Are You Ballot Ready?

If you haven’t seen this, there is a website out there that really makes me smile. It’s called Ballot Ready ( You put your zip code in and you get the candidates in your district from presidential nominees down to Water Commissioner and judges. I almost always skip by a host of judges because I don’t know how they stand on stuff important to me.

Any way, I dropped in my address and zip code and voila the information I needed to make sound decisions became available.

I skipped right on past Trump. I glanced at Hillary but I nixed her months ago. I did look at Jill Stein (very much leaning in her direction). Hell, let me be honest. She’s got my vote.

What was really important to me was deciding about other independents,Democrats and Green Party candidates. I have a “close to my heart” list that includes things like single payer health care also known as universal health care or medicare for all.

We recently visited my in- laws in Canada, great couple. My sister in law has fought tooth and nail to become a truly dynamite woman. She remarried a few years ago to a wonderful man. He went for an annual physical a while back. It revealed a serious cardiac problem that required a quadruple by pass. In the United States this is a death sentence for some without really good insurance and deep, deep pockets or it means a lot of debt. For my brother in law it meant he got the surgery he needed and didn’t have to liquidate everything the family owned and still be in deep debt.

I  also found that the candidate I thought of voting for, Tammy Duckworth was not for  single payer. Nix Tammy. The Green Party candidate, Scott Summers is for single payer and he is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Business Management and a lawyer with a JD from Northern Illinois. Here was the double bonus. Here is is platform:

His priorities include:

Economic and social policy: A Green New Deal — federal, state, and local programs that will put people back to work; $15 per hour minimum wage; promotion of community economics; single payer health care; equal educational opportunities via tax reform.

Monetary reform: a financial transactions tax; changes to the Federal Reserve system; quantitative easing for citizens (e.g., write downs of student and home mortgage loans); cap credit card interest rates.

Peace: reduce military spending; develop international military “go teams” for protection of civilians in conflict areas and as first responders to natural disasters.

Ecology: slow global warming; accelerate work on green infrastructure.

Susana Mendoza (Dem)is running against Republican Leslie Munger, Green Party, Tim Curtin and Libertarian, Claire Ball. There was nothing available about Mendoza’s stance. Alas only the Democratic and Republican candidates will be debating on October 25th. I’m glad Ballot Ready had stance information on the other two candidates. So far, Green is winning again in my tally.

State House fifth district was won by Julianna Stratton in a much discussed race against Ken Dunkin. She’s unproven and unopposed. I’m just always suspicious of someone financed by Michael Madigan but I also support t unions, when they play fair like not letting union members of color sit in the hall and never be assigned for work when the economy is in a downturn while white workers get jobs.

Metropolitan Water Reclamation has three Greens and three Democrats vying for the position. There was no information about the platforms for either of the three Greens. Barbara McGowan has held this position since 1998. Her platform was pretty clear but the how to do it might take some imagination.

Now Christopher Anthony running for a spot for the Water Reclamation Two Year Term may be worth some investigation. He has a pretty strong stance on the government activities in the water department like examining why the department hires so many out of state consultants. He also wants strenuous oversight of contracts.

I won’t belabor this by going through the 73 judicial candidates or the Cook County States Attorney. I think we heard a lot about Kim Foxx of late. There was no information regarding her Republican opponent on the site.

The bottom line is that voting is serious business. The presidential race is important but down ticket choices are equally important. It pays to take the time to understand ALL of your choices even when network and local media don’t provide you with enough information that doesn’t mean that there is no other info. Keep looking. Check social media for links. Be informed.

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  • As a Kellogg graduate myself I am quite disheartened to learn that Scott Summers is in favor of raising the minimum wage and imposing a financial transaction tax. He must not have been paying attention in economics class. Raising the minimum wage will absolutely kill jobs. Robots are already replacing the unskilled and raising the minimum wage will just make that option all the more attractive. Imposing a financial transaction tax will hurt everyone since everyone depends upon liquidity in the financial markets for proper pricing of their retirement investments.

    As for a single payer you'd be OK with Blue Cross being given an insurance monopoly? I didn't think so. So let's stop calling it single payer system and call it what it is: socialized medicine. Not sure why we need it since Obamacare solved all our healthcare problems just as it promised.

  • In reply to Gary Lucido:

    Be surprised, be very surprised. He learned something past what is in books, a sense of humanity.

    Gary, Obama care is a big mess and always was a big mess. It didn't go far enough. Please don't tell me that the insurance companies didn't have actuarial data that foresaw all the expense that was going to be encountered within a population that had been denied medical care for years and had little to no preventive medicine. Of course it was going to lose money. Remove that burden of having to answer to the investors, clean up the paper work and cut out price gouging by pharmaceutical companies. Let them find other ways to rape the public.

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    Danie, I am with you....Gary, you are obviously someone who makes a great deal of money, not married and without Children!! Otherwise, you would know what it feels like to work 2-3 jobs just to be able to pay health insurance for a family of 4! Last year $1,332,32 per month for BCBSIL HMO Advocate, we just received notice that due to the (NOT AFFORDABLE CARE ACT) that our rates are going up to $1,623.59. That is $19,483.08 per year, just for a reference we did not have insurance for several years, our families annual medical cost is about $1,200.00 per year outside the birth of our children, now teenagers. In order to check that just a little bit more, that is 16 years worth of medical cost each year!! Therefore, I make $50k pr year with my full time job, $4-6k, per year with my part-time job, oh at $10 pr hour which is currently not a bad rate, and $10-12k a year with my own side business. My husband is at $50k as well. Our budget includes a mortgage, home purchased in 2001, still underwater (for reference in 2006 we had $174k equity in the home!), utilities, we do have the luxury of cable/internet, insurances for home/auto, and we get to go to 1 movie per month or go out to dinner 1 pr month.

    Now let me clear, as stinky as this situation is; WE ARE BLESSED!! How many families that you obviously judge, are struggling to make ends meet with kids and earning minimum wage! Let me tell you, $8 pr hour does not go far!!

    Medical costs should be realistic, and at a value for all. We should all be able to go to the doctor/dentist/optician, get flu shots and hopefully remain healthy. If these costs were regulated our ER's would be for Emergencies, not standard healthcare. We have lots of beautiful hospitals here in Chicago in the beautiful neighborhoods of Chicago. Where the real people are, they need updated equipment, more staffing and more doctors. The patient workload is insane. Why, because we all have HMO plans which we cannot afford or it is subsidized for those who are in the system.

    Medical, like any business should be accountable for cost justification of their services. Doctors deserve to make a living like anyone else does. Pharmaceutical companies should have to do the same. Medication is to help those in need, not buy vacation properties and huge bonuses!

    Can we all just be real and equal, sometime is this life?????!!!! I could go on and on and on! Tammy

  • In reply to Tammy Woods:

    Sorry it took me so long to thank you for your comments. I really appreciated them. I looked back at them today because Lord knows after the election we need a reason to smile.

    Please keep pushing for planet, people and the last thing is profits or at least it should be when it comes to basic human needs.

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