Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vote Early; Vote Often

Some say it was none other than The Boss, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley (seen above in full battle regalia) who coined the “vote early and often” phrase. Others think it was another notorious Chicagoan, Al Capone, who came up with the slogan. Another Chicago mayor, William Hale Thompson, who held the office a couple decades before Daley the First, is also on the short list of people suspected of originating the phrase.

It probably goes back a lot farther than any of the above-named Chicagoans, who may not have originated the phrase, but certainly lived its principle. Consensus of the historians seems to be that President Martin Van Buren’s son John actually coined the phrase, which puts its origin long before the Roaring Twenties and gangster heyday in the Windy City. But the connection of the phrase to Chicago politics is natural and strong.

Later today, I’ll head to my polling place, the town hall, and vote against a bunch of people. And once again, in this primary election, I have a strong hunch my wife and I won’t be cancelling out each other’s vote. Since I don’t live in the city itself, I can’t vote for Paul Soglin for mayor, though if I could, I would.

A while back I blogged that Mayor Cieslewicz seemed to be a nice enough fellow and probably deserved another term, but that was before Hizzoner entered the fray. Given the challenges that now lay ahead for the city and county under the Walker administration, I think Paul is the better man for the job. I don’t really have a horse in this race right now, but in a few short years, the portion of the Town of Madison I live in is going to be annexed by the City of Madison. So I’m hoping Paul can work his magic one more time.

As for the County Exec’s race, I’ll be doing some voting AGAINST. I’m hoping several of the half-dozen who want the job will not just lose today, but lose BIG. I’m not naming names. There are also a couple of Supreme Court candidates I’ll need to vote against today. The highest court has become a three-ring circus of corruption, petty public sniping, and big-money influence. It’s well past time for some changes there.

Don’t be too busy protesting at the Capital today to take time to vote. In fact, why note vote on the way to the protest…and again on the way home?


  1. Pulling for Paul Soglin, but NYC is too far out of town for me to drop by the polling station to cast a ballot.

    If the Packers can do it, Paul can, too, and Wisconsin will be the winner. Maybe some of those Supreme Court phizoos will also go away, and it'll be a trifecta.

    Meanwhile I'll settle for relating my all-time favorite political quote, uttered by the indefatigable Boss Richard J. Daley, back in 1968.

    After the notorious political convention in what he considered "his" town (use his still astonishing "shoot to kill" order as a backdrop), "The Man on Six" - as his posse called him, because his office was on the sixth floor of City Hall - was asked about the plentiful evidence of rampant bigotry in Chicago.

    "Bigotry?" His jowls fairly bounced. "There's no bigotry in the city of Chicago. Bigotry doesn't have a Chinaman's chance in the city of Chicago."

    No, folks, I swear. He said it, without a trace of irony. Political quotes simply do not get any better.

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