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Driving turnout

Monday, Apr 7, 2014

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Worries about low Democratic turnout in an off-year election for an unpopular governor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s millions in campaign spending are obviously driving driving much of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s personal legislative agenda this year.

“If you’re an African-American on the South Side, what motivates you to vote for Pat Quinn when you wake up election morning?” was the blunt assessment of one longtime Madigan associate last week.

For example, Madigan signaled last week that despite his past reluctance to raise the minimum wage and longtime alliance with the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (which is leading the charge against it), he’s not opposed. Calling the idea a matter of “fairness” and “equity,” Madigan told reporters last week “I think you’ll find the opposition to raising the minimum wage comes from people that have done pretty well in America, and for some strange reason they don’t want others in America to participate in prosperity.”

Asked if he was referring to Rauner, Madigan asked “Who?”

Rauner claims to support an increase in the state’s minimum wage if it’s tied to business reforms, but Rauner previously “adamantly” opposed raising the wage and even once said he’d favor cutting it by a dollar an hour, to match the national minimum.

Madigan made his comments shortly after the House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Madigan’s constitutional amendment to bar anyone being denied the right to register to vote and to vote based on race, gender, sexual orientation, income, national origin or religion.

Several Republican states have attempted to suppress Democratic turnout by requiring voters to produce a government ID before casting their ballots. “According to the Brennan Center,” Madigan told the committee last week, “approximately 25 percent of eligible African-Americans and 16 percent of Hispanics don’t have photo IDs.” That’s probably the first time that the Speaker has ever publicly referenced the liberal group.

Madigan’s proposal passed unanimously, despite some misgivings by Republicans. One GOP member of the committee, Rep. Dwight Kay, is actually sponsoring legislation to require voter identification this year, but he did not oppose Madigan’s measure.

And the Speaker’s proposed constitutional amendment to place a three percent surcharge on income over $1 million retroactive to this past January 1st was moved forward on the House floor last week. No Republicans have yet to emerge as supporters, so Madigan will likely need all 71 of his members to pass the proposal, which requires a three-fifths super majority.

According to numerous sources, Madigan’s leftward lurch toward Gov. Quinn took Rauner and his GOP campaign by surprise. They believed that Rauner’s personal relationship with the Speaker over the past few years would help salve the wounds and that the old school politician Madigan would understand the necessities of politics. Instead, Madigan apparently took great offense at the constant attacks (at one point, Rauner vowed to “go after” Madigan’s friends and allies to get at the Speaker), and the overwhelmingly negative reaction among trade unions to Rauner’s harsh anti-union rhetoric has only fueled the Speaker’s resolve.

Madigan has long been known as a politician who prizes pragmatism above ideology, but he’s been about as loyal an ally to the trade unions as anyone in Illinois history. Even that’s not solely about ideology, however. Those unions provide a lot of money and foot soldiers to Madigan’s organization.

Rauner also apparently didn’t use a back door channel to Madigan during the primary, which meant there was little to no ongoing communication between the men. Things obviously got out of control.

Madigan’s moves have definitely not gone unnoticed by Rauner. Behind the scenes, some are saying that Rauner will counter this by contributing big bucks to House Republican coffers.

That doesn’t seem to concern the Madigan folks. The Democratic legislative district map is pretty darned solid (as I reported in a recent Crain’s Chicago Business column, in 2012, House Democratic candidates received 53 percent of all the votes cast in all House races statewide, yet they won 60 percent of the House races), and they’ve been successfully fending off the House Republicans for years.

But Madigan’s poll numbers aren’t good at all, to put it mildly, so there are plenty of other weapons in Rauner’s arsenal. This could very well escalate into an all-out war. And Rauner has the bucks to do it.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


42 Comments
  1. - PublicServant - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:30 am:

    ===This could very well escalate into an all-out war. And Rauner has the bucks to do it.===

    I believe Madigan’s response to that is “Bring it, Daddy Warbucks!”


  2. - shore - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    Rauner’s already proven he’s no andy mckenna and can pivot from financing campaigns to winning them. There’s a reason that the term dummymander exists and I think madigan is underestimating how much contempt there is for his families reign over the state.


