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Proft on GOP, Trump and Madigan

Thursday, Oct 27, 2016

* Kerry Lester interviewed Dan Proft and I highly recommend reading the whole thing. Here he is talking about DuPage County

Think about this: In 1998, George Ryan got 72 percent of the vote in DuPage County. And in 2010, Bill Brady got 52 percent. For the second most populous county, most Republican county, that is an unbelievable amount of attrition in a relatively short period of time.

When demographics change, you incorporate new people into the party. We didn’t do that, partly because we told people to wait your turn. It was an outdated system that pushed talent away and bred corruption and incompetence.

* On Sen. Mark Kirk’s public condemnations of Donald Trump

I think Kirk’s problem has nothing to do with Donald Trump. I think Kirk’s problem is he declared war on the conservative base of the party. When you basically tell conservatives if they disagree with you on the marriage issue then you’re a bigot, and if they disagree with you on the junk science behind climate change … that they’re Luddites … and down the line of issues, at some point you reach critical mass.

* On whether he admires Speaker Madigan about anything at all

Madigan is talked about like he’s some kind of mythological figure, he’s 10 feet tall and he breathes fire. He’s a diminutive property tax appeals attorney. The city of Chicago and Cook County have thousands of guys like Mike Madigan. What’s the big deal? We haven’t lost races we should have won because of Mike Madigan. We have lost races we should have won because of the surrender-first approach of the Republican party. Because we have had terrible leadership in the caucuses … and we’ve had some bad candidates at the statewide level, too.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Deft Wing - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:21 am:

    Proft’s the smartest person. Just ask him.

  2. - Been There - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:26 am:

    ===Because we have had terrible leadership in the caucuses===
    So you can’t give credit to the opposition party leader for winning races but you say have lost races because your leadership stinks.

  3. - Michael Westen - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:27 am:

    Not to mention some really bad consultants with few principles.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    Proft’s mog wrong on a great deal, but the premise that the GOP isn’t incorporating “new blood” and then complaining about alienating “the base” seems counter-productive.

    So… We as a party need to integrate more, “expand the tent” with those far more conservative and less welcoming to grow?

    That makes zero sense.

    If anything, Proft would like to see a far more conservative, more angry, and less problem-solving party grow, they might even be less diverse?

    As to Madigan, yep, he faced AA Baseball clubs with Major League talent. That doesn’t mean that that major league talent was any more genius then you’d find anywhere else in the country, or any more talented too.

    Madigan has been able to “take yours and beat his and take his and beat yours” because the HGOP lacked, and lacked vision too. While leadership floundered, candidates were less than stellar too to overcome their lacking leadership.

    A great deal of truth Proft has, but his thoughts to solving the issues have confusing and contradictoring practices in Proft’s political actions to overcome his pointed critique.

  5. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:34 am:

    The only candidate for governor he ever liked was some guy named Proft

  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:34 am:

    “Proft’s not wrong on a great deal, but the premise that the GOP isn’t incorporating “new blood” and then complaining about alienating “the base” seems counter-productive.”


  7. - chi - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    What Willy said… Getting more conservative is not going to get you back to a 72% vote share in DuPage… quite the opposite.

  8. - Dr X - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:38 am:

    Proft needs to read “Who Moved My Cheese”.

  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:42 am:

    “…the junk science behind climate change..” Ok, I don’t need to read any more.

  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:45 am:

    –When demographics change, you incorporate new people into the party. –

    LOL, is that what you’re all about, Dan? Bringing “new people” into the party to reflect demographic change?

    –I think Kirk’s problem is he declared war on the conservative base of the party.

    I hardly think Kirk “declared war” on conservatives. But he has sought, at times, to expand his base of support, as both Democrats and Republicans in Illinois must do to win statewide.

    Can Proft name the last GOP candidate to win statewide who did not stray from “base” purity tests (at least rhetorically)?

    Does Proft really not see the conflict between his statements? The need to “bring new people” in the party due to demographic change while employing “base” purity tests?

