Gov. Bruce Rauner promised Wednesday that Republicans would outspend Democrats this fall in a GOP effort to reclaim the Illinois General Assembly.
“This year, we’re going to go toe-to-toe with them,” Rauner told party county chairmen at an event starting the Illinois Republican Party Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair. Rauner said Democrats have far outspent the GOP in recent elections, but “we’re going to do better than they do. You’ll see the biggest ground game ever for legislative races in Illinois.”
He did not mention the source of funding, but he has previously poured millions of his personal wealth into party coffers. […]
“We’re going to stand against that machine and beat that machine this year,” Rauner said. Democrats have their party day at the Illinois State Fair on Thursday. Democrats hold supermajorities of 71-47 in the House and 39-20 in the Senate.
“The machine has pounded with their power in the past. They have outspent us two, three, four-to-one. Not this time. Not this time. We’re going toe-to-toe — and, in fact, we’re going to do better than them,” Rauner said of the well-funded campaigns, which already include TV ads and mailers.
Rauner, whose own funds help to fuel his governor’s campaign, continues to push on for his reforms, despite a constant battle with state Democratic leaders. Although Rauner didn’t mention Madigan during the breakfast, party organizers handed out a button featuring a picture of a young Madigan which included the words” “career politician since 1971.”
Rauner spoke of a state “taken over by a machine, a political machine that doesn’t care about people,” saying it’s also taken over Chicago, the Democratic Party and the Illinois General Assembly.
“We are going to stand against that machine and we are going to beat that machine,” Rauner said to cheers, saying the machine is behind job losses, lower family incomes and the highest property taxes in America.
Much of the Rauner effort has been to link Democrats to Madigan, the Southwest Side Democrat who has served as speaker for 31 of the last 33 years. At the fair, Republicans distributed buttons pushing term limits with a picture of a young Madigan, calling him a “career politician since 1971.” That’s the year Madigan arrived in the Illinois House after serving as a delegate to the convention that resulted in the 1970 Illinois Constitution.
While attacks on Madigan haven’t worked in the past, state House GOP Leader Jim Durkin, of Western Springs, said the difference this time is the governor’s money.
“We have the resources to be able to really educate Illinoisans about what’s happening in Illinois and what the problem is. First time we’ve had the resources to do it,” Durkin said.
“It’s either the governor and on the other side it’s organized labor,” he said of the campaign money race. “This is competition. We’re competing with them. … It’s both green.”
* Rauner chanted “Term limits! Term limits! Term limits!” at the end of his speech. People were pretty hot and tired by then, so there wasn’t a whole lot of energy in the crowd. Plus, the issue can’t be addressed by voters until 2018 at the earliest.
Meanwhile, there’s a presidential race going on, but you’d hardly know it by listening to the speakers…
I saw very few Trump signs at the rally today.