Rickey “Hollywood” Hendon Could Become Governor

Lt. Gov. race important after all

If you wanna know why the race for such a lame office as lieutenant governor is important, just try to imagine this: Gov. Rickey "Hollywood" Hendon.

It could happen. Not likely, but then neither was a Gov. Pat Quinn.

Hendon is one of six candidates running in the Democratic primary for what is essentially an inconsequential office - unless the governor dies or, a more possibile in Illinois, is impeached and removed from office. So it's important to pay attention to these folks. 

And in the case of unapologetically hackish Hendon, it's hard to turn away.

His latest? That Democratic Party powers are engaged in a conspiracy against Quinn.

"They want to screw Pat Quinn so he can't win," Hendon told the Daily Herald. "There is no question about it."

Well, there is some question about it. Quinn seems to have won over the state's political establishment. While Hendon is right to be suspicious about House Speaker Michael Madigan - just because - it's otherwise not clear what in the world he is talking about.

Hendon has a long history of off-the-wall statements and questionable ethics. One of his all-time classics was when he was asked by the Tribune about dubious state-funded after-school grants he doled out to a number of suspect figures at $20,000 per. How did one qualify for one of the grants? 

"Spell my name right," he told the paper.

More recently, Hendon snagged $40 million to build a West Side campus of Chicago State University that school officials didn't know they were building.

So - hard as it may be to do - Hendon must be taken seriously. And so must the otherwise ridiculous office he's running for.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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