Friday, January 15, 2010

Personal Aside: My Candidate Picks—And Why I Picked `Em…The Bugs in This Blog Will Disappear—Promise.

   Feast of  St. Paul the Hermit.*
                                    Candidate Picks…and Why.
             Here are my candidate picks…all Republican…and why I picked `em.

             U.S. SENATE.  I’m going with PATRICK HUGHES for many reasons. Mark Kirk has been far too liberal on social and economic issues for me—but until 2007 an ameliorating factor was his support of  winning in Iraq.  Then when Bush launched the Surge and it was risky, Kirk, the pillar of Jello, ran away and not only opposed it but led an Anti-Surge caucus in the House.  When it became evident that the Surge was working, he became a hawk once again and importuned Sarah Palin to endorse him for the Senate. Verdict: because of his unremittingly liberal stand on social issues, his vote for Cap and Trade in the House (before he indicated he would vote against it if he went to the Senate) and his waffling on national security, he is utterly undependable, a candidate with no philosophical principles.  Hughes has constancy in his makeup, is a forthright conservative socially, economically and militarily.  Case closed.  If Kirk is nominated, I will take a pass on Senate. 
            GOVERNOR.  With two exceptions, this is the best field I’ve seen in many years…certainly better than the 1968 choice between Dick Ogilvie and John Henry Altorfer—both of whom were highly qualified (at the time I supported Ogilvie but had I to do it over again I would have endorsed Altorfer). I’m for the man I believe is best qualified, STATE SEN. KIRK DILLARD, because this is no time to turn the state over to those who will not have the background to stand up to Mike Madigan and John Cullerton…and who starts off with a comprehensive background in state government (highly reminiscent of my old boss in Minnesota who knew the state’s processes like the back of his hand).
             I’m impressed with two more contenders other than Kirk Dillard: Adam Andrzejewski who touts his non-political credentials (even if he falters on the number of House and Senate seats there are and calls the Auditor General William G. Holland’s surname Howlett as he did at the recently City Club debate.  He was thinking of the late Michael J. Howlett, former state auditor and secretary of state, who ran for governor).  That’s emblematic of his unfamiliarity with state government…but he’s a bright, eminently educable and charmingly direct young man….Dan Proft who has exhibited his inherent brilliance in political analysis of state problems.  As he has never run even a medium-sized business, I don’t know how he’d fare.   If perchance Andrzejewski and Proft were nominated, I would volunteer to help if they would accept me—but make no mistake: my immediate and heavily weighted choice is Kirk Dillard.
              Of the four remaining, I would vote for them in preference to the Democratic field but I’d be passive and uninvolved in their campaigns: Bob Schillerstrom is able but I am unalterably opposed to his stand on social issues notwithstanding his generally good economic record as chairman of the DuPage  county board.  Andy McKenna, the mega-multi-millionaire’s son is just that, a rich kid who is inherently meek, wimpish and unexciting.  Bill Brady is to me lighter than a Panama hat and more a good-looking and largely inconsequential man in the mode of Bill McKay in the 1964 film “The Candidate” played by Robert Redford…attractive looking but lacking the depth (in my view at least) for governor.  
              Jim Ryan the former attorney general is an anomaly in my reckoning. Undeniably he has baggage with Stuart Levine who was his biggest financial backer and is in prison.  He has admitted what  took a long time to acknowledge, that he  prosecuted the wrong man in a sensational murder while DuPage states attorney.  In recent years he veered to the left on a number of issues, basis his board membership on the high-tax-advocacy Committee on Tax and Budget Accountability headed by Ralph Martire. He has been in ill health and is the senior in age to all of his GOP contenders, humorless and grim in presentation.   Of these four, the one I have least enthusiasm for is Ryan. With the other three, I agree with them on the key issue of pro-life…not with Ryan as when as AG he supported legislative passage of gay rights. 
                LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. Nomination of this post in primaries is independent of the governor but once nominated runs with the winning gubernatorial candidate as part of the team. I do not agree with the prevailing mis-begotten “wisdom” that the post of lieutenant governor should be abolished, although I feel the Constitution errs in not allowing the occupant to preside over the state senate. The second-highest office in the state should be utilized to help the governor govern and give the occupant experience that can be used in other governmental positions. 
           There are two highly attractive candidates running either of whom I support.  One is JASON PLUMMER of Edwardsville, a bright young man of 27, business executive who has shown a great deal of energy and vision in involvement with good causes and has a high degree of intelligence in government. The other is DON TRACY, a lawyer from Springfield who is more seasoned with a capacity to be an excellent right hand for a governor of the same mien.  A third, Brad Cole, who is mayor of Carbondale has had, unfortunately, a closeness to George Ryan that would serve as an impediment to the governor he would run with.   State Sen. Matt Murphy is running in tandem with Andy McKenna.  Murphy is exceedingly competent but for freshness of approach I prefer either Plummer or Tracy.
              ATTORNEY GENERAL, SECRETARY OF STATE, STATE TREASURER.   These are important posts but with the exception of Comptroller,  there’s only one Republican candidate apiece. However the people running are all excellent…STEVE KIM of Wheaton for Attorney General, bright, young and the first Asian to run statewide for the party (highly recommended)…ROBERT ENRIQUEZ for Secretary of State, an outstanding candidate…STATE SEN. DAN RUTHERFORD of Pontiac for State Treasurer, a very bright lawmaker, businessman and articulate leader.  All are enthusiastically supported.
               STATE COMPTROLLER.   My choice here…no surprise…is JIM DODGE, an efficient, personable and highly competent Orland Park official.  He is highly preferred to one who has distinguished herself by switching on social issues: Judy Baar Topinka who is rather pathetic in her pursuit of elective office by adopting the role of “irrepressible” and leaking tidbits about her puppy dogs in gossip columns. Intellectually lighter than air, she was a thorough disappointment as a candidate for governor against Blagojevich…failing to come up with a counter-budget even though she had been state treasurer…musing that the president of the United States who was good enough to come to the state to raise funds for her should hold the fund-raiser in a secure, undisclosed location (if you can imagine such an insult made by a candidate to the leader of her party) and who has great trouble with the truth, earlier denying she was part of the cabal to ruin Sen. Peter Fitzgerald when she was state Republican chairman even though at the time she refused to endorse him on my radio program…denying this in the face of reality when her declination was heard by tens of thousands.
              CONGRESS.   These conservative Republican challengers are people I highly recommend.  2nd District ISAAC HAYES (incumbent: Jesse Jackson, Jr.)…5th District, ROSANNA PULIDO (incumbent: Mike Quigley)…8th District JOE WALSH (incumbent: Melissa Bean)…9th District (my own) JOEL POLLAK (incumbent: Jan Schakowsky)…10thDistrict DR. ARIE FRIEDMAN, M. D. (no incumbent; the Mark Kirk district)…11th District ADAM KIZINGER (incumbent: Debbie Halvorson) …14th District STATE SEN. RANDY HULTGREN (incumbent: Bill Foster). 
                                          Bugs in the Blog.
             I’m sympathetic with those of you who have had difficulty reaching this blog but my webmaster tells me this is endemic when one changes the format.  Many tried to go  It’ll soon be remedied but for now go to just plain  Those who receive this via email have been complaining as well…one saying that the lopsided helter-skelter reproduction made it appear that I was writing this while drunk. I can assure you that was and is not the case.  My webmaster says all will be repaired in good time.  Let’s hope.
      *: St. Paul the Hermit [AD 229-342]. Born in Egypt, orphaned at 15, he went into hiding to evade Emperor Decius the Persecutor, then discovered his own brother-in-law was preparing to report him to Rome so as to get rid of him and take over his father’s estate (what a nice guy!). He fled to the desert and decided…voila!...he liked being a hermit.  Simple food and no tension of living at all had him live to age 113, more than 90 years of which were spent in solitude. His prayer life was so deep that none other than St. Jerome (a very hard man to please) wrote up his life as an exemplar. He was buried in the desert by St. Anton but nobody but God knows where.

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