Democratic candidates for Illinois governor resort to scapegoating

Readability

Democratic candidates for Illinois governor resort to scapegoating

[cap­tion id=“attachment_104350” align=“alignright” width=“281”] Illi­nois bicen­ten­nial flag on the bottom[/caption]

By John Ruberry

Illi­nois will have one of the most-​closely watched guber­na­to­r­ial con­tests this year. Repub­li­can incum­bent Bruce Rauner has been a tremen­dous dis­ap­point­ment to me and just about every con­ser­v­a­tive voter I know. I enthu­si­as­ti­cally backed the then-​political new­comer in 2014, but this time around, as I explained here at Da Tech Guy, I’m sup­port­ing Rauner’s Repub­li­can chal­lenger, state rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jeanne Ives in the March pri­mary election.

Ives is attack­ing Rauner, and to be fair, the Dems are too. Rauner has much to answer for. Actu­ally he has lit­tle to answer for – as Rauner has not accom­plished much of any­thing. For her part Ives is pro­mot­ing com­mon sense reforms that only public-​sector union bosses and their enablers oppose, such as amend­ing the state con­sti­tu­tion so pen­sion ben­e­fits can be changed, that is, so pay­ment increases can be low­ered, and hav­ing new state employ­ees enroll in 401(k) plans.

Mean­while Democ­rats are bat­tling scape­goats, used here in the clas­si­cal sense, that is, using some­thing else to accept the sins of a people.

Deals with the Democ­rats’ state worker wing, the public-​sector unions, that some Repub­li­can gov­er­nors signed off on – but not Rauner – have bur­dened the Prairie State with $250 bil­lion in pen­sion debt. Retir­ing at 50 with full ben­e­fits is nice – except for chumps like me who have to pay for it. Illi­nois’ cur­rent bud­get is $36 bil­lion and a whop­ping one-​quarter of it goes to gov­ern­ment worker pen­sion pay­ments. Illi­nois has suf­fered from the worst credit rat­ing among the states for years, cur­rently that rat­ing is just one level above junk.

Illi­noisans are respond­ing sen­si­bly and pre­dictably – for four straight years Illi­nois has had neg­a­tive pop­u­la­tion growth.

There is lit­tle to cel­e­brate dur­ing Illi­nois’ bicen­ten­nial year.

Two can­di­dates on the Demo­c­ra­tic side are get­ting most of the atten­tion from the media and pre­sum­ably it’s a race between them, as there is cur­rently no polling data on guber­na­to­r­ial race. Bil­lion­aire investor JB Pritzker, a scion of the fam­ily that own the Hyatt Hotel chain, has col­lected the lion’s share of endorse­ments from promi­nent Democ­rats and the party’s union allies. He the only Demo­c­ra­tic can­di­date reg­u­larly run­ning ads on radio, tele­vi­sion, and on the inter­net. The other promi­nent con­tender is Chris Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy who used to run Chicago’s Mer­chan­dise Mart.

Nei­ther have much to say about Illi­nois’ long-​running fis­cal cri­sis and solu­tions for it, other than “tax­ing the rich.” But they don’t even talk much about that.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_104352” align=“alignleft” width=“300”] Pritzker on the left protest­ing Trump[/caption]

Pritzker’s web adver­tise­ments are a daily pres­ence on my Face­book and Pan­dora pages – in these Pritzker almost always attacks Don­ald Trump, as he does for instance in this YouTube ad. Trump has not vis­ited Illi­nois since he was elected pres­i­dent. Last year, in front of Chicago’s Trump Tower, Pritzker released his five-​point plant to resist the pres­i­dent. And when the inevitable spring tor­nado tears through Illi­nois bring­ing death and destruc­tion, who will Gov­er­nor Pritzker call for help?

