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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.

Proposal from Pension-Reform Committee Faces Major Obstacles PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 15 September 2013 05:45

Several members of the Illinois General Assembly’s special pension-reform committee told me last week that they believed a final proposal would emerge within the next week to 10 days.

The conference committee has been working on a solution to the state’s pension problems since June, after urgings by Governor Pat Quinn to find a way around the spring legislative session’s pension-reform gridlock. For the past several weeks, the committee – made up of three Democrats and two Republicans from each chamber – has been working on “tweaks” to ideas they’ve discussed behind closed doors.

As I write this, there was no word on what the final proposal will look like, but there is real concern among Democrats I spoke with that the Republicans might decide not to go along. While the Republicans appointed to the committee have strongly indicated they were committed to finding a solution, three of the four are running for higher office: Senator Bill Brady (governor), Representative Jil Tracy (lieutenant governor), and Representative Darlene Senger (U.S. House).

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.

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