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The center ring

Friday, Aug 28, 2009 - Posted by Rich Miller

* My Sun-Times column today takes a look ahead at Campaign 2010

Think of the campaign for governor as a bloody three-ring circus.

In the ‘’Stage Left'’ ring are Democrats Gov. Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes.

Quinn has struggled to find his leadership chops since being elevated to the top job by Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment. Hynes has begun running an aggressive campaign against Quinn, labeling him an indecisive, ineffective flip-flopper.

Over on “Stage Right” are the Republican candidates.

The front-runner is state Sen. Kirk Dillard, a decent, experienced politician from DuPage County who is so decent that he cut a TV ad for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. That expression of bipartisan admiration for one of his former colleagues has prompted howls of derision from fellow candidates.

Sen. Matt Murphy, a freshman from the Northwest suburbs, made headlines last year when he led the charge for secession from Todd Stroger’s Cook County and, lately, he’s become Dillard’s harshest critic. Murphy has already aired a Downstate TV ad slamming Dillard for supporting a Stroger tax increase. The tax hike was for mass transit, but whatever. He made his point.

Sen. Bill Brady, who ran last time and impressed many with his presence and poise, has never been afraid of taking a whack at a primary opponent. He blasted Dillard for saying nice things about Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Ultraconservative campaign consultant Dan Proft reportedly has a huge stash of private money ready to use for attacks on his fellow GOP candidates. Proft loves the hatchet, and blood will certainly flow.

The other Republican candidates will also likely pile on whoever the front-runner appears to be at any given moment.

Any day now, though, the spotlight will begin shining on the center ring, and it won’t turn off until the campaign ends. The star of the center ring will be Rod Blagojevich — our former clown in chief.

Blagojevich’s new book is coming out next month. I can take a wild guess at what he will say:

‘’Springfield is bad. I was set up. House Speaker Mike Madigan is bad. I tried to give everybody health care. Senate President John Cullerton is bad. I was railroaded. Pat Quinn is bad. I did nothing wrong. Illinois news media is bad. I’m the good guy.'’

Innumerable cable TV appearances will follow, and some moronic talking heads will scream that Blagojevich was given a raw deal.

Blagojevich’s book tour will probably last right up until the February primary. Hynes has slammed Quinn for not standing up to Blagojevich. Blagojevich has said he’s convinced that Quinn was part of an evil plot to kick him out of office. Blagojevich’s book tour will be a constant distraction for Quinn.

And you can bet that any Republican gubernatorial candidate who ever supported any of Blagojevich’s ideas will also be in for a beat-down during the tour of shame. Indeed, Murphy’s ad also tried to tie Dillard to Blagojevich.

Come June, when the winning nominees start to crank up their campaigns, the spotlight will shine even more intensely on our goofy center ring as Blagojevich’s criminal trial begins. God only knows what that man will say or do.

The trial will probably last until around Labor Day, setting the stage for the final run. Blagojevich will be on everyone’s minds, and the fall campaign will most likely revolve around his horrific legacy. The center ring will remain the center of attention.

The truth is Blagojevich was such an aberration that we probably don’t have to worry about ever electing anyone else like him again. He also had only a few true friends and allies. But those facts were long ago lost in the ether. We’re in for an excruciating and mostly pointless 14 months.


  1. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 9:45 am:

    ==Blagojevich has said he’s convinced that Quinn was part of an evil plot to kick him out of office.==

    If Rod’s #’s stay as low as they should, that could play very well for Quinn.

  2. - Downstater - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 9:49 am:

    “The truth is Blagojevich was such an aberration that we probably don’t have to worry about ever electing anyone else like him again”
    Yet, the democrats in mass support elected him to office in 2006 knowing what was going on.

  3. - David - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 9:54 am:

    Rod is indeed an “aberration”. The rest of the Dems are also aberrations. The state motto should be changed to “Land of Aberrations”.

  4. - Brennan - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 9:56 am:

    If one opposes elected officials calling in favors to push their preferred candidate up the ranks for selective admission into the public school structure, are they an ultraconservative?

