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*** UPDATED x1 *** Campaign roundup: Rodney Davis on governor’s race; DPI restructuring; No announcement at IDCCA brunch

Wednesday, Aug 18, 2021

* US Rep. Rodney Davis talked to Mary Ann Ahern about the governor’s race

MAA: As new Illinois maps are redrawn after the 2020 Census. Census, Congressman Davis from downstate Taylorville, he wants to see what his district will look like. Already though he is more vocal in his criticism of Governor Pritzker.

RD: I’m excited about where 2022 is going to be for Republicans. … Once we see what the battlefield looks like. I’ve always been someone to help try to build the coalition’s that would lead us to victory.

[Pritzker TV ad excerpt]

RD: Well, he’s certainly going to need to run ads and he’s going to have to spend hundreds of millions more because he knows that he’s in terrible reelection shape. We’re going to have a Republican governor. […]

MAA: What will it take for a Republican to win in a blue state?

RD: I’m not a label person because, frankly. Somebody may think I’m too conservative and somebody might think I’m too moderate. I’m just me.

Davis said he’s been vaccinated, but opposes vax and mask mandates.

* Subscribers know the back story to this. From DPI…

In an overwhelming vote, members of the Democratic State Central Committee today affirmed Democratic Party of Illinois (DPI) Chair Robin Kelly’s proposed leadership structure for the state party.

“My vision as chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois is to bring more voices into every aspect of the party, and today’s vote puts us on a path to doing just that,” Kelly said. “I’m excited we can fully move ahead in strengthening and broadening our party across the state and electing more Democrats up and down the ballot.”

Today, members of Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) voted to create the Building Leadership, Unity, and Equity (BLUE) Illinois Committee, open access to the party’s advisory committees to non-DSCC members, and degender the party’s bylaws.

“The votes taken today represent a new day for the Democratic Party of Illinois,” DPI Executive Director Abby Witt said. “Whether it’s the BLUE Committee, opening other committees to new and experienced voices outside of our official structure, or making sure our rules are as inclusive as possible, the message from our Chair and our members is aligned and clear: this is a party for everyone. Illinois Democrats, welcome home.”

The BLUE Committee, in compliance with the affirmative advisory opinion from the FEC last month, is made up entirely of non-federal office holders not appointed by the chair, and will be dedicated to managing the party’s non-federal account. Voting members of the BLUE Committee are State Central Committee members Bill Houlihan, Carol Ronen, and Ald. Silvana Tabares.

“The majorities we hold as Democrats are going to be tested this cycle, and I’m excited to join Carol and Silvana in this new effort to keep Illinois blue in 2022 and beyond,” Houlihan said. “The BLUE Committee has an important role to play in building an enthusiastic coalition of Democrats across Illinois.”

“2022 is a pivotal redistricting year, and all of our local candidates will run in newly drawn districts,” Ronen said. “Our goal is to grow our majorities in the general assembly and make sure Democrats win the Illinois Supreme Court races. The BLUE committee will help to bring the necessary resources to win these races and ensure Democratic values prevail. I’m honored to be part of this effort.”

“The best way to continue to grow our party, attract voters and win elections is by expanding our statewide coalition of Democrats,” Tabares said. “I’m proud to be a part of a new way the party will achieve that.”

Not one Black person is on that BLUE Committee.

* This did not happen today

Watch for the news this morning at the County Chairs’ Brunch on the Crowne Plaza grounds in Springfield. More than 800 Democrats will be in attendance and 400 more will view online, according to McHenry County Democratic Party Chair Kristina Zahorik.

Sen. Dick Durbin is expected to announce that Nikki Budzinski will challenge Republican Rep. Rodney Davis in the 13th Congressional District.

Budzinski recently left the Biden administration last month, where she was chief of staff in the Office of Management & Budget. Before that she worked for Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration. […]

Durbin talked about Budzinski’s move Tuesday during a private party in Springfield leading up to today’s festivities. […]

What’s curious: Durbin specifically said Budzinski would run against Davis in the 13th District, which suggests the veteran Republican congressman will be safe in the remap. If that’s true, then one of the four other Republican representatives would be edged out as lawmakers redraw congressional districts to align with the state’s population decline.

There was never any plan to make this announcement, I was told early this morning. Not to mention that we have no idea yet what Davis’ new district will look like. Also, nice job by Durbin of stepping on Nikki’s eventual announcement. /s

*** UPDATE *** The Tribune ran a story last year on Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride’s retention bid

Billionaire conservatives, state GOP leaders and a dark money group are blanketing voters’ mailboxes with full-color attack ads that portray the justice as a Madigan puppet, citing the speaker’s large campaign contributions to Kilbride’s election efforts dating back to 2000. […]

James Nowlan, a former GOP lawmaker who chairs the anti-Kilbride committee Citizens for Judicial Fairness, asks political audiences in towns such as Carthage, Monmouth and Utica if they ever wished they could vote against Madigan. […]

A $200,000 donation from a dark-money group called the Judicial Fairness Project gave the anti-Kilbride forces a jump-start. The group’s registered agent is attorney John Fogarty, the Chicago-based general counsel for the Illinois Republican Party. Fogarty declined to identify the donors.

