Next Tuesday I am going to have dinner with Sheila Simon. This will be at the I.E.A. office in Champaign.
Shelia Simon is the daughter of Senator Paul Simon. I met Paul Simon at Northwestern University. I respected him very much for his honesty and social liberalism. He had something for everyone. He was a fiscal conservative and quick to want to send U.S troops to stop injustice. He was critical of President Clinton for not stopping the genocide in Rwanda. (Though in defense of Clinton, Clinton later said that was his biggest mistake as president.) (This is another story and it is questionable that U.S. intervention would have helped in the long term. Suggestion: Watch Hotel Rwanda.) I liked to dress like Paul Simon at school during Halloween; white shirt and bowtie. He was the only Illinois Democratic Lieutenant Governor to be elected with a Republican Governor.
I introduced Lieutenant Governor Quinn at an Illini Region School Board dinner several years ago. He was stumping for his graduated state income tax bill. I think I was the only one to applaud. I also told the audience I wanted to be the first one to stand up and support his bill. I respected Quinn then for his positions on education and its funding and for other social programs. I don’t really understand what is going on now that he is governor. He has said some things I really don’t like. It was reported in the news that I and the group I was with were “rude” to him. Darn right. Well, we now have a two tiered teaching system in Illinois and no change in income tax so I don’t know where I stand with Quinn.
Ms. Simon is Governor Quinn’s running mate for the next gubernatorial election. (The newest Illinois constitution has the governor and the lieutenant governor running as a team after the primaries.) She will be Quinn’s point person for education. Right now I plan to vote for the team as I see them as the best pair for the people of Illinois. I might write more about this closer to the election and after the election. I predict they will win no matter how I vote. I also might write more about the topic after Tuesday’s dinner.
Although she has many attributes that qualify her to being Lieutenant Governor, I like the fact that Sheila plays in a band. She plays the bassoon and the banjo for the band Loose Gravel. You can listen to some of their music here: http://www.myspace.com/loosegravelgirls/music/playlists .