Since Trump has been monop­o­lized as a scape­goat by Pritzker, Kennedy is left with smaller prey. One of his tar­gets is a wor­thy one, at least for scorn. That one is Cook County Asses­sor Joseph Berrios, who is also the chair­man of the Cook County Reg­u­lar Demo­c­ra­tic Orga­ni­za­tion, bet­ter known as the Chicago Machine. Pritzker owns a man­sion on Chicago’s Gold Coast. He pur­chased a smaller man­sion that sits next to his. The bil­lion­aire didn’t main­tain it – and then he suc­cess­fully appealed his prop­erty tax assess­ment with Berrios’ office because the other man­sion was “vacant and unin­hab­it­able,” sav­ing Pritzker a bun­dle of cash. Berrios has been under attack by the Chicago Tri­bune for his assess­ing prac­tices, which the Chicago Tri­bune says favors the rich over the poor. Kennedy is call­ing for Berrios to resign as asses­sor, but the tiny yet pow­er­ful law firm where the long­time state House Speaker and state Demo­c­ra­tic Party chair­man, Michael Madi­gan, is a part­ner was hired to lower the prop­erty taxes of a com­pany owned by Kennedy’s Mer­chan­dise Mart.

Oops.

Last week Kennedy moved on to another unpop­u­lar tar­get, Chicago’s embat­tled mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

I believe that black peo­ple are being pushed out of Chicago inten­tion­ally by a strat­egy that involves dis­in­vest­ment in com­mu­ni­ties being imple­mented by the city admin­is­tra­tion,” Kennedy said at a press con­fer­ence held in a pre­dom­i­nately African-​American neigh­bor­hood on Chicago’s West Side. “I believe Rahm Emanuel is the head of the city admin­is­tra­tion and there­fore needs to be held respon­si­ble for those out­comes,” he added.

Phrased suc­cinctly, Rahm, accord­ing to Kennedy, is dri­ving blacks out of Chicago.

Oops again.

For a vari­ety of rea­sons, includ­ing most notably high crime and exe­crable union­ized schools, in sheer num­bers and by per­cent­age, the black pop­u­la­tion of many large cities, includ­ing New York, Los Ange­les, Atlanta, and even Detroit has been falling, as I stated in my own blog when I reported on this story. Kennedy’s claim is tin-​foil hat stuff.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_100542” align=“alignright” width=“217”] Blog­ger at Chicago’s Trump Tower[/caption]

And what does Trump and Emanuel have to do with Illi­nois’ pen­sion deba­cle? Noth­ing with the for­mer and a just a lit­tle bit in regards to the lat­ter, since Rahm, a long­time promi­nent Illi­nois Demo­c­rat, was silent about the fes­ter­ing fis­cal dis­ease that is devour­ing ILL-​inois. As for Berrios, I’ll place the party boss some­where in the middle.

But the role of scape­goats, using the term in the mod­ern sense, is to defer atten­tion away from larger prob­lems. And Kennedy and Pritzker don’t have solu­tions – or if they do they don’t care to share them with voters.

Boss Michael Madigan’s use of “Illi­nois math” to kick the pen­sion prob­lem down the road isn’t an option any­more. Illi­nois has reached the cliff.

John Ruberry, a fifth-​generation Illi­nois res­i­dent, reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit.

Illinois bicentennial flag on the bottom

By John Ruberry

Illinois will have one of the most-closely watched gubernatorial contests this year. Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner has been a tremendous disappointment to me and just about every conservative voter I know. I enthusiastically backed the then-political newcomer in 2014, but this time around, as I explained here at Da Tech Guy, I’m supporting Rauner’s Republican challenger, state representative Jeanne Ives in the March primary election.

Ives is attacking Rauner, and to be fair, the Dems are too. Rauner has much to answer for. Actually he has little to answer for–as Rauner has not accomplished much of anything. For her part Ives is promoting common sense reforms that only public-sector union bosses and their enablers oppose, such as amending the state constitution so pension benefits can be changed, that is, so payment increases can be lowered, and having new state employees enroll in 401(k) plans.

Meanwhile Democrats are battling scapegoats, used here in the classical sense, that is, using something else to accept the sins of a people.

