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Quinn dawdles while Rauner burns it up

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013

* Lynne Sweet interviewed Gov. Pat Quinn

Quinn’s political operation is skeletal, which has some of his backers worried. Quinn sees no need at this stage to put together a data-digital-social media-driven operation that is the hallmark of many campaigns because, he told me, he has an army of foot soldiers.

“There is no substitute for folks who go door to door. We did our petition drive in 10 days, got 55,000 names to activate that,” Quinn said.

OK, he can delay the social media stuff if he wants, but he needs to start ramping up his campaign apparatus soon. Believe it or not, Quinn doesn’t yet have a campaign manager, and that field operation of his is basically just a loose conglomeration of existing county, township and ward organizations.

Meanwhile, Bruce Rauner reported another $100,000 contribution today and $95,000 in contributions yesterday afternoon. He’s now at $6.2 million and rising.

But, yeah, no hurry or anything.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - one day AT A TIME - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 12:33 pm:

    I certainly will not be burning any shoe leather (or synthetic either) for Squeezy Quinn…

  2. - The Captain - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 12:37 pm:

    This interview is just inviting endless IG complaints about state employees doing campaign work. So, congrats on that mess.

  3. - Mighty M. Mouse - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 12:45 pm:

    I don’t believe any of this is anything that he’s not fully aware of. It’s almost 11 months before the election, 6 months is a “lifetime” in politics, and of course he does have a few responsibilities as a sitting governor. I think he has a plan, he’s executing it, and some things that are in process that aren’t announced as being in process but are happening behind the scene.

  4. - wtf - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    Good luck getting state employees to be your foot soldiers after decimating their pensions.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 12:50 pm:

    Quinn faced…. Jerry Clarke ….and Bill Brady, and …..the hiding of Jason Plummer last time.

    Quinn had Unions, Quinn had 3rd party intervetion, Quinn had Brady afraid of being in Cook County!

    Is Pat Quinn going to fall into the “2010 Trap” that Brady and Dillard seem to be in? “Just go the same as last time, a tweak here or there …”

    Not one of these Dopes thinks its a real good idea to frame the arguement of themselves versus the “walking hypocrisy”?

    It is as thought the educating of voters through the Bruce Rauner prism is just foreign to these Crews. It’s a “two-fer” but the best possible one with no mixing of messages.

    It will be State Fair time, and if Rauner is the Nominee, Pat Qunn will have squanderd days, weeks, months, and still PPC will be seen as “Bruce Rauner, campaign creation”.

    Ask Brady, Dillard, and Rutherford if they would like the last 3 months over. If any of their Crews say “No”, scratch them off the list, they ain’t winning. Pat Quinn, no one can out “cheap” you, but “Bruce Rauner” is going to “sell” how cheap he is, at a clip of over $20 Million with a pace like this going.

    Rauner is not going to take the foot off the gas.

    If Bruce Rauner wins the Primary, I hear the immortal words of Ben Bradlee in “All the President’s Men” being spoken to his Crew that night…

    “You guys are probably pretty tired, right? Well, you should be. Go on home, get a nice hot bath. Rest up… 15 minutes. Then get your tails back in gear.”

    That is real. Believe it.

    Quinn, you got your free pass through the Primary, get organized, get rolling, get funding, get it together!

  6. - Mokenavince - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 12:54 pm:

    Everyone knows Quinn is our Governor, I’m sure Rauner is drumming up name recognition.
    Quinn should not have much opposition in the primary, Rauner will.
    By next year Quinn will have plenty of money and a track record to run on.

  7. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 12:55 pm:

    Quinn has been underestimated in the past and pulled off a successful campaign for gov. He looked weak and ineffectual up until the last moment and then pulled off the “thrilli in Illini”. No reason to think he can’t do it again, frankly. Hard to imagine this blue state going for Rauner in the general.

    At least, that’s what General Quinn is thinking.

  8. - PhoenixRising - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 12:57 pm:

    A bit off topic…
    Rauner ad is appearing at the top of the Drudge Report

  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:02 pm:

    He should be running scared, hard. Why wouldn’t he be? You don’t get style points for holding back.

