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Rauner’s Monopoly on the Airwaves Has Him Sitting Pretty PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 19 January 2014 05:48

A solid week of horribly negative media coverage of Bruce Rauner was apparently outweighed by lots and lots of television ads, because his numbers are still rising.

A new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll found that Rauner’s lead increased since late November in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The poll of 1,139 likely Republican-primary voters taken January 14 found Rauner getting 34 percent of the vote, with state Senator Bill Brady at 17 percent, Treasurer Dan Rutherford at 15 percent, and state Senator Kirk Dillard bringing up the rear at 9 percent.

A We Ask America poll taken November 26 – after Rauner launched his holiday-season TV-ad blitz – showed Rauner with 26 percent, Brady with 18 percent, Rutherford with 17 percent, and Dillard with 10 percent. Those numbers echoed a Public Policy Polling survey taken just days before, which had Rauner leading with 24 percent.

So, essentially, the rest of the pack hasn’t moved at all, while Rauner has added eight points to his lead. Last week’s poll had a margin of error of 2.9 percent.

 
Minimum Wage Trips Up a Pair of GOP Hopefuls PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 12 January 2014 20:52

If Bruce Rauner manages to successfully back away from his recently unearthed statement from December that he favored reducing the state’s minimum wage by a dollar an hour, he will have dodged a very serious political bullet.

According to a new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll, the idea is absolutely hated in Illinois. Asked if they would be “more likely or less likely to vote for a gubernatorial candidate who supports lowering the state’s minimum wage to the national rate of $7.25 an hour,” a whopping 79 percent said they’d be less likely. That’s definitely a result that could move actual votes on Election Day, particularly in the context of the messenger – a hugely wealthy political unknown whose advertising campaign is trying hard to turn him into a “regular guy.”

Women were 84 percent less likely and men were 73 percent less likely to vote for a candidate who wanted to lower the minimum wage by a buck an hour, according to the poll taken January 8 of 1,135 likely voters with a margin of error of 3.1 percent. Democrats were 90 percent less likely, while independents were 77 percent less likely, and even Republicans were 63 percent less likely to vote for such a candidate.

 
GOP Might Finally Break “My Turn” Cycle PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 22 December 2013 05:24

It’s no secret that Republican-primary voters in Illinois have been almost rigidly hierarchical when it comes to choosing gubernatorial candidates. They pretty much always choose the candidate who can best demonstrate that it’s his or her “turn.”

In 1990, after eight years as secretary of state, Jim Edgar was the clear choice. Indeed, he barely had opposition. The same went for two-term Secretary of State George Ryan eight years later. In 2002, it was clearly Attorney General Jim Ryan’s turn, and he bested two other high-profile candidates in the primary. In 2006, Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka beat three lesser-known opponents to win her primary race, although it wasn’t as easy.

 
Why Madigan Suddenly Wants Credit PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Monday, 16 December 2013 13:22

House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesperson said last week that his boss’ statement opposing further corporate “handouts” basically “speaks for itself.” But does it?

Madigan invoked the populist gods last week as he called for an end to the “case-by-case system of introducing and debating legislation whenever a corporation is looking for free money from Illinois taxpayers.” Companies requesting the tax breaks, Madigan said, “pay little to no corporate income tax to the state, contributing little or nothing to help fund the very services from which they benefit significantly.”

It would be much easier to believe Madigan had he not just last month pushed a bill over to the Illinois Senate that would give Univar a tax break to help the West Coast corporation move its headquarters to Illinois. Not coincidentally, Univar has an existing facility just next door to Madigan’s House district.

 
Taking Back the Maps: Campaign Aims to Stop Gerrymandering in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 06:01

Practically speaking, there are two ways party leaders draw state-legislative districts in Illinois: domination and dumb luck.

A key phrase in that sentence is “party leaders,” because regardless of whether redistricting is accomplished through one-party rule or a name literally being drawn from a hat, it’s controlled by those with a vested interest in remaining in power – and it’s controlled by one party. Functionally, Illinois’ system is institutionalized gerrymandering.

“Republicans and Democrats want to draw the maps to protect incumbents and punish their political foes,” said Michael Kolenc, campaign director for Yes for Independent Maps (IndependentMaps.org). “We’ve seen them do it in this state. We’ve seen them do it in other states. They do it at any level that they can. And right now they have the data and the technology where they can do it very, very well – where they can slice and dice neighborhoods” to craft maps that benefit them.

Kolenc’s campaign aims to put a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot that would change the way Illinois draws its state-legislative maps. (The process of drawing districts for the U.S. House of Representatives would not be affected.)

 
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