campaign workers) suggest that Mr. Welch is concerned about being defeated by  a rather weak candidate.

He knows what kind of politician he is -- and he knows that we know it.

Party hacks  with bad records survive by flying under the radar in the March primary where voter turnout  is low.  But this primary features an exciting presidential contest, so a lot of independent  voters will be at the polls -- and Welch's handpicked school board was recently thrown out by a concerted campaign by active citizens.

No wonder he's nervous!

The bad news is that the cash to pay for all this is coming from a quid-pro-quo network of state contractors and other politicians.  It's got to be several hundred thousand dollars.

By-the-way ---- one thing that cannot be found in any of these many flyers:  a single endorsement by a journalist or anyone else for that matter.

Another thing that cannot be found is any discussion of the budget-less state's bankruptcy.

Here's what Harris has for campaign literature -- a phony "newspaper" published by some right wing PAC.  It's sad, but I'll still vote for him.  A fool is better than a crook.

The blizzard of Welch mailings just keeps on coming -  reminding me again - and again - and again that there is not necessarily a connection between progressive ideas and progressive action.

These ads are disgusting.  He's hiding his own shameless behavior behind the images of vulnerable children.

I think I'll nail my mailbox shut until after the election.

... and the blizzard continues....

State's Attorney, Cook County 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Kim Foxx Democratic 151 Anita Alvarez Democratic 152 Donna More Democratic 153

Why did Anita Alvarez take 400 days to bring charges against the policeman who killed Laquan McDonald?

Here is Anita Alvarez's side of the story.

Given the difficulty of successfully prosecuting an on-duty  policeman,  I can understand why she might have waited until the FBI had completed its investigation.

But she saw those tapes within 30 days of the shooting - and while there may be some question of how to best try the case, there is no question that a citizen was unjustly murdered. It's more important, in my view, to show both the police and the community that this is unacceptable  police behavior. Whether the actual policeman involved gets convicted or not so important.

There was also a March 6 Tribune op-ed piece by Eric Zorn that detailed five instances of prosecutorial vigor  that was over-the-top - with a few more added a week later.

So  it's time for her to move on to another job.

Regarding her two opponents - both have worked in the state attorney's office.  Foxx's pitch is that she will keep the office from abusing black people - like Laquan McDonald.

Donna More promises to do much the same thing - but in a more general way. She also claims much more experience than Foxx in trying felony cases.  But she seems to have moved quite seamlessly from working for a state agency that regulated casinos to working for the casinos themselves. So I don't sense a serious intent to serve the public.

Foxx has a compelling story of her rise from the ghetto - but she does seem to be yet one more unqualified political hack.

I can't really vote for any of them.

Hopefully the  Republicans will offer a better alternative in the general election.

 Clerk of the Circuit Court, Cook County 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Jacob Meister Democratic 161 Dorothy A. Brown Democratic 162 Michelle A. Harris Democratic 163

I'll have to do some research to see if these attacks hold up


I just saw the three candidates on WTTW.

As it turns out -- this appears to be a unambiguous contest between party hegemony and job competence.

Jacob Meister it is.

 Recorder, Cook County 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Karen A. Yarbrough Democratic 171

no contest

Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, MWRD 6 Year Term, Vote For 3 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Kevin McDevitt Democratic 131 Barbara McGowan Democratic 132 Mariyana T. Spyropoulos Democratic 133 Josina Morita Democratic 134 R. Cary Capparelli Democratic 135 Joseph Daniel Cook Democratic 136

Tribune endorses Morita,   Spryopoulos, Capparelli

 Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, MWRD (Unexpired Term) 2 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Andrew Seo Democratic 141 Tom Greenhaw Democratic 142 Martin J. Durkan Democratic 143

Tribune endorses Greenhaw

Judge, Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District (Vacancy of Epstein) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Eileen O'Neill Burke Democratic 191
no contest

 Judge, Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District (Vacancy of Quinn) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Bertina E. Lampkin Democratic 192
no contest

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Biebel, Jr.) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # John Fitzgerald Lyke, Jr. Democratic 201
no contest

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Elrod) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Scott Edward Lipinski Democratic 202 Rossana Patricia Fernandez Democratic 203

