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Schimpf on governing, campaigning

Wednesday, Mar 3, 2021

* WMBD interviews gubernatorial candidate Paul Schimpf, a former state Senator

“What I’m running on is responsible government, safe communities and economic growth through the free market. What I mean by responsible government really is a government in Illinois that’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing. We should not be passing laws in Illinois unless it’s done in a transparent manner where people know what the legislation is before they vote on it,” Schimpf said.

So, he’s running on legislative process? Governors have enough to do without also trying to insert themselves into the role of House and Senate parliamentarian. Ask Bruce Rauner, Pat Quinn and Rod Blagojevich how that theoretical approach to governance worked out.

* On winning the GOP primary

“You have to be able to reunify our Republican party, you have to give the voters a contrast between yourself and J.B. Pritzker, that’s not just a policy contrast, that needs to be a life story contrast as well. The third thing you have to do to win as a Republican in Illinois is you have to get crossover votes. I think I’m the Republican candidate who can do those three things. I’m confident that when the voters take a look at the Republicans who are running in Illinois, I think they’re gonna believe I’m the candidate who can beat Gov. Pritzker,” Schimpf added.

Easy to say, but one wonders how he’ll respond to things like the House resolution filed to condemn Rep. Chris Miller (R-No Relation).

* He does have a good story to tell, though

“We need someone who can work together across the political and social spectrum. I was a State Senator for four years, but before that, I spent my adult life in the Marine Corps. If you’re gonna be successful in the military, you have to be able to work with people across the political and social spectrum. You can’t be afraid of tackling challenges,” Schimpf said. “I’m gonna bring leadership to the table. That’s probably my biggest contribution I can bring to the State of Illinois to try and solve our States problems in a manner where we try to work together and rely on solutions and not political power to ram stuff through.”

* More from the News-Gazette

Schimpf said it will be important to contrast his “life story” as a child of two teachers who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and became an officer and lawyer in the Marines with Pritzker’s life as the multibillionaire scion of the Pritzker family fortune.

“Voters will ask, ‘Who understands me?’” said Schimpf, who predicted voters will choose him if he can attract enough money in campaign donations to get his message out.

* Back to WMBD. This message sounds good

“You look at the budget that Gov. Pritzker passed 2 years ago, it was his first year in office, he touted a fact it was a bipartisan budget. A lot of the Republican leadership voted for it, I did not. The reason I did not vote for that budget is because it increased spending across the board,” Schimpf said. “We had record revenue coming in, but anywhere we could increase spending, we did increase spending. That just doesn’t reflect the reality that Illinois has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. We need to get our spending under control, it’s something the people of Illinois expect us to do and it’s something I’m going to make my number one priority as governor.”

Spending is up because of pensions and health care. It’s been that way for decades. That spending pressure has put the hard squeeze on all other programs, which has resulted in the hollowing out of state government. But the people who argue that the state should simply slash pension benefits and kick people off of health care appear to have never met a Democratic legislator in their lives. If it was as easy as they constantly claim, it would’ve already been done, for crying out loud. Read the room, people.

Schimpf appears to be advocating for cuts to state programs to make up the difference. In other words, back to the squeeze. But that’s a far more legitimate (if politically risky) debate to have than the magic beans approach which so many pundits here appear to love and embrace, partly because it involves zero actual risk of facing reality.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments
  1. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 11:10 am:

    “We need to get our spending under control”

    That’s what all GOP say, but it’s utterly meaningless because where’s the plan that can pass in the GA? It’s just the same old tripe. How does that win elections?


  2. - Blake - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 11:24 am:

    It’s possible they use it because “the same old tripe” can help win. I also wonder if things would have gone better if an R-gov in 2015-17 had their policy substance focused on the bond rating (fiscal health) instead of violating Democratic lawmakers morals about labor rights.


  3. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 11:26 am:

    “We need to get our spending under control”

    My first question to Schimpf would be… where? All of the stories about Veteran Homes and children at DCFS, are we cutting there? Are we going to close a prison or two? Are we going to shutter state parks? Where, where, where are the cuts going to come from?


  4. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 11:27 am:

    =“What I’m running on is responsible government, safe communities and economic growth through the free market. =

    Says the candidate from the party of Darren Bailey and Chris Miller. I wonder how they will feel about the “free market” approach?

    How much have previous GQP governors reduced spending in Illinois? Other than not paying people money owed unless they were a big money consultant?


  5. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 11:28 am:

    =“Voters will ask, ‘Who understands me?’” =

    With all due respect, no one who spent a career in the Marines understands me. A life-long billionaire doesn’t either, but it’s wholly disingenuous to suggest that all voters have this fetishization of the military. Dude, I saw who was at the Capitol, and it wasn’t folks like me - it was your (many ex-military) voters.


