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Final pre-election roundup

Monday, Mar 19, 2018

* Steve Rhodes has written some last-minute deep dives about the various campaigns. From his profile of Sen. Daniel Biss

First, what was Carlos Ramirez-Rosa all about? Really? And I don’t mean that because he’s socialist, I mean that because he’s a 29-year-old first-term Chicago alderman. […]

Biss has a legitimate shot at winning the nomination Tuesday.

That’s a far cry from when Chicago magazine asked a few months ago if he had considered dropping out due to low polling numbers. (At that point, Pritzker had spent $7 million; he’s now spent $70 million and he’s in the exact same place in the polls. Maybe he should’ve been the one to drop out!) […]

Just say it. Own your choice. “Right now, getting Bruce Rauner out of office is more important than policy differences, expertise or any of the other traditional arguments we’d make when offering an endorsement. We can’t afford to take any chances, and Pritzker’s money offers us the most security in reaching our top goal: denying Rauner a second term.” Just say it. It’s not necessarily an unjust position. But don’t cloak it in [expletive deleted]. […]

I just know that Biss’s head-exploding exasperation during that last WTTW debate as two plutocrats who have refused to release their tax returns accused him of being the cynical poser we don’t really know seemed awfully genuine to me.

* JB Pritzker

Pritzker is the Establishment’s candidate, and I must say I’ve been wrong in asserting that was only because of his checkbook. It’s also because he can be counted on not to rock the boat.

When you refuse to criticize Joe Berrios, much less endorse a challenger, you are truly Mike Madigan’s and Ed Burke’s guy.

“I’m not revealing who I voted for or who I’m supporting in that race,” Pritzker said, in the campaign’s final debate. […]

“Oh my gosh,” Chris Kennedy exclaimed in a truly genuine moment. ” If you can’t take a position on whether Joe Berrios should be re-elected . . . you shouldn’t be the governor of the state of Illinois.”

Agreed. Case closed.

* GOP primary

Perhaps Rauner’s biggest Pants on Fire lie? Pretending to not know what “pants on fire” means (Reporter: “It means that it’s not only false, it’s ludicrous . . . “) - or, more like, evading with dismissive scorn what fact-checkers tend to find when verifying his many truth-challenged statements. That alone shows the same dismissiveness to Illinoisans whose lives have been absolutely mangled by his single-minded pursuit of Moby Mike. […]

[The Democratic Governors Association is] playing with fire. Do you really want to further activate whatever Trump forces exist in Illinois (a state that has thus far not been fertile to Trump, just as it was not fertile for the Tea Party)?

As much as Democrats would also relish an Ives primary victory - based on the unproven notion that she’d be an easier opponent (certainly a less-moneyed one) than Rauner - it’s worth asking if working to make that happen is a good moral choice. None of this is good for democracy - especially one that seems like it’s crumbling. Pulling another thread from our already frayed civic life only hastens its demise.

* Chris Kennedy

[In reference to Kennedy’s freakout on an elevator during the 2016 Democratic National Convenion] Kennedy wasn’t wrong about the behavior of media packs, but boy was he wrong about how to handle it. Can you imagine him as governor? Can you really? […]

Back to Jacobin:

    Along with the rest of his family, Kennedy has also continued to benefit from a piece of accounting wizardry that has inoculated his family’s wealth from taxes. As Carol O’Donnell of Forbes outlined, the Kennedys have long used “dynasty trusts” to both protect their wealth from the greed of individual family members, as well as shield it from the government’s busy hands.

    But upon selling Merchandise Mart to Vornado Realty in 1998, the family also potentially avoided paying capital gains tax on the sale by entering into an “operating partnership unit” with the company, giving the Kennedys an ownership stake in Vornado. This also means that individual Kennedys have been reaping millions of dollars in dividends for years. Given that Chris Kennedy was the Vornado Realty Trust’s executive officer from 2000 to 2011, it’s likely he did, too. […]

It’s quite likely we’d know for sure if he released his tax returns. […]

Look, the guy is Not Ready For Prime Time.

