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Republican Day roundup

Friday, Aug 19, 2011

* The day set aside every year at the Illinois State Fair for the minority party is always filled with people who have very high hopes. This, however, may be a bit much

Republicans predicted they will overcome Democratic-drawn legislative and congressional map and beat President Barack Obama in his home state on Thursday, their day to rally party activists at the Illinois State Fair.

If the map is tossed out by the courts, then the Republicans will do far better. But beating Obama here? I wouldn’t bet very much money on that. However, Sen. Murphy is almost undoubtedly correct about this point…

“You look at Bill Brady getting 99 out of 102 counties, you see people up in my area in suburban Cook that are really suffering when they expected something different when President Obama was elected,” said state Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine. “The 61 percent he got in 2008, he’ll be nowhere near that.”

Obama won Murphy’s very Republican Northwest suburban district in 2008 with about the same percentage that Murphy received. Not gonna happen next year.

* Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno is also probably right

“I would be surprised if that happened [Obama losing Illinois] just because I think there is a real allegiance to the favorite son, a pride in having the president,” Radgono. “I think it’s going to be a heckuva lot closer than it was last time. I don’t think his re-election is a shoo-in as people thought it was a couple years ago.”

* More hope

Republicans largely ignored the impact of new legislative and Congressional districts, drawn by ruling Democrats at the statehouse, that are likely to help Democrats keep control of Springfield and win back seats in the U.S. House. Republicans are challenging the maps in court.

They talked about building on the five seats they picked up in Congress last year, statewide victories by Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, and gains in the Illinois House and Senate, where they are minorities in both chambers. Demetra DeMonte, a Pekin resident who serves as secretary of the Republican National Committee, said the Republican tide that swept America last year was the “beginning of a Renaissance.”

Added U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock of Peoria, “I don’t know about you, but I smell blood in the water.”

Rally speakers drew parallels between Illinois’ dismal finances and the Washington battles over the budget and deficit. Calls for change were buttressed by new unemployment figures released Thursday that show joblessness in Illinois rose to 9.5 percent - the third consecutive month unemployment has increased in the state.

* The latest unemployment report is not good at all

A lack of consumer confidence and uncertainty about the national economy contributed to the third monthly increase in unemployment in a row in July, officials with the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday.

The 9.5 percent rate was up from 9.1 percent in June and compared with 10.1 percent in July 2010. Total employment was down by 24,900 jobs. […]

Illinois has added 28,900 jobs this year and 72,200 since January 2010 after the July losses are subtracted. The department also noted manufacturing employment increased for the fourth straight month in July.

* Many top Republicans have yet to pick a candidate in the presidential race, but some have

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is Romney’s state campaign chairman.

“I’m going to be putting together the delegates and we’re going to be working hard to elect him the next president of the United States,” said Rutherford.

Meanwhile, State Senator Kirk Dillard says he has “promised” to help Governor Perry.

“He brings a record of job creation second to none of any governor in America,” said Dillard.

Other high-profile Republicans are waiting for a candidate to sign their dance cards. Conservative activist Adam Andrejewski, who raised money for Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty before Pawlenty dropped out of the race, is available.

* Some media outlets reported that yesterday’s turnout yesterday was a bit sparse. I’ve seen much worse, particularly during the last two years of George Ryan’s administration and the first year or two of Rod Blagojevich’s. Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said the Democrats had more people this week because they bussed in union members. Um, Chairman, those union members were mostly protesting against Quinn outside the fair gates.

* A couple of hours before the event started, the statewide and legislative Republican leaders reiterated their opposition to more state borrowing

Soon to enter their ninth year in Illinois’ political wilderness, Republicans rallied Thursday against Gov. Pat Quinn’s management of the state budget, beat up President Barack Obama for mishandling the economy and insisted the party finally has shaken George Ryan’s tarnished legacy.

Those messages represented the themes of Republican Day at the State Fair, giving an early glimpse of some of the talking points the GOP will use in the 2012 elections, when Obama aims to retake the White House with a strong Illinois showing, and control of both legislative chambers will be up for grabs.

“We have the right message: fiscal responsibility, no more borrowing. We’re all together on this message. It’s what this state needs, and it frankly is what this country needs,” Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) told a couple hundred supporters at the fairground event.

