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Sheila Simon roundup

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013

* I told subscribers about this several days ago

Sources close to the governor say he hopes to find an African-American running mate to shore up his increasingly shrinking base.

* Here’s one of the better analyses of the Sheila Simon announcement

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon’s surprise announcement Wednesday that she won’t stand for re-election next year could signal that she’s ready for bigger things, possibly a run at state attorney general.

But it’s a more ominous signal for her boss, Gov. Pat Quinn. After months of fiscal catastrophe and dismal poll numbers, it looks to some in the Illinois political world as if Quinn has been abandoned by a running mate who wants off a sinking ship.

Simon and Quinn, both Democrats, aren’t putting it that way publicly. Others are.

“If he’s really unpopular, and she’s running with him, they go down together. She doesn’t control her destiny,” noted Paul Green, political scientist at Roosevelt University in Chicago. “No one votes (based on) the lieutenant governor.”

* Another good one

State Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, said he believes there will be a scramble for the attorney general’s post if Madigan decides to challenge Quinn.

“I think you’ll have three, four or more on both sides of the aisle running for that position,” Link said. “So, I mean, is she qualified? Yeah, she’s qualified, but is she the best candidate? Who knows? We’ll see who all puts their hat in the ring.”

* One of the more, um, interesting

ABC 7 political analyst Laura Washington says Simon’s decision may have come with some assurances.

“It’s in Lisa Madigan’s interest to have Sheila Simon step away from Pat Quinn and move away because it makes Pat Quinn look even weaker and Lisa Madigan a stronger candidate,” Washington said.

“Well I know this: The Madigan’s - Lisa and Mike - don’t do anything that isn’t in their self, political and personal interest so it very well could be some kind of deal,” Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said.

I guess Lisa Madigan could’ve been directly involved here. More likely, though, Simon saw the writing on the wall.

* This has merit

With Governor Pat Quinn’s approval rating down in the mid 20s, it’s tempting to think Sheila Simon wants off the governor’s coattails.

But Tom Cross, the Republican Leader of the House doesn’t think so, “I read it just as somebody with some ambition. I don’t think anyone thinks the lieutenant governor’s office is a place where you get to do a whole lot or have a big impact on policy. She may also just be a little frustrated and frankly bored!”

* Not credible

A Quinn aide attributed his poll standing to continued fallout from his role in increasing the state income tax, cutting Medicaid benefits and angering labor with his push to cut pensions, close state facilities and withhold pay raises to government workers.

“Real leadership requires tough decisions and unfortunately, our predecessors may have been able to do easy popular things, but we’re cleaning up quite a mess,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said. “Tough decisions aren’t immediately popular, or they wouldn’t be tough.”

* History

But those who serve as lieutenant governor have been known to grow tired of the post, which has few official duties except to fill in should something happen to the governor.

Former Democratic Gov. Dan Walker, Quinn’s political mentor, held the post in such low esteem that he refused to give running mate Neil Hartigan an office in the state Capitol. Hartigan was forced to borrow space from the secretary of state. Hartigan’s successor, Republican Dave O’Neal, grew so bored with the position that he resigned midway through his second term.

Republican Gov. Jim Edgar’s No. 2, Bob Kustra, tried to quit in his first term to become a radio talk show host. But he returned after Edgar underwent emergency heart bypass surgery. He eventually left the post several months before his term ended to become a university president.

* Meanwhile

A state senator from Champaign says he’s looking at running for statewide office in 2014.

Sen. Mike Frerichs, a Democrat who has served in the General Assembly since 2006, joins a growing list of potential candidates mulling bids for spots on the ballot.

As a former county auditor, it is expected Frerichs is looking at one of the state’s fiscal offices, such as comptroller or treasurer.

“I’m excited to take what I’ve learned from my time as state senator and use it to help the entire state of Illinois,” he noted in a fundraising letter sent to supporters.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Skeeter - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 10:33 am:

    Is Quinn in denial? At what point does he realize he has no chance and start looking for an honorable exit?

