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Biss campaign manager warns of viability issue

Thursday, Oct 12, 2017

* The Tribune has a piece today about the Biss campaign’s reaction to JB Pritzker writing another $7 million check to his campaign

“Why would J.B. continue dumping millions of dollars in this race, this early in the primary? Here’s the answer: he and the establishment backing him believe their best chance at winning is by piling on millions of dollars right now,” Biss campaign manager Abby Witt said in an email fundraising appeal.

“They think that a grassroots movement without the backing of a billionaire has no chance. They think it’s time to write our obituary. And they want you to believe that too,” she warned.

Even as she boasted of the grassroots support for Biss, Witt added an unusual cautionary note about the campaign’s long-term viability to try to raise some money.

“We have a lot of ground to make up. If we’re going to take this all the way to the March primary, we’re going to need each and every one of you to step up however you can,” she said.

That’s likely just a standard “scare the contributor into ponying up more dough” line, but in the wake of Ameya Pawar’s announcement today that he’s getting out of the race over money issues, they might want to shy away from that sort of thing in the near future.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

31 Comments
  1. - City Zen - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    “Why would J.B. continue dumping millions of dollars in this race, this early in the primary”

    Because $7 million represents only 0.2% of JB’s net worth.


  2. - Gruntled University Employee - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    “Why would J.B. continue dumping millions of dollars in this race, this early in the primary?

    He wants to win?


  3. - George - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    “We have no resources or support: that means we’re winning!” Biss 2018.


  4. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    “Why would J.B. continue dumping millions of dollars in this race, this early in the primary”

    ‘Cause EMILY’s List didn’t pick it’s name from a YA novel?


  5. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    In addition to City Zen and Gruntled:

    Because he saw what happened when Mitt Romney held his fire until later in the campaign and let others define him.


  6. - Anti-Richard Ogilve - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    “Why would J.B. continue dumping millions of dollars in this race, this early in the primary?”

    So he doesn’t drop out of the race like Ameya Pawar and then issue a way too long press release moaning about his lack of campaign funds?


  7. - JohnnyPyleDriver - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    lots of over thinking here. They draw attention to his obscene wealth to continue to illustrate the “elections not auctions” theme


  8. - Grand Avenue - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    As a reference, Rauner “only” gave his own campaign $6,576,000 total for the 2014 primary.


  9. - Curl of the Burl - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    If you have the money and the avenue to spend it then you spend the money. This is why attorneys are willing to pony up their own $$$ to run for judge or, in some smaller counties, state’s attorney.


  10. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    Dan Walker showed fourty years ago that if you project confidence, know the voters and know how to walk, you can defeat two big money party stalwarts.


  11. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    Walker wasn’t the only governor who did this successfully. Money is necessary, but it’s not as important as an interest viable message, a great candidate and luck.


  12. - Steve - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    I will not be surprised if Daniel Biss wins the Democrat primary without much money. He’s in the right state for his kind of statist ideas. JB Pritzker’s money might reach the point of diminishing returns. Money is important but it’s not everything…. Ask Hillary Clinton.


  13. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    Anyone wanting statewide office in Illinois needs to have a plan beyond money, or all we get are guys like Rauner, Pritzker, Kennedy, Hull and Hofeld.

    Elections aren’t auctions when candidates are more than empty suits.


  14. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    “Why would J.B. continue dumping millions of dollars in this race, this early in the primary”

    To drive out the other candidates. Looks like it is beginning to work.


  15. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    How many times have we seen rich guys hire rich guys to run a campaign when all that’s accomplished is spending the money available?

    You’d think that after 2016, someone would run a campaign based upon what was learned in 2016.


  16. - Ghost - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    Biss, I am good at math but not money…. so I’m name recognition and .essagei g ate bad in an election…. we need candidates no one knows who lack the money to get their messaging out in the primary. That way when the election comes we can demand Rauner stop spending money to beat us. Afterall it would be crazy to want to habe cash on hand to challange an incumbent millionaire with billionaire friends. Just crazy… remeber support the people canidate who cant raise money and supported Madigan until it was stylish not to…. vote waffle Biss, bad with money but good with math, math not related to Money anyway….


