Never before has there been two Democrats who have such different visions for Illinois than the two Democrats who are running in the 39th Representative District Democratic primary: incumbent State Representative Toni Berrios and progressive activist Will Guzzardi.
As this report from WGN-TV noted, Berrios is a supporter of charter schools and school vouchers, both of which are school privatization schemes which take taxpayer money away from public schools and use it to fund private schools. Guzzardi, on the other hand, is a staunch defender of public education in Illinois, in fact, he was a fierce critic of Rahm Emanuel’s plan to shut down dozens of public schools in Chicago, which lacks a directly-elected school board. Guzzardi supports amending the Illinois Constitution to levy a progressive state income tax, which would give the state more money to fund public schools and pay the billions of dollars in unpaid bills that our state owes.
Guess who else supports charter schools and school vouchers? Right-wing Republicans like Illinois’s very own Bruce Rauner and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker. Rauner has run paid ads for his bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination talking about his staunch support of charter schools, and, while he hasn’t explicitly talked about supporting school vouchers that I know of, he does support implementing them here in Illinois. Walker implemented a statewide school voucher program in Wisconsin that has done absolutely nothing to improve the quality of education in Wisconsin and has mostly served as a welfare program for parents who already sent their children to private schools.
Charter schools and school vouchers do little, if anything, to improve the quality of public education. If anything, charter schools and school vouchers take money and resources away from public schools, which makes the quality of education worse.
Don’t let Democrats like Toni Berrios help Republicans turn Illinois into Scott Walker’s Wisconsin. If you live in the 39th Representative District of Illinois, vote for Will Guzzardi on March 18. Unlike Berrios, Guzzardi will stand up for public education in Illinois, stand up to the corrupt Democratic establishment, and fight to make Illinois a more progressive place to live.
Bruce Rauner, the likely Republican nominee for governor here in Illinois, idolizes Scott Walker, Republican Governor of Wisconsin who is best-known for stripping Wisconsin’s public-sector workers of their collective bargaining rights and implementing a far-right agenda in Wisconsin.
I find it highly hypocritical that Rauner idolizes Walker for a couple of reasons.
Rauner has claimed to be a political outsider (although he already has a track record of political cronyism despite never having held elected office before) and a corruption fighter (although he’s trying to buy the Illinois gubernatorial election with millions of dollars of his own money), yet his political idol, Scott Walker, is a career politician (Walker has held some sort of elected office in Wisconsin for the past 21 years) and is morbidly corrupt (a recent document dump showed that, when he was the county executive of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Walker and his aides used his county office to illegally campaign on government time, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Walker’s track record of corruption and cronyism).
Even one of Rauner’s primary challengers, Kirk Dillard, who is a very conservative Republican himself (in fact, he’s the Illinois state chairman of the right-wing bill mill ALEC, which is behind much of the right-wing legislation that has been passed in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, and dozens of other states in recent years), pointed out that Scott Walker is a career politician at a recent debate.
You can tell a person’s character by two things: who the person keeps company with and who the person idolizes. The fact that Bruce Rauner, the likely Republican nominee for governor here in Illinois, idolizes a very corrupt and highly vindictive politician frightens me. Mark my words, I will do everything that I can to prevent Bruce Rauner, Kirk Dillard, or any other Republican here in Illinois from turning Illinois into Scott Walker’s Wisconsin.
State Representative Toni Berrios (D-Chicago) is now resorting to dirty tricks in her campaign against progressive activist Will Guzzardi in the 39th Representative District Democratic primary.
Berrios sent out this flyer claiming that voters in the 39th Representative District (based in the Logan Square neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side) who wish to cast an early ballot are required to vote to the Humboldt Park Library early voting location. That is FALSE information, and those kinds of dirty tactics are normally associated with Republicans trying to suppress the vote.
In reality, anyone registered to vote in the City of Chicago can cast an early vote at any one of the 51 early voting locations in Chicago. Here’s the correct information about early voting in Chicago, straight from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners (CBEC) website:
Early Voting for the March 18, 2014 Primary Election will be offered from Mon., March 3 through Sat., March 15.
Voters registered in the City of Chicago may use any Early Voting site in the city, regardless of where the voters live.
Voters don’t need a reason or excuse to use Early Voting — but voters do need to present government-issued photo identification.
Ballots cast in Early Voting are final. After casting ballots in Early Voting, voters may not return to amend, change or undo a ballot for any reason. It is a felony to vote more than once — or to attempt to vote more than once — in the same election.
All 51 locations will be open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Three locations (the Board’s offices at 69 W. Washington, Welles Park and Mount Greenwood Park) will be open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and also will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.
A list of all 51 Chicago early voting locations is available here.
