Political Slop 6/26/06
We media readers and TV watchers are going to be subjected to another four month plus of political half-truths and distortions coming from the Blagojevich “slop” fund in attempts by his followers to cover up his failed efforts as steward of the well being of the State of Illinois. Christopher Wells of the Associated Press writes that the shabby campaign ads run by the incumbents paid writers are intended to be quick jabs to bruise and bloody the Republican challenger Topinka.
The incumbent has doled out enough political favors from Chicago to points south to guarantee a large pot of campaign expense money to go on continual attack of his Republican opponent. While money won’t usually buy a political office, many voters are often susceptible to believing the “slop” being fed them if the source continues to be perpetual repetition.
As Mr. Wills points out, “If you see rank distortions of fact often enough it becomes a subliminal fact that the challenger would be worse for the state than the present governor.” We can only hope that the common sense voter will realize that any incumbent who goes on a sustained attack of the challengers record with half truths and distortions is trying to cover up the incumbents failure to live up to his campaign promises and the turn around in spending promises to the voter.
Some of these ads attack Judy Baar Topinka’s opposition to a substantial minimum wage hike. As an ex businessman, I realize that raising minimum wages substantially will cause a lot of entry level applicants (often drop-outs with no skills) not to be hired. When I hired someone at minimum wage it was because they were totally unskilled or seeking extra money for a short time, while they continued their education. If they showed interest and applied themselves, they moved up in earnings or left for better opportunities. Business owners will pay more to their present good employees and ask them to be more efficient and productive than to interview, background check and hire a new unskilled employee. Paying a substantially higher starting wage adds to more cost than the employer can afford. Of course, people cannot live on minimum wage, so turnover is and is expected by the employer to be high. Minimum wage was intended by the middle and conservative branch of the Republican Party to be a first step or part time position earning extra money in the first steps in an individuals learning career. This country offers every possible advancement opportunity to young people starting with a free public education system. Opportunity abounds for those who want to learn and are willing to delay gratification for a better place in society than a life time minimum wage job.
Most Democrats, Republicans and independents know that. It’s just a political game some Democrats are playing under the guise of “compassion”. As this country continues to become more socialist and pacifistic, a path down which our governor and others continue to lead us, the more we will become like Cuba and Venezuela.
Blagojevich has made so many promises to so many of his financial contributors that he is kept occupied finding enough jobs and contracts for them and less time to lead the state. Illinois deserved someone better than George Ryan and now, his successor. Instead, it appears we have gotten someone worse.
As to Judy Baar Topinka and her position as Treasurer of the State of Illinois, she had to have many photo opts with past and present governors. The voter expects her to be a team person working as best she can with leadership of both parties. This makes it is difficult for any elected official to dis-associate themselves from a phony, incompetent or fraudulent governor. She is required by law to work as best she can with the incumbent governor. They both report to the citizenry of this state. The Treasurer of the State of Illinois is not the Auditor, the Budget Director or in charge of fixing the finances of the state when things go wrong. The treasurer’s primary job is to be the collector of taxes for the state, invest it for earnings in different financial institutions, and to account for all money received and disbursed. Except for disbursements required by law, how this money is used is eventually determined by the governor, not the treasurer.
I hope Ms. Topinka will run on her record of accomplishments and what changes she will make as next Governor of the State of Illinois. To point out provable failures of performance is acceptable; to personally assault ones opponent should not be acceptable to those who take the time to study the issues and take the responsibility to vote.
A good slogan for the Republicans to use is “Rod Blagojevich, why isn’t he thinking”?
His record should convince the thinking voter, Democrat or Republican, that the incumbent is just another “political hack” looking out for the special interest groups that support his endless financial kitty.
The failed Soviet system of always blindly supporting the party line and incumbents, did not work in Russia and should not work in this country. I expect many thinking Democrats will support a change in Springfield.