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Confirming the obvious

Thursday, Dec 5, 2013

* Adam Rosen is the Communications Director for SEIU Local 73. He told the Associated Press that in the run-up to the pension reform vote, two Republican gubernatorial candidates sought endorsements from the union

Rosen told the AP the union has met with two Republican gubernatorial bidders seeking future endorsements. Republican state Sen. Kirk Dillard and state treasurer Dan Rutherford both spoke out against the pension plan, which passed by narrow margins.

Do you think the unions will endorse either one of them?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:50 am:

    IEA has recommended Republicans for Governor in the past. Thompson and Ryan were both recommended. My AFL-CIO buds tell me that IEA is not a “real” union. Whatever.

  2. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    So, it is possible that IEA would recommend a Republican again. Both Dillard and Rutherford have been recommended in the past by IEA.

  3. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    To quote the late Paul Tsongas, Kirk Dillard has been the ultimate “Pander Bear” to the right since his narrow loss last time and now to unions. It’s kind of pathetic and not worthy of the man. Perhaps less important, it won’t work. Unions will endorse neither.

  4. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:53 am:

    Maybe, depends on who makes it through the GOP primary. I’d say it would be slightly more likely if it is Rutherford.

    That’s not to say there won’t be some union help in the primary, but I don’t see an actual endorsement until they know who their dance partner will be.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    If Dillard on his own decided to vote “No” without any type of consideration from SEIU, and did it in hopes hopes of just being maybe kinda sorta considered, and they don’t endorse … after Jil Tracy voted for the Bill.


    Rutherford has/d nothing to lose to ask, and nothing to lose by taking any position since he never had to put a vote to the Bill, or have to worry about signing or using a veto to the Bill.

    Far better play by Rutherford, unless Dillard got more than a tepid response back from the “Reach”

    Will they?

    I doubt it for the Primary, possible for the General against Quinn, depending on Pat Quinn more than on Dillard or Rutherford. If Quinn gets puffy about signing the Bill, then the endorsement comes squarely in play.

    Quinn has a year to do “something” to at least try to get a “neutral” if he draws Dillard or Rutherford. I would think, however, if Rauner is more of a worry than Quinn, I would leverage “Rauner” more than Quinn angling for the “endorsement”, even behind the scenes, to get Rauner out of the picture, then go “neutral” in the General.

    Lots to mull over the Holiday season.

  6. - downstate commissioner - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:59 am:

    Rutherford seems to be more consistent, a true moderate, as opposed to Dillard, who(except for this) seems to be kissing up to the right wingers every chance he gets…

  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    I could SEIU making an endorsement for the primary. Why not?

    I’m not sure it’s the right call for a GOP candidate to seek such an endorsement. Tough call.

    An endorsement would bring money and shoe leather for a low-vote primary.

    It would probably also unleash a flood of Rauner-financed negative “union bosses” spots that could sting in a low-vote GOP primary.

  8. - dupage dan - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    Hey, Pandas are honest folks. We shouldn’t be dissing them like this. ;/)

  9. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:09 pm:

    Aside from cash, what influence does SEIU have in a Republican primary? It’s not like their members regularly pull GOP primary ballots. And it’s nearly impossible to envision SEIU endorsing a Republican over Pat Quinn in the general.

    Of course, if Rutherford was willing to help SEIU organize ServiceMaster, it wouldn’t hurt his chances any.

  10. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:09 pm:

    Dillard is probably out of consideration because he is seriously courting the far right of the GOP. A lot of the leadership in the unions are liberals or progressives. Rutherford is not a johnny come lately to the unions’ concerns. He has come out in support for the unions regarding the back pay issue. I personally do not see his statement about the Pension bill as pandering. I believe he thinks, as many others believe as well, that the constitutional issues are real and the bill may not accomplish anything in the long run. He has also stated that, although he would like to see the income tax increase end, the state financial situation may require for it to be extended. I see a pattern of consistency in his positions that are moderate and not an attempt to pander to supporters. I supported Dillard in the 10 election. I am not as confident of his sincerity now. I need to see more from him.

  11. - Now What? - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:10 pm:

    I believe the IFT membership would howl at a Quinn endorsement. The argument, even going back to Blago, was to pay to have a seat at the table. What was learned was that the seat was at the kids’ table. Any moderate Republican candidate would be super smart to begin working for the IFT/IEA endorsement. With or without the legal pension challenge, moderate Republicans need to realize that unions for the last 8-10 years are fed up with being told “what are you gonna do, vote Republican?” If the ILGOP is smart, they’ll realize that an opportunity waiting them, the like that they haven’t seen since Edgar.

    ah…they’ll screw it up and pander to the Rauner lunatics.

  12. - Amuzing Myself - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    While it could help in the general, this could be toxic for both in the primary. Their opponents will hammer them for any association - real or perceived - with SEIU. And in the primary, the endorsement has no impact whatsoever with nearly all of their members never likely to cross over. Pretty risky, although perhaps neither one of them expected word to get out about their behind-the-scenes efforts. Dancing with SEIU to rank and file GOP primary voters could push a candidate into that “no way in hell” category - especially with the right that usually turns out. Those votes would likely go to Rauner with all things being equal, but I don’t see right-leaning voters going with Rauner. Interesting to see what happens now.

