• Over the last several years I’ve written a few columns about my infamous possessed car “Christine” and how she seems to have a mind of her own. That’s resulted in more than a few people walking cautiously near my car, apprehensive that Christine may grab them — or sting them! Other readers have assumed “Christine” is the name of my wife, but that’s not the case.
Actually, the name “Christine” was the name of a possessed car in a 1983 movie “Christine”. The write-up about the content of the movie stated: “When a gawky teen (Keith Gordon) restores a 1958 Plymouth Fury, the car takes on a life of its own and begins terrorizing those in its way.”
My car is not a Plymouth Fury but when I bought it, it had so many features that I thought it was possessed and started calling it “Christine”!
Last week, a legal document sent to us for publication by an out-of-town attorney, was addressed to “Christine” as if she was the person in charge of legals. Kathryn, the person who takes care of all of our legals, got a nice laugh out of that, but it is easy to understand how the attorney’s secretary made the mistake since “Christine” is mentioned so often.
Just so you know: Christine will not be typing any legals for the Tribune. Besides, I think Christine has her headlights focused on my job as editor and publisher. (Maybe, with her experience, Christine would be better at being a “car-tune-ist” for the Trib.) Sorry. I couldn’t resist that last line.
• I PROBABLY shouldn’t write this but I will: candidates for Congress or major state offices should not waste our time by including “Pass Term Limits” in their campaign platforms. The vast majority of people we elect to those offices are not going to vote themselves, or their present and future party affiliates, out of a job by limiting how long they can stay in office. Many believe that, once they are elected, they have a lifetime position along with the perks that come with it. Politicians will not make term limits a reality. They have to much to lose.
• REMEMBER how our present governor, J. B. Pritzker, promised to make the redrawing of districts “non-political” when he campaigned for the office? He apparently had a memory lapse about the promise because he had no hesitation to approve the new districts drawn by Democrats — and favoring Democrats. No doubt, had the Republicans been in power, the same method would have happened and would have favored them. Term limits and nonpartisan redrawing of districts each time redrawing is required, are two measures that certainly could bring fresh ideas and a flow of new people and energy to deal with the issues that confront us in Illinois and the nation. Don’t hold your breath waiting for either to happen.
• I DON’T PAY a lot of attention to all of the political commercials on tv — especially those who bash opponents. (Actually, I tape most programs so I can zip through the commercials.) I will have to admit that I do pay attention to the Jesse Sullivan for Governor commercial that features Sullivan’s wife and kids. I especially like the wholesomeness of the children applauding and yelling with glee after Sullivan explains how they are going to have more money to spend if he is elected governor because he is not going to raise taxes. (I think that’s the message.)
Anyhoo, I like the “wholesomeness” of the kids and we’re living in a time when we can use a lot more “wholesomeness”. This is not an endorsement of Sullivan or any other candidate. However, I will pay attention to that commercial any time it is on and enjoy it. In fact, if I’m zipping through the commercials and happen to see it fly by I will go back, stop the tape. and watch it again. Great commercial!!!!
• JESSE Reising has received the key support of Sangamon County GOP in his bid for Illinois’ Thirteenth Congressional District in the June 28th Republican Primary. Since there are more Republican primary voters in Sangamon County than in any other county in the district, the endorsement is significant to Reising’s campaign. Actually, last week was a good week for Reising who also made the NRCC’s “On the Radar” candidate list, to go with an earlier endorsement from former Congressman John Shimkus, and strong first quarter fundraising numbers.
Regan Deering has an impressive-looking ad on page 14 of this week’s print and online edition of the Decatur Tribune and has also received some solid endorsements like that of former Congressman Tim Johnson, and raised significant funds. Although four candidates are in that IL-13 Republican Primary race, it looks to me like the race has evolved into a two-way battle between Reising and Regan Deering. Both are from Decatur and have been campaigning hard plus the first quarter funds raised left the other two candidates, Matt Hausman and Terry Martin, far back. When it comes to campaigns and elections, there’s a lot of political jockeying going on until voters make their choice.
• WITH early voting starting in two weeks Democrat Nikki Budzinski has a substantial edge on David Palmer in the Democrat Primary Election in the 13th District. Budzinski already has well over a million dollars in her campaign fund and has received endorsements from a huge number of organizations. Besides that, the Democrats carved out the 13th District with the intention that she would be elected and swing the 13th to the Democrats’ side of the ledger. Budzinski’s biggest hurdle in winning the General Election (if she makes it through the primary) will probably be the present woeful record of the Biden Administration which has fumbled the ball badly in dealing with inflation, COVID-19, Afghanistan withdrawal and the southern border problems to name a few negatives. With President Biden’s approval rating so low, and a strong Republican candidate emerging from the June 28 Primary Election, it will not be an easy race for the Democrat (likely Budzinski) who emerges victorious in the primary.
• WHILE the race in the 13th Congressional District has several factors involved, the Republican Primary Campaign in the 15th (which represents the other part of Decatur not covered by the IL 13) Rep. Rodney Davis and Rep. Mary Miller have former President Donald Trump loaming large in many voters’ minds. Miller has hitched her political wagon to Trump, received an endorsement from him, and will, in my opinion, win or lose on June 28 based on Trump’s remaining popularity, or lack of it, in the district. Unlike the 13th District race, which, heading toward the General Election, will be about the success or failure of the Biden Administration, the 15th District race will be about Donald Trump’s popularity or lack of it. That’s what I have observed so far in the two Congressional races that involve Decatur.
• THERE is an ad on page 14 of today’s paper and online edition of the Tribune with information about how you can support the Macon County Fair through a donation. I’ve gone to the Macon County Fair since I was a kid and there was a time when it looked like the fair was going to be an event of the past — never to return. But, it has made a strong return and if you want to contribute to help keep it going for years to come, check out the information on page 14. When I was a teenager I won several teddy bears at the basketball shooting concession. (Boy that basketball hoop seemed smaller than the standard size!) I have a lot of great memories of attending the county fair over the years and I know many of you reading this column also remember some great times you had — and want to see the county fair continue for years.
• THE CHAMBER Business Expo is coming up on Friday, May 6. Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe will open the Expo with her State of the City message. Every year, when the Expo is announced, along with the State of the City message, I have fond memories of the first State of the City message I gave the morning following election to my first term as Decatur’s mayor. Ironically, Julie was president of the Chamber when I was elected mayor, and was involved in the decision to make the “State of the City” message a part of the Business Expo.
After being elected on April Fool’s Day (no comment please) I had not slept since the previous night’s victory. (I was finishing that week’s edition of the newspaper up until I went to the civic center to be interviewed by WSOY’s Brian Byers and give the State of the City message.) I always enjoyed delivering the State of the City message each year because it gave me the opportunity to tell everyone about all of the progress that had been made the previous year and there was always a lot to present.
Now, Julie Moore Wolfe, who stood near the stage in 2003, and watched me deliver the State of the City message (probably seeing if I could stay awake) now delivers the message to open each Expo. It was one of the duties I had as mayor that I thoroughly enjoyed each year. I’m sure Mayor Moore Wolfe will do a great job again this year. Best wishes to her — not only as a good friend who gave me so much support when I was mayor, but as the present mayor of the city we both love.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00.