043033 UC Ingalls Mental Health Awareness Month Ad Reoirter
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

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound May 18, 2022

The bushes and fence at Community Park will stay up but a solution to citizens' complaints will be worked on by a committee in Palos Heights in the near future. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Gaming issue dies, bush and fence issue will get fresh look in Palos Heights

By Jeff Vorva Video gaming is out. The bushes and fence will stay up. The Palos Heights City Council meeting on Tuesday clocked in at roughly 40 minutes but it was eventful as two hot issues were addressed. Alderman Brent Lewandowski, the head of the License, Permits and Franchises Committee, said his committee is not…

Patti Sullivan, widow of Skip Sullivan, holds a proclamation honoring her husband while her daughter, Dana Annel, holds a plaque commemorating the renaming of the Oak Lawn Community High School varsity baseball park, Skip Sullivan Field. They were joined by family and grandchildren for the dedication ceremonies on Tuesday. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn community honors late beloved coach

Varsity baseball park renamed Skip Sullivan Field By Joe Boyle Friends and associates of Skip Sullivan said that he was always a ray of sunshine even on the dreariest of days. The sky was actually overcast over the Oak Lawn Community High School varsity baseball field on Tuesday afternoon. But those who knew Sullivan said…

Palos Heights Aldermen Don Bylut (from left) and Jack Clifford, Mayor Bob Straz and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Kari Steele cut the ribbon to celebrate flood improvements at Arrowhead Lake on Friday. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

A sunny outlook after changes to Arrowhead Lake

By Jeff Vorva A funny thing happened at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Arrowhead Lake on Friday. It didn’t rain. The ceremony was originally set for May 3, but it was raining like crazy in the morning and postponed. A year Reclamation ago, when there was a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off this flood control project…

Blood, Sweat & Tears will be headlining a concert this summer in Orland Park. (Photo courtesy of Blood Sweat & Tears)

Orland acts are disappointing to some, but Pekau says concerts are a fun time

By Jeff Vorva The musical group Blood, Sweat & Tears had a monster hit in the 1960s titled “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy.” After the Village of Orland Park announced its 2022 concert series at Centennial Park West, there were some residents who were not very happy. The aforementioned Blood Sweat & Tears headlines…

Donn Pall waves to the crowd Monday after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a Shepard/Evergreen Park baseball game. Pall had his number retired at EP. Photo by Jeff Vorva

‘Pope’ proves there is always hope: Donn Pall, who pitched six seasons for the White Sox, has high school number retired

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Donn Pall admits things were low-key when he played baseball at Evergreen Park High School. Expectations were not high. Having fun was more important. “There were no big games and we didn’t have a special team,” Pall said. “It was just fun to play with a bunch of my friends…

Mario Mallard

Oak Lawn police arrest Chicago man in road rage shooting

By Bob Bong A Chicago man has been charged in the road rage shooting on May 10 near 107th Street and Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn that left a man fighting for his life. Oak Lawn police detectives and U.S. Customs agents arrested Mario Mallard, 36, on Sunday at O’Hare International Airport after he returned…

Lyons Mayor Chris Getty (left) and McCook Mayor Terry Carr shake hands in front of some of the 172 trees being planted along 47th Street between their communities. (Supplied photo)

Lyons, McCook mayors go green together

From staff reports Lyons Mayor Chris Getty and McCook Mayor Terry Carr have organized the planting of 172 trees along 47th Street, which is the border of the two towns. After successfully lobbying the State of Illinois to renovate a two-mile section of 47th Street from Harlem Avenue to Custer Avenue through their villages in 2021,…

justice sign

Justice veterans eligible for county discount card

By Carol McGowan Veterans and military personnel in Cook County are now eligible for a military and veterans discount card sponsored by the Cook County Clerk’s Office and the county’s Department of Veterans Affairs. Village Clerk Dave Kroll said the cards are being offered to veterans, active-duty personnel and other members of the military. The…

Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez and Summit Village Clerk Colleen Lambert. (file photo)

Summit to sell vacant lots for new homes

By Carol McGowan Summit trustees have decided to sell off four parcels of property that were acquired when the village tore down abandoned homes. The homes were torn down after the village acquired the lots and obtained grant money from Cook County. The village intends for whomever buys the lots to build single-family homes on…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound May 18, 2022