Fernandez more highly rated

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Hogan) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Michael I. O'Malley Democratic 204 Alison C. Conlon Democratic 205

Conlon more highly rated

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Howlett, Jr.) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Aleksandra 'Alex' Gillespie Democratic 206 Thomas Maloney Cushing Democratic 207

Cushing more highly rated

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Johnson) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Gregory Raymond Lapapa Democratic 208 Sean S. Chaudhuri Democratic 209 Mark A. Lyon Democratic 210 Carolyn J. Gallagher Democratic 212 Bonnie Carol McGrath Democratic 214

Mark Lyon is the most highly rated - while Bonnie McGrath is a free lance journalist who is opposed to the process of bar association recommendation.  That makes her interesting, but not enough to vote for her.  She has a campaign website -- but you need a password to  access it!

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Karnezis) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Mary Kathleen McHugh Democratic 216 Devlin J. Schoop Democratic 217 Brian J O'Hara Democratic 218

Devlin Schoop most recommended

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Love) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Brendan A. O'Brien Democratic 219

no contest

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of O'Brien) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Maureen O'Donoghue Hannon Democratic 220

no contest

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Palmer) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Pat Heneghan Democratic 221 Susana L. Ortiz Democratic 222 Deidre Baumann Democratic 224

Henegan most recommeded

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Ruscitti Grussel) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # John E. Marszalek Democratic 225 William S. Wojcik Democratic 226 Daniel Patrick Duffy Democratic 227 Monica M. Torres-Linares Democratic 228

Duffy and Wojcik are equally recommended - but Duffy is not-recommended by the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the  Woman's Bar Association - while Wojcik is not-recommended by Asian Lawyers and the Lesbian/Gay association.  So it would seem that objections to Duffy are more substantial.

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Walsh) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Patrick Joseph Powers Democratic 229 Fredrick H. Bates Democratic 231

Bates is most recommended

Judge, 7th Subcircuit (Vacancy of Burrell) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Marianne Jackson Democratic 241

no contest

Judge, 7th Subcircuit (Vacancy of Rivkin-Carothers) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Patricia 'Pat' S. Spratt Democratic 242 Christopher J. Stuart Democratic 243 Jennifer Ballard Democratic 244 Mable Taylor Democratic 245 Patrick D. John Democratic 246 Rosa Silva Democratic 247

Pat Spratt is most recommended

Saturday, March 7, 2015

2015 - Forest Park

Mayor of Forest Park:

Sharon Daly's Opinion column in the 2/18/15 issue of the Forest Park Review has almost made up my mind on the upcoming mayoral election.

This large-type synopsis summed it up:

"Calderone is a thin-skinned authoritarian with  no new ideas"

Which is probably true.  But you might notice that incompetency, corruption, stupidity, or laziness are not alleged.  Apparently the worst that he's done during his current term is fail to create an acceptable "comprehensive plan" -- though no specifics characterize that failure.

If this is the worst that he has done in the past four years,  perhaps he has learned from mistakes made in earlier terms of office.  So maybe I'll vote for him this time.


But then, I got the Team  Calderone mailer:

It looks like it's targeted at our village's largest demographic:  the subterranean  residents of  our major cemeteries.  And where does the money for  all these  mailers come from?

This, and Bill Dwyer's rants are  almost enough to get me voting for his opponent, Chris Harris.

But what has Chris Harris ever done for the village?  His discussion of village issues is weak on observations and new ideas.  And the Calderone-haters have not presented him as anything more than not-Calderone.

He appears inexperienced and not especially sharp.  I don't want to be responsible for his mistakes. 

So this time I'm voting for the incumbent.

 Chris Harris continues to present himself as empty headed

With the election less than a week away, a blizzard of campaign mailers has hit local mailboxes.

Isn't there a better way to debate local issues?   I can't attend public meetings because  my evenings are already booked.

Can't some clever person construct an internet debate site that allows candidates to present and cross-critique arguments  -- without the virulent anonymous slander of ForestParkForums ?

Regarding the mailings -- I can't help but ask:   who pays for them?  The deep pockets of an incumbent's campaign fund are prima facie evidence of special favors rendered and paid for.


Here's a Calderone ad -- which does get points for being candid about his aversion towards independent thinking.

