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Doug Finke

Fair parade canceled, but why, exactly?

Bring on the conspiracies

Bring on the conspiracies

Bring on the conspiracy theorists.

For what may only be the second time in state history, the Illinois State Fair's kickoff parade was canceled.

The reason, of course, was because heavy rain was tracking toward Springfield, which forecasters said could produce flash flooding.

Now, the route takes the parade through one of Springfield's notorious railroad underpasses that often seem like they could get flooded with a decent lawn sprinkler. You don't want your parade floats living up to their names, let alone having Gov. Pat Quinn and his opponent, Bruce Rauner, dog-paddling through an underpass.

As we know by now, the heavy stuff never hit Springfield, even though forecasts are almost never wrong. So now, everyone can turn their attention to the real reason the parade was canceled – at least in their own minds.

Was it to keep the governor from being heckled while the crowd cheered for Rauner?

Did Rauner show up with a much larger contingent than Quinn?

Did Quinn already have enough stock footage of himself walking in the parade and didn't need any more?

Have at it, folks.

Campaign video games

Computers are wonderful things. Campaign videos you can watch on the computer, not so much.

Quinn and Rauner both put out videos last week that sort of underscore the point that just because the technology exists, doesn't mean you use it well.

Quinn had a video meant to capitalize on news that Rauner has money stashed in the Cayman Islands. It was meant to explain what was going on and how this was bad. It did. All 4 minutes, 30 seconds of it. Readers of a certain age will remember those yawner educational films they showed in school. This was the modern equivalent.

To the Quinn campaign's credit, it was followed the next day by a spot that got the same message across in a much punchier way in a mere 48 seconds.

Rauner's contribution was a minute-long video of “Quinnocchio” jumping around (literally) in various locations along with some narrative to underscore Quinn's shortcomings. It was all presented as a movie trailer complete with an opening shot saying, “The following preview has been approved for intelligent Illinois voters.”

Humor is often in the eye of the beholder.

Quotable quotes

“The way you become governor is you work as hard as you can and you read as much as you can.”

– Quinn answering a school kid's question last week and leaving out some of the more pertinent details of getting elected governor nowadays.

“My job is to eat my way across the Illinois State Fair. I've done that the last few years.”

– Quinn, explaining a perk of working hard and reading as much as you can to get elected governor.

Out to lunch

The latest giveaway from the Quinn campaign is tickets to the Illinois State Fair.

The tickets come with a chance to eat lunch with Quinn.

Just think, you get to enjoy all of the sights, sounds, and smells of the state fair with Quinn and other Democrats on Governor's Day.

Presumably, lunch with the governor should be a bit quieter than it was a couple of years ago. That's when labor unions – upset with contract talks dragging on interminably and the rumblings of pension reform – converged on Quinn and chanted slogans as he walked through the fairgrounds on Governor's Day.

They kept it up even as he and some aides sat eating sandwiches in the Pork Pavilion before attending the Democrats' rally at the fair.

That was the year the union demonstrators pretty much drowned out Quinn's speech at the political rally.

Not that the public employee unions are all that enamored of Quinn, but they view the alternative as worse. Quinn ought to be able to at least have a peaceful lunch this year.