Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Pritzker on Bailey’s campaign kickoff: “I am concerned about a super spreader event”
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Pritzker on Bailey’s campaign kickoff: “I am concerned about a super spreader event”

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Jen Lask at WCIA

Governor Pritzker sounded off on State Sen. Darren Bailey’s campaign kick-off event that took place Monday night with a mostly maskless crowd.

“I heard that that announcement last night was in a room of hundreds of people and no one was wearing a mask,” Pritzker said at an event on Tuesday. “So I am concerned about a super spreader event being caused by someone who’s running for governor.”

This is the second event Bailey has held in Effingham this month with a largely maskless crowd. The first was a forum on February 8th. At that event, WCIA Capitol Bureau Chief Mark Maxwell pressed him on concerns of coronavirus transmission.

“As a matter of fact, my jacket’s sitting over there,” Bailey told him at the event. “I carry the mask with me everywhere. I wear it when I feel like I need to wear it. There are places, you know, that mandate it and if I need to go in there, I did this from day one, I’ve always had a mask and got one of my masks.”

But, as Lask reports, there is a mask mandate at the Keller Convention Center, which was the Monday night venue.

* Pritzker used that “super spreader” line to preface his answer to these Bailey rally comments

Governor Pritzker says, he admits that we’ve lost population for years. But he says it’s no big deal. 150,000 people is not a trickle, governor. It’s a torrent. That’s more population than the combined cities of Aurora, Naperville, Joliet, Rockford and Springfield. Gone. People are leaving our state not because of problems with our state, they’re leaving our state because of problems of a failed government.

I don’t think he meant to say “combined.”

* Pritzker

I’ve been working on this since day one. This was a problem before I became governor. I think you all know that we had more people leaving the state than coming to the state. We had a significant deterioration of immigration to the state over the last several years as a result of former President Trump and his policies.

What I’ve been working on is making sure that we’re attracting and keeping students in the state because that’s been part of the numbers of people who have left the state. Many students who are eligible to go to school at a reduced rate in the state of Illinois, get a better deal leaving the state to go to another school, out of state. That shouldn’t be and that’s why I’ve increased every year the amount that we put into our scholarships and made it easier at the schools for kids who are at median income levels and families are or below to get a free education. And we’ve seen that at many of our universities now since I took office.

So these are that’s just one way that we’re trying to make it better for the state to attract more people to the state, to keep people in the state.

And lastly, I think it’s very important to recognize that building jobs from the ground up, building up our small businesses, which is really where most of the job growth takes place in every state all across the United States, that is what we ought to be focused on. And in the wake of the pandemic, that’s where we ought to be putting our resources.

You know I’ve talked about the corporate loopholes that we need to close in order to balance our budget. The corporate loopholes that were closing, the vast majority of that is all about and effects the largest corporations, who we all know did extraordinarily well during this pandemic. Wealthy people and wealthy corporations did very very well. You know who got hurt? It’s everybody who earns roughly $40,000 and under. We need to be able to create new jobs, new businesses and make sure that those folks have an opportunity to get a job, a new job or the job back that they already had.



  1. - Midstate Indy - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 3:12 am:

    The Center for Illinois Politics indicates a 1.8% decline in state population from a peak in 2013 to 2020, or an average of .25714% per year. Clay County IL has a recorded 46 COVID-19 related deaths out of a total population of 13,287, or about .34620% of the county population. COVID-19 deaths have caused approximately 134% more population loss in Clay County than out-migration.

  2. - Midstate Indy - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 3:13 am:

    Clarify: on an annualized basis.

  3. - Gary Hart - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 5:32 am:

    Of all the population loss conversations, the fact we’re losing our best and brightest to outside schools is of major concern. It used to be that U of I was the golden ticket, but that’s changed. It’s an issue that’s been way too ignored.

  4. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 7:52 am:

    - I don’t think he meant to say “combined.” -

    You’re more generous about his intelligence than I am.

  5. - SoBlue - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 8:23 am:

    Last year,Bailey stated he had a constitutional right to fish when he invaded a closed state park. He obviously is not bright enough to be governor.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 8:26 am:

    The more Pritzker can highlight the real and significant differences between he and Bailey, the better it will play in the suburbs, and even better to remind folks who Bailey is, especially if Bailey can sneak through the primary.

    The $300K a day, every day, to show the foolishness of Bailey.., I mean… it’ll be devastating for Bailey.

  7. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 8:38 am:

    Every one of his event will be a super spreader event.

    I look forward to the pictures from his planned event in suburban Shorewood/Plainfield.

    It’s already an area where I question if people even wipe themselves after going to the bathroom. I’ll give him credit for one thing, he knows where his target audience lives.

  8. - blue line - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 8:59 am:

    pritzker prays for bailey to be his general election opponent.

  9. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 9:00 am:

    @ Excitable Boy:

    So true (multiple banned punctuations).

  10. - don the legend - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 9:01 am:

    ==The $300K a day, every day, to show the foolishness of Bailey.==

    If Bailey keeps talking maybe the Governor can save his 300K per day.

  11. - Holding Back - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 9:02 am:

    Xenia’s warrior princess goes to battle

  12. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 9:10 am:

    When the 2020 Census data finally comes it, somebody should do a visualization of the percentage loss of population in each Illinois county.

    I’m willing to bet $20 that the greatest losses will generally be outside of Cook and the collars, Champaign, McLean, Peoria, Metro East, and possibly Sangamon counties. (The areas I just listed are the areas I see holding steady or gaining population.)