  6. - Moe Berg - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 11:29 am:

    Appreciate his service. US Senator John McCain, a decorated war hero and POW lost to a fellow US senator by the name of Barack Obama who was not in the military.

    Ronald Reagan, who spent WWII in Hollywood, defeated Jimmy Carter, who served 8 years in the Navy after WWII.

    Former US Senator Max Cleland from Georgia, a triple amputee Vietnam veteran, and decorated combat veteran, was defeated by Saxby Chambliss, who avoided Vietnam by receiving student deferments and was also given a medical deferment for bad knees due to a football injury.

    Military service isn’t a mark against anyone, of course. But, voters, most of whom also haven’t served, don’t seem to give it too much weight.

    As for Sen. Schimpf’s claims that its “who understands me” that voters care about. That’s less important than what voters believe you will do or have done that’s enabled them to improve their lives.

    Look no further than FDR, the greatest 20th century president. Like Pritzker, born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Like Pritzker, knew personal adversity that created empathy for those facing hard times and was motivated to help them to help themselves.


  7. - Norseman - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 11:36 am:

    === You have to be able to reunify our Republican party ===

    The split among the GQP party is among the majority who push the big lie, the insurrection lie and the effort to suppress the vote versus the few who are pushing for the recognition of facts and support for democracy.

    Candidate Schimpf, where do you stand on the big lie? Will you welcome Adam Kinzinger in your unity effort?

    Illinois has done a lot to expand voting opportunities, will you push for more restrictions on voting methods as is being championed by GOP state legislators throughout red land?


  8. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 11:37 am:

    ==“You look at the budget that Gov. Pritzker passed 2 years ago, it was his first year in office, he touted a fact it was a bipartisan budget. A lot of the Republican leadership voted for it, I did not. The reason I did not vote for that budget is because it increased spending across the board,”==

    The budget increased spending across the board because Rauner had cut it across the board and the results were not exactly popular. So, Schimpf is promising to go back to Rauner-like budgeting.


  9. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 11:43 am:

    The question a few weeks ago was which candidate is big money and the top operatives going to join with. It doesn’t seem like it’s Schimpf…so far.

    Overall, not an impactful announcement, with minimal media attention, and a lack of a consistent message to carry through besides his name (no “Shake Up Springfield” on the sign, for example). It’s early yet, but he needs to find an issue to run on besides “you can trust me more than the other guy.”


  10. - walker - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 11:46 am:

    “”It’s just the same old tripe. How does that win elections?”"

    Sometimes it’s not the ingrediants, but the look and smell of the soup.


  11. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 11:48 am:

    That budget was also the ticket to ending the budget impasse that obliterated the social safety net, ended careers, and prevented our most-vulnerable from getting the care they needed to survive. Members of the Senator’s own caucus put their careers in jeopardy to support it. Most of them lost or resigned because of the TAXES TOO HIGH! SPENDING TOO HIGH! narrative. Catering to that narrative was more important than making the government work again.

    Yeah, he’s for responsible governing and the legislative process.

    Senator, we can talk about economic policies all day. Can we at least agree higher spending is better than suffering our low-income constituents over it? I am pretty sure there are a few in southern Illinois. They likely are not willing to sacrifice themselves for the economy. If they are, what is your plan for helping those people recognize their lives are more important than the Republican Party’s hard line tax policy?


  12. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 11:53 am:

    “We need someone who can work together across the political and social spectrum…”

    Did Schimpf sponsor any bills that actually didn’t result in Session Sine Die?


  13. - Norseman - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 12:01 pm:

    === You have to be able to reunify our Republican party ===

    The split among the GQP party is among the majority who push the big lie and the insurrection lie in the effort to suppress the vote versus the few who are pushing for the recognition of facts and support for democracy.

    Candidate Schimpf, where do you stand on the big lie? Will you welcome Adam Kinzinger and your unity effort?

    Illinois has done a lot to expand voting opportunities, will you push for more restrictions on voting methods as is being championed by GOP state legislators throughout Redland?


  14. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 12:01 pm:

    A positive for Schimpf is he’s not too scary to unions. That’s a good thing for the ILGOP. More should be pro-union, or at least pro-union rights.


  15. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===If you’re gonna be successful in the military, you have to be able to work with people across the political and social spectrum. ===

    I think that we all need to really examine people who run on the notion that their leadership skills were learned from the military. While I appreciate that individual service members may represent a significant amount of diversity, the military isn’t an organization that relies on vibrant discussion of opposing views or consensus building to take actions. People take orders, people issue orders, and orders are followed.

    ===“I’m gonna bring leadership to the table. ===

    He specifically is claiming he is going to bring military style leadership to the table. Again, people in the United States Armed Services are paid to follow orders. At this point it is also worth noting that Senator Schimpf left the Corps as a short colonel after a 20 year career (ignoring his time at the academy). While a Lt. Colonel is an impressive rank, it’s still middle management in the Corps.

