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Ives Offers Cynicism Not Substance

Local politicians are all-too-frequently adopting the decisive rhetoric infecting national politics.

As a candidate for Wheaton City Council in 2011, Jeanne Ives
vowed to end no-bid contracts at the City. 

Her website listed it as one of her “Top 10” reasons for running. The message was clear:  she lived by a higher moral code than the insiders at City Hall and would put a stop to their political cronyism and special interests. Curiously, she never offered any specifics. She simply played upon – and perpetuated – the widespread cynicism that many voters harbor towards government today. And with great success. Since her election, however, Ms. Ives’ record has not matched her rhetoric. In her 10 months on the Council, Ms. Ives has voted for 10-out-of-10 no-bid contracts totaling more than $4.5 million.

This leaves Ms. Ives with a conundrum: either she demagogued the issue of no-bid contracts as a candidate or she rewards her cronies with no-bid contracts as a councilwoman. Which is it?

As a candidate for State Representative, Ms. Ives now offers the same sanctimony and cynicism.  Her recent campaign mailer states that “Illinois Needs Ethical, Principled Leadership” and that she will “put an end to political cronyism…[and]…special interests.”  Once again, Ms. Ives gives no specifics. 

Voters should be alarmed by this pattern of politicking, even though we have seen it many times before.  Candidates who piously attack the integrity of others, with no basis, only to fall from the moral high ground upon which they stand.   Candidates who ride the wave of cynicism to election, only to find themselves pulled down by the undertow once in office.   Candidates who distract voters from their positions on important issues, only to deprive us of real leaders who can
address them.  We have seen this campaign and this candidate before.  

Please don’t confuse cynicism with substance.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michael Hoffman March 10, 2012 at 02:18 AM
One last thought. In Errol Morris's documentary "The Fog of War," former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara opined that when deft politicians don't like the question that has been asked, they will offer an answer to a question they WISH had been asked. Jeanne Ives' defenders have attempted to do something similar here. Rather than respond to this author's core point - that Ives' campaigns are imbued with a cynical brand of rhetoric - the Ives camp focuses on the vessel that was used to make the core point: Her support of no-bid contracts. Unfortunately, even this attempt at rhetorical jiu jitsu falls flat. The one no-bid contract that neither Mr. Stern nor Ms. Ericksen can muster a defense for also happens to be the one that took the biggest bite out of the tax payers' wallets. Of the ten contracts cited in the attachment to this blog post, No. 4 on the list was a paramedic contract amounting to almost $4 million. To some extent this glaring omission begs the question: Why was a contract of this size not opened to competive bids? But more importantly, Ives' failure to defend her support of that no-bid contract underscores the smug hucksterism that this emerging breed of cynical politicians seems to traffic in. It is bad enough, that Ives' incomplete defense of her record on no-bid contracts insults her constituents' intelligence. The snarky sanctimony which allows her handlers to believe they can get away with it makes it all the worse.
Sean Johnders March 10, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Michael, stop calling yourself an author. You are doing a disservice to authors by even using that word. You refer to yourself in third person which is a kind of identity disorder I believe has its roots in a society that has drifted free from reality and is creating adolescents like you who are at most participant-observers in their own lives, with little genuine emotion - like actors playing themselves. The signs and symptoms of this identity disorder are everywhere. Teenagers are embracing lies on a wholesale (and retail) scale.
Sean Johnders March 10, 2012 at 02:48 AM
What a sad life that francis lives by spewing her venom every chance she gets. Do you enjoy living your life commenting on Ms. Ives every chance you get. It is old and you really need to get a life.
Mark Kmiecik March 10, 2012 at 06:06 AM
Fred Shuffle, if you represent the best Jeanna (SIC) has, I don't think Chris Hage has any worry on March 20th.
Charlotte Eriksen March 10, 2012 at 07:05 AM
Five and Fly: Your comment was deleted because it violated our terms of use. (Thanks for the link—I actually still have my copy from school)

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