Monday, August 7, 2017

Why would anybody want to be governor of Illinois?

   

Chris Kennedy
       “The guy I really like is Dan Biss,” I said. “He’s a very in-the-trenches politician. I attended a seminar he held for seniors in Glenview, trying to help them navigate Medicare. Once I was at my sister-in-law’s in Skokie, and he knocked on the door, to talk about issues. So I felt guilty, seeing what he’s up against running for governor and wanted to do what I could. So I called his press office. Talked to one of the kids there. They never called me back, but at least now I can comfort myself that I tried.”
     “What you need to do is call him directly,” said Chris Kennedy, as we dug into our scrambled eggs on the riverside patio at Chicago Cut.
     Only later did I reflect on the ludicrousness of the exchange. I don’t know which is stranger — that I would tell Kennedy, also running for governor, that I prefer someone else, or that Kennedy would offer me a helpful tip for getting in touch with his rival.
     I had begun our conversation with, “Why would you want to be governor? If history is any judge, odds are 50-50 you’ll end up in prison.”
     “I don’t know . . .,” Kennedy mused. “I come from a long line of people who thought politics was an honorable profession.”
     “And you still believe that?”
     “I don’t think you should be in leadership and in the supply chain at the same time,” Kennedy said. “If you are, it makes it really hard to understand what’s right and what’s wrong.”

   
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18 comments:

  1. Good article. Let's hope the small town areas have woken up about Rauner. I don't think they are all rubes though. But Kennedy may have a bigger chance in those areas than Pritzker, though Pritzker has the money to compete against Rauner's ad onslaught. Is Rauner un-electable for a 2nd term? Here's hoping...but then it was thought that Trump couldn't win either.

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  2. If it's a given that nat'l politics anymore is a rich man's game, I'll take the "principled, idealistic, thoughtful" one (such qualities meaning he probably inherited his wealth) any time. I'm reminded of Sargent Shriver running the Mart and considering a run for IL Gov. Family business. I'm sure they know all the right hatchet-men to do the dirty work. I also think people want to be governor of Illinois b/c they want to be POTUS. Again, WHY?!

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  3. Reading between the lines I detect a Kennedy endorsement. Also a plea to voters to stop wasting their votes on wealthy businessmen with no experience in government. We can put this wealth worshipping disease into remission if we recognize that it's killing us, not keeping us alive.

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    1. I totally agree. Pritzker is a joke & does the impossible, he makes Rauner look good. While right now, I'm leaning towards Biss, at least we know Kennedy has a long family history to live up to & more importantly, it appears he wants to live up to that.
      All Pritzker wants is to be more than a fat, rich heir, who hasn't done a damned thing in his entire life, except live off of money he didn't make, simply because he's a member of the Lucky Sperm Club!

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    2. Actually, he has made a lot of money independently of the generations of Pritzkers before him! And he's brought businesses to Chicago, funded start-ups, worked to improve early childhood education, worked to support candidates, etc. I have no idea if he can run a state and work with legislators, but he seems to want to live up to his family's name the way you sense that Kennedy wants to.

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    3. Sorry, that was a reply to Clark St.

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    4. Bill: Just how long has Pritzker been paying you?

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    5. Um, never? Just trying for civilized conversation here. I work in nonprofit fundraising, so I need to have an idea of what the various Pritzkers do and don't do. And, for that matter, I need to have an idea of what Kennedy does, needed to have an idea of what Rauner did, etc. It's standard operating procedure to figure out whether folks with money might be interested in the work your organization does. And to get to that point, it's standard operating procedure to figure out how folks make their money and where they give it away, both to nonprofits and to political causes.

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    6. So you work in non-profit fundraising. And who gives a lot of cash to non-profits, so they look good & lower their taxes, the Pritzkers!

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    7. Clark St., you're better than this! You're making it seem like you have a fight with the Pritzkers, not with, say, all rich people who run for office. Another very wealthy family who gives a lot of cash to non-profits is the Kennedy family. I won't speculate as to their reasons for doing this beyond assuming that they care about the causes they support, and I'm glad they give. They "look good" because they do good. I assume you'd agree, and assume you'd consider the possibility that the same could apply to the Pritzkers.

      I guess my original assumption was that you'd be willing to consider evidence against Pritzker being nothing more than, in your words, "a fat, rich heir, who hasn't done a damned thing in his entire life, except live off of money he didn't make, simply because he's a member of the Lucky Sperm Club!" I see that's not the case. I'm not a political support of him, though I will be if he wins the nomination (unless for some reason Rauner doesn't run again, in which case, who knows?). I don't really get why you're suspicious of me. But -- good news for you! I limit myself to three exchanges on comment boards to try to keep my a-hole side down. So, congrats! You win! Enjoy your victory, and do good to others in your magnanimity!

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  4. They really should have had Ryan and Blago bunking together. No sense of humor in the Bureau of Prisons, I guess.

    John

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  5. Every so often a damn day brings a column like this, covering a topic I have no interest in, but I read it, anyway. "I can’t get excited about the governor’s race." I don't know if I *can*, but I won't.

    At least there's the reward of the swell writing. Too many fine lines in the 4-paragraph summation of the race concluding this piece to cite just one. And that'll be about all I know about it for at least the next year, if I'm lucky. ; )

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  6. The problem of over-reliance on property taxes to fund schools is certainly intractable, but I don't think it's because Madigan or anyone else is a property tax appeal lawyer. It's because the suburbs--which, or better or worse, are the locus of political power in Illinois--like it that way. And why wouldn't they? It's a system that benefits them more than anyone else.

    Making school funding more equitable inevitably means telling suburbanites, "You must pay more in taxes, and less money will go to your children's schools." That's an impossible sell.

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    1. DING! DING! DING! you sir are a winner! give that man a cupy doll

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    2. Indeed. Well put, Scribe. It's almost as if people are only concerned about their *own* piece of the pie and don't care about the fate of other folks, or the larger society, at all. Why, given this logic, folks with no kids might well conclude that they shouldn't even pay *anything* for schools, and we all know *that* never happens!

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    3. Jakash: Once my mother, rest her soul, was with a group of equally elderly friends when they started to discuss an upcoming school funding referendum. The friends all said they would vote against it because their kids were grown up and done with school.

      Mom asked them if they planned to ever sell their houses. They all nodded.

      Mom: "And how do you think you'll do that if we let the schools go to hell? Don't you know that one of the first things young couples check out when they look at a house is how good the local schools are?"

      She changed a few votes with that. Mom was smart enough not to bother with appeals to the larger society; she went right for the pocketbook.

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    4. Wise woman. : ) Leave the philosophy aside and stick to what matters to folks.

      I just don't understand why "pocketbook" issues like that don't resonate more with the 37% supporting ole Rumpy through thick and thin. Why are they more concerned that immigrants are filling the dish-washing jobs they don't want, rather than that the Republican agenda largely consists of giving tax breaks to folks in tax brackets that they will never come within a million dollars of? That seems to me like a certain kind of "philosophy" trumping what's best for their own pocketbook, yet there it is...

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  7. Every so often a damn day brings a column like this, covering a topic I have no interest in, but I read it, anyway. "I can’t get excited about the governor’s race." I don't know if I *can*, but I won't. At least there's the reward of the swell writing. Too many fine lines in the 4-paragraph summation of the race concluding this piece to cite just one. And that'll be about all I know about it for at least the next year, if I'm lucky. ; )

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Thanks for commenting. As soon as I vet your remarks, they'll be posted, assuming they aren't, you know, mean and crazy.