    The military isn’t a place where people learn how to lead through consensus building or coalition building. Not following orders can literally result in going to prison. We should be skeptical of anyone who tries to present serving as an officer as being an example of their civil leadership skills and relies on their audience being unable to spot the difference.

    ===We need to get our spending under control, it’s something the people of Illinois expect us to do ===

    Where he is going to run into problems in a general election is he will need to explain which spending is out of control, and which spending he is planning on proposing be cut. He might not be talking about magic beans, but he’s also just offering vague platitudes.


  16. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 12:05 pm:

    ===More should be pro-union, or at least pro-union rights. ===

    I think enough lessons have been learned in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri for labor organizations in the Midwest to understand that they can’t take tacit support for labor at face value. Some people will surely remember he voted against increasing teacher minimum wages.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    (Sigh)

    My gosh.

    To the post, reluctantly;

    The reality of the ILGOP is … 0-8 in statewides, 5 (for now) of 18 Congressional seats, super minoritied in BOTH chambers in the Illinois GA.

    A really savvy plan would be the following;

    Get one (6) congressional seat, save 5 seats as best you can, even with Mary Miller being drawn out.

    Get Durkin to 50 seats (with the new map)

    Get McConchie to 22 seats (with the new map)

    Note: the legislative seats, federal and our own statehouse, will be about recruiting top candidates that resonate outside racists, insurrectionists, and the conspiracy theorists.

    Now, let’s talk statewides.

    Senate? Let’s see if sanity wins in that Raunerite primary.

    The Raunerites have two really-really ripe chances;

    SoS, but only if it’s Alexi, and the primary winner is willing to go heavy/dark negative on some of the really bad oppo on Alexi.

    Here’s where Schimpf might be missing the boat.

    The Frerichs Tax and Mike Frerichs makes that statewide office more tasty than maybe any other statewide.

    Taking on Frerichs, someone like Schimpf could find a win reminding voters with $3-5 million, that Mike Frerichs stands tall to tax retirement income.

    This run for governor, by Schimpf, by Bailey, it helps no one and they both are not even wonky capable to keep up with the significant and overwhelming money Pritzker will be dropping

    If Schimpf wanted to run… as he seemingly wants to frame it… Frerichs is ripe for a takedown.

    The Raunerite history of Schimpf would be overshadowed by Frerichs’ desire to tax retirement income.

    But… “here we are”


  18. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 12:32 pm:

    = Schimpf appears to be advocating for cuts to state programs to make up the difference. =

    He should say that instead of puffing on about the values of responsible governing. Doing so will require a better explanation of his joining the Rauner faction that extended the budget impasse. His former constituents in southern Illinois who lost jobs, health care, paths to education, day care, public safety, and cuts to state-run institutions (including both SIU campuses) have been waiting a while for one.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    === Doing so will require a better explanation of his joining the Rauner faction that extended the budget impasse. His former constituents in southern Illinois who lost jobs, health care, paths to education, day care, public safety, and cuts to state-run institutions (including both SIU campuses) have been waiting a while for one.===

    After Bruce Rauner, the Raunerites have been pretending those four years never existed and the damage *they* like Schimpf and others (‘cept for the Brave 15 and Perfect 10 after) wholly and without fail helped in crushing this state for an agenda.

    They want the state to move on.

    I have receipts. So many others do too.

    It’s a pure sense of ignorance that Schimpf and others believe that all the damage they purposely did should be forgiven and forgotten.

    Yep. That’s all true. You’re on it.


  20. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    = A positive for Schimpf is he’s not too scary to unions. =

    Which is why they poured money into his Attorney General campaign during Bruce Rauner’s re-election year?


  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 12:49 pm:

    === Which is why they poured money into his Attorney General campaign during Bruce Rauner’s re-election year?===

    “It was payback for ‘Bruce Rauner’, and a lotta other things”


  22. - thisjustinagain - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 1:24 pm:

    Taking down Ferichs is hardly a serious victory for the Republicans, since Ferich can’t tax anything without the Legislature and Governor being onboard. I see Ferichs as offering suggestions in his official capacity, just as Mendoza has done as Comptroller.
    The Republican’s fundamental problems are failing to offer the masses any real reason for NOT voting Democratic, especially the all-important Chicago and Cook County Dems. So long as the ILGOP is ’stuck on stupid’, they will continue to be on the outside looking in, especially at the Governor’s Office.


  23. - Jocko - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 1:28 pm:

    ==We need to get our spending under control==

    Easy to say, when you spend your adult life in the armed forces, whose budget has increased eight fold since 1980


  24. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Mar 3, 21 @ 1:31 pm:

    ===So, he’s running on legislative process?===

    People campaign all the time on issues they have no control over should they win. How many Illinois House candidates have run a campaign based on social security?


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