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*** LIVE VIDEO *** IEA to endorse Dillard

Friday, Feb 14, 2014

* I gave subscribers a heads-up about this yesterday morning. Tribune

The Illinois Education Association, one of the state’s major public teachers’ unions, is scheduled to endorse state Sen. Kirk Dillard for the Republican nomination for governor, sources familiar with the endorsement said Thursday.

The endorsement, to be announced during a news conference in downtown Chicago on Friday, could re-invigorate the veteran Hinsdale lawmaker’s campaign. Dillard has languished in fundraising against the high-dollar, TV ad-focused bid for the nomination waged by Bruce Rauner, a foe of the teachers’ unions and what he calls “government union bosses.”

The IEA, which represents teachers outside Chicago, endorsed Dillard for governor four years ago, but he came up short by 193 votes to state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington. The union gave Dillard’s campaign $250,000¿ along with a cadre of political foot soldiers.

Dillard voted against the state’s new law changing Illinois’ public employee pensions, a measure that aims to close a $100 billion unfunded liability within the next 30 years. The endorsement is a setback for state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who also opposed the new law and contended unions should have had a voice in drafting a reform bill.

* An e-mail from Dillard’s campaign early this morning…

Republican candidate for Governor Kirk Dillard will hold a press conference Friday to announce a major endorsement in the 2014 campaign for the GOP nomination for Governor.

When: Friday, February 14, 10 a.m.

Where: Union League Club of Chicago, Room 700
65 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604

* You can watch live video of this event by clicking here.


…Adding… Some of y’all are getting a little too excited about this endorsement in comments. In my opinion, unless the teachers are in for major seven figures, all this does is play into Rauner’s “big government union bosses” argument.

Rauner can pretty easily counter any impact this might have with a directed TV ad shot at Dillard. The teachers will be calling and mailing their members, and they have a lot of members, but I’m just not sure yet that this’ll bump Dillard up enough to put him in play. We’ll see.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 8:51 am:

    The money and bodies will help, but the negatives to Rauner needs to be addressed and hopefully the Teachers will do just that.

  2. - Mouthy - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 8:55 am:

    Right or wrong, the end of DR’s chance.

  3. - PublicServant - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:00 am:

    Good. Maybe the plutocrat can’t buy the election afterall.

  4. - Smoggie - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:02 am:

    Despite Dillard’s pandering to every far right social conservative group, he was never going to get their votes anyway. The Tea Party crew will never accept Dillard.

    Since those votes are out of the question, this has to be a huge win for Dillard. If he can get GOP union members (and better yet, since there are no real contested races for the Dems, some cross-over Dem union members who despise Rauner) this could be significant.

  5. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:02 am:

    This morning Dillard woke up, watched a bit of Rocky, put on his sweats, drank some raw eggs and is starting his run up a very steep hill.

  6. - Robert H. Hanaford - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:06 am:

    The campaign by Mr. Rauner has been well played; the best that money can buy. In the process he has been able to choke off the supply of money to other candidates. This has been great for Mr. Rauner since it has allowed him to freely define himself as an everyman “outsider” to the political process. Thing is, he is not an outsider. He is an insider who has been contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars for years, all the while allowing Mr. Rauner to benefit big time from the very system he claims he will “shake up.”

    Hearing the supporters of Mr. Rauner complain about the money from those opposing his candidacy for Governor is quite ironic considering the millions of dollars spent by the Rauner campaign. The obvious fear of Mr. Rauner’s supporters is that voter’s may soon discover he is not the everyman “outsider” with an $18.00 watch portrayed in his slick ads.

    Good luck to the Dillard/Tracy team. Kirk Dillard may not be everything desired by many Republicans, but he is at least 80% of everything. Having just received the endorsement of the conservative Republican Assembly of Lake County last night and now the IEA, Kirk Dillard obviously has broad appeal necessary to win the general election and govern with the interests of all Illinois citizens.

  7. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    IEA will give Dillard significant help with his ground game, but it seems like someone using a cup to bail water out a sinking ship.

  8. - Bobo - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:14 am:

    THis is shaping up to be a very good V-Day for Kirk Dillard. I suspect he will have loving thoughts of today.

  9. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:17 am:

    Now, let the games begin!

  10. - Try-4-Truth - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    This is the first step in Unions backing Quinn in the general after Rauner gets the nomination. This thing is Quinn’s to lose. Rauner has been a God-send to him.

  11. - Neglected stepchild - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:20 am:

    Dillard: sleeping with the enemy.