  3. - Walker - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    Though Rauner might have a lot of extra money to spend, he’d better concentrate first directly on Quinn, and not get distracted by an “anti-Madigan” campaign.


  4. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    This voting amendment is pandering at its worst. Voting rights are protected already. This is all about driving turn out in November.

    Opposition to vote fraud is not an attack upon the democratic process. North Carolina is conducting an investigation into a large scale vote fraud scandal. Illegal votes diminish the influence of every qualified voter.


  5. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    Thanks yet again, Rich, for another excellent article.

    To me Madigan’s playing a decent mix of politics and policy. There’s nothing wrong with ballot measures that can drive turnout. I don’t have a problem with ballot initiatives, because it puts the law more in the hands of voters.

    The politics part is less gimmicky because in my opinion, and even in the opinion of financial raters, we need a stable source of revenue. We have bills to pay and services to provide. If we let the income tax increase sunset, it will put that much more strain on our finances.

    I see that legislators are trying to move Fair Tax forward again, in the House and in the Senate. It’s a better idea than the millionaire surcharge because it’s progressive and will provide savings for many taxpayers, if the current increase is made permanent.

    Madigan moved to the right to pass pension reform and do budget cuts. It’s okay with me for Democratic politicians to move to the right somewhat to do necessary fiscal reform. It’s time also that Madigan plays for the team a bit. The “D” label has to mean something also.

    Madigan’s and Quinn’s job is to push Rauner as far as possible into unpopular policy positions. Who knows whether it will work, but with low approval ratings, what is there to lose in trying?


  6. - A guy... - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    Excellent column. Pretty much puts the pieces in the right place on the board. African American turnout and voting preferences are going to make some difference in this election. This group is not nearly as friendly to unions as others. The CTU members will be there, but Education will be a key issue and the African American voters are not a happy group of campers with Quinn, Madigan, CTU right now. Emmanuel may even be doing better with this group. I sense he is.


  7. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    “North Carolina is conducting an investigation into a large scale vote fraud scandal.”

    I believe the North Carolina investigation deals with tens of thousands of voters. A court recently struck down a Pennsylvanina voter ID law, and the plaintiffs argued that the law could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters. The court struck the law down due to finding no evidence of fraud that supports the law.

    Voter ID laws do have a political element, when considering all the evidence. With all the evidence we have so far, it appears that these laws have the potential to disenfranchise far more voters than prevent fradulent voters. Those voters who’d lose the most would be poorer people and minorities, people more likely to vote Democratic.


  8. - Cassiopeia - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    I think this year the Democrats are whistling past the graveyard.

    Making the temporary tax increase permanent will go down as one of the dummiest ideas in an election year, but it makes perfect sense to the ruling class that is so out of touch with the people.


  9. - Bill White - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    = In 2012, House Democratic candidates received 53 percent of all the votes cast in all House races statewide, yet they won 60 percent of the House races =

    Meh . . .

    In 2012, Wisconsin Republicans turned 46% of the vote into 60% of the seats in the WI lower house.


  10. - Hans Sanity - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    I’d be surprised if a Dem leadership campaign to raise the minimum wage would translate into driving turnout in south Cook County this November when the same leaders support property tax increases.

    Combining the minimum wage increase with the National Nurses Union supported Robin Hood Tax of a half of a percent on equity/bond financial transactions & trading activity would be more effective. It could be imposed at the state level before going nationwide.

    Who knows if Rahm would go along with that, though. He’d rather raise property taxes.


  11. - A guy... - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    It’s the judges at individual polling places who provide a ballot or not to voters who arrive. In a number of polling places, this kind of rule would be very difficult to enforce. There are some places where local turnout trumps everything else.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    Enjoyed this column very much.

    There is a great deal to takeaway from the read;

    Rauner, rhetoric, and back channels;

    “Bruce Rauner” and this idea of ” Shaking up Springfield”, and 1/3 of “his” party’s member in the GOP was bad enough to fix in back channels, but to let fester the blow torch rhetoric towards taking on MJM, given the fact that the HGOP should and could make strides, but Rauner’s Crew is letting Bruce down, almost taking Rauner himself towards the brink of Blagojovian style rhetoric that goes beyond back channel fixes, even they even GO to fix it to be a partner in governing.

