Tuesday, February 02, 2010

2009 IL Primary Elections - Blue Skies Falling Endorsements



It's very late in the day, and I've only recently gotten around to researching any of these candidates. That said, if you haven't voted yet, and you're interested in a pseudo-informed opinion, here's who I'm going for this round.

GOVERNOR - PAT QUINN (D)
U.S. SENATE - DAVID HOFFMAN (D)
CONGRESS - IL 9TH DISTRICT - JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D)
COOK COUNTY PRESIDENT - TONI PRECKWINKLE (D)
METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT - MARIYN SPYROPOULOUS (D), TODD CONNOR (D), KARI STEELE (D)

My most enthusiastic endorsement goes to Todd Connor, for his strident argument in favor of closing the Sanitary and Ship Canal to prevent the spread of Asian Carp into Lake Michigan. It seems that almost every politician I'm aware of has vocally supported keeping the locks open, a horrible choice to favor short-term expediency over long-term stability and fairness. The contention also illustrates one state's ability (and nobody can doubt that Illinois is the most powerful state in the region) to blatantly disregard the interests of other states. In this, one of the most important of county offices, we need qualified candidates who are willing to act on principle, and Connor appears to have exemplified this in his response to the Asian Carp crisis.

It is interesting for me to note that all three of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District candidates listed here were endorsed by the right-leaning Chicago Tribune Editorial Board as well as the environmentally-conscious Sierra Club. This level of concord among such different crowds suggests that these are extraordinarily qualified candidates.

My least enthusiastic endorsement goes to Pat Quinn for Governor. Both candidates ran attack ads of the variety that call the integrity and mission of their campaigns into serious question. There is no sugar-coating the vigor and virulence of political debate in Illinois, but the ads of both candidates completely occluded any discussion of their policy differences, which were, in many cases, little easier to disentangle from their public statements... at least from my point-of-view. I disagree with Pat Quinn on a variety of issues; he supports ease of recall elections, which is ironic given pledges to reduce the deficit, and Hynes makes a very well-reasoned argument that recalls are a gateway for special interests. However, I got a better sense of Quinn's specific stance on many of the most important issues, and he seems to have a stronger focus on the hard-hit middle and lower-classes in the midst of recession. So: "I'll punch the card for Quinn, or whatever."

My primary protest vote of 2010 goes to David Hoffman for U.S. Senate. Our political machine has been infected with all sorts of nasty financial shenanigans, and Alexi Giannoulias seems to typify many of these. However, I would like to add that Hoffman represented himself well overall in Tribune interview.

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