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Friday, Mar 23, 2018

* Time to go, campers. It’s been real. Too real, if you ask me. My plan right now is for some fairly light posting during the second week of the GA’s spring break. So I’ll see you a week from Monday.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this song throughout much of the campaign carnage

There’s nowhere to go
And you got all day to get there

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Quick hits before vacation

Friday, Mar 23, 2018

* WBEZ’s Dave McKinney asked Rep. Jeanne Ives who would be a better governor, Bruce Rauner or JB Pritkzer. It took her 40 seconds to eventually say “Rauner.” Listen to her struggle with Dave’s question

I can’t stop listening to it. The full story is here.

She also told McKinney that while she intended to vote for Rauner, she didn’t plan to endorse him and wouldn’t campaign with him.

* Meanwhile, on the Democratic side…

Illinois AFL-CIO and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin Host Democratic Unity Breakfast

The Illinois AFL-CIO and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin will host a unity breakfast bringing candidates together to defeat anti-worker politicians in November.

Saturday, March 24 at 9:30 AM

* Maxwell…

* From that same stop

“Pritzker hides his money in the Bahamas so he doesn’t have to pay income tax. He rips the toilets out of his mansion so he doesn’t have to pay property taxes,” Rauner said. “And what really frosts me is he hides his money so he doesn’t have to pay taxes, but his number one proposal is to raise your income taxes.

“He has said the answer to our budget problems is, let’s do a massive income tax hike. Come on, that’s not going to solve any of our problems.”

* This thread is worth a read, so click here

* Other stuff I don’t have time for today…

* Illinois Republican Hispanic group chairman resigns over Rauner win: “I cannot in good conscience support Bruce Rauner,” Yvonne Sencial Bolton of Will County said in her resignation letter.

* Metro Chicago shrinks again: For the third year in a row, the population of metropolitan Chicago has dropped, and though the number of people is small, the trend is causing angst among local officials.

* Chicago region gains high earners but loses population overall as outmigration increases and immigration stagnates

* MAP: Compare Bruce Rauner’s primary victory to Trump, Clinton 2016 Illinois vote

* Illinois budget deficit soars to $14.6 billion in FY 2017: For an interactive graphic of the deficit’s growth, click: (

* Reps. Rush and Gutiérrez ordered to pay Treasury following congressional ethics probes

* Despite pop tax debacle, Preckwinkle prevails across the board on election night

* What Amazon’s team saw and did in Chicago

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Heads up!

Friday, Mar 23, 2018

* I’m shutting down the blog sometime in the early afternoon today. I desperately need a vacation, so I’ll be back a week from Monday. If you’ve been mulling over a comment, now would be the time to post it.

Until then, use this as an NCAA tournament open thread.

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      

First-day whiplash in mayor’s race

Friday, Mar 23, 2018

* Heh…

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      

Pritzker hit on taxes

Friday, Mar 23, 2018

* From the RGA

A new editorial from the Chicago Tribune is calling out J.B. Pritzker’s tax plan for Illinois, pointing out that Pritzker seems to only want one thing – tax hikes and more spending the state can’t afford.

It has been reported that Pritzker has refused to pay his own fair share in taxes – he’s been caught claiming that his Gold Coast mansion is “uninhabitable” to get huge property tax breaks and has reportedly set up offshore shell companies in the Bahamas with the likely aim of dodging federal taxes.

But on the trail, Pritzker’s promised to raise taxes even higher, and it’s leading the Chicago Tribune to ask, “Does Pritzker get it?”

    “What we’ve heard and read so far is that Pritzker wants to tax and spend the state to greatness…raising taxes is no cure-all. It’s a move that will drive away even more employers, jobs and residents.”

J.B. Pritzker’s plan for Illinois is a blatant exercise in hypocrisy – he supposedly won’t pay his own fair share in taxes, but will hike taxes on everyone else.

* From the editorial

“It’s not right that government can destroy your credit and confiscate your car because you can’t afford a few parking tickets,” he said on election night. Hmm, so Gov. Pritzker would pay your parking tickets, too? We’re not sure, but that sounds expensive.