    It goes to the ” Rauner” narrative being more than true; MJM has never dealt with Bruce Rauner. True, Rauner Crew, but Madigan has dealt with a Blago, and the Speaker, today and January 2015, possibly, knows how to govern with a Blago.

    Baking the Cake;

    Southside AA voters indeed have little to cheer for in Quinn, and even less to vote for in the governor. Rev. Meeks is essential for the Rauner Crew, and it might have to blow the doors off the Edgar “30%” to continue to be as impactful as possible. Two reasons make me think this; Union support, as it was for Edgar and Thompson, for that matter, made shaving margins easier with more edges. Rauner’s Crew, by allowing the harsh rhetoric continue for so long, and allowing a “dry run” for the Unions to see how close they could get, makes shaving the Union prong, ala Edgar and Thompson, today, seem bleak at best. Second, the heavy lean Left…heavy lean…shows the gamble early that, there is no need to shore up the GOP voters. The cake being baked is towards moderates as Rauner’s Crew base, the more conservative better be quiet, and get on board, and the “prop” of Mrs. Rauner reinforces this, with Mrs. Rauner now being seen more than Rauner’s Crew’s LG running mate. This is a cake not truly baked with these dynamics, and it’s possible to rise, but ignoring GOP voters now, and at such a lean, and so harsh, is a risk. When you have the cash, you can gamble.

    My last takeaway is the dynamics of the money, how the Dems will counter, and the Rauner Crew counter, fully funded.

    I can see the Dems going together on the narrative of the “.01%er”,minimum wage, voting “rights”, anything to gin it up, however, that string of the narrative will allow MJM and Cullerton and the Unions to attempt to have 3 fronts for Rauner’s Crew to take on with their one message. The money is going to be there for the H&SGOP from the Raunerites, as long as the collective narrative against the Raunerites is effective, or openings to “hammer and shake” the lot of them appears.

    This is one of those few elections that in April you can see the playbook a wide open. No games. This is how we want it. This is how they want it.

    The Howard Dean act on Election Night reinforces the idea that the Rauner Crew is rhetorically ready, but will their rhetoric look unhinged, like “Bruce” did that night?

    The Dems, and more importantly for all on that side, the Unions had a dry run against that vaunted Rauner Ground Game. The Unions “saw it”. There is their opening. With no back channel to MJM by Rauner, all MJM wants is to keep his gavel as the Ace in the Hole, and run their playbook, collectively.

    Going to be fun to watch.


  13. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    @Cassiopeia:

    It may be dumb in an election year, but it is the responsible thing to do. Anybody that thinks the tax hike can be allowed to sunset doesn’t live in reality.


  14. - Bill White - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    @Cassiopeia

    I thought it was the ruling class that wants low taxes, no minimum wage, and slashed pensions.

    It seems to me that Michael Madigan is standing up against our neo-liberal overlords.


  15. - Wumpus - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    yes, people would rather have higher paying jobs, Rauner should focus on the high unemployment rate in the Black Community. How would a min wage increase affect that?

    Did Madigan’s ($ & Power) face crack when he said he said it was a matter of fairness?


  16. - Bill White - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    Regarding the General Assembly, I didn’t think there were enough Republicans who even filed for a state senate seat to threaten Cullerton’s control of the State Senate.

    In other words, the GOP could sweep ALL the contested state senate races and Democrats would still retain a majority.

    I am less sure that is true in the IL House however fewer than 10 Democrats won with less than 60% of the vote in 2012 and therefore the GOP would need to sweep a great many VERY steep races to even remotely threaten the Speaker’s gavel.


  17. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    Walker makes sense. I don’t think Rauner will muddy the waters with a specific “anti-Madigan” campaign. It will be “Quinn and career politicians.”

    Of course, Rauner is one of Illinois’ biggest sugar daddies for “career politicians,” but he’s shown he can handle the cognitive dissonance.


  18. - Steve - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    What’s going on in Indiana and Wisconsin will have greater impact on Mike Madigan in the coming years than Bruce Rauner. Can Illinois compete with Indiana when it comes to taxes and regulations???


