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Sen. Sullivan won’t run again

Friday, Jun 19, 2015

* From a press release…

After careful thought and consideration I have decided to not seek re-election as Illinois State Senator for the 47th District in the 2016 election.

It is an honor to have earned the trust and support of so many people in Western Illinois and across the state. I will continue to work hard to represent and be a voice for my constituents in Springfield as I transition to the private sector.

Sincerely,

Senator John Sullivan

Sullivan, a Democrat, represents a heavily Republican district. He told me last night that he’s not resigning before the election. The Democrats, therefore, won’t be able to put anybody into the seat to give him or her a leg up. That’s gonna be a real tough one for them to hold.

Sen. Sullivan has justly earned great respect from both sides of the aisle. He’s a class act, and that’s why his GOP voters have kept sending him back to Springfield. It’s a “Sullivan district,” not a partisan district.

He’ll be missed.

…Adding… Some decidedly unclassy spin from the IL GOP…

Senator John Sullivan, a downstate Democrat in a competitive district, announced Thursday that he is not running for re-election in 2016.

Sullivan’s announcement is an early sign that the Democrats controlled by Mike Madigan are afraid of answering to voters after their repeated failure in Springfield.

In spite of winning re-election by nearly 13 points in 2012, Sullivan bowed out of his re-election campaign less than a week after Governor Bruce Rauner visited the district and challenged voters to hold Sullivan accountable for standing with Mike Madigan. In the November election, Governor Bruce Rauner won the district by more than 36 points.

As the 30-year House Speaker and Chairman of the Democratic Party, Mike Madigan has held a firm grip on Democrats in Springfield and has enforced loyalty at all costs. Sullivan knows that if he were to run for re-election, he would not be able to distance himself from Mike Madigan.

For the Democrat legislators who continue to stand against reform to business-as-usual in Springfield, Mike Madigan’s name will be next to theirs on the ballot in November 2016.

Sullivan has won every election since 2002 by wide margins. Sen. Sullivan won a close race in 2002, beating incumbent Sen. Laura Kent Donahue by 3 points (51.5% - 48.5%), but he has coasted to victory in every election since. (Illinois Board of Elections, Accessed 6/18/2015)

    2004: Sen. Sullivan (D) beat Republican Tom Ernst by 24 points (61.8% - 38.2%).
    2008: Sen. Sullivan (D) won re-election unopposed.
    2012: Sen. Sullivan (D) beat Republican Randy Frese by nearly 13 points (56.4% - 43.6%).

Just three weeks ago, Sullivan blindly supported his Democrat party boss Mike Madigan by voting for a budget that was unbalanced by more than $3 billion. “House Democrats worked into the evening Tuesday to push through major parts of a new budget they acknowledge is at least $3 billion short in an effort to force new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to eventually go along with a tax increase to fill the deficit.” (Monique Garcia and Kim Geiger,

“Illinois Democrats Push Ahead With Budget That’s $3 Billion Short,” Chicago Tribune, 5/26/2015)

Sullivan voted to pass Madigan’s unbalanced FY2016 budget bill. (Illinois General Assembly Records, Accessed 6/18/2015)

Sullivan has taken $1,037,820 from Democrat Party committees controlled by Mike Madigan. (Illinois Board of Elections, Accessed 6/18/2015)

Last week, Governor Bruce Rauner visited Sullivan’s district and challenged voters to hold Sullivan accountable for standing with Mike Madigan. “[Gov. Bruce Rauner] said he wants people to get in touch with their representatives and ask them: “Are you for taxpayers or the Chicago political machine?”‘” (WGEM, “Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Challenges Voters To Pressure Lawmakers,” WGEM.com, 6/11/2015)

Governor Bruce Rauner won Sullivan’s district by 36 points (65% - 29%) in the November 2014 election. The rural Western Illinois district covers all or part of 11 counties, including Adams, Brown, Cass, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, Mason, McDonough, Schuyler and Warren. Governor Rauner won the district by 36 points and the most populous county in the district by 56 points (Adams, 76.4% - 19.3%). (Illinois Board of Elections, Accessed 6/18/2015)

