Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Issues take a back seat in this race

A lot of elections are pretty much cut and dry, easy to sort out, and good and bad candidates are distinguishable. But that’s not the case in the race for Illinois Secretary of State.

There’s Alexi Giannoulias, a friendly guy who served one term as Illinois treasurer from 2007-11. I know him. Nice guy, but the kind of politician who only talks to you when he needs something.

Giannoulias has all the big bucks, more than $4.4 million in his campaign war chest, raising more than $500,000 just in the first quarter.

Then there is a guy like David Moore, who grew up in the rough and tumble Robert Taylor Homes. He says he was inspired to get involved in politics after hearing one of Mayor Harold Washington’s many moving speeches. Moore is a real pick-himself-up-from-the-bootstraps story who has served as alderman of the 17th Ward since 2015. Moore has less than $39,000 available for his campaign.

Then there is Anna Valencia, who boasts the endorsement of retiring Secretary of State Jesse White. Valencia comes from the circle of clout, having worked with the racist former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, although later she improved and worked as campaign manager in 2014 for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, a very popular centrist with good programs.

Valencia was appointed in 2016 to the office of city clerk by outgoing Clerk Susana Mendoza, who is now the Illinois Comptroller. Valencia was elected city clerk in 2019.

Politics is so incestuous, I guess. Valencia has $1.1 million in her campaign war chest and probably will raise more with White’s backing.

If you just go by the money, Giannoulias has this wrapped up. If you go by clout, Valencia has White’s endorsement, who held the office of secretary of state since 1998. Moore has the inspiring story.

On top of all that is the issue of race, which in Illinois has always been a big factor in any election. Giannoulias is white, Moore is black, Valencia is Hispanic.

In Illinois politics, they call that a “Rainbow Choice”–selecting from three of the top racial constituencies, and that means each will have to try and convince voters in the other race categories to vote for them rather than for their affinity.

That’s why Giannoulias, the Daddy Warbucks of the election, is touting his friendship with former President Barack Obama, and playing basketball with young kids. Forget about the moral judgments here, Giannoulias is clearly pandering to African American voters.

Valencia has White’s endorsement, which is a big deal since White has been one of Illinois’ most successful African American office holders.

Moore just has some ideas, but no money to get them out.

But what are all the issues in this race? No one knows.

Giannoulias has run two big campaign commercials so far with kids playing basketball. But here we are eight weeks from the election, and Daddy Warbucks hasn’t once said in any of those commercials what he plans to do about all the problems that have plagued the secretary of state’s offices.

Three Republicans are running, led by State Rep. Dan Brady, another very decent guy, who has represented the 105th District since 2013. Two other Republicans are in the race, too, in John Milhiser and Michelle Turney.

None of the candidates have said anything about how they will address the secretary of state’s problems. Skyrocketing costs have plagued the office for years, like long delays when you go to a facility to get a driver’s license or anything.

I remember standing in line for hours while one of White’s employees talked on the phone with a friend while working at the public window. I wrote about that, and White has never forgiven me. Boo hoo! Many officials can’t take criticism. They pretend to be accountable.

The secretary of state’s office is so important, yet costly to taxpayers. What will the new secretary do to hold down costs or make its 4,000 employees in 21 departments accountable? Those are the issues I’d like to know.

In a race where race is the most important factor, however, no one needs to speak to the real issues. They can pander to their racial constituencies or target the ones they need the most.

That’s too bad. Because I have a feeling that when this race is over, it’s going to cost the public a fortune to register our vehicles, get new license plates, driver’s licenses and keep state records, laws and archives.

Voters are getting so little for an office that is so big.

