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A brief look at some legislative races

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020

* The Tribune took a quick look around

After winning a slew of suburban state legislative seats long held by Republicans in 2018, Illinois Democrats are looking to expand their reach even further in November as renewed controversy swirls around their powerful leader, longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Republicans for years have built their campaign strategy around vilifying Madigan, who has been speaker for all but two years since 1983, but it hasn’t paid off in a big way at the ballot box. This year, however, the GOP hopes its anti-Madigan message will resonate in a new way after federal prosecutors in July alleged that Commonwealth Edison engaged in a “yearslong bribery scheme” designed to curry favor with the speaker.

But Madigan, who has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing, is only on the ballot in his Southwest Side district, and Democrats are hoping to capitalize on a changing suburban electorate’s dissatisfaction with the name at the top of the Republican ticket: President Donald Trump. […]

“Voters across the state, and suburban voters in particular, are responding to the intersection of the pandemic, the economy and access to affordable health care,” [Senate President Don Harmon] said. “That’s been our message across the state. It’s resonating, especially in the suburbs.”

A snarky parlor game being played by some these days is guessing which number will be higher after the election: Membership in the Senate Republican caucus (currently at 19 with one on the bubble) or Madigan’s excess majority (currently at 14).

* Some of the spending has been horribly lopsided

* But at least one district is so pro-Trump that money may be a lesser factor than elsewhere

If you don’t subscribe to Scott Kennedy’s Illinois Election Data, you need to change that. Click here.

* Both parties are airing brutal ads. Here’s one from a week ago

Script…

They’re called the Eastern Bloc, a group of ultra-right-wing extremists. And Seth Lewis is their newest recruit. Their agenda? Dismantle Planned Parenthood and block women’s health care, strip away a woman’s right to choose even in cases of rape and incest. The Bloc are for unlimited gun access and against vaccinations for school children. And they’ve removed life-saving COVID protections for essential workers and seniors. Seth Lewis’ agenda? Radical, bizarre, dangerous.

* From the Daily Herald’s endorsement of Lewis, who is running against Democratic freshman Rep. Diane Pappas

He’s a moderate and personable Republican and strikes us as a fundamentally decent person.

You wouldn’t know it by the ads.

* And as I told subscribers this morning, some new oppo was released in the Metro East yesterday

As focus of a local celebrity roast more than three years ago, Monica Bristow downed six shots of Fireball whiskey while listening to several roasters, one of whom said she “drinks all the time.” […]

However, one of the most controversial statements made by Bristow during the Jan. 19, 2017 roast, held as a fund-raiser for Pride, Inc. at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, was a joke she told about a retired teacher whose remains were found inside a vehicle in the Mississippi River in 2005, three years after her disappearance. […]

“About Miss Bricker. I was Miss Bricker’s favorite student…Miss Bricker was the one who met her end going into the river,” Bristow said at the roast. ”I shouldn’t do this but I’m gonna because I’ve had Fireball. She had no children so they’re not here.”

Bristow joked that Bricker was identified by lipstick on her teeth.

“I know it’s in poor taste,” Bristow said, “but I love that joke. God, I love that joke.”

Oy.

But will the HGOPs have enough cash to make sure people hear about it?

That district is in the St. Louis media market, and those TV ads ain’t cheap.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments »
  1. - Lord of the Fries - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 11:05 am:

    Bristow. Woof. Not a good look.


  2. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 11:15 am:

    Remember kids:

    1) Never use your government name on the internet, and
    2) Never get drunk on video.

    – MrJM


  3. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 11:19 am:

    Regarding the 116th.
    Jr. Reitz, hoping to join Dad, Mon, and brother on the state pension honor roll is gonna lose 53-47. Despite the $ advantage.


  4. - annon white sox fan - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 11:24 am:

    Extreme ads on topics that sound unbelieveable running in a very crowded media environment on topics way off what voters are actually thinking about usually fall flat, or worse. Just because the text of a message tests well in a poll, and makes a bunch of campaign staff / consultants happy, doesn’t mean its a good point that resonates.


  5. - LoyalVirus - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 11:25 am:

    It’s beyond me why anyone drinks Fireball, let alone as an elected official, at a public event where one is speaking. Sheesh.


