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Political “Bits and Pieces”


By Juanita Bratcher


Whew! What an election campaign year this has been. Not to worry, though, it’ll all be over today (November 2)  – that’s when the Fat Lady will come to the stage and joyfully sing for some and painfully sing for others. The political landscape will be in the midst of a transformation. And some candidates will get a real taste of reality – whether bitter or sweet. By then “political junkies” (I say this in a good way) can cease speculation because they’ll then know the winners and losers, can compare their notes (on whom they thought would win or lose), albeit, or perhaps hear about a few hanging chads interfering in a race or two. But that won’t stop the Fat Lady from leaving the stage and sit in wait for her next big political performance.

Obviously, the end results will bring disappointments to some and retirements for others. But isn’t that the nature of politics? Then, too, hanging chads might be political history since the 2000 Presidential Election outcome between Republican Candidate George W. Bush and Democrat Candidate Al Gore. Remember when hanging chads delayed the results of that election for sometime? However, voting is more sophisticated now since most states are using Touch Screen voting.

So what was different about this election year? Well, there was a lot of public unrest; an extraordinary amount of protest in regards to Health Care reform legislation and other issues of concern. The Tea Party revolution – one of rebellion was in full swing….and the beat goes on to this day as I write.

Health Care reform informational rallies sponsored by various Washington legislators in their local legislative districts were met with angry protesters, many with an awkward display of incendiary and insulting placards mostly about President Barack Obama and the Obama Administration. Some participants at these rallies and marches showed up with guns strapped to their hips. Obviously, their intentions were to keep havoc going through fear tactics.

There were three major rallies – The Tea Partiers’ September 2010 march/rally, “Remember in November”, in Washington, D.C., sponsored by FreedomWorks’ founder Dick Armey, the former Republican House Majority leader; Talk Show Host Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally and Comedy Central entertainers Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert’ “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear”, both held on the National Mall. There were several mini-rallies in certain cities across the country. Reportedly, a CBS commissioned poll, found that the Stewart and Colbert rally drew 215,000 and 87,000 for Beck’s.

 And what about those annoying Robo Calls many of us were inundated with and squealed about? Television ads were plentiful. Then there were those spiked up ads giving a good pitch for the buyer candidate of the ad – making he/she look good while at the same time literally destroying their opponent in a matter of seconds? Those ads painted an excellent scenario of the good guy/bad guy syndrome. They walk away looking good while their opponents are made to look like liars, wimps, carpetbaggers and ruthless. So who is the voter to believe? That’s why it’s important to do your homework, research information about the candidates and closely peruse their agendas.

And there was the issue of secret money flowing into campaigns; some they alleged was coming from foreign countries to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that was helping to influence America elections, which the Chamber denied. Many cried wolf (especially Democrats) and point fingers at the Chamber that reportedly pumped millions of dollars in ads for Republican candidates. Then there was the issue of big union money being funneled into Democrats’ campaigns. But a union leader said their money was contributed above board.

I have been a Journalist/News Reporter for 34 years. And during those years I have covered many elections and wrote numerous political articles. This election year is certainly different. It is one of the strangest election years I have ever witnessed. Some of the candidates running for office have spewed out some of the nastiest venom imaginable – hateful, incendiary remarks, and dirty tricks beyond reasoning.

Board of Tax Appeals Commissioner Joe Berrios’ Campaign has a “Question for Forrest Claypool”, his opponent in the race for Cook County Assessor:

Have you really sunk to this level? Judging me for raising money in a charity coat drive?

I proudly helped the Illinois State Crime Commission-Police Athletic League of Illinois in raising money that went toward the purchase of 6,500 coats for poor children.

But you criticized me for it in your radio ad that launched this week. You failed to note that several community ministers and elected officials also participated – people such as Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, Senator Donne Trotter, and Rev. Senator James Meeks. The coat drive was chaired by Bears player Brian Urlacher.

I grew up in public housing. I know what it’s like to be part of a struggling family, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Nor am I ashamed to give back to the community.

The only shame to be had is on you, Forrest Claypool, for turning your back on poor families in poor neighborhoods.

 At a rally in Chicago Saturday, President Barack Obama told about 35,000 supporters in his Hyde Park neighborhood (where the rally was held), to get out and vote and see that their friends vote, too. He also told supporters “that this will be a tough election.

 Said Obama: “There’s no doubt that this is a tough election. It’s tough here in Illinois. It’s tough all across the country.” He reminded them that Republicans were counting on voters’ “amnesia” to win, but urged them to let Republicans know “that we have not forgotten. It’s up to you to let them know that this election is a choice between the policies that got us into this mess and the policies that are starting to lead us out of this mess.”

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