PEORIA, IL -- I'm blundering through my depression over the election results to post my thoughts, some of which have not been mentioned in the corporate press.
In Illinois, Gov. Quinn lost. He should never have run for an additional term, as he was blamed for raising taxes. Politicians who do that lose.
To make matters worse, he turned on his base, the unions and retirees, going after their pensions and benefits. Many of them stayed home, enough to give the hedge fund CEO Rauner his margin of victory.
Rauner also outspent Quinn two and one-half to one, according to media reports.
The Democratic ticket should have been headed by Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, for governor. She's personable, honest, and a hard campaigner. But that wasn't enough to defeat Judy Barr Topinka for comptroller, a moderate Republican incumbent with great name recognition.
Why did Simon take on Topinka? She evaded the question when I asked her at an event. But the real reason is likely that the Demo bosses slated Simon that way, perhaps to get rid of her as a losing candidate, who couldn't be bought.
Nationally: the results show that the electorate has lost its mind. Voters supported raising the minimum wage, and other progressive referendum issues, then voted for the candidates who oppose them. Apparently the majority are too stupid to connect the dots. This is true in Illinois as well as throughout the USA.
In addition, they're not paying attention; the candidates don't campaign on the issues; and the voters are too dumb to vote on the issues and instead respond to smiling faces, as if they are Hollywood celebrities whose CD they plan to buy or download. Amazing.
Is this the final failure of Democracy? Perhaps, as big money now determines elections, and the rich will run the government as if it's the 17th century in England. You know what followed that: civil wars and revolution.
This election also may be the death warrant for civilization as we know it, as the planet reacts to global warming and climate change. Repugs dont believe it or don't care, thinking they will be safe in their enclaves.
They want the Keystone pipeline, which scientists say will hasten the planet's decline from global warming. They now will likely get it, as Obama probably will trade it for something -- immigration reform? a slightly better tax reform bill? (Is that another reason the Demos lost -- Obama is too conciliatory?)
Both parties want more free trade to further send jobs overseas and please Wall Street. Lovely.
And here's the worst: According to investigative reporter David Sirota, the real winner in the midterm elections is Wall Street. With the election of Republican governors, Wall Street will gain control over state pensions. See his perceptive article here.
He writes: "From Illinois to Massachusetts, voters effectively placed more than $100 billion worth of public pension investments under the control of executives-turned-politicians whose firms profit by managing state pension money."
He contines: "In Illinois, Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn was defeated by Republican challenger Bruce Rauner, who made his fortune as one of the namesakes of Golder, Thoma, Cressey & Rauner (GTCR) - a financial firm that manages more than $40 million of the state's $50 billion pension system. Rauner -- who retains an ownership stake in at least 15 separate GTCR entities, according to his financial disclosure forms-- will now be fully in charge of the pension system."
So the fools who voted for him, from resentment over not having their own pensions, since the corporations have already ditched them, just made earning one harder for themselves -- since corporations are less and less likely to offer pensions when the state does not offer an adequate pension.
"Abandon hope all ye who enter here" might as well be the USA's motto now.
-- Elaine Hopkins