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Dillard wants lots more debates with Rauner

Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014

* I told you yesterday that Bruce Rauner had agreed to five debates. Kirk Dillard believes he ought to agree to far more. From a press release…

The Dillard-Tracy campaign today released the list of debates and forums in which they will be participating in the coming months. This list is in addition to the many other forums that Senator Dillard and State Representative Tracy have already participated in.

    January 11 Women’s Republican Club Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Forum
    January 14 Will County GOP Tea Party Debate
    January 16 Daily Herald Forum
    January 20 Chicago Tonight/WTTW - Mikva Challenge (Gubernatorial)
    January 21 WGN/Chicago Tribune Debate
    January 22 Union League Club Debate
    January 23 Illinois Public Broadcasters/League of Women Voters Debate
    February 3 Sun-Times Candidate Forum
    February 4 Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Debate
    February 10 WLS-AM/NW Suburban Townships Debate
    February 16 Illinois Forum Debate
    February 18 Citizens Club of Springfield Debate
    February 20 Illinois Mechanical & Specialty Contractors Forum
    February 25 Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce Debate
    February 25 Chicago Tonight/WTTW - Mikva Challenge (Lt. Governor)
    February 27 ABC7 Chicago/League of Women Voters Debate/Univision
    March 4 NBC5/University of Chicago Debate
    March 6 Chicago Tonight/WTTW Lt. Governor Debate
    March 13 Chicago Tonight/WTTW Gubernatorial Debate

Debates and forums are an important way for voters to learn more about the candidates and their positions. The Rauner campaign recently announced that it will participate in 5 events, none of which are in January.

“It’s curious that Bruce Rauner has decided to skip all debates and forums in January,” Campaign Manager Glenn Hodas said. “Perhaps they interfere with his Montana fly-fishing vacation plans with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Regardless, we’ll be here in Illinois, talking about bringing more jobs to our state, and Bruce can return to the conversation after his trip.”

That January 23rd debate is particularly important to Downstate public TV stations. Rauner ought to agree to that one.

But, on the whole, I’m not sure if many people care what debates that candidates engage in. And since Rauner has positioned himself as the “inevitable frontrunner,” limiting his debate exposure is an expected move.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


29 Comments
  1. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    Really? We need 19 debates? I’d be surprised if people actually watched one debate.


  2. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    If you are Rauner why give the others that much earned media…


  3. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    Sorry, glen, i dont want to go fly fishing in montana in JANUARY. Sheesh


  4. - PoolGuy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    are Dillard and Tracy going to debate each other if no one else shows up at the gazillion debates?


  5. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    I doubt anyone’s going fishing in Montana in January Mr. Hodas. 5 televised debates is not a small number to average voters. This campaign has turned into snipery and now the face and voice has changed. I’ve known Glenn for a long time. Lots of people do, but 99% don’t. He’s going down with the ship I guess. Too bad.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    ===That January 23rd debate is particularly important to Downstate public TV stations. Rauner ought to agree to that one.===

    Agreed. That is the only one needed to the “go” list.


  7. - Big Muddy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    DILard cannot make up his lost ground in 100 debates much less 19. Rauner agreeing to 5 is about right. No one other than wonks care enough to view one debate much less nineteen! 5 spread out between now and primary day keep a good news cycle going without crowding it too much IMHO.


  8. - Montrose - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    “I want 19 debates”

    Translation: “The only way I will be on TV is if I do not have to pay for it.”


  9. - walker - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Commence the bean bag barrage.


  10. - Adam Smith - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    Hodas’ snarky schtick is already getting old. For someone whose been part of the Spfld clique for so long I guess it’s easy to start sounding like a poor man’s Huey Long.


  11. - debate prep - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Kirk who?

    Should debates at this point be limited to viable candidates and exclude the fringe candidates? At this point it is a Rauner v Rutherford race.


  12. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    Oy, 19 debates. As has been said, how many folks are gonna watch more than one of these? Dillard’s desperation is palpable.


