Posts tagged IL-05

Things about special elections

Apparently I like to live in areas where there are special elections decided on the winner of the primary before the actual special election – first the IL-05 (Hi, Mike Quigley!), and now the MA-Sen (sniff, Teddy).  Which, in reality, actually just means that I live in ridiculously democratic areas.

Yeah. I’m okay with that.

Okay, so it’s not as local politics as say, the Boston Mayoral race, but hey! I’ve only been here a few weeks.  Give me time to learn the players on the stage first.

But still… special elections are ridiculously bad ass.  Mostly because only a small proportion of the population eligible to vote gives a damn.  Oh, representative democracy, you saucy temptress, you.

PS, and only slightly related: I’m now FB friends with Mike Quigley.  Um… because I’m REALLY cool.  I sort of want to ask him if he’s actually riding his bike to work in Washington.

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Oh, the IL-05 happened.

And under ‘political topics no one cares about’ is the conclusion of the IL-05 election.

I know, I know.  It was unofficially over with the primary last month, since a democrat is nearly always going to win in the IL-05.  But even still, the story of a) the fact that there WAS an election, b) who the winner was, and c) the implications or potential implications, have been covered a pathetic amount in the past two or three days, even in Chicago.

That all being said, when I went to vote at 9:20am, I was the 9th person to vote in my polling location.  Four hours later, my mom was the 16th.  The voting officials more or less begged me to send my dad (whom us sisters three had cajoled into voting in the primary) again. Poor bored voting officials.

On the other hand, I suppose there are more pressing political matters to deal with.  (Hey Minnesota, how things goin’ up there? Blago? How’s the irony of being indicted while in the Happiest Place on Earth?) Oh, plus other little things, like TWO STATES legalizing same-sex marriages in ONE DAMN WEEK.

You know, little things.

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59 people care about local politics

Yesterday I awoke to the twittering of sparrows (remember birds do that, too, not just people), alight with the excitement that it was voting day in the IL-05!  Yes, I’m slighlty a tool.  Moving on.

Hoping to avoid the morning “rush” of voters, I waited until 9:00a to vote before heading in to work.  I then walked to my voting location, picked up my ballot, connected the dots, then excitedly watched as my ballot went into the electronic voter machine. WAHOO democracy!

On the way to work, I texted my sister (who votes at the same place as I) regarding my excitement about this act of Representation and she responded in kind, and added that when she had voted 45 minutes before that she had been the 9th person to vote.

I was #13.

When sister#2 went at 4:15pm, she was #59.  The voting officials told her to remind our dad to vote. Because he was the only one of the 5 of us with the same last name who had not yet that day. Yes, we’re all registered in the same district/precinct/etc.

On November 4th, there were probably 59 people in the room with me as I voted.

Ooooh politics. How you amuse me so.

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Things that make me angry #3

A few days ago I noticed that an acquaintance from a past life had recently changed her picture on Facebook to be a “Sara Feigenholtz for Congress” picture.  Now, knowing this girl as I did/do (read: solely Facebook since July ’06, and co-volunteers for 4 months before that), I am aware that she considers herself a huge advocate for women’s issues, and especially women in politics.  I am also aware (via the book of face) that during the election season she worked for the Hilary campaign.

Now, that being said, according to my highly honed stalking skills, she is also currently living in Massachusetts.  Therefore, being that the IL-05 is not really garnering a whole lot of attention nationally, I was curious as to what she knew about Sara F.  Thus began a series of exchanges (again, via stalkerweb), that went something like this:

Me: As someone who lives in the IL-05 and attended the candidate forum in January, and has done a lot of research, I’m interested as to why (other than the fact that she’s a woman, which I agree is bad ass and I want more women in congress) Sara F?

I’m curious as to your take, because there’s actually several progressive (and you could argue more progressive) candidates in this race. I do like Sara a lot, but I’m not sold on her.

And thus began our multi-day internet discussion.  She responded as thus to my inquiry (names changed to protect the whateverandsoforth):

Katie: I like what she’s done, what she’s worked on for women and gay rights. Also that she’s endorsed by Emily’s [sic] List . . .

