Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Scott Lee Cohen's campaign for governor stands out about the rest
Television commercial breaks are filled with mudslinging from the various candidates. The candidates for the U.S. Senate, Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, spend most of their time bashing each other. During the 5 pm news on WLS TV, I saw six commercials from each of them bashing each other.
It's the same in the race for governor between the anointed lead candidates, Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bill Brady are hammering each other with accusations and attacks.
It's sickening that in our culture, the only way to stand out in an election is to throw mud and broadcast a tsunami of negative commercials.
There is one candidate who stands out above the crowd. Scott Lee Cohen. Every commercial I have seen of his has been positive. Instead of bashing Quinn or Brady, Cohen has been pushing his idea to host job fairs to help people out of work -- there is 10 percent unemployment in the state -- to find new jobs.
It's so positive that the mainstream news media -- which benefits from the attack ads because they are purchased on their stations and in ads in their newspapers -- have been attacking Cohen, challenging his positive messages and questioning the job fairs. It got so bad that Cohen lashed back at the thinned-skinned hypocritical media which loves to dish it out but can't take the criticism. Cohen chastised the media for focusing on the negative, ignoring his campaign and then rushing in with absurd claims that the public is not interested in his job fairs.
It sounds like the mainstream media is protecting its election campaign revenue flow. Data predicts that $3 billion will be spent on election ads by the November 2 election, much by unanimous organizations that don't have to identify themselves or their sources. The media allows the other candidates to bash each other because it brings in big money. Bashing Cohen allows the media to suck up to those candidates.
It's pathetic. Voters are tired of the name-calling, the attack mailers and TV commercials. They are nauseating. I want to see one candidate who spends his money focusing on what he will do to help the people of Illinois, not waste money attacking his opponent so that he can bring him down and make his own poll numbers look better. That's what negative ads do. They bring down the opponent and make the attacker appear to be better. In reality, the attacker doesn't look better. They stay the same as they were.
But they could be better if they would focus their attention telling voters how they plan to deal with Illinois' gargantuan economic problems. How do we get people back to work? How do we raise revenues without increasing the burden on the already over-burdened taxpayers? How do we trim waste and end corruption and make sure that the taxpayers get their money's worth from our elected officials.
I'm not hearing that from Kirk, Giannoulias, Quinn or Brady.
But I am hearing it from Cohen.
Voters should wise up and stop allowing the media and the negative attacks to lead them through another election in which the same old people are put in power and nothing changes. Nothing.
Take a careful look at Cohen and judge for yourself. The guy has his act together.
As for those who would attack him for his personal issues -- a failed marriage, a bad relationship -- well, everyone is in the same boat. Every person in Illinois has something that is embarrassing in their life. No one is any better than Scott Lee Cohen. He's just a human being like all of us.
But if a candidate can be judged on how they conduct themselves in an election, Scott Lee Cohen has risen above the rest.
-- Ray Hanania