    Also, I don’t think he can count on the same level of national contributions this time. No map at stake and that pension law isn’t all that popular in some circles.

  10. - Steve - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:03 pm:

    Quinn doesn’t even know who he’s running against. Yes, he’s got a lot of big negatives. He passed a controversial pension reform bill, raised the state income tax by 67%, and jacked up tolls. But, Quinn knows no matter how much money Bruce Rauner spends: Rauner isn’t going to do very well in Cook County. Being a Democrat , in a Democrat state is a huge advantage for Quinn. It means Quinn can start later because a Republican might not even get 10% of the vote in Chicago, even as Chicago heads towards bankruptcy.

  11. - anon - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:07 pm:

    Underestimate him all you want, Quinn is a very good politician, and he should trust his instincts. He’s got no primary. Let the other team beat up on each other.

  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:07 pm:

    If you haven’t checked out Rauner’s D-2s, you should. He is a money machine. Pretty breathtaking for a guy who’s never run for dog catcher.

    The Masters of the Universe, from all over the country, love the guy, and they are showing it with some powerful checks.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:08 pm:

    ===It means Quinn can start later because a Republican might not even get 10% of the vote in Chicago, even as Chicago heads towards bankruptcy.===

    “Dear - Steve -,

    Are ya sure a Republican might got get 10%?


    Election History”

    I thought Illinois was going to be Bankrupt first, then Chicago, then ….

    “…might not even get 10%”, that was pretty funny, hope that Tin Foil Hat didn’t fall off typing that.

  14. - Anonymous One - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:11 pm:

    Can’t! burn any shoe leather on Squeezy. He’s done his best to make sure it’s harder to buy a new pair of shoes for us by making sure our income got whacked. Find your foot soldiers somewhere else. We gotta take care of what’s left for us.

  15. - Timmeh - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:13 pm:

    The pension reform vote is over. Now it’s election season. Get out there Quinn.

  16. - dave - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    **This interview is just inviting endless IG complaints about state employees doing campaign work. So, congrats on that mess.**

    Huh? What did I miss in there? I sure didn’t see anything that would at all resemble “state employees doing campaign work.”

  17. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:16 pm:

    At this point, it looks like PQ has it locked up. No primary opponent, and a completely messed-up GOP primary pitting a guy with huge money but no Conservative cred against a field of penniless Republicans. So yeah, things look good.

    But PQ also needs to realize that in politics, the world can change dramatically, overnight. (Or am I the only person who remembered a certain five-year anniversary this week?)

    Now is the time to raise money and start defining your achievements. Otherwise, there’s another guy who’s got gazillions available to do that for you. And you may not like the way he presents your administration to all those nominally Democratic voters.

    I may be old, but I’m not that old — and I remember when this was a Republican state. All that Rauner has to do is lock down everybody who voted for Bill Brady, plus an extra 30,000 — or maybe even less, if some union members decide to stay home and sulk.

    Nobody wants to see that. So buckle down for some serious call time and let’s get to work.

  18. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:20 pm:

    LOL, great new ad from Rauner on the blog.

    Not only is everybody’s “buddy” “humble and grounded,” but he is loaded with folding money to drop on Rich right before the holidays. Enjoy it, Rich!

  19. - Budget Watcher - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    I assume he has plenty of oppostion material on Rauner that he’d prefer to hold on to until he knows that he needs to use it.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:27 pm:

    Two Points …

    One, - Soccermom -, sage advice, and Quinn needs to start defining himself, like yesterday, because if Quinn draws Rauner, Rauner will take no time continuing his “Running against Quinn” today game plan and turn that into “Defining Quinn today as the Nominee” playbook.

    Two, - Budget Watcher -, funny thing about this Cycle for governor; the one Commodity all 5 have is the commodity of time, and the 3 against Rauner have squandered it, do you think Quinn wants to be looking for money AND time? Days are as precious as dollars for Quinn, today, and every day dollars will mean more, and days are going to be less.

  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:28 pm:

    –(Or am I the only person who remembered a certain five-year anniversary this week?)–

    I imagine a gray-haired man in Colorado remembered. Definitely not an up day.

