I am stuck these days on Campaign Reform. I now turn my attention to Candidate Reform. There shoudl be stiffer rules for being a political candidate. The only qualification for being a candidate is age, residency and birth place. That's it. No experience or educational requirement is necessary to run for office. These standards were set by our forefathers and maybe, just maybe its time for change, since that is the mantra of politics these days.
Chicago has convicted 32 alderman in the past three decades. That's more than half of City Council. What if there was an educatoinal requirement to hold office. Should you be a college graduate to qualify for public office?
This brings me to the win of Scott Lee Cohen, the pawnborker who just won the Democratic Primary as Lt. Governor. He won fair and square with nearly 70,000 votes cast among six candidates. He spent his own money. He did it his very own way. He held a job fair before the election. It was successful and people got real jobs. He represented change. He didn't act like, talk like or campaign like a real politician. He was the blue collar guy in business talking reality in the world of philosophical change, thus his win.
He had some personal problems along the way. He had an ugly divorce, hung with what he called undesirables. His girlfriend, was / is a prostitute and looks it. And here we are, with Cohen possibly going to Springfield.
The media had the Cohen story before the election, but did not release the story until after the election. They probably thought he was a joke candidate. Well he won and now what? The Democrats have pressure on Cohen to step aside, so that the ticket is not upset. The traditional thought goes, he would cost Pat Quinn the election, he is a big liability to the party.
But is he? He indeed represents change. He, aired his dirty laundry to the press and they did not release the story. He was honest. The press dropped the ball.
The mainstream guys didn't print all the news fit to print on the candidate. The pawbroker won. He represents honesty with all of his mishaps. Is he worse or better than Presidential candidate John Edwards, who lied and lied?
Cohen would be fresh air to the Democrats. His character might be questionable and for certain he doesn't fit the political mode but he won fair and square. The people voted him again, and no politician, newspaper or non voter has the right to ask him not to run in the general election.
He may be pressured to withdraw from the ballot by popular demand but constitutionally he should run in the general and while he will probably be ridiculed and poked at by the press he just might win and bring real change to Illinois politics. Remember he was honest about his past.
While he wasn't my choice as a candidate like, his rights should be defended in the American democracy process to serve. This is a real test on leadership.
What do you think?