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Crain’s not-so-wholeheartedly endorses Rauner, Pritzker

Friday, Feb 23, 2018

* Not the strongest endorsement I’ve ever seen, to say the least. Here’s Crain’s

In the March 20 primary, Republican voters face a stark choice. Rauner’s mulish stewardship of the state has been very nearly disastrous, a four-year-long display of brinkmanship and ineffectual trash-talking that’s caused maximum pain for minimum gain. He’s being challenged on his right by state Rep. Jeanne Ives, a DuPage County conservative whose campaign seems largely animated by outrage over so-called sanctuary cities as well as Rauner’s decision to sign into law a controversial measure to expand taxpayer-subsidized abortions—though he’s certainly provided her with plenty of additional opportunities to heap scorn on him and his record. With backing from at least one deep-pocketed megadonor, Uline founder Richard Uihlein, Ives proves to be a real threat to the incumbent. Nevertheless, she has disqualified herself from serious consideration first by essentially arguing that the rest of the state doesn’t need Chicago and then by airing what easily are among the most appalling campaign spots in the history of political advertising.

For all his faults—and there are many—the governor deserves an up-or-down vote on his record so far. The best that voters pulling a Republican ballot this year can hope for is that Rauner can somehow do better this time around than last time, and because he’s the only reasonable option in the GOP field, he gets our endorsement.

* Same goes for Pritzker

Rauner made the dual mistakes of underestimating Madigan while also failing to acknowledge that the man represents a constituency and must be dealt with, like him or not. Pritzker risks overlearning those lessons, striking too deferential a posture toward a pol who bears as much blame as Rauner does for Illinois’ current shambolic state, if not more. If voters are to risk handing the governor’s mansion to the same party that currently controls the House and the Senate, they must be assured the chief executive is capable of acting independently with the best interests of the entire state at heart, not just those of Madigan and his minions. Between now and the general election, Pritzker must prove he’s not just another cog in the Democratic machine.

Crain’s has covered Pritzker for years, and the man we’ve gotten to know in that time is a smart and pragmatic leader. Based on that record, we’re endorsing him in the Democratic primary. It’s something of a leap of faith, especially after our failed experiment with another rich businessman who brought no political experience to the job. But among the Democratic options, Pritzker is the best choice for Chicago business.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

47 Comments
  1. - Retired Educator - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 9:48 am:

    The endorsement for Pritzker is lukewarm, but the endorsement for Rauner is ice cold. They slam Rauner, but see no viable option in Ives.


  2. - Red fish blue fish - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 9:56 am:

    “Pritzker must prove he’s not just another cog in the Democratic machine.”
    Good luck with that.
    It’s astounding that Biss has cast himself as an outsider in this race. Pritzker needs dispel that notion.


  3. - A Jack - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:01 am:

    It will be interesting to see how many editorial boards endorse Rauner for the general this time around.

    Yes, we now know that JB has some baggage from ten years ago, but that also proves that he is not a political novice.

    Rauner, on the other hand, continues to prove he is a political novice after being in office for four years. He could have used his business skills to have done some good for Illinois. But instead has failed to accomplish much of anything.


  4. - Skeptic - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:02 am:

    Wow, if there’s “damning with faint praise”, I’m not sure what that is.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:07 am:

    ===It will be interesting to see how many editorial boards endorse Rauner for the general this time around.===

    It won’t be *that* interesting…

    Rauner has control of newspapers’ editorial page, so much so that when a single editorial pushes back on Rauner you take notice.

    With 26% approval, Rauner will get more than his fair share of endorsements, and like the Trib endorsement, I’ll expect those endorsements to read like a Rauner press release, blaming Madigan, excusing Rauner for holding a state hostage and writing that Rauner “hasn’t been in charge, but he’s trying to BE in charge”.

    Raunerism and vertical integration will ensure Rauner will get his endorsements, earned as they are.


