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The unions prepare a Rauner assault

Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014

* While I was away, some reporters began to pick up bits and pieces of the anti Bruce Rauner movement building among organized labor. From Bernie’s column on December 26th

Rich Miller, publisher of the Capitol Fax newsletter and associated website, reported this week in his syndicated column that sources tell him labor unions are “moving ever closer to jumping into this primary battle.” The intent, he said, is to “spend a … few million bucks” to try to defeat candidate Bruce Rauner of Winnetka in the primary, because if Rauner is the GOP nominee, it would cost “tens of millions to fend him off in the fall.”

Of even further interest in central Illinois, Miller reported to his subscribers last week that several sources say that while some unions plan to work with the Democratic Governors Association to build this challenge, other unions instead will be involved in forming a separate organization to pay for ads. And, Miller said, “several sources” told him that Steve Shearer will run that group.

Shearer is Congressman Aaron Schock’s former chief of staff.

More Bernie

In light of reports in Capitol Fax, Roman passed along Schock’s statement that also was given to the website. In it, Schock said in part of Shearer: “At no time did we discuss his future plans or employment.”

“Regarding this effort,” Schock said of the reported anti-Rauner push, “I have never been a party to any campaign to influence the outcome of the Republican primary for governor. I have met with several of the candidates who are running for the Republican nomination for governor, and I may get involved in the primary at a later date.”

Shearer was not available for comment.

* The Sun-Times tried to take some credit

Rauner’s three opponents are struggling to register on the radar. Earlier this month, Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery telegraphed the move to the Sun-Times, saying Republican primary involvement could be in the cards. Montgomery and other unions were incensed about pension-reform legislation that makes wholesale changes to the structure of public-employee benefits. It had the IFT as well as other unions looking at all available political options.

More

Two of the other three Republican competitors — Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, and Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford — opposed pension reform legislation, keeping alive their chances to get union support. Dillard has already been the beneficiary of $250,000 in teacher union money, campaign finance records show. Dillard and state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, are demonstrating dismal fundraising so far. Rutherford has remained consistent in bringing in money, but none of the three can compete with the $100,000 checks Rauner is bringing in with ease. And Rutherford and the others aren’t generating enough cash to sustain a TV ad campaign to target Rauner’s vulnerabilities, including his ties to Democratic Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel.

Attack ads against Rauner from a third party could be a game-changer in this race.

* Back to Bernie

Paperwork was filed with the State Board of Elections last week to form The Republican Fund for Progress and Jobs, which is an independent expenditure political action committee. The chairman and treasurer is STEVEN SHEARER of Peoria, former chief of staff and campaign manager to state Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria.

This is apparently a group that will gather money from anti-Rauner forces, particularly labor unions — as was recently tipped in Capitol Fax.

As an independent expenditure group, the new PAC can raise unlimited amounts, but it cannot make direct contributions to candidates or coordinate expenditures with candidates.

The media focus so far has been on the Shearer PAC, but the DGA’s PAC appears to be the one that will carry the heaviest load. Subscribe for more info.

* Meanwhile, unions are also sending cash to Gov. Pat Quinn’s campaign fund. Ormsby

In the last quarter of the year, Governor Pat Quinn disclosed on Tuesday that he raised nearly $2 million.
In two campaign finance filings with the state election board, Quinn reported $1,970,232 in large contributions, the bulk of which came from trade unions.

The top union checks include:

$250,000 – Operating Engineers Local 150
$150,000 – IBEW
$100,000 – Plumbers, Pipefitters Union
$100,000 – Laborers Union
$100,000 – Painters Union
$50,000 – Illinois Pipe Trades
$50,000 – Illinois Associated Fire Fighters
$30,000 – Chicago Regional Carpenters

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


61 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:30 am:

    How can you tell if a Prize Fighter is the “real deal”?

    You see if they can take a punch and still stand.

    Welp, ‘Remo’ is always right; “Why take a chance?”

    “Bruce Rauner” will not be able to explain away all the Bruce Rauner baggage to the GOP Primary voters, if it gets as intense as antisipated.

    “Vacation with Rahm and his family … at your own ranch in Montanta?”

    “You hired Stu Levine?”

    “How many Tens of Thousands have you given to Dems?”

    “You Daughter was taught by a Chicago Teacher?”

    “You live in Winnetka, you live in Chicago, your Daughter was denied, your Daughter gets ‘in’…Dems helping, and didn’t you have your own charter school? Wasn’t Rauner Prep good enough for your own Daughter?”