    Whatever aberration Rod Blagojevich represented, he still used and supported the same old structure that perpetuates Two Illinois’ - one for the connected and one for everyone else.

  5. - siriusly - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:00 am:

    Good analysis Rich, dead on.

    It doesn’t matter what Rod’s numbers are, he’s making himself the issue of the day again.

    I’ve been saying this since early Spring, BTW, and I’ll say it again. I think the election will be about Blagojevich. The tax and budget issues will be secondary, this is going to be the Blago election. The DSCC seems to know this too, which is why they wanted someone else in the race.

  6. - N'ville - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:00 am:

    Just curious Rich, what you base Dillard’s front runner status on? Is there some polling out there, or is it money raised or something else? Thanks.

  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:05 am:

    Downstater, the people of Illinois elected him twice, not just Democrats. In any statewide race, independents have the final word.

    But some Dem officeholders may wear the jacket for him, no question. That’s politics. A lot of good Republicans got dragged down by Nixon in ‘74.

    I think the book will be a flop and not much of a factor, just because it will be Rod talking about how great Rod is, and not full of dirt.

    But the trial will be electric. Rod will try to call and dirty up every politician, Dem and GOP, that he ever made a hinky deal with. My guess is that it’s a long list.

  8. - Pat Collins - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:11 am:

    We’re in for an excruciating and mostly pointless 14 months.

    I totally disagree. Would it not have been VERY useful if some legislators had aggressively opposed the Gov? Would it not be nice if the members had pushed back on silly and stupid ideas?

    I think it will be a VERY HEALTHY 14 months. Why?

    Because, the legislator is chock full of ambitious people. Lots of them see themselves as Gov., or Senator.

    Let those people now know well and truly that they WILL be held accountable for “being a mushroom.” For “following the Leader’s wishes”.

    In short, have a spine now, or face the 30 second treatment later on.

  9. - formerGOPer - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:18 am:

    So Rich, are you suggesting we leave the state for the next 14 months? Any suggestions of where things are better?

  10. - Shore - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:18 am:

    you’re a good guy but that was a really really awful column.

    “ultra conservative dan proft”

    where do you get this garbage from? Give me one issue where he is more conservative than rank and file Republicans or is to the right of the party’s platform? You got facts? The problem with the chicago media, and I say this as a moderate, is that it is so left, and so bias that anything that is pro-life is automatically “ultra conservative”translation out of the mainstream. Quinn is pro-choice I didn’t see you use the term ultra-liberal. You’re a smart guy, you can do better.



    How many democrats in the city and sprignfield folks down there have gone to jail? Corruption is a major part of politics in Illinis and this guy embodied everything wrong with our political leadership. There has to be accountability for his party. In case you’ve forgotten, this guy was a congressman and backed by the democrat party twice. he didn’t show up out of mars one day.

    “dillard cut an ad for obama”

    You better believe there’s something wrong with a republican cutting ads for a democrat. Politics is about teams. No telling how much easier it might have been for republicans in the state in fall 2008 if they’d had hillary to run against. I had one gop congressman’s chief of staff in a tough race in illinois tell me point blank that hillary on the ticket instead of obama was worth 5 points to his candidacy.

  11. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:20 am:

    Capt Fax:
    You forgot to mention perennial, tentative, on-again off again candidate Rev/Sen Meeks emerging for a few weeks to make demands, etc.

    Is there also a little puppet stage platform for Gags Brady to “shape” GOP Party strategy,preside over the defeat of Commando Kirk and the loss of the 10th CD.

    Can we also mention one more time that Blagoof enjoyed some support because the best the GOPs could offer was TugBoatAnnie & Andy McKenna.
    Have a great day

  12. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:22 am:

    shore, your comment proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’re part of the problem here.

