Illinois & ‘The Combine’
Ratta Tat Tat Tat,
Budda Bing Bang Boom,
Zooma Zooma Zoom.
With a 140 to 1 cash ratio over his opponents in the 2010 Illinois Senate race and with National and state GOP leadership backing Mark Kirk, I knew the battle was uphill. But the challenge was to also minimize the size of his victory, which will only embolden Kirk to become another Lincoln Chafee or ‘Judas’ Jeffords. Elevating him to the Senate will embolden him to continue to move to the left. If he finds himself as the 50th/51st “Republican” Senator, you can pretty much count on him pulling a Jeffords or a Specter. He is NOT on our side. You’ll see.
But there is more. Its not just that Kirk is liberal and can’t be trusted. Its that he also shady. In Illinois, the political infrastructure problem is an epidemic and voting in corrupt liberals under the thinly veiled Republican banner will not effect Conservative or reformist change. It never has and never will. You see, in Illinois, the whole pond is contaminated.
What people didn’t grasp, or are not aware of, is that Mark Kirk is cut from that same Machine as Alexi Giannoulis. Of course, a much bigger worry is more about what Giannoulias and family members are capable of, especially with Obama in the White House. There are enough unconfirmed reports and rumors abound that Giannoulis and his family might as well be members of the mob.
And, with the Blago trial heating up long before the November general election, it is possible Alexi may be indicted before the election. Now, I only wonder how long it’s going to be before Obama calls off the investigators on the family’s bank – Broadway Bank.
And Mark Kirk, well, he actually won the race in July. Back then, he threatened to pull out of the race unless he had a guarantee that no professional politicians would run against him. There were days of “negotiations” between Kirk and Illinois and national GOP party insiders, as was widely reported in the media.
So in the end, Kirk ended up with just what he wanted, a group of non-politicians, mostly self-funded opponents who had never run statewide office before and an easy victory in a rigged election. But, the Senate race is lost. It is lost regardless of which crooked ‘Combiner’ wins; Alexi or Kirk.
But, I recognize ‘political’ reality, too. Mark Kirk has a chance to win in a deep blue state. In part, because I know that in Illinois, all professional politicians are contaminated. Corruption is so rampant in Illinois, they don’t even hide it.
And, the culture of ideological and political corruption runs deep in the veins of both parties in Illinois. If the Gubernatorial and Senatorial primary races showed anything yesterday, it was ‘Bidness as uzual’ in Illinois. To the average observer outside the state, they don’t understand it.
In Illinois, there is a dire need to get reformists elected. That’s because the state has a $12 billion deficit. Behind California, and maybe New York, Illinois is teetering. Kirk and Alexi are one in the same. We campaign to get integrity and honesty back in government and not only do we NOT get that, we put up people that are all from the same corrupt machine that wink and nudge each other as if they’re actually REALLY running a legitimate contest between two separate parties. It is a total scam, folks. Truth be told, the Soviet Union has more honest elections than this.
The problem of Illinois politics isn’t just in Chicago. This cancer is statewide. You know this when you hear people say, “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties.” In Illinois, if you’re a member of the Combine, it is quite literally true. The parties in Illinois are not just Republican vs. Democrat, they’re Combiner vs. Reformist.
If two Combiners end up in the general election, you have no choice. It’s a stranglehold. It looks quite likely the ‘Combiners’ will own all four (4) of the general election candidates in the Illinois Gubernatorial and Senate races.
What is ‘The Combine’.
If you have not lived in Illinois for a certain amount of time, or ever, for that matter, it is not easy to grasp what the term “The Combine” really entails. It is certainly not the same as one-party control of a state that tends to lead to abuse and corruption (recent examples of which are available from both the Democrats in Massachusetts and the Republicans in Alaska).
Both the Democrats and Republicans are guilty in Illinois. It is no surprise that three of our last 5 former governors were either convicted of felonies or currently are under indictment (Blago).
Nor is it the same as one finds in a state like California where you end up with a RINO like Arn-uld running things for two-terms with the help of a wacked-out liberal legislature (and a domineering Kennedy family wife).
In reality, “The Combine” has nothing to do with liberal or conservative. It is about power and the money ($$) that flow from that. After Kirk voted for TARP, he received over $800,000 in contributions from TARP participants. Monies that helped him seek higher office for six years and extend his decade-old run in the Beltway.
“The Combine” is an agreement (which I sometimes wonder if it is even informal) between the Democrats who control Cook County (including Chicago) and the Republicans who control the outer suburbs of Chicago and much of the downstate area to share in the spoils of power, much like two Mafia families. And the choice of the Mafia’s structure as a metaphor is no accident – the third crucial component of “The Combine” is the Chicago mob (better known as The Outfit) itself.
To accomplish this, both sides tend to “look the other way” when any wrongdoing is exposed in the opposing party. What kind of anti-graft efforts do you expect from the state when the Attorney General Lisa Madigan is the daughter of the immensely powerful Speaker of the Illinois House and Chairman of the state Democratic Party, Mike Madigan?
But the irony is that not only does she leave the Democrats alone, she does not bother the Republican’s either. It is a nonpartisan sort of corruption. The only way that anyone tends to get into trouble is when the Feds finally catch them.
This agreement allows both parties to share the wealth, even when one party is firmly in control of all statewide offices such as the current situation where the Democrats pretty much hold all the elected offices and control both the state house and senate. The reach of “The Combine” is not limited to a bunch of politicians and their party hacks. It stretches into the judiciary and even into the business community.
When you have two liberal ‘Combiners’ you have no choice for good government. No chance for reform. Kirk is a liberal from a profoundly corrupt political machine. He is an Arlen Specter. He has spent his entire career in the House giving the finger to Conservatives. To get true reform, conservative have to abandon the theory that he’s the “best” we can get. We need a full-on exorcism. Until then, I will vote my conscience. That’s all you can do.
Is there an upside? If Alexi is elected over KIrk, he will likely be indicted and convicted before long, and if Brady holds on as the Governor, he will appoint a Republican. If you really want to get a good flavor of the shenanigans and corruption that go on in Illinois, read some of John Kass’ columns from the Chicago Tribune.
cor·rupt·ly \-ˈrəp(t)-lē\ adverb
cor·rupt·ness \-ˈrəp(t)-nəs\ noun
a: morally degenerate and perverted : depraved
b: characterized by improper conduct (as bribery or the selling of favors)