That’s so disingenuous. The idea is to stop criminalizing poverty, not make the state pay parking tickets. They certainly know that.

* Anyway, back to the premise. Voters don’t do nuance. And Rauner’s main message is easy to understand and was summed up well in the RGA release: Pritzker avoids taxes while hypocritically wanting you to pay more.

Pritzker counters that he doesn’t want regular folks to pay more, he wants the well-off to pay more via a graduated tax. But he hasn’t specified what his rates would be at what income levels. And one of the only graduated tax bills out there is this one that the Illinois Policy Institute is relentlessly attacking

House Bill 3522, filed by state Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, would tax incomes between $0 and $7,500 at 4 percent. For income between $7,500 and $15,000, the rate would be 5.84 percent. For income between $15,000 and $225,000, the rate would be 6.27 percent. And for income over $225,000, the rate would be 7.65 percent.

Sign the petition

Stop the progressive income tax
Sign the petition today to tell your lawmaker to oppose the progressive income tax.

Pritzker was asked earlier today if he supports Martwick’s bill. He said he didn’t and claimed the Illinois Policy Institute was just trying to get Rauner reelected.

I’m not sure what the heck Rep. Martwick was thinking (I asked him if he had any second thoughts this morning, but haven’t heard back), unless the plan is to kill the bill to show Democrats are against those goofy rates.

* From the Rauner campaign…

Now that the general election is here, we need to focus on the issues that unite us, like cutting taxes, so that we can continue building a better future for Illinois.

Meanwhile, JB Pritzker is focusing on figuring out a way to raise taxes on middle-class families. We can’t let that happen!

Donate $10 to our Unity Fund today to show the Democrats that we are ready to take on JB Pritzker in November.

Let’s keep fighting!

Team Rauner

He’s got a “Unity Fund”?

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      

Even Trib tires of “Because… Madigan!”

Friday, Mar 23, 2018

* Tribune editorial entitled “Rauner as broken record: Madigan isn’t the only issue in this campaign”

The trouble with Rauner isn’t his agenda. It’s his inability to advance it and his accurate but repetitive excuse for failing to do so. In an editorial four months ago titled “Stop griping, Governor, and make your case,” we made ours: Rauner needs to ease off his blame crutch — House Speaker Michael Madigan — and expand his own case for re-election.

We aren’t claiming success. During a recent news conference, Rauner mentioned Madigan’s name 31 times in less than 13 minutes. The Ward Room, WMAQ-Ch. 5’s political blog, posted a mashup of his remarks and it is something to behold. Madigan, Madigan, Madigan. […]

These are issues on which Illinois voters deserve a full debate between now and November. Rauner can provide the contrast. He can try to build support for his agenda. Instead, he seems obsessed with a singular talking point: Madigan.

That might have helped him get elected in 2014. But nearly four years later, it’s a strategy that should be revisited and soon. Why? Broken records don’t sell.

I always say that when editorial boards start clutching their pearls about your campaign message, your message is working. See: Poshard, Glenn; 1998 TV ad; Killer truck barreling down on the camera.

Maybe I’m wrong this time. We’ll find out in November.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      

What goes around eventually comes around

Friday, Mar 23, 2018

* Sun-Times

Illinois state Comptroller Susana Mendoza is one of three female politicians House Speaker Michael Madigan named to “take the lead on facilitating a statewide discussion about the role of women” in the Illinois Democratic Party after two Madigan operatives were forced out amid allegations of harassment and other inappropriate behavior.

Mendoza and the others — U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and state Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana — have vowed their work will be done independently of Madigan and the state Democratic Party. But records show Mendoza has ties to the ousted operatives, Kevin Quinn and Shaw Decremer, who both have worked on her political campaigns.

Kevin Quinn notarized Mendoza’s 2016 nominating petitions, which he did for everybody running with the 13th Ward’s support. Kinda tenuous, but Madigan has used less tenuous ties to whack the stuffing outta people on the other side more times than anyone here can count. And one can only wonder if this issue will come up in other campaigns.