  19. - Arizona Bob - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    Bill White:
    “Regarding the General Assembly, I didn’t think there were enough Republicans who even filed for a state senate seat to threaten Cullerton’s control of the State Senate.”

    You’re right. Even in marginally Dem districts Radogno’s done a lousy job of recruiting and supporting candidates, and Cross and Durkin have done even worse in the House. They dole out hundreds of grand to their buddies, while $50K in many races could make a difference in some races that could be competitive with the right candidate and a few bucks.

    The goal here shouldn’t be to take over the Senate or House. It’s to kill a veto proof majority so that Madigan and Cullerton can’t override Rauner’s line item veto.


  20. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    ==Can Illinois compete with Indiana when it comes to taxes and regulations???==

    Are we really going down this ridiculous path again?


  21. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    Arizona Bob, your post was held in moderation because your claim confuses correlation with causation.

    Turnout in that ward you cite has been plummeting for many years. Take a look at 2002 and compare to 2006 and 2010.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    - Demoralized -, it always comes back to WI and Indiana. It’s a default response.

    To the GA races and impact,

    Smart money is that the SGOP may be on the short end of getting out of Veto-Proof Land, given the seats up, the districts, vulnerability…

    The HGOP has a better than even money to get out of Veto-Proof Land, but the Political Crew Durkin runs with, and how those Field Operations control their “Pluses” and Ground Games versus the Unions working in concert with MJM and his HDem narrative could be the decider, less the Raunerite monies.

    It will be “fun”…


  23. - PublicServant - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Rich, Arizona Bob and many on the far right purposely imply causation whether there is, and even isn’t, correlation. That’s their M.O. There’s no “confusion” involved at all.


  24. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    @Grandson of Man,

    If everyone was honest, there would be few jurisdictions with voter registration laws. It is hilarious to me when anyone in Illinois downplays the significance of vote fraud. ACORN did not change its name for marketing purposes — the group has been accused of fraud in multiple states and more than a few instances the charges had merit.


  25. - olddog - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    === North Carolina is conducting an investigation into a large scale vote fraud scandal. ===

    North Carolina also has implemented some of the worst voter suppression measures since the Voting Rights Act was gutted last year.

    http://www.southerncoalition.org/in-nc-voter-suppression-hits-women-minorities-hardest/

    This latest “investigation” is probably a smokescreen for their Jim Crow laws.


  26. - Arizona Bob - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    “Arizona Bob, your post was held in moderation because your claim confuses correlation with causation.”

    Fair enough, Rich. The links to “causation”, I believe,were the actions of the precinct captain and the hasty retreat of the “voter”.

    Honestly, I wasn’t there and what I wrote was hearsay, but the woman who was the watcher has ALWAYS been reliable, and I have no reason to doubt what she said.

    Was the full 300 voter drop at the polling place ALL due to voter fraud being caught? Probably not. But it seems a good percentage of that drop may have been.

    The real point is that people in the precincts know that voter fraud in Cook is common and impactive in statewide races. Orr won’t do anything to stem it, and he seems to support preventing voter fraud suppression. Rauner will need to overcome this in November. I believe he’d be better off using significant ground troops to challenge fraud in key Cook districts rather than handing out palm cards at polling places.

    Just my two cents worth.


  27. - Ginhouse Tommy - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    Get the popcorn ready and grab a front row seat. This ought to be entertaining to say the least.


  28. - Downstater - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    Rauner’s money will help GOP pick up some seats in the Senate and House and make it a whole new ballgame, after Rauner is elected Governor. Not as much cover for the Dems, after the election and much more difficult for Madigan and Cullerton.
    Some of the Dems, especially, the minority legislators will be looking for money coming their way controlled by Governor Rauner. As they say in politics, “money talks and lots of money really speaks loudest.”


  29. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    “It is hilarious to me when anyone in Illinois downplays the significance of vote fraud.”

    Various courts have struck down voter ID laws, so they weren’t laughing. In Florida, a court struck down the voting rolls purge. The number of people who could be disenfranchised by ID requirements appears to far supercede the number of people committing in-person voter ID fraud. I believe that voter ID laws are a concerted ploy to drive down Democratic voter turnout.


