One of the value propositions of our campaign is to peel back the curtain and show folks who know they have been gamed by a system they finance just how the scams work—and who is running them, be they Republicans or Democrats. It is part of the knowledge I have acquired after 15 years working in Illinois politics and government. And I chose to run for governor because I knew, absent my candidacy, the same Chicago money men would attempt to put up another establishment cipher.
Enter Andy McKenna.
If incantations of poll-tested buzzwords is what you’re in the market for then, friends, look no further than Andy McKenna.
McKenna is the former Illinois Republican Party Chairman who despite having the top party post in the state for the past five years has cast himself as the, ahem, fresh-faced “outsider” ready to shake up Springfield. How’s he going to do that? Why with the support of Springfield insiders like longtime House Minority Leader Tom Cross, who endorsed McKenna’s candidacy.
Enough politics. Are you ready for Andy McKenna on policy?
When asked on the Roe Conn Show (WLS-AM 890) for a specific spending cut he would make, McKenna offered the $2.5 million budgeted for the Lieutenant Governor’s office this fiscal year because we don’t currently have a Lt. Gov. $2.5 million. We have a budget deficit north of $10 billion. What else you got, Andy?
When asked on the Don Wade & Roma Morning Show (WLS-AM 890) what he would do about the state’s moratorium on the death penalty, McKenna decisively offered that he would “review it” and then perhaps think about doing something one way or the other. Take a listen.
When asked about K-12 reform at the gubernatorial debate sponsored by the Illinois GOP earlier this month, McKenna confidently suggested that we should do “whatever it takes” to improve education in Illinois. No word yet on what specifically that “whatever” may include.
To be fair, McKenna is hardly the only candidate running a policy-free campaign. There are others who similarly offer strings of words that when combined have no substantive meaning.
But in his recent barrage of TV and radio ads, McKenna is decidedly out-slithering the field by declaring that he is, “…the one honest, outsider businessman…”
First, the passive aggressive implication that Honest Andy makes is that others in the field are not honest. Every other candidate in this race is a businessman in their chosen field. While I disagree with them on certain policies or certain judgment calls, I have found my opponents, perhaps now with the exception of Honest Andy, to be honest. If Honest Andy knows otherwise, he should come right out and say it rather than engaging in gutless innuendo.
Second, according to several of my opponents, it was Honest Andy who whistled certain gubernatorial candidates into his office while he was State Party Chairman and had them lay out their campaign plans even as he was apparently plotting his own campaign for Governor, something he did not disclose. If that is not dishonest it is at minimum disingenuous.
Third, the very commercial in which Honest Andy touts his honesty has been called “misleading” by the Chicago Tribune for wrongly ascribing words to the newspaper about Gov. Quinn that the Tribune never printed.
The great irony is that Honest Andy, like the kid on the playground who nicknames himself, is none of the things he professes to be.
There will be some who say this is “negative” campaigning. But I am no more going to abide Honest Andy’s extreme political makeover which threatens to debilitate our party than I am the scams run by Chicago Democrats whose policy choices have destroyed our state.
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