Since his inauguration, Governor Bruce Rauner has consciously aped Washington, DC’s notoriously noxious battle to “win” the daily media spin cycle. Rauner has a set base of talking points based on tried and true poll-tested topics, and he rarely if ever deviates.

Republicans have been saying behind the scenes that they have put four Democratic state Senators “on the bubble”: Tom Cullerton in DuPage County, Melinda Bush in Lake County, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant in Will County, and Gary Forby in southern Illinois.

The Washington Post published a story the other day titled “Meet the Wealthy Donors Who Are Pouring Millions into the 2016 Elections.”

Whenever you see a statement from the Democratic Party of Illinois, you can be supremely confident that House Speaker Michael Madigan – the party’s longtime chair – approves of the sentiment.

And the same goes for the Illinois Republican Party and Governor Bruce Rauner, who accounts for 95 percent of the party’s total fundraising since January 1. No way will that party deliberately say anything that is contrary to the governor’s wishes.

Governor Bruce Rauner said last week that he has never spoken with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel or any legislators about a much-anticipated proposal to toughen penalties for gun crimes.

You might think that months of bipartisan cooperation on numerous criminal-justice-reform bills would make that particular topic off-limits for campaigns this year.

You’d be wrong.

An organization controlled by Governor Bruce Rauner has spent a million dollars in a little over a week on a new television ad promoting legislative term limits. And that’s just for starters.

Is Illinois the next state to deal with “voter suppression”? Maybe, depending how you look at it.

“Do you think he knows what he’s doing?” asked a top Republican last week about House Speaker Michael Madigan’s high-profile role at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

To understand the effect that Governor Bruce Rauner has had on the Illinois Republican Party, you need to go back a few years.

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