    “You made how much money off public pensions?”

    “You made THAT much money LAST YEAR?”

    “When did you vote in the Dem Primary again?”

    “Supporting Dems is a choice to make ‘change’ possible, so aren’t you part of the ‘insider problem’ too?”

    “How many houses, and how many houses in Cook County had propery exemptions?”

    “How did CPS verify you and your Daughter, only, living in Chicago, while the rest of the family lived in a Mansion in Winnetka?”

    “What was the date of the Denial to Payton Prep, the ‘acceptance’ to Payton Prep, and the address change for you, and your Daughter, and when was the Condo bought, before or after applying, either time, to Payton Prep?”

    “What is the total monies you donated just to Rich Daley, Rahm Emanuel, and then the total?”

    “If you donate to Rahm Emanuel, and vacation with Rahm Emanuel, explain again how that is like Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill?”

    “What was the total donated to the Cook County GOP, its Chairman and his committees and township committee, and what was the date of the forst of these donations?”

    That might be enough for ‘Remo’ to chew on as this begins, I guess…


  2. - Rufus - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    Unions are going to have a hard time making decisions on political contributions. Everyone wants to blame state workers for all the states financial problems.


  3. - Cassiopeia - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    The unions will unfortunately help Rauner in his campaign in the Republican primary by their too-public tactics against him. I think this effort has the potential to backfire on the unions.


  4. - Adam Smith - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:42 am:

    It will be telling whether Rauner gets dragged into the mire by those who want to change the subject. He’s shown discipline of message so far.

    Sure, his relationship with Rahm and his tendency to act like a clout-heavy big-shot are liabilities, but they are by no means fatal. He’s been steadily building name ID and is trying to “round the edges” of his image, and what polling there is shows he is moving numbers.

    The real story here is the completely self-serving way that Schock/Shearer and Dillard will jump into bed with the Democratic Party and the unions to assail a Republican.

    In Dillard’s case it is at least a tactical campaign decision. In Schock/Shearer’s case it is a temper tantrum by a couple of guys who thought they were pretty hot stuff until they ran head first into political reality.

    The fact that Republicans will do anything to settle scores underlines the fatal lack of cohesion in the Party.

    Can anyone imagine a Democrat aligning with the Koch Brothers or Karl Rove to destroy a fellow Democrat? It doesn’t happen.

    Just another sad chapter in the Clown Show that is the Illinois GOP.


  5. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    And just week rauner (blago 2.0, w money) said he wants to CUT the minimum wage by a buck an hour. Ya gotta think that jacked up the unions something fierce. I would be afraid to put a rauner bumper sticker on my car.

    What OW said. The insider cronyism w dems will resonate w primary voters and collar county voters.


  6. - Rolling meadows - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    “The unions prepare a Rauner assault” Perhaps the caption should read “The unions prepare a Harmon assault”, The ONLY Democratic Senate Candidate who will be facing a primary challenge this election cycle. If your going to spend money and you only needed one vote wouldn’t this make sense?


  7. - Nieva - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    I would think the unions would want Rauner to win. He appears to be the closest thing to a sure loser of all the Republicans running. Pat is no longer their best friend but make no mistake he is still their friend.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    ===Sure, his relationship with Rahm and his tendency to act like a clout-heavy big-shot are liabilities, but they are by no means fatal.===

    Time will tell.

    BTW, changing the message about Schock and the ILGOP and all that other misdirection is exactly what Baron von Carhartt wants others to think, but if you are willing to have as little integrity to the ILGOP as Rauner, than I guess apologizing for “Bruce Rauner” is all that can be done when the Ads start rolling.


  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    –The real story here is the completely self-serving way that Schock/Shearer and Dillard will jump into bed with the Democratic Party and the unions to assail a Republican. –

    LOL, who’s the Republican?

    The negative spots will be very powerful, no matter who’s bankrolling them. Lots of Rahm, Daley, Stu Levine, mansions, etc.

    Rauner’s call to cut the minimum wage was a sweet gift to his opponents, an unforced error. You don’t have to sound that crazy to win an Illinois GOP primary.


