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Excuses, ethics and a bit of fun

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008

* I told you Monday that GOP gubernatorial hopeful Sen. Bill Brady had raised a pathetic $55,730 during the first six months of this year. Brady now has an excuse

Brady said that with fellow Republicans involved in active campaigns in November, he didn’t want to raise money that might compete with them. He said he’ll wait until the 2010 election is closer to begin collecting campaign cash.

‘’We weren’t going to do anything out of the ordinary,'’ Brady said.

That’s an unfortunate remark. One of the biggest knocks on Brady’s 2006 bid was his lack of fundraising abilities.

And Mike Lawrence makes an excellent point in the article…

‘’It’s a lot easier to build on a big fund than be scrambling for money during the campaign season itself,'’ Lawrence said.

In other words: Get cracking.

* But not like this

It is still business as usual for Gov. Blagojevich, the only statewide officeholder taking campaign contributions from companies with state-paid contracts awarded by his office or agencies under his control.

Yesterday, the Blagojevich campaign committee filed campaign disclosure reports for the first half of 2008, and we have found dozens of contributions from people and businesses connected to state contracts. In a preliminary look through his report, we found 70 that appear, on their face, to be from businesses or employees of businesses that have FY09 contracts from agencies under his control worth more than $50,000. Those donations total $238,500. That’s about 22% of his itemized individual donations, or 12.6% of all the contributions to his campaign.

* Quite the lede from the AP

While Illinois legislators took action against the state’s “pay to play” reputation, Gov. Rod Blagojevich took donation after donation from people who stood to gain financially from his administration.

* The Sun-Times editorializes

We’ve just discovered another 220,000 reasons why Gov. Blagojevich should sign an ethics bill sitting on his desk that takes aim at pay-to-play politics in Illinois.

That’s 220,000 dollars, to be precise.

That’s how much Blagojevich raised in the first half of 2008 from companies that were granted major state contracts for this fiscal year, according to a rough analysis of new campaign finance reports by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. This estimate, which doesn’t capture all donors, represents about 20 percent of the $1.1 million Blagojevich raised from individual donors.

* Anyway, let’s end on a lighter note

Some legislators also are interested in the position, including state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Woodstock and senators Christine Rodogno, R-Lemont, Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, and Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline.

“I’m mulling it over,” said Jacobs, who believes voters are tired of Chicago politicians, but admitted he’d have to raise some serious money to run. “What I’m willing to do is work hard, roll up my sleeves and move Illinois forward. I don’t want to see Illinois roll backward.”

* Related…

* DuPage Dems blast GOP for taking cash from local businesses

* Candidates renounce some campaign cash

- Posted by Rich Miller        

26 Comments
  1. - North of I-80 - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 9:43 am:

    Louisiana is the model for ethics reform and how to turn around a corrupt state govt. Why aren’t we using LA as a model to work towards instead of DC or Detroit govt?


  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 9:47 am:

    Who’s the Illinois GOP Bobby Jindal?


  3. - Kevin Fanning - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 9:48 am:

    Whoever decides to run for Governor by adopting a different accent and sporting local attire like cowboy boots.


  4. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 9:51 am:

    Ron Gidwitz


  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 9:58 am:

    ===Why aren’t we using LA as a model to work towards instead of DC or Detroit govt?===

    Didn’t the guv there just flipflop on pay raises?

    Also, give him time. All LA guvs turn out to be crooks in the end.


  6. - Kevin Fanning - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 9:58 am:

    ===Ron Gidwitz===

    lol, I could see it.


  7. - InDupage - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 10:02 am:

    HAHAHAHAHA Bill Brady only raised $55K because he didn’t want to compete with other candidates in this year’s election cycle. That’s probably the most clever thing Billy has ever said! What’s your excuse next year Bill - you’re against money in politics so you’re planning a more austere campaign in your quest for Gov.


  8. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 10:10 am:

    “While Illinois legislators took action against the state’s “pay to play” reputation, Gov. Rod Blagojevich took donation after donation from people who stood to gain financially from his administration.”

    And yet we hesitate to impeach him. We need tpo impeach now and get rid of this guv.


  9. - GOP'er - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 10:14 am:

    None of the GOP names being thrown out so far for Gov, e.g., Brady, Radogno, Birkett, Gidwitz, Rutherford, etc. would stand a chance against a Dan Hynes or Lisa Madigan.

    Any of those retreads would get beaten like a rented mule in a statewide general election. None have exactly excelled in their past or current posts.

    Also, the IL GOP is completely dead, which doesn’t help.

    A complete overhaul and new blood is needed.


  10. - trafficmatt - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 10:15 am:

    As a former consultant, let me say a word about “pay to play”. Note the former part - thankfully.

    Most of the GOOD engineers find the practice sleezy and maddening. However, it is often times clear that you have to contribute to level the playing field. In other words, other consultants are getting work because they give TONS in campaign contributions and you feel like you have to “get your name on the list”. The fear is (and often confirmed by results) is that if you don’t contribute, then you have no chance of getting the contract. I could say a LOT more in specific, but that wouldn’t be appropriate, but you get the idea. Unfortunately, it goes on with both the D’s and the R’s.