  17. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    Biss does try too hard at times, but the field is narrowing and maybe JB should be concerned…rich guy pols are not fairing well these days in the PR wars…


  18. - JoeMaddon - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    Uh…Ghost, you feeling okay today?


  19. - DuPage - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 12:14 pm:

    Pritzker is the only candidate with enough money to counter Rauner. Rauner could spend 100 million on negative attack ads. Pritzker could match for an effective counter-attack. Biss, not enough money available. Also a lot of teachers remember his vote to cut their pensions, not a plus for Biss.


  20. - Anon0091 - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 12:41 pm:

    Yea VMan, I hear ya. What do you call someone who works harder with all the money and all the endorsements?

    But seriously, if you can’t tell the difference between how Pritzker is spending his money and the way Hofeld and Hull did, then I don’t know what to tell you. Pritzker has clearly demonstrated he’s a way way better candidate than either of those two guys, and definitely better than Assessor Kennedy. So while money can’t buy you a win, it sure helps if you have the right other tools in place.


  21. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    “You’d think that after 2016, someone would run a campaign based upon what was learned in 2016.”

    Agreed, but one possible legitimate takeaway from 2016 is ‘if you can, keep yourself in the news cycle and do it on your terms’ — and that seems to be the thesis upon which Pritzker has based his campaign.

    Whether that is the *correct* lesson to take from 2016 is, of course, another matter entirely.

    – MrJM


  22. - a drop in - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    “You’d think that after 2016, someone would run a campaign based upon what was learned in 2016.”

    I think,for the governor’s race, 2014 is more appropriate. And money surely talked a lot in that one.


  23. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    ==Whether that is the *correct* lesson to take from 2016 is, of course, another matter entirely.==

    The big lesson I took from 2016 was, “It’s sure nice when the FBI director opines on your opponent’s big scandal twice in the last two weeks of the campaign.”


  24. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    Lots of time for plenty of dirt to be dug up on all contenders…
    JB will tire of the Trib running pix of him with Blago…


  25. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    –“Why would J.B. continue dumping millions of dollars in this race,….”–

    Why does a dog lick….?

    Because he can.


  26. - Downstate43 - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    == Agreed, but one possible legitimate takeaway from 2016 is ‘if you can, keep yourself in the news cycle and do it on your terms’ — and that seems to be the thesis upon which Pritzker has based his campaign. ==

    Agreed, but it’s not a lesson that’s easily duplicated. Others will try, but to duplicate what Trump did, all of the variables would have to be the same. You take just one part or a few parts of what Trump did and try to apply them to someone else, the odds are it fails miserably.

    As for money - Dan Walker is a good reminder. You can really level the playing field against a wealthy opponent if you figure out how to apply county sheriff-politics to a higher office. Candidates also seem to think that forums and meet & greets equate to grassroots politics.

    We get the kind of politics/politicians we deserve.


  27. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    –Agreed, but it’s not a lesson that’s easily duplicated. Others will try, but to duplicate what Trump did, all of the variables would have to be the same.–

    Like all the national cable news outlets giving up their programming for him, amounting to billions in free media, because the spectacle of every goofy thing he said was good for ratings?

    I don’t think there’s any equivalent possible on the state level.


  28. - Shytown - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    This billionaire argument is stale. A legit argument and debate should be focused on where the candidates stand on issues and their commitment to fight for working families. The Biss campaign seems focused on $ because they can’t fault Pritzker on the issues.


  29. - Veil of Ignorance - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 4:15 pm:

    Biss should do everything to stick around and keep mining that progressive pool of voters. Obama 2004 primary always sits in the back of my mind on this. You never know. Hull spent millions and then fell apart (I’m not suggesting that Pritzker’s Blago problem is in the same category as Hull’s, but it’s still a problem), Hynes had machine backing and faltered, and Obama took it from there. Also, Obama had a reputation for being aloof, academic, and wordy too…but I defer to Rich on that comparison as I wasn’t around in Springfield for that.


  30. - Perwinkle - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 7:52 pm:

    ===The Biss campaign seems focused on $ because they can’t fault Pritzker on the issues.===

    No, they’re focused on money because that’s literally the only reason Pritzker can even run - he’s not qualified for the job and no one would give him a second look otherwise.


  31. - Publius - Thursday, Oct 12, 17 @ 9:20 pm:

    Perwinkle, you need to get back to fox news


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