Suscribe to Weekly RiverCitiesReader.com Updates
* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

GOP Legislators Overeager About Appointments PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 23 November 2014 05:13

Whenever a new governor is about to be sworn in, one of the most popular Springfield parlor games is figuring out who is on their way out and who is on their way in.

Of course, when a new governor is sworn in from a different party, the “who is out” part is relatively easy – pretty much everybody without civil-service job protection is out. Governor-elect Bruce Rauner is a Republican who just defeated Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, so almost all of Quinn’s people are surely gone.

But who will Rauner bring in to run the government? I cannot tell you how many times I’m asked that question every day.

Much of the recent local speculation has focused on Republican state legislators, partly because most of the people closest to the outsider Rauner are unknown to the Springfield crowd. Legislators, on the other hand, are very well known. Some of those legislators are not-so-subtly floating their own names; some are just naturally assumed to be on a short list.

As a result, there are so many rumors going around about so many legislators being “sure thing” appointments that I long ago lost track of the count. It seems at times that the number could be half of the Republican caucus.

 
Rauner Should Be Able to Work with Madigan PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 16 November 2014 05:23

Last December, Bruce Rauner appeared on a WLS Radio talk show and revealed that he planned to form a new campaign committee to counter the power of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

“We’re gonna raise a PAC, we’re gonna raise a fund dedicated to the state legislature, members of both parties who take the tough votes,” Rauner said. “We’ve gotta protect the members who take tough votes.”

“Right now,” Rauner continued, “Madigan controls the legislature from his little pot of cash. It isn’t that much money. And he runs the whole state government out of that pot. We need a pro-business, pro-growth, pro-limited-government, pro-tax-reduction PAC down there in Springfield working with the legislature for those who take tough votes.”

Word is that Rauner’s new legislative PAC will be launched relatively soon – perhaps after the governor-elect’s transition committee has finished its job.

 
Quinn’s Doomed Strategy Gave Rauner an Easy Win PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 09 November 2014 05:48

Bruce Rauner out-performed fellow Republican Bill Brady’s 2010 gubernatorial-election performance in every region of the state last week. As I write this, with less than half a percent of the vote yet to be counted, Rauner has a 5-point margin over Governor Pat Quinn and appears to have won a majority vote in a three-way election.

The national headwinds against the Democratic Party surely played a role in the Quinn loss. But Rauner did better than other Republicans on the ticket. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is widely considered one of the most popular Republicans in Illinois, and yet she under-performed Rauner. At this writing, GOP state Representative Tom Cross and Democratic state Senator Michael Frerichs are just about tied in the treasurer’s race. And Republican Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier appears to have narrowly survived an attempt to oust him.

Rauner scored just above the magic 20-percent number in Chicago, a point at which – with a significant advantage in the rest of the state – a Republican can win a statewide election.

But he didn’t really need it. He out-performed Brady’s 2010 campaign in suburban Cook County by 6 points, outdid the Downstater in his own region by a point, and dwarfed Brady’s 2010 numbers throughout the collar counties.

 
Dems Put Rauner in a Bind on Abortion Issue PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 02 November 2014 05:20

I’m going to talk about one of the weirdest things that happened this campaign season.

Earlier this year, ultra-conservative activist Jack Roeser told me that his friend Bruce Rauner believed life began at conception. “I’d describe him as a guy who is a morally right-to-life guy, but not on the hustings,” said Roeser, who has since passed away, about GOP gubernatorial nominee Rauner.

Roeser and many of his right-to-life allies backed Rauner every step of the way, while Rauner, who belatedly admitted that he’s pro-choice, spent much of the Republican primary campaign fighting for term limits and pledging battles with the Springfield Democrats and their teacher-union allies.

The candidate has often said that he has “no social agenda” and would focus solely on cleaning up government and getting the economy running again. But in addition to those factors, he also wanted to avoid stressing the issue for fear of alienating a relatively small but still important base of Republican voters who just won’t vote for a pro-choicer of any party. Every vote counts, especially if you’re a Republican running in Democratic Illinois.

But the issue exploded during the campaign’s final week. Local 150 of the Operating Engineers Union – one of Governor Pat Quinn’s strongest supporters – spent big bucks supporting the unabashedly pro-life, pro-gun Libertarian Party candidate for governor, Chad Grimm. The idea was to siphon votes away from Rauner.

 
Rauner Traps Journalist in Appearance-of-Impropriety Web PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 26 October 2014 05:23

Perhaps the worst thing to happen to journalism over the years is its simplistic over-reliance on the mere “appearance of impropriety” to justify big, splashy stories.

It’s based on the assumption that everybody is corrupt. No actual wrongdoing need ever be found – just something that might look a bit fishy to a reporter’s overly suspicious eyes. There’s no need to prove anything; one or two distant connections is enough to justify destroying somebody’s reputation – which didn’t deserve protection anyway because everybody is evil.

And that brings us to Dave McKinney, who resigned last week as the Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times. It was a reversal of what’s become the norm: In this case, a politician caught a journalist in the appearance-of-impropriety web.

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 7 of 131