The Czar has long followed Chicago politics, which few outsiders actually get. But let us take a look at the latest in Illinois politics (terribly influenced by the Chicago corruption machine) and see what the latest is.
Nationally, Senator Roland Burris has decided not to run for
re-election election (he was never voted in). You will remember that he was appointed under a cloud of suspicion to then President-Elect Obamas vacated seat that then-Governor Rod Blagojevic attempted to sell to the highest bidder for personal profit. After a contention review process and all sorts of recordings of him surfaced in which he agreed to raise money for Rods future campaigns in exchange for the appointment (sigh), he became Senator. This week, he agreed he would not step down at the end of his term. Sen. Burris felt that raising the funds for an election run would be too difficult, especially when people would be watching how he did it. Perhaps that an his popularity is now at a single digit (believed to be a middle finger).
On the Democratic side, current State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has begun running for that Senate seat. Popular, good-looking, and dynamic. Oh, and his family owns a bank that loans money to organized crime. Oh, and some of the banks checks somehow wound up in the hands of Tony Rezko, who kited them in Vegas. Since then, he has lost key endorsements (even POTUS Obama has withdrawn his support of Alexi G, although the latters website still implies the two are quite close). Now that, friends, sounds like the Chicago way.
As you know, Milorad B. is no longer the governor, and is enjoying life as a private citizen for the first time in a long political career…and indeed, for the last time as his conviction is largely considered to be a slam-dunk.
Consequently, our present Governor is Pat Quinn. He inherited a pile of Blago mess, including an out-of-control budget and stunning loss of revenue that is racing Illinois toward bankruptcy. Quinn has struggled to right the ship of state, but cannot seem to strike the right balance between compromise and stubbornness. He has assured Democratic voters of his intent to run, but many of his ardent supporters have begun to distance themselves and openly criticize him, such as Dan Hynes, the state Comptroller, who has not ruled out going for the big chair himself. Quinn faces a lot of potential opponents from his own party, who know too much about him. Quinn, for what it is worth, seems to be a capable, moderate man who simply needed more time to hit his stride as governor before the next election. He isnt going to get it.
Long expected to run for either the US Senate or for Governor, States Attorney Lisa Madigan has elected to run for neither. She has decided to place family first, et cetera, and remain as a popular states attorney. Smart moveshe is well aware that her Democratic party is about to be Airbused in 2010, and both the Governorship and US Senate seat are very likely to go to the GOP. Why give up a position in which both sides agree shes pretty good at, only to lose it all?
Republican Representative Mark Kirk has announced he is ramping up for a campaign. But no one seems to know if he plans to run for re-election as Representative, run for the open Senate seat vacated by Burris, or for governor. His recent decision to vote for CapnTrade has appalled and alienated him among Republican voters: although he has had few if any missteps as a politician, that moment of weakness (he now admits, somewhat, to not really understanding what the bill contained) could cost him a shot at all three.
Speaking of Kirks, State Senator Kirk Dillard (R) has announced the he is running for governor, now that his chief obstacleLisa Madiganis out of the way. However, he is viewed as a career politician, and many Republicans fear he needs a massive campaign push to (a) establish him as a serious possibility for governor, or at least (b) prevent folks from confusing him with Mark Kirk. This actually has precedent in Illinois, when uber-qualified Jim Ryan lost a gubernatorial campaign to the incredibly awful Rod Blagojevic because voters were too stupid to realize he wasnt George Ryan, the unrelated governor who was sentenced to prison weeks before the election. In pre-election polls, people openly expressed shock that a convicted felon could run for governor, never realizing the two men were as different as night and day.
Also running on the GOP side (after Blago and Burris, the Illinois GOP incautiously believes it cannot lose) is State Senator Matt Murphy (not that Matt Murphy; like him, State Senator Bill Brady is also a candidate. Both Murphy and Brady suffer from the same problem: no one has a clue who they are. Brady, the Czar was shocked to learn, has already run for governor in 2006; the Czar does not even recall his name on the ballot. Er… good luck, guys.
Of great and growing interest is a virtual nobody, Adam Andrzejewski. His website helpfully provides a rebus to pronounce his name (ann-G-F-ski), and he approaches his complex Polish name with great humor (and this will help sway many Chicago votes his way). He lives very close to Muscovy, and is a Republican (both good things). He also seems to have no political history whatsoever, and this has many folks intrigued. The Czar has reviewed many of his anti-corruption proposals, and you would think he posts here under the name Ghettoputer, but he does not. An outspoken critic of Illinois politics, he is capitalizing (smartly) on the fact he has no ties to the mighty Daley machine and connection with the RICO-reeking Illinois GOP. We tried a guy like him once before as governor… Jim Edgar, whom many people believe was the greatest governor Illinois ever had, and possibly the best leader any state ever had. Let us hope he is of a similar breed, as he could certainly use as much media attention as possible.
Anyway, the carnival goes on. Stay tuned.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.