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Ty Fahner behind LOLIllinois campaign

Tuesday, Oct 4, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Some folks may have seen this on a billboard or in their social media feeds…

* Greg Hinz found out who was paying for it

But few things stay secret for long in politics, and after checking with political insiders, I was pointed to the Civic Committee, which ran a somewhat similar public reform campaign a couple of years ago using the name Illinois Is Broke.

I’m told the new campaign likely will cost at least $1 million, with ads running on the Chicago Tribune’s website and other media outlets statewide.

“We created this campaign to give Illinois citizens, no matter their politics, the opportunity to visibly demonstrate their concerns and frustrations over the failed leadership in our state,” committee President Ty Fahner says in a statement. “Our hope is that this campaign will be loud enough that they will have no choice but to hear us and act on a responsible, bipartisan budget. There is nothing laughable about doing nothing anymore.”

In a follow-up interview, Fahner said the group intentionally is not taking a position on whether the budget stalemate is more the fault of Gov. Bruce Rauner, who wants concessions on worker compensation and other labor issues before approving a tax hike, or House Speaker Mike Madigan, who says the budget should not be held “hostage.”

“We’re not giving them (that) advice,” Fahner said. “But they can’t solve problems if they don’t talk,” something that Rauner and Democratic leaders have rarely done since early summer.

Yeah, all they need to do is talk it out. Right. That’ll work. You’ve got a Randian governor hellbent on hobbling if not outright destroying the Democratic Party’s biggest sources of support (labor, trial lawyers) and a formerly centrist House Speaker who has moved significantly to the left since his primary challenge last spring (remember his CTU campaign signs?).

The governor is spending tens of millions of dollars to further tarnish Madigan in legislative campaigns, and one of Rauner’s allies is about to debut a “documentary” about the man. Madigan, for his part, is unloading on Rauner, comparing him to Donald Trump and using Rauner wherever he can to tarnish Republican candidates.

This war will end when those two guys want it to end, and not a minute before.

They should’ve just given me that million dollars. I could’ve gotten them the same results.


  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:40 am:

    Where did Ty get the reputation as some master strategist among the civvies? Did he win something, some time that I can’t recall?

  2. - Reality Check - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:45 am:

    The only person I ever hear laughing about it is Rauner. You know that big fake horse laugh he uses to avoid tough questions from reporters - about his support for Trump, his purchasing the state Republican party, etc. #RaunerFakeHorseLaugh

  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:48 am:

    ===Did he win something, some time that I can’t recall? ===


    He won an appointment once.

  4. - yeah - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:52 am:

    Tyrone C. Fahner is tight with the big casinos. When they get caught doin’ bidnez with the mob, he always represents them before the Gaming Board and gets them off. He was one of two co-counsels to the St. Louis Casino Queen licensing application twenty-five years ago.

  5. - The Captain - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:00 am:

    I had not heard of this or seen these ads until now. I went to my browser and brought up this site and am confused/underwhelmed. When you click on this site for the first time it’s not immediately apparent what this site is for and it doesn’t really have an ask. If you have a hardship you can share your story and if you want to contact your legislator you can (not necessarily about a specific issue or preferred remedy, just because apparently), but mostly they just want you to tweet/post and hashtag them (presumably to drive more people to the site who will be asked to do nothing more than drive more people to the site).

    This has seemingly no purpose. It has no ask. It’s not an attempt to organize around a particular issue (or family of issues) or any specific remedy. Why are they spending a million dollars on this? It’s nothing, it serves no purpose.

  6. - Norseman - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:01 am:


    It must be nice to be able to throw away a $1 million.

  7. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:01 am:

    –I could’ve gotten them the same results.–

    Interesting thought. What would you do with a million dollars to help our state?

  8. - LizPhairTax - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    Andy Shaw/Ty Fahner 2018!

    Nobodies nobody asked.

  9. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    LOL- poor use of an acronym to get people through the “door”. I would expect more ,”Yep, Illinois is a joke,” responses and continued “driving by”, than stopping and taking a look at the site and realizing the Land of Lincoln is in deep (banned word).

