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McCann pushing petitions

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014

* Subscribers have known about this possible development since early Friday morning

Although no official statement has come from State Senator Sam McCann, rumors persist that the Carlinville Republican is seriously considering a third-party run for governor of Illinois.

While still possible to get on the ballot, McCann would need to gather at least 25,000 petition signatures by June 23rd - the last day independents or new party candidates can turn in petitions to the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE).

* I also told subscribers about this today

Petitions to get State Senator Sam McCann (R-Carlinville) on the November 2014 ballot as an Independent candidate are circulating, as shown below.

Senator McCann refused to comment on the petition to Illinois Review, other than to convey through staff that “He will be making an official statement in the near future.” […]

The petitions are to be circulated and returned to J.Gooch and Associates of Springfield, IL by June 20th, only 11 days from today.

* React has been varied so far

Some are outraged that the buzz about McCann is even out there. Americans for Prosperity Illinois’ executive director David From is unhappy about McCann’s reported openness to a 5 percent tax hike during the last days of the session.

* And

Some Republicans are expressing concern that the entry of another candidate into the race could dilute Rauner’s neck-in-neck run against Quinn.

“Speaking as someone who is a Pat Quinn supporter, I’d love it if McCann got in the race,” Blue Downstate political blog author Aaron Camp told readers. “McCann would probably get anywhere from 7-15 percent of the vote in the general election, which would, more than likely, give Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn a second full term in the governor’s mansion.


It really all depends if the pro-life, anti-gay marriage, pro-public employee union McCann can raise serious money. Do the folks behind him have money? That’s not certain because the actual identities of his supporters are still murky.

Third party candidate Scott Lee Cohen spent a bunch of cash and ended up helping elect Pat Quinn in 2010 (polls showed he took more votes away from Bill Brady than Quinn). But the almost totally unfunded Green Party, Libertarian, etc. candidates have never really had much of any impact here in the past.

So, money is key and McCann, unlike Cohen, is not personally wealthy.

Plus, we don’t even know if he can gather enough signatures to get on the ballot.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - The Captain - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    When you can stand between a really, really rich guy and what he wants you’re in a pretty good position to get bought out, if that’s what you want.

  2. - Chi - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    Whether he has an effect on the race only depends on whether he gets on the ballot. If he gets 1% of the vote it could turn the tide for Quinn. Same goes for a libertarian candidate. McCann doesn’t need 15% to make a dent. I’d wager that 90% of his votes would be coming from folks that would have otherwise been forced to vote for Rauner.

  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    ===. I’d wager that 90% of his votes would be coming from folks that would have otherwise been forced to vote for Rauner. ===

    And they’d know about him how? Also, what about conservative Downstate public employees? I don’t believe it’s a slam dunk either way, even if he raises some cash.

  4. - Kerfuffle - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    This guy swims in the shallow end of the pool. It will be interesting to see what he really wants out of this effort. 25,000 VALID signatures in 13 days???

  5. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    If he gets in, I think some third party pro-Quinn money would be spent getting him votes if he is a big social conservative just to take away votes from Rauner…

  6. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    Thank you Sam McCann!!!!

  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    Meh, Rauner could nip this in the bud by having Griff and others in his crew make a few contributions to McCann’s senate fund. Is that what McCann’s up to?

  8. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    He may be able to pull the signatures he needs. Based on what I’ve seen, he seems willing to work for what he wants.

    Assuming McCann makes it on the ballot, I’d say it depends on whether or not the public employees unions are willing to abandon both Quinn and Rauner, and put up the money to do so. With some money and the union GOTV operation, that could be as much as 20% of the vote total.

    At that point, it might be a horse race. Yes, McCann’s going to appeal more to disillusioned / disappointed GOP voters but he does seem to have some cross-over appeal, especially downstate.

    McCann would be the adult in the race. In the past, we have done worse than McCann …

  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    ===So, money is key and McCann, unlike Cohen, is not personally wealthy.

    Plus, we don’t even know if he can gather enough signatures to get on the ballot.===

    “Other than that…”

    Rich is Spot On, this boils down to two very critical hurdles to be cleared before real discussion beyond Parlor Games can begin;

    Enough valid signatures secured, and those signatures withstand a challenge.

    Enough money, real money, that allows a factoring to be considered beyond another name in a list.

    It’s a two horse race until it isn’t.

    This is fun Parlor Game spitballing, but in the days ahead, will this just be idle chatter, and if … IF… he gets on the ballot, will he be stuck in idle as a candidate with no cash?

    Tick tock, tick tock petitions gatherers and check writers…

  10. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    ===Is that what McCann’s up to?===

    I’ve known him a while and I just don’t get the impression that he’s that sort of fellow.

  11. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    ===whether or not the public employees unions are willing to abandon both Quinn and Rauner===

    Well, they’ve already abandoned Rauner.


