Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Are we in for five months’ worth of annoying broadcast campaign ads?

We’re five months away from Election Day for Illinois governor, yet the two major party candidates don’t think it’s the least bit too early to start tormenting us with their broadcast ads attacking each other.

BLAGOJEVICH: A gubernatorial issue?
Both Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker came out with attack ads this week – Pritzker wants to remind us of how inept Rauner has been in terms of the state being able to come up with a budget in a timely manner.

WHILE RAUNER WENT for the jugular – the tape recordings made by federal investigators of Pritzker talking with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich on the telephone that provided the Chicago Tribune with the details of the stories they wrote earlier this year to imply Pritzker was a bigot against black people will now be heard in brief advertising spots.

Specifically, we get to hear Blagojevich making tacky jokes about Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who back in 2008 was the outage of the right wing because the man who was pastor of then-Sen. Barack Obama’s church in Chicago was the one who included the line “God Damn America” in some of his sermons – actually a reference to some of the racial intolerance that has been tolerated within our society.

It seems Blagojevich joked about making Wright his choice to be U.S. Senator to succeed Obama when the latter was elected president. It was a tacky joke, kind of lame.

For the record, Pritzker thought the gag was funny. We hear him say it is “hilarious.”
RAUNER: Budget ineptitude?

IT DOESN’T REALLY tell us anything about J.B. It’s a trivial tidbit.

But I’m sure it has the potential to grab at the emotions of people moreso than the initial Pritzker spot – which tells the story of a construction worker who wound up losing his job because of the fact that the state went for so many years without being able to pass budgets.

Which meant that state government for several years was unable to go through its daily operations.

That didn’t happen this year, because for once Rauner put aside his ideological fantasies (most of which are meant to undermine labor unions that do work with state government) and signed off on a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

PRITZKER: Racial hang-ups?
WHICH IS WHAT I’m sure Rauner wants us to remember. Forget about all those past years.

And remember a 10-year-old moment of stupidity whose only real point is to remind us that Pritzker for many years was a prominent financial supporter of Democratic candidates for government office.

We could make similar arguments against Rauner, who for many years prior to running for office himself was a prominent financial supporter of those political candidates who preferred to run under the symbol of the elephant, rather than the donkey.

The real point, of course, is that the campaigns now feel the need to start tormenting us with their rants and rhetoric. For the next five months, exactly (that’s how long we have from now to Election Day).

IT DOESN’T SURPRISE me that Rauner would bring up Blagojevich – who is back in the news again on account of President Donald Trump’s suggestions that he’s willing to grant some form of clemency to Rod that would let him out of prison some six years early.

TRUMP: Will he impact Ill. gov. race?
I would have thought he would have waited to see exactly what Trump chooses to do. Because it could wind up that the kind of people Rauner is hoping turn out to re-elect him as governor are the same ones who think highly of Trump – and won’t really like anyone suggesting that the man whom their guy (a.k.a., the Donald) is supporting is really just a political dirt bag.

But perhaps Rauner is just desperate enough to get in the first serious punch of the general election campaign cycle. Which he has managed to do.

One potential plus – it could force many of us to ignore television so as to avoid all the inanities. Admit it, turning off the TV set and finding something else to do is something that would benefit all of us.


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