My thoughts on the current election. Does anyone care? Is there anybody out there? And what of Rhonda's forbidden love for Edgar? Tune in tomorrow!
Senator Bernie Sanders is by far the best choice for President. Bernie has spent his whole career fighting for working people. He takes no campaign money from Wall Street and opposes corporate trade treaties like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that force us to compete for jobs with countries that pay pennies per hour. He supports a plan for health care as a public service which will cover everyone while saving the average family thousands of dollars. As a member of Congress he voted against the Iraq war and pretty accurately predicted what its consequences would be for the region.
But can Bernie beat the Republicans? As Democrats, we believe in science when it comes to things like evolution and climate change, so we should look to science to tell us who is electable. All available scientific evidence shows that Sanders can win. polling match-ups consistently show him doing better than his main opponent against any likely Republican nominee. He also has a higher approval rating and polls much higher among independents and “swing” voters. He draws huge crowds to his speeches which will lead to higher turnout. When Democrats are inspired and turn out to vote, we win.

The winner of the US Senate Democratic primary will go on to face a Republican, probably incumbent Mark Kirk. Tammy Duckworth is currently our member of Congress and is the party leadership's choice for this Senate seat. I'm not that big a follower of the party leadership and I'd happily support an outsider candidate like Andrea Zopp or Napoleon Harris if one of them were clearly better but I don't think either Zopp or Harris has all that much to offer that Duckworth doesn't.

The Eighth Congressional is the hottest local race right now. Those living in the district have probably seen the mailers and TV ads. The candidates are Mike Noland, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Deb Bullwinkel. I like all these candidates. Each one has a lot to offer and any of them would make a good Congressional representative.

  • State Senator Noland has the most political experience. His record is mostly very good, with a few blemishes &msdash; he, along with the rest of the state legislature, voted for a bill that prohibited anyone receiving state funds from advocating a boycott of Israeli apartheid — but for the most part he's been a strong and independent progressive. He is also better than the others on some issues, most notably on health care where he is the only one advocating eliminating private insurance and making health care a public service.
  • Krishnamoorthi is a very strong campaigner and will add badly-needed diversity to a Congress that is still mostly white. He is highly knowledgeable on just about any issue you can name, and says most of the right things, but without any sort of legislative record it's hard to be absolutely sure that he would follow through on them.
  • Deb Bullwinkel's strength include compassion and a strong connection to the community, but as a late entrant into the race and someone who is new to national-level politics she hasn't built up the experience and knowledge base that the other two have.

Some other races on side two of my ballot are worth mentioning. Moon Khan is running as a write-in for County Recorder. He had previously filed petitions to be on the ballot for that office but they were challenged by Republicans and he was forced to withdraw. If you live in DuPage County please write in Moon Khan for recorder. Note that to do a write-in you must both bubble in the oval next to the write-in blank and then write the name in the blank. Note also that Khan is a write-in only for Recorder; please do not write him in for President or Senator.
Also of note, Jennifer Shalakis Wiesner is running for judge in a circuit that includes most of DuPage. She has no primary opponent, but the race is interesting because of the ridiculous lengths the Republicans have already gone to try to keep her from running. At first they challenged the validity of the signatures that she had collected. When that didn't pan out, they tried to claim that she didn't live at her stated address and reportedly even hired a private detective to follow her around to prove it. Finally they asserted that she should be off the ballot because she failed to raise her right hand as her statement of candidacy was notarized. Anyone involved in politics knows that this has never been required of any candidate anywhere, but the DuPage Election Commission, of which all three members including the supposed Democrat were hand-picked by DuPage County Führer Dan Cronin, decided this was reason to throw Wiesner off the ballot. Fortunately this decision went to court and was reversed, but it's a good reminder of what we're up against in DuPage. Wiesner's opponent, Liam Brennan, still has enormous advantages; he has money, connections, and a county where a lot of people automatically vote Republican. Wiesner on the ballot isn't a huge threat to Brennan's position and power. It will, however, necessitate his backers to spend some money that they otherwise might not. DuPage County, where we try to deter democracy, because having it can run into money.