  10. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    Anonymous 945a = langhorne

    I dont have a problem w repubs trying to take out rauner now. He is a loser in the general, no matter how much he spends. His message can work if he is genuine and willing to reach accommodations w others. But he is a fraud on many levels


  11. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Unlike Adam Smith, I don’t have any problems with what Shearer is doing. Rauner is not really a Republican, so the concept of tearing him down is not just a matter of settling scores. The fact that polling shows that Dillard’s testimonial in a commercial for Obama’s presidential campaign moves numbers big-time, I am extraordinarily confident that packaging all of Rauner’s contributions to Democrats, the Stu Levine thing, and various statements (like his pro-choice position) will prove devastating if done correctly. Rich’s cautionary notes about the difficulties in managing a coalition and getting anything done are wise; however, Steve Shearer — not my friend or ally — is not to be underestimated if he has the resources.


  12. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    Draft Edgar and it would be “Game over.”

    Awww, he’s not playing.


  13. - Darienite - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    =I would be afraid to put a rauner bumper sticker on my car.= Who would put a bumper sticker on a $60K car?
    It will be interesting when the GOPers debate if the other 3 take turns throwing granades at Rauner, or if a single candidate goes on a solo attack and the other 2 nod their heads.


  14. - In the Middle - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    Fundraising isn’t the only measure of viability, but in the fourth quarter, Rauner outraised Rutherford by more than 10:1. Dillard and Brady lagged behind even that.

    It’s anyone’s race with two months to go, but if R’s are going to get behind Dillard or Brady, you’d think they’d start sending money.


  15. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    Though you read it here on CF first (as you often do), the whole strategy is now telegraphed as was mentioned above. Rauner hasn’t pulled any punches when it comes to how he feels about unions. He’s 3 months ahead of this messaging before this barrage even starts. And, he has the dough to keep up with them, probably even can spend more than them. This could backfire and it might be exactly what the Rauner strategists want, and more importantly when they want it. The only guy who could benefit from this is really Pat Quinn. There’s really nowhere else for the dissidents to run if they are really sympathetic to the union messages. It’s hard to believe not one of the other 3 positioned themselves better to be beneficiaries of this strategy. As has been pointed out, it’s been known for weeks now. Egads.


  16. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    A regular guy, who wears carhartt, has a timex, drives a high mileage ford , stays at a cheap motel , and eats raisin bran—would display a rauner bumper sticker—bec he wants to shake things up and stick it to politicians and public employees.

    He is less likely to align w someone who makes $1,000,000 a WEEK, esp if the guy is a poser, who made his loot off of public pensions and wants to cut the minimum wage


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

    The unions will only jump in the GOP primary to the extent they think Rauner could win the General.

    They’re smarter than to bank anything on the other GOP candidates’ anti-pension-reform posturing. That was an anti-Quinn/Madigan stance, on top of a desire to cut or change pensions even further.

    mark


  18. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    “jump into bed with the Democratic Party and the Unions and assail a Republican”

    An “outsider” trying to buy his way into government, drowning his GOP opponents in a torrent of campaign cash and wielding the proverbial sledgehammer to smash all in Springfield who don’t agree with him is not assault of Republicans.


  19. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Again, in earlier postings, I believe this will all backfire on the unions and strengthen Rauner’s position in the GOP primary.

    I’ve heard Rauner in a number of Q & A sessions answer nearly all of the questions posted by commentators here as to “weaknesses” that will allegedly destroy his candidacy. Problem I have with all of that are the answers Rauner has provided, which appeared to have satisfied the GOP audiences who threw them out to him.

    This is mainly why I believe the unions are wasting their money here Rauner right now appears quite different from other “personally wealthy” candidates I have come across over the years. On a one on one handshake, he makes the sale. He sticks to his message and talking points to make the sale. And with him out all over place (now a bus tour) in the State, coupled with his financial prowess in raising funds for his candidacy, I don’t see a few negative ads beating him.

    If there is another way of taking him down, someone would need to find it and use it now. I can’t think of one at the moment.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    This battle is going to be won by whose message is going to resonate;

    The hypocrite Bruce Rauner, or

    “Bruce Rauner” selling “Bruce Rauner” in spite of the barrage of Ads against him.

    Which is harder, pulling a cart uphill, or trying to stop a cart you can’t control from going downhill?

    If Rauner’s Crew tries to play this off as “unions and special intrests” afraid of him, I can see those PACs taking those very words and making a 30 seconf spot like;

    “Bruce Rauner complains about special interests distorting his record, however, Bruce Rauner forgets he is the bigggest Democratic insider of them all…”

    To the Post,

    As for the other “3″, this gift of a two pronged attack leaves about 75 days or so to set up significant infastructure to find your own pluses and vote those pluses, and as the two PACs do the dirty work, you pick up those educated by the Ads and build to have the strongest Election Day possible.

