Editorial addresses Jacobs' free ride "victory".
After much recent discussion here, the Dispatch/Argus Editorial page finally weights in on the issue of Sen. Mike Jacobs recent "victory".
When Sen. Mike Jacobs was crowned by the state's Democratic political powers to succeed his father as state senator, we didn't lead the chorus of those booing the choice.
Not because we approved of the fact that other qualified candidates did not appear to be considered for the post. And, certainly not because we believed politicians such as state Sen. Denny Jacobs, no matter how successful, have earned the right to pass on their posts to their children.
But there seemed little purpose in exclaiming over the party employing the "to the victor goes the spoils" method of governance that the state's politicians had endorsed for political succession; they win, they set the rules. Unless you work to change the system, it's hard to argue too loudly and long when someone works that system to their advantage. Besides, we thought, come election time, the voters would get a chance to make their choice in the full light of day and after a full, public campaign.
... or maybe not.
Last week, we learned that Sen. Jacobs' most often mentioned potential opponent, state Rep. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, had declined to run. The news came after Illinois House Speaker and state Democratic party chair Mike Madigan met with Rep. Boland; Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan; Sen. Jacobs; U.S. Rep. Lane Evans, D-Rock Island; Rock Island County Democratic party chairman John Gianulis; former state senator Denny Jacobs; Rock Island County State's Attorney Jeff Terronez; and key labor leaders.
Whether one believes, as some wags say, that the speaker's visit prompted Rep. Boland's decision, we hope it doesn't also mean that Sen. Jacobs will go unchallenged by disaffected Democrats for the seat to which he has not yet stood for election.
Make no mistake. This is not a reflection of his performance in his first legislative session. Indeed, even accounting for the usual bit of freshmen mistakes, even some of the Jacobs' clans most ardent critics have quietly acknowledged he seems to have acquitted himself well.
What's important, however, is that the voters are given the chance to find out who Mike Jacobs really is, what he wants and where he wants to take the voters of his senate district. The best way, indeed the only real way, to discover that is during an open, wide-ranging and energetic campaign.
No one wins, including the incumbent politician, when the party in power in a democracy gets a free pass. (And, by the way, what is free? If Speaker Madigan lent his support, what will he demand in exchange?)
Other Democrats may step forward before the primary, though at this early stage it's hard to imagine it will be someone who could have offered such a robust challenge to the new Sen. Jacobs. If, however, the speaker's reach is so long that other Democrats decline to take up the challenge, we trust Republicans are carefully considering an opponent.
It is after all a democrat (small d) society, not a Democrat kingdom.
One might suspect the Dispatch's editorial board's motives, but at least they've come around to The Dope's way of thinking on this matter.
I guess only "wags" thought Madigan had something to do with Boland's semi-decision to run for Representative once more. Hmmm. I'd suggest that believing it is more grounded in reality than not.
No doubt our friend "HeadUsher" will attack the Dispatch/Argus editorial board with the same curious argument with which he attacked anyone who dared express displeasure at Jacobs' having been given a free ride. He could just paraphrase his earlier comments here...
DISPATCH/ARGUS EDITORIAL BOARD,
Exactly who and what is keeping you and your loyal minnion [sic] (diehard and mabyeseomday) [sic] from running for public office?
You, maybesomeday [sic] and Diehard sit around all day complaining, but lack the intestinal fortitude to do something about it. What's the matter? Perhaps the [sic] takes more than you are up for? If that's the case you should treat those that enter the public frey [sic] with higher regard, as it's public service, not public slavery.
People give themselves freely to serve the public. If you seek public life for glory, you simply don't understand the task at hand. In the end, winners do and losers whine? [sic] Which are you boys? Winners or losers?
Sounds like more whinning [sic] to me! Are you ever going to do anything with your life other than be cheap critics. Please enter the frey [sic] and show everyone how a real EDITORIAL BOARD does it! Well go on!
I'm sure we'll see something akin to that in the letters to the editor real soon.
Or maybe not...
(And why is he yammering about jumping into the Norse god of fertility, crops, peace, and prosperity (the definition of "frey")???