March 2, 2022

The difference between Russian President Vladimir Putin, who wants to "decapitate" the current government in Ukraine, and other politicians, is that the latter only want to defeat their opponents, not dismantle a regime.

The Illinois filing period of nominating petitions for state and Cook County office is March 7 to 14 and there is no lack of politicians who are ready to drop the guillotine.

On the chopping block for the June 28 Democratic primary is a bunch of White men, including Alexi Giannoulias, Fritz Kaegi, Dan Pogorzelski and three judicial aspirants. Their problem is their gender, since White guys have a historically hard time winning these things these days.

There are 8,767,520 registered voters in Illinois and 3,253,933 in Cook County. The Democratic turnout in 2018 was 2,045,710 statewide and 795,421 in Cook County. It will be slightly less in 2022.

"Identity politics" is an obsession with race, gender and sexual orientation and it drives over half of Democratic voters. Illinois is a Democratic state. So that means fewer than 25 percent of the electorate - meaning the progressive/Left/Woke - can try to foist their politically correct lapdogs on everybody.

Based upon my sources, here is a pre-filing rundown of who is running for what:

SECRETARY OF STATE (SOS): Retreads are great as long as they are on tires. Not so much if they are politicians. Giannoulias's family owned the now-defunct Broadway Bank and had enormous clout with the Greek community and Democratic Party. The bank had legal troubles in the 1990s but it still got young Alexi, the then 30-year-old slated for and elected state treasurer in 2006. In 2010 he ran for the open Barack Obama U.S. Senate seat and lost by 59,223 votes. He's been in the wilderness since then.

Jesse White, the 24-year incumbent, announced his retirement in mid-2021, and Giannoulias jumped into the race, posting $3.5 million on-hand as of Dec. 31 and getting a multiplicity of Labor and Downstate party endorsements. 2021 polls had him at 20 percent, with 70 percent undecided.

In the field then were Chicago city clerk Anna Valencia and aldermen Pat Dowell and David Moore. A lot has changed. Dowell is running for Congress. Valencia has $882,744 on-hand and has been endorsed by White, Governor J.B. Pritzker and Senator Dick Durbin. That's a game-changer.

J.B. wants a woke-balanced statewide (D) ticket. With Valencia it would be two Latinas, two White men and two African-American candidates. J.B. will spend money on Valencia. Outlook: SOS is a clerical office and the city clerk has had practice. How do you campaign for that? Better service? J.B.'s money will prevail. Valencia will win.

ASSESSOR (D): Hypocrisy has no boundaries. Property owners, both commercial and residential, want their market values to rise and their property taxes to decrease. Sure, like pigs can fly. The rap on incumbent Kaegi among party insiders is that "he's done nothing good for me." In short, he's kept his promise to eliminate predecessor Joe Berrios's pay-to-play where donors got tax breaks and instead assess based on fair market value. Sometimes that's called "reform" and I guess sometimes it's not.

Kaegi really upset a lot of special interests, all of which are major Democratic donors. Commercial owners, especially Downtown, pay more taxes, which impacts rents and re-salability. The trades unions have fewer jobs because construction costs more.

So Kaegi has a problem.

And Kaegi's plan for COVID relief, in which certain areas, which Kaegi unilaterally chose on the basis of income impact, gave tax caps to a lot of wealthy homeowners. The media was disdainful of Berrios, but a lot of Big Players knew they could find ways to get assessment reductions.

Nevertheless, Kaegi was re-slated.

Kari Steele, the MWRD president, is still running and wants to bring "equity" to the tax system. The assessor's job is to determine a property's valuation, upon which taxes are then levied. Taxes always go up because taxing districts always spend more every year. Proclaiming that taxes are fairer is a non-starter for Kaegi. Steele is playing the race/gender card - a Black woman vs. a White man - and she and "identity politics" will win.

METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT (MWRD): The MWRD simply gets rid of effluent and solid waste, either by cleansing and dumping it in the Chicago River going southward to the Mississippi or drying it for fertilizer.

