Who will you vote for on Nov. 5, 2014 if you are given the choice between voting for a Republican (pick one) and a Republican (Paul Vallas)? Yep, Pat Quinn picked a Republican as his running mate, further alienating working people, minorities and women from the Democratic Party.
Four years ago, Vallas told host Jeff Berkowitz on the Public Affairs cable TV show that he’s now a Republican.
VALLAS: “I would take a Republican primary ballot.”
BERKOWITZ: “Do you think of yourself as a Republican?”
VALLAS: “I’m more of a Republican than a Democrat.”
BERKOWITZ: “If you run again for office you’d be running as a Republican?”
VALLAS: “I would, yes, yes.”
It gets better
For the next two weeks expect to see the Governor’s staff and the patronage army running around the state gathering signatures for Quinn-Vallas, and by next Halloween we can expect to see something really scary. Two grey-haired, white males (Quinn-Vallas) running around the state of Illinois pointing their finger at two other white males (the likely Republican ticket) saying, “they are really, really, really bad! Vote for me instead.” Because it is a campaign year, you might hear Quinn replace, “I don’t care if you don’t get Social Security, you will lose part of your pension” with, “I want to raise the minimum wage.” For the record, I support an increase in wages, and oppose the pension cuts.
I don’t think Quinn-Vallas at the top of the Democratic ticket is strong enough in 2014. Quinn may have only eeked out a victory in 2010 because he had a strong female, Sheila Simon, on the ticket. Quinn won’t have the legendary Simon name to buoy his chances in 2014.
Even if you don’t care about the issues and you are one of those Democrats who only cares about winning elections for the sake of winning, you ought to be scratching your head right now. On November 7th, David Ormsby hinted that Quinn might select a minority female as his running mate. Others in political circles have been talking about State Senator Kwamee Raul for awhile now, but Ormsby suggested two others on the list.
“Yarbrough has made it to the list,” says the committeeman. “Chapa LaVia, too.”
Selecting a qualified, minority female running mate seems like a sane, politically savvy decision. But instead, Quinn went with a middle-aged white guy who creates controversy, has a poor performance record, pulled a Republican ballot in 2010 and even said he is a Republican. Expect the Democratic patronage machine to sweep that little fact under the carpet, but African American leaders seem less forgiving right now. From the Chicago Tribune:
“Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th, said she was disappointed and suggested she might not be as motivated when it comes to marshalling the troops in her ward come election time.
“We should have had some sort of forewarning that this was another individual on the short list,” Austin said. “But to say nothing?”
“I’m upset with my governor now, yes I am,” she said. “How did they get off the short list. . . . He’s got to tell us why he wrote them off his short list. . . . On his short list, you had a state senator, you has a former state representative (Ald. Will Burns, 4th), you had our city treasurer, all African Americans. You had qualified African Americans on your short list.”
“I can speak for 34, and it ain’t lookin’ good,” she said of the potential support from her ward organization.”
Maybe Quinn’s electoral strategy is to borrow and “squeezy” some money out of the depleted state budget for projects in these wards?
And, in 2014, Issues Matter
Less than a week ago voters rejected Paul Vallas and everything he stands for. Last Tuesday, the voters of Connecticut rejected Michelle Rhee / Paul Vallas “reforms” that forward corporate-run government. Click on this link to hear what the Working Families Party had to say about voters effectively kicking Vallas out. Here’s my favorite quote:
Lindsay Farrell, executive director of the Connecticut Working Families Party, whose party members have wanted to oust Vallas, said in a statement: “It’s not surprising Vallas is leaving town. His brand of corporate reform turned out to be toxic, and the voters have rejected him. But the last thing he deserves is a promotion.”
And in New York, voters elected a populist Democrat who stood with the middle class and public employees when they voted in the first Democratic mayor in 20 years, Mayor-Elect Bill De Blasio. Not only did De Blasio run on a platform focused on education reform that reversed the Rhee/Vallas/Rahm/Duncan education privatization schemes, he won the election handily!
On the issue of education reform, Pat Quinn’s choice of Vallas goes against the tide of voters who are, through elections, getting rid of the corporate education privatizers.
The Vallas choice reminds me of President Bush picking his running mate, Dick Cheney. The rich people who run the country wanted Dick Cheney as Vice President to do the heavy thinking for President Bush. And, the rich people who back Reboot Illinois have seen the Vallas choice as one they can live with. If Quinn wins, they win. If Quinn Loses because this is a bad political move, they still win. It makes you wonder who suggested to Pat Quinn that Paul Vallas would be a good running mate. I’m guessing it was the rich people who trade on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (Illinois’ version of Wall Street).
It is not too late to change your mind Pat
One of Quinn’s not so redeeming qualities could become his only redemption move - Pat Quinn tends to flip-flop and change his mind a lot. Pat, it’s time to quickly correct this mistake and find yourself a new running mate - a minority, a female, or, a dogcatcher from Podunk, IL who doesn’t hate the middle class.
And, if you can’t stomach the above two ideas and you simply need a middle-aged white guy reformer, how about Andy Shaw? If you need help with the budget, give Ralph Martire a call. Hopefully Shaw and Martire are not offended by these suggestions…