While Toni Berrios is distributing false information about early voting and using other dirty campaign tricks, Will Guzzardi, if elected, will bring a much-needed progressive voice to the Illinois General Assembly and support pro-middle class policies.
My mother received a campaign flyer for a candidate running against my cousin in a Democratic judicial primary
Karen Wall, a former judge who is running for a Circuit Judge position in the 5th Circuit of Illinois, sent out this flyer to voters, which my mother received:
While I appreciate the fact that Karen Wall is encouraging people to vote (after all, that’s what candidates for public office are supposed to do), I won’t be voting for her in the Democratic primary next month. After all, my cousin, Edwin Barney, Jr., is running against Wall in the Democratic primary for 5th Circuit Court Judge. Barney has experience in both the legal and legislative fields, being an incumbent member of the Vermilion County Board and a lawyer with years of experience.
A while back, I endorsed George Gollin’s bid for the Democratic nomination in the 13th Congressional District of Illinois.
Now, thanks to this report from Big Debbie’s House (a Champaign-based Democratic blog), I’m pulling my endorsement of Gollin.
I thought that George Gollin shared my values. On most political issues, Gollin is very progressive, and I think that, if he were to win the Democratic primary and the general election, he’d make a good Member of Congress for the 13th District. However, after finding out that Gollin himself had put up a campaign yard sign at the Edwardsville headquarters of Democratic primary challenger Ann Callis’s campaign without her campaign’s permission, I have no choice but to pull my endorsement of Gollin.
I’m not endorsing Ann Callis or any other Democratic candidate in the 13th District. While I will write blog posts supporting the winner of the Democratic primary for the general election (after all, any of the Democratic candidates running would be better than Rodney Davis or any of the Republicans running against him in the GOP primary), I have serious grievances about all of the Democratic candidates in the race.
I watched part of the Illinois Republican gubernatorial debate that was held tonight in Springfield (specifically, the part where Republicans talked about unions and pension reform), and I want to share my thoughts about what likely Republican nominee Bruce Rauner said about unions.
While Rauner tried to tone down his staunch anti-union rhetoric in the debate, Rauner strongly hinted at support for enacting legislation similar to Wisconsin’s anti-collective bargaining law Act 10 here in Illinois, which would strip collective bargaining rights from public-sector workers. Rauner also made remarks pitting private-sector unions against public-sector unions, similar (although not exactly identical) to remarks that Rauner’s political protege, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, made in early 2011 to Wisconsin billionaire businesswoman Diane Hendricks, in which Walker said that he wanted to “divide and conquer” Wisconsin.
In tonight’s debate, Bruce Rauner strongly indicated that he wants to damage our state’s economy (public-sector workers are job creators just like everyone else who spends money on goods and services, and Republicans don’t understand that) and make our state’s fiscal problems even worse than they currently are by using the Scott Walker playbook in Illinois. That is the wrong track to take this state.
On a side note, I heard a lot of talk from the Republican gubernatorial candidates about the corrupting influence of unions. While I despise the role of big money in politics, public-sector unions protect our state and our country from a different kind of corrupting influence…the corrupting influence of large corporations, wealthy individuals, and other special interests. Unless I missed it, I heard no talk whatsoever about the corrupting influence of corporate special interests from any of the Republican gubernatorial candidates.
NOTE: Part of an Associated Press article blockquoted in this blog post contains the British English word “offence”, which is spelled “offense” in American English.
Former Democratic Congressman Mel Reynolds, who resigned from Congress back in 1995 after, among other things, being caught having sex with an underage campaign volunteer, has embarrassed Illinois once again.
This time, Reynolds has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of pornography and overstaying his visa in Zimbabwe, a country where possession of any kind of pornography is illegal:
Former U.S. Rep. Melvin Jay Reynolds has been arrested in Zimbabwe on suspicion of possessing pornography and an immigration offence.
Reynolds is being held in custody and is expected to appear in court soon, immigration official Ario Mabika told The Associated Press.
Reynolds, 62, was arrested Monday by police detectives and immigration officials at a Harare hotel, according to the state-controlled newspaper, The Herald.
He brought several Zimbabwean models and other women to his hotel room where he took photographs and videos, the newspaper reported.
Laws in foreign countries are often vastly different than laws here in the United States, and, if an American violates the laws of a foreign country, he/she can be prosecuted in the foreign country in question, even if the crime would have not been a crime in the United States. Mel Reynolds, who has proven that he is unfit for public office here in the United States, has taken his show of embarrassing Illinois overseas.
Thankfully, the Democratic congresswoman who currently holds the seat once held by Reynolds, Robin Kelly, hasn’t done anything to embarrass Illinois.