“We have an electorate that’s been shocked into awareness by the horrible mismanagement by the Democrats,” she said.

* More

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, state House Minority Leader Tom Cross and state Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno held a joint news conference here to address comments Quinn made late last week.

“The very thought that anyone would consider borrowing as a solution to our problem is breathtaking. We cannot use borrowing as a crutch for a tax system and budgetary system that is just broken,” said Topinka, who is in charge of the state’s checkbook.

Quinn told a gaggle of reporters Aug. 11 that he would continue to push his plan for borrowing in the upcoming veto session in October, despite the Legislature refusing to support his original idea this spring to borrow $8.75 billion.

* However

Republicans offered few details about how they would run things differently if put in charge of Springfield.

They criticized Quinn for not paying down a $4 billion pile of overdue bills but rejected his proposal to eliminate the backlog by borrowing money, and they acknowledged their own budget plans would take about five years to pay off the bills. Republican leaders proposed cutting government spending by making unspecified changes to Medicaid, government pensions and health insurance for state employees.

* In other GOP action

Members of the Illinois Republican State Central Committee voted Thursday to impose term limits on committee members and also decided to move the party’s Springfield office to save money. […]

Rodney Davis, the GOP’s interim executive director, said the term limit will take effect in 2014 – the next year members of the state central committee are up for selection. The party has one member from each congressional district, and each of those people appoints a deputy member.

The rule would allow a person to be a deputy member for eight years and a regular member for another eight.

Davis also said the central committee decided to leave its current headquarters at 320 S. Fourth St., which costs $1,600 per month in rent. The party will rent space from the Republican state Senate campaign operation at 2731 S. MacArthur Blvd. The move could come as early as Oct. 1.

From the way it was explained to me yesterday, the term limits kick in with the next election in 2014. Previous terms are not included in the new limits. So, if somebody has been around for several terms, he or she could still run for two more four-year terms in ‘14.

* Related…

* Video: Pat Brady on 2012

* Video: GOP leaders

* Republicans talk unity, while divides still plague candidates

* Illinois GOP plans bigger straw poll

* Hultgren gets cheers, boos during tax talk in Geneva: Some constituents held signs that read “Where are the jobs?” and “Tax Wall Street Millionaires.” Others stood outside with a greeting of “Throw the bum out” while passing out literature with a photo altered to show President Barack Obama with crossed eyes and a Hitler-esque mustache. Hultgren would get simultaneously booed and cheered no matter what he had to say, on topics from job creation to taxes.

* Eaton: Unfortunately, Illinois has a GOP establishment

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Deep South - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 11:50 am:

    Obama’s vote margin in Illinois in 2012 may well depend on his opponent. Who in their right mind would vote for Michelle Bachmann? Rick Perry? I don’t think I could….even if I put a vice grip on my nose. Perhaps they’d vote for Mitt…The GOP better hope Mitt gets it together in time for primary season.

  2. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 11:56 am:

    I actually like the idea of a GOP straw pole. $5 per entry should raise a lot of dough for the IL GOP and will help perpetuate the on-going civil war between the purist camp and the RINO camp. As long as that fight continues, the Dems will keep winning, which is fine by me.

    And judging from the comments at Republican Day, the guy selling the rose-colored glasses at the fair must have made a fortune yesterday.

  3. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 11:57 am:

    *Poll not pole*

  4. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 11:58 am:

    Dillard is going to have a tough time selling Perry to fiscal conservatives. Texas just enacted a budget with a $15 - $27 Billion deficit over two years. Blago redux.

  5. - just sayin' - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 12:01 pm:

    Every year it’s the same old recycled promises and buzz words at Republican Day. That’s why the thing could pretty much be held in a phone booth.

    I do love the term limit thing for the top officials though. Check back 11 yrs from now when the term limits are about to kick in and they’ll just change it back.

    Kudos on the meaningless window dressing though. Bound to do a lot to head off the disaster the IL GOP will face at the polls next year.

  6. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 12:04 pm:

    Fran Eaton is out of line with her cheap shotting of Kirk. Kirk has made numerous public appearances at town hall meetings with the newly elected 5 GOP Congressmen, most of whom fit her bill of “conservative” and has worked the GOP side very hard, recognizing his position as the highest elected member of the Illinois GOP.

