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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.

 
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.

 
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