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Unions Face Difficult Choice in GOP Primary PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 24 November 2013 13:17

Illinois union leaders are reportedly mulling several options about what to do in the governor’s race. But the only thing the leaders appear to agree on so far is that anti-union Republican gazillionaire Bruce Rauner cannot be allowed to win.

Some union honchos are looking at endorsing a candidate in the Republican primary. State Senator Kirk Dillard, for instance, already has strong support from the Operating Engineers, a union that is now even more opposed to Rauner since the candidate’s endorsement by the strongly anti-union Associated Builders & Contractors group. Other unions have also taken keen notice of that endorsement.

 
Polling Shows Little Change in GOP Gubernatorial Race PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 17 November 2013 05:22

In mid-August, near the end of his summertime TV-advertising blitz, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner scored 14 percent in a Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll of likely GOP-primary voters. That was up a tick from the 12 percent he got in a June 20 poll by the same firm. His campaign has run some radio ads since then and sent out some direct mail, but Rauner has been mostly absent from TV for a few months.

The absence doesn’t appear to have hurt him much. According to a poll taken November 14, Rauner is at 11 percent. So while he did slide back a bit, he’s still within the same polling range that he’s been trading in for months. That’s not to say this is good news; it isn’t.

 
Gay-Marriage Bill Clears Path for GOP Candidates PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 10 November 2013 11:00

Perhaps the biggest loser in November 5’s historic passage of a gay-marriage bill in Springfield was the National Organization for Marriage.

The group, based in Washington, DC, has been at the forefront of attempts to stop gay marriage in states throughout the country. A Maine investigation uncovered what it claimed were internal NOM documents about the group’s strategy, including this passage: “The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks – two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize, and connect African-American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay-marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and -women as bigots. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party.”

The organization tried all that in Illinois, spending tens of thousands of dollars on politically connected consultants and robo-calls into black districts in the spring, summer, and right up until the day of the vote, and holding media-friendly events in the black community. The bill wasn’t called for a vote last spring mainly because black House members were overwhelmed by fervent local opposition.

 
Madigan Makes Another Misstep with “King-Maker” Comment PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 03 November 2013 06:03

The rich irony of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan denouncing somebody for attempting to be a “king-maker” is so obvious and laughable that I can’t help but wonder why a guy who’s been a take-no-prisoners king-maker himself for so long in this state would ever think of saying such a thing.

You may already know the story. The Better Government Association and the Chicago Sun-Times took a look at some of Madigan’s campaign petition-passers to see if they had government jobs.

What they found wasn’t surprising at all. Seventeen of 30 people who passed Madigan’s nominating petitions worked for the government. Another 12 had at one time worked for the government.

 
Can Chicago Mayor Get Something Done on Gun Control? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 27 October 2013 05:11

Back when Richard M. Daley was Chicago’s mayor, Hizzoner would hold a big, splashy press conference every year with cops and prosecutors and crime victims to unveil his new state gun-control legislation.

The Chicago media poobahs would shout their huzzahs, the NRA would fume and raise tons of money from angry members, and then Daley would quietly go back to his job as mayor and nothing much would ever happen in Springfield.

Rahm Emanuel is not Rich Daley.

Mayor Emanuel’s Statehouse lobbyists are engaged in serious talks with the NRA and even the more strident Illinois State Rifle Association (something that Daley would never do, and vice versa) to try to work out a compromise on legislation to force convicted gun-possession violators to remain in prison for a lot longer than they already are. Emanuel himself is said to be actively involved by phone.

 
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