But it's been my experience that group-think is  the number one cause of bad decisions in deliberative bodies.

Especially when so many proposals will come from a  group leader who has many political obligations to his contributors and allies.

Here's another Calderone broadside.  It badly abuses the word "FACT",  but  I'm afraid that I do tend to agree that Harris doesn't have much to offer.


If Harris had the opportunity to respond in detail,  we might learn something about these various issues.

Voting records are worthless without context. 

And the more expensive mailing pieces I get from Calderone -- the more conflicted I am about voting for him.

Maybe I'll just sit this one out.

Then, on the final weekend of the campaign, we get yet more mailers from Calderone.

This one, a last minute attack on  the arrest record of his opponent.

But there's no date given to these arrests. Was he a misbehaving college student.  And there's no mention of any convictions.

Rather scurrilous, I'd say -- revealing more about the character of the accuser than the accused.

Finally, there's actually a reasonable flier from a retiring commissioner, endorsing the mayor.

It would be more convincing if some detail or statistic were offered regarding the improvement of the Roosevelt Road business district.  "Poised to greatly improve" is a rather nebulous.

More serious is the claim that Chris Harris "to my knowledge .... does not accept as valid" the results of a 2013 referendum on video gaming in bars.

Harris's website seems to confirm that assertion:

Regarding video gambling, do you stand by the vote of the people to keep video gambling out of Forest Park?

To me this is a great example of where the current mayor and I disagree – public input. We never finished this discussion, it was a disservice to the community to cancel town hall meetings and never have an actual discussion. Our current mayor is not a fan of public input and you can’t make educated decision when you don’t allow for education.

Looks like Hoskins was right. Above, Harris is dodging the question - which troubles me much more than a direct position either for or against.

After all these last two mailings, I can't vote for either candidate.

But in the next election, I will carefully avoid reading ALL campaign fliers. I'm not really the target audience for election marketing.   They should be addressed "to the idiot who lives here"  -- and I should have a better opinion of myself.


Commissioner, Village of Forest Park
4 Year Term, Vote For 4

Joseph Byrnes
Daniel J. Novak
Tom Mannix
Rachell A. Entler
Mark S. Hosty

This is sad -- five openings and only four candidates.  The only one I'll vote for is Daniel Novak - in the hopes that he will be an independent mind and voice on a council dominated by supporters of the mayor.  Though he hasn't yet offered much to substantiate such a hope. Doesn't even have a website.

Board Member, Proviso Township High School District 209

Nathan 'Ned' Wagner
Theresa L. Kelly
Theodore Matthews
ShawnTe M. Raines-Welch
Claudia Medina
Francine E. Harrell 
Cheryl Anderson

Former Board president, Chris Welch, has made it easy for the voters this time around.  He's running his wife, ShawnTe, on a slate with two other, possibly na├»ve,  supporters, Matthews and Harrell.   That leaves us with four serious candidates.  Three of them are running as a reform movement -- while the fourth, Cheryl Anderson, has nothing to say for herself.  No website. No facebook page.  No Mailer. Nothing.

  Looks like I'll be voting for Wagner, Kelly, and Medina -- though in a large metropolitan area, there is something to be said for a corrupt local school district so bad that only childless couples like us want to live here -- and pay lower taxes for underfunded schools.


BTW - This is the first local election where I've followed Bill Dwyer's blog to learn more about local candidates.  For example, I learned of the connection between State Representative Chris Welch and an $800,000 contract that Tony Calderone's alarm company received from a nearby school district.

Dwyer rises above Forest Park Forums  because he does not hide  invective and rumor-mongering  behind the mask of anonymity.  But still, most every post is dripping with tough-guy mockery and bitterness.

Perhaps such a pose is appropriate in the rough and tumble world of big city politics.   But does it really uplift the public life  of a tiny village like Forest Park ?


One of the benefits of voting in District 209 elections is the entertainment provided by the former school board President, Chris  Welch. 

As with his internet slander (for which he has been successfully sued), he likes to act anonymously.  Above he has created a fictitious organization that he calls "Citizens for a better Forest Park".

Then he lumps together his slate for the school board (including his wife) along with the independents running for offices in Forest Park.

