I did, or at least I voted early. It was easy. There was no line, and its right in my neighborhood (Sixth Street and Third Avenue). After voting, I noticed that hardly any of my picks would win, so to increase my chances, here are my suggestions to you:
For Illinois state offices, I voted the Green Party. I had to. Neither the Republican nor Democratic gubernatorial candidates were as good as Rich Whitney, and even though I love Lisa Madigan, I had to vote for my friend, David Black, for attorney general.
Dan Lewandowski got my vote for 34th District State Senate. He told me he was against gambling, and I know Syversons been trying to put a boat in the Rock River. Besides, I really enjoy Dans campaign manager: his mother. She reminds me of my Mom.
Dave Winters is my favorite state representative, followed by Chuck Jefferson, and I hope Greg Tuite unseats Wait.
The BlackHawk Sierra Club hosted a Candidates Forum, and three out of four picks showed up. Doug Aurand (for County Board, District 3) is an old friend. I saw him honored with a rendition of Ba-Ba Baran by the Beach Boys that went, Doug-Doug-Doug, Doug-Doug Au-rand. His opponent has more money and clout, but Doug has the passion and the issues. I hope they elect the more sober candidate. BlackHawk Sierra Club also endorsed Wendy Schneider for County Board District 1, and Republican John Ekberg in District 10.
Margie Veitch was endorsed over John Sweeney. I like John, but he has a little less experience than his father of the same name, and I dont think its appropriate to hand a County Board seat from father to son. Besides, Margie is a great neighborhood organizer, and shell stand up to developers.
How many people will actually take the time to write in John Borling for Congress? I didnt. You know Don Manzullo is Congressman for life. The chances of Democrat Richard Auman unseating him got a little better with the Generals helmet in the ring. Lets face it, Rockford will always be controlled by the heavily Republican McHenry County, which will control the 16th Congressional District. Congressman Manzullo, who promised 14 years ago to stop running after 12 years, has an easy time of re-election. He didnt run any TV ads except for those Social Security spots about the confusing Medicare prescription plan (and who paid for those?).
At a major fund-raiser for a poverty health program, Congressman Manzullo was applauded because he got a million dollars in federal funds. I should have asked for more, he said. Yes, he should have! He hardly brings any bacon back, and its usually for Sundstrand and other military industrialists. Slim pickins for the poor, and yet he was feted for his so-called accomplishment. I encourage you to vote against Manzullo just to put a little fear of the electorate in him. Maybe hell vote for more things that dont kill.
And finally, when it comes to referenda, I say give the schools a pat on the back and a yes vote. They deserve to maintain the meager amount of money they collect.
There are a few things that government must do: protect the inhabitants fairly and equally; maintain some sort of order; preserve and conserve the resources: and help all children get an equal footing. I hope you share those views and can vote.
Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.
From the Nov. 1-7, 2006, issue