Deals with the Democrats’ state worker wing, the public-sector unions, that some Republican governors signed off on–but not Rauner–have burdened the Prairie State with $250 billion in pension debt. Retiring at 50 with full benefits is nice–except for chumps like me who have to pay for it. Illinois’ current budget is $36 billion and a whopping one-quarter of it goes to government worker pension payments. Illinois has suffered from the worst credit rating among the states for years, currently that rating is just one level above junk.

Illinoisans are responding sensibly and predictably–for four straight years Illinois has had negative population growth.

There is little to celebrate during Illinois’ bicentennial year.

Two candidates on the Democratic side are getting most of the attention from the media and presumably it’s a race between them, as there is currently no polling data on gubernatorial race. Billionaire investor JB Pritzker, a scion of the family that own the Hyatt Hotel chain, has collected the lion’s share of endorsements from prominent Democrats and the party’s union allies. He the only Democratic candidate regularly running ads on radio, television, and on the internet. The other prominent contender is Chris Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy who used to run Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.

Neither have much to say about Illinois’ long-running fiscal crisis and solutions for it, other than “taxing the rich.” But they don’t even talk much about that.

Pritzker on the left protesting Trump

Pritzker’s web advertisements are a daily presence on my Facebook and Pandora pages–in these Pritzker almost always attacks Donald Trump, as he does for instance in this YouTube ad. Trump has not visited Illinois since he was elected president.  Last year, in front of Chicago’s Trump Tower, Pritzker released his five-point plant to resist the president. And when the inevitable spring tornado tears through Illinois bringing death and destruction, who will Governor Pritzker call for help?

Since Trump has been monopolized as a scapegoat by Pritzker, Kennedy is left with smaller prey. One of his targets is a worthy one, at least for scorn. That one is Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, who is also the chairman of the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization, better known as the Chicago Machine.  Pritzker owns a mansion on Chicago’s Gold Coast. He purchased a smaller mansion that sits next to his. The billionaire didn’t maintain it–and then he successfully appealed his property tax assessment with Berrios’ office because the other mansion was “vacant and uninhabitable,” saving Pritzker a bundle of cash. Berrios has been under attack by the Chicago Tribune for his assessing practices, which the Chicago Tribune says favors the rich over the poor. Kennedy is calling for Berrios to resign as assessor, but the tiny yet powerful law firm where the longtime state House Speaker and state Democratic Party chairman, Michael Madigan, is a partner was hired to lower the property taxes of a company owned by Kennedy’s Merchandise Mart.

Oops.

Last week Kennedy moved  on to another unpopular target, Chicago’s embattled mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

“I believe that black people are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally by a strategy that involves disinvestment in communities being implemented by the city administration,” Kennedy said at a press conference held in a predominately African-American neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. “I believe Rahm Emanuel is the head of the city administration and therefore needs to be held responsible for those outcomes,” he added.

Phrased succinctly, Rahm, according to Kennedy, is driving blacks out of Chicago.

Oops again.

For a variety of reasons, including most notably high crime and execrable unionized schools, in sheer numbers and by percentage, the black population of many large cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and even Detroit has been falling, as I stated in my own blog when I reported on this story. Kennedy’s claim is tin-foil hat stuff.

Blogger at Chicago’s Trump Tower

And what does Trump and Emanuel have to do with Illinois’ pension debacle? Nothing with the former and a just a little bit in regards to the latter, since Rahm, a longtime prominent Illinois Democrat, was silent about the festering fiscal disease that is devouring ILL-inois. As for Berrios, I’ll place the party boss somewhere in the middle.

But the role of scapegoats, using the term in the modern sense, is to defer attention away from larger problems. And Kennedy and Pritzker don’t have solutions–or if they do they don’t care to share them with voters.

Boss Michael Madigan’s use of “Illinois math” to kick the pension problem down the road isn’t an option anymore. Illinois has reached the cliff.

John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Illinois resident, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.