Here, he again attacks his old nemesis on the school board, Theresa Kelly.

It's the same accusations he has raised in every past election .  We've never been told exactly when Ms. Kelly supposedly took these trips.  She has been on the board for at least a decade.  Perhaps she has taken one trip  per year.

And as in previous elections, Welch accuses his opponents of ruining the lives of Proviso students -- while he himself  controlled the majority voting block on the school board for nearly a decade.

There's a certain cynicism here which, unfortunately, the voters of District 209 well deserve -- for having continued to vote him into office.

According to this new website   the integrity of many suburban school boards has been compromised by professional politicians.  School districts spend a lot of money -- and  politicians want it going to their supporters.

Four years ago,  Mayor Anthony Calderone of Forest Park made this shameful list.   But in this election, he has joined the other side.

Doesn't he deserve at least a teensy bit of credit ?



The results of local elections have been so depressing for so many years,  I usually can't summon up enough courage to contemplate them

But this year is different!

In Forest Park, Calderone was re-elected mayor -- which is good, because, by now, he knows more about the job than  any living person. But he only won by 70 votes, and  he lost his pal, Hosty, as Commissioner,.  So he'll  have to work a bit harder now  to build consensus.

In Proviso District 209, the reformers won control of the school board, so insider contracts and hiring are a thing of the past. Maybe.

They now must bear full responsibility for our under-performing school district. And with all the money involved, you can expect the professional pols to soon make a strong comeback  unless the schools make noticeable improvements.  Only 500 votes separated the weakest reform candidate from the strongest machine surrogate.

God speed them!  There is little compensation or gratitude for honest service on a school board.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nov 2014

Senator, U.S.

6 Year Term, Vote For 1

Richard J. Durbin

Governor and Lieutenant Governor, State of Illinois

4 Year Term, Vote For 1

Pat Quinn

Small business owner that I am, I do believe that most social functions should  be run by fellow business people or do-gooders .  But I also know that business people  are fundamentally self centered-- and elected government is the only platform where public interest can possibly (though not necessarily)  be prioritized. 

So it makes no more sense to elect professional businessmen to high public office - than it does to have politicians run factories, hospitals,  shopping centers, or schools.

And Bruce Rauner's career in finance has been egregiously self centered - milking businesses for their profits with no notable concern for anything or anyone else.  I'm not saying that he should be hung from a lamp post - but it's crazy to believe that he will suddenly become public minded after a lifetime of  predatory financial practice.

Quinn seems to be far more notable for his decency and honesty than for creative imagination or charismatic presence-- but then he has been stuck with the role of downsizing state government to fit within a diminished budget.  And his opponents have yet to propose how they would  do  things differently.


Representative, 7th District

2 Year Term, Vote For 1

Danny K Davis

Not that I would necessarily vote for him -- but couldn't the Republican party field a candidate serious enough to have a website and accept an interview with the Chicago Tribune, a Republican newspaper ?

I guess it's all about winning for them -- so if chances are slim, they will do absolutely nothing.

Is Robert L. Bumpers really an adult human ?  Perhaps he's a rabbit in the Lincoln Park Petting Zoo.

Attorney General, State of Illinois

4 Year Term, Vote For 1

I'm going to sit one out -- since it continues to make zero sense to have an Attorney General who is the child of the state's most powerful politician.

And I will not vote for a lock-step,  red-state Republican or a Libertarian -- two varieties of the same  delusional ideology.

Illinois Secretary of State

Jesse White Democratic

Apparently White has done nothing wrong in his long public career -- or, at least his opponent has nothing to complain about other than his longevity and party affiliation.

Which would also suggest that his opponent is a cipher.


Comptroller, State of Illinois

4 Year Term, Vote For 1

Sheila Simon, Democrat

The Republican party badly needs more moderates like Topinka - but the arc of her career has long passed.

On the other hand, the Democratic party badly needs less crooks - and I would like to see Simon go further in politics. 



Treasurer, State of Illinois

Michael Frerichs , Democratic

I wasn't intending to necessarily vote straight Democratic - but his website had lots about things he would do different -- while all that his opponent listed were endorsements.



