Yesterday, I sent an email with a sample ballot and my recommendations for the March 20th primary. If you didn't read it, click here.
I received a number of questions. Rather than answer them individually, I decided to create this blog post. You might be interested in hearing what other people asked and my answers.
Q. "Why not Daniel Biss?"
A. I have known Daniel Biss for many years and admire him as a legislator. But I don't think he would be a strong candidate against Bruce Rauner. Daniel's speaking style is best described as "professorial". As a State Senator and previously a State Representative, his record leaves a lot of openings for criticism. I've been disappointed by his campaign. Not being rich is not a platform. JB Pritzker has run much more substantive ads, laying out a vision for Illinois. He's our best chance to beat Rauner.
Q. "Why aren't you supporting Chris Kennedy for governor? "
A. Kennedy's campaign has been a real disappointment. He over-relies on his family name, taking credit for things he played no part in. Almost every email is from someone named "Kennedy." He ignores his own checkered record as President of the University of Illinois, when he led questionable financial decisions and led the decision to deny a faculty job to controversial professor Steven Salaita. He claims credit for running the Merchandise Mart, but he was put in charge of the family business. He's taken cheap shots at other Democrats while defending Governor Rauner. No wonder the Chicago Tribune, which hates Democrats, loves Kennedy.
Q. "Why do you support JB Pritzker?"
A. I made that pretty clear in my email and in my endorsement of JB. Let me just add this. Not all rich people are selfish, arrogant jerks. JB is using his money to help those who are less fortunate. He's a generous, public-spirited rich person, part of a tradition ranging from the Rockefellers to Bill Gates. Some progressives are prejudiced again Pritzker because he's rich. I want to reduce the influence of money in politics as much as anyone, but throwing away our best chance to win won't do that.
Q. "Who do you support in the 6th Congressional District race?"
A. This is a tough one. Each of the seven candidates would be a great Member of Congress. I feel that Kelly Mazeski and Sean Casten would have the best chance to beat Peter Roskam. But you can't make a bad choice.
Q. "Thank you. I've forwarded your recommendations to everyone I know."
A. You're welcome. Please educate your friends and neighbors. If you disagree with me about one or two candidates, that's OK. Tell them to support the rest of these fine candidates.
You can now vote by mail or at any early voting location. To learn more about how you can vote, click on this link. To download a sample ballot that you can take with you when you go to vote, click on this link.
The Greater Palatine Area Democrats (GPAD) has not endorsed candidates in the primary. Our organization welcomes supporters of all Democratic candidates. But I'm often asked who I support. As the elected leader of the Democratic Party, I'm happy to share my recommendations. I'd like to highlight a few important ones:
JB Pritzker and Juliana Stratton for Governor and Lieutenant Governor (ballot position 1): JB Pritzker has run a strong, intelligent, and proudly Democratic campaign. He supports a graduated income tax, even though it would cost him a lot of money. He has made innovative proposals like allowing a public option for healthcare coverage. He's our strongest candidate to defeat Bruce Rauner. For a more thorough explanation, read my blog post endorsing JB.
Nancy Rotering for Attorney General (ballot position 11): As Mayor, Nancy Rotering persuaded Highland Park to enact a local assault weapons ban. The NRA took her to the U.S. Supreme Court and lost. If she wins, it will be seen nationally as proof that the NRA can't defeat supporters of gun control.
Patrick Watson for Democratic State Central Committeeman (ballot position 32): Patrick has been a tireless organizer and an important part of our organization. He will continue to grow the Democratic Party in the northwest suburbs.
Cam Davis for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (write-in after ballot position 69): Cam Davis was head of the Alliance for the Great Lakes and served in the Obama Administration. He's a write-in candidate, so be sure you write in his name.
Ravi Raju for the Cook County Board, 15th District (ballot position 92): Ravi has been working hard to increase participation by Indian-American and other South Asian-American voters. Let's show solidarity with this large and increasingly important community and make Ravi the first Indian-American member of the County Board.
I have not made recommendations for some offices where there are several qualified candidates. Vote for them, too.
If you disagree with my recommendations, I respect your choice. We'll all be supporting the Democratic ticket after March 20th.
Apply now to vote by mail
Any registered voter can vote by mail. You can apply online for a mail ballot now. The last day to apply for a mail ballot is March 15, 2018. Click on this link and then follow the on-screen instructions. If you prefer, you can click here to print out an application for a mail ballot in English, Spanish, Hindi, Korean, or Chinese. You can print it out, complete it, and mail it to the County Clerk.
When you receive your ballot, follow the instructions to complete it. You must mail your ballot by March 20th, but don’t wait until the last minute. Please mail it within a few days after you receive it. That’s the best way to make sure your vote counts.
Voting by mail is the easiest way to vote. It will take you one minute to apply online. You'll receive you ballot in the mail in early March. You can study the candidates, complete the ballot at your convenience, and mail it back to the County Clerk. No need to make time to go to a polling place, find parking, and stand in line. And if you realize you don't know who to vote for for some of the down-ballot races, you can look it up before mailing your ballot. You can't do that in a voting booth.
In fact, three states do ALL their voting by mail. No polling places, no early voting sites, and no election judges. I have written a study of "Universal Vote by Mail." You can read it at www.gpadems.org/uvbm. Let me know what you think.
For information on all the ways to vote, go to www.gpadems.org/vote.