    Although I generally respect her positions, she missed the boat on that one and should stop paying all that attention to the “I hate Mark Kirk and always will” brigade that posts on her blog site.

  7. - Dead Head - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 12:09 pm:

    What the media seems to avoid is the question of, where did all the jobs go. Nobody wants to mention that the “job creaters,” aren’t creating jobs in this country; but in India, China, Mexico, Indonesia, etc. Everyone wants to forget about NAFTA, that did just what it was predicted to do - suck the jobs out of this country.

  8. - How Ironic - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 12:10 pm:

    Highlight of the day was hearing Brady on WMAY yesterday when he said the in 2012 he could see Rick Perry defeating Obama in Illinois. It was also amusing to hear him blast the Dems on redistricting, but when Jim turned the tables on him and asked if the GOP had been in charge if the maps would be any different. Brady squirmed, and was unable to say that the process would have been any different.

  9. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 12:20 pm:

    Yeah, the North American Free Trade Agreement sent tons of jobs to India. Right.

  10. - Judgment Day - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 12:21 pm:

    Randy Hultgren is way too much owned by the Wall Street establishment and the big banks. All that being said, he’s a vast improvement over our last Rep., the ghost otherwise known as “Bill Foster”.

  11. - wishbone - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 12:27 pm:

    Illinois is first in the nation in job losses, but Governor Sunshine won’t sign a gaming bill that will create thousands of jobs.

  12. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 12:45 pm:


    Dillard also said yesterday that he needs to see how Perry performs as a candidate before fully endorsing him, which is, of course, prudent.

    Here’s a decent story showing why the Texas budget deficit occurred, which is mainly due to lower than anticipated sales tax revenues on the FY2011 budget which was written in 2009. Texas has a Rainy Day account which can fill this revenue shortage gap. In this story, there are also a number of other revenue enhancements being considered, including one of our own favorite topics, Casinos:

    I wonder if the Illinois Rainy Day fund can be tapped to help Quinn get out of this mess. Oh…

    just saying’

    Yeah, we never hear recycled bromides from the Democrats, either, all we hear from them are the rainbows and unicorns that have resulted from their disastrous management of the state.

    Dead Head,

    You should look up the Columbia (and South Korean) Free Trade agreement. Obama letting this languish on his desk is costing Illinois jobs.

  13. - Demoralized - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 1:01 pm:

    It completely boggles my mind that the Republicans continue to be against borrowing to pay our overdue bills. It is perhaps one of the dumbest positions I have ever seen anyone take. I guess they continue to think it is ok to borrow from those who provide services to the state. Illinois could be paying a much lower interest rate to borrow the money. The bills are due and have to be paid. You aren’t gonna cut any amount of money that would allow you to catch up on them anytime soon. It seems to me that they are just ignorant or they want to perpetrate the stress on the providers for political gain.

    Also, why in the world would I ever want to vote for any of the Republican candidates for state office when they have clearly stated that their goal is to screw me over on my pension and healthcare benefits.

  14. - Skeeter - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 1:23 pm:


  15. - Skeeter - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 1:24 pm:

    Sorry, hit enter way too soon. My bad. I intended to add “Just joking.”

  16. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 1:26 pm:

    - Obama letting this languish -

    Why don’t you just cut and paste from the Heritage Foundation, it’s quicker than typing what they say verbatim.

  17. - Skeeter - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 1:28 pm:

    The Republicans really do have a point. The GOP has a compelling argument if they can get away from some of the tea party extremism. Romney would make Obama work here, and if Hultgren beats Walsh the GOP will look like the voice of reason. Every Democrat right now should be sending the tea party a big check. Tea Party primary wins would be the best Dem path to victory.

  18. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 1:28 pm:

    The Illinois contribution to the wind turbine powered high speed rail project is $400 million. That could make a dent in things, huh, Demoralized. While pipe-dreams such as these may be worth “investing” in when the economy is flush with money, maybe now not so much. I’ll bet there are a few hundred million more tied up in projects such as these.