State Representative, 7th District

2 Year Term, Vote For 1

And indeed, here is a case where I would vote for anyone other than the Democratic incumbent.

Chris Welch represents the very worst in political self service - and now appears to have lifetime job security as an Illinois state representative.

Is he still up to same old mischief of misusing his office to reward allies and contributors  ?

It's impossible to tell without opponents to raise such issues.

Are there any more rabbits in the petting zoo who might run as a Republican opponent ?

I would vote for any one of them.

President Cook County Board

Toni Preckwinkle   Democratic

Here's an unopposed incumbent who would probably get my vote regardless of who ran against her.

Cook County Clerk

David Orr

Same thing with David Orr, who pioneered the election website from which this information was drawn




Sheriff, Cook County etc etc etc

4 Year Term, Vote For 1

All of these unopposed races are getting a bit depressing.

Shouldn't the two political parties  believe in the two-party system ?   And if they do --  shouldn't they always try to field a candidate -- at the very least to air some of the issues ?



Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, MWRD

6 Year Term, Vote For 3

As usual, I'm voting a straight Green Party ticket on this one,
though I wish all three were as articulate as Milkowski in addressing various issues

George Milkowski
Karen Roothaan
Michael Smith


All of the contestable positions offer only one candidate.

No one dares challenge whoever is slated by the Democratic party.



Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Retention)

Various lawyer associations tell us to vote "NO" on these:

Laura Marie Sullivan
Annie O’Donnell
James L. Rhodes



As noted in the primary - the first two referenda seem pointless to me - and worthy of being ignored.

The next five referenda are a non-binding opinion poll - with a rather liberal and populist bent.

They are also worthy of being ignored -- but what the heck -- I'm a liberal populist so why not enjoy a brief  fling of fantasy while Republicans are poised to take both houses of  the U.S. Congress:

Statewide, Minimum Wage Shall the minimum wage in Illinois for adults over the age of 18 be raised to $10 per hour by January 1, 2015?


Statewide, Women's Health Shall any health insurance plan in Illinois that provides prescription drug coverage be required to include prescription birth control coverage as part of that coverage?


Statewide, Millionaire's Tax Should the Illinois Constitution be amended to require that each school district receive additional revenue, based on their number of students, from an additional 3% tax on income greater than one million dollars?

yes - though I'm sure that anyone making that much money will be able to avoid it.

Countywide, Mental Health Services Shall the General Assembly of the State of Illinois appropriate additional funds to provide necessary mental health services for the people of the State of Illinois?

no --  because I'm just not sure that it would help anyone other than the service providers.

Countywide, Universal Background Checks Shall the Illinois General Assembly enact the Illinois Public Safety Act (Senate Bill 3659) which would require universal background checks for firearm transfers and prohibit the sale and transfer of assault weapons, assault weapon attachments and high capacity ammunition magazines?

yes - but it's sad that is the only kind of gun control left to us. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

2014 - March 18


Thomas J. Dart
Tadeusz 'Ted' Palka
Sylvester E. Baker, Jr.
William 'Bill' Evans

This appears to be a contest between an attorney/politician (Dart - the incumbent) versus three law enforcement professionals - none of whom seem to be all that bright.

No one has questioned Dart's integrity or effectiveness -- so I'll stick with him.

Governor and Lieutenant Governor, State of Illinois

Tio Hardiman ; Brunell Donald
Pat Quinn & Paul Vallas

Hardiman appears to be a joke candidate - and I've always liked Quinn as an honest advocate of the public interest

Commissioner, Cook County Board, 1st District

Brenda Smith Democratic
Blake Sercye Democratic
Isaac 'Ike' Carothers
Richard R. Boykin
Ronald Lawless

Sercye is the Preckwinkle's pick -- so I'm voting for him -- and hoping he will grow into the job. Boykin is the pick of party regulars,  presumably because he will cooperate with them.
Note: a bit of humor was introduced into the race by Carothers -- who stands on his "proven track record".  Which includes a proven criminal record. As a Chicago alderman, he was convicted of taking cash from a real estate developer seeking zoning changes.  In most traditional civilizations, he would have suffered a painful death or mutilation -- but in Cook County, he gets to run again!

Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, MWRD

6 Year Term, Vote For 3

Cynthia M. Santos
Frank Avila
Timothy 'Tim' Bradford
Josina Morita Democratic
Tom Courtney Democratic
Adam Miguest Democratic
John S. Xydakis Democratic
Frank Edward Gardner
Kathleen Mary O'Reilley
Brendan Francis Houlihan

I'll let the Tribune pick these:  AVILA, MORITA,BRADFORD

Democratic Township Committeeman, Proviso Township

Karen A. Yarbrough
James 'Papa' Brewer

Non politicians should be elected to this position -- so a new face ought to be there every election cycle.   Which makes Brewer my candidate.

Judge, Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District (Vacancy of Gordon) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Shelly A. Harris Democratic 131 Susan Kennedy Sullivan Democratic 132 Freddrenna M. Lyle Democratic 133


Judge, Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District (Vacancy of Murphy) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # David Ellis Democratic 134

 Judge, Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District (Vacancy of Steele) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Sharon Oden Johnson Democratic 135 John B. Simon Democratic 136


Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Arnold) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Bridget Anne Mitchell Democratic 141 Alfred M. Swanson, Jr. Democratic 142

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Burke) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Maritza Martinez Democratic 143

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Connors) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Kristal Rivers Democratic 145 Peter J. Vilkelis Democratic 146


 Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Egan) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Daniel J. Kubasiak Democratic 147

 Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Phelps Felton) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Patricia O'Brien Sheahan Democratic 148

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Howse, Jr.) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Caroline Kate Moreland Democratic 149

 Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Lowrance) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Thomas J. Carroll Democratic 150

Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of McDonald) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Cynthia Y. Cobbs Democratic 151 Linda L. Mastandrea Democratic 152


Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Neville, Jr.) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Carolyn Joan Gallagher Democratic 153 William B. Raines Democratic 154 Patricia S. Spratt Democratic 155 Mary Alice Melchor Democratic 156


Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Reyes) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Stephen J. Feldman Democratic 157 Diana Rosario Democratic 158


Judge, Cook County Judicial Circuit (Vacancy of Hill Veal) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Andrea Michele Buford Democratic 160 James Patrick Crawley Democratic 161 Kelly Maloney Kachmarik Democratic 162


Judge, 7th Subcircuit (Vacancy of Hardy-Campbell) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Robert D. Kuzas Democratic 171

Judge, 7th Subcircuit (Vacancy of Taylor) 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot # Judy Rice Democratic 173 Owens J. Shelby Democratic 174 Marianne Jackson Democratic 175


Thursday, March 21, 2013

2013 - April 9

Supervisor, Proviso Township

4 Year Term, Vote For 1

This is the first time I've paid any attention to this governmental entity according to an article in the Forest Park Review from 2005:

"In terms of our tax bill, it is really 2.5 percent of our property bill,"... around $10 - $15 million."...Of this money, he said, 60 percent goes to the Proviso Mental Health Commission .... The 40 percent of your taxes that is going to Proviso Township, that is being spent on services for seniors."

It's a bit disturbing that all of the candidates involved are running unopposed this time out. In the article cited above, it was mentioned that the township was renting office space in Broadview at "$4,000 a month for 1,800 feet". I wonder who owned that property -- and whether we're still paying that much.

There's no incentive to participate in this micro-level of government other than self-service. Even if a do-gooder were elected, he or she would be an ineffective minority.

Michael A. Corrigan Township Alliance Party 71

Clerk, Proviso Township

4 Year Term, Vote For 1

Anthony "Tony" Williams Township Alliance Party 72

Assessor, Proviso Township

Steven J Zawaski Township Alliance Party 73

Trustee, Proviso Township

4 Year Term, Vote For 4

Mari Herrell Township Alliance Party 74

Clarence E Thomas Township Alliance Party 75

Joseph Christopher Township Alliance Party 76

Evelyn Chavez Township Alliance Party 77

Commissioner, Forest Park Park District

6 Year Term, Vote For 2

John Doss NonPartisan 91

Samuel Alonzo NonPartisan 92

Matthew Walsh NonPartisan 93

There are two older incumbents and one 20-year old kid running for the two seats on the board -- and I have no idea who to vote for -- so I won't.

