March 8, 2008

What now RI County Dems?

LuAnn Kerr was recently installed as the successor to John Gianulis as Rock Island County County Democratic chairwoman.

Rep. Phil Hare and local Dem political worker Randy Jacobs (no relation) sent letters urging precinct committeepeople to vote for Kerr, while Hellen Heiland, Gianulis' long-time aide, also sent out a letter asking for support for her to assume the un-paid position.

So what's going to change now that the four decade Gianulis era is at an end? Anything at all? Is Kerr the best possible successor to John G.?

15 Comments:

At 3/09/2008 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion she will be ok. I would have rather seen a Pat O'Brien or a Doug House in there. I think either would be more unbiased.

 
At 3/10/2008 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Denny Jacobs would have been the best for the job,but Pat O'Brien would have been a bad choice. He loses every election that he runs for.

 
At 3/10/2008 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerr will do whatever Hare and Jacobs tell her to do.

 
At 3/11/2008 1:29 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 10:52

Isn't that a pretty stupid remark, seeing as how O'Brien has only lost one election?

You've got some ridiculously phony standards apparently.

 
At 3/11/2008 1:35 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 11:14

Most likely. But the question is then, what will they tell her to do? Anything new and progressive? Or to not change a thing, keep control tightly among the same little gang of old cronies with no new blood allowed in to invigorate the party and keep plodding along like it's the 50's?

Or will they boldly plunge into the 20th century in their communications and party building efforts?

Will they actively recruit and promote fresh talent who don't happen to be related to Denny Jacobs or an aide to the pol who's already been in office for decades?

Will the local Democratic party actually get more democratic?

Any indication that Kerr represents something other than more of the same old, same old?

 
At 3/12/2008 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what will they tell her to do? Anything new and progressive?

Sorry but that's not likely, because the status quo promotes and protects the "old guard" that's already entrenched.

Or will they boldly plunge into the 20th century in their communications and party building efforts?

Anthing more modern than Phil's "charts on a wall" method of election day vote tracking are considered reactionary and unnecessary. These are the old guard and modernizing things might make it harder from them to control the party.

Will they actively recruit and promote fresh talent who don't happen to be related to Denny Jacobs or an aide to the pol who's already been in office for decades?

I was going to say MAYBE, but then I realized that Kerr's stongest move will probably be to encourage Jerry Lack to again run against Boland. John G couldn't openly endorse Lack, but my money says Kerr would push harder to get him past Boland.

Like Boland or not (I think he's a screwy opportunist which still leaves him far above the Politboro types) he's the only non machine candidate we've got representing us.


Will the local Democratic party actually get more democratic?

I've heard John G openly say he didn't want things to get "too democratic" in his party and there's nothing to make me believe that this selection will change that policy. Just the opposite, in fact, this indicates it's more of the same for many years to come.

 
At 3/12/2008 4:21 PM, Blogger Tacky said...

If you want to run for public office you need to know whose ring to kiss. Kerr will continue to direct you in the fashion that John G did. Except his was the first ring to kiss.
After Kerr, visit Hare, then Jacobs if you want to go against the blessings of the upper county Dems.
Or you could start with John Brown and save a lot of grief. Of course, make sure you have been paying your "dues" --that is buying tickets to all the party's fund raisers and also for the party's favorites.
You could send a check every few months and avoid the chicken, tacos and beer.
Kerr's mother was the previous Rock Island Township Supervisor ( John Brown lost to her, but now is the current supervisor-- a one hour job daily). Rock island is the flagship and largest of the 18 townships ( only two are Republican run). The Trustees (most of them relatives of one another--just like the county employees more than 18 percent related) get paid to vote to raise our taxes. The system works, so why disturb it? Its better than Bush's plan to give us some of our taxes.

 
At 3/12/2008 7:47 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 10:45

First, thanks for your thorough response and views on the questions I posed. I appreciate the response.

And secondly, your opinion on what the future may hold for the party organization here doesn't show much reason for optimisim, but unfortunately, I feel you're probably right on target.

Thanks again.

Anyone else have opinions on those questions?

 
At 3/13/2008 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fundamental problem with the Democratic party in this area is that its biggest current strength is its biggest future weakness. For decades, dems have relied on unions and veterans as their primary voting base. The only problem with that is that there are few young voters that are in a union or are veterans. In order to attract young people to the party, the dems would risk losing their core base which has been extremely loyal and reliable. The problem is that if this mentality continues, these young voters will disengage from the process and the future of the local party will be in serious trouble.

 
At 3/13/2008 8:29 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 8:39

An excellent observation. Those indeed are critical problems looming for the local organization. They've become fossilized in the way they operate.

It will take some creativity and committment to change to ensure that the party stays viable into the future.

Those who are mired in the past are doomed, and as Dylan said, the times, they are a changin'.

 
At 3/13/2008 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Mike Jacobs fits that mold well. He won his primary with the UAW, the Laborers and the Teamsters opposing him. He ran against old time political hack Mike Boland who endorsed and gave fifteen thousand dollars to his old aid and friend Paul Rumler. Phil Hare and John G's right hand woman and new county chair Lou Kerr opposed Jacobs having fundraisers and events to Paul Rumler, and Stenny Hoyer's old friend and aid Paul Rumler opposed Jacobs.
Mike Jacobs took all of this on with change in the air and record voter turnout especially new young voters with change on their mind and turned this into an incredible win.
This is the kind of candidate that the people can turn to to get change for Illinois and this Country.

 
At 3/14/2008 4:01 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

anon 10:06

It's amazing how you jacobites can take ANY subject and manage to end up boring the hell out of everyone by trying to invent some sort of puff piece for Sen. Jacobs.

This comment reads like someone was on drugs when they wrote it.

You describe Boland as an "old time political hack" despite the Jacobs family having been professional politicians for generations, yet Boland is a "hack"? That takes a lot of either nerve and stupidity to say.

I'm also trying to untangle this sentence:
"Phil Hare and John G's right hand woman and new county chair Lou Kerr opposed Jacobs having fundraisers and events to Paul Rumler, and Stenny Hoyer's old friend and aid Paul Rumler opposed Jacobs, and Stenny Hoyer's old friend and aid Paul Rumler opposed Jacobs."

Huh??!! Kerr opposed Jacobs having fundraisers and events "to" Paul Rumler? What the heck were you trying to say?

Then you try to somehow equate the national trend towards "change" and say Jacobs' win was "incredible".

All I can say is... wow. You have quite a fertile imagination, I'll give you that.

It's long been baffling to me why, between your whining and bitching every time I mention Sen. Jacobs, accusing me of doing so to somehow help myself (how, I have no idea), then if I don't mention him, you always come along and inject this sort of lame praise for him in totally inappropriate places.

Now, back to the subject. What will the county organization be like under Kerr's leadership?

 
At 3/14/2008 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point made earlier is that Kerr, Hare, Boland and so many of the entrenched folks in the party backed Rumler and Jacobs, running on a "change" message, won handily.

As to your question, the jury is out about how LuAnn Kerr will serve as new county chair. Congressman Hare was probably her biggest backer, so look for that alliance to remain solid. Will she maintain John G's strong record of Democratic performance in the county remains to be seen.
There's no question she wasn't the strongest candidate, but she may turn out to be fairly good.

 
At 3/14/2008 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do Mike Jacobs and Eliot Spitzer have in common?

Any guesses?

 
At 3/15/2008 7:48 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 7:30

They both had ambitions to be governor?

I give up.

 

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