    Does he really want his career to end with a blowout loss in a primary? Does he want that as his legacy, or does he want “Served as Governor of Illinois until asked by the President to serve the country as . . .”

  2. - TooManyJens - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 10:33 am:

    So does this mean there’s no chance Frerichs will run for Congress? That’s disappointing.

  3. - Mighty Quinn - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 10:40 am:

    Thanks, Rich…good stuff on an intriguing development.

  4. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 10:42 am:

    I think it would help if the new way of nominating Governors paired with Lt. Governor candidates was explained in these stories. I think this new dynamic helps explain some of the maneuvers we’ve seen and are likely to see.

    I’m sure there are a lot of conversations and gaming scenarios being played out about which potential candidates for governor would most like to pair with which LG candidates. The reverse is also true, if someone had any interest in being LG, with whom would they most like to run and why?

    It’s a new ball game and I don’t think people fully understand the implications of how this will affect the tickets.

  5. - Crazy Like A Fox - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 10:43 am:

    Regardless of what Simon runs for, she is definitely taking advantage of the media cycle. She has essentially drown out all other political news in the state. If she can raise some quick money, I think she can definitely be more than a blip on the radar screen

  6. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 10:45 am:

    ==…Sheila Simon wants off the governor’s coattails.==

    It’s hard to get off of something that does not appear to exist.

  7. - Just Observing - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    Granted I’ve never been Lt. Gov. so it’s hard for me to know… but Lt. Gov. has always seemed one of the best jobs in politics. Nice title, no real responsibility, make up your own job duties and agenda, state police security detail, etc.

  8. - Colossus - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    @Just observing: From what I understand, Sheila Simon doesn’t use the security detail.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:01 am:

    ===It’s a new ball game and I don’t think people fully understand the implications of how this will affect the tickets.===

    Great point - 47th Ward -, and - OneMan -, yesterday addressed that question yesterday as well.

    I would have to guess the LG partner gets to be “Bad Cop” on opponents, and “Surrogate” on the good of the running mate on the stump(?)

    Would be a fun dynamic to consider when putting together the ticket ans as a campaign staff deciding the utilization.

    Same rule has even more truth about these running mates being chosen so early;

    “If you ain’t helpin’, you’re hurting, if you ain’t hurtin’, you’re helping”… to the “Nth” degree now.

  10. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    - an honorable exit -

    Since when did it become honorable to quit when things got tough? Pat Quinn has made more of a mark on Illinois than most ever will, if you think he’s scared of a challenge you don’t know much about the man.

    As for Sheila, if she’s looking at this as a way off a sinking ship she has less character than I originally thought. I guess we’ll see how it shakes out, but leaving the person that brought you to the dance never made anyone a hero in my book.

  11. - Knome Sane - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:05 am:

    Speculation on Quinn’s pick for running mate should be tempered with reality. The job doesn’t pay squat. There are no “real” duties other than checking the pulse of the governor every morning and the position bars outside employment. So, therefore, anyone itching to run for an office that doesn’t pay, with a guy who can’t win and a post that excludes outside income shrinks the pool of candidates to a “couple, two, tree” as they say in Bridgeport.

  12. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    ===Since when did it become honorable to quit when things got tough?===

    She isn’t quitting STL, she’s simply giving notice that she won’t be running for re-election. But your hostility toward her is telling.

  13. - TooManyJens - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    ==The job doesn’t pay squat.==

    Our pols are too rich. $137K to do nothing sounds like a pretty sweet deal to this 99-percenter.

  14. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:15 am:

    - She isn’t quitting STL, she’s simply giving notice that she won’t be running for re-election. -

    Notice I said “If”. I don’t know what her motivation is, I’m hoping it is ambition.

  15. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    === Sources close to the governor say he hopes to find an African-American running mate to shore up his increasingly shrinking base. ===

    I must admit, that may prove to be a canny move by the Governor.

    I am no fan of Quinn, but the guy knows how to pull a rabbit out a hat even when it looks like he is toast, as Rich has pointed out. Quinn may well have a few more surprises in store for us.