    But unions bankrolling a longshot independent would only help elect Rauner, and they know it. They may be furious, but they ain’t stupid.

  12. - Chi - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    If he gets on the ballot, they’d know about him because any Democratic Super-Pac worth its salt would spend money introducing him to the public as the only pro-life, anti-gay marriage, social conservative candidate in the field. The only good candidate for the religious right. Sent from heaven to rid the State of corruption with an iron fist of justice etc. etc.

  13. - Bemused - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    I have had some personal dealings with Sam over the years. Not a bad guy all in all. I watched his rise thru the ranks at the Illinois Home Builders. His move to politics caught me off guard but in hind sight maybe not that big of a surprise. I am sure he can tap some of his old statewide HBA contacts for support but to go for the Big Chair seems a bit of a reach. I have to wonder what his play is here.

  14. - Big Debbie - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    Green Party candidate Rich Whitney took over 10% of the vote in 2006, although his votes wouldn’t have been enough to get JBT elected, and arguably came from people who just wouldn’t vote republican, so I’d agree that his candidacy didn’t effect the race. However, shows a third party candidate that doesn’t spend money can get significant votes. Would those people have just under voted if there was no third party candidate is another question. But a downstate republican state senator on the ballot can’t be good for Rauner no matter what.

  15. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    ===However, shows a third party candidate that doesn’t spend money can get significant vote===


    Polling showed he got his votes pretty much equally from both sides. Yes, he got a lot of votes, but he didn’t impact the outcome one iota. And that’s what is at issue here.

  16. - Curious - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    Do Independent Candidates not have to declare a LtGov running mate?

  17. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    McCann needs to think about the magnifying glass that will come with a statewide race. His business dealings have been “interesting”. He can get away with that stuff in a legislative race, but it’s a whole different ballgame in this arena. Ask Rauner.

    At the end of the day, I don’t think there’s an apparatus to get him that kind of signature amount this quickly. Not even close.

  18. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    I’m sure there are still some GOP leaning state employees out there from the Thompson / Edgar / Ryan days who might hold their nose and vote for Rauner. I personally know of at least two who plan to vote against their own self interest. Right now I’m probably a Quinn vote but I would vote for McCann if that was a choice.

  19. - Snucka - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    McCann will not get 7-10%. However, he doesn’t need to get that much in order to affect the outcome. I really think that in the end, union members know that any vote lost by Quinn moves their mortal enemy one step closer to Springfield. A McCann candidacy will draw inordinately from conservatives who may not have a deeply personal stake in the outcome (as union members do). Some union members may vote against their self-interest, but I sure wouldn’t like to bank on that if I were Rauner.

    I also don’t think he needs to raise a ton. Remember that Quinn won by less than 32,000 last time. If - big if - he gets 25,000 good signatures, he can play a role in deciding the winner.

  20. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    Bill Brady 4.0

    No way this guy makes it onto the ballot with this little time… but um… anyone know where I can sign a petition…?

  21. - Weils Up - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    McCann slowly rolls out an attempt to run for Governor the same time Rauner is jamming up his boy Dillard with RTA…

  22. - Jimmy - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    I think conservatives in Illinois deserve to have a true conservative on the ballot. How can McCann lose if he’s on the ballot? Conservative voters are the largest voting bloc in this State.

  23. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    Will he get a line in Roland Burris’s Obit or a footnote on his tombstone? He has a right to run, for whatever reason. Let Rauner and Quinn dismiss his candidacy if they need to do so.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    This type of situation is why I will leave a race blank instead of voting for a 3rd party, or voting against my better self.

    Why? Making both Rauner and Quinn earn their votes and “pluses” has more of an impact, plurality-wise, than me casting a vote for a 3rd party candidate, and not impacting either in the big picture.

    Rauner would “count on” me based on my history of being a Republican Primary voter, and counting on that ballot request history in the voting booth.

    Quinn would “count on” me based on the education of negatives of his opponent, and running a “lesser of two evils” style of campaign, banking on crossover GOP voters alienated by his opponent.

    By leaving it blank, both Crews need to make a case to find their own voters to be victorious in getting their voters to the polls, controlled, and he dragged over the finish line based on the hard work of GOTV.

    I do not want to help either by voting for the other.

    You win with your Campaign, good on you. I am not going to be a party to making a winning cake for Quinn or Rauner. Voting for a 3rd party in this two horse race may or may not help Rauner or Quinn, but why take a chance?

  25. - DuPage Rep - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    OK Willy, fair enough. Are you going to use your GOTV apparatus to get “Real” Republicans to leave the ballot blank for Gov? Say it ain’t so Willy

  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    - DuPage Rep -, not at all.

    Voting, for me on this very specific instance, means this race will not be one, today, I will participate in.

