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Unknown Legislator Could Craft Credible Statewide Campaign PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 04 August 2013 05:23

State Senator Kwame RaoulState Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) was apparently taken aback a few weeks ago when his standard public comments about not ruling out a race for governor were taken as a dramatic sign that he might very well run.

The public reaction should’ve been predictable. The most recent Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll, taken in mid-July, had Governor Pat Quinn getting just 38 percent of the Democratic-primary vote. That’s pretty awful for an incumbent. Bill Daley, who made his exploratory candidacy official last week, was at 33 percent.

That leaves a lot of wide-open space for a new challenger. There is a very definable path for Raoul to do well here. And while he might not win, he’d likely set himself up for a future statewide race – possibly the 2016 U.S. Senate primary – if he runs a credible campaign. There really just isn’t much of a downside, so let’s look at his path.

 
Questions Swirl Around Quinn’s Legislative-Salary Veto PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 28 July 2013 08:06

House Speaker Michael Madigan has always strongly guarded the powers of the General Assembly as a coequal branch of government, so it was a little surprising when he appeared to support Governor Pat Quinn’s line-item veto of legislative salaries in mid-July.

The governor vetoed the salaries in retaliation for the General Assembly’s failure to pass a pension-reform bill. In a press release the day of the veto, Madigan said he understood the governor’s frustration with the lack of progress, adding, “I am hopeful his strategy works.”

Behind the scenes, though, Madigan is said to be furious with the governor’s veto. Madigan’s legal staff has been meeting with other lawyers to set strategy to either get around the veto or oppose it. So far, they are not finding much in the way of non-court options.

 
Poll Shows Daley Vulnerable to Bank Attacks PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 21 July 2013 09:59

Governor Pat Quinn is leading his sole Democratic-primary rival, and challenger Bill Daley will have some serious problems with his blue-chip résumé, according to a new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll.

The poll of 1,394 likely Democratic primary voters found Quinn leading Daley by five points, 38-33. That’s exactly where the two stood in a January poll. A June poll had Daley leading Quinn by a point, 38-37, but since then Quinn has made some popular moves, including vetoing legislative salaries out of the budget and using his veto powers to rewrite the concealed-carry bill.

The most recent poll was taken July 17, a day after Attorney General Lisa Madigan shook up the race by announcing her decision not to run for governor. It had a margin of error of 2.6 percent. Cell phones made up 28 percent of those called.

Twenty-eight percent of likely primary voters were undecided, suggesting that there is plenty of room for movement by either man and possibly an opening for someone else to enter the race.

 
Quinn Scores with His Populist Playbook PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 14 July 2013 10:40

Years ago, Governor Pat Quinn told a friend of mine that Illinois voters were pretty easy to understand. Illinoisans love populism, Quinn explained, so doing populist stuff was the way to win their hearts.

And if a recent Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll is correct, then Quinn has done just that with last week’s line-item veto of legislative salaries and benefits. At least, for now.

 
The Myth of a Post-Racial America PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 14:19

How can you thank a man for giving you what’s already yours? How then can you thank him for giving you only part of what’s already yours? You haven’t even made progress, if what’s being given to you, you should have had already. That’s no progress.” – Malcolm X, 1964

In 1964, the United States was in the throes of racial conflict. Civil-rights activists were leading black Americans and their white allies in a struggle against institutionalized racism, segregation, and disenfranchisement. The situation was bleak, activists were being murdered, the government seemed deadlocked on the issue, and many were losing hope. However, the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act set the stage for a positive transformation in race relations in a country that had been plagued by racial tension since its inception.

We have yet to live up to that hoped-for transformation. Almost 50 years later, despite having made demonstrable progress on the race issue, the idea that we live in a “post-racial” society is simply a myth – a myth that was given a boost last month when the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, legislation enacted during the Civil Rights Era that was critical to the enfranchisement of black Americans living in the Jim Crow South. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts claimed that times had changed since thae 1960s, and the section of the law requiring historically racist sections of the country to have changes to their elections laws vetted by the federal government was anachronistic.

Superficially, Roberts’ claims ring true. Obviously Americans have made great strides in confronting issues of race since the 1960s. De jure segregation has been eliminated, minority groups have greater access to essential goods and services, and we have seen what many thought would never happen: the election of a black man to the office of the president.

Yet looking past the veil of progress that clouds the vision of well-meaning people who believe the issue of racism has been solved, we can easily see that there are many policies and practices in America that perpetuate the inequality of races. The following is a brief rundown of the many fronts on which America continues to fail to live up to its “post-racial” ideal.

 
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