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Question of the day

Thursday, Mar 27, 2014

* Sun-Times

Quinn’s announcement Wednesday that he intends to push for a permanent extension of a temporary income tax he enacted in 2011 represents a huge political Achilles’ heel for him in his campaign against Republican Bruce Rauner.

But will it be fatal?

It’s too early to judge, though Dawn Clark Netsch’s 1994 campaign for governor largely was derailed by early summer that year because of her advocacy for an income-tax increase as part of a school-funding, tax-swap plan.

Quinn, by contrast, ran and narrowly won the Executive Mansion in 2010 when he embraced a 1-percentage point increase in what then was Illinois’ 3-percent individual income tax.

* SJ-R

In his speech, Quinn said such a reduction in revenue would mean 13,000 teachers would be laid off, 30,000 fewer students receiving assistance for college expenses, 21,000 fewer seniors receiving home care services and 41,000 fewer children in child care.

By extending the tax, Quinn said “we can stabilize the budget for the long term in a way that provides targeted tax relief where it’s needed most, to homeowners and working families raising kids.”

* Illinois Issues

Quinn offered property tax relief and an incremental doubling of the Earned Income Tax Credit as potential sweetener that might help the income tax proposal go down with voters. […]

Not surprisingly, a recent poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois Carbondale found that 60 percent of voters oppose making the tax rates permanent. However, the majority of respondents liked major state services and were opposed to cutting them. Voters were also opposed to taxing retirement income or increasing sales taxes. The only new revenue source that more than half of those polled supported was expanding gambling. […]

Quinn’s proposal has the backing of the legislative leaders in his party. “I would commend the governor for his political courage and honesty,” House Speaker Michael Madigan told Illinois Public Television’s Jak Tichenor, host of Illinois Lawmakers. Madigan said that he “demanded” property tax relief be included in a proposal to make the tax rates permanent. “I plan to support the governor’s position on the extension of the income tax increase,” said Madigan. “If we wish to continue to provide the level of services which we’ve become accustomed to for education and other purposes, then the income tax increase should be extended.”

* Bruce Rauner…

“Pat Quinn first promised the working people of Illinois he wouldn’t raise taxes by 67%. He broke that promise, taking away nearly a week’s worth of pay for Illinois families. Then he promised his tax hike would be temporary. Today he broke that promise too and is doubling down on his failed policies. After five years of Pat Quinn’s failed leadership, we have record tax hikes, outrageously high unemployment, massive cuts in education, and there’s still a giant budget mess in Springfield. It’s now or never to save Illinois. We can balance the budget without more tax increases, if we create a growth economy, and restructure and reform our broken government. That’s what I’ll do as governor.”

* Back to the SJ-R

In his speech, Quinn ruled out two other options that have been floated as ways for the state to collect more revenue. He said the state sales tax should not be extended to services.

“I won’t institute any new, unfair taxes on everyday services that working people rely on,” Quinn said. “It hurts working families the most to tax basic services like going to the Laundromat, like taking your child to day care, like visiting the barbershop, like taking your dog to the vet.”

Rauner has said he’s open to both the service and retirement income taxes.

* The Question: On balance, were the governor’s proposals yesterday a help or a hindrance to his reelection prospects? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

survey software

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Obie Gone - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:32 am:

    I’d love to hear from others, but I think Netsch’s opposition to the death penalty was a bigger deal than the tax hike.

    Quinn’s getting the barber and beautician vote. A good place to be.

  2. - William j Kelly - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    Anyone but rauner… Iam sorry, what was the question?

  3. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    ===I think Netsch’s opposition to the death penalty was a bigger deal than the tax hike.===

    It was the GOP landslide year of 1994, she was up against a popular GOP incumbent, she didn’t run a good campaign, she was for a tax hike, etc., etc., etc.

  4. - Lakewood Balmoral - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    It’s definitely not going to help - people don’t want to be taxed. Rauner is going to have the ability to contrast his plan that saves people money each year vs. PQ’s plan which will cost people money each year. The question is does Rauner have the ability to sell the public on the idea that PQ lied to them.

  5. - NW Illinois Dem - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    Running on extending a major tax increase is in no way whatsoever a help. It’s a hindrance. The question is whether Rauner will blossom into an effective candidate who can make Quinn pay the price for this risky maneuver.

  6. - East Central Illinois - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    It’s not so much as a vote in FAVOR of Pat Quinn, but it is more of a vote NOT to elect Rauner. I don’t think Quinn’s speech hurt him at all.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    ““Pat Quinn first promised the working people of Illinois he wouldn’t raise taxes by 67%. He broke that promise, taking away nearly a week’s worth of pay for Illinois families. Then he promised his tax hike would be temporary. Today he broke that promise too and is doubling down on his failed policies. We can balance the budget without more tax increases, if we create…”

    The rest is the blathering talking points. Better get better at messaging.