“Plain and simple: Sen. John Sullivan is running from Mike Madigan. After voting for a budget that was unbalanced by $4 billion and accepting over $1 million from Madigan’s Democrat Party over the years, John Sullivan knows that he can’t justify his actions to his constituents. In the past, Democrats have voted with Madigan in Springfield and then distanced themselves to voters at home. But now, Governor Rauner is not letting Democrats like Sullivan get away with it. Countless Democrats represent districts throughout the state where Madigan is loathed by voters. By November 2016, these voters will know that a vote for a Democrat in the state legislature is a vote for the failed status quo controlled by Mike Madigan,” said Nick Klitzing, Executive Director of the Illinois Republican Party.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

81 Comments
  1. - Old Sarge - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 9:48 am:

    He is one of a few farmers in either side of the General Assembly. His expertise will be missed.


  2. - unclesam - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 9:49 am:

    Very big loss to the legislature and to his district. Sen. Sullivan is a very reasonable and measured at his core, and that quality is increasingly hard to come by in Illinois politics. He will be genuinely missed.


  3. - Concerned Observer - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 9:50 am:

    GOP: when your response to a classy letter is four times longer than the statement itself, you’re doing it wrong.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    ===He’s a class act, and that’s why his GOP voters have kept sending him back to Springfield. It’s a “Sullivan district,” not a partisan district.===

    Big loss to that Caucus, and well said by Rich; “Sullivan District”, and a loss for the Chamber come 2017.

    All things being absolutely equal, thus should be a GOP pickup. The goal for the Illinois Senate Republican Campaign Committee is to find someone who is their “Sullivan” in that district to lock down the seat.


  5. - Linus - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 9:53 am:

    “Class act” definitely applies to well-respected John Sullivan. He will be sorely missed in Springfield.


  6. - Arsenal - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 9:54 am:

    Unclassy spin, but not altogether untrue. Easy to imagine that Sullivan might try again if he wasn’t certain to face a challenger with $1 million plus in the bank. Good news for the Governor (even though Sullivan should have been a very get-able vote for him).


  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 9:54 am:

    To “adding”;

    It’s not the ILGOP sending that release out.

    There is no ILGOP.

    The ILGOP is gone. That release was a Raunerite release on the owned letterhead and email of the former ILGOP.

    It’s no wonder Rauner can’t get people together.

    I’m embarrassed for those pretending that’s My Party. It’s not.


  8. - John A Logan - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 9:55 am:

    The GOP press release, if left on the side of the road, would be surrounded by vultures in about 45 minutes. Absolutely unnecessary and rotten.


  9. - Skeptic - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 9:56 am:

    “Sullivan has taken $1,037,820 from Democrat [sic] Party committees controlled by Mike Madigan.”

    *cringe* Why does the Republic Party have such trouble with adjectives?


  10. - Give Me A Break - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 9:57 am:

    Really going to miss John. His leaving along with Dave Luechtefelds, is a huge loss for common sense and voices of reason in the Senate.

    Really hope Rep. Hammond takes a look at Sullivan’s spot and decides to run. I really have a hard time seeing a Dem. win in that district.


  11. - Anon - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 9:57 am:

    What a contrast. Senator Sullivan has honorably served his district. When he decides to hang it up, the republicans release this garbage. If the state GOP keeps this nonsense up, they will undoubtedly over play their hand. I dont know how you plan to win the “Sullivan District” by trashing Senator Sullivan on the day he announces he will step aside. So petty.


  12. - SAP - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:00 am:

    Big loss for the entire chamber to lose a voice of reason like John Sullivan. Ugly move by the GOP/Rauner to throw mud at the guy as he’s walking toward the exit.


  13. - Archiesmom - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    The Rauner machine is better and more responsive at PR than they are at governing. And ir is nowhere near as classy as Senator Sullivan.


  14. - Tommydanger - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    OW:

    With respect, got your theme song for you: “Its My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To.”


  15. - Hoping for Rational Thought - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:04 am:

    I live in his district and have worked with him on several issues. He is one of the best under the Dome and represents his district well. I’m not a party guy but usually align with GOP on issues. I never considered voting for anyone but him in the last election. He will be missed and I hope we don’t here any more of that garbage and smear from the GOP as there was in that release. Unclassy was putting it mildly. There’s a lot of people out here who are not a fan of Madigan but that nonsense won’t play out here.