  16. - WizzardOfOzzie - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    I can pretty much guarantee that Quinn will have a running mate that will bring more to the table than Sheila Simon. Mostly because pretty much anyone else does. She really did a bang up job down state in 2010. She’s delusional if she thinks she can win a higher office.

    Quinn will find a politically astute candidate who actually brings votes to the table. It was a mistake for him to pick Sheila in the first place. She did almost nothing to help him electorally. Has done almost nothing as Lt. Governor other than a pole tax, visits to a bunch of Community Colleges, and a bunch of banjo concerts.

    And then she leaves with delusions of grandeur. Good riddance.

  17. - reformer - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    Simon might have a chance to win statewide if she’s not Quinn’s running mate. Of course Quinn still has a chance — if Lisa doesn’t run and if Joe Walsh wins the GOP nomination.

  18. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    Well, you accused her of quitting and clearly she isn’t quitting, but I’ll grant you the “if” part.

    If we’re just speculating, why can’t this be viewed as Simon doing Quinn a huge favor and stepping aside so that Quinn can pick a candidate who can help him more in a primary? As I’ve said before, Quinn is going to get hammered in southern Illinois regardless of whether Sheila’s on his ticket or not. Shoring up his support among African-Americans and/or Latinos gives Quinn a better chance in a primary, don’t you think?

  19. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:31 am:

    - Well, you accused her of quitting and clearly she isn’t quitting -

    I mean leaving the ticket, not quitting her post.

  20. - Knome Sane - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:38 am:


    =Our pols are too rich. $137K to do nothing sounds like a pretty sweet deal to this 99-percenter.=

    My point was this: any prospective Lt Gov candidate who relies on outside income, say an attorney, accountant, etc would be prohibited from practicing. And therefore, not likely to take a pay cut. To someone making $136K, the job would be worth the effort. To others, not so much.

  21. - OurMagician - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    It’s sad that someone who has been elected to one thing (Carbondale council)on their own is touted in such high regard. If her name was Sheila Cohen, this wouldn’t even be considered.

  22. - TooManyJens - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:45 am:

    Right, but my point was that it’s a problem for our political class to be made up entirely of people for whom $137K is a pay cut.

  23. - Amalia - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    when Sheila walks away from you, time to give up running.

  24. - cassandra - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    With Hillary almost certainly planning to run for President in 2016, there will be probably be an upsurge in interest and support for women running for higher-level political offices. Maybe Ms. Simon wants to get on the bandwagon early. Along with Ms. Madigan.

    However, if Madigan doesn’t run, I’d say Quinn wins re-election in a walk. The Republicans won’t be able to pull themselves together in less than 2 years, and the name Daley has too many negative connotations. Preckwinkle has credibly said she isn’t running. The possibility of another four years of Quinn and a ceremonial governorship is all too likely.

  25. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 12:21 pm:

    @skeeter - i’d say a blowout loss in a primary would be a pretty honorable exit for quinn compared to how the last 2 governors exited.

    But that said if quinn quit to be the new sec of transportation I’d love it if that post stayed in Illinois hands.

  26. - justbabs - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 12:24 pm:

    The suggestion that Simon didn’t bring anything to the ticket is misleading (at best). The ticket may not have won downstate counties but how much lower would the number of votes been without her? PQ’s needs are/will be different in 2014 than they were in 2010. It seems to me that they both realize that and are now able to make the moves that are needed for both to succeed. (That is if Lisa doesn’t run. If she does, there’s nothing to help PQ.)

  27. - Endangered Moderate Species - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 12:26 pm:

    This is a win-win for both Quinn and Simon. Quinn picks a running mate who can provide him the most numbers and if Quinn is unsuccessful, Simon comes away unharmed.

  28. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 12:29 pm:

    Rats, meet ship…

  29. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    ===Rats, meet ship…===

    I wouldn’t measure the drapes in the mansion for Senator Dillard yet Cinci.

  30. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 1:00 pm:

    - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    “I wouldn’t measure the drapes in the mansion for Senator Dillard yet Cinci.”

