With little fanfare, the 5th District of Illinois, held the primaries for the special election to replace Rahm Emanuel in the Congress. The turnout was below 10% of the overall size of the district. That should be disheartening to all in this district. The area is extremely corrupt and that corruption occurs in part because of voter's apathy to it. The turnout in this one is not the start of any new day where voters aren't apathetic.
The election had some surprising and even couraging results. The winner on the Democratic side was Mike Quigley. Quigley, the Cook County Commissioner in the area, was not only running as an outsider, but rather, he was an outsider. He made his name being a thorn not only in the side of Mayor Daley but Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. Quigley has become a thorn in the side of Daley over Tax Increment Financing (TIF) which Daley uses to help move money to "friends and colleagues" on a variety of projects. Furthermore, Quigley has become an opponent of Daley's brother, John, on the Board.
Quigley made his name in opposing much of Stroger waste and corruption. Quigley opposed Stronger's massive tax increase, though he endorsed Stroger and also voted for Stroger's first budget.
Still, the machine candidate was Pat O'Connor and he finished a distant fourth. Sarah Feigenholtz, also a long time insider, finished second. Quigley's victory is an affirmation that the corruption of Blagojevich, Daley, Stroger, et al is on its way out. The election of a candidate that made his name as an outsider taking on the machine is a good start for this area.
On the Republican side, the most troubling aspect was that Rosana Polido, the winner, received as many votes, just over 1000, as the Democratic candidate way down the list. Whereas Quigley exceeded ten thousand votes, Polido's vote total was only one tenth of that.
Polido has made her name as a staunch supporter of the 2nd amendment as well as local leader of the Minutemen Project. Still, the election of Polido plays on all the perceptions of the Republican as a party of extremists. Her association with the Minutemen may play well with faithful within the party however it will do nothing but turn off independents. The election of Polido insures that the general election will be a bloodbath for the Republicans in this district.
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