Board Member, Forest Park School District 91

4 Year Term, Vote For 4

Mary Win Connor NonPartisan 141

Rafael Rosa NonPartisan 142

Thomas Bradley Keefner NonPartisan 143

Brian Moritz NonPartisan 144

Michael J. O'Connor NonPartisan 145

Eric Connor NonPartisan 146

I'll trust the Forest Park Review on this one -- and they wrote:

Brad Keefner and Brian Moritz are the two other candidates associated with Mannix. We question their reasons for running. Neither has children in the district, neither has ever shown the slightest interest in public education in Forest Park. While Moritz has been invisible in this race, Keefner seems to have his heart in the right place. But as a newcomer, his community connections are thin. We'd like to see him show up on more citizen commissions and volunteer groups in town before he runs for office. The long and short of it: We urge voters to avoid these candidacies as a signal that our public schools are not to be politicized.

Board Member, Proviso Township High School District 209

4 Year Term, Vote For 4

Kevin R. McDermott NonPartisan 161

Teresa D. McKelvy NonPartisan 162

Brian Cross NonPartisan 163

Daniel J. Adams NonPartisan 164

Jorie Wright NonPartisan 165

Arbdella "Della" Patterson NonPartisan 166

Hurray for Kevin McDermott! He's volunteered to once again suffer through another term as the minority voice on a school board that's been run for the benefit of local politicians. Other than Brian Cross, he's the only candidate to have a 4-year college degree. While unlike Brian Cross, who works for the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, he's not a government employee.

As McDermott points out on his website the students at our district high schools perform 50-70% under the state average on their test scores - and this situation has not been improving over the past 5 years.

Perhaps the best solution is to make more special schools for the bright and motivated kids - like the Math and Science Academy in Forest Park. Or -- perhaps invite private charter schools to operate in this district.

But at the very least we can have a qualified school board that 's trying to make positive changes instead of merely advancing their personal political careers in county government.

Trustee, Triton Community College District 504

6 Year Term, Vote For 3

Vanessa Moritz NonPartisan 201

Thomas Gary NonPartisan 202

Diane M. Viverito NonPartisan 203

Irene Moskal Del Giudice NonPartisan 204

Charles Fredrickson NonPartisan 205

Colin Brady NonPartisan 206

Though none of the candidates has a website - it's been reported here that Thomas Gary ,Diane M. Viverito, and Vanessa Moritz are a slate that's opposed by three candidates supported by a local Republican politician, Tony Peraica.

It's good to see someone interested enough in these positions to recruit candidates for them -- but if Peraica has some serious public purpose, why doesn't he tell us about it? Googling his candidate names brings up absolutely nothing - so it appears it's just a political game for him.

So I'm inclined to vote for Gary, Viverito, and Moritz.

Trustee, Proviso Township Trustees of Schools, Township 39N, Range 12E

6 Year Term, Vote For 1

Mark Walsh NonPartisan 231

Question Yes No

Should video gaming continue to be prohibited in the Village of Forest Park?

I can't make up my mind on this one so I won't vote it.

I don't think gambling is positive behavior - but then neither is drinking alcohol -- and I'm doubting that prohibiting either one accomplishes anything more than a nice warm feeling of moral superiority.

Monday, October 29, 2012

2012 - General Election

President of the United States:

Barack Obama & Joe Biden
Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan

I don't ever remember such a contentious election, cranked up by the deep pockets of conservative causes and new laws that allow unlimited spending. And having an African American as the target for their no-compromise fury has probably cranked it up even more -- just as it did in Chicago politics when Harold Washington became mayor.

This has become a referendum on the  role of American central government, driven by powerful economic players who don't want to be controlled by it and riding on the compelling ideology of Freedom, the one ideal that Americans share the most.

This is also the first election to which I have ever made a contribution, figuring that's an inescapable responsibility to even the playing field for candidates who represent public rather than private interests.

So now I get an email, or two, every day soliciting me for additional contributions, driving me to finally just mark all communications from the Obama campaign as spam

Yes, winning is important, and money is important to winning.

But winning isn't everything -- and it's a shame that the campaign does not realize its potential to be a source of information as well as sales pitches.


