Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Illinois 2010 Election Oddity + the Gangs That Run Chicago

Seems nowadays potential job offers should come with data sheets on cities as well as their ten and twenty year projections. The scourge that is the democratic system of one man, one vote has a bad habit of turning cities into dumps due to the importing of reliably dependent voting blocs. Chicago is caught in a delicate act right now of wanting to clean up like New York and DC have done, but needing that pool of dependent voters. Chicago also lacks that unique anchor that NYC (Wall St) and DC (FedGov) have. Illinois is a horror show of the modern democratic system. The best description of Illinois is a red state held hostage by a blue metropolis full of illiterates. One of the oddities, if not the biggest oddity, of the 2010 elections was the weird way Illinois voted in statewide elections. Senator Kirk (R) enjoyed a victory while candidate for governor Bill Brady (R) lost despite polling better than Kirk all through 2010. Looking at incentives and the alliance in Chicago itself, it is easy to draw conclusions about the Chicago and Cook County numbers that point to tinkering with the final vote.

Kirk did not poll as well as Brady consistently in the run up to November yet Kirk won and Brady lost while both were republicans in Illinois. In the 2010 Tea Party energized base year, somehow the moderate Kirk rode the wave to a victory while the better base guy lost. Kirk outperformed Brady in Cook County by pure vote count as well as percentage of vote. More people voted in Cook County in the US Senate race than the governor race in their state. That was the difference between Kirk's win and Brady's loss. If Brady tracks slightly better as Kirk did, he wins. If Cook County citizens of Illinois vote for governor of Illinois in the same number as their US Senator, he wins. Democrat Quinn won the governor's race and delayed and caved on attempting any pension reform, which benefits Chicago's entire patronage system. Just now the state has set up a reform that is already under attack in the courts. These state reforms came years after new taxes were put in place. How different would Brady have been compared to Quinn with pension reform and the taxes that were quickly passed? We will never know, but I doubt hypothetical Gov. Brady moves lockstep with real Gov. Quinn. Great analysis here, which mentions 3rd party candidates stealing votes more from Brady in Cook County. The article is nicely written but operates under the assumption that the system is honest when it has no incentive to be honest.

In reality, what mattered more to Mayor Daley? What had a more direct effect on Chicago? The governorship mattered more through the patronage system and had a greater effect on Chicago's finances. One distinct difference between Brady and Quinn was Quinn's drive to raise taxes to protect spending, which he did after being elected, versus Brady's desire to help the long term fiscal picture in Illinois through pension reform and spending cuts. Daley's Chicago is home to over 500,000 health care industry jobs. There are nearly 100 hospitals. Hospitals can set up their funding through specific channels. In the post-2008 landscape, hospitals that set funding mostly or entirely through federal grants and money maintained payrolls. Those that set funding through private means or state and municipal funding were immediately affected due to states needing to hit annual budgets. A simple difference in maintaining current spending would have sent plenty of Chicago health care employees home. That is just one industry for a city strapped for any tax revenue.

The senate race was different from Daley's point of view. The US Senate seat was going to slide pork Illinois' way whether Democrat or Republican, plus Kirk is incredibly moderate. One former politician who is now a writer of fiction theorized that Brady lost from straight line D vote stuffing that needed to swing a county election to one candidate (link later). It is just so striking that Brady outpolled Kirk yet trailed his performance on election night. Brady had a 5% lead going into the election vs. Kirk's within the margin of error lead in the Senate race. Brady did run as a touch more conservative and did run a so-so campaign in the eyes of analysts, but how did Rasmussen nail so many of the 2010 midterm elections and fail on that one? It is a mystery. Chicago is the deal breaker, as Daley abandoned his potential challenge of Quinn in late 2013 once current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said Quinn was a good guy. Message: I'm not tilting Chicago your way Daley.

Even dirtier than the mechanics of whatever fraud went on in Chicago to swing that election point is the problem of city governance motivations. Who exactly has the upper hand in the gangs and Democrat politicians alliance? Have a good laugh at the white politician photo and gang photo being a white guy with tattoos and a wife beater on (reader mental association: Aryan Nation) compared to the actual gangs named as well their their unified group's name in the article.

Baskin isn’t a slick campaign strategist. He’s a former gang leader and, for several decades, a community activist who now operates a neighborhood center that aims to keep kids off the streets. Baskin has deep contacts inside the South Side’s complex network of politicians, community organizations, and street gangs. as he recalls, the inquiring candidates wanted to know: “Who do I need to be talking to so I can get the gangs on board?” 
Baskin—who was himself a candidate in the 16th Ward aldermanic race, which he would lose—was happy to oblige. In all, he says, he helped broker meetings between roughly 30 politicians (ten sitting aldermen and 20 candidates for City Council) and at least six gang representatives. That claim is backed up by two other community activists, Harold Davis Jr. and Kublai K. M. Toure, who worked with Baskin to arrange the meetings, and a third participant, also a community activist, who requested anonymity. The gang representatives were former chiefs who had walked away from day-to-day thug life, but they were still respected on the streets and wielded enough influence to mobilize active gang members. 
The first meeting, according to Baskin, occurred in early November 2010, right before the statewide general election; more gatherings followed in the run-up to the February 2011 municipal elections. The venues included office buildings, restaurants, and law offices. (By all accounts, similar meetings took place across the city before last year’s elections and in elections past, including after hours at the Garfield Center, a taxpayer-financed facility on the West Side that is used by the city’s Department of Family and Support Services.) 
At some of the meetings, the politicians arrived with campaign materials and occasionally with aides. The sessions were organized much like corporate-style job fairs. The gang representatives conducted hourlong interviews, one after the other, talking to as many as five candidates in a single evening. Like supplicants, the politicians came into the room alone and sat before the gang representatives, who sat behind a long table. “One candidate said, ‘I feel like I’m in the hot seat,’” recalls Baskin. “And they were.” 
The former chieftains, several of them ex-convicts, represented some of the most notorious gangs on the South and West Sides, including the Vice Lords, Gangster Disciples, Black Disciples, Cobras, Black P Stones, and Black Gangsters. Before the election, the gangs agreed to set aside decades-old rivalries and bloody vendettas to operate as a unified political force, which they called Black United Voters of Chicago. “They realized that if they came together, they could get the politicians to come to them,” explains Baskin. 
The gang representatives were interested in electing aldermen sympathetic to their interests and those of their impoverished wards. As for the politicians, says Baskin, their interests essentially boiled down to getting elected or reelected. “All of [the political hopefuls] were aware of who they were meeting with,” he says. “They didn’t care. All they wanted to do was get the support.”

