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“The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board has no Republicans”

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* So, this “analysis” from a paper controlled by Dan Proft’s ever-expanding empire completely disproves its own theory right off the bat

Seven of 12 [Chicago Tribune] editorial board members — including editorial page editor John P. McCormick (La Grange Park) — consistently vote in Illinois Democrat primaries, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. An eighth member, columnist Clarence Page, is a liberal Democrat. The remaining four members have no active record of voting in partisan primaries.

If actual voting records are the measure, the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board has no Republicans.

Yeah. OK. The Trib’s edit board is not Republican at all. Right. Go with that one. Better yet, stop right there because the “actual voting records” thesis is plainly goofy.

Also, too, this.

For some of us, primary party preference has a lot to do with where we live and who happens to be on the ballot at the time.

* Take, for instance, my own voting history

The outliers include Rich Miller, publisher of the popular Springfield newsletter Capitol Fax. He’s voted in seven primaries since 1992, four Republican (‘00, ‘10, ‘12, ‘14) and three Democrat (‘92, ‘94, ‘98).

I wanted to vote in the contested presidential and US Senate races in 1992, and wanted to participate in the hotly contested governor’s primaries in 1994 and 1998. Just as important, however, I also lived at the time in a more Dem-leaning area. I moved in 1999 to a more Republican area so there were simply more GOP races to vote in, plus, I wanted to vote in the Republican presidential primary.

I moved to Chicago in 2001, but they missed those votes. I’m pretty sure I took a Democratic ballot in 2002 and 2004. I wanted to vote in the hotly contested 2002 governor’s primary, but I was also living in a place that basically had nothing to offer as far as local contests on the GOP side.

I’m also pretty sure that I took a GOP ballot in 2006 to vote in the Republican gubernatorial primary (for Judy Baar Topinka) and because I was back in Springfield and living in a heavily GOP area. I’ve been thinking about it since this article was published, but I just don’t remember which ballot I took in 2008.

My GOP votes in ‘10, ‘12 and ‘14 are mainly a reflection of where I live. Almost all the real primary action is on the GOP side in my neck of the woods. They also missed 2016, when I once again took a Republican ballot.

* More

At the Chicago Sun-Times, longtime political reporter and current Associate Managing Editor Scott Fornek hasn’t been as discreet. A resident of Michael Madigan’s 13th Ward, Fornek has voted in 14 primaries since 1990, all for the Democratic party.

Oh, please. First, taint him with living in Madiganstan, then complain that he didn’t take a GOP ballot with few down-ballot choices?


* Hey, some of these folks might actually be Democrats. But, you know, this is a free country. People get to think what they want, not what somebody else believes they should think.

According to the above story, the Tribune’s Rick Pearson doesn’t vote in primaries. I know several other political reporters who do the same. I respect that decision. It’s just not the one I make for myself.


  1. - Faker - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:05 am:

    Proft’s empire is all “fake” because he cannot compete in the real world or without Mr. Uline’s bank account.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:09 am:

    ===If actual voting records are the measure, the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board has no Republicans.===

    I don’t think that’s… accurate.

  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    I’ve only voted in one primary and it was this year. I’m a lifelong democrat but I voted in the republican primary to support McCann and try to stop Trump.

  4. - AlfondoGonz - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    “A resident of Michael Madigan’s 13th Ward”

    Dan Proft, a resident of Barack Obama’s America…LIBERAL!!!!!!

  5. - Linus - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:18 am:

    Just remember, you can’t spell “Proft” without “pffffft!”

    I can only remember one election year in which I’ve pulled an R ballot instead of D. Yet Proft’s approach ignores the many votes I’ve cast in the general for Repub candidates over the years, for offices ranging from governor on down to state rep.

    Still: Why should Proft start dealing in facts and thoughtful analysis now?

  6. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:20 am:

    If actual voting records are the measure, the Chicago Tribune’s Rick Pearson doesn’t care about politics.

