Why is my TV clogged with election Ads?
Nauseating political commercials have already started to clog our Spring season television viewing, and it has a lot to do with the fact that the three candidates for governor in Illinois are among the richest people around. Republican Bruce Rauner, one of the most incompetent governor’s Illinois has ever elected, and two wealthy Democratic Challengers, billionaire J. B. Pritzker and multi-millionaire Chris Kennedy are hoping to lift the Rauner burden off of the backs of taxpayers. But Pritzker’s commercials are so “everywhere,” you wonder if he values a hard earned dollar
Published in The Regional News, the Reporter Newspapers, Des Plaines Valley News and Southwest News-Herald newspaper group.
By Ray Hanania
You might be wondering why you’re watching the battle for Illinois governor’s election play out in annoying TV commercials 10 months before the election?
That’s what happens when the state’s highest office is coveted by two billionaires and a multimillionaire, Bruce Rauner, J.B. Pritzker, and Chris Kennedy.
Rauner, our stumbling bumbling incumbent, is described as “an American businessman, philanthropist, and billionaire politician,” and former owner of the Chicago Sun-Times, the failing Newspaper that has been acting like Rauner’s campaign manager.
For example, knowing how people hate wealthy people like billionaires, the newspaper published a feature questioning if Rauner is really a billionaire. It wasn’t criticism, people. You’re not that naïve, are you?
Rauner has been running commercials using duct tape to explain why Illinois residents are struggling to survive in an economy they’re told is good but that their bank accounts are screaming is bad.
This is a world in which a decent car costs more than most people earn annually.
Pritzker is described as an “American venture capitalist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and private business owner” whose personal wealth is somewhere between 3 and 4 billion dollars.
Pritzker’s commercials are dominating television ad nauseum. “Touchy, feely,” they feature him smiling and slapping high fives with little kids as he introduces himself.
Kennedy doesn’t have to introduce himself. He’s been involved in social service programs helping the needy for years. Likeable out of the gate, Kennedy is described as a “developer and nonprofit activist” whose family previously owned the massive Merchandise Mart building.
The Kennedy name is a very powerful magnet for the one constituency that has the highest voter turnout, Baby Boomers, who remember his father, former U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and uncle, President John F. Kennedy.
Kennedy is just a multi-millionaire, but all of them need to see a dentist. Rauner and Pritzker share the same goofy smiles, while Kennedy’s smile always looks pained.
Image means something but money is where the election battle will focus this Fall when the candidates file their papers for the March 2018 primary elections, Rauner as a Republican incumbent with no achievements, and Pritzker and Kennedy as rich Democrats.
Pritzker ran for office in 1998 losing to Jan Schakowsky, a popular progressive and one of the best Illinois members of Congress. Kennedy thought about running in the past, but only made it to Chairman of the scandal-plagued University of Illinois Board of Trustees, appointed by former Gov. Pat “Who?” Quinn.
But Pritzker can probably count on an endorsement from former President Barack Obama, who appointed his sister, Penny Pritzker, as the U.S. Commerce Secretary, after making big donations.
Obama will need a lot of donations for his legacy, the Obama Center – don’t call it a museum — on the South Side in Jackson Park in the Woodlawn neighborhood. Woodlawn ranks 13th worst when it comes to violent crimes in Chicago’s 78 neighborhoods. Jackson Park extends into Hyde Park, with one of the Chicago’s lowest crime rates, and South Shore, one of Chicago’s highest.
Is that why the Kennedy Family decided to give Obama the 2017 JFK Profile in Courage Award this past weekend in Washington D.C.?
American elections are not decided by selecting the best, but by voters rejecting the “worst.” They vote based on who they dislike the most, and chose the other person. That’s how Donald Trump beat everyone else. You may not like him, but he wasn’t nearly as bad as the rest.
The only way Rauner can win is if Pritzker and Kennedy get too personal. Rauner is the guy most people dislike. He only won because people disliked Quinn more.
But Pritzker’s early big spending Ad campaign could be his undoing. With so many Ads, you have to wonder if Pritzker worries about the value of a dollar.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, author and former Chicago City Hall reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)