  13. - So... - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:23 am:

    …in essence, what you’ve said Rich is that this election will be interesting because of Rod. You’re right. Love him or hate him, at the very least the guy makes things interesting. It would be a snoozefest for sure if all you mentioned that will likely be happening in the months ahead, wasn’t going to happen. Doesn’t mean Rod was a great Governor or that anything he is accused of doing is remotely close to being ‘ok’ .. but it does mean that he has made (and continues to make) Illinois politics interesting and perhaps moreso, relevant. I will await the rebuttals..

  14. - WOW - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:27 am:

    Dead on Rich. The GA could have passed a tax increase double what Quinn is proposing and it still would have taken a back seat to the Blago mess. It will be used by both parties against each other.

    Your also reight about Proft. Every e-mail I get from him references me as a fellow conservative (guess what I am not and I don’t have any idea how I got on his e-mail list).

  15. - Red Hawk - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:28 am:

    I think your prediction for the next 14 months is pretty on point - unfortunate that actual discussion of policy is unlikely to take center stage.

  16. - Louis Howe - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:32 am:

    Agreed, Blago should have been an easy act to follow, but the Democrats have messed up big time. Gov. Quinn is doing his Buster Keaton routine, running from one side of the ring to the other trying to get the legislature’s Keystone Cops to follow his lead. Like an old vaudeville routine …..round and round they go, and where it stops, well, nobody knows. There are plenty of Lemon Pies flying and before long they’ll have less political appeal than a Soupy Sales commercial for Preparation H.

  17. - Shore - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:45 am:

    Rich. I’m a moderate, can’t stand the evangelical wing of my party, hate guns, support a woman’s right to choose, and can’t find a single Chicago tribune story where sarah palin was referenced as an ultraconservative-and I would bet she’s more conservative than proft who I don’t care for either.

    Can you sight for me a single thing you’ve written on a city of chicago politician where you’ve termed them an ultraliberal?If proft is anti-abortion even in the case of rape, pro-gun, anti-gay marriage that’s in line with the GOP’s platform, not ultraconservative.

    It’s a derogatory term used out of context used repeatedly by the media against republicans to show that they are out of the mainstream.

    I don’t see how a Republican supporting a democrat for president is a good thing, and there’s nothing wonderful about blago.

  18. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:46 am:

    Shore, if you think corruption in this state has been the sole province of Democrats, you’re either hyper-partisan, willfully ignorant or both.

    It’s fascinating to me that partisans on both sides can speak of state Democrats or GOPers as unified, monolithic powers. Factions in both parties spend more time fighting amongst themselves than campaigning against the “opposition.” We read and comment about that on this blog virtually every day.

  19. - VanillaMan - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:46 am:

    The truth is Blagojevich was such an aberration that we probably don’t have to worry about ever electing anyone else like him again.

    That’s not quite true. There were a lot of reasons to have avoid Blagojevich in 2002, even before he opened his mouth. Rod Blagojevich was a do-nothing. He had no record in the US Congress. He had no record in the Illinois House. His claim to fame was his father-in-law, and his Chicago connections. How many times have we elected do-nothing politicians with nothing else but Chicago connections and a relative sitting in power?

    We have a long list of political power brokers who basically inherited their power from their parents or in-laws. It is laughably common.

    When we do not take into consideration how well a candidate did in their current or previous jobs, we don’t end up with substantial proof they can do the jobs for which they are campaigning.

    After years of selling Illinoisans out by nominating and voting for individuals who have failed miserably in office, or are exposed as crook and ninnies, our two political parties’ nominations are no endorsements to voters. If the Democrats are willing to nominate a Rod Blagojevich in 2006, and the Republicans are willing to nominate a George Ryan in 1998, we needed to see a honest apology from these organizations, and an attempt by either of them to clean up how they nominate crooks to offices. Both political parties have failed Illinois citizens by refusing to acknowledge their part of this state’s record of corruption, and their refusal to reform themselves.

    Illinois is entirely capable of nominating and electing another Rod Blagojevich because it is being poorly served by the political establishments whose entire focus in on winning elections, not cultivating, educating, advancing, electing and governing state leaders as they had in the past.

    We, as voters, must eye every candidate cynically. Not based on partisan political preferences. Not by how well their campaigns are ran. Not by the promises they mouth. But by their records of accomplishments in the real world.