    My Party has a Nominee I can’t support, and the Democrats have a Nominee I will not support. I won’t vote for the possible Blago of My Party and Quinn hasn’t earned my vote.

    I am but one vote, not a movement or an ideal. I am not voting “none of the above” or anything like that, but by leaving it blank, has the greater impact of the choices.

    How often is it mentioned about “under voting” or how many more votes one race got over another in raw votes?

    I may change my mind, but doubt it.

  27. - tikkunolam - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    ==Meh, Rauner could nip this in the bud by having Griff and others in his crew make a few contributions to McCann’s senate fund. Is that what McCann’s up to?==

    Word, that doesn’t seem like Rauner’s style- he’s more the “get flies with fly-swatters” type. Look at Dillard.

  28. - SAP - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    (1) Is McCann trying to build name recognition for an actual statewide run in 2018 for Treasurer, Comptroller, or the like? (2) If I’m Pat Quinn and McCann gets on the ballot, I do everything in my power to get him to as many debates as possible.

  29. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:24 pm:


    Cohen got less than 4% of the vote in 2010.

    Whitney got more than 10% in 2006.

    You can argue that savvy voters might have voted for Rod in 2006 if the race had been closer.

    But I believe Rich Whitney was hired by Quinn, so clearly he is no longer a threat.

    Still, if I were Rauner I would have some third party front group running ads on behalf of the Green Party candidate in targeted locales…like wherever there is a public university.

  30. - siriusly - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    I’d love to see it, would be fun to watch. But I agree that 25,000 is a lot of signatures . . .

  31. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    ===Conservative voters are the largest voting bloc in this State.===

    Sure thing Jimmy. Just look at the conservative majorities in the General Assembly and all of the conservative statewide elected officials in Illinois.

    Biggest blockhead voters maybe.

  32. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    – Conservative voters are the largest voting bloc in this State.–

    Who are they voting for?

  33. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    If he gets 25,000 signatures it probably means someone is spending large dollars on him already. Even if he doesn’t get a lot of money, he works hard on the campaign trail and I can see him getting 5% - 7% of the vote. How will people hear about him? In the news, he works hard on the campaign trail and through social media channels. Rich Whitney got more than 5% without spending any money as well.

    Again, if he can get on the ballot (which in this short of a time is a monumental task) he can easily get 5% - 7%.

  34. - Northsider - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Sam who?

    Also: “Conservative voters are the largest voting bloc in this State.” That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen since Karl Rove’s Election Night 2012 meltdown. Too.

  35. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    Will McCann kick off his campaign with a Statewide tour touting his great military record? Career suicide, IMHO

  36. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    ===Conservative voters are the largest voting bloc in this State.===

    If that is true, why is Bruce Rauner banking on more moderates (Indies and Conservative Dems) to win and not focusing on securing Conservative Republicans to win?

    Math hurts sometimes…

  37. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    ===Cohen got less than 4% of the vote in 2010. Whitney got more than 10% in 2006.===

    Yes, I’m aware. But Whitney didn’t affect the outcome at all. Cohen did. That was my entire point.

  38. - Jimbo - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    Where do I sign???

  39. - Southwest Cook - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    I doubt that McCann will be able to get the 25,000 valid signatures in less than two weeks. He may file, but will likely be challenged and thrown off the ballot. Either way, he has set himself up for a serious and well-funded primary challenge for his Senate seat in 2016.

  40. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:01 pm:


    Well, given how Quinn has polled downstate, any third party candidate there is probably good news for him.

  41. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    This is an odd exercise to say the least.

  42. - Sbarro McArby's - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    Rich Whitney did not affect the outcome.

    Rich Whitey on the other hand…

  43. - Adam Smith - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    How about we get down to what’s really going on here.

    The combination downstate/Conservative world (Sam McCann’s world) hates Rauner because he is everything they aren’t. Don’t ignore the parochial geographic angle to this.

    Also, even Sam would have to ask, ‘How do I get 25,000 GOOD signatures in less than two weeks?’ He must have a strong assurance from the IEA, et al. that they will hit the streets and get the job done. This means that yet another supposed Republican will sell out the core fiscal principles of his party, jump in bed with the public employee unions and tilt at windmills just because he feels his geographic and ideological brothers have been dissed.

    Can’t beat the Illinois GOP clown show for sheer idiocy.

  44. - Ronbo - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    I am a conservative, retired, union backing state employee. I would be ecstatic to see Sam on the ballot. He seems to be one of the most upstanding politicians in Springfield. As things are currently, I thought I would have to just pass over that race on my ballot. In fact, I think I will be seeking out one of those petitions to sign!

  45. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    == He seems to be one of the most upstanding politicians in Springfield.==

    And he’s not afraid to tell whatever lies about himself are necessary to get elected!