  22. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:29 pm:

    I fully agree with dave. That comment above was a typical over-reaction by an angry state employee. Tone it down, please.

  23. - so... - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    ==Good luck getting state employees to be your foot soldiers after decimating their pensions.==

    He cut some retirees’ pension by a lot more than 10% (which is what decimation means)

  24. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:49 pm:

    It’s pretty careless and risky for Quinn to be so disorganized at this point. But it’s also classic Pat Quinn. He’s a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants kind of guy. Always has been. I bet he got through college by pulling all-nighters on finals week after blowing off class all semester.

    He is messy and disorganized and for some reason it works for him. He doesn’t believe in direct mail, it’s hard to envision him caring much about a digital, on-line, Obama-style social media campaign. For Quinn, it’ll be shoe leather, senior bingo and parades plus enough TV to get him to election day.

    It’s the only way he knows how to do it.

  25. - DuPage - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 1:53 pm:

    It was a very close election last time. Quinn was saved by a last minute push by collar county construction unions. Quinn’s opponent happened to be an anti-union contractor, who wanted to make Illinois a “right to work” state and abolish “prevailing rate”, among other things.

  26. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 2:10 pm:

    I agree the Quinn campaign machine needs to get their ducks in a row but (in my opinion) Rauner is the guy we want…not Rutherford. So let the spice flow to Baron Carthartt.

  27. - Endangered Moderate Species - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 2:18 pm:

    Quinn has a record of pulling victories from the jaws of defeat, but he has not faced anyone like Rauner, whom is a different type of political animal.

    Quinn loves to run as the underdog; but this time, that strategy may lead to a November concession speech.

  28. - Kathryn - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 2:26 pm:

    Quinn won last time by having boots on the ground (state employees, unions etc). That won’t happen again. Fool me once shame on you ……

  29. - Steve - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 3:34 pm:

    Oswego Willy-

    Illinois can’t go bankrupt. It’s not part of the Chapter 9 process because of federalism. As far as Chicago goes: Republicans can’t do well there because their voters don’t live there. Unless you see people changing their minds. I’ll bet many wards will go 90% against the Republican candidate no matter what’s going on in the economy. Fortunately for Republicans : Chicago is in decline population wise. As we approach the 2020, the question is how many people will Chicago lose???

  30. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 3:47 pm:

    - Steve -,

    I will take that bet, in hopes you might learn something.

    Geez, either use the “search” key and learn, or stop with the ridiculous “10%”.

    Brady/Plummer didn’t even campaign in Chicago and got 17% basicaly on the “R” and “not Pat Quinn”

    No ground game, no presence.

    As for the Chicago bankrupt thing, Chicago ain’t Detroit for too many reasons. The talking points are cute, just not well received here.

  31. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 3:55 pm:

    Steve, Many of the Chicago voters moved to the burbs which are now Democratic. Case in point, Kotowski, Nekritz, Biss and many others were elected in former Repub strongholds. Even Dupage County elects Dems. So Chicago’s loss is not necessarily the Repubs gain

  32. - Willie Stark - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    Steve, I wouldn’t be so confident that Chicago is in decline. The Census Bureau reports the city’s population is up 0.7% vs. 0.3% for the state as a whole from the 2010 census to July 2012. Lake, McHenry and Will lost population or had no growth; DuPage and Kane saw growth around 1.5%. If we had current data, I’d expect it might look better. Boomers are jettisoning their McMansions as they retire and Millenials are staying in the city. Plus, immigrants. It’s the rural areas that continue to lose population. Alexander County, -5.9%; Knox, -1.3%; Vermillion, -1.1%; Cass, -2.2%; Stephenson, -1.6%. You get the picture. In fact, the question for 2020 may well be how much has Chicago gained?

  33. - Bill - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    Quinn might be unpleasantly surprised by the attitude of his “foot soldiers”. They may be out once in a while because they have to but there is not much enthusiasm for Pat Quinn. He can buy off the township and county bosses but he doesn’t have enough patronage to make the “soldiers” like him.

  34. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 4:26 pm:

    Hey PQ — Remember this:

    In 2010, 25,000 more ballots were cast for Governor than Senator. Mark Kirk got about 1.78 million votes ftw — about 65,000 more than Brady, who came in at 1,713,000.

