Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x7 - Bill Brady, Pat Brady, Ives, Durkin, DGA, ILGOP, Pritzker, Rauner respond - Brady accepts caucus resignation *** Sen. Sam McCann announces for governor as Conservative Party candidate
* I’ve gone over my thoughts on this with subscribers for the past couple of days, so I’ll just post the press release here and y’all can talk about it in comments…
This morning, Senator Sam McCann (C-Plainview) announced that he and Veterans’ Rights Activist Aaron Merreighn (pronounced “marine”) (C-Riverton) would join the Illinois Gubernatorial race as Conservative Party candidates. They will face Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker and incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.
“When I announced I was not going to run for Senate, I said the Republican Party under Rauner was unrecognizable to me. Rauner has smeared the reputations of proven conservatives and abandoned the principles that millions of Illinois working families hold dear: economic liberty, traditional values, and law and order,” said McCann. Sen. McCann was first elected to the State Senate in 2010 and decided not to seek reelection as a Republican in 2018. In the legislature, McCann has been an advocate for taxpayers, working people and small businesses, veterans, and common sense.
McCann added, “Illinois deserves a clear choice in November. I am the only conservative in the race, and the only candidate who has stood up to both Rauner and Madigan. Our campaign offers a real chance for Illinois to break free from the politics as usual crowd. Our campaign offers the only choice voters have to take back Illinois.”
McCann tapped Veterans’ Rights Activist Aaron Merreighn as his running mate. The two have worked together on a variety of veterans issues, most notably the Quincy Veterans Home. “Rauner’s handling of the Legionnaires’ outbreak at the Quincy Veterans Homeneedlessly put lives at risk, and his record on veteransissues is nothing short of shameful,” said Aaron Merreighn. “Sadly, it has become symbolic of the failed leadership in Springfield that governs by crisis instead of by common sense.”
Merreighn is a United States Marine Corps combat veteran, serving five tours of duty, including three in Iraq. Following his service to his country, Merreighn worked as a mechanic for a trucking company and for a family business. He now works for the State of Illinois as a Human Resource Representative. “In the Marine Corps, the values you learn lead you to service and helping others. That is why I became an advocate for my buddies, and why I want to serve my fellow Illinoisans as Lt. Governor,” Merreighn added.
McCann and Merreighn must reach the 25,000 signature requirement to make the ballot for the General Election as the Conservative Party candidates. The General Election is November 6, 2018.
…Adding… Some of you are missing the point in comments, so here’s a little context. Check out this contribution to McCann from earlier in the week…
Do you really think that Operating Engineers Local 150 wants to defeat JB Pritzker? Nope.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Posted in the order they were received. Pritzker campaign…
Today, JB Pritzker issued the following statement in response to State Senator Sam McCann entering the race for governor:
“I welcome another voice to the race for governor at this critical time for our state,” said JB Pritzker. “Bruce Rauner is a failed governor who has done untold damage to communities throughout Illinois, and people from across the political spectrum are ready for change. Since announcing this campaign, I have worked to hold Rauner accountable for his failure and I will continue doing so as we bring Illinoisans together to put Springfield back on the side of working families.”
* Rauner campaign…
The Rauner campaign released the following statement in response to Sam McCann’s entry into the Govenor’s race:
“Sam McCann is the worst kind of political opportunist who is only running for Governor to line his own pockets. McCann’s unethical record speaks for itself: he failed to pay his taxes, racked up massive debts, lied about serving in the Marine Corps, and used his campaign account as a personal piggy bank, even buying himself an SUV.”
“Public service should not be for personal gain and Sam McCann’s new ‘campaign’ is just a thinly veiled attempt to profit off of politics.”
- Rauner Campaign Communications Director Will Allison
Sam McCann owns business with more than $200,000 in tax liens from the Internal Revenue Service and Illinois Department of Employment Security. McCann faces several lawsuits for unpaid credit card debt totaling nearly $20,000.
*** UPDATE 2 *** From Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady’s spokesman…
This morning, Sen. Sam McCann offered his resignation from the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus and Leader Brady accepted.
*** UPDATE 3 *** ILGOP…
Sam McCann’s Entry Into Governor’s Race Is His Latest Example Of Self-Dealing And Using Politics For Profit
McCann’s shady record makes him the perfect crook to cut a deal with Pritzker and Madigan
“Sam McCann’s professional and political careers have been devoted to serving himself. Whether it’s lying about serving in the Marines, dodging taxes on his failed business, or treating his campaign funds like a personal piggy bank, McCann will say or do anything just to make a buck.
