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May 2010
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Scott Lee Cohen for Governor? Really?

Scott Lee Cohen

“I’m with stupid.”

That’s the tee-shirt that Scott Lee Cohen’s running mate will have to wear after Mr. Cohen announced running for governor of Illinois as an independent.

And I even like Cohen. Not in a “I’m-going-to-vote-for-him” way, rather, a “I- respect-that-he-put-his-money-where-his-mouth-is” way. I respect the fact that he saw a problem in government and decided that he would try to address it by running for Lieutenant Governor. You have to respect that moxie.  I even wrote nice words about him in a February8, 2010, post.

But, now that he’s running for governor, why did he quit the race after winning the democratic nomination for lieutenant governor? He won the primary election fairly; there were no allegations of impropriety after his February 2010 primary win. One person who should have had a problem was Michael Madigan, who failed to appropriately vet Mr. Cohen before the primary.

So again, why did Scott Lee Cohen quit?

Yes, Mr. Cohen has a somewhat checkered past– dating a prostitute and allegedly putting a knife to her throat during a fight. I’d heavily bet against Sheila Simon holding a knife to her prostitute boyfriend’s throat. Its fair to say Mr. Cohen probably would have brought down the democratic ticket in the fall.

But if was going to run as an independent, why not try to change things from the inside of the democratic party? One would think he would have more influence on the Democrats as the lieutenant governor nominee for the party. Cohen would even be able to exert some control over Michael Madigan– something not even Governor Quinn has been willing to do– in terms of some sort of quid pro quo to leave the ticket.

Back in February, Mr. Cohen stated that major weight was put on him by Michael Madigan and the threats that he made forced him out of the race.

And now he’s back.

Scott Lee Cohen announcing his run for governor as an independent yesterday at the Thompson Center

If Michael Madigan applied enough pressure on Scott Lee Cohen back in February after he won a place near the top of the ticket causing Cohen to cave and leave the race, how is he going to handle Madigan’s squeeze if he were Governor Cohen? Unfortunately, Scott Lee Cohen cannot be taken seriously. That sentence was true back on February 3, 2010, after he won the primary– but at least at that point, he had something viable: he was on the Democratic ticket as lieutenant governor. He won the primary. Back then, Cohen could have held the entire Illinois democratic party hostage, as he could have been responsible for losing the Governor’s race in November. The GOP could have brought back Alan Keyes and the GOP still might have beaten Quinn/Cohen.

But Cohen caved to Michael Madigan. Sounds like Pat Quinn. On second though, maybe Scott Lee Cohen could make a good governor.

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