My Pathetic Vote in Illinois Is Now the Hottest Ticket in Town

Due to the fact that I live in Illinois which has been carved into districts to ensure Democratic majorities, my vote is mostly useless or a protest vote at best. I wrote about gerrymandering here and the fact that perhaps I live in the most ruthlessly gerrymandered district in the nation (and that is no small feat), the fifth Illinois house district, with our current representative, Ken Dunkin.

Recently I have been receiving a series of mailings for Ken Dunkin’s re-election, which is hotly contested. Currently in Illinois, the Democrats technically have a super-majority, meaning that they can unilaterally issue a budget (more or less) and raise taxes. However, not every Democrat “falls into line” with Mike Madigan, the speaker of the Illinois house, who is the true leader of the Democratic party in Illinois. Rauner is looking for Democrats who might listen to his message of reform or for some reason or another be amenable to working constructively with him (don’t want to speculate too long on why this might be, but you can probably jump to your own conclusion). Dunkin refused to show up for a vote that Madigan thought was crucial in September and conspiracy theories have him aligned with Rauner.

Per this article from the Chicago Tribune:

More than $2 million, an unprecedented sum for a legislative primary contest, could be spent between Dunkin, who has allied himself with Rauner against Madigan, and Stratton, who is backed by organized labor.

This is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a primary race for a house seat for the Illinois legislature. Given the Democratic machines’ hold on this part of the city, it is accepted as a “given” that the Democratic candidate will win so all of the efforts go into the primary.

Thus my vote is now a precious commodity. Seemingly every day I get a giant, colorful, nearly insane flyer in the mail with the two candidates attacking each other. Here is a flyer stating that Ken Dunkin was convicted of abusing women and is unfit for office.

On the other hand, I receive flyers accusing Stratton of being a shill for Madigan, the “behind the scenes” despotic ruler of the Democrats who has essentially run Illinois into the ground. Since both candidates are Democrats, there is nary a discussion about businesses, competitiveness, or anything remotely representing capitalism. The only topics are how to get more money from taxpayers to “protect” the weak, which is apparently the only job of state government.

We even received an actual, personal phone call (we still have an old-school phone line) from Stratton where she left a personal message with our name on it on our answering machine. It was not a robo-call (unless it was super sophisticated) because it sounded personal and had our actual name in the conversation. We saved the message and listened to it a couple of times, incredulously.

Of course I need to vote for Ken Dunkin. We need this convicted wife beater to “not attend” the Illinois legislature periodically when Madigan calls in all his favors to try to override the Republicans. We aren’t asking anything more than for him to just not be present a few times a year – that’s not too much to ask, apparently.

In Illinois, in order to vote in a primary election, you have to select a party ballot. Thus in order to vote for Mr. Dunkin, I need to select a Democratic party ballot. Sigh. This will be painful for me but I don’t need to vote for any other Democrats except for Dunkin. Perhaps I will toss one in for ‘Bern because he is the less electable of the Democratic candidates in my opinion and if I can’t vote Republican at least I can try to harm the Democrats. Maybe I will scan through the recommended candidates from the Chicago Tribune for the Democratic primary and then vote for all the challengers. Or most likely I will vote for Dunkin and maybe the ‘Bern and walk out.

This is the essence of democracy in Illinois, just as our founding fathers intended it… to vote for a convicted wife beater on the hope that he will occasionally stay away from voting in the legislature so that Madigan can’t override the Republicans. After I cast that vote I likely will have a couple of stiff shots of liquor just to clear my palate from this dirty work.

Cross posted at LITGM

12 thoughts on “My Pathetic Vote in Illinois Is Now the Hottest Ticket in Town”

  1. When my mother was alive, her Congressman was Jesse Jackson Jr. Before that it was Mel Reynolds.

    In the 1996 election (General) she was denied a ballot by a Democrat poll watcher who challenged her residence. She had lived in the building at 7447 South Shore Drive for 33 years and the voting station was in the lobby of the building. She may have been the only Republican in that building.

    At the time she was 98 years old. She gave up her apartment the next year and moved to my sister’s house in Beverly.

    Illinois politics. I follow the news through my sister who still lives in Chicago. I would like her to move but her grandchildren are there.