    Thank You Senator Sullivan. I’m glad we have you until the end of your term at least.


  16. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:04 am:

    Wow - that ILGOP press release is so badly done it is impossible to believe any of it. Who is responsible for failing this badly? Shockingly unprofessional.


  17. - Arizona Bob - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:05 am:

    What advantage did this negative tirade get? It would have been far better to say something like, “We thank Senator Sullivan for his many years of service to his community and state. It is now our party’s task to recruit and field a candidate who will approach serving the community and people of Illinois as well as Senator Sullivan. While matching his excellent service record will be a challenge, we feel there are many Republican candidates in the district who will serve it well.”

    Give the people a reason to like the Republicans, NOT just hate Madigan!


  18. - Former Merit Comp Slave - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:06 am:

    First of all Sullivan is my senator and he has done an exemplary job representing his constituents for many years. We are at a place in time when Illinois is in dire need of more senators and representatibpves like him, on both sides of the aisle. My heart is hurting this morning. Second of all, the GOP (Rauner) press release makes me physically ill. Sullivan is certainly not bowing out in fear of the election or because he’s afraid of being associated with Madigan. If he ran again he would win hands down because he fights for those he represents and that’s why time after time a a Republican district elects him. I try to be open minded and fair but if this press release is an example of what’s to come, I’m afraid I can never take anything seriously the vitriol machine spews out. BTW I also think a lot of my Republican representative for the same reasons. And she us not enamoured of the Governors tactics either.


  19. - 13thone - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:07 am:

    Sadly the Republican response personifies why this budget stalemate exists. How can you negotiate or even reason with someone like this?


  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:08 am:

    - Arizona Bob -,

    See, we CAN find common ground.

    - Tommydanger -, I think they’d say, “song or no song, we’d just like you to leave”


  21. - Just an Old Guy - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:08 am:

    John has been a friend since 01, he is a classy guy, he cares about his district, he is very intelligent, and calm. A sensible man in a time that is desperate for such qualities. A great loss for western Illinois.


  22. - Oberon - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:10 am:

    The press release doesn’t seem intended to attack Sen. Sullivan so much as to support the narrative that the Governor has Democrats on the run; his announcement just provides an opportunity to promote that idea and give other Dems a notion of what they can expect…as if they didn’t know already.


  23. - hold on - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:10 am:

    Based on that GOP response, Sullivan ought to change his mind and either run again, or resign before the term is up.


  24. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:11 am:

    This guy who stated things about Madigan sounds like Goldberg, Rauner’s lapdog when he talks.


  25. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:11 am:

    Not only unclassy but stupid. It’d be quite funny if Senator Sullivan was angered enough to run again.


  26. - Skeptic - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:11 am:

    - Arizona Bob -,
    See, we CAN find common ground.

    I was just about to say the same thing.


  27. - All the answers - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    If I were a Democrat, I would use this classless response from the Illinois GOP against whomever decides to run on the GOP side in this district. CLASSLESS. Agree with @hold on - perhaps Sen. Sullivan will change his mind. As a Republican, I would vote for him.


  28. - Austin Blvd - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    GOP makes one nauseous, to put it politely. Sullivan is a quality guy. Period. He does what is right. More than can be said for many of his right of right colleagues in the Senate and the House.


  29. - walker - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    ==“Plain and simple: Sen. John Sullivan is running from Mike Madigan.==

    A laughable statement. If any single person in the IL GOP actually believes that, they are pitifully clueless.

    Having a very well-funded opponent might have been part of his calculus, but Sullivan would likely have won next cycle anyway. The voters have strongly favored him, regardless of what else is going on politically around them. For him to easily win in a District that went strongly for Rauner clearly tells his story.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    Um, - Oberon -,

    ===Just three weeks ago, Sullivan blindly supported his Democrat party boss Mike Madigan by voting for a budget that was unbalanced by more than $3 billion.===

    Do yourself a solid, read next time.


