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Checking in on Fundraising by Statewide Candidates PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 20 October 2013 05:58

Let’s take a quick look at the campaign-finance disclosure reports filed last week by some of the statewide candidates.

• Bill Brady. It goes without saying that the $66,104 Brady reported raising during the third quarter was beyond pathetic. But here’s how bad the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s performance really was: Even Sheila Simon outraised him. The notoriously poor fundraiser Simon pulled in more than $106K during the quarter. And if it weren’t for the $200K in leftover funds from his 2010 governor’s race, Brady would’ve reported having just $73K at the end of the quarter. He also spent a bit more than he took in – which isn’t very difficult, considering his paltry take.

 
Rauner Presents Huge Threat to Democrats PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 13 October 2013 05:27

Bruce Rauner has closer ties to top Democrats in this state and nation than many Democrats do, is pro-choice, and is reluctant to say where he stands on gay marriage, so you wouldn’t think he’d have much chance at winning a Republican primary for governor.

But the retired multi-millionaire is running a pretty smart campaign and raising tons more money than his opponents, so nobody can really count him out.

Bill Brady told the Chicago Sun-Times he’d raised a mere $75,000 this past quarter, which ended September 30. The Tribune reported that state Senator Kirk Dillard had raised just $239,000 in large contributions during the third quarter, but he’s still carrying quite a lot of debt from his failed 2010 campaign for governor. Treasurer Dan Rutherford says he raised $333,000 and has $1.2 million in the bank. Rauner, on the other hand, raised more than a million dollars during the quarter and about $3 million since he kicked off his campaign. And he has so much personal wealth that he could spend lots, lots more.

More than a few Democrats and even some Republicans wary of Rauner are saying that somebody else with deep pockets may need to step in to snuff out Rauner’s campaign before he makes it out of the primary. And Democrat-affiliated groups appear to be the most logical source of that cash.

 
ADM the Latest Hostage of Pension Reform PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 06 October 2013 05:44

Governor Pat Quinn refused to say for several days whether he’d support a $1.2-million-a-year tax break for Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to move 100 jobs out of Decatur and open up a world headquarters and new tech center in Chicago. But last week he made it clear that without pension reform, the ADM proposal would be a nonstarter and he would veto it.

“He won’t even consider the ADM bill much less get on board when pension reform has not been done,” a Quinn spokesperson told me.

“The best way to help jobs in Illinois is to do pension reform,” Quinn himself told the Associated Press. “To distract legislators in any way from this issue of a lifetime is just plain wrong.”

Quinn didn’t say, probably because he wasn’t asked, whether he thought a vote on gay marriage during the upcoming fall veto session would also “distract legislators.” But a spokesperson later explained that pension reform was vital to the state’s economic interests, and gay marriage, while important, was not.

And so the governor has seized yet another political hostage in his quest to ease Illinois’ enormous budget problems by reducing pension benefits for public employees and retirees.

 
Governor Tries to Reassert His Power with Appeal PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 29 September 2013 05:35

A bipartisan chorus seemed to rise as one last week to urge Governor Pat Quinn not to appeal a ruling by a Cook County judge. The judge ruled that the governor had violated the state Constitution when he vetoed lawmaker salaries this summer. Quinn said he vetoed the appropriations because he was tired of waiting for legislators to finish a pension-reform plan.

Despite urgings by both Democrats and Republicans to drop the whole thing, Quinn forged ahead, issuing a defiant statement in which he vowed to pursue an appeal of Judge Neil Cohen’s decision voiding the veto and ordering lawmaker paychecks to be processed “immediately.”

 
Brady Leads by Staying to the Right PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 22 September 2013 05:19

For a moment, let’s flash back to a poll I commissioned last month. The August 13 Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll surveyed 1,102 likely Republican-primary voters.

The poll found that 74 percent of Republicans wanted GOP gubernatorial candidates to choose a running mate who was “more conservative” than the candidates themselves. Another 18 percent said ideology made no difference, and a mere 7 percent said they wanted a more liberal running mate.

The poll found that 73 percent of Republican women and 75 percent of men wanted a more conservative running mate. Seventy-nine percent of seniors, who tend to dominate GOP primaries, wanted a more rightward pick. Seventy-seven percent of collar-county Republicans, 73 percent of suburban Cook and Downstate Republicans, and 69 percent of Chicago Republicans wanted the candidates to look to their right when picking their lieutenant-governor candidates.

As you probably already know, Illinois changed its laws on running mates. Before, lieutenant governor candidates ran independently in primaries. Now, candidates for governor are required to choose a running mate before they begin circulating nominating petitions.

Fast-forward to today. So far, anyway, the gubernatorial candidate who has by far heeded this poll result the most is state Senator Bill Brady, who was, socially anyway, the most conservative candidate in the race to begin with.

 
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