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There’s no escaping the Madigan issue

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2018

* Zorn writes about Gov. Rauner’s TV ads claiming that his GOP primary opponent Rep Jeanne Ives is somehow in league with Speaker Madigan

Rauner’s commercials contain “the biggest lies since Rod Blagojevich told us he was for good government and he would always do what was right,” said a social media post by Terry Martin, executive director of the Illinois Channel, a Springfield-based TV outlet that covers state politics.

“The governor is in full Pinocchio mode,” wrote Crain’s columnist Greg Hinz, calling one particular spot “the most inaccurate ad” of this campaign season.

Syndicated conservative columnist Scott Reeder wrote that Rauner’s central accusation, that Ives is a “lackey” of Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, “is a lie, wrapped in a prevarication, enveloped with deception, packaged in falsehood and bound up with a fabrication.”

Opinion editor Jim Slusher of the Daily Herald called that same claim “utterly laughable” and “perhaps the most ludicrous of the accusations being posited this campaign cycle.”

“Hyperbole and exaggeration are commonplace in political ads, but this … struck us as not just over the top but over the moon,” wrote PolitiFact Illinois in an extended examination of the gobs of mud Rauner is hurling at Ives. They “turn credibility and rational argument inside out. That is why we give them our lowest possible credibility rating, Pants on Fire!”

Reporters asked the governor twice about the Ives ads today. You can click here to listen to his responses, which were lacking in honesty, to say the least. But he’s sticking to the script and nobody, but nobody will ever get him off of it.

The truth is, Ives has been so anti-Madigan in the House that it has hurt her ability to get anything done. Her opposition to him is almost comical. Nobody, and I mean nobody who knows even a smidgen about the General Assembly would ever say Ives is “Madigan’s favorite Republican,” as one of Rauner’s ads claims. They’d strap you in a straight-jacket and haul you off if you tried. She’s been battling Madigan since before Rauner first ran for governor.

* But, as I’ve said many times before, this stuff works. The only way out for Ives is if she can foster a backlash, and I don’t see that happening at the moment. I could be wrong, but people don’t pay a lot of attention to state politics and she doesn’t have the money to counter the Rauner attacks. She tried to get a little nuanced in that Tribune debate (chiding Rauner for his Madigan obsession, for instance) and it’s come back to haunt her. Ives never used to do nuance and she never shoulda started. Plus, like I say, voters don’t do nuance.

Along these lines, I don’t care how much Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss try to distance themselves from MJM during the primary. If either one of them wins then Rauner will do the exact same thing to them that he’s doing to Rep. Ives now. Think he can’t? Sheesh, man. Look at what he’s doing to one of the most avowed Madigan-haters ever!

I’m not saying they shouldn’t be trying to distance themselves. They have their reasons and Madigan is unpopular with Democratic primary voters. I’m just saying it won’t do a lick of good come March 21. This hit is coming if Democrats nominate Winnie the Pooh.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - slow down - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:01 pm:

    This is all Rauner has. God knows he can’t run on his record, so we will be listening to this silliness until election day.

  2. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:01 pm:

    —-This hit is coming if Democrats nominate Winnie the Pooh—— Leave Roland Burris out of this.

  3. - ZC - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:01 pm:

    At one level it’s such a strange issue, too.

    I mean, clearly if the IL Speaker is Lou Lang (or whoever’s next in line now, on the Democratic side), then everything will change about IL politics. Rauner’s agenda will just fly on through the Statehouse.

  4. - Just Me - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:02 pm:

    You can’t deny that the Democrats wish Ives was the winner though. That would be a dream for them.

  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:03 pm:

    ===Democrats wish Ives was the winner===

    Wishes aren’t actions.

  6. - Juice - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    Quick! Someone get Mike Madigan in front of a camera so he can be quoted as saying “Bruce Rauner has been my favorite Governor to work with” just so that video can be shoved back in Rauner’s face from here to November.

    (And, that may at least have an element of truth to it, since I’m not sure when the House Dems have been this unified before.)

  7. - Shark Sandwich - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    ‘Who’s really behind Winnie the Pooh’s campaign for governor of the Hundred Acre Wood? Mike Madigan’s corrupt insider beehives. They’ve bankrolled his campaign with thousands in sticky labor union hunny, turning Winnie into another unbearable Madigan lackey.’

  8. - anon - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:10 pm:

    She gave him the rope. See Tribune interview. She was ill-advised.

  9. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    Nice rant.

    Ives has been less than truthful about Rauner, which the “I hate Rauner” brigade here always glosses over. Sanctuary state? Pro tax increase? (Didn’t he veto that bill?) Thuggish men in dresses can now go into the girls bathroom in schools?

    After ignoring her attacks, he now basically responds in kind and now the tears are flowing? Even some liberal columnists feel sorry for her?


    I also assumed that “Madigan’s Favorite Republican” in those ads meant that Madigan felt that Ives would be the easiest to defeat in November.

    Stupid me.

  10. - BC - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    If you have enough money, you can create an alternate reality.

