April 21, 2021
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April 14, 2021
SUBURBAN POST-MORTEM: VOTERS REJECT BICKERING, TRUMP-LIKE POLARIZATION

JUST SAY NO TO POLITICAL BICKERING. That was the voter consensus on April 6, with elections in 30 suburban Cook County townships and 120 municipalities. Republicans kept control in Elk Grove,, Palatine, Leyden, Barrington, Schaumburg, Wheeling and Northfield townships, but got wiped-out in Maine (Park Ridge-Des  Plaines) Township -- a historical first. Democrats won every township office.. Deputy SOS Tom Benigno lost again for Norridge mayor. A Republican Law-and-Order Party lost in Norwood Park Township. It was status quo in Niles, Skokie, Park Ridge. Andrew Goczkowski is Des Plaines' new mayor, and he has Springfield ambitions. Full Article...


April 7, 2021
PRITZKER TAKING HITS AS 2022 GOVERNOR CAMPAIGN BEGINS

J.B. Pritzker (D) was elected Illinois' governor in 2018 because he (1) spent $171 million of his fortune, (2) made the contest a referendum on the "failed" administration of former Republican governor Bruce Rauner and (3) Donald Trump was in the White House. According to my survey of state pollsters, Pritzker's current approval/disapproval is roughly 42-38, with 20 percent having "no opinion." By comparison, Rauner's approval was in the mid-30s in 2017-18. Pritzker beat him 2,797,746-1,765,751, getting 54.5 percent. Rauner defeated Pat Quinn (D) 1,823,672-1,680,343 in 2014. Full Article...


March 31, 2021
BENIGNO USING NORRIDGE AS HIS "GOLDEN PARACHUTE"

Persistence is an admirable characteristic. But being obsessively persistent can be borderline insane - you know, pathologically doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Illinois Deputy Secretary of State Tom Benigno is running for Village of Norridge president seat for the third time. That's the epitome of persistence. He lost 1,722-1,206 in 2013 and 1,747-1,155 in 2017. "Most of our (village) revenue comes from retail sales taxes (like Harlem-Irving Plaza), not property taxes," said incumbent president Dan Tannhauser, who replaced Chmura in July 2019. Why would Benigno give up his $188,000-a year state job? He's really not. Jesse White, Benigno's boss, is age 86, and has announced his retirement at the end of his current term, which is Dec. 2022. That means Benigno will be history. But Benigno has been working for him since 1999, so he is eligible for a Tier-One state pension, which is 85 percent of his salary on retirement, which computes to $159,800-a year for life, or $13,300-a month, with a 3 percent annual increase. And who said that "public service" isn't "rewarding"? "I will serve full-time (as village president) if elected," said Benigno, age 64, "and retire" from his state job. When I interviewed him in 2017 he said he could multi-task and do both jobs. Full Article...


March 24, 2021
CHICAGO STILL 'SECOND CITY' IN 'OPPORTUNITY STRUCTURES,' AND BIG APPLE REMAINS THE BEST

In a political context, the so-called "opportunity structures" are a precious commodity. They are a euphemism defined by an acronym - OTRF, which means a plethora of Offices To Run For. Chicago's estimated population in 2019 was about 2.6 million, New York City's 8.4 million, and Los Angeles's 3.8 million. That makes the Big Apple the most populous, as always, and Chicago "The Third City." But when it comes to opportunity structures, meaning elected jobs for ambitious politicians, Chicago remains the Second City, far better than LA and devoid of those annoying term-limits. But when it come to homicides, Chicago ranks Number One, with 774 homicides in 2020, compared to 447 in NYC and 349 in LA. NYC has a 2021 mayoral election, and LA in 2022. There may be portents for Chicago in 2023. Full Article...


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