    –We didn’t do that, partly because we told people to wait your turn. It was an outdated system that pushed talent away and bred corruption and incompetence.–

    LOL, talking about anyone in particular? I’m pretty sure it was 92% of GOP primary voters who pushed Proft away when he ran for governor in 2010.

  11. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:46 am:

    Brady didn’t exactly make himself a household name in the ‘burbs in 2010.
    AND you still had hard feelings in DuPage among the 135 DuPage GOPers who ran in the primary, splintered the ticket among themselves and paved they way for Brady to win the nomination.

    It’s not like Bob, Kirk, Sleepy, Dopey and the rest went out and worked for nominee Brady with the hometown folks.

  12. - People over Parties - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:49 am:

    ==the junk science behind climate change===

    Really, Proft??

  13. - The Captain - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:49 am:

    I don’t think there’s much Proft and I would agree on but I’ve always kind of liked him.

  14. - People over Parties - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:56 am:

    The problem with people like Dan Proft is that they always insist the party needs to get more conservative in order to win. When you take a look at history, that’s hardly the case. George Ryan won 72% in DuPage county because he was a moderates’ moderate. Bill Brady’s social conservatism gave him just 52%. When you lay off the conservatism, you can do better. Even Rauner, who stayed of social issues, got 60% in DuPage county. Just sayin…

  15. - Hamlet's Ghost - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:58 am:

    Obama carried DuPage County twice and Clinton appears poised to do the same.

  16. - Not It - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:06 am:

    By bad candidates at the state level I assume he means not conservative enough, which is hilarious considering the only candidates who have won in the past 20 years were moderates.

    As per Kirk, I find it odd that the true Republicans demand loyalty to Trump despite his obvious faults, but don’t express loyalty to other Republicans they see faults with.

  17. - Telly - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    == Because we have had terrible leadership in the caucuses==

    Talk about adding insult to injury. Ragdono and Durkin have already been pushed to the sidelines with Z and Proft making all the decisions about where and how the money is spent. Now Proft pores some salt in the wounds.

    As OW might say, there will be very few Republicans left in the General Assembly, but a whole bunch of Raunerites.

  18. - stateandlake - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:21 am:

    I think it’s hilarious the way Proft minimizes Madigan’s standing and importance in the interview, while funding ads that portray him as the epicenter of evil and corruption in state government.

  19. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:22 am:

    Why does a guy this clueless about why the suburban electorate tilted so far away from the Republicans to the Democrats get so much money from Republicans for political activity? A majority of suburbanites believe in climate change science and oppose bigotry toward gays and lesbians. Sorry Proft.

    Although I suppose he sort of proves what he says about dumb GOP leadership in that so much GOP money gets directed to him instead of whoever the Rauner strategist was that put Diana in ads saying her husband had no social agenda. That strategist, not Proft, is a threat to the “diminutive” Madigan. Proft got him beat on weight and height still though.

  20. - Indochine - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:23 am:

    Proft only matters in GOP primaries. Why people keep giving him money to waste eludes me. Someone should go back to stuffing his pockets defending those nice folks in Cicero. That’s the last job for which he was well-suited.

  21. - DuPage - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:29 am:

    What did Proft expect to happen? The Republican party that I used to know in the days of Thompson and Edgar is gone. It has changed into a bought and paid for group of Raunerites. Their tent has moved way over to the right, with a sign at the door saying “moderates keep out”.

  22. - Pundent - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:29 am:

    =When demographics change, you incorporate new people into the party.=

    Lot’s of cognitive dissonance here. The country, and state, are becoming less white and less conservative. Proft on the one hand acknowledges this and then doubles down on all of the issues that are keeping Republicans from expanding their base.

  23. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    Reagan brought Democrats and Independents into the Republican party.

    That’s how you grow a party.

    From wiki:
    While popularized by Reagan, “The Eleventh Commandment” was created by California Republican Party Chairman Gaylord Parkinson. In his 1990 autobiography An American Life, Reagan attributed the rule to Parkinson, explained its origin, and claimed to have followed it:

    The personal attacks against me during the primary finally became so heavy that the state Republican chairman, Gaylord Parkinson, postulated what he called the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. It’s a rule I followed during that campaign and have ever since.