Who do you think is better?

Me: Honestly, I don’t have a clear preference yet (which is part of the reason I was curious on your thoughts). My top three are probably Sara, Tom Geoghegan, and Mike Quigley. Sara and Mike both scare me a little because they’ve been involved in Chicago politics for a while, which usually denotes bad things. Tom has an amazing labor record and is pretty much identified as the most politically progressive candidate. Also, I want Mike to stay where on the Cook County Board and fight Todd Stroger.

Katie: Hmm. . well I don’t know Chicago politics that well so I can’t say how I feel about it, but usually an endorsement from Emily’s List is good enough for me.

I mean, Obama is Chicago politics . . . did you support him in the election? (just curious).

Interjection here: Please note that Katie – who does not live in Chicago – admits to knowing, oh, nothing, about Chicago politics.  And EMILY’s List is an acronym and should be in all caps, but that’s just a grammar thing because I’m really cool and not anal at all. Carry on.

A few hours later, another post:

Katie : I also like this:

Illinois’ GLBT community has had no stronger ally in Springfield than Sara. She sponsored the Human Rights Law, which protects against unfair discrimination based on sexual orientation. She has also consistently supported hate crimes legislation.

Sara also secured funding for ADAP, a program designed to make sure life-saving drugs are available to those who need them. She worked to clarify existing legislation regarding the Illinois Cares Rx prescription drug program to help Illinois residents reap the full benefits of the ADAP program.

Please note also that this is copy/paste off of Sara F’s website.  Um.  Hurrh?  Not that I don’t like Sara (as previously stated, I do, and I’m all for more women in politics), but… if you wanted an opinion of what Sara has done… shouldn’t you look for, oh, I don’t know, a slightly less biased source than her campaign website?

My sister, having read her comment on Obama responded:

Sister: Obama is NOT Chicago politics. I disagree strongly with that statement.

Me: Indeed, hells yes I supported Barack. Obama was also never really involved in the political machine in Chicago, which is the problem with a lot of Chicago – most people end up more or less under Daley’s/Machine’s thumb. That’s why this election is pretty bad assed – no one is technically being endorsed by the Machine (although Fritchey = machine). It’s actually got a chance to have a progressive candidate win the election (of which, yes, I do count Sara F.).

And Katie’s reply to the comments on Chicago politics and the Chicago Machine was naturally about Chicago politics and the Chicago Machine. Right?

Katie: Ha Ha ok well. . . I was for Hillary obviously so my opinion is slanted but . .

Obama not involved in the machine? How about how he ran his Senate campaign and how he stabbed his mentor in the back? How about shipping in 11,000 people from out of state to caucus in TX illegally? How about my brother and all his friends who caucused illegally in Washington? How about the people I met who caucused in IA and then voted in other states (for him again)? What about what happened in Lake County the night of the Indiana primary? What about my volunteers that got hassled and attacked (literally) by Obama supporters?

Anyways, this primary made me realize that in politics everyone cheats, Obama just cheated the best and the smartest. And that’s what wins . . .

Uuuuhhhh…. Huuurrrrhhhh?  Duuurrr??

So. Here’s the thing. I legitimately asked this girl her opinion, despite the fact that she was a little fanatical during primary season on Facebook, and to be honest, I was in Alaska in my little bubble sans-cable, sans-internet, sans-cell phone for a year, and I missed a lot of the ground action for the primaries.  Besides, I already knew with whom my vote lay, and the most politics I was around during my tenure in Alaska  was debating the valid points of BO v. HC’s health care stances with my coworkers at the women’s shelter.

Despite this fanatical vibe I got from her, I decided that perhaps in this election, with her background in feminism, politics, and activism, she might have some special insight into this election.

But no. Her entire basis is that EMILY’s List endorses her, which again, huzzah, I like EMILY’s List (side note: whose founder, Ellen Moran was appointed White House Communications Director FuckYEAH!), but if that’s your only reason… and you don’t know anything about the other candidates… um… maybe you should learn why EMILY’s List likes her in the first place?

