I went south for a couple weeks and while gone the city of Chicago elected their preferred governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker. Seventy-two percent of all Chicagoan's voted for Mr. Pritzker, which was more than half his total votes. Ironically, 72% of the folks from Iroquois County, where I'm from originally, voted for JB's challenger, the incumbent Bruce Rauner. The problem - there is a whole bunch more Cook County city-folks than Iroquois farmers. Rauner won Kankakee County too, but not overwhelmingly like Iroquois.
If you were to look at the voting by county in Illinois, it might give one pause to wonder if we should instill our own electoral college. Rauner won nearly 85% of the counties in this state, yet there is Chicago, reminding us once again we will do it their way.
Quick, who won the Lieutenant-Governor's office for Illinois? (Answer below.)
I guess it is understandable why Mr. Pritzker won. Governor Rauner didn't accomplish much, was usually diametrically at odds with his Conservative base, and delivered little of what he promised. Given his failures, combined with an inability to get along with Boss Madigan - but I repeat myself - he didn't offer much in the confidence needed to send him back to a governor's mansion that he restored. Having a couple third-party candidates instilled to siphon off a few more votes didn't help his cause either.
One really has to wonder though why the 53-year-old Governor-Elect Pritzker, worth $3.5 billion and heir to the Hyatt Hotel empire, would want a governor's job paying $176,000 a year? (I understand, copying President Trump's tendency, Mr. Pritzker will not take a salary now.) Consider that kind of individual net worth would be like having your own personal genie in a bottle. How many of you Illinoisans would rub the magic lamp, and then request to be governor of Illinois as your only wish?
And yet, Governor-Elect Pritzker spent $171.5 million of his own personal wealth, more than any candidate in the history of politics, to occupy the big chair in the governor's mansion. Seems to defy logic to me, but I'm from Chebanse.
Surely Mr. Pritzker has taken a look at this state's $161 billion debt or 258,000 people who won't work, but still take our benefits? Even if he gave us his net worth he couldn't put a dent in the Illinois debt load. Why would he want to be a yes-man to Mike Madigan while having to listen to whoever is Chicago's next mayor? That has to be a sandwich nobody in their right mind would want to be part of, quipped a friend of mine.
What drove Governor-Elect Pritzker to be caught on tape trying to squeeze former governor and current Englewood Colorado Federal Corrections inmate, Rod Blagojevich, for the Illinois treasurer's office in 2008? Why would he buy the house next to his Astor Street mansion on the Gold Coast of Chicago, only to remove the toilets and have the dwelling declared uninhabitable, just to save on real estate taxes? And even more incredibly, knowing all this due to Rauner's multitude of television ads, why would the people of Illinois still vote for Mr. Pritzker anyway?
Governor-Elect Pritzker's positions on many things are certainly liberal. He is for causes most right-minded Conservatives find repulsive, such as abortion and Planned Parenthood. Additionally, he is for illegal-alien healthcare, DACA - the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy allowing those brought here illegally as children to receive deferred action from deportation and become eligible for work permits, and a promise to sign the Illinois Trust Act, a pro-immigration bill.
He is also for legalization of recreational pot and the expansion of sports betting. Perhaps these vices will pay for it all?
Maybe the residents of Illinois know something about Mr. Pritzker that I and fellow Conservatives don't. Beyond doubt, I hope those Pritzker voters are right, as we so desperately need someone to take over running our state and dig us out of the hole past politicians have put us into.
Perhaps Governor-Elect Pritzker will outgrow his youthful transgressions, stand up to Boss Madigan, say no to the new Chicago mayor, and do what is best for the entire state of Illinois. It was a great state at one time and those of us that haven't left...yet can only hope that someone honorable will bring it and the citizens back to its once-glorious state.
Governor-Elect Pritzker, are you that person?
(Juliana Stratton from the 5th District is the Lieutenant-Governor-elect.)