For the third day in a row, Gov. Bruce Rauner doesn’t have any public events scheduled, so reporters won’t get a chance to ask him about a lawsuit that says he had a 2015 meeting about an investment on the back porch of the governor’s mansion.
That gathering on taxpayer property came to light Tuesday after a lawsuit filed by former investment partner Harreld N. “Kip” Kirkpatrick III was unsealed. It says Rauner and Kirkpatrick disagree on how a $67.5 million settlement from other court proceedings was divvied up.
On Wednesday, Rauner’s attorneys fired back in a court filing accusing Kirkpatrick of “a continuing pattern of self-dealing,” according to the Sun-Times. And The Associated Press reported that the governor’s official calendar shows a scheduled meeting with Kirkpatrick at the mansion on the date in question.
Rauner stayed out of the public eye Wednesday, and the last public appearance listed on his schedule was Monday, the day before the lawsuit details went public.
* Make that four days in a row…
Daily Public Schedule: Friday, Jan. 26, 2018
What: Gov. Rauner launches Bicentennial K-12 education resource: ‘Illinois Chronicles’
Where: Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago
Date: Friday, January 26, 2018
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Note: No additional media availability
Silverstein, who is married, told The Associated Press that he could not remember whether he did the things Rotheimer alleged, but also suggested that she might have been unhappy because the legislation has not yet passed.
“There were no mind games, no power struggle,” Silverstein said. “I was working the bill. That was my job, to work the bill. She might not like how bill was proceeding. Maybe that’s the issue here.”
“I apologize if I made her uncomfortable,” he said.
Just as Rotheimer downplays her own role in encouraging the intimacy of the discussions she had with Silverstein, Silverstein also has an overly generous view of his own conduct… he does not appear to fully to accept that the messages went beyond “joking around,” were unprofessional and created at least the appearance that he had a romantic interest in Rotheimer.
The IG went on to recommend that Silverstein be counseled by his ethics officer.
Embattled anti-choice Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL) spoke at a March for Life-affiliated event alongside abortion foes aligned with the Trump administration’s agenda—just a day before he skipped his scheduled Friday address to the march, declining to put himself in what he called a “potentially morally compromised situation” by speaking at the same event as the president.
“So many have been driven out [of the Democratic Party]. And I have a lot of people tell me, ‘Well, just get out,’” Lipinski told the Law of Life Summit, according to an audio recording obtained by Rewire.
“And I always say, ‘Well, I think it’s important to evangelize. I think it’s important to have a voice, crying out in that wilderness, of the need to protect life,’” he continued. “And I’ve always believed, and I always say, the Democratic Party says it stands up for the little guy, and there’s no one who is more vulnerable than the unborn, who need the protection. And so I’m hanging in there.”
The Lipinski family formula for political longevity, now spanning 36 years, has always been built upon hewing to the conservative side of the Democratic Party, finding peace with Republicans as protection for general elections.
LaGrange businesswoman Marie Newman thinks that formula has passed its expiration date for U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, who followed his father Bill into Congress 14 years ago.
“I don’t think he understands the district has changed beyond dramatically since his tenure,” Newman told the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board Wednesday in a joint appearance with Lipinski, their first of the campaign.
The 3rd Congressional District, which represents much of Chicago’s Southwest Side and the southwest suburbs, is now solidly Democratic turf that deserves a solid Democratic vote in the House, not a “squishy situation where you don’t know how the congressperson is going to vote,” Newman said.
Lipinski, 51, countered that the “pragmatic” voters of his district want a like-minded representative willing to reach across party lines to solve problems, not someone who would add to the “bickering and gridlock” in Washington.
The Newman campaign released some poll results last month which it claimed showed Lipinski is vulnerable to a challenge (click here).
* I asked for some additional results. People seem to think that this district is still full of socially conservative Reagan Democrats living in bungalows. But times change. Here are a few results the Newman campaign sent over…
Now, I’m going to read you a list of public figures and I’d like you to tell me whether you have a FAVORABLE or UNFAVORABLE opinion of each person using a scale that runs from 0 to 10. A 0 on this scale means you have a VERY LOW or VERY UNFAVORABLE opinion of that person. A 10 on this scale means you have a VERY HIGH or VERY FAVORABLE opinion of that person. Now, you can use any number between 0 and 10 to tell me your opinion of each. If you have never heard of a name, or don’t know enough to rate them, please just say so.
