Tuesday, February 20, 2018

There’s a perfectly-good reason they call this time of year the ‘silly season’

We’re one month away from Election Day, as in when we the electorate declare our partisan intentions and decide whom each of the political parties will have on the ballot come the Nov. 6 general elections.
BISS: The $56 man?

Which means we’re already enduring more than our share of stupidity in the name of politics – and we’re going to get 30 more days between now and the primaries.

YOU COULD CUT short the amount of time you have to care about such nonsense if you decide to cast your ballot at an early voting center. March 5 is the day people can start showing up to express themselves early.

Yet we’re enduring all kinds of stunts.

Such as the one by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss – who officially pulled out his checkbook and wrote out a $56 check to his own campaign.

It was supposed to be a mocking of the $7 million more than overly-wealthy opponent J.B. Pritzker gave to himself – bringing his total campaign fund to $56.7 million.

BISS, IN A video snippet he posted on Facebook, said he can’t come close to matching that amount of money. So instead, he coughed up $56 – while asking individuals to also donate $56, in hopes that the overall total will add up to something significant.
PRITZKER: Biss tries to mock his millions

While also trying to make a deeper point that Biss, a one-time mathematics teacher turned state senator from Evanston, is closer to being like everyday people than Pritzker.

Or even the other Democratic challenger, Chris Kennedy, whom Biss claims has given some $1.2 million of his own money to his gubernatorial campaign. Which means that no matter who wins a month from now, there is going to be a lot of self-money wasted on political fantasy.

While also showing that Biss’ own level of support is limited to the point where one could argue a vote cast for him is a vote wasted.

THE ONE THING I do know is that I probably shouldn’t go wearing a “Biss” campaign button on the day I show up at a polling place. I usually don’t give much thought to what I wear for that occasion – other than that I’ll get that sticker reading “I Voted!” to paste on myself that day.
Campaigning by intimidation?

It seems, however, that the Supreme Court of the United States is going to give thought to this issue. A week from Wednesday, the nation’s high court will hear arguments in a case out of Minnesota – where Tea Party-type activists are challenging state laws that required them to cover up the party t-shirts they wanted to wear while voting.

It may be subtle, but I don’t doubt it is intimidation in its own form. Just as I suspect every jackass who insists on wearing one of those ridiculous “Make America Great Again” caps is looking to provoke a reaction from everybody who doesn’t agree with them.

Although it’s not as blunt as a few years ago, when on Election Day, a polling place worker insisted on saying “Don’t Vote for the Son” as he guided us to empty ballot machines – remember Todd Stroger (the son of John) running for Cook County Board president re-election in 2010?

I ALSO GOT my chuckle from a campaign mailing I received from Patricia Joan Murphy – who’s running for the Cook County Board seat her late mother (Joan Patricia Murphy) held for many years.
Thorough instructions

The mailing included postcards I could send in to the county clerk’s office so that I can cast my ballot by mail. I don’t even have to show up at a polling place.

The card is actually an application to Cook County to send me a ballot to fill out at home. And for what it’s worth, Murphy’s postcards are already marked in a way to ensure I’m sent a Democratic Party primary ballot. How thoughtful (heavy sarcasm intended) of her.

It’s almost enough to make me want to pick a Republican ballot. But then I’d have to be confronted with the thought of the worst of evils between Gov. Bruce Rauner and challenger Jeanne Ives. Too nauseating to contemplate.


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