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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.

John Mihas March 08, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Well said Micheal. Judge give them time, than Molly and Jim will start with the attacks.
Mark Kmiecik March 08, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Mr. Hoffman, I am impressed with your clarity and truth in your assessment of Jeanna Ives. Thank you
Mark Stern March 08, 2012 at 10:30 PM
This is a misleading hit piece - get the facts from the City web site (the links are below). Items #1, #3 and #9 WERE COMPETITIVELY BID through the Suburban Purchasing Consortium - as you can see on the City's web site at https://dm1.wheaton.il.us/SireSearch/cache/6a44d19c-b88f-4ea4-a0a7-e52a2719a0dc.pdf, https://dm1.wheaton.il.us/SireSearch/cache/508005d8-b6ee-4cb0-b8b3-a21033fdb2c9.pdf and https://dm1.wheaton.il.us/SireSearch/cache/678fbbb0-75b9-4521-bc6f-5652d330891d.pdf. For items #2 and #7, the City already had the defibs, so if it bought replacements from a different vendor the police and fire departments would have had to use different, incompatible equipment - not the best idea in an emergency. See https://dm1.wheaton.il.us/SireSearch/cache/2c71da3a-89c1-415a-9615-4e33697d03f0.pdf. The paramedic/billing agreement is an extension of an agreement that was, once again, originally awarded through a competitive RFP process - there were bids. See https://dm1.wheaton.il.us/SireSearch/cache/1227bcb0-2547-4c6b-a8f5-8e45b79a2e10.pdf.
Mark Stern March 08, 2012 at 10:42 PM
For #10, the City is already using the software and is just extending its license. https://dm1.wheaton.il.us/SireSearch/cache/3f1d057e-8ff4-48ea-b2d8-194639fef157.pdf. #6 was a contractor that previously prevailed in an open bidding process (https://dm1.wheaton.il.us/SireSearch/cache/d868abb4-06bd-4c75-aea2-37299aa2d1e8.pdf). I do disagree with Councilwoman Ives on #8 for the band director - I don't think a band is a core municipal service - but the salary was frozen for four years (https://dm1.wheaton.il.us/SireSearch/cache/be61a579-94bf-4d51-bc1c-926e9c075b51.pdf). Maybe Mr. Hoffman could offer to conduct the band for a lower fee if it went out to bid, but will he guarantee they'll be in tune??
John Mihas March 08, 2012 at 11:00 PM
None of your links work, maybe you can provide better ones or explain how she brought 100 million in development to Wheaton, or why she voted to give away taxpayer money for the hair salon. (Bought for 300,000 but sold for 200,000)
Fred Shuffle March 09, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Truth is, Jeanne is more attractive than the other candidates. That was the deciding factor for me.
Fred Shuffle March 09, 2012 at 02:40 AM
It's Jeann(e) Mark. Make sure you get your spelling correct so you don't accidentally vote for Hage or the other bottom feeders. Just an FYI, I'll see you Muldoon's tonight. I'll be in the Uncle Sam costume.
Cath Anders March 09, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Rose colored glasses...
Sean Johnders March 09, 2012 at 02:59 AM
If people vote by the pound, Hage wins.
Jim McMahon March 09, 2012 at 03:36 AM
If you look at the mess Ives inherited from the outgoing council, I think she's done a great job. They Granted to many TIF's, dropped 11 million for TV building, and stole money from the Manchester bridge fund. She exposed waste in many different areas. She will win this race because she tells the truth and exposes big spending Republicans. Big spender RINO's who like to blame Democrats for everything, but never themselves. If only we had some independent thinking Democrats we could change Illinois for the better. My Dad (Go Army) always said, "there is only one thing worse than a big spending Democrat...and that's a big spending Republican". Use that reptilian brain and Vote for Jeanne Ives.
Mark Stern March 09, 2012 at 02:36 PM
You can get the links through the City's RSS web site https://dm1.wheaton.il.us/MeetingView/RSS_Meetings.xml - hope this works.
Kurt Dorr March 09, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Run Jeanne Run! Any small town South Dakota girl gets my vote. She is a true conservative.
John Mihas March 09, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Can anyone explain, why she voted to sell Sandburg building at loss to the taxpayers or the 100 million impact to the city that Molly keeps talking about? Is Ives opposing 1st Trust in there attempt to lower there tax bill?
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) March 09, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Judge Wheaton and The NKI, your comments were deleted because they violated our terms of use. Feel free to come back and comment under a legitimate name.
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) March 09, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Jeanne Ives contacted Patch to say Hoffman's list is incorrect. Patch checked with City Manager Don Rose on these items. According to the information provided by Rose, the list is misleading and incorrect—most of these contracts were put out to bid, but not necessarily by the City of Wheaton. Further, some contracts were extensions of existing contracts that were originally put out to bid, according to officials: —1, 3 and 9: were not bid by the city, but through the Northwest Municipal League Conference. The city of Wheaton piggybacked on the league's contracts. —2: The city bought a defibrillator that matches the ones it already had, and there is only one provider with the correct machine. This purchase was originally put out to bid. —5: These were extensions of existing contracts, which were originally put out to bid. The city concluded it was to its advantage to retain services from the same provider. —6: The city only received one bid. The city redid specs for the bid and awarded the contract to the only bidder. —8: The band director has been the city's band director for 22 years. He did not receive a salary increase. His position was probably not put out to bid, according to officials. —10: This was originally put out to bid. To continue to use this software, that is proprietary to the provider, the city must stay with the provider. If the city had changed providers, that would have required a complete change in the software system.
Michael Hoffman March 09, 2012 at 10:31 PM
All items listed are no-bid contracts. The fact that some are perfectly explainable or justified is exactly the author's point. When she was a candidate, Ms. Ives certainly never gave the members of the City Council the benefit of the doubt. Instead, she herself misled the public by asserting that the award of no-bid contracts by the City Council amounted to cronyism or politics as usual - both things that the sincere and politically pure Jeanne Ives would root out if she were elected. This goes back to the author's 2 choices: By defending no-bid contyracts now, Ms. Ives is tacitly admitting that she demagogued the issue as a candidate. The issue that the author wished to raise is this: Like all too many career politicians and would-be career politicians, there is a great deal of daylight between Ms. Ives campaign rhetoric and her record. It appears to the author that there is little "bold leadership" in either.
Michael Hoffman March 09, 2012 at 10:43 PM
The author would also be remiss not to remark on Jim McMahon's exhortation to "Use that reptillian brain and vote for Jeanne Ives." It is the so-called reptillian brain that operates without reason, logic or conscience. It would seem that relying on more evolved homo sapien brain functions like reason, logic and conscience would better serve the body politic.
Francis Urquhart March 10, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Nothing like a blog that is not favorable to Jeanne to make Charlotte jump when Jeanne calls and try and act like a journalist.
Francis Urquhart March 10, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Well said. Let's see if Mark Stern has any witty come backs for this. Jeanne was a bomb thrower while on the outside, now that some of the debris is still flying she ducks and covers behind Stern and Charlotte.
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 (Editor) 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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