Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rauner’s Neely talk not as first seems

Thinking back to college, I recall a Spanish class where we had to read a novel en Espanol – a murder mystery entitled Rosaura a las Diez.

As I recall, the story is of a murder that took place in a boardinghouse, and the police are present interviewing everyone who happened to be in the building at the time.

IT STARTED OUT with the account of a long-time resident who talked of how the love of his life had been brutally murdered. But later accounts revealed that the deceased woman barely knew the man – and was far from being his lover.

The man wound up being cleared of the crime, but in a way that made him seem cheap and petty and far from the romantic he described himself to be.

I couldn’t help but sense the same about Bruce Rauner, the Republican running for Illinois governor in the Nov. 4 elections. He’s the man who seems to want us to think that African-American voters just love him. Or at least that they absolutely despise Gov. Pat Quinn so much that they’ll vote for him 13 days from now.

Rauner is the guy who recycled the old news footage of former Mayor Harold Washington explaining why he fired Quinn from a post with the city revenue department some three decades ago.

NOW, HE’S GOING on and on talking about how he plans to make Stephanie Neely a significant part of his administration – should he happen to prevail in the upcoming state government elections.

He threw that barb in against Quinn during the Monday night debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters, along with an allegation that Quinn snubbed African-American voters when he passed on Neely for lieutenant governor and chose one-time Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas instead.

Excuse the chuckle I had to suppress Tuesday when I saw the Chicago Tribune report that Neely says she barely knows Rauner, and certainly hasn’t been offered any kind of job or appointed position within state government.

Should we start calling Neely “Rosaura?”

WHAT GAVE THIS particular tale some sense of truthfulness is the stories that have appeared in recent days about how Neely is resigning her elected office as of the end of November. She wants to take a position in the private sector, or so she says.

It’s not likely that Neely would be able to afford the pay cut she would have to take to go back into government at the state level. Unless Rauner thinks everyone in government ought to be independently wealthy enough to afford to comply with the promise he has made for himself – that he won’t take a state salary or pension benefits.

He’s not likely to be able to claim Neely as a trophy to gain votes from the African-American segment of the electorate. Just as I don’t think his use of old quotes from Harold Washington are going to mean much.

Way too many adult voters now weren’t alive back in those Council Wars days, or they weren’t paying much attention to what was happening at City Hall.

NOW I DON’T doubt there are some black people who will vote for Rauner (actually, against Quinn). There’s always a few.

I have spoken with a few African-American Republican-types who contend there is some anger among black people that the whole gay marriage issue was pursued in Illinois by Democrats, and that black legislators wound up being forced to go along with the party rather than the views of their local pastors who were opposed to the idea.

But considering that even Rauner during Monday night’s debate was forced to admit there’s nothing that seriously can be done to repeal marriage for gay couples in Illinois, are those few voters really going to be enough to bolster Bruce’s vote totals?

The end result is either going to be that Rauner gets elected with homophobic-leaning votes (although he’ll never admit it), or that he’s going to wind up being like the boardinghouse resident who was forced to admit his “love” wasn’t legitimate.


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