Very Fav: 35%
Smwt Fav: 31%
Smwt Unfav: 9%
Very Unfav: 8%
Total Fav: 66%
Total Unfav: 17%
Which of the following types of candidates for Congress are you more likely to support: [RANDOMIZE ORDER, RANDOMIZE PAIRS]
A Democrat who is pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights 65%
A Democrat who is pro-life and supports traditional marriage 23
(DON’T KNOW) 11
One last question. When it comes to the issue of abortion, do you generally think of yourself as PRO-CHOICE or do you generally think of yourself as PRO-LIFE?
And would you say you are STRONGLY [PRO-CHOICE/PROLIFE] or do you lean [PRO-CHOICE/PRO-LIFE]?
Ruiz charged that at a forum with the Chicago Sun-Times this month, Raoul had defended taking the tobacco industry money by saying he’d had the contributions approved by the attorney general’s office. Raoul repeatedly disputed having said that.
“You cannot tell me what I said,” Raoul shouted at one point.
Jesse Ruiz: Did the attorney general’s office advise you that it was OK or not OK? You said at the Sun-Times, you told the Sun-Times editorial board to their faces that the office of attorney general told you it was OK.
Kwame Raoul: That was not what I said.
Jesse Ruiz: That is what you said.
Kwame Raoul: Jesse, you cannot tell me what I said!
Jesse Ruiz: I heard you, that’s why I can tell you…
Aaron Goldstein: “Senator, if you were the attorney general, would you continue with the lawsuit against the tobacco companies?”
Raoul: “I talked to the attorney general. The attorney general does not control that lawsuit.”
Goldstein: “But you have oversight. You have oversight as attorney general. Would you remove yourself from it?”
Raoul: “The attorney general does not control that lawsuit. I checked with the donor and I checked with the attorney general’s office. They are a signatory to the settlement. The settlement is done. What happened is that …[ interrupted by others] Let me finish.”
Ruiz: “That is not true.”
Raoul: “First of all let me start with the fact that I am not for sale.”
Sharon Fairley: “No, because you’ve already been bought.”
…Adding… From the Ruiz campaign…
As reported by Crain’s Chicago business,
Levin’s Top Tobacco is one of the parties to the national pact that Madigan enforces and oversees here in Illinois. Madigan’s office confirms that it has opposed Top Tobacco in a series of arbitrations—one pending—in which it is seeking tens of millions of dollars from that company and others in a dispute over payments to the state from the tobacco settlement.
Kwame Raoul’s assertion to the Sun-Times’ editorial board that his donor has no pending action in front of the AG’s office is simply incorrect.
In addition, the Sun-Times article quotes Kwame as saying, “I checked with the donor, and I checked with the attorney general’s office.” Yet in front of the Tribune editorial board, Kwame denied that he consulted the attorney general’s office. That flatly contradicts Kwame’s earlier statement.
In the tale of the tapes, this one goes to Team Ruiz.
But another group, Personal PAC, which spends hundreds of thousands of dollars in some election cycles, announced it is backing only one candidate: Pritzker.
In a phone interview, Personal PAC CEO Terry Cosgrove confirmed the decision and said it has nothing to do with the fact that Pritzker last spring donated more than $300,000 to the group and to its affiliated independent expenditure committee.
While other candidates have taken pro-abortion rights stands, too, the decision to endorse Pritzker alone “came down to viability,” Cosgrove said. “We felt J.B. had the campaign apparatus, the resources and the commitment to win against (incumbent) Bruce Rauner.” […]
Personal PAC endorsements are not affected by donations it receives, Cosgrove added. “Ask Diana Rauner how much her tens of thousands of checks to us have done for her husband. . . .Three-quarters of my board has no idea of donations.”
A spokesman for Biss said his candidate was “surprised” that he failed to receive the Personal PAC endorsement, given that he “for years has worked on women’s issues.” Biss was “pleased” that Planned Parenthood felt otherwise.
* In other campaign news, from a pess release…
Today, the JB for Governor campaign released a new digital ad, “In Charge,” highlighting Bruce Rauner’s failure to lead and JB’s commitment to standing up for all Illinoisans and taking charge when he’s governor.
“Bruce Rauner unleashed a budget crisis on our state, and after all of that, he has the nerve to look you in the eye and say, ‘I am not in charge,’” said JB Pritzker. “If I’m elected governor, when the Dreamers need my protection, when people of color need my commitment to justice, when the LGBTQ community needs my voice, and women everywhere need me to say, ‘we believe you,’ I will be in charge. Illinois deserves better than Bruce Rauner. Illinois deserves a leader.”