    Dan Proft’s theory is no less idiotic.

    – MrJM

  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:22 am:

    If you take half a million bucks in no-bid contracts from mobbed-up Cicero, does that make you a gangster?

    If you get 8% of the vote and finish sixth in a statewide GOP primary, does that make you a fringe crank?

    If you’re financially dependent on doing the bidding of a couple of rich sugar daddies does that make you a…..

  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:24 am:

    Hurricane famed Editorial Board member wrote this not too “long” ago. Maybe her good friend Dan Proft missed it(?)

    “I stopped voting Democratic. I charged in the opposite direction. I have not looked back.”

    Oh, here it is…

    “When was this?”

    June… 2016

  9. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:31 am:

    Where I live, all the action is on the Republican side. I voted in the Democratic primary in 2010 to support Quinn. Came back to the Republicans since then.

    Would like to see Illinois go to a wide open primary system where the top three are on the general election ballot, subject to a 5 percent vote minimum for the third spot.

  10. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:31 am:

    This “mining” of voter information really (banned word) me off. My father was a Township Trustee for over 20 years, and a life-long Republican. One time…ONE time, he takes a Dem ballot in the primary because there was a person he respected and wanted to vote for in the primary. After the election, and at the next Township meeting, he was ambushed and told he could either run as a Dem or they were going to replace him on the ballot in the Fall election because of his voting “history”. He got up and walked out. It didn’t matter that for two decades he had worked hard to make sure ALL constituents in our tiny township had the services they needed. He was now a Dem… a traitor. This is the same township that had a voting site, and in my first time as a voter, tried to automatically hand me a Republican ballot because, you know, we’re all Republicans here! The election judge, who had known me all my life, was shocked and disappointed that I was going against the “heritage” of the area. BTW, I voted for Anderson, and that really messed with their preconceived notions!

  11. - northshore cynic - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    I was unaware that they had Republican ballots in the 13th Ward.

  12. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    Huh. Living in the city with conservative leanings and taking a Dem primary ballot can be looked at as an exercise in realpolitik, especially in off-statewide years. Might was well have a say in the races that will determine the state rep, state senator, county officials and judges who will actually represent you. Plus some of the folks on the GOP primary ballots are total crackpots.

  13. - Deft Wing - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:38 am:

    It’s always appropriate to take a crack at the Chicago Tribune in this space. Always.

    Plus, it makes us feel good about ourselves, right? It provides a temporary (momentary really) escape from the the State’s continuing downward trajectory and the fact that just about everyone (else) wants to leave Illinois.

  14. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 10:46 am:

    DW, did you wake up in full-victim mode? It’s not even lunch.

    I’m sure the delicate daisies in troncville can handle a little criticism.

    They’ve been dishing it seven days a week for the past 169 years.

  15. - walker - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    Rich’s headline made me spill my coffee. LOL

    It’s a great Illinois tradition that people are who they say they are when it comes to political party.

  16. - Anon. - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 11:22 am:

    What ballot you pull is imperfect, but it’s still meaningful enough that the major parties and political consultants use it heavily in identifying who is an R, a D, a soft r, a soft D, etc.

  17. - Belle - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    Not every state allows the cross-ballot pulling in primaries that IL does. I was registered Independent in the 90’s, living in FL and not allowed to vote in the primary.

    When I came back to Chicago, I went Dem since that is when you do the real voting. In a feeble attempt to knock out Rauner, I crossed over to R in the primary.
    I sometimes voted for Judy Barr Topinka so I like to think I am open-minded.

  18. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    Only Proft is whacky enough to spend time on what this nearly totally ineffective edit board does or doesn’t do. Once upon a time party activists worked hard to win support from the Tribbies. Now they don’t really matter.

  19. - Rhino Slider - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 11:52 am:

    Now I know why they call you “shifty” Rich. But I don’t care what people say about you, you’re alright.

