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Sunday, October 13, 2002

Confuzing the confuzed

How do I say this without really confusing people? Somehow, somewhere along the line, the media and a certain Illinois politician have convinced themselves that the people of Illinois are idiots.

A little background.

Our governor's name is George Ryan. You may have heard of him. He's at the end of his one and only term as governor of the great state of Illinois. He's not seeking re-election. Prior to becoming governor he was the Illinois Secretary of State. George Ryan will leave a couple legacies when he leaves office. For me, the most notable and admirable legacy will be that he imposed a moratorium on death sentences. Even if you don't like him, you have to admit it takes a lot of guts for a Republican to take such a liberal step. His other legacy actually has nothing to do with his governorship. It stems from his administration as Secretary of State. It's one of the dirtier moments in Illinois politics: The license for bribes scandal. It needs to be noted that George Ryan has admitted to no personal wrongdoing.

Then we have our Attorney General, Jim Ryan, also a Republican. Jim Ryan is running for governor. Jim Ryan comes with his own little history as a prosecutor in DuPage County. But, that's another story for another day.

Jim Ryan needs to be portrayed as squeaky clean. To do that, he has to disassociate himself from fellow Republican George Ryan and his Secretary of State legacy. The so-called confusion comes into play with the fact that they both have the same last name. I have this image of the media whipping Jim Ryan into a frenzy over this. Imagine this little exchange:

Media: Jimmy, people won't vote for you because they'll think you're that guy whose name is associated with scandal and bribes and investigations and indictments and federal prosecutions and death and doom and and and dirty politics and stuff like that.

Jim: Uh uh uh. Ya think?

Media: Jimmy, maybe if people just saw your first name on your billboards, they won't know the difference.

Jim: You know, I think I'll just have my first name in really really large letters on my signs and then people won't know the difference.

Media: Ya think?

Nah. It probably didn't happen that way. But, we now have really large billboards around town, and presumably the state, with "Jim" in really large letters. But it doesn't really matter at this point. He won't win the election.

The thing is, people are not idiots. People do know the difference between the two Ryans. At least everyone I asked knows the difference between Jim Ryan and George Ryan. So, chalk this one up as a case of a politician, for whatever reason, being totally out of touch with the people. And so it goes.

Oh! I almost forgot. In honor of all the elected Ryans, past, present, and future, I snapped this little gem the other day. You gotta love Illinois politics.


Posted by Marie at October 13, 2002 1:36 PM


lol, love the sign.

Don't blame me; I voted for Poshard.

Posted by: Peter at October 14, 2002 7:40 PM

Ah ha! So, you were the one. :)

Glad you liked the pic. I thought the barbed wire above the fence was a little foretelling.

Posted by: Marie at October 14, 2002 10:56 PM