Sen. Ira Silverstein today gave this statement about sexual harassment allegations against him: “I am very grateful that we have an independent Inspector General who saw the facts for what they were. My priorities are now my family and my reelection.”
* So I reached out to Denise Rotheimer, who has accused Sen. Ira Silverstein of sexual harassment. Rotheimer told me this today about the Legislative Inspector General…
The LIG said she has concluded her investigation and is taking no action at this time.
More when I know more.
…Adding… The Legislative Ethics Commission now has the option to order the LIG to reopen the investigation or it could go out and hire another special inspector general to pursue the claims. Neither seems likely.
*** UPDATE 1 *** From Ms. Rotheimer…
I have been informed by Julie Porter that I have no rights. None that she can think of.
When I told her I have a constitutional right under the 1st Amendment to speech that I am entitled to be heard in this process. She said I am confused because that is not how this process works and explained when I filed the complaint it was nothing more than making a tip to the government.
On Friday I asked her the status on my complaint because I am having nightmares. She said she concluded her investigation but will not take action at this time. I asked her in an email to take action on a finding sooner than later and not wait until the March primary. If however Silverstein who does have rights in this process and was privy to the LEC meeting today that I didn’t know about until being contacted by a reporter- knows something I don’t because I “am not a person ” in this process then it’s possible the LIG did take action.
This process is rigged in his favor so I know he is happy with it. But I have not been informed with any action by the LIG of her finding or recommendation other than what she said in Friday that her investigation is complete but she is not taking action at this time.
Ultimately, I conclude that although Silverstein did not engage in sexual harassment in violation of the State Officials and Employee Ethics Act, or other unlawful conduct, he did behave in a manner unbecoming of a legislator in violation of the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 420/3-107.
In the communications available to me, there are dozens of instances where Rotheimer initiates, prolongs and deepens the intimacy of the discussions. She repeatedly compiments and flirts with Silverstein. […]
I do not suggest that she is lying about how she felt, and I do not conclude that that she subjectively welcomed the communications. Again, my interviews with the State’s Attorney and Rotheimer’s friend corroborate Rotheimer’s assertions that - at the time - she was uncomfortable… My objective assessment is that even if Rotheimer was internally cringing at the messages Silverstein sent her and did not welcome them, she gave no outward sign of that at all, and no one - including Silverstein - would have any way of knowing that she was not a fully willing participant in the discussions.
“I’m not a person in this case. He gets all the rights,” she said of Silverstein, adding she planned to put out further evidence publicly.
“If she wants to make a no finding, I will show everybody with this evidence that I have that she has but doesn’t know I have,” Rotheimer said. “I’ll make it public and she’ll have to answer to that.”
*** UPDATE 5 *** Press release…
Today, Democratic Candidate for State Senate Ram Villivalam (IL-8) made the following statement regarding the Inspector General’s report summarizing her investigation into the sexual harassment charges against State Senator Ira Silverstein (IL-8):
“The Inspector General’s report makes it clear that Illinois State Senator Ira Silverstein ‘did behave in a manner unbecoming of a legislator in violation of the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act.’ It is ALSO clear that we need to have a Legislative Ethics Act with real consequences. If and when a legislator violates the Legislative Ethics Act, there need to be specific statutory punishments up to and including expulsion from the Legislature. Women need to be believed. And men need to be held accountable.
The people of the 8th State Senate District - and ALL of Illinois - deserve better.”
*** UPDATE 6 *** From another primary opponent, Caroline McAteer-Fournier…
Legislators are not above the law just because they write the laws. The general assembly needs to be held to the same level of accountability as any other citizen.
We have an Inspector General report finding that Sen. Silverstein engaged in conduct “unbecoming of a legislator,” in violation of the Ethics Act. Furthermore, the report says Silverstein “correctly acknowledges” that very fact. The public trust in the senator has evaporated. We need a senator who doesn’t require “ethics counseling.” Women all over the country are putting a stop to this nonsense, and we can do it here in the 8th District too. Sen. Silverstein, Times Up!
* From Rep. Ann Williams’ (D-Chicago) Facebook page…
I will join colleagues, staff, and lobbyists in wearing black to the State of the State address in Springfield next week as a show of solidarity with the #metoo movement. A reminder to all that #timesup on inequality, gender discrimination and sexual harassment in our state capitol and beyond.
“We have been able to raise serious money, millions of dollars by having literally thousands and thousands of people from hundreds of towns across Illinois contribute.”
