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Martin and Meeks

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014

* Surprise, surprise, Eden Martin uses his Sun-Times column to endorse his old friend Bruce Rauner

Supporters of some of the establishment Republican candidates for governor and a few media commentators are now taking shots at political newcomer and present front-runner Bruce Rauner. Some say he has an “arrogant” streak, and others claim it’s hypocritical for a wealthy candidate to refer in campaign ads to wearing an old watch or driving an old van.

I’ve worked with Bruce for years on state finance and education policy, and I can understand how some who disagree with him might easily mistake self-confidence for arrogance. But I’ve found him to be smart, disciplined and focused on getting results. Full disclosure: I like and respect him, and I’ve contributed to his campaign.

He’s not only given money to Rauner’s campaign, he hooked Rauner up with a key supporter. Mark Brown has the story

The Rev. James Meeks, a former Democratic state senator who pulled out of the 2011 mayor’s race against Emanuel, and Rev. Marshall Hatch, a lower-profile West Side minister most recently in the news for helping bring Rev. Al Sharpton to town, are actively supporting his campaign, Rauner told a Gurnee audience in November.

“They want more jobs, and they want better schools, and the Democrats aren’t delivering,” explained Rauner, who said he expects to win 25 percent of the city vote with their help, enough to keep a Republican competitive in a statewide race. […]

In a phone interview this week, Meeks confirmed he supports Rauner and said he will try to convince other African-American ministers to help him, too.

“I was with him since Day One,” said Meeks, who describes Rauner as a friend and fly-fishing buddy with a shared interest in education. “I think he will do good things for people.”

Meeks said he’d never heard of Rauner before Eden Martin, President of the Civic Committee, called on Rauner’s behalf about five years ago to request a meeting. […]

Rauner ended up paying a three-hour visit to Salem Baptist Church, the 20,000-member megachurch Meeks built in Roseland.

That led to dinners and eventually Rauner hosting Meeks for some fly-fishing at his ranch in Montana. Now he and Rauner email back and forth with photos of fish they’ve caught, Meeks said.

* The two met in 2008, when Meeks was leading protests demanding that South Side kids be allowed to enroll in New Trier. Ironically, Rauner was trying to get his New Trier daughter into a Chicago public school at the same time.

Mark is quite surprised at Meeks’ support for Rauner, but look at the history. Meeks initially fought for a Dawn Clark Netsch-like tax hike for schools, but that was blocked by House Speaker Michael Madigan and Meeks never forgave the Speaker. So, Meeks and Rauner have their distaste for Madigan in common.

* Meeks eventually soured on the whole project and in 2010 keynoted an Illinois Policy Institute school choice symposium. He launched a blistering attack on teachers unions at that event, another Rauner enemy.

* And, of course, there was this tweet from last summer when Rauner announced he was running…


- Posted by Rich Miller        


42 Comments
  1. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:22 pm:

    In the article, Rauner praises Meeks for being a Republican and in favor of right to work. That’s not good. Union members earn more than non union members in the vast majority of occupations and industries, and African Americans have the highest unionization rate. By extension, unionized African Americans earn more than their non-union counterparts. Rauner and Meeks must figure that lower salaries are better for African Americans.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    Understanding how each of the Rauner allies have come to the Fold is critical in trying to understand what levers may work best.

    Teacher’s Unions unite some, and those some it’s their #1 “hate, bar none”. It trumps everything else that others do not in commmon, period.

    Big money unite others. They could be Dem donors, Out of State, whatever. Money staying with money.

    Tea Party despise government today types.They want anyone outsode of the government… running government. Anyone. If they are “rich and can’t be bought”, even better.

    These are all single goal constituencies, who, when confronted with truths that are counter to why they normally wouldn’t back Rauner, they can care less, and become more strident.