  20. - Scooby - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:49 am:

    Would it not have been VERY useful if some legislators had aggressively opposed the Gov? Would it not be nice if the members had pushed back on silly and stupid ideas?

    Wow, I’m speechless.

  21. - Anonymous45 - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:51 am:

    Rich, I don’t beleive your assessment of what is to come could be more correct…the thing that Blago said the day of his impeachment that has stuck in my head was something to the effect that if I was so bad, why did you support me for a second term?…this is the crux of the matter in my estimation,and and I would love to hear the responses of each and every member of the General Assembly prior to their next election…In short,
    the answer for the majority of them would be, ” I went along to get along”…I wish I could sleep until it was over, but will certainly enjoy watching the legislators squirm…

  22. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:58 am:

    “The truth is Blagojevich was such an aberration that we probably don’t have to worry about ever electing anyone else like him again. He also had only a few true friends and allies. ”

    I agree that Blagojevich was an aberration. I disagree that someone like him will be elected again. We have to remember that Blagojevich had a powerful figure in the Democratic party pushing for him, his father-in-law, who opened a lot of doors for him, and got him tons of support, whether they be county chairmen and other key figures.

    That scenario can be replayed through either major political party in the future. There are a lot of short sighted figures in both political parties who are interested in winning the next election, and not very interested in long range planning.

  23. - siriusly - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 10:59 am:

    Shore - since you asked the question - why not try to give us an answer. How many members of the Illinois legislature have been wire-tapped and indicted by the FBI / USDOJ for corruption in the past 20 years?

    Find that answer for me and you’ll see that Blagojevich was truly an aberration. His criminal conduct went way, way, way beyond what George Ryan did, all the while he was pounding his chest calling himself the reformer and blaming Ryan for all that was wrong in Illinois.

    To really reform and improve our govenrment we first need all the screamers like Shore and the Tribune to start with facts, not irrational rantings.

  24. - Ghost - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 11:08 am:

    Shore I assume is emanding every republican who in anyway supproted Ryan be reomved; after all the GOP party must all assume reponsibility for Ryan.

    Nice foreshadowing Rich, I think you will be dead on. I expect Blago will be tied to the majority of campaign ads.

    Instead of an election we should do a survival show to select our next governor. “I’m a gubernatorial canidate get me out of here….”

    We can start with a snake catching contest…..

  25. - Brennan - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 11:09 am:

    VM: That isn’t all right. Blagojevich did do plenty. He just did it all for the Democratic Party until it came time to go fishing for Republicans to put him in the Governor’s mansion.

  26. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 11:10 am:

    –If the Democrats are willing to nominate a Rod Blagojevich in 2006, and the Republicans are willing to nominate a George Ryan in 1998, we needed to see a honest apology from these organizations, and an attempt by either of them to clean up how they nominate crooks to offices.–

    Parties don’t nominate anyone. Illinois voters do.

    Apologies? Please. The victim complex might be comforting, but it’s false and self-pitying.

  27. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 11:15 am:

    ===Not based on partisan political preferences.===

    So, why bother with parties at all then?

    Seriously, do you really think voters should just completely disregard ideology on issues that are just as or even far more important to them than a list of reform proposals?

  28. - Curious... - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 11:16 am:

    How do you come up with Dillard as frontrunner, Rich?

    Every poll that has been done, shows Brady ahead, although not by a lot. Brady has a statewide under his belt, and no one else does, and no one has shown they’re really raising money.

    Dillard might be the frontrunner if you ask his staff or the IMA (if there’s a difference), but until he shows up ahead in a couple of polls, an actual endorsement from Edgar or shows he has a huge pile of cash, he’s still just another first-time candidate. He’s a paper tiger so far, but maybe he can change that.

    I point out the polling because that’s where the race is today (whenever they’re taken), and the only thing that really moves numbers is TV or a bunch of mail, and none of that has been done. Until it is, whether I like him or not, I think Brady’s still got to be considered the frontrunner.