“Now, McCann is jumping into the governor’s race to play the part of spoiler, hoping to cash in along the way and maybe land a lucrative appointment from Pritzker or Madigan after the election. Sam McCann is the worst kind of politician - one who uses politics for profit.” - Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot
Today, State Sen. Sam McCann announced his intention to run as a third-party candidate for Illinois Governor. McCann’s goal? Money for himself – and lots of it. McCann’s campaign has been funded by Madigan-allied labor unions that have already endorsed Pritzker’s campaign for governor.
So why would these same unions back another candidate for governor? To spoil the election. They tried and failed the same dirty tricks in 2014 and it looks like they’re back to their old habits. McCann is taking the opportunity to cash in big time. Public records reveal that McCann treats his campaign fund like his own personal piggy bank, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on himself and his lifestyle. The potential for even more big checks from unions gives McCann the opportunity to make even more money.
McCann’s time in Springfield has been mired in lies, scandal and self-dealing, which makes him the perfect crook to cut a deal with Madigan and Pritzker in an attempt to spoil the election for Illinois Republicans. Be on the lookout for McCann to receive a lucrative appointment or job from Pritzker or Madigan after the election, but in the meantime, Sam McCann will be exposed for what he is: a crooked politician who uses politics for profit.
Today, Democratic Governors Association spokesman Sam Salustro released the following statement in response to state Senator Sam McCann’s entry into the Illinois governor’s race:
“Today, the nation’s most vulnerable incumbent saw his reelection chances dwindle even further. Bruce Rauner is still reeling from a brutal primary and now he has to deal with an outright revolt from the right. Jeanne Ives voters now have another Republican to vote for in Sen. Sam McCann. It’s no surprise Republicans keep lining up to challenge Rauner – they know that he is a failed governor who has betrayed families across the state.”
*** UPDATE 5 *** House GOP Leader Jim Durkin…
It is no surprise that Sen. McCann sells out the Republican party for his own self-interest.
*** UPDATE 5 *** Ives has said previously that she would vote for Rauner…
Would @JeanneIves consider backing McCann? Looks unlikely. She tells me, “I've already made my statement on the topic. I'm a Republican. That hasn't changed. I'm focused on policy like the pension crisis gobbling up communities like Harvey.” https://t.co/l3ED1RGWgO
Illinois Senate Minority Leader and Bloomington Republican Bill Brady also had harsh words for McCann.
“The Illinois Republican Party didn’t leave Sam McCann,” Brady tweeted Thursday. “He left the Republican Party with his lockstep votes to support Mike Madigan’s agenda of unbalanced budgets and putting the interests of public sector unions ahead of Illinois taxpayers.”
This has to point to Rauner becoming one of the worst performing major party candidates an a governors race in the state of Illinois in history. Coming off of the narrow victory in March I can’t see how he defends hims self being flanked in the left and now right.
If I were a down ballot republican I think I like this, I could see with Rauner as the only choice for conservatives Republican voters not turning out especially with the national climate. This could blunt that.
I think Sam could be a good Governor in the Thompson / Edgar style. Yes, I know they were quite different and opposite branches of the party, but both were pragmatists. They both managed to work with the GA, even though Edgar had a learning curve dealing with Madigan. And both could deal with the union.
That said, I still don’t see a path to victory for McCann this time around. At best, this is establishing state-wide name recognition for a realistic 2022 run.
I’ll have to think long and hard about whether to vote for him as Gov this time.
- Metro East Resident - Thursday, Apr 19, 18 @ 9:05 am:
As a centrist Dem, I was kind of looking forward to this and was going to consider voting for him. Now it seems he’s running far right which hasn’t been his m.o. Is he pandering to Ives conservatives to simply ensure Rauner’s demise?
- People Over Parties - Thursday, Apr 19, 18 @ 9:07 am:
This definitely won’t be a waste of time or money. No sir.
“In the legislature, McCann has been an advocate for taxpayers, working people and small businesses, veterans, and common sense.” - The common sense part evidently has been evading most politicians in Springfield for decades.
This is the best thing for Pritzker. Downstate Republicans who hate Rauner now have a third option, and they would rather vote for a Conservative Party candidate than a Democrat. The way I see it, Pritzker can spend less time downstate and more time in the ‘Burbs to really hit Rauner’s base.
- People Over Parties - Thursday, Apr 19, 18 @ 9:11 am:
I once predicted that the Republicans will eventually moderate their social stances, while those hard-line voters will go on to create a “Conservative Party”, making most elections a 3-way contest. Could this be the start?
If they get on the ballot, seems to me this will spell the end for BR if he was able to bring the race to competitive status. Don’t see that happening tho. Sam proving once again to be a thorn in BR’s political agenda.