    Peeling away those who do not know what their “lynch pin” issues that Rauner has is the best and most effective angle in the GOP primary;

    Rahm Emanuel

    DNC Donations

    Payton Prep / Clout plain and simple

    Stu Levine

    Crop “losses” of $600K

    … that needs to be wrapped together so tight, that even a new Carhartt can’t tear it away, as thes facts rip to shreds, and actually add wear and tear to that prop Carhartt.

    Meeks’ support, its rationale, speaks to the challenge, and shows where the soft spots are …

    (Meeks and Rauner schools/unions … soft spot? Rauner clouts OUT of New Trier, Meeks - New Trier saga, and the idea Rauner’s Daughter climbed over 7,000 kids to get there.)

    Simple fundamental connections at play here.

    Education, no pun intended, is the remedy.


  3. - Generation X - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    The Tea Party is never going to be in Rauner’s corner. Emmanuel, crony capitalist, democrat donor. Rauner is tride and true establishment guy who uses his wealth to be part of the country club crowd. He is Karl Rove’s wet dream and will be despised by the Tea Party types. He is a chamber of commerce Rino candidate


  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    - Generation X -,

    Don’t say the “RIN …”.

    Rauner’s Crew would love that.

    Rauner works, clouts, vacations, donates, all through the likes of Ed Rendell, Rich Daley, Rahm Emanuel.

    Using that “RIN…” word, negates the impact of Rahm, and Rich Daley, and the DNC donations. Don’t get sucked into using THAT word, be smart.


  5. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    ===will be despised by the Tea Party types===

    Not so far.


  6. - too obvious - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    How many of Meeks’ congregation I wonder have ever been fly fishing in Montana? I’m guessing zero.

    Montana fly-fishing pastors strike a wrong chord with me.


  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    From Brown’s column:

    –Meeks said he’d never heard of Rauner before Eden Martin, President of the Civic Committee, called on Rauner’s behalf about five years ago to request a meeting. So he Googled the name.

    “When I saw how much money he was worth, I said, ‘Sure, let the guy come on,’” laughed Meeks.–


  8. - Generation X - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    Rich and Willy you are both right. However, Rauner is just starting to get hit and if his Daley, Rahm ties start seeing the light of day that will be a non starter with Conservatives.


  9. - langhorne - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    thanks, eden. that helps a lot, using terms i can understand. like a new “fiscal doc”, instead of my old guy. shucks, i dont care if his carhartt is shiny, he gets results, like you said. and spreads the money around to do it. maybe i can go fly fishing w bruce some day, too.

    where did rauner and meeks do this fly fishing? the des plaines river? fox river?


  10. - PoolGuy - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    the same Meeks who threatens to run for Gov or Mayor and bows out when he probably gets something in return. now he’s backing Rauner who wants to strip bargaining rights from workers and make IL a right to work state and lower the minimum wage. wow way to go Meeks.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    (Palm slaps forhead HARD)

    - Generation X -,

    That is the game at play here, ya know.

    Any help in spreading the word, please do, no snark intended.

    This is the problem - Generation X -, and with the “3″ have ing no cash, no paid media, a lack of solid infastructure in place, today, to make all this know, and educated correctly … thus the challenge to Rauner …

    … as he adds a Million a week to define “Bruce Rauner” over Bruce Rauner.


  12. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    OW-please take a tying class. your post are great info wise as long as one can interpret the spelling errors.


  13. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    ===take a tying class===

    First rule when mocking someone else’s spelling: Check your own spelling.

    Doofus.


  14. - justsayin' - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    There isn’t an outcry among the tea party leadership because the leadership has been bought off. This was by design and in the works for a long time. Why was former Illinois GOP leaders Andy McKenna involved in the Illinois Policy Institute from the beginning. Why was he sending establishment GOP donors Tillman and Proft’s way? The Illinois Policy Institute controls a big section of tea party groups - they are considered a partner to the Illinois tea party and a source of the groups’ funding. With Jack Roeser, Tillman, Proft, Adam/For the Good of Illinois, and Joe Walsh connected to Rauner’s campaign, even those who want to speak out are being told to shut it up and keep quiet. Most regular tea party voters have no idea about Rauner other than his TV ad spots.