    Was Bruce Rauner in Springfield? Where was Bruce?

    Voted “Wash”:

    MJM and Cullerton are “all-in”, from Jump Street, and before. The “.01%” narrative and budgetary decisions will all be part of a broader message, making it about “haves” and “have nots”

    This plan doesn’t help Quinn, but if played correctly with a “people” narrative versus Rauner, it won’t hurt…if they play it right, which is the big “if”.

  8. - Generation X - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    I voted hindrance because I think most of the general public has grown numb to the warnings of massive draconian cuts. All they hear is Quinn wants to raise taxes again. Last go round against a weaker candidate Quinn barely squeaked by pushing for a temporary tax increase.

    He’s less popular this time around and Rauner hasn’t scratched the surface on the negative ads regarding Quinns reckless spending

  9. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    I voted that it will cautiously favor Quinn’s reelection bid. Quinn needs to sell it. He has to argue to voters about the benefits to social services and the state’s finances. He has to try to grab the narrative that he is the one who is capable of making the tough choices necessary to fix the state.

    Sell, sell, sell.

  10. - archimedes - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    I think it is a hindrance, most listeners don’t bother with the details of need, budget balancing, etc.

    I think he can cope with it by pushing some of the offsets. For example, the $500 property tax credit is a wash for those making up to $40,000 with the 5% tax versus 3.75% income tax.

  11. - UIC Guy - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    I voted ‘hindrance’. I wish it weren’t so—I think the state needs to keep the 5% rate until we can get a graduated income tax in place. But I think that the Rauner money will be able to use the retention of the 5% rate effectively against PQ.

    If the retention passes and Rauner is elected I suppose he’ll have a few years to show that he can generate huge surpluses which show that taxes can be lowered. Any bets on the chances of his success?

  12. - OneMan - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    Considering I thought him asking to extend the tax increase was a foregone conclusion, the property tax refund thing helped him.

  13. - Capo - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    A wash. Reality will prevail and there is no doubt the continuing revenue is needed. Plus there is that not so little issue of the constitutionality of pension reform that will likely be definitively decided during the governor’s next term. With large parts of it likely to be unconstitutional, Quinn leaves himself room to gain additional revenue from taxing services, etc. and it will be the fault of the courts (snark).

  14. - corvax - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    Hindrance–tax and budget issues are the reason my die-hard democrat of a wife isn’t planning to vote for Quinn, and I doubt she’s alone (for the record, she’s certainly not voting for Rauner either)

  15. - Stones - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    Hinderance. Sort of like the tollways - once the booth is there it never goes away despite what was promised.

  16. - circularfiringsquad - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    Clearly Mitt Rauner’s failure to leave his FLorida vacation to attack PQ in person qualifies him to calim the political whimp mantle securely held by Adlai Stevenson for nearly 40 years.
    How could he pass up an in person rant with a fawning, factless media? Since the governor failed to brief the media had no choice but to look for unarmed critics to slobber on about broken promises, not enough cuts blah, blah.
    Even an astute Capt Fax weakened by a new bout with the ebola virus would have lapped up an in person blurb rather than the meek paper smack down attempt

  17. - Stones - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:56 am:


  18. - Ray del Camino - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    Hindrance, but maybe not much by November. Hard truths are always a bitter pill for voters to swallow.

    They focus on the “hard” and ignore or deny the “truth.” The truth is the services they demand cost money they don’t want to pay.

  19. - OldSmoky2 - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    Some people will always buy vague, poll-tested slogans that magically promise lower taxes and better services, but I think many voters found it refreshing to hear a candidate talk honestly about the state’s finances and services and offer a responsible plan. It was one of Quinn’s best speeches, and if he can stay on message with it, I think it could win over more undecided voters than it loses.

  20. - UIC Guy - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    @corvax: I hope you can persuade your wife to vote for Quinn, even if she has to hold her nose while doing so. In light of his position on pensions (’hey it’s ok to break your contracts if you really want to’) I’ll be holding my nose too, though a little less hard than before yesterday’s speech. But not voting for him really does give Rauner the governorship.

  21. - WhoKnew - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:03 am:


    In my mind –Gadfly NO MORE!!!!!!!

  22. - Bemused - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    I went with Hindrance.
    I am afraid there is a substantial number of folks out there in the ” I want it all for nothing crowd”.
    They want all the benefits of organized labor without paying dues or making any other daily sacrifices.
    They think all content on the web should be free of charge.
    Somebody else should pony up for those government services I want and we need to drop those entitlement programs for others.
    PQ better get some inoculation ads out PDQ.

  23. - downstate hack - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    A hindrance, but not necessarily fatal.

