Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Blandy McKenna off to a slow, Kumbiyah start

Dated February 1, 2005 at 1:45 pm
The McKenna Watch, Bland as Bland can be?
"McKenna Begins [his] First Day as Party Chairman," heralded the State GOP's press release, distributed [and written by?] State GOP Press Secretary Jason Gerwig [Gerwig is a Judy Baar Topinka holdover, does this mean McKenna will keep all of the staff who want to stay in place? Actually, a number of the Topinka have already left for various reasons.]

In his first press release as State GOP Chairman, Andy McKenna [looks like he has dropped the Jr.] is off to an inauspicious state, giving the party faithful three paragraphs on unity, joining hands, one voice, one vision, etc. In short, he is telling all Republicans to join hands and sing kumbiyah. Oh, that will do it. Yes, sir, “Now, Pat [O'Malley] and Judy [Baar Topinka], you two hold hands and sing nicely, please”

The closest McKenna comes to substance is: "We can offer the families of Illinois a clear alternative to the Democratic mismanagement we see on a daily basis by those in power," and he asserts that the Republican Party is about, "working on those issues that will help keep both Illinois and America strong."

What is the clear alternative that McKenna is offering? What does he mean by Democratic mismanagement? By whom? and what acts? McKenna doesn't say. Does McKenna have in mind Blagojevich? Emil Jones, Mike Madigan, Mayor Daley? County Board President Stroger? The Democratic Illinois Supreme Court? McKenna doesn't say. What are the issues that will keep Illinois and America strong? McKenna doesn't say.

Indeed, Congressman and likely gubernatorial candidate Ray LaHood [R- Peoria, 18th Dist.], who endorsed McKenna for the Senate and the Chairman's position—but who started speaking out against Senator Peter Fitzgerald in 2002- in an apparent effort to find someone [McKenna?] to run against Peter in the 2004 Primary, said last week on Tom Roeser's WLS Political Shoot-out radio show that Mayor Daley is doing a very good job because city crews picked up the snow "so people could go to church," and LaHood didn't have much to say about the sea of corruption that surrounds, if not is nourished by, the Mayor. Does McKenna agree with his good friend, Cong. LaHood? We don't know. McKenna didn't say.

Does McKenna think that the Democratic Mayor Daley is doing a going job, notwithstanding Hired Truck, Hired Tow and Hired Thief? We don't know. McKenna didn't say. Does McKenna think that Republicans should be opposing Cook County Board President Stroger’s proposed increase in hotel, motel and restaurant taxes? We don’t know. McKenna didn’t say.

Perhaps we are being too tough on McKenna. This is like his first day at school. He may have spent this morning looking for his backpack [I have one for him, if he likes]. But, McKenna doesn't have much time. About a year until a gubernatorial nominee is chosen and then he might be out of a job, so to speak.

What will Andy McKenna accomplish in the next year? Will he start talking substance at some point? We have invited him to come on our show, "Public Affairs." Perhaps, he will be willing to do so. Heck, we have already given him some of the questions. What more could he ask for? The answers?
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at JBCG@aol.com