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

Local News

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi (from left), Senior Data Scientist William Ridgeway, Director of Data Science Daniel Snow, Director of Data Analytics Nicole Jardine, Chief Data Officer Samantha Simpson and IAAO President L. Wade Patterson. --Supplied photo

Assessor’s Office wins national awards

‘Testament to successful efforts.’ Kaegi says From staff reports The Cook County Assessor’s Office has received awards from two national organizations for creating a new residential model that contributes to fairly and accurately assessing homes in Cook County. The International Association of Assessing Officers gave the Assessor’s Office its Distinguished Research and Development Award, and The Center…

CRRNH_FPDCCtroutstockingspring_100522

Forest Preserves stocking thousands of trout

From staff reports The Forest Preserves of Cook County’s 2022 fall inland trout fishing season will open at sunrise on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Axehead Lake in Park Ridge, Belleau Lake in Des Plaines, Busse Reservoir-North Pool in Elk Grove Village, Sag Quarry-East in Lemont, Horsetail Lake in Palos Park and Green Lake in Calumet…

Glendora Banquets closed last month in Chicago Ridge. (Supplied photo)

Glendora Banquet Hall closes as owners retire

By Bob Bong The Glendora Banquet Hall closed August 17 in Chicago Ridge after longtime owners Stanley and Mary Bielanski decided to retire. “They want to enjoy life,” said their son, Stan Jr., explaining why the couple decided to close the restaurant at 10225 S. Harlem Ave. after operating it for 31 years. He and…

cook county board logo

Cook County Board unanimously repeals county wheel tax

Cook County commissioners last week unanimously voted to eliminate the so-called wheel tax for residents in unincorporated areas. The vote on September 22 will permanently end the county’s vehicle registration fines and fees. “Anytime we have an opportunity to cut or eliminate taxes it’s always the right thing to do for Cook County taxpayers,” said…

dvn summit NNO9 2022

Summit Police Department launches new crime website

By Carol McGowan The Summit Police Department has launched a digital crime fighting tool. The department is the second in Illinois to join the CrimeWatch Network. It’s a new website that offers direct access to crime and public safety-related information. Interim Police Chief Mel Ortiz announced the launch of the site, saying it gives people…

biz butera frankfort

Comings & Goings: Butera closing Frankfort supermarket

By Bob Bong Elgin-based Butera Finer Foods, which reacquired its former supermarket at 20825 S. LaGrange Road in Frankfort in 2018, announced the store would be closing sometime in October. The family-owned Butera chain took over the former Walt’s Food Center on Nov. 11, 2018, and christened the store a Butera Fruit Market. Walt’s had…

bridgeview police logo - Copy

Soccer match triggers call for help in Bridgeview

By Bob Bong A soccer match on one of the practice fields at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview got heated Sunday evening, which led to mutual aid calls by the Bridgeview police. “Two teams got into it,” said Bridgeview Police Chief Ricardo Mancha. “Then some of their fans got into it.” To keep it from getting…

Rich Przybycien, who organized the sixth annual Veterans Thank You Luncheon last Saturday at St. Paul Lutheran Church Friendship Hall in Oak Lawn, plays “Taps” during a solemn moment at the event. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Church luncheon thanks and salutes U.S. veterans

By Joe Boyle Veterans from all walks of life can use some assistance in receiving the benefits they deserve. Carlo Melone, senior national service officer for the Disabled American Veterans, said that servicemen and women are entitled to certain benefits that were not available to them in the recent past. Melone was the guest speaker at the…

Darren Bailey, who is running for governor, speaks to a crowd in McCook on Sept. 22. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Bailey vows to repeal SAFE-T Act during stop in McCook

By Jeff Vorva Republican candidate for governor Darren Bailey had several hundred “friends” eating out of the palm of his hand in McCook on Sept. 22. Bailey used the term “friends” countless times during his 15-minute speech at a rally in a huge parking lot across from the McCook Athletic and Exposition building, and they…

ace

ACE starting up Yes I Can after-school program for Summit students

The Argo Coalition for Education’s Yes I Can after-school program is about to get underway for the 2022-2023 school year. The program begins October 4 and will meet every Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. at the Shiloh Baptist Church Education Building, 7661 W. 63rd Place, Summit. This program, for first-grade through eighth-grade, is designed to help…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi (from left), Senior Data Scientist William Ridgeway, Director of Data Science Daniel Snow, Director of Data Analytics Nicole Jardine, Chief Data Officer Samantha Simpson and IAAO President L. Wade Patterson. --Supplied photo

