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Question of the day

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Your advice for new House Republican Leader Jim Durkin?


  1. - anon - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    Identify a strong downstate republican who will be loyal. Quickly put that person on your leadership team and neuter Poe. Not that Poe was anything before, but he showed some Moxie. Now punish him so that others see what happens when you are crossed.

  2. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    Get enough votes to put gay marriage behind you…quickly. You may have capitulated to the right on the issue to win this job (great leadership that was), but don’t keep it alive for future general elections.

  3. - Obama's Puppy - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:06 pm:

    Don’t be like Cross and listen to all the members of your caucus including those from downstate who do not want to eviscerate pensions.

  4. - MOON - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:07 pm:

    Pick a strong group for the leadership.

    Call Madigan and offer to work with him FOR THE BETTERMENT OF ILLINOIS.

  5. - Lobo Y Olla - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:07 pm:

    Inclusion is the order of the day.

  6. - A guy... - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:11 pm:

    Take a week off and clear your head.

  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:12 pm:

    Get out of people’s bedrooms. Get out of the ob/gyn office. Part of being “conservative,” you would think, is minding your own business.

    Draft an alternative budget with real revenue and expenditure figures. Let’s see what you got other than talk.

    Stop the Cook bashing. If you ever want to be in the majority, you’ll have to win there. There are more GOP voters and GOP money there than anywhere else, by far.

    Who some can’t understand that, I don’t know.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:14 pm:

    To the immediate;

    Please mend fences in the Caucus.

    Do it first, do it complete, and do it with nothing festering that can be healed.

    After you do your mending … lead ALL the members, as I know you will.

    I hope you follow the 3 Principles I have posted before, and I hope… hope … this new beginning is just that, a beginning to bigger and better things for the HGOP.

    I don’t know if you remember, but I was one of a few who nominated you for the Golden Horseshoe…

    From my post …

    ===Jim Durkin is seen, and known, as the person his Caucus looks to for leadership,… or as the touchstone for his Caucus as they advocate the “counter” to the House Majority.===

    BE … be that advocate.

    Do the job, do it well, do it to win, and do it with the dignity and class the position demands of its leader.

    Lastly, understand, you are a “Four Top” now. With that, also means looking out for the betterment of Illinois. Keep that in mind as you balance being the counter to MJM and the Dems.

    Again, good luck.

  9. - Amuzing Myself - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:16 pm:

    Put Poe in leadership, and move forward united. Come up with a plan, and stick to it. Radical stuff like that…

  10. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:18 pm:

    Help recruit a “farm team” of candidates for House seats. You can start by looking at local city councils, county boards and especially school districts. Contest every House seat. Oh, and don’t play golf on Election Day.

  11. - Just Me - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:19 pm:

    Lead the caucus, don’t let the caucus lead you.

  12. - Blurred lines - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    Stop being the party of no and stop whinning every time MJM doesn’t include you in a discussion that you could never be for in the first place. You are a good man and I know that you have the ability to rise above the petty games that Cross and Daniels loved to play but frankly they were boorish and juvenile. Work to get something constructive done instead of pointing fingers and playing the blame game.

  13. - Downstater - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    Pick 3 or 4 seats you can win and make them the primary goal in 2014. Make a real effort in Cook County and make the democrats have to work real hard there. Remind the Cook County voters of the high taxes they pay and the mediocre service they get in return.

  14. - Susiejones - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    unite the party by appointing good leaders to help you; listen to your members and to the other party. You are a leader now, act like one. it is hard job but be a statesman and not a divider. bring back some dignity to the party and the General Assembly.

  15. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:27 pm:

    First, heal the wounds. Cross’ search for another office has opened up some deep divisions in your caucus. Those divisions need to be repaired.

    No need for retaliation. You won a majority in a matter of a few days and balloting lasted less than an hour. It’s obvious you have the support of a majority, so throw a bone or two to some folks in the opposition.

    You have some good, dedicated staffers, but some new blood is absolutely necessary, at the top and at the bottom. Prune the tree carefully, but do prune it.

    Before this election, you had a reputation among some members as being aloof and a bit of a jerk. You overcame that today. Don’t go back to that behavior. Keep an open mind and an open door. You don’t have to agree with a member, but be respectful.

    Your caucus is obviously deeply split on the pension issue. Urge compromise. Don’t be bullied by Ty Fahner or the Tribune.

    Speaking of Fahner, he’s toxic. Put some distance between him and you.

    And speaking of the Trib, try to understand that getting a favorable Tribune editorial is the end, not a means. That paper’s influence is declining rapidly.

