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Other thoughts on Tuesday’s primary and the upcoming election

Thursday, Mar 20, 2014

* 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

- Posted by Rich Miller        


20 Comments
  1. - Walker - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Gonna be Romney vs. Obama, updated, and with no favorite son advantage.


  2. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Hopefully the intensity will improve voter turnout in November. It can only go up after the abysmal primary numbers.

    And the race for Governor will still come down to which campaign does the best job if identifying its voters and turning them out. The rest is theater.


  3. - anon - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    Hey union guys, here’s another reason to stay away from Rauner. If he wins, and gets reelected, the republicans will hold the govs mansion for the next remap. How does that make you feel?


  4. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    Or, the campaign could have the effect of uniting those of us who think they are both awful.


  5. - Toure's Latte - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    Six months of Rauner and Quinn blasting away at each other does not, in my mind, equate with record high turnout.


  6. - Secret Square - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    “this gubernatorial election could divide Illinoisans like no other we’ve seen”

    I wonder if the possible results could include some kind of attempt to organize either a third party or a downstate secession movement, or both (not that either will succeed).


  7. - Westward - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    To me, this shows the extreme diversity of Illinois in what people find important issues to them in the coming election. For me, BR’s rhetoric about AFSCME rings home for me. Only those union employees being overpaid will argue. I mean seriously, someone doing the same type of job in a state agency can be making 2-3x as much as someone working for the state in non-state agency capacity (not under Govs purview). That’s a hard pill to swallow. Obviously, not the sole reason I’m looking at BR. But to the point, his message attracts my attention. Chicago and Springfield are different beasts than the other 100 counties in Illinois.

    Personally, I think what Mark Brown says is good for Illinois politics. Maybe, just possibly, Illinois is in the early stages of a political cleansing. Lord knows we need it. Some primary results indicate a shift coming. Those have been noted on this blog. I say this is good for Illinois.


  8. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    –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.–

    Yeah, state government had a lot to do with the housing bubble and financial collapse.

    When did Sammy Maudlin join the Trib edit board?


  9. - D.P.Gumby - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    Westward…please show me what state job pays 2-3x than not state job?


  10. - Frenchie Mendoza - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    “…I mean seriously, someone doing the same type of job in a state agency can be making 2-3x as much as someone working for the state in non-state agency capacity (not under Govs purview). ”

    This is utter, utter nonsense — and it’s exactly the sort of race-to-the-bottom rhetoric that Rauner encourages. Show me one example — just one — of someone working for the state who makes 2 to 3X more than a private sector worker.

    I thought so.


  11. - Jimbo - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    Westward, that is utter nonsense. You’ve bought the spin, so I won’t bother trying to enlighten you. I would ask however, why you conclude that if one worker makes more, he is overpaid, rather than the other worker being underpaid. Class warfare? Yeah, that’s it. Our state’s problem isn’t that most businesses barely pay taxes, or that we don’t have a progressive tax structure (like most other states with income taxes have), it’s that state workers are overpaid. Jesus, eliminate the entire workforce, and you still don’t solve the structural deficit. Union employees are not the reason the state is insolvent. They are just a convenient bogeyman the right loves to bash. I hope you realize that unions are the reason the middle class exists. Without them, we would be a feudal society comprised of only two classes: the one percenters, and the serfs who slave away for poverty wages. I understand why Rauner wants that, but why do you?

    And in case anyone thinks that was hyperbole, they really should examine class structure in this country prior to rise of unions in the twentieth century. I would suggest they also look at the effect right to work laws have had in this country on average wages.

    The rich just can’t seem to think long term. Without a middle class, there is no one to consume goods and services business provides. A healthy middle class is good for everyone, but they can only see the bottom line right now. They want cheaper labor now, they can’t seem to understand that depressed wages will destroy the consumer base in this country.


  12. - One Ocean - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    “Please show me what state job pays 2-3x more than a private sector worker”
    Without names: Administrative Assistant state $73,000. Administrative Assistant private sector $32,000
    Most positions are not that case though.


  13. - Westward - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    Jumbo, hang your hat on the industrial history of factory workers if need be. But that is old news and just that, history. Should McDonalds become unionized? Heck no. Just like there’s no need to unionize secretaries, IT workers, and bosses! I never dissed what an impact unions had in the past. I’m aware. And reading my comment, I’m not putting all the eggs in one basket regarding the state financial woes. Red correctly, BR spoke to an issue that I can understand. And that issue is simple: there’s no need to have over 90 percent of state agency employees in a union.


  14. - Westward - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    —why you conclude that if one worker makes more, he is overpaid, rather than the other worker being underpaid—

    I did no such thing. In fact, I concluded that there’s a point in the middle, perhaps. I concluded that almost most union positions are inflated. That’s a fact.


  15. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    “This is utter, utter nonsense — and it’s exactly the sort of race-to-the-bottom rhetoric that Rauner encourages.”

    Rauner is stuck with his anti-union statements. He deserves to be hammered by them, because he stepped on public unions to get the nomination.

    “…I mean seriously, someone doing the same type of job in a state agency can be making 2-3x as much as someone working for the state in non-state agency capacity (not under Govs purview). ”

    I hope we keep seeing statements like this, because this shows who really stands to benefit from Rauner and who is standing behind him.


  16. - Jimbo - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    One Ocean, that is the top salary for an AA working for the state. Is the other number the highest salary a private sector AA makes? I bet Buffets secretary does a little better than that.

    Second, a large number of AA positions are management track employees, or on par with office managers, not secretaries. Office Assistant is a title more comparable to a private sector AA.


  17. - Esteban - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 4:28 pm:

    Hardiman drew a bit over one hundred and twenty
    thousand votes and PQ won the last time by about
    thirty thousand votes. Can Pat afford to continue
    to antagonize these voters?


  18. - down south - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 6:25 pm:

    Jmbo you are so right. Listen to someone that doesnt work for the state and the state worker is overpaid. Doesnt matter in what position either. I know a few AA’s and I would put thier job up against any and not many could do the job. But I guess just because it is a state worker, it is overpaid. Ridiculous


  19. - G'Kar - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 8:18 pm:

    7:58 Thursday evening–I received my first robocall from Rauner.


  20. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 2:05 am:

    Any and all upcoming Rauner-Bashing by the many Unions will only result in benefiting Pat Quinn’s Re-election in the end. And the even better news for the Governor here is that his OWN Campaign won’t even have to spend a dime on it, while expending precious funds on Rauner attack Ads on TV and Radio focusing instead on pointing out other br flaws, shortcomings, and extreme positions so as to define him to the Public even more so as an unsavory/frightening, out-of-touch option for Governor…


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* No pension bump for Stermer, MJM still not persuaded on special session
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