It doesn't RECLAIM anything. All they do is take residue from sewers and pass it along. But there are nine part-time, $65,000-a year commissioners, of which three are on the 2022 ballot. They meet twice a month for 3 hours, once a month in the summer, for a total of 66 hours annually, which computes to about $984 an hour. That's $969 above the minimum wage. Nice non-work if you can get it. You must know people.

There are four MWRD spots on the ballot, three for 6-year terms and one for a vacant 2-year term. The slated candidates are incumbent Maryiana Spyroupolos, who got dumped as president in 2018, Patricia Flynn, who ran in 2020 and is close to Operating Engineers Local 399, the stationery engineers which are the MWRD bargaining union, and Yumeka Brown, the suburban Matteson clerk.

The opposing slate includes former commissioner (2002-2020) Frank Avila, Rick Garcia, who founded Equality Illinois, a gay rights organization, and Cristina Nonato. It takes a minimum of 5,800 signatures to get on the ballot.

Also running are Precious Brady-Davis, Sharon Waller, a self-described "environmental engineer," Flynn Rush, the congressman's son, and Anita Hayes, who is positioning herself to run for 29th Ward alderman in 2023.

For the 2-year term, which is made possible by Debra Shore's federal EPA appointment, Democrats slated Dan Pogorzelski, a 38th Ward resident who currently works as a communication specialist for state treasurer Michael Frerichs, and bills himself an "environmental activist." That's great. Good for him.

What is not great (for Pogorzelski) is that Pritzker appointed Chakena Perry, an African-American woman who is the wife of Pritzker's campaign deputy political director Christian Perry, to the Shore vacancy.

Despite being slated by the party, Pogorzelski has been dealt a losing hand by Gov. Pritzker, who will provide the money to keep Perry. Also running is Carolyn Joyce on the Avila slate.

Outlook: The 6-year slate will win, but Pogorzelski likely won't. White men simply don't jump in Democratic primaries. Not in races for these jobs.

JUDGESHIPS: The job pays $216,000-for about 1,200 hours of bench time a year, which is $180 an hour. There are nine countywide Circuit Court openings and one Appellate Court vacancy.

Democrat slate makers cobbled together a bunch of politically correct hopefuls and their slate consists of seven women, four Blacks, three Latinas, and three men. They are Ruth Gudino, Araceli De La Cruz, Diana Lopez, Yolanda Sayre, Rena Van Tine, Tom Donnelly, Tom Nowinski, Michael Weaver and alderman Howard Brookins, plus Dominique Ross for the appellate spot.

It takes a minimum of 3,900 signatures to get on the judicial ballot, as contrasted with 5,800 for other offices. There are rival slates, included on the same petition but for different vacancies.

One includes Beth Ryan, Paul Joyce, Monica Somerville, Jacqueline Kwilos and Claudia Hernandez, and another is Dan Balanoff, Lisa Taylor, Carmen Quinones and Meredith Hammer.
As demonstrated in 2020, a woman beats a man, multiple women lose to a man, and a Latina beats everybody. This is how judge-making is made. In the 11th subcircuit, which includes Oak Park and the West Side Chicago wards, 29th Ward alderman Chris Taliaferro (D), a former CPD officer, is running unopposed for judge.

STATE LEGISLATURE: State Senator Rob Martwick (D-10), who beat a Chicago cop in the 2020 primary and a Norridge cop in the 2020 election, will face Chicago detective Erin Jones in the 2022 primary. She will have FOP support because Martwick voted for the "police reform" bill. No Democrat has circulated petitions to run against incumbent state representative Brad Stephens in the 20th District. The 15th District seat, recently vacated by John D'Amico (D), will have a primary between appointed Mike Kelly and challenger Michael Rabbitt.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER/ 9th District: 28-year incumbent Pete Silvestri (R) is retiring. The clear frontrunner is pollster and NWSGOP founder Matt Podgorski (R). The district was extended from the 41st Ward to Palatine and is very Republican. The Democratic field consists of 2014 and 2018 loser Frank McPartlin, 2018 and 2020 state rep loser Maggie Trevor of Palatine, 2020 MWRD loser Heather Boyle of Norridge, 38th Ward businessman Sam Kukadia, who will self-fund, and former Taft high school LSC member Goran Davidovac. Podgorski will prevail on Nov. 8.