Phil Parker (tigertoy) wrote,
Phil Parker


I voted this morning. I live in the country and vote in a village with a population of 200, so things are a little different for me than for my friends that live in urban precincts with thousands of voters. Vermilion County, despite being one of the most economically deprived counties in the state, had shiny new optical scan voting equipment replacing our Vote-O-Matic punched card machines by 2002, so there's no big shift in our procedures. For some reason, my polling place was moved from the village hall (though "shack" might be a better name than "hall") to the Baptist church across the street. I think the polling place being in a church is inappropriate, but I wasn't uncomfortable enough to not vote. I did ask the poll workers why it was moved and they said they had no idea. I didn't take the time to actually complain. When I finished my ballot, I learned that the optical scanner on the ballot box wasn't working, so we had to just drop our ballots in the side. I trust they'll get it straightened out. It means my precinct's voters won't have the automatic protection against overvoting (the scanner spits your ballot out if it scans votes for two candidates in the same race).

For governor, the incumbent Democrat, Blagojevich, is a complete bozo and probably a crook as well, and I expect him to be on trial before the term ends and eventually going to jail. I might be wrong about the crook part, though it looks bad, but the fact that he's incompetent couldn't be clearer. But I can't in good conscience vote for anyone who aligns themselves with the national Republican leadership. I actually think the state would be better off for the next four years with Topinka, the Republican, than another term of Blago, though neither really appeals. So I voted for Whitney, the Green, in the hope of helping him hold onto a large enough share of the vote that the Green party has ballot access next time. The most important thing about the governor's race is really who ends up winning in 2010 when a new Congressional map gets drawn after the census, and it's not clear whether it's better to have Blago out now and a Republican incumbent, or Blago resigning in disgrace and an open seat, in terms of having a non-Republican governor doing the redistricting.

For Attorney General, the incumbent Democrat, Lisa Madigan, got elected last time on the strength of being the daughter of state house speaker Mike Madigan. The best thing I can say about Mike Madigan is he's not as much of a bozo as Blago. He's a very autocratic machine politician; he wants to be dictator, and with his style of leadership, he has far too much control over the legislative process. (House members rarely get to see the bills they're being told to vote for in time to actually read them; Madigan trades horses in the back room and then tells the party to shut up and vote for it.) Lisa Madigan hasn't done a dreadful job, but she is proud of her accomplishments in taking away my sinus medicine (although Federal rules have trumped the state ones, Illinois was a pioneer in taking Sudafed off the shelves and requiring you to be processed as a terrorist to buy it), so I voted Green again in protest.

For Secretary of State, the incumbent, White, ran 8 years ago on a firm promise that he was only going to be there for one term, so I'm somewhat displeased that he's now running for his third term, and I'm more displeased than it's come to light that he has a whole bunch of his family members on his office payroll, some in very highly paid positions. So another Green protest vote.

For Comptroller, Hynes appears to be one of the competent democrats around. (There seems to be a rule that there can't be more than two genuinely desirable Democrats in statewide office in Illinois; we have two great Senators and can't seem to get anyone else.) So he got my vote.

For Treasurer, I haven't been paying as much attention as I should, but I figure that the fact that the aforementioned Mike Madigan hates the Democrat Gianoullias and is actively opposing him is reason enough to vote for him.

For Congress, the incumbent, Johnson, is a relatively moderate pro-environment Republican -- but since he votes for Hastert for speaker, I want him out, and I voted for the Democrat Gill.

Our state senate race has gotten national mention as being the most expensive state senate race in Illinois history. I would have voted for the Democrat Frerichs anyway, because the Republican Myers is a Republican, and because she was elected to the senate a while back, and quit mid-term to pursue something more lucrative; as far as I'm concerned, anyone who does that doesn't deserve to be elected again. But my feeling that she was relatively reasonable for a Republican was dispelled by her campaign literature trying to cast Frerichs' opposition to parental notification as banning parents from providing their daughters with advice and support. I really needed to scrub my brain with Clorox after reading that ad; it was as ugly as it was untrue.

Unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of voting against my current Republican state representative. Bill Black is the loosest cannon in the whole legislature; he often gets mentioned in the news for throwing temper tantrums on the house floor. But no one ran against him, so all I could do was leave it blank.

I have to confess that I'm not well enough informed on the local races to have much of an opinion. In the one contested judicial race, I voted for the candidate whose flyer in my mailbox said less about her religion. In the other races where there were two candidates, I voted for Democrats on the principle that until real Republicans can get rid of the neocons and religious whackjobs who have usurped their party, their party can't be trusted with anything, even Recorder of Deeds.

If you haven't voted by now, I hope you will get out and do it. "This fall, vote Democratic. It's important."
Tags: politics
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