* Let’s circle back to yesterday’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate speeches and then look at the GOP react. Sun-Times…
Pritzker took digs at Rauner, saying he’s standing up for the Koch brothers, not the working people of the state: “He didn’t shake up Springfield. He instead tore it down.” And he also vowed to invest in the Democratic party’s infrastructure to try to combat the heavily funded Illinois Republican Party.
State Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, said he’d help to build up the party with a new surge of activism that is coming out of anti-President Trump efforts. […]
“Divide and rule is exactly what Bruce Rauner is doing. We’re entering our third year without a budget. And the way our governor makes it seem it’s like a game of chicken,” Pawar said. “Like he’s taking a principled stance against overspending and the only reason we somehow don’t have a budget is because the other side won’t flinch. But the truth is Bruce Rauner wants to lose this game of chicken. He has to lose this game of chicken in order to win re-election. He wants chaos. He does not want a budget.”
Pawar may be on the right track with that argument, but I think he needs to punch it up a bit.
“This is going to be a campaign that’s about building the party. It’s going to be a campaign that’s about building new networks of activists and bring them into the party. And I’m not going to be able to write a $50 million check. I mean I can write it but it won’t’ help. He’s what I can do. I can bring a lot of new people in,” Biss said. “Those are people to make small and medium donations that ought to be the lifeblood of our party,” said state Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston.
Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar offered: “The only way forward is to require us to come together around a vision. Make sure that people who make more, pay more. That the rich pay their fair share, and be honest about our obligations to our retirees. While Bruce Rauner preaches austerity, our job is to be bold and push progressivism.”
While all of the other candidates were from the Chicago metropolitan area, Madison County Superintendent of Schools Bob Daiber said he is Democrats’ best bet because he can win downstate – the large swath of Illinois that backed Rauner over former Gov. Pat Quinn in 2014.
“Why can I win? I will tell you that Bruce Rauner is in office today because Pat Quinn only carried one other election authority other than Cook County, and that was East St. Louis, where I’m from. I can carry downstate Illinois. My challenge is to get a percentage of the vote out of Cook County, and I will carry the rest of the state,” Daiber said. “Honestly, I don’t intend to get Cook County’s endorsement. I don’t even know how you could endorse me. I’m here today to introduce myself to you so you know who I am.”
The honest admission prompted applause, and at least one official to say “I like him.”
* CBS 2…
Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers admitted all the potential candidates are similar on the issues, He said what is important is who’s discussing issues people care about and how authentic they are.
Ald. David Moore, who also serves as the committeeman of his 17th Ward, asked Pawar if he is running for governor to gain name recognition in anticipation of a campaign for Chicago mayor in 2019.
“This isn’t a game to me,” Pawar said. “If this isn’t it, I’m out.” […]
[Pritzker] also said that if Democrats want to be competitive against Rauner, they should be prepared to go up against Rauner’s powerful communications infrastructure, which Pritzker dismissed as “fake news.” […]
Biss last week launched his campaign in a Facebook Live video criticizing disconnected “billionaires and machine politicians,” but he didn’t pursue that line of criticism when he stood before the party leaders on Monday.
* Public Radio…
And former Merchandise Mart President Chris Kennedy said he thinks Rauner wants to run for president on a campaign of busting unions. In response, a GOP spokesman said that’s laughable and Rauner’s focused on Illinois.
“Today’s audition exemplifies everything wrong with Mike Madigan’s political machine,” said Steven Yaffe, spokesman for the Illinois Republican Party. “Democratic candidates had a chance to stand up to the status quo, but chose to talk about tax increases without reform. Instead of seeking to fix Illinois, the Democratic candidates made clear they will continue the broken system run by the Speaker.”
Asked about the governor’s race Monday at a separate event, Rauner labeled the Democratic candidates as “a continuation of the status quo.”
“They’re not proposing any new ideas to grow jobs. They’re not proposing any new ideas to protect taxpayers. But they’re proposing tax hikes, income tax hikes. And they’re proposing to continue to work for the political machine that’s dominated Illinois for decades,” he said. “That’s not going to make things better.”
With the Cook County Democratic organization scheduled to meet in August to consider an endorsement, Kennedy told reporters afterward that he didn’t think slate-making was as “meaningful as it was 50 or 60 years ago when people in the backroom could control the outcome of an election.”
Still, he stopped short of saying whether he would seek their endorsement.