Monday, January 18, 2010


Your LakeCountyEye reported a week or two ago on a political phenomena -- F Words -- that has been observed on numerous occasions this election season. Briefly, it is a volatile political situation where:
  1. There is an open or Democratically held seat on the ballot.
  2. The seat is in a moderate or Republican-leaning district.
  3. The declared GOP contenders for the seat are wealthy middle-aged businessmen.
  4. The businessmen have little political experience and a far-right agenda.
When this situation occurs a "cinderella" candidate -- usually a women with name recognition and good at raising money -- often will be recruited to salvage the election. These candidates are sometimes described with F words -- [f]emale, [f]amous and [f]unded. Their opponents will disparagingly refer to the primary as one that is Fed-up (pronunciation: eff dup).

It is a basic principle of physics that every phenomenon observed has its inverse -- like anti-matter or like Newton's 3rd Law of Motion. With politics being no different than physics, the inverse of an Fed-up primary can occur when:
  1. There is a Republican held seat on the ballot.
  2. The seat is in a moderate or Republican-leaning district.
  3. The seat is held by a moderate Republican woman.
When this situation occurs then a right-of-center businessman will sometimes emerge to challenge the incumbent in the Republican primary. These challengers usually have little political experience and are often employed somewhere in the middle of the corporate food-chain. They can also be described by initials, in this case M words -- [m]ale, [m]iddle-[m]anagement, [m]ovement-conservative, [m]aladroit. The incumbents often regard these challengers as trespassers upon what rightly belongs to them. And they think of themselves as being M-peded upon. (pronunciation: em peed).

An M-peded primary can currently be observed in Rep District 62, where incumbent Sandy Cole is being challenged by Paul Mitchell. The Daily Herald caught up with the two at a candidate forum ...
Two Republican state representative candidates showed their differences in a Grayslake forum Sunday afternoon and no words were minced when the first question arrived. State Rep. Sandy Cole of Grayslake will face Paul Mitchell of Hainesville in the Feb. 2 primary. The winner will face Democrat Rich Voltair of Round Lake Beach in the November general election to represent the 62nd House District.
Tension arises at 62nd House forum
A mirror image replay of Rep 62 can be witnessed down in Rep District 54, where incumbent Suzie Bassi is being challenged in the primary by Tom Morrison. The Daily Herald again was on top of a volatile situation ...
Meanwhile, Morrison, a small-business owner who also lives in Palatine, says there's a growing discontent with incumbents and describes Bassi as an elected official who makes a lot of noise but avoids taking sides on controversial issues.
Bassi, Morrison spar over record in House 54 primary
A search through the archives reveal some past instances of M-peded primaries:
  • In 2008 businessman Kirk Denz challenged incumbent Bonnie Thomson Carter for County Board 6.
  • In 2006 businessman Scott Helton challenged incumbent Susan Loving Gravenhorst for County Board 13.
  • Also in 2006 businessman Denny Driscoll challenged incumbent Mark Beaubien for State Rep 52. (Beaubien is a male which technically would disqualify this as an instance of an M-peded primary. However Beaubien is strongly pro-choice; Beaubien's wife is the recipient of a Choice Leadership Award from Personal PAC. A case could be argued that Beaubien is an honorary female.)
In none of these past instances was the incumbent defeated at the polls. However, 2010 may be a watershed year for conservative candidates. If there is a low turnout on Feb 2, there may be some local upsets.

Temper may be expected to be in short supply whenever moderate candidates square off against principled candidates. Not surprisingly this is the precise case that obtains in both Fed-up and M-peded primary contests. Your LakeCountyEye recently overheard one frustrated party boss ask no one in particular, "Just how many of these M/F's are on the ballot?"

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