Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Congratulations to Robin Kelly, the new Sheriff of New York

Robin Kelly, Mayor Bloomberg's hand-picked candidate for Sheriff of New York (he poured millions into her campaign via his personal super PAC, Independence USA PAC), coasted to victory over a crowded field of candidates.

Although the media did correctly report that Kelly "seized on gun control as the primary issue" in her campaign, the fact that Kelly (and, for that matter, all of her opponents) were actually candidates in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District seems to have been downplayed.

And politicians wonder why we're sick of them: What, if anything, will Kelly do to pass a national budget in Congress? She may be presumed in favor of 'tax hikes for the wealthy' -- but are there any Federal programs that she would cut by so much as a penny? In short, has she said anything about how she will discharge the core responsibilities of her new office? (Yes, Kelly must face a Republican opponent in April before being officially elected to Congress, but this is a mere formality.) Congress may have something to say about national gun policy -- but it is hardly the most important issue, at least at the national level, confronting our poor nation. And Congressmen do not police the mean streets of Chicago's South Side and south suburbs.

It's ironic that the 2nd District seat was bought and paid for given that the most recent Congressman from that district, Jesse Jackson, Jr., was implicated as a prospective buyer when former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich tried to sell Barack Obama's seat in the U.S. Senate. (JJJ's recent guilty plea has nothing to do with Blagojevich's 'bleeping golden' sales opportunity.)

Meanwhile, in near west suburban Cicero, Village President Larry Dominick avoided an April runoff by getting 60% of the vote, easily besting his nearest challenger, Juan Ochoa, former chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (we call it McPier). As the Chicago Sun-Times explained it this morning, "Cicero voters Tuesday ignored allegations of corruption, sexual harassment and nepotism in town hall and overwhelmingly re-elected Larry Dominick for a third term as the leader of the hardscrabble western suburb."

If the name "Cicero" sounds vaguely familiar to you (and you're not thinking of old Marcus Tullius) you may recall that Cicero is the town where Al Capone hid out when the heat got too hot in Chicago. Capone's successors ran the town for decades. A recent Cicero town president, Betty Loren-Maltese, the widow of a reputed mobster, just got out of jail. Cicero was, until recently, the last near suburban township to lean Republican -- not that the Republicans wanted them, the Democrats wouldn't take them. Larry Dominick was originally elected as a reformer -- but it's in bad taste to recall that these days.

In fact, the media here was embarrassed to report that Dominick had been reelected -- Kelly's election was the lead story, followed by the weather report (it snowed here yesterday).

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