    I think 95% of consultants would LOVE to end pay for play. Imagine all the dinners they could have with their families instead of eating rubber chicken and listening to some politician talk about how wonderful they are.


  11. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 10:16 am:

    Rich, I agree with your assessment in today’s Cap Fax that Blago will put a nasty little poison pill when he amendatorally vetoes the “pay-to-play” legislations. What does he have to gain? Someone’s gotta pay his legal bills, and it may as well be state contractors and their friends.

    No offense, Senator Jacobs, but you got where you were because of your pops. We don’t need any more of those types running the state.


  12. - Dan S, a voter and Cubs Fan - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 10:18 am:

    This entire Blagoof escapade has been reduced to the Government of the State of Illinois being an absolute joke. Is there anything uncorrupt that this “Governtment” does any more? I just can no longer comprehend why all of these unethical and illegal activities are allowed to continue.


  13. - GOP primary voter - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 10:53 am:

    GOPer
    Why not just fold up now? Lisa is held back by her fathers open warfare with the Governor, she used Gov type money to run for AG and had a tough time with Joe. Danny Hynes had his unbeatable label broken in the Senate race the man is a milksop. He has the personality of a rock.
    Last time I looked the government of Illinois was not doing so well under current management. high unemployment, higher taxes, jobs leaving in droves and it all falls onto one party.
    Someone with a plan and cash could bring both sides of the GOP together and give any of the Democrats a run. ll you mentioned was Lisa or Danny you forgot ROD he has 4 million and with more than one person in the primary and Emil at his side he could very well be the Democrat nominee. Either way there would be a bloodbath in the primary and it would be very expensive for the D’s.
    Looking at the fundraising numbers for the GOP anyone who can RAISE 3 or 4 million would clear the field and run against the Democrats from the primary on. It could be the extra push the GOP candidate needs to convince the voters that there are 2 parties again. With his showing last time and his working the grassroots for the last few years Gidwitz COULD be the guy. November is a long way away.
    Didn’t I see on the report that Brady also was in debt for over $600,000 from his last run? That’s a huge nut to crack.


  14. - Captain America - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 11:25 am:

    Even if he isn’t indicted, Governor A’s political career is over. Money can’t buy him love/respect/public approval.

    Personality and good looks are overrated in this media age. Dan Hynes may not have charisma, but I think voters will be willing to choose/may be desperate for experience, competence, and integrity after Blagojevich.


  15. - GOP'er - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 12:42 pm:

    GOP Primary Voter, I would agree that Bill Brady is probably the weakest of the weak. And I’ll even concede that Gidwitz might be the best on the field right now. At least he’s probably too rich to steal.

    But if he’s serious about winning a general, he should be doing more to right the sinking IL GOP ship. Guys like Andy McKenna and Tom Cross have already pretty much folded up the gop tent here.

    It’s Repubs in Springfield who are tied to Blago now (for gambling and that so-called capital bill), not the Madigans or Hynes.


  16. - Clown Band roadie - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 12:57 pm:

    Rod no longer “raises” money, he plain extorts it, either thru active deal-making of the kind Fitz is running down, or thru the fear and perceptions foisted on the public, alluded to by the ex-consultant in his earlier comments. Either way, he’s totally for rent.


  17. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 2:55 pm:

    Office holders mold their opposition. After a couple of terms in office, voters search for the anti version of an incumbant’s political weaknesses. So in the next gubernatorial contest in Illinois, the successful gubernatorial candidate will be the anti-Blagojevich.

    Blagojevich is a Democrat. Naturally, this means that a Republican should find a receptive ear. The Illinois GOP is in very poor shape however. But not being a Democrat could be seen as a plus in 2010.

    Blagojevich is charming and a hail-well fellow. He chatters incessantly. So the anti-Blagojevich would appear more sober and do less glad-handling. Blagojevich doesn’t fit Illinois voter’s mood. The anti-Blagojevich would.

    The next governor will be the candidate that will be seen as an adult who can provide leadership on fiscal issues. The successful candidate will unlikely be connected to the current administration and probably considered a Blagojevich foe.

    Blagojevich is closely tied to Chicago politics and political families. The anti-Blagojevich candidate would most likely not have a political name or a Chicago address.

    Blagojevich is a white man. The anti-Blagojevich could be neither of these.

    The Democratic Line Up:

    1.) Dan Hynes looks very attractive as an anti-Blagojevich. But he is another Chicagoan, a white man and a Democrat. He offsets these with a great political office to hold during fiscal crisis, is known as a Blagojevich foe and like Madigan, comes across with plodding non-political dullness which voters should find attractive.

    2.) Giannoulias doesn’t fit the anti-Blagojevich model. While his office is a great one to hold during tough fiscal times, he is a Chicagoan, has another name voters will need a dictionary to spell, a Democrat, and too cute by half. He has tried to recently come off as a Blagojevich critic recently, but his cuteness dampens his criticism. He is hard to take seriously and voters will want a serious governor.

    3.) Bill Daley? Not with that name. He is Mr. AT&T/SBC, who reminds voters every month why they hate things named “bill”. His Clintonian credentials have expired but the feeling his brother generates haven’t.

