In the last Oak Park election, the New Leadership Party (NLP) trounced the Village Manager Association (VMA). They not only trounced them, they gave them a genuine, old-fashioned tubthumping, which leads one to the timeless question one asks in the aftermath of calamities, vast blunders, and quantum mishaps: How did that happen?
Some say the NLP won because it has more ideas than the VMA. If you visit the NLP website, you can read a litany of stuff it supports, organized in planks.
If you google the VMA to look for ideas, you get a bunch of dead links, leaving one to think:
1) they must have no ideas, much less a plank, a pallet, or a piece of firewood
2) they’re considering some ideas, but they just haven’t gotten around to conceiving them yet
3) they have ideas; they just don’t want anyone to know about them. Shhh, they’re secret.
Others say the NLP won because it, unlike the VMA, had a couple of rich guys supporting it. According to the Wednesday Journal, these two donors enabled the NLP to raise $5,000 more than VMA–$5000 is no small amount in a local election. You could buy quite a few votes in Chicago for that kind of money and maybe influence an Illinois state legislator, if you threw in some bottles of 12-year-old scotch and a few prepaid lap dances at a stripper bar.
In the next election, the NLP will tubthump the VMA again unless it gets some ideas and a couple of its own rich guys. Fortunately, if the VMA snags some rich guys, it also can skim some ideas, for we live in a free-market world economy in which you can buy anything if you have money, and when you need ideas, you can pay consultants to create them for you. This is how major politicians now run their election campaigns because in this technological age of specialization and instant everything, they don’t have time to think. They hardly have time to do, so they pay people to think for them.
The members of the VMA need only to conjure a way to convince some rich guys to support them. They could just ask some rich people for money, but that may not work. Rich people are asked for money frequently, and they have developed many strategies to fend off queries of a monetary nature. If you ask them for money, you’ll often get a remark such as, “Oh, I’m a little short right now. The gold on my yacht is wearing off and the entire vessel, including the sheets and halyards, needs a re-gilding.” Or they look at you with an air of breezy haughtiness, put their hands over their ears, and say, “I can’t hear you.” Some are so rich they hire flunkies, to impersonate themselves, so they don’t need to deal with the annoying people in their lives, such as anyone asking them for money or their spouse or children.
The most effective way to attract rich people is to offer to name something after them in return for a donation. Therefore, I suspect the VMA would get a lot of rich guys if it altered its name to Village (insert names of rich guys here in BOLD HUMONGO FONTBUSTING LETTERS) Association. The organization would have more ideas than they can use and enough money to put up a website people could actually find, filled with so many ideas the VMA would utterly outplank the NLP.
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