Throw ’em Out!

Your official 2010 Illinois Election mantra should be, Throw the Bums Out! Taking a cue from the Chicago Tribune’s excellent beginning-of-the-year editorial, that’s what ours will be.  And if there was ever year for it – especially in state government – this is the one.  To quote:

Too many incumbents enable the Illinois culture of political sleaze that continues to suffuse so many layers of government in this state. Even with one defrocked governor in prison and another awaiting trial, clout still drives decisions on whom governments hire and how they spend taxpayers’ dollars. The endurance of that culture has all but destroyed public confidence in Illinois’ political class. Ruling oligarchs, fed with campaign donations from the beneficiaries of their largesse, want primarily to extend their power…

The big problem is, we haven’t learned our lesson.  We continue to not vote them out even though they refuse to address the growing budget crisis, the bloated bureaucracy, the clout-based decision-making, the problems with the educational system.  Why is this?  Well, because it’s hard.

The Illinois primary system has been built to back those in power with established ties, not new candidates with fresh ideas and fewer political debts.  Also, we have some of the weakest political disclosure laws in the nation, which makes it difficult to sort through the morass of finances and influence peddling that makes Springfield tick.

Blago may be the poster child for the current climate, but he’s a mere symptom – not the architect.  This situation crosses party lines and threatens to place our state in financial depths similar to those in California, New Jersey, and Michigan.  Is that what we want?  So what are you going to do about it…

  • Register.  If you don’t vote, you support the status quo.  Get registered and by all means participate in the primaries.  You don’t have room to complain if you don’t use your voice.
  • Research. Google is a wondrous thing.  The Tribune, State-Journal Register, and other papers still have reporters on the beat asking tough local questions.  There are plenty of watchdog blogs tracking contributions and connections.  Find out who your local candidates are and…
  • Vote the incumbent out.  Of course, there are caveats to this.  Say you have a long-standing relationship with your local rep and you believe in them. Fine.  Say the incumbent actually has some credentials for ethics reform and fiscal responsibility.  OK.  But otherwise, what we really need to do is clean house.

It’s a strange and frightening time for citizens of Illinois.  In order to get things on track, we need more taxes and less government programs/services.  But what politico in his right mind would endorse that platform?  Such is the dilemma.  So now’s the time to engage in state and local issues.  Things won’t change unless we hold them accountable.  Let’s get to it.

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One thought on “Throw ’em Out!

  1. You need to have this published in the Tribune and Sun-Times so people that are the real problem are voted out.

    Most of our Southern Reps and pretty good guys..

    The corruption all lies in the Metro areas, mostly great CHICAGOland area…..

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