Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Kennedy decries insiders, promises “radical change”
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Kennedy decries insiders, promises “radical change”

Monday, May 15, 2017

* From a Chris Kennedy fundraising e-mail…

Politico reported yesterday, “There’s mounting evidence” that “powerful forces within the Democratic establishment” are steering political support to get behind billionaire J.B. Pritzker.

In 1960, party insiders tried to push my uncle John Kennedy out of the race for president, but he took his message directly to the primary voters.

The thing about history is, if you don’t learn from it, you are doomed to repeat it. If a group of political insiders think that they can bypass the voters and select a nominee, they have learned the wrong lessons from 1960 and from last year’s presidential primary too.

I am going to take our message of radical change to the voters in Illinois.

Insiders don’t want to hear the truth and they don’t like me because I’m the one telling it. They want to silence us because we threaten the status quo. But that’s not going to stop me from working to bring change to a system that hasn’t been helping families and residents across Illinois for a long time — and I hope it won’t stop you either.

We need a government that works for the people of this state: a property tax system that can’t be abused by the wealthy and insiders, fair funding for our public schools, expanded voter access to include more people in our political process, and comprehensive tax reform that includes a progressive income tax.

Please contribute today to help spread our message of radical change across the state — and show the political insiders that we won’t be intimidated or silenced.

The people of Illinois are angry about the current state of our politics, our government, our economy, and our leaders. For many, the politics of the establishment, the economy of the establishment, and the representatives of the establishment have become the enemy.

Our current leaders have a choice: they can bury their heads in the sand — or they can embrace the change needed to rebuild the future of our state and renew the promise of the American Dream.

I know where I stand, and I’m grateful you’re with me.

Thank you,


The insiders don’t want Kennedy out of the race because of his ideas or because he threatens the status quo. At least not yet, anyway (although that line about insiders abusing the property tax system is starting to come close). They want Kennedy out because dey want dat guy over by dere with the bottomless checkbook.

* From the above-referenced Politico story

There’s mounting evidence that powerful Democratic players in the state — from House Speaker Michael Madigan to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel — are steering unions, interest groups or politicians to throw their support behind billionaire J.B. Pritzker, the brother of former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

The subject isn’t discussed in public. Kennedy’s campaign says he hasn’t explicitly been asked to get out, and officials in various state and county party groups insist they will remain neutral in the primary contest.

But there’s no mistaking the political calculus at work. For all the nostalgia and political romance wrapped up in the Kennedy name, J.B. Pritzker has pledged to bankroll his own campaign against Bruce Rauner, the wealthy Republican governor with whom Illinois Democrats are engaged in an all-out war. Since 2014, Rauner and billionaire ally Ken Griffin have poured millions of dollars into winning the governor’s mansion and cutting into the Democratic majority in the state legislature. In December, Rauner deposited $50 million into his own reelection account.

“I get it. A lot of the politicians are looking at the Rauner model, saying: ‘We want that. We want the guy with unlimited resources,’” said Bill Daley, the former chief of staff to President Barack Obama who is supporting Kennedy. “It’s an automatic, instant pot of gold. It’s understandable from a raw, crass political standpoint. I’m not sure that it works in the long term.”

Maybe, maybe not. I’m not sure I’d rely on Bill Daley for political advice these days, either.

* Speaking of Kennedy, Jim Dey writes something that I’ve been thinking lately

The Kennedys are used to burying opponents under an avalanche of money and making light of it afterward.

Consider the laughs 1960 presidential candidate John F. Kennedy generated when he responded to accusations by his rivals that he was trying to buy his party’s presidential nomination. “I have just received the following telegram from my generous father. ‘Dear Jack: Don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary. I’m not going to pay for a landslide,’” JFK joked.

He was, of course, referring to family patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy, who built the family’s mammoth fortune through astute stock market investments and forays in the banking, movie, real estate and liquor businesses.

So it’s more than ironic that Chris Kennedy, the son of the late U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy and former chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, finds himself on the outside looking in at the party establishment.

Since necessity is the mother of invention, he’s rebranding himself as an underdog who won’t be pushed around by the big dogs.

Yep, but, like Jim writes, it’s absolutely necessary. Kennedy has to get out of that old mindset. Whether he truly can or not remains to be seen.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 2:49 pm:

    I seem to recall Kennedy courting many of those very same insiders at the Democratic National Convention. Now he decries them because they seem to be coalescing around someone else.

