6.07.2005

The '06 IL Governor's Race

Well few sites I know of on the net are into any non-national elections, except for ones involving Arnold or the screwed up Washington governor's race. So I thought I would put some info out there for others who are interested.

Democrats:
It would seem as though governor Rod Blagojevich should have a state like Illinois wrapped up. It is a very blue state, and only one statewide position is held by a Republican. Never-the-less, Blago has made so many errors and left himself open to so much criticism that his terrible policies are but a sidenote. He has constantly feuded with other Democrats, including Chicago mayor Richard Daley, Illinois Senate leader Emil Jones, and even the powerful pair of Lisa and Michael Madigan (Illinois Attorney General and Speaker of the Illinois House, respectively). He has been plagued with as many lawsuits and scandals as George Ryan. Therefore, it would be much easier than usual for another Democrat to win the primary. But at this point, which admittedly is early, no one seems interested. The two most likely, the Madigans, seem to have reached a peace with Rod.

In the general election, his largest advantage is money. He has ammassed a huge 10.1 million dollar warchest, almost certainly more than any Republican could raise. Fortunately for Republicans, his approval ratings have tanked recently, and that is not surprising.

He is the defendant in a court case as we speak, has been accused of mismangement of various sorts (both employment practices and illegal contracting), and even feuded with his own family. He pledged to clean up the George Ryan practice of awarding government contracts to companies he favors or is involved with, but instead went further in this than Ryan himself. Early in his term, he fired all the snowplow employees in the state that were registered Republicans.

He literally overtook the state board of education, changing the rules so that he himself could appoint a majority of it's members this alienates members of his own party, and strongly liberal teacher's unions that should be among his best supporters.

Since elected, he has talked about his success in not raising taxes, which is true, sort of. He has gone mad raising fees for everything from car titles to alcohol licenses, putting a serious dent in the already struggling economy. Make no mistake, Mr. Blagojevich has made Illinois a terrible place to have a business. I was recently told by a knowledgeable individual that he has been told by numerous individuals that putting a business in Iowa rather than Illinois will cut the government related costs in half.

Rarely in Springfield, many say he has moved the real capitol to Chicago. I believe this plays strongly with the non-Chicago vote, even Democrats. The rest of Illinois doesn't identify Chicago as part of their state, and they don't want to be affiliated with it.

His incompetent spending and budget proposals have prevented even a largely Democrat controlled legislature from passing them with any ease. He has channelled extensive money to Chicago (especially in education) at the expense of the rest of the state.

A smaller matter, he is habitually late for everything from meetings with legislators to (I'm not kidding) funerals. We are not talking about 5 minutes here either, we are talking 2 to 3 hours, and many times he does not bother to show at all.

I believe the net effect of this is that many Democrats, unenthusiastic about Rod's reelection, will stay at home on election day, while Republicans will come out in force to try to defeat someone they hate with a passion. While the states blue leanings and his cash will help, ultimately I believe a good Republican candidate could win.

I'll get to the Republican candidates in the future.

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