Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Voting Decision We Had in Illinois Yesterday

Yesterday - March 21, the state of Illinois had its primary elections. The way things work (ha!) in Illinois, if you vote in the primaries, you go to your polling place and then declare whether you want the Democrat or Republican ballot. You can only vote for the candidates of one party in the primaries.

Although there were many candidates running for the top spot -- Governor  -- there were really only five candidates who had a realistic shot at doing well enough to become our next governor in November. In this election in particular, which might be my last primary while living in Illinois, I was focused on which candidate would be in my best interests for the next four years. The candidates and my way of thinking:

Incumbent governor Bruce Rauner
* Total disaster as governor the past four years. Has caused immense damage to higher education in the state. Wants to solve pension problems by forcing costs back on the schools. I was stupid enough to vote for this rich guy (estimated net worth of  $500,000,000 - $1,000,000,000) four years ago. No way I would make that mistake again.
Primary result: Republican candidate for governor in November. Squeaked in with 51.3 % of the vote.

Jeanne Ives
* Ultra-conservative who played well to the far right members of her party. Dogged the governor on actions that appeared more moderate or (gasp!) liberal. Wants to solve the government-created pension problem by screwing over public employees who have paid into the pension system for years. No. No. Hell no.
Primary result: Gave Rauner a run for his money but fell a little short with 48.7% of the vote. We likely haven't heard the last of her.

Chris Kennedy
* Yes - he is a member of THAT Kennedy family. One of the sons of Robert Kennedy. Unfortunately, this is Illinois, not Massachusetts. He was a trustee for the University of Illinois. Viewed as lacking charisma. Would probably be okay, but frankly, he just doesn't get the juice running.
Primary result:  Came in third with 24.4%. The Kennedy name still drew a lot of votes.

Daniel Biss
* Progressive candidate that had my oldest daughter mesmerized. A legislator who appealed as being one of the people and not a governing tycoon. Made a huuuuge political mistake by sponsoring and getting passed pension legislation that would be, as he should have known, struck down by the Illinois State Supreme Court. To his credit, he owned up to his mistake. But he did try to mess with my pension. Grrrrr.
Primary result: Came in second with 26.6% of the vote. Young and on his way up.

JB Pritzker
* Rich rich rich! has a net worth of around $3,500,000,000. He makes Trump look like a pauper. He poured millions into the campaign. Association with former governor (and current federal prisoner) Rod Blagojevich hurts his reputation. Listen to some of the federally wire tapped conversations they had -- go to However, his political views are on target, and he was going to be a tough guy to beat.
Primary result: Democrat candidate for governor in November. Smashed competition with 45.1% of the vote.

So there you have it -- rich guy vs REALLY rich guy in November. How can these guys even relate to the common citizen?

I decided to base my primary voting on getting in a vote on the person who I thought would be best for me over the next four years. I guess in revealing how I voted, I am reaffirming the belief of Tony Bigcharles, who for quite some time has referred to me as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) because I do not agree with the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican party. Being what I consider a moderate Republican, I feel as if the Republican party has deserted my. Therefore, for the first time in 30 years, I crossed over and voted in the Democratic primary. Believe me, I felt slimy! Not only did I vote for a Democrat, I decided to vote for the progressive candidate, Daniel Biss, even though I despised what he tried to do to me and a half million pensioners.

In the upcoming general election, there is no doubt in my mind how I will vote:
Does this make my transformation complete?

Thanks for reading!


Blogger Rob said...

From this post and your tweets, it's obvious you are rather obsessed with the wealth of the people you vote for. Hmm....seems like more of a Democrat thing to be so concerned with that. I guess that's why you're now a Democrat.

Let's see....FDR and JFK, to name two, came from great wealth. Did they have nothing to offer the common man?

Things I don't spend any time worrying about when I pick a candidate to vote for: The candidate's bank account, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation. Things I do care about: Whether I think their policies are good or bad.

Sounds like every candidate had a plan to screw you and your pension. I guess you're in the same boat as we are here in California, politicians have sold the state down the river to offer pensions that are guaranteed to bankrupt the state.

