Sunday, October 31, 2010
Greetings family and friends! It's time for the mid-term elections, and as usual I am providing my endorsements. If this is your first time here, you'll want to first read How I Decide Who to Endorse. These endorsements have come about over the years because I'm a political geek and my family and friends continued to ask me for advice on who they should vote for. My values, ethics and opinions may vary from yours, and you should do your own research on the issues important to you. These are just my own personal opinion, and should be taken as such.
I receive no compensation from anyone for my many hours of research in putting together these endorsements - if you find these endorsements to be a valuable service, I would ask that you do one of three things to "repay" me -
1. bring a friend to the polls to vote on Election Day
2. reach out to one person struggling in today's economy and/or political climate and let them know they are not alone
3. make a donation to a charity of your choice
Before you go, you may wish to review How To Vote.
Finally, please keep in mind my comment policy - if you don't like what I have to say, get your own damn blog. If you want to make a jerky comment, I will allow it for $100 per jerky comment, payable to me. Email me for payment details.
Without further ado, here we go -
For the proposed addition of Section 7 to Article III of the Illinois Constitution.Explanation of Amendment
The proposed amendment, which takes effect upon approval by the voters, adds a new section to the Suffrage and Elections Article of the Illinois Constitution. The new section would provide the State's electors with an option to petition for a special election to recall a Governor and for the special election of a successor Governor.At the general election to be held on November 2, 2010, you will be called upon to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois Constitution. If you believe the Illinois Constitution should be amended to provide for a special election to recall a Governor and for a special election to elect a successor Governor, you should vote "YES" on the question. If you believe the Illinois Constitution should not be amended to provide for a special election to recall a Governor and for a special election to elect a successor Governor, you should vote "NO" on the question. Three- fifths of those voting on the question or a majority of those voting in the election must vote "YES" in order for the amendment to become effective.
YES - there is no harm, and may be benefits, to having recall as an option.
(For a six year term)
United States Senator
Alexander "Alexi" Giannoulias Democratic
(For an unexpired term)
United States Senator
Alexander "Alexi" Giannoulias Democratic
Look, I wish Alexi had waited to run. I wish Cheryl Jackson was our nominee. I wish we didn't have a choice between two more white men for Senator in 2010. But this is what we have, the choice between a fairly moderate Republican who seems to have taken a turn for the wacky lately with bizzarre lies about his military record (side note: does anyone of my generation care about whether or not someone served?) and a reliable liberal rising star who most people hoped would wait until he was just a little bit older to run. The real question here is do you want to see Republicans or Democrats control the Senate, because this seat could very well be a deciding vote. Alexi is someone of my generation, someone who is reasonable but progressive in his politics, and someone who will support Obama's agenda. Kirk isn't the worst Republican in the world - let's face it, most Illinois Republicans tend to be fairly moderate compared to other states - but he's going to vote with the Republicans, and he's been getting more conservative lately, including voting against the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and along party lines for most of the past two years. So do you want a stonewalled Congress intent on fighting with Obama over everything for the next six years, or do you want Illinois' vote to be one for change and progress?
Governor & Lieutenant Governor
Pat Quinn Democratic Sheila Simon
Pat Quinn is a nice man. He's not a particularly exciting man, or attractive man, but he's a nice man. You shouldn't vote for someone just because they are nice, but in a time of crushing fiscal problems, you need someone who is nice deciding where to make cuts. And cuts, we're going to have to make. Raise taxes too. Brady on the other hand, isn't a very nice guy. Brady refuses to raise taxes, and his ideas on where to cut include massive education funding cuts - including some that would cause Illinois to loose federal matching funds, and including community colleges, often the job training of last resort for many poor families. Brady is a shill for business, having voted against requiring insurers to cover mammograms, and he opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or risk to the woman's health. He also opposes anti-discrimination laws for GLBT people and is against same sex marriage. So if you want a nice man who will be reasonable and pragmatic, vote for Quinn. BONUS: Sheila Simon is the Lt. Governor, and she's fantastic!
Lisa Madigan Democratic
Lisa Madigan has done an exceptional job as Attorney General, a role in which she's basically the lawyer-advocate for consumers and residents in Illinois. She's aggressively gone after companies trying to screw over consumers including dangerous cribs and baby seats, unfair ComEd rate hikes, cable company monopolies, and fraudulent and sub-prime loan institutions. She has smacked down on sex offenders and felons and made Illinois the first state to require rape kit testing. From nursing home standards to environmental laws, she has been dogged in her advocacy for the people of Illinois - and frankly I think she's accomplished more and worked harder than anyone ever expected. She's clearly looking for a bigger piece of the pie someday when her kids are older, but until that day comes, we deserve a lawyer like her as our Attorney General.
