* I’ve already told subscribers what I think of Chris Kennedy’s comments about Bruce Rauner on Friday (click here if you missed the action), so I’ll just leave it at that.
But here’s Mark Brown’s take…
It’s obviously been very helpful to Chris Kennedy’s underfunded campaign for governor that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is sinking millions of dollars into campaign commercials slamming Kennedy’s chief Democratic rival, billionaire J.B. Pritzker.
But does Kennedy have to sound so appreciative?
That was the question Friday after Kennedy set off a firestorm of intra-party criticism for opining that Rauner “should be applauded” for running attack ads against Pritzker before the Democratic primary.
If that was all Kennedy said, he might not have caused such a big fuss. But he also praised Rauner for “trying to do what he thinks is best for the state of Illinois” and for being “willing to speak truth to power.”
Ahem. Bruce Rauner? The guy who is almost physically incapable of saying Donald Trump’s name aloud let alone criticize him? Speaking truth to power?
Only when what Rauner is saying serves his own political interests. […]
I made the comment earlier in the week that no matter what they think of each other, the major Democratic candidates must certainly find each other preferable to re-electing Rauner.
Now, I’m not so sure.
* And Eric Zorn focuses his take on Chris Kennedy’s response to JB Pritzker, who said yet again that he wouldn’t call out individual Democrats (like Joe Berrios) “for their failures” because it wouldn’t be “productive”…
Businessman Chris Kennedy jumped in with his take: “That’s why we have a divided government,” he said. “For gosh sakes, if we’re not going to call out other parts of government — if you don’t see your role as governor to call out a mayor who’s not representing the people of a certain city, if you’re not willing to call out an assessor who’s violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act — if you don’t think that’s the proper role of government, you should go read the Constitution …
“We want elected officials to call each other out to provide better service, and to stop dooming the next generation to a life of economic servitude, which is exactly what these insiders are doing when they underfund our schools by (lowering) property taxes for big buildings downtown.”
Well, yes, I’m all for calling politicians to account — pointing out their failings and demanding they do better. And while I understand that constructive criticism and attempts at engagement and compromise aren’t politically fashionable, I don’t think Kennedy set the table for long-term success, should he be elected, with his over-the-top accusation earlier this month that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is leading a “strategic gentrification plan” to drive African-Americans and other minorities out of the city.
Like the casual flinging about of the accusation “corrupt,” such rhetoric generates more heat than light and is the enemy of progress.
Zorn also pointed out that lowering property taxes for downtown buildings shifts the burden to others and doesn’t directly “underfund” schools as Kennedy claims.