  24. - Darienite - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    Hindrence - Quinn proposes leaving the 5% rate right when most of us are writing checks for this year’s tax. Not well-timed.

  25. - Just Observing - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    Yes, it’s true that people both demand services and don’t want to pay, but the bigger issue is that the citizens don’t trust the Gov. and legislature that they are spending existing revenue prudently. It’s hard to swallow paying more in taxes when people don’t trust their state government.

  26. - LBJ - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    Quinn is not operating in a vacuum. He detailed what will happen if the tax is not made permanent. Rauner now has to lay out his proposal: tax retirees, lower the income tax rate, service tax? Once he tries to talk about that, what will he cut, how will he cut it, etc. Does Rauner support the cut budget? He doesn’t want the income tax so maybe he does.

    I can see why he tucked tail yesterday.

  27. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    i voted wash. People do not want their services cut. If they stop ranting against taxes and think about it, the reality of the situation should make them realize that the increase should become permanent.

    Plus, retirees should appreciate that Quinn is not for taxing their retirement checks whereas Baron Carhartt is for taxing retirement.

    There is a lot time before the election so who knows how much this session will be able to pass and the Gov. sign.

  28. - Upon Further Review - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    It is going to be a drag upon Quinn’s reelection effort.

    It is hard to accept Quinn as a “reformer” when his name surfaced in the newest lawsuit involving the administration of Chicago State University. A whistleblower reported ethical misconduct to Quinn, according to the complaint, and Quinn acted to replace college trustees who were attempting to dismiss the university president who was allied with Quinn’s political backers.

  29. - Toure's Latte - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    Given the lack of any immediate response from the IL GOP beyond NO, I don’t think Quinn has much of a problem here.

  30. - Southwest Cook - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    Hindrance - Quinn can’t seem to keep his word about any of his proposals. He said it would be “temporary” and now it’s not. Was the extra revenue not enough or was it squandered?

    Either way, I suspect this continuation of 5% will be used as a bargaining piece to get voters to approve a graduated income tax. That way they can say it will reduce middle class tax rates. Wasn’t that the plan all along?

  31. - Roadiepig - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    I voted help, but only if Quinn wisely uses his time up to the election reminding people of the state’s precarious financial situation, continues to show the voters what has to be cut if the increase sunsets (bones, not fat, are left to be cut in my old department), and pounding on the Baron to prove EXACTLY where he sees fat and what he will cut to cover the loss of state tax dollars. It’s not a surprise he (along with MJM and Cullerton) have started getting this messaging now, instead of letting Rauner run his empty message(” We’ll get back with you on our plans. Someday .”) on the airwaves every day. I despise what those there have done to my pension (court decisions pending), but he is still far better for the future if this state than a man who promises to run the state like he ran his businesses (profits for him, lost jobs and bankruptcies for those he bought).

  32. - A. Nonymous - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    I voted “a wash” but that’ll only be true if Quinn 2014 hammers home Rauner’s negatives -

    Rauner wants to –
    - lower the minimum wage
    - tax senior citizens retirement income
    - tax middle class services like haircuts and dry cleaning

    Cap it with “This is what Billionaire Bruce Rauner says when he thinks nobody’s listening. Who knows what else he’ll do to the middle class if he’s elected.”

  33. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    ===Clearly Mitt Rauner’s failure to leave his FLorida vacation…===

    Two points;

    Were the Rauner’s visiting Mrs. Oberweis? (Some are too easy…)

    Where was the Cracker Jack Evelyn Sanguietti?

    If your running mate thinks being in Florida during the Budget Address, shouldn’t the person the Nominee feels is best suited to take over the 5th Largest state in America be there as a proxy? Ev is qualified to lead Illinois, so she can’t be in Springfield to be the point person for the Florida vacationing Nominee?

    Rauner’s Crew better get a handle on Bruce. Oberweis left Illinois for vacation too. Timing is everything. The Governor of Illinois, a job Rauner wants, gave his budget address. “It’s nothing” says a fun in the sun Rauner, and a hiding from Springfield Evelyn.


  34. - ??? - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    I voted “hindrance.” I agree with Just Observing; I think people may have been willing to give Quinn more of a pass in the last election, figuring he still needed time to try to get the state’s fiscal house in order (or at least in a little better shape). Four years later, the state’s financial situation is still awful, and I think a lot of voters will wonder what the increased revenue from the temporary tax was being used for and how it will be spent should it become permanent.

  35. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    Help, or possibly a wash. It just shows Quinn to the candidate with a realistic view of the world.

  36. - Upon Further Review - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Quinn’s margin of victory in the 2010 primary and general election were so thin that Patsy does not have much margin for error.