  13. - DuPage - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    It might give the others 14 more times they could debate the cardboard cutout with a endless sound loop repeating “We need to cut the minimum wage”.


  14. - From the 'Dale to HP - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Is Rauner the frontrunner right now? I know he’s positioned himself as so (smartly), but are there polls saying he is?


  15. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    –Sorry, glen, i dont want to go fly fishing in montana in JANUARY–

    Some do, actually. Probably the same folks who go ice fishing. Not my thing.

    Still, Rauner has so many properties, there were better options to make the point.

    Say, like, hanging on the private beach at his $7 million Key Largo mansion. Or skiing at the $1.75 million Park City condo. Or doing Manhattan right from the $48 million Central Park West penthouse — with a moat to keep the riff-raff out.

    Given the upkeep on all his properties, you can see why Rauner wants to cut the minimum wage. The servants’ costs must be astronomical.

    Especially, I’m sure, since he’s been vigilant that everyone that works for him at his nine properties are in the United States legally.


  16. - Timmeh - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    19 is too many. I think 5 is even too many at this stage. They should have been having debates earlier. 1 a month, starting in December and going to March.


  17. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    If you’re not a good debater, why ask for 19?


  18. - FrenchVanilla - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    19 debates??? Overkill much? I’m puzzled as to why Rauner would agree to as many debates as he already has.


  19. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    Cinci, if you’re reading this today, have you ordered the chicken suit yet? If you can afford the rental fee, find a volunteers to wear it and follow Rauner around the state. That’s a classic campaign gag.

    If you guys can’t spare the cash to rent a nice chicken suit (don’t get a cheap one, they look awful), then get over to Kinkos and have them primt up a life-size Rauner cardboard cut-outs. Bring it with you to all the forums Kirk is going to but Rauner is blowing off. It’s not as fun as the chicken suit, but it’s less expensive and I know you guys are watching every nickel over there.

    Finally, if money is too tight, you could always debate the empty chair. On second thought, Clint Eastwood might have ruined that gag for you.

    Good luck Cinci. Hang in there and stay warm. We’re all rooting for you.


  20. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    Hell hath no fury like a GOP insider scorned by the establishment money bags for a Democratic insider running as a Republican.

    It sure would be entertaining watching Dillard go after Rauner. Kind of like when Newt and Specs Perry went after Mitt for “vulture capitalism.”


  21. - Buck A. Duck - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    It seems pathetic and desperate to me when IL republicans try to connect their opponents to evil democrats like Daley, Emmanuel, Obama, Madigan, and Pelosi. I guess I am in the minority in thinking it doesn’t work, because they sure keep doing it. I suppose, in IL, what else can they do?


  22. - walker - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    The only one who might, might, benefit from these many debates, would be Danny Boy Rutherford, because he can sing a different tune than the other not-Bruces.


  23. - OurMagician - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    Will the undercard be the debates Ericka Harold wants with Rodney Davis?


  24. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    I have to admit I hadn’t heard about a lot of the forums that are listed above. Have they always been there during campaign season? Who has attended them in the past? Are they just town hall type meetings and general invites are sent out or do these entities really believe the candidates will show up? I just haven’t heard of all these forums before - maybe because I haven’t been paying attention?


  25. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    It is my understanding that Rauner and Dillard both confirmed for the 1/11/14 Women’s Republican Event to be held in Lake Forest. I am not sure about the other two governor candidates.


  26. - Da Moat - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    Rauner’s website crashes when I click on “learn more.” What’s the deal?


  27. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    This would be a good idea if Dillard had more to talk about than Jim Edgar.


  28. - Anon - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Can anyone recall any primary debate that proved decisive in an election? As far as I can tell, few people watch such debates, and the live audiences are usually full of people who are supporting someone already.


  29. - Whatever - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 3:10 pm:

    Once again, Dillard is a day late, and a dollar (well, many dollars) short. Rauner was smart to pre-empt the others with his own debate schedule, which sounds reasonable, and negates a narrative that he only wants to buy the race on TV. Per other comments above, who wants to watch/listen to 19 debates??


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