    Remember that if you want any sort of Republican stamp on a bill, you have to work with the majority. Those who want to boycott and abdicate shouldn’t be listened to. Obviously, capitulation is out of the question, but be firm with Madigan and develop a close relationship with Cullerton, which can help you in your dealings with His Royal Highness (something that Cross never understood, but Daniels did with Rock).

    Work harder than you ever have and expect the same from your leaders and your staff.

    And, whatever you do, never put bananas in the refrigerator.

  16. - Publius - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    Do not sell out to Rauner and his PAC. You raise the money for the rRepublican house races. If you rely on Rauner’s money, he will really control the caucus and you will be an errand boy.

  17. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    Since “Run. Run like the wind!” doesn’t appear to be practical anymore…

    Agree with much of what’s been said above. Get rid of the litmus tests. Focus on winning the races that can be won. Don’t be afraid to drop the hammer and apply pressure to clear primary fields for candidates who can win in the fall. Go to the table with Dem leadership and do something constructive. Party of No, or they have the votes let them fix the problem doesn’t cut it. You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.

  18. - SAP - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:48 pm:

    ==Stop the Cook bashing. If you ever want to be in the majority, you’ll have to win there. There are more GOP voters and GOP money there than anywhere else, by far.== Leader Durkin lives in Cook County. I don’t think he’ll bash it too hard.

  19. - None of the Above - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:49 pm:


    Come on! Durkin is a native of Cook County and represents a suburban Chicago district. I do not see him as a proponent of Cook County bashing.

  20. - Jake From Elwood - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:56 pm:

    Big Tents fill more people than smaller ones.
    Focus your energies on seats that are winnable.
    Stay thirsty, my friend.

  21. - foster brooks - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 2:59 pm:

    Prop up the middle class

  22. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    Contact Sisyphus for advice on boulder-rolling.

  23. - Nickypiii - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 3:07 pm:

    Become a Democrat for a chance to matter in Illinois politics!

  24. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 3:11 pm:

    Work hard, don’t lose your cool and poll your membership frequently on the the top issues of the day. During the campaign, don’t forget those Republicans running in Democratic areas. If you want to expand the House GOP universe, you will have to go outside of the borders you already control and take it to the opposition.

    Best of luck Mr. Durkin!

  25. - jake - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 3:14 pm:

    Listen very carefully to anything that Jim Edgar says. He wants you to succeed and understands Illinois politics better than almost anybody.

  26. - DanL60 - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    Don’t take any advice offered on Capital Fax, including this advice…

  27. - SIUPROF - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 3:31 pm:

    Support state workers on the Pension issue–Go with Cullerton’s plan–the democratic governor and house majority leader have thrown in with the Tribune and the Civic Committee. You could convert a ton of public workers into Republicans. I would surely vote for any representative, senator or candidate who supported a fair deal on the pensions.

  28. - strobby - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 3:32 pm:

    Start drinking heavily.

  29. - A guy... - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 3:32 pm:

    ….better change my advice to taking 2 weeks off to clear your head and think about everything.

  30. - horse w/ no name - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 3:33 pm:

    Get away from the useless “fire madigan” stuff and try to rediscover the party of Jim Edgar. Find women and latinos to run for office. get away from people’s bedrooms and private lives and avoid candidates that use hateful and ugly rethoric.

  31. - The DuPage Bard - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 3:47 pm:

    Pretty good year for the GOP- the Chairman is from Rosemont, the Senate Leader is from LaGrange, the new House leader is from Western Springs- looks like Cook and DuPage County played pretty well. Downstate might as well just turn entirely Democrat if it wants a voice at all, any GOP member can be neutered entirely if they don’t play ball with Cook and DuPage.

  32. - WhoKnew - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 3:56 pm:

    Test the waters & see if your new position allows you to get a discount on your Capitol Fax subscription!

  33. - OurMagician - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 4:01 pm:

    Anytime Adam Brown puts a separate state bill in the hopper for Bill Mitchell and holds a press conference, cut the power to the room, it does no good for anyone.

  34. - Bill White - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 4:05 pm:

    Is a Blueroomstream tweet snagged from the Cap Fax sidebar a rumor?

  35. - A guy... - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 4:15 pm:

    Dupage Bard; who exactly do those downstate Dems have to play ball with in the Dem Party? Seems to me Cook County has a role in their leadership too, no?

  36. - concern1 - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 4:29 pm:

    stay in Chicago!!!

  37. - Darienite - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 4:34 pm:

    Network with Hispanic community. Let them know how they can be a factor with the GOP.