  30. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    –Some of the Dems, especially, the minority legislators will be looking for money coming their way controlled by Governor Rauner.–

    Why “especially, the minority legislators?”

    Over the years, I haven’t noticed Illinois pork-barrel politics to be race-dependent.

    Which House and Senate seats do you see as GOP pickups, by the way?


  31. - CollegeStudent - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    ===North Carolina is conducting an investigation into a large scale vote fraud scandal. Illegal votes diminish the influence of every qualified voter. ===

    Allegedly their system was primarily tripped by voters with the same first and last name (and birthdate) voting in different parts of the country. In some cases the last 4 numbers of their SSNs were also the same. One wonders already how many John or Jane Smiths tripped their filter.

    That said, basically this is the result of the first pass through their national voter fraud database. Closer investigation tends to reveal that there were much fewer examples of actual voter fraud.

    How much fewer?

    Only 11 voters were prosecuted for fraud in 2010 from this service. That’s for the entire country.


  32. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    @Downstater:

    Wrong.

    There are just too many electoral factors working against the GOP in Illinois.

    60-36 split among young voters favoring Democrats.

    Illinois soon to become a minority majority state.

    Black voter turnout rates have been steadily rising over the past 20 years and surpassed white voter turnout rates in 2012.

    Then, there is this.

    Republicans have blamed all of the state’s troubles on Republicans for the past decade, effectively Illinizing (yeah, I made that up) local legislative races.

    If there is a Republican in the mansion, expect all that to end. The GOP will have to start accepting responsibility, whether it is a tax increase or deep spending cuts.

    The focus on Democrats and illusion of one-party rule has also kept the GOP’s extremists largely out of the spotlight. Expect them to come scurrying back from the recesses with a long list of demands if Rauner is elected.


  33. - D.P.Gumby - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    “Upon further review”—voter fraud is a Republican myth used to cloak clear discriminatory voter suppression. There has been de minimus evidence of any fraud any where. However, there is significant evidence that the Republican reduction of voting opportunities, purging of voting roles, ID requirements, etc., have reduced lower economic and minority voting. No amount of rhetoric can cover the facts.


  34. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Great column! I had been wondering why Madigan seemed to be helping Quinn so much lately, and I had assumed (incorrectly) that (1) Madigan understood republicans running against “Mike Madigan” was commonplace, nothing to get worked up over and (2) Rauner was backchanneling point #1 to Madigan.


  35. - Norseman - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Downstater, what Democratic districts to you think the Republicans have a chance to pick-up? I’m not seeing it, but am willing to be convinced.


  36. - Mokenavince - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    A war between Rauner and Madigan would be great.

    Rich your column was terrific!

    A large turn out could benefit Rauner,Quinn can be had.


  37. - A guy... - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    ===Norseman - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Downstater, what Democratic districts to you think the Republicans have a chance to pick-up? I’m not seeing it, but am willing to be convinced.===

    A few that aren’t really Democratic maybe Norseman. And maybe a couple that are: Urbana, North Dupage Co. Schaumburg Twp. Chain O’Lakes area. SW suburbs. I know you’d prefer names. No. Don’t want to stoke the fire too much. There are five or six vulnerable swing house seats. Might have a shot at 1-2 Senate seats this time (more likely 1) Little more fertile territory for change in two years, general election or not. The White House is an open seat. If Illinois matters by primary time, could be helpful one way or the other.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    - A guy… -,

    That keeps the IL Senate Veto-Proof, and MJM really looking to “defend” maybe 6 according to you?

    Bad news for Raunerites.

    The IL Senate veto-proof alone will squash quite a bit of ramming a Raunerite agenda, unless a Tom Hagen style burns through, but payback can be far worse. Ask Blagojevich.


  39. - Norseman - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    I can’t speak with authority since I haven’t taken the time to analyze the election roster of the 118 districts. I’ve chosen to focus on reading the sage wisdom of the Rich Miller types.