    Proft is no Reagan.

  24. - TR - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:34 am:

    Interesting thoughts about DuPage County.

    Let’s see who gets more votes there; Kirk or Trump. That might indicate which Republican message resonates best in what should be a GOP stronghold.

  25. - anon - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:36 am:

    Proft used to be a liberal on immigration. Now he’s supporting The Donald. One easy prediction is that Trump does not help make the party more racially diverse. Rauner seems to grasp that truth.

    It’s noteworthy that Proft’s harshest criticism is reserved for immediate past GOP party leaders.

  26. - Former State Employee - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    It’s interesting. The Republican party seems to be the only political movement I can remember who wants to get smaller.

  27. - hockey fan - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:55 am:

    Not a bad interview. I still don’t like the guy, but it seems like he does know what he’s doing a little bit.

    The entire notion of wanting DuPage to be “like it used to be” and “Take our country back” tells me that he may be in touch with the thinking of the Trump base voters but he also has no clue how to talk to the 15% in the middle that actually decides elections.

    When he says stuff like that moderate swing voters think those messages are quite negative and borderline racist. I’m not saying Proft is racist, I’m just saying that those messages don’t really mean what many GOP consultants think they mean.

  28. - Gooner - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    As a person who relatively consistently since 1976 has worked for Democratic candidates and has written checks to them, I believe Dan Proft has it absolutely right.

    More Republicans should take his advice.


    In all honesty though, like many on the far right he fails to see that he is the problem.

    There are not enough people in what he wants to call the base to win statewide. IL is not a blue state or a red state. It is a moderate state.

    Somebody like Kirk can win because they are perceived as centrist. Even the Speaker historically was a moderate. He ended up being pushed to the left by the Governor.

    Proft understands how to turn far right rhetoric into cash, but he doesn’t seem to understand IL politics.

  29. - Annonin' - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:59 am:

    Proft seems to not understand IL is not really interested in whack job party candidates. What he does understand is how to bamboozle lots of apparently lonely 1%ers out of buckets of money.
    Too bad Kerry did not follow up on that element.

  30. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 12:01 pm:

    Think about this:
    In the 2010 primary, Proft got 8.34 percent of the Republican vote in DuPage County.

    Now before you laugh, eventual 2010 GOP nominee Bill Brady got just 5.59 percent in DuPage County in the Republican primary.

    Perhaps neither is qualified to opine about the GOP’s path back to glory in DuPage.

  31. - Come on man! - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 12:03 pm:

    Proft is the youngest cranky white guy in the state

  32. - Michael Westen - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 12:03 pm:

    Proft ran for Governor. Someone explain to me how 7.7% of the people could possibly be wrong.

  33. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 12:06 pm:

    @Telly said ” Ragdono and Durkin have already been pushed to the sidelines”

    Has there ever been a time in Illinois politics when the leadership has played a more inconsequential role in the election efforts of their membership?

  34. - Gartner - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    Proft is a charlatan who has never won a tough race. But his ability to use polysyllabic words is something that should be respected.

  35. - Dee Lay - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 12:28 pm:

    Clown Shoes Proft continues to be the ineffective thoughtleader to continue to lead the GOP down a path of ruin. Congrats, sir.

  36. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 12:37 pm:

    ===there will be very few Republicans left in the General Assembly, but a whole bunch of Raunerites.===

    - Telly -

    That’s about as true as it can be right now, but loads of Republicans being held hostage in there too…

  37. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 12:53 pm:

    Demographics is driving policy and politics. My daughters will not support a party that denies that 7 billion people can affect the climate.

  38. - Deft Wing - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:00 pm:

    Speaking of Proft, here’s his employee making another commercial … but this time she says she lives in the Beiser v. Babcock dist.; this after earlier saying she lives in the Conroy-Holan dist.

  39. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    There is so much to unpack here. Where to start?

    The Ryan-Brady numbers from DuPage are instructive, but it’s clear Proft misses the significance. It’s not partisan labels, it is public policy that drives voters. Thompson, Edgar and Ryan campaigned as moderates and largely governed that way. Their administrations spent a lot of money and raised taxes accordingly, but they also got things done. A lot of things.