Paperwork filed with the secretary of state showed the group’s board of directors includes two members of the Republican state central committee and the former head of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association. Listed as the incorporator was Nick Klitzing, a former state GOP executive director. [Emphasis added.]

* I mention this because I just got an email from the Judicial Fairness Project…

Friend,

You were recently emailed about a petition to clean up Illinois’ courts.

Will you take a moment to add your name to DEMAND that we clean up Illinois’s famously corrupt justice system?

    ADD YOUR NAME – 30-SECOND PETITION SIGNUP

We all know that Illinois has a reputation for corruption and crime. It goes all the way to the top, unfortunately – Illinois currently has a 4-3 partisan majority on the Supreme Court, and next year’s election threatens to shake up the balance of power in our state…

So the Legislature and Governor Pritzker jammed through a new, hand-drawn judicial map so they could protect themselves!!

That’s not all.

Last year, an incredible and shocking $10 million was spent on the retention race for the Supreme Court, and there’s much more coming next year with more judgeships on the ballot.

What will YOU chip in to bring fairness back to our courts – $10 million of your money??

    How about just $10?
    How about just $20?
    Other amount

Money. Hand-Drawn Judge Protection Maps. Corruption in the courts.

We deserve better. Will you join us?

…Adding… Also…


* Related…

* Democratic priorities benefiting working families to be highlighted at Governor’s Day rally

* Illinois State Fair 2021 set to kickoff political primary season: For Democrats, the big political race will be among the four declared candidates vying to replace Jesse White, who is not running for another term as Secretary of State.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Hannibal Lecter - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 10:23 am:

    So now the fate of the party rests with the likes of Bill Houlihan, Carol Ronen and Silvana Tabares.

    Some real powerhouse fundraising figures there. Message to potential Dem candidates: you are on your own for fundraising.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 10:24 am:

    === “The best way to continue to grow our party, attract voters and win elections is by expanding our statewide coalition of Democrats,” Tabares said. “I’m proud to be a part of a new way the party will achieve that.”

    Not one Black person is on that BLUE Committee.===

    The BLUE committeee is not a serious thing.

    It’s an appeasement to those needing to seem relavant if only for their own egos, and is not seen by actual *state* elected leaders as a relevant thing.

    “Must be pretty sad to build a whole state party around rules… rules that all but make the whole thing both irrelevant and sadly comical”

    - The ILGOP, maybe

    But, they showed Pritzker, lol


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 10:29 am:

    ===RD: I’m not a label person because, frankly. Somebody may think I’m too conservative and somebody might think I’m too moderate. I’m just me.===

    Oh, you’re you.

    A member of Congress who twice voted not to impeach a president, even after that president incited an insurrection.

    You’re a Trumpkin. It’s not a label. It’s membership to a cult. Congratulations.


  4. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 10:35 am:

    Rodney, you’re talking a mean game.

    Save us the suspense, announce your candidacy.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 10:38 am:

    === Some real powerhouse fundraising figures there. Message to potential Dem candidates: you are on your own for fundraising.===

    The harsh reality is the caucuses and the governor seemingly are out of the way. It’s their shop. They won. I congratulate them.

    I don’t think they know what they won, but when Harmon and Welch only need mail indicia support and Pritzker has another “EFT Fundraiser” which will be successful, where does all this leave… Raoul, Mendoza, Frerichs, and an SoS candidate to be named later?

    It’s not a serious organization that you can look to and think it can raise, on its own, the necessary monies to fulfill any of its wanted goals.

    It was an ego trip that went too far, and when the governor has seemingly walked away… and your chair is all but honorary… is it merely a glorified “club” of “look how important we are” types?


  6. - Responsa - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 10:40 am:

    DPI arranging the deck chairs inside to outside and then back again and issuing press releases, while polls show that the national brand seems to be sinking following the weekend’s disasters– feels like a strangely misplaced and tone deaf effort.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    To the update,

    So here’s the sitch;

    They “won”, then realized that new maps could be drawn to make them lose… so they’re gonna build a mailing list and fundraise off a win that turned out to possibly be a bigger loser for them.

    I’m never surprised at the low level of grifting to the “lemmings of the seemingly aggrieved”. It made me chuckle.

    So the Kilbride thingy, we can now say that was really a loss now, and stop pretending it’s still a win?


  8. - Hannibal Lecter - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 10:49 am:

    Willy, I actually agree with you.

    The biggest thing to come out of this BLUE group is that the individual members will be able to say that they are members of the BLUE group.