  6. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:07 am:

    When Quinn was elected in 2010, scuttlebut was that Madigan wanted all Blagojevich hires fired. Of course Madigan had replacements for them. Quinn resisted, partly because some were good people and partly because such wholesale change would have crippled state government.

    Rauner will lose. Who fills the open positions will shape the state for years. My fear with Pritzker is that he will delegate the task to Madigan.


  7. - m - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:09 am:

    Not surprising. The Rauner endorsement feels like they wanted to endorse Ives right up until that ad…

    As for JB, given the choice between an insider and an outsider they chose inside. Status quo is better than a move left.
    They can rail on Madigan all they want, but for them in the dem primary, being Madigan’s guy is a good thing. JB is the most conservative guy in a field of lefties.


  8. - Anon221 - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:09 am:

    Kinda like picking teams for a game of Red Rover. If Crains had to complete a team, and only Rauner or Priztker were left to choose, seems like Pritzker would get the first nod. Smart and pragmatic beats mulish stewardship.


  9. - Anon221 - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:10 am:

    “Pritzker”… dang fingers


  10. - m - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    =delegate the task to Madigan=

    Might be a wee bit of an understatement there.


  11. - Henry Francis - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:13 am:

    I am not liking how it seems every race, Gov., AG. ILGA, dem or GOP seems to come down to basically one thing - MJM.

    I get it. He is unpopular as heck. He deserves a lot of blame for what ails the state. But he is not the only problem or issue.

    But it seems like much of the lazy press is trying to reduce this election to that one issue. It’s not what is your plan to reduce taxes, or improve education, or create jobs - what the press seems to talk about the most is how will a candidate stand up to MJM.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:13 am:

    ===Who fills the open positions will shape the state for years. My fear with Pritzker is that he will delegate the task to Madigan.===

    Meh.

    My real fear is the multiple IPI alum and hires… they know who they are… are imbedded in state government and systematically work against trying to fix all that Rauner has tried to cripple or destroy.

    While Rauner is currently at war with IPI and Tillman, a real fear is keeping those IPI alums and hires thinking they *should* be against Rauner, but they are who they were before.

    You only need to listen to the likes of former alum Diana “as a white male” Rickert to fully grasp that IPI imbeds are far more of a threat to state government.

    With respect.


  13. - City Zen - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:15 am:

    ==Kinda like picking teams for a game of Red Rover.==

    In a game of Red Rover, Pritzker would always be the #1 pick.


  14. - Anon - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:19 am:

    Does anyone else think it ironic that on the one hand, they slam Ives for the ad that has been deemed racist, then on the other hand, they endorse Pritzger, whose comments on the FBI tape actually sound racist?


  15. - A guy - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:23 am:

    Let’s just say both of those endorsements are rich. In every way.


  16. - Duopoly - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    Another lamented endorsement of our failed, but beloved, 2-party system.


  17. - Stand Tall - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:28 am:

    Illinois has been heading the wrong way for a long time. Two decades of unbalanced budgets and even more of failing to fund pensions and retiree health care. Have failed to fund schools as required by the Constitution. Who has had a major leadership role in the State and Chaired the mostly majority Democratic Party during this time period? That person should get a lot of the blame for the state of the State. We don’t need one of his chosen ones as Governor as well.


  18. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:31 am:

    OW. I agree that rooting out IPI types will be an important task. I am not sure how many of these are embedded in protected positions. Changing out the at will positions can be done quickly. If they are in the union, moving them out will be very difficult.


  19. - Honeybear - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:31 am:

    OW right on the ball. Key positions are being made double exempt at key agencies. Disturbing.
    But keener
    Are the
    Eyes of labor


  20. - Moby - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    Wow. Definitely slim pickin’s when the R candidate you endorse, you later refer to as a “failed experiment”.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    ===…rooting out IPI types will be an important task. I am not sure how many of these are embedded in protected positions. Changing out the at will positions can be done quickly. If they are in the union, moving them out will be very difficult.===

    You’re not wrong. Think on that… IPI alums and hires… joining a union… to stay in government… to continue Rauner’s and IPI’s shared dream.