  38. - The DuPage Bard - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 4:44 pm:

    A guy- just saying if you want any voice from downstate better to be a D than an R. Conceal Carry-Forby/Phelps, Medical Marijuana-Haine/Lang (cook) Fracking-Frierichs/Bradley, SIU appointments-Claybourne, Haine, Forby, Sullivan, and Manar. I believe they will all get to vote against Equal marriage and the sex Ed bill as well. Having their cake and eating it too. The R’s don’t get anything for downstate and soon they will get even less. As I said, the downstate R’s should just head over to being D’s, will make their life much easier and they can at least sit in the room where the decisions get made. Plus most downstaters are looking for the ability to side with the Cullerton pension plan.
    Leadership on the D side obviously is looking to get more people in office.
    Very symbiotic relationship if you ask me. Kind of like the shark and the those little fish that clean their teeth.

  39. - smarmy - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 5:04 pm:

    Do whatever Speaker Madigan wants, because that’s what will end up happening anyway.

  40. - Abe - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 5:24 pm:

    Move the entire state party to the middle and focus on economic issues and you will move many of the suburban and blue collar working people right back to the GOP.

  41. - walkinfool - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 5:25 pm:

    Take a breath or two before reacting to dopey ideas from members. Folks will think you’re respectfully considering their points.

    Silence does wonders for the Speaker. Treat the press with respect, but don’t react to every little thing.

    Keep your word, as you have in the past.

  42. - Finkle - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 5:37 pm:

    BOHICA, Jim!

  43. - walkinfool - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 5:45 pm:

    BTW, Wordslinger is not as wrong as some might assume about Cook Co bashing. It’s a favorite pastime among some suburban Cook Co Republicans, for whatever reasons.

    Durkin’s got better sense — but he should discourage it in his caucus, as a waste of everybody’s time.

  44. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 6:05 pm:

    Congrats and dont let the squeaky wheels get the grease…

  45. - Poor Miller - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 6:06 pm:

    Can Durkin play up the fact that he and Gov Quinn share the same high school alma mater?

    Or is Quinn still bitter at Fenwick for firing his brother as Basketball coach?

  46. - cicero - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 7:18 pm:


    You know from personal experience that a Trib endorsement in a general election is no ticket to victory. Otherwise you would’ve become U.S. Senator after 2002. So don’t kowtow to the hypocrites who blast the state for making the same assumptions on investments that the Trib makes.

    Some want you to seriously contest seats in Cook. Aak yourself just which incumbents are vulnerable. If you can’t name any, or any more than one, that’s a good reason not to squander a large chunk of funds there instead of on races that might be won elsewhere. That’s a lesson that should’ve been learned after the 2010 election when it was clear that more funding downstate might have made the difference in several races, while the only suburban seat won was by Harris.

    If Madigan could take out Skip, he could make you have to fight every election to keep your seat. Cross had a little more protection being out in Kendall.

    You have the potential to be a principled leader who does more than blame the majority for every ill the state suffers, who actually helps to shape policy for the better. That requires compromise, which is anathema to the right-wing.

  47. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 7:20 pm:

    I haven’t noticed a lack of Cook bashing from most quarters of the state GOP. A smart leader would put a lid on it for reasons Willie Sutton could tell you.

  48. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 7:24 pm:

    Stay calm, particularly when it inevitably gets “hot in the Kitchen” of Illinois Politics and Governance. Be reasonable and prudent. And, keep an OPEN mind when there is the likelihood of a good deal via the BI-Partisanship route…to get things DONE for and in the best interests of the People…!

  49. - Mr. Wonderful - Thursday, Aug 29, 13 @ 9:58 pm:

    Resign you gun grabber

  50. - The Bystander - Friday, Aug 30, 13 @ 7:01 am:

    As Larry The Cable Guy would say: “Git er done”

  51. - Boog - Friday, Aug 30, 13 @ 8:24 am:

    Take everyone’s advice on this board and become a democrat….

  52. - railrat - Friday, Aug 30, 13 @ 8:25 am:

    Congrats Mr. Durkin, keep the faith, but quickly restructure the staff, there’s a good chance you have “VC in the compound” identify and remove asap !! best of luck we are pulling for you!

  53. - Anon - Friday, Aug 30, 13 @ 8:37 am:

    Honor the promises made to employees and retirees. Find a more appropriate method to solve the pension mess. Re-amortize, eliminate non-state employees from the pension rolls, find trustworthy firms to invest pension funds, never give an inch when it comes to corruption, buy a map of Illinois.

  54. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Aug 30, 13 @ 8:41 am:

    Sorry for the late addition
    Most important…make sure Skip approves of the color scheme for his office!
    And make sure all the partners at A&L email their accounts with the good news. the for profit hustlers at DeVry should be happiest…MAP grant reform is OFFFFFF the Table

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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