Sam is a long time friend. I wish him well, and will volunteer to help. This will hurt Rauner a lot. Having an alternative for conservative voters, who would have stayed home, or ignored the race is a good thing. Rauner is in big trouble, but will ignore the obvious.
If he wanted to win he’d run as an Independent. Not that he would really have a chance anyways, but it would at least be an attempt. Running as a new Conservative party candidate is purely to shaft Rauner. The real longer-term intrigue here is whether he’ll get on the ballot and surpass 5% to make the Conservative party an established party in the next election. If that happens it could tip the scales towards Democrats in 2020 as well, when Dems will likely have big anti-Trump turnout for the presidential election.
Well, I think Rauner’s way of threatening those in his own party who disagree with him has caught up with him. He threatened to bury McCann, and McCann said ok and then grabbed Rauner’s leg and pulled him in the grave with him. This could get real ugly for Rauner. Retiring GOP General Assembly members and conservative newspapers now have someone to endorse that isn’t a demonstrated failure.
This is a coordinated effort between labor and JB. McCann is bought and paid for and is only running to syphon off 3% of the vote total from Rauner. It’s a solid plan but let’s all be realistic in what it is and what McCann actually stands for, defeating Rauner and getting rich while doing it.
===I can only imagine the dirty, unethical lengths Rauner will go to keep McCann off the ballot.===
Actually its the insane ballot requirements for independent candidates that both D and Rs are responsible for that could keep him off the ballot. Rauner exploiting those requirements shouldn’t be a surprise.
A lot of you in comments are missing the point. Sam is running a campaign to take Rauner votes period. You people think he really wants to win.
- Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 19, 18 @ 9:41 am:
“Rauner has smeared the reputations of proven conservatives”
And lied as well about something as dear to conservatives as pro-life. At least with a liberal, conservatives know where they stand from the get-go, but with an “uber-left, coastal limousine liberal” (h/t OW)…
How long until Ken Dunkin announces a longshot bid for governor on the Progressive Party ticket because “JB Pritzker has failed us.” Related question, how quickly can JB mobilize his petition circulators to hit the streets for McCann.
Now Rauner has to run ads attacking McCann as well as Pritzger. McCann can respond to those attacks by saying that Rauner told incredible lies about Ives and now he’s doing the same to me. I give McCann credit for not being bought and I definitely believe that Rauner threatened McCann.
@Rabid, money laundering? What the heck are you talking about? Yeah, they don’t expect (or want) McCann to win, that doesn’t mean the money they give him isn’t legitimately for the campaign. They want him to be loud and public to draw votes from Rauner to support JB, nothing illegal going on there.
Don’t know what this means, yet. I do not think that he has any real chance to become governor at this time (maybe too late in the game), but at the same time, there is a good chance that I will vote for him instead of Pritzger.
Identifying himself as a conservative doesn’t really bother me; from what little I have seen, he seems fairly centrist. We all have our own beliefs at opposite ends of the political labels, i.e.: some pro-gunners are also pro-choice.
McCann seems relatively trustworthy as a politician, Rauner is not. JB looks good, but he is another rich guy with no real political experience…
Just saw the updates: the ILGOP still don’t get it: Rauner is not a Republican; he is just a rich guy who bought his own election.
McCann’s resignation is a good move on his part; the Rauner party attacking him no longer matters, and will help him in the long run.
It’s worth remembering that this all began with McCann bucking Rauner on one meaningless vote.
Rather than let it slide like a well-adjusted grownup would, Rauner spent a fortune to try and break McCann and show other GOP GA members what would happen to them if they ever dared to step out of line, even on one meaningless vote.
How are those bully-boy tactics looking these days? Are all the GOP GA members cowering in fear of Rauner?
Double your campaign pleasure, double your fun. Going to be interesting to watch Rauner squirm. And the statement from Rauners campaign ” public service should not be for personal gain”, what do they think Rauner has been doing?
- People Over Parties - Thursday, Apr 19, 18 @ 10:19 am:
Word- “one meaningless vote”?
I get that the Afscme contract arbitration bill
passed in the senate with or without McCanns vote
But to Rauner there was no more important vote
It laid down the marker
For republicans to follow
The cultivated hatred of unionized
Public sector workers
Ron and sue are the issuance
Of this bill
Only McCann had the courage
To say no to Rauner
That Republicans can be pro labor
So Rauner gave him “a f%#^ing problem ”
McCann showed the weakness
In the Rauner Death Star
At great peril to himself
I thank McCann
I honor McCann
My conservative sisters and brothers
Have someone to vote for.