  6. - DuPage Dan - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 11:29 am:

    All Seth Lewis does is run for office and lose. Republican have wasted over $2.6 million on him since 2014.


  7. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 11:36 am:

    Skillicorn going for lowest cost per vote


  8. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 11:36 am:

    Mike Madigan paying for millions of dollars in ads wanting to clean up corruption in Springfield is as good as it gets


  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 11:41 am:

    === A snarky parlor game being played by some these days is guessing which number will be higher after the election: Membership in the Senate Republican caucus (currently at 19 with one on the bubble) or Madigan’s excess majority (currently at 14).===

    It’s *that* bad. It’s mocking a bottom that seems bottomless to a free-falling party.

    To the post,

    I’m probably most interested in Skillicorn and Wehrli, both suburban seats that use to be safe until the National mood towards Trump, and after the Rauner years, the idea of traditional GOP voters has flipped to the shrinking of what could be considered a base.

    If Dems flip both… Naperville’s seat, and a seat held by Skillicorn and lost by Skillicorn by shrinking his own voter universe, I mean, will Durkin still be above 40?


  10. - Not a Billionaire - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 12:03 pm:

    OW is right. Your previous post about the early votes in the suburbs may indicate a blue sweep. If Illinois early vote is anything like PA …Wash Post poll had 85% of early vote going to democrats.


  11. - Southern - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 12:07 pm:

    WTH was Bristow thinking? Oh…Fireball.


  12. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 12:17 pm:

    ==But Madigan, who has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing, is only on the ballot in his Southwest Side district==

    The Republicans need to stop running against Madigan; it’s not much of a platform and has not been very effective.


  13. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 12:30 pm:

    =The Republicans need to stop running against Madigan; it’s not much of a platform and has not been very effective=

    I would generally agree, however, the Com-Ed corruption makes it relevant. MJM is like the jelly of the month club.. the gift the keeps on giving.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===…the Com-Ed corruption makes it relevant. MJM is like the jelly of the month club.. the gift the keeps on giving.===

    … and yet, the discussion continues to be how many seats… Durkin… will lose.

    So what exactly are you saying, lol


  15. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 12:47 pm:

    If you’ve talked with Seth Lewis on the campaign trail, “mastery of the issues” is not an impression you walk away with.


  16. - Pundent - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 12:50 pm:

    =The Republicans need to stop running against Madigan; it’s not much of a platform and has not been very effective.=

    I think that was established in 2018 where state politics were front and center. I highly doubt that Madigan’s approval is much less than it was in the last cycle and the net result for the Republicans was no statewide seats and even larger majorities in the house and senate. The Madigan playbook is akin to the Bears running the same play at the goal line four times straight and then wondering why they never got into the end zone.


  17. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 2:06 pm:

    “MJM is like the jelly of the month club.. the gift the keeps on giving.”

    And year after year, Republicans try to nail that jelly to the wall with the same degree of success.

    – MrJM


  18. - Anonanonsir - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 2:18 pm:

    The Dems have been blanketing the Chicagoland airwaves with state rep ads, while about 99% of the viewers of such an ad don’t vote in that district.
    You start to wonder how efficient that is, and whether this is more about winning House seats or about Madigan seeking to show that he’s Large And In Charge.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 2:31 pm:

    Madigan doesn’t feel he has to wipe everybody out - Anonanonsir- . Just his enemies, that’s all.


  20. - Powdered Whig - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 3:22 pm:

    === The Dems have been blanketing the Chicagoland airwaves with state rep ads, while about 99% of the viewers of such an ad don’t vote in that district. ===

    FWIW, mailboxes have also been hit with ads, phones have been ringing and doors have been knocked. Its what successful campaigns do. What would you be doing differently? Please do tell.


  21. - Frank talks - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 5:29 pm:

    Why do folks keep thinking that Madigan is the issue?
    Did anyone see last nights debate?
    Who thinks that regular person beyond the Springfield inside crew actually saw or cared about yesterday’s hearing?
    The national politics are destroying voter intelligence on local issues. Straight party voting may be at its highest this election.
    But ……..Madigan…….that’ll work, right?


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