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Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Phil Kadner

It seems Rauner wants the additional income tax money but not the higher income tax.


* James Hohmann writes about incumbent governors in danger of losing their jobs. Illinois is ranked number 4

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, an old-school machine politician, has looked vulnerable for years. After succeeding the impeached Rod Blagojevich, he almost lost in 2010. This time, he managed to scare off potentially serious primary challengers, including former White House chief of staff Bill Daley and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

But tax hikes and budget cuts enacted on his watch have taken a toll on Quinn’s popularity. Republicans are also attacking him over reported investigations into hiring at the state transportation department and an anti-violence program. The state still has financial problems, even after Quinn canceled contracts with public employee unions.

Republican Bruce Rauner, a first-time candidate, has his own issues: He’s been hammered for his venture capital background and forced to defend his wealth.

A recent Chicago Tribune poll showed Quinn up 11 points among registered voters, but no Democrat on the ground believes that’s the case. More likely, informed observers say, the race is within the margin of error.

An “old-school machine politician”? Rauner could’ve written that for him. But, considering Quinn’s love for patronage and street money, I suppose he could have a point.


  1. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    == he managed to scare off potentially serious primary challengers, including former White House chief of staff Bill Daley and Attorney General Lisa Madigan ==

    Forever baffling.

    Especially given that he looked so vulnerable his own Lite Guv bailed on him.

  2. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    Quinn has been a part of the old-school machine for over three decades. While he was always the guy with the reformer sheen from his days fighting against the previous machine, Pat Quinn has become an integral part of that machine. It might look a bit different from the 1976 model, but the 2014 model is still a machine.

    But labeling Governor Quinn is still not the real issue. This election is about what kind of leader we want during these troubling times. Do we need an old school political machine politician, or do we need a old business machine politician?

  3. - Stones - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    I believe he is an “old-school machine politician”.

    PQ likes to talk about being an outsider or reformer but his career speaks otherwise. He was responsible for patronage hiring for Gov. Dan Walker, Cook County Board of Tax Appeals, worked for Mayor Washington, State Treasurer, and Lt. Governor. You don’t get any of those jobs if you aren’t an insider.

    Many can talk a good game but you need to look at the body of work.

  4. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    == old-school machine politician == who == always does the right thing == ;)

  5. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    We know what Pat Quinn can, and cannot do. We also know what Pat Quinn is allowed to do as a governor who needs to work with Speaker Madigan and Mr. Cullerton. No matter how you see the job of governor, either man will need to find a working agreement with Madigan and Cullerton.

    Madigan has, through his actions over the past four years, exposed his feeling about Mr. Quinn. When it comes to the Budget, when it comes to dealing with AFSCME, when it comes to a number of vital gubernatorial duties, Mr. Speaker decided to not allow Mr. Quinn to decide. What Rod Blagojevich proved to many was the fact that MJM can run Illinois during absentee governors. Madigan seems to be more comfortable with Governor Quinn playing a ignorable part of Illinois state government, because that is what we’ve seen since 2009.

    If Rauner is elected, it will be his turn to deal with both men. No matter how much Rauner will claim to be a leader that will shake up Springfield, the support which needs to be shaken is in powerful Democratic controls, which have proven itself repeatedly during impeachment and incompetence, to be unshakable. Rauner can sell his load of Shake ‘n Bake to voters, but he will not find the General Assembly willing to be shaken.

    MJM and Mr. Cullerton are the leaders in Illinois. Quinn has already been shown by them where he sits - in back. If you like a weak ineffective, but publically nice governor - we got one already. If you don’t, then don’t vote for him.

  6. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    When did quinn cancel employee contracts?

  7. - The Captain - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    “forced to defend his wealth”

    That’s the best way to describe the defense that Rauner has been forced to play, his wealth? Clearly the guy has a flawless record of leadership and accountability but, you know, he’s just got all this darned wealth holding him back.

  8. - Old and In the Way - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    PQ is not your classic Illinois machine politician. However, he has always been on the fringe of the machine. My guess is that if the bosses would have had him he would have embraced them. Times have changed though and the machine is not the same as in the past.

    Raunner is a machine businessman. The classic insider deal maker fixer that has always worked well with the machine Democrats. Him calling someone out as an insider or machine politician is laughable!

    As to polls. Who knows? Until someone has some real numbers this one is down to the wire in my estimation. That said it would seem that the Baron may not run out of money but he and his campaign have run out of ideas! Very revealing flip flops on income tax.

  9. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    foster brooks - less than 2 years ago

  10. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    –An “old-school machine politician”–

    Weird statement. Working for Walker?

    What machine would that be now anyway? Who runs it?

    There was a machine, it was run by Richard J. Daley. After he died, it fell apart. Jane Byrne beat it, then tried to put it back together. Then Harold Washington beat that one and it was done.