This sort of thing plays well with the people at TYT because they loved them some Bernie Sanders. According to Politifact, 44 percent of Bernie’s individual contributions (which excludes political action committee cash) came from contributions of $200 or less. Without the help of any joint fundraising committees, Sanders’ small-dollar total was 58 percent of his individual contributions.
* Since April 1st of last year (a few days after he filed his gubernatorial D-1), Sen. Biss has reported raising $2,946,368.43 (one of the reasons Biss entered this quarter with over $3 million in the bank is because he started his statewide campaign last year with $1.6 million cash on hand).
Anyway, of that $2.95 million he’s raised, $2,622,515.25 came from individual contributions.
Of that, $271,742.48 have been small-dollar contributions that weren’t itemized. He itemized another $54,850.28 in contributions of $150 or less (contributions in excess of $150 must be reported).
So, his small-dollar contributions totaled $326,592.76 since he got into the race, about 12.5 percent of his total raised. Up that to $200 (to equalize it with the Bernie numbers) and it works out to $358,653.48, or 13.7 percent of his total.
By contrast, Biss’ individual contributions of $10,000 or more totaled $1,241,600, or 47 percent of his total from individuals.
Individual contributions to Biss of $1,000 or more totaled $2,218,177.18, or 84.6 percent of his total raised.
* The AP story really doesn’t do justice to yesterday’s Tribune editorial board meeting with the Dem AG candidates…
Several candidates took jabs at Raoul, who leads in fundraising and high-profile endorsements.
They questioned his campaign contributions from big tobacco and the gaming industry, focusing on possible conflicts of interest. Ruiz, a former Chicago education official, said he’s abstained from votes to avoid complications and questioned Raoul’s impartiality. At one point, Raoul shot back, calling Ruiz “a serial liar.”
“It hasn’t compromised me in the past,” Raoul said. “I’m not for sale.” […]
“How can people expect that things are going to be different if we keep electing the same people?” [Renato Mariotti ] asked Quinn. “If you can’t defeat Bruce Rauner, why we would trust you take on Donald Trump?”
Two of the Democratic candidates — state Sen. Kwame Raoul and former Chicago Board of Education head Jesse Ruiz — clashed loudly over political contributions.
When asked if Raoul’s campaign funds from tobacco companies would compromise his ability to litigate against them as Illinois’s attorney general, Ruiz upped the ante by insisting Raoul was contradicting his comments to the Chicago Sun-Times from another forum earlier this month.
“Jesse, you cannot tell me what I said,” Raoul yelled across the table. “You are a serial liar.” The exchange was broken up by tabletop bell wielded by the Tribune.
“You cannot tell me what I said,” Raoul shouted at one point.
“I heard you,” said Ruiz.
“You are a serial liar,” Raoul replied. […]
“I think one of the big problems that we have in this room is that we have people that are beholden to powers that be that don’t want to change anything,” Drury said. He called Quinn “the patronage pal of Mike Madigan.”
Rotering accused Drury of “the height of hypocrisy,” noting that he had “taken money from people who are funding Rauner.” Drury countered that one of Rotering’s biggest donors was also a contributor to Rauner. […]
“You know, we keep hearing about laws that you passed when you had all these different roles in state government, and we’re left with a corrupt government that is corrupt and a government that people don’t have trust in here in Illinois,” Mariotti said to Quinn. “And I guess the question is: How can the people of Illinois expect that things are going to be different when we keep electing the same people who’ve been in charge, when these laws are passed that are supposedly enough to deal with corruption in Illinois and it hasn’t been done?”
* Let’s try this again because people seem to be getting way too far into the weeds. Gov. Rauner was asked in October about a lawsuit filed against him by Kip Kirkpatrick. Media outlets had reported that Rauner had demanded the case be sealed. So, a reporter asked him “Why are you fighting to keep that sealed?”…
Gov. Rauner: I am not. So, to be clear, my assets, all my investments are in a trust that I don’t control. I did that when I became governor. I can’t comment on any business disputes. That gets settled in its own process.
Reporter: Is that the reason why it’s sealed because it’s through a blind trust?
Gov. Rauner: I can’t even tell you, I mean, I don’t really have much to do with that.
Today, the Democratic Governors Association filed a public records request with Governor Bruce Rauner’s office, seeking visitor logs for the Governor’s Mansion and his temporary residence at the State Fairgrounds.