  19. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 1:31 pm:


    I don’t have any idea why you think my ideas can be attributed to anyone other than myself. You, on the other hand don’t have any ideas at all, nor apparently bother to read anything, so either bring something to the table or buzz off why dontcha…

  20. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 1:35 pm:

    Cinci - Really? Well here is the first line of the Heritage Foundation article about those free trade agreements:

    The Obama Administration—after allowing U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama to languish unapproved for nearly four years

    Yeah, I’m sure you weren’t just regurgitating that.

    Also, I’ll let Mr. Miller tell me when to buzz off, last time I checked this was his blog.

  21. - Ahoy - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 1:45 pm:

    “they (Republicans)acknowledged their own budget plans would take about five years to pay off the bills.”

    If you’re going to spend 5 years paying off bills, why not pay them to a bank and not small businesses and social service providers?

    I’m going to use an analogy here and someone tell me if I’m way off. If I owe someone $20,000 and they can’t pay their mortgage and are having a hard time feeding their family, a moral and rational person would refinance this debt through a lending institution, so they would stop creating an undue hardship on someone.

    Moody’s specifically warned the state about not having a comprehensive plan to pay off our debt. Holding press conferences and not filing bills is not a plan.

  22. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 1:50 pm:


    I’m sure I didn’t read it, I hope you made it past the first sentence, though.

    My comment still stands, either bring something to the table, and if you don’t want to buzz off, at least don’t bother to engage me.

  23. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 2:00 pm:

    Cinci - I’d love to sit here and expound on my feelings about free trade agreements with you, but it’s not really the point of this blog. And about this blog, again, I believe I’ll still just do as Rich says, since it’s his blog.

  24. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 2:05 pm:

    Let’s move along here, people.

  25. - Demoralized - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 2:25 pm:


    That’s fine to cut some of those things. I have no problem with it. But we owe several BILLION dollars in bills. You just are not going to be able to cut to the level required to pay the overdue bills off anytime soon. Hence, I still stand by my statement that you MUST borrow the money if you have any sense at all.

  26. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 2:35 pm:


    We are in partial agreement. I know you can’t get all the money we need to pay all our vendors out of the hide of High Speed Rail. Or alternate energy funding, or any single item. But it’s a start. If we chisel away at these programs, even if you can’t make up for the entire shortfall, it is possible that the resultant lower amounts then needed to be borrowed may be able to used in a compromise with Republicans, who right now see no end to overspending and borrowing.

  27. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 2:51 pm:

    - it is possible that the resultant lower amounts then needed to be borrowed may be able to used in a compromise with Republicans -

    I’d love to see some sort of compromise, but take a look at what the Republicans are saying:

    - “We have the right message: fiscal responsibility, no more borrowing. We’re all together on this message. -

    The Republicans are against borrowing because it sounds good. They know borrowing to pay off the outstanding bills will lower the amount we’re spending, but they don’t care because it doesn’t make for good talking points. Until we get past that, there won’t be any compromise.

  28. - Aldyth - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 3:18 pm:

    So Dillard supports the Rootin’ Tootin’ Cowboy.

  29. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 3:24 pm:

    Louis G. Atsaves is out of line with his cheap shotting of Fran Eaton. He should remember all of the 10th District supporters, staff, and “unpaid consultants/secret weapons on TA’s and Fran’s blog who kept coming around telling Conservatives to shut up during the early stages of the campaign…and worse.

  30. - I'm Just Saying - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 3:34 pm:

    I find it funny that Fran claims that the State Party is ran out of Kirk’s Office, maybe someone should contact the Senate Ethics Committee…….


    I’m just saying……

  31. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 3:38 pm:

    I don’t know anything about that, but the invitations that I received to parades this year from someone named “Michael” from “Kirk for Senate” came from the ILGOP phone line. Don’t know whether that’s unethical or not, but I thought it was odd. I would have expected someone from “Kirk’s senate office” to call.

  32. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 3:43 pm:

    ===maybe someone should contact the Senate Ethics Committee===

    If the IL GOP and the Kirk campaign are combining forces, that’s not a real problem.

  33. - Flaming Liberal - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 4:18 pm:

    It continues to baffle me how Democrats are not more concerned about the upcoming election. We are getting “whacked” every time jobs, taxes, spending, pensions, and union activism is portrayed in any shape or form. We need to wise up if we are to save the party and its’ future

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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