Friday, March 12, 2010

Kristen McQueary Queen Maker? Did Columnist Give Kelly Burke Bum Counsel"

Kristen McQueary confronts the Old Boys and lands Kelly Burke in the Jackpot.

The Evergreen Park Burke's are a great family. They banded together family and friends and got Kelly Burke, an attorney, a squeaker of a win in the February Primary for State Represenative ( 36th District). Rep. James Brosnahan (D Evergreen Park) called it quits. Kelly Burke won with less than 50% of the vote against a Speaker Mike Madigan and Big Union candidate.

John O'Sullivan, a construction laborer, beat long-time Worth Township Democratic Committeeman Dennis Magee with more than 75% of the vote.

John O'Sullivan , as Worth Township Committeeman, has a great responsibility to many constituencies. One of his responsibilities is to appoint vacancies. One of those vacancies is State Representative James Brosnahan's position. Kelly Burke demured on the appointment and now that seat was filled by Mike Carberry. It seems that Kelly Burke, in order to maintain an independence from the Ward and Party regulars might have been too coy, due to counsel from Kristen McQueary.

After the primary ( Feb. 18th) Kristen McQueary wrote this in the Southtown Star. This was a fed piece. You know - the ones that follow a phone call. The Guide to the Perplexed type. "What should I do Kristen? I won and yet I am beholden." McQueary like every tin-pot Queen Maker with ink to spill, seems to use the earnest Kelly Burke's 'Independendence.' What does a political pundit have to lose? Nothing. Never do. Some elected officials trust journalists and that seems always to their peril.

Kristen said,

But by accepting the appointment to the seat, she loses some of that appeal (Independence my own). She will benefit from the incumbency infrastructure on which Madigan builds his loyalty. Heading into November, she'll have staff, money and resources, a few months of legislative experience, a wider perspective and a fatter Rolodex. She'll probably have a few bills on Gov. Pat Quinn's desk, thanks to Madigan.

Burke said she welcomes the opportunity to serve constituents if appointed, but she will run her fall campaign the same way she ran her primary.

"I ran a pretty strong campaign using the resources of my family and friends and volunteers, and that's kind of my plan going forward," she said.

Appointing someone other than Burke doesn't make sense.

It does not make sense to a columnist with an inflated sense of importance and the need to kick at "The Organization: The Old Boys, The Clout." Columnists love the abstarct notion of Independence and view obligation ( beholden) as some sort of mark of Cain. The only real Independent folks are poor souls that get treated at State Funded Mental Health Facilities - the padded cell fraternity is as independent as it gets. Grit and tenacity are great, but please,get real about Independence. Poor Kelly Burke had the hook run through her gills with that last sentence and the paragraph to come. Kristen McQueary set her hook.

I stood out in the freezing cold with Kelly Burke's husband Terry on Primary Day. Like Kelly Burke, Terry is a wonderful guy. His brothers. two great kids, in-laws and family friends were working like Americans. The whole family, kids included, busted their rumps for Kelly. I also remember that Committeeman John O'Sullivan backed Kelly Burke, in spite of bucking the unions and O'Sullivan is a rock-solid union man.

Kelly Burke was at John O'Sullivan's kick-off party in Oak Lawn, as I recall.

Nevertheless, it appears that political columnist Kristen McQuery was doing a David Axelrod - activist journalist - bit here. Word is that Kelly Burke vacillated about the appointment and waited well past the deadline for the Committeeman.

It seems that she did so by being beholden to Kristen McQuearey's thoughts here in the February 18th column. Good Lord! Be beholden, but take advice from a columnist?

Either way, Burke is likely to land the appointment.

The downside is that she'll be casting difficult votes in April and May on state spending. She'll have a voting record. If the Republicans get serious, they might be able to make things difficult for her. Voters of the 36th District once again could experience a spirited campaign.

Except in that case, Burke might want Madigan's help.

He always finds a way to corral his flock, doesn't he?

That is troubling. The Committeeman, a great guy, wanted Kelly Burke and needed to go with another Burke backer Mike Carberry who also bucked Big Labor.

Good people are often hurt by the press. What goes on in the minds of a "Columnist" God only knows. Kristen McQueary did not help Kelly Burke and if and when Kelly Burke gets to Springfield this incident could dent her credibility with her colleagues.

When Kelly Burke has a beef with somebody, she takes it up with Kristen McQueary.

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