  37. - Wensicia - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    A wash. The tax is needed to keep the state afloat and needed programs and services from elimination. I believe most people realize this. Rauner would swing the balance of taxes back to middle and lower classes (through taxing services and retirement), while cutting programs.

  38. - Jack - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    A wash - it’s a tax that families have already have in their budgets. Personally I don’t mind it because the state tax as is currently allows me to itemize federal deductions, while a increase in sales tax or a service tax would be difficult to itemize on the return. Pension taxes would in my opinion not generate that much revenue as retired persons can fairly easily move to a state or even country that doesn’t tax retirement. And let’s face it, with our winters there isn’t much incentive for a retired person to stay in Illinois.

  39. - Downstater - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    Why should Rauner feel compelled to make a statement immediately following Quinn’s address? So pundits and bloggers can have at it debating the merits of each of their positions. Right now the debate is all about Quinn. That is what people are thinking about. Rauner has plenty of time to present his position in reasoned well thought out proposal.

  40. - DuPage - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    Edgar ran on the same thing about 1993, to make a temporary increase permanent. He won with a pretty good margin.

  41. - A. Nonymous - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    Didn’t realize Rauner was on a junket to Florida.

    Is he sunning himself at Mansion #5 or #8?

    The GOP officially has two no-show candidates at the top of the ticket.

    Don’t these guys realize there is no vacation until AFTER the general?

  42. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    Hindrance, in what was a going to be a heavy lift for Quinn anyway, especially in the suburbs.

    Edgar pulled it off, but it was a near thing against Hot Head Hartigan, whose support was a mile wide and an inch deep.

    Incumbents have lots of advantages, but sometimes responsible governance can be a drag, especially when you have a blank slate like Rauner who talks in platitudes then runs and hides when people ask questions.

    And if it doesn’t pass the House, Quinn’s stuck his neck out for nothing.

    I think CFC is right in that Rauner missed a trick by not getting face-time on TV to whack Quinn.

    But then, he’d have to answer questions, of course….

  43. - Gene Debs - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    The revenue is defintely needed, but making the tax permanent will hurt Quinn anyway. Taxes pinch the majority. Many will be angry about it and express that anger at the polls.
    I will support Quinn, because Rauner is disgusting. He represents the super rich who do not pay their share when they easily could. Republicans always talk about big bad government. If they get into office, they will show us all what that looks like. Either way, hard times to come for they next few years.

  44. - Sunshine - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    People simply do not like to hear about tax increases. There is little or no trust in government’s ability to manage money.

    Of course everyone loves being on the receiving end of government, be it health care, education, or infrastructure, but talking taxes is always a rough road to ride.

    Rauner has the money and organization to loudly boom “taxes, taxes, taxes” through all media from now till election day. I’m afraid we’re in for a classic negative throw down.

  45. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Help because everyone knows what he’s about. Rauner is the big mystery. How exactly does he propose to create a growth economy, restructure and reform our government? It’ll be interesting to see the details on those plans. Plus, taxing retirement and services certainly does hurt peoples’ income! I’m sure he thinks that the millionaire tax would hurt him, but would barely be noticed, I’m sure.

  46. - CD - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    He needs to shore up his base and this is a good way to do that. Especially with teachers and public employees. As others have said, he just has to sell it with independents and moderates. The tax haters aren’t going to vote for him anyway.

  47. - Upon Further Review - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    @Gene Debs:

    How do Rauner and the super rich not pay their fair share if they pay taxes predicated on the existing tax rates? Should they pay more because the legislature ought to have imposed higher rates? Your reasoning seems to suggest that anyone who could afford to pay higher taxes ought to do so regardless of what the tax rates are.

  48. - Mason born - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    I think just observing nailed it. Whether quinn meant to or not people got the impression the “temporary” hike was to payback bills and fix state finances. Calling for a continuation without a clear sign of improvement in current conditions implies he either lied or is incompetent.

    Will hurt but if Rauner can’t capitalize it won’t matter.

    Heard this a.m. from an R senator what should have been said by BR “The state brought in 30 billion more of taxpayer money from the increase yet couldn’t pay off a 9 billion backlog.” I don’t know if his numbers are right but if you can sell that message quinn should be in trouble.

  49. - A. Nonymous - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Ad -

    News reports say Billionaire Bruce Rauner used clout and well-timed donations to sneak his own kid into an exclusive Chicago school, skipping the long waiting list. Now he says he’s willing to fire as many as 13,000 Illinois teachers.

    Bruce Rauner: For millionaires and clout. Against the middle class.

    Illinois can’t afford Billionaire Bruce Rauner.

  50. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    A wash because most high information voters, and a lot of low information voters, know deep down inside that the tax wouldn’t expire and that a change in party is not likely to obliviate the need for a state that is broke. Rauner’s bounce is going to be from people who are mad at Quinn and the state of the state, and looking for change for change’s sake. This reminds me of the “definition of insanity” except the IL version…doing something different and expecting different results.