    If someone can go so granular as to do literally every township, and every precinct in Cook and the collars, we’ll have even more fun with the politicians braying about “population loss (banned punctuation)”.

    I think we’ll see that those who bray the loudest are in the areas depopulating the fastest.

  13. - Pundent - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 9:14 am:

    The only thing that I know about Bailey is his anti-mask crusade and fondness for super-spreader events. In a state that needs sober leadership to confront the problems we’re facing I can’t take him seriously.

  14. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 9:15 am:

    “What I’ve been working on is making sure that we’re attracting and keeping students in the state”

    Adequate education funding is a key way to have an attractive state. State budgets should never be starved. Illinois’ business climate is not as bad as the professional weepers make it out to be (ironically as they make good or great money here). The state does well in corporate relocations, with Chicago metro leading the nation almost every year. Education is a very important factor mentioned by businesses looking to relocate here. Infrastructure is as well, and we thankfully are building up in that area through the bipartisan capital bill.

  15. - SuburbanRepublican - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 9:33 am:

    I miss Judy Baar Topinka.

  16. - XonXoff - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 9:49 am:

    – Every one of his event will be a super spreader event. –

    In more ways than one.

  17. - Animus - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 9:59 am:

    Campaign law question for the group:
    Can JB Ptitzker legally contribute to the Bailey primary campaign?

    It seems a fractional investment in Bailey’s primary success would save JB a lot of expense in the General.

    Bailey’s buffoonery will give JB a chance to fry him from the podium on a daily basis without ever having to purchase ads, air time or major investment. Bailey on a open mic is enough to end the Bailey campaign.

  18. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 10:04 am:

    So, the milquetoast Schmipf who will masquerade as a moderate until he has to appeal to downstaters, and
    Bailey, who’s looking at crazy in the rear view mirror.
    How does a third candidate pull enough votes to win a primary?

  19. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 10:11 am:

    “How does a third candidate pull enough votes to win a primary?”

    Ken Griffin money.

    – MrJM

  20. - RegularJoe - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 10:16 am:

    Visit any church south of I-74. it’d be safer if they just waved rattlesnakes in the air than to walk around the virus-cloud surrounding the naked faces…

  21. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 10:17 am:

    ===Can JB Ptitzker legally contribute to the Bailey primary campaign?===

    You have a very short memory. The DGA ran ads designed to help Jeanne Ives.

  22. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 10:29 am:

    It never ceases to amaze me that someone who claims to be “pro-life” and worried about the state losing people can be so cavalier about a disease that has killed over 20,000 people in Illinois in less than a year.

  23. - City Zen - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 10:30 am:

    ==I’ve talked about the corporate loopholes that we need to close in order to balance our budget==

    Those aren’t loopholes.

  24. - Mama - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 10:31 am:

    People are leaving IL to be closer to their families, or because they want to live in a warmer climate.

  25. - Mongo - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 10:33 am:

    Bailey is an embarrassment. And we also know he has no math skills.

  26. - Mama - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 10:35 am:

    I hope a person who openly spreads lies does not get elected as our governor.

  27. - Mongo - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 10:35 am:

    Invisible Man, that made me laugh out loud

  28. - Scott - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 10:51 am:

    He also shouldn’t have included Aurora, as it’s well over 150k by itself.

    Like -Gary Hart- mentioned, higher ed losses are the biggest issue, I think. Increased funding for higher ed institutions would allow schools to reduce tuition and would instill a sense of confidence in the financial stability of many of them. A lot of kids went out of state purely because for a while it didn’t look like a few of the schools would even exist in 5 years.

  29. - City Zen - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 11:10 am:

    ==Increased funding for higher ed institutions==

    According to US News, Illinois already ranks #4 in higher ed spending per pupil.

    Illinois higher ed is always going to have an out-migration issue because we’re a high population state that spends a lot on money on lower ed (state and local dollars), giving our kids option to attend many prestigious schools (think Big10) outside Illinois.

  30. - Still Waiting - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 11:36 am:

    ==There are places, you know, that mandate it and if I need to go in there, I did this from day one, I’ve always had a mask and got one of my masks.”==

    Typical GOP revisionism, as if we did not all witness his being tossed from the House floor for not wearing a mask, *as mandated.*

  31. - Pundent - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 12:00 pm:

    The only credible opponent to Pritzker is the one that can convince Ken Griffin to open up his checkbook. And that ain’t Darren Bailey. And it’s quite possible that such a candidate doesn’t exist in the ILGOP right now. Which suggests that Griffin may decide to sit this cycle out.

  32. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 3:06 pm:

    ==According to US News, Illinois already ranks #4 in higher ed spending per pupil.==

    That’s probably because they are adding in the costs of paying down the old pension debt. Also, there are legacy costs to maintaining a system that had a lot more students in the past. If you look at what the state is actually spending, it is around 50% of what was spent in the late 1990’s.

    Dig deeper in the U.S. News ranking, any you find that they rank Illinois #31 for higher ed. What pulls us down? Our “tuition and fees” are #47. That’s embarrassing.

    2-Year College Graduation Rate: 18
    4-Year College Graduation Rate: 22
    Low Debt at Graduation: 27
    Educational Attainment: 17
    Tuition and Fees: 47

  33. - Jimmy H - Wednesday, Feb 24, 21 @ 3:09 pm:

    “You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into an astonishing land of imagination. Next stop—The Darren Bailey Zone.”

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