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The Fallacy (and Challenge) of “Our Illinois” PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 10 February 2013 05:39

Governor Pat Quinn used the phrase “our Illinois” (or a variation) almost 30 times last week during his State of the State address

“In our Illinois, everyone should have access to decent health care.”

“In our Illinois, working people find good jobs not just for today but for tomorrow.”

“In our Illinois, we find a way to get hard things done.”

In our Illinois, we are a “community of shared values.”

While the phrase was mainly just a rhetorical device for a constitutionally mandated annual address, it is important to point out that Illinois isn’t really “one” and doesn’t have all that many “shared values.”

“Our Illinois” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

Imagine trying to govern a state so diverse that it included both Boston, Massachusetts, and Richmond, Virginia.

No Society Can Live Free with So Little Civic Participation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Thursday, 07 February 2013 06:00

Americans have serious problems to sort out sooner than later. The problem with our problems is that they are so ill-defined by the mainstream media (TV, radio, print) upon which too many of us depend for our news diets. So the first order of business is to accept that the mainstream media is no longer a reliable source for relevant, need-to-know information. In fact, much news is deliberately manipulated, crafted, and often contrived to elicit a specific response from consumers, one designed to benefit the agenda(s) of an increasingly apparent goal – globalization.

Polls Show AG Madigan with Commanding Primary Leads – If She Runs PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 03 February 2013 05:27

It’s little surprise that a poll taken January 30 of 1,255 likely Illinois Democratic primary voters shows Attorney General Lisa Madigan leading Governor Pat Quinn by a very large margin.

Madigan also leads Quinn and former White House chief of staff Bill Daley in a three-way contest, according to the poll, but Quinn leads Daley in a one-on-one race. And a large plurality of Democrats disapprove of the governor’s job performance. The We Ask America Poll has a margin of error of 3 percent. About 18 percent of the results came from non-land line users.

In the poll, Madigan leads Quinn 50.5 to 25.7. Among women, who almost always cast a majority of Democratic primary votes, Madigan’s lead is 53-22, while she leads among men 46-30.

Madigan’s lead over the governor in Chicago is 46-30, and it’s 51-28 in suburban Cook. Madigan is ahead 53-23 in the suburban collar counties and by a massive 53-21 Downstate.

Madigan has not yet decided whether she is going to run for governor. People close to her are divided over what they think she’ll do. She reportedly plans to take her time with her decision.

A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey taken in November had Madigan leading Quinn 64-20. But that poll was of just 319 “usual” Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of 5.5 percent. Still, the survey company does excellent work, so if you average the two polls you get a 57-23 lead for Madigan. If Madigan’s decision is heavily weighted toward whether she can win the primary, she’ll run.

Quinn has a better shot against Daley – a white, Irish Democratic Chicago man who may not bring much more to the table than Dan Hynes did in the 2010 primary. According to the We Ask America poll, Quinn leads Daley by 5 points, 38-33. November’s PPP survey had Daley leading Quinn 37-34, so average those two results and you get an essential tie – 36 for Quinn and 35 for Daley.

According to last week’s We Ask America poll, Quinn leads Daley in the city 45-30, but Daley leads in suburban Cook 40-36. Quinn has a narrow half-point lead in the collars and leads by less than two points Downstate. The Daley name ain’t what it used to be.

Could Daley be a spoiler who helps Quinn in a three-way race? Not according to the We Ask America poll, in which Madigan leads with 37 percent to Quinn’s 20 percent to Daley’s 15. Public Policy Polling did not test a three-way race last November.

Madigan’s lead among women in a three-way contest is pretty big. She gets 38 percent to Quinn’s 17 percent and Daley’s 13 percent. Among men, her lead is a bit smaller – 34 percent to Quinn’s 24 percent to Daley’s 18 percent.

Madigan leads Quinn and Daley in Chicago 35-22-17. Her lead in suburban Cook is 35-18-18. She leads 36-17-16 in the collars and is ahead 40-19-11 Downstate.

Public Policy Polling had Quinn’s job-approval rating among Democrats at 40 percent, with a 43-percent disapproval. Last week’s We Ask America poll had Quinn’s approval among fellow party members at 37 percent, with a 42-percent disapproval. Despite the head-to-head matchups, women give him a slightly lower disapproval rating than men; 41 percent of women disapprove compared to 46 percent of men. But just 36 percent of Democratic women and 37 percent of Democratic men approve of the way Quinn is handling his job.

Quinn won the 2010 primary and general elections despite low approval ratings. So he’s been here before. What he didn’t have to do back then, however, was take on one of the most popular politicians in Illinois. PPP’s November poll pegged Lisa Madigan’s favorable rating at 68 percent among Democrats, while just 16 percent had an unfavorable view.

If Lisa Madigan runs, she likely wins the primary. Daley is another story. Like 2010, a Daley-Quinn race will be a hard-fought and bloody battle that could end up being pretty close. If Quinn has to get a single primary opponent, Daley would be the one he’d want.

Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax (a daily political newsletter) and

Why Illinois Republicans Want Gay Marriage to Pass PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 27 January 2013 05:54

Off the record, most top Illinois Republicans these days will tell you that they want a state bill legalizing gay marriage passed as soon as possible.

It’s not that they’re necessarily in favor of gay marriage. Many of them are publicly and privately opposed. Some of them do support it, even though they don’t feel they can vote for it because it might destroy their careers in the next GOP primary.

The reason so many Republicans would like to see the bill passed is because they know – with the huge new Democratic majorities in both state legislative chambers – that it’s eventually going to pass anyway, and they want to get this issue out of the way and behind them as soon as possible. The issue is trending hard against the GOP’s historical opposition, and they want the thing off the table before it starts to hurt them.

Will Bill Daley Finally Run for Governor? PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 20 January 2013 05:23

Bill Daley called the other day. We estimated that it had been about three or four years since we had last spoken to each other, which is par for the course.

Going back to at least 2001, Daley – the brother and son of former Chicago mayors – has mulled a bid for governor. The last time was in 2009, when he publicly considered challenging Pat Quinn in the Democratic primary. And now he’s talking about it again.

Before I returned Daley’s call, I wanted to check around and see what might be different this time.

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