Saturday, August 20, 2016

Madigan, Rauner tried this week to outgun each other amidst the stink of livestock waste at Illinois state fair

It has been a few years since I last went to an Illinois State Fair, although it sounds like this year the politicking reached a level of intensity not often seen recently.
The sentiment that Democrats tried to stir up to tag all Republican candidates in this year's election cycle
Republicans, when they had their day to celebrate on the fairgrounds in Springfield, made a point of doing everything they could to downplay the existence of Donald Trump – while also playing up the looming presence of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

DEMOCRATS FOLLOWED UP the following day by doing just the reverse – making sure everybody they could tell knew that Trump was at the head of the Republican ticket of candidates who will be in the running in the Nov. 8. general election.

All too predictable. While also all too sad. Since it seems that our state government officials aren’t anywhere near being capable of working together. It is likely the political lollygagging of recent years will continue.

Particularly sad because the agreement reached back in June to come up with a budget that allows government operations to continue was only a six-month agreement.

Come January 1 when we’re all suffering hangovers and realizing the person lying next to us is not the one he or she is supposed to be, we’re going to get hit with another sucker punch – the budget nonsense that dominated the entirety of Illinois Fiscal 2016 will be back.

SO EXCUSE ME for thinking that perhaps the state fairgrounds was the perfect place for the latest attempts by Gov. Bruce Rauner and Madigan to try to one-up each other – all the livestock barns on the premises do give the place a perpetual odor of animal dung.

And if you’re not careful where you step, you can get it all over your shoes too!
GOP's response. Image provided by Illinois Republican Party
Poop on your shoes is about the level of the rants used by the Rauner camp, what with them circulating buttons depicting a youthful, early 1970s Madigan back when he was a freshman legislator (supposedly sent to Springfield by the original Mayor Daley in part to keep his son, the newly-elected state senator Richard M. out of trouble in the Illinois capital city). And also a version depicting an equally-youthful-looking Richard Durbin before he ever dreamed of being a U.S. senator.

The point being that his 40-plus years of legislative service is too long. And that perhaps a Republican alternative would benefit the people of Illinois.

THERE’S JUST ONE problem with that theory, or all the rhetoric of recent election cycles that try to turn the campaign into a Madigan referendum.

The only people who actually vote up or down on Madigan’s continued presence in the Illinois House of Representatives are the residents of the House 22nd District out by Midway Airport. By and large, they’re content to keep him in Springfield, and even feel some pride that their legislator is THE BOSS and other peoples’ legislators have to follow his orders.

You can argue whether Clearing neighborhood residents or any of those people in nearby suburbs also in the district really get anything from Madigan’s presence. But there isn’t really any clamoring for Madigan’s removal from the people who could do something about it.

Take the case of Jason Gonzales, the most recent challenger who got his behind beaten on primary Election Day this year and is now filing a lawsuit challenging the legality of the overly-aggressive campaigning that Madigan did to ensure his victory.

SOLID ENOUGH THAT he took nearly two-thirds of the vote. A thrashing of the sort that some Republicans fear they could get come Nov. 8 because of the presence of Trump on the ballot.

Which is why party officials went out of their way not to talk up Trump’s candidacy – which is strange because usually the presidential bid (particularly one that motivates some people to want to vote as eagerly as Donald’s does) is the one that is counted on to stir up support for everybody.

Then again, the Trump trash talk does have a way of ticking off some people to the point where we really will study for years to come just how much of a drag he was on the ballot.

All of this back-and-forth nonsense actually makes me pleased I didn’t attend the fair (and not just because I have no desire to ever see the Husband Calling Contest again). Because it seems that the stink in the air was less offensive than the noise pollution committed by all the politicos.


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