    4.)Lisa Madigan. A serious lady with a heavily political name from Chicago. She is a strong anti-Blagojevich. Her father is the ultimate Blagojevich foe. Her public presentation is spot-on for weary voters sick of empty PR stunts.

    The Republicans:

    1.) “The Jim Edgar wanna-bes”. While Jim Edgar is considered a model governor, he also looked like a JCPenney golfing model, circa 1990. That brings me to his clones; Joe Birkett and Bill Brady. These three men represent the GOP to disenfranchised voters in Illinois. Just showing their faces and telling voters that they are all conservative Republicans, instantly stereotypes them into political oblivion. For Birkett or Brady to succeed, they will need to display an endearing quality that has so far failed to appear in their earlier races. These men fail to pleasantly surprise. They are uninteresting. Their political stands are predictable. Like a pair of white rental cars, Birkett and Brady need an extreme political makeover to cause more than a blip in 2010.

    2.) Ron Gidwitz. Another GOP white man from Chicago. But Gidwitz has an surprising history and is rich, which will give him a listen to General Election voters. His problem is with GOP primary voters. Politically purple, Gidwitz is appealing on paper. A businessman with inherited wealth, but proven in the real world, Gidwitz is currently the strongest GOP candidate for 2010. His problem will be getting nominate.

    3.) Jim Oberweis. If he wins this November, expect Oberweis to run in 2010. Why? Because it seems that Oberweis has nothing better to do with his millions than search for political love. While he has some anti-Blagojevich cred, he is too similar to Blagojevich in one crucial area - he doesn’t know when to quit when he is behind.

    Using this methodology, I believe voters will find Madigan, Hynes and Gidwitz among the most attractive anti-Blagojevich candidates out there. But as of this date, I don’t see Gidwitz beating either Madigan or Hynes in a General Election in 2010.


  18. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 3:03 pm:

    Feel free to ask me about other candidates and I’ll give you a run down on how well they stack up as an “Anti-Blagojevich”!


  19. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 4:18 pm:

    GOP primary voter,

    Hynes may not be Mr. Personality but Gidwitz ain’t exacly George Clooney either.


  20. - there he goes again - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 8:45 pm:

    Dan Hynes possesses the qualities (integrity, capable of governing, honesty) Democrats will desperately need in 2010 to have any chance after the Blagojevich tenure. His fundraising and his qualities put him at the top of the list for Governor.


  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 9:22 pm:

    ==It’s Repubs in Springfield who are tied to Blago now (for gambling and that so-called capital bill), not the Madigans or Hynes.==

    GOPer is right. The state GOP is playing a losing, cynical, inside game. Watson and Cross? I don’t think we have to cast those Capitol statues yet.

    Harry Truman said if you give the people a choice of a Republican and a Republican, they’ll pick the Republican every time.

    Do the flip, Land of Lincolners.

    Where are the GOPer who will cast the money-changers out of the temple? Who will raise hell about the outrageous corruption, but also walk into Englewood and East St. Lou and tell those kids that they have value and we demand more from them?

    Right now, even the best of the GOPers are junior hacks in a rigged game.


  22. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 9:27 pm:

    Brady is running in a Senate campaign mode, opposed or not…not a governor campaign mode at this stage at least in terms of $$ & procedure. There is a lot of things he’s doing I’m sure , support of other candidates & I’m sure wise enough to realize the money thing is important & would come. The governor election day is Nov. 2010 over 2 years away. Give the guy some slack. Noone I see is raising big $$$ that might hint at running again from the GOP. Those that have it IE: Gidwitz & Oberweis are self-funding. In 06′ in a 5 way primary $$$ & running was tough. It’s anyone’s guess & I do mean guess as who will run from either side.


  23. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 23, 08 @ 9:55 pm:

    gop in ill. needs to dump mckenna & get a real chairman if your talking new blood. i think they’ve got new blood in the party but desperately need an overhaul in the top levels with poor performances now for several years. mc kenna is a yes guy & keeping a seat warm & thats about it. mckeena needs to move on.


  24. - Doggone - Thursday, Jul 24, 08 @ 1:15 pm:

    Watch Sen. Mike Jacobs moving up on the outside.

    Mike’s honest, bright, can raise money and understands how to work both sides of the aisle. As well, Jacobs would be the only Downstate Democrat in the field.


  25. - Downstate weed chewing hick - Thursday, Jul 24, 08 @ 2:00 pm:

    I get that folks are amazed that the Gov. is still taking money from those who stand to benefit from state business, but this is only a portion of the contributions. Who in their right mind who doesnt have or want a state contract is still giving this guy money?


  26. - DHouser - Thursday, Jul 24, 08 @ 3:18 pm:

    Vanilla Man…Why would we want anyone, like Lisa Madigan or dan Hynes, who the Speaker will practically control. Who wants Madigan to have a monopoly on our state gov. Not I…if anything, it would be a great way to add to the repub ranks. Lisa can try to pretend she’s indep of her dad all she wants but when he holds the bills of reps that do not support her or pressures folks for $ or their friends and family list,it’s a far cry from being indep.


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