Friday, January 22, 2010

Top of the ticket in Illinois - The Republicans

The top of the ticket in the 2010 Illinois Elections will be the Governor and the U.S. Senate seat. There are seven Republicans running for Governor and five running for the U.S. Senate. Here are some thoughts from across Illinois on these two races (the primary is on February 2nd). Dick Simpson, a former alderman who teaches political science at the University of Illinois - Chicago, articulates the key elements of the race: "February’s election is about two things: economics and ethics. The state has a budget deficit estimated at $13 billion. It can’t pay its bills. Its bonds are just above junk status." That's what this is all about - economics and ethics.


Our choice is state Sen. Kirk Dillard, 54, a lawyer from Hinsdale. He is conservative, but not doctrinaire, and has worked effectively across the aisle on issues important to the state. Before being elected to the Senate in 1994, he was chief of staff for popular Republican Gov. Jim Edgar, who has endorsed him. He cites Mr. Edgar’s tight fiscal discipline as a model for extricating Illinois from its $12 billion budget deficit.
Dick Simpson writes in the Chicago Journal:
On the Republican side, Jim Ryan is the strongest candidate even though State Sen. Kirk Dillard would make a better governor.
The Chicago Sun-Times has endorsed Sen. Kirk Dillard:
The Chicago Sun-Times endorses Sen. Kirk Dillard for governor in the Feb. 2 Republican primary. No other candidate comes close to matching his experience in the executive and legislative branches of state government, his knowledge of the back doors of power in Springfield, and his proven ability to build cross-party coalitions without abandoning core Republican values.
U.S. Senate

Experience, intellect and service make Mark Kirk of Highland Park the clear choice. He has represented his affluent Chicago North Shore district in the U.S. House since 2000. He is a leader among House GOP moderates and is an intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Mr. Kirk is that increasingly rare bird, an independent Republican, conservative on defense and fiscal affairs, moderate to liberal on social issues. Historically, that places him in the mainstream of the Illinois GOP and would make him a formidable candidate in November.
Dick Simpson writes in the Chicago Journal:
On the Republican side, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk is the smartest and most polished candidate. He deserves to win that primary.
The Chicago Sun-Times has endorsed U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk:

An effective five-term congressman from the north suburbs, Kirk has pro-growth views on the economy, a personal commitment to the military and a moderate stance on social issues that could attract independent voters who favored Democrats in recent elections. Smart and detail-orientated, he can captivate an audience with an in-depth, nuanced discussion of complicated issues such as the implications of closing the Guantanamo detention facility or an assessment of the Afghan war.

Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on either of these (or other) races.

"A Twinkling Civility"

Tom Roeser, Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Chicago Daily Observer, has a great piece on why he supports state Senator Kirk Dillard for the Republican nomination for Illinois Governor. To me, what was great was the approach taken - that we will not find the perfect candidate, but we should not be looking for perfection. I encourage you to read "Like Reagan, Kirk Dillard Has Only 99.44% Party Purity: Is it Enough for Illinois Republicans?"

Illinois Governor's Race - Adam Andrzejewski

This morning I had the opportunity to meet Republican Gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski and see him speak to a gathering. He is a businessman with no prior government experience, but had an interesting approach. His focus in on policy - he has identified what he feels are best practices that other states have used and wants to apply them to Illinois government. He realizes that a Republican Governor will be limited in what he can do due to a heavily Democratic legislature, so he has outlined two executive orders that he wants to implement if elected. He has a good grasp of policy and an detailed approach. In addition to running for Governor he is seeking to build up the Republican party around the state, something that Illinois Republicans clearly need. Mr. Andrzejewski's focus is on fiscal and ethics issues, as these are the central issues to the state of Illinois today.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Illinois Governor Primary

The Illinois primary election is coming up on February 2nd and there are a number of competitive races (including for Governor and U.S. Senate in both major parties). One note of interest from yesterday was the Chicago Sun Times endorsing State Sen. Kirk Dillard in the GOP primary race for Governor. In the Democratic field there are two key candidates that both currently hold statewide elected office: sitting Governor Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Robin Carnahan and ballot language

Political parties are not my normal sources of information as they tend to be a bit one sided, but this is an issue that has been bothering me for a couple of years. I have seen some of the ballot summaries that have come out of the Missouri Secretary of State's office and a few have been badly biased. Whether one agrees with those issues or not, to make the process fair the summaries must be fair. Injecting politics into what should largely be a non-political office and a non-political step in the initiative process is a major problem.

"Troubling and Unfair: Robin Carnahan's Biased Ballot Language"

The future of the Korean Peninsula

The end of World War II shaped the path for the Korean Peninsula and remains near the top of the U.S. foreign policy agenda, with the Republic of Korea (ROC) as a close ally and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a consistent pain in the butt. The assumption is that sooner or later the North will fall and we will see reunification as we have seen in nation-states such as Germany and Vietnam.

The Atlantic Council has a good piece, The Cost of Korean Reunification, that I want to recommend. There will be significant challenges to reunification, the largest likely being the economic costs involved in combing a highly successful economy with one that has major starvation issues.