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Why is my TV clogged with election ads?

You might be wondering why you’re watching the battle for

Illinois governor play out in annoying TV commercials 10 months before the

election?

That’s what happens when the state’s highest office is

coveted by two billionaires and a multimillionaire, Bruce Rauner, J.B. Pritzker

and Chris Kennedy.

Rauner, our stumbling bumbling incumbent, is described as

“an American businessman, philanthropist, and billionaire politician,” and

former owner of the Chicago Sun-Times, the failing newspaper that has been

acting like Rauner’s campaign manager.

For example, knowing how people hate wealthy people like

billionaires, the newspaper published a feature questioning if Rauner is really

a billionaire. It wasn’t criticism, people. You’re not that na•ve, are you?

Rauner has been running commercials using duct tape to

explain why Illinois residents are struggling to survive in an economy they’re

told is good but that their bank accounts are screaming is bad.

This is a world in which a decent car costs more than most

people earn annually.

Pritzker is described as an “Americanventure capitalist

entrepreneur, philanthropist and private business owner” whose personal wealth

is somewhere between 3 and 4 billion dollars.

Pritzker’s commercials are dominating televisionad

nauseum. “Touchy, feely,” they feature him smiling and slapping high fives

with little kids as he introduces himself.

Kennedy doesn’t have to introduce himself. He’s been

involved in social service programs helping the needy for years. Likeable out

of the gate, Kennedy is described as a “developer and nonprofit activist” whose

family previously owned the massive Merchandise Mart building.

The Kennedy name is a very powerful magnet for the one

constituency that has the highest voter turnout, Baby Boomers, who remember his

father, former U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and uncle, President John F.

Kennedy.

Kennedy is just a multi-millionaire, but all of them need to

see a dentist. Rauner and Pritzker share the same goofy smiles, while Kennedy’s

smile always looks pained.

Image means something, but money is where the election

battle will focus this fall when the candidates file their papers for the March

2018 primary elections, Rauner as a Republican incumbent with no achievements,

and Pritzker and Kennedy as rich Democrats.

Pritzker ran for office in 1998, losing to Jan Schakowsky, a

popular progressive and one of the best Illinois members of Congress. Kennedy

thought about running in the past, but only made it to chairman of the

scandal-plagued University of Illinois Board of Trustees, appointed by former

Gov. Pat “Who?” Quinn.

But Pritzker can probably count on an endorsement from

former President Barack Obama, who appointed his sister, Penny Pritzker, as the

U.S. Commerce Secretary, after making big donations.

Obama will need a lot of donations for his legacy, the Obama

Center – don’t call it a museum — on the South Side in Jackson Park in the

Woodlawn neighborhood. Woodlawn ranks 13thworst when it comes

to violent crimes in Chicago’s 78 neighborhoods. Jackson Park extends into Hyde

Park, with one of the Chicago’s lowest crime rates, and South Shore, one of

Chicago’s highest.

Is that why the Kennedy Family decided to give Obama the

2017 JFK Profile in Courage Award this past weekend in Washington D.C.?

Hmmmmm!

American elections are not decided by selecting the best,

but by voters rejecting the “worst.” They vote based on who they dislike the

most, and chose the other person. That’s how Donald Trump beat everyone else.

You may not like him, but he wasn’t nearly as bad as the rest.

The only way Rauner can win is if Pritzker and Kennedy get

too personal. Rauner is the guy most people dislike. He only won because people

disliked Quinn more.

But Pritzker’s early big spending ad campaign could be his

undoing. With so many ads, you have to wonder if Pritzker worries about the

value of a dollar.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, author and

former Chicago City Hall reporter. Email him [email protected])

Ray Hanania’s column is just a fraction of the content

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