    The irony is just too delicious.

    (Tips cap to - Honeybear - too)


  22. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    Crains came up with a decent but painful explanation for both endorsements. As a moderate R, I can’t even imagine having to make a choice between a D and Ives.


  23. - Blue dog dem - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    Interesting. Yesterdays drive from Murphy to St.Loo I saw lots more Ives signs than Rauner. The battle is obviously decided in the Chicago area, and the polls thus far show Rauner way ahead, but is Ives gaining the big Mo?


  24. - The Snowman - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    In the 21st Century, do newspaper endorsements mean anything? How many people actually wait to see what the local rag says before they form opinions of the candidates? I wonder what the ratio is of people that are swayed to a candidate after a newspaper endorsement compared to how many are repelled from a candidate after a newspaper endorsement.


  25. - RNUG - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    Don’t see my first comment, so I’ll rephrase it:

    Once again, we are left to pick the less bad candidate.


  26. - Blue dog dem - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:41 am:

    RNUG. x6.


  27. - Pundent - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    Regardless of who wins the Democrat primary Rauner will label them as an insider being propped up by Madigan. That’s his entire campaign. His message would be the same if Kennedy or Biss was the front runner. And they would likely be frontrunners if the had Madigan’s organization and support behind them.

    Pritzker’s challenge is that he has to demonstrate that he’s not controlled Mike Madigan. Rauner’s challenge is that he has to demonstrate that he’s no longer controlled by Bruce Rauner.


  28. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    ===Once again, we are left to pick the less bad candidate.===

    That’s been pretty much every election in history. Why should this be any different?


  29. - Arsenal - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:48 am:

    ==JB is the most conservative guy in a field of lefties.==

    You mean besides the guy who’s a no on legalized marijuana and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to supporting a progressive income tax, sure.

    ==My real fear is the multiple IPI alum and hires… they know who they are… are imbedded in state government and systematically work against trying to fix all that Rauner has tried to cripple or destroy.==

    I get that, and I don’t want to downplay the concern too much, but I’ve actually been struck by how poorly Rauner has been able to work the bureaucracy to his will.


  30. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:49 am:

    ===Does anyone else think it ironic that on the one hand, they slam Ives for the ad that has been deemed racist, then on the other hand, they endorse Pritzger, whose comments on the FBI tape actually sound racist?===

    Pritzger apologized and genuflected about the Blago content and has a history of time and money commitment to community causes, while Ives doubles down. So not really ironic, they like one of Pritzger’s two faces and don’t like Ives’ one face.


  31. - Retired Educator - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    RNUG; It is a bitter pill to swallow, but we have for a long time been voting for the person we think will do the least amount of damage. I submit that is how Rauner won. We knew Quinn was doing damage, and Rauner was the unknown. People voted for him because we thought he couldn’t possibly be worse. (We were Wrong)


  32. - cdog - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    I find it ironic that Crain’s is cool with their 1% support, basically ignoring 99%.

    1% exceptional finances, and 1% exceptional culturally, leaving out the 99% “normal people.”

    The vocal and rich minority always rules.


  33. - m - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 11:02 am:

    =That’s been pretty much every election in history. Why should this be any different?=

    It hasn’t always been. But it seems like, even when the choice is say Blago or JBT, we still get stuck with the bad one.

    =I get that, and I don’t want to downplay the concern too much, but I’ve actually been struck by how poorly Rauner has been able to work the bureaucracy to his will.=

    Because the underlying assumption is wrong. Unlike his predecessors, Rauner didn’t do that much housecleaning. And in some cases, her hired dems, or promoted the ones in place that he could have fired. He went after the IDOT folks because it played well, all the while he left tons of other political hires in place. He’s constantly been in a fight with the people of many of his agencies.

    There are plenty of the typical campaign hacks that got jobs, but they will all be gone when a dem takes over.