    Just find Dillard being called the frontrunner a bit pre-mature.

  29. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 11:20 am:

    Dillard cutting an advertisement for Obama is viewed by many in my party as being an opportunistic stunt that backfired on him. He is a decent man and a thoughtful politician who tarred himself through that action.

    Other decent Republicans have endorsed Democrats in recent history, and have tarred themselves in the process through their own party, including my late beloved Senator Adeline J. Geo-Karis. While Geo’s endorsement could be explained or rationalized as a retaliatory move, Dillard’s is a little more difficult to rationalize.

  30. - VanillaMan - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 11:20 am:

    Downstater, the people of Illinois elected him twice, not just Democrats. In any statewide race, independents have the final word.

    Imagine going to a restaurant that promotes on it’s menu an exciting new dish called “Blagojevich Stew”. The restaurant’s television ads show people doing cartwheels after tasting it, and marching bands trumpeting it.

    Then when it is served to you, you discover it isn’t a stew. It isn’t edible. It stinks too much to even come near it to try to taste it. A minute after it is served to you, the Health Department arrives in an ambulance to remove it by a crew of toxic waste experts. When they leave, the waitress hands you a bill that is 200% higher than the price the Blagojevich Stew was advertised as costing.

    According to wordslinger - the fault is yours, because you are the one who ordered it.

    If we want our political parties to continue lying to us, nominating crooks and incompetents, and failing to acknowledge their roles in serving up the most corrupted toxic stews in Illinois history - wordslinger, and others who wish to blame voters for our state’s corruption, have it right.

    It is not the voters fault. It is the fault of the organizations we expect to serve us competent individuals with their nominations. When they fail to do so, then turn around and blame us for voting for them - then they are worse than useless and we should never again eat in their restaurant. They deserve nothing less.

  31. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 11:27 am:

    “Parties don’t nominate anyone. Illinois voters do.”

    Party Primary Voters nominate. Most Illinois voters do not vote in primaries. Yes there are cross-overs at times, but I don’t see that as being much of a factor in 2010.

  32. - dupage dan - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 11:42 am:

    While RodG may be an aberration, the idea that people w/connections, and not much else (family,etc) won’t have a leg up in this state in the future is nonsense. Future behavior can frequently be tied to past actions (for voters and candidates alike). The electorate will continue to be served by these worms until we demand better. Each partys’ voters must refuse to be taken in by their respective snake oil salesmen. That requires an informed voter pool. What’s the liklihood of that?

  33. - From the Desk of Jim Edgar's Former Chief of Staff - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 11:52 am:

    Dillard is the front runner because he has both the most number of votes of support between the GOP Finance Committee and because he’s the Democrats pick for GOP nominee.

    Now, if they can only keep him out of the press until March, he may just win the primary.

  34. - Easy - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 11:52 am:

    I think if you a direct link to Blago–like the way Madigan chaired his campaign–then the next 14 months aren’t going to be very pretty.

    Chessmaster huh??

  35. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 11:55 am:

    Louis, everyone eligible to vote in Illinois can do so in the primary of their choice. You don’t have to register with a party beforehand, like some states. If most choose not to vote, that’s their loss — and an increase in the influence of my vote.

    We get who we vote for, as nominees and as officeholders. We’re not victims. Some choices have been excellent. Some not so much. If you elect crooks, all the reforms in the world won’t make them honest. If you choose wisely and responsibly, you don’t need the reforms.

  36. - Shore - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 12:00 pm:

    ideology is important and should be documented but as you often say to me, back up with facts showing how he is any different than the party platform from last summer in minneapolis that has been the same for 30 years or issue a statement suggesting that the term was wrongly used.

    Would Governor proft try to sign legislation outlawing all forms of abortion, ending all forms of gun control, ending any sort of rights for gays, making huge cuts to social service programs,and major tax cuts not to mention several other ultraconservative reforms? If you have proof please document so that people like me don’t confuse a mainstream conservative for what you say he is.