    Those drapes must be in tatters since we haven’t had a first family in the Mansion in many, many years…

  31. - Bardo - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    I think Terry Link is right….look for a total free for all if Lisa Madigan jumps into the Gov’s race. Quinn would be toast….

    And, I think we’ll see several Dems jump into both the AG and the Treasurer’s race.

    The most intriguing name that I’ve heard for Treasurer is Cook County Board of Review Commish Mike Cabonargi. He’s not well known statewide but seems to have the smarts/experience/political sense to make a real splash. Not sure if it’s State Treasurer or something else…but he’s a riser for sure.

  32. - Siwash - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    Absolutely can’t stand the Madigan Era in state politics and it makes no sense to prolong our suffering. Go away Lisa; buy a horse farm somewhere.

  33. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 1:31 pm:

    Who’s in the bullpen for GOP louies? They’re going to need a lot of them and most of them will end up going with a loser.

  34. - Homer J. Simpson - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    Am I remembering things right? Didn’t Sheila Simon want the office of Lt Gov. eliminated before she was chosen for it? Also if Quinn is looking for an African-American running mate, I heard JJJ may be interested.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 2:22 pm:

    ===Who’s in the bullpen for GOP louies? They’re going to need a lot of them and most of them will end up going with a loser.===

    Not many are coming forward, might need a Senator off-cycle to jump in.

    I would like to see that list as well …

  36. - Boone Logan Square - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:00 pm:

    I hear Jason Plummer is available.

  37. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:05 pm:

    –I hear Jason Plummer is available.–

    Betting the band back together, Boone, lol?

    Willie,you figure there’s going to have to be at least three or four louies commit for a primary, so it could happen. Better have that stress test, soon.

  38. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:08 pm:

    Whoever … um, asks … Jason Plummer to be their #2 … will have to PAY for my stress test!

  39. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:17 pm:

    –I hear Jason Plummer is available.–

    Dad got Jason another job …Although when he told Jason about being a Bank Trustee, Robert Plummer got creative to keep Jason interested.

    Robert wrapped a “Monopoly” game for Jason to unwrap, and open the game box to find a “Chance” card right on top…

    “Your Dad, Jason, made you a Bank Trustee! Hide your Tax Returns and show up to the Board Meeting on Tuesday. Pass GO and collect another Family Paycheck!

    You earned it. Dad”

    To the question of GOP Louies …

    There seem to be quite a dew Unemployed former state Reps and state Senators …They seem to have some time on their hands.

  40. - walkinfool - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:21 pm:

    Murphy might go with whomever has the most cash.

  41. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    ===To the question of GOP Louies…===

    Let’s start with the obvious ones: Adam A, Proft, Shillerstrom, Rauschenburger, McKenna, Gidwitz.

    There is no shortage of second-rate GOPers to play second fiddle for Illinois.

  42. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:25 pm:

    –Whoever … um, asks … Jason Plummer to be their #2 … will have to PAY for my stress test!–

    Oh, you 47 percenters who voted for Romney — always looking for free stuff!

  43. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:25 pm:

    “Another Republican governor candidate has announced … round up the usual suspects… for LG.”

  44. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:28 pm:

    ===Oh, you 47 percenters who voted for Romney — always looking for free stuff!===

    I figure, with Jason as a “1%er”, (Would his tax return show that, … but I digress…), I would go all radical and “99%er” and just charge RP Lumber if the Guv candidate’s campaign refuses my invoice for the Stress Test.

  45. - Endangered Moderate Species - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:39 pm:

    Bill Black could be itching for a run at statewide office. The GOP Louie would give him a pulpit.

  46. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:46 pm:

    The following “Campaigns” are on notice; if you get a “stress test” invoice from Oswego Willy, please pay within 30 Days.

    “Rutherford/Plummer” - the tweeting alone might take me out, but then Jason…

    “McCarter/Oberweis” - The idea of getting the “Right” voters to win might cause my heart valves to seize.

