More so in Chicago than in Madison, unfortunately.
Election central is up and running here at the Policy Werkes. A bottomless pot of Maxwell House percolates on the Monarch kitchen range, rabbit ears on the b&w Philco are perked up for the latest update, the wall-sized blackboard is charted into rows and columns like a giant tic-tac-toe board.
Sometime late tonight or maybe next month, verdict will be rendered by Wisconsin voters on what every news outlet north of Tierra del Fuego calls the most important election in the Americas: Madison school board.
No, wait, it’s for who controls the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Democrats or Republicans. With dominos falling for abortion, concealed carry, legislative districting, right to work, criminal bail, school choice, Act 10 government union reforms, and the baseball pitch clock.
Which is why the faceless bureaucrats at the Werkes turn their A.C. Gilbert telescopes south to Chicago. Let’s face it, Madison’s political races show up in the HTML color code as barely discernible shades of progressive blue — maybe a #0000A0 New Midnight Blue versus a #0000A5 Earth Blue. But Chicago’s mayoral race couldn’t be more black and white.
More of the same for a troubled city?
Literally. Paul Vallas has white skin; Brandon Johnson has black skin. But it goes deeper than the Democrat(ic) party’s obsession with identity politics — even though both are Democrats.
Which is why Chicago is important nationally. Its mayoral election may well put the final spike in the heart of AOC/Squad progressivism.
If Vallas is victorious, it would continue a trend begun by the election of pro-cop Eric Adams in New York, the recall of George Soros’ district attorney in San Francisco, and the defeat of the Defund the Police referendum in George Floyd’s Minneapolis.
Chicago is a troubled city. Which is why it turned out incumbent Lori Lightfoot with only 17% of the vote in February’s mayoral primary election. FEMA should declare the school system a disaster zone. 63% of polled residents say they feel unsafe. Corporate headquarters are leaving or threatening to do so. The city’s richest man and most generous philanthropist is relocating his investment company, Citadel, to Miami.
“If people aren’t safe here, they’re not going to live here,” he said.
Going Woke for broke
Brandon Johnson is the teachers union candidate. The strike-prone union pays his salary and finances his campaign. His prescription for just about everything is “more money.” Wants to tax commuters. Like Barack Obama before him, Johnson is a “community organizer.” Like Wisconsin’s failed Senate candidate Mandela Barnes and many other Democrats these days, Johnson says he now disavows his previous calls to Defund the Police. Bernie Sanders campaigned for him, anyway.
Paul Vallas, by contrast, vows to fill the hundreds of vacancies in the police department; he’d put cops on public transit; the police union endorses him. Vallas rehabilitated Chicago’s public schools in the 1990s.
Under his leadership, the district placed faltering schools on academic probation, fired underperforming principals and ended social promotion, the practice in which failing students were advanced from grade to grade simply to keep them with their peers … [and enacted] tough disciplinary policies.— New York Times
After Hurricane Katrina washed away much of the New Orleans school district, Vallas helped rebuild it — with charter schools. Vallas embraces school choice, including magnet schools, military-style academies, and charters.
A national poll last year by Education Next, an academic journal, found that a majority of black people supported charter schools.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Which is why we said earlier in this jeremiad that school board is the most important race. Of which, the Madison mayoral candidates say nothing, even though Gloria Reyes is a former school board president. In Chicago, mayors control the schools. Get education, public safety, and taxation right and your city will thrive. We’re still voting Gloria Reyes for mayor, Badri Lankella for school board, and Sheri Carter for District #10 alder.
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Heavy turnout @86th Ward polling place Sequoya Public Library; ~10 times greater than the February Spring Primary.
Spring election three years ago (04/07/2020) was a balmy 75°F/~24°C and The Gotch walked to the polls in flip-flops, shorts, & sleeveless T-shirt; today? not so much.
Mercifully, that day’s turnout wasn’t done in by Global Warming…yet almost was by despicable lyin’ Lefty Ichabod Evers Illegal 11th Hour Efforts to cancel in-person voting, after admitting numerous times that he didn’t have the authority to do so.
The fat lady is singing very early tonight.
JANET WINS!!!!!!! Drump indicted. God is smiling and all is right with the world. Dopey Dan; two time loser. Drump; twice impeached. Two, Two…Two times the fun. Kelly is now doing his best Drump impression as he quits the race. What am embarrassing concession speech.
Dan Kelly for Governor. I have yard signs for sale right now.
Nah now that he’s in the two time loser club with Tom Barrett he’s qualified for US Ambassador.
AND …. Chicago voters get cold feet, vote for continued descent into hell.
“The devil you know” and all.