* My biggest fan (who isn’t a relative) just died. My father fills us in…
Arnold Jensen and I have been friends for forty years. He taught me more about the fuel business than anybody and on top of that we genuinely liked each other. Whether it was playing pool at his house all night long with friends, or having ten cent beers at Mathy’s Corner Tap in Clifton or sharing time together as officers of the Lion’s club, or sitting on his porch in Clifton, I always enjoyed our time together. Sometimes we would just get in the car and go for a ride around the country. He was a very positive person, positive about life, work, people, whatever.
Arnold and Kitty [his wife] moved us to Hanover in 1975. Moving is when you find out who is your best friend or family member. That effort cemented an already firm bond and cemented it forever.
We stayed in contact through mail, phone, then email and I always found time to drop in and visit them whenever I was in town.
He loved reading Rich’s column in the Clifton Advocate plus I would email the Sun-Times column and then he read Rich’s Blog every day. Rich dropped in to see him once and I took their picture. Arnold hung it above his kitchen table.
There were a lot of connections when Kitty moved into the nursing home before Mom moved out the first time. Arnold then moved into an assisted living apartment at the home to be near Kitty every day, the one Mom had been living in. Kitty passed away earlier this year and it was rough on Arnold as they had always been together. Arnold’s Dad lived to be 102, but life wasn’t the same for Arnold without Kitty. I talked to him the other day and he said he was having a hard time.
This morning he passed away. I’m going back this weekend. Last year he rode in the Herscher Labor Day Parade with me in the Cadillac and we had a GREAT TIME! I will always cherish that last great time we had together.
I’ve known Mr. Jensen since I was a child. He was a heckuva guy and I really got a kick out of sitting down with him several months ago. He was so happy to see me you’d have thought I was some international star or something. I’ll never forget that as long as I live.
* From a press release by Democratic House candidate Dennis Ahern…
“It is clear that people are ready for a change in leadership throughout our state. I believe that change must start at the top. If I am fortunate enough to win on November 2nd, my first vote will be for a new Speaker of the House of Representatives. This vote will not be for the current Speaker. My vote will go to a non-incumbent, a freshman.” [Emphasis added]
Ahern is running against Republican Rich Morthland for retiring Democratic Rep. Mike Boland’s seat.
* The Question: Your thoughts on this idea? Politically and governmentally, please.
…Adding… I should’ve noted that Ahern will continue to take money and staff assistance from Madigan.
“Leaners” tie this up at 45-45, with 3 percent for “other” and 8 unsure. We really need to get those other candidates included in these polls. I called Rasmussen yesterday, so we’ll see what they do next time.
* This topline is interesting, if not terribly surprising…
* In terms of how you will vote in the next national election, are you primarily interested in National Security issues such as the War with Iraq and the War on Terror, Economic issues such as jobs and economic growth, Domestic Issues like Social Security and Health Care, Cultural issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, or Fiscal issues such as taxes and government spending?
10% National Security Issues
55% Economic Issues
13% Domestic Issues
3% Cultural Issues
13% Fiscal Issues
7% Not sure
Crosstabs show that 58 percent of moderates, 50 percent of independents, 67 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Giannoulias supporters put economic issues at the top of their list. That number is less for Republicans (41), Kirk supporters (43) and conservatives (45) because “fiscal issues” rate higher than average.
Kirk has only recently begun talking about the economy, and now you can clearly see why. This whole “mob banker” thing is a lot of fun, but it isn’t helping him move upwards.
Alexi Giannoulias is loath to admit it, but LeAlan Jones could become his gnarliest nightmare.
Two recent polls show Giannoulias is locked in a suffocatingly tight race with U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk. Along comes the youthful and energetic Jones, a 31-year-old journalist, high school coach and youth mentor. He’s not only fresh, he’s “Green.” Jones is running with the insurgent Green Party, which is trying to make inroads in the Nov. 2 election.
Jones has no political or governmental record, paltry cash and scarce name recognition — plus a monstrous helping of chutzpah. He owns one unmistakable asset — he is African American. Jones may be a Green, but the color of the moment is black.
From PPP’s latest xtabs…
Yes, Jones could make a slight move if he becomes known. Yes, it is a concern for Giannoulias. Yes, there’s a long time to go. But Jones is not even showing up on the radar screen yet. Rasmussen’s xtabs have 5 percent of African-American voters leaning towards “other.” There are indeed plenty of undecideds, but without cash and a strategy, it’s gonna be tough to eat into Giannoulias’ numbers, particularly with Obama on his side.
In case you can’t watch videos, that was Republican state Sen. Kirk Dillard reacting to Gov. Pat Quinn’s appointment of Michelle Saddler as his new chief of staff. His full quote…
“While she, as an African-American, Asian woman, is a political choice, it remains to be seen if she can govern state government.”