  31. - AlabamaShake - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    **- Arizona Bob - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:05 am:

    What advantage did this negative tirade get?**

    D@$%!

    When even AZ Bob things that the RaunerGOP has done something wrong, it must be really bad.


  32. - Leatherneck - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    Sullivan will be missed.

    One other thing considering how his district is Republican leaning: I am surprised that during the 2011 redistricting that it wasn’t his district that was brought into parts of Springfield to increase more Democratic potential (e.g., north side/downtown), rather than the creation of what’s now the Manar district to include the east/downtown areas of the city, and Brady’s district including the north side.


  33. - Jeep - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    Bad form on the ILGOP and their govenor for such a partisan, gloating press release. I hope they all know that their own dedicated work can be reduced to winners/losers at the end of their political career.


  34. - Liberty - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    Tacky if a press release, sad if insider stuff- reeks of needing to prove themselves.

    We will see if Rauner’s brand of Republicanism will play in conservative rural Illinois where there are no jobs and many union workers who travel for jobs.


  35. - SAP - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:18 am:

    Can’t believe I’m saying this, but: Well said Bob. I agree with you 100%. To the post: The GOP should be thankful that Sen. Sullivan isn’t doing the typical run in the next election to hold the seat for another term and hand it over to a successor.


  36. - walker - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:19 am:

    Arizona Bob: See, you do write better press releases and campaign ads than what we see from Team Rauner.


  37. - JoanP - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    @ Arizona Bob: “Give the people a reason to like the Republicans, NOT just hate Madigan! ”

    I rarely, if ever, agree with you. But that sentiment should be engraved in stone at the Republican Party HQ.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:27 am:

    ===“We thank Senator Sullivan for his many years of service to his community and state. It is now our party’s task to recruit and field a candidate who will approach serving the community and people of Illinois as well as Senator Sullivan. While matching his excellent service record will be a challenge, we feel there are many Republican candidates in the district who will serve it well.”===

    - Arizona Bob -,

    Cannoli Worthy. Well done… well done.


  39. - Mama - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    Rauner’s people do not want a Republican candidate. They want another Tea Bagger, like Rauner to run. However, they will call themselves Republicans during the campaign & on the ballot.


  40. - WhoKnew - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    ==Bad form on the ILGOP and their govenor for such a partisan, gloating press release.==

    Haters gonna hate!

    Time for a new shtick!!!


  41. - Great Caesar's Ghost! - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    It’s always a sad day when the best and brightest leave. Sen. Sullivan’s retirement will leave a huge void.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:30 am:

    - WhoKnew -,

    Your confusing drive-by might say it’s you who doesn’t know(?)


  43. - Norseman - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:31 am:

    — … said Nick Klitzing, Executive Director of the Illinois Republican Party, a wholly owned subsidiary of Raunercorp. —

    There, I fixed it for you.


  44. - anon - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:31 am:

    the release says it all–Rauner can’t wait until Nov 2016 to continue his buying spree. First he bought the IL GOP Party, now wants to buy state government. So bring it on and when he gets thrashed maybe he will become the Governor we all hoped he would be. Learning lessons the hard way is sometimes the only way guys with big egos and lots of money can learn to govern.


  45. - too obvious - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:31 am:

    The Illinois GOP retains horrible communication skills.

    Anything to avoid explaining why Rauner’s budget is also billions out of balance I suppose.


  46. - sal-says - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:37 am:

    == spin from the IL GOP… ==

    If the IL GOP’ers 1/2 the time working FOR IL, instead of this CONSTANT backstabing, IL, its citizens AND the IL GOP would be far better off.

    The constant whining about everybody and everything NOT GOP being bad/corrupt has gotten VERY tiresome and old. Leaaving the IL gop’ers with virtually zero credibility.


  47. - Nick Danger - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:38 am:

    Will miss Sen. Sullivan…especially in the President’s seat using his auctioneer’s cadence to move things along nicely. Great working with him, wish him all the best.


  48. - walker - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:40 am:

    -anon- Well said. Now I’m agreeing with you and AB the same day. Time to quit while ahead.