  12. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:23 am:

    The lawsuit against DR was the clincher in the IEA recommendation for Gov. Sad.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:25 am:

    - Neglected stepchild -,

    Teachers have endorsed Republicans before, including Dillard.

    “Raunerites” clout their kids to hop over worthy kids, to be taught by Union teachers. “Raunerites” are the enemy to worthy children and the teachers who can’t teach them because of Clout.

  14. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:27 am:

    IMO, unless the teachers are in for major seven figures, all this does is play into Rauner’s “big government union bosses” argument.

    Rauner can easily counter any impact this might have with a directed TV ad shot at Dillard.

  15. - Fred Derf - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:32 am:

    This means nothing.

  16. - Wensicia - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    I’ll bet Rauner has a negative Republican candidate supported by the unions ad ready to go, he just needs to insert Dillard’s name.

  17. - xxtofer - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    As a member of the IEA, and one of the groups of people that Kirk Dillard has railed against in his new love with Tea Party elements, I am saddened to see my union do this.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:33 am:


    It’s all Dillard has, sadly, so might as well suck it up, take the cash and the bodies.

    I have felt for a long time it’s a race to define Rauner. That’s it. If Dillard or Brady can’t educate, it won’t matter who supports whom, if the defining fails. Rauner at 10% negatives is far more significant than the 40%.

    To your comment, Spot-On. That is the reality. A mailer or 25 bodies is useless. A seven-figure Ad buy, phone banks and GOTV, then it matters and counters the Rauner narrative as well as it can be. No seven figures, means nothing.

  19. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    Good news for Dillard has been in short supply.

  20. - Generation X - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    OW is correct again on this issue. If Rauner can be accurately defined by his opponents broadly he will lose this primary. Everyone is quick to write off the tea party support to Rauner but the tea party despises the crony capitalist, Chamber of Commerce Republicans more than Unions.

    Define Rauner and get back in the game. Keep present course and he walks into the General

  21. - downstate hack - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    It may revive the Dillard campaign, but he needs to really start to utilize the union members to build a ground game to attract Rutherford and Brady supporters and needs to do it very quickly.

  22. - Tom Joad - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    The endorsement is a big boost to Dillard. But the IEA employees are about 60/40 Democrats to Republicans. And the teachers don’t volunteer to any large degree. So Dillard gets all the leaders, and the money but not all the members he needs to win.

  23. - A Modest Proposal - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    This is more of a blow to DR than a help to KD, I think I smell burning toast somewhere in Illinois…

  24. - Jimbo - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    I’ve never pulled an R primary ballot, but I’m pulling one for ‘Lard. As much as I detest his phoney run to the right on social issues. I hate that he’s being so disingenuous one, and I hate that he’s stupid enough to think that will win support from the few wingnuts that exist in this state, but I would have voted for him last time if he won the primary. This time, I might not vote for him in the general, but he’s got my primary vote for sure.

  25. - walker - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    IFT sticking with AFL-CIO brothers and sisters for Quinn? We’ll see.

  26. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    IFT website does have an endorsement for Gov in either the Dem or Repub primary as of today.

  27. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    In my area there are many Dems who have told me they will pull a Republican ballot this time. Most were going to vote for Dan but I imagine that Dillard will be picking up most of those votes now.

  28. - DuPage Rep - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    When is the Barack Obama ad going up?

  29. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Actually I agree with Rich to wait and see… But I also will say, this may really be much more help to the Farmer. Look, no substance to his campaign other than I am not an insider… And he is leading big. Dan now just boosted this referendum. …Ultimate insider, independent report, but not for anyone else. … The teachers are getting in now, too late… I am more interested to see what they do in the general. If they back Quinn… It plays in yet again… They hated him…Now they back him to keep what’s left what he didn’t take… Like it or not, The Farmer has a shot at PQ…

  30. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    I want Rauner to keep attacking unions. That to me could be a liability as well as a boon to him. Dillard’s endorsement should force Rauner to keep up his attack on “union bosses.” While this may serve him well in the primary, it has the possibility of reinforcing any image people may have of him being a plutocrat who attacks middle class workers. Plus, it may move public union members who dislike Quinn toward supporting him. Quinn will need a strong showing of organized labor to beat Rauner, in my opinion.

    When my public “union boss” told us local members about the new contract and the concessions, we were told the union did the best it could, and to support the contract. We listened. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the contract. It’s possible although perhaps less likely that a similar scenario can happen with Quinn, where our union leaders strongly advise us to vote for him, when compared with Rauner. We’ll see.