I’ve done all I can to advocate for Pritzker
I think you’ll be surprised by how well
The real longer-term intrigue here is whether he’ll get on the ballot and surpass 5% to make the Conservative party an established party in the next election. If that happens it could tip the scales towards Democrats in 2020 as well, when Dems will likely have big anti-Trump turnout for the presidential election.
Plus and the Conservative Party would also be an established political party when the winner of this race runs for reelection in 2022.
Just when you think Illinois electoral politics can’t get any weirder…
- King Louis XVI - Thursday, Apr 19, 18 @ 11:04 am:
–he failed to pay his taxes, racked up massive debts, lied about serving in the Marine Corps, and used his campaign account as a personal piggy bank, even buying himself an SUV.”–
If someone is not a member of either caucus, how do they get staff support to help them with the basic jobs of being a Member of the G.A.? Surely McCann doesn’t have time to read all the bills that require votes.
==Why would he run to the center? The goal is to take Rauner voters from the right.. Not Pritzker voters.==
That’s my point though. If he were trying to win or even set himself up to try and win in 2022, as RNUG suggested, then he’d be running to the center. The fact that he’s running to the right, combined with his history with Rauner, tells you everything you need to know about what he’s trying to do.
==Ive’s hates Unions so ofcourse she won’t back McCann. ==
Ives didn’t seem to be bothered by the buttery sweet pro-Ives ad put up by the DGA or her friend Dan Proft getting union help for his candidate Mickey Staub. Hmmm….
I said this when this all transpired a few days ago…
McCann is a central Illinois, pro-life, pro-gun, pro-labor conservative. How many of those bonafides sound like something attractive to Pritzker voters?
Here’s a few things to keep in mind;
McCann is in for the 3-5% he can take away from two men who will spend in the neighborhood of $300 million dollars… and prevent Rauner his second term.
McCann? His baggage? Whew. No way that translates into victory, even in the age of Trump, McCann isn’t Trump.
McCann can… he can spoil the melding of actual GOP voters and conservatives with Raunerites… that the balk game… Raunerites need the Republicans, so again, the ridiculous Raunerite word salads need to dismiss McCann… and hope the “central Illinois, pro-gun, pro-life, conservatives”.., come home.
For me? McCann is a hero and a goat. Goat mostly, the way he handled his business with Leader Radogno, unforgivable. How McCann handled his business with Rauner? Hero. All right hoped Republicans could be, but they themselves failed for Raunerbucks, and Diana Rauner’s uber-left, costal, limousine liberal social agenda, including the righteous Mr. Breen.
Signatures? The circulators could very well be vetted better than McCann.
Can they get the 50, 60,000? Possible.
The attempt has my interest, sure.
Once I know who is circulating and representing McCann in the eventual challenge, that… that will have my attention.
Now, this whole Pritzker is a lock now, they ain’t Pritzker voters (even by me, mind you) here’s the challenge that Crew has, wether they know it or not. Precision.
Precision in voting their voters, allowing McCann to take his, but not aiding to a point… as Pritzker is himself under water.
See, Pritzker not being under water or knowing what tapes are out there, or Rauner’s $150 million… that Crew has things of concern only a good field op can make better. Precision. Voting their pluses, and only their known pluses, then letting loose with the wave’s help, and Dems coming home.
The ILGOP… I want the Caucuses to succeed. I want the best for them. Cynical “me” knows… run with McCann in some places, run with Rauner in others… it could help, a guy like Z could really massage the differences, make enough room to salvage a seat or two. “But”… Rauner will be footing the bill, ask Mr. Breen.
Ives isn’t anywhere. Her message is, which is 100s of times more important. That’s McCann. A vessel of messsging to defeat Rauner.
This has my interest. Will it get my attention, let’s see those 59, 60,000 signatures, and who defends them in the challenge.
The only thing I do know? Easy.
Thus will keep the Raunerites busy. Very busy. Busy and nervous. Scared even.
You can’t think that 48% of GOP voters voting for Ives can’t trsnslate into 3-5% for McCann come November.
===“This is not McCann running because he wants to be the conservative mouthpiece this is labor is trying to screw with Rauner.”===
Probably. Rauner poked the bear and the wound has been festering for nearly 3 years. You mess with my family and/or my livelihood and you get one ticked off union member. Now multiply that sentiment by tens of thousands and you can see how labor would be determined to keep Rauner from a second term.
720,000 veterans in Illinois. McCann and his runningmate can just spend the next five months travelling from American Legion hall to Farm Bureau meeting talking about the Quincy Veteran’s home and get north of 7 percent.
Those who attack the motives of people they don’t like must be mind-readers, since they know precisely why someone else does something. McCann has many good reasons to dislike Rauner that have nothing to do with helping Madigan.