  20. - Southern Dawg1 - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    Good thing Proft isn’t beholden to any one…

  21. - Liberty - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 11:59 am:

    All the money has brought the smoke filled back room to the public.

  22. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    Anon221: Maybe wasn’t the town board’s fault-used to be it didn’t matter what you voted at the primary; you could crossover at the caucus, no problem. But the rules changed, (or a judge changed them): the primary choice determines the caucus you have to attend. I run as an Independent, partly because of that. Township caucuses are a bunch of #@$%.

  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    They should say, we don’t have Republicans, but that doesn’t stop us from endorsing them.

  24. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    Oops! Anonymous@12:12 was me. Even though I consider myself a true Independent, I vote R, because in this county, almost all of the local candidates are R’s….

  25. - Federalist - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 12:24 pm:

    Rich you made very good points. Some of the reasons you voted in different primaries are the same as mine.

    However, it would be interesting to know the political leanings of these board members as it does affect editorial and even news reporting. I doubt if that will ever be established.

  26. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 12:38 pm:

    downstate commissioner- No, it was intentional. The Township Supervisor, also Republican, is the one who ambushed him. No warning, no talking about it beforehand. He meant to embarrass my father, and already had a new candidate lined up. Dad wasn’t the only one surprised, but he wasn’t backed up either by any of the other Trustees. Open primaries would ensure the sanctity of a person’s vote.

  27. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    I know first hand that Rick Pearson is very principled in how he approaches what he feels to be a duty to remain neutral in how he covers political stories. Refreshing.

  28. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 1:17 pm:

    –However, it would be interesting to know the political leanings of these board members…–

    Dude, they put it in writing every day.

    Here’s a clue:

    Democrats voting for a budget with a $7 billion deficit that did not and was never going to pass and become law is a very, very, bad, bad thing.

    Republicans voting for a budget with an $8 billion deficit, that was signed by the Republican governor, and actually became law, is not worth mentioning.

  29. - A guy - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    Where you reside makes a huge difference. In DuPage County, there are ample regular R Primary voters that are Hard Ds. They just want a ballot with some serious names on it.

  30. - Federalist - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 1:57 pm:


    Dude, no they don’t. That is just your opinion.

  31. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 2:02 pm:

    Federalist, you can’t discern the tronc edit board’s political leanings from what they publish? That’s quite a slam on them.

    I grant they’re often hysterical and incoherent, but the the gist is quite clear.

  32. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 2:05 pm:

    “They just want a ballot with some serious names on it.”

    Serious names like R̶o̶n̶ ̶S̶a̶n̶d̶a̶c̶k̶.

    – MrJM

  33. - John Gregory (ex-IRN) - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 2:09 pm:

    This is nothing more than a Proft hit piece against the journalists who dismiss him.

    I respect the decision of people like Pearson to not vote in primaries, but it’s a by no means an obligation of this profession.

  34. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 2:12 pm:

    –the major parties and political consultants use it heavily in identifying who is an R, a D, a soft r, a soft D, etc.–

    They use it because it’s the only concrete thing they have. The rest is just asking people and taking their word for it.

  35. - Federalist - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 2:49 pm:


    Since you know so much what is the political party breakdown of the editorial board and identify those members.

    And if you only believe that the actual editorials are important and not the political background of these writers, then there is no use in reasoning with you.

  36. - Molly Maguire - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 5:02 pm:

    Proft is edging ever closer to Breitbart territory. And perhaps that is where he will end. up.

  37. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 6:52 pm:

    –Proft is edging ever closer to Breitbart territory.–

    Does that pay better than Uiehlein and Rauner?

  38. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 7:04 pm:

    ===Does that pay better than Uiehlein and Rauner?===

    No, but Breibart’s medical and dental are fabulous.

    Oddly, neither offer a pension.

  39. - Better than that - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 8:36 pm:

    No one should be promoting a fraudulent news source like this one from Proft. We should be better than that.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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