  15. - justsayin' - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    If the tea party faithful ever really find out about Rauner and there “leaders” are being paid, there will be some cries of betrayal. It will be interesting to see if that happens.


  16. - Generation X - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    Unfortunately the other 3 are going to have to hope for more unforced errors like the minimum wage and lying to Bernie episode. I think the strategy is simple for these three. In the North hammer the clout and in the Central and South hammer the Daley/Rahm connection.
    Also some forget that a large number of Unionized State workers and teachers are Republican and are extremely motivated voters. They already know Mr. Rauner’s feelings on them


  17. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    agree doofus well earned and my bad:) not trying to put ow down his posts and opinions are some of the highlights (my opinion only) of the day only excuse is: too many single malts today


  18. - medium rare - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    Just more examples of the unique coalition of voters Rauner will bring to the table that no other candidate can or will.


  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    Oh, please. He hasn’t bought off everybody. You think millionaire Jack Roeser was bought off? You’re nuts.

    It’s the same gripe about county and township party leaders. “He bought them off!”

    It’s the cry of losers.


  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    =I can understand how some who disagree with him might easily mistake self-confidence for arrogance=

    I generally don’t have a problem with either self-confidence or arrogance if there’s substance to back it up. And that’s the fatal flaw I believe the Rauner campaign made when it began tossing money around everywhere, raised the cap, and started talking out of three sides of its mouth and “tailor” the script to targeted audiences.

    That approach has always reeked of low self-esteem and little courage–especially during a frickin’ Primary when all of this should be pretty simple. Even more so when all of the big money is backing you.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    - medium rare -,

    Coalitions fail because the “Big Picture” versus “Specific Goals” begin to run counter to each other.

    Rauner needs to vote these coalitions too.

    Got to vote them. Get them to the polls, and not wish them there. Rauner can’t even have a bus tour that generates ink as momentum.

    The “3″ can get him. by beating him on the Ground, if they get the air support from the “2PACS”, then it gets to be wide open, with education and real ground game / grass roots winning the day.

    Eight weeks, time will tell.


  22. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    OW-my bad, my apologies. Your comments are 90% spot on (this is from a conservative). I deserved the chastisement from Rich for my bad typing also. Usually the brain working faster than the fingers, OR believe it or not sometimes the keyboard actually does not work properly (did not happen in my case, I just did not proof properly).


  23. - Generation X - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    Rauner has yet to heed the advice of some of the posters here regarding the Clout. He keeps the story alive by not owning it. He should just say “my kids are my weakness and I want the world for them so I would try and move mountains for them. i realize I may not have gone about it the right way…” Instead he is playing this card that he followed the rules that were available to everyone which is simply not true, and is fooling no one


  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    =too many single malts today =

    Most Anons seem to know way better than that.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    - Anonymous -,

    I should work on my spelling. You are right. I also need a new keyboard on this computer, and non-pudgy fingers when I use my phone.

    I will try better, no snark.


  26. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    =…(this is from a conservative)…=

    Really? Hm.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    Back to the Post,

    If Meeks can generate raw votes from his congregation and his old senate seat, with no Dem Primaries of consequence, then you really have something even more solid going on.

    Raw votes, not a percent increase …

    100, 200 or more votes.

    might make a difference, like 193 votes did four years ago, but it only works if Meeks and his Crew works weeks bfore and on Election Day.

    Bigger “get” than just Meeks on his own, adds significant and tangible feedback to just Meeks name.


  28. - dupage dan - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    As usual, OW you are pointing the way. I recall you doing this same thing in previous elections and appreciated the way you present the pathway to the sometimes addled and confused candidates.