  2. - Lance Mannion - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 2:55 pm:

    Chris Kennedy as a rich man’s Bernie Sanders? Truly rich. ;)

    That said, there’s nothing to doubt the likelihood of party regulars (read Madigan) lining up behind the inherited money of Pritzker. We’re talking Chicago politics here, after all.

  3. - Snucka - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 2:58 pm:

    Clearly, the establishment is trying to end this primary early. Senator Mulroe is the latest elected official to send one of his staffers to join the Pritzker camp. I haven’t heard of many electeds sending people to other campaigns.

  4. - The Captain - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:00 pm:

    Here’s my issue with Kennedy, let’s take these three examples 1) the elevator scene at the DNC, 2) his complaints about the budget questions he was getting, and 3) this item above, they’re all a variation on “you’re being mean to me”. I’m not saying he’s Bobby Newport, there does seem to be some substance there, but I’d like to see him show some purpose too.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:29 pm:

    The Kennedy Crew is doing Chris a terrible disservice that invoking a parallel in 21st century Illinois politics to a time, wait for it, 57 years ago.

    That’s… Fifty-Seven… years ago.


  6. - Responsa - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    Let us know how this turns out, Chris, m’kay? It is indeed very likely that what you say, suspect and insinuate is true. But ultimately will it make a difference to donors and voters?

  7. - DuPage Saint - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    I am tired of outsiders including the ultimate outside/insider Quinn. Give me a a POLITICIAN a person who walked precincts came up through the ranks can work both sides of aisle and get a deal done. George Ryan Jessie White

  8. - Hit Em With the Hein - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:45 pm:

    Love these that these tables are turned! Can’t be an outsider when you literally come from the most inside family in the history of the US politics. Can someone tell me the path for Chris or Biss to victory now that JB has been anointed?

  9. - Chicago J - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    I really think the Dems need to learn from the national primaries and election last year and make sure the nominee is someone the people want! Not just billionaires. I think Biss and Pawar have much more “people appeal” for Illinois. I’m rooting for one of them…

  10. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:50 pm:

    –In 1960, party insiders tried to push my uncle John Kennedy out of the race for president, but he took his message directly to the primary voters.–

    If the legends are true, they sure came around in the general, though.

  11. - walker - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:50 pm:

    Rich is dead on that it’s about the money. Let me make it easy: With Pritzker, DPI can significantly fund ten more “competitive” legislative races than with Kennedy or Biss. (The GA can work with any of the three.)

  12. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:51 pm:

    Kennedy is so 1960.
    Something more recent…


  13. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    ===Can someone tell me the path for Chris…===

    With 44%, mostly name ID existing and Kennedy leading the pack, it’s up to the Kennedy Crew to build a structure and narrative that while he’s a Kennedy, he’s really Chris, a proud Illinoisan that has the answers to lead Illinois. They need to parlay some traditional Democratic organizations while his Crew embarrassingly tries to decry endorsements, and make the case that Kennedy can connect with those Rauner is hurting throughout Illinois…

    ===Can someone tell me the path for… Biss to victory====

    Biss is running a campaign that looks at the primary first as an opportunity to be the “alternative” to them all… Rauner, Pritzker, Kennedy… and energize thise in the Democratic Party that feel their voices aren’t being heard, and make the difference that 2016 didn’t.

    There’s paths. There’s always paths.

    You need the cash, the cache, the organization, the message, and the ground game.

    ===now that JB has been anointed?===

    If that was the case, Kennedy and Biss and their reception when they go places sound be quite different publicly… public-ly… that hasn’t happened yet.

  14. - molly maguire - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 4:20 pm:

    I would love to see it, but CK has shown zero ability to do that so far, and I have not hope he’s going to be able to do it at this late date. He’s no Bernie Sander or RFK.

  15. - Responsa - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 4:30 pm:

    I wonder if Kennedy and his campaign team have thought about, and are prepared to address Chief Illiniwek and Chris’ role in that. A decade after the Chief’s highly controversial forced demise alums and many others in IL (especially in Central Illinois) have not forgotten and never will. This is a type of personal, emotional, negative connotation about Kennedy that some voters have and will tap into as opposed to their caring about and getting incensed over whether the IL Dem party is being mean to Chris.

  16. - @misterjayem - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 4:31 pm:

    Kennedy is so 1960.
    Something more recent…


    Worked in Missouri.