    That saying, I would be greatly surprised by five GOP takeovers this fall. That’s happened before and will happen again. Two Senate GOP wins would be an extremely good year for them IMHO. I’m not holding my breath.


  40. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 7:36 pm:

    Some very interesting points re. the “Madigan Plan for 2014,” particularly as it relates to his pragmatism in moving left a bit to get the job done for Pat Quinn and the Democrats this year. But as to the final point, you can COUNT on Rauner throwing in even the Kitchen Sink to try and buy the GENeral Election now, as he unabashedly accomplished in the GOP Primary, ruthlessly and heartlessly stepping all over his worthier Opponents for the Nomination…!


  41. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:59 pm:

    Okay, all you hopeful Republicans.

    I will play.

    By the hair of your chinny-chin-chin, you narrowly win back the House and the Senate, as well as the governors mansion.

    Then what?

    You couldn’t get a majority of Republicans to support pension reform, nor a single vote for additional revenue…how do you propose a Republican House, Senate and Gov are gonna enact a budget?

    LOL.

    Don’t you get it? Back in 2010, I questioned why anyone would want to run against Quinn. Nothing much has changed. It is still a craptastic job, not for the feint of heart, and Republicans though they might talk a good game can’t stand the sight of blood for the most part.

    And the budget process is gonna look like a field hospital at Gettysburg for a while longer.

    At least with Brady, you could hope to pass the time with some good old fashioned abortion restrictions, or allowing schools to decide whether to teach Creationism…with Rauner, Republicans in the GA don’t even get that.

    And while it is fun to meddle with the executive branch on management or government oversight when they are from the other party, aka Cong Issa, do you really think a Gov Rauner is going to let you score headlines at his expense.

    Nope.

    This ain’t gonna be 1999 all over again, when the state was flush with not only rising tax revenue but a huge capital plan. That party is over and it ain’t coming back.

    Lord help you if you happen to be the party in power when the courts strike down pension reform.


  42. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 6:36 am:

    Rauner won the primary because he wasn’t a democrat, and was a new face. Rutherford could have one, but was taken out in a ruthless, but brilliant political move. None of that is going to fly in the general. Rauner will get painted for what he is, a plutocrat, business leach, government insider who bribes his way to contracts. Even against Pat Quinn, he won’t stand a chance.

    ===Lord help you if you happen to be the party in power when the courts strike down pension reform.===

    From your lips, YDD…


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* Mendoza transition team responds to the Sun-Times' Madigan conspiracy theory
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* Rauner: Rahm Should 'Tone Down' Rhetoric After .....
* Behind Rauner’s sudden war with state’s other t.....
* Emanuel: Rauner 'bailed out' power companies, b.....
* Kadner: Everybody lies about school funding in .....
* Supt. Johnson Asks Lawmakers To Stop Revolving .....
* Behind Rauner's sudden war with state's other t.....
* Rauner Defends Support of Exelon Bill, Veto of .....
* Back to the future: Madigan demands “memorandum.....


* Chicago-area judge who let clerk take bench has Alzheimer's
* Illinois lawmakers sue to get paid despite state budget mess
* Warrant charges Rockford teen with shooting another teen
* United Airlines will pay $2.4 million to settle with SEC
* Chicago establishes legal fund for those facing deportation
* Rauner says he's 'proud' of Exelon subsidy to spare 2 plants
* Illinois school districts increasingly rely on local funding
* The Latest: Munger: Lawmakers suing over pay are 'cowards'
* Illinois lawmakers sue to get paid despite state budget mess
* Rauner: Money for Chicago schools still part of budget talks

* Electronic road signs are dark near Effingham due to budget
* State lawmakers vote to spare 2 nuclear plants
* Legislature OKs Exelon subsidy plan, goes to Rauner
* Rauner: No more stopgap budgets without property tax freeze, term limits
* Illinois shutters nation's last prison roundhouse
* Clinton nuclear plant has history of cost, job uncertainty
* AFSCME files lawsuit over labor contract
* Rauner to Dems: No budget without term limits, property tax freeze
* AFSCME files suit over labor contract
* Rauner, leaders meet again, but still no progress

