At the risk of having no impact on voter turnout in the Tuesday, March 18, 2014 Illinois General Primary elections here’s my somewhat satirical predictions salted with observations of the digital campaign trail.
You read it here first. The Illinois Constitution Party (ICP) will draft William J. Kelly to be their candidate for Governor. That neo-scientific prediction comes from counting to infinity the number of Facebook posts Kelly, a TV talk show host and a media strategist has made urging Republicans to vote for anyone but Bruce Rauner.
The ICP’s best campaign slogan for their longshot chance of winning the general election is, “We’re anyone but (Republican winner) or Quinn!”
Most shocking prediction: Tio Hardiman will win the Democratic Primary. Rauner has frightened The Machine so much that Mike Madigan himself pulls a Republican ballot to vote for Kirk Dillard. Madigan truly believes that incumbents should be protected at all costs.
The cost will be high for the conservative members of the Illinois GOP. Because of the Democrat insurgency into their primary all of the centrist candidates will win. Kirk Dillard wins by the public sector union vote. Truax beats Oberweis and Durbin plans a campaign vacation. Cross defeats Grogan. Kinzinger over Hale.
I am not clairvoyant enough to predict the November winner between Hardiman, Dillard and Kelly but I’d bet on the center.
The impact the new liberal Republican Party will have on the Democratic Primary is harder to decipher. Who will Hardiman voters support locally? I don’t know so that’s my excuse for not picking federal and state winners and losers.
The primary crossover vote will have very little impact on local races. That’s because there are very few local contests.
If you live in County Board District 9, like I do, you just get used to the fact the whoever the Democrats run will win the general. Perpetual candidate Jim Luebke is the sole Democrat running. The Republican choices are the perpetual candidate Samuel Louis Bandy, Jr., and newcomer Craig Genteman.
Bandy promotes zero based budgeting. Genteman is looking for an independent audit to help address the county budget.
Neither has convinced me they will sell their respective ideas for change to the other 23 members of the county board. The procedures put in place to prevent elected officials from messing with the administration’s suggested budget are a daunting challenge for board members. Eventually they succumb to the Delphi strategies in place.
A hat tip here for the longtime serving District 9 county board member Julia Fauci for stepping aside to allow an opportunity for a new voice at the table.
I really like Sam Bandy but zero based budgeting, if ever enacted, requires much more time from county board members who are paid $100 a meeting. He also wants to reduce their pay to $1 per meeting. He’d get 1 of 24 votes. The problem isn’t that county board members and other elected officials are paid too much. They’re over-matched in most cases by the bureaucrats. Leave the meeting per diem alone.
An independent audit proposed by Genteman is not enough. Dixon was receiving audits from some independent firm while Rita Crundwell was robbing them blind. A forensic audit is an examination and evaluation of financial information for use as evidence in court. To be eligible for use as evidence in court it must be detailed and comprehensive. It’s much more expensive than an independent audit but less than that wasted from time to time for expert consultants hired to confirm what the administration wants anyway.
When the tax bills come out after the primary elections calls for a forensic audit could be a bully pulpit success. It could get the necessary 13 votes from the board from public outcry.
A write in candidate has little chance to win an election. But that is exactly what Laurie Davies Emmer is attempting to do in County Board District 4. Naive to the blood sport of Illinois politics Emmer turned in a formal petition with only the 19 minimum required signatures. Her opponent, incumbent Anthony Cvek, found an error and filed an objection that was upheld by the elections board and her name was stricken from the ballot.
Cvek is a burr under the board and administration’s saddle on the budget process. But he is sometimes 20+ votes short on his efforts to amend that process. He doesn’t have a digital campaign trail that this crack investigative blogger has found but Emmer has used Facebook as a resource for getting signatures on the ballot. She’ll get more votes than most write-in candidates do and could make it a close race to face Joseph Bassett-D for the District 4 seat.
Bassett finished 3rd in a 2012 vote for two contest behind Anita Turner-D and Anthony Cvek-D.
If you live in the 9th precinct in Sycamore and vote in the Republican primary you get to choose between Margaret Peck and Timothy Bagby for precinct committeeman. Consider yourself lucky. It’s the only contested precinct committeeman race on the ballot. There are at least four times the number of open committeeman seats as there are candidates to fill them.
The only contested race at the county level in the primary for Democrats is for the County Clerk and Recorder seat. Denise Ii from Sandwich and Trent Taylor from DeKalb are vying for the chance to face Douglas Johnson-R in the general election. There hasn’t been a Democrat in that seat maybe ever, certainly not in my memory. But they have a chance in November 2014. Johnson was appointed to replace John Acardo who abruptly resigned from office.
How will the Republican primary crossover shenanigans affect the county clerk race? DeKalb is the center of the universe for county Democrats. I didn’t know there was a Democrat in Sandwich until Ii came along. Based on those demographics Taylor should win the primary and because of his work ethic and that of his wife Alison Taylor I think he’ll win the general election, too.
I’m voting in the Republican primary for Bruce Rauner’s plan for turning Illinois around. I no longer trust Illinois politicians as a result of the landfill fiasco, the Wedron gasoline water, the frack sand mining approved at Starved Rock and the pending approval of fracking at the convergence of two major fault lines near the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. George Ryan, Rod Blagojevich, Rita Crundwell, Jessie Jackson, Jr., and the past DeKalb Public Library Board also contributed to my mistrust.
The good news in the event all of my predictions for the 2014 General Primary come true is Rauner has been circulating a petition to make term limits and other reform measures a ballot question for voters in November. His camp says they are near the minimum (300,000) signatures required by law.
So if the Dillard Democrats control the Republican primary I suspect Rauner will be peeved enough to want a return on that $6 million investment he made in his campaign. The best return he could get is to follow through on the petition and pay to defend it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. He’d win. We’d win and the orchestrators would only get two terms to complain about it.