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Rhetoric vs. reality

Thursday, Mar 20, 2014

* Illinois Review

In a press conference following yesterday’s Republican unity event, Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin made it clear that he didn’t appreciate outside groups funding challengers to House incumbents. Durkin told reporters he was outraged at the money spent on primaries and suggested that independent expenditure groups and their freedom to spend money on elections should be reined in.

* Durkin was obviously referring to Dan Proft, who broke the spending caps in two House districts, defeated incumbent Rep. Sandy Pihos and almost defeated Rep. Ron Sandack. Proft’s response

“It is really quite simple: a Republican Party that rejects accountability is a Republican Party destined to be a super-minority party. A Republican Party that preaches competition but practices political protectionism is a Republican Party destined to be a super-minority party,” Proft said. “A Republican Party that tells talented people to sit and wait to be called upon before they are allowed to seek office or participate in some pre-approved way is destined to be a super-minority party.”

Proft said that by contrast, “a Republican Party that recruits, develops and supports talented people, has mechanisms of discipline to hold them to account for their records both as policy leaders and party builders, and focuses the party’s combined effort on advancing the flag for economic liberty in Illinois can be a super-majority party.”

That response totally ignores the fact that Proft pushed Keith Matune, a guy who’d been arrested three times and never informed his school district about the incidents.

And “mechanisms of discipline to hold them to account for their records”? What about Matune’s arrest record?

The worst thing Proft did though, was that when the truth came out, he didn’t back away. Instead, he doubled down, forcing the House Republicans to spend a fortune to keep the seat. If Proft’s guy had won, the House Democrats would have assuredly jumped in and made the House Republicans spend even more money to defend the seat.

Look, this is a free country. Proft can do whatever he wants. But the Matune race shows his only real priority was defeating a Republican he didn’t like, not winning a Republican seat. It was totally irresponsible to push a supremely flawed candidate so hard.

So, pardon me if I’m not buying what he’s selling.

* And speaking of irresponsible, many thanks to a commenter for linking earlier today to the Chicago Teachers Union’s “Lessons Learned in Primary 2014″

The only way an incumbent like [Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago)] was able to—possibly—squeak by a relatively unknown community leader like Jay Travis was by pandering to predominantly white wards through scare tactics and misinformation about imaginary tax increases.

The CTU backed a person who some claimed was a former cult leader. Mitchell didn’t use that stuff against her. Maybe he should’ve.

And what’s with the racial stuff? What’s next, making Louis Farrakhan an honorary CTU member?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


32 Comments
  1. - Cicero Bob - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Let’s not forget, Sandack is 91% on IPI’s scorecard and 100% on IOP’s scorecard.

    Sandack is WITH them on their issues and they went after him anyway.

    This isn’t about accountability. This isn’t about policy.

    This is about pure unadulterated Cicero politics. And Proft is saying to expect more of it.


  2. - SonofSuperAbe2014 - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    It is clear that Dan Proft likes criminals. It gives him a thrill up his leg.


  3. - corvax - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    That Farrakhan comment may not be far off the mark. I’m going to watch closely my state rep race between Mo Khan and the heir McAuliffe. Khan ran a good energetic campaign but squeaked out a victory by less than 200 votes against someone who, as far as I can tell as a voter in the district, ran almost no campaign. The most noticeable feature of the only mailer from his opponent–received the day before primary day–was Khan’s name in bold black lettering as ‘Mohammed “Mo” Khan’. I’m sure any thoughtful Muslim candidate knows he or she will have an uphill battle with lots of folks, but I hope Khan takes it to the heir McAuliffe where he lives and pray that McAuliffe avoids playing to prejudice.


  4. - ZC - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    >> by pandering to predominantly white wards through scare tactics and misinformation about imaginary tax increases.

    So CTU does -not- favor a tax increase, to pay for the upcoming pension payments the City of Chicago owes?

    Not sure what to make of that statement.


  5. - Upon Further Review - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    Proft forgot that Mathune was not campaigning for public office in Cicero. He would have fit right in there.


  6. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    Gee, Dan, why don’t you recruit all those talented people and spend money running them against Democrats?


  7. - OneMan - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    ZC

    They want a tax increase, but remember the whole progressive tax is where someone else’s taxes go up but yours go down. It’s like magic….


  8. - Big Muddy - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    Cicero Dan Proft is focused in the wrong direction. He would rather have a super-minority of Slytherin Republicans instead of growing the GOP by adding districts to the R side of the ledger. Very myopic in vision and a massive waste of $$$.


  9. - Bill White - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    I very much agree with this . . .

    === independent expenditure groups and their freedom to spend money on elections should be reined in ===

    However, accomplishing that objective following the Citizens United decision by SCOTUS might be difficult.