The DGA submitted the request following the revelation in a lawsuit unsealed this week that Governor Rauner held a meeting related to his business interests on the back porch of the Governor’s Mansion. Rauner netted a $15 million profit from the settlement of the investment, which he discussed on the back porch.
“Bruce Rauner asked the public to trust him, and he broke that trust,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner promised the public he would wall himself off from his business interests. Now, Rauner must come clean and turn over any information about other business meetings he had while in office.”
Rauner has fought attempts to bring transparency in the operation of his office. The Illinois Times tried to obtain Rauner’s office calendar which quickly lead to a long lawsuit. Rauner maintains he does not use an email address, but his office fought the release of his wife’s emails even though the Chicago Sun-Times showed they pertained to state business.
Specifically, the DGA is requesting:
copies of all visitor logs of the Governor’s mansion in Springfield from January 12, 2015 to January 23, 2018; and
copies of all visitor logs of the Governor’s temporary residence located on (or near) the Illinois State Fairgrounds from March 1, 2017 to January 23, 2018.
…Adding… Pritzker campaign…
On the heels of a now unsealed lawsuit against Bruce Rauner, a new report confirms that Rauner held a private business meeting at the People’s House, aiming to maximize his personal profit while driving state finances into the ground.
Despite pledging to remove himself from business dealings when he took office, Rauner reneged on that promise and had his state-paid secretary schedule a meeting with Kip Kirkpatrick at the Governor’s Mansion. The 300% profit on the business deal was “apparently not enough for Rauner.” The Associated Press filed Freedom of Information Act requests in 2015 to pry Rauner’s official calendar from the administration to confirm the meeting took place.
“It is now clear that Bruce Rauner conducted private business while in office, despite repeatedly vowing to remove himself from the potentially conflicting deals,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “This failed governor spent years trying to cover up his unethical behavior and blatant lies to the public, undoubtedly breaking the trust of the people of this state.”
Today, Daniel Biss announced that Illinois members of MoveOn.org Political Action have voted overwhelmingly to endorse Daniel Biss in the state’s gubernatorial race, with 66% of votes cast in favor of backing Biss, who is challenging Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner. MoveOn members praised Biss’ people-powered campaign and progressive policy agenda.
“Daniel’s people-powered campaign is building momentum from Chicago to Champaign to East St. Louis. He’s running on a bold vision for a massive change to Illinois politics and economy. One that puts middle-class values and families first, not the billionaires and big corporations,” said Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action in an email to Illinois MoveOn members. “His support for single-payer health care, tuition-free public universities, fixing a broken criminal justice system, and making sure the wealthy pay their share is a recipe for energizing the broad coalition it’ll take to beat Bruce Rauner in the fall.”
MoveOn will mobilize its 265,000 members in Illinois to volunteer and vote for Biss.
Here’s what a few MoveOn members in Illinois had to say about Biss:
“I like that Biss has talked about supporting public schools and that he sends his kids to public schools. I like he is a middle class candidate who is not using his own pocket money to fund a campaign. No more millionaire candidates. I feel he will really understand the needs of the middle class while working for all of Illinois.” —Kate from Chicago
“Daniel and Litesa are the only ticket with two active records of progressive legislative experience. Looking at what they’ve been able to accomplish while Rauner has been in office, I feel so much more confident about what they can do to reform Illinois once he’s voted out!” —Sara from Brookfield
“Daniel Biss brings progressive values, creative thinking, consensus building and real, in-the-trenches government experience to his campaign. He left his profession as Math professor at the University of Chicago to become a community organizer, and has since served both in the Illinois House and Senate. He is a man of the people and for the people, not buying his candidacy because he is a billionaire. He is a candidate so worthy MoveOn’s support.” —Rebecca from Champaign
“Of all the candidates running for governor Daniel is the only one with legislative experience. I feel that he will represent the interest of working families like mine. I have donated both time and money to this campaign, even though I do not normally give to political campaigns. I believe that strongly in him.” —Giovanna from Rockford
“Because Daniel is a breath of fresh air - well-educated, fighting for those whose voices are typically ignored (elderly, disabled, immigrants and more). When he speaks, he engages you, speaks to you and not down to you. I think everyone can identify with Daniel. He has a clear story of inspiration that has guided him down this path. He expects accountability - even for himself. This is our next governor.”—Tonna from Carpentersville
“I’m proud to receive MoveOn’s endorsement,” said Daniel Biss. “When I first got involved in grassroots organizing in response to the Iraq War, I fell in love with the idea that we can fundamentally transform our communities when we unite around a common vision. That belief inspired me to run for office for the first time a decade ago, to organize around progressive reform in the state legislature, and to take on wealthy, establishment candidates as I run a grassroots campaign for governor now. MoveOn was founded with this same faith in people-powered politics and has earned a reputation nationwide for backing true progressive candidates and amplifying the voices of voters, both on the ground and through innovative digital tools, to break through the noise in an era of unprecedented election spending. I’m excited to partner with MoveOn to mobilize Illinois voters in this election, and to fight for progressive reform in the years ahead.”