    Throw in the parroting of the Ads in the debates “Bruce Rauner” has decided to grace us all with his presence, and when Rauner is not going to show up, get that Chicken costume, with the Carhartt Coat and Flavor Flav clock at those debates. Maybe have the Chicken wear a ‘Payton Prep’ t-shirt inside the Carhartt coat.

    Bruce Rauner is trying to destroy the ILGOP, as an outsider, who is an ‘insider’ but an insider to the ILDem, not the ILGOP. Make the difference in the precincts, with your networks of volunteers, endorsers, and let the PACs do what needs to be done to get Baron von Carhartt’s true self out to the public with the Air Assult.

    I guess we will all find out the cost … of buying integrity and ethics … with every dollar Bruce Rauner tries to sell “Bruce Rauner” against the negatives.


  21. - OLD BRASS - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Ole’ Willy,

    Quote….“You live in Winnetka, you live in Chicago, your Daughter was denied, your Daughter gets ‘in’…Dems helping, and didn’t you have your own charter school? Wasn’t Rauner Prep good enough for your own Daughter?”

    Starting to understand the “Free Ride” concept yet…?

    Another example of an unqualified student taking up a seat of another that is clearly more qualified. This is not Racism…this is Class Warfare.

    I accept your apology….


  22. - skeptical spectacle - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    I agree, unions going against Rauner in the primaries could really backfire on them.

    Rauner is running on, and will only win if he protrays himself as someone who will “hammer” the status quo in Springfield.

    Unions doing something unusual like heavily attacking a GOP candidate in a primary will only reinforce Rauner’s argument that the Springfield status quo (long term pols heavily influenced by union money) is doing everything they can to prevent the type of change that will set Illinois on the proper course after years of mismanagement and special deals for special interests.


  23. - skeptical spectacle - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    If I were Rauner I would

    1)spread the message about how much unions are spending against him.

    2) explain in simple terms the how public sector unions have disproportionate influence on Illinois politics that does not benefit the population at large. The special interests get sweet deals etc.

    3)portray in ads to the voter that if you want illinois to “continue to go down the path that is it going down” (whatever that means) vote for anyone other than Rauner.

    4)be open about his personal wealth and explain to the average voter the reason the status quo and unions are so afraid of him is because Rauner doesn’t need their money to get and stay elected, and accordingly, they can’t buy him the way they do other pols.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    - OLD BRASS -,

    Your back-peddling is cute, but funny thing about your post, you keep trying to justify it. lol

    You got “Called on it”, by me and quite a few.

    “With kindest personal regards, I remain.

    Sincerely yours,

    Oswego Willy

    p.s. That is not an apology.

    Good to see “A Guy …” and “skeptical spectacle” are here to back “their guy”.

    All we need is - Cincinnatus -, but at least when he is - Cincinnatus -, we know he is an apologist… when he is - Cincinnatus -.


  25. - Steamrohler - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    I have spent a lot of time in Springfield. I know the landscape well. I go all the way back to Pate.
    Rauner has these union people scared and rightfully so. But they will not be succesful trying to beat him in the primary. Rauner has message and money. The other candidates don’t have much of either. Can’t beat something with nothing.


  26. - concern1 - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Was just wondering, what is the price tag for the governor office? I missed how much it cost to buy that office! Politics its all about money not people.


  27. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    What Skeptical said…. Other than folks who follow closely, which is few. What resonates? Rauner has successfully made this a referendum in the primary and then the general. Do you want the people that created this mess of a state or a new approach? He will either win the General on it, or not. The primary is all but over. Will the “republicans” not support Rauner? Will the unions especially Teachers back Quinn? Talk to the ones who pay attention… The may passively support Quinn. It will be interesting how deep they will go. Popcorn popping now!


  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    ===The primary is all but over.===

    How long was it that Blair Hull “hung on” with his issues? Week?

    How long did “Jack!” Ryan hold out with his “issues” Week?

    It is far, far, FAR to early to declare anything over with not a single Ad run by either PAC and seeing the impact of how the negatives will impact “Bruce Rauner”

    Stock up on the popcorn, this is just beginning, not even close to ending, given the new dynamic about to be inserted.


