Wednesday, February 7, 2018

How many selves does Pritzker have?

"I was not my best self", claims Pritzker. 
The IL governor's race may be the most expensive in history. But while the two largely self-funded billionaires in the race may still win their respective primaries, they are both losing more credibility with every dollar they spend on their own campaigns

The week started with the announcement that an open nazi, Arthur Jones, was on the cusp of claiming the GOP nomination in the state's 3rd congressional district, and went downhill from there.

Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner is now rapidly losing ground to alt-right neophyte candidate Jeanne Ives, whose current disgusting racist, transphobic, anti-abortion, and anti-immigrant ads are stirring the downstate Republican base in a way reminiscent of the 2016 Trump campaign.

The base feels betrayed by faux-Republican and Rahm Emanuel drinking-buddy Rauner, who signed a measure to expand taxpayer-subsidized abortions after promising he would veto the bill. Now Ives, echoing Trump, Bannon, and the fascist Jones,and backed by right-wing billionaire Dick Uihlein, is promising to deliver "the revolution" they've all been waiting for. Uihlein, a former Rauner donor, was the top donor to racist, child molester AL Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Rauner, taking his primary victory for granted, had been spending millions on ads directed not at Ives, but at Democrat billionaire and primary frontrunner J.B. Pritzker. The ads, using FBI wiretaps of Pritzker talking to then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, have been effective in tearing away Pritzker's progressive cover.
Fred Klonsky toon. 
In the latest ad, you can hear Pritzker leveraging his status as a huge party campaign donor, to encourage Blago to choose "least-offensive" African-American candidate Jesse White to fill Barack Obama's open senate seat. 
“I’m sure you thought of this one, but Jesse White,” Pritzker tells then Gov. Rod Blagojevich. “Even though I know you guys aren’t like, you know, bosom buddies or anything, it covers you on the African-American thing.”
“Correct,” Blagojevich replies. “(White)’s totally, he’s totally, you know, uh, he’s Senate material in a way that Emil Jones isn’t, if I may say,' Pritzker says … 'But if you’re forced to put an African-American in the spot, which my guess is, you’re not forced to do anything, but my guess is a lot of pressure to do it, of all the African-Americans I can think that are sort of like qualified and vetted and people will say, ‘Oh, that’s, you know, that’s that’s a pretty good pick,’ the one that’s least offensive and maybe gets you the most because it gets you that secretary of state appointment is Jesse White,’ Pritzker tells Blagojevich.”
With his private racist comments laid bare, Pritzker is now in damage-control mode. In his defense, and flanked by a small coterie of African-American party loyalists and beneficiaries of Pritzker largesse, including Jesse White, City Treasurer Kurt Summers and Aldermen Pat Dowell, Michael Scott and Walter Burnett, Pritzker claims,
"On that call, I was not my best self."
Wrong response. It raises the question of how many "selfs" does  Pritzker have? The real one is usually the one that comes out when others aren't listening. (Or when you think no one's listening.)

The beneficiary of all this seems to be State Sen. Dan Biss who's become the main target of  Pritzker's own ads and who, despite them, has now cut into Pritzker's lead in the polls. Despite our past sharp differences, Biss has become my pick in the guv's race.

Says Biss:
“For too long our broken system has allowed the wealthy to have unfettered access to the decision-makers in our government,” Biss said in a statement. “That’s what breeds corruption. And when that access involves two wealthy white men making political calculations based on skin color, that’s what perpetuates a racist system.”
He's got that right. It's another example of what can happen when billionaires, used to buying politicians, become one themselves.  


  1. No disputing that each candidate is flawed, but this topic needs to be considered in the context of political reality. Biss' comment is 180 degrees wrong - it is most definitely not the making of political calculations based upon skin color that perpetuates a racist system but rather it is the fact that society remains so race-focused that politicians recognize the need to consider race when making such calculations. Until that glorious day when society becomes race blind (neither favoring nor disfavoring any race), sadly politicians will have no choice but to consider this in their deliberations. We can but hope that the media will help lead us to the day when society values people based only upon the content of their character instead of the color of their skin. When society improves, politicians can then be free to pick the best person for a particular role regardless of their race (or gender, heritage, etc.). The reality is that politicians strive to follow society, not lead it.

  2. Wrong, wrong, wrong anon (if that is indeed your real name). Of course politicians have a choice, as do the billionaires that try and buy them. This wasn't about the "need to consider race" or about society being "race focused". This was racist gutter talk between a criminal governor and a wealthy white corporate head trying to buy a senate seat for his favorite African-American (one he believed he could control).

  3. Yes Mike, I entirely agree about the fact pattern being referenced in Biss' quote relates to a criminal governor and his embarrassingly inept efforts at selling a senate seat (though not your interpretation about Pritzker trying to "buy a senate seat" - that is not what Biss says in his quote, though his general comment about the wealthy having preferred access creating the breeding ground for corruption is indeed true (as in preferred access for any favored group).). My note did not dispute the first two sentences of Biss' statement at all - that part is completely correct. As per the above note, the comment was on the final sentence of the Biss quote, which says that "making political calculations based on skin color" is what "perpetuates a racist system." That is what is completely off - picking people based upon race (or using quotas or otherwise selecting people based off of their category as opposed to their individual qualities) is what perpetuates a system that uses race (or gender, or sexual preference or whatever). We need to all have as our aim a post-racial society in which all people are treated the same regardless of their race, heritage or color. Only in that manner can racism be tossed into the waste bin of history along with other evils.

  4. Note to Anonymous: If you want to engage me in a discussion about Biss, Pritzker or any other individual, you will have to put your name on your comment. Otherwise I won't print it.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.