    What will they actually do to, as Tabares puts it, attract voters and win elections by expanding our statewide coalition of Democrats? My guess is nothing since these individuals have no track record of doing anything of the sort. Also, when the money that MJM left behind is gone, it will become really apparent that this whole concept is nothing but a tremendous failure.


  9. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 11:00 am:

    The year 2050…

    “Candidate Joe Blow, as a child, once attended a gathering with former speaker Mike Madigan in attendance. Now, that person wants to be your (fill in the blank).

    Say no to this Madigan flunkie”

    This ad paid for by the ILGOP-both of them.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 11:09 am:

    “Somebody may think I’m too conservative and somebody might think I’m too moderate”

    Davis may be willing to stick his finger in the air to see which way the political wind is blowing, but his very Trumpy voting record says otherwise. Good luck running on repealing the ACA, for one.


  11. - irony is fun - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 11:11 am:

    DPI has about $2M in its current account. Houlihan, Tabares, and Ronan collectively have less than $300K in their campaign accounts. This last cycle Tabares raised little more than $12,000 and gave most of it to her fundraiser.

    Collectively there’s enough money to fund 1 network commercial.

    This is the best news the Republicans have had in a long time.


  12. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 11:26 am:

    =Not one Black person is on that BLUE Committee.=

    =Also, nice job by Durbin of stepping on Nikki’s eventual announcement.=

    These people are incompetent.


  13. - Back to the Future - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 11:32 am:

    Noticed OW’s observation that the “Blue” committee did not have a Black Dem on it.
    My party needs to careful in not only “talking the talk”, but also “walking the walk”.
    The cannabis program was designed in such a way that had no Blacks, Women or Latinos won.
    Another example is the Police and Fire Consolidation Boards that have 18 members on both boards with one women and no Blacks or Latinos.
    I would hope our “Blue” Committee might be expanded to be more diverse.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 11:39 am:

    - Back to the Future -

    With respect,

    It was Rich who made the observation, I ran with his astute recognition.

    I appreciate you giving me credit, but it’s unfounded in this instance.

    Be well.


  15. - Jibba - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 12:46 pm:

    “…he’s going to have to spend hundreds of millions more because he knows that he’s in terrible reelection shape.”

    Wishing hard but ignoring reality. With the current crop of GOP candidates, JB can keep his $300K/day in the bank and still walk home. If Rodney enters, JB might have to spend some of it, but the result is the same. Dems are largely happy (or content) with JB, and if they don’t switch, the game is over.


  16. - Primate - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 12:56 pm:

    Is RD running for Governor or SOS? His handlers will show more cards as this goes on. Keep in mind that they want a clear path and another run at Alexi. I guess we wait.


  17. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 2:29 pm:

    Rodney doesn’t see labels? I’m guessing he doesn’t see color either.


  18. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 3:10 pm:

    “…he’s going to have to spend hundreds of millions more because he knows that he’s in terrible reelection shape.”

    The Cubs could still win it.


  19. - jimbo26 - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 3:12 pm:

    Same thing I said about Durbin the other day. He needs to keep his mouth shut. He is not a kingmaker.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 3:15 pm:

    To the tweets;

    LOL

    Indeed.

    No one needs to claim to be united if you’re… united.

    It’s an embarrassment, sure, but Durbin “won”… I guess he won the stain of dividing the Dems. Pritzker already proved… he can go it alone.


  21. - IllinoisVoter - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 3:42 pm:

    =he’s in terrible reelection shape. We’re going to have a Republican governor.=

    Is Pritzker really vulnerable at all? So far, approval ratings that’ve been released show he’s above water and still more positive than negative in the suburbs. What would the new Republican governor offer that will be different from the last Republican governor we had?


  22. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 4:30 pm:

    IllinoisVoter,

    And how will the GOP candidate separate himself from the pro-covid forces in his own party? That’s a loser in the ‘burbs.


  23. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Aug 18, 21 @ 9:29 pm:

    ===Nikki Budzinski ===

    I understand moving in order to run for congress, but if there’s a chance to defeat Rodney Davis at the polls it would be nice if the person who got the nomination had a better connection to the district beyond going to school there or near by couple of decades ago and periodically being in the area for work.

    I could also see some unnecessary strife coming out of an association with Climate Jobs Illinois given that recent high profile breakdown.


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* More remap stuff
* There's always something more that can be done about big problems like armed violence
* Pritzker spent more than $7 million on advertising in third quarter
* Harvard's former Motorola plant appears to have been transferred from one alleged internatioinal money-launderer to another
* PNA repeal back on the front burner
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Saturday remap update: Bobby Rush blasts new map; Chris Christie and Mike Pompeo to attack Illinois map; Map called 'dummymander' by DC pundit; Head fake?
* Friday evening updates: New maps aren't as Dem as earlier portrayed; Lipinski eyes comeback on first draft maps; Vaccinated Catanzara muzzled by judge
* Yesterday's stories

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