* Why Planned Parenthood donors are thanking Mike Pence
* Behind Rauner's sudden war with state's other top Dem
* McDonald's in China is a tall order
* John Wilson, founder of art expo that began Navy Pier's revival, dies at 82
* A chicken coop for the 21st century


* Jack Higgins’ perspective for December 4, 2016
* Bears worried about Colin Kaepernick’s wheels more than kneeling
* Purple Line service halted after person hit by train in Evanston
* Man sentenced 7 years for initiating sexual servitude with minors
* Sunday Letters: Trump drains swamp — into the White House
* Hunter success and the wariness of mallards: Aaron Yetter’s blog
* Shaw: City launches bag tax with hot air
* John Fountain: Tell me again what a cop would never do
* DCFS investigating death of 1-year-old boy at Rogers Park daycare
* Despite money woes, CPS unveils ‘supplemental capital agenda’


* Man gets prison for traveling to Aurora to have sex with children
* Marine drove wrong way in I-88 crash that killed him, ride-share driver, passenger: police
* Cubs sign LHP Brian Duensing to 1-year contract
* Oak Lawn settles with firefighter dismissed following on-duty phone sex probe
* LeBron James arrives at United Center wearing Cubs uniform
* CTA Purple Line service suspended after person hit by train
* Food truck ruling to decide mobile food's fate in Chicago
* Emanuel: Rauner 'bailed out' power companies, bailed on CPS students with pension money veto
* Developer closes on loan for 70-story residential tower in Streeterville
* Trump, backers ask courts to halt 3 recounts; judge rejects request in Wisconsin


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* Electronic road signs are dark near Effingham due to budget
* State lawmakers vote to spare 2 nuclear plants
* Legislature OKs Exelon subsidy plan, goes to Rauner
* Our View: This Week’s Thumbs up/Thumbs Down
* Rauner: No more stopgap budgets without property tax freeze, term limits
* Illinois shutters nation's last prison roundhouse
* Clinton nuclear plant has history of cost, job uncertainty
* AFSCME files lawsuit over labor contract
* Rauner to Dems: No budget without term limits, property tax freeze
* AFSCME files suit over labor contract


* Anthony Meads sentencing
* Illinois school districts increasingly rely on tax funding
* PODCAST: Illini Notebook with Brian Barnhart on VCU
* 45 years for Champaign man
* 45 years for Champaign man (w/video)
* Updated: 'So many smiles'
* Murdale Water District issues boil order
* Schock wants trial in Peoria's federal court
* Judge who let clerk take bench has Alzheimer's
* 'So many smiles'


* Naperville activist shot in Chicago leaves legacy of 'togetherness'
* How a Trump administration could shape the internet
* Alabama-Florida for SEC title looks like massive mismatch
* The Latest: Democratic Sen. Heitkamp meets with Trump
* Chicago-area judge who let clerk take bench has Alzheimer's

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Senators drafting bill to limit Trump-era ......
* US Senators Seek to Halt Deportations Prom......

* SEIU leaders say planned Monday strike by ......
* Dick Durbin Says Goodbye To Mark Kirk - FO......

* Morning Minute: U.S. economy showed strong growth in last quarter; consumer confidence climbs
* REALTOR® Jim Kinney named to state’s Bicentennial Commission
* EXTRA: Madigan spouse, Burke, Sox & Cubs chairs (but no Bears) on state Bicentennial celebration commission
* ILGOP Launches new website, "BossMadigan.com"
* Illinois Dems sue Comptroller for overdue paychecks
* AFP-IL Exec Director says "End the Subsidies, Say No to the Bailout Bill"
* East St Louis Township Supervisor pleads guilty to wire fraud, embezzling public funds
* Serving on Mahomet Village Board worth sacrifice for Cook
* JIB files complaint against Judge Valarie E. Turner
* Next legal webinar features ‘Recent Case Reviews, Legislation and Year-end Items’


* Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Brings Lowest Fatality Rate In Six Years
* Governor Announces Appointments to Illinois Bicentennial Commission
* Stateville Correctional Center’s F House Officially Closed
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* IEMA Highlights Safety during the Holidays - Encourages holiday shoppers to give preparedness gifts this year




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