    ==jump in bed with the public employee unions==

    He doesn’t need to jump, he’s been in that bed for years.

  46. - Jim Muir - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    This is from Illinois State Board of Election’s 2014 Candidate’s Guide concerning independent candidates. If he voted in the primary, wouldn’t that disqualify him as an independent candidate?
    7. A person who filed a statement of candidacy for a partisan office as a qualified
    primary voter of an established political party or who voted the ballot of an established political party at a general primary election may not file a statement of candidacy as a candidate of a different established political party or as an independent candidate for a partisan office to be filled at the general election immediately following the general primary for which the person filed the statement or voted the ballot. [10 ILCS 5/7]

  47. - Publius - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    He has my vote!

  48. - W.S. Walcott - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    Have petition passers stand outside of any state facility at shift change. Invite petition passers to local union meetings. That’d get hundreds in mere minutes. Too bad school is out. Easy pickings too. Maybe this all got thrown together 3 weeks too late, like the unions getting behind Dillard a few weeks too late. If AFSCME staff reps aren’t getting these things out, like tomorrow, maybe AFSCME has lost a step or two…

  49. - 1776 - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    J. Gooch & Associates is a firearms entity in Springfield. McCann and his family are deeply involved in NRA and sport shooting clubs. So, if they feel McCann is the only pro-gun candidate they may be able to rally a network for signatures. But I don’t think anyone who signed a primary petition can now sign an independent. Losing pro-gun voters only hurts Rauner who may have had them by default.

  50. - Blue Dog - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 4:10 pm:

    If McCann voted in the 2014 primary as a Republican, how can he run in the same race as an Independent?
    Can one of the election law experts around here clear this up? Thanks.

  51. - Been there, done that - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 4:10 pm:

    According to the ILSBoE website:
    “Can a voter sign an established party petition and a new party and/or independent
    Yes, a voter may sign an established party candidate’s petition prior to a General Primary
    Election and subsequent to that Election, sign a petition of an independent OR new political
    party candidate prior to a General Election. The voter may not however, sign a petition of
    more than one established political party candidate nor may he sign more than one
    independent or new political party candidate’s petition for the same office.”

  52. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    ===If McCann voted in the 2014 primary as a Republican===

    Who says he voted?

    Somebody was thinking ahead.

  53. - Blue Dog - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    If he didn’t vote, then he misled a few of the groups he was planning on supporting him. He told more than a few people of his support for Kirk Dillard & spoke highly of him. Guess that support didn’t include a vote?

  54. - W.S. Walcott - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 4:36 pm:

    Blue Dog, maybe your right, and his supprt didn’t include his vote. Obviously your comment is meant to have a negative connotation. But… What shows more support, 1 vote, or keeping you powder dry for a June suprise? Support can mean many things…

  55. - Blue Dog - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 4:54 pm:

    Walcott - I like Sam McCann. I’ve met with him before, we always have pleasant conversations at different meetings. He has impressed me quite a bit over the years.

    My comment has a negative connotation because I’m disappointed in this turn. If you tell me you support a candidate, I expect you to vote for them. Maybe that’s my political view of things, but to say you support & then not vote for a candidate is very misleading. How does this June surprise help Dillard?

    Is McCann leveraging this bid to get Rauner to back Dillard over Schillerstrom (sp?)for the RTA post? If not, I don’t see how it helps support Dillard.

  56. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 5:05 pm:

    - 1776 - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    J. Gooch & Associates is a printing business; I use them on a regular basis.

    J Gooch Shooting Sports is the firearms business; they are located in opposite ends of the same building.

  57. - Almost the Weekend - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 9:16 pm:

    The worst part about McCann not running is the end of this thread. Some very funny comments. There are two remaining questions. With McCann not running did this comment thread ever really happen.

    And is Rauner, 3 months after the primary, officially the true conservative. Illinois conservatives have desired since Ronald Reagan was governor of California.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Go figure, UI edition, Nov. 27, 2015
* Jim Dey: Oh, say, can you 'C'

* British foreign secretary meets Tunisian leader after attack
* Russian foreign minister says Moscow will suspend visa-free travel with Turkey
* The Latest: Russia to end visa-free travel deal with Turkey
* Police make arrest in killing of Chicago 9-year-old boy
* Art program gives Boston's homeless a place to create

* 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

* Letter: Sen. Durbin is right on refugee is......

* Opinion: Sen. Kirk must stand with crimina......

* Snow Money
* There's Snow Business
* Random Thoughts.
* ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,’ several weeks ago!!!
* Chicago Teachers Union. “If we strike, we do so to protect our children,” says Karen Jennings Lewis.
* Resign.
* Don't Let The Turkeys Get You Down
* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* IDOT Debuts Winter Weather Driving Tips Video
* Pot Dangerous? Mother's Testimony Says Yes [video]

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

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