Secretary of State
Jesse White Democratic
Who doesn't love Jesse White? He's running practically unopposed, with the Republican and Libertarian candidates barely campaigning. He's been doing this for three terms now, and he's been doing it well.
Judy Baar Topinka Republican
Hold onto your hats, because I'm endorsing a Republican. Actually, I think I've endorsed Judy before. The truth is, the Comptrollers office isn't very political, and Judy's a pro-choice pro-gay moderate anyway. She's a reasonable and smart woman who has some wisdom to add in this mess we are in. Plus, she must really want this job, because at age 66, this isn’t going to springboard her to anything higher. Democrat David Miller would do a fine job too, but Judy has more experience.
Robin Kelly Democratic
Robin Kelly is the way to go here. She’s currently the deputy to the treasurer, so she knows the office, how it works and how it doesn’t, and can hit the ground running – heck, let’s face it, she’s probably already doing most of the work now while Alexi is running for Senate. She wants to use the office to help create jobs via small business incentives, continue financial education programs, and find innovations for saving money, in addition to being the state’s financial watchdog, whereas Rutherford basically wants to cut the extra programs and just focus on investing state dollars for high returns. I think Rutherford is short sighted – we need financial education for consumers and help for small businesses to get our economy as a whole going again since we are now a nation driven by consumer purchases.
U.S. Representative, 9th District
Janice D. Schakowsky Democratic
I love Jan. Jan votes the way I would vote almost every single time, and I have the utmost confidence in her. She’s a strong progressive, and a great leader for other members of Congress. We need to keep her in Washington to keep leading! Her main opponent is a Tea Party Republican who couldn’t be further from Jan.
State Senator, 7th District
Heather A. Steans Democratic
Heather has only been in office a few years, but already she’s chosen her pet issues of nursing home reform, education and campaign finance reform. I suspect that perhaps she figures she doesn’t have much to loose, so she pushes hard on what she wants to get through – her lack of previous experience in politics is an asset, in a way.
State Representative, 14th District
Harry Osterman Democratic
He is running unopposed.
Vote for Three Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioners
Mariyana T. Spyropoulos Democratic
Michael A. Alvarez Democratic
Nadine Bopp Green
These three seem most knowledgable and committed to making our water safer and cleaner.
President of County Board
Toni Preckwinkle Democratic
Oh Toni, how we wish you were running for Mayor of Chicago instead, but how could you have known? On the other hand, if Toni hadn’t entered the primary, we might still be stuck with Stroger, which should tell you enough about her character to vote for her. If that’s not enough, she’s also pledged to repeal the insane sales tax and take 10% salary cut the day she enters office. As alderwoman, she was one of the few who voted against Daley’s parking meter privatization. Let’s hope she has a long future in front of her.
David D. Orr Democratic
David Orr is one of the most ethical politicians out there, and runs a scandal-free office, something most people in this County can’t say. He’s also spearheaded a online tracking system so people can find out which lobbyists try to influence which politicians. I’m confident his good works will continue.
Thomas J. Dart Democratic
Dart’s done a pretty good job, and he’s said he’s not going to run for Mayor now, so the smart vote is to keep him as Sheriff.
Maria Pappas Democratic
In the last decade that she has been in charge, she has streamlined her office, cut costs, and implemented technology to save money and time. Maria is the smart vote here.
Forrest Claypool Independent
Forrest is a true progressive running as an Independent in this election – which is apt because he really is independent, as opposed to Berrios, the Democrat, who is a lobbyist for the very issues he then regulates. The Assessor is the one who determines your property taxes – in a time when home ownership is becoming a dream that’s slipping away, we need a true independent like Forrest in that office.
County Commissioner, 10th District
Bridget Gainer Democratic
As my grandma said, all things being equal, vote for the woman or the Irish name – you get a twofer here, but that’s not why I choose Bridget. She’s proposed stricter ethics guidelines, and that’s clearly what a post-Stroger board needs. She’s also rumored to be well liked by the other commissioners, which should make her a consensus builder in the coming term.
JUDGES – most of these races are uncontested. In uncontested judges races, you should vote “yes” for that person unless otherwise noted.
Contested Judges races -
(Vacancy of McCarthy) Judge of the Circuit Court
Daniel J. Gallagher Democratic
YES / NO Retention Judges –
Vote YES on all of the judges except
VOTE NO TO :
Susan Jeanine McDunn
Irwin J. Solganick
Thomas M. Davy
William D. O’Neal
Arnette R. Hubbard
Patrick T. Murphy