  29. - TVV - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    I’m waiting for some of the wise guys here to let us know that negative advertising doesn’t work and won’t hurt the mighty Bruce. Certainly there’s no poll tested messages against him that will resonate with GOP primary voters (eye roll). Seriously? I’m not saying it’s a slam dunk the other way, but the “backfire” and “can’t beat something with nothing” talk is ridiculous. The unions could screw this up, but the idea at this point that millions in negative advertising will actually benefit Rauner is wishful thinking.


  30. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    –Again, in earlier postings, I believe this will all backfire on the unions and strengthen Rauner’s position in the GOP primary.–

    Why? The unions aren’t going to produce spots in which they’re waving red flags and playing The Internationale.

    They’re going to define Rauner as an insider kleptocrat at the public trough, and there’s lots of material there.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    - wordslinger - is on it.

    These Ads are not going to start;

    “Hello, we are a coalition of unions, and this is our Ad, thank you.”

    No.

    They have the possibility to be slick, hard-hitting, pointed, and there is a load of material for upstate, downstate, urban, and rural.

    The race is for who can cement their image of “Bruce Rauner” first, last, and most impactfully.

    Negative Ads work. People “hate” them, complain about them, and vote along with them.

    Think about this - Ad runs with the picture of Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Rauner standing together, in color, in the 30 second Ad, it goes from color to a sharp black and white, while the marration talks about the vacationing, and the donations, and Rahm being made a millionaire by Bruce Rauner… and ending with the sharp black and white photo of the two with the words …

    “Who IS Bruce Rauner?”

    What is Rauner going to say? “Those Unions! How dare they!”

    “Any response to the connections to Rahm Emanuel?”

    (crickets)

    “Those Unions!”

    See, the narrative of who Bruce Rauner is, is the issue. If Rauner’s Crew goeas about this blaming the Unions solely, they will lose the message and the narrative, and be fighting off the negative Ads instead of forcing the “Bruce Rauner” narrative through, as the Union Ads either follow, or lead into the Rauner Ads.

    These Raunerbots, they better realize, nothing is decided yet, and the race to define “Bruce Rauner” is finally beginning, with two or more participants chiming in on either side.


  32. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    ===The unions could screw this up, but the idea at this point that millions in negative advertising will actually benefit Rauner is wishful thinking.===

    Totally true.


  33. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    I’ve heard that Mr. Rauner has donated $870K to the Democrats. And didn’t he make most of his cashola from the unions? Didn’t he also donate most of the money - that he made from the unions - to his campaign? Arguably, he has the most union contributions of any of the GOP candidates for governor. No?


  34. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    Rich, isn’t the storyline that the unions are gunning for Rauner - isn’t that part of Rauner’s talking points? Are Illinois media suggesting that the unions would be happy if Dillard, Rutherford, or Brady also beat Quinn? Very funny!


  35. - Soldier of Fortune - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    Future Rauner ad- “My fight is not with the members of unions it is with the “big labor bosses” and “career politicians ” who together made promises they knew could not be kept. They knowingly underfunded pensions for their pet projects. Now those same people are spending your union dues to defeat me and continue business as usual.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    - Soldier of Fortune -,

    Is that Ad running before or after the Ads with Rauner standing next to Rahm Emaunel, or before or after the Ad talking about the tens of thousands of dollars to Dems, or before or after the Ad about the $53 Million made off of Union Pensions?


  37. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    O Willie, I am now ready to accept your accusation. I am supporting Rauner. I really decided over the holiday season between him and Rutherford. I started out as a Dillard enthusiast, lost my enthusiasm when he so recklessly lost his way. I’ve never believed Bill Brady deserved another shot (though I do like him). Rutherford was the last guy standing who had some wherewithal to get a message out. He too, is making any strategy he might have look like amateur hour. So, I’m supporting Rauner, warts and all. I believe he can win in November. You’ve always been a tick or two beyond critical and into the boundaries of unfair. Your prerogative friend. He is our party’s best chance to regain the mansion. He is “my guy” now, so the insinuations are now true. I’ve been a precinct captain for a long time. Our goal is to win. We sure haven’t achieved much of that. Glad I could come clean for you on that today. They’ve all got strengths and weaknesses. Objectively, he’s the guy now.


  38. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    Wordslinger, I gave my answer immediately below what you have quoted. I do appreciate your comments.