    “Rauner/Proft” - My “Look, I am a Republican, but ignore my last few years of work or contributions” Team. Funding Rahm and working for Larry Dominick … They only would need to tell me what a Republican needs to be … once!

    “Schock/Plummer” - My “Under 35 Rec. Baskeball” Ballot. Schock would say, “I’d gladly match my experience up against anyones” and Plummer wouldn’t get the irony.

    - wordslinger -, maybe I should just start on “Heart Meds” now …

  47. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:49 pm:

    No snark …

    ===Bill Black===

    I like it, but who do you team him with? Fits the “Bad Cop” mold to attack the others, “Good Cop” to eloquently take on the vision of his #1…

    But who is his “match” …

  48. - Endangered Moderate Species - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 3:55 pm:

    Match him with Rauner. Rauner’s money will neutralize the right. Black can bring in downstate. Black is a moderate but is respected by the right and also has the respect of Madigan and the labor unions.

  49. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 4:00 pm:

    ===Match him with Rauner.===

    Good … I like it on “paper”. The cash is not an issue, you got the geography right, my only fear, is when they both lay out the game plan, Black gets to be “Bill Black” defending Rauner, and not reeled back in by the Rauner Crew.

  50. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 4:00 pm:


    I can almost hear it in my head…

    M: McCarter/Oberwies, I like the sound of that.
    O: I think Oberwies/McCarter sounds better.
    M: Well then, Jim, how about McCarter/Duffy?
    O: No, no, McCarter/Oberweis, McCarter/Oberweis!

  51. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 4:02 pm:

    - 47th Ward -,

    Oh that was priceless! Thank goodenss even THEY know that wouldn’t work … (softly) right?

  52. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 4:06 pm:

    I am not supporting anyone, encouraging or discourageing anyone … but I am now liking “Bill Black” as a #2 for someone, especially if they win, and get Lisa and her #2 in the General, (if that works out, not giving Lisa anything, just hypothetical…)

    Seriously, a “Chosen” Bill Black, unleashed on the state of Illinois. No Snark, I am warming up to it!

  53. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 6:03 pm:

    Sheila IS still a SIMON after all, and, like her father who elevated himself electorally to the United States Senate, AND made a very credible run for the U.S. Presidency, albeit somewhat humble on the surface like Paul, she still has that extra large Simon ego and intellect which is yearning to do something more. That’s likely the main reason, like Leader Cross stated, although MAYbe if the Gov.’s Approval Ratings were more around 50% she’d maybe hold off for awhile before deciding departing from her Lt. Gov. post and a 2nd run with Pat Quinn. Either way, it’s no gimme by ANY stretch of the imagination…

  54. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 7:14 pm:

    Oswego Willy/Bill Black 2014!

  55. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 14, 13 @ 7:50 pm:

    - Arthur Andersen -,

    That was so funny! Can you imagine you and I pitching this to Bill Black???

    I am afraid of the reception we might get asking Bill Black, so make sure you bring the cannoli as an offering.

    Hang on to the petitions for a while.


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* Getting Personal: Amanda Bossard
* Reluctant Townie: The legend of the Thanksgiving Troll
* Leonard Pitts Jr.: Trump giving people want they want

* Kane County crashes that left 3 injured remain under investigation
* Jaguars' Hurns suffers concussion in 31-25 loss to Chargers
* Adele's '25' sells record-breaking 3.38 million copies
* In Paris for climate talks, Obama honors attack victims
* Kobe Bryant says he will retire after this season.

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin Backs Duckworth - Alton Daily News...

* Opinion: Sen. Kirk must stand with crimina......

* Jail killer cops. Not Poets. #FreeMalcolmLondon
* Random thoughts.
* Free Malcolm London.
* Sunday posts, pics and tweets.
* Chinese Take Out
* "Mexican Food, Opening Soon"
* Tony at the Red Line Tap.
* The cover-up of the killing of Laquan McDonald.
* Keeping retirement weird. Justice is the public face of love.
* RLC Roundup: Drivers Aim Lawsuit At Tinley Park Red Light Cameras

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

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