* Other stuff…

* Our antiweed governor better take note: downstate is also going to pot: “I do not support legalizing recreational marijuana. I think it’s a big experiment on young people’s brains and development. We should study what’s going on in Colorado and California,” Rauner said. “Even [Colorado governor John] Hickenlooper says, ‘Bruce, you guys in Illinois, you ought to wait awhile and study what’s going on here. ‘Cause it ain’t all good.’” OK, first of all—no one’s rushing to do anything. If anything, they’re taking too [expletive deleted] long.

* As primaries loom, downstate Democrats look for a way back: Late Chicago political analyst Paul Green coined the phrase “Downstate holds the key to victory,” in which he meant statewide contests were ultimately decided by the votes from the small farming communities, university towns and former centers of industry that dot the area outside of Chicago and its suburbs. But, mirroring national trends, many traditional Democratic constituencies downstate have for one reason or another moved away from the party.

* Bernard Schoenburg: My predictions for Tuesday’s primary election

* Neil Steinberg: Race to the bottom: voters puzzled by primary slugfest

* Jim Dey: Assessing the Cook County assessor’s race

* Toni Preckwinkle picks up endorsement from Barack Obama

- Posted by Rich Miller        

31 Comments
  1. - LXB - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 12:45 pm:

    I’m sure Hickenlooper sees the out-of-state money coming in to be spent on pot and wants to encourage anyone who will listen to slow their roll on legalization elsewhere.


  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    –Biss has a legitimate shot at winning the nomination Tuesday.–

    How do you land there when Biss is polling at 3% among black voters? Seriously?


  3. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 12:48 pm:

    Why am I supposed to believe Rauner would talk to Hickenlooper? Or vice-versa.


  4. - People Over Parties - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 12:52 pm:

    “Pritzker is the Establishment’s candidate, and I must say I’ve been wrong in asserting that was only because of his checkbook. It’s also because he can be counted on not to rock the boat.”

    Say it louder for the people in the back.


  5. - Fax Machine - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 12:57 pm:

    So is the Beachwood Reporter endorsing Dr Bob Marshall or what?


  6. - Fax Machine - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 12:58 pm:

    My prediction - 35% wins the Dem nomination.


  7. - People Over Parties - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:03 pm:

    Wow, Rhodes really tears apart the Sun Times’ endorsement of Pritzker. I love it.


  8. - TKMH - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:03 pm:

    I truly did not know that Kennedy paid himself 230k to work 2 hours/week at Top Box Foods. Interesting read.


  9. - Roman - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:03 pm:

    I’m curious to see how the Preckwinkle race turns out. Don’t get me wrong, I think she wins. But it’s probably going to be close-ish. Her approval numbers were Todd Stroger-level bad in the wake of the pop tax last fall, but I’ve seen no polling sense.


  10. - CICOM - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:05 pm:

    doubtful if anyone reads this guy’s stuff..or, cares…


  11. - Terry Salad - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:05 pm:

    Steve Rhodes can be a bit over the top now and again, but I sure would like to see more of him and more like him in the Trib and Sun Times.


  12. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    –Pritzker is the Establishment’s candidate, and I must say I’ve been wrong in asserting that was only because of his checkbook. It’s also because he can be counted on not to rock the boat.–

    If he wins the primary, it will be his boat. The likes of Madigan, Berrios and Burke will no longer be necessary.

    You think Madigan can compete with his checkbook?


  13. - PJ - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    ==it will be his boat==

    In theory. Has he shown any willingness to actually make it his, though? He’s been tiptoeing around the boogymen for the entire cycle.

    Not to mention I’m not convinced having a Democratic Rauner-type is good for democracy. I’m so tired of governors who can personally finance challenges to legislators they don’t like.


  14. - huh - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:17 pm:

    word, word


  15. - cdog - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:18 pm:

    “it’s worth asking if working to make that happen is a good moral choice. None of this is good for democracy - especially one that seems like it’s crumbling. Pulling another thread from our already frayed civic life only hastens its demise.”

