GAMBLING OUR FUTURE
Mitt Romney, the devout Mormon, may have lowered his standards to win this presidental election. For decades The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) and its faithful church members have taken a strong and very vocal unalterable stance against gambling in any form, including lotteries, sweepstakes, racetracks and casinos. Sheldon Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and Venetian Macao Ltd. and son of a Ukranian Jewish immigrant (also financier of Romney’s recent visit to Israel), and his wife recently gave $10 million to the pro-Romney super PAC named Restore Our Future. Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate, has pledged to spend $100 million to defeat Obama. Adelson’s very large contributions can easily make Romney a shoo-in for President of the United States.
I understand how partisanship unfolds but I wonder if independents are shaking their heads in disbelief at some of the challengers in Sangamon County races.
Chris Boyster is challenging Auditor Paul Palazzolo. Boyster’s background is social advocacy and a degree in political science, a study of building government bureaucracies. Palazzolo’s track record includes fiscal savings, fraud prevention, online public documentation and a finance degree with honors. You make the call for auditing.
Jerry Curry is challenging Coroner Cinda Edwards because of her appointment while married to an alderman. Edwards has since dramatically modernized and professionalized the office, relying on business administration experience and her medical background. Curry claims funeral director experience helps him “know how to deal with families.” Which one should read and issue certified medical reports?
Kristin DiCenso is challenging Circuit Clerk Tony Libri. Her biggest claim so far is that Libri accepts donations from vendors and staff. However, DiCenso’s $79,000 annually state job as advisor appears as patronage created out of air so she could run for office. Ethics campaign, really?
Democrats may be sniffing blood after Libri’s withdrawal as Republican county chairman. However, it’s possible that precisely those management traits that led to his party troubles explain why Libri has improved efficiency and modernized his office admirably for years. A reason for fixing what already works?
I could go on but space is limited. The point I’m driving is, when challenging for public office, at least bring basic qualifications of the office forward before slinging partisanship and tossing mud.
THE PARTY’S OVER
The problem with our system of elections is not the difficulty in gaining ballot access faced by third parties [see “Open the ballot to third-party candidates,” by Bill Clutter, Aug. 23]; it is the fact that party affiliation is required for ballot access at all.
If a political party wants to endorse a candidate then it has every right to do so, along with establishing the parameters by which its endorsement is to be achieved. A political party should be treated with no special preferences and as no different than any other political committee/interest group.
What we need is not to give more ballot lines to political parties, but to eliminate all requirements of party affiliation. There was a time when people ran for public office and were either endorsed or not by a political party.
CHOOSE YOUR POISON
I read that giving retirees a choice as to which cut they want to accept from their pension makes it constitutionally OK. What kind of gobbledygook is this? A cut is a cut, which is not allowed by the state constitution. This is like saying to a prisoner on a life sentence that they will now have the death penalty but they can have a choice of how they want to die, so that will make it legal. There are other ways to ease the pension problems but Governor Quinn and the Chicago faction are bound and determined to wreck the pension system to allow more money in the long run for their underfunded projects. Wake up, people.
Tyre W. Rees