  13. - Hit or Miss - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    I cannot see an endorsement for Dillard as being possible. Rutherford might be a possibility for an endorsement in the general election if both 1) he is picked in the GOP primary and 2) there is a negative court ruling on some/all of the pension bill in a circuit court.

  14. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:13 pm:

    47th Ward

    If the unions endorse Rutherford, they will use their influence to get voters to crossover to the GOP primary. There are a whole lot of union people that are fed up with the Dems & Quinn. A union led GOTV effort will get many people who never voted GOP to request a Republican ballot next March.

  15. - chad - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:16 pm:

    A somewhat better play for the unions is Rutherford due to the emerging unreliability of Dillard’s policy views. Rutherford is probably going to get hit by Rauner ads anyway, so he might as well go for the union help. My thought is that the relevant voters in Rich’s poll (showing that GOP primary voters might disfavor a union-assisted GOP candidate)might be in the Rauner or Brady columns already.

  16. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===There are a whole lot of union people that are fed up with the Dems & Quinn.===

    I have no doubt about that and they should be fed up. Rutherford is the best Republican for union members to support, by far. But do him a favor and keep your support quiet.

    And we’re talking about SEIU in this post, and I still think they’re committed to Quinn. A lot of the building trades too. But your union? Not so much, understandably so.

  17. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:18 pm:

    If unions were smart they would ramp up their relations with various Republicans in Illinois who hold office. We’ve watched unions be burned by Democrats on pensions, workers’ comp reforms and other measures the last four years. The “but it would have been worse under Republican control” argument seems pretty shallow right about now.

    Do they want to stay with the group that users and now abusers them, or do they take a chance on the other party they have so alienated over the years by their lockstep support of Democrats?

  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:23 pm:

    The “Obvious” part has to be is if any Union(s) want to paly in this very specific GOP primary, the “stealthier” you are, married to the greatest impact you can deliver, that would be the best scenerio for Rutherford or Dillard.

    The quieter the better, the later the better. I just can’t see how overt support for Rutherford or Dillard is better than covert support for Dillard or Rutherford, targeting Rauner for defeat as the objective. All this is fun for Unions, until your choices turn out to be Rauner or Quinn.

    “Why take a chance?”

  19. - Soldier of Fortune - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    Quinn will NOT receive rank and file union support.Retirees who vote in Democratic Primary will protest vote for Hardiman. If it is Rauner-Quinn many in labor are so angry they will not vote that race. To set up a Rutherford- Quinn race Rutherford will need labor support now. Even perhaps a change in campaign themes. More bring us together. Stop the destructive fighting. Edgar could do it in a heart beat.

  20. - Nosmo King - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    If they endorse a Republican, it will be cats and dogs living together. You know, mass hysteria.

  21. - The DuPage Bard - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:29 pm:

    Not sure if I said this before but I believe I have, here comes Bill Brady. Kirk is done, he lost his money guys to Rauner, he still can’t out right wing Brady, and Rutherford has a loyal following.
    His best deal is his running mate. Head and shoulders above all the others. But that can’t win.

  22. - Now What? - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:30 pm:

    100% agree that all unions need to be silent until it’s time to go the mattresses! It’s just business!

  23. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:34 pm:

    Agree that Dillard unlikely…in his Tuesday floor speech he stressed his consistent support for past pension reform bills, and focused on process concerns about the current bill. Rutherford’s rational was more in line with the union concerns — focus on constitutionality.

    If SEIU is interested in stopping Rauner, helping the most viable establishment (and relatively union friendly) GOPer could maks sense. Giving both Rutherford and Dillard some sort of positive recommendation dilutes the union’s possible influence.

    Seems going for Rutherford in primary might be a good play…and sends a message to Quinn that he has work to do for the general, as far as SEIU is concerned.

    Could see SEIU waiting a bit, for the GOP field to sort out, and if the union felt it could help stop Rauner and get a serious bit of influence with Rutherford, then they might do it…but maybe something short of a formal endorsement (which might be toxic in the GOP primary)…maybe some phone banking and ground troops.

  24. - Rollo Tomasi - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    Labor is in a quandary. Million dollar Bruce is not an option for them. Quinn is irrelevant to Madigan and Cullerton. Bruce may be able to just buy the GOP nomination. Quinn needs a lot of money thou. SIEU was Quinn’s largest campaign supporter last time around for 2.5 million. If Quinn signs the amendatory veto on Chicago’s Park District bill he will get their money and endorsement.

    Quinn’s problem lies in that a lot if labor takes republican ballot in the primary and votes against Million Dollar Bruce, Rahm’s friend, and votes for Dan Rutherford Quinn may not be able to beat Rutherford in the general election. Quinn just got by in the last election with a big final push from labor.

    The bottom line labor will not vote for Million dollar Bruce over Quinn even if they have to have a clothes pin over their noses. But will there be a lot of enthusiasm for Quinn over Rutherford? Without that my guess Rutherford might win if he can get by Bruce the millionaire.