  10. - DuPage - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:03 am:

    With Rauner as governor, Illinois has nothing to laugh about. Rauner is responsible for the budget gridlock and destroying higher education in the Illinois public universities and community colleges. Their good reputation built over decades has been destroyed very quickly, and will take decades to recover, if ever.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:03 am:

    Rich, well said. Scary-good analysis, and heck, I’d take half of that in cash…

    To the Post,

    I’ve yet to understand how pointing to spilled milk has ever gotten the milk cleaned up.

    Given the parameters Rich made clear, is this do someone feels important and can say they spent a million dollars, or… I dunno why you do this now.

  12. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:05 am:

    I’m confused. They say “this is not a laughing matter”, so they name themselves LOL Illinois? Are they trying to be ironic?

    God there is so much cash being thrown around on utterly pointless points.

  13. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:07 am:

    Wonder who gave Ty his loot? BTW he is too tight to spend any of his own. Hopefully he made a good sized drop on the Capt Fax Blogapalooza :)

  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:08 am:

    This is a FANTASTIC ad. Lol

  15. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:21 am:

    ===Hopefully he made a good sized drop on the Capt Fax Blogapalooza :) ===



  16. - Dee Lay - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:22 am:

    The same Tv Fahner that met with bond agencies to lower Illinois’ credit rating in 2013.

    The same Ty Fahner who called the pension crisis “unfixable.”

    The same Ty Fahner that was dead wrong about the pension law getting struck down by the Supremes.

    The same Tv Fahner who ran a failure of a campaign titled, ” Illinois is Broke” with a Abe Lincoln with his pockets out.

    Who is the bigger buffoon, Fahner or the people that keep him in a job?

  17. - Who Else - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:26 am:

    Ok. It’s no laughing matter.

    But there’s a word missing here. Revenue.

    It’s fine to say it’s not one person’s fault. That’s true enough. But it’s not fine to pretend there isn’t a solution that virtually everyone– EVERYONE– has acknowledged at some point.

    There are two sides to a budget. Revenue and expenditures. We’ve cut expenditures, and still don’t have enough money. That means we have to cut more expenditures, or increase revenue.

    We’ve pretty much cut all the discretionary spending that anyone can stomach, and then some (aside from a couple hundred million you could get from eliminating some corporate loophole closures, which are technically also expenditures.)

    That leaves revenue. Increase income taxes, expand personal exemptions to make a flat tax more fair, end the blanket exemption for high income retirees, and add some service taxes.

    So, either talk about revenue or donate that million dollars to a social service agency that’s been cut.

    It doesn’t take a million bucks to offer no solutions and say it’s no one’s fault. See? I just did it for free.

  18. - Fed T. - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:45 am:

    Wow, that is one of the most tortured and contradictory marketing slogan since the introduction of the hash tag.

    Makes Squeezy the Pension Python look like sheer genius.

  19. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 12:48 pm:

    –formerly centrist House Speaker who has moved significantly to the left since his primary challenge last spring

    Rauner accomplished what many liberal activists have been trying to do for 30 years.

  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 12:53 pm:

    In the lists above of Ty’s acts of note, you forgot to include writing a public support letter for child molester Dennis Hastert. His law firm didn’t LOL about that.

  21. - titan - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 3:16 pm:

    For million, you could not only get the same result…you could probably also get some tollaway interchanges and a couple bridge projects

  22. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 4:45 pm:

    I wish he’d give me that million. I know some terrific agencies who could use it to let the State of Illinois know what’s happening to the people we used to serve — and to the professionals who provide those services.

  23. - DuPage Dave - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 6:43 pm:

    I always thought LOL was for Land of Lincoln…??

  24. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 6:57 pm:

    Big-bellied, hot air filled buffoon.

  25. - Millennial-IL - Wednesday, Oct 5, 16 @ 9:15 am:

    Very cool campaign–Well done!

  26. - Chucktownian - Wednesday, Oct 5, 16 @ 9:22 am:

    All this money and everyone of Rauner’s proxy candidates are significantly behind in the latest polling. Not going to get a very good ROI.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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