  49. - Downstate GOP - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:42 am:

    That seat would be a pretty likely win for Jil Tracy if she was interested in it. The primary numbers there for her and Dillard were huge, I think even better than Rauner’s in the general. It’d be great to see her go back to Springfield.


  50. - Langhorne - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:45 am:

    How would rauner poll in the district today? How will he poll in the district 6 weeks from now, if we have a govt collapse, lockout, etc?

    Leadership is not, under the pretense of moral authority and an ad campaign, ordering others to cave to your demands or
    else face doom. Leadership is realizing lack of a budget and services is failure, and instead taking steps, even distasteful steps, to find common ground. There is a $3-4 billion hole, but there is also $30+ bil in revenue to fund most services.

    Dems need to keep hammering the point rauner never proposed a balanced budget. “No spending discipline” also applies to rauner. He wanted the income tax cut. He never tried to put repub votes on any of his agenda. He wants chaos and one hand of winner take all.


  51. - Anon2U - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:54 am:

    Overplayed by ILGOP to say the least. less is more sometimes and this is a time when that wold have worked. Rauner didn’t cause this retirement but it could have been “worked” into a diplomatic victory. Now they just look like classless show boaters who are taking credit for something they had nothing to do with. Rookies.


  52. - skeptical - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    Unfortunately, the GOP smear comments were predictable - even when directed to a classy public servant such as Sen. Sullivan. It’s so tiresome.


  53. - Dave Victor - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 10:57 am:

    It’s Jil’s if she wants it. I’m told she does, and Rauner can save one his $20m.

    Odd how Sullivan left though. He always made sure he had permission from Jones/Cullerton before he did anything. Maybe he got tired of answering to the man.


  54. - The obvious - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:00 am:

    Looks like the GOP has its act together finally. Too bad it will be a presidential election year though. Still, there should be some pickups, and since Illinois is not in play for prez, the drama will be in the state legislative races to a considerable extent. Edgar like Madigan still old-school. Edgar never liked to do big things because that wasn’t his personality — his big thing was him. For Rauner, the big thing is the people and our once great state.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    ===For Rauner, the big thing is the people and our once great state.===

    What are you talking about, please explain.


  56. - Jeep - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:07 am:

    - WhoKnew-
    –Haters gonna hate–

    Exactly! That’s what that Rauner/ILGOP press release was - hating on a dedicated member of the legislature.


  57. - Ahoy! - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    I always Thought Sullivan did what he thought was right and was a class act. He will be missed at the Statehouse and the Senate Dem’s Caucus will miss him more than they might know. It’s always good to have balance.


  58. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    ==Looks like the GOP has its act together finally.==

    This is them not having their act together. It’s amateur. This was not an appropriate release for this situation.


  59. - Lt. Guv. - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    You know, back a million years ago when I was doing campaign work, my favorite play was to let hard Republican partisans do the work for me. If left to their own devices, they’d use shrill messaging like this and basically end up talking to themselves instead of the voters. Some things never change.


  60. - Team Sleep - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    Whoa. Talk about a rainy Friday surprise!

    I wonder if he is experiencing health problems again.

    Senator Sullivan is awesome guy and very easy to work with. He will be missed.


  61. - Team Sleep - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:10 am:

    Wait a minute…did the Cardinals hack into AZ Bob’s database?! :)


  62. - Arsenal - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:12 am:

    ==since Illinois is not in play for prez, the drama will be in the state legislative races to a considerable extent==

    I think the Senate race and the Comptroller race will get in the way of that.


  63. - zatoichi - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    Sullivan has been very good. Whatever his reason to not run it is his personal choice. ‘Running from Madigan’ is hardly close to reality.

    Can’t the GOP bother to spend a couple of million on a pro ad agency to get people actually know how to write good responses? It remains amazing how before the elections Rauner’s team could rarely come up with details. Now responses are loaded with details like someone stuffing a research paper with every possible reference.


  64. - train111 - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:15 am:

    Lets See:
    In 2010 Quinn got 20,855 votes in Sen Sullivan’s district. In 2014 he got 19,184 or a decline of some 1700 votes.

    In 2010 Bill Brady got 47,085 votes in Sen Sullivan’s district. In 2014 Bruce Rauner got 43,193 or a drop of almost 4,000 votes.