  34. - m - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    =You mean besides the guy who’s a no on legalized marijuana and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to supporting a progressive income tax, sure.=

    Conservative was not the best choice of words and I apologize. To twist a JB phrase, he’s the “safe” dem. He’s like Rahm, repubs can bash him for 3.5 years, but then at election time, if they endorse, it’s Rahm.

    Tribbies didn’t like the pre-Rauner status quo. They might prefer the Rauner status-quo, but they will accept the old status-quo versus a candidate who might actually push the wrong (in their minds) change. Don’t upset the apple cart.


  35. - Leonard Washington - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    - Rauner has control of newspapers’ editorial page -

    Who invited Alex Jones to the party?


  36. - closer look - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    The term “failed experiment” telegraphs they won’t endorse Rauner in the general, period.


  37. - Arsenal - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    ==Conservative was not the best choice of words and I apologize. To twist a JB phrase, he’s the “safe” dem.==

    OK, that makes more sense. But…

    ==Tribbies didn’t like the pre-Rauner status quo. They might prefer the Rauner status-quo, but they will accept the old status-quo versus a candidate who might actually push the wrong (in their minds) change. Don’t upset the apple cart.==

    Here, you mean “Crainiacs”, not “Tribbies”, right?

    (Although I would argue that the Trib’s choice for the Dem primary is pretty unlikely to meaningfully change much.)


  38. - Arsenal - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 11:43 am:

    ==Unlike his predecessors, Rauner didn’t do that much housecleaning.==

    As far as I can tell, this is correct. And it’s one of the few things I won’t criticize him for. The vast majority of the work in the agencies is non-partisan, but if they function well, it accrues to your political benefit. Better to leave experienced hands in place.


  39. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 11:43 am:

    ==Because the underlying assumption is wrong. Unlike his predecessors, Rauner didn’t do that much housecleaning.==

    Maybe share some of what you’re smoking? A statement like this could only be made by someone who is high as a kite. Rauner cleaned out the entirety of the Gov’s office staff about half an hour after the inauguration was over, and his people systematically removed employees in exempt positions from each and every agency within a year or so. As a matter of fact, they moved so quickly to remove dems that they didn’t even have qualified people to replace them with. Anecdotally I can tell you of over a dozen different dems who got phone calls from their Rauner approved replacements asking questions about how to do their new jobs because no one was left to train them.

    The only dems left are the ones with union protections, or those who happen to have republican family members that were able to give them cover with this admin.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    ===I get that, and I don’t want to downplay the concern too much, but I’ve actually been struck by how poorly Rauner has been able to work the bureaucracy to his will.===

    Rauner’s own capacity versus the IPI alums and hires capacity to continue things within agencies or maybe thwart what Rauner changes or tries to change is the issue… If Rauner loses.

    Thinking there are “only a few” of these type of workers around might be foolish. Otherwise there would be less blowback tystvRauber has felt… and why was there blowback… those put into spots to “drive” the IPI/Tillman/Rauner beliefs.

    - Leonard Washington -

    If you think Editorial Boards, starting with the Trubune, haven’t tried to “carry the water for Rauner” as seemingly the Comms for Rauner, you haven’t been paying any sort of attention, lol


  41. - Arsenal - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    ==It won’t be *that* interesting…==

    OTOH, the Sun-Times is exceedingly unlikely to endorse Rauner, and that alone is gonna be a sea change from 2014.


  42. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 12:10 pm:

    Crain’s is correct. The choice is obvious this year. So obvious that I voted early. Something I usually don’t do because I wait for late breaking information.
    When I voted early, I crossed party lines when I pulled my ballot. The clerk smiled when I commented that I might go back in 2020, but not this year. Something aboyt that smile told me that it was a statement they’d heard several times this primary. It’s annoying when your chosen team moves their goalposts to the point you switch teams.