    I have a secret wish that 2 of the candidates [I won’t give you their names but their initials are….. ;/) } realize the hopelessness of their position given the time remaining and coalesce behind the candidate who has a chance. I suppose it is possible that one of the ill-fated could cause some trouble while still hunkered down in the bunker of their rent-way-over-due headquarters but I think that may be too little/too late.


  29. - too obvious - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    “You think millionaire Jack Roeser was bought off? You’re nuts.”

    hmmmmmm dunno Rich. Yes sure put aside all the back and forth money there. But promises of teachers union busting is pretty much the same for a 90-something yr old man.


  30. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    ===But promises of teachers union busting is pretty much the same===

    No, it’s not. Rauner isn’t being a phony on that stuff, he really believes it. So does Jack. You don’t know what you’re talking about.


  31. - PoolGuy - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:47 pm:

    he’s made it pretty clear his feelings on unions and wants IL to be right to work


  32. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    === - Anonymous -

    =…(this is from a conservative)…=

    Really? Hm.===

    Conservatives can’t like me? Ouch!


  33. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    Still trying to hit the right buttons on the keyboard, 4:48? Live and learn.


  34. - walker - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 5:02 pm:

    Former leader of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club doesn’t see “arrogance” in his fellow member.

    OK


  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 5:03 pm:

    No, that was me, my phone cycled out.

    - Anonymous -, please pick a name.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 5:08 pm:

    - dupage dan -,

    Thanks for the very kind words.

    We are all here to help each other, and learn too. I learn far more than I give, that I know for sure.

    Appreciate the words, much respect.


  37. - Henry Clay - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 5:28 pm:

    As one of the “south of I-80 crowd”, I am eagerly waiting to watch the televised GOP gubernatorial debates on WTTW and on WGN television on 1/20/14 and 1/21/14. Rauner will finally be there to answer back to the inferences made about Rauner by his GOP gubernatorial opponents. My guess is that based on the results of the Plainfield straw poll held Tuesday evening, Bruce will have a reasonably “deep hole” to climb out of with Will County GOP voters. Will County has almost 390,000 registered voters in it and yet Rauner still decided to avoid it’s Tuesday night gubernatorial debate in Plainfield? Many GOP voters in Will County saw that as Rauner’s Chicago arrogance and disdain for the collar-county conservative faction.


  38. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 5:30 pm:

    =- Anonymous -, please pick a name.

    No. I already have one, and I continue to abide by the rule that Rich set for me to continue to use it on CapFax.


  39. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 5:35 pm:

    I agree that D Lard and Brady should not get out. I also believe if they don’t DRuff (Duff Beer it’s 5:30) loses out. I am starting to think a bit different on some of this. He made the Mayor rich. He is a D. James Meeks. Wow. The nice lady that would not let him in the restaurant…No soup for you or campaigning… But he was a nice guy. Gang, this guy is liked by many of the people that actually meet him. The big negative that was bandied about so long… when they learn about this guy….. Guess what, they are he’s up. Big. I think most importantly, the Referendum again, Are you better with my ideas or PQ’s record? Illinois? Meek’s congregation? It’s legit. He has a shot.


  40. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 5:40 pm:

    =No, that was me, my phone cycled out.=

    You’ve been talking to yourself the entire time? That’s a bit strange–even for you. ;)


  41. - dave - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 11:17 pm:

    RE: Meeks

    Someone has to explain to me how a socially conservative, fiscally liberal Democrat endorses a socially moderate, fiscally conservative Republican.

    Meeks and Rauner agree on education. Its an important issue. I get that. But they pretty much disagree on everything else. So odd. And so disappointing from Meeks.


  42. - Mokenavince - Friday, Jan 17, 14 @ 9:15 am:

    Rev. Meeks is no fool, he knows the inside politics of Springfield. It’s a wise move
    on his part to support Rauner.

    There was a time when the majority of,
    African Americans were Republican.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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