* 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.
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.
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.
* 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