Here are the final vote totals from Illinois MoveOn members:
Daniel Biss - 66%
J.B. Pritzker - 20%
Chris Kennedy - 12%
Bob Daiber - 1%
Tio Hardiman - 1%
Robert Marshall - 0%
In endorsing Daniel Biss, MoveOn members in Illinois join other progressive leaders and organizations including National Nurses United, Reclaim Chicago, U.S. Congresswoman Robin Kelly, former Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, State Representatives Kelly Cassidy, Carol Ammons and Will Guzzardi, and many more. See the full list of endorsements here.
This cycle, MoveOn members have also endorsed seven Senate candidates: progressive Tammy Baldwin (WI) and Sherrod Brown (OH), who are running for reelection in states Trump won; Beto O’Rourke (TX); as well as progressive champions Mazie Hirono (HI), Chris Murphy (CT), Bernie Sanders (VT), and Elizabeth Warren (MA) for reelection. MoveOn members have also endorsed Marie Newman for Congress (IL-3) and Stacey Abrams for Governor (GA).
In 2017 and 2018 to date, MoveOn members have contributed $1.5 million to candidates—including $250,000 for Senator-elect Doug Jones (AL) and $620,000 for Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (MA) reelection. In 2016, MoveOn members raised $1.2 million for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, mobilized volunteers, and ran ads in support of endorsed candidates.
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group
DATE: January 23, 2018
RE: Recent Survey among Illinois 4th CD Democratic Primary Voters
From January 18 to 21, 2018, Garin-Hart-Yang conducted a survey among a representative sample of 400 likely Democratic primary voters in the 4th CD. This survey, which has a margin of error of ±5 percentage points, was fully representative of the 4th CD’s geographic and ethnic demographics, and included cell phone interviews as well as a significant proportion of Spanish-language interviews. The following presents the survey’s key findings:
Chuy Garcia enters the race to succeed incumbent Luis Gutierrez with exceptionally high name recognition and an extremely favorable image that is positive by better than a nine-to-one ratio:
Mr. Garcia’s 93% name recognition puts him on par with Congressman Gutierrez (the rare instance where a non-incumbent candidate has the same name ID as the long-time incumbent), and he is significantly better known than his primary opponents. With the primary election less than two months away, Mr. Garcia’s almost-universal name recognition is an important advantage in a district contained in the expensive Chicago media market.
Mr. Garcia is able to translate his strong name recognition and popularity into a dominating position in the initial trial heat for Congress, already garnering three- fifths of the vote, with NONE of his opponents able to break double digits.
Several key survey results affirm Chuy Garcia’s strong standing and the likelihood that he is headed for an overwhelming victory in March.
o First, Mr. Garcia has strong support among white voters (48% Garcia, 9% Sol Flores) and overwhelming support among Hispanic voters (70% Garcia, 7% Proco Joe Moreno).
o Second, sufficient evidence suggests that Mr. Garcia has as good a chance as any of the other candidates to win undecided voters, which is notable because Chuy already has well over a majority of support. His ratings among undecided voters is positive by better than two to one, with nearly 70% of undecided voters finding his background appealing after they hear pro-Garcia information.
o Finally, Mr. Garcia maintains a better than four-to-one lead in the trial heat (45% Garcia, 11% Proco Joe Moreno) after we read several negative criticisms of Mr. Garcia that could be communicated in this campaign. Again, Chuy Garcia leads by 45% to 11% even after we read critical information about him with NOTHING else read to voters (i.e., NO pro-Garcia OR negatives against his opponents). In other words, if the Garcia campaign does NOTHING and allows his opponents to criticize him without any let-up from now until election day (NEITHER scenario is remotely likely), Mr. Garcia would STILL win this race.
In summary, Chuy Garcia’s high name recognition AND popularity among white and Hispanic voters puts him in a dominating position in the primary election with little “oxygen” for any of his primary opponents. Our survey data makes clear that 4th CD Democrats strongly believe that Chuy Garcia is the best person to succeed Congressman Gutierrez.