But what is possibly most irritating  in this is that in response to my comment about the CHICAGO Machine and CHICAGO politics she responds with… the bitter writings of a spurned Hilary supporter?  She ends up attacking me and Obama because, uh, I don’t fully support her candidate in a district that I LIVE IN and she doesn’t and admits to knowing NEXT TO NOTHING ABOUT??

Jigga. What. Now.

UGH.

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Things that are awesome #2

You know what’s awesome? Local Politics.

Because it’s small enough that you can actually care about people.

My sister wrote a comment on fivethirtyeight.com yesterday about the IL-05 Special Election and her take on the candidates after we attended the candidate forum at DePaul a few weeks back. Although we don’t agree on the candidates completely (I like Sara F. more than she does, although I’m still wary that a) she’s been in politics in IL for 14 years and that normally means bad things, and b) she’s raised the most money in the shortest time which always makes me wary), one of the things we agreed on is that while we really want to like Tom G. because of all the fantastic things we’ve read, we both found him a bit lackluster at the forum.

After writing something on the aforementioned blog to the effect of “I want to like Tom G. but am not completely won over by him,” she received the following email:

I noticed your recent comment on FiveThirtyEight, where you said you were undecided as to whom to vote for in IL-05 but were considering Tom Geoghegan. I’m a volunteer for the Geoghegan for Congress campaign, and I wanted to know if you were interested in talking to Tom personally. The campaign can set up a time for him to call you, and he’d be happy to answer any of your questions, and to tell you why he wants to represent the Fifth.

Are you interested in speaking to him? Please let me know. If so, I’ll forward your email to the appropriate person on the campaign, and they can take it from there.

In the meantime, please visit our website, tom09.com. I’d like especially to draw your attention to this video: http://tinyurl.com/de7bjk
It’s Tom’s interview with Mark Bazer, and it gives you a good sense of what Tom, and the campaign, is all about.

Kathy

DUDE.  This is why local politics is SO BAD ASSED.  Especially in a 12-way race for a hotly contested seat with 4 or 5 legitimate contenders and low voter turnout probability. The candidates actually have to give a shit about what people think and say.

Wait… YOU MEAN WHAT GOVERNMENT WAS MEANT TO DO!?!?

So. in terms of IL politics doing good things we’ve got Barack and the IL-05 special election.

Huh.  So… that’s, what? Good things: 2, IL Politicorruption as usual:1,342,394 ?

Still bad assed.

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I live in the IL-05. So basically I’m pretty bad assed right now.

Yes, indeed, I have the pride – nay! – the privilege to live in the Illustrious Il-05. Past Congressional House Reps include infamous folks such as Rahm Emanuel, Rod Blagojevich (YES!), and Dan Rostenkowski.

And so, March 3rd approaches. And I get to be “one of those friends” who informs people that there’s a special election happening in their district. Dudes. Your House Rep is the new Chief of Staff. Let’s assume you voted in the Presidential election… you would have also voted for Rahm (assumably, as Rahm having won the district with 76%).

So, where did you think our Rep was coming from?  Pretty Congress fairies? The governor? ( No, no, no, we only allow them to appoint senators)

Anywhoodle, that being said, this is a fairly unique election, especially for Chicago.  Chicago politics = machine = corruption (see: Blago, Rostenkowski, Daley, Stroger, etc.). And yet, here we have an election where, for many reasons, there’s a 12-way race that probably 4 of the candidates actually have a decent chance of pulling out a win.

Democracy at its best, folks.

As Daily Kos (le sigh) says:

In a high-turnout election, with an extended period of time in which to campaign, it would be reasonable to assume that the cream of the field would rise to the top. But the IL-05 primary is just the opposite; it is a short, brutish battle for a very, very small pool of potential primary voters, a low-turnout primary for a low-turnout special election.

So now I just have to figure out who to vote for, in this high experiement of democracy.  Being the Poli Sci major slash dork I am, a few weeks back we went to a candidate forum at Depaul, but mostly what I came away from that with was the fact that I strongly dislike most politicians.

Can’t Barack just come and run my district, too?

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