  25. - Generation X - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    I believe Rutherford made the best political move of any of the Governor hopefuls by not backing pension reform. For the primary he just guaranteed a substantial amount of downstate support that otherwise may have gone to Brady or Dillard. In the general election he gives Union folks a viable moderate option even if the Unions don’t go all in for him. I agree with others that Unions likely sit primary out but if Rutherford prevails he gets some Union endorsements

  26. - Mouthy - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:49 pm:

    Endorse Rutherford both in the Primary and if he prevails, in the General..

  27. - truth hurts sometimes - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:04 pm:

    Dillard has supported many union positions, such as infrastructure programs, which put their members to work.

    Any other Republican is just a johnny-come-lately with….

  28. - reformer - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:06 pm:

    Labor stays out of the primary and reluctantly backs Quinn in the general vs Rauner.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:11 pm:

    - truth hurts sometimes -,

    Which Dillard are you speaking about, the circa 1990s Kirk Dillard, or the “standing in the Rotunda” Kirk Dillard, the “I didn’t know … Obama Ad” Kirk Dillard….

    See what I mean.

    The “truth hurts sometimes”….

    When one single Kirk Dillard has a “record” that makes sense to marry to one specific Kirk Dillard, then you have my attention.

  30. - Mr. B.A. - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:11 pm:

    Suburban teachers are already lining up their support for Rutherford. He is the only candidate in the two parties that has consistently spoken out against pension reform. Teachers are tired of the bashing they have taken in all this; it is nice to see a candidate who sees through the crap…

  31. - Jimbo - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:27 pm:

    I’ve only ever voted for JBT on the republican side… I’m pulling an R ballot to cast a primary vote for Rutherford. Mostly because Rauner is the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to Illinois, but also for his stance on the pension issue.

    I’m certain that if Rauner and Rahm are running the show, we’ll be spending more on corporate giveaways than education.

  32. - chad - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Rutherford needs the help, and now. He needs to break-out very soon, and just maybe the union backing would cause this to happen. The triggering event occurs, and from that point it’s Rauner vs. Rutherford in a dogfight. The unions only need to sway 50-100K voters in order to hand it to him. That is a minimal investment on their part to regain some stature in the Governor’s Mansion. If 2 or 3 top-class unions can’t figure out how to do this, their leaders should be fired. This is a simple, direct calculation. I would normally agree with OW that a stealth approach is advisable, but these GOP candidates risk getting get buried by significant Rauner ad spending. Rutherford is better to get the union help, maintain a “formal” distance from the effort, and blow his bucks on ads. Brady and Dillard will be silent at that point — no cash to burn.

  33. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:43 pm:

    That’s what a lot of people on the national level — and Rauner and Emanuel — don’t understand about Illinois. The whole “union bad” GOP model doesn’t fly here.

    Believe it or not, many grown-up Illinois Republicans over the years have also called union members “citizens,” and “constituents” and even “friends.”

    I remember one time being at a luncheon in Springfield where Big Jim gave a speech. During the Q&A afterwards, a member of the audience asked “when will Illinois become a right-to-work-state?”

    Big Jim said “not while I’m governor” and then launched into an impassioned stemwinder on the history of the labor movement and its role in building America and a better life for all workers.

    He could have ducked the question, or weasel-worded, but he didn’t. He told the questioner exactly what he didn’t want to hear. It was way cool.

  34. - Chad - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    IEA, AFSME, Brotherhood, etc.: You will commit organizing malpractice if you do not recognize and act on this. If Rutherford loses the primary, you just work against Rauner.

  35. - walkinfool - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    I just cannot get past the fact that Rutherford did little as Treasurer except use the resources of that office to set up a run for Governor, while bad-mouthing Illinois to the rating agencies.

    Perhaps these are lesser offenses than some of those by his opponents, and I should get over it?


  36. - Norseman - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:38 pm:

    Dillard is a non-starter.

    The unions need to be strategizing over how to express their displeasure in a meaningful way. Certainly, a Rutherford endorsement in the general would be one approach. Of course that is the problem. Will Rutherford overcome Raunerbo? Willy makes a good case that overt support in the primary may not help the Rutherford cause.

  37. - Now What? - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:48 pm:

    For the unions, Rutherford is no saint, but I’ll give the guy a listen due to the fact that his tune over the singular issue that matters to unions was positive. Rauner doesn’t care, and thinks he can smash/spend his way in with a Walker style of leadership. Huge election for union legitimacy. Huge election for ILGOP relevance.

  38. - OneMan - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 3:17 pm:

    For the unions, Rutherford is no saint,

    Unless I have been missing something lately, I think the hall of union political saints has been emptied out here in Illinois.

  39. - Chad - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 3:33 pm:

    You got it Now What. What are the unions left with in a Rauner-Quinn general election? Slobbering over Quinn and hoping for nothing better than an inaugural back row seat blocked by a column. Or, Bruce (having received votes from those three AFSCME supporters he claims). Really great negotiating environment.

  40. - Commonsense in Illinois - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 5:08 pm:

    Who cares…it won’t help either.

  41. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 8:21 pm:

    Meh. Won’t really matter much if they do, anyway…!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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