    So where did those Kirk votes go in the Governor’s race? Apparently to SLC and that Green guy. In fact, about 271,000 voted third-party in the Gov’s race — about 65,000 more than voted third-party for Senate. In Cook County, the third-party candidates won nearly twice as many votes for Governor than they did for Senate. As one article noted: “Brady underperformed Kirk in Cook by 41k votes while third party candidates for governor outperformed third party candidates for Senate by 41K votes.” In Chicago, about 50,000 people voted third-party for governor.

    Absent a third-party candidate, all that Rauner has to do is persuade those 50,000 people to vote for him.

    This thing should be yours, but it won’t be a slam-dunk.

  35. - A guy... - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    A barking dog would start with 15-16% of the vote in the General one on one. It’s the next 5-8% that has to be earned in odd pockets and a few extra votes per precinct. Those are folks who are convinced their vote doesn’t add up to much. If you convince them they do, you can get to 22-23%. That’s enough to round the corner and win.

  36. - Steve - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 4:56 pm:

    Willie Stark

    Those are Census estimates. Chicago lost 200,000 people from 2000 to 2010. The odds of them regaining 200,000 by 2020 is the same as you and me waking up and being seven feet tall tomorrow. With pension problems looming: Chicago isn’t going to be the number 1, or number 50 place to retire to. But, Chicago public debt problems are enormous no matter what people want to believe. The Trib did an excellent job on the story down below. Facts are stubborn things.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 5:10 pm:

    - Steve -,

    Chicago ain’t Detroit. You can pull up the Trib, Fox News, MSNBC, “ABCD- EEE -FG” …

    They make tin foil hats in loads of sizes, maybe you need a bigger one?

  38. - Willie Stark - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 5:22 pm:

    Steve, facts are stubborn things indeed, but why you think anything you’ve written is a “fact” that refutes the possibility Chicago will see continued population growth by 2020 escapes me. I offered some reasons Chicago could grow by 2020 (Census estimates are the best we have right now, but there is a defensible methodology behind them; they are not plucked from thin air), didn’t say definitively that it would because that would not be “factual,” merely offered realistic speculation about what *could* happen. No one disputes that Chicago’s debts are of concern, but a growing population (attracted by cultural and other amenities) *may* well increase revenues, thus helping Chicago to manage its debt. You offer “facts” to bolster an evident anti-Chicago perspective; I ask, why the interest in running down one of the best things our state has going for it? EVERYONE should want Chicago to succeed as the broader success of the state depends on it. The “fact” is that no one, including Willie Stark, knows what the future holds. Join me in rooting for the city. You’ll feel better.

  39. - Steve - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 8:19 pm:

    To Oswego Willy and Willie Stark:

    As pensioners retire and take cutbacks, it’s hard to see how high cost Chicago with its’ excellent weather is going to a magnet for sticking around and gaining population. If Chicago was gaining population: they’d be adding schools not closing them down. Chicago is boxed in with high taxes and pension problems. Cutbacks in services are coming. Where is Rahm going to come up with money to pay into those pension plans??? Will Rahm get a city income tax through the state legislature???

  40. - Steve - Wednesday, Dec 11, 13 @ 8:22 pm:


    I forgot to add this link. It’s the feel good link of the week.,-2nd-highest-in-u.s/

  41. - Rahm's Middle Finger - Thursday, Dec 12, 13 @ 5:45 am:

    Steve- You’re pretty dense. Your claim was that Chicago is, luckily for Republicans, losing population. Did you read what others posted above? Chicago could lose population, but most of it will be to the suburbs.

    And where there is population growth in Illinois, it’s generally due to the Latino population. The Latino population grew 32% in Illinois from 2000 to 2010. A demographic group that Obama won 71-27 over Romney. That change is why Tom Cross’ district will have a competitive election. Demographics and population shifts are NOT going to be helpful to the GOP in Illinois. Nice try though.

    Wish in one hand…

  42. - ASDF - Thursday, Dec 12, 13 @ 7:38 am:

    do candidates have to report all earnings from fundraisers? if so, by when?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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