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Special Election IL05 Mon Mar 02 2009

IL-05 Race In 30 Seconds Or Less

Chicago Public Radio has kindly compiled 30-second platform descriptions by each of the 23 candidates in the special Illinois 05 race. Now, this could be harder than you might think. Do you advertise your resume? (some did), do you stress your core ideals? (some did too) or do you summarize your platform? (not enough did) The answers can be found here. A few things stuck out to me:

Democrat Cary Caparelli sounds like a traditional Republican:

Cary Capparelli believes in "less government fueled by lesser taxes."

Jan Donatelli sounds like she's writing a What I Did At Camp Essay:

"Jan Donatelli says she learned about service and duty as an officer and pilot in the Navy."

Probable frontrunner Sara Feigenholz sounds like she's trying to win a Trip To Washington contest:

"Sara Feigenholtz says she wants to go to Washington to work with President Obama for more Americans to have access to health care."

Green candidate Mark Fredickson has the most general platform of the bunch:

"Mark Fredrickson says the rash response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 led us to a quagmire in Iraq, and we're facing a similar crisis with the new presidential administration."

John Fritchey sounds like a Power Ranger:

"John Fritchey says he's proud of his record of "fighting for families, fighting for working men and women, and fighting to clean up state government."

Tom Hansen obviously feels guilty that he's a Republican:

"Tom Hanson says he's fiscally responsible, but liberal on social issues."

Democrat Pat O'Connor still doesn't seem to be taking this race seriously but you probably don't have to when you're so chummy with Daley:

"Patrick O'Connor says he has a proven ability to successfully represent voters."

The rest are pretty dull. But Charlie Wheelan's and Tom Geoghegan's deserve special mention. Wheelan has the right idea by touting his economics cred but you'd think he'd actually stress his policies more. Instead we get this: "Charlie Wheelan says as an economic expert, he's the candidate best equipped to deal with the most important issue now facing our nation." Which just begs the question: OK, how?

Geoghegan on the other hand has the best 30-second platform, emphasizing not only the economy but healthcare and social security.

"Tom Geoghegan says he'll increase social security, promote single-payer national health care, and work to "stop throwing money to insolvent banks."

It sounds like Geoghegan wants to spend money in the right places and even has a few plans beyond the current crisis. Thinking ahead is good and it suggests that there'll be a U.S. around tomorrow to think about. It would be nice, though, if his economic stance had a bit more to do with what should be done and less to do with what shouldn't. Stay positive! Still, his was seriously the best of the bunch.

 
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DrGonzo / March 2, 2009 6:26 PM

lmao... very well written article... many laughs to be had!

Probably a little truth to all of it, but I will say Donatelli really impressed me on Chicago Progressive Talk Radio yesterday... she comes across very genuine, and you gotta love the idea of a complete outsider considering the state of IL Politics today...

Joseph Finn / March 2, 2009 8:47 PM

Wheelan being nondescript is about right; he supports a flat tax, a rather odd policy for someone trained in economics.

Justin / March 2, 2009 9:02 PM

Charlie does not support a flat tax. That is absolutely, unequivocally false. As for his opinions on the economy, I suggest you read his book, his magazine articles, his yahoo finance articles, his thesis, or his website.

Charles / March 2, 2009 11:56 PM

Justin, sure, you're right. However, this is a political campaign with a very short campaign season and 23 candidates.

Geoghegan's written at least four books, many essays, and used to write a weekly column for the American Prospect. Do we need to read all of them?

Acknowledge when your candidate makes an error, and fix it.

It's good that you caught the erroneous flat tax suggestion, but Charlie does need to better articulate how he differs from the other candidates in the race, which the entertaining ads don't quite do.

Why would Wheelan be better than Geoghegan? For all of us wonky University of Chicago grads, Geoghegan provides more specifics, more gusto, and seems to find creative approaches to problems in the district.

I was initially for Charlie Wheelan, but Geoghegan's campaign better captured the geek vote, despite my preference for Wheelan's economic policies.

Joseph / March 3, 2009 12:45 AM

Let me be more clear, for the ones who haven't read Wheeler's questionaire. Wheelan does not advocate the usual way of penalizing low-income workers usually referred to as a "flat tax," but the backdoor method of raising payroll taxes, which already unfairly nails lower- and middle-class workers.

My apologies for being less than clear for those who hadn't read Mr. Wheelan's tax essay.

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