* Mark Brown’s column today is about the coming election will go beyond politics and strike a major internal, personal chord…
This election is going to be worse because it’s going to get personal, and not just between the candidates.
Before it’s over, regular people are going to see that this race hits them where they live, either directly or by impacting their belief system, much as in a presidential campaign. […]
Mark my words: Long before November rolls around, you are not going to want to talk Illinois gubernatorial politics in a social setting unless you are prepared to deal with some strong opinions.
I predict two competing crusades will emerge, each righteous in its faith in its cause, if not necessarily in its candidate.
In making his Republican primary campaign into an assault on public employee unions and “union bosses,” Rauner has turned this into a life-and-death struggle for organized labor and the working men and women it represents. […]
Likewise, ousting Quinn from power has taken on a crusade-like aura of its own for those who equate the Illinois Democratic Party with public corruption and blame it for the state’s poor business climate. Frustrated that they can’t get a direct vote on the fate of House Speaker Mike Madigan — or another shot at President Barack Obama — they see dumping Quinn as the next best thing.
He’s right that this gubernatorial election could divide Illinoisans like no other we’ve seen.
Go read the whole thing.
* The Tribune, no surprise, does not like Quinn’s rhetoric…
No matter how much a class warrior wants voters to focus on somebody’s nine homes, many Illinoisans desperately wish they had one home — one home they could afford to buy, to improve, to keep. Except many of those Illinoisans today cannot securely own a home of their own. They lost their jobs, if they ever had decent jobs. They see employers avoiding Illinois. They send endless streams of employment applications into the aloof online void but don’t hear anyone answer, “Congrats, you’re hired.”
Instead they hear a governor who wants to raise the minimum wage here to $10. That would be the nation’s highest state minimum wage, eclipsing Washington ($9.32) and Oregon ($9.10), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Let’s see: Would that attract more employers to Illinois? Or would that mean even fewer starter jobs in Illinois as employers grow their hiring in any of 49 less expensive states?
* Meanwhile, here’s today’s AP story…
The Democratic Governors Association and organized labor also say a Quinn victory will be a top priority, as unions try to avoid the kinds of blows they’ve felt under GOP governors in places like Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. Organized labor spent millions on ads during the primary that attacked Rauner, who has called Walker and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels his role models.
“The last thing Illinois needs is a governor who looks out for the wealthiest among us while turning his back on the middle-class, and we plan to hold Rauner accountable every step of the way,” said Michael Murray, spokesman for the union coalition.
That group Murray works for never actually did a positive ad for Quinn. It focused solely on negative ads against Rauner. And it’s not clear what the group will do from now on.
* Also, this…
Public sector unions won’t necessarily give their full support and endorsement to Governor Pat Quinn in the general election… but they will definitely mobilize to oppose Republican nominee Bruce Rauner.
The deputy director of the largest state employees’ union, AFSCME Council 31, says Rauner poses a threat to organized labor, retirees, and working class people around Illinois.
But Roberta Lynch says that’s no guarantee that the union will provide financial help or manpower to Quinn’s re-election effort.
It could be a while before Quinn and the public employee unions are on the same page. Still, if they’re spending money bashing Rauner, that’s money Quinn doesn’t need to spend.
* And then there’s this…
Unofficial election night results from Christian County showed that Hardiman got 956 votes to 818 for Quinn. In Cass County, Hardiman’s edge over the incumbent was 496 to 455. In Macoupin, it was 2,887 to 2,437, and in Greene, 236 to 231.
In all, as of results midday Wednesday, Hardiman, who spent little money but did complain that Quinn would not debate him, won 30 of the state’s 102 counties.
The governor most definitely has some problems with his Democratic base south of the Chicago metro region. But counties don’t vote. And he got 79 percent in Chicago