  37. - PalosParkBob - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 12:09 pm:

    Rich, I believe it was Abe Lincoln who said that, “You can fool some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time.”

    If he changed that to say “You can fool a majority of voters all the time.” He would have accurately reflected Illinois politics.

    Blago was NOT an aberration in a state where we’ve had more recent governors in Club Fed than the hall of fame.

    We knew who Blago was and what he was doing. The problem was that Judy’s disastrous, and very un-Republican, policies would have been at least as damaging to Illinois as what Rod did to us.

    It speaks volumes about the Illinois GOP when Rod is the “lesser of two evils”.

    Let’s be honest here. If Blago wasn’t stupidly caught by wire taps he would still probably be the front runner for Governor in 2010 because of his massive war chest.

    Do you deny this?

  38. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 12:12 pm:

    ===Let’s be honest here. If Blago wasn’t stupidly caught by wire taps he would still probably be the front runner for Governor in 2010 because of his massive war chest.

    Do you deny this? ===

    Yes. Sheesh, man. He was gonna get busted eventually, with or without those wiretaps.

    Plus, remember his poll numbers even before his arrest?

    You’re living in dream world.

  39. - Dillard cant win. - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 12:17 pm:

    Dillard is not the front runner. He is the candidate that helped Barack Obama win his primary election against Hillary Clinton and eventually win the Presidency. The same Barack who has pushed cap and trade and socialized healthcare. Dillard cannot win the primary.

  40. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 12:20 pm:

    Rod was a lessor of two evils when compared to Topinka?

    The so-called conservative wing of my party. You gotta love them. They never admit that they could have been wrong. About a person. About an election. About anything.

    Topinka was far more honest and genuine a person than Blagojevich was at that time. She is still a decent, honorable person.

  41. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 12:22 pm:

    Wordslinger, you and I agree here. I think you are talking past the point I was trying to make. There are still fewer primary voters than general election voters. And you still have to declare when you pull a ballot during the primary.

  42. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 12:33 pm:

    ===where do you get this garbage from? Give me one issue where he is more conservative than rank and file Republicans or is to the right of the party’s platform?===

    Shore, did you move here recently or something? For anyone seeking specific and numerous examples of Dan Proft’s “ultraconservative” credentials, I refer you to the famous but now defunct Illinois Leader, created by our very own GOP candidate for Governor. The Leader’s successor blog is now Illinois Review. If you like the Review, you would love the Leader.

    I pray each day that someone, somewhere has access to the old Leader files, and knows how to use them. As bad as Rod’s book will be for Democrats, Dan Proft better hope he deleted the last pixel of his blog because his own rhetoric will haunt him.

    You see Shore, it is less Proft’s (or Eaton’s, or Stanek’s) position on specific issues, which are certainly conservative, but more the way he (and they) express their opinions, that make “ultraconservative” the proper term.

  43. - Brennan - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 12:57 pm:

    You can get a peak at Illinois Leader history at this link.*/

  44. - Shore - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 1:13 pm:

    your average capfax junkie like myself does not know the intimate thoughts of dan proft. I get his emails bashing the chicago 9, but I don’t see the media writing about his ultraconservative positions.

    Thinking that I am going to know the stuff on a website that doesn’t exist anymore is well, tough.

    Point is, if he’s an ultraconservative, write a column where you document his ultraconservative points of view and suggest how this may be an issue in a general election. Otherwise we get what I read in your column which is a guy who shares the party’s social conservatism getting branded a wacko with no facts to back it up.

  45. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 1:33 pm:

    ===average capfax junkie like myself===

    Shore, you showed up less than a year ago. Please don’t compare yourself to the average commenter here because you are not close to average.

    Do some homework on your own before coming here as a guest and calling the Rich’s work “garbage.” I’m not defending Rich, but comments like that insult the rest of us.

    Start your own blog or take it somewhere else.

  46. - KeepSmiling - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 2:17 pm:

    I am a socially liberal Republican - I’m not even going to say moderate - and I am not a big fan of Rich’s right-out-of-the-box assignment of the “ultraconservative” label to Proft, either. “Ultra” anything is a turn-off, unless it’s a toothpaste or laundry detergent commercial.

