Friday, February 5, 2010

IL Politics: Boosting Hoosier self-esteem since 1818

Shootin' Buddy wants to hear more about the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor. This is because Shootin' Buddy is from Indiana, and people who live in Indiana love Illinois political scandals almost as much as people who live in Illinois. I think it makes them feel smugly self-righteous.

The quickest reference would be to go to the Capitol Fax Blog and look for the name "Scott Cohen" or "Scott Lee Cohen." I'll write more about this tomorrow, but right now I have some other stuff to do, so here are the important parts for those of you who live outside the walls.

  • Illinois' 1970 Constitution mandates that each party hold separate primary elections for Governor and Lt. Governor, but the primary winners run together on the same ticket. So we sometimes see two candidates who hate each other or have never met. Sometimes a Governor candidate and a Lt. Governor candidate team up in the primaries, but they have no way of guaranteeing that if one wins, the other will win too.
  • It wasn't that long ago that a young dreamer named Rod Blagojevich had to run with a grizzled perpetual candidate named Pat Quinn. Quinn was a crusader and Blagojevich was a corrupt and hated Governor, but neither got a choice of running mate. And Quinn went so far as to hint that it was now OK to vote for Blagojevich, since Quinn would be there to pick up the reins of the state if Blagojevich happened to get indicted or impeached. That's why Quinn is Governor of Illinois today.
  • But OH! The IRONY! Now Quinn has fought his way to the nomination so he can win election on his own and convince people not to inscribe "The Accidental Governor" on his tombstone. It was a vicious campaign, with his opponent, a popular Comptroller with a reputation for trying to control spending and pay the bills, actually digging up video of Chicago's first black Mayor (who can't comment, since he's dead) explaining why he fired Quinn for gross incompetence. The race came down to a 50-50 split, with Quinn ahead by about 7,000 votes, and Hynes waited a couple of days to make sure it was over before he conceded. But a few hours before that concession . . . .
  • The press suddenly woke up and began to ask Scott Lee Cohen questions. Cohen was a surprise winner in the Lt. Governor primary, but most people knew almost nothing about him. All most of us knew was that you couldn't turn on a radio without hearing a very persuasive, positive ad for Cohen about how he was "the only candidate doing something about jobs in Illinois" by holding job fairs in the state.
  • Unfortunately for Quinn, it turns out that Cohen has a little more to his record than that, including . . . .
  • Allegations of steroid abuse and roid raging (from his ex-wife's divorce filings.)
  • Allegations of abuse in his divorce (again, from divorce filings.)
  • Allegations that he held a knife to a woman's throat (happened a few months into his divorce, he calls her his girlfriend and a licensed massage therapist he met in "a massage therapy place," police report on the incident describes her as a prostitute. The cops reported that she had abrasions consistent with a knife on her throat, but she didn't show up for court and charges were dismissed.)
Now at least one political authority in IL (Archpundit) is calling for Quinn and the Democrats to put Dan Hynes, the guy who just spent six months feuding with Quinn and shredding him in an attempt to take his job, in Cohen's place as candidate for Lt. Governor. But here's the catch--even if Quinn is that statesmanlike, they can't remove Cohen. He won the election. He either steps down voluntarily, or he's in the race. And he doesn't owe anyone in the Democrat Party any favors . . . . I'm considering a grassroots campaign of support for the guy.


chiefjaybob said...

Yesterday morning on WGN, John Kass from the Trib predicted that Cohen will step down. Why? He's a businessman. Owns a business. Gotta have a license to operate a business in Illinois, right? He's sure there will suddenly be some bizarre licensing problems crop up until Cohen steps aside. And the ball keeps bouncing.....

Tam said...

Hoosiers? Politics in Illinois often make Louisianans feel smugly self-righteous.

Caleb said...

Actually, the reason so many of us Boilermakers (and Hoosiers) follow Illinois politics so closely is that our local politicians will often look at dumbshit that Chicago does and say "hey, that seems like a neat idea". Plus, Chicago Machine Politics control roughly 10-25% (depending on who you're asking) of the actual votes in this state, as The Region will basically do whatever Chicago does.