* At first, lots of GOP insiders were grumbling that Republican money bags Ron Gidwitz was somehow pushing Jim Oberweis for US Senate. The theory that Gidwitz was supposedly operating under was that Oberweis would burn himself out and so discredit himself that he wouldn’t be able to challenge Mark Kirk in the 2016 Republican primary.
And then came the pushback, and it was massive. Bruce Rauner’s people were appalled at the prospect of Oberweis being on the primary ballot (because he’d likely gin up the right wing turnout) and the fall ballot (because he’d possibly take down the ticket). Mark Kirk’s people were not amused, either, and Gidwitz told Oberweis he should back out.
Gidwitz all along denied that he had encouraged Oberweis to run, and recently asked Oberweis to stop saying so in public. It hasn’t worked, as Bernie reports…
Ron Gidwitz, a businessman and 2006 Republican primary candidate for governor, says he’s sorry he gave state Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, results of a poll that Oberweis said helped convince him to collect signatures toward a possible run for U.S. Senate. […]
Oberweis remembers things in quite a different way. He said many people were encouraging him to consider a run, and Gidwitz “was trying to talk me into running” before the poll was done. Afterward, Oberweis said, Gidwitz sent an email saying “the poll was strong and he thought that was enough to encourage me to run.”
Oberweis thinks the Gidwitz story changed because some in the “establishment wing” of the Republican Party believe Oberweis on top of the ticket could draw more conservatives to the polls, helping governor candidates Bill Brady or Kirk Dillard. Gidwitz is finance chairman of Bruce Rauner’s gubernatorial campaign.
“I’m not sure having Oberweis on the ticket helps Rauner any,” Gidwitz said, but he’s not “terribly worried” about that. He also thinks that having Oberweis on next fall’s ballot “may not be helpful to some of the other people running down-ballot on the ticket.” […]
Oberweis said after he got the “stunningly strong” numbers, he did plan a more in-depth look. But a Washington polling firm told him people were so angry at the GOP over the government shutdown that results would be skewed at that time, “so we decided not to spend the money.”
Gidwitz said that among other potential Senate candidates, West Point grad Doug Truax from Downers Grove “looks to me like a solid guy” who would be “much more acceptable in a general election” than Oberweis.
Go read the whole thing.
Oberweis says he’ll need big help from donors if he’s to make this race. Gidwitz is now helping to block those big donors. It’s a fustercluck for sure.
*** UPDATE *** Well, it sure looks like Oberweis was at least partially correct about Gidwitz. Oberweis forwarded a Gidwitz e-mail that included the now infamous poll. From a buddy…
From: Ron Gidwitz [mailto:Ron_Gidwitz@xxxxx.com]
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 9:15 PM
To: Jim Oberweis
Subject: Fwd: Poll results, attached
You need to give the Senate race serious consideration.