The same goes for the less than $100 that Madigan paid Decremer for political work on Mendoza’s behalf years ago. And the $500 Decremer’s firm gave to Rep. Ammons last year, and the $250 Decremer’s firm gave Mendoza. It may all seem unfair, but MJM has made larger mountains out of smaller mole hills than these.

Ammons got $10K from Friends of MJM, Mendoza received $650,000 from DPI. That’s a bigger dealio, but not unusual. It’s the state party. That’s what the party is supposed to do. But, again… Karma.

* Back to the story

Ammons said that won’t sway her, that she’ll pursue the issue independently even if the panel finds fault on the part of Madigan or others in the party hierarchy. […]

Also regarding her independence, Mendoza said: “Under this story’s standard, any woman who has worked with the party to get elected would not be able to serve on this panel. That’s ridiculous.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      

Londrigan turns to face Davis

Friday, Mar 23, 2018

* Tom Kacich

Betsy Londrigan’s big win in the 13th Congressional District Democratic primary — taking 24,334 of the 53,226 votes cast, or almost 46 percent in a five-way race — seemed to surprise everyone but her.

“Nobody on our team thought about percentages. We know that we are on the ground every day, all day for nine months. Our confidence came from our interaction with the voters,” she said.

As for Londrigan’s Republican opponent in November, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, the National Republican Campaign Committee was quick with its take on the contest with this message Tuesday night.

“Elizabeth Warren acolyte and D.C. insider Betsy Dirksen Londrigan couldn’t be further out of touch with the district,” said Maddie Anderson of the NRCC. “Repeatedly touting her Dick Durbin and Emily’s List endorsements tells voters everything they need to know about her — she does not share their values. We look forward to watching Rodney Davis soundly defeat Londrigan in November.”

* Roll Call

13th District. Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, a former fundraiser for Sen. Dick Durbin, won the Democratic nomination over a field that included Erik Jones, a former congressional staffer and Illinois assistant attorney general. Perennial candidate David Gill has been a thorn in Democrats’ side in previous cycles but was destined to finish a distant third or fourth. Londrigan had support from Durbin and EMILY’s List and will face GOP Rep. Rodney Davis in the general election. While Trump won the central Illinois district with nearly 50 percent, this race could certainly get more competitive. Rating: Likely Republican.

Davis is going to be very tough to beat even, I think, in a wave year.


DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján today announced that small business owner, non-profit leader, and IL-13 Democratic nominee Betsy Dirksen Londrigan has earned a spot on the DCCC’s highly competitive Red to Blue program.

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan has worked hard in central Illinois to earn a spot on Red to Blue by surpassing aggressive goals for grassroots engagement, local support, campaign organization and fundraising. Beyond her demonstrated abilities to build a winning campaign infrastructure, Londrigan has deep roots in the district and a persuasive health care message that helped drive her to a decisive victory in the Democratic primary.

“Betsy Dirksen Londrigan almost lost her son to a life-threatening illness, and she is running for Congress to ensure that families like hers have affordable health care coverage when they need it most,” said DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján. “Betsy has shown that she is going to put working families above Washington politics and special interests, and fight to create jobs, rebuild infrastructure in central Illinois, and make health care more affordable. With her deep roots in the district and impressive primary victory, Betsy has shown that she is ready to compete and win in this district in November.”

* She knows how to raise money

Londrigan, who is a professional fundraiser, collected more than $600,000 for her own campaign, plus got an endorsement from the Emily’s List political organization that earned her more than $185,000 in uncoordinated campaign assistance, mostly mail pieces.

I didn’t see all that many stories about Londrigan’s Democratic primary, probably because, as far as I could tell, the candidates stayed positive. Coverage follows conflict and there wasn’t much of any conflict in that one.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 - DGA follows suit *** Pritzker uses Ives in new video

Friday, Mar 23, 2018

* Wednesday, the Rauner campaign released a video featuring JB Pritzker’s Democratic primary opponents trashing him. Today…

Today, the JB Pritzker campaign released a new video, “In Ives’ Own Words.” The video highlights Bruce Rauner’s primary election opponent, Jeanne Ives, holding him accountable for his failures as governor.

