Greetings family and friends! Here are my endorsements for the Democratic primary election on Februrary 2, 2010. As always, you will first want to review how I decide who to endorse, and make your own informed judgments. This is coming from my own personal perspective, values and ethics, which may vary from yours.
I've instituted a new policy for jerky comments as of 2010 - Keep in mind that I'll probably delete any jerky comments you leave, unless you pay me $100. For $100 cash, I will allow you to make a jerky comment and go out to a nice dinner and laugh at your folly. Cash donations in exchange for jerky comments can be sent to me via the paypal donation button right here:
Otherwise, get your own blog, haters.
One more note, you'll want to also review the process of how to vote especially if this is your first time.
Without further ado, here we go -
United States Senator
Cheryle Robinson Jackson
While Cheryle’s cop-out of civil unions instead of same-sex marriage bothers me, she’s more progressive on the issues of women’s rights and ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on a quick timetable. She also supports a public option for healthcare and has a background in economic development that I think are key for our future right now. And, I look forward to adding another female Senator.
Pat Quinn is a boring man, and that may be what these times require – a slow and steady character to keep us going through this recession. Pat’s solid on the usual progressive issues, but also has the guts to say that yes, an income tax raise is coming, and sorry, that’s the only real choice Illinois has to get out of our budget hole. Let’s give Quinn a chance and see how it goes. Also, I don’t approve of Dan Hynes’ using the late Mayor Harold Washington in an ad twenty years after his death.
Lieutenant Governor is not a particularly exciting office – the most attention its gotten in years is when Governor Blagojevich resigned and Pat Quinn took over. Thomas Castillo is young, a union activist, has a website full of ideas, and is not an entrenched politician – he’s an electrician actually. This is one office where you can take a chance on an outside with very little risk, and I think Thomas Castillo will fit the bill nicely.
Lisa Madigan is uncontested in the Democratic primary.
Secretary of State
Jesse White is uncontested in the Democratic primary.
Here’s another office that anyone can probably do okay in, but a great person could do great things with. S. Raja Krishnamoorthi has some good ideas about putting all state contracts online, making politics more transparent, etc. Young and energetic, he’s an Obama Democrat. Plus, he’s be the first Indian-American to hold statewide office in Illinois, and only the second in the country.
Robin Kelly has the background, serving as chief of staff to our current treasurer. She’s also the one in charge of many of the financial literacy programs, especially for women and teens, that the state offers. A commitment to expanding financial literacy programs in school and for adults sets her apart from the rest, and I certainly hope to see those plans played out after her election.
U.S. Representative, 9th District
Jan Schakowsky is uncontested in the Democratic primary.
State Central Committeewoman, 9th District
Carol Ronen is uncontested in the Democratic primary.
State Central Committeeman, 9th District
William Marovitz is uncontested in the Democratic primary.
State Senator, 7th District
Heather Steans is the straight person who has perhaps done the most for the GLBT community in her last two years as State Senator, namely introducing the Equal Marriage Act in the Illinois State Senate when no other Senator would. It’s odd, then, that gay rights activist Jim Madigan, who has a great resume, would choose to go up against Steans of all people in this primary. I think it shows Jim has a lack of wisdom and strategy – why not run for an office where you can replace politician who isn’t doing anything for gay rights, instead of displacing the strongest ally in the Senate? There’s no reason to replace Heather, and lots to keep her, so let’s hope Jim moves to another district by the next election and runs there.
State Representative, 14th District
Harry Osterman is uncontested in the Democratic primary
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioners (choose 3)
Choose these three people –
Mariyana Spyropoulos, a lawyer, conservationist, and volunteer with the Forest Preserve District
Todd Connor, a business/management type who has some solid fiscal ideas as well as recommendations to expand Forest Preserve land and conserving electricity
Kari Steele, a scientist who is an honest to goodness water chemist! Who better to have on the board that determines water quality issues.
President of County Board
Toni Preckwinkle is often one of the only alderman to vote against Mayor Daley’s proposals in the city council (including the parking meter deal), and I think that bodes well her for her reforming the County Board. She’s committed to keeping the hospital system under independent oversight and reducing jail overcrowding by using drug treatment and education as alternatives. I like Dorothy Brown just fine, but Toni Preckwinkle is our women for this job.
David Orr is uncontested in the Democratic primary.
Thomas Dart is best know in the last year for refusing to evict renters who were paying rent to landlords who unknowingly to the renters, got foreclosed on. This type of ethical stand bodes well for his character. He’s also done a good job with the Burr Oak cemetery scandal, and has some good ideas about having court appearances via closed circuit TV, saving some money.
Maria Pappas is uncontested in the Democratic primary.
Raymond Figueroa is the choice for the office that determines property taxes on your house, over the shady Joseph Berrios, who is laden with conflicts of interest.
County Commissioner, 10th District
Bridget Gainer is uncontested in the Democratic primary.
The following judicial endorsements are made based on a combination of the ratings of the various bar associations, with the womens and GLBT bar associations ratings receiving larger weight -
Appellate Court, vacancy of McNulty
Kathleen G. Kennedy
Applellate Court, vacancy of O’Malley
Thomas L. Hogan
Judge of the Appellate Court, vacancy of South
Mary Katherine Rochford
Judge of the Circuit Court, vacancy of Berland
William H. Hooks
Judge of the Circuit Court, vacancy of Bronstein
Judge of the Circuit Court, vacancy of Dolan
Linda J. Pauel
Judge of the Circuit Court, vacancy of Hayes
Raymond W. Mitchell,
Judge of the Circuit Court, vacancy of Kelley
John Patrick Callahan Jr
Judge of the Circuit Court, vacancy of McCarthy
Daniel Gallagher is uncontested in the Democratic primary
Judge of the Circuit Court, vacancy of O’Malley
Thomas V Lyons is uncontested in the Democratic primary
Judge of the Circuit Court, vacancy of Riley
Pamela McLean Meyerson
EDIT: Due to some confusion over the fact that there are two "vacacy of Riley"s on the ballot, I must change my endorsement for this race to Russell William Hartigan. Pamela McLean Meyerson is NOT running in this race. Sorry for the confusion.