Sunday, July 17, 2005

A “Good” Representative

As successful as John Shimkus is with monumental mediocrity, people still keep the man in office. Recently DSP provided a reason or two why he is such a "good" representative. Yet, the public trust deserves better than having Wal-Mart in an elected office.

Wal-Mart-level quality customer service is innate to the job description of the elected official & staff. Everyone should have someone to complain to, & they should expect superhuman patience while they complain. If people have nothing else to do with their lives, they can always visit the local office of their representative & spend some time with the staff.

The public trust deserves a Klingon-level fighter in Congress.
A good representative fights hard on the issues affecting the CD & all Illinoisans. People deserve to receive more bang for their vote than a Roll Call vote & a good little soldier.

Yes, they also deserve higher moral standards from their representatives. A "moral" representative does not keep a guilty employee on the payroll, returns or never accepts ARMPAC money, doesn't protect the oil & gas industry from the proposed MTBE legislation, never takes credit for someone else's successes, & increases the quality of life for everyone not a select few.

Environmental degradation, economic conditions, health services, retirement benefits, etc. concern quality of life. They are issues (definition: final results, conclusions). They are the solutions to constituent problems. Without a reasonable expectation of receiving solutions to their problems, constituents vote Wal-Mart in office. In a testament to the middling, they receive the high-quality customer service they expect & do not receive the fight for the quality of life that they deserve.

Constituents of the 19th CD would have been so much better off if Rep. Shimkus had become a Lutheran minister instead of being in the lower half of his graduating West Point class.


At 18 July, 2005 13:59, Blogger Kankakee Voice said...

Well said! Walmart customer service level is setting the bar so low it's hard to go lower. (Unless you live in Weller's distict.) Its like calling someone a good parent simply because they feed, clothe and house their child. Or like CAFTA standards to bring globilization and "free trade" to the Americas. All CAFTA will do is ensure that even more poor and middle class workers will be fighting each other for an ever shrinking piece of the pie.

At 18 July, 2005 16:59, Blogger Diane said...

Looks like the Southern Illinois democrats are beginning their campaign in the 19th district a bit early, but without a candidate. The voters, except for those who are diehard SI democrats, put John in office and, especially the past two elections, his opponent was not even particularly close.

A couple of points in response to your post. Shimkus holds the seat formally held by Durbin and Mel Price before him. If anyone personified the term, "customer service" it was Price. The first order of business is taking care of your constituents, whether it is handing out long lost WWII medals or helping to save Scott Air Force Base, or seeing that transportation money gets to the district for the building of new roads or fixing old ones. Customer service is not a bad thing.

As someone married to a Lutheran pastor, I take issue with your statement that Shimkus would have been better off going into the ministry. The church, capital C, needs faithful laymen more than it needs more pastors. Laymen who by voice and action, witness to the gifts of God to us. And the remark about West Point was just a bit gratuitous.

This is long, but having two daughters who have spent some years working for the House of Representatives, it has become clear that most members, of whichever party, are sincere and good people who work hard and want to do the best they can. They are not the same people TV news and campaign rhetoric would have you believe they are.

So often people in SI keep to themselves, politically. Democrats talk to their own as do the Republicans. There is very little conversation between those who are not of one's own party. Blogs are changing that. You, and Downstate Pundit and Downleft and myself when I get off cultural things,... the exchange is good. We may never agree, but at least we have walked through the closed doors, thanks to blogs.

At 18 July, 2005 18:15, Blogger Philosophe Forum said...

Since I don't live in the 19th CD, I can't say that the posting had anything to do with any campaign (especially for another Alton atty that filed paperwork a day after the election). It's an observation based on differing values. Quick correction: During the past 2 elections, the Dem incumbents allowed John Shimkus to win. They agreed against any serious challenge in 2004 so they could seriously challenge in other CDs. In 2002, they sacrificed Phelps (Yes, it was painful for him. No, he wasn't happy about being a sacrifice. "Moving on" was his only alternative.). Playing "Let's Make a Deal" is what the incumbents do.

Customer service is fine as long as it's not the only thing. No major legislation has the Shimkus name on it. Rep. Costello is responsible for SAFB & the transportation funding. Rep. Shimkus takes the credit for doing nothing except getting pork funds for his pet projects. He's an avid fighter for business at the expense of everyone else. I acknowledge that.

WWII medals are fine. My father has a few (I was lucky to never be in a situation that would qualify me for any medals during my 3 yrs. on active duty.). He would also tell you vets can provide themselves with basic needs (e.g., food, clothing, medicine, a roof, etc.) when the VA benefits come thru. They can't eat medals, & the VA doesn't have the buget it needs to provide all the benefits the Iraq vets require after their tours. Medals vs. the price paid for them?? My father would prefer to have his entire platoon alive instead of receving posthumous medals because the Germans shot all of them as they hung from the church steeples in Sainte Mére Eglise.

WP vs. the ministry was Rep. Shimkus' post-high school choice in his own words. I agree he would've been better at a religious education, ordained or not, based on his congressional record. The man is in office now because of the IL incumbent deal -- he was the lesser of two evils at the time. That doesn't mean he's the best choice or the better choice for 2006 depending on the Dem challenger that comes forward. It also doesn't mean he should stay in office.


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