  51. - Bear - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    Anybody who supports Quinn must rely on the government for income. Stupid is as stupid does.

  52. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    The property tax relief provisions are interesting. Weren’t some of the pension “reforms” passed and being litigated in court dumping some of the future liability on local property taxes?

    First they made it worse, then they proposed a fix?

  53. - Cassandra - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    I said a wash because we are already paying this tax and it is baked into our family budget cakes, so to speak. I’d prefer a temporary rather than a permanent extension, though, to keep the Democrats’ feet to the budget fire. How much will fall off the truck on the way to schools, poor people, whatever. A lot, probably. Think $54 million non-violence grant. But whatever is passed this spring will be pretty much forgotten by the fall. The Quinn ads can focus on Rauner’s reported support for expanded service taxes and a tax on retirement income. Some great populist ads there. Rauner better be careful.

  54. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    –Anybody who supports Quinn must rely on the government for income. Stupid is as stupid does.–

    You’re testament to that, Forest.

  55. - George Washington - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    I voted hindrance, even though I think it is necessary. Right now I’m with Corvax’s wife. However, I’m not afraid of Rauner, because i dont think Madigan and Cullerton will allow him to do most of his plans.

  56. - Jimbo - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    I love how the “anti-tax” Rauner is for service taxes. You know sales and service taxes are extremely regressive. I wouldn’t be shocked if he has a plan to eliminate income taxes and raise sales and service taxes along with fees. People need to understand that Republican anti-tax crusaders just don’t like income taxes. Taxes that hit poor people hardest like sales taxes and government fees, those they love.

  57. - Nobody - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Help as he tries to bring the IEA/IFT back to the fold.

  58. - West Sider - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    I voted ‘help’. Quinn is always been a little ADD, but is, in general, better focused during a campaign. My sense is that the gadfly outsider has been previously ambivalent about governing, this budget season has brought him inside the tent, and forced him to begin to lead. As a result, I note a decided change in tone from MJM, from other years.

  59. - Earnest - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    I voted “help.” Otherwise he gets blamed for the unpopular cuts that will happen plus get hammered because people will keep saying there will be another lame duck session tax increase. Of course, the “help” depends on whether it passes here in spring or not.

  60. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Hindrance. This should wrap up the suburbs for Rauner. But Rauner’s has to come out with a viable plan at some point.

    It’s starting to look like this election is going to be decided by downstate. Should be interesting.

  61. - Lunchbox - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    I voted Hindrance, just because I can’t see how talking about making permanent a tax that was supposed to be temporary would be a help or even be a wash. I get the property tax relief put in there as a carrot, but I don’t think folks will bite.

    Just wondering, has there been/will there be polling soon on Rauner vs. Quinn head to head? (I know…more than seven months out, people not paying attention, etc.) but I’m a poll junkie. Perhaps one to be conducted the first week of April and released April 4th to survey the race seven months before Election Day, Rich?

  62. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    –But Rauner’s has to come out with a viable plan at some point.–

    Don’t count on it.

    “Cut waste, run like a business, everything on the table,” blah, blah, blah.

  63. - zatoichi - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Help only because he is at least saying the words up front on why the tax needs to stay and what happens if it does not. The state’s problems are not going to be fixed by simply slashing expenses. Stuff costs more simply by inflation. It may not be fair that milk is over $3 a gallon or that concrete for my drive has doubled in cost in 5 years, but it does. There is a level of service that people expect to be there and none of it is free. I do not want the tax, but the effect of going back is huge. He has to sell it and sell it hard, but not with the wandering speech he normally gives. The opposition is going to be huge and self righteous because that is how opposition should be. Lay off those 13,000 teachers, drop the 21,000 seniors, and stop coverage for 30,000 college students. Yeah, that works.

  64. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    I see this election much like the 1980 Presidential election. If Rauner can convince people that he’s not a “pie in the sky, crazy person who will destroy the state”, he’s going to win. People are fed up… Rauner just needs to convince everyone he’s not going to blow up the state… so far, not so good on that point.

  65. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    @wordslinger, and that would be Rauner’s downfall potentially. He needs to sell voters that he actually knows what he’s doing and has a plan (not only for the budget, but for everything). So far, not good. He can’t win on being the anti-Quinn. He’s got to convince people that he has an actual plan to, you know, govern.

  66. - rolling meadows - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    Hindrance. Broken promises aren’t the way to go no matter what the situation. Definitely will hurt the bottom down candidates. I can see it now. You support raising my taxes.