The video comes from Quinn’s campaign, which is why we see that over the top video headline. The Quinn campaign’s response…
“When we talk about the political games the Brady Bunch plays, this is what we mean. Governor Quinn chose the most capable person to fill the position of Chief of Staff as he continues to guide our state through this difficult economic period.
“But Republicans never stop doing the political calculus and trying to divide the electorate. The Brady Bunch’s craven calculations should offend every woman and person of color in this state, as well as anyone who believes in good government over divisive wedge politics.”
There’s no getting around the fact that Pat Quinn is doing poorly with African-Americans and is likely desperate to win them back and that Ms. Saddler’s race was part of his calculus. But one sure-fire way to help Quinn out is to give his campaign an opportunity to play the race card. Quinn needs to motivate his base. This kind of stuff will do it. If Saddler was a hack, that might be one thing. But she’s not, even if some folks despise Episcopalians and whatnot.
I talked to Dillard a few minutes ago and he pointed out that Saddler started her press conference by pointing out her ethnic heritage and said he was approached by some black reporters who asked specifically about her race. But, he said, he understood the point and said he wished her well and thought she was a good choice, “governmentally as well as politically.” Kirk is a decent guy and I know he meant no harm, but you gotta think before you speak in this business.
* Mark Brown sums up our current situation quite well…
It might have been helpful for Quinn to explain what specific steps his office takes to keep the political and government sides separate. Would he really have us believe there is no campaign input into the planning of what he does as governor, or is the truth more that his staff takes care not to conduct political business using state phones or computers?
To the extent an absolute separation is true in Quinn’s case, it could go a long way toward explaining why nobody can figure out his re-election message.
When Quinn took over as governor, I said I thought he would be the right guy to lead Illinois in Blagojevich’s wake, and as far as calming the waters, maybe he has been better than the alternatives. But unfortunately, despite his good intentions, he hasn’t shown he can govern effectively.
Even more unfortunate is that there’s no reason to believe his Republican opponent would be any better.
Nobody can figure out Pat Quinn’s message because he doesn’t have one. Other than that, Brown’s right.
“I’m not going to listen to state government for financial advice, we’d be bankrupt.
Sell the parking meters and spend almost all the money in a year. Good one. Put half the city into a TIF district, thereby squeezing every budget, including the city government’s, for the sake of creating a mayoral slush fund. Excellent. Refuse to hire more cops during a horrific murderous crime spree. Sparkling.
“We [should] not listen to them, your state senators or representatives. No way. Look what they’ve done with the state budget and now they’re telling us what to do with the city budget. No way.”
It seems clear that the inspiration for his caustic comments was State Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago). Fritchey, who is running for a seat on the Cook County board, held a news conference Sunday and called for a “major TIF overhaul” to funnel more tax dollars to the Chicago Public Schools.
But asked which Springfield critics he was referring to in his remarks Tuesday, Daley replied, “All of them, in general.”
Daley has a point about Fritchey and glass houses, but he should take his own advice. His reputation as a stellar manager is in tatters. The city is on a downward spiral, and maybe he should be looking for some solutions, rather than getting all defensive about the lousy job he’s done.
Ald. Scott Waguespack, 32nd, has two terrifying words for Mayor Richard Daley:
It may not sound sexy. But having former IRS agents go through two decades worth of insider political deals and revealing it all to a tax base of voters that has been bled dry is something Daley and his boys would hate.
After spending months pointing out the corruption and waste of taxpayer dollars at City Hall —including that ridiculous parking meter deal that may have sparked a revolution — Waguespack, 40, is thinking about challenging Daley for mayor.
The first thing he’d do would be to add more police on the streets. But a forensic audit might be just what the doctor ordered.
Today is the first day for circulating nominating petitions to get on the February city election election, and Alderman Scott Waguespack said Monday he would seek signatures to run for four more years as 32nd Ward alderman — not for mayor. […]
The alderman, who narrowly defeated Daley-backed Ald. Ted Matlak in the 2007 election, had less than $20,000 in his campaign account at the end of June, according to documents filed with state officials.
But that doesn’t mean the audit isn’t a good idea. Daley was elected mayor 21 years ago. One can only imagine what an audit would find. Fritchey and Waguespack are feuding, but there’s no reason why Fritchey couldn’t push that idea as well. It the city won’t do it, maybe the state could help. And do one on itself, for that matter. I’ve been on the fence about this idea for a while now, but I’ve come around all the way. The state, city and county could all use one.
Sauk Village is broke, according to the mayor. “We’re just about out of money,” said Lewis Towers, 59, the part-time mayor who works full-time as director of the Cook County assessor’s Markham office. “We can make Friday’s payroll and that’s it. We have $150,000 in our general fund and an annual budget of $9.1 million.”
Towers said the village payroll is $160,000. He plans to lay off at least 10 of the village’s 60 employees and expected the village board to approve the cuts at a meeting last night.