    Some people may dismiss anything Proft says just because of that prefacing “ultraconservative” label. (Not a bad tactic for someone running against Proft, but Rich isn’t running against Proft).

    From his e-mail blasts, what I get is that Proft is running on how to change politics in Illinois, cut out fraud, reduce spending, etc. These are issues that I think should be debated among candidates - not ignored or just poked at a little bit in the corner. And so far, it doesn’t seem like any other candidates (on either side) is particularly interested in debating or changing the systems that seems to have served them personally well to this point.

  47. - Undercover - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 2:36 pm:

    The whole article could just be the last line: “We’re in for an excruciating and mostly pointless 14 months.”

    I wish Dan Hynes would STFU. He’s as establishment as they come and comes from Illinois Democratic royalty. For him to suddenly act like an outsider is just astounding and ridiculous.

    All he does is complain about Pat Quinn. Offer up solutions or shut up.

  48. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 2:53 pm:


    I’ll agree not use the label “ultraconservative” as soon as your party stops using the label “socialist.” OK?

  49. - Beowulf - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 3:33 pm:

    Gee, I can hardly wait. Especially if there is a candidate out there walking around with a meat cleaver? This must be the same guy that Carol Marin says is the third cousin twice removed of Darth Vader (or was it Freddie Krueger or Jason?) Ha-ha

    I think that the next 14 months is going to be very entertaining. After Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan, can the voters in Illinois really do any worse? We can only move up from here “no matter who we elect” in November 2010. May the force be with us!

  50. - KeepSmiling - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 3:40 pm:

    Ah yes, the S word. The New Big American Threat.

    More spin stupidity. Unfortunately, the Republican party doesn’t listen to me; but those who do, know to knock it off, right away.

  51. - Downstate Commissioner - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 3:49 pm:

    The labels are taking over elections. It is possible to be very conservative on one specific issue, and liberal on most of the others; but if a person is a democrat or republican in a state-wide race, he would be branded with one of those labels, regardless of his views.
    Incidentally, all politicians are crooks; if you run for public office, you are a crook…ask anyone, they will tell you.

  52. - Bubs - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 5:17 pm:

    I think “frontrunner” is a meaningless term in this race until about October 1. Judging solely by the negative pieces put out by multiple opponents, however, it sure looks like Dillard is in front. I assume that the attack piece targeting is based on private polling results.

    In this initial stage I see it as two wings that need to sort out, financially and otherwise, each with a conventional choice and a pursuer. On the right, Brady out front with Murphy in pursuit. On the centrist side, Dillard followed by Schillerstom. It will clarify in the coming 60 days, particularly on money.

    Dan Proft is a candidate that is generating some passionate support, and a lot of people agree with a lot of his points (including me), but his “politics as combat” style is predictably causing him some support problems. I’ve heard more than one person who won’t vote for him express a wish to see him as a top aide to whoever wins, so he can be unleashed on the Democrats on the campaign trail and in Springfield. The Illinois GOP needs his kind of intelligence and ferocity.

    Adam Andrzejewski has people scratching their heads on why he took on the Governor’s post as an entry level political race. He was ideal for Comptroller. His support is there, but limited.

    While everyone is casting Matt Murphy as the “sleeper,” I find a surprising number of GOP people I know (and outside of DuPage to boot) quietly talking about Bob Schillerstom, including ones that I doubt even know him. Hard to say exactly why just yet, but it appears that his financial record as DuPage County President is seen as a big plus that will have greater and greater impact down the line. But Kirk Dillard is a mighty big rock in the way for him.

  53. - Ahem...The REAL Anonymous - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 8:49 pm:

    Nice job, Rich. You got Proft riled up again. LOL

    From his web page:

    “In his column today he wrote that I ‘love the hatchet’ when it comes to the rough-and-tumble of the Illinois political arena. I’m not going to pretend great insult or injury — that would require a range of human emotion I do not possess.”

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