  2. I know how that goes. I’ve had to vote Democratic in the past also. When Todd Stroger was Cook County commissioner I registered Democrat for the specific purpose of voting him out. It didn’t matter in the end because the election was guaranteed to go his way no matter what, but I felt it was my duty to do something.

    This year I’ll be voting in the GOP primary because the Presidential race looks more important than my rigged local elections. Our senate seat has no Republican this year. The real election is the Democratic primary. Either one looks like they’ll just rubberstamp anything Madigan or Cullerton do, so I don’t see any point getting involved in it.

    The mailers though have been obnoxious and along the same lines as yours, implying the opponent is a criminal.

    The funniest one said something like, “if (so and so) gets elected he will vote with the radical Tea Party”. That probably scares some people in my district, but it was the most positive political statement I’ve seen this election season, haha.

  3. When I lived in IL I was represented (ha) by Cardiss Collins, then Sid Yates. Jan Schakowsky was my state representative during the Yates years. Good times.

  4. 1) all the insults, accusations, and slander in all of the mailers by all of the Democrat candidates are all 100% true. And more.

    2) this is Illinois, and Democrats control the ballot counting. You can bet that, to quote Johnny Carson as “Carnak”, the results are already “As a child of four can plainly see, these envelopes have been hermetically sealed. They’ve been kept in a #2 mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnalls’ back porch since noon today. No one knows the contents of these envelopes.”. Except, of course, the Democrat Party Nomenklatura.

  5. Remember that your vote counts more in the primary, as every district sends a delegate. Since there aren’t many Republican voters in your district, those that do vote will have a larger affect than a district with a lot of Republican voters.

  6. Jan Schatrotsky was my congressional representative for years. She’s so left wing the local Marxists give her awards.

    Fortunately, we were redistricted and now have Republican Bob Dold, although he’s only just a bit more conservative than his predecessor Mark Kirk, who’s probably not far from getting his own communism award.

    The US Senate race this will probably be between Kirk and Tammy Duckworth. It’s not much of a choice as they’re both liberals. I know some guys who served in Duckworth’s squadron in Iraq and one who flew missions with her before she crashed. She was a hero them, but she proved she’s now just a political pawn when she rolled over for Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi hearings.

  7. some days (and I do mean plural) this week we’ve had 3 polling calls and six glossy flyers specifically in the state rep battle. Because our jr. college is actually one of the hot button issues, I care, but the amount spent is silly – the conservative/republican/libertarian went to 35,000 doors (including ours) then returned at least once to all 35,000 to leave flyers. (I’m not sure what he does.) So, in one TX town, the choice is between an establishment guy who didn’t check with his fellow senators so his bill to free us went down to defeat (with him apparently thinking it wouldn’t) and a guy who was for Kinky Friedman. Taking the former means something might happen, but I’m not sure. Voting for the latter (he said he would consult with the home campus rep) might mean what happened wasn’t good. It isn’t a great choice – but it sure appears to be an expensive one.

  8. Grurray,

    Tammy Duckworth was no hero when she lost her legs, she was a harebrained IDIOT. It was an extremely hot LZ, and she disobeyed orders not togo back. She was told to come back to base so a properly supported rescue mission could be mounted. She was an idiot who flew back into the hot LZ and got most of her crew killed and lost her legs.

  9. Joe, somewhere along the line the story must’ve been somehow changed in the fog of war and politics, but no one died that day. She was the co-pilot and bore the brunt of the blast, and the quick actions of the crew saved her.

    I admit I’m probably inclined towards being too overly sentimental regarding these cases. However, the whole country was hot. She was a hero.

  10. As an Illinois resident of Homewood in the 80’s 2nd district gerrymandering made my congressman a Chicago democrat machine sleaze ball named Gus Savage.

    Gus then lost his seat in the U.S. Congress to a slimy pervert pedophile named Mel Reynolds. Pathetic indeed.

    About the time Jackson Jr. (convicted felon) took over from Mel (the previous convicted felon) we packed up, bugged out and moved to Indiana.,_Jr.

    The political stench of Illinois (as well as the all that tax) was too far much for us to bear.

    We never looked back : )

  11. My mother’s Congressmen !

    Homewood was not too far from my father’s driving range at Dixie Highway and Joe Orr Road. It was in sight of Bloom Township high school. That, of course, was in the 1950s.

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