“Jeanne Ives and 48% of Bruce Rauner’s own party know he has been a failure as governor, accomplishing nothing and causing real pain across the state,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “As Ives said, Bruce Rauner has ‘lied to everybody about everything’ and Illinois families are ready for change.”

* Video

I think I like the Rauner spot better (mainly because Kennedy and Biss were better speakers than Ives).

*** UPDATE *** DGA…

Governor Bruce Rauner barely survived a tough primary battle against state Representative Jeanne Ives and is in need of her political endorsement and support. But it’s pretty clear he’s not getting it yet – Rauner has not spoken with her since the election, and Ives has blasted the wounded incumbent governor in public.

Yesterday was not any better for Rauner. Asked again if he had spoken with Ives, Rauner said no. And Ives told the Daily Herald she’s still withholding her endorsement.

“Bruce Rauner desperately needs Jeanne Ives’ support, but their GOP family feud does not look like its ending any time soon,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Hundreds of thousands of Illinois Republicans showed their disappointment with Rauner’s failed leadership this week – and he still can’t pick up the phone.”

* Video

…Adding… I may not have cared for it, but Illinois Review published an approving story on the Pritzker ad.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      

Illinois House Bill HB 4900 is Unconstitutional

Friday, Mar 23, 2018

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

A similarly flawed law in Maryland was not signed by its governor and is being contested in court right now. Learn more on the Association for Accessible Medicines website.

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      

Rauner on the hustings

Friday, Mar 23, 2018

* This made the rounds on Twitter yesterday. Buried deep within a Tribune story

On Wednesday, Rauner traveled to Ives’ home turf for a campaign event at a manufacturing plant on the outskirts of DuPage and Kane counties. One plant worker said employees had been ordered to attend, and were made aware that they’d be part of campaign photos and videos.

Isn’t Rauner a freedom at the workplace kinda guy? I thought that’s what the Janus case was all about. This doesn’t look all that free to me.

* Meanwhile, from the AP

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday compared the business practices of Illinois’ powerful House speaker with mafia tactics, opening a new attack on his longtime political foe while urging Republican unity following a bruising primary he barely won.

New? This isn’t new. From last December, when Rauner said he wasn’t in charge

Rauner accused the veteran speaker of running a “mafia protection racket.”

Not to mention that the governor compared the House speaker to Al Capone this past Monday. Rauner also claimed that Madigan was “a unified force of bad, of evil” last Friday. The AP really needs to get around more.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      

Quote of the week

Friday, Mar 23, 2018

* From the Evanston paper

[Cook County Commissioner Larry] Suffredin himself noted that he defeated two candidates in his own primary — one 20 years old, the other 30.

“It’s good to see youth entering the party,” Suffredin said, “but it’s good to beat them as well.”

That made me laugh so much. I can just hear Larry saying that with his gentle voice and a smile. Classic.

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      

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Friday, Mar 23, 2018

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

The natives are getting restless

Friday, Mar 23, 2018

[Bumped up to Friday for visibility.]

* More trouble for the governor. From Rep. Steve Reick (R-Woodstock)

The most mendacious thing said in a campaign filled with mendacity came last night when Bruce Rauner said: “I am honored and humbled by this victory.”

He should be humbled – he should’ve lost. Honor? Calling Jeanne Ives “Madigan’s favorite Republican” may have swayed enough people to put him over the top, but the smell it leaves behind is the smell of mendacity, and it will carry through to November.

A friend of mine observed early on that Bruce Rauner looks at the members of the General Assembly, especially the Republican members, as employees at a company he just bought that he wouldn’t have hired had he been in a position to do so in the first place. That pretty much sums it up.

So Governor, now that we’re stuck with you, here’s a little bit of advice. You need us more than we need you. The only way you can win in November is if Republican House candidates drag you across the finish line. But for that to happen, you’re going to have to check your ego at the door and accept the General Assembly as a co-equal branch of government and admit that we don’t work for you.


- Posted by Rich Miller   61 Comments      

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