Normally, cynics view the gangs as the progressive Brownshirts, but it is not so clear. Read that whole link if you can stomach the idea of gang leaders interviewing politicians for support who sought them out. These are the supposed leaders of one of our nation's largest cities, and they have to audition in front of gang leaders. It sounds more like gang leaders are warlord chiefs with the city pols acting as bankers and administrators. Chicago has a murder problem. Chicago has a gang problem. Chicago is the national hub of the Sinaloa drug cartel's American distribution system. I read the above alderman beauty pageant show and do not see a solution to Chicago's problems. How can you solve the Chicago murder problem that the police blame on the Gangster Disciples when they are the political muscle? Dysfunction like this should incite hangings, not just prosecutions, and a total reorganization of the city of Chicago and its political system. It can't because it is our cherished system.

This is democracy. Regardless of the potential value of the prime real estate of Chicago, nothing can be done. The city cannot clean up the streets. They need the gangs because without the gangs they do not have the electoral foot soldier support. They need the dysfunction to provide a demand for the social welfare state and patronage system that they supply. The very criminals and network of support they should be putting behind bars are the men they have to curry favor with to win in our voting system. They also need the bodies present in those areas to act as a voter slush fund (scroll down here). They can fiddle with turnout when needed (like in the 2010 governor race) to make sure they have a reservoir of votes to secure power. This is not conspiracy theory as this Heritage report on the 1982 governor's race shows, but rarely mentioned fact as the link shows widespread fraud. That fraud was 100,000 votes to potentially swing a governorship. Brady lost by roughly 30,000. How could the GOP enforce anything in voting districts run by gangs let alone partisans in Chicago? The GOP in Chicago and Illinois as a whole has grown weaker since 1982 (corruption scandals, immigration + the national social drift leftward). This is why Obamacare enrollment automatically enrolls you as a voter. You become a potential reservoir vote to be called upon if the fudge margin needs you.

The 2010 elections were interesting as I noted a few posts back not just for the wins but the losses. Minnesota elected Mark Dayton as governor, who promptly enacted new taxes in the middle of a depression, by 9,000 votes or what I call "the Somali margin". Chicago's governance as well as its effect on national politics is a prime example of the perverse mechanisms and incentives of democracy. We do not have incentives to properly administer city governments to create safe, secure cities. The incentive is for the river of meat on election day to secure power. The voter banks of many cities become cushions for the left in statewide and, every four years, presidential elections. This is great for progressives but after a while, you get electoral victories amongst the ruins of a city long since destroyed. It may lead to a stranglehold on power but over what? Empty stone buildings that become standing testaments to the once prosperous region you killed. Detroit stands ruined for all of us to see. It is not just economics or race but the system itself that is the problem.


Anonymous said...

I live in Illinois and I dispute a lot of conclusions here.

Bill Brady was simply a bad candidate. He came off as a right wing nut. What's more, all we really knew about him was a really good attack ad about him sponsoring a dog euthanasia bill. If Dillard had gotten the nomination, Dillard would be governor. Kirk came off as a normal moderate and his opponent Alexie Giannoulias was tarred with his family's failing bank during the TARP era.

Is there corruption? Probably. I don't think its so extreme as to have effected the election.

This election is going to be a lot of fun. The unions hate both candidates.

Anonymous said...

Does "The Outfit" still have any political influence? Is John Kass still writing about it?

Son of Brock Landers said...

@Anon - Brady ran a bad campaign in the north. He did not press hard there and conceded he'd get swarmed. Had he directed $ and effort there more he'd have won. He was a Tea Party surprise because of when they had their primary. They hold it 2 months earlier, he does not win, plus the northern candidates split the vote. He was also outspent considerably. Either way, he's done for.

If you think there is little to no corruption, Jesus man, are you blind? Any metropolis has D corruption, Chicago just might be the worst.

Steve Sailer said...

So, is the problem with Chicago that only the federal government can clean it up (e.g., Sen. Fitzgerald bringing in prosecutor Fitzgerald), but Chicago has been running the federal government for 5 years (e.g, not only the President but his first chief of staff was the current mayor of Chicago and his second chief of staff was the last mayor's brother)?

Son of Brock Landers said...

Chicago has received media protection by Obama's rotos s well as the media pimping Rahm in Chicago despite Rahm doing nothing.

Chicago is not being cleaned up until you take an oil spot approach with the police and national guard if needed and go block by block creating safe zones. Before that, you need to enact legislation that anyone harboring criminals will have their government money and programs ended. Harsh plea deals to keep them off the streets for years if not decades. You'd need to build a big enough prison to hold all of the new criminals. A democrat in the White House or Val Jarrett would have to break the news to the Illinois Dems (and the Pritzkers) that the party is over for a few years, if not longer.