Last night, the Democrats of the 48th ward in Chicago held their regularly scheduled meeting and it was indicative of the kind of trouble they are all in. First, they fear the Tea Parties like no force going. According to a staffer from Congresswoman Jan Schakowski's office, the Tea Parties,
they enter communities and they are taking over. And they're changing the voting demographics everywhere.
She cited Democrat Phil Hare, who's district includes Rock Island (and who once said the Constitution doesn't matter) as an example. Hare's district is reliably conservative and he's in big trouble. The same person cited a 21% "enthusiasm gap" between Republicans and Democrats about voting this fall.
Second, no one was touting the Democrat's agenda. There was no mention of Obamacare, the stimulus, financial reform. There were certainly no mention of local, county or state accomplishments, since there are none. The only candidate with tangible accomplishments was the Attorney General, Lisa Madigan. Her representative spoke of several initiatives including one that targeted criminals that use nursing homes as their home base.
Third, the candidates attacked Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady on his belief in creationism, his stance on abortion, and his position against LGBT rights. Now, the 48th ward is especially progressive and it has a large LGBT community. Still, social issues will be non existent this fall. So, why is the focus on social issues?
The representative from Governor Quinn's office addressed a major controversy, increased salaries among his staff. The staffer said all those that received raises had added responsibilities. That may be true but the question is why did so many staffers receive extra responsibility. Quinn also touted initiatives to create jobs though his first initiative was to raise everyone's taxes, not exactly stimulative.
Pension reform was minimized, even though that's a massive hole in our budget. All Democrats tried to frame the election as a choice. Ultimately, there was little in the way of accomplishments. Most curious was Harry Osterman. He's currently the State Rep in the area. He's running for that office in November. He's announced that he's running for alderman next spring. Why would someone move from state government to city goverment? That's still not clear.