Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Political Nooboisie

Your LakeCountyEye takes pride in being able to spot the political trends. The latest seems to be the spate of new arrivals upon the Lake County political landscape. The 2010 election is still more than a year off. And although in the realm of all things political, a year is equivalent to an eternity -- there is less than six weeks remaining before nominating petitions are to be filed. And in the realm of all things political, six weeks are about the time it takes to drive to Waukegan (or Springfield if you're running for State Rep/Senate). Which is not a lot of time at all.

As the shape of the Lake County 2010 ballot slowly comes into focus, it's dawned on both sides that they are slating a roster of sadsack also-rans who couldn't clock a shoebox of fake Rolexes. Naturally with so little time left, party poobahs are scrambling to find reliable talent to fill the holes in their ballots. In some cases of Darwinian electoral unfitness, they are recruiting outright replacement candidates. All of which explains goes a long way toward explaining the aforementioned spate of fresh political faces as of late.

The freshest is probably Carol Sente (D), who will finish Kathy Ryg's term in Rep District 59. Who is Sente? Good question. Good enough to best Buffalo Grove Mayor Elliott Hartstein who also wanted the job. One could argue that Hartstein brings political gravitas to the table. But the thinking downstate may've been that gravitas is a synonym for inertial mass. In other words, a fresh political face arrives with no baggage and unlikely to rock the boat.

This lesson was not lost on County Board Chair Suzi Schmidt when she ran aground trying to replace Bob Sabonjian. It was the youthful Collin O'Rourke (G) (D) that eventually bailed her out. This worked so well another tabula rasa, Aaron Lawler (R), was chosen to replace Pam Newton. In fact Lawler's slate is so blank that Springfield quickly recruited him to run for Ryg's old Rep seat. Which would have kicked the legs out of any Republican hope to retain control of the County Board in 2010. Suffice it to say Lawler opted to run for re-election to County Board 18.

Mark Kirk, nobody's noob, is running for US Senate. And a half dozen upper middle class middle aged white guys no one's ever heard of (R) -- and your LakeCountyEye won't bother enumerating -- want to be the next District 10 Congressman. Which explains why Beth Coulson was persuaded to give up her Rep District 17 seat for a chance to replace Kirk. In the parallel universe of the 8th Congressional District, Long Grove Mayor Maria Rodriguez (R), will run against Melissa Bean. Your LakeCountyEye will not hazard to guess how many upper middle class white guys Rodriguez was recruited to displace.

Some freelance newbies include Paul Mitchell (R), for State Rep 62 and Jonathan Farnick (D), for US Congress 8. The thinking must be: if not now, when? It worked for Obama.

Last but not least is newly minted Buffalo Grove Trustee Lisa Stone (R) (D) (?) who has already mastered the art of working both sides of the aisle. Stone was not only approached by the Democrats but also the Republicans -- to run for Congress 10 and Congress 8 and State Rep 59 and Buffalo Grove Miss Congeniality. None of these deals worked out, apparently. Which probably explains why Elliott Hartstein is gathering his petition signatures for State Rep 59.

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