    Voting for Ives is immoral? That’s rich.

    The premise farce continues; this is all bad for democracy? It’s actually the opposite, just normal folks using their voices to counter a pre-scripted narrative.

    Demos Kratos. Power to the people.


  16. - Angel's Sword - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:20 pm:

    Rhodes sounds incredibly bitter and his “deep dives” here provide no real insight.


  17. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:30 pm:

    Because Fioretti has run such a desultory campaign, we will actually get to see how big the raw anti-Preckwinkle vote is.

    Because no one is really voting for or against Fioretti and no one has seen his campaign’s attacks on Preckwinkle, so 99.9% of people voting for Fioretti are doing so solely because they have soured on Preckwinkle because of news coverage.


  18. - cdog - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:37 pm:

    Remember the American Pie prophecy where one day, the music died?

    I think that day is today.

    Pritzker landed his boat of gold on the FM airwaves. Every single station was running a Pritzker ad.

    Creepy. Just what Illinois needs, another billionaire governor. /s


  19. - Jacob - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    Kennedy has my vote tommorow


  20. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:41 pm:

    –Remember the American Pie prophecy where one day, the music died?–

    For crying out loud, that was about the Buddy Holly plane crash, not “prophecy.”

    It was written by Don McClean, not Nostradamus.


  21. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:43 pm:

    By the way, have you seen Don McLean’s 24 year old girlfriend? Yowza.


  22. - Thomas Zane Stepp - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:47 pm:

    === Look, the guy is Not Ready For Prime Time.===
    JB comes off as fake, Biss comes off as two-faced. Kennedy comes off as sincere. You can disagree , but that’s just my take


  23. - cdog - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:57 pm:

    Word, you’re always so circumspect and open-minded. ha. We are actually both right.

    “Basically, in ‘American Pie’ things are heading in the wrong direction,” says McLean, 69. “It is becoming less ideal, less idyllic. I don’t know whether you consider that wrong or right, but it is a morality song in a sense. I was around in 1970 and now I am around in 2015 there is no poetry and very little romance in anything anymore, so it is really like the last phase of ‘American Pie.’ McLean says he felt an inexorable decline in American culture at the time he wrote the song, and almost saw things getting worse in the future.”

    My snarky joke stands. Pritzker silenced the music.


  24. - Ron - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 1:59 pm:

    “99.9% of people voting for Fioretti are doing so solely because they have soured on Preckwinkle”

    This is me.


  25. - Lunchbox - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 2:09 pm:

    I was a fan of these dives. I’ll be looking out for more of Steve Rhodes’ material.


  26. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 2:30 pm:

    cdog, I get all that. You’re still confused about what the word “prophecy” means. Many others, too.


  27. - Just The Facts - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    Really hoping we are not left to choose between two billionaires this fall…


  28. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 3:04 pm:

    ==If he wins the primary, it will be his boat.==

    Only if he wants it. But yes, the fact remains that Pritzker’s campaign is the only realistic hope of diminishing Mike Madigan’s power within the Democratic Party. Biss and Kennedy would have to ask him for money by Friday.


  29. - Amalia - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    Kennedy won’t ask Madigan for anything. He is flat out against him, and Berrios, and has been for months. That is the difference between Kennedy and Biss. Kennedy has a bite and that’s not going away.


  30. - TakingALateLunch - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    One thing is for certain, JB is spending the most per vote. Question is, how much exactly? We’ll find out tomorrow.


  31. - RoscoeRatMatt - Monday, Mar 19, 18 @ 5:52 pm:

    I’m curious to see how the Preckwinkle race turns out. Don’t get me wrong, I think she wins. But it’s probably going to be close-ish. Her approval numbers were Todd Stroger-level bad in the wake of the pop tax last fall, but I’ve seen no polling sense.

    I’ve wondered this too, and have found little in the way of polling on this race. I realize it may be a long shot but I early voted for Fioretti.


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