The bushes and fence at Community Park will stay up but a solution to citizens' complaints will be worked on by a committee in Palos Heights in the near future. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Gaming issue dies, bush and fence issue will get fresh look in Palos Heights

By Jeff Vorva Video gaming is out. The bushes and fence will stay up. The Palos Heights City Council meeting on Tuesday clocked in at roughly 40 minutes but it was eventful as two hot issues were addressed. Alderman Brent Lewandowski, the head of the License, Permits and Franchises Committee, said his committee is not…

Patti Sullivan, widow of Skip Sullivan, holds a proclamation honoring her husband while her daughter, Dana Annel, holds a plaque commemorating the renaming of the Oak Lawn Community High School varsity baseball park, Skip Sullivan Field. They were joined by family and grandchildren for the dedication ceremonies on Tuesday. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn community honors late beloved coach

Varsity baseball park renamed Skip Sullivan Field By Joe Boyle Friends and associates of Skip Sullivan said that he was always a ray of sunshine even on the dreariest of days. The sky was actually overcast over the Oak Lawn Community High School varsity baseball field on Tuesday afternoon. But those who knew Sullivan said…

Palos Heights Aldermen Don Bylut (from left) and Jack Clifford, Mayor Bob Straz and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Kari Steele cut the ribbon to celebrate flood improvements at Arrowhead Lake on Friday. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

A sunny outlook after changes to Arrowhead Lake

By Jeff Vorva A funny thing happened at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Arrowhead Lake on Friday. It didn’t rain. The ceremony was originally set for May 3, but it was raining like crazy in the morning and postponed. A year Reclamation ago, when there was a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off this flood control project…

Blood, Sweat & Tears will be headlining a concert this summer in Orland Park. (Photo courtesy of Blood Sweat & Tears)

Orland acts are disappointing to some, but Pekau says concerts are a fun time

By Jeff Vorva The musical group Blood, Sweat & Tears had a monster hit in the 1960s titled “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy.” After the Village of Orland Park announced its 2022 concert series at Centennial Park West, there were some residents who were not very happy. The aforementioned Blood Sweat & Tears headlines…

Donn Pall waves to the crowd Monday after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a Shepard/Evergreen Park baseball game. Pall had his number retired at EP. Photo by Jeff Vorva

‘Pope’ proves there is always hope: Donn Pall, who pitched six seasons for the White Sox, has high school number retired

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Donn Pall admits things were low-key when he played baseball at Evergreen Park High School. Expectations were not high. Having fun was more important. “There were no big games and we didn’t have a special team,” Pall said. “It was just fun to play with a bunch of my friends…

Mario Mallard

Oak Lawn police arrest Chicago man in road rage shooting

By Bob Bong A Chicago man has been charged in the road rage shooting on May 10 near 107th Street and Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn that left a man fighting for his life. Oak Lawn police detectives and U.S. Customs agents arrested Mario Mallard, 36, on Sunday at O’Hare International Airport after he returned…

Lyons Mayor Chris Getty (left) and McCook Mayor Terry Carr shake hands in front of some of the 172 trees being planted along 47th Street between their communities. (Supplied photo)

Lyons, McCook mayors go green together

From staff reports Lyons Mayor Chris Getty and McCook Mayor Terry Carr have organized the planting of 172 trees along 47th Street, which is the border of the two towns. After successfully lobbying the State of Illinois to renovate a two-mile section of 47th Street from Harlem Avenue to Custer Avenue through their villages in 2021,…

justice sign

Justice veterans eligible for county discount card

By Carol McGowan Veterans and military personnel in Cook County are now eligible for a military and veterans discount card sponsored by the Cook County Clerk’s Office and the county’s Department of Veterans Affairs. Village Clerk Dave Kroll said the cards are being offered to veterans, active-duty personnel and other members of the military. The…

Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez and Summit Village Clerk Colleen Lambert. (file photo)

Summit to sell vacant lots for new homes

By Carol McGowan Summit trustees have decided to sell off four parcels of property that were acquired when the village tore down abandoned homes. The homes were torn down after the village acquired the lots and obtained grant money from Cook County. The village intends for whomever buys the lots to build single-family homes on…

Subscribe Today.2
Reporter Mecy Circle House Ad