    Richard II didn’t have a machine, unless the virtually unanimous support among the normally GOP big business community and a fawning media was a “machine.” They helped create a cult-of-personality more than an old-school political machine.

    There are some fiefdoms and centers of influence now, but nothing resembling a “machine.”

  11. - Shore - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    quinn’s been in politics longer than James Hohmann and a lot of reporters have been alive. At some point young stallions become old war horses.

  12. - bored now - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    == It seems Rauner wants the additional income tax money but not the higher income tax. ==

    don’t we all!

  13. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    == There are some fiefdoms and centers of influence now, but nothing resembling a “machine.” ==

    Would what Mr. Madigan has built be considered a “machine”? Or are we looking at different definitions of what constitutes one? How would the apparatus he has built compare to the old Daley one? Madigan’s seems bigger in scale, but softer in touch, if that makes any sense.

    Asking that with all respect and no snark. Could make for a good QOTD some day after the election.

  14. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    –Would what Mr. Madigan has built be considered a “machine”? Or are we looking at different definitions of what constitutes one? How would the apparatus he has built compare to the old Daley one? Madigan’s seems bigger in scale, but softer in touch, if that makes any sense.–

    Madigan’s is nowhere close.

    Richard I was mayor and chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. As such, he also ran the county board and most county elected offices most of the time.

    So pre-Shakman, he had all those city and county jobs, plus those at the park district, CHA, CTA, old board of ed., et.

    He controlled slating for all Cook county judges, plus state reps., state senators and congressmen with large county constituencies. He was the dominant voice in slating statewide officeholders and senators.

    Madigan’s not even in the ballgame to that kind of power and neither is anyone else.

  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    how do you get clouted into” old school~(are you experienced)

  16. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    Quinn was no “machine politician” when he got the Cutback Amendment passed, despite opposition from both party establishments. Ditto when he won primaries without support from the party regulars.

  17. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    Thanks for your take on that, wordslinger. Merci beaucoup.

  18. - Gooner - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    Kadner’s note on taxes is interesting.

    I’m not sure Rauner has any incentive to disclose a tax plan.

    Certain people will mindlessly believe that Quinn will raise taxes, and that any Republican will lower them.

    They will also believe that the budget can be balanced with painless cuts.

    Why give people details, when enough want to believe?

    Plus, if he wins, he can keep taxes at 5% for three years, and run again claiming to have kept his promises.

  19. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    –Plus, if he wins, he can keep taxes at 5% for three years–

    He’d have to sign a bill authorizing that, making it his tax increase.

    As has been pointed out by Rich and others, there will be no lame-duck tax increase extension, for many reasons. It will roll back on Jan. 1.

    Revenue for the remainder of this fiscal and putting together a budget for next will dominate the first months for the next governor.

  20. - Old and In the Way - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    Sorry in and out of court today. Hard to follow up. Done for the day now.

    There hasn’t been a classic machine since Daley the First died in his chair. Walker? Please. Madigan? Not really. No, Quinn might have been a machine pol if there had been a real machine around. It was gone or almost gone before his climb. Times and politics change. They are still changing thanks to Citizens United. Money has forever changed the machine politics and parties. Some good but most not so much.

    Wordslinger we essentially agree. You have to be old enough to remember Daley and Kennely to know what power the machine had across all of Illinois. (I’m too young to remember Kelly.) Paul Powell was a machine pol too!

  21. - North Shore Joe - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    “This time, he managed to scare off potentially serious primary challengers, including former White House chief of staff Bill Daley and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.”

    PQ didn’t scare off BD and LM, Bruce Rauner did.

  22. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 4:12 pm:

    –PQ didn’t scare off BD and LM, Bruce Rauner did.–

    You’ll have to explain that one.

    First off, I think history has shown that a gentle breeze can knock Bill Daley out of a race.

    And Lisa Madigan explained her reasons, none of which included Rauner.

    Personally, I don’t think either wanted to chance losing a primary.

  23. - Chris - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    “But tax hikes and budget cuts enacted on his watch have taken a toll on Quinn’s popularity.”

    Nice facile take. Neither of those move the needle on my opinion of PQ–all the other BS sends it spiraling down like a free fall altimeter.

  24. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 4:31 pm:

    Lol. Right, WS, because they’d come right out and say it.

    LM-She might take on BR when he has a record to run against… but for somebody with time on her side, the timing just wasn’t right this time.

    BD-Scared off by Bruce’s money, societal status, and ties (his are much the same).

    You honestly think either would have been scared off by PQ?

  25. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 6:04 pm:

    Anonymous Coward if you think Bill Daley was scared off by Bruce’s money or societal status, you might want to put down what you’re smoking because I guarantee it’s illegal.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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