    So Proft’s blind spot is that he can’t see that tearing down government in the name of lower taxes turns off moderate voters who value the government services they receives, like good schools, roads, social services for those in need, etc. Had the GOP supported policies to improve those services, perhaps at less cost, then they might not be on the verge on irrelevancy in DuPage.

    Don’t get me started on social issues, but given that this is another major blind spot for Proft, perhaps because he grew up in Wheaton. There are plenty of social moderates to join up with fiscal conservatives to rebuild a majority. But there aren’t enough fiscal conservatives on their own, and there are even fewer social conservatives in DuPage.

    You want a road map back to 72%? First, find yourself a talented candidate who can speak to all corners of the the GOP base and still appeal to moderates. Then get the Democrats to nominate Glenn Poshard again.

    ===Madigan is talked about like he’s some kind of mythological figure, he’s 10 feet tall and he breathes fire.===

    Said the guy who’s spent millions of dollars over several election cycles to caricature Mike Madigan into the single greatest threat to Illinois’ future and the the king of Springfield.

    Does Proft not have a mirror in his house?

  40. - shore - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:08 pm:

    Kirk never declared war on conservatives. He had an awkward relationship with them, but they knew they never had a shot after john cox went down in the 2000 primary and he was always well funded and prepared.

  41. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    I will forever contend until the day I die that Bill Brady should have practically lived in the Chicagoland area during the last two months of the 2010 cycle. Instead he RV’d in central and southern Illinois. For what? A few more percentage points in areas he was guaranteed to win handily? He had it in the bag and he frittered it away for a bus tour and a few fundraisers.

  42. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:37 pm:

    I agree with Mr. Proft’s assessment of the House races. I have seen campaigns that are pretty much over before they begin - typically on the Republican side - and when we do have people on the ropes (like Frank Mautino and James Clayborne in 2014) we either spread ourselves too thin or put resources in areas where they wind up being completely wasted (like Linda Little in 2014).

  43. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:18 pm:

    - 47th Ward -

    If we’d ever share a barstools…

    Great work there. The Proft blind spots are glaring to the building, but not to the purity.

    To the Post, and all the really thoughtful comments too,

    The minute you discuss growing, with terms of reducing who is “with you”, you lose.

    Ignoring that is where Proft fails.

  44. - Hamlet's Ghost - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:25 pm:

    - Deft Wing - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:00 pm:

    It’s pretty amusing - “Kathleen” appears in the exact same ad running against Gary Forby, Tom Cullerton, Deb Conroy, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Mike Halpin, Carol Sente and Andy Skoog and probably many more.

    All on YouTube

    I hope someone does a mash-up and ends it with “Kathleen works for Dan Proft”

  45. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:47 pm:

    ===If we’d ever share a barstools…===

    If I can have my own stool, I’ll sit at the bar with you. But I’m not sharing my barstool. I have to draw the line somewhere.

    Maybe Rich could help set that up some time. It’d be fun.

  46. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:54 pm:

    My dumb smart phone added the “a” to my plural stools!

    Seperate stools…

  47. - walker - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:32 pm:

    Kerry Lester is digging in the right spots.

  48. - Hilarious - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:36 pm:

    This is my question for those who hire proft.
    You gave a guy who thinks there’s junk science behind climate change how much money?

  49. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 6:30 pm:

    This didn’t make it. My bad…

    If it works out - 47th Ward -… OW

  50. - Johnny's in the Basement - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 9:49 pm:

    I’m so glad that DuPage County has changed. My Congressman used to be Henry “youthful indiscretion” Hyde and now it’s (future Senator) Tammy Duckworth. Proft can go jump in a lake, as Grandpa used to say.

  51. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 11:03 pm:

    –This is my question for those who hire proft.
    You gave a guy who thinks there’s junk science behind climate change how much money?–

    Proft is just parroting what his sugar daddies believe. He knows what side his bread his buttered on.

    Proft must be a real sweet talker to the rich old dudes. Because his media is third rate and cheap, and his results not so good in really contested races.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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