    Heck, J.B. should probably try to tie Rauner to Madigan…something like:

    “525 times…525 times Bruce Rauner has signed into law legislation written by Madigan, sponsored by Madigan, and muscled through the General Assembly by Madigan. Bruce Rauner talks tough, but 525 he had a chance to stand up to Madigan and failed.”

  11. - Mike Cirrincione - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:21 pm:

    The failed Illinois Governor bankrupted the state while hiding his own personal money offshore himself.

  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:24 pm:

    –Even some liberal columnists feel sorry for her?–

    Yeah, Reeder and Kass are real Bolsheviks, Louis.

    That would be “less than truthful,” as you like to say. Others would call it a ridiculous lie.

    You got your ticket punched for another day. What’s the pudding cup today?

  13. - walker - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:25 pm:


    Ain’t that the truth….LOL

    Maybe it will be over-worked and exhausted by November.

  14. - dbk - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:26 pm:

    At this rate, estimates that $300 million will go down the drain by November are probably not far off.

    There will be a certain horrified fascination at a political Gunfight at the Okay Corral in which two billionaires throw mud-laden money around in an effort to prove “who’s the biggest tax-evader of them all.”

    Yeah, I always assumed “Ives is Madigan’s favorite candidate” was true too, just not in the way Rauner was implying. He may not do innuendo much.

    It’s all trending very Illinois-Byzantine.

  15. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:29 pm:

    If Madigan would only realize that in the land of weaklings, it’s best to have someone weaker. Rauner is arguably the worst per-capita (for his three years) governor in state history. Madigan could come out and say that he passed reforms that help taxpayers and residents, such as pension reform, workers comp reform, MMJ, ACA Medicaid, etc., and was willing to work with Rauner.

  16. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:34 pm:

    If only Illinois were as illustrious as Byzantium.

  17. - Earnest - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:42 pm:

    Rich, you haven’t covered Winnie’s campaign at all. The drop in the honeybee population is a serious environmental issue and could have gigantic impact on agriculture. Winnie’s proposal to replace 90% of corn farmland with honeybee habitat could make Illinois the greatest producer of honey the world has ever seen. We should all think about Pooh on election day. /s

  18. - theq - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:44 pm:

    “Heck, J.B. should probably try to tie Rauner to Madigan…something like”… Rauners shift of education funding from state to local governments will enrich Madigan through property tax appeals?????….. its a stretch lol

  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===Ives has been less than truthful about Rauner, which the “I hate Rauner” brigade here always glosses over. Sanctuary state? Pro tax increase? (Didn’t he veto that bill?) Thuggish men in dresses can now go into the girls bathroom in schools?===


    Rauner is arguably the most disingenuous elected official in Illinois today.

    Rauner has yet to sign a budget, refuses to sign full years funding for state universities, racked up billions in debt, the veterans home has been under his watch, and he’s not in charge. Rauner says… he’s not in charge.

    Rauner has a 30% approval, called the worst Republican Governor in America, lied point blank to a Catholic Cardinal… and the Cardinal “called” Rauner on it…

    You want to talk “dishonest”… lol

  20. - anon2 - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    A question for Rauner (or Louis): If taking $6,900 from Local 150 makes Ives a Madigan lackey, then what does taking $45,000 and $170,500 respectively from Local 150 make the Senate and House Minority Leaders?

  21. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    ===The truth is, Ives has been so anti-Madigan in the House that it has hurt her ability to get anything done. Her opposition to him is almost comical.

    To be fair, Ives would probably find another way to be unproductive if it wasn’t comical opposition to Madigan.

  22. - don the legend - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    …Pro tax increase? (Didn’t he veto that bill?)…

    Louis, To quote yourself “Puleeze”. He vetoed it fast so it could be quickly overridden. He needed that tax increase. He’s spending it as we sit here typing on this blog.

    Puleeze indeed.

  23. - anon2 - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 2:24 pm:

    If Ives is a Madigan lackey for taking $6,900 from Local 150, then it would follow that Sen. Bill Brady is a Madigan lackey X 6.5, and Rep. Dirken is a Madigan lackey X 24.7.

  24. - Norseman - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    === … lacking in honesty, to say the least. ===

    Translation: The guy is incapable of telling the truth.

  25. - a drop in - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    ” We should all think about Pooh on election day.”

    I think we will but not in the way you meant.

  26. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 3:19 pm:

    Illinois hasn’t had a real budget in decades. Not sure why everyone blames Rauner.

  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 3:26 pm:

    - Ron -

    ===Illinois hasn’t had a real budget in decades. Not sure why everyone blames Rauner.===

    Don’t make me embarrass you with Charlie Wheeler and his take on your ignorance. Rauner, like every governor, owns their term. It’s also like when you complain about the… Edgar… ramp. Same tripe, different day for you.

    We’re all 6 days from Election Day.

    We’re all tired, I know I am and I’m not on a campaign.

    Fewer drivebys. Please.


  28. - 47 - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 5:16 pm:

    Madigan is actually in league with Rauner - propped him up over Quinn so he could get JB to run and then have access to those dollars.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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