House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters earlier this month that he'd had a "frank discussion" with Governor Bruce Rauner, "and I gave him good, solid advice."

Word is that advice had two parts.

First, the governor needs to find a way to get himself out of this long overtime-session, no-state-budget mess.

Second, if the governor thinks he can get himself out of this mess by somehow breaking the speaker's will, he's mistaken.

But the governor isn't giving up. In fact, he's doubled down.

Rauner has made it clear that there will be no budget talks until the Democrats give in on his "Turnaround Agenda," including his anti-union demands.

And several days after receiving Madigan's "advice," the governor started sending some very negative direct-mail pieces into some Democrat-controlled legislative districts.

The Rauner folks say almost 20 legislative districts - both House and Senate - were targeted last week. "More to come," a Rauner guy told me.

One mailer features an ominous photo of Madigan above and behind a picture of a smiling Representative Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg), who won her race by 3 percentage points last year despite optimism by Republicans that they had her on the run.

"Chicago political boss Mike Madigan wants your Representative Michelle Mussman to kill the reforms you voted for," claims the mailer, which displays her district office number and asks recipients to "Call Michelle Mussman now and tell her to side with taxpayers, not with Mike Madigan's Chicago political machine.

"Michelle Mussman should work for you, not Mike Madigan," claims the other side of the mailer. "Tell Madigan & Mussman: No property-tax hikes!

"Illinoisans already pay the second-highest property taxes in the country, but Mike Madigan wants to use his powerful political machine and State Representative Michelle Mussman to help him block Governor Rauner's tax-freeze reforms, which benefit Illinois' working families," the mailer claims, without, of course, noting that Rauner also wants to essentially eliminate collective-bargaining rights for many heads of working families in that reform.

"Tell Madigan & Mussman you demand term limits!" the mailer continues. "Political puppetmaster Mike Madigan has blocked reform for 44 years, protecting the status quo that put him in power. Illinois needs Michelle Mussman to stand up to Madigan to break the cycle of corruption and restore the integrity to the legislature by supporting term limits."

"Call Michelle Mussman Right Now" the mailer commands, displaying her phone number in a large font at the bottom of the page.

The idea here is probably twofold.

First, put so much heat on Madigan's members that they beg him to cut a deal with Rauner.

I don't see that happening as long as the governor sticks by his anti-union demands. Madigan isn't going to abandon the literal backbone of the Democratic Party because a few members are skittish.

The second part is likely to soften these members up for next year's campaign, when they'll be attacked again with the same sort of message.

That may work, but pretty much all political-science studies have shown that when ad campaigns end, they tend to lose almost all of their punch. If Rauner is going to mail straight through election day next year, that's a different story. But I doubt that'll happen.

And there's a real downside to this, as well.

Once you attack legislators like this, they tend to "go political" right away. And because there is likely no avenue other than standing and fighting, these mailers could just make legislators dig in ever deeper.

But, if nothing else, the mailers are a stark reminder that Rauner has a huge financial advantage over the Democrats.

Madigan's three campaign committees reported raising a total of $618,000 in the second quarter, according to filings with the State Board of Elections. Madigan's committees had $1.99 million sitting in the bank at the end of June 30, according to the filings.

Democratic Senate President John Cullerton's two committees raised $592,000 and had just shy of $1.3 million on hand at the end of the quarter.

That wouldn't be bad at all for the second quarter of an off year, but Rauner's main campaign fund was sitting on $19.7 million at the end of the quarter. Rauner's Turnaround Illinois PAC had another $2.7 million. The governor also has a "dark money" fund, but we don't know how much is in it.

Times have changed.

Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax (a daily political newsletter) and

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