    I have seen Rauner take hostile questions and answer them to the satisfaction of the hostile questioner and to solid GOP audiences. I have seen a lot of candidates, including first timers, get blindsided like that. Somehow, Rauner is different. Add that he can immediately counter the attack ads with his own ads giving the same type of answers I’ve heard him give in live events, and that is “why” I believe those ads will backfire and actually help him in the primary. He knows what those audiences want to hear and presents himself as someone who “cannot be bought.”

    Dillard’s strength is that he can explain serious issues confronting our state and offer a solution that somehow makes sense when you first hear it. Rauner’s strength is his “we don’t have to stand for this anymore” type of message, and “I’m not like (Madigan/Quinn/Union Bosses, etc.) them,” where he gets the entire audience to eventually agree with him.

    It is an interesting primary on “our side” (GOP) of the fence this year.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    - A Guy … -,

    Well, good on you for “owning it”.

    If ethics mean nothing to you, and the idea that someone so blatently not a member of the Party should lead My Party ….as he vacations with Rahm Emanuel and his family ….after making Rahm a millionaire, … and …. you back someone who denies a child a chance at something better, so his denied New Trier living Daughter gets cluted and moves into a new condo, while having a manison in Winnetka, then good on you for “owning it”.


  40. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    Another perspective, Willy. Very few have carried more water for the elephant than I, and the only state- or federal-level Dem I have voted for is Jesse White. I am a “squishy” moderate, according to the zealots in my Party, because I am fiscally conservative but want to stay out of people’s bedrooms and orifices. I am NOT anti-union, though I do believe that union leadership often does not serve their membership well.

    All that being said/written, I find Rauner to be the biggest hypocrite and phony I have seen in my many years in politics — a broad, bold, and accurate statement. Imagine railing against government pensions, when you have made hundreds of millions managing them? Imagine being against “pay to play” when you are nearly an architect of the concept with your contributions to Ed Rendell that magically mushroomed the amount of pensions you managed for the State of Pennsylvania? Imagine understanding the system well but refusing to take a stand on social issues like same-sex marriage and suggesting a referendum when you know it would be meaningless? Imagine railing against corruption when you hired the tainted Stu Levine to help you navigate your interests among the corrupt Illinois system? Imagine pretending that you contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats because you wanted to start a “dialogue” about education? Imagine being the architect of charter schools, and then calling in a favor from Arne Duncan to clout your daughter’s way into the city’s finest public school above other students more deserving? Imagine calling yourself a Republican when you have done nothing for the party until it came time to plan your campaign and stack up endorsements among cash-starved GOP organizations in Cook County? Imagine you enriched and empowered Rahm Emanuel, vacation with him and his family, and then pretend you are not really about gaming the system?

    This man is dangerous to the GOP. I swallowed hard and cast votes for many candidates that were too conservative but, at least, better than the alternative; however, I will not abide this well-financed hijacking of my Party, fractured and handicapped though it may be. I will be one of many who will bolt the Party and vote for Quinn if Rauner is my option.


  41. - nadia - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    If Rauner keeps up the attacks on “the Unions” Quinn and the Dems will be happier with him in the General than Dillard or Rutherford. Those two could actually pull votes from the rank and file Trade Union members while a continuing Rauner attack on “the unions” will solidify the Trade Union memberships behind Quinn. Look at the contributions Quinn has already received, a Rauner win works out as a great fundraising tool for Quinn and the Dems.


  42. - Percival - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    It’s not just Schock and the unions. I have heard GOP politicos, mostly those who are not party officials with their hand out looking for quick money from Bruce Rauner or Jack Roeser, are very uneasy with, to hit a few topics: Rauner’s electability in November (this ain’t even Indiana, much less Wyoming); the blatant purchasing of endorsements (many of the people Rauner is buying off qualify as “career politicians” under any definition you like); the “career politicians” attack angle itself, which has to include a lot of good conservatives who do not roll over with Madigan; the inherent demagoguery in Rauner’s message; and the possibility that Rauner could be the next Ted “Shutdown” Cruz when he hits Springfield, which threatens a lot of damage to the GOP candidates. Not all people state all the points, but I have heard each somewhere, and some people raise more than one. These people are quite happy to let Schock and the unions wield the knife, and won’t cry if Rauner goes down in flames. What intrigues me is that these more politically sophisticated types rarely, if ever, raise the Rahm/Democrat donation/Democrat primary vote issue, but when I have raised that issue with “lower information voter” Republicans, the reaction is strong and negative.


  43. - Percival - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    I should say that I have heard the comments from GOP types, not second-hand.


