2010 Illinois Voters Guide

I truly am honored that friends ask for my opinion about who to vote for and what they should know. I try not to just tell people who to vote for, but offer my opinion why and give you things to ponder.

I'm not about to just tell you who to vote for, but also give you tools to help you make up your own mind.
Who I plan to vote for
I am voting AGAINST the Illinois Governor Recall Amendment. If we vote someone in, we must live with them unless they are impeached or until we vote them out. Eric Zorn has a nice piece about why we should vote NO.

I'm not going to go too far down the ballot, just the big (in my opinion) races.

Governor & Lt. Governor: Pat Quinn & Sheila Simon
I wrote about this race a few weeks ago and this is the hardest race for me. I truly believe that Rich Whitney would make a good governor and bring the new innovative ideas to the table to get Illinois out of this mess, I just know that none of those ideas, even if it was handed to Whitney by God himself, would see the light of day due to Speaker Madigan. Thus, I will vote for Gov. Quinn as Brady is too extreme in his beliefs. I've also admired the way Quinn fights for the average citizen.

Point to ponder: In the last election, Rich Whitney won over 10% of the vote which made the Green Party an established party of the Illinois. This means they get to play by the same rules as the Dems and GOP in terms of signatures needed to get on the ballot - HUGE victory. To maintain the Green Party as an established party, Whitney needs to win 5% of the vote (according to WBEZ this morning). It makes me sick that 8% of Illinois is supporting Cohen, while only 6% is supporting Whitney

U.S. Senator: Still wrestling over

I do not trust Giannoulias. I do trust that he'll vote along the Democratic party line. Kirk use to be independent enough for me to consider voting for, even with his support of the war, cause well, the Democrats supported the war too. LeAlan Jones of the Green Party has a great story and is as progressive as I would want a candidate to be. Mindful Metropolis has a great profile of him [dynamic PDF]. I can't give any recommendations on this race.

I know that my friends will yell at me for this saying that we need to keep the Democrats in power. But by putting a man that I don't trust in the history books? That his biggest accomplishment before becoming Treasurer was being Obama's basketball buddy? Nope. Sorry. I want to vote for the person not the party. 

Comptroller: You choose David Miller
David Miller's a dentist! Although I do love the chutzpah of Judy Barr Topinka. The comptroller writes the checks. This should be a great foil office to the Treasurer and General Assembly. Because I wish this office would act as more of a check on the system, I left Judy in the mix. But after hitting publish, this was the one race I felt like I should reconsider. Then on the way to dinner, I read the endorsement from the Gazette Chicago: "In February, we endorsed Judy Barr Topinka for State Comptroller over her less-than-qualified opponents in the GOP primary, but that does not mean we think she’s the best choice for this post." Sometimes it takes reading my thoughts in others writing to smack me across the back of my head.

Cook County Board President: Toni Preckwinkle
Again, do I need to explain this one? Cook County is in a world of pain, hopefully she has some fab ideas.

Cook County Assessor: Forrest Claypool
If I had a Democratic Party membership card, not only would it be full of demerits, but it would definitely be taken away from me for supporting Claypool in this race. I'm not naive. Claypool isn't bias free, no one is. Carol Marin says it best:
There is one, unequivocal, no-holds-barred protest vote on the November ballot. One contest that is nothing short of a bullhorn blasting how fed up people are with the corrupt, conflict-of-interest-ridden politics of this state.

It's the race between Democrat Joe Berrios and independent Forrest Claypool for the seemingly obscure but immensely powerful position of Cook County assessor...

Berrios is a lobbyist in Springfield, where Madigan runs the show. And Madigan's private property tax law firm representing wealthy clients looking for big tax breaks appears before the Board of Review, where Berrios helps run the show. And if Berrios wins as assessor, his power over tax bills only increases...

There is rebellion brewing over this, and not just among voters, but within the Democratic Party itself. And it's not going over well with party leaders. Those leaders, by the way, are named Madigan and Berrios. Madigan chairs the state party. Berrios runs the Cook County party.

Berrios and Madigan think it should be a mortal sin for any Democrat to do anything to embarrass the party. That includes, according to party bylaws, "felony convictions, or actively opposing nominees endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party."

Only in Illinois would disagreeing with the party be right up there with committing a felony.
And now my dear reader, go forth and vote on Tuesday.