Is there any proposal to save the state without hurting pensions? Or is it just inevitable that the state goes bankrupt at some point, and your praying to get you're money out before that happens.

Good luck!

8:45 PM  
Blogger Cokeboy99 said...

I don't typically vote in the primaries because i don't like to pick a party. This one was no exception. I admit i have a lot of studying to do on Pritzker, although given what Rauner has done, i can't imagine voting for him.

9:57 PM  
Blogger thundering36 said...

Welcome to the Democratic Party!

I contributed to Chris Kennedy's campaign before I left the US. I was going to vote in the primary, but didn't get my absentee ballot application in on time. I'm not even sure which offices I can vote for now that I have no US address. I'll find out for the General Election in November.

If only Kirk Dillard would have beaten Rauner in the 2014 Republican primary...

1:07 AM  
Anonymous KenP said...

Well, Illinois pension problem has helped make it the state with the lowest financial rating. I guess that makes you part of the problem rather than part of a solution.

Being forced to watch the political ads, I really didn't notice anything but attack ads. There wasn't anyone talking solution.

So vote for your Fat Cat who plans to tax, tax, tax. Meanwhile industries and the upper middle class are voting with their feet. They've turned the swamps and farm land here into expensive homesites.

In this area, some of the major business went bankrupt and the retirement programs were moved to a Federal program with lesser amounts. There is a compromise needed or a similar situation could occur.

P.S. One of attack ads on Kennedy showed him agreeing with Rauner.

1:30 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@Rob - Wealthy is one thing. Perhaps you have a different opinion, but I fail to see how someone worth over three BILLION dollars can relate to me and my world.

The Illinois laws are pretty specific about not diminishing pension benefits. Kudos to whomever saw that the crocked pols would want to get their mitts on the money and wrote the laws in a very specific way. It's not like there aren't other solutions. It's easier for the crooks to grab what I have faithfully taken out of every paycheck since 1990.

States can't go bankrupt. And I do not want to take my money out. Why would I want to when I will be guaranteed a monthly amount for the rest of my life?

@KenP - I and most of my fellow state employees are clearly victims. And the big difference between businesses going bankrupt and working for the state is that the state will not go bankrupt. They don't need my money to fix the problem. They just want it because they are basically crooks who don't give a crap.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

I grew up in Illinois and wonder how it got into such a sorry situation.

2:34 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@MOJO - Sadly, the answer is not really complicated. The state failed, for many, many years, to not put in its share of the pension money that would support the retirement of teachers and state employees. Instead, the money was taken by crooked pols to pay off connected buddies, enter into no-bid contracts, and other typical graft. As the debt got bigger, legislators just kicked the can down the road. The amount of interest that accumulated every year is disgusting. Until speaker Mike Madigan is out of the picture, likely nothing will be done to fix the situation. Terrible and embarrassing to live here.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Tino said...

It is getting harder to tell the difference between the Dems and GOP. Take away the social issues and it becomes impossible. The apathy among our citizens no longer surprises me.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Lester said...

Pritzker has enough time to get a Blago hairdo going....

12:24 PM  
Blogger The Neophyte said...

Why would anyone want that job? The state is in terrible financial shape, and has failed to maintain any kind of fiscal sanity. The next governor may be the one who is forced to make some very hard decisions which will be painful for a lot of people. It won't be his fault but he'll be saddled with it and he'll never be elected again. Anyone remember Abe Beame? First term mayor of NYC when the city nearly declared bankruptcy in the 70s. Not his fault and in fairness to him, the city was much better off when he left office than when he got there. But he also never got re-elected. Everyone remembers Ed Koch who took over after Beame but as far as Beame himself, he's just a footnote in history. Man served NYC for many years, was an accountant who put the city on a much firmer financial footing, and is still thought of as the worst mayor in NYC history. One of these guys may find themselves in the same boat in a few years. And that's something considering some of the other people who have held that office.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Ace said...

Is it time for Rod to make a comeback from prison? :)

6:34 PM  

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