  67. - Frenchie Mendoza - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    –But Rauner’s has to come out with a viable plan at some point.–

    Why? All he needs is a couple variations of the ‘Throw the bums out’ phrase. Most folks, sadly, will buy it — simply because it’s short, angry, and a kind of punishment. The idea of punishment is something that forms the core of the private versus public sector debate — punish the public sector like the private sector has been punished — and it’s a touchdown.

    Quinn’s policy here is obviously more intellectually honest, pragmatic approach — but while the majority of voters might understand it, they won’t buy it. This election is about punishment — the same kind of punishment the GOP has been preaching for the past ten years.

    Quinn’s mistake is assuming voters are smarter than that. They are — most are — but smarts don’t trump pain in political races. Most folks are eagerly awaiting the pain that Rauner will inflict on those who can least afford it — literally and metaphorically.

  68. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    @Frenchie Mendoza, if it was just about throwing the bums out, Quinn would have lost already, Blago would have lost in ‘06, Obama in ‘12, W in ‘04, the Dems wouldn’t control both the House and Senate in Springfield… At some point, you have to convince people that throwing the bums out is okay because you have a plan and you’ll execute that plan. The GOP won in ‘94 because they weren’t the Dems and they had a plan. The Dems won in ‘06 because they weren’t the GOP and they had a plan. Reagan won in ‘80 because he wasn’t Carter and he had plan. You can’t run only on talking points (unless you don’t have any real competition) but Quinn is real competition.

  69. - Frenchie Mendoza - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    What saddens me — and where Rauner might succeed — is that compassion is nowhere on Rauner’s agenda (his imaginary agenda now, and his eventual agenda later — assuming he pulls a win.)

    Nowhere in Rauner’s various campaign narratives do I hear anything resembling hope for anyone *other* than the mythical (and largely BS) “small business owner.” Sure, if I’m local schmoe that own a putt-putt course on the edge of a parking lot and employee five kids over summer break, the “lower the minimum wage” rhetoric is music to my ears. Less money out of my pocket, less grief from the kids I’m forced to employ, and one less thing to worry about when I sit around the breakfast table and watch Fox news and gripe about how the country is going down the tubes due the liberal media bias and the fact that I have to pay the idiots who work for me more money.

    Folks like a peppy punishment narrative — it gives them something to look forward to — something to listen to Rush for. Nevermind folks suffer. So long as it’s not me and the dollars out of my pocket, I’ll keep driving my Lexus and eating the surf and turf and pretending my crappy overdone New York strip actually tastes good.

  70. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    This election is about punishment

    Illinoisans have given the mopes in office a freaking decade or longer to fix what is sinking the state and they have failed. What do you do when elected officials repeatedly fail to fix problems sinking you?

    It isn’t punishment. It is called firing. And the people doing the firing have demonstrated an excruciating level of patience. Quinn got elected based on what, exactly? No competence - based on voters giving him a fair chance.

    So don’t smear voters who are fed up with the craptastic Illinois government after a decade of giving them the benefit of a doubt - many times.

    It isn’t punishment. With losers like these office holders, it is more like euthanasia.

  71. - Black Ivy - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    This disaffected Democrat voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and will vote for Bruce Rauner in 2014. Almost two years later, circumstances have only worseneed. My prediction - “Mitt Rauner” will take this puppy and his detractors will eat crow…

  72. - Cook County Commoner - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    Hindrance. Voters, especially savvy internet users, are aware of Illinois’ increasing mention as the bottom of the heap, or close to it, in the US. Rendering the tax increase as permanent came as no surprise. Thanks for token real estate tax relief. I’m sure increased levies will eat it up in no time. I’m relieved the barber won’t whack me with a new tax. But how does all this improve employment prospects in Illinois? And what happens if the Illinois Supreme Ct bounces pension reform? His comments came off as more can kicking, in my view.

  73. - Frenchie Mendoza - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    – It isn’t punishment. With losers like these office holders, it is more like euthanasia.–

    Yeah — for the office holders. Okay — fair enough. But, VM, it’s not the office holders who voters want to punish. It’s folks — particularly public service workers — who are actually doing their job.

    Rauner’s inside narrative is fix what’s broken by punishing the people who keep the state running. Sure, the pols will go back to law practice or retire and golf on Medinah. They still get their pensions, they’ll still have their houses. They aren’t gonna suffer.

    They’re only collateral damage to Rauner’s real target.

  74. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    Unless Rauner’s Crew figures out where all the Raunerites are, and get a GOTV and a way to identify “Pluses” to vote…

    Rauner’s Crew will find itself like Brady 2010. That is real. MJM and Cullerton going “all-in” and assisting in the Quinn narrative(s), with an actual Ground Game, given how uncontrolled turnouts seem to diminish the GOP “leads”…

    That would be my underlying worry as I attack, and pummel Quinn; “How do we translate this to controlled Pluses turning out?”

