Well, no matter what, my mom's proud of me

Some thoughts on election eve.

In the early days of my campaign for state rep, I was concerned about how my mom would react to me running on the Republican ticket. After all, how would she tell her close friends, including Nancy Stevenson, about my turn for the "dark side".

Well, months later, on this election eve, I just got off the phone with my mom, Esther, who lives in Galena, and she told me she was proud of me: proud of the things I stood for, proud of the things I said, proud of the way I tried to educate the voters to the real perils this state faces.

I told her I was proud, too. I gave voters an alternative: the very essence of an election. I let some voters know they are not alone. I spoke the truth (the true-true) about the awful situation the incumbents have gotten us into.

I am proud I got the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune - which didn't just endorse Republicans regardless of what you might think. And, I got the endorsement of the Chicago Jewish Star - a bigger deal to me than I would have expected it to be. 

I learned some important things, too:

  • If I ever get asked to run again, I need to know that the party will back me with dollars. We don't have "free" elections, we have very expensive elections. (The printers make out the best!) It is hard to get the reach and penetration without bucks...and I didn't raise that much. Thank goodness for Patch, which gave me the opportunity to express my positions, opinions and credentials in these blogs. 
  • The 18th district doesn't make a whole lot of sense as configured. It is anchored in a top-heavy-way by Evanston, which has significantly different demographics and issues that Wilmette, Winnetka, Kenilworth. In a very true sense, the configuration disenfranchises those later three suburbs. Someone should fix that.
  • People don't want to hear the truth. The other day, I tried to explain to a neighbor how bad things were in the state. Plus, he is a teacher. I warned him about the mathematical impossibility of the state paying down its debt, and about the liklihood that he would not get all of the pension to which he was entitled. "I don't expect to get all my social security and no one is refunding the money I lost in my 401(k)," I told him. "Better prepare to take care of yourself." He thought, blinked his eyes, and said "Okay, I get it. You're the truth candidate. So what is your solution?" "Dave," I said, "the state has a huge, expensive staff of budget people. I am just a guy sitting on a back porch stuffing his own campaign literature. If they can't figure it out - how can I? The point is, anyone telling you they have a simple solution isn't telling you the truth." Dave said: "Okay, I get it...but what's your solution." This renvoi could have gone on forever...kind of like who is on first.

I want to thank the people who helped me, especially: John F., Denis D, Brian, Dane, Shellie (the guy who opens the door for you at the parking ramp in downtown Evanston), Take Back Illinois, Yossi & Jim. Most of all, my talented and beautiful wife, June Shellene, who got me into this in the first place but was with me every step of the way..usually three steps ahead of me. And, my dog, Shadow, my lovely black lab-whippet, who sacrificed a number of visits to the Pooch Park to let me do my "campaigning".

Well, nothing left to do now except plant a few signs in the morning and vote. I am ready and grateful, for whatever the universe decides to send my way next.

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yosef bornstein November 06, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Eric I do hope that you win and I know that you are a winner in my book.it was my joy to get to know you,all the very best in the way, were ever it may be.your friend, yossi
John November 06, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Eric, for those who saw you participate in the debates they know who is the best candidate. The Jewish Star and Chicago Tribune prove that point. The lack of an engaged electorate is tragic--I can see people saying "we should have known" when things go bad. The reality is that those people saying "we should have known" put their head in the sand. Esther is proud of you and Shadow can finally get the exercise she needs. May the results reflect an engaged electorate that votes you in!
Wire Points November 07, 2012 at 02:08 PM
You figured these things out, did you Eric? Had you made the slightest effort to campaign and at least talked to people who know the process and could have helped you, you would have known these things from the start.
Eric Lieberman November 07, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Wire Points. You are missing the point if you think methodology, tactics or anything else could have had the 18th district turn Republican, or have gotten Glen Farkas or Tim Wolfe elected. The "Fire Madigan" approach had been hit hard by the Tribune, the Suntimes, the Chicago Jewish Star and a series of radio ads telling people "a vote for a Democrat is a vote for Madigan". All of the candidates hit the question. In the end, it just turns out that Illinois voters just didn't care. In the end, the Madigan masterminded redistricting was successful in drawing district lines that guaranteed election of Democrats. Maybe people feel comfortable having a "boss"...we are know for political bossism, aren't we? You've got some powerful mojo going if you think you could have developed a plan, strategy, tactic or whatever to defeat the powerful forces that were at play. I hope you get to use them in the next election, Maybe you can help make a difference. Eric
Wire Points November 07, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Eric, your points are fair. More importantly, you got in the arena, which neither I nor anybody else did, and I should be thanking you for your effort. Perhaps my emotions are getting in the way. A veto proof majority for Cullerton and Madigan is appalling and terrifying. I accept Democrats and liberals, but I cannot imagine how they can look in the mirror with this result.
Eric Lieberman November 07, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Emotions are running high right now. But I'm standing back and thinking of the lessons learned through watching Eric up close. As it turns out, I got to watch Robyn Gabel up close too. I have nothing personal against Robyn, but knowing what I know about her through Eric's experiences with her and my own research, she is but a cog in a corporate run political machine that will continue on its path until the state of Illinois lies in complete ruins. The real tragedy is that Robyn does not have the kind of intelligence it takes to really "see" what's going down here, and has no idea that she's taking part in this process. Indeed, that's one of the reasons she was chosen to take on the role of representative in the first place.
Wire Points November 07, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Illinois' fiscal and pension crisis will be our focus at our new website, www.wirepoints.com. The reality of Madigan and Cullerton running the state with a now veto-proof majority should terrify all of us, no matter what our politics. We intend to watch them carefully, and hope voters will watch them with us on the site.
John November 07, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Eric, I hope you, Farkas and Wolfe decide to run again. All of you increased the percentage vote for the Republican over the prior election. Knowing what the three of you have learned, I am hoping you can build on this experience and take another run for elected office. Your 38% of the vote is a good step in the right direction. I hope you can build on this first step towards liberating Illinois. I do have to say I wish I could disagree with your "Illinois voters just didn't care remark." Unfortunately, the only thing that will shake up voters who mindlessly vote will be a crisis. Please stay engaged and keep us educated about GMO.
millie November 08, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Madigan is getting state ready for Lisa to run for Governor in 2014
Tim Pareti November 08, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Eric, Why don't you run for city council. It's not too late
Jim November 09, 2012 at 05:23 PM
As I have said to some of you before, Illinois will have to hit rock bottom, like an alcoholic, before there is any possibility of a cure. When the state lies in ruins, the vermin will run. In the meantime, we could market ourselves as the American gulag and try to get other states to send us their crooks, crazies and corrupt politicians. We might be able to make a buck from that and the people sent here would be in their natural habitat.
Jim November 09, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Everyone should read John Rawls, Cloward-Piven, Mark Russo, Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Frank Marshall and a few others to understand what is happening. And Eric, your answer to Dave should have been that you wanted to stop the bleeding first and then look at what to do. His answer would have been logically, no, I want the bleeding to continue until we have a plan. Good try. The fact that someone like you cannot beat a drone like Gabel is discouraging.


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