  10. - PublicServant - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    Proft wasn’t being irresponsible, because he’s not a Republican. He’s an ideologue that doesn’t believe in government. If all you want is a corrupt ventriloquist dummy pushing the yes/no button, introducing ALEC bills, providing an occasional extremist rant on the floor, and always doing exactly what it is that you bought him to do, Matune was the perfect choice.


  11. - ZC - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    OneMan,

    … and note, Christian Mitchell is probably sending these mailers to the _42nd ward_. The downtown Loop. If it’s a progressive tax that doesn’t require 42nd ward residents to pay more, that truly is magic.


  12. - Smoggie - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    “A Commenter”? My one contribution worth noting here and I’m forgotten so soon.

    Joking of course. Hundreds of comments, I’m sure it is impossible to remember who cited what.

    But thanks for adding the CTU piece to the discussion. It is interesting for two reasons.

    First, we’ve seen union groups claiming “victory” on Tuesday, largely for defeating Toni Berrios.

    However, for a group claiming that it had won, the CTU piece sure seemed bitter. That’s not the way winners talk. You have to wonder if internally they are realizing they spent a lot of money and not much to show for it, and hence the bitterness.

    The second note on that piece is that the racial notes from the top down at CTU are now worth mentioning. A while ago, the CTU President seemed to blames the problems of CPS on white people. Now this.

    CTU leadership (their President and whoever wrote/approved this) definitely seem to think that white people are their enemy and it is hard not to see how that is racism.

    Note that the alleged “pandering” by Mitchell was pointing out that if Travis was elected, she would support a plan that would raise property taxes. Mitchell’s stuff pointed out that taxes and rents would increase. The idea that it is “pandering to white people” by saying housing prices are going to go up really shows a view by CTU that is a bit odd.

    Given that this is a group run by teachers, it is more than a bit disturbing. It raises some real questions as to how leadership looks at people and if that attitude filters down to the rank and file, may be cause for concern among parents.


  13. - dave - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    Jay Travis still hasn’t conceded, right? Sigh…


  14. - dupage dan - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    === - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    Gee, Dan, why don’t you recruit all those talented people and spend money running them against Democrats? ===

    Proft would tell you that’s exactly what he is doing.

    Being in Sandack’s district, I got first hand what it’s like when unlimited funds are available for a pitched battle. We had to buy an extra recycling bin to hold all the political postcards streaming into the dupage dan household.


  15. - SonofSuperAbe2014 - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    And exactly what is Matune’s talent? Yes this is a set-up question.


  16. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    ==The CTU backed a person who some claimed was a former cult leader. Mitchell didn’t use that stuff against her. Maybe he should’ve.==

    Didn’t use it, but leaked it to the media so the point still got across. Give me a break.

    ==CTU leadership (their President and whoever wrote/approved this) definitely seem to think that white people are their enemy and it is hard not to see how that is racism.==

    The VP at CTU is a white guy. I bet he just hates white people.

    Also note only two constituencies did not agree with CTU on its strike: whites and private schoolers. Only one constituency isn’t underwater with Rahm: whites. Pointing out that the only place Mitchell won was filled with whites is not racism. If it is too close for comfort then wake up and realize the middle class is under attack in America and that the attacks on teachers and public sector workers disproportionately hurt blacks. Mitchell can’t credibly claim to support his black constituents and back policy that hurts them. Doesn’t add up.


  17. - Smoggie - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 3:58 pm:

    Precinct Captain,

    “Whites” opposed CTU on the strike? Well then gosh darned it, go ahead and make inflammatory statements blaming all the problems in schools on whites! Yeah, that makes sense.

    With “logic” like that, please tell me that you are not a teacher.

    Also, you think “black constituents” do not care if their housing payments go up? That’s the assumption you are working under?

    You don’t think middle class people of all races worry about housing costs?

    And then wonder why people call you racist?


  18. - Bill White - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    @DuPage Dan

    We saved our H81 mailers. I hope to turn them into a coffee table book.


  19. - Powell - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 4:29 pm:

    Dan Proft doesn’t believe in government? hahaha. it’s the only place he’s ever made any money. just ask Cicero taxpayers


  20. - dupage dan - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 5:09 pm:

    Dang, Bill White, I should have saved them to paper the outhouse. (smacks head in frustration!)


  21. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 5:44 pm:

    To the Post,

    Matune is a prime example of how Proft rationalizes the “battles” he chooses, but it doesn’t matter the instrument being used to make a point (Matune) or the harm being done to the “Patsy”, or the long term effects, and how hypoctical the cutting off the nose is to spite the face.

    Dan Proft learned nothing from the …”Jack!” Ryan debacle, the Pat O’Malley governor race, or his own attempt to run for governor and inject himself and propel himself into the narrative.

    The last one led to wealth and fame.

    The others have led to division in My Party, to the extreme of literally burning money based on Hubris and Ego and their … “Crossroads”


  22. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 6:32 pm:

    –but remember the whole progressive tax is where someone else’s taxes go up but yours go down. It’s like magic….–

    Or Wisconsin. Aren’t they the flavor of the month?


  23. - Bill White - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 7:14 pm:

    Oswego Willy,

    With genuine respect, everyone is a patsy, except for the one guy at the top of the pyramid . . .

    http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/pictures/10000/nahled/1210-1242156850ss7a.jpg


  24. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 7:17 pm:

    - Bill White -,

    lol, well, than in this instance, Proft is that big fish in his hypocritical chain of patsies. … well done.


  25. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 7:53 pm:

    Rich, thanks for highlighting my comments regarding the CTU from the other thread.

    @Precinct Captain:

    The CTU statement juxtaposed “whites” v. “Working families”.

    Last time I checked, there were lots of white working families in Chicago. In fact, some of them work as teachers in CPS.

    The statement from the CTU was a slap in the face to a large swath of its members and people like me who argued on their behalf.

    It was also pretty flaccid political analysis. Travis and the CTU had pretty weak ground games in 42 and 2. The voters are less accessible because they are in high rises. Oh yeah, and the fact that fewer of the households have school age children might, might explain why they were less interested in Travis’ argument.

    At the end of the day, Travis and the CTU lost. They did exceedingly well in most of the wards, winning them by a few points, but apparently ignored a couple of wards where they got completely blown out of the water.

    They should try their luck at horseshoes.


  26. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 7:57 pm:

    As for Proft, he blames the Party for not holding lawmakers accountable?

    I thought the conservatives were against “party bosses”?

    At any rate, we should thank Proft for admitting he went after Sandack and Sullivan for voting their conscience and their district instead of the party platform on marriage equality.


  27. - D - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 8:56 pm:

    Most of the comments are not focusing on the most important portion of Dan’s comments: a Republican Party that recruits, develops and supports talented people, has mechanisms of discipline to hold them to account for their records both as policy leaders and party builders, and focuses the party’s combined effort on advancing the flag for economic liberty in Illinois can be a super-majority party. We have failed, for the most part, in past 30-35 years to develop mew blood in the Party. We haven’t had a system to bring young new leaders into the Party since the early/mid 70’s, because as Dan stated we wanted everyone to wait their turn or until they were called upon. Had the State GOP had that attitude back in the 60/70’s we never would have had the Percy’s, Scotts, Crane’s, Thompson’s and Ogilvie’s as our GOP standard bearers.


  28. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:55 pm:

    ==“Whites” opposed CTU on the strike? Well then gosh darned it, go ahead and make inflammatory statements blaming all the problems in schools on whites! Yeah, that makes sense.==

    Try living in the real world. “The majority of folks who opposed the strike were either white or had kids in private school.” “Whites were the only ethnic group that expressed a majority disapproval of the strike.”

    http://capitolfax.com/2012/09/13/no-hugo-theyre-
    not-supremely-unhappy-yet/
    http://capitolfax.com/2012/09/14/optimism-on-strike-and-the-opposition-of-older-white-guys-live-coverage/

    “go ahead and make inflammatory statements blaming all the problems in schools on whites!”

    Try re-reading my first comment because I said no such thing.


  29. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:14 pm:

    “The CTU statement juxtaposed “whites” v. “Working families”.

    “Last time I checked, there were lots of white working families in Chicago. In fact, some of them work as teachers in CPS.”

    No one is saying there aren’t white working families in Chicago, but I highly doubt white working class families make up the parts of the 42nd Ward won by Christian Mitchell (69% white), one of only 4 parts of wards/wards Mitchell won and the only ward/part of ward Mitchell won with over 1,000 votes cast. I highly doubt this because the median income of that area is $78,204, over 79% higher than Chicago’s median income. It also includes parts of the Gold Coast, with a median income even higher.

    http://www.wbez.org/no-sidebar/approved-ward-map-95662
    http://www.chicagoelections.com/wdlevel3.asp?elec_code=12


  30. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:15 pm:

    income link: http://www.city-data.com/neighborhood/Streeterville-Chicago-IL.html
    district map: http://www.friendsofchristianmitchell.com/district/


  31. - Smoggie - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 9:08 am:

    Interesting, PC.

    Of course, Travis did better (although let’s be honest — still not all that good) in non-white majority wards.

    Then are you arguing that Travis “pandered” to non-white voters?


  32. - Smoggie - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 9:12 am:

    CP, is it possible that there are other reasons Mitchell did well in 42 and 2?

    Did Travis spend any time in 42 or 2?

    Could it be that Mitchell did well in 42 and 2 because he made the trip way up north to 42 and 2 and spoke to voters?

    And if so, it going to all parts of the district a bad thing?


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