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Leadership Vote Bodes Well for House GOP PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Monday, 09 September 2013 12:35

After the Illinois House Republicans met late last month in Springfield to elect a new caucus leader, several members gathered at a local watering hole to toast their top dog, Representative Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs).

Notably, several members who backed the candidacy of Representative Raymond Poe (R-Springfield) showed up as well and heartily shared in the festivities.

And so a leadership battle that for a while looked to be heading down a bitterly negative path ended with smiles all around. Durkin managed to pull off the impossible.

Rauner Shows Smart Strategy in Early Moves PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 25 August 2013 05:24

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has focused like a laser on his absolute disgust with public-employee unions such as AFSCME, the Illinois Education Association, and the Illinois Federation of Teachers. The wealthy former business executive claims the unions are the root of most of Illinois’ problems and has decried the “corrupting” influence of their campaign cash on both political parties.

Illinois Republicans appear to overwhelmingly agree with Rauner.

“Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a Republican candidate for governor who received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from public-employee unions?” 1,614 likely Republican-primary voters were asked August 21 in a Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll.

An overwhelming 80 percent said they’d be less likely to back such a candidate, while a mere 8 percent said they’d be more likely to do so.

Two GOP Hopefuls Could Be Sunk by Ties to Democrats PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 18 August 2013 05:18

I had heard that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s longtime personal and business connections to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were “killer” issues among GOP primary voters, so I commissioned a poll.

The question I settled on is pretty mild in comparison to what could be used in a TV ad, so the response may turn out to be even worse for Rauner than the Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll shows, if that’s possible.

“Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate for governor if you found out he was a friend and political ally to Chicago Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel?" 1,102 likely Republican-primary voters were asked on August 13.

A truly astounding 83 percent of Republicans said they’d be less likely to support that candidate. Any time you see a “less likely” response above 80 percent, you can pretty much figure that the target is toast. But maybe not in this case.

Attorney General Has Questions to Answer About Campaign Decision PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 11 August 2013 05:12

“Ask her,” Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan told a Sun-Times reporter last week. The journalist wanted to know why Madigan’s daughter Lisa would consider running for governor knowing that her father had no plans to step down as speaker.

So I tried to ask her. But I didn’t get very far.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan, I was told, is still refusing to discuss in any way the “personal” conversations she had with her father leading up to her decision not to run for governor.

Attorney General Madigan had this to say when she announced she would run for re-election instead of the state’s highest office: “I feel strongly that the state would not be well served by having a governor and speaker of the House from the same family and have never planned to run for governor if that would be the case. With Speaker Madigan planning to continue in office, I will not run for governor.”

But last week, Speaker Madigan said he had told his daughter on “several occasions” that he had no plans to step down. “She knew very well that I did not plan to retire,” he said. “She knew what my position was. She knew.”

Unknown Legislator Could Craft Credible Statewide Campaign PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 04 August 2013 05:23

State Senator Kwame RaoulState Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) was apparently taken aback a few weeks ago when his standard public comments about not ruling out a race for governor were taken as a dramatic sign that he might very well run.

The public reaction should’ve been predictable. The most recent Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll, taken in mid-July, had Governor Pat Quinn getting just 38 percent of the Democratic-primary vote. That’s pretty awful for an incumbent. Bill Daley, who made his exploratory candidacy official last week, was at 33 percent.

That leaves a lot of wide-open space for a new challenger. There is a very definable path for Raoul to do well here. And while he might not win, he’d likely set himself up for a future statewide race – possibly the 2016 U.S. Senate primary – if he runs a credible campaign. There really just isn’t much of a downside, so let’s look at his path.

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