    The rest is Rauner talking points.

  75. - Mokenavince - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    Help I never though it would come off, most pols
    are more than happy to have Quinn take the heat.

  76. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    VMan, I’ve always admired how you can while away the day on the taxpayer dime, day after day, passionately pontificating on what’s wrong with state government.

    Tell us again the story about increasing efficiency and productivity.

  77. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    It’s a hindrance, since most voters oppose it. Quinn is taking a political risk, while Rauner tells us he can balance the budget without raising taxes. One is telling the truth.

  78. - Roadiepig - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    Downstater - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    Rauner has plenty of time to present his position in reasoned well thought out proposal.

    I guess that’s possible. Please let us know when positions and well thought out proposals becomes part of the Baron’s arsenal. So far, as voters all we getting is a huge helping of anger and “we’ll get back to you on that later”.

    Those aren’t plans- they are marketing slogans for the less engaged voters who get their “news” from talk radio and far right Faux news programming.

    Sad part is it just might work…

  79. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    It’s probably a wash, but it might end up being a help when it’s all said and done.

    This isn’t the first time Quinn has run promising to raise taxes, so he’s overcome this before. Part of overcoming it again is treating voters like adults and explaininig the situation to them. Most Illinoisans understand by now that pensions are costing us lots of money. They know public education is expensive. They know we have to pay for healthcare. It all costs money and that money has to come from somewhere.

    It doesn’t mean they’re going to he happy about it, but if they see Quinn as leveling with them and Rauner is only selling magid beans (which he is), then I think Quinn compares favorably.

    Quinn should continue to treat voters like adults and take his chances. What choice does he have? Sometimes the right thing to do isn’t politically popular, but it’s still the right thing to do.

    Quinn can hang his hat on that and be fine, win or lose.

  80. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    I think it is probably a wash assuming it passes, maybe even helps.

    Quinn was gonna get hammered on taxes, anyway, right?

    Rauner’s next move is either to support deep cuts or support a revenue plan of his own. So, we will have dueling tax increases.

    The benefit for Quinn is that assuming it passes, he can hopefully engineer five months of leaders from business, nonprofit and local government praising him all over the state for his courage and integrity.

    Plus, it kinda takes some wind out of Rauner’s sails. Rauner could have run pledging to veto a tax increase extension…any campaign to repeal the extension would 1) not be credible and 2) likely generate more no votes than yes votes at the polls.

  81. - Kerfuffle - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    I think there is a distinction between Quinn supporting a tax that is already in place vs Netch’s push for a brand new tax. Quinn wants to perpetuate the status quo while Netch wanted to take more out of your pocket. It may be a fine line but I think it is an important distinction. That being said I don’t think Quinn should say that the tax needs to be made permanent and then turn around and offer new tax “relief”. We can’t pay off our bills as it currently stands!

  82. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    47th Ward: Well said.

    We’ve jumped right into the politics of it, skipping over the more important parts:

    Is it a necessary plan?

    Can we make it better?

    No one can argue that additional revenue is unnecessary without ignoring either the the laws of mathematics, the state’s legal obligations or both.

    Could the proposal be improved upon? Down the road, probably, but this is probably the best plan that can be passed now.

    Any revenue plan was going to have to be built to attract a Democrats-only majority, and Cullerton and Madigan figure this is the best feasible plan to do that. They should know.

  83. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    Great minds, YDD.

  84. - pizzajohnny - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    Quinn - why should electorate believe anything he says about anything?
    Madigan - why should electorate believe anything he says about anything?
    Cullerton - see above

  85. - Commonsense in Illinois - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    I said “helpful.” I believe the man is being plain honest with the electorate and that’s something sorely needed right now. That said, Mr. Quinn also has to find the intestinal fortitude to follow through on the myriad of “doomsday” cuts that are being floated out there by state agencies. On balance, this should also force Mr. Rauner to detail what cuts he plans to make if elected and the income tax isn’t extended - or upon election he is able to convince the General Assembly to roll back the tax during his first 30 days in office.

  86. - Demoralized - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    For the average person, I’m sure it was a hinderance. I found it to be a help. At least the guy is being honest about it now. We know what his plan is.

  87. - Demoralized - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    ==That said, Mr. Quinn also has to find the intestinal fortitude to follow through on the myriad of “doomsday” cuts that are being floated out there by state agencies.==

    I don’t think that will be a problem. If the tax is allowed to expire then those cuts will be inevitable.

