One Image, One Question: March 15, 2016

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Okay, by the date cited in the title of this post, you probably know what’s to follow, especially if you live in Illinois. (Or Florida and Ohio.)

Yes, today we juxtapose an image and question related to today’s Primary Election in the state of Illinois.

Did you, or do you plan, to make your vote count during the primary election in your state?

Did you, or do you plan, to make your vote count during the primary election in your state?

In the days leading up to the election, citizens in and around metropolitan Chicago have been pummeled with campaign messages via broadcast media, fliers and signage, and of course, those always annoying robocalls, which usually arrive when I’m preparing or worse, eating dinner.

Yes, I cast my vote this morning. And, no, I won’t share any information on my choices for the national, statewide or local candidacies.

However, as in previous elections, the process to vote in my Chicago ward was effortless. There was no line, there was no confusion.  I preformed my civic duty in minutes using a pen and the double-sided ballot.

Which leads to today’s question:

If the process of voting is quick, uncomplicated and painless, why must the primary process be so lengthy, confusing and excruciating?

And, let me add to the debate: That which makes the world go ’round — money.

Call me a simpleton (hey, I’ve been called much worse), but it’s unfathomable that billions of dollars are spent annually on campaigns.  And, like everything in this world, the costs will continue to escalate.

So fellow Americans, please share your thoughts on this quandary, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.  I guarantee I’ll forward on commentary to those we elect to office.

Once they’re done campaigning, of course.





No More Politics as Usual, Perhaps

Today, we’re steering slightly away from the two themes of this blog:  The noble practice of public relations, and my unending quest to secure a tremendous new full-time position as a practitioner in the profession.

That’s because today is Election Day in Illinois.  More precisely, it’s the primary for the general elections slated for November.   I know, it’s also Groundhog Day; perhaps that will be the subject for another blog next year.

Those loyal readers from Illinois or familiar with our politics know that the Land of Lincoln is in pretty bad shape from a lot of perspectives:  The state is going broke, ranking just above California in terms of having the lowest bond rating of the 50 states; one ex-governor is in jail and another will stand trial in federal court this year; our flagship university has a hiring freeze and mandatory staff furloughs;  job losses mount, and companies are fleeing to states with lower taxes and more business-friendly policies.

This is our status in these recessionary times, despite having just sent a guy from Illinois to the White House and being home to a world-class metropolis.

At this writing, the race for governor is too close to call for either party.  Voter turnout today, a cold and snowy day in Chicago, was thin.   I won’t know until tomorrow which two men will battle the next 10 or so months for the governorship.   There also were races for very important offices, like U.S. Senate and for president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

But it’s the governor race that hits home to me, speaking from a guy writing about public relations and seeking a new job.   Illinois can’t afford another governor who’s ill-equipped mentally and morally to take me and my 12.9 million fellow Illinoisans into the very challenging times ahead.  The nation and economy is on the rebound — I believe.  We need to be poised to take advantage of economic opportunities ahead.  We desperately need a leader with a strong vision, one who will not stand for the “business-as-usual” that has mired our economy for decades.

Side note:  In my lifetime, three Illinois governors have gone to jail; and, there’s a strong probability that a fourth will join that embarrassing cadre of failed, selfish, corrupt elected officials.

Here’s my offer: Whoever ends up with the nomination — from either the Democratic or Republican party — hire me to be part of your public relations team.  I promise to work hard, adhere to the ethical standards mandated by my membership in the Public Relations Society of America, provide sound strategic counsel and demonstrate an extremely high level of competency.

All I ask — along with being paid a salary commensurate with my experience — is that you run a campaign that’s transparent, ethical and based on the serious issues we face in this state.

A tall order, I know. But I can dream.