Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A DAY IN THE LIFE (of Chicago): Is Dillard done? Hinting at a hike in gas prices could mean the answer's "yes"

I take it that Republican gubernatorial hopeful Kirk Dillard doesn’t care much about getting votes from anyone who lives anywhere near the borders Illinois shares with Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri or Kentucky.

DILLARD: Higher gas prices?!?
Why else would he suggest implementing a second state tax on gasoline to try to raise money for road maintenance? Particularly as an alternative to more gambling opportunities?

DILLARD WAS AMONG the gubernatorial dreamers who attended Conservative Summit Conference held in Burr Ridge this weekend. It was the chance for the GOP candidates to reach out to the ideologically-inclined amongst the electorate; and it worked because the group backed his campaign over that of challenger William Brady.

That was because the state senator from Hinsdale and chief of staff to former Gov. Jim Edgar (whom he felt the need to point out he’s more conservative than) took his stance – amongst many – according to the Illinois Review website that actually covered the event.

He tried to portray it as a view against gambling. He hinted he’d like to scale back the number of casinos and other gambling opportunities – rather than be pushing for a measure to expand the number of casinos. That may get the backing of the moralists who want to rant about people losing their souls (and money) at the casinos.

But I can’t think of any combination of stances that would kill his campaign chances than these two. Paying more at the gas pump? And having to drive further to get to the casino?

NOT ONLY DOES it cost him the support of everybody who wants to have a casino nearby, it will kill his chances for people who make a point of driving over the state line to put gasoline in their cars.

When one considers the south suburbs where many officials want a casino in their area AND hate the gasoline prices they pay locally compared to Indiana-based stations, Dillard becomes the guy who will finish dead-last amongst the gubernatorial dreamers.

Dillard probably figures he’s not getting much support there anyway (it’s a region where Pat Quinn gets taken seriously, largely because everybody else comes across as pathetic), so what does he have to lose? Just the respect of anybody sick of paying $4 or more for gasoline!

What else is notable these days along the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan?

TURNING GRAFFITI INTO ART?: Epifanio Monarrez is taking on a task that some people are going to find pleasing and others will be bothering about – he’s trying to undermine the street-gang related graffiti that exists in his home Little Village neighborhood.

Epifanio Monarrez is trying to clean up his neighborhood, in his own way
Monarrez, according to the Hispanically Speaking News website, goes about altering the graffiti in his neighborhood to try to turn it into art – which also undermines the whole purpose of graffiti in that gang members use it to “mark” their territory.

However, Monarrez said he does not get hassled by the gangs for his activity – although I’m sure his biggest critics are those people who would prefer that the graffiti be erased altogether; and not treated as though it could be legitimized in any way!

For the record, Monarrez says he gets a property owner’s permission before he does anything, and he asks the owner to kick in for the cost of the paint.

THEY DON’T WANT NO STINKIN’ PERMITS: The firearms advocates are still upset that they couldn’t start “packin’ heat” the exact day that the General Assembly voted to approve a “concealed carry” measure for Illinois.

For those who need instruction
They now have their case before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in Chicago, but they’re upset that arguments won’t be heard until Oct. 3 – and that it is uncertain how long it will take the court to reach a decision.

Despite the fact that they were able to pressure the General Assembly into giving them their legal concept, and also dump on Gov. Pat Quinn’s attempts to moderate the measure (I suspect the Legislature would have dumped on Quinn just for kicks), they are still looking for something to complain about.

For the record, the Illinois State Police says it needs some time to put together the process by which they will grant the “concealed carry” permits. What really bothers the advocates is that there has to be a process at all.


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