  44. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    That conservative whatever site Illinois Review - is it sponsored by Rauner? I see that people from Illinois Policy Institute are contributor so I would imagine that site is also bought and paid for? Seen links to it but not a criticism of Rahm Emanuel’s pallie. Wassup?


  45. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    - LincolnLounger -,

    We have our work cut out for us, don’t we?

    You are not alone, we are not alone.

    Let’s see how the first wave hits, and what washes upon the shore. It is far from over.


  46. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    O Willie, our last 3 Republican Governors made a career out of working closely with Democrats. One of Rod’s best friends in Springfield for years was 2 putt. You’ve pointed out the reasons you don’t like the guy; many of those are reasons I have trouble with as well. I’m balancing pluses and minuses in pursuit of winning. I’m not an apologist for anyone friend. If you have the perfect candidate, show him/her to me. I’ll vote for that person and deliver a precinct or a few for them. Otherwise, we choose from imperfect people who have +/- ratios. And we decide. Your description of how I decided and what I can live with is uncharacteristically cynical. I don’t like clouting, but I do support charter schools and if a guy made it possible for thousands of kids to get a better education, that’s a + in my book. Each of these guys (except Bill Brady) has laid on the opposing party’s mattress occasionally. You call it bi-partisanship when it pleases you, something else when it doesn’t. Some of your posts are at least as tiring as Cincy’s. Fortunately, most of them aren’t. While you’re holding OUR entire party on your shoulders, I’ll do my best to share my tiny bit of the load.


  47. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    For the record, “Skeptical Spectacle” and I are not related in any fashion.


  48. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    - A Guy … -,

    Um, “working close with Democrats”, and making them, personally, millionaires, and vacationing with them, AND donating to their campaigns … that is a smidge different.

    Tom “Two Putt” Cross is not running for governor. If the Dems dodn’t like Rod’s morining running partner, that is for the Dems to hash out.

    You are apologizing for Rauner, insofar as when you decide to stand with him, and then defend him, then you get to wear the jacket. What was it you said, “warts and all”, well, then you are getting some of that warts and all.

    Lastly, if you are going to “own it”, then “own it”; the clouting, the cozy deals, the Stu Levine, the Minumum Wage gaffe, the Carhartt, the Flavor Flav clock …you “own it”, like I have to eat, and “own” My Party too, Rosemary Mulligan (backing Rauner) and Jeanne Ives too. I “own it”. That is why I look to make it better, and “Bruce Rauner” and Bruce Rauner is not going to, and is not … going to make My Party better.

    Either you “own it” or you don’t.

    You said you “own it”, so take the warts and all.


  49. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    @A guy:

    I think it’s great you’ve come out publicly for Rauner. My problem with him is that his rhetoric scares the daylights out of me because it is just a little too Blagojevich-esqe for me. The whole “turning things upside down” is a bit too much for me. Also, I don’t think he has the first clue on how to go about governing. If he can show me that he isn’t hell bent on coming in and completely destroying state government then maybe I’ll change my mind. As of right now I think he’s dangerous.


  50. - Statesman - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    Don’t you just love the GOP circle firing squad.


  51. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    Demoralized, I really think Springfield is pretty dangerous now and has been for several years. I think the last actions of the legislature may have made it a smidgen less dangerous. Many on this blog would disagree with me. Rauner has a CEO style of doing things, no question. But we’ve seen other large states do well with that model of leadership, even NY City, which is comparable in population to Illinois. I think whatever dangerous-ness he might offer will be checked and balanced by a legislature that will accept some changes and reject others. The GOP has absolutely sunk to irrelevance in Illinois. Every GOPer in the Capitol needs to “own that”. If all the good guys are gone, maybe they weren’t all that good. We can’t line up with the other party and have a spirited contest, yet there are nearly as many people statewide who identify themselves as one party or the other. The Dems have more qualified people willing to run and serve. The GOP has made the process more difficult than it should be and many well qualified people skip it. We need to change that if we want to be relevant, let alone win a majority or the mansion. I repeat, it’s pretty dangerous now if you happen to be counting on a retirement that might be lacking resources to fund it.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    ===But we’ve seen other large states do well with that model of leadership, even NY City, which is comparable in population to Illinois.===

    City v. State. Not even comparable! Population is not a mitigating factor whn discussing the style of government.

    ===The GOP has made the process more difficult than it should be and many well qualified people skip it.===

    Hmmm. How so? Explain please.