  43. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 12:13 pm:

    To follow up on my previous post I should note that what Rauner did do - to his credit - was remove the hiring block from agencies. Going back to the Edgar admin there was a “hiring freeze” in place for agencies supposedly due to the state’s dire fiscal situation. In reality, this was used by the Edgar, Ryan, Blago and Quinn admins to keep folks from being hired into state government without first having their voting history checked. I don’t remember the specific term they used for this but all hires, even those positions under the union, had to be approved by the Gov’s office. Rauner changed that, and now all agencies are able to hire the best qualified person for the job regardless of political affiliation. This has allowed some dems to get back into state government over the last three years (my spouse is one of them), but at lower titles and salaries than they had in exempt positions.


  44. - MacombMike - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    OW, you seem to have some insight on the topic but maybe you missed my comment.

    Other than the LOOCH, who is left?


  45. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 12:28 pm:

    To bring this back…

    To the Post,

    Where Crain’s takes its readers with Ives, to the abyss and having to look into it with Ives, a reader can understand the hesitance with supporting Rauner, but partnering with Ives is too deep into that abyss to consider.

    Ives was going to make Rauner the more rational and reasonable choice. This isn’t a new revelation or eye popping to see it play out. Republicans, not Raunerites but actual Republicans struggle with the reality. I speak for myself in this thought. Ives is what is wrong in bringing diversity and the Reagan 80% in both social issues but policy issues within the governing. Raunerism is the purposeful hurting of Illinois abc people in order to destroy Labor. Not at all great choices for Republicans.

    The Trib slurped up the Rauner and Raunerite talking points. What we have here is an endorsement of resignation of what the choices mean.


  46. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 1:50 pm:

    Ah, endorsements…
    Cute.
    I had someone throw a phone book on my porch, so I now know who to call that still gives a damn.


  47. - m - Friday, Feb 23, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    =Here, you mean “Crainiacs”, not “Tribbies”, right?=

    Yes, apologies again. It’s all blurring together.

    =And it’s one of the few things I won’t criticize him for.=

    I thought it was refreshing at the time. But it did not work. I will certainly offer less criticism when the next dem gov cleans house.

    =Maybe share some of what you’re smoking?=

    Go look around in the agencies. I have lots of dem friends (who were political hires) who were kept or promoted, all to their own shock, as well as several who left not long after the new folks took over and were told there were no plans to get rid of them.

    I have several repub friends who are at agencies and have to answer to dem political hires that were kept.

    Could be anecdotal, but while I’ve heard lots express their surprise at who is still there, I’ve yet to hear one person inside that commented on the clearing out.

    =Rauner cleaned out the entirety of the Gov’s office staff about half an hour after the inauguration was over.=

    Figured that part was pretty obvious. Gov’s office is a small fraction of the staff he controls though.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* Real Prospects
* Trumpsters can’t find any place to eat, other than Trump Hotel restaurants?
* 10 Reasons to Become a Google Certified Trainer
* Despite overall setbacks, one MOOC on AI gains ground


* Chairman Fratianni selected for national workers' comp leadership role
* Unemployment Rate Continues Falling in All Metro Areas

  
* Westworld’s season 2 cliffhanger is simultaneously awesome and obnoxious
* The biggest questions left behind after the season 2 Westworld finale
* Leaks suggest Qualcomm is aiming for the PC market with its Snapdragon 1000 chip
* Automated patent decision-making Bill should be passed: Senate committee
* Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 arrives with LTE for $230
* Snapdragon 1000 details leak: Qualcomm set to pass Atom, Celeron chips?
* Vivo Nex teardown reveals what makes the pop-up selfie camera tick

* White Sox Minor League Update: June 24, 2018
* White Sox Minor League Update: June 24, 2018
* AZL White Sox beats AZL Reds 9-2
* Eloy leads Sunday's top prospect performers
* White Sox: Super speedy team climbing stolen bases ladder
* In My Words: Fatherhood on deck for Lopez
* Most Essential White Sox Vote: Round 36


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