One week to go. Seven days! Election day is almost here. On November 6, 2018, we'll get another opportunity to vote. Will there be a blue wave? How about a red tsunami? It's another opportunity to make our voices heard. Maybe we'll enact change. Maybe things will stay the same. Who really knows. Whatever happens, we'll find out in seven days.
This election isn't all about flipping the House and the Senate. There are plenty of local races. One of the most important ones is for Governor of Illinois. I admit I'm conflicted about this.
Our current Governor is Bruce Rauner. To say that our state has gone to shit in his four years would be an understatement.
We didn't have a budget for most of his term. You know what happens when a state doesn't have a budget? Bills don't get paid. How do find contractors to perform needed services when you aren't able to pay them? And guess who suffers the most when these services aren't happening? Yep...the people who need them the most.
Here's a few examples:
Children's hospitals were closed.
Insurance was lost.
Medical and mental health facilities were forced to make cutbacks.
Shelters lost funding forcing some to shut down.
Some seniors living in public housing lost their homes.
If that's not enough of a reason not to elect Rauner, when asked about the hardships the loss of these services would cause, he said people would have to suck it up.
At that point, I knew I'd never be able to vote for Bruce Rauner. All I needed to know is who would get my vote.
The Democrats had three contenders for the nomination. One was a Kennedy. One was a Pritzker. Two dudes with a lot of money. The third guy was Daniel Biss. I'm tired of dudes with cash using it win elections, so Biss was my guy. He finished third. Who couldn't see that?
J.B. Pritzker won the primary.
This election became the battle of billionaires. Pritzker has spent more than $150 million of his own money to win an office that pays $177,000. Rauner has spent about half of that. How can anyone relate to this?
But it's not just the money...I can deal with that. Sure, he says all the right things. He talks about economic justice, restoring essential services and making Illinois a great place to live and do business. He's also a supporter of the LGBT community, supports abortion rights and wants marijuana legalized. Hmmmm....all beliefs I hold dear. I also hear that he's a regular guy, gives a lot to charity and was an innovator in Chicago's tech community.
With all this, you'd think J.B would be my guy. But something was bothering me. A lot of his talk didn't ring true. A lot of his actions didn't ring true.
I'm bothered by how close his relationship with Mike Madigan, Illinois' Speaker of the House, will be.
I'm bothered by the phone calls with Rod Blagojevich trying to get appointed to the open Senate seat.
I'm bothered by the destroying of toilet seats in a mansion to save $300K in tax money.
I'm bothered by his campaign aides in blackface.
Most importantly, I didn't want to vote for him only because he's not Bruce Rauner.
So, what's a guy to do? This guy took a road trip to a political rally to meet the man himself. That's where we took this picture and had a quick conversation. You notice he's smiling and I'm not. Then he gave a speech where again, he said all the right things. And then he left the rally. Are you fucking kidding me? You have an opportunity to speak with the people who are going to support you and you can't stay another hour?
I stuck around to the end to hear the rest of the politician's pitches. I love J.B.'s choice for Lieutenant Governor, Juliana Stratton. If she was running at the top of ticket, I'd vote for her. No problem. I loved the speech from our state's Comptroller, Susana Mendoza. She has a ton of energy, talks a big game and I believe everything she says. If she was running at the top of the ticket, I'd vote for her, too. Maybe she'll run for Mayor.
Sadly, neither one of them are. Sadly, at least for me, it's J.B. or nothing.
I considered the nothing choice. I could live with that decision. I could even feel good about that decision. But...and there's always a but...if a guy says he's going to do the things that I believe in strongly, how can I not give him a chance? I guess I can't.
So despite all my misgivings, I'm heading to my polling place in just a few minutes. Early voting! I'm checking off J.B. Pritzker's name for Governor of Illinois. I'm not thrilled to do this but sometimes you have to suck it up. As the title says, sometimes you have to live with the lessor of two evils.
Okay, J.B., if you're reading this, you now have my vote. If you can back up the talk, I'll be happy to admit I'm wrong. I'm hoping you can make me do that. Please don't let me down. Please don't let the state of Illinois down.
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