  31. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    === IMO, unless the teachers are in for major seven figures, all this does is play into Rauner’s “big government union bosses” argument. ===

    Agreed, but I think it will be a net plus for Dillard. The teachers have been known for being able to put people on the streets. This will help - see Willy’s ground game manual. Also, many teachers will be hold their noses and vote for him.

    === Rauner can easily counter any impact this might have with a directed TV ad shot at Dillard. ===

    Of course he can, but he’s been pinning that label on Dillard and the other two for months. IMHO the Count already has the vote of folks who would respond to the anti-union message.

    That being said, the bottom line is that Dillard’s ship, the S.S. Say Anything and Do What it Takes, is still going to sink.

  32. - dave - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    IEA is endorsing the IL chair of ALEC? Really?

  33. - Under Influenced - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    Too little….too late.

    If unions are that concerned about Rauner, then best defense would be to protect your lawmakers.

  34. - Downstater - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Teachers unions endorsing Dillard is a defining moment. Dillard is and will be in the tank for the teachers unions. Nothing gets done to fix the pension mess, after it is overturned by the Ill. Supreme Court. What next? Endorsement by all the public employee unions? Maybe, Dillard can ask for a favor and have Obama run an ad to support him. That should go over well with the GOP primary voters.

  35. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    *** This Rauner moment was brought to you by Downstater. ***

  36. - Wensicia - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Is this a plus for Brady?

  37. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    Norseman… Good snark… If it was not snark… Then I think we should go back when NOBODY thought the farmer had a shot in the primary… He has out worked and out spent.. But he out worked…That’s the lesson.. The speaker gets all of the credit for playing chess when others play checkers. I believed then, and believe now the Farmer wants this to be a referendum… The people that got you in this can get you out? Or an outsider that was succesful in business? We know that may not be true…But the voters and the speaker who named him after the “historic” pension vote showed who he fears… All of this palys to the farmer… Who they choose in the general and if the teachers choose Quinn…For real.. Plays to him as well… We may not like it… But the R’s bettter decide, if the farmer wins… Will THEY back him. Because he has a serious chance. Wether we like it or not.

  38. - shore - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    In a tea party driven moment this just plays into Rauner’s hand and allows him to continue to point to his narrative with dillard as a liberal insider.

    It’s come down to brady-whose 2010 win increasingly looks like the fluke of a lifetime and Rauner.

    If I were a newspaper making endorsements I’d hold off a few more weeks on endorsements. I don’t think some of these guys will be in it.

  39. - BigRed Rightwinger - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    I’m a PC in DuPage County and have been trying to decide between Dillard and Brady. I had been leaning Dillard, but due to his poor fundraising, his polling numbers and now this I’m going with Brady.

    I don’t think any of the 3 right now can beat Rahmner, but Brady is in second and has something of a ground game (he better since he has no money).

    I’m not sure how much this helps Dillard. The ALEC Chair has been campaigning for voters like me, but this drove me away.

  40. - one of three puppets - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    Here is the deal. We went with Brady once as a party. He lost in a huge GOP Year. Rauner will motivate the disenchanted Democrats in this state. Dillard may actually get the middle support that we need to beat Quinn. Can’t we as a party think about the general and not act like the circular firing squad we have been over the past few years?

  41. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    ===Dillard may actually get the middle support that we need to beat Quinn===


    You obviously missed the last six months of the campaign.

  42. - Now What? - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    Teachers voting Republican is NOT a defining moment as some have stated, nor is the IEA endorsing a Republican earth shattering. This is what is so frustrating about the IRP in the last 10 years. They’ve lost the moderate voice, villified and demonized unions, and force many to hold their noses and vote for Democrats. This is clearly playing out in the Democratic majorities that have taken over the former IRP moderate sectors in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, and collar Cook counties. Thus collar county Dems can push the teachers to the brink because, whaddya gonna do . . vote Republican? Too bad.

  43. - one of three puppets - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    I hear you Rich. I know some of the positions he has taken. But someone that has gotten the support of the largest public union in our state would actually eat into the middle.

  44. - Anon - Friday, Feb 14, 14 @ 3:05 pm:

    Dillard’s campaign is broke, and beggars can’t be choosers. Besides, he has enjoyed the IEA endorsement and cash before, so in this at least he is consistent.

    It doesn’t help Dillard much, however, unless a couple hundred thousand teachers and retirees pull a GOP ballot and punch for ‘Lard. I can’t recall any massive party raiding making a difference in the last couple of decades.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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