Friday, February 5, 2010

A Dark Horse with a Black Hat

The office of Lieutenant Governor in Illinois isn’t very important…unless the Governor is indicted. (Gee, how did Quinn get to be Governor?)

And the primary elections rarely include running mates, paired with the Governor. In this election only one ad campaign talked much about their slate.

So, it is a forced marriage based on the vote tally.

Along comes Scott Lee Cohen. He’s not from the machine, and outsiders are doing well these days. He used his own money to run, over $2 million worth. And his ads were focused on action, rather than a slam against the other guy.

He used a rather interesting approach. He held job fairs around the state. He said, “We can’t wait until the election to do something about unemployment.” He had a regular guy tell voters, “Scott Lee Cohen helped me get a job with one of the largest cable companies in the country.”

None of this, “I promise to fix the problems in Illinois,” or, “My opponent is lying to you.” He displayed his action mentality to fill a real need of the times.

Despite full disclosure of his past before the election, nobody paid much attention to him. His opponents were experienced politicians who would surely win.

Well, they lost. And Scott Lee Cohen is the chosen democrat candidate for Lt Governor.

Here’s what’s in his closet:
He’s a pawnbroker.
He used steroids purchased from friends, not Walgreens.
He’s divorced with a spouse abuse allegation.
His ex is currently in court over $54,000 in unpaid child support.
While going through the divorce, he dated a 24-year-old massage therapist with a prostitution conviction.
Said 24-year-old massage therapist had him charged with putting a knife to her throat and threatening her. She never showed up in court, so the charges were dropped. But the Sun-Times obtained court records that say Cohen held "a knife up to complainant's neck causing minor scars," according to the police report from his arrest. There also were "minor scars on her hand from her trying to defend herself against the arrestee swinging the knife at her." Cohen also allegedly "pushed complainant's head against [a] wall, causing a bump on the back of her head." Cohen says he never touched her.

Now that Hynes has officially conceded to Pat Quinn, the party wants Cohen out. Cohen simply needs to step down, then the state democrat committee, led by Mike Madigan, chooses a replacement. (Sure, it makes sense to just choose the one with the second-highest vote total on February 2nd, but that wouldn’t be any fun.)

And there is talk that Hynes was promised the Lt Governor spot for graciously conceding rather than mounting a recount campaign.

But first things first. Cohen needs to step aside. And so far he’s holding his ground. He’s already been on TV with his ex-wife explaining what happened.

And so, another black eye for Illinois politics.