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Watch Your Back, Barack

By Margaret Lyons in News on Sep 14, 2004 3:27PM

Did you know there are two other people besides Barack Obama and Alan Keyes registered as candidates with the State Board of Elections for Illinois' U.S. Senate seat? Well there are and neither of them will win, but both of their names are eerily similar to those of two political celebrities. And that's hard-hitting political news--right?

The two other contenders are Albert Franzen and Jerry Kohn. In Franzen's case, trade the Z for the K and you have Al Franken, bane of Bill O'Reilly's existence and possible candidate for Minnesota senator in 2008. Then, if you haven't figured it out already you clever Chicagoist reader you, flip Kohn's first and last name, then switch the J and the K and what do you have? Holy shit, no way is this a coincidence., Franzen is running as an independent candidate and his website proves he's not a whore to any corporation or special interest. If his website's poll is any indicator, it appears he may shun common interest as well.

But enough with the horse race, where does Franzen stand on the issues? He advocates reforming tort law to combat frivolous lawsuits, creating a single payer healthcare plan similar to the Federal Employees Health Program, funding education federally rather than through property taxes, reducing U.S. military presence in foreign countries, reducing American dependence on oil through renewable alternatives, limiting work visas until more Americans get jobs and "perhaps" requiring senior executives to live in the countries to which they move their factories to discourage outsourcing.

2004_09_14.jerry.gifWhile Franzen promises increased government regulation his fellow underdog opponent, libertarian Jerry Kohn, wants to "leave you alone and try very hard to get the rest of the government to do the same." Kohn's website touts the merit of liberty and individual responsibility and suggests that Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve Board are counterfeiters for "creating more money out of thin air." Kohn wants to cut taxes, cut government spending, adopt a more isolationist military doctrine, eliminate restrictions on "the free movement of people", repeal Roe v. Wade, and abolish the Federal Reserve System among other things. Kohn seems to have spent a bit more money on his site than Franzen did on his, but he offers no poll.

For more info on voting, head on over to Voterinfonet, "The Cook County Clerk's award-winning election website." Hurry up and register! The deadline is October 5. (Thanks, Sam!)