Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dozen more days of anti-Quinn rhetoric

You know we’re coming close to an Election Day when the hostile rhetoric gets stepped up; I was swamped in all the cheap talk being spewed these days to make Gov. Pat Quinn into the most corrupt of political individuals imaginable.

I lost track of the number of e-mail messages I got before noon Wednesday taking pot shots at Quinn and trying to make it appear as though Republican challenger Bruce Rauner is our state’s savior.

NOW THE FACTUAL basis that inspired most of this trash talk is that U.S. Magistrate judge Sidney Schenkier issued an order that provides for a monitor to oversee the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Political partisans are claiming that the hiring process for that state agency has been politically motivated by the opposition – as in people getting jobs there because they’re owed a political favor, rather than being actually qualified for whatever position they’re applying for.

The judge’s order provides for someone who will study the hiring practices and who eventually will determine whether there’s any legitimacy to the claim, while also imposing any changes that might be required if problems are found.

That conclusion won’t come until well after the Nov. 4 date for Election Day. But for political purposes, it doesn’t matter – not that there’s no hard fact, nor that it may be concluded that nothing inappropriate is taking place.

PERSONALLY, I RECEIVED two e-mail messages from the Rauner campaign – one giving a statement from the candidate to be quoted in news copy. That line about, “A federal judge just confirmed what we’ve known all along – Pat Quinn is corrupt …” and so on.

Then, when the Chicago Tribune managed to quickly piece together a news story Wednesday morning for their web site about the Schenkier ruling (which included Rauner’s ‘response’ at the very end), the Rauner campaign made sure to send a statement pointing out the news story.

Which I had already read on my own. I read the newspapers myself, rather than let others read them for me.

There also was the Illinois Republican Party-issued statement meant to make sure that reporter-type people found out about this particular news happening, and perceived it in the GOP way of the world. Even the Republican Governor's Association felt compelled to e-mail me to make sure I "knew" what was happening.

THAT WAS ON top of the other state Republican statement I got Wednesday morning, letting me know that Quinn would not be present at a Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., campaign event that will highlight Vice President Joe Biden.

Under the headline Brad Schneider to Pat Quinn, Stay Away!, it is meant to give us the impression that nobody wants to be seen in the incumbent governor’s

presence. Just like national Republicans want to believe that Barack Obama is the perennial pariah who takes down everything he touches.

Now I don’t doubt that some people really do feel that way. But whether they’re a majority of the electorate remains to be seen. Let’s not forget that Obama handily won two election cycles for president, despite some of the most hostile rhetoric any candidate has ever faced.

I’m also aware that it is naïve to presume there hasn’t been any political influence in the hiring practices that relate to the state Transportation Department. It probably is to our benefit that we will have a monitor.

BUT I AM influenced by the fact that governments routinely get lawsuits filed against them, are constantly the butt of complaints and have legal entities doing investigations of sorts on any number of issues.

It doesn’t mean they’re all legitimate. In fact, many number of them are politically motivated in-and-of themselves to stir up reactions that people can use to their own advantage.

Truth is usually the last thing that anybody really cares about in these instances – particularly when the claims are being made just 12 days prior to Election Day.


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