Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Why I'm Supporting This Gay Chicago Democrat

It's Primary Election Day in Illinois. In the state's 7th State Senate District, two Democrats are facing off today. One is a wealthy, corrupt, Machine-backed who currently holds the seat. Her name is Heather Steans, and she bought her way into office during the 2008 special election by means of years of contributing a total of more than $200,000 to Rod Blagojevich and other corrupt party hacks. Steans' challenger two years ago, Suzanne Elder, had no real organization and insignificant amounts of money, and was not able to get her message out. Elder would not have been a good senator anyway. Although she may have been sincere about wanting to end corruption, she would have done nothing to curb the insane tax-and-spend mentality of Springfield. Cue Jim Madigan (he's not related to those Madigans, thank you). Madigan is an openly gay attorney (Barack Obama was one of his law professors), and he is a social liberal. He gained some fame and much experience working to promote gay-related causes in Illinois. Let me pause here for a moment to say that I have no issue with Madigan's sexuality - or anybody else's, for that matter. I've been wrongly called homophobic in the past. I am not. I have political differences with most of my gay friends (yes, I have few of those), but I have never disliked anybody just because they were gay. That's not what being a conservate is about. So, why would I - a conservative blogger and former Assistant Media Director of the American Conservative Union - be supportive of Jim Madigan? The answer is not that complicated: I support Madigan in the Democrat primary election because he is far and away the better choice over corruptocrat Heather Steans. We'll see what happens after today. There is only one Republican running in today's 7th District State Senate primary, and that's Adam Robinson. Being unopposed, it's a certainty that Robinson will be the opponent of either Madigan or Steans on February 3. Madigan brings basic Democrat values to his campaign (most of which I am opposed to), and is the best choice for Democrat voters who are sick of being told how to vote by the Machine. He's got the great courage to go up against that establishment of corruption and to call them out on it (see this video). It's a rarity in politics today, particularly amongst Illinois Democrats, for a candidate to not just pay lip service to reform but to actually want it. When I interviewed Madigan for a series of videos, he spent two hours with me in conversation. He impressed me as a person of immense intelligence and sharp memory. He is very likable, with a sense of humor that allows him to laugh at himself. Both Robinson the Republican and Madigan the Democrat are social liberals. Both favor "marriage equality" for gay people, but both favor lower sales taxes and are generally far more sane fiscally than the Democrat Machine that Steans represents. Steans is a do nothing senator who gets her name attached to bills and takes credit for "hard work." Steans has enabled Blagojevich in the past, then turned on him only out of political necessity and self-preservation. I believe that neither Madigan nor Robinson would have acted that shamefully. Looking at the big picture, Robinson and Madigan are very similar on many key issues. Madigan is not a single-issue candidate, and emphatically says that while gay rights issues are important to him, there "is so much more on the table" that needs to be dealt with, including the lowering of sales taxes. Let's get back to Madigan, however. Robinson is a story for later. Madigan's bio tells us that he "grew up in an Irish Catholic family as the eldest of three boys in a small rustbelt town called Niles, Ohio. Jim’s father ran the local AMVETS organization. Jim’s mother babysat children in the family home for extra money." Madigan holds on to the small town values of family, hard work and respect for others. Contrast that to the self-important, entitled, higher-than-thou attitude of wealthy Heather Steans. While Madigan gave two years of his life to pro-bono work, Steans brags about hosting a couple of ineffectual "public safety" meetings over the past two years. Steans boasts about starting "positive loitering" groups in the rough Uptown neighborhood, and falsely claims that this has made some areas "crime free." Yesterday, Feb.1, a 15-year old boy took a bullet in the arm as he walked to school in Uptown. Gang warfare, meanwhile, has continued unabated during all of Steans' term thus far, and there is no indication that her "efforts" have curbed it. That said, I support Jim Madigan because Steans simply must be tossed out. He is not merely the better candidate (Steans has dodged forums and hasn't really hit the streets), Madigan is also the better person. More honest, not corrupt, genuinely caring about the people. Could Madigan defeat Robinson in the general election in November? Who can say? Robinson is also very bright and just as articulate as Madigan. Both seem like rational men, and are in the same age group. It would be a fascinating contest to watch. To repeat myself, all three people - Steans, Robinson, Madigan - are rather similar on social legislation issues. (To be fair to Madigan, he brings geniune concern to them, as opposed to Steans' opportunistic approach.) It's the fiscal policies that set Steans' apart from Madigan. Steans equals more of the same disastrous policies that have put Illinois billions of dollars into the red. Madigan would actively work to reverse that. Yes Madigan is, overall, a liberal. But as a conservative, I look at him this way: He is not just the lesser of two evils in the Democrat primary. He is also the better of two human beings. One can only choose from the choices presented to him. Conservatives in Chicago know this all too well, and it is our duty to support palatable Democrats when that's all we are offered. The alternative is to allow the Machine to keep on winning, and that doesn't help Republicans or Democrats. RELATED: Lake Effect News - Heather Steans was handpicked by former 7th District State Senator Carol Ronen to fill her seat after she resigned mid-term in October 2007. Since she first announced her candidacy for Ronen’s seat in 2007, two major issues have haunted her. One of those major issues is the accusation that “the fix was in” when she suddenly emerged as the heir apparent to Carol Ronen’s seat, just days after Ronen announced her intention to resign before the November filing deadline for state candidates. The other major issue involves the major amounts of cash that she and husband Leo Smith contributed to Rod Blagojevich’s campaign fund for years. Steans has sidestepped or avoided questions about that, and the press has essentially given her what seems to be a pass on the issue. Full Article... Videos of Jim Madigan Owning Heather Steans Heather Steans Gets New Contribution from Health Insurance Company Sen. Heather Steans Lied on Her Resume 48 Reasons to Oppose Heather Steans Blogger Ejected From Bitter Victory Party Heather Steans' Husband Goes Nuts in a Gay Bar TOTAL NON-RECALL: IL SENATE SAYS "SCREW YOU" Leave a Comment * Conservative T-Shirts * Follow CNB on Twitter * RSS Feed