But even if his campaign emails are annoying, Barack Obama has got to be the best President for whom I have ever voted.  He had lots of help from Dubya whose unpopularity gave him both the Presidency and both houses of Congress, so we could finally have something like  national healthcare and begin to re-regulate the financial industry.  Unlike Clinton, he hasn't done a pratfall  with personal misbehavior. He's a smart, serious, and  competent guy.  And I don't think it's coincidental that Bin Laden was finally hunted down and killed during his tenure as commander in chief.

By the way, I do support both Dubya's invasion of Afghanistan and Obama's war on the Taliban, as an appropriate response to that regime's  support of international terrorism.  Even if it appears that they will return to power the moment our troops leave the country. 


Representative, 7th District
2 Year Term, Vote For 1

Danny K. Davis
Rita Zak
John H. Monaghan

Rita Zak's website offers absolutely nothing besides a purely ideological "freedom" rant.
But at least that's more than John H. Monaghan offers. He's got no website and didn't even care to fill the Chicago Tribune's questionnaire. What a cipher!

Once again, Danny K.Davis has no serious opposition. He doesn't appear to offer an independent mind concerning anything, and if you look at his campaign website, it appears that he is not running. He's just sitting -- waiting for an automatic return to office. But after his endorsement of Rory Hoskins in our local state primary, I'm inclined to give him some respect. He's not completely asleep at the wheel.


State Senator, 4th District
Vote For 1
Kimberly A. Lightford Democratic
State Representative, 7th District
2 Year Term, Vote For 1

And shamefully enough, Lightford and all the other non-judicial candidates on our ballot are running unopposed.

This is NOT democracy at work.

This is the consequence of a failed local Republican party.

Emanuel "Chris" Welch Democratic
Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, MWRD

And nowhere is that failure more painful than in the unopposed candidacy of this self-serving charlatan who has been abusing our local school district for the past decade.

I'm going to write-in Rory Hoskins, his opponent who narrowly lost the primary, but who would have won if Republicans had voted in it.


Metropolitan Water Reclamation 6 Year Term, Vote For 3

A good job for environmental activists - so mostly I'm picking the Green Party

Debra Shore Democratic 41 --- yes

Kari K. Steele Democratic 42

Patrick Daley Thompson Democratic 43

Harold "Noonie" Ward Republican 44

Carl Segvich Republican 45

Dave Ehrlich Green Party 46------------yes

 Karen Roothaan Green Party 47

Nasrin R. Khalili Green Party 48........yes


State's Attorney, Cook County 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot #

 Anita Alvarez Democratic 51

Lori S. Yokoyama Republican 52........ yes

Much as it pains me to vote for a partisan Republican, it makes no sense to forever have a Democratic State's attorney in a such a solid Democratic county.


Clerk of the Circuit Court, Cook County 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot #

 Dorothy A. Brown Democratic 53 ..... yes

Diane S. Shapiro Republican 54

It does appear that Brown badly needs to be replaced by someone less like a party hack -- but I cannot bring myself to vote for the shrewish right wing ideologue who is running against her.


Recorder, Cook County 4 Year Term, Vote For 1 Candidate Name Party Ballot

# Karen A. Yarbrough Democratic 55

Sherri Griffith Republican 56................. yes

This job is a patronage rat's nest for career politicians - and I don't see why it should be a fiefdom of the democratic party.  Here's another opportunity to encourage no encourage non-radical Republicans to participate in local government


Here's the judicial candidates  that have gotten the most negative evaluations:

Cynthia Brim
Christophoer Donnelly
James Egan
Pamela Hill-Veal
Gloria Chevere

State Supreme Court: Theis .... yes

4th subcircuit:
Gallagher, Maloney


Referendum:..... Yes

The new section would require a three-fifths majority vote of each chamber of the General Assembly, or the governing body of a unit of local government, school district, or pension or retirement system, in order to increase a benefit under any public pension or retirement system

Two groups oppose this measure:

the unions for public employees -- because it affects their opportunities for better pensions
right wing nut cases --- because they oppose anything proposed by Democratic leadership

So it looks like a good idea to me.  The problem with pension benefits is that they are easier to give than salary raises because they affect budgets of the future, not the present.

Which is exactly why it should be made more difficult to give them.