Assessor’s Office wins national awards

‘Testament to successful efforts.’ Kaegi says From staff reports The Cook County Assessor’s Office has received awards from two national organizations for creating a new residential model that contributes to fairly and accurately assessing homes in Cook County. The International Association of Assessing Officers gave the Assessor’s Office its Distinguished Research and Development Award, and The Center…

CRRNH_FPDCCtroutstockingspring_100522

Forest Preserves stocking thousands of trout

From staff reports The Forest Preserves of Cook County’s 2022 fall inland trout fishing season will open at sunrise on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Axehead Lake in Park Ridge, Belleau Lake in Des Plaines, Busse Reservoir-North Pool in Elk Grove Village, Sag Quarry-East in Lemont, Horsetail Lake in Palos Park and Green Lake in Calumet…

Glendora Banquets closed last month in Chicago Ridge. (Supplied photo)

Glendora Banquet Hall closes as owners retire

By Bob Bong The Glendora Banquet Hall closed August 17 in Chicago Ridge after longtime owners Stanley and Mary Bielanski decided to retire. “They want to enjoy life,” said their son, Stan Jr., explaining why the couple decided to close the restaurant at 10225 S. Harlem Ave. after operating it for 31 years. He and…

cook county board logo

Cook County Board unanimously repeals county wheel tax

Cook County commissioners last week unanimously voted to eliminate the so-called wheel tax for residents in unincorporated areas. The vote on September 22 will permanently end the county’s vehicle registration fines and fees. “Anytime we have an opportunity to cut or eliminate taxes it’s always the right thing to do for Cook County taxpayers,” said…

dvn summit NNO9 2022

Summit Police Department launches new crime website

By Carol McGowan The Summit Police Department has launched a digital crime fighting tool. The department is the second in Illinois to join the CrimeWatch Network. It’s a new website that offers direct access to crime and public safety-related information. Interim Police Chief Mel Ortiz announced the launch of the site, saying it gives people…

biz butera frankfort

Comings & Goings: Butera closing Frankfort supermarket

By Bob Bong Elgin-based Butera Finer Foods, which reacquired its former supermarket at 20825 S. LaGrange Road in Frankfort in 2018, announced the store would be closing sometime in October. The family-owned Butera chain took over the former Walt’s Food Center on Nov. 11, 2018, and christened the store a Butera Fruit Market. Walt’s had…

bridgeview police logo - Copy

Soccer match triggers call for help in Bridgeview

By Bob Bong A soccer match on one of the practice fields at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview got heated Sunday evening, which led to mutual aid calls by the Bridgeview police. “Two teams got into it,” said Bridgeview Police Chief Ricardo Mancha. “Then some of their fans got into it.” To keep it from getting…

Rich Przybycien, who organized the sixth annual Veterans Thank You Luncheon last Saturday at St. Paul Lutheran Church Friendship Hall in Oak Lawn, plays “Taps” during a solemn moment at the event. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Church luncheon thanks and salutes U.S. veterans

By Joe Boyle Veterans from all walks of life can use some assistance in receiving the benefits they deserve. Carlo Melone, senior national service officer for the Disabled American Veterans, said that servicemen and women are entitled to certain benefits that were not available to them in the recent past. Melone was the guest speaker at the…

Darren Bailey, who is running for governor, speaks to a crowd in McCook on Sept. 22. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Bailey vows to repeal SAFE-T Act during stop in McCook

By Jeff Vorva Republican candidate for governor Darren Bailey had several hundred “friends” eating out of the palm of his hand in McCook on Sept. 22. Bailey used the term “friends” countless times during his 15-minute speech at a rally in a huge parking lot across from the McCook Athletic and Exposition building, and they…

ace

ACE starting up Yes I Can after-school program for Summit students

The Argo Coalition for Education’s Yes I Can after-school program is about to get underway for the 2022-2023 school year. The program begins October 4 and will meet every Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. at the Shiloh Baptist Church Education Building, 7661 W. 63rd Place, Summit. This program, for first-grade through eighth-grade, is designed to help…

DVN Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church House Ad
Regional First Secure Bank House Ad