    I propose that we rewrite this press relese as such.

    GOP voters stay home–discouraged by Rauner’s goofy nonsensical turnaround agenda, thousands of potential GOP voters opted to stay home. Discouraged by rantical ravings of ‘tea party’ nut jobs GOP voter enthusiasm dropped to record lows. John Q. Smith of Quincy, who did vote stated that he held his nose and voted for Rauner and that all his acquaintances did the same, noting that Rauner had in no way captured their hearts, and that his agenda didn’t sound a whole lot different than the last several years of tea party rantings have. “I just wish that these guys would stop constantly running their mouths and so some actual work” Smith is quoted as saying. He is certainly not alone as voter turnout has shown.

    There that is much better. Now can someone hand me a big fat contract to write such sheer lunacy and call it a ‘press release’ Good God these guys would throw their own mother under the bus in the name of spinning their nonsense!!


  65. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    - Arsenal -,

    I had this discussion a few days ago over adult beverages;

    Kirk will be a stand-alone, bitter, race, no carry for either side on a ticket.

    The POTUS race could dictate the voter universe for THE most competitive race, the Comptroller race.

    That will be a stand-alone too, but dictated far, far more by the “voter universe tendencies” of the POTUS race than Kirk’ race.

    The statehouse races, both chambers, will be the micro understanding of the POTUS voters’ universes, along with a clear understanding of the micro aspects of the “at-play” districts.

    The Comptroller race is the one I’m fascinated with, but Kirk won’t drive voters towards or away from Munger, as Munger will have enough dough to run as a stand-alone. Munger, and her Crew’s absolute fear is if that specific race becomes a statewide referendum on Bruce Rauner.

    That’s 2016 for me in Illinois.


  66. - Conn Smythe - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:30 am:

    The d.c.-ification of state politics continues, with that GOP statement. Sad to see Senator Sullivan leave. One of the best people under the Dome.


  67. - Honeybear - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:33 am:

    VERY well said Arizona Bob, very well said. Republicans have got to move quickly away from reflexive negativity. I was so angered the other day when Rep Davis was questioning DCEO Director Schultz and he said

    “I didn’t come here to create jobs for DCEO,… In the end I care about net jobs, not about a particular agency.”

    Okay, I get his point, smaller government, etc. etc. But how do you think my sister who works for DCEO felt reading that? The truth is she wasn’t surprised. Management is totally unavailable, uncaring and openly disdainful and dismissive of anyone who hired on before Nov. 2014. But how bad does that make the GOP look. It would have been so much better to say. “We will be strategically moving some employees to the new corporation, some will be reassigned to the public DCEO side, and others we will assist in tranferring to other positions in the state. We hope to not lose any of our employees in this transition, but the restructuring may eliminate some positions that no longer fit the organization. My primary concern however is creating a nimble and highly competitive job producing and sustaining agency that puts Illinois at the head of the nation for high paying jobs. Eliminating my agency and my employees would greatly hinder that and squander the fantastic work that they have been doing this year. Not allowing us to create a PPP would hinder our efforts to compete with other states and confine us within a organizational structure that by its very nature has made us slow and unresponsive. Regardless of what administration is at our head, my department needs to be the model of efficiency and coordination. There is hardly a more important function of state government right now than revving up our economic engine and moving forward with more jobs for our people. We have a good plan, we are moving forward as fast as we can. We need your help to move faster. Your concerns about transparency are well founded, especially given past administrations. However, we have presented to you absolutely solid solutions to your concerns. The last thing this agency or administration wants to do is to add to our legacy of corruption and inefficiency especially when it portains to economic economic engine of our state.”

    Why do Illinois Republicans ALWAYS default to negativity about our state, its government and it’s state workers?


  68. - Fris - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:46 am:

    Sullivan is the ultimate Statesman bar none. The always calm voice of reason and grace in the State house. Working on his 12′ campaign I found it absolutely astonishing how many hard core GOP constituents of his would fall on a sword for the man.

    The GOP press release is shameful and embarrassing for the party, but I agree that the seat is probably Jil’s for the taking.


  69. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    ==- Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:06 am:==

    Midday mimosas.


