Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Start Paying Attention, America

I usually stay away from politics because I live in a suburb of Chicago that is so passionate about politics that mini-wars seem to break out if one offers a different viewpoint.

But today's events involving the pay-to-play arrest of our governor has pushed me over the edge. The 78-page complaint, here, is shocking (to those not familiar with The Chicago Way), to say the least.

I hope this wakes up the people of Illinois, and I hope this wakes up the people of the United States of America.

Rod Blagojevich was elected in 2002 under the banner of change. Sound familiar? Who helped Blagojevich get elected? According to Rahm Emanuel (Barack Obama's Chief-of-Staff-to-be), Emanuel, Obama, Blagojevich's campaign co-chair David Wilhelm, and another Blagojevich worker "were the top strategists of Blagojevich's 2002 gubernatorial victory," meeting weekly to outline campaign strategies.

We Illinoisans were sold a bag of lies. During Blagojevich's first term, there was no change from the previous governor, George Ryan, who is currently serving a paltry six-and-half year sentence for corruption which, among other things, led to the death of six children of the Willis family.

But even though there was tons of smoke all around Blagojevich in the form of criminal convictions and newspaper exposes, led by the Chicago Tribune, what happens in 2006? Obama endorses Blagojevich.

Also that year, Obama, to the dismay and disgust of anyone paying attention, including the local news media, endorses Todd Stroger, for Cook County President.

Do we learn? No, again the majority of Illinoisans voted for Blagojevich, as well as Cook County (which includes Chicago) voted for Todd Stroger, a completely inept candidate, a political hack, replacing his corrupt father.

Cook County's budget is bigger than most states. And rather than get rid of the patronage to balance the budget, Stroger increases sales tax, pushing Chicago's to a whopping 11%.

Two years later, again, rather than get rid of the patronage, Stroger is pushing for a $700 million loan to balance the county budget.

When I bring up the Chicago Machine to neighbors, when I talk about Richard Daley and his corruption, what do I hear? "Well, he has beautified the city." What? Are you kidding me? And if I start to talk about the lunacy of such a remark, I get an onslaught of "how much he's done for Chicago" and blah blah blah.

The only thing Chicago's mayor has going for him is that he's craftier than his governors.

Why do we have such a high threshold for corruption?

And now that Chicago and Illinois politicians are moving to Washington D.C., will things be different? If you voted for "Change You Can Believe In", pay attention.

Now all Americans are on Red Alert to see to what degree Chicago and Illinois politics are played out on a national scale.

What are you going to do, America? Are you gonna excuse it like Chicagoans and Illinoisans have? Are you gonna shrug your shoulders as you say, "Well, that's just how things are done." Are you gonna bury your head in the sand, stick your fingers in your ears singing "la la la la"? Are you going to be afraid and not come forward when you know there is wrong occurring?

If you want to embark on the path to awareness, and not just hype, then follow Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass who has been following Chicago and Illinois politics for 25 years.


Anonymous said...

you need to stay in your suburb and educate yourself at least get your facts straight...If you want to comment on Stroger at least do research yourself, don't let the media tell you what is going on

Bridgett said...

Thanks for visiting Anon,
The Chicago Machine knew Todd wouldn't be able to win the primary, so his daddy, while incompacitated from a stroke, (unbeknownst to the voters), as the incumbant "ran" in the primary and won. Todd then "inherited" the position.

Do you have some info that you'd like to share that shows Todd Stroger in a different light? Is he a political genius, a brilliant do-gooder, just misunderstood?

What would have happened if Obama had endorsed a true reformer for his party, Forrest Claypool? Why didn't he?

visioneer said...

Wow Bridgett, while I am not familiar with Chicago politics I do believe that our President Elect does need to be watched very closely. I believe the general media has done a good job of painting him in a VERY positive light.
While I, of course, do hope that he does an excellent job as our President. I believe that vigilance on our part is the key to keeping our policiticians that are supposed to be representing us in line.

visioneer said...

Here's a link to another interesting article on this subject.