  53. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    Yes, the GOP is largely irrelevant. We’ve shot ourselves in the foot plenty, but demographics had a lot to do with it. I can just see minorities, Hispanics, soccer Moms, and independents flocking to the Rauner campaign now that he has advocated lowering the minimum wage.


  54. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    - LincolnLounger -,

    Soething to think about. The ILGOP could very well have Jim Oberweis, and his Florida-resident wife, (for tax purposes, and she “winters” there, so there is that) and Bruce Rauner (9 homes, lower minimum wage, Union Basher, made his wealth partially off Unions, and a Rahm Emanuel close friend) heading up the 2014 ticket.

    You think …”minorities, Hispanics, soccer Moms, and independents flocking”… to the ILGOP?

    Happy Days?


  55. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 4:27 pm:

    O Willie, you’re kidding right? The GOP has made it difficult by having factions on one side refer to the other as RINOS and snipers on the other using terms like Slythein’ and the like. The Dems have just as much of a wide spectrum of Conservative types NW, SW side of Chicago, exurbs, downstate and Liberals, urban areas, downstate districts with big state institutions, schools and prisons, etc. I rarely see them gauging each other’s eyes out, though I know the divide is there and they don’t see eye to eye on many things. They aren’t consistently dismantling their candidates in primaries, though they have plenty of them. There are exceptions, but they are few. GOPers tend toward wanting government to do less. Dems tend toward wanting government to do more. Dems have more full time legislators. GOP more business people, lawyers, with other jobs. If you have to sacrifice income to serve, you’re less likely to if the price is having your character pounded to a pulp. You can simply keep on doing what you’re doing and not get involved. Unfortunately, many good people make that choice.


  56. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 4:38 pm:

    Willie, No state is exactly alike, but for comparables, please make a list that might be acceptable to you. NJ had Corzine, now Christie, more business-type guys, Florida, Jeb Bush, more an MBA type, CA, Schwarzenegger, not a politico. NYC actually has it’s own income tax, so it’s not so far off as a comp. It has more people than 43 states do. It doesn’t have an Ag sector, as many large geographic states do, but it does deal with every social service known to mankind. A CEO or MBA management style in a large electorate isn’t a brand new model by any means, that’s my point here. Once more there are plusses and minuses and circumstances a state may find itself in where a different approach might be the right one for a period of time. No perfect solutions out there, just acceptable or potentially good ones.


  57. - skeptical spectacle - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 4:45 pm:

    you guys are missing it……rauner will appeal to many democrats in the general election (think chris Christie, Bloomberg). that is another reason why the unions and status quo is so upset and freaking out…..rauner will have a broader base in the general than most Illinois gop gubernatorial candidates.


  58. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    ===rauner will have a broader base in the general than most Illinois gop gubernatorial candidates.===

    That’s exactly right, as long as he can extricate himself from this minimum wage catastrophe and avoids future such meltdowns.


  59. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    - A Guy … -,

    ===Dems have more full time legislators. GOP more business people, lawyers, with other jobs.===

    You sure?

    ===If you have to sacrifice income to serve, you’re less likely to if the price is having your character pounded to a pulp.===

    Isn’t service also include “sacrifice”? Are you saying that unless it makes sens monetarily to get go through a Priamry and a General election, then its not worth serving the people?

    I wouldn’t want any elected official who weighs the sacrifice solely on income versus sacrifice … yikes!


  60. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 4:54 pm:

    Illinois is not NJ, or FL, or any other state, and given the GA makeup, and that “Bruce Rauner” is going to “shake up” a Co-Equal branch that are going to resist just about all his propsals on their face, and that Rauner wants to take on MJM and Madigan is already making it clear that its fine with him, what are you saying?

    Sounds like gridlock of a CEO that can’t fire the GA, will try to stop paying the GA, since he saw merit in that, and someone not ready to understand and use the levers of government, not unlike Pat Quinn, but for very different reasons.

    Rauner wants referendums, and this state is not “made” like that. Rauner wants to take it to the Unions, but unlike Wisconsin or Indiana, neither chamber is not going to give him the breaking of the Unions, state shutdown or not.


  61. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 4:56 pm:

    ===you guys are missing it……rauner will appeal to many democrats in the general election===

    Well, with all the doanting to Dems, and the Clouting of a Denied Daughter by Dems, I can see the appeal. The appeal to Republican Lemmings, I can see that appeal too.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Another angle on the IHSA lawsuit
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* Yesterday's blog posts

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