Friday, July 21, 2017

Does GOP in Illinois of Rauner era not take candidate recruitment seriously?

I’m not sure whether to be intrigued or offended by the rumor mills that say the Illinois Republican Party is contemplating running black people for the posts of Attorney General and Secretary of State come next year’s elections.

GRIFFIN: Is that medal his sole credential?
I’d like to think it means that Republican officials in our state have reached a certain level of enlightenment, and perhaps have even managed to look past a person’s melanin content to see the whole person. But then I think realistically, and snicker at the very notion.

BECAUSE THE CYNIC in me thinks the particular individuals allegedly under consideration for the posts were picked because of specific characteristics in their backgrounds that somehow makes them acceptable to the hard-core of GOPdom who otherwise wouldn’t consider casting a ballot for such a person.

For attorney general, the Republicans reportedly are considering Erika Harold (the one-time Miss America from Illinois) to run against incumbent Lisa Madigan. She is, indeed, a graduate of Harvard Law School (just like Barack Obama).

While for secretary of state, 19-year veteran of the post Jesse White may be challenged by Josh “J.C.” Griffin.

Who’s he?

IT SEEMS HE served five years in the Air Force, served a combat stint in Iraq, and worked a little bit for state government during the era of Pat Quinn as governor.
HAROLD: Rumored to challenge Madigan, L.?

But Republicans seem willing to disregard that potential character flaw (at least that’s the way they’d perceive it) because Griffin, a one-time native of suburban Olympia Fields, declared himself a Republican when registering himself to vote following his military service.

So what we’re basically saying is that Republicans are putting up Miss America and G.I. Joe to challenge two long-term state officials. They’re putting up stereotype images because they don’t necessarily have candidates in mind who could run credible campaigns for those particular posts.

Republicans will be asked to cast ballots for those images, and against any kind of government experience (although I’m sure that at age 83, they’re going to make a serious argument that the people of Illinois ought to send the one-time Cubs minor league ballplayer into political retirement).
WHITE: Will GOP make age an issue in '18 campaign?

IF ANYTHING THIS may be the evidence of how low the Republican Party has declined in Illinois. They have the governor’s post, and Bruce Rauner seems determined to blow a large chunk of his personal wealth to remind us to “Blame Madigan!” for everything and vote for him.

Beyond that, what are Republican-types casting votes for? The same old nonsense pitting Chicago against the rest of the state? Which really does little more than to persuade Chicago voters to cast ballots against the rest of Illinois?

Which means we all lose with that line of logic. To really revive Illinois, we have to move beyond such parochial ways of thinking.

As for Harold, I’ll say the same thing I’ve written before. It’s a shame she isn’t developed into a credible candidate – instead of one who has to rely upon the fact she wore a sash and tiara some 15 years ago.

AND AS FOR Griffin, I can’t help but think that his so-called credentials (five years of military service and a stint in a combat zone) actually matches up with my own cousin Carlos, who did five years in the Army and had his combat stint during that “first” Gulf War (remember 1990 in Kuwait?).
RAUNER: Does he like being lone GOPer?

Somehow, I don’t think anybody would take seriously the notion of my cousin returning to Illinois to run for elective office. I suspect the snickering would be deafening.

So here’s hoping that the rumor-mill (for what it’s worth, Griffin was non-committal when he was interviewed on the subject by WCIA-TV in Champaign) turns out to be erroneous.

Unless the GOP really is surrendering any chance of winning government posts other than that of governor. Does Bruce Rauner fantasize about a government where he’s the lone official – and everybody just shuts up and does what he says?


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