  70. - efudd - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:56 am:

    So Senator Sullivan enacts his own form of term limits, and the GOP accuse him of running scared.
    IL GOP’ers, this is your party. Can’t be pleased, nothing original to add to the discussion, yet constantly running off at the mouth.


  71. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    - Precinct Captain -,

    It was after 5, in a “garage”, watching sports on a TV.

    That’s how “we” roll in Kendall!


  72. - efudd - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 12:02 pm:

    Honeybear, I think it’s the national GOP, as well as Illinois’ that constantly resort to negativity, and fear. Take the Bible, the 2nd amendment, and xenophobia out of the discussion, what else do they have?


  73. - illini - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 12:05 pm:

    Great comments on this posting.

    I only knew of Sen. Sullivan and did not know his record and history.

    The Rauner/ILGOP posturing certainly does appear to have gone overboard ( and even those normally apologetic and defending posters seem to agree ).

    Sounds like he was the Dem equivalent to my Sen. Dave - different parties but the same in many other ways. Springfield will miss both.


  74. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 12:07 pm:

    - Precinct Captain -,

    If that was a suggestion I missed, please note;

    It’s Friday, it’s US Open “cut day”, and a suggestion like yours has significant merit.


  75. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 12:13 pm:

    I can not imagine why any one person could have this much power over a broke state.


  76. - GOP - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 12:56 pm:

    I’m a Republican and I’m embarrassed for the GOP. They should be thanking him for his service and wishing him well…& quietly thanking him for basically handing them a Senate seat. The Gov should issue his own statement wishing John well.


  77. - Buzzie - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 1:07 pm:

    Rauner wins the election and the Illinois Republican Party suddenly believes the state has changed from blue to red. These kind of press releases do nothing but reinforce the Democratic majority.


  78. - One to the Dome - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 2:19 pm:

    John is a great guy, never saw him without a smile and a outstanding State Senator. Anyone who wins a swing district and can recieve true praise is a testimony to the person…not the party. ABob hits the point home with the “face” of the GOP being mean spirited at the wrong time.


  79. - Outside the Bubble - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 3:06 pm:

    Senator John Sullivan is going to be missed in Springfield … I’ve had the pleasure to work with John on many issues and he was in politics for all of the right reasons… Wish you and Joan the best my friend!


  80. - qualified someone nobody sent - Friday, Jun 19, 15 @ 3:12 pm:

    The attack on the Senator is just unfortunate collateral damage to the opportunity to get the Rauner message out in the public again. “Madigan bad” and unions that support him and the Dems bad too! We’re in for a long, dirty PR war because that’s how it works in the private sector. Rauner actually thinks he can craft the message from now until the 2016 election where his candidates will prevail enough to force the Dems to his way of thinking. 20 million pays for a lot of TV. If 2016 doesn’t go his way and he’s then forced to re-think this strategy. Either result is a long time from now and this is just the beginning of the stalemate.


  81. - Bill Edley - Saturday, Jun 20, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    I doubt very seriously, that Gov. Rauner’s recent comments had anything to do with Sen. John Sullivan retiring.
    Sen. Sullivan has served Western-Illinois with great ability, with distinction and won re-elections with ease. He defeated former State Senator Laura Kent Donahue in 2002. Senate Democratic leadership for twenty years had attempted numerous times, with well-qualified, well-liked, and well-funded candidates, to unseat Donahue and never got close to beating her.
    In 2012, John easily won re-election to the 47th Senate district with 56% of the vote against Adams County Circuit Clerk, Randy Frese. John’s only county lost was Adams, and even there he pulled 45%. Last year, Sen Durbin received a disappointing 28% and John’s former Senate Democratic colleague and current State Treasurer, Michael Frerichs, tallied only 34%.
    Sullivan won heavily Republican counties with ease. In McDonough County, where Sen. Durbin pulled 40% and Treasurer Frerichs 38%, John won with 63%. Sen. Sullivan won the 10 rural counties outside of Adams County with 62% of their combined vote.
    I can’t speak for John, but as a Democrat, representing rural America in today’s political environment is a task that is both difficult and exasperating. I believe John when he says “It’s time to do something different.”


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