  88. - LisleMike - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    I voted hinderance
    As I see it, the state has never been lower. We are the national butt of jokes, statistically near the bottom or at it on economic issues, I don’t know anyone who wishes we could go back to the good ol’ days of 2010 when Gov Quinn pandered his way into office (Just tell me who you want me to be and I’ll be that guy)
    Fact is everyone at some level is hurting or a member of their family is hurting. Continued tax when things are as grimm as they are? Also, don’t forget, Rauner has the $$ ability to buy ads to completely reinvent himself as needed, where as the Governor has history and himself to cover up.
    I think it is a bonehead plan that will hurt Quinn

  89. - Walker - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    Rauner would love this continuation of current taxes to pass by May! My guess is he will work for it behind the scenes.

    It helps him win by battering Quinn up to election day, and then he will need the money as governor, no matter how good a manager he is.

    Any governor would need this revenue, at least for a while. Especially until any pension savings become real or not real.


  90. - Both Sides Now - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    I think it was realistic. In essence, he said “if you want to keep what we’ve got or move ahead you need to keep paying at the current rate”. Everyone would like to have more money in their pocket, but do you really feel the “temporary tax hike” right now? Or would you be more likely to feel a tax on your basic services? And if you’re a homeowner, wouldn’t you rather have a $500 rebate check on your property insurance? I think it was clear, concise, fair and provides incentives for economic development.

  91. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    Mostly crickets from the business community.

    That is a good sign for Quinn.

  92. - A modest proposal - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 5:41 pm:

    Hinderance - in 2010 he said that he would veto any plan that wasn’t his 1% increase. The increase is 2%. Rauner is going to shove this down his throat every minute of the campaign.

  93. - Chris - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 6:21 pm:

    Hindrance. Folks on this board are confusing what they think is the right thing to do with what will help Quinn politically. I suspect many are too close to the issues.

    People see a corrupt wasteful mess of a government in Springfield. No one will forget the promises made 4 years ago. People will say “You raised my taxes and fixed nothing. Now you want more?”

    It may not be right. It may not be fair. But most people think Springfield is a black hole where tax dollars go to die.

  94. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 6:34 pm:

    If all of you think back to the discussions on “pension reform” and why the State bond ratings were depressed, the one difference between IL and CA (and the other states that “reformed”) was those states made their tax increase permanent. The bond rating firms have noticed the improvements IL has made, but they have been uncertain IL would continue to improve with the tax expiration looming. This will address the uncertainty. Once it is made permanent, the IL bond rating should improve.

  95. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 6:35 pm:

    Left this off … Quinn will be the benefactor of the improved ratings if he does a halfway decent job of selling his narrative … and Quinn in campaign mode can sell.

  96. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:51 pm:

    They were a Help, but I was tempted to vote “a wash,” ‘cuz there’s no doubt that A LOT of Illinois Homeowners are going to JUMP for JOY to get that Half-a-Grand Property Tax REbate Check this Summer while still not being too tickled ’bout still having to pay the higher amount in Income Taxes since 2011–alTHOUGH the FORmer Action will have a much GREATer, and POSitive outcome for Pat Quinn.

    Why? Common Sense really, because 1)People are already USED TO paying the extra Income Tax to where it has alREADY felt “permanent” for 3 years now ANYhow, so they’ve budgeted their Family Expenses for it YEARS ago now, that it won’t probably ever be there again ANYway so it’s water under the bridge and they’re over it already, and, 2) the $500 Bucks will be NOW, CURRent, and so will be a FRIENDly Reminder of how Pat Quinn HELPED them financially, and, actually could very well persuade that BIG chunk of Illinois Homeowners to just then go ahead and vote to KEEP Quinn in Office because they may think that he DID give us back a good chunk of Change–even though he really didn’t HAVE to, but, because he DOES maybe actually care about us little guys a little, the Proverbial Middle Class, shucks, ALL Classes of Homeowners for that matter, after ALL, and, hey, that $500 under THIS Governor will be a PERmanent, ANNual, Guaranteed GIFT to me/my Family for years to come–so long as Pat QUINN is our Governor…!

  97. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 8:06 am:

    @Chris -

    There is some crossover, but I think you are confusing the “low tax” argument with the “good manager” argument.

    Again, people assume Democrats are going to raise taxes and spend more money while Republicans are for spending less and lower taxes.

    Democrats hamstring themselves when they spend just enough to run programs poorly. Then Republicans point to the Democrats efforts and say “See, government doesn’t work.”

    Case in point:

    The backlog of bills.

    When Republicans blocked borrowing to pay off old bills, Democrats should have bit the bullet and eliminated programs near and dear to the GOP to pay off debt.

    Instead, now, four years later, republicans are stoning Quinn.

    The best example is public education. Funding schools at mediocre levels to produce mediocre results is killing me.

  98. - Chris - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 8:58 am:


    The issues are completely connected. People would be far more likely to accept higher taxes if they felt money was well spent. The public, by and large, thinks it is not. They do not believe spending more money will help in anyway.

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