    – MrJM

  17. - Anonymous - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 4:32 pm:

    == Joseph P. Kennedy, who built the family’s mammoth fortune through astute stock market investments and forays in the banking, movie, real estate and liquor businesses.==

    That’s an interesting way to spin mob ties and bootlegging.

  18. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 4:42 pm:

    The last Kennedy to run for governor - lost.

  19. - wordslinger - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 4:43 pm:

    –The Kennedys are used to burying opponents under an avalanche of money and making light of it afterward.–

    Yeah, that one time, 57 years ago, in the West Virginia primary.

    Thanks for the update, Jim.

    What about those Beatles, with the hair and the yeah-yeah-yeah? Are they some kind of beatniks on reefers or something?

  20. - Moe Berg - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 4:57 pm:

    Bill Daley supports Kennedy so much he’s donated nothing to his campaign fund. But, the advice is…priceless.

  21. - Plutocrat03 - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 5:08 pm:

    CK can also ask JB whether his little property tax issue has been solved.

    Funny that the anointed aparatus candidate can bIgfoot some major property tax bennies for himself.

    You have to be a brain stem to support this union busting guy.

  22. - wordslinger - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 5:35 pm:

    For the record, JFKs 1960 Democratic primary run was the only time the Kennedy’s muscled anyone with money.

    Nixon outspent Kennedy in the general — $10.1M to 9.7M, if you can believe that.

    Ted Kennedy won in Massachusetts on his name — and in 1994 had to take a second mortgage to finance a last minute TV buy against Mitt Romney.

    In 1964, RFK was elected Senator in New York, but ran two million votes behind LBJ.

    The various Congressional Kennedys — name-power, not money.

    What’s the Kennedy name worth in 2018 Illinois? Maybe Bill Daley can answer that.

  23. - Rocky Rosi - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 7:10 pm:

    He is an insider. All of them running are insiders. I’m thinking about running and I have my own resources to run.

  24. - blue dog dem - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 8:28 pm:

    The more the Democratic insiders shove something down old blues muzzle, the less likely I vote for a Dem in the governors race. Gonna have to leave that one blank.

  25. - peon - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 9:15 pm:

    If our IL politicians were playing 4-D chess all the time, would we be in this mess ? We give them too much credit for strategic genius.

    Chris Kennedy has a good chance in the primary. Because I don’t think either party can tie their own shoelaces, never mind pre-cook a primary.

  26. - filmmaker prof - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 11:35 pm:

    Word - check into Patrick Kennedy’s first congressional campaign. burying his opponent in money.

  27. - Rogue Roni - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 8:33 am:

    With the outsiders in the governors mansion and the White House I think we’re ready for an insider

  28. - ZC - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 8:54 am:

    I get the logic. A purely adequate challenger, who can match Rauner’s pocketbook, is favored to win IL in a Trump midterm year … and JB may be more than adequate.

    At the same time it bugs me a bit to hear some people saying he’s “out-hustling” other candidates, or “he’s really working hard” or “he’s out-strategizing the competition.”

    He has a net worth of over $3 billion. You can buy a lot of “hustle” or “strategy” these days.

    It disturbs me that he’s the front-runner for the mere reason - and make no mistake, it’s the only reason - that he’s filthy wealthy. That’s just depressing.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Pritzker contributes $51.5 million to his "Fair Tax" campaign account
* *** UPDATED x1 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: This just in...
* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* *** UPDATED x3 *** Devore tells reporters he's won both cases
* Question of the day
* 869 new cases, 36 additional deaths, 2.6 percent positivity rate
* *** UPDATED x2 - ILGOP will appeal *** Federal judge denies ILGOP's TRO request: "Granting Plaintiffs the relief they seek would pose serious risks to public health"
* Today's must-watch video
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: New ads; More react to Wednesday's edition (password fixed)
* After returning from Florida, Rep. Bailey won't get tested "on the advice of his doctor"
* We're number one... in FBI gun background checks during June
* White Sox vs. Cardinals at Field of Dreams game
* Lightfoot spins tall tale to justify preemptive sweeps
* Well, that escalated quickly
* If you want schools to reopen, wear a mask, keep your distance and wash your hands
* 1.43 million Americans, 45.25 thousand Illinoisans filed new unemployment claims last week
* Open thread
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...





Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller