Sun-Times Features Aaron Jaffe’s Memories of Precinct Captains Past and Advice on Political Organizing

The Chicago Sun-Time excerpt of Aaron Jaffe's book, "Goodbye, American Dream."

The Chicago Sun-Time excerpt of Aaron Jaffe’s book, “Goodbye, American Dream.”

Aaron Jaffe sat across the aisle and behind me during my first term in the Illinois House in 1973-75.

Under Republican House Speaker Bob Blair, I got a lot of bills to floor and managed to get 12 of them passed both houses. As one of he staffers told me, Blair didn’t know what to make of that independent from McHenry County.

And, even though he had fired me from the House Appropriations Committee staff job I took after finishing my term as McHenry County Treasurer, I still voted for him over Henry Hyde…because I could count.

Now Jaffe has written a book called “Goodbye, American Dream.”

I hadn’t heard of it until I read an excerpt in Saturday’s Chicago Sun-Times. It was titled,

“Last of the old-time precinct captains”

Jaffe had a marvelous sense of humor and after one of my many property tax reform bills had been debated and passed, he observed, “Skinner, you have a tax bill for a heart.”

Jaffe offers this advice on winning elections from the perspective of a State Representative and Niles Township (mainly Skokie) Committeeman:

“I always maintained that if I could get 100 people to work an area of 60,000 for six weeks, I could win.

“They would give me their weeknights and weekends and go out and work the precincts